Thieves Break Into N.H. Dem Headquarters

The Associated Press
Tuesday, February 27, 2007; 9:52 PM

CONCORD, N.H. -- Burglars have broken into Democratic Party headquarters. No, you're not having a flashback to 1972 and the infamous event that ultimately led to the greatest scandal in U.S. political history and the downfall of Richard Nixon's presidency.

Instead of Washington's Watergate complex, this burglary took place at the New Hampshire Democratic Party's headquarters over the weekend. Neither police nor party officials will comment on what was stolen and whether the break-in was politically motivated.

Office workers reported the break-in to police on Monday. Concord Police Sgt. Mike McGuire said some items were taken, but he declined to be more specific. The assessment was the same from Kathy Sullivan, the chairwoman of the state Democratic Party.

"Some things were taken, but I don't really want to get into that right now," Sullivan said on Tuesday.

There was no indication that any personal financial information was taken, said party spokeswoman Kathleen Strand.

"We want to assure our donors that their personal financial information, as far as we can tell, has been protected, and we hope to find out who did this soon," she said.

On the night of June 17, 1972, in the midst of Nixon's re-election campaign, five men were arrested during a break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate building. In all, 25 people eventually went to jail for their roles in the break-in or the White House's attempt to cover it up.


BOSTON (AP) _ Republican Mitt Romney focused his attention on the nation's capital Tuesday, meeting with members of Congress and attending two fundraisers that his aides hoped would raise nearly $1 million more for his presidential campaign.

During the second of two days in Washington, the former Massachusetts governor took part at a midday fundraiser that took in about $450,000, said one top adviser. Many of the attendees were lawyers and lobbyists, along with former Massachusetts residents and colleagues from Bain Capital, the venture capital firm Romney started.

An evening event in Maryland, hosted by the J.W. Marriott family, was expected to raise a similar amount. Romney's given first name is "Willard" in honor of his late father's friendship with John Willard Marriott, namesake for the Marriott hotel chain.

Romney also met with assorted members of the House and Senate, as well as political reporters for all the major news networks. The Republican formally launched his candidacy little more than two weeks ago. Last month, he raised an estimated $6.5 million in a single day.


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) _ The hottest destination in South Carolina for Republican presidential candidates the last two weeks is Spartanburg County.

Why Spartanburg? Although the primary is nearly a year away, GOP candidates will face their first test of the campaign with a countywide straw poll on Thursday.

Republicans have traveled to this northern part of the state to campaign while residents' phones have been ringing with recorded messages and mailboxes have filled with glossy campaign brochures.

Organizers expect some 2,000 people to cast ballots _ hardly a strong referendum on the GOP field. Still, it is a vote.

"It's a wake-up call to who's actually out there trying to get the nomination," said Gary Towery, who is in charge of the poll being run by the county Republican Party. Ballots will be counted by the county auditor.

Of the candidates, Rudy Giuliani recently spoke to firefighters and police officers in the county. Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain have made the rounds.

On Monday, Sen. Sam Brownback visited The Beacon, a customary stop for candidates swinging through this part of the state. "How many votes do I get for eating a chili-cheeseburger," he asked diners. He didn't eat one.

The straw poll is being held as a way to lure residents to meetings that ultimately determine who represents the county at the state GOP convention.


WASHINGTON (AP) _ Bill Clinton, the man who hopes to some day be the "first husband," told Hispanic activists on Tuesday that he knows what he likes when it comes to executives.

After being introduced by Rosa Rosales, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, Clinton was quick with a quip about the presidential hopes of his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"I kind of like organizations with women presidents," he said, to laughter from the crowd.

Clinton spoke to the group for a half hour on topics ranging from predatory debt practices to diabetes.


WASHINGTON (AP) _ Sen. Barack Obama says he doesn't feel a need to prove himself to black leaders as he runs for president.

"You know, I really don't," Obama, a black Democrat from Illinois, said during an interview to air Wednesday on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition."

"The notion that right now I'm not dominating the black vote in the polls makes perfect sense because I have only been on the national scene for a certain number of years, and people don't yet know what my track record is," he said.

His leading rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, is popular with black voters. Obama, 45, was a state senator for eight years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004.

While acknowledging that many candidates in both parties are concerned about education, Obama said how he feels about education as well as civil rights and other issues would be influenced by his experience as a black American.

"I feel great pain knowing that there are children in a lot of schools in American who are not getting anything close to the kind of education that will allow them to compete," he said. "When I know that a lot of those kids look just like my daughters, maybe it's harder for me to separate myself from their reality. Every time I see those kids, they feel like a part of me."


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign barred reporters with prominent Chinese-language news organizations from a fundraiser last week, angering some journalists who serve this city's sizable Asian-American community.

Reporters from at least two Chinese-language newspapers and a crew from a Chinese-language TV station were denied admission to the event Friday when they arrived after a Secret Service-imposed cutoff time, according to the journalists and the New York senator's campaign.

The Chinese-language newspapers and some other media had not been included on the e-mail list from the campaign telling journalists to check in by 11:45 a.m. Friday, Clinton campaign spokesman Mo Elleithee said Tuesday. Elleithee said the campaign was sorry for the misunderstanding and would take steps to avoid a recurrence.

Reporter Portia Li of the World Journal, a Chinese-language paper run independently from offices in San Francisco and other North American cities, said that when she arrived about five minutes late a staff member asked her for two forms of identification. Li said she found that insulting because she never had to do so at similar events.

"She kept saying this is only open for local media, not foreign press," Li said. "I told her, I'm not foreign press. I'm local media."

Li added: "It's not about myself, it's about how the mainstream looks at Chinese (people) as a whole."


Associated Press writers Glen Johnson in Boston, Jim Davenport in Spartanburg, S.C., and Devlin Barrett and Douglass K. Daniel in Washington contributed to this report.

© 2007 The Associated Press