- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 17, 2000

Just call it 'diversity'

An Internet site that California Assembly Democrats have linked to their own World Wide Web site condemns black Republicans as "Uncle Toms" and calls the Republican Party the "white wing," the Orange County Register reports.

Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, whose office is in charge of compiling the Assembly Democratic Caucus' Web page, said he's never heard of the Afronet Web site and doesn't know who created the link.

Afronet is listed as a "resource" on the Democrats' page (http:// democrats.assembly.ca.gov).

One article calls black conservatives "brainwashed house Negroes" and calls white Republicans "racist," reporter Hanh Kim Quach said.

Mr. Villaraigosa's office deferred comment to the Assembly Rules Committee. Jon Waldie, the panel's top administrator, said the parties' links were to be "as diverse as possible" and that Democrats probably won't be asked to remove the link.

But Republicans took offense. The link, said Assemblyman Ken Maddox, "demonstrates duplicity on the part of the Democratic Caucus to publicly bemoan racism, yet promote it on a state Web page."

Ward Connerly, a University of California regent and a black Republican, called it "a form of racism."

"While the Democrats are talking about the Confederate flag in South Carolina and pounding their chest about affirmative action, maybe they ought to take a look at their own circumstances," he said.

Gore loses a vote

President Clinton still has time to register to vote for his wife, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, in her Nov. 7 New York Senate election, but he can't vote for Vice President Al Gore in the state's important March 7 presidential primary.

He did not register to vote in New York by the Feb. 11 deadline for the primary, Jenny Palazola, of the Westchester County voters registration office, told The Washington Times yesterday.

Mr. Clinton also has not told Arkansas' Pulaski County voter-registration office that he wants to switch his address from Arkansas to New York. "Normally, we would receive something from the county he wishes to register in or the voter will write us," said Janice Hay, chief deputy county clerk.

On Jan. 6, when the Clintons moved into their $1.7 million Chappaqua, N.Y., home, Mr. Clinton said he planned to register in New York to vote for his wife.

"I've got a particular interest in the election up here next year. So I want to make sure my vote counts," he said. "I expect to vote in the election in New York."

To vote for Hillary, he has to register in New York no later than 25 days before the Nov. 7 general election.

Kerrey to New York

Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, who announced last month he would not seek a third term, said yesterday he has accepted an offer to become president of New School University in New York.

"I love education," Mr. Kerrey said in a statement released in Omaha by the Greenwich Village school.

"I recognize that education is the basis of our prosperity and our ability to govern ourselves, and I recognize that educators, more than anyone else, are true shapers of our future," he added.

The Democrat will take the post when his Senate term ends in January 2001.

Pandering to Sharpton

"There has been much press attention to the pandering of various Republicans over such race-related issues as the flying of the Confederate flag over the Capitol in South Carolina. And some of the Republican behavior has been revolting," writes syndicated columnist Michael Kelly.

"But nothing the Republicans have done comes anywhere close for partisan irresponsibility, for a cynical and really dangerous disregard of the national good, for sheer revulsion factor than the Democratic pursuit of the love of Al Sharpton," Mr. Kelly said, referring to perceived pandering by Bill Bradley, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Al Gore.

Bush's Achilles' heel

The presidential debate Tuesday "highlighted an intriguing difference between the two leading Republicans," USA Today's Walter Shapiro writes of George W. Bush and John McCain.

"Forget the gender gap, the income gap or even the credibility gap. What was striking was a factor that could prove to be Bush's Achilles' heel in primaries like South Carolina's that aren't limited to registered Republicans: The Texas governor seems to be afflicted with a yawning 'indie' gap a troubling deficit among nonaligned voters," Mr. Shapiro said.

"This was the impression after watching the debate through the prism of the moment-by-moment reactions of 46 likely state voters assembled by SpeakOut.com, a nonpartisan political Web site. These persuadable voters (26 Republicans, 20 independents) turned dials to register their feelings on a scale of 0-100.

"While the responses to McCain's answers tended to be virtually identical, at many crucial moments during the debate Bush scored as many as 20 points lower with independents than with Republicans. (The focus-group participants were easy graders who during the debate developed a hard-to-rationally-explain affection for Alan 'Let Me Finish' Keyes.)"

White House action

"Some Democrats close to the White House, who for months braced for a general election race against [George W.] Bush, in recent days have begun quietly putting out negative information about [John] McCain's record," the New York Times reports.

"Their worry stems in part, several Democrats said, from Mr. McCain's standing as a champion of campaign finance reform, who could therefore be more successful than Mr. Bush in challenging Mr. Gore's fund-raising practices. They are mindful that Mr. McCain has already delivered the more penetrating lines of attack about the vice president's conduct in raising money in 1996."

The Reagan card

"Endorsements haven't done much to help [George W.] Bush so far. In fact, they may even hurt him to the extent that grass-roots conservatives view the GOP establishment with skepticism," John J. Miller and Ramesh Ponnuru note on National Review's site (www.nationalreview.com).

"But there's one endorsement that can devastate him: Nancy Reagan's. She's known to be [John] McCain sympathizer, and the Arizona senator is angling for her public support. 'The only [endorsement] that would have any impact is Nancy Reagan,' he said. 'Ronald Reagan is the only transcendent person in the Republican Party. She would be representing him.' "

Like father, like son

Earlier this week, syndicated columnist James Pinkerton caught up with George W. Bush at the Emerald High School gymnasium in Greenwood, S.C., where Mr. Bush was taking questions from potential voters.

"He even finds time to talk to me. After a long day, I'm not ready with a deep policy question, so instead I ask him how he likes campaigning in the manner of his father (for whom I once worked).

"Indeed, the new Bush style is a lot like the old Bush style. George H.W. Bush was another not-so-stupendous speaker who found that his appeal came out better in an answer than in an oration.

"In 1980, H.W. found success with the 'Ask George Bush' format; in the 1988 primary campaign, after losing early, he returned to that format and found success yet again. But W. doesn't take the like-father-like-son bait.

"Perhaps still wincing at the memory of H.W. calling him 'my boy' in New Hampshire, this Bush steers his answer away from the dynastic past.

" 'My campaign is metamorphosizing from more formal to less formal,' he says, showing that he can still be wrestled to the ground by the English language, as his father was, even as he distances himself from his father's political legacy."

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