The first two weeks of September will be big for incumbent Sen. Jim Talent and opponent Democratic State Auditor Claire McCaskill -- at least for fundraising.
Talent's campaign said this week that President Bush plans to appear on Talent's behalf at a fundraiser September 8 in Kansas City. The event, which will be held at the home of Scott Ward, copresident of Russell Stover Candies, will cost $1,000 a head.
But McCaskill has her own plans. She'll hold a fundraising brunch the next day in St. Louis, featuring none other than former President Bill Clinton.
In other news, the campaigns tackled an obscure issue this week when McCaskill came out in favor of ending what she called the "hot fuel scam."
McCaskill's comments were inspired by a recent Kansas City Star series that showed that gas retailers sometimes make extra money by selling gasoline at hotter temperatures than the 60-degree standard set by industry. Hot fuel expands, which means less energy per gallon and more fill-ups. U.S. consumers pay for about 760 million gallons of extra gas and diesel each year because of the problem, the series reported.
"Clearly, someone needs to step forward and take up the cause," McCaskill said."Now we find out that we're not even getting a gallon when we pay for a gallon."
McCaskill said she would support requiring gas stations to retrofit pumps or install new ones that automatically adjust to the appropriate temperature.
Talent said he'd be open to the supporting the same measure, but only if it didn't cost consumers more than they'd gain. McCaskill responded that she'd have oil companies "use three or four days' worth of profits" to pay for the adjustments.
--Angie C. Marek