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The Friday Faxline

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The Friday Faxline

Issue 380, October 28, 2004

True Blue
I was honored to be recognized by the Family Research Council this week as a "True Blue" champion of the family in Congress. The award honors members of the House and Senate who have exhibited leadership and commitment to defense of faith, family, and freedom. The Family Research Council compiles votes on a number of issues to determine eligibility for the award. Its scorecard can be viewed at <http://www.frc.org/>.

Last weekend poll numbers
Headed into the last weekend before the Presidential election the race is neck and neck. It's important to be educated and involved. And do not forget to vote. At press time, polls of voters in Pennsylvania show the candidates essentially tied. One poll (Quinnipiac) has President Bush leading by two percentage points (49-47); another (the Los Angeles Times) has race tied (48-48); and, two others (Zogby and CNN/USA Today/Gallup) have Senator Kerry leading by three points. Nationally, polls show President Bush leading by an average of 2.8 percentage points.

Military ballots
Today, I called on Governor Rendell to extend the deadline for military ballots. A legal challenge on behalf of state Democrats removed Ralph Nader's name from the Pennsylvania ballot causing delays in sending out the ballots. Many counties met the deadline, mailing whatever ballot they thought was appropriate; however, some did not. The confusion caused the United States Department of Justice to file suit in federal court seeking to order counties to send another round of ballots and extend the deadline for military ballots based upon the Ralph Nader legal situation. Governor Rendell fought the Department of Justice suit. This week two soldiers from our state sued Governor Rendell and Secretary of State Pedro Cortes asking for an extension of the deadline until November 17, 2004 so they can get their ballots and return them so their votes are counted. When I served three tours in Vietnam , I voted by military ballot. The right to do so was especially precious for me while I was serving my country in wartime. The bureaucratic and legal mess is not our soldiers' fault. Governor Rendell should stop playing politics and give our soldiers the same dignity every other American will have on Election Day.

Analyzing negative media coverage
A study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism says that 59 percent of the stories that focused on President Bush during the two-week debate season were clearly negative. By contrast, according to the study, just 25 percent of the stories about Kerry were decidedly negative. Just over a third of the Kerry stories from Oct. 1 through 14 were clearly positive, compared with 14 percent for Bush. Newspapers were the harshest in tone against Bush, with 68 percent of the print stories overwhelmingly negative toward the President, compared with just 26 percent toward Senator Kerry. Network news coverage was the least negative toward the candidates (President Bush: 33 percent, Senator Kerry: 11 percent).

Quote of the Week
"Democratic voices are being raised insistently, in Syria and Lebanon and Saudi Arabia , and though you may say this would have happened anyway, there is no doubt of what ignited the current debate."

* Christopher Hitchens, 10/24/2004, discussing the impact of the rise of democracy in Iraq on the rest of the region in a column titled "What's Going Right in Iraq ?" printed in the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair.


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