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Revving engines until September 12

'It's keep-your-head-down time'

Revving engines until September 12

By John Mercurio, Robert Yoon and Trish Turner
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- It's Labor Day, which means campaigns are kicking into high gear for the final stretch of politicking leading up to Election Day, right? Not so fast.

It's been widely reported that politics will take a break on September 11 as the nation marks the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. But what's increasingly apparent is that campaign politics (the real, bare-knuckled street fights we know and love) won't begin at all this month until September 12. "It's keep-your-head-down time," said one Georgia Democrat. "You gain nothing by going negative these days, but you stand to do some self-inflicted damage if you do."

Bob Smith
Bob Smith  

A few exceptions -- Sen. Max Baucus, a Democrat, and his GOP challenger, state Sen. Mike Taylor, are fighting over sheep in Montana (please see below, too complicated to explain here). The Sierra Club launches a new television ad hitting Rep. John Sununu, R-New Hampshire, who faces a tight primary against GOP Sen. Bob Smith September 10. And on Thursday, embattled Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-New Jersey, faces his Republican rival, Douglas Forrester, in their first televised debate. Trailing badly in recent polls and known for his pugnacious style, Torricelli is expected to take the gloves off.

And sure to slow down the campaign schedule a bit, Congress returns from its monthlong recess, and boy is their workload heavy.

With fewer than two months of legislative days left on the calendar, Congress is trying to create a new Department of Homeland Security (despite Sen. Robert Byrd's strong objections), pass pension reform, re-authorize welfare reform, try to put together a prescription drug plan, and oh yeah -- pass its 13 annual spending bills (a source of much controversy).

And on the minds of all members, a possible war with Iraq, where sentiment is growing against it. Expect hearings down the road, but not for a couple of weeks. Members of the House will thumb their nose at the San Francisco panel of judges and mark up a resolution that would reiterate their support of the words "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. We're in for a busy week/month.

The following is a comprehensive look at the week in politics. Enjoy.

'It's keep-your-head-down time'

August 31

  • Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, heads to Florence, South Carolina, to attend a campaign event for Democratic Senate nominee Alex Sanders and three candidates for state offices. He'll also attend a reception with Florence Mayor Frank Willis. None of the events are fund-raisers.
  • Kentucky Fried Debates: Kentucky's Democratic Senate hopeful, Lois Combs Weinberg, daughter of ex-Gov. Bert Combs, participates in a Lincoln-Douglas-style debate in with ... herself. Her opponent, GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell, turned down the debate invitation from the Wye Mills Civic League near Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and instead has offered to debate once on public TV on September 15. The public TV station prefers an October debate.
  • Ballot burritos
    Ballot burritos  

  • Burrito Politics: Political observers and Mexican food fans alike will be watching closely as a Maryland restaurant chain announces the results of the first-ever "burrito poll" in the hotly contested congressional race in Maryland's 8th District. As we told you last week, the California Tortilla restaurant chain, based in Bethesda, Maryland, sponsored a monthlong promotion where hungry citizens get to vote for one of five specialty burritos, each named after a different candidate. The candidate with the top-selling burrito wins the poll, and gets the all important "burrito bounce" coming out of Labor Day. As of Friday morning, with only two days of voting remaining, Democratic state Sen. Chris Van Hollen's "Viva Van Hollen" burrito leads the field with 654 votes, followed by GOP Rep. Connie Morella's "Mozzarella Morella" with 591 votes. Former Clinton trade official Ira Shapiro's Asian-themed "Yaka Tori Shapiro" is third with 550 votes. The "Super Savory Shriver," Democratic state legislator and Kennedy family member Mark Shriver's entry into burrito politics, is fourth with 317. Democrat Deborah Vollmer's "Vivacious Volmer" is fifth with 139. Voters in the district will cast non-burrito ballots during the primary September 10.
  • Are you ready for some football? (Part I): College football opens in South Carolina. University of South Carolina plays New Mexico State in Columbia. South Carolina State plays at home in Orangeburg. Clemson is at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Look for Democratic Gov. Jim Hodges and his GOP rival, Rep. Mark Sanford, to root for home teams.
  • Minnesotans attending the state fair will be able to jam to the music of the man who wants to be their governor. Independent candidate Tim Penny will play at his booth with his band "The Pumper, The Peddler and The Politician" (Bandmates work at a gas station and sell electronics). Penny sings and plays the guitar to '50s and '60s tunes.
  • Jeb Bush
    Jeb Bush  

  • Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican, attends a barbecue in Volusia County.
  • Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minnesota, meets with supporters at the Minnesota State Fair. Wellstone will join Democratic Congressman Collin Peterson, gubernatorial candidate Roger Moe and others for a forum on agriculture and rural Minnesota issues. Wellstone joins the Minnesota Farmers Union at their booth for a symbolic signing of the Ban on Packer Ownership.
  • John Sununu
    John Sununu  

  • Republican Senate candidate John Sununu attends the Concord Gun Show, which is being held at the Everett Arena in Concord. He'll then head over to the Boulia-Gorrell Lumber Company's 130th Anniversary Party in Laconia. He'll wrap up the day by manning the Republican booth at the Hopkinton State Fair.
  • 'It's keep-your-head-down time'

    September 1

  • Shear Madness in Montana: The latest flap in the Montana Senate race has both campaigns counting sheep. GOP Senate nominee Mike Taylor heads to Reed Point, Montana, for the town's annual "sheep drive," where sheep and sheep enthusiasts run through the middle of town to celebrate Labor Day. The town also set up a sheep-shearing contest between Taylor and his Democratic opponent, Sen. Max Baucus. Baucus can't attend the sheep festivities, but is sending campaign representatives to herd 10 sheep through town. However, don't look for anyone from the Baucus camp to go head-to-head with Taylor in the shearing contest. Says Baucus spokesman Barrett Kaiser: "Mike Taylor can wrestle animals all he wants, but that doesn't make him a real Montana farmer or rancher. He can't shake his 'hobby-rancher' image by wrestling livestock in public. He touts his [agriculture] credentials while admitting that he lets his 'ranch managers' run his 'hobby ranch.' He takes government subsidies for his 'hobby ranch' while calling similar payments 'welfare.' Those are just 'sheep' campaign gimmicks." That prompted this response from Taylor spokesman Bowen Greenwood: "Well, let them have fun their way, we'll have fun ours. It sounds like a classic division of labor: Mike Taylor shears the sheep, and Max Baucus pulls the wool -- right over Montana's eyes. And since he's going to talk about who's a real rancher, the closest Max got to shearing a sheep was to spend his family's wool money to pay tuition to a prestigious California school."
  • Are you ready for some football? (Part II): Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, will attend the Aggie-Eagle Classic football showdown in Raleigh. The game pits two traditionally African-American colleges against each other for football supremacy: the "Aggies" of North Carolina A&T State University and the "Eagles" of North Carolina Central University.
  • The NASCAR Vote: A "who's who" of South Carolina politicians will be at the "Mountain Dew" Southern 500 NASCAR races in Darlington, S.C. Gov. Jim Hodges, a Democrat, and his GOP challenger, ex-Congressman Mark Sanford, will deliver speeches, and Senate candidates Lindsey Graham, a GOP congressman, and his Democratic opponent Alex Sanders will attend.
  • Yum!! Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, participates in the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival in Morgan City, Louisiana.
  • Tom Strickland, the Democrat who hopes to unseat GOP Sen. Wayne Allard, spends the day in Pueblo, Colorado, to attend the Mariachi Mass in the morning, and the Fiesta Day Parade in the afternoon.
  • At the State Fair in Minneapolis, former Congressman Tim Penny campaigns at his booth and later in the day performs with his band, "The Pumper, the Peddlar, and the Politician." Penny plays rhythm guitar and sings '60s rock songs.
  • 'It's keep-your-head-down time'

    September 2

  • Sierra Club ad dumps on Sununu: The Sierra Club steps up its role in New Hampshire's competitive Republican Senate primary with a new TV spot that accuses Rep. John Sununu of cozying up with polluters. Following up on a similar radio spot that ran the previous week, the 30-second ad features a Granite State family who lives near two toxic waste dumps that contaminated drinking water. From the ad: "Congressman John Sununu has sided with the polluters, voting to force taxpayers not corporations to pay for cleanup." A Sierra Club spokesman would not disclose how much money is being spent on the ad, which runs statewide through September 8, but he did say it's a "significant buy." Sununu is challenging Sen. Bob Smith in the GOP Senate primary. The winner will face Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen. Look for more Sierra Club ads in other hot races in mid-September.
  • With the Burrito poll barely behind them, the Democratic candidates in Maryland's 8th congressional district will participate in a candidate forum in Rockville. All four candidates for the Democratic nod are expected to participate: state Del. Mark Shriver, state Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Clinton trade official Ira Shapiro and community activist Deborah Vollmer. The most recent independent poll had Shriver slightly ahead of Van Hollen. The winner of the September 10 primary will face GOP Rep. Connie Morella, an eight-term incumbent who faces her toughest re-election fight to date.
  • Labor Day parade and picnic roundup

  • Arkansas: Senate candidate Mark Pryor, a Democrat, will travel to Rector, Arkansas to participate in a Labor Day parade. Pryor will also be in Meumelle for a labor union picnic.
  • Colorado: Democratic Senate hopeful Tom Strickland attends the Colorado Springs Labor Council picnic.
  • Georgia: Democratic Sen. Max Cleland attends a Labor Day picnic
  • Tom Harkin
    Tom Harkin  

  • Iowa: Sen. Tom Harkin, Democratic incumbent, holds an early press conference on pension reform at his campaign headquarters in Des Moines. He'll then head over to the annual Des Moines Parade to march with working families. Afterward, the senator attends a Cedar Rapids Labor Day picnic.
  • Kentucky: GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell and his Democratic challenger Lois Combs Weinberg will both participate in a Labor Day parade in Paducah, Kentucky. Weinberg will also attend a labor rally in Owensborough in western Kentucky.
  • Louisiana: Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu participates in the Shreveport Labor Day parade. She'll give a short speech at the Shreveport Police and Firemens' Memorial about September 11.
  • Massachusetts: Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich will meet and greet attendees at the Greater Boston Labor Breakfast, visit firefighters at the Engine 7 Firehouse in Boston, and march in the Marlborough Labor Day Parade. Democratic Sen. John Kerry addresses Labor Day breakfasts in Worcester and Boston.
  • Maryland: Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, unopposed in the Democratic primary for governor, and her likely GOP opponent Rep. Robert Ehrlich participate in the Gaithersburg Parade in the D.C. suburbs. Democratic congressional hopeful Ira Shapiro participates in Labor Day parades in Kensington and Gaithersburg in Maryland's 8th District.
  • Minnesota: ex-Congressman and Independent gubernatorial candidate Tim Penny attends the annual Minnesota State Fair, handing out "I'm a Penny Fan" fans at his campaign booth.
  • Missouri: Democratic Sen. Jean Carnahan participates and speaks at the annual St. Louis parade.
  • Montana: Democratic Sen. Max Baucus flies around the state for Labor Day picnics in Butte, Great Falls and Billings. His GOP opponent Mike Taylor will be in the Labor Day parade in Dillon.
  • New Hampshire: Both candidates for the Republican primary for Senate, incumbent Sen. Bob Smith and Congressman John Sununu, attend the annual Milford Labor Day Parade, then head to the Salem GOP picnic at the Derry Elks Club Pavilion.
  • New Jersey: GOP Senate hopeful Doug Forrester attends a parade in South Plainfield.
  • New York: The big shindig in New York is the West Indian Day parade in Brooklyn, and all of the candidates for office this year will turn out to march in the colorful parade. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is the Grand Marshal. The parade first held in Harlem 33 years ago, has been celebrated on every Labor Day since 1967 along Brooklyn's Eastern Parkway in the very heart of New York's Caribbean community.
  • North Carolina: Democratic Senate hopeful Erskine Bowles rides the bespectacled "Bowlesmobile" in a Charlotte Labor Day parade.
  • Oregon: Democratic Senate hopeful Bill Bradbury attends Labor Day picnics in the Democratic strongholds of Portland and Eugene.
  • John Thune
    John Thune  

  • South Dakota: Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson and his GOP opponent John Thune attend the Labor Day parade in Wagner. Johnson will also attend a parade in Winner (which, as you may know, is the pheasant capital of the world).
  • Tennessee: Dove hunting season opens in Tennessee, so watch for all sorts of Volunteer State pols to pick up their guns. Senate candidates Lamar Alexander and Bob Clement will be shooting doves today, as will Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Bredesen. Alexander is joined for a day of hunting by National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Bill Frist in Middle Tennessee. Clement will round out his Labor Day in Nashville by eating barbecue with seniors and burgers with Teamsters.
  • Texas: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Sanchez attends a Labor Day Breakfast at Fire Fighters Hall in Corpus Christi. He then attends the Labor Day Picnic at UAW Hall in Fort Worth.
  • Vermont (sort of): Gov. Howard Dean spends his Labor Day in New Hampshire. He'll attend a state AFL-CIO breakfast in Manchester, march in a Labor Day parade in Milford and then attend a Veterans of Foreign Wars barbecue.
  • Labor Day parade and picnic roundup

    September 3

  • Nevada primary: Gov. Kenny Guinn is expected to coast through the GOP primary and, for that matter, to a second term.
  • Seniors Unite! As part of the first conference of the Alliance for Retired Americans, nearly 1,000 seniors will converge on Washington today for a two-day conference to demand a prescription drug plan under Medicare and to protest pharmaceutical companies and drug costs. The group is also releasing a national poll of senior voters and the issues that are driving them to the polls in what they say may be the decisive voting block this fall. D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, a Democrat, will speak, as will former Vice President Al Gore, House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Missouri and AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Richard Trumka.
  • Gov. Howard Dean, D-Vermont, heads to New York City for private meetings and to fund raise for his presidential campaign.
  • Tony Perkins
    Tony Perkins  

  • Tony Perkins, the only GOP Senate candidate in Louisiana who didn't get a major endorsement recently, is flying to Washington for a three-day trip to meet with vendors, PACs and party leaders. Perkins reacted angrily to news last week that the National Republican Senatorial Committee took the unusual move of endorsing state elections commissioner Suzanne Haik Terrell, while Gov. Mike Foster, a Republican, threw his weight behind a third candidate, Congressman John Cooksey. No word on whether Perkins plans to meet with the NRSC or White House aides about the race. The Republicans are running to challenge Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.
  • House Democratic Caucus Chair Martin Frost, D-Texas, and Rep. Jennifer Dunn, R-Washington, will introduce bipartisan legislation to establish nationwide coordination for the Amber Alert communications network, and to provide incentives to help bring the Amber Alert plan to every state. In the last Congress, Frost and Dunn co-chaired the Bipartisan Working Group on Youth Violence. In the Senate, Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and Dianne Feinstein, D-California, are working on similar legislation.
  • A "member of Congress" will endorse Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill McBride, who is gaining steam against Janet Reno in the September 10 primary. No official word on who the endorsing lawmaker is, but here's a hint -- the news conference is being held in central Florida.
  • The Democrats hoping to unseat GOP Rep. Connie Morella in Maryland's 8th congressional district will meet for their second candidates' forum in two days. The forum will take place in Chevy Chase.
  • Tennessee's GOP Senate nominee Lamar Alexander delivers what aides bill as a "major speech" on the World War II generation.
  • U.S. Senate hopeful Tom Strickland, D-Colorado, attends a "Women for Strickland" event in Denver with Sarah Weddington, the attorney who successfully argued Roe v. Wade before the U.S. Supreme Court. Weddington argued the landmark case before the high court at the tender age of 26.
  • New Mexico gubernatorial candidates Bill Richardson, a Democrat, and John Sanchez, a Republican, will attend a forum organized by the Albuquerque Bar Association.
  • The Senate Returns: Members of the U.S. Senate, well-rested and raring to go after a month of recess, will roll up their sleeves and get right back to work doing the people's business. First item of business: homeland security. They'll spend seven hours debating a motion to proceed to the legislation (talk about diving right in!). Look for Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert C. Byrd, D-West Virginia, to delay action. Debate continues into Wednesday and likely for a number of weeks. Elsewhere in the Senate, Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, hold an event at 4 p.m. to introduce a bill that would create a national Amber Alert system. Expect many folks to hop aboard this one.
  • Labor Day parade and picnic roundup

    September 4

  • Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a Democratic presidential hopeful, begins another campaign swing in Iowa. He spends the entire day in Des Moines, meeting with labor union members, and hosts a fund-raising reception that evening for Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and Lt. Gov. Sally Pederson.
  • Ex-President Bill Clinton will attend a Milwaukee fund-raiser for Democrat, Rep. Tammy Baldwin. Clinton is visiting Milwaukee for a non-political event, and he offered to help Baldwin. A Baldwin spokesperson: "Of course we said yes." Tickets will be $500/person for a reception, and $100/person for lunch.
  • New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial candidates debate. The main Democratic candidates are state Sen. Mark Fernald, who unsuccessfully challenged Gov. Jeanne Shaheen in the 2000 Democratic primary (New Hampshire governors run every two years); and state Senate Democratic leader Bev Hollingworth.
  • Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich gets down with the younger set at Johnny D's in Davis Square in Summerville at a grassroots fund-raiser.
  • Joe Lieberman
    Joe Lieberman  

  • New Hampshire Democrat Martha Fuller Clark, often referred to as the "Belle of the Ball" in the Granite State for all the attention she's been getting from Democratic presidential suitors, holds a fund-raiser at Tortilla Coast on Capitol Hill in D.C. for her bid to fill GOP Rep. John Sununu's open House seat. Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, will stop by. The Clark campaign has also invited former veep Al Gore (who's out of town), Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Connecticut, Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, and top House Democrat Dick Gephardt.
  • There are at least four congressmen who breathed a sigh of relief when the baseball players averted a strike last week. The season will continue, meaning that the lawmakers can hold game nights at Camden Yards in Baltimore, where the Baltimore Orioles are playing the Texas Rangers. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, is holding a $1,500-a-head event; Rep. Kevin Brady, another Lone Star Republican, is holding his own competing fund-raiser, with tickets for just $1,000-a-head. The Wisconsin Leadership PAC, headed by Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner and Tom Petri, is holding its own $500-a-head fund-raiser there as well.
  • Rep. Pete King, R-New York, holds a cocktail reception at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill. Cost: $500-per-PAC.
  • House Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin, R-Louisiana, headlines a $1,000-a-head dinner at La Colline restaurant for Rep. Sue Myrick, R-North Carolina. Tauzin can't eat too much, though, because he's also scheduled to headline a money dinner for Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Florida, this evening at Angelo & Maxieis downtown.
  • House returns and will take up a number of bills and resolutions, including a resolution honoring the contributions of Venus and Serena Williams.
  • Debate over Homeland Security breaks into full swing with three hours of debate from Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, and three hours split between Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, D-Connecticut, and that panel's ranking member, Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tennessee.
  • The Senate Special Committee on Aging holds a hearing on Ageism in the Media and Marketing, featuring Doris Roberts (the mother from "Everybody Loves Raymond"), a huge proponent of age equity. Roberts will testify on the need to stop ageism ... there's a rush to grab the youth market, but the aging population is being left behind. A Yale professor will release a study showing that a positive outlook on aging can add as much as seven years to your life. A marketing firm will show good and bad examples of print and video ads. And a media rep will provide examples of news organizations saying they don't want stories about "geezers", etc.
  • Labor Day parade and picnic roundup

    September 5

  • You'd be hard pressed to find a presidential candidate who's ever died of hunger. Just ask Vermont's Democratic Gov. Howard Dean, who'll dine with Iowa candidates morning, noon, and night, all while raising campaign cash. For breakfast, he'll address the Buchanan County Democrats in Waterloo. For lunch, he heads to Gutenberg to campaign for Roger Thomas, a state legislator. For dinner, he stumps for Pat Tyler, another local candidate, in Waverly. After dinner, he heads back to Waterloo to host a fund-raising reception for Ann Hutchinson, a Democratic candidate for Congress.
  • GOP gubernatorial candidates in New Hampshire debate. The three main candidates are former Sen. Gordon Humphrey, who lost to Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, in 2000; wealthy businessman Craig Benson, and Bruce Keough, a former state senator and former chairman of the state university system. Shaheen is retiring to run for Senate. The state's primary is September 10.
  • Ex-President Bill Clinton will be in Santa Ana for a fund-raiser for Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Democrat. In addition to Clinton, Academy Award-winning actress Rita Moreno will attend the fund-raiser, to introduce Sanchez. Tickets to the event start at $500.
  • Rep. Henry Bonilla, R-Texas, holds a $500-per-PAC fund-raiser in Washington. Rep. Howard Coble, R-North Carolina, will hold a $1,000-a-head luncheon at the Capitol Hill Club.
  • Elizabeth Dole, the Republican Senate candidate in North Carolina, will hold a barbecue in Wilkes County.
  • New Jersey Sen. Robert Torricelli, a Democrat, and his GOP challenger, millionaire businessman Douglas Forrester, hold a televised debate. The debate, which is to last 90 minutes, is to be the candidates' first direct exchange in what the polls show is a close race. It will be broadcast on News 12 New Jersey. A panel of four journalists, two from the station and two from The Star-Ledger of Newark, will question both candidates. In a second portion, the candidates will question each other. In addition, Torricelli and Forrester have been invited to debate on the NBC Sunday morning program "Meet the Press."
  • GOP gubernatorial candidates in New Hampshire debate. The three main candidates are former Sen. Gordon Humphrey, who lost to Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, in 2000; wealthy businessman Craig Benson, and Bruce Keough, a former state senator and former chairman of the state university system. Shaheen is retiring to run for Senate. The state's primary is September 10.
  • Ted Kulongoski
    Ted Kulongoski  

  • NARAL chief Kate Michelman heads to Oregon to endorse Democratic Senate hopeful Bill Bradbury and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Ted Kulongoski. The Bradbury campaign will also hold another "Coffee Table" discussion, this one on education to commemorate back-to-school week.
  • Minnesota's former Democratic congressman Tim Penny, running for governor, heads out on his Mainstreet, Mainstreem Bus Tour, starting out in Minneapolis, traveling to Duluth -- the Iron Range area then on to Grand Rapids on the 12-passenger bus.
  • Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, state Treasurer Shannon O'Brien, state Senate President Thomas Birmingham, former Democratic National Committee Chair Steve Grossman, and former state Sen. Warren Tolman, all seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, participate in a media consortium debate held at Tsai Performance Center at Boston University from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The debate is sponsored by all the local stations and The Boston Globe. Moderators include anchors from The Globe, channel 5.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing to take on the issue of "Protecting Employees and Retirees From Corporate Corruption." They'll be dealing with litigation -- how people can recoup their losses. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, will preside.
  • The House Judiciary Committee takes on the controversial issue of "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance by reaffirming the intention to leave it in the Pledge in a resolution that will be marked up.
  • Labor Day parade and picnic roundup

    September 6

    Mike Bloomberg
    Mike Bloomberg  

  • Congress meets for a special joint meeting at Federal Hall in New York City. Mayor Mike Bloomberg, a Republican, who along with Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, invited Congress to the city, hosts a lunch for members before a wreath-laying ceremony at Ground Zero. The last time Congress held a similar event in another city was July 16, 1987, at Constitution Hall in Philadelphia, to mark the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a Democrat, starts and ends Day 3 of his Iowa trip with Democratic congressional hopeful John Norris. Dean, a physician, and Norris will hold a press conference at a Marshalltown, Iowa, hospital to discuss, what else, health care. Dean then heads to Des Moines to address the United Auto Workers convention. Then it's on to Boone, Iowa, where he'll talk shop with local doctors. He ends the day in Fort Dodge for another event with Norris.
  • Colorado's Democratic Senate nominee, Tom Strickland, makes campaign stops in Delta, Montrose and Grand Junction to discuss seniors issues.
  • Rep. Denny Rehberg, a Republican, holds a $1,000-a-PAC golf tournament in Columbia Falls, Montana.
  • Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tim Penny continues his Mainstreet, Mainstreem Bus Tour starting in Grand Rapids and ending up in Bemidji at a college. He'll then make his way back home to the Twin Cities.
  • Labor Day parade and picnic roundup

    September 7

  • Mending Fences, Continued: Former Vice President Al Gore and Rep. Bob Clement, the Democratic nominee for Senate, will headline the Middle Tennessee Labor Day Celebration. The annual Democratic rally and fund-raiser is held at the Charles Hand Farm. Tickets cost $15. About 2,000 people from across the state are expected to attend, organizers say. The celebration also will host a straw poll on a proposed state lottery, which voters will decide in the November 5 general election.
  • Delaware holds its primary. Not a lot to watch here. Sen. Joe Biden, a Democrat, is headed to a rematch this fall with his 1996 challenger, Republican Ray Clatworthy, who took just 38 percent in that matchup.
  • Colorado Debate Kickoff: GOP Sen. Wayne Allard and his Democratic opponent Tom Strickland go head-to-head at the Avalon Theater in Grand Junction, Colorado, in the first of 15, count 'em 15, debates of the campaign. The televised event is sponsored by Club 20, an organization of community and business groups in western Colorado.
  • Vermont Gov. Howard Dean spends his last day in Iowa (for the week) at a brunch fund-raiser for state Sen. Amanda Ragan in Mason City. He then heads to Ames for a fund-raiser for local candidate Joe Kelly.
  • Elizabeth Dole will hold a barbecue in Union County. Dole is heavily favored to win her September 10 primary over attorney Jim Snyder and GOP activist Ada Fisher.
  • Rep. Melissa Hart, R-Pennsylvania, begins a two-day fund-raising bonanza in her Pittsburgh-area district.




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