In the News and On the Air: Close Races, Racial Rancor

Fighting for his seat. We're preparing for a scheduled chat with Congressman Tom Reynolds, and you're welcome to help. Send us your question using the "E-mail Us" link to the right.

Congressman Reynolds is among the busiest politicians this fall. He leads Republican efforts to keep control of the House.

He also faces an unexpectedly tough race to keep his own seat in upstate New York, where his official bio says he has received awards naming him "Hero of the Taxpayer" and "Champion of the Dairy Farmers."

This year, Reynolds' years of constituent service will be weighed against a scandal.

His name surfaced as people asked who-knew-what-and-when about former Representative Mark Foley’s inappropriate e-mails to House pages.

Do you have a question for the Congressman? No promises, but if your question fits into the interview, we may ask it.

Bush v. Kerry, Round 2. Much of the news today involves the effort to spin the election debate.

President Bush and Senator John Kerry have resumed their duel from 2004.

Kerry made a remark about uneducated people getting "stuck in Iraq," Bush demanded an apology on behalf of the troops and Kerry called his critics "right-wing nut jobs."

That almost perfectly matched the language of a 2004 video parody, on the website JibJab, showing Bush and Kerry and the elevation of their political discourse.

As Ohio goes... The deciding state in 2004 could be important again.

NPR's Mara Liasson has been traveling Ohio, where she found a Republican official who says his party has kept its "machine well-oiled" from the last election.

A Democrat says, "We're a lot better organized than we were then. And I think the intensity of feeling is greater."

Ohio voters are deciding a Senate race and some key Congressional contests.

Apartheid’s last leader. There was much intensity of feeling in South Africa following the death of a former President.

P.W. Botha has died at the age of 90.

He was the last hard-line supporter of apartheid to lead South Africa.

His former foreign minister, Pik Botha, told Renee Montagne this morning, "It is sad that you have here a man who wanted to be strong enough to resist Soviet Expansionism, and yet could not take the plunge inside the country to get to a stage where we could honor fundamental human rights, remove apartheid completely and stop the oppression of blacks."

Botha eventually became a private citizen in a nation with a black president, Nelson Mandela, who said today that Botha was a reminder of a "horribly divided past," but also of how his country ultimately came together.

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