Tuesday, August 31, 2004

'25 things we now know three years after 9/11'

Bernard Weiner: '25 things we now know three years after 9/11'
Posted on Monday, August 30 @ 09:51:20 EDT
By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers
The Republican Party -- in a shameless , all-too-obvious attempt to manipulate the tragedy of 9/11 for partisan ends -- chose New York City for its nominating convention. Must have seemed like a great idea at the time.
Their coming to Manhattan not only infuriates New Yorkers, who were badly played by Bush&Co. after the attacks, but enables the rest of us in the country to use Ground Zero as the backdrop for examining the gross failures and crimes of the Bush Administration since that tragic day in September 2001.
So, here is an update of things we've learned during the three years since 9/11 -- documented mostly from government papers and respected journalistic accounts -- about the Administration that rules in our names.

Read the rest at

Sunday, August 29, 2004

A lifetime of risk-taking shapes Bush's leadership

A lifetime of risk-taking shapes Bush's leadership

By Michael Kranish, Boston Globe Staff  |  August 29, 2004

Now, as Bush again prepares to accept his party's presidential nomination, his candidacy is based on at least two major ventures fraught with risk -- the war in Iraq and massive tax cuts -- as well as on his reliance on risk as a style of governing. A former oilman who bet and sometimes lost tens of thousands of dollars on dreams of gushers, Bush has taken that wildcatting style into the White House, determined to show that, unlike his father, George H.W. Bush, he has the ''vision thing" and is unafraid of the consequences.

Iran-Contra II?

Iran-Contra II?
Fresh scrutiny on a rogue Pentagon operation.

By Joshua Micah Marshall, Laura Rozen, and Paul Glastris

On Friday evening, CBS News reported that the FBI is investigating a suspected mole in the Department of Defense who allegedly passed to Israel, via a pro-Israeli lobbying organization, classified American intelligence about Iran. The focus of the investigation, according to U.S. government officials, is Larry Franklin, a veteran Defense Intelligence Agency Iran analyst now working in the office of the Pentagon's number three civilian official, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith.

The investigation of Franklin is now shining a bright light on a shadowy struggle within the Bush administration over the direction of U.S. policy toward Iran. In particular, the FBI is looking with renewed interest at an unauthorized back-channel between Iranian dissidents and advisers in Feith's office, which more-senior administration officials first tried in vain to shut down and then later attempted to cover up.

Be sure to read this important new article in its entirety at

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Vietnam-era 'chickenhawks' deserve a swift kick

Vietnam-era 'chickenhawks' deserve a swift kick

By Gordon Livingston
Special to The Baltimore Sun

Among the human attributes that excite the most contempt, hypocrisy occupies a special place. Those who say one thing and do another or who criticize others for moral deficiencies they themselves exhibit are deservedly the objects of public derision.

So it is with the "chickenhawks" of the Vietnam War generation currently providing what passes for leadership in this administration. They include Vice President Dick Cheney, who discovered he had "other priorities" during Vietnam, and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who graduated from Cornell University in 1965 but decided to forgo military service during the war.

We recently have had a renewed opportunity to observe hypocrisy in action in President Bush's reluctance to disavow the contemptible attacks by a group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth....

Read more at:

Check out this NYC picture

Something to welcome Republicans...


Florida - Trend Appears Favorable for Kerry/Edwards

August 26, 2004
Florida Poll Shows Race Too Close To Call - But Trend Appears Favorable for Kerry/Edwards

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll of 1002 Floridians conducted Aug. 20-22 shows registered Florida voters split evenly split 46%-46% between Kerry/Edwards and Bush/Cheney.

The trend among these voters since July 19-22, however, is toward the Democrats with support for Bush/Cheney declining from 49% to 46% while Kerry/Edwards rose one point from 45% to 46%. The same trend is evident among likely voters as well.

From Donkey Rising:

Friday, August 27, 2004

Patti Davis: 'The price of an opinion'

When did we become so polarized that we lost our ability to have a civilized discussion about complex issues?

Read the article at:

Now, Smearing the Trial Lawyers

If you like the Karl Rove-inspired attack on John Kerry's Swift Boat service, you're going to love the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's coming assault on John Edwards. Like the right-wing vets smearing Kerry's Vietnam record, the anti-Edwards group is nominally an independent committee. But as The New York Times reports, the cochairmen of the new "November Fund" are a former Republican National Committee chairman, Bill Brock, and a former chief of staff to Bush Sr., Craig Fuller. The core of their attack will be that Edwards is (gasp) a trial lawyer.

To read the full article:

Quote of the day

"The question is where is George Bush's honor, the question is where is his shame to attack a fellow veteran who has distinguished himself in combat? Regardless of the political combat involved, it's disgraceful." Max Cleland

Read more at http://www.smirkingchimp.com/article.php?sid=17574&mode=nested&order=0

New Donkey: In Other Polls

Thursday, August 26, 2004

But In Other Polls....
There's another major presidential poll that was released today: the highly regarded "Battleground" poll jointly conducted by the Democratic firm of Lake Snell Perry, and the Republican firm The Tarrance Group, sponsored by George Washington University. The data's a little over a week old.

Among LVs, the poll shows Kerry up 44-43, with Nader at 1 and 12 percent undecided. But after quizzing respondents about the candidates and then including leaners, their "aided ballot" shows Kerry up 49-47 without Nader in the mix, and 48-47-3 with Nader in.

Interestingly enough, the poll has Bush winning a big 5 percent of Democrats, as opposed to the 15 percent reported by the LA Times poll. It also shows Kerry up by 5 among households with veterans, and only down 3 among vets themselves.

One of the fun things about the Battleground polls is you get to read "strategic analysis" memos from both Celinda Lake and Ed Goas: in other words, Democratic and Republican spin on the same data. And it's about what you'd expect, with Celinda emphasizing Bush's failure to get majority support after four years and Ed suggesting that Kerry's missed an opportunity to seal the deal. With the particular relish of so many partisans, both predict a result determined mainly by turnout patterns. It's so much neater than the messy process of actually persuading voters rationally, doncha know.

At any rate, this poll may offset some of the insider buzz about the LA Times survey. In the past, Battleground polls have been known for an unusually tight "screen" for likelihood to vote, and have often shown results more favorable to the GOP than other major surveys.

And finally, it should be noted that Zogby Interactive released a big batch of polls of 16 battleground states the other day, all conducted from August 16-21. They show Kerry leading in 14 of these states. But Zogby's erratic rep in state polling makes that scorecard questionable, and the specific results don't exactly inspire confidence. He's got Kerry up by 2 in Tennessee, and Bush up by more than 5 in Ohio, and by nearly 8 in West Virginia.

Read more at this new blog:

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Dirty Tricks, Patrician Style

Dick Meyer reports on the Bush family political traditions, including smears:

This old family has traditions – horseshoes, fishing, bad syntax and having the help do the dirty work in campaigns as well as the kitchen. And they are very good at getting jobs done without leaving fingerprints, without compromising their patrician image and their alleged character.

Even the audaciousness of this year’s episode is not surprising. Who would have believed that George Bush, with all the trouble over his National Guard service, could get John Kerry in hot water for his combat duty and medals in Vietnam? Well, anyone who saw what George Bush did to former POW John McCain in the 2000 primaries, which was even more outrageous.

Read the complete article at:

Zogby Poll sees Kerry Leading in Most Battleground States

August 25, 2004
Zogby Poll sees Kerry Leading in Most Battleground States

An August 23rd. Zogby survey of key battleground states found Kerry in the lead in most. In some cases the lead was strong, outside the margin of error of the polls; in others only a small gap separated the two candidates.

The key results are shown below

Kerry Lead in Battleground States

Michigan - 5.2%

Pennsylvania - 8.3%

Wisconsin - 4.4%

Minnesota - 5.7%

Iowa - 7.0%

New Mexico - 5.6%

Washington - 8.4%

Oregon - 11.3%

Arkansas - 2.6%

Missouri - 0.5%

Nevada - 1.7%

Tennessee - 1.9%

Florida - 0.6%

Bush, in contrast, was ahead in only two battleground states, Ohio (51.4% to 45.8%) and West Virginia (49.3% to 41.5%).

From the Donkey Rising Blog:

Note: This is a great web site for ongoing analysis of election polls.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Why is Florida's voting system so corrupt?

Slate presents an excellent overview of the problems with the Florida voting system. Ann Louise Bardach writes:

In the wake of the most scandalous election in U.S. history, which led to an unprecedented 36-day recount, most Americans believed that state and federal authorities would take steps to ensure that the country would never again go through such an ordeal. But in truth very few changes have been made, and those that have been implemented have raised new concerns. Yet nearly all of Flordia's current troubles share a common denominator—they were decisions made or endorsed by Florida's secretary of state and chief elections officer, Glenda Hood, who was handpicked by Gov. Jeb Bush in November 2002.
Read the entire article, Hoodwinked: Why is Florida's voting system so corrupt? By Ann Louise Bardach, Posted Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2004, at:

State-by-State Horserace

The Swift Boat Debate and the State-by-State Horserace
Bart Acocella
Interesting – I’m tempted even to say curious – numbers from the Zogby battleground poll. Bush has opened up a lead outside the margin of error in Ohio and West Virginia, while Kerry has inched ahead in Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee.

I don’t know exactly what to make of this, but I’ll posit something (because that’s what we do in the blogosphere), speculative and generalized though it may be.

Perhaps the focus on the Swift Boat accusations has muffled Kerry’s economic message, which figures to be well received in the manufacturing Rust Belt (Ohio and West Virginia). Meanwhile, in the South, where esteem for the military runs high, the Swifties’ message isn’t having the intended effect and is perhaps backfiring.

Just some thoughts. There is competing data that show, among other things, Missouri still in the Bush column and Kerry ahead in Ohio.

From Gadflyer at http://gadflyer.com/flytrap/index.php?Week=200435#663

Quote of the day

Let's hope that this latest campaign of garbage and lies - initially financed by a Texas Republican close to Karl Rove, and running an ad featuring an "independent" veteran who turns out to have served on a Bush campaign committee - leads to a backlash against Mr. Bush. If it doesn't, here's the message we'll be sending to Americans who serve their country: If you tell the truth, your courage and sacrifice count for nothing.

From The Rambo Coalition By PAUL KRUGMAN, New York Times
August 24, 2004

Read the entire column at:

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Bush's moral cowardice

Joshua Marshall has a great piece today about Bush's moral cowardice --- and how the Democrats should use this as a campaign issue; here's an excerpt --- but it's worth reading the whole piece:

He's not used to having to stand behind what he's done. And when McCain comes at him one on one he's jelly. His life has always been a matter of others doing his dirty work for him, others bailing him out. And in that moment it shows.

The current debate about these two men's military service has put the spotlight on physical courage. But that really is a side issue in this campaign, if we're talking substance. The real issue isn't physical bravery but moral cowardice.

President Bush is an examplar of that quality in spades. And it cuts directly to his failures as president. Forget about thirty years ago, just think about the last three years.

Before proceeding on to that, one other point about the two men's service. On the balance sheet of moral bravery, as opposed to physical bravery, the two men are about as far apart as you can be on Vietnam. On the one hand you have Kerry, who already had doubts about whether we should be fighting in Vietnam before he went, and put his life on the line anyway. On the other hand, you have George W. Bush who supported the war, which means he believed the goal was worth the cost in American lives. Only, not his life. He believed others should go; just not him. It's the story of his life.

That is almost the definition of moral cowardice.


Monday, August 23, 2004

The Thief of Baghdad

Missing: one-third of the Pentagon's equipment and $1.9 billion of Iraqi money. Guess who has it?

Read the article at:

Bush...tearing down another war hero

Quote of the day:

If the tactic works, none of the men and women now fighting in Iraq can trust that the medals they earn won't someday be used against them.

Bush re-election machine busy tearing down another war hero
Columbus Dispatch (Subscription required)
Sunday, August 22, 2004


If John Kerry wins the Democratic nomination, I mused on Jan. 17, President Bush will do back flips to avoid comparisons of their respective military records.

On a stage in Des Moines, Iowa, that night, I watched a retired policeman embrace the Massachusetts senator, creating the most poignant moment of the Democratic campaign for president.

Jim Rassmann had come from Oregon to tell the world that 35 years earlier, then-Navy Lt. Kerry, wounded, turned his swift boat around against enemy fire and fished Rassmann out of the Bay Hap River in Vietnam.

``He could have been shot and killed," said a teary Rassmann, a Republican. ``I figure I owe this man my life."

Kerry was given a Bronze Star for that heroic act. He also got a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam.

Score one for Kerry, I thought, standing amid the cheering Iowa Democrats. With questions lingering about Bush's stateside service in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, military records weren't likely to top Bush's discussion agenda during the campaign.

And it didn't help that influential hawks in his administration -- Vice President Dick Cheney, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Defense Department Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz -- found ways to avoid military service during the war.

But then, I had forgotten some recent history and once again underestimated just how good Karl Rove & Co. are at winning elections.

As Bush scores with voters by lauding the heroism of troops he sends to war, his allies systematically tear down old war heroes for political gain.

In 2002, Republicans painted Sen. Max Cleland, a Georgia Democrat, as unpatriotic. Nevermind that Cleland lost two legs and his right arm in the Vietnam War. Cleland's GOP opponent, Saxby Chambliss, ran a television ad showing Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Cleland, contending that Cleland ``voted against the President's vital homeland security efforts 11 times." Chambliss won.

Two years earlier, in the bitter 2000 South Carolina presidential primary, Bush supporters sponsored a rumor campaign against Sen. John McCain of Arizona, suggesting he was loony from five years of torture in Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camps.

A couple of weeks ago, McCain saw a 60-second TV spot sponsored by a group called ``Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." The ad, financed by Texas Republicans and aired in Ohio and two other battleground states, said Kerry lied to get his Bronze Star. Livid, McCain referred to Bush backers and said, ``It was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me." He called on the Bush campaign to repudiate the ad; it declined.

Voters in key states now are debating whether Kerry really earned his Vietnam War medals. Exhaustive reporting by the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and other newspapers has discredited most statements made by the ``Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." But Bush's ubiquitous AM talk-radio surrogates loyally and doggedly fan the fire.

At the Veterans of Foreign Wars annual convention last week in Cincinnati, vets were buzzing about Kerry's war record. It was clear that Bush backers were successfully doing to Kerry what they tried to do to Cleland and McCain: sully the honor of war heroes.

With practiced discipline, Bush allies adroitly had shifted the discussion away from Bush's lack of a war record to whether Kerry's is bogus.

Realizing he was being hurt, Kerry fired back Thursday, accusing Bush of using front groups ``to do his dirty work." Kerry said if Bush wants to ``have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: `Bring it on.' "

At the VFW convention, Peter Rebold, 61, a Cincinnati lawyer who had led U.S. and South Vietnamese troops into battle as an Army captain, said the effort to smear Kerry won't work.

``All you have to look at is one thing: Kerry was in Vietnam. Bush wasn't there. Cheney wasn't there. Kerry volunteered."

Kerry's postwar protest activities and his Senate voting record on defense issues are fair game for critics. But twisting his valorous war record for political purposes is shameful.

If the tactic works, none of the men and women now fighting in Iraq can trust that the medals they earn won't someday be used against them.

Joe Hallett is senior editor at The Dispatch.


Sunday, August 22, 2004

W left Guard unit too soon

The NY Daily News reports, "George W. Bush left his Texas Air National Guard assignment and moved to Alabama in 1972 even though the Air Force denied his request for a transfer, according to his military records.

"In fact, Bush, did not even ask for an official transfer until nine days after he moved to Alabama in May 1972.

The Air Force quickly rejected Bush's request, saying the fighter pilot was "ineligible" to move to the Alabama unit Bush wanted - a squadron of postal handlers.

Nevertheless, Bush stayed in Alabama until his Texas commanders finally gave him written authorization five months later to train there."

Read the complete article at http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/163815p-143464c.html

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Sign the Kerry-Edwards petition

Tell George Bush - stop the smear, and get back to the issues.

Could Najaf Cost Bush the Election?

Juan Cole reports:

Could Najaf Cost Bush the Election?
Even though the crisis at the Shrine of Ali seems to have passed, the U.S. military actions in the holy city of Najaf have been deeply unpopular with American Muslims. A major demonstration was held by Shiite Iraqi-Americans in Dearborn, Michigan, last week. It demanded that US troops get out of Iraq. These expatriate Iraqi Shiites had been the most gung-ho group about the US going to war against the Saddam regime in 2003, and they were big Bush supporters. But now they are filled with second thoughts and regrets. The US military campaign in Najaf has deeply offended their religious sensibilities. They have made an about-face and now want the US out of their country, immediately...

For the rest of this story, go to http://www.juancole.com/

Friday, August 20, 2004

How John Kerry busted the terrorists' favorite bank

Follow the Money
How John Kerry busted the terrorists' favorite bank.
By David Sirota and Jonathan Baskin
September 2004

The Washington Monthly has a new article which tells us about John Kerry's leadership in going after the BCCI. One of Kerry's biggest contributions during his time in the Senate was his investigation into BCCI. Excerpts:

All that changed in early 1988, when John Kerry, then a young senator from Massachusetts, decided to probe the finances of Latin American drug cartels. Over the next three years, Kerry fought against intense opposition from vested interests at home and abroad, from senior members of his own party; and from the Reagan and Bush administrations, none of whom were eager to see him succeed.

By the end, Kerry had helped dismantle a massive criminal enterprise and exposed the infrastructure of BCCI and its affiliated institutions, a web that law enforcement officials today acknowledge would become a model for international terrorist financing. As Kerry's investigation revealed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, BCCI was interested in more than just enriching its clients--it had a fundamentally anti-Western mission. Among the stated goals of its Pakistani founder were to "fight the evil influence of the West," and finance Muslim terrorist organizations. In retrospect, Kerry's investigation had uncovered an institution at the fulcrum of America's first great post-Cold War security challenge.
Kerry pounced, demanding (and winning) authorization from the Foreign Relations Committee to open a broad investigation into the bank in May 1991. Almost immediately, the senator faced a new round of pressure to relent. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Democratic doyenne Pamela Harriman personally called Kerry to object, as did his fellow senators. "What are you doing to my friend Clark Clifford?," staffers recalled them asking, according to The Washington Post. BCCI itself hired an army of lawyers, PR specialists, and lobbyists, including former members of Congress, to thwart the investigation.
But Kerry refused to back off, and his hearings began to expose the ways in which international terrorism was financed. As Kerry's subcommittee discovered, BCCI catered to many of the most notorious tyrants and thugs of the late 20th century, including Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the heads of the Medellin cocaine cartel, and Abu Nidal, the notorious Palestinian terrorist. According to the CIA, it also did business with those who went on to lead al Qaeda.
And BCCI went beyond merely offering financial assistance to dictators and terrorists: According to Time, the operation itself was an elaborate fraud, replete with a "global intelligence operation and a Mafia-like enforcement squad."
By July 1991, Kerry's work paid off. That month, British and U.S. regulators finally responded to the evidence provided by Kerry, Morgenthau, and a concurrent investigation by the Federal Reserve. BCCI was shut down in seven countries, restricted in dozens more, and served indictments for grand larceny, bribery, and money laundering. The actions effectively put it out of business what Morgenthau called, "one of the biggest criminal enterprises in world history."


Ask Bush supporters these basic questions

Mary Louise Symon: Ask Bush supporters these basic questions
by Mary Louise Symon, Madison Capital Times

There is a large and growing concern about the well-being of our democratic form of government. More and more citizens are asking questions that wouldn't have occurred to them a few years ago.

Why was the Bush administration so surprised by the Iraq insurgency and so ill-prepared for the Iraq invasion?

Did our president lie to us about the reasons for invading Iraq?

Did he know that weapons of mass destruction would not be found there?

Did he know there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and Sept. 11 when he went before Congress, the country and the world to justify the invasion?

How could the Bush administration not have known that toying with the Geneva Conventions would lead to atrocities such as Abu Ghraib?

Why has the president abrogated so many international treaties that had been signed after painstaking international negotiations? They were put in place for the good of humanity.

Did the massive tax cuts of the Bush administration do anything substantive to improve the economy or were they really a handout for the very wealthy?

Doesn't the Bush administration care that it converted a budget surplus to a massive deficit, thereby damaging programs that were intended to meet human needs?

Are Americans more comfortable with more and more appointments going to religious fundamentalists who are free to mold the federal bureaucracy, policies and legislation to their religious beliefs?

These are questions I hear every day from family and friends in southwest Wisconsin and North Carolina and Georgia. We are very worried about the threats to our beloved and admired democratic form of government. We are patriots who care deeply for the lives of our soldiers, their families and those of the innocent Iraqi people who are killed every day.

Is the Patriot Act in our citizens' best interests or was Sen. Russ Feingold right when he recognized its glaring dangers and voted against it? I believe Americans are slowly coming to understand that our form of government must and can be saved.

It won't happen automatically. Those who believe Bush and Cheney are leading the country in the wrong direction have a responsibility to say so clearly and often. We must continue to ask these questions the administration doesn't want to answer. We must encourage people to speak out. We must make it acceptable to be independent, moderate, liberal, progressive or conservative in the best sense of the words.

When you encounter Bush supporters or single-issue ideologues, simply and civilly state your position and ask them those questions. Contribute to and be active in the campaign of your choice.

If Bush wins in November it will be because those of us who see the peril did not act to confront it and did not vote against the administration's alarming policies and actions. The right to vote is the essential and basic freedom that keeps democracy strong!
Copyright © 2004 the Madison Capital Times.
Reprinted from Madison Capital Times

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Problems already with the 2004 Florida election

Unsettling stories are already coming out of Florida, presenting ominous signs that the 2004 presidential election may be as tainted as the 2000 election.

New York Times columnist Bob Herbert (8/16/04) reports

"State police officers have gone into the homes of elderly black voters in Orlando and interrogated them as part of an odd "investigation" that has frightened many voters, intimidated elderly volunteers and thrown a chill over efforts to get out the black vote in November.

The officers, from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which reports to Gov. Jeb Bush, say they are investigating allegations of voter fraud that came up during the Orlando mayoral election in March.

Officials refused to discuss details of the investigation, other than to say that absentee ballots are involved. They said they had no idea when the investigation might end, and acknowledged that it may continue right through the presidential election."

(Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/16/opinion/16herbert.html?n=Top%2fOpinion%2fEditorials%20and%20Op%2dEd%2fOp%2dEd%2fColumnists)

Many of the elderly black voters subjected to investigation by state police officers in Orlando are members of the Orlando League of Voters, which has been very successful in mobilizing the city's black vote.

Concerning absentee voting, Paul Krugman (8/17/04) reports, "Recently the Florida Republican Party sent out a brochure urging supporters to use absentee ballots to make sure their votes are counted." This suggests they are expecting problems with the new electronic voting machines installed in Florida --- voting machines that don't provide a paper record.

(Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/17/opinion/17krugman.html?n=Top%2fOpinion%2fEditorials%20and%20Op%2dEd%2fOp%2dEd%2fColumnists)

Other problems include the controversial felon list, which in 2000 provided the basis for denying a large number of legitimate voters the right to vote. It's still got problems....

For comprehensive information about electronic voting machines, check out Black Box Voting (http://www.blackboxvoting.com/)

Nader '04 Impact Map

The Unity Campaign provides a useful weekly map showing Nader's impact on the presidential election on a state-by-state basis. This web site also provides other maps of the status of battleground states. Check out:


Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Saratoga Springs' Emerging Democratic Spirit

Welcome! This is the blog for the political action initiative of the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee. Our web site is at http://www.saratogadems.com/. The Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee stands for smart growth, open government, a strong community, and accountability by elected officials. At the local level, we are concerned with wisely nurturing and enhancing Saratoga Springs' prosperity and preserving this beautiful, historic city with all its many social, recreational and cultural attractions.

With the 2004 election campaign underway, including John Kerry"s campaign to become president, the members of the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee want to do all that they can to promote voter registration, to support voters' understanding of the issues, and to support fair, accessible elections in Saratoga Springs and throughout the country. Many analysts have suggested that this is the most important election of our lifetime. We believe that this is true. This blog will report regularly on the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee's efforts to support these goals. We encourage you to get involved --- and be sure to vote during the New York Primary Election (September 14, 2004) and during the national election (November 2, 2004).

Please note that Democratic Election Inspectors are still needed in Saratoga Springs for both the primary and the general election. This is an opportunity to get paid, while serving your community. For more information about working at a polling place on election day, contact Thilo Ullmann at 518-587-9409.

PLEASE -- JOIN US IN UPHOLDING THE SPIRIT OF DEMOCRACY IN SARATOGA SPRINGS --- THE SARATOGA SPIRIT! For more information, contact Pat Friesen at 587-4983 or mcfriesen2@aol.com.