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Ads on Prosecutor Case Target N.M.'s Rep. Wilson

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Friday, April 13, 2007

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has launched its second radio ad of the 2008 election season against Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.), in an attempt to link her to the scandal surrounding the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year.

The ads began airing this morning across Wilson's Albuquerque area 1st Congressional District and are meant to coincide with Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

"No one is getting the truth about Heather Wilson's involvement in the scandal," says the ad's narrator. He adds that Wilson has said a "constituent complaint" led her to contact then-U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias about a scandal involving state Democrats. Iglesias was later fired.

"But Heather Wilson won't identify the constituent. . . . She still refuses to release her phone records . . . and many important questions remain unanswered," the narrator adds.

Wilson said her phone call to Iglesias was appropriate. Iglesias has said he felt pressure from both Wilson and Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.) -- Wilson's political mentor -- to wrap up the investigation before the 2006 midterm elections.

-- Chris Cillizza

Clinton Heads to Rutgers

On the heels of the Don Imus imbroglio, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is making a trip to Rutgers University -- home of the women's basketball team insulted by the ousted radio host.

Clinton jumped into the Imus fray soon after it began, urging a "Respect for Rutgers" campaign.

"Don Imus's comments about them were nothing more than small-minded bigotry and coarse sexism," Clinton's e-mail read. On Monday, she is to appear at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers for a speech on women in public leadership at the school's Center for Women and Politics. A Clinton spokesman declined to say whether she will meet with members of the women's basketball team.

-- Anne E. Kornblut

Reid Sees Gains on Iraq

As Democratic leaders in Congress brace for a showdown with President Bush on Iraq war funding, they issued a blunt threat to GOP colleagues: Challenge the White House strategy or be wiped out in 2008.

"We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war," Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) told reporters yesterday. "Senator Schumer has shown me numbers that are compelling and astounding."

Reid was referring to Charles E. Schumer of New York, the Senate Democrats' campaign chief. "You look at the polling numbers of Republican senators, and the war in Iraq is a lead weight attached to their ankles. They know that," Schumer said.

-- Shailagh Murray

Obama Wins MoveOn Test

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) led a "straw poll" of MoveOn.org, after the liberal online activism group's members heard from Democratic presidential contenders Tuesday night about the war in Iraq.

Over 40,000 people voted in an online survey asking, "Which candidate do you believe would be best able to lead the country out of Iraq?"

Obama led with 28 percent, followed by former senator John Edwards of North Carolina (25 percent), Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio (17 percent), New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (12 percent), Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York (11 percent), Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware (6 percent) and Sen. Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut (1 percent).

The poll was taken after a "Virtual Town Hall," in which each candidate delivered a message and answered questions about Iraq over the Web from MoveOn members.

-- Zachary A. Goldfarb


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