POLITICS IN BRIEF
Kerry tops Bush among likely Minn. voters
MINNEAPOLIS -- Democratic candidate John F. Kerry leads President Bush, 50 percent to 41 percent, in a presidential poll of likely voters in Minnesota, according to results released yesterday. The Star Tribune Minnesota Poll found that 8 percent of likely voters in the state remain undecided. Independent candidate Ralph Nader received less than 1 percent. The poll surveyed 1,035 likely voters statewide from Sept. 7 to Sept. 13 and has a margin of sampling error of 3 percentage points. (AP)
Special election for governor denied
TRENTON -- A federal judge refused yesterday to order a special election to replace Governor James E. McGreevey, who announced last month that he is gay and would step down Nov. 15. US District Judge Garrett E. Brown Jr. dismissed a lawsuit that claimed McGreevey had effectively created a vacancy by announcing his resignation. Brown said there is no vacancy to fill because McGreevey has not left office. (AP)
Laura Bush set to speak at rally
TRENTON -- Laura Bush will visit a Mercer County firehouse today in the first Bush-Cheney campaign event in New Jersey that is not a fund-raiser. She is scheduled to deliver remarks at an 11:15 a.m. rally at the Colonial Firehouse in Hamilton. Mrs. Bush will be joined by former governor Christie Whitman and Trenton-area Republicans. (AP)
Former Naderites urge votes for Kerry
A raft of former Naderites have signed a petition urging voters who might be tempted to vote for the independent presidential candidate to support Democrat John F. Kerry. "We urge support for Kerry/Edwards in all swing states, even while we strongly disagree with Kerry's policies on Iraq and other issues," the petition said. "For people seeking progressive social change in the United States, removing George W. Bush from office should be the top priority in the 2004 presidential election." The more than 70 signatories include actors Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon; former talk show host Phil Donahue; academics Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Cornel West; and musicians Bonnie Raitt and Eddie Vedder. (Washington Post)
Democrats lose bid for task force data
Republicans on a House committee squelched a Democratic attempt yesterday to seek information on Vice President Cheney's energy task force, in a rowdy session punctuated by cries of "Shame!" from Democrats. On a party line vote of 30-22, the panel voted down the Democratic motion for the committee to ask the White House for the names of members and other information about the 2001 task force that formulated energy policy. Republicans noted that Democrats had failed to get the information in various court cases, and charged they were trying to embarrass the Bush administration ahead of elections with a motion they knew had no hope of approval.
Edwards promises no military draft
PARKERSBURG -- Vice presidential candidate John Edwards promised a West Virginia mother yesterday that if the Democratic ticket is elected in November the military draft would not be revived. During a question-and-answer session, the mother of a 23-year-old who recently graduated from West Virginia University asked Edwards whether the draft would be reinstated. "There will be no draft when John Kerry is president," Edwards said. (AP)
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