Rudy Giuliani

Staff writer Bob von Sternberg on Republicans behaving badly (and, getting caught)

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

vonste.jpgAnother day, another Republican presidential campaign rocked by sordid and/or criminal charges against a prominent supporter.

When news broke Monday that Idaho Sen. Larry Craig had been busted for soliciting sex in a bathroom stall at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, he scrambled to resign his post as “co-Senate liason” for Mitt Romney’s campaign. A campaign spokesman for the former Massachusetts governor accepted the resignation in a flash.

It wasn’t the first time pecadillos have embarrassed a candidate (see President Clinton’s image meister Dick Morris, caught with a hooker during the 1996 Democratic convention). But the Craig incident is only the most recent to tar the campaigns of nearly half the Republican field.

In June, South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, the state chairman for Rudy Giuliani’s campaign, was indicted on federal cocaine charges.

Then, in July, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., Giuliani’s southern regional campaign chairman, was linked to the so-called DC Madam’s escort service. Vitter called it “a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible.”

A few days later, the co-chairman of John McCain’s Florida campaign was arrested for allegedly offering an undercover police officer $20 for a sex act. Florida State Rep. Bob Allen was charged with solicitation for prostitution after he was arrested in a Titusville city park. Allen called it “a very gross mistake.”

What’s a supporter of the party of family values to make of all this?

BOB VON STERNBERG

Staff writer Patricia Lopez on the mixed up GOP presidential race

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

lopez.jpgA House Republican fundraiser last Wednesday night netted an intriguing _ some might say baffling _ cross section of support for Republican presidential candidates, with Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., winning the straw poll as a write-in candidate with 21 percent.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was a close second at 20 percent.

But, then, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, came in a startling third, beating out Rudy Giuliani.

Paul has become the darling of some Republican activists for his anti-Iraq war and anti-immigration stands.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the personal choice of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, came in a distant fifth, with 11 percent.

House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, said that hundreds of Republican activists, legislators and campaign supporters showed up for the event at St. Paul River Centre. The results, he said, showed that “opinions of the Republican presidential candidates in Minnesota are mixed and up for grabs.”

Here’s the complete list:

    Fred Thompson (write-in), Former Tennessee Senator: 21%

    Mitt Romney, Former Massachusetts Governor: 20%

    Ron Paul, Texas Congressman: 16%

    Rudy Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York: 13%

    John McCain, U.S. Senator of Arizona: 11%

    Mike Huckabee, Former Arkansas Governor: 8%

    John Cox, Illinois businessman: 4%

    Duncan Hunter, California Congressman: 2%

    Tom Tancredo, Colorado Congressman: 2%

    Sam Brownback, U.S. Senator from Kansas: 2%

    Newt Gingrich (write-in), Former Speaker of the House from Georgia: 2%

PATRICIA LOPEZ


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