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by Jennifer Hampster, 9/29/00

Dc: This is DCR, a news program not to be believed. The presidential campaign of Senator Sam Spleen of the Enough! Party has bogged down under the weight of a series of accusations that his campaign team is working overtime to rebut. Jennifer Hampster reports.

Jennifer: By all accounts, the trouble started for Senator Spleen last Thursday at a campaign stop at an elementary school in Medford, Oregon. The Senator drifted "off message" and instead of talking about education and his plan to hire 100 thousand new lunchroom monitors, he tried to make the case for his prescription drug program... called MedMe!

Spleen: Has anyone here ever had a sick dog?

(sfx: kids respond)

You have? You? And you? Well what do you do when your dog is sick? Go to the veterinarian, right? Well do you know... when I take my dog to the vet, he does not have to fill out any papers. Not a one!

(sfx: kids hubub up)

But... when I when I took my mother-in-law to the doctor a week later, do you think she had to fill out any papers? You bet she did! They made her fill out papers for 20 whole minutes, and she's an old lady! She gets tired licking stamps! Never mind writing! So shouldn't we at least treat our mothers-in-law like dogs? Huh? I sure do, and I think we all should!

(sfx: kids polite applause)

Jennifer: Senator Sam Spleen. Helen Finkel is chair of the Mothers-In-Law Discussion Underground or MILDU.

Helen: (phone) "We should treat our mothers in law like dogs?" I can't believe he would say that, but when you're a moron I guess anything is possible. It was only a few years ago a lot of our mothers-in-law were soccer moms, so you bet there's gonna be political fallout from this!

Jennifer: Al Rondozo is assistant manager of the Spleen campaign and is the Senator's Director of Apologies.

Al: The Senator was misinterpreted. What he meant was not that mothers-in-law should be treated like dogs, but rather, in the eyes of the government, mothers-in-law are no better than dogs.

Jennifer: Are you sure you want to say that?

Al: (backpedaling) And dogs are no better than mothers-in-law either, let's be clear about that.

Jennifer: Again, a response from Helen Finkel of MILDU.

Helen: (phone) The man is a Senator's lackey... and the Senator himself is a puppet of the organized anti-mother in law groups. What can I say? So, when you pay serious attention to a puppet's lackey, you're gonna hear things that sound ridiculous.

Jennifer: (vo) In addition to being condemned twice in one week by the nation's largest group of organized mothers, Senator Spleen was also roundly criticized by veterinarians who were overwhelmed with calls asking if they could now see human patients. AND Senator Spleen's campaign was rocked by the revelation on Friday that Senator Spleen's dog has never seen the inside of a veterinarian's office. That information resulted from a congressional hearing into medical paperwork, where the Senator's dog, Harley, was called to testify.

Dog: Arf arf arf argghghghgh whimper woof.

Translator: I have received no medical attention since the day I joined the Spleen family.

Congresswoman: And Mr. Harley... have you ever even been sick?

Dog: Arf arf arf argghghghghghg whimper woof.

Translator: Once, I felt a little ill after I licked his mother in law. But I ate some dandelions, and got better.

(sfx: hearing hubub, up and fade)

Jennifer: Harley's testimony put a "smoking gun" in the hands of Senator Spleen's critics. If the dog had never been to a veterinarian, then the Senator's cute story about the paperwork the dog and his mother in law had to fill out... is an obvious fabrication. Again, Spleen campaign apologist Al Rondozo.

Al: So what? The fact that the Senator's dog has never been to a doctor only means that the Senator was... utilizing his imagination... to illustrate a factual situation.

Jennifer: (int) That's a fancy way of saying... he lied.

Al: It was a LITTLE WHITE lie about a family pet. Which is a long standing presidential tradition that started, I believe, with Mr. Nixon and his comments about the dog Checkers.

Jennifer: (int) Are you SURE you want to make that comparison?

Al: They're different breeds, of course, but all dogs are related.

Jennifer: Also this week, a group of former physicians, the Malpracticing Suit Loser's Association of America, endorsed Senator Spleen's "pills first" health plan, MedMe.

Doctor: (phone) Anything that will take the pressure off of doctors, and give injured patients somebody else to sue... anybody else, but especially politicians and government agencies with really deep pockets... we support that, you bet.

Jennifer: (vo) And to make matters even worse, Dennis Lewis, the "lowly garage mechanic" who found Senator Spleen in late summer and claimed the million dollar prize that brought the campaign such steady, good publicity, has now fallen out of favor with the law.

(sfx: press conference)

Lewis: The accusations... are false. I've worked on a lot of cars. And I can't remember a single one where I knowingly replaced the air bag canister with a container of pressurized whipped cream. (chuckle) Although the thought is kinda amusing. But really... tire pressure is a bigger factor.

(sfx: Excited reporter hubub)

Jennifer: And finally... supposedly "anonymous" e-mails that were sent early in the campaign claiming that Enough! Party challenger, Governor Dick Burstyn, was an "incompetent boob" and a frequent loser at Scrabble, have now been traced to the computer of Spleen campaign manager Rhonda Alonzo. Alonzo was unavailable for comment, but assistant campaign manager Al Rondozo said the charges have no basis in fact.

Al: I'm sure, given the Internet, you could trace just about any anonymous statement about anything to anyplace anywhere. I know I've seen a lot of really weird, twisted and even sick stuff on Rhonda's computer screen. But that doesn't make her a bad person. It just makes her weak. And we're all weak in one area or another. (pause) That's all!

Jennifer: All this adds up to a campaign under siege, doing it's best to put out fires in the dwindling days of a hard fought campaign. Sources close to anonymous leakers who are connected to insiders high up in the campaign say that pressure is increasing for the Senator to withdraw and throw his support to someone... anyone else. But Spleen remains stubborn. And perhaps all these ethical fires can be extinguished, but even if they are, it's doubtful that after the blazes have burned themselves out, there will be enough ashes left for Senator Spleen to, like the Phoenix, rise again. I'm Jennifer Hampster.


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