Yeah, But How Did the Others Do?: We all know about Arnold Schwarzenegger winning California's recall election and we're all aware that Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante came in a distant second. But let's not forget, there were 133 other candidates on the ballot.
Some had already dropped out and still garnered thousands of votes. For instance, Independent Arianna Huffington, who bailed out last week, came in fifth place with 42,227 votes (0.6% of the vote, with 99% of the precincts reporting). That was twice as many as former Major League Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, who came in sixth after dropping out a few weeks ago. And 2002 GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon, who also ended his campaign in August, was in 12th place with 7,721 votes.
Then there are the other big names in the race. Hustler Magazine owner Larry Flynt finished in seventh behind Ueberroth with 15,112 votes. Diminutive former child star Gary Coleman followed Flynt in eighth place, receiving 12,514 votes. Mary Carey, star of such porn films as "New Wave Hookers" and "Grand Opening" placed 10th with 9,812 votes. And comedian Gallagher was in 16th with 4,775 votes.
Carey offered the governor-elect good wishes during a concession speech last night telling Schwarzenegger: "Arnold, if you ever need advice on the state of California or want to grope another girl, call me."
Clark Campaign Shake-Up: Wesley Clark's campaign manager, Donnie Fowler, resigned on Tuesday after apparently ending up on the losing side of a power struggle with Eli Segal, an aide to former President Clinton, who wants to take control of the campaign.
The AP reports that Fowler's departure also highlights a possible rift between the "draft-Clark" people, who spearheaded the online drive to get Clark to run, and "a corps of Washington insiders assuming more power." Fowler has reportedly complained that the draft-Clark people were not being taken seriously by the campaign pros, many of whom are veterans of either the Clinton campaigns or Gore 2000. [Fowler himself ran Gore's field operations in 2000.]
But Mike Frisby, a spokesman for one of the draft-Clark groups, disputed that, saying the campaign has made "earnest efforts" to work with them.
In a press release, Segal said of Fowler: "General Clark and all of us at the campaign are grateful for his efforts."
In addition to Segal's rise, the AP reports that Clark adviser Dick Sklar has assumed more authority recently – at Clark's orders. Sklar also took power from Fowler.
The AP says that the Clark campaign – despite Fowler's protests – plans to open a Washington office to oversee policy matters and manage relations with Congress. Fowler, and the "draft-Clark" folks, opposed the decision.
Fowler said he won't work for any of the other eight Democrats running for president, the AP reports, despite being contacted by at least two of them Tuesday night.
In another not-so-good piece of news for Clark, The Washington Post reports this morning that the retired Army general may have violated federal campaign finance laws by discussing his campaign during recent paid appearances. One possible violation occurred when Clark took part in a panel at DePauw University in Indiana after he declared his candidacy on Sept. 17. The DePauw event took place on Sept. 23. Clark also has been paid for speeches at the University of Iowa and Midwestern State University.
FEC forbids candidates from being paid by corporations, labor unions, individuals or even universities for campaign-related events because such payment would be construed as a contribution to the candidate.
The Post reports that Clark's general counsel, William Oldaker, said Clark only "incidentally" mentioned his candidacy in the paid speeches, and therefore was in-line with FEC rules.
But, according to the DePauw event moderator, Ken Bode, Clark "absolutely" discussed his political views. In addition, the Post reports, several audience members waved "Draft Clark" signs.
The Post reports that Clark gets paid as much as $30,000 for speeches – and has two more scheduled this week.
That's In The Past: Former U.S. Representative and convicted felon Mel Reynolds has decided he's ready to head back to the Hill. Claiming that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is "invisible" to his South Side Chicago constituents, Reynolds said he is running as an "independent Democrat" against Jackson, Roll Call Reports.
Reynolds started doing focus groups in June and was pleased with polling data that showed Jackson is "vulnerable" to a primary challenge. The poll completed Aug. 27-30, by McCulloch Research and Polling, surveyed 400 registered Democratic voters and had a three percent margin of error. Of those surveyed, 40 percent said they would vote for Jackson and 32 percent for Reynolds, while 28 percent were undecided in the hypothetical election.
Reynolds was forced to resign his seat in 1995 after he was convicted of sexual misconduct and other charges related to an affair he had with a 16-year-old campaign worker. In 1997, he was convicted again, but this time for misusing campaign funds and defrauding banks. He served two and half years in prison on sex charges and was sentenced to six and half additional years for the fraud charges.
Reynolds was a beneficiary of one of Mr. Clinton's last minute pardons and according to Roll Call, Rev. Jesse Jackson was one of the men who lobbied Mr. Clinton on Reynolds' behalf. "The bottom line is my past is my past," Reynolds said. "I don't wear mistakes that I have made a badge of shame, just as I don't wear all of my accomplishments as a badge of confidence."
Jackson's office released a statement on Tuesday that said he will take all opponents seriously, but did not refer to Reynolds by name. Jackson, who has served since winning a 1995 special election to replace the disgraced Reynolds, also touted a laundry list of accomplishments, which included a near perfect vote record on the House floor.
If Reynolds were to win the election he would be eligible to serve. The only qualifications for election to the House are age, U.S citizenship and inhabitancy in the state, all of which Reynolds meets.
Kentucky: On the eve of a Thursday fund-raising visit by President Bush for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ernie Fletcher, there's a big fight brewing in the Bluegrass State over an ad the Republican Governors Association is running criticizing the Democratic candidate, Attorney General Ben Chandler.
Chandler's campaign has been pressing Kentucky televisions stations to stop running the ad, which it says is inaccurate. The RGA, however, is sticking by the ad and says it has no plans to cut short its scheduled one-week run.
The ad takes shots at Chandler's health care plan and alleges that Chandler was responsible for $2.5 million Kentucky lost in the stock market in recent years. It also questions Chandler's role in a $42 million settlement with an insurance company that was put into a foundation for Kentucky's health care needs.
Chandler's campaign manager, Mark Nickolas, told CBS affiliate WLKY: "I think it is clear the ad is flat-out false." The campaign sent an 18-page memo to TV stations asking them to pull the spot. NBC affiliate WAVE-3 reports that Chandler's campaign even offered it more advertising if it agreed to pull the RGA ad – an allegation the Chandler campaign does not dispute.
The RGA is spending more than $350,000 on the 30-second spot, which is running on 20 stations statewide. All four Louisville stations have refused to stop running the ad despite Chandler's protests.
The latest Louisville Courier-Journal poll showed Chandler and Fletcher in a dead heat, with Fletcher at 44 percent and Chandler at 43 percent.
Quote of the Day: "Cold reality favors the Yankees; warm sentiment, which is at the heart of baseball and to which we are always susceptible, favors one or the other of baseball's most reliable losers." -- New York Times editorial, which appears to be rooting for the Boston Red Sox over the hometown team.