- The Washington Times - Friday, April 28, 2000

Hillary's promise

First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton has vowed not to run for president in four years if elected to the Senate even if Republicans win the White House this year.
"I am going to serve my six-year term as senator. I owe it to the people of New York," the first lady said Wednesday during a town meeting in Buffalo telecast by CNN.
However, Mrs. Clinton's husband made the same promise the last time he ran for governor of Arkansas and then changed his mind in time to win the presidency in 1992.
Mrs. Clinton also addressed the Elian Gonzalez case, again defending the government's armed removal of the 6-year-old boy from his Miami relatives. She said it was "regrettable, but I understand the necessity for it."
She added that she hoped the boy's father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, could be persuaded to remain in the United States with his son.
"I hope that this taste of freedom and the opportunity to be with his son and to have this time perhaps would lead to that," Mrs. Clinton said.
Mrs. Clinton also said she could back legislation that would outlaw partial-birth abortions except in cases where a woman's health was at stake. That exception would include mental health, which means such a law would provide no deterrent whatsoever, critics charge.

New Jersey memories

"The day after being labeled a 'walking ATM machine,' multimillionaire former investment banker Jon Corzine launched a new television spot attacking former New Jersey Gov. Jim Florio for the $2.8 billion tax increase that helped cost Florio his job in 1993," Roll Call reports.
The two men are vying for the Democratic nomination for a U.S. Senate seat.
"After enduring relentless attacks from Florio for his lavish personal spending on the race, Corzine responded Wednesday, releasing a 30-second spot produced by Shrum, Devine & Donilon titled 'Remember,' " reporter Rachel Van Dongen writes.
" 'Remember … when Jim Florio was governor… . A $2.8 billion tax increase, 280,000 lost jobs, 200,000 more people without health insurance, auto insurance rates out of control,' an announcer says in the spot, which began running in the New York City and Philadelphia media markets that blanket the Garden State. 'New Jersey's economy left in shambles.'
" 'Do we want to go back to that?' the ad asks, superimposing a picture of Florio, then one of Corzine. 'Jon Corzine is a new voice for New Jersey. Welcome to the future.' "
Recently, Mr. Florio accused Mr. Corzine of building his fortune on "slave oil and blood money" because Goldman, Sachs helped finance a controversial pipeline project in Sudan that enriched the Sudanese government, Roll Call said.
"Corzine responded by trying to link Florio to companies represented by his law firm that were involved with child labor in Colombia and the Philippines."

Phony excuse?

White House officials have been telling Congress and federal prosecutors that they can't turn over more detailed phone records, which have been subpoenaed, because of phone-system limitations. What they've failed to mention is that they paid AT&T; programmers to install those limitations, WorldNetDaily (www.worldnetdaily.com) reports.
Sheryl Hall, former White House phone manager, in an interview with reporter Paul Sperry, said that in installing a new White House phone system in 1993 and 1994, Clinton administration officials had AT&T; spend months making sure that overseas phone calls could not be traced to a particular phone line.
"For years, while routinely thumbing through AT&T;'s long-distance records, Hall says she was shocked by spikes in White House calls to certain countries during and after the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign. 'Each month, I would review the phone records,' she said, 'and I'd see hundreds of calls to China, hundreds of calls to Switzerland, hundreds of calls to France, each month in 1996 and 1997 and 1998.'
" 'Of course, officials from the National Security Council and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative make a lot of overseas calls from the White House. But when you sit and look at it month after month, and when you see what was going on in the paper, it's unusual,' Miss Hall said."

Indiana primary

A congressional seat that was held by the Democrats for 20 years before the Republican sweep six years ago is up for grabs in a wide-open, 11-candidate primary, the Associated Press reports.
By November, both parties could spend $2 million on the House seat, now held by conservative third-term Rep. David McIntosh. Mr. McIntosh is leaving to run for governor of Indiana.
Six Republicans and five Democrats are vying for their parties' nomination Tuesday. The Republican front-runners are former radio host Mike Pence, who has strong name recognition, and Jeff Linder, a state representative. Mr. Pence leads in fund raising, with more than $291,000 as of March 31.
Doug Davidoff, Indiana Democratic Party spokesman, said there is no clear front-runner in his party.
The Indiana district leans Republican, but come November the GOP faces a potentially major complication. Bill Frazier, a former Republican candidate who lost to Mr. McIntosh in 1994 by fewer than 400 votes in the primary, intends to run as an independent and could siphon votes from the GOP.

Talk-show gift

Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson will come bearing gifts to the the New Media Seminar in New York City, sponsored by Talkers magazine this weekend.
The RNC, in a press release, said it has produced a compact disc containing 18 of Vice President Al Gore's most embarrassing moments, including statements that "Bill Clinton is one of our greatest presidents," "I invented the Internet," and Mr. Gore's famous line about "No controlling legal authority."
Mr. Nicholson will give away the CD to hundreds of talk-show hosts and producers attending the event, and will also ship the disc to talk-show hosts who request them.

Escaping the boxes

A survey scheduled to be released Friday by the American Civil Rights Institute shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans want to end the government's racial classifications.
The poll, conducted by Zogby International, found strong support for eliminating the race question on government forms, such as the census.
"Americans are tired of these silly little boxes," said Ward Connerly, chairman of the Institute. "They want to put an end to America's long affair with racial classifications."
Nearly 4 in 5 voters (77 percent) want the government to completely dispense with race boxes on government forms, the survey found, including 71.7 percent of Democrats and 64.6 percent of blacks.
"Even when told that getting rid of these boxes may prevent authorities from identifying some discrimination, a majority (58 percent) of American voters want to get rid of the race boxes on government forms," the group said in a prepared statement.

Citizen Coors

"Nostalgic for the heady days of the conservative revolution? A new book 'Citizen Coors: An American Dynasty' details the unconventional brewing family's efforts to build a Right-thinking ideas infrastructure in Washington," National Journal reports.
"Author Dan Baum, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, evenhandedly sketches the Coors' doings in the 1970s and early 1980s, including the family's efforts to champion Paul Weyrich (then a little-known Senate press secretary), James Watt (an out-of-work bureaucrat who, thanks to the Coors, was later named Interior secretary), and Oliver North (who, according to the book, gladly took Joe Coors' money to arm the Nicaraguan Contras)."

Incorruptible

Only corrupt lawmakers can be bought.
That is Texas Gov. George W. Bush's response to those who have criticized his raising funds from big-money donors. The critics say Mr. Bush is now beholden to his donors.
"Either you're crooked or you're not crooked, I guess is the way to put it bluntly," he said on Thursday night's PBS "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer." "Either you're somebody who can be bought, or you're somebody who's running on principle. My job is to convince the American people that I'm a man running on principle."
Besides his own record-shattering primary fund-raising machine, Mr. Bush helped the Republican Party raise a record $21.3 million Wednesday night at a Washington gala.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or by e-mail (Pierce@twtmail.com).

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