A political website reported yesterday that as New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses while he was starting an extramarital affair.
The Politico said it had obtained previously undisclosed government records under New York's freedom of information law that show the expenses had nothing to do with the functions of the agencies and show three summers of visits to the Long Island town where Judith Nathan, who is now his third wife, had an apartment. At the time, Giuliani's office refused to explain the accounting to city auditors, citing "security," The Politico reported.
Auditors looking at expenses in 1999 and 2000 "were unable to verify that these expenses were for legitimate or necessary purposes," the city's comptroller wrote in a letter The Politico obtained.
The Giuliani campaign issued a statement last night, saying, "This is common practice. The NYPD is responsible for providing security for the mayor of New York around the clock."
Giuliani has acknowledged the affair and has repeatedly said during his campaign that he has made mistakes in his personal life.
Huckabee leans on his faith
Republican Mike Huckabee, who is increasingly playing up his faith as he rises in the polls, picked up the endorsement yesterday of Jerry Falwell Jr., son of the late televangelist who founded Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., where the son is now president.
On Tuesday, Huckabee announced that James Draper, past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and syndicated radio host Janet Folger will lead his Faith and Values Coalition. While the evangelical Christian community has not coalesced behind one candidate, the ordained Baptist minister started running a TV ad in Iowa emphasizing his faith. And support from evangelicals is boosting his standing leading up to the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.
A Rasmussen Reports survey of Iowa Republicans released yesterday showed him slightly ahead of Romney for the first time, 28 percent to 25 percent. Huckabee has the backing of 48 percent of evangelical Christians, according to the poll.
GLOBE STAFF, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Edwards launches petition
John Edwards announced an online petition drive yesterday to collect 1 million signatures from voters pledging not to vote for candidates who accept campaign cash from Washington lobbyists or special interest political action committees.
That would disqualify several of his major rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination. And the deadline for the petition happens to be Feb. 5, when at least 20 states will vote and, quite possibly, decide the nominee.
His petition, which is on AmericaBelongsToUs2008.com, conveniently leaves out lawyers like himself, who are major donors to his campaign.
Ads blast Romney's record
WASHINGTON - A Republican group that backs abortion rights will start an ad campaign this weekend in Iowa and New Hampshire portraying Mitt Romney as a flip-flopper and drawing attention to a questionnaire he filled out in 2002 endorsing legal abortions.
Republican Majority for Choice plans to spend more than $100,000 to air a 30-second television spot in Iowa and New Hampshire and to run full-page ads Sunday in three newspapers.
Members of the group's board have donated to the presidential campaign of Rudy Giuliani, an advocate of abortion rights.