Archive | 7:26 pm

Obama Camp to Media: Pay Up!

22 Oct

CHICAGO (AP) — Media organizations will have to pay up if they want a prime spot to cover Democrat Barack Obama’s election night party in a downtown lakefront park.

Obama’s campaign, awash in money after raising a record-shattering $150 million last month, is asking news organizations to pay anywhere from $410 to $1,870 depending on where they want to be and if they want telephone or Internet service in Grant Park.

While it is customary for news organizations to pay their way when covering a presidential campaign, including transportation, hotels and Internet services, some have questioned the Obama campaign’s plan.

“It smells a lot like paying for access,” said Al Tompkins, a former TV news director who teaches broadcast and online journalism at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla.

For $1,870, a news organization can buy space on a main riser that will be covered, plus phone and Internet service, while $410 will get them space on a separate riser for photographers without out phone or Internet access, but with electrical power. A seat in a heated press filing center will cost $935 and include power, cable TV, Internet and food.

There is one press credential reporters can get for free. It will provide access to a standing-room-only outdoor press area with no services that “may have obstructed views.”

Obama’s campaign says it’s charging the media only for the services it will be providing them, not for coverage, and that such fees are “standard procedure” in presidential campaigns.

“There is no fee to cover our election night event. News organizations will be able to cover our event without charge, with full access to our campaign advisers,” Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement.

LaBolt, in a later statement, added that the campaign “would be surprised” if any news organization would expect it to subsidize coverage “given the appearance conflicts that could create.”

The event will be free and open to the public.

Republican John McCain’s campaign did not immediately provide details Wednesday about media arrangements for its election night event in Phoenix.

Tompkins said it’s typical for media to pay for telecommunications services but he said he was unaware of news organizations having to pay for platform space to cover an event.

Access to covered and heated areas could be key in November when Chicago weather can be fickle for an outdoor event.

Fred Brown, former national president of the Society of Professional Journalists, said the Obama campaign’s fee list is a “mercenary way” to approach coverage.

“It seems to needlessly create ill will,” said Brown, a retired capitol bureau chief for The Denver Post who still writes regularly for the newspaper.



Free Pizza For McCain Sign

22 Oct

via YumSugar

A Warren, MI, pizzeria is exchanging free pizza in return for McCain campaign signs.

“Turn in your sign, get some free food,” offers Diana Franzoni, owner of Salvatore’s Pizzeria, the restaurant giving away the pizza. Still seething over the fact that McCain pulled out of the battleground state, she contends: “McCain gave up on Michigan, so you should give up on him.”

Salvatore’s, which has collected hundreds of signs in the past two weeks, has become the center of controversy. The pizza-sign exchange has led to many signs being stolen from supporters’ front lawns. “You’re putting a bounty on a McCain sign for a pizza,” said one supporter whose sign was stolen. The McCain camp has admonished the offer as “wrong,” saying that true McCain supporters would not be likely to give up their signs for free pizza.

We’re All Joe the Plumber

22 Oct

Rendell Seeing Red in Pennsylvania

22 Oct

Could Pennsylvania go republican red this year? Ed Rendell fears it’s possible. We believe it’s probable.

Since 1988, PA has consistently been a democratic blue state, but that’s been tightening up in recent years. Kerry squeaked by Bush with a scant 2.5% percentage point in ’04. PA went very pro-Hillary in the dem primaries and hasn’t warmed up to Obama much since Hillary left the race.

The people of PA seem very happy to listen to Operation Turdown talk from popular Scranton PA radio host Steve Corbett. Of course, being called ‘racist’ and ‘rednecks’ by your elected official  does not help the Obama cause either. People are funny like that. They don’t appreciate having ‘racist! racist! racist!’ pinned on them just because they’re weighing their options instead of automatically falling inline for Obama.

From Political Punch

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell wants Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., back in the Keystone state. He’s worried Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, could still pull off a victory there.

“I don’t want to be selfish,” Rendell told CNN. “But I’m still a little nervous, so I have asked Obama to come back. We understand he’s got demands from 20 different states, but we’d like to see him here.”

Rendell sent the leadership of the Obama campaign two emails asking them to get Obama to Western Pennsylvania along with asking for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, to come back into the state, where she trounced Obama in the primaries, ABC News Political Director David Chalian reports. 

A Democratic source familiar with Rendell’s requests to the Obama campaign also tells Chalian that the larger-than-life former Mayor of Philadelphia also verbally requested that former president Bill Clinton come visit.

The Keystone state has not gone Republican since 1988 but it’s often a close contest; Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., only beat President Bush there by 2.5 percentage points in 2004.

Sarah Palin “She’s A Fighter” Campaign Ad

22 Oct

Palin Slams Obama/Biden on ‘Crisis’ Gaffe

22 Oct

Via Political Punch:

Sarah Palin


In Reno, Nev., today, Governor Sarah Palin attacked both Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and his running mate Joe Biden, D-Del., for Biden’s remarks the other night. (More on those remarks HERE.)

“First, did you hear what Sen. Biden said at a fundraiser on Sunday?” Palin said. “He guaranteed that if Barack Obama is elected, we will face an international crisis within the first six months of their administration.  He told — he told his Democrat donors to mark his words –- that there were ‘at least four or five scenarios’ that would place our country at risk in an Obama administration. I guess we got to say, ‘well, thanks for the warning, Joe!'”

Palin noted that Biden “didn’t specify what those four or five scenarios will be, but for clues, let’s review the Obama foreign policy agenda to find out what maybe this would be. So, our opponent wants to sit down with the world’s worst dictators. With no preconditions, he’s proposing to meet with a regime in Tehran that vows to wipe Israel off the Earth. Now, let’s call that crisis scenario number one.

“Now, Sen. Obama proposing too having advocated sending our U.S. military into Pakistan without the approval of the Pakistani government. Invading the sovereign territory of a troubled partner in the war against terrorism. We gotta call that scenario number two. OK, then. He opposed the surge strategy that has finally brought victory in Iraq within sights. Yes. Our opponent voted to cut off funding for our troops, leaving our young men and women at grave risk in the war zone. He wants to pull out, leaving some 25 million Iraqis at the mercy of an Iranian-supported Shiite extremist groups and al Qaeda in Iraq. By his own admission, this could mean our troops would have to go back to Iraq. That’s crisis scenario number three. And then, after the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Sen. Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence — the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next. That’s crisis scenario number four.

“But I guess the looming crisis that most worries the Obama campaign right now is Joe Biden’s next speaking engagement. Let’s call that crisis scenario number five.”

For the video click here.