Broadcast on COAST TO COAST: August 26, 2004
AA: I'm Avi Arditti with Rosanne Skirble, and this week on Wordmaster: a guide to some political talk in America.
This week, reporters asked President Bush about a television commercial that attacked the Vietnam War record of his Democratic opponent, John Kerry. The message was sponsored by a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, though in political lingo this organization is known as a 527.
PRESIDENT BUSH: "I can't be more plain about it, and I wish — I hope my opponent joins me in saying — condemning — these activities of the 527s. It's, I think they're bad for the system."
Five-twenty-sevens get their name from section 527 of the federal tax code. Organizations defined under this section can donate money for political causes without being taxed. But they must be unaffiliated with any candidate or party. Still ...
GRANT BARRETT: "If the 527 organization is promoting a popular point of view, they really can do a great deal to support a candidate without being specifically affiliated with that campaign. Of course, there's been congressional hearings about this, there's been accusations on both sides, but for the time being it continues."
AA: Grant Barrett is editor of a new book called "Hatchet Jobs & Hardball: The Oxford Dictionary of American Political Slang." We asked him about a number of terms in the news right now, including all the talk about color-coded states.
GRANT BARRETT: "This year because of what happened in the 2000 presidential election, red states and blue states is something that you keep hearing about. Red states are those states which supposedly will go Republican, or conservative. And the blue states are those states which supposedly will go to the Democrats because they're liber