Union Urges Opposition

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Union Urges Opposition

The AFL-CIO (search) has urged its members to oppose President Bush's proposal to let individuals set aside some of their taxes for a personal investment account as part of Social Security (search). But a poll to be released tomorrow found union members support personal accounts by a 2-1 margin. According to the poll, conducted by a Republican pollster for a group advocating private accounts, 62 percent of union members think personal retirement accounts are a good idea.

What's more, 79 percent already have some retirement funds invested in stocks and bonds and 72 percent say they trust themselves more than the federal government to manage their money.
Late today, the results were sent to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney (search).

Republican Outrage

Republicans in North Carolina are up in arms that former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards (search) is now working at the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina. They say the job, created specifically for Edwards, is a partisan effort to promote a possible presidential run in 2008.

And the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party accuses Edwards of "using the state of North Carolina's tax dollars for his political operation," insisting "that's not right." But Edwards' $40,000 salary is paid from private funds raised by the university. And school officials say Edwards doesn't need the University of North Carolina to get media coverage.

Bottom Line

IMAX (search) theaters across the South are refusing to show a film on volcanoes, insisting it might offend those who believe God alone created life. "Volcanoes of the Deep Sea" links microbes found in undersea volcanoes to human DNA (search). But that's too much for theaters in Texas, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, who say the film's treatment of evolution is too "over-the-top" and "in-your-face."

One theater director in Charleston, South Carolina, tells the Charlotte Observer that many people there don't believe in evolution, and "We've got to pick a film that's going to sell in our area. [And] If it's not going to sell, we're not going to take it."

Refused, Recalled

Residents in Estes Park, Colorado (search), have voted to recall a local official who has refused to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance before board meetings. After 12 years on the job, town trustee David Habecker (search) was recalled by a vote of 903 to 605. Habecker insists saying "under God," in the pledge, before a government meeting is unconstitutional.

But many residents consider him unpatriotic, with one saying, "When you sit down during the Pledge of Allegiance, which is to our flag, which is about patriotism, which is about our country, you dishonor everybody that has fought and sacrificed for our country." Habecker says he's not upset about the recall since "I stood ... or sat for what I believed in."

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report