Thursday, September 25

OUTLYING PRECINCTS

Chicago Sun Times - A $100,000 state grant for a botanic garden in Englewood that then-state Sen. Barack Obama awarded in 2001 to a group headed by a onetime campaign volunteer is now under investigation by the Illinois attorney general amid new questions, prompted by Chicago Sun-Times reports, about whether the money might have been misspent. The garden was never built. And now state records obtained by the Sun-Times show $65,000 of the grant money went to the wife of Kenny B. Smith, the Obama 2000 congressional campaign volunteer who heads the Chicago Better Housing Association, which was in charge of the project for the blighted South Side neighborhood. Smith wrote another $20,000 in grant-related checks to K.D. Contractors, a construction company that his wife, Karen D. Smith, created five months after work on the garden was supposed to have begun, records show. K.D. is no longer in business. Attorney General Lisa Madigan -- a Democrat who is supporting Obama's presidential bid -- is investigating "whether this charitable organization properly used its charitable assets, including the state funds it received," Cara Smith, Madigan's deputy chief of staff, said.

Political Wire -
Though Sen. John McCain says the nation's current financial crisis requires "all hands on deck" because "the whole future of the American economy is in danger," he admitted in an interview in Cleveland that he hadn't even read the Bush administration's proposed rescue plan that was unveiled over the weekend.

Political Wire -
A majority of Americans say the debate should be held. Just 10% say the debate should be postponed.

Daily Kos -
Some fun facts about John McCain: Of all Senators, John McCain has been the most absent. There have been 643 votes taken in the current Senate session: McCain has missed 412 of them. McCain has not voted in the Senate since April 8th. Since March, he has missed 109 of the last 110 votes. He missed votes on the GI Bill, energy policy, and in 2007 he missed "all 15 critical environmental votes in the Senate" -- giving him a 2007 rating of 0% from the League of Conservation Voters.

Given its fine record so far this year,
we owe at least a link to this story in the National Enquirer

Drudge Report -
David Letterman tells audience that McCain called him today to tell him he had to rush back to DC to deal with the economy. Then in the middle of the taping Dave got word that McCain was, in fact just down the street being interviewed by Katie Couric. Dave even cut over to the live video of the interview, and said, "Hey Senator, can I give you a ride home?" Earlier in the show, Dave kept saying, "You don't suspend your campaign. This doesn't smell right. This isn't the way a tested hero behaves." And he joked: "I think someone's putting something in his metamucil."

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