The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Too Close to Call
An automatic recount now seems inevitable in the Washington state governor’s race between Democrat Chris Gregoire (search) and Republican Dino Rossi (search) — a race that’s still too close to call. The King County election officials have come up with 400 ballots cast by Democrats that they say were originally ruled out but now should be counted. Why are all 400 ballots from Democrats?
Well, Democratic Party workers chased down hundreds of voters whose ballots were rejected, but then they had only Democrats signing affidavits demanding their votes be counted.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Republicans weren’t told about the affidavits. The election officials accepted them anyway and the county’s superior court has now said that’s OK.
Cuban leader Fidel Castro (search) says Usama bin Laden’s recent videotape, which promises to "lay waste to America," was arranged and produced by none other than President Bush. Castro, speaking on Cuban television last night said, "Who contacted bin Laden and who persuaded him to make such a declaration three days before the elections? With all that fear that Bush wants to instill, you almost could smell the perfume of bin Laden in that declaration in favor of Mr. War, the man of genocide."
Copied by Kitty?
Portions of gossip biographer Kitty Kelley's (search) newest book, which accuses President Bush of using cocaine at Camp David, among other things while his father was president, appeared to be copied from an article published online in February. According to The New York Times, seven paragraphs in Kelley’s book are word for word the same, or at least very close, to ones in an article Glynn Wilson of Alabama.
Kelley starts one paragraph by saying, "Those who worked with George at that time remember him as an affable, social drinker who acted much younger than his 26 years."
In February, Wilson wrote, "Those who encountered Bush in Alabama remember him as an affable, social drinker who acted younger than his 26 years." Wilson has filed a suit in federal court accusing Kelley of copyright infringement. Kelley’s publisher calls the allegations "meritless."
And People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA (search), is launching a new campaign to get Americans to stop eating fish. Insisting, "They’re such interesting, fascinating individuals yet they’re so incredibly abused. PETA says, "Once people start to understand that fish, although they come in different packaging, are just as intelligent, they’ll stop eating them. But some neuroscientists say fish are not sensitive like mammals, and can't comprehend what's happening to them.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report