The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Attacks 'Hurt Like the Dickens'
Louisiana Democratic congressman turned Republican Rodney Alexander (search) now says he'll return, "every penny that was given to me by ... the Democratic leadership" for his congressional reelection campaign. The newly minted Republican, whose last-minute party switch created a firestorm of controversy in the state, will refund nearly $90,000 to the Democratic party, but says he will not return money to individual donors.
Alexander also says he's -- "puzzled" by the strong reaction to his party switch, and that Democratic attacks labeling him a traitor and a coward, "hurt like the dickens."
Michael Moore has now responded to a complaint by an Illinois newspaper against his controversial film Fahrenheit 9/11. The Bloomington Pantagraph charged that Moore altered a headline reading, "Latest Florida recount shows Gore won election," to make it look like a front-page news headline, when it actually appeared over a letter to the editor.
Far from denying the paper's accusation, a letter from Moore's lawyer insists that the filmmaker acted within his rights, and that the alteration, "was in no way detrimental" to the paper.
Pantagraph President and Publisher Henry Bird called the letter, "baloney," and said he would continue to pursue the matter.
A visit to the grand canyon this week led to a heated exchange between John Kerry (search) and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry. When her husband asked her to join him on a helicopter ride over the canyon, Mrs. Kerry refused. As the presidential candidate continued to press her, an exasperated Teresa replied -- "you don't understand vertigo."
Growing impatient, Kerry finally reached out to his wife to bring her aboard the waiting chopper, but Teresa grabbed a secret service member for protection and snapped, "No! I'm not going."
A woman with a valid ticket and no anti-Bush paraphernalia was refused entry to a Bush/Cheney rally in Phoenix this week. Why? Because she works for the Kerry campaign.
Sue Walitsky says she merely wanted to hear the president speak, but a Bush/Cheney spokesman said the rally was for supporters, adding that Walitsky would be welcome if she, "came to her senses" and supported the president.
Kerry's Arizona campaign director Doug Wilson said, "I thought a president was president of all the people and that all had a right to listen regardless of political affiliation."
Update on Pelosi Comments
Last night we told you that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's opposes Porter Goss's nomination for Director of Central Intelligence, but that she had previously supported him for the position, citing a report in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Ms. Pelosi's staff now says her remarks were misinterpreted by the newspaper, and that she has never supported Congressman Goss for CIA director.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report