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Election 2004

Bush camp: Kerry distorts his own book in terror ad

By wire services
Published July 3, 2004

WASHINGTON - President Bush's campaign Thursday accused Sen. John Kerry of distorting his own writing in an ad and rolled out a counterattack that will hit New Mexico airwaves Friday.

The controversy involves a single sentence in the Kerry ad - "author of a strategy to win the war on terror" - which shows a picture of the Massachusetts senator's 1997 book, The New War: The Web of Crime That Threatens America's Security. The book, while mentioning terrorism, deals mainly with efforts to combat global crime, including the Colombian cocaine cartel and Japanese crime syndicates known as yakuza.

Bush spokesman Steve Schmidt said the Kerry camp "is pointing to this book as an example of John Kerry's farsightedness. It's an incredibly disingenuous claim."

Kerry spokeswoman Chad Clanton responded: "In the nine months before Sept. 11, this president didn't have a single Cabinet-level meeting on terrorism. But four years before Sept. 11, John Kerry wrote a book on the impending threat of international terrorism and how to take it on."

The Bush ad mocks the book, saying: "John Kerry says he's "author of a strategy to win the war on terror?' ... against the Japanese yakuza.

"Never mentions al-Qaida. Says nothing about Osama bin Laden. Calls Yasser Arafat a "statesman.' The New Republic says Kerry's plan "misses the mark.' And Kerry's focus? Global crime, not terrorism. How can John Kerry win a war if he doesn't know the enemy?"

Democrats ask U.N. to monitor elections

Twelve congressional Democrats on Friday asked the United Nations to watch for "questionable practices" in this year's U.S. presidential election.

They wrote that they do not want a repeat of the controversy and resulting legal wars of the 2000 race between George Bush and Al Gore.

A U.N. spokesman, Ari Gaitanis, said the request would be rejected because it came from elected officials rather than directly from the government, as required by U.N. policy.

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Dallas was the first of 12 Democratic members of Congress to sign the letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Other signatories were Jerrold Nadler, Edolphus Towns, Joseph Crowley and Carolyn Maloney, all of New York; Raul Grijalva of Arizona; Corrine Brown of Florida; Elijah Cummings of Maryland; Danny Davis of Illinois; Michael Honda of California; and Julia Carson of Indiana. Nader accuses Kerry, Democrats of "tricks'

WASHINGTON - Independent candidate Ralph Nader, denied a spot on the Arizona ballot, on Friday accused the Democrats and presidential candidate John Kerry of engaging in political "dirty tricks."

The Kerry campaign dismissed Nader's complaints, arguing that Democrats were following the rules when they legally challenged Nader's signatures to get on the ballot.

In Arizona, supporters of Nader abandoned their effort to get the independent candidate on the presidential ballot after Democrats challenged the validity of thousands of signatures.

Nader has struggled in some states to collect the thousands of signatures necessary to appear as an independent candidate.

Republicans in Minn. used felons for fundraising

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Republicans in Minnesota hired felons to phone potential donors and solicit contributions to the state party.

Corey Miltimore, the Republican state director, said Friday that the party has an arrangement with the Hazelden treatment center to hire recovering addicts, mostly from a St. Paul halfway house.

Miltimore was among the Republicans who criticized the liberal political group America Coming Together last week after the Associated Press reported that they hired felons to register voters door to door in some states.

[Last modified July 3, 2004, 01:00:34]

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