- The Washington Times - Monday, February 28, 2000

11th commandment?

Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Arizona Sen. John McCain both claim the mantle of Ronald Reagan, notes Marsha Mercer of Media General News Service. She compares the Republican feud to assault charges against skater Tonya Harding, who is accused of hitting her boyfriend in the face with a hubcap.

"To prove their Reaganhood, Bush and McCain have not just violated their idol's famous 11th Commandment by speaking very ill of one another, they've done with words what Tonya Harding did with a hubcap," the reporter said.

Bradley vs. Dr. Laura

Bill Bradley lashed out at radio talk-show host Laura Schlessinger on Saturday, saying Mrs. Schlessinger's disapproval of homosexuality should disqualify her from having a television program.

The former New Jersey senator, in an interview broadcast over an Internet Web site that caters to homosexuals, said Mrs. Schlessinger's disapproval of homosexuality "makes me sick to my stomach." He also said Paramount should drop its plans to offer "Dr. Laura" on TV this fall.

Mr. Bradley commented in an appearance on Web-based GAYBC (www.gaybc.com) during nearly 30 minutes of interview, on-line chat and phone calls on GAYBC's "The Signorile Show."

Mr. Bradley said Mrs. Schlessinger represents "a kind of homophobic extreme that indicates not only unfairness, but a kind of deep-seated, border on hatred, and a total misunderstanding of what it means to be gay and lesbian."

When asked if Paramount should continue with its plans to offer "Dr. Laura" on TV this fall, Mr. Bradley said, "I personally don't think so," and appealed to Paramount to reverse its decision. "I bet that there are enough gays and lesbians in Paramount, making it a good company today, that Paramount would not have its own interests served by continuing this sort of thing. So, I think it should go off," Mr. Bradley said.

Morris vs. Clinton

"President Clinton should be happy biographer Edmund Morris is busy penning part two of his Theodore Roosevelt history and still suffering from the bitter criticism for using a fictional narrator to tell parts of 'Dutch,' the Ronald Reagan story," writes Paul Bedard in U.S. News & World Report.

"Seems he thinks Clinton, who is desperate for a positive bio, is a skunk. Asked his opinion, Morris says the prez is a 'person who lies and who disgraced the White House in a fashion that is painful.' What's more, 'he represents our cyberspecial time … he reacts to whatever impulse is being keyed in at a particular time.' For proof, he cites Clinton's answer to 'boxers or briefs?'

" 'There's something about Ronald Reagan that dissuaded questions which were demeaning to the dignity of the presidency, and there's something about Bill Clinton that attracts them.' Morris is equally tough on news media critics of his writing invention in 'Dutch.'

" 'I guess it makes them uncomfortably aware of their own fictionalizing.' Ouch! Like who? 'The well-known Washington novelist Bob Woodward has been very critical of my book,' he says of the reporter and biographer."

Delivering voters

Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III recognizes it's important for Texas Gov. George W. Bush to win tomorrow's Republican presidential primary in his state. But he says no one should expect a state political leader or a member of Congress to "deliver" the votes for a particular candidate.

Interviewed on CNN's "Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields" Saturday, Mr. Gilmore was asked about the failure of two "politically powerful" Republicans Michigan Gov. John Engler and U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire to secure victories for Mr. Bush in primaries in their states.

"Has the Republican establishment lost the right stuff? Are people like you just unable to bring an organization and put it at the disposal of a presidential candidate?" co-host Robert Novak asked Mr. Gilmore.

"You know, Bob, I don't know what the establishment is. I'm the son of a meat cutter myself and came up through the ranks … but I know this: I know that no one can deliver on the people," Mr. Gilmore replied.

He added: "The people have to decide for themselves who they're going to vote for. That's true in Michigan. It's true in Virginia.

"I think that governors and congressmen and senators can persuade by simply pointing out what they think is important, based upon their experience. But I don't think that anybody out there can deliver the people. They have to decide for themselves."

Ventura's 'trademark'

Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura yesterday criticized the Republican National Committee for using his name and picture in an appeal for money for Republican candidates.

Republicans recently sent out a fund-raising letter nationwide featuring the former wrestler's picture and the phrase, "Are you strong enough to take on Jesse Ventura?"

The letter sought donations for Republican candidates, saying the Reform Party could potentially take away votes from Republican contenders, a move that would aid Democrats.

Mr. Ventura, speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," said that although he was flattered by the campaign, his name and likeness are both trademarked from the days when he was known as "the Body" and toiled as a professional wrestler.

"I'm honored that I'm that powerful," Mr. Ventura said, but "they did not get my permission to do that. It's in the hands of my attorney right now."

The letters went out before Mr. Ventura left the Reform Party to become an independent this month, RNC spokesman Mike Collins told Reuters news agency. Mr. Collins said he did not know how many people received the fund-raising letter.

Mr. Collins said that Mr. Ventura had no grounds for a lawsuit since he was now a public figure who has left the wrestling ring. "The days in which he could charge for his likeness are over," he said.

Kim's resurrection

He was known as the "convict congressman," a once-rising Republican star who pleaded guilty to campaign-finance violations and was forced to wear an ankle bracelet on Capitol Hill.

Now former Rep. Jay Kim is trying to resurrect his disgraced career, campaigning for the GOP nomination in the 42nd Congressional District at the edge of Los Angeles' sprawl.

"Maybe this might give me the opportunity to tell them what I've done wrong and ask for forgiveness," he told the Associated Press.

Although Democratic Rep. Joe Baca is expected to win handily in November in the 42nd District, which has a significant edge in Democratic voter registration, the Republican primary race between Kim and businessman Elia Pirozzi is attracting attention, writes reporter Chelsea J. Carter.

"What's at stake here is reputation the Republican Party's reputation and Kim's reputation," said Michael LeMay, a political science professor at California State University at San Bernardino. "Party officials see it as a potential disaster if Kim gets the nomination … and Kim sees it as a way to restore his name."

Mr. Kim, 60, the first Korean-American elected to Congress, lost his job after pleading guilty in federal court to accepting more than $250,000 in illegal campaign contributions.

Concerned about Mr. Kim's image, the Republican National Congressional Committee recruited Mr. Pirozzi, who has lost two previous runs for Congress.

Who wants to marry …

The flap over "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?" the ill-fated Fox network broadcast that brought together Rick Rockwell and Darva Conger gets a political twist from late-night TV comics.

Jay Leno of "The Tonight Show": "I guess you all have heard now about that so-called millionaire, the guy that's not quite what he's cracked up to be but enough about George W. Bush."

Conan O'Brien of "Late Night": "She said the marriage was a mistake, but she didn't do it for the money. She also said someday she hopes to marry her true love, that hunky Steve Forbes."

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