And now for some fresh pickings from Special Report's "Political Grapevine."
Oh, what a feeling!
The U.S. sales division of Toyota has reached an agreement with the Reverend Jesse Jackson that will avert his planned boycott of the company. The agreement involves dealer development and advertising and a promise by Toyota to improve its ties with minorities.
The conflict began with an ad campaign this spring that depicted a black person's smile with a gold Toyota RAV4 SUV carved on the front tooth. At the time, Jackson said the ad had racist overtones, and the only thing missing was, "the watermelon." Now, he says Toyota is an industry leader in terms of its attitude towards diversity.
Toyota says the campaign was not directed at any ethnic group, and the company's chief operating officer says Toyota is undertaking the outreach campaign because it wants to, not because it has to.
It's a speech problem
The Florida Democratic Party reportedly is calling for Republican Secretary of State Katherine Harris to step down. The Miami Herald says Democrats are steamed by reports that computers in her office contain copies of speeches on behalf of George Bush, but including one declaring Bush the winner of Florida's electoral votes even before disputed returns from Palm Beach County were in.
Harris says the complaints are silly and that she won't resign. Her office staff says the controversial documents weren't generated by Harris or her employees. They were sent via e-mail.
Meanwhile, Harris, the state's top elections officer, is under fire for being registered to vote in two counties. The Palm Beach Post reports that she was registered to vote in different counties for nearly seven months before aides caught the error.
She registered to vote in Leon County -- in which Tallahassee, the state capital, is located -- when she took office and moved to Tallahassee, but she never took her name off the rolls in Sarasota County, her previous home.
Trying to decipher what all the buzz is about
Finally, 27 years and one day after President Nixon's resignation, audio experts across the country are auditioning for a chance to examine a tape recorded three days after the Watergate break-in, the tape containing an infamous 18-1/2-minute gap.
The National Archives is testing the skills of audio experts who want a crack at deciphering the clicks, hisses, and buzzes left on the tape. Archives officials want to make sure the fragile tape won't get mangled in the process.
Nixon's secretary, Rosemary Woods, said she erased the tape by accident. The gap is part of a recording made in 1972 as Nixon chatted with his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman.
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