Rove, Top Fundraiser, To Visit For Istook
Presidential adviser Karl Rove will be in Oklahoma City next month to campaign for Congressman Ernest Istook, who seeks to unseat incumbent Governor Brad Henry, Democrat who upset Republican Steve Largent four years ago. Rove is one of the administration's top fundraisers. Thus far this election cycle, he has helped raise $10.4 million at 75 events. The McCarville Report Online has been told Rove will headline an October 9th fundraiser, the goal of which is raise $500,000 for Istook's campaign. Istook's supporters say his underdog campaign can succeed if he has enough campaign money to drive home his issues, which include Henry's support of allowing in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants. Rove, perhaps the single most controversial figure in the Bush Administration, is a longtime friend of Oklahoma City pollster and Istook consultant Chris Wilson of Wilson Research Strategies; the two worked together in Austin, Texas in the mid-1990s when Wilson was executive director of the Texas Republican Party and President Bush was governor of Texas. Such trips by Rove are said to be rare; while he's been known to help congressional candidates, help for gubernatorial candidates apparently has been far less frequent. Meanwhile, a campaign flier distributed by Istook on his recent county-by-county tour drew fire from Henry spokesman Paul Sund, who said it distorts Henry's record. An Istook spokesman said Henry can either "run for governor or run from his record."