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Special Report

Does Joe Biden Have a Connection With a Corrupt Fundraiser?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Dangerous Liaisons?

Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden says he is a 30-year friend of a key figure in the Tony Rezko trial. Rezko is the Chicago businessman and friend of Barack Obama who has been convicted on several counts of fraud and bribery.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports Chicago lawyer Joseph Cari Jr. helped Biden with his presidential runs this year and in 1988 and has been a financial contributor. Three years ago Cari admitted to taking part in an $850,000 kickback scheme that prosecutors say was part of a political fundraising operation for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. That scheme was overseen by Rezko. Cari is awaiting sentencing.

The Obama camp, which has been defending its own candidate's ties to Rezko, downplayed the Biden-Cari relationship. Spokesman Ben LaBolt said, "Mr.Cari was a fundraiser for many prominent elected officials."

Media Matters

Pennsylvania Democratic Governor Ed Rendell is ripping news media coverage of Barack Obama. The Politico newspaper reports Rendell popped off during a panel discussion at a Denver hotel. It featured the moderators of the broadcast network Sunday shows. Rendell backed Hillary Clinton during the primaries and now supports Obama.

But that did not stop him from venting, "The coverage of Barack Obama was embarrassing... MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign." Rendell continued to say MSNBC's Chris Matthews "loses his impartiality when he talks about the Clintons."

CNN's Lou Dobbs, meanwhile, expressed a similar sentiment Sunday, saying on air, "My colleagues in the national media are absolutely biased, in the tank supporting the Obama candidacy while claiming the mantle of objectivity."

Controversial Comparison

The John McCain campaign is hitting back at Madonna after the pop star compared the Republican presidential candidate to Adolf Hitler during a concert in the United Kingdom. Madonna's swipe came Saturday when she performed a song entitled "Get Stupid." McCain's image was flashed alongside pictures of Hitler and Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, along with images of destruction and global warming.

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said, "The comparisons are outrageous, unacceptable and crudely divisive... it clearly shows that when it comes to supporting Barack Obama, his fellow worldwide celebrities refuse to consider any smear or attack off limits."

Toward the end of the performance, pictures of Al Gore, Mahatma Gandhi and former Beatle John Lennon were flashed alongside Barack Obama's image.

Green Machine

Democrats are trying to make their convention the "greenest" ever. They have expanded recycling programs and are encouraging Denver restaurants to offer "lean 'n' green" meals made of organic ingredients.

But not all the environmentally friendly initiatives have worked out as planned. The New York Sun reports instead of the traditional plastic cards, one hotel in downtown Denver handed guests key-cards made from what they called "sustainably-harvested wood." The only problem was, a lot of guests couldn't get in their rooms.

After a few hours, red-faced hotel managers abandoned their green plan, switching out plastic for the wooden cards. A clerk says the hotel is now handing out one of each, suggesting the wooden key-cards be kept as souvenirs.

FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.