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OBAMA DEFENDS TAX PLANS

RICHMOND, VA.

Democrat Barack Obama on Wednesday brushed aside Republican charges that his tax plan amounts to socialism, but he acknowledged it involves "spreading around opportunity" so that wealthier Americans - like himself - pay a little more to help lower-rung workers. The core of Obama's plan would reverse tax cuts for Americans at the high end of the income scale that were passed during the Bush era. He noted that when those Bush-backed cuts were first proposed, his Republican opponent, John McCain, opposed them as irresponsibly targeted. "Was John McCain a socialist back in 2000?" Obama asked at a news conference. Responding to the late-campaign line of attack repeated daily by McCain and running mate Sarah Palin, he said, "I think it's an indication that they have run out of ideas."

Where they went

John McCain: Manchester, N.H., before holding rallies with his running mate in Ohio.

Sarah Palin: Findlay, Ohio, and then campaigned with McCain in Green and Cincinnati.

Barack Obama: Richmond and Leesburg, Va.

Joe Biden: Pueblo and Colorado Springs, Colo.

On the trail

Election night fees: Obama's campaign, awash in money after raising a record-shattering $150-million last month, is asking news organizations to pay anywhere from $410 to $1,870 depending on where they want to be and if they want telephone or Internet service in Grant Park in downtown Chicago.

McCain POW video: The French national archive has posted online extended footage of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain being interviewed as a bedridden prisoner during the Vietnam War.

ACORN funds: House Republican leader John Boehner on Wednesday urged President Bush to block all federal funds to the grass-roots community group, which has been accused of voter registration fraud.

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