Page 16


LEFT FIELD Mo rtf e ggi w The Campaign Against McCain First in Flight. It’s the South Carolina state motto, and applies to the Wright Brothers getting off the ground at Kitty Hawk not the state’s confederate troops running from their Union counterparts. \(The state motto might also be a double entendre when applied to George W. Bush, whom then-Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes moved to the top of a long waiting list when Bush applied to be a pilot in the More recently, when Bush retreated from New Hampshire to South Carolina, his campaign looked like a military deployment. In an attempt to counter voters’ defections to John McCain \(who served in the war Lieutenant Governor Barnes helped Bush Sumpter with more federal brass to be seen in the local courthouse square since Reconstruction. Six Medal of Honor recipients, a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, five retired generals, and forty-six Bush Veterans County Chairmen, ac cording to a campaign press release, “took center stage in a courthouse rally in this staunchly pro-military community.” It was great political theater, and it showcased Bush’s “proposal to rebuild the nation’s military,” a fourteen-point proposal that includes plans to: Increase by $1 billion the currently planned military pay raise to encourage the best and brightest to enlist and reenlist; Renovate substandard military housing and improve military training; En guard Increase defense research and development by at least $20 billion; Deploy both national and theater anti-ballistic missile defenses, as soon as possible; Amend the ABM Treaty, or, if Russia fails to agree; withdraw from it. It’s almost all bad policy, but good campaign politics. Whether it works against John McCain remains to be seen. Bush’s Southern Campaign co Texas Military History Museum incides with Hyperion’s release of Elizabeth Mitchell’s W The Revenge of the Bush Dynasty, which is generous to George W. but reminds readers that John McCain spent more time as a military prisoner in the war Bush avoided than Bush has spent as Governor of Texas. While Bush did fly F105’s in Texas in 1970, McCain was first in flight, in combat missions over Vietnam in 1967. + New Hampshire on $200,000 a Day eorge W. Bush’s $37 million in expendi tures up to the time of the New Hamp shire primary might have set a new record although it doesn’t account for all the money spent through the New Hampshire primary. \(The most recent Federal Election Filings Democrats are crowing about the amount spent to lose by twenty points, and journalists picking over Bush’s filings are turning up some interesting facts: $186,000 was paid to Century Strategies, the consulting firm of former Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed. \(Reed’s take will increase as Bush moves South, into states However, it is unlikely that there are very many states in which more than 38 percent of registered Republicans identify themselves as Christian fundamentalists, as was the case in New Hampshire. $17 million was spent on media, the highest single category, according, to an analysis by The Washington Post. Most was paid to ad time purchased by National Media, but $275,000 was paid to Mark McKinnon, Bush’s Austin-based media consultant. $2.3 million was spent on travel, which does not take into account flights on private corporate jets. A Bush campaign spokesperson told The Washington Post that Bush doesn’t fly on corporate jets; they are used to transport his family, including former President Bush and Barbara Bush, and Bush’s wife, Laura. Corporate frequent flyers include Enron, Federal Express and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., owned by East Texas chicken magnate Lonnie “Bo” Pilgrim. To secure the use of Houston energy giant Enron’s plane, Bush went to Enron CEO Kenneth Lay a longtime Bush family hinder. Office bean counters concerned about the monthly FedEx bill might note that the Bush campaign spent $64,000 on Federal Express mailings. + FEBRUARY 18, 2000 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5