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Sunday, October 08, 2006
Iraq foreign minister disputes senator
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Sunday that the situation in Iraq "is not as desperate as people think," despite a recent warning from a top Republican U.S. senator.

Sen. John Warner, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said Thursday that Washington should reconsider its strategy in Iraq if things don't turn around in the next few months. Warner said "the situation is simply drifting sideways" and the Iraqi government under Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is "simply not living up or not able to meet just the fundamental responsibilities of a government operating through agencies."

Zebari disagreed that the Iraqi government was stalled or stopped during an appearance on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer."

Full story
McHenry acknowledges no evidence of Democratic involvement in Foley matter, but argues it remains an open question.
From CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Rep. Patrick McHenry acknowledged Sunday he had no evidence Democrats had been withholding information about then-Rep. Mark Foley's contact with teenage House pages, but the North Carolina Republican said a "question remains, were they involved."

Pressed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer several times to offer up evidence that Democrats knowingly withheld information on Foley, R-Florida, for political gain, McHenry failed to do so. But the North Carolina Republican then said "if they were not involved, they need to say clearly," on CNN's 'Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer.'

McHenry added, "And it's a question. It's not an accusation."
Meehan says he believes Hastert knew of Foley's inappropriate conduct earlier than he acknowledges
From CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Rep. Marty Meehan said Sunday he believes House Speaker Dennis Hastert knew of then-Rep. Mark Foley's inappropriate contact with House pages, but made a political decision not to address it.

"Denny Hastert is a decent person, but the problem here in this case is that good people do bad things when they're trying to protect their own political power," Meehan said on Fox News Sunday.

Meehan, D-Massachusetts, argued that it is hard to believe that Hastert, R-Illinois, does not remember having a conversation with House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, about Foley's, R-Florida, conduct. And Meehan said it was improbable that Hastert did not discuss the situation with his chief-of-staff, who is alleged by the former senior aide to another GOP leader to have known about Foley's inappropriate contact with pages for several years.

"The evidence is pretty clear," Meehan said on Fox. "If somebody goes to your chief-of-staff and says, 'We have a problem with a member of Congress who seems to be going after some of these pages; he has inappropriate contact with them,' it's just not credible to believe that that chief-of-staff ... didn't talk to the speaker of the House about it."
AP: Allen Didn't Disclose Stock Options
RICHMOND, Va. -- For the past five years, Sen. George Allen, has failed to tell Congress about stock options he got for his work as a director of a high-tech company. The Virginia Republican also asked the Army to help another business that gave him similar options.

Full story
Kingston expresses support for Hastert
From CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston, who serves as vice-chair of the House Republican Conference, expressed support Sunday for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois, who is under fire for his handling of the Foley page scandal.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Kingston praised Hastert for directing the House ethics panel as well as asking the FBI to begin immediate investigations into then-Rep. Mark Foley's, R-Florida, inappropriate e-mail and sexually explicit IM correspondence with teenage House pages.

"I think he's taken some definitive steps to get to the bottom of this and have a thorough investigation," Kingston said.
AP: GOP Lawmakers Seek to Defend Hastert
WASHINGTON -- Rank-and-file Republicans on Sunday sought to mount a public defense of Speaker Dennis Hastert over the page sex scandal that threatens their congressional control one month before the elections.

Full story
AP: Mo. Candidates Debate Foley, Iraq War
WASHINGTON -- Candidates in Missouri's hotly contested Senate race clashed Sunday over the page sex scandal and the war in Iraq, with the Democratic challenger saying House Speaker Dennis Hastert should quit.

Missouri state auditor Claire McCaskill said Hastert, R-Ill., and other GOP leaders failed to properly investigate when they first learned of former Rep. Mark Foley's e-mails to congressional pages.

Full story
Stephanopoulos corrects Putnam on Lewinsky scandal
From CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- For a fleeting moment Sunday, it seemed as if Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Florida, had successfully landed a stinging political jab against a Democratic adversary and a one-time Democratic operative turned respected media star.

Except for one thing, the facts got in the way. Putnam was defending the House GOP leadership's handling of the Foley page scandal on 'This Week with George Stephanopoulos,' when he decided to refer to the President Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal.

"His resignation was demanded within hours," Putnam said of Foley. "Contrast that to previous scandals, where, frankly, two people at this table have had to cover for their former boss' sexual misdeeds while in office, and did not demand his resignation."

Putnam was specifically needling Stephanopoulos and the other guest, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Illinois, both veterans of the Clinton White House. "First of all, let me correct you on something," Stephanopoulos responded. "I left the White House in 1996."

The Clinton/Lewinsky scandal did not become public until 1998.
Emanuel denies prior knowledge of Foley's contacts with pages
From CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The House Democrats' senior campaign strategist Sunday denied having any knowledge that Rep. Mark Foley, R-Florida, was engaged in sexually explicit e-mail and IM exchanges with House pages until ABC News broke the story.

"Never saw them," Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said on ABC'S 'This Week with George Stephanopoulos.' "No involvement."

Some Republicans have suggested that Democratic leaders knew of Foley's behavior, but waited until now -- right before the midterm elections -- to reveal it hoping this news would hurt GOP candidates in November. So far, there is no evidence that Democratic leaders sat on the information.
Putnam argues GOP leadership acted swiftly on Foley page scandal
From CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Brushing aside critics, Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Florida, argued Sunday that House GOP leaders moved quickly when it was revealed then-Rep. Mark Foley, R-Florida, had sexually explicit e-mail and IM conversations with House pages.

"Based on the information we have today, the speaker's office acted proactively, they acted aggressively, and within hours, within hours of the explicit e-mails coming to light, they demanded Foley's resignation," Putnam said in an interview on ABC'S "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

Putnam also noted that several media organizations as well as the FBI had received the initial "overly friendly e-mail" from Foley to a page, but decided not to report it or investigate it. Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-New York, was originally scheduled to appear on the show, but backed out at the last minute. Putnam took his place.
The CNN Political Ticker AM, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2006

For the latest, breaking political news, check for updates throughout the day on the CNN Political Ticker:

America Votes 2006:


Reynolds takes to the airwaves; Bush to join Hastert in Chicago

From CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Embattled Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-New York, took to the airwaves Saturday to apologize for the Foley page scandal, as well as distance himself from the GOP leadership's failure to stop former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Florida, from contacting teenage pages.

The South Florida newspapers take an in-depth look into Foley's life and career, while the New York Times examines life as a gay Republican staffer on Capitol Hill. Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer is riding high, according to the NYT. But the San Diego Union Tribune reports that former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-California, is stewing in jail.

Tune into CNN throughout the day for the latest, breaking news and check back to the for recaps of the Sunday political shows.

And see below for the topics and guests for Reliable Sources, Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer and This Week at War


CNN: GOP campaign chief: Sorry for not catching Foley's 'lies'
The head of the Republican House campaign committee apologized Saturday for not catching Rep. Mark Foley in alleged lies about his Internet exchanges with teen pages. Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-New York, issued the apology in a TV commercial aired in his Buffalo-area district.

WP: Conflicting Accounts Leave Plot Holes in Foley Saga
House Ethics Committee and FBI Will Try to Sort Out Who Knew What -- and When
Despite countless hours of TV coverage and reams of newspaper reporting on the House's handling of the Mark Foley page scandal, numerous fundamental questions remain unanswered as the FBI and the House ethics committee begin their first full week of inquiries.

Chicago Sun-Times: Bush will back Hastert in Chicago visit
Embattled House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert nixed plans to headline a mid-October fund-raiser in New York with Mayor Bloomberg -- but will stand with President Bush on Thursday in Chicago.,CST-NWS-SWEET08s1.article

WP: Foley Consuming GOP As Elections Draw Near
Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr. (R-Fla.) was trying to talk about security Friday at bustling Port Everglades, but with planes roaring overhead and containers slamming onto trucks, nobody could hear him. That's a common problem for Shaw and Republican candidates around the country these days -- trying urgently 30 days before Election Day to frame a winning message but finding their efforts drowned out by the furor over former representative Mark Foley (R-Fla.).

Palm Beach Post: Foley: Public ambitions, private demons
The rise and fall of Mark Foley is a script gone wrong, a tale of the local boy who surprised nobody by making good, by going from the young kid with a big smile and even bigger dreams to a powerful U.S. congressman. Anybody who knew Mark Foley, even back when he was a community college dropout working the lunch trade at his family's restaurant, knew that Lake Worth wasn't big enough to contain him.

Sun-Sentinel: Associates fooled by Foley's attention-seeking public persona
Right from the start of his 12-year congressional career, onetime amateur thespian Mark Foley seemed blessed with a sense of timing that perfectly complemented his love of the limelight. In Washington the former congressman chanced to meet Hollywood celebrities who would later become his pals. In Palm Beach he parlayed his status as a member of Congress to mingle with high society while playing the role of debonair bachelor.,0,6817260.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines

NYT: Foley Case Upsets Tough Balance of Capitol Hill’s Gay Republicans
Every month or so, 10 top staff members from Capitol Hill meet over dinner to commiserate about their uneasy experience as gay Republicans. In a wry reference to the K Street Project, the party’s campaign to build influence along the city’s lobbying corridor, they privately call themselves the P Street Project, a reference to a street cutting through a local gay enclave.

Tribune via Seattle Times: The erosion of the Republican revolution
They made it look so easy. After 50 years in the wilderness, Republicans swept to power in 1994 with big ideas about reining in big government, a revolutionary zeal and a moral compass Democrats seemed to have lost.

NYT: The Big-Sky Dem
It's fun being governor of Montana. Just watch Brian Schweitzer bouncing around the streets of Helena in the passenger seat of the state’s official S.U.V., fumbling with wires, trying to stick the flashing police light on the roof. When he spots some legislators on the sidewalk, he blasts them with the siren, then summons them by name on the loudspeaker. The men jump, and the governor tumbles out of the car, doubled in laughter, giving everyone a bear hug or a high-five or a soft slap on the cheek.

Star-Ledger: Senate rivals' rancor spills out for TV viewers
After blasting each other with negative campaign ads in recent weeks, New Jersey's two U.S. Senate candidates stood inches away from one another yesterday and clashed bitterly during an hourlong debate due to be televised this morning. Democratic U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and state Sen. Tom Kean Jr., his Republican challenger, often interrupted one another and accused each other of lies, underscoring how nasty one of the most hotly contested Senate races in the nation has become.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: 3 tight races in Pa.'s hot corner
Defying the light rain that threatened the plumage of the string bands farther back in the parade, Rep. Curt Weldon waved to the crowds lining the main street of this aging industrial suburb.

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Santorum stymied as Casey idles in lead
Sen. Rick Santorum always pointed to the end, to the campaign's final weeks, when he would be poised for another one of his comeback victories.
That time has arrived, and little seems to be moving voters.

AP via CNN: Schwarzenegger, Angelides spar in only planned debate
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic state Treasurer Phil Angelides sparred over the direction of the state's economy Saturday in their only debate planned for the gubernatorial campaign.

Columbus Dispatch: Coin-fund trial’s start punctuates campaign
Nearly 1 1/2 years after sparking a series of state scandals that are the backdrop for Ohio elections this fall, the case against coin dealer Thomas W. Noe will go to trial in Toledo. Jury selection is to start Tuesday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, exactly four weeks before the Nov. 7 general election. Opening statements are scheduled Oct. 16 in a trial expected to last six weeks.

Denver Post: Poll: Ritter in lead across state
Democrat Bill Ritter leads Republican Bob Beauprez for governor by 15 percentage points, according to a new poll. Ritter is beating Beauprez in every region of the state, including Beauprez's own congressional district and Republican strongholds like the Western Slope and Colorado Springs.

WP: Cheney Back Delivering the Grim Campaign Speech
Vice President Cheney sometimes starts speeches with a Ronald Reagan quotation about a "happy" nation needing "hope and faith." But not much happy talk follows. Not a lot of hope, either. He does, though, talk about the prospect of "mass death in the United States."

S.D. Union-Tribune: In prison letter, he blames contractor for downfall, reporter for his painIn a handwritten letter to the reporter who exposed his corruption, former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham portrays life in prison as an agonizing time of regret, anger and bitterness toward those he blames for his downfall.

Wife admits wrongdoing but won't be prosecuted
Former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham's wife forfeited her rights to the proceeds from the $2.55 million Rancho Santa Fe house she and her husband bought with the bribes that toppled him from office and sent him to prison. Nancy Cunningham also admitted wrongdoing in the corruption case but will not be prosecuted as a tax cheat under an agreement with prosecutors announced yesterday.

AP via CNN: NK 'may drop test if U.S. holds talks'
North Korea informed China it may drop its plan to test its first atomic bomb if the United States holds bilateral talks with the communist country, a former South Korean lawmaker said Sunday.

CNN: Coalition troops kill 20 insurgents in southern Iraq
U.S. and Iraqi soldiers battled with insurgents overnight in Diwaniya, a predominantly Shiite city about 95 miles (150 kilometers) south of Baghdad, killing 20 insurgents, according to a U.S. military spokesman.
No coalition soldiers were wounded or killed, the military said.


What's Ahead on CNN

Reliable Sources – 10:00 - 11:00 AM

Topics: The Foley Story: Coverage and Consequences
Guest: Candy Crowley, CNN senior political correspondent
Guest: Steve Roberts, GWU professor of media and public affairs; syndicated columnist
Guest: Jill Zuckman, national correspondent, Chicago Tribune

Topic: Iraq: A Correspondents View
Guest: Nic Robertson, CNN senior international correspondent

Topics: Iraq: The Pentagon Perspective
Guest: Pam Hess, Pentagon correspondent, UPI
Guest: Jamie McIntyre, CNN senior Pentagon correspondent

Topics: The Foley Scandal; Coverage of Iraq
Guest: David Frum, “National Review’; former Bush speech writer
Guest: Bill Press, Sirius Satellite Radio talk show host, “The Bill Press Show”

Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer - 11:00AM-1:00 PM

Topic: War in Iraq
Guest: Hoshyar Zebari, Iraqi Foreign Minister

Topic: The Foley Scandal; War in Iraq; 2006 Election
Guest: Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE), Foreign Relations Committee
Guest: Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Armed Services Committee

Topic: The Foley Scandal
Guest: Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)
Guest: Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC)

Topic: The Foley Scandal; Party Politics; 2006 Elections
Guest: John F. Harris, political editor, Washington Post; co-author, "The Way to Win"
Guest: Mark Halperin, political director, ABC News; co-author, "The Way to Win”
Guest: Dana Bash, CNN congressional correspondent

Topic: The Foley Scandal; Party Politics; 2006 Elections
Guest: Pat Buchanan, author, "State of Emergency"

This Week at War – 1:00-2:00 PM

Topics: Securing Iraq’s Neighborhoods; Nuclear North Korea; War of Words: Woodward’s Book and National Security; Killing Fields in Africa

Guest: Stuart Bowen Jr., Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction
Guest: John Dickerson, chief political correspondent, Slate Magazine
Guest: Joseph Cirincione, Center for American Progress
Guest: Anderson Cooper, CNN Anchor
Guest: Jamie McIntyre, CNN senior Pentagon correspondent
Guest: Richard Roth, CNN senior UN correspondent
Guest: Brig. Gen. James Marks, U.S. Army (Ret.); CNN military analyst
Guest: Suzanne Malveaux, CNN White House correspondent
Guest: Maj. Gen. Donald Shepperd, U.S. Air Force (Ret.); CNN military analyst
Guest: Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon correspondent
Guest: Arwa Damon, CNN Baghdad-based correspondent
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