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Chuck Muth is President and CEO of Citizen Outreach and a professional political consultant. Mr. Muth is a professional campaign trainer, a newsletter publisher and talk-show host who regularly appears on political TV and radio programs.

Thursday

DC Confidential, 9/2/04


ZELL STILL GIVING ‘EM HELL

Sen. Zell Miller, the Georgia Democrat who lit up the GOP convention with his fiery keynote address Wednesday night, also dished it out on MSNBC’s Chris Mathews in a post-convention interview. If you missed seeing this “must see TV” performance live, here’s where you can still catch it online HERE.

But Zell was far from finished. He was on the Imus show this morning and ridiculed Kerry for a number of things, the most funny of which was his derision of Kerry’s windsurfing and cycling attire. While he didn’t specifically call the outfits a sign of a “girlie man,” he came darned close.

In any event and for whatever reason, Zell Miller is mad as hell...and he ain’t backing down.

TODAY’S MONEY QUOTES

“If John Kerry is having trouble walking today it’s understandable after last night, because Zell Miller done tore him a new one,” writes Former Reagan adviser Lyn Nofziger in his blog today. Also this: “Suddenly this election has become George Bush’s to lose. Between the Swift Boat Veterans and Zell Miller John Kerry has been unmasked as a phony, a vacillator, and a weakling unfit to lead this nation as commander in chief.”

All signs pointing to a coming landslide.

FEEL THE HATE

In response to Zell Miller and Dick Cheney’s speeches Wednesday night at the GOP convention, Democrat vice presidential candidate John Edwards said, “There was a lot of hate coming from that podium tonight.”

And he’s right.

We hate the idea that we might return to the days of turning the other cheek every time some two-bit Islamic terrorist anxious to get with his 72 virgins decides to blow up innocent Americans, including women and children. And we REALLY hate the notion that the United States needs a permission slip from the UN or France or any other nation to defend our citizens.

But it’s nothing personal, John. We still love your hair.

OPEN EXCHANGE OF IDEAS

The Arab news network Al Jazeera - which has been particularly hostile to the Bush administration’s war on terror and Iraq - has nevertheless been provided press credentials to cover the Republican convention...and trumpets its presence is highlighted by a lighted sign hanging in front of its skybox at Madison Square Garden. Bush campaign officials say giving Al Jazeera such access shows that Republicans aren’t afraid to have an exchange of ideas.

Try telling that to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

THE MONEY FLOW

The White House has now sued the FEC to try to shut up the 527 organizations in this election cycle. It ain’t gonna happen...and shouldn’t.

Various campaign finance reforms have been screwing up our political system royally for a LONG time. First, putting contribution limits on candidates resulted in the political parties becoming more involved in campaigns. The candidates themselves lost a little bit of control over their message and strategies. But at least the parties were somewhat competent and generally in line with the direction a candidate wanted to go.

Then Congress passed McCain/Feingold in an effort to stop the money from going to the parties. So what happened? The money was diverted to these “527” organizations instead. And the candidates have even LESS control over their message and campaigns then they did with the parties.

As long as the government sticks its nose into the business of its citizens, those citizens - including unions and corporations - have a vested interest in who gets elected. And their money WILL find a way into campaigns, one way or another - at least as long the First Amendment remains a part of our Constitution.

If you shut down the 527s, the next thing you’ll see is wealthy people such as George Soros paying for and running political ads himself. And the candidates will then have practically NO control whatsoever over their own campaigns...and the rich will have a megaphone while the average grassroots activist will be speaking in a barely audible whisper.

Congress will undoubtedly tackle the issue of 527s in the near future. What they SHOULD do is repeal McCain/Feingold in its entirety. In its place, a system should be adopted where any individual or organization can give any amount of money to any political campaign of its choosing providing such donations are fully and immediately disclosed. Then the voters can make the decision whether or not the candidate is “bought” by special interests.

THE GOLDWATER DOCTRINE

“I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' interests, I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.”

- Barry Goldwater, “The Conscience of a Conservative”

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