- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 4, 2000

Seeking leadership

Recent developments surrounding the Justice Department's criminal probe of the Clinton White House's mishandling of e-mail records has prompted the president of Provenance, a leader in software record keeping systems, to offer his firm's assistance to the administration.

We obtained a letter yesterday from Tony Summerlin to Vice President Al Gore, which says in part: "Your well-documented interest in information technology makes us confident you will take a leadership role in implementing changes that need to be made in electronic records management in the Executive Branch."

He continues: "We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you … in outlining how the White House could prevent future embarrassments for the U.S. government and the American taxpayers."

Provenance recently created the records management standard for the Pentagon, capturing, managing and preserving all of the military's e-mail records.

Reagan sacrifice

John McClaughry was senior policy adviser to Ronald Reagan, serving in the White House Office of Policy Development from 1980 to 1982. His association with the former president began in 1965.

"If any couple ever deserved a Congressional Gold Medal for distinguished service to their country, Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan would be that couple," Mr. McClaughry writes in a letter to Rep. Michael Castle, a member of the Banking and Financial Services subcommittee on domestic and international monetary policy, which oversees the U.S. Mint.

"I need not recite their accomplishments. I'm sure that has been amply demonstrated in your hearing record," Mr. McClaughry says, referring to testimony in support of HR 3591 to award the gold medal to the Reagans.

But now, the kicker: "However, I have a serious hesitation about endorsing the awarding of such a medal."

Good grief, Mr. McClaughry, what's your beef?

"Once you establish the idea that celebrated presidential couples merit such an award, it will not be long before another Congress controlled by Democrats sees fit to bestow an identical award on such as Bill and Hillary Clinton," he explains.

"Since President Clinton's current legacy in history seems to be having avoided Senate removal for compound grand jury perjury and obstruction of justice on a truly historic scale they will be sorely tempted to take some such act."

Mr. McClaughry says the Democratic members of Congress who boarded buses to travel to the White House on Mr. Clinton's day of impeachment, to "frolic with the perjurer … on the White House lawn, would certainly have no compunction about pushing through a bill to award a gold medal to Bill and Hillary."

Endorsing the other

Texas Gov. George W. Bush might want to rethink who he will vote for in the November presidential election.

Come to think of it, Vice President Al Gore might also reconsider his choice of candidates.

We've just obtained an intriguing analysis by the Tax Foundation of both presidential candidates' tax returns, and Mr. Bush would actually get a bigger tax cut under Mr. Gore's tax plan than under his own plan. And Mr. Gore, wouldn't you know, would get a bigger reduction under Mr. Bush's plan.

Here's how it shakes out: Mr. Bush paid a whopping $3.8 million in federal income tax in 1998. If his own tax cut plan had been the law of the land in 1998, he would have paid $33,000 less. Yet under Mr. Gore's plan, Mr. Bush would have paid $45,000 less.

Mr. Gore, at the same time, paid $53,000 on his personal tax return in 1998. Under his own tax plan, he'd have paid $1,500 less. But under Mr. Bush's plan, the vice president would have forked over $6,500 less to Uncle Sam.

Relief under the vice president's plan comes from a generous provision to allow taxpayers to take their charitable contributions "above the line." In 1998, Mr. Bush made $336,000 in contributions.

Mr. Gore would get his big tax cut from the proposed marginal tax rate reductions contained in the Bush plan.

Shedding season

Washington experienced its first humid day of the year yesterday, which means it won't be long until 250 unusual Washingtonians CIA, FBI, Secret Service and Pentagon personnel included start shedding.

That's right, members of the local Bare Buns Family Nudist Club are taking it off. Better yet, the club's women are currently collecting women's business attire not for themselves, of course, but to be given to financially disadvantaged dames entering the work force.

As Faith Wood, a Bare Buns member from Rockville, Md., can tell you: "A woman without appropriate clothing can't successfully interview for a job."

Before you laugh too much, the nudist club recently shipped clothing to war refugees in Croatia and earthquake victims in Armenia.

Anyone caring to take the clothes off their back for a good cause should contact the nudists at 703/281-7736. Please, no calls to the column.

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