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Obama opened the wallet to help win Wisconsin

The folks at the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project report that Barack Obama hit the airwaves hard in that state ahead of last week's primary -- and it apparently paid off.

Obama spent five times more on television ads than Hillary Clinton, and more than twice what all the other campaigns (including the two Republicans) spent combined. The four candidates spent about $2.1 million to air more than 8,000 spots, according to the report.

Specifically, Obama spent $1.5 million to air 6,000 ads, while Clinton spent about $300,000. Obama's first ad went up the day after the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday primaries; Clinton's first ad aired Feb. 12. On the Republican side, John McCain spent about $180,0000 and Mike Huckabee about $150,000. From the release:

All of the ads aired by Republican candidates McCain and Huckabee were positive, outlining their own positions and priorities. Half of Clinton ads had significant negative content while one quarter of Obama ads attacked or counterattacked Clinton.

The results? A double-digit win for Obama in the contested Democratic primary, and a similar margin for McCain in the Republican race, which he has all but sealed up.

-- Scott Martelle

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That's well and good, it was a legal outcome and no one is complaining. Negative ads may not be working when it's Democrat vs Democrat.

That's supposed to be saved for the general election, when its DNC vs RNC.

I'm guessing since Obama and Hillary have staffers, plus many thousands of volunteers each working for them, both sides want vote process to be correct and the results counted.

Every delegate is important now. Every County in these states must have an accurate count.

Looming on the horizon, Ohio!

Obama's campaign should be spending the same amount from Wisconsin in Ohio, if not more. He's really behind there according to polls.

Ohio had voting problems happen in the 2004 Presidential election.

The big influence now, Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio. He's a Hillary supporter.

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will win Ohio's primary by a slim margin, said Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, her top supporter in the state.

``It will be hard fought and perhaps a narrowly decided victory but I do think that she will win Ohio,'' Strickland, 66, said on Bloomberg Television's ``Political Capital With Al Hunt'' that will air this weekend.

Strickland said, it's unfair to link her husband's signing of the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement to her.

``Bill Clinton has told me personally that Hillary was not in favor of NAFTA when it passed,'' Strickland said.

As First Lady, Hillary Clinton did offer praise for free-trade agreements.

In 1996, Clinton said during a visit to New York that she believed everybody was in favor of ``free and fair trade.'' She went on to say, ``I think NAFTA
is proving its worth,'' according to an Associated Press account of the trip.

She now advocates a ``time- out'' before any new
deals and says that NAFTA needs to be modified. That's a critical position in Ohio, an economically distressed Rust Belt state that relies heavily on manufacturing.

Governor Ted Strickland also dismissed the union support won recently by Obama. This month, Obama won the backing of the 1.9 million member Service Employees International Union and the 1.4 million member International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Strickland said he called the heads of both unions, SEIU's Andy Stern and the Teamsters' James Hoffa.

``I asked them to please let us have our Ohio primary before they made such an endorsement,'' Strickland said.

``There are reasons that are perhaps not always noble that determine why labor leaders do what they do. But I can tell you there are many SEIU employees in Ohio who are for Senator Clinton; there are many Teamsters in Ohio who are for Senator Clinton."

Feb.22 (Wall Street Journal)--Ohio's March 4 primary could be do-or-die for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions.

Here is the catch: Cuyahoga County, where she hopes to cement a victory, has just changed the way it casts, collects and counts its votes, potentially clouding any win.

Problems in Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland and is the state's most populous county, could tarnish any Clinton win -- or invite Illinois Sen. Barack Obama to challenge it.

"We can safely predict there will be some problems" with the county's new voting system, says Ohio State University law professor Daniel Tokaji.
"How catastrophic it is depends on how close the election ends up being."

Two months ago, under orders from Ohio's secretary of state, the county tossed out its touch-screen voting machines and switched to paper ballots.

It moved its election-night counting to a downtown Cleveland warehouse, which will involve trucking ballots from 1,434 precincts where they formerly were tallied.

Cuyahoga County Elections Director Jane Platten says she has a plan that includes sheriff's deputies and a fleet of vans to collect the ballots and a warehouse of high-speed scanners to count them.

"We have done everything I can think of to prepare ourselves," but "there's always the unknown in any election." Jane Platten said.

Cuyahoga County made its switch to paper ballots after a string of election foul-ups and the election board's indecision over what to do about them.

In the May 2006 primary, county election workers lost the electronic-memory cards that recorded the touch-screen votes cast in hundreds of precincts.

In a recount of two municipal races last November, 20% of the printouts from touch-screen machines were unreadable.

After the 2004 election, two elections workers were convicted of rigging a recount in the Presidential race.

Cuyahoga County's problems are compounded by the complexity of its ballot. Each of the county's 59 jurisdictions and their precincts has a separate ballot.

There are 668 candidates and 47 issues. And as in any primary, there are separate ballots for Republicans, Democrats and independents.

Ms. Platten says that adds up to 4,300 different ballot types.

Her plan is to have poll workers take those ballots to 45 drop-off points on election night, where sheriff's deputies will take them to a downtown warehouse.

There, workers will feed them into 15 scanners that she predicts will read about 3,000 ballots an hour each.

A bill passed this week by the legislature allows ballots from the busiest precincts to be picked up at midday--speeding up the count, but temporarily closing the polls.

Smooth as that sounds, Larry Norden of New York University's Brennan Center for Justice worries about the potential for problems when election workers must deal with new equipment, masses of ballots and the security of the votes as they are moved around the county.

"In a highly contentious primary, and hypersensitive times, you have people looking for errors," he says.

This isn't a mystery...

Barack Obama is 11-0! American wants change, and we don't trust the Clintons to deliver!

Clinton sold her campaign to the highest bidders - not to the American people - and she will have to pay the price for that. Now, when she really needs it, the American people don't want to fund the Clinton Smear Machine.

So a 527 Group steps in to do it! No big surprise here! And the Clintons wonder why everyone hates them more and more each day!

The Clintons are desperate and playing dirty, which only proves how crooked and pathetic they are!!! Their frighteningly cold, aloof, condescending posturing toward the "less experienced" Barack Obama smacks of HYPOCRISY!

In 1992, when Bill Clinton was running against Bush Sr. (who had the Washington-insider experience at the time), BILL CLINTON HIMSELF DECLARED, “The same old experience is not relevant.” Bill Clinton added that the most useful training comes NOT from hanging around the White House and Congress but rather from experience “rooted in the real lives of real people” so that “it will bring real results if we have the COURAGE TO CHANGE.”

So change was good then, but not now? Interesting.

The MSNBC Hillary Clinton "documentary" features one of Hillary's closest friends saying (with pride), almost word for word: "Hillary learned (in Arkansas) how to win elections. Go negative and attack your opponent in a personal way!"

I guess in "Billaryland," you stick with what you know. Except that American politics is changing, and the Clintons are left looking like they didn't get the memo.

"Solutions not speeches"..." Good works, not good words"... "Time to get real"... We're not buying it!

Billary, please show us something you never have before - dignity and grace - get out now before you tear apart the party or saddle us with 3rd Bush term (McCain)! Be the heroes and exit with style!

I really don't see the big deal. Both McCain and Clinton have a build-in advantage: they both had "national" recogntion. Whereas Obama has to introduce himself so he actually has to spend more in ads.

It's funny both McCain and Clinton are being so dishonest about their advantages. They insist Obama should go with public financing. What Obama really said is that he refuses to go there without a promise from McCain to do the same. Interesting he won't. In fact now it's known that McCain is trying to withdraw his request of Public Financing for the Primary now that he see he can raise more in cash. As for Clinton it's well know that Mondale agreed to public financing but her husband Bill did not and that is what doomed Mondale's bid for election: he couldn't respond to the attacks made by Clinton who was outspending him. Does "I'll Do Anything" sound familiar. People might say experience is a good thing, but it also comes with a lot of baggage.

As a by-stander from Europe I am watching the Obama campaign with more and more astonishment.

Can anyone of his followers fill people from overseas in on the ways he is going to fix the USA and the World?

Looking on his website I see Obama-TV, Obama-news, Obama-map etc. It's all about the person and not about his policies. Wanting to get a glimpse on his proposed policies, they were tucked away nicely under a tiny button called "issues". Going through some of them, I thought that there was actually nothing new on the horizon. Looking at his ideas to combat CO2 and climate change, I actually thought to hear president Bush talking!

Before you ask: I would not vote on Hillary either. Being a democrat here in Holland, is probably the same as being on the left side of Ralph Nader in the US, so none of the democratic candidates would get my vote. Both are too conservative to my taste.

So, is anyone out there who can explain this "phenomenon"? As I personally, and I think many people outside the US, can't see what the fuss is all about.

Obama’s efforts to connect to the Republican Party, specifically Bush, and Dick Chaney, of the Halliburton Company, dates back to the Presidents Grandfather, Prescott Bush, and indeed Chaney was once an executive officer of Halliburton.

The American military pounds Iraq with Artillary, bombs, and the like, destroying large sections of cities, and infra-structures, then Halliburton comes in to rebuild. Halliburton and Halliburton associated companies have raked in ten’s of billions.

Obama is just like the BIG HALIBURTAN. Haliburton has contracted to build detention centers in the U.S. similiar to the one in Quantanammo Bay, Cuba. Halliburton does nothing to earn the Two Dollars for each meal an American Serviceman in Iraq eats.

Halliburton was scheduled to take control of the Dubai Ports in The United Arab Emiirate. The deal was canceled when Bush was unable to affect the transfer of the American Ports.

Now we see what some might suspect as similiar financial escapading from the Democrats.

Two years ago, Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity gave a $50 million contract to a start-up security company - Companion- owned by now-indicted businessman (TONY REZKO) Tony Rezko and a onetime Chicago cop, Daniel T. Frawley, to train Iraqi power-plant guards in the United States. An Iraqi leadership change left the deal in limbo. Now the company, Companion Security, is working to revive its contract.
Involved along with Antoin “Tony” Rezco, long time friend and neighbor of Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, and former cop Daniel T. Frawley, is Aiham Alsammarae. Alsammarae was accused of financial corruption by Iraqi authorities and jailed in Iraq last year before escaping and returning here.

Recently, Obama's campaign staff have been vetted by the IRS to disclose his connection to the criminal money generating underworld. Besides, his connections to the REZCO MAFIA types, his up-coming tax fraud charges — Obama needs to disclose why he is a MUSLIM "PATWANG-FWEEE" and disclose Obama's MUSLIM Farrakhan mob connection to Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. Its minister, and Obama's spiritual adviser, is the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In 1982, the church launched Trumpet Newsmagazine; Wright's daughters serve as publisher and executive editor. Every year, the magazine makes awards in various categories. Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said "truly epitomized greatness." That man is Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan and Chicago's Trinity United Church are trumpeting Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama as the second coming of the messiah. Obama should stop suppoting our intervention in IRAQ. It’s time to introduce this false, fake Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke "GLORK" Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek. He is MAD!!! --

"GLORK" Obama looks like Alfred E. Newman: "Tales Calculated To Drive You." He is a MUSLIM "Glork" He's MAD!!! Alfred E. Neuman is the fictional mascot of Mad. The face had drifted through American pictography for decades before being claimed by Mad editor Harvey Kurtzman after he spotted it on the bulletin board in the office of Ballantine Books editor Bernard Shir-Cliff, later a contributor to various magazines created by Kurtzman.
Obama needs to disclose why he is a MUSLIM "PATWANG-FWEEE" and stop suppoting our intervention in IRAQ. It’s time to introduce this false, fake "GLORK" Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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