This won’t mean much except to those who are at least as obsessed as I am with the US election campaign. But I thought it was amusing.
From Bush’s campaign manager to Kerry’s campaign manager:
On Thursday your campaign hosted a fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall at which Sen. Kerry said, “Every performer tonight in their own way either verbally through their music through their lyrics have conveyed to you the heart and soul of our country.”
I called on your campaign to release the performance that Sen. Kerry said represented the “heart and soul” of America so that all Americans could see for themselves what John Kerry thinks represents the “heart and soul” of our country.
Do most Americans in their hearts, think that calling the President a “thug” and a “killer” represents the “heart and soul” of our nation? We don’t think so, but we think voters should decide for themselves by watching the celebrities John Kerry said captured the “heart and soul” of America.
Your Senior Advisor Tad Devine said that you believed that releasing musical performances “might violate copyrights and licensing agreements for the entertainers who performed and allow the Bush campaign to use the tape in commercials against Kerry and Edwards”
I have been assured that “fair use” rules of copyright would allow you to release the tapes of these musical performances to the news media under 2 U.S.C. § 107. To allay the other concern you relayed to the news media, Bush-Cheney ’04 pledges to refrain from using audio, video or transcripts of the event for any television, cable, satellite or radio advertising. We look forward to seeing this spirited display.
To which Kerry’s campaign manager sent a pretty good response:
Over the past several months, allies of the President have questioned John Kerry’s patriotism while your staff has criticized his service in Vietnam. Republicans and their allies have gone so far as to launch attacks against his wife and your campaign has run $80 million in negative ads that have been called baseless, misleading and unfair by several independent observers.
Considering that the President has failed to even come close to keeping his promise to change the tone in Washington, we find your outrage over and paparazzi-like obsession with a fund-raising event to be misplaced. The fact is that the nation has a greater interest in seeing several documents made public relating to the President’s performance in office and personal veracity that the White House has steadfastly refused to release. As such, we will not consider your request until the Bush campaign and White House make public the documents/materials listed below:
* Military records: Any copies of the President’s military records that would actually prove he fulfilled the terms of his military service. For that matter, it would be comforting to the American people if the campaign or the White House could produce more than just a single person to verify that the President was in Alabama when said he was there. Many Americans find it odd that only one person out of an entire squadron can recall seeing Mr. Bush.
* Halliburton: All correspondence between the Defense Department and the White House regarding the no-bid contracts that have gone to the Vice-President’s former company. Some material has already been made public. Why not take a campaign issue off the table by making all of these materials public so the voters can see how Halliburton has benefited from Mr. Cheney serving as Vice-President?
* The Cheney Energy Task Force: For an Administration that claims to hate lawsuits, it’s ironic that the Bush White House is taking up the Courts’ time to keep the fact that Ken Lay and Enron wrote its energy policy in secret behind closed doors. Please release the documents so that the country can learn what lobbyists and special interests wrote the White House energy policy.
* Medicare Bill: Please release all White House correspondence between the pharmaceutical industry and the Administration regarding the Medicare Bill, which gave billions to some of the President’s biggest donors. In addition, please provide all written materials that directed the Medicare actuary to withhold information from Congress about the actual cost of the bill.
* Prison Abuse Documents: A few weeks ago, the White House released a selected number of documents regarding the White House’s involvement in laying the legal foundation for the interrogation methods that were used in Iraq. Please release the remaining documents.
We also wanted to wish you a happy anniversary. As we are sure you and the attorneys representing the President, Vice-President and other White House officials are aware, today marks one year since Administration sources leaked the identity of a covert CIA agent to Bob Novak in an effort to retaliate against a critic of the Administration.
In light of the fact that the Administration began gutting the laws protecting the nation’s forests yesterday, we hope you will accept the paper on which this letter is written as an anniversary gift. (The one year anniversary is known as the “paper anniversary.”)
Mary Beth Cahill
I spent a week in Macedonia with Mary Beth Cahill in 1997. She is one tough cookie.