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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Zeta-Jones helps co-star Clooney's dad's congressional campaign

By NANCY ZUCKERBROD
The Associated Press
7/20/04 5:19 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, soon to be seen on the big screen with George Clooney in "Ocean's Twelve," is spending some of her movie paycheck to help Clooney's dad in politics.

Zeta-Jones along with actors Warren Beatty and Red Buttons and singer Nancy Sinatra are the latest celebrities to contribute to the congressional campaign of Democrat Nick Clooney, father of George and brother of the late singer-actress Rosemary Clooney.

The donations were found on the Kentucky Democrat's fund-raising report for the period April 29 to June 30 that he filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Nick Clooney, who has raised about $825,000, had slightly more than $600,000 cash on hand.

His Republican opponent, Geoff Davis, reported about $720,000 cash on hand at the end of last month. Davis has raised nearly $1.5 million, though that included a $150,000 loan he made to his own campaign.

The two candidates are vying to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Ken Lucas, who represents a district that snakes along the Ohio river and includes much of the northern Kentucky suburbs near Cincinnati.

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Democrats have created a new Web site to raise questions about President Bush's military service during the Vietnam War.

Titled "Where Was Bush?," the site by the Democratic National Committee, highlights missing portions in the timeline of Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard from 1968 to 1973.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe said the site's launch coincides with the Department of Defense's admission last week that microfilm containing payroll records of Bush's service were damaged beyond use. That announcement was in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Associated Press in April.

The DNC site shows a timeline comparing Bush's and Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's lives during the war, lists unanswered questions and links to military records about Bush's service.

"We are not going to let it drop until the truth comes out. And you will continue to hear this up until Election Day," McAuliffe said in a conference call with reporters.

Bush served as a pilot, but did not go to Vietnam or fly in combat. Kerry was a decorated Naval officer in Vietnam.

The site can be seen at http://www.democrats.org/wherewasbush/

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Four senators, three House members, a lieutenant governor and Miss America 2003 have been added to the list of prime speakers for the Republican National Convention in New York, organizers said Tuesday.

"These speakers have seen President Bush's strong, steady leadership and each will attest to his character from a unique perspective," Bill Harris, the convention's chief executive, said in a statement. "Their vast experience and various points of view are a testament to the depth and breadth of the support for the Republican ticket in 2004."

They are: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, Sens. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Sam Brownback of Kansas; House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois and Reps. Anne Northup of Kentucky and Heather Wilson of New Mexico; Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele and Miss America Erika Harold.

They join a previously announced list of featured speakers, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Democratic Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia, Education Secretary Rod Paige, Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and George Pataki of New York, Vice President Dick Cheney and Lynne Cheney, and first lady Laura Bush and President Bush.

The Republican National Convention will be held at Madison Square Garden from Aug. 30-Sept. 2.

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Associated Press Writer Emily Fredrix contributed to this report.

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