GOING FOR BROKE
All along Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry said he would use his wife's ketchup fortune in his political campaign only if Republicans or Democratic competitors got personal in attacking him.
Apparently being called "French" is enough of an insult nowadays for Kerry to crack the vault. On Wednesday the Massachusetts liberal made light of the comment made on background by a White House staffer that compared him to the country we love to hate and declined to say whether or not he would use Teresa Heinz Kerry's estimated $550 million fortune. But according to a Kerry campaign staffer, using some of that money has been part of the plan all along.
Early in Kerry's conversations with long-time friend and adviser Bob Shrum, there was talk of using $10-$20 million of the Heinz fortune to help keep Kerry's presidential campaign afloat between the primary and fall presidential races should he win the nomination. That decision would be critical and would probably have to be made soon, because Kerry would have to decide whether or not to adhere to federally mandated campaign finance levels or take the campaign off the federal dole as George W. Bush did in 2000.
"If Kerry were to decide to use that money from his wife, it would probably have to be in line with the decision to make his presidential campaign privately financed," says the Kerry staffer. "With Bush's people talking up a $200 million campaign, Kerry may have no choice. He may just have to bite the bullet and use his wife's money for his own gain."
Sen. Rick Santorum is wondering what he has to do to get a little support from the Catholic Church. The Pennsylvania senator, currently embroiled in a controversy over his recent comments about homosexual behavior, conveyed basic Catholic theology in his reasons for abhorring homosexual acts. But in the full transcript of his interview with the Associated Press, he says on at least three occasions that he has no issues or problems with homosexuals.
"All Rick was doing was reinforcing basic Catholic teaching on homosexuality, love the sinner, hate the sin," says a Santorum supporter in the Senate leadership. "Somebody has to get out in front of this for him with the gay groups, because he can't do it by himself."
Already the Democratic National Committee has brought out a fundraising letter built around Santorum's comments.
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