- The Washington Times - Friday, February 18, 2000

Hillary Rodham Clinton and her Senate campaign staff are trying to make amends with the waitress she stiffed early last week and stop the headlines caused by her faux pas.
The first lady mailed Tricia "Trish" Trupo a $100 U.S. savings bond Thursday, six days after her failure to tip became news from coast to coast and across the ocean.
"We all felt so bad about the mix-up that we sent a $100 bond to Ms. Trupo's son, Joshua," said Howard Wolfson, her campaign spokesman.
When asked who paid for it, he said Mrs. Clinton and the "roughly half-dozen" campaign aides who accompanied her to the upstate New York restaurant Feb. 8 contributed. He declined to say how much Mrs. Clinton personally kicked in.
Mrs. Clinton also is writing Mrs. Trupo a personal note thanking her "for her hospitality and saying she" looks forward "to coming back" to the Village House Restaurant in the small farming community of Albion, he said.
Mrs. Clinton's campaign manager Bill de Blasio telephoned Mrs. Trupo Thursday to tell her about it, Mr. Wolfson added.
Mrs. Trupo, a single 31-year-old mom who earns $2.90 an hour plus tips, plans on using the money for her 11-year-old son's education. She works 33 hours a week and has no health insurance.
Mrs. Clinton, who receives extensive support from unions, is pushing to increase the minimum wage, improve education and make health insurance affordable. She stopped in the farming community with more than a dozen reporters, aides and Secret Service agents in tow after making a speech saying that farmers "are really hurting these days" and need federal subsidies.
Early in the day Thursday, Mrs. Trupo received a $20 tip from a woman claiming to give it to her on behalf of Mrs. Clinton.
Mrs. Trupo's boss, Alex Mitrousis, said U.S. Census Bureau employee Cheryl Samilio Meyer left the $20 with her card, explaining that she sometimes travels with the first lady.
Ms. Meyer, who works for the bureau's Buffalo office, did not return a phone message. She previously worked as a "field operations manager" for New York Comptroller H. Carl McCall, according to news reports. Mr. McCall, a Democrat, attended Mrs. Clinton's "official" campaign announcement in Westchester County Feb. 6.
Mr. Wolfson said he didn't "know anything about" Ms. Meyer's action.
Mrs. Clinton's trip to the restaurant in Albion was the first public stop on her first "official" campaign swing.
After The Washington Times reported that the small town was buzzing about her failure to leave a tip for the waitress after eating two orders of eggs, the story also appeared in the Buffalo News' Sunday editions.
Buffalo is a key city in Mrs. Clinton's battle with New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, the Republican who is expected to challenge her for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York Democrat.
The story spread to New York City, London and across the country on radio talk shows and TV, where "Tonight" show host Jay Leno joked about the incident. It also prompted more than 100 visitors to a conservative Web site to send the waitress a total of more than $500.
Meanwhile, life in Albion still hasn't returned to normal.
"It is getting crazier," Mr. Mitrousis said Thursday. "Still, people are calling from all over the country … Why is there such a big interest? I can't understand. It was an oversight."

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