Nasser lends hand to Bush ...
Ford Motor Co. CEO Jac Nasser, at a recent appearance in Washington, dodged a question about his presidential preference by saying, 'I'm a simple Australian who can't even vote in the U.S.' But federal campaign finance reports, compiled by the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, indicate Nasser is not quite the apolitical visitor he suggests. He gave $1,000 to the presidential campaign of Republican George W. Bush on Feb. 22, the records show. The Federal Election Commission says noncitizens may contribute if they have permanent resident status, rather than temporary work visas. And Nasser does, a company spokeswoman said. By law, Nasser could give another $1,000 to the Bush campaign this year.
... AND COOPER LIKES CHENEY - As president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Jo Cooper heads an organization that must be nonpartisan. But she likes Republican vice presidential nominee Dick Cheney. 'Cheney was my first boss in Washington,' Cooper said during last week's Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. The year was 1979. She was an EPA employee from North Carolina, sent to the nation's capital on an American Political Science Association fellowship. He was a freshman congressman from Wyoming. Her first assignment was in his congressional office. Her judgment: 'He's very solid. Very, very bright. A real people person. And he really makes everyone around feel at ease and very comfortable.'
BUICK SHOOTS TIGER - Buick is done sweating over Tiger Woods. First, the champion golfer committed to defend his title in this year's Buick Open, which starts Thursday, Aug. 10, in Grand Blanc, Mich. Then, in July, Woods shot not only golf balls, but a TV commercial and other ad media in Toronto for Buick. Until then, he had honored a commercial actors' strike that started May 1. 'We delayed for a couple of months, hoping the strike would end,' said John Wray, promotion and advertising coordinator for Buick. Woods typically promotes the Regal, but this campaign will be 'more Buick overall,' Wray said. The commercials will be broadcast later this year.
WHO WANTS TO BE ... A MASTER TECHNICIAN? Think all the money is in selling cars? Think again. John Brekke, a master technician at AutoNation's John Elway Toyota in Englewood, Colo., will get more than $40,000 in cash and prizes for winning 'Nation's Best' honors in Toyota's Master Technician Skills Contest. About 1,200 master technicians across the nation wrestled with written exams and head-to-head skills contests to qualify for the nationals, held at Toyota headquarters in Torrance, Calif. Brekke, a 20-year veteran who's been working on Toyotas for 18 years, beat out 17 challengers to win the national title.