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Special Report

Vote for 'Rich Whitey'

Some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Race to the Top

A study by a graduate student at UCLA concludes that the media have played up racism at Tea Party rallies.

The Washington Post reports the a nalysis of signs at last month's 9/12 taxpayer watch on Washington, reflected mostly concerns about government spending and debt. It says that while just a small percentage of the signs photographed had any messages touching on the president's faith or ethnicity, a quarter of media coverage was devoted to those signs.

A spokesman for Freedom Works -- the national Tea Party group that promoted the event -- said his organization didn't explicitly tell protesters to limit signs to fiscal slogans, but did toss out demonstrators whose signs showed President Obama as Adolf Hitler.

Up to the Challenge?

The Associated Press is challenging President Obama's claim that Republicans would cut education spending by 20 percent if they take control of Congress. An AP fact check notes that the GOP's Pledge to America doesn't even mention education.

The White House says the president's claim is based on analysis by the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which looked at the plan's intent to return federal spending to 2008 levels.

House GOP leadership says the numbers are faulty because the plan does not specify where the cuts will come from.

Color Bind

And finally, Illinois Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney is seeing red over how his name is spelled on some electronic voting machines. Whitney is misspelled "Whitey" on machines in almost two-dozen Chicago wards -- many of them in black neighborhoods -- meaning the candidate's name on the ballot reads "Rich Whitey."

The Chicago Board of Elections says the problem will not be corrected by Election Day, but plans to post a "candidate-neutral" listing at polling places showing the names spelled correctly. Whitney tells the Chicago Sun-Times that's not good enough: "I don't want to be identified as 'Whitey.' If this is happening in primarily African-American wards, that's an even bigger concern."

The Chicago Board of Elections says 90 percent of voters will use paper ballots where Whitney's name is spelled correctly.