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The Morning Grind / Political Hot Topics

Dean's $100 billion plan

Raise your hand if you're sure: Howard Dean gets the endorsement of Local 25 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union in Washington on Thursday.
Raise your hand if you're sure: Howard Dean gets the endorsement of Local 25 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union in Washington on Thursday.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Check out the links below to hot political stories around the country this morning.

The White House, 2004

• Howard Dean on Thursday put forward the broad strokes of an economic plan, including $100 billion to create jobs, the elimination of $100 billion in tax loopholes and the creation of a small-business loan fund. The White House aspirant spelled out his proposals in a Georgetown University auditorium where Bill Clinton made several major policy speeches in his first national campaign.

The New York Times: Dean says economic priorities are jobs and a tax overhaulexternal link

• Dean also said Thursday he is opposed to an $87 billion Iraq reconstruction package pending in Congress because President Bush hasn't proposed a way to pay for it.

The Des Moines Register: Dean opposes $87 billion in Iraq aidexternal link

• More than a dozen national labor unions supporting Dick Gephardt for president announced yesterday they are banding together to form a group that will promote his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. At a news conference in Washington, the labor leaders said the new group, called the Alliance for Economic Justice, will seek special status under the Internal Revenue Service code to spend union money to communicate with members and promote key labor issues and political candidates.

The Boston Globe: New labor alliance looks to help Gephardtexternal link

• With Sen. Bob Graham, D-Florida, out of the presidential race, Joe Lieberman made a full-throttle return to the Sunshine State this week. He's seeking money, votes and support from those angered by the state's balloting problems in the last presidential election.

The Hartford Courant: Lieberman looks for more than sunshine in Floridaexternal link

• While 2.3 million Arab-Americans are clustered in Michigan and six other states up for grabs in the 2004 presidential election, there's no such thing as a single Arab voice, unified concern or sure vote. Appearances from eight Democratic presidential candidates this weekend before the Arab American Institute may mark the acme of a decades-long struggle for political recognition by the Arab-American establishment.

The Detroit News: U.S. Arab voting clout growsexternal link

Gov.-elect Schwarzenegger

• California Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), who had vowed to ask President Bush for "a lot of favors" to ease the state's budget crunch, acknowledged that the pair's first official meeting Thursday was just a get-acquainted session in which the president didn't make any promises of aid for cash-starved California.

The San Francisco Chronicle: Schwarzenegger, Bush hit it off in first official meetingexternal link


• A new Field Poll of California voters found that 45 percent of the state's registered voters were inclined to give Boxer a third term in the Senate, while 40 percent were not inclined to re-elect her if the election were held today. Fifteen percent of voters were undecided.

The San Francisco Chronicle: Boxer favored by 45 percent in pollexternal link


• Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster (R) on his Thursday radio show predicted a dark future if voters elect Lt. Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D) to succeed him. He said that if elected, her husband will run her administration; moneyed supporters of imprisoned ex-Gov. Edwin Edwards are contributing to Blanco; and a slanted "push" poll that purports to show Blanco leading Jindal is on the verge of public release. He also charged that Sen. John Breaux, D-Louisiana, supports Blanco is because he wants "to rig this up" so he can resign and have "his guy" -- Rep. Chris John, D-Louisiana -- appointed to the Senate seat by a Democratic governor.

The Baton Rouge Advocate: Foster: Blanco bad newsexternal link

Compiled by Mark H. Rodeffer.

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