Sunday, October 30, 2005

SCRANTON, SWANN SHORE UP STAFF - PittsburghLIVE.com

Groucho parrots the wrong song - PittsburghLIVE.com: "SCRANTON, SWANN SHORE UP STAFF. Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Scranton has tapped Pittsburgh attorney John Pierce to be his campaign manager.

Pierce, 33, is affiliated with the Downtown law firm Cohen & Grigsby. He was the Republican nominee for Allegheny County treasurer in 2003, losing to Democrat incumbent John Weinstein.

We're betting Pierce's taking on this task severely crimps his close friendship with one Ray Zaborney. He happens to be the campaign manager for Scranton's top rival for the GOP nomination next year, former Steelers great Lynn Swann.

Speaking of Swann, the campaign has added Trip Oliver, a one-time aide to former Allegheny County Chief Executive Jim Roddey, as Southwestern Pennsylvania political director."

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Santorum Hiding on Face of Libby Indictment - Rick has ties to Republican Corruption

Democrats pound GOP for a culture of corruption: "Democrats pound GOP for a culture of corruption
Saturday, October 29, 2005

By Maeve Reston, Post-Gazette National Bureau
WASHINGTON -- As Republicans urged Americans to withhold judgment on the indictment yesterday of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff I. Lewis Libby, Democratic leaders used the five-count indictment to make the broader case that the Republican Party is mired in a culture of corruption and that the Bush administration has not been truthful with the American people.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., Congressional Democrats and Howard Dean, chairman of Democratic National Committee, immediately sought to draw out the links between Mr. Libby's alleged crimes and what they view as the faulty intelligence the Bush administration used to justify its invasion of Iraq.

Mr. Libby's indictment on charges of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements were all in the context of his attempts to find out information about a critic of the Bush administration's rationale for the war, former U.S. ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. Mr. Libby disclosed to reporters that Mr. Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA, according to the indictment.

Mr. Kerry said the indictment and the continuing investigation of White House senior adviser Karl Rove are evidence of "corruption at the very highest levels, far from the 'honor and dignity' the president pledged to restore to Washington just five years ago."

As an architect of the Iraq war, Mr. Kerry said Mr. Libby "used access to national security information not as weapons against our nation's enemies, but as weapons against someone who dared to ask tough questions of a dishonest policy."

"Not only was America misled into war, but a Nixonian effort to silence dissent has now left Americans wondering whether they can trust anything this administration has to say," Mr. Kerry said.

Mr. Dean said the indictment showed "an abuse of public trust" and illustrated that Americans need to hold their leaders "to a higher standard."

"We can't ignore the glaring questions this case has raised about the rationale the Bush administration used to send us to war in Iraq," said Mr. Dean, noting that more than 2,000 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq as of this week.

The Libby indictment comes at a difficult time for a White House struggling with sinking poll numbers for its handling of the war -- but it also is just the latest in a string of legal troubles for top Republican officials.

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has been accused of money laundering and conspiracy in relation to a campaign finance case in Texas. Officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission, along with federal attorneys in New York, are investigating whether Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist had any insider information when he ordered the sale of his stock holdings in the company his family founded, HCA Inc., just before their value fell earlier this year. Both Mr. DeLay and Mr. Frist have said they are innocent.

Many Republican senators and congressmen were largely silent yesterday; those who released statements noted the seriousness of the charges but urged a presumption of innocence for Mr. Libby. But others including Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., appeared to be keeping their distance from a weakened White House yesterday.

Mr. Fitzgerald did not announce the indictments yesterday until after many lawmakers had left town for the weekend -- meaning they were safely out of reach of reporters. Aides to Frist, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, and House Majority Whip Roy Blunt -- the Missouri Republican who became interim House Majority Leader after Mr. DeLay was indicted in late September -- all said the leaders would have no comment.

In fact, the top House Republican to release a statement appeared to be Jack Kingston, R-Ga., who is vice-chairman of the House Republican conference and was aboard Air Force II with Mr. Cheney.

Mr. Kingston, along with other Republicans including U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart, R-Bradford Woods, said Mr. Libby's resignation was the right thing to do. Mr. Kingston said "the vice president and the White House can now move forward."

A spokesman for Mr. Santorum, who is chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, said the senator was unavailable for questions because he was traveling.

Mr. Santorum, who is facing a difficult re-election campaign that could be compounded by the problems of the Bush administration, released a decidedly neutral statement saying any indictment was "a serious matter" and that he had confidence the legal system would provide a "thorough review of the facts and evidence and render a fair and deliberative decision in this case."

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., also would not agree to be interviewed. He said in a statement that Americans "should not forget that a person is still presumed to be innocent even after being indicted."

Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman issued a statement criticizing the Democrats: "While some Democrats have acted irresponsibly in regards to this matter from the beginning, the president and Republicans in Congress have and will continue to focus on the American people's priorities: strengthening the economy, winning the War on Terror, lowering energy costs and improving our schools."

But that was not the view of Democrats like U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Swissvale, who said the confluence of troubles had "stripped [Republicans] of the ability to govern" and provided Democrats with an opportunity.

"We have a vacuum in leadership right now in this country," he said. "And it's incumbent on the Democratic Party is to move forward and give Americans a clear picture of what this will look like under new leadership."


(Maeve Reston can be reached at 202-488-3479 or mreston@nationalpress.com)"

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Sentinel Online : Santorum Looks Weak at the Cumberland/Dauphin Republican Committee Fall Dinner

The Sentinel Online : Local News: "Santorum in for ‘tough’ fight

By John Hilton, October 27, 2005

If Wednesday’s appearance at the Cumberland/Dauphin Republican Committee Fall Dinner is any indication, U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is prepared for the fight of his life.

While never mentioning his probable opponent by name, Santorum acknowledged, “This is going to be a tough one.” Early polls show Santorum is a 15-point underdog to state Treasurer Robert P. Casey, a Democrat, for the 2006 general election — still 13 months away.

Santorum is already in full campaign mode. “I’ve worked and I’ve accomplished,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. ... This race is going to be the biggest race in the United States of America.”

Barclay sends plane

Wednesday was a work day in the Senate for Santorum, who made five votes on bills that were scheduled at 4:15 p.m. Cumberland County Commissioner Bruce Barclay saved the day by sending his private plane to ferry Santorum to the dinner at the Radisson Penn Harris Hotel and Conference Center.

A 15-minute film prior to Santorum’s remarks fired up the crowd with images of past comeback victories by the senator over U.S. Rep. Doug Walgren, D-18, in 1990 and Sen. Harris Wofford, D-Pa., in 1994.

Santorum, who seeks a third Senate term, wasted no time going after Casey. The two appeared together last week for the first time as candidates at the annual meeting of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. They did not appear side-by-side, but gave separate speeches to the group.

“He says he wants to raise taxes,” Santorum said Wednesday. “I know he’s told us he’s some sort of new Democrat, but that doesn’t sound like a new Democrat to me. He says he wants to increase taxes on the wealthy and we know what he means by ‘the wealthy’ — everybody who pays taxes.”

Speaking in Philadelphia, Casey delivered an economic plan that included more funding for the Small Business Administration and the repeal of tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. He said Washington decision-makers, including Santorum and the Bush administration, are fiscally irresponsible and too focused on ideology rather than the economy.

Santorum said he did not think it made sense to tax small business owners to fund the Small Business Administration.

Casey low-key

Casey has made very few public appearances this summer and surged in the polls. Meanwhile, Santorum’s popularity nosedived after he went on a state speaking tour in support of Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security — an unpopular plan that appears dead.

A Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University poll last week had Santorum, a two-term incumbent, lagging 18 points behind Casey, the son of the popular late governor.

Santorum, the No. 3 Senate Republican, said he has visited every county in Pennsylvania in his 11 years in the Senate and has delivered for the state on issues ranging from farm preservation to poverty. “I have a record of accomplishments that I will match with anyone,” he said.

Accomplishments cited

Barclay cited the senator’s work on the federal transportation bill passed this summer. The $286 billion bill initially made Pennsylvania a “donor state,” getting 97 cents back for every dollar it contributed. Santorum said he filibustered the bill until he got Pennsylvania between $1.13 and $1.19 for every dollar of federal gas tax it collects through 2009."

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Times Leader | 10/22/2005 | Only 200 Show For Cheney's Visit - For some people it was nothing more than a headache.

Times Leader | 10/22/2005 | Cheney�s visit causes a stir: "Vice president in Jackson Twp.


Cheney’s visit causes a stir

He was in the area Friday for Sen. Rick Santorum’s $1,000-a-head fund-raiser.

By JON FOX jfox@leader.net


“They went by too fast.”

Mary Nice Cheney observer


JACKSON TWP. – For some people it was nothing more than a headache.

As Vice President Dick Cheney was ushered to a $1,000-a-head fund-raiser for U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, traffic snarled.

Led by a phalanx of motorcycle cops on cream-colored Harley Davidsons, Cheney’s motorcade swerved off of Route 309 onto Sutton Road. A pale hand waved from behind the tinted glass of the second of two black limos.

“Excuse me,” said a woman from the driver’s side window of her truck. “You know what’s going on? I got off 81 and like every exit is blocked.”

The disrupted traffic had disrupted her day, and she was taking five in the parking lot of the Sheetz gas station.

A fund-raiser?

“Oh I got an invitation to that. I’m not going,” she said. “You had to come up with like $1,000.”

Even after the limos, SUVs and police cars cleared the intersection and the traffic light flashed green, cars stood still.

A man yelled from his pickup, “What’s going on?”

The vice president?

Leaning halfway out the window, Dave Hook made a hand gesture indicating he couldn’t care less.

It was just after 11 a.m. and Hook was halfway between Noxen and his job in Wilkes-Barre. He was wearing a tie. He was smoking a small cigar. And he was late.

“I was supposed to be at work like half an hour ago.”

For others it was nothing more than a spectacle.

Bernie and Andrea didn’t have to be at work. They stood near Sutton Road waiting for the road show to pass them by.

The married couple – they declined to give their last names – were on the first a day of a vacation. They weren’t going anywhere, just kicking around the house.

Then they heard vice presidential chatter on their police scanner.

They had a passing interest in Cheney, but they were more captivated by the sight of it all.

“This is the stuff we like to see,” Bernie said pointing to the cops stopping traffic.

“It’s amazing to see how one human being can create so much …,” he trailed off searching for a word.

The low thump-thump-thumping of a helicopter briefly preceded the motorcade.

“Here it comes,” Bernie said.

“This is awesome,” said his wife with a hint of sarcasm. “This is what we do on vacation.”

On Sutton Road, about a mile from the palatial home of Rhea and Ron Simms, where Cheney was to speak, a mother and two daughters sat on their front porch just a few feet from the pavement.

“They went by too fast,” said 63-year-old Mary Nice. “I thought he’d stop and shake my hand.”

Nice had promised her son-in-law and her grandson in Georgia that she’d do her best to catch a glimpse and take a picture.

She’d spent the night at her mom’s house and had been on the porch since 9 a.m.

“Well, Mary, was it worth camping out all night here?” her mom, Aneila Cummings, asked.

“That state trooper wasn’t bad-looking,” she answered.

That seemed to be the consensus with Aneila, Mary and her sister Helen Cummings: The best part of it all was the handsome state trooper who stopped for a moment in their driveway.

At the secluded Simms home, a wooded lot partially concealed the white tents erected for the fund-raising event.

Santorum, a two-term Republican senator, faces Democratic challenger Bob Casey Jr., the state treasurer and son of former Gov. Bob Casey.

The 2006 race between the third-ranking Republican senator and the man whose family name is synonymous with Pennsylvania politics is expected to be expensive and difficult.

Guests at Friday’s event, estimated by a Santorum volunteer at more than 200, paid $1,000 a plate at lunch and could get a photo taken with the vice president for $5,000. A representative of Santorum’s campaign said $300,000 was raised.

The event was previously scheduled and then postponed in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, said a spokesperson for Santorum’s campaign.

Guests said Cheney and Santorum spoke for a total of about 20 minutes. Cheney was at the home for about an hour and left shortly after 12:30 p.m. the same way he came, waving slowly from the back of a black limo."

The Citizens Voice - News - 10/22/2005 - Cheney's Negative Downer For Santorum Only Raised $300,000

The Citizens Voice - News - 10/22/2005 - Cheney helps raise $300,000 for Santorum: " The Citizens Voice home : news : news : top stories

Cheney helps raise $300,000 for Santorum
By:Tim Gulla and Tom Long 10/22/2005
Vehicles under $40,000 were in short supply on Sutton Road in Jackson Township on Friday.
BMWs, big model Mercedes and even a Bentley were common sights in the upscale neighborhood that played host to a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.
While the day was meant for Santorum, it belonged to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, who came to the Back Mountain community as a drawing card for the event.
The fundraiser raised about $300,000 for Santorum's campaign chest, and more than $200,000 for a statewide Republican election fund, said John Brabender, Santorum's media consultant.
Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta said he didn't know the fundraiser's exact goal, but believed it exceeded expectations. Barletta serves as a regional campaign coordinator for Santorum.
Cheney's visit was short, roughly one hour, yet it made a strong impression on attendees, including Lackawanna County Commissioner Robert Cordaro.
"He's a straightforward guy," Cordaro said of Cheney. "He says it as he sees it."
Cheney met with a small group of community and business leaders for a brief roundtable before addressing a crowd estimated at 300.
The private fundraiser was held in the home of Ron and Rhea Simms and was not open to the public or media. Large tents were set up on the side of the Simms' home, and dozens of police officers and Secret Service agents guarded the home and its two driveways. Guests parked in a grassy field roughly two miles away and were chauffeured in a small fleet of vans and limousines.
Cheney's address was wide-ranging and attendees said the vice president talked about Iraq, terrorism, avian flu, the economy and oil prices.
The festive crowd roared when Cheney entered the tent.
"It was like a victory rally,'' said U.S. Rep. Don Sherwood.
Cheney's visit said a lot about the campaign, Barletta said.
"I think this was a pretty good indication of what we can expect; for the vice president of the United States to come this early (in the campaign). It's an indication there will be plenty more to come," the Hazleton mayor said.
Cheney told Cordaro that Santorum's Senate race is regarded as the most important in the country.
The campaign staff of Santorum's key challenger, state Treasurer Robert Casey Jr. of Scranton, wasn't awed by Cheney's invite-only visit.
"Sen. Santorum is obviously worried about Cheney's approval rating,'' Casey's campaign manager Jay Reiff said.
Adam Helfrich, of Wilkes-Barre, favors neither Democrats nor Republicans but took a break from a fall motorcycle ride in the country to see Cheney's arrival. He attended campaign stops by both President Bush and Sen. John Kerry last year.
"I'm not really into it (politics),'' he said. "It's just something (to see the people running the country)."
Dozens of local police officers participated in security details along the vice president's travel route, including the entire 10-man Jackson Township Police Department.
Transporting the vice president is complicated. Jackson Township Police Chief Jerome Leedock said police from every jurisdiction along the motorcade route met Monday with Secret Service and state police to review the details.
Putting extra manpower on the road will represent some extra costs to Jackson Township, but Leedock didn't know how much.
Jackson Township Supervisor Chairman and Roadmaster Jay Wilkes didn't attend the fundraiser. He was out with the township's road crew helping on traffic detail.
He didn't mind the work, though. "This is a first for the community ... that we had the vice president visit one of our residents," he said. "We took pride in that."
Road crews cleaned up Sutton Road prior to the vice president's visit, but Wilkes said the work wasn't necessarily out of the ordinary.
Wilkes did not know how much the vice presidential visit will cost Jackson Township, or whether it will be reimbursed.
"When the Secret Service approaches your community, I believe its more of a directive than a request," he said. Still, he added, "This may be a once in a lifetime event for the community."
Though the event was expensive to attend, the food wasn't lavish: Chicken salad sandwiches and finger foods. "It was more the political menu," said Kingston attorney Bob Davison.

tgulla@citizensvoice.com"

Thursday, October 20, 2005

PA-Sen: GOoPers abandoning Santorum? - Daily Kos: State of the Nation

Daily Kos: State of the Nation: "PA-Sen: GOoPers abandoning Santorum?
by kos
Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:04:44 AM PDT
In my mind, Radar Magazine hasn't proven its mettle in its political rumor mongering, so apply the necessary grain of salt. But this blurb makes logical sense.

Poor Rick Santorum. A few months ago, he was being hailed by his GOP brethren as a leading White House contender. Now it looks like the gay-bashing golden boy, who is running for a third term in Pennsylvania, may not even make it back to the Senate. According to a poll published yesterday in The Hill, the devoutly Catholic candidate is now trailing Democrat Bob Casey by 16 points. But as Santorum's campaign has lost steam, Capital Hill sources say his support from RNC heavies has also evaporated. The blow-dried bible-thumper, who launched his campaign with a giant war chest, is also being deserted by the party's major moneymen, who are focusing their largesse on more competitive candidates.

"This is how the Republicans operate," sighs a veteran GOP campaign manager close to Santorum. "Even if you agree with their agenda, they'll abandon you if you're behind in the polls and move on to the next-most important race."

The problem isn't that Santorum is behind on the polls, it's that he's way behind on the polls and has done nothing to reverse course. Rather, his constant stream of outrageous statements and his wingnutty book has provided the Casey camp with mounds of solid attack ad material (like women shouldn't go to college, shouldn't work, etc). And he's pushed a radical right-wing agenda more in tune with Oklahoma than Pennsylvania. There's something to be said about representing your constituents, and Santorum does nothing of the sort.

If the story is true, then the GOP is merely being smart about allocating resources. The competitive Senate landscape doesn't suit them given their poor fundraising and candidate recruitment. And they have a greater chance of offsetting a PA loss in Minnesota or Maryland than they do of holding the Keystone State. And in any case, Santorum has a big cash lifeline from the nation's top wingnut organizations that will likely be more than happy to bankroll his campaign."

Santorum has to catch up to win again - www.publicopiniononline.com - Chambersburg, PA

Public Opinion - www.publicopiniononline.com - Chambersburg, PA: "Santorum has to catch up to win again
By G. TERRY MADONNA and MICHAEL L. YOUNG

Bill Clinton and Rick Santorum have at least one thing in common — both have been known as the "comeback kid."

In Clinton's case, it's based on his near-death experience in the 1992 primaries followed by his amazing political rebound to win the Democratic nomination.In Santorum's case, the moniker is based on his supposed record of come-from-behind wins against better-known and better-financed political opponents.Supposed is the key word, because a close reading of Santorum's campaign history suggests the comeback kid persona is a myth — one perpetuated at every opportunity by the junior senator himself.

The record, drawn from Keystone Polls, shows Santorum has never been behind in any previous Senate race, the sole exception being the very early part of his 1994 race against incumbent Harris Wofford.But into early October, he had pushed his name recognition to 70% and by late October he had a 42% to 32% lead.

But then the so-called comeback kid almost blew a 10-point lead after a pair of blunders; one was the celebrated verbal exchange with Theresa Heinz, the widow of recently deceased and widely admired Republican Sen. John Heinz and a Wofford supporter. Santorum followed up by calling for an increase of the Social Security age to 70 — this in the state only second to Florida in proportion of senior citizens.
On Election Day, he limped to a two-point victory.

His 2000 opponent was Democratic Congressman Ron Klink, similarly conservative on abortion and gun control. The comeback kid never showed up for this race either. Santorum was never behind Klink at any point in the race.

He was ahead of Klink 45% to 25% in July.Klink was on the ballot, but he was never in the race. At the end of the campaign, Klink was still unknown by 42% of the voters. Yet, Santorum only won by seven points.

Is Santorum just lucky to have had weak opponents?

Santorum regularly fumbles big leads or stumbles in the clutch. To some extent he also does not wear well with voters as the campaign runs on. Much of his success has been based on running up big leads and then hanging on to win.

Santorum is a master at riding an incoming tide. His first congressional race against incumbent Democrat Doug Walgren in 1990 is illustrative. In that race, Santorum ran against the Washington establishment, anticipating a full-blown conservative revolt four years later.

By 1994, against Harris Wofford and with Gingrich Republicans sweeping into power, Santorum had become the fiery ideologue running against entrenched big spending, big government liberals.

Also worth mentioning is Santorum's sheer bravado. He believes he can be a giant killer; he is David, warring against Goliath and it's a role he clearly relishes. This aspect of his success, his willingness to fight against the odds and against the advice of his friends, explains his stands today on many of the controversial issues he champions.

But now, far behind in the polls against Robert Casey Jr. and saddled with accumulated political liabilities from 12 years in office, he really has to become the comeback kid to keep his Senate seat.

Dr. G. Terry Madonna is professor of Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College and Dr. Michael Young is managing partner of Michael Young Strategic Research.

Originally published October 20, 2005"

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Santorum Plays Politics With Food Stamps

Senate Plan to Cut Food Stamps Dies: "Senate Plan to Cut Food Stamps Dies

Associated Press
Wednesday, October 19, 2005; Page A06

Senate Republicans have dropped plans to cut the popular food stamp program, as the chamber's leaders scrambled to assemble a $35 billion spending cut measure to implement the budget plan it adopted in April.

After protests from Agriculture Committee members Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and James M. Talent (R-Mo.), panel Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) dropped more than $500 million in food stamp cuts from a farm and food subsidy measure coming to a committee vote today. The cuts could have meant a loss of benefits for 300,000 working families benefiting from more generous eligibility rules in some states.

The development on food stamps illustrates the political sensitivity of the upcoming debate over the spending cut bill, which would spread the $35 billion in cuts over five years. Various House and Senate committees are conducting behind-the-scenes talks to devise spending cut plans to implement the budget.

The conservative-dominated House plans to up the ante to $50 billion in cuts as it votes as early as tomorrow to revise the budget. The Senate has no such plans."

Santorum slips further behind Casey in reelection poll

Santorum slips further behind Casey in reelection poll: "Santorum slips further behind Casey in reelection poll
By Peter Savodnik

Democrat Bob Casey has widened his lead over Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), according to a GOP poll to be released today.

The poll, conducted over the weekend by the Atlanta-based firm Strategic Vision, shows Casey, the state treasurer, capturing 52 percent versus Santorum’s 36 percent — a 16-point gap.

Polls released by the same firm showed Santorum trailing by 14 points in September and nine points in August.

Democrats have cheered Casey’s lead in the polls, saying it shows that Santorum is out of step with a majority of Pennsylvanians and that voters are sick of the “culture of corruption” in Washington.

“There’s no doubt about it: Rick Santorum is in trouble,” Casey Campaign Manger Jay Reiff said.

Reiff also cautioned that the Casey campaign expects the race to tighten considerably.

“A two-term incumbent with $25 million is not going to lose by double digits. We expect this to be a very close race.”

The senator raised $1.7 million in the third quarter — $300,000 less than Casey did — but ended the three-month period with $6.6 million in the bank. Casey had $3 million on hand.

Republicans counter that Casey has yet to take a firm position on much of anything in public. They add that he simply has jumped from one elected office to the next.

Santorum’s media consultant, John Brabender, added that so far most Pennsylvania voters are not paying much attention to the race, noting that the senator has yet to begin running television commercials.

“There’s going to be two World Series champions crowned before there’s even another Senate [election] in Pennsylvania,” Brabender said."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

More on Santorum's U2 FRAUD ... [Media Matters]

NewsMax falsely claimed it never said that U2 c ... [Media Matters]: "NewsMax falsely claimed it never said that U2 concert was fund-raiser for Santorum

In an October 17 article, the conservative website NewsMax.com falsely claimed that it never stated that the rock band U2's October 16 concert in Philadelphia was to be a benefit for the re-election campaign of Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). In fact, the original version of NewsMax's article announcing Santorum's presence at the U2 concert -- which has since been deleted from its website -- stated that the concert was "in support of Santorum's re-election."

NewsMax made the false denial in response to an October 14 New York Times article that described the band's move to distance itself from political fund-raisers held at its concerts. The article noted that "a web site, NewsMax.com, reported that U2 was 'teaming up' with another senator, Rick Santorum, Republican of Pennsylvania, for a thousand-dollar-a-seat concert in Philadelphia on Sunday [October 16]," adding that "Santorum's office responded that the story was incorrect: the senator has bought only 66 seats, which supporters can repurchase for the higher price." In its October 17 response, NewsMax stated:

But here's the rub: NewsMax had never claimed that U2 or Bono were holding their concert for Santorum -- though several liberal blogs claimed as much. Apparently, the New York Times has bought into the NewsMax-Santorum-Bono conspiracy theory.

But the original version of NewsMax's October 10 article announcing Santorum's appearance at the concert, headlined "Bono, U2 in Fund-Raiser for Senator Rick Santorum," did make that claim:

Teaming up with the legendary rock group U2 for a one-night only appearance will be Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.).

The thousand-dollar-a-seat concert has been put together by Sean and Ana Wolfington and will take place at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia in support of Santorum's re-election, reports NewsMax's James Hirsen.

The article went on to explain why lead singer Bono would have agreed to do this, claiming that "[a]s in the case of Santorum, Bono's religious convictions inform his activities." NewsMax also quoted Sean Wolfington, organizer of Santorum's concert fund-raiser, as saying, "It's truly appropriate for U2, a band with a purpose, to be involved in a fund-raiser with Senator Rick Santorum, a politician with a purpose. Both men are passionate about what they believe and their faith is very important to them."

This version of the article was deleted from NewsMax's website and replaced by a new version, which accurately stated that Santorum "will hold a fund-raising event" at the U2 concert and deleted Wolfington's comparison. As of this writing, NewsMax has not issued a public correction or otherwise informed its readers that the article was altered.

CNN reported NewsMax's initial false claim about Santorum and U2 on the October 11 edition of The Situation Room, then retracted it 20 minutes later, as Media Matters for America noted."