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Washington Wrap

Dotty Lynch, Douglas Kiker, Steve Chaggaris, Clothilde Ewing, Sean Sharifi and Natasha Kuzovich of the CBS News Political Unit have the latest from the nation's capital.

Money: Tuesday marks the end of the third fund-raising quarter for the presidential candidates, and the looming deadline is the 800-pound political gorilla of the week. For several Democratic presidential hopefuls, success (or more importantly, failure) to raise will determine the direction – or fate – of their campaigns.

Howard Dean will top the Democratic field by a wide margin, with more than double his nearest competitor. His campaign website says it's raised $12.7 million as of Monday morning. His campaign has set a goal of $15 million by end-of-business Tuesday, and hopes to boost its figures during 1,400 nationwide house parties Monday night. Dean will address supporters at the fund-raisers on what the campaign pitches as a "world record for the largest telephone conference call."

Sen. John Kerry expects to raise between $4.5 and $5 million for the quarter, a Kerry aide told CBS News. Like Dean, Kerry is pulling out the stops to boost his quarterly take. Supporters (and reporters) even got an e-mail "from" 60s rock icon Stephen Stills asking for money for Kerry.

Rep. Richard Gephardt's campaign has been slow to put out any estimates for the third quarter. At the end of the second quarter the campaign put out estimates of $5 million and came up far short with $3.87 million.

Sen. John Edwards' campaign also expects a drop from the last quarter, when he raised $4.5 million. Although she would not estimate the exact figure for the third quarter, spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri tells CBS News that the decrease comes as no surprise to the campaign. "As we have always said, this is going to be our lowest quarter. The focus of the candidate's time this quarter was on campaigning, not fundraising," she said.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, who's had more difficulty raising money than many political observers thought, expects to come in around the $4 million range, spokesman Jano Cabrera tells CBS News. Lieberman raised $5.1 million last quarter.

The Sept. 30 figure will be especially crucial to Sen. Bob Graham, who's had trouble raising money since he entered the race. He raised just $3.1 million in the first six months of the year. [The Miami Herald reported over the weekend that Graham's campaign is aiming for a fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses as a "long-shot, lightning-strike" strategy. Campaign manager Paul Johnson told the Herald, "It's not a question of winning as much as it is beating expectations."]

Gen. Wesley Clark's campaign won't speculate on its take for the quarter, in part because his campaign has only been in business a couple of weeks. A campaign spokeswoman tells CBS News that Clark plans to file papers with the FEC on Tuesday, but would not estimate how much he's raised. Clark has had a couple of fundraisers already, and the campaign has no way of judging how much of the vaunted $1.9 million "Draft Clark" pledges have actually come in.

Al Sharpton, Carol Moseley Braun and Rep. Dennis Kucinich are expected to come in well below the rest of the pack – the only question is how far below.

President Bush, meanwhile, will far surpass all the Democrats and has the potential to raise more than the entire field combined, as he did last quarter. The Bush campaign estimates its third-quarter take will be betewen $48 and $50 million. For the year – and keep in mind that he only started actively raising money in mid-May – Mr. Bush could have upwards of $80 million.

In an effort to counter criticism that Bush-Cheney might be focusing too much on fundraising, Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman sent a fundraising letter last week asking for money to offset what he said was $400 million in commitments by donors to liberal groups opposed to the Bush administration, reports the New York Times.

Weighing In On Wilson: Some of the Democratic candidates are ramping up their criticism of the Bush administration after news broke that the CIA has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations that the White House revealed the identity of a CIA agent.

Howard Dean and John Kerry released statements and Wesley Clark will be making a statement today in Texas on the allegations that the Bush administration publicly identified the wife of former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson as a CIA officer. Her identity was revealed in a column written by conservative commentator Robert Novak shortly after Wilson criticized the president's claim that Iraq had tried to buy uranium in Africa.

"If it is true, they have gone way beyond petty retribution - they have undermined a key national security tenet and violated two federal laws," Dean said.

"This is more than another example of politics driving the Bush administration," said Kerry who went even further calling, for a special counsel and arguing that the Justice Department shouldn't be the one investigating this. "The track record of John Ashcroft and this Justice Department do not adequately assure Americans that legitimate questions will be answered fully without any political bias," Kerry said.

Clark will comment in depth later today in Austin, Texas. CBS News' Bonney Kapp reports that he has called the flap a serious breach of national security and also says the Justice Department shouldn't be heading the investigation.

Could Louisiana Break New Ground?: While one in five Louisiana voters still are undecided about who they'll vote for in this Saturday's gubernatorial election, one candidate has unexpectedly positioned himself pretty well.

Bobby Jindal, a Republican first-generation Indian-American, is ahead in the polls and in the money race. Jindal's standing has shocked some political observers in a state that once featured former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke as a gubernatorial candidate and hasn't had a non-white governor since 1872, when Lt. Gov. P.B.S. Pinchback, whose father was African-American, was elevated after the impeachment of Gov. Henry Clay Warmoth.

"Louisiana is still a racist state," political consultant Raymond Strother told the AP recently, explaining why he thought it "unlikely that the moderately dark-skinned Jindal could get elected."

But Jindal, a 32-year-old Rhodes Scholar, former state health secretary under current Gov. Mike Foster, and former Bush administration health care adviser, is appealing to the David Duke conservatives by campaigning against gun control and promoting the teaching of "creationism" in schools. The son of Indian immigrants also says he's against affirmative action.

"I'm against all quotas, all set-asides," Jindal said at a recent candidates' forum. That stance may play well with the conservatives he's wooing, but does nothing to help him among blacks, who make up 30 percent of Louisiana's voting age population.

"I think Bobby Jindal doesn't get any support in the black community because he's trying to out-conservative the conservatives," state Sen. Donald Cravins, who is black, told the AP.

Recent polls show Jindal at the top along with Democratic Lt. Gov. Kathleen Blanco, though neither of them get near the 50 percent threshold that's needed to avoid a run-off. Democratic Attorney General Richard Ieyoub is consistently in third place, trailing the two either closely or by 10 points, depending on the poll.

Jindal's strength has surprised even some of his former co-workers. "I wished the guy luck, but I never thought he'd go anywhere," one Bush administration colleague told Time magazine.

In fund-raising, Jindal is sitting on $1.4 million, more than twice the amount Ieyoub, his nearest competitor in the money race, has. Former U.S. Rep. Buddy Leach, D-La., is self-funding his race with more than $6 million, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune, however, he's been way behind in the polls. So far, the top seven candidates have spent $18 million, including Leach's $6 million.

As fot the one in five voters who are still undecided, they'll have plenty of opportunities to figure it out, with a blitz of campaign ads and two more debates still to come.

A run-off between the top two candidates would be held on November 15 if neither gets a majority on Saturday.

Political Week Ahead:

Monday 9/29:
President Bush meets with the New Jersey Devils, the 2003 Stanley Cup champs in the Rose Garden and then signs the "Do Not Call" bill. Laura Bush is in Paris to deliver the keynote address at the UNESCO meeting and pay a courtesy call on President Jacques Chirac. Vice President Cheney headlines a Bush/ Cheney fundraiser in Memphis. Retired Gen. Wesley Clark meets supporters in downtown Austin, Texas, and speaks at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls. Ex-Vermont Gov. Howard Dean attempts to set a new Guinness World Record by holding the largest conference call ever, linking over 1,300 house parties in all 50 states, according to his campaign. Sen. John Edwards fundraises in Texas. Rep. Dick Gephardt campaigns in Nashua, N.H. Sen. Bob Graham fundraises in L.A. Sen. John Kerry campaigns with firefighters in N.H, then fundraises in Boston. Rep. Dennis Kucinich attended a breakfast meeting with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in Westwood, Calif. Sen. Joe Lieberman fundraises in Connecticut. Former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun fundraises in Chicago.

Tuesday 9/30:
President Bush attends a Bush/Cheney lunch and meets with business leaders in Chicago, then attends another Bush/Cheney fundraiser in Cincinnati. Meanwhile, Laura Bush travels from Paris to Moscow. Clark meets with members of Congress on Capitol Hill. Dean fundraises in L.A., celebrates a "September to Remember" in the evening at Union Station; then appears on "The Tonight Show." Gephardt holds his "parties across America." Graham attends a Silicon Valley roundtable on policy conservation and a fundraiser in San Jose. Kerry gives a speech in Washington and fundraises. Lieberman fundraises in New York. Moseley Braun fundraises in Chicago.

Wednesday 10/1:
President Bush meets with Pakistani Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and signs the first homeland security funding legislation. Laura Bush participates in the first School Libraries Festival in Moscow. Clark campaigns with Gray Davis in southern California and appears on "The Tonight Show." Graham fundraises in Coral Gables, Fla. Lieberman fundraises in New York.

Thursday 10/2:
President Bush hosts a ceremony marking Hispanic Heritage month. Graham fundraises in Ft.Lauderdale, Fla. Kerry campaigns in Iowa. Lieberman fundraises in Washington and Philadelphia. Moseley Braun fundraises in Chicago and attends the Field Museum's Cultural Collections Committee Presentation and Reception.
Other: The DNC holds its fall meeting through the Oct. 4 in Washington. Democratic presidential candidates are expected to speak throughout the conference.

Friday 10/3:
President Bush
travels to Milwaukee for an economic speech and fundraiser before heading back to Washington where he and the first lady will attend a dinner celebrating Mrs. Bush's National Book Festival. Clark attends DNC fall meeting and the military reporters and editors conference in Washington. Dean begins a four-day, eight-city, Generation Dean tour. Graham fundraises in West Palm Beach, Fla. Kerry campaigns in Washington and speaks at DNC fall meeting. Lieberman speaks at DNC fall meeting. Moseley Braun attends DNC sessions meeting and speaks later in the day.

Quote of the Day: "I'm not sure following too closely the precedents of my campaign will work any better for them than it did for me. I lost, after all." – Sen. John McCain, in a new afterword to the paperback version of his book "Worth Fighting For: The Education of an American Maverick and the Heroes Who Inspired Him."