GOP Mailing Warns:
Liberals Will Ban Bibles
by Will Lester, Associ ated Press Writer

September 17, 2004

Washington -- Campaign mail with a return address of the Republican National Committee warns West Virginia voters that the Bible will be prohibited and men will marry men if liberals win in November.

The literature shows a Bible with the word "BANNED" across it and a photo of a man, on his knees, placing a ring on the hand of another man with the word "ALLOWED." The mailing tells West Virginians to "vote Republican to protect our families" and defeat the "liberal agenda."

Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie said Friday that he wasn't aware of the mailing, but said it could be the work of the Committee. "It wouldn't surprise me if we were mailing voters on the issue of same-sex marriage," Gillespie said.

The flier says Republicans have passed laws protecting life, support defining marriage as between a man and a woman and will nominate conservative judges who will "interpret the law and not legislate from the bench."

"The liberal agenda includes removing 'under God' from the Pledge of Allegiance," it says.

It does not mention the names of the presidential candidates.

Jim Jordan, a spokesman for America Coming Together, described the mailing as "standard-issue Republican hate-mongering."

Gillespie said same-sex marriage is a legitimate issue in the election. President Bush has proposed amending the Constitution to ban gay marriage. Democratic Sen. John Kerry also opposes gay marriage but said a constitutional amendment is going too far.

The Republican National Committee also is running radio ads in several states urging people to register to vote.

"There is a line drawn in America today," one ad says. "On one side are the radicals trying to uproot our traditional values and our culture. They're fighting to hijack the institution of marriage, plotting to legalize partial birth abortion, and working to take God out of the pledge of allegiance and force the worst of Hollywood on the rest of America."

"Are you on their side of the line?" the ad asks before making the plea to "support conservative Republican candidates."

There may be just a handful of presidential candidates on the ballot come Election Day, but until then, thousands of people will be running against President Bush -- literally.

The "Run Against Bush" effort marks its national event on Saturday with an estimated 10,000 people running, walking and cycling to protest Bush administration policies.

From Missoula, Montana, to Nantucket, Rhode Island, the volunteers will cover more than 100,000 miles. Overseas gatherings are planned in Paris and Tokyo as well.

The biggest event will be in Washington, with a morning gathering outside the White House for runs anywhere from two to 15 miles.

The event will raise $100,000 for the Democratic National Committee and state parties in 10 swing states, organizers say.

Eight teachers formed the PAC last year in Washington. It has raised more than $330,000 so far.

If a desire to have a say in politics or sheer peer pressure doesn't convince them, now college students have one more reason to vote: They could get a call from their favorite writer.

A group of authors has launched "Operation Ohio" to encourage voting among students in that battleground state, along with Wisconsin and Florida.

Dave Eggers, author of "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" and Ann Packer, writer of "The Dive From Clausen's Pier," and other writers will call students on November 2, reminding them to hit the polls. They and about 10 other authors will visit Ohio campuses at the end of the month to hold nonpartisan voter registration readings. Students, or any first-time voters under 25, can either sign up in person or send an e-mail from their university accounts. They'll know who will be calling one week before, so they'll have time to read up.

The effort is nonpartisan, so writers can say anything they like, said Stephen Elliott, the author organizing the effort. Other writers who plan to make calls on Election Day include: Tobias Wolff, best known for his memoir "This Boy's Life," and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon.

Associated Press writer Emily Fredrix contributed to this report.

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