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THE RACE TO THE WHITE HOUSE | CAMPAIGN 2004 / TRAIL
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Big Wheels Keep on Turnin' on Reggie the Registration Rig

March 07, 2004

The Republican Party is taking its message across America, one interstate exit at a time. On Wednesday, the Republican National Committee in Washington unveiled its 18-wheeled voter registration effort, Reggie the Registration Rig. The truck, which will roam the nation's NASCAR races, farmers markets, music festivals and other events, comes complete with computers, Xbox video game systems and a convertible soundstage.

The RNC aims to register 1 million voters this week and 3 million by Election Day.

Deke and Christine Henderson of Omaha will be behind the wheel of the 56-foot-long, 80,000-pound Reggie for the next eight months. The rig's website, gopteamleader.com/reggie lets visitors track Reggie.

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Kerry in Chinese

John F. Kerry's campaign has gone global with the launch of Chinese-language johnkerrycn.com.

The site is a personal project of Victoria Jin, 46, a corporate attorney from South Pasadena and a Chinese American immigrant. "The Chinese community, immigrants, they have their own pride. Theirs is like a different culture," said Jin.

She and a small group of friends worked for several weeks to translate Kerry's site "to get his message across."

The site's format is essentially the same as the English-language version, with a few additions. She hopes to supplement the site, which had a few hundred visitors during its launch on Thursday, with expanded information. Los Angeles County has 12% Asian residents, about 1.1 million people.

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Got Cash?

It's never too late to ask for money, at least not for Democratic also-rans Howard Dean and Wesley K. Clark. The two former presidential contenders, who bowed out of the race last month, sent e-mails to their supporters in recent weeks asking for contributions to retire campaign debt -- $400,000 in Dean's case.

The money is mostly owed to local businesspeople who printed signs and brochures and family restaurants that fed campaign volunteers, according to a Feb. 24 Dean e-mail titled "I Need Your Help."

"When these things were ordered we thought we could win key early contests and use the momentum to secure more victories in other states. But things did not go as we had hoped," Dean's e-mail read.

Clark also urged his erstwhile backers to part with $50 or $100 to "help us close the books on my campaign and ... focus our complete attention and resources on the great challenge ahead."

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Duly Quoted

"People keep saying the campaign's in disarray. It's not. To be in disarray you have to be in array first." -- Kevin Gray, former South Carolina coordinator for the Rev. Al Sharpton's presidential bid, in the Weekly Standard magazine Feb. 23.

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Compiled from staff, wire and web reports by Times staff researcher Susannah Rosenblatt.

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