30 October 2007
Does an acting career prepare someone for politics?
Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson is perhaps better known for playing a lawyer on television than for being a Tennessee Senator in real life. Thompson started in politics, turned to acting, turned back to politics, then again to acting and now he's running for elected office again. He is one of many in American history who have switched between the two career paths.
Thompson is not the only well-known actor running for office in 2008. Among the candidates for the Minnesota Senate race is comedian and Democrat Al Franken. He too has been politically active for years and started a political action committee that has raised more than a million dollars for Democratic candidates.
Interested in knowing how Al Franken will do? As part of its State and Local politics project, USINFO will be following the races that matter to residents of the Minnesota 1st Congressional District – stay tuned for updates.
Who else has gone from Hollywood to Washington? Find out more here.
26 October 2007
Giuliani’s support for Boston baseball team causes uproar
Former New York City mayor and Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani has received criticism this week for supporting the enemy: the Boston Red Sox baseball team.
Giuliani, often referred to as “Yankee Fan Number 1,” has been a vocal long-time fan of the New York team and the Red Sox’s chief rival. But, while campaigning in New Hampshire, a state full of Red Sox fans, he announced he would support their team as it battles the Colorado Rockies at the World Series championships.
New York tabloid newspapers carried the story with headlines like “Traitor!” and “Red Coat.” Editorials accused him of flip-flopping to gain votes in a state with an early primary.
Democratic candidate and self-proclaimed lifelong Red Sox fan Christopher Dodd issued a press release on his Web site welcoming Giuliani to the “Red Sox Nation.” The Connecticut senator said, “Every true Red Sox fan knows that being a fan means more than just rooting for the Red Sox to win, it means also rooting for the Yankees to lose. I am glad to see that Mayor Giuliani has seen the error of his ways.”
Learn more about how candidates use sports to woo voters here.
24 October 2007
Candidate's house in path of California wildfires
Republican candidate Duncan Hunter won't be on the campaign trail today. Parts of the congressional district he represents are in the 400,000 acres of land devastated by wildfires in southern California. Hunter and his family were among the nearly 1 million people told to evacuate the area. Hunter's home was destroyed in a 2003 fire, and its reconstruction was completed last week. He is currently in his district helping constituents and working to bring firefighters from other states to help.
On the other side of the country, Democratic candidate and former Senator John Edwards issued a statement: "Those affected by this tragedy should take comfort in the fact that their fellow Americans are standing with them and will do whatever it takes to fight the fires and rebuild the homes and businesses that were destroyed."
Democratic candidate Bill Richardson took action: He donated $10,000 from his presidential campaign fund to the American Red Cross to help fire victims. The New Mexico governor also sent firefighters from his state to California.
24 October 2007
Republicans threaten to punish states that violate primary calendar rules
For months the Republican National Committee warned states not to hold their primaries before February 5, 2008. Now the RNC is getting ready to punish those who did not listen.
On October 22, members of the RNC recommended that Florida, Wyoming, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Michigan be stripped of half their convention delegates. The committee will vote on the recommendation later this year.
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