Jeff vonKaenel, owner of the News & Review, got a letter this week from Marc Racicot, chairman of the Bush-Cheney ’04 Team. (The letter was placed in my mailbox here at work, and I went ahead and opened it. I think vonKaenel will be OK with that.) The letter begins, appropriately enough apart from the faulty capitalization, “Dear Mr. Vonkaenel.” But someone—Marc maybe?—has drawn a line across the “Mr. Vonkaenel” part and hand-written in “Jeff.” I guess that’s to give the letter, which is all about begging for money, a folksier, more personal air. “Will you become one of the first to join the Bush-Cheney ’04 Team as a Charter Member in California? I would be thrilled to tell the President you are with us. As a small token of appreciation and to welcome you to our team, I am proud to present you with the enclosed photo of the President and Laura Bush—complete with a special, personal inscription to you.” The letter goes on to warn that Bush needs vonKaenel’s help because next year’s “election could be very close. It could be difficult. The Democrats will be relentless in attacking the President, distorting his record and trying to mislead the voters.” There is a return form that begins, “Dear Marc,” and ends, “To help promote the President’s compassionate conservative agenda and to help nominate and reelect President Bush, I am sending a contribution of $100, $50, $25 or Other.” We didn’t send anything but kept the photo anyway.
Bush, by the way, has already raised $84 million and is looking to hit $170 million for next year’s primary, which pits him against no other Republican candidate. We expect him to do just fine.
Chico City Manager Tom Lando had his heart surgery in Sacramento on Friday, Oct. 10. I’ve learned that all went well and he’s already home recuperating. The most difficult chore at this time, I was told, is keeping him from overexerting himself. If a guy’s going to be bedridden for a few weeks, he could do a lot worse than having it happen in October, what with the MLB playoffs and the World Series as well as college and pro football. And the Kings’ season is right around the corner. We wish Lando a complete recovery and advise him to take advantage of a chance to lie around for the house for a while. We know we would.