U.S. Election Will Cost $5.3 Billion, Center for Responsive Politics Predicts 2008 contests for White House and Congress add up to the most expensive U.S. election in history
WASHINGTON -- The 2008 election for president and Congress is not only one of the most closely watched U.S. elections in years; it's also the most expensive in history. The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics estimates that more than $5.3 billion will go toward financing the federal contests upcoming on Nov. 4.
The presidential race alone will cost nearly $2.4 billion, the Center predicts. Already the candidates alone have raised more than $1.5 billion since the election cycle's start in January 2007. This is the first time that candidates for the White House have raised and spent more than $1 billion, and this year's total is on track to nearly double candidate fundraising in 2004 and triple 2000.
Weeks before Election Day, the 2008 cycle has already surpassed $4.5 billion, $300 million more than the $4.2 billion that had been raised by the conclusion of the 2004 cycle. The overall estimated cost of the 2008 election would represent a 27 percent increase over the 2004 cycle. Looking at each party's growth, however, Democrats will have collected 52 percent more money for their congressional and presidential efforts by the end of this election cycle, compared to four years ago. Republican fundraising growth, however, has been a meager 2 percent since '04.
"This election will blow through historic records on a number of counts," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics. "We've marveled for years at the cost of elections, especially during presidential cycles, but this one is the first to cross the $5 billion mark. At the same time, it's encouraging to see more Americans than ever participating and offsetting the traditional dominance of special interests and wealthy donors who might be expecting payback. The only payback the small donor is expecting is a victory on Election Day. And that's healthier for our democracy."
The Center, which operates the award-winning website OpenSecrets.org and has been tracking the money financing federal elections since the 1980s, based its prediction of the 2008 election's overall cost on fundraising reported to the Federal Election Commission as of Oct. 21 by all candidates for federal office, political party committees and federally focused 527 committees. This conservative estimate also includes independent expenditures on advertising and get-out-the-vote efforts by outside political action committees to support and oppose candidates, and it includes public funding for presidential candidates and estimated fundraising by the host committees of the major parties' summer nominating conventions.
Presidential Candidate Preference Related to Car-Owner Brands, Segments, According to kbb.com Market Research Full-Size Truck Owners Favor McCain, While Wagon Owners Look to Obama
IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com Marketing Research, the car brand and segment owned by voters is related to their preference in presidential candidates. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) rates high among domestic and luxury owners. Among the domestic brands, owners of GMC (61 percent), Chevrolet (60 percent), Buick and Dodge (each at 58 percent), as well as Ford (57 percent) vehicles are the highest in favor of McCain. In the luxury vehicle segment, McCain leads among Lexus, BMW, and Lincoln owners at 52 percent each.
Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) leads McCain among owners of import vehicles with the highest ratings for MINI (70 percent), Subaru (61 percent), and Saab (59 percent). Fifty percent of Honda owners plan on voting for Obama, ten points higher than McCain.
In addition, vehicle segments have a direct correlation to car-owners' preferred presidential candidates. McCain receives the highest support from full-size truck (66 percent), full-size SUV (61 percent) and luxury SUV (61 percent) owners. Obama leads McCain among luxury station wagon (59 percent), station wagon and sport wagon (55 percent), hatchback (52 percent) and luxury crossover vehicle (52 percent) owners. Among owners of hybrid vehicles, Obama leads with 48 percent of the preferences, nine points more than McCain.
The connection between car ownership and Presidential candidates can also be seen in both the Democratic and Republican campaigns. Republican rallies often promote the idea of "drill, baby, drill," which may link gas-guzzling truck and SUV owners to McCain. On the other hand, Obama has stressed the importance of putting more money toward wind, solar, and other alternative forms of energy, which may relate to his popularity among hybrid owners.
"McCain's appeal among owners of domestics and large trucks/SUVs is right in line with where we see a majority of those vehicles selling - in the traditionally Republican 'red' states," said Rick Wainschel, senior vice president of marketing and analytics for Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com. "With import and hybrid owners typically favoring Obama, this also aligns with strong sales of these types of vehicles in predominately Democratic 'blue' states."
Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research also conducted this survey for the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections, and accurately predicted the results. Eight years ago, the survey predicted George W. Bush would take the lead over Al Gore. In 2004, the results revealed President Bush would win over Senator John Kerry.
"Car ownership says a lot about a person, and can even be an indicator who they are likely to vote for," added Wainschel. "If consumers are concerned about the environment, they may choose a more eco-friendly vehicle, like a hybrid, and vote for the candidate with a favorable stance on energy. Consumers' values impact their purchasing decisions and reflect their preferences in political leaders."
The latest study from Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research was conducted September 19 through October 8, 2008, on Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com among 11,142 vehicle owners planning to vote in the upcoming 2008 United States Presidential election.
National Plumbing Organization Responds to 'Joe the Plumber' Focus
WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the president of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors--National Association (PHCC) released a statement applauding the efforts of both presidential candidates for their focus on plumbing contractors during the presidential debate on Wednesday night. Plumbing, heating and cooling contractors are small business owners who are becoming a prominent part of the debate on the country's economic future.
"We think it is great that comments from 'Joe the Plumber' were brought up several times in last night's presidential debate," said PHCC President Joe Schmitt, Joe Schmitt & Sons Plumbing & Heating, Englewood, Ohio. "Plumbing, heating and cooling contractors, most of whom operate small businesses, have been a big part of the American economy during our organization's 126-year history. Unfortunately, smaller companies like ours can be forgotten as the country focuses on big business issues."
"The impact of the next administration's tax policy will have a major impact on our members, no matter which party is in office. It is our sincere hope that both the Democratic and Republican candidates will think long and hard about the comments of my fellow Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher as they consider future tax programs. It is imperative that entrepreneurs like Joe and PHCC members across the country have the opportunity to buy small businesses and create jobs for Americans. That is the American dream, after all."
"Small businesses throughout the nation are hurting during this economic downturn. With rising gas prices, the cost of health care and the uncertainties facing our financial markets, they're being hit from all sides. Reform of our nation's tax policies should be a top priority for the next administration. The survival of PHCC's members and America's small businesses may depend on this. The next president must consider the needs and contributions of plumbing, heating and cooling contractors as small businesses. This has to be priority in order to help this economy recover and to encourage investment from new business owners."
"Throughout our 126-year history PHCC has helped to protect the health and safety of the nation. It is now Washington's turn to step up to the plate and help save our businesses."
Source: Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association
Tennessee Man Indicted for Alleged Hack of Governor Sarah Palin's E-Mail Account
WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- David C. Kernell, 20, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Knoxville, Tenn., for intentionally accessing without authorization the e-mail account of Alaska governor Sarah Palin, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney James R. Dedrick for the Eastern District of Tennessee announced today. Kernell turned himself into federal authorities for arrest and will be arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley.
The single count indictment, returned on Oct. 7, 2008, and unsealed today, alleges that on approximately Sept. 16, 2008, Kernell, a resident of Knoxville, obtained unauthorized access to Gov. Palin's personal e-mail account by allegedly resetting the account password. According to the indictment, after answering a series of security questions that allowed him to reset the password and gain access to the e-mail account, Kernell allegedly read the contents of the account and made screenshots of the e-mail directory, e-mail content and other personal information. According to the indictment, Kernell posted screenshots of the e-mails and other personal information to a public Web site. Kernell also allegedly posted the new e-mail account password that he had created, thus providing access to the account by others.
If convicted of the charge, the defendant faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a three year term of supervised release. A trial date has not been set.
The case is being prosecuted by Section Chief Michael DuBose and Trial Attorney Mark Krotoski of the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Weddle of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The case is being investigated by the FBI's Anchorage and Knoxville field offices.
An indictment is merely an allegation. Defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Ancestry.com Reveals Who Would be King of America and Candidate Roots as Presidential Election Approaches What If America Had King Paul Instead Of President McCain or Obama? What Family Ties Do Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin Have in Key Election Battleground States and to Royalty?
PROVO, Utah, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- If George Washington had been America's king instead of its first president, an 82-year-old retired regional manager from San Antonio, Texas would be King of America today. As red and blue battleground states emerge in the upcoming presidential election, Americans may be interested to know that Senator Barack Obama has deep roots in Ohio or that Senator John McCain has family members from North Carolina on both sides of his family tree. And research into Governor Sarah Palin's family history revealed she is the 10th cousin to Lady Diana Spencer, Britain's beloved Princess Di, as well as a distant cousin to Franklin D. Roosevelt, one of the country's most popular presidents.
As the country prepares to elect the 44th U.S. president, genealogy experts at Ancestry.com, the world's largest online family history resource, researched answers to some interesting questions surrounding this year's landmark presidential election. From the lineage of the first president, to the family roots of today's presidential and vice presidential candidates, the findings may evoke an interesting debate.
KING OF AMERICA
Many Americans are fascinated by the British royal family -- but what if America had its own Royal family? The experts at Ancestry.com asked, "Who would be sitting on America's throne today if George Washington had become the king instead of the first U.S. president?" After countless hours of research to trace Washington's family lineage, the following facts emerged to determine which of his descendents would likely be King of America today had the U.S. become a monarchy rather than a democracy in 1789:
-- King George? - According to sources, Washington's leadership during and after the Revolutionary War was held in such high esteem, there were those who suggested he become America's first king.
-- Wading Through the Washingtons - George Washington had no children, so researching the descendants through all of his half- and full-siblings meant approximately 8,000 people could factor into the succession equation, with less than 200 of them bearing the Washington surname.
-- Would-be Royal - Since George Washington had an older half brother and a younger full brother, ultimately there were four possible succession paths. Two of the four paths, with male-only heirs, converge into one heir -- Paul Emery Washington, 82, of San Antonio, Texas -- making him the strongest candidate for king today. Paul Emery Washington also has a son, Bill, who he affectionately calls "Prince William."
-- Valley Forge Connection - Paul Emery Washington was a regional manager at Certain-Teed Corp., a manufacturer and distributor of wholesale building materials for 40 years. The company was headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., where coincidentally General Washington and his army camped during the difficult winter of 1778-79.
In every presidential election, certain U.S. states emerge as critical battleground states key to winning the White House. The experts at Ancestry.com researched the family history of the presidential and vice presidential candidates to learn which of the often referred to battleground states could claim the candidates as their own, with some surprising discoveries.
-- Senator John McCain - McCain has North Carolina roots on both sides of his family tree, extending to the mid 1700s. He is also connected to the state of Arkansas through his paternal grandmother, Katherine Vaulx, a teacher who was born in Arkansas. Katherine's parents, James Vaulx and Margaret Garside, were long-time residents of Arkansas where James was a minister. Family members in his tree served in both the military and the financial sector: his father and grandfather both had careers in the U.S. Navy and great grandfather John S. McCain is documented in the 1900 U.S. Census as the treasurer of Carroll County, Mississippi.
-- Senator Barack Obama - Obama has deep roots in the state of Ohio that go back to 1850. Obama's heritage can be traced back to Ireland, to the small towns of Moneygall and Shinrone in County Offaly, Ireland. Obama's third great-grandfather, Falmouth Kearney, immigrated to the U.S. at age 19, landing in New York harbor on March 20, 1850 and then settling in Fayette County, Ohio among Irish relatives. In addition, Obama has roots extending into the swing states of Virginia, Indiana and Missouri.
-- Senator Joe Biden - Biden also has a strong Irish heritage; his ancestors arrived in the U.S. within six months of Obama's Irish family. Both Obama's and Biden's Irish relatives were shoemakers by trade. Biden has deep Pennsylvania ties: Patrick and Catherine Blewett, Biden's 2nd great-grandparents, settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania, around 1860, where Patrick worked as a surveyor and a civil engineer.
-- Governor Sarah Palin - Palin has roots in several battleground states, including Ohio, Minnesota and Virginia, however, most of her roots are planted in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Palin descends from three consecutive generations of Michael Sheerans, who originate in Ireland; her great-great-grandfather Sheeran ran a firm called Sheeran & Filler Bottling Company, which shipped products across the Northwest. According to published family and local histories -- through a common ancestor, Rev. John Lothrop who arrived in Massachusetts colony in 1634 -- Palin is a distant cousin to Franklin D. Roosevelt, who is touted in history as one of the country's most popular presidents. Gov. Palin is also a 10th cousin to Lady Diana Spencer, Britain's beloved Princess Di, through common ancestors John Strong and Abigail Ford.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
According to a recent independent survey from Ancestry.com, Americans would choose to be a member of the Obama family more than any of four other prominent political families.(1) When asked which family they would like to join most, 21 percent chose the Obamas, followed by 15 percent for the Palins and 15 percent for the Clintons, 14 percent for the McCains and 3 percent for the Biden family. Nearly one-third of Americans surveyed (30 percent), however, said they wouldn't want to become a member of any of these political families.
"Most presidential elections bring up issues about where we've come from and where we're headed as a nation, and this election year is no different," said Megan Smolenyak, Chief Family Historian for Ancestry.com. "This is an ideal time for our family history experts to play historical what-ifs and conduct research to answer intriguing questions, as well as look into the family trees of our candidates to learn about where they come from and the ties they have in our great country."
To learn more about how to start researching your family history, log on to Ancestry.com and sign up for a free two-week trial. It's possible that a famous ancestor or past presidential or vice presidential candidate is in your family tree and waiting to be discovered.
Upper Deck Gets Political Again with Parody Cards of V.P. Candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin With both political parties gearing up for the much-anticipated debates, trading card company makes history by releasing V.P. cards!
North Las Vegas, NV (September 30, 2008) – Just as quickly as the announcements were made surrounding the vice-presidential selections in this year’s race to the White House, Upper Deck was fast at work producing short-printed trading cards of both V.P. candidates. The Democrats struck first when Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama announced on August 22 that longtime Delaware Senator Joe Biden would be his choice. The Republicans countered a week later with the surprise announcement that first-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin would be John McCain’s running mate.
“Our goal is always to be timely and topical,” said Kerri Stockholm, Upper Deck’s director of Sports Marketing. “And with so much at stake in this year’s election, we thought it was only fitting that we produce a pair of cards chronicling the vice-presidential candidates to go along with our earlier cards of the presidential candidates.”
The new pair of illustrated cards – numbered PP-15 (Palin) and PP-16 (Biden) – brings to a close Upper Deck’s extremely popular 2008 “Presidential Predictors” series of insert cards. The rare cards will be sprinkled into random packs (SRP: $4.99) of Upper Deck’s SP Authentic Baseball set to release on October 14. Biden is depicted as longtime Washington Senator’s pitcher Walter Johnson, a seasoned veteran who’s looking for the biggest win of his career. Palin, meanwhile, is shown rounding the bases near the White House in a most unusual manner – atop a dogsled and sporting a tiara – a fitting portrayal for a candidate who’s determined to blaze new trails.
“The caricatures are great,” added Stockholm. “We’ve taken some liberties with both of the VP candidates, but we believe collectors will see the cards as entertaining as well as informative.”
In February, Upper Deck produced a unique, eight-card “Presidential Predictors” insert set within its Series 1 Baseball release. The illustrated parodies showed several of the top candidates in rare form by tying each to a pivotal moment or personality from baseball’s glorious history.
In June, once the Republicans decided on McCain and the Democrats were down to selecting either Obama or Hillary Clinton, Upper Deck depicted the remaining candidates in its Series Two Baseball launch as participants in some of Major League Baseball’s most notable flare-ups. One of those quarrels showed Yankees right-fielder Lou Piniella (Obama) trading punches with Boston catcher Carlton Fisk (McCain) from 1976 under the headline: The Economy.
Collectors who pull any of the Presidential Predictor cards from packs of Upper Deck’s 2008 Series 1 and Series 2 Baseball releases and SP Authentic Baseball will have the opportunity to win a trip for two to throw out the “presidential” first pitch at an official Major League Baseball game during the 2009 season. Collectors can enter the static code(s) found on the backs of the cards at www.presidentialpredictor.com to gain entry into an Upper Deck Baseball sweepstakes. The top prize will be open to all collectors who register a Presidential Predictor trading card featuring either of the winning party’s candidates (President or Vice President).
About Upper Deck
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