Salon


All eyes on San Diego

SALON

June 6, 2006

By James Verini

Made up of sleepy beach towns basking in the sun just north of San Diego, the California 50th is surely one of the most placid congressional districts in the country. But nobody would have known that Friday evening at the community center in Carlsbad, where emotions were running high. As surfers stepped off a gorgeous beach nearby, Democrat Francine Busby and Republican Brian Bilbray were exchanging barbs in their last debate before Tuesday’s special election, an election “brought to you,” as the moderator put it, “by congressional corruption.” See Full Story


The tale of “Red Scorpion”

SALON

August, 2005

By James Verini

Before fallen lobbyist Jack Abramoff assumed his role as the most scrutinized man in Washington, he had a brief career as a budding Hollywood producer. He made just one movie, the 1989 Cold War bomb “Red Scorpion.” With its blatant propaganda, its collaboration with the apartheid South African government, and financial misdealing, it’s notable, even for Hollywood, for being one of the seamiest productions in recent memory. See Full Story


Missionary man

SALON

June, 2005

By James Verini

The buzz in some Scientology circles is that Cruise may have reached one of the highest echelons of the Church of Scientology. While not a lot is known about this level, known cryptically as OT-VII, Scientology observers say that attaining it could explain Cruise’s behavior in recent months. According to experts and the church’s own literature, OT-VII (“OT” stands for Operating Thetan, “thetan” being the Scientology term for soul) is the penultimate tier in the church’s spiritual hierarchy — the exact details of which are fiercely guarded and forbidden to be discussed even among top members. See Full Story


It’s the incompetence, stupid

SALON

December, 2004

By James Verini

In his Dec. 15 Salon article,  “The Revolution Failed — for Now,” Farhad Manjoo spotlights the “lack of coordination” between the Kerry campaign and the celebrated liberal third-party groups, MoveOn.org and America Coming Together. Lack of coordination? Let me tell you about the disorder and complacency inside the Kerry-Edwards campaign itself. Look no further for why Democrats lost the election. See Full Story


Battleground: New Mexico

SALON

October, 2004

By James Verini

Las Cruces is a quiet, dusty city near the southern border of New Mexico, and it is where I found myself in the first days of October, exhausted, unpaid, knocking on doors for the Kerry-Edwards campaign in this crucial battleground state. My job was to seek out registered Democrats and Independents, and, if they had plans to punch a hole for anyone but Kerry — besides Bush, New Mexicans, an independent-minded lot, might go for Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik or Ralph Nader — to try to convince them otherwise. Al Gore, after all, won the state by just 366 votes in 2000, after a retired schoolteacher named Chuck Davis found a box of uncounted ballots beneath a table in a polling station. See Full Story