- The Washington Times - Monday, April 3, 2000

Threatening a judge

"Egged on by the White House, Democrats are signaling intentions to stop U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth, the jurist at the epicenter of many Clinton scandal suits, from moving up the ladder," Paul Bedard writes in U.S. News & World Report.

" 'If he had a strategy to get to a higher level, this isn't the way to do it,' says one Dem, suggesting that senators allied with President Clinton would block a promotion to the appeals or Supreme Court should George W. Bush win the presidency. Truth be told, the cases are assigned to the judge. Lamberth allies, however, brush off the threats and say the judge's tough decision against the White House such as the Filegate case are in reaction to deceptions."

Lazio vs. Giuliani

A Republican congressman who suspended his Senate ambitions to allow New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani a clear race against first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton said yesterday he was again ready to run against Mr. Giuliani.

With Mr. Giuliani's support apparently waning among voters after his unsympathetic response to the third high-profile fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by New York City police in 13 months, Long Island Rep. Rick A. Lazio said on ABC's "This Week" yesterday that he was ready to get back in the race.

"If I can make a fair case to Republicans in New York to get the nomination, I will be back in this race," said Mr. Lazio, who once had the support of Gov. George E. Pataki, the titular head of the party in New York state. "And I think that's up to the Republican leaders. They're going to have to look at the slipping poll numbers for the mayor."

Two opinion polls published last week showed Mr. Giuliani's handling of the March 16 shooting of Haitian-American Patrick Dorismond had eroded his lead with voters across New York State, particularly Jews and Hispanics.

The polls showed Mr. Giuliani was now in a statistical dead heat with Mrs. Clinton seven months before the November election.

All's FAIR?

Sen. Spencer Abraham's campaign has labeled the Federation for American Immigration Reform a "hate group."

In a Friday news release, the Michigan Republican's campaign praised the decision of Detroit's WDIV-TV "to pull a grossly inaccurate political advertisement" funded by FAIR, which the campaign termed "an organized population control, hate group."

In Friday's Wall Street Journal, columnist Paul Gigot said Mr. Abraham's Democratic challenger, Rep. Debbie Stabenow, has been "strangely silent … about FAIR's anti-Abraham barrage." Mr. Gigot lauded Mr. Abraham as "a senator willing to fight his own party's nativist wing," and asked whether Mrs. Stabenow is "so desperate to win she won't denounce a campaign of fear?"

In one newspaper ad, FAIR said Mr. Abraham's pro-immigration policy is "trying to make it easier for terrorists like Osama bin Laden to export their war of terror to any city street in America."

Censusless

Matt Glavin, an Atlanta lawyer who says most of the questions being asked on the census long form are "an invasion of privacy" and who's fighting them in court, received neither a long nor a short form in the mail from the Census Bureau this year.

Mr. Glavin, president of the Southeastern Legal Foundation, said he found that surprising. After all, Mr. Glavin successfully fought the U.S. Census Bureau in court over President Clinton's proposal to use statistical sampling to estimate the size of certain populations.

"How is it the one guy they wouldn't want to tick off Matt Glavin, as in Glavin versus Clinton hasn't got a census form? … Me, who took them to the U.S. Supreme Court and won," Mr. Glavin was quoted as saying in Saturday's editions of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.

In fact, Mr. Glavin told the newspaper no one on his street received a census questionnaire. He said he called the bureau, but it didn't help.

Finally, a neighbor went to a census office to pick up about 10 forms, Mr. Glavin said.

Dorothy Stephens, 76, who lives in a different Georgia county than Mr. Glavin, said she can sympathize with his and his neighbors' plight. She said she did not receive a census questionnaire either. And when she called to request one, she was told one would be mailed "sometime after the middle of April."

"I think they need to get their act together… . I'm not going out, hunting [a census form] when they're supposed to be putting them out," Mrs. Stephens told the newspaper.

Hastert's critique

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert says he agrees with Energy Secretary Bill Richardson that the administration was "sleeping at the switch" in the weeks and months leading up to the current gas-price increases.

On CNN's "Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields," co-host Robert Novak asked the Illinois Republican why the House of Representatives is not moving to "remove the 4.3 [cents-a-gallon] so-called 'temporary' gas increase that was passed by the Clinton-Gore administration in 1993."

"We may… . The problem is that's not the real issue out there," Mr. Hastert said.

He then explained what he perceives to be the real problem: $2-a-gallon gasoline, out of which "4 cents doesn't make a lot of difference."

The reason for the high prices? "We haven't dealt with our allies, quote, unquote," Mr. Hastert said.

He specifically mentioned the Kuwaitis, "who we've bailed out a number of times with our own men and women."

Nor has this country dealt firmly with Mexico, "who we've bailed out financially," Mr. Hastert said.

Instead, "we let those folks go ahead and control the supply of oil, forced up our prices," the House's top Republican observed.

Bush to call off trip

Texas Gov. George W. Bush has abandoned plans to visit Europe in the next few weeks, the London Daily Telegraph reports.

Mr. Bush, who has sewn up the Republican Party's presidential nomination, has ducked out of the European trip in favor of what one adviser called "less extensive foreign travel," probably one or two "short trips" to Central or South America.

Although an official Bush campaign spokesman said that no decision has been made, friends of the Texas governor say he will not now make the European visit.

Buchanan wins Maine

The Reform Party of Maine's tiny state convention on Saturday elected a five-member slate of national delegates supporting presidential hopeful Patrick Buchanan.

Mr. Buchanan addressed the gathering in Augusta prior to the voting, as did Natural Law Party candidate John Hagelin.

Outlining a platform emphasizing "economic nationalism," Mr. Buchanan said the duty of the federal government in crafting trade policy must be to "stand up clearly for America first."

Mr. Buchanan, whose campaign brochures stress his opposition to abortion, made no mention of that or other social issues during the opening remarks of his 45-minute presentation to fewer than 100 listeners inside the auditorium of Cony High School, the Associated Press reports.

There were only about 30 voters.

$1 million gift

Billionaire Eli Broad has given $1 million to the Los Angeles host committee for the Democratic National Convention in hopes of helping fund-raisers meet their final goal.

The donation is the first by Mr. Broad to the organization he co-chairs, and it puts the fund-raising total to date at $26.6 million of the $33.5 million goal to cover convention costs, the Associated Press reports.

Republican Mayor Richard Riordan, who recently took control of the local host committee, has been urging potential donors to help make up the nearly $7 million difference.

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