By choice of the Bush campaign, Vice President Cheney's face and biography do not appear in the 2004 Oregon Voters' Pamphlet, which was mailed this week to 1.6 million households in a swing state where the presidential race remains too close to call.
Picking up the 40-page booklet, Oregon voters will find photos and biographies of Democratic presidential and vice presidential candidates John F. Kerry and John Edwards together on the same page. But President Bush shares a page with Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian candidate for president.
State officials who put together the voters' pamphlet discovered in mid-August that the Bush-Cheney campaign had not supplied the photo, biography or $1,000 required for Cheney to be listed. The campaign sent in money and information only for Bush.
To find out if there had been a mistake, state officials twice contacted the Oregon Republican Party. "We were told they were not going to submit the information," said an elections division official who asked not to be identified.
Kevin Mannix, chairman of the state party, said that he contacted the national campaign about the problem but never got an answer. "We would have been happy to submit something, if we were authorized to do so, but we weren't," Mannix said, adding that he believes it was a missed opportunity for Republicans not to take advantage of available space in the voters' pamphlet.
Asked why Cheney was left out, Tracey Schmitt, western spokeswoman for the Bush campaign, said the decision had nothing to do with campaign strategy.
"The vice president has been a tremendous asset to our Oregon efforts. He has visited Oregon four times this year alone," she said. "Bush is the leader of this ticket and that is why his name is on the voters' pamphlet."
Oregon officials who put together the 2004 voters' pamphlet said Cheney's photo and biography appeared in the 2000 version.
527s by the Numbers
Everybody and his uncle has a "527" these days, it seems. In recent days, groups calling themselves Regular Guys for Bush (listing an apartment in Philadelphia as its address) and Rednecks for a Better America (from L.A.) have registered to be among the hundreds of 527s, alongside such established 527s as Fire the Mighty Cannon.
Now comes word of a new pro-President Bush 527, Softer Voices, represented by former Dan Quayle speechwriter Lisa Schiffren and claiming to represent "security moms." And in Philadelphia, a group promoting the reelection of Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) but evidently concerned about Bush's standing has been putting up lawn signs saying "Kerry & Specter for Working Families." The Philadelphia Daily News reports this is the work of the Philadelphia Education Project, which registered two weeks ago as a 527.
What do you do when you're a failed presidential candidate whose most ridiculed moment was screaming the names of states you planned to conquer?
If you're Howard Dean and still carry an association with the Internet, you become a pitchman -- for Yahoo.
"Yahoo Local has helped me find all sorts of things, like bookstores IN IOWA!" Dean bellows in a new radio ad. "And conventional centers IN NEBRASKA! And some very interesting diners IN ILLINOIS!" The tone of voice is very familiar. And Dean mentions he is traversing the country to promote his book, so he gets a loud plug as well.
Staff writers Dana Milbank and Howard Kurtz contributed to this report.