YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Trail Mix

Occasional morsels from Campaign 2000

October 14, 2000

All-American family

Under the Bush-Cheney tax plan, "Happy Days" will be here again. On Friday, tired reporters traveling to Milwaukee with Republican vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney were handed a background sheet on the day's "tax family," the dad/mom/kids the campaign trots out to illustrate the benefits of George W. Bush's proposed tax cut.

Friday's family, however, was more fiction than fact. In time, reporters got the joke.

The parents, the backgrounder said, were Howard and Marion Cunningham of Milwaukee. They have two children: Richard and Joanie. Howard runs a hardware store. Marion stays at home. The family brings in additional income by renting the room above their garage to Arthur Fonzarelli.

The Cunninghams, whose household income is $50,000 (in 2000 dollars, presumably), would get a 42% tax cut under Bush's tax plan, according to the campaign's "tax calculator."

The campaign did not say, however, what the tax burden would be for Fonzie or his friends, fellow Milwaukee singles Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney.

Off the Dole

When her presidential campaign began, Elizabeth Hanford Dole's bid didn't seem trivial. Wednesday night, however, it did.

An hour before the debate between Al Gore and George W. Bush, the man who beat out Dole for the Republican nomination, "Jeopardy!" worked Campaign 2000 into the game show's final question. Who among the campaign's candidates, host Alex Trebek wondered without a question mark, has a Harvard degree and service in both the Reagan and Bush Cabinets?

Two contestants guessed Republican vice presidential nominee Dick Cheney. One guessed Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan. All wrong. Dole, who has degrees from Harvard in law, education and government, served in the White House as secretary of Transportation and Labor. She dropped out of the presidential race almost a year ago--on Oct. 20, 1999.

Reporn Party

Excluded from the presidential debates, Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan is looking for exposure--but not from several Web sites baring more than politics. Buchanan and his running mate, Ezola Foster, are suing a Durham, N.C., firm that registered Web addresses in their names that link to pornography. Buchanan's attorney wants the sites shut down or for them to have a disclaimer and link to Buchanan's official site.

Como se llama?

If Thomas Wesson served as a guide for the presidential candidates, Jorge Bush would be running against Alberto Gore.

After years of trying to get elected as Thomas Wesson, the Republican from Dallas now is identifying himself in campaign literature as Tomas Eduardo Wesson. Dallas County officials say Wesson has not legally changed his name.

Wesson confirmed recently that he is not of Latino heritage, but he denied trying to deceive Latino voters. "That is my name," Wesson told the Dallas Morning News. "That's how I spell Thomas."

However, no official documents list Wesson as Tomas Eduardo. County records show he was born Thomas Edwin Wesson on June 14, 1958.

Porcine politics

Puns are flying in a race for the Colorado House seat in District 53. The contestants: Mr. Bacon vs. Mr. Ham.

Democratic incumbent Bob Bacon is running against Libertarian Clifford Ham in the northern Colorado district. Their get-togethers with voters are invariably billed as "meat the candidates" sessions, and joking charges of "pork-barrel politics" have been raised.

With the other two candidates hogging the attention, Republican challenger Bill Benton complains, "I've been sandwiched by both of 'em."

By the numbers

97--Percentage of people who said they plan to vote in November, according to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

96--Percentage of people in 1996 who said they planned to vote.

48.8--Percentage of people who actually voted in 1996.

Quote file

"Yeah, it's me. Vice presidents don't have a lot to do, so that's why I have the time to call you."

--Dick Cheney, talking on the phone to a surprised voter. Cheney stopped at a Republican phone bank near Chicago on Wednesday.


Compiled by Massie Ritsch from Times staff and wire reports.

Los Angeles Times Articles