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Campaign Notebook

Kerry accepts Swift Boat challenge

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November 17, 2007

Senator John F. Kerry, whose 2004 presidential campaign was torpedoed by critics of his Vietnam War record, said yesterday he has personally accepted Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens' offer of $1 million to anyone who can disprove even a single charge of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

In a letter to Pickens, who provided $3 million to bankroll the group during Kerry's race against President Bush, the Massachusetts Democrat wrote: "While I am prepared to show they lied on allegation after allegation, you have generously offered to pay one million dollars for just one thing that can be proven false."

Kerry, a Navy veteran and former prosecutor, said he was willing to present his case directly to Pickens and would donate any proceeds to the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Pickens issued his challenge Nov. 6 in Washington, while serving as chairman of a 40th anniversary gala for American Spectator magazine, according to two Internet accounts of the gathering and Kerry, who said he spoke to people who were there.

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Setback for Mich. primary
LANSING, Mich. - A state appeals court yesterday dealt a blow to Michigan political leaders' hopes of holding a presidential primary on Jan. 15.

In a 2-1 ruling, Judges Patrick Meter and Donald Owens objected that a law recently passed by the Legislature setting up the primary would let the state political parties keep track of voters' names and whether they took Democratic or GOP primary ballots, but give no public access to that information.

The logjam involving the courts has delayed scheduling of the nation's first primary. New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner says he won't set the date of his state's primary until it's clear what's going on with Michigan.

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Bill Clinton stumps for wife
WHITEFIELD, N.H. - Bill Clinton told voters in New Hampshire's North Country yesterday that his wife's energy policy could transform their struggling economy. Clinton campaigned for his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton, at Gorham Middle/High School, a few miles from where a century-old pulp mill closed last year in Berlin. "Clean efficient energy is our ticket to the future, and your ticket back," he said.

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