- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 8, 2000

Impressive record

The field is so crowded for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Maryland that Inside the Beltway is analyzing each candidate's record and highlighting only the unusual.
Two weeks ago, for instance, we labeled physicist Howard David Greyber an "unusual" contender for political office because he once designed thermonuclear weapons at Livermore National Laboratory.
Then our phone rang.
"You want unusual, I'm unusual," said John Stafford, a former chief administrative law judge and Reagan administration official who's been lost among the eight candidates.
We asked for proof, and Mr. Stafford supplied us with a long campaign biography that, although impressive, contained nothing out of the ordinary.
Sorry, John.
"I dated Mary Jo Kopechne," he said. We started listening.
"I asked her to marry me," he continued, only Miss Kopechne drowned a short time later when Sen. Ted Kennedy's 1967 Oldsmobile 88 plunged into a Chappaquiddick tidal pond.
Anything else?
"And I dated Peggy Goldwater," said Mr. Stafford, referring to former Sen. Barry Goldwater's daughter. "I was a [University of] Maryland student at the time and she attended Mount Vernon College."
Pretty impressive, Mr. Stafford, who still wasn't finished.
"And I dated Heather Foley before she married [former House Speaker] Tom Foley," he said. "In fact, the word I got back from [former Sen. Henry M.] 'Scoop' Jackson's staff, where Tom worked before he ran in '64, was I didn't have a chance with her because, quote, 'She wants to marry a congressman,' unquote."
OK, Mr. Stafford, we'll count you among the unusual.
"And I dated the confidential secretary of [House Judiciary Committee Chairman] Peter Rodino right after the Nixon Watergate hearings," he said. "I heard the inside story about how Nixon's rights were trampled on through a totally partisan, vicious attack by the Democrats."
Incredible, sir.
"And I dated 'Cathy,' the confidential secretary to Ted Sorenson, who wrote all of John F. Kennedy's speeches," he said of the presidential speech writer.
"Growing up in this area like I did, if you were an active-type person, you had the opportunity to do this thing," he said. "And that is why I am the most experienced candidate."
Did you ever get married?
"Seven years ago," he said.
Your age?
"Fifty-nine, but I look 40."

Matt's million?

You'll have to turn on tonight's prerecorded "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" on ABC-TV to learn whether Regis Philbin hands over a quick million to Matt Phillips, press secretary to Rep. Steve Horn, California Republican.
Hint: Mr. Phillips is back toiling on Capitol Hill today.

Quick, take off

Guess who was taking off from the White Plains, N.Y., airport yesterday at the exact moment Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson and Co-chairman Patricia Harrison were landing for a news conference to denounce first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's use of a taxpayer-funded campaign plane?
You guessed it.
"Hillary's used taxpayer-funded aircraft for well over 50 campaign trips, costing taxpayers a minimum of $900,000, yet she's repaid the government a paltry three cents on the dollar about $34,000" says Mrs. Harrison said after her stage prop departed.

Mary didn't buckle

Buckle up, bureaucrats, or you could be busted by the guy sitting next to you.
We've obtained a memo written by Rich Lemley, director of the Environmental Protection Agency's Facilities Management and Services Division, who by order of President Clinton is requesting information from EPA employees about the use of seat belts in private or government vehicles used for official business.
"Official business is defined as those times when employees are traveling either locally during the work day or on travel status in a personal vehicle, taxi, airport van, or other mode of ground transportation," he says.
Mr. Lemley says all information supplied by employees for a seat-belt survey will be kept "strictly confidential."
In April 1997, Mr. Clinton issued Executive Order 13043 Increasing Seat Belt Use in the United States requiring federal agencies to report on seat-belt use by drivers and passengers conducting Uncle Sam's business.
The Transportation Department is charged with coordinating the effort, which concludes Feb. 28. The apparent aim is to develop programs to increase seat-belt use among federal employees.

Libertarian

Due to an omission in yesterday's column, Steve Dasbach was provided everything except his correct title, which is national director of the Libertarian Party.
Of course, when the Libertarians assume control of the White House, Mr. Dasbach will be a household name.

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