The nation's largest minority political action committee has launched a $300,000 advertising campaign touting school vouchers, private investment of Social Security contributions and the need to improve the nation's "moral values."
The campaign is an attempt to broaden black political support for those and other causes commonly associated with conservatives, said Alvin Williams, head of Black America's Political Action Committee (BAMPAC), a conservative group that raised more than $2 million last year.
Many public opinion polls, including a national survey recently completed by BAMPAC, find that African Americans are more conservative on social issues than whites. Yet, blacks vote overwhelmingly Democratic and for candidates who support liberal positions on issues--a seeming contradiction that BAMPAC believes would change if conservatives made more direct appeals for African American support.
"I think people are starved for another point of view," Williams said.
BAMPAC's poll found that African Americans and whites generally have the same concerns: improving education, fighting crime and drugs and restoring moral values to the country.
BAMPAC built its ad campaign around those findings. Williams said the effort will target black voters as well as "Inside-the-Beltway" operatives who often define the political debate. The ads will air on CNBC and will appear in Roll Call, Insight magazine and the Weekly Standard.
They also have begun airing on syndicated programs broadcast on black radio stations and also will soon show up in several black newspapers and Black Enterprise magazine.
For Gore, Mountains and Money Men
In the dog days of August, inquiring minds may be wondering what's Vice President Gore's idea of a vacation? Well, first the VP spent three days on Mount Rainier, hauling a 65-pound pack through wind and hail.
Now, he's staying a bit closer to home but hardly putting his feet up.
On Tuesday, he went into the office to celebrate with the University of Tennessee Volunteers, winners of the NCAA Division I national football championship. Then it was on to a reception at the St. Regis Hotel for home state folks who came to Washington to join in the festivities. After that, Gore dined at Sam and Harry's with about 35 of his top fund-raisers.
Most of the invitees to the private dinner have collected $100,000 apiece for Gore's presidential campaign and that's hard work because federal law limits contributions to $1,000 a person. The top-tier money crowd included loyal Tennesseans Warren Gooch and Charles "Bones" Seivers, Chicago attorney Joe Cari Jr., Virginia developer Alfred Dwoskin, Pam Eakes, founder of Mothers Against Violence, and New Yorker power couple Steve Rattner and Maureen White.
Wednesday it was back to work for Gore with staff meetings. A planned evening meeting to pore over polling data was postponed.
Even on wife Tipper's 51st birthday, Gore was interrupting his "vacation"--Thursday he made a quick trip to Iowa to address the AFL-CIO.
Staff writer Ceci Connolly contributed to this report.