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SLIP SLIDING AWAY

Republican John McCain is on the comeback trail! McCain unveiled a new campaign earlier this week focused on his experience, promising that he wouldn't make any more mistakes and letting Barack Obama know that he was going to "whip his you-know-what" in this week's debate. "My friends," declared McCain, "we've got 'em just where we want 'em."

Yes, the brilliant strategery of the McCain campaign is finally bearing fruit.

McCain's new start came after a week that saw his fortunes continue to slide alongside the Dow Jones, which suffered its worst one-week drop in history before bouncing back a bit on Monday, Oct. 13. As erratic economic news continued to dominate the front pages, Obama continued to build momentum in national polling and swing states.

In the middle of last week, McCain met "That One" in a town hall-style debate, where McCain horrified many of his conservative supporters by unveiling a new economic plan that would have the government buy up loans from banks and negotiate new terms with homeowners in foreclosure.

McCain's fall in the polls coincided with a new negative theme, with GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin taking off the gloves, putting on the heels and letting America know how much Obama likes to "pal around" with "domestic terrorists."

While Palin is busy on the campaign trail, McCain campaign officials said they did not expect her to spend much time with the media between now and Election Day.


THE HITS KEEP ON COMING

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to boost Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' re-election campaign, launched a new ad last week hammering Republican Tim Bee for his connection to his brother's bus company.

The Bee campaign had been anticipating the hit, because they'd heard about a poll that tested questions related to the bus company. Bee says he only did the books for the bus company, which was owned by his brother, Keith Bee.

Giffords condemned the ad in a press release, noting that she had no control over the DCCC's campaign tactics but pointing out that Bee has been running his fair share of negative ads.

"Personal attacks have no place in this campaign," Giffords said. "I am disappointed that Tim Bee and his campaign allies have repeatedly tried to distort my record, and I'm equally disappointed in this recent TV ad sponsored by the DCCC. Southern Arizonans deserve better."


THE WEEK AHEAD

Thursday, Oct. 16: Democrats Phil Lopes and Olivia Cajero-Bedford, Republican J.D. "Duke" Schechter and Green Kent Solberg, who are battling for the state House of Representatives seats in District 27, will appear on KUAT Channel 6's Arizona Illustrated at 6:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 20: Democratic Congressman Raúl Grijalva will appear with his Republican challenger, Joe Sweeney, on KUAT Channel 6's Arizona Illustrated at 6:30 p.m.


District 26 Senate Race

Republican Al Melvin is facing Democrat Cheryl Cage in the race for the Senate seat in Legislative District 26, which includes the Catalina Foothills, Oro Valley and SaddleBrooke.

REPUBLICAN AL MELVIN

Should we increase state funding for prison construction?

I favor the concept of more of the so-called private prisons. I want more of that.

Should we spend more on programs that provide prisoners with vocational education while they're behind bars?

I am in favor of those kinds of programs.

Should we look at alternatives to imprisonment for nonviolent offenders?

Probably more could be done with the ankle-bracelet program.

Do you support "hate crime" legislation that increases penalties for crimes based on race, ethnic background, religious belief, sex, age, etc?

Hate is a terrible thing. I would agree to the enforcement of the existing hate crime (laws).

Should the state spend more on programs for at-risk youth?

I think we should take the existing money and look at other programs that maybe haven't been looked at.

Should the state have a "three strikes" law that puts criminals behind bars for life for a third felony offense?

I've taught college courses at the base and other places, and I had a student who told me that he had two brothers who had two strikes against them in California. He said, "You've never seen two cleaner-living guys in your life." I think there's merit in it.

DEMOCRAT CHERYL CAGE

Should we increase state funding for prison construction?

No. We should increase funding for public education and mentoring programs for youth. It is cheaper and more beneficial to our community to care for and motivate our children at the beginning of their lives so that they grow up to be productive members of our society.

Should we have more contracts with private prisons?

No.

Should we spend more on programs that provide prisoners with vocational education while they're behind bars?

Absolutely.

Should we look at alternatives to imprisonment for nonviolent offenders?

Yes, (with) drug-rehabilitation programs, house arrest with ankle bracelets, and halfway houses.

Do you support "hate crime" legislation that increases penalties for crimes based on race, ethnic background, religious belief, sex, age, etc?

Yes. I support this, because I believe it will send a clear signal that racism in any form will not be tolerated.

Should the state spend more on programs for at-risk youth?

Absolutely; it should be a priority.

Should the state have a "three strikes" law that puts criminals behind bars for life for a third felony offense?

(Yes), three strikes for violent offenders.

More by Jim Nintzel

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