- The Washington Times - Friday, February 4, 2000

Sexy bag women

Mary Ann Gleason, executive director of the Washington-based National Coalition for the Homeless, is stuck between a silk nightie and a flannel nightgown.
"Anything accurate you could report would be welcome," she tells Inside the Beltway, after an earlier report out of Boston said the homeless coalition spurned an offer of 20,000 flannel nightgowns and a gift of $200,000 because "UndercoverWear," which also makes skimpy panties, exploits women.
"The fundamental reason we couldn't accept the offer is because we are not an umbrella organization that distributes to shelters we don't have the capacity to do it," says Miss Gleason. "We are a public advocacy and awareness organization only, so I encouraged her to go to the local shelters and make donations."
"Her" being Debbi Karpowicz, the spokeswoman for UndercoverWear, who complained to the Associated Press that Miss Gleason's personal views about women's lingerie stand in the way of homeless women staying cozy and comfortable this winter.
"She basically said to me there was no way they were ever going to get involved with us," Miss Karpowicz was quoted as saying. "They felt UndercoverWear exaggerated wealth and exploited women."
"I didn't say that," Miss Gleason tells this column. "What they do and what they sell are their issues. The real issue is: 'Were we able to distribute?'"
UndercoverWear sells its attractive line of underwear through "lingerie parties" similar to Tupperware parties, but clearly of different shape and fabric.
Inside the Beltway Thursday was able to track down Rep. Rick A. Lazio, New York Republican and chairman of the House subcommittee on housing and community opportunity, and ask him where he stands on underwear for the homeless.
"We should be encouraging charity and compassion," said the congressman, "not denying our most vulnerable families $200,000 in homeless shelter resources."

Pass the long johns

Unlike Democratic presidential leader Al Gore, Republican presidential front-runner (if he can still be called that) George W. Bush is skeptical of global warming. Now he has some ammunition.
Records from the National Climatic Data Center reveal that while Texas, Mr. Bush's home state, warmed between 1979 and 1998, it remains cooler today than it was early in the the 20th century.
For the 103-year period between 1895 to 1998, NCDC records show, the year-round temperature in Texas declined by more than half a degree Fahrenheit.
And it wasn't winter winds that made it colder.
The average summertime temperature in Texas has dropped 0.38 degrees Fahrenheit over the century.

Gephardt's hangar

Who says House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt doesn't support a strong national defense?
In fact, look what it's gotten him.
The Missouri Democrat has earned the title "February Porker of the Month," after earmarking $275 million for five F-15 fighter jets that the Pentagon apparently doesn't need or want.
"The fighters will be built at a Boeing facility in Gephardt's home district," explains Citizens Against Government Waste, which bestows the monthly award.

Scratch Santoro

We'd written earlier this week that Hillary Rodham Clinton was seeking volunteers to host house parties in New York to coincide with her formal announcement Sunday of her candidacy for the Senate.
Upon written request, she promised to mail to each host a "House Party kit."
Just for kicks, we added: "Mention you read about it in Inside the Beltway and receive two kits."
Wouldn't you know, people like George Santoro, of Centreville, Va., took us seriously (or at least pretended to).
"I read about this in the Inside the Beltway column … and they said I could receive two kits if I mentioned that. Mr. Santoro wrote to Mrs. Clinton. "Can I get a second one?"
Efficient campaign that she has, Mr. Santoro Thursday received a long-distance phone call from Hillary2000 headquarters in New York.
"Looks like I won't even be getting one house party kit," he reports. "A lovely young woman by the name of Jenna called to let me know that she didn't have time to waste on requests that were obviously 'mocking.'
"I wonder if I'll get audited this year, though?"

No wonder

"There really is a gender gap in American politics today but it's not the one reported by the Washington Press Corpse [sic]."
First sentence of a Campaign 2000 column, published by the Georgetowner newspaper, which some might argue isn't inaccurate.

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