S.C. Moves Debate Time for Lieberman
WASHINGTON (AP) _ South Carolina Democrats have moved a presidential candidates’ debate to the evening of May 3 in deference to Sen. Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew who would be unable to take part in a Saturday morning event.
The debate for the Democratic hopefuls, which had been scheduled for 8:30 a.m., will occur after sundown, which would allow Lieberman to observe the Jewish Sabbath.
Lieberman did not request the change, but party officials offered to move the event to ensure his participation, said Joanie Lawson, the executive director of the South Carolina Democratic Party in Columbia, S.C.
The state party also moved back the start of the Democratic convention from the morning to the afternoon.
During the 2000 campaign, Lieberman, then the vice presidential nominee, refused to campaign on Saturdays, the Sabbath.
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bob Graham raised slightly more than $1 million for his White House bid in his first month in the race even though he held no fund-raisers, his campaign said Monday.
The total put Graham behind several other candidates in early fund raising, including Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts, John Edwards of North Carolina and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut as well as Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.
Graham, who was recovering from Jan. 31 heart surgery, raised $1,050,000 after three weeks of telephone calls, his campaign said. He had just over $1 million on hand.
The Florida senator and former governor held his first presidential fund-raiser Friday, days after the March 31 deadline for the first quarter. The event, at the Interlachen Country Club in Winter Park, Fla., raised $150,000, said Jim Pugh, a Graham friend and Orlando businessman who organized the fund-raiser.
``My feeling is that the fund-raising is quiet, organized, respectful of the troops and the commander in chief and successful,″ said Robin Gibson, treasurer of the Graham campaign. ``We’re pleased with the progress.″
Graham plans trips to California and New Hampshire during the congressional recess later this month to raise money and introduce himself to Democratic activists.
Among the eight others in the race, Edwards has raised about $7.4 million so far this year, Kerry about $7 million, Gephardt $3.6 million and Lieberman around $3 million.
The candidates will file reports next week with the Federal Election Commission spelling out their campaign finances from January through March.
Associated Press Writer Bruce Smith in Charleston, S.C., contributed to this report.