Jesse Jackson's Newest Rival: Jesse Jr.; Crunch Point?; On Their Own; Court Politics; Spy vs. Spies; High on 42nd Street
JESSE JACKSON'S NEWEST RIVAL: JESSE JR. In congressional districts where turnout of black voters could be critical for Democratic candidates this fall, Jesse Jackson, one of his party's most spellbinding orators, has some strong new competition on the hustings. The rival: Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who although he has been in the House for only nine months already has received 36 requests from his congressional colleagues to visit their districts in October. "He's in unbelievable demand," says Frank Watkins, the younger Jackson's communications director. Both father and son are hitting the campaign trail as part of a Democratic Party "Take Back the Congress" effort in which prominent African-Americans will try to get out the vote in districts where the race is close and the black vote is substantial. So far, organizers have identified 30 of these marginal districts, 21 of them in Southern states and many represented by Republicans who narrowly won in 1994. The elder Jackson is already on the campaign trail and, in addition to his son, soon w
CRUNCH POINT? In a move that could deliver a severe blow to Bob Dole's bid for the White House, Republican Party leaders are preparing quietly to shift resources to tight congressional campaigns if the GOP challenger fails to close in on President Clinton after this Sunday's debate. Senior Republicans say that, unless Dole narrows the 10-to-15-point gap, the party will funnel most of the $50 million it plans to spend on direct mail, telephone solicitations, advertising and other get-out-the-vote techniques into state and local races. Another indication of Dole's troubles: GOP strategists, including Party Chairman Haley Barbour, have privately urged Dole's handlers to expand their focus to about 20 key states and not the dozen now receiving most of the candidate's attention. Barbour argues that it would be a mistake to continue to play down California, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Washington, Oregon, Missouri and Illinois, which the Dole team appears to have done. Finally, the sources complain that Jack Kemp, the ve
ON THEIR OWN The Dole campaign is farming out to the Young Republicans and the College Republicans the bulk of its effort to turn out the youth vote for the GOP. A vote of confidence in these organizations? Perhaps, but the Dole campaign may well have another motive: saving money. Though freed from campaign bureaucracy, the Young Republicans also will have to raise their own campaign funds to press such top issues as jobs and the economy, violent crime, Social Security reform and educational opportunity. The Young Republicans also plan a little counterprogramming--sending youthful protesters to Clinton rallies.
COURT POLITICS A new Republican analysis of national political contributions by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America shows that the trade group, its members, their employees and relatives donated $6.1 million from early 1995 through mid-1996--most of it to Democrats. With President Clinton the top beneficiary at $1.9 million, the GOP thinks it may have a potent political issue, especially at a time when costly litigation is flooding American courts. The analysis, prepared for the Republican National Committee by a GOP consulting firm, showed that the Democrats received 87 percent and the GOP only 13 percent of trial-lawyer donations. In May, Clinton vetoed legislation that would have limited punitive damage awards in product-liability lawsuits. At the time of the veto, Clinton said the bill "tilts the playing field against consumers."