- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 18, 2000

Friendly mascot

Frank Rizzo, the late Republican mayor of liberal Democratic Philadelphia, never dreamed visitors to his city would be greeted by a herd of Republican elephants.
But that's just what Fred Testa, director of Philadelphia International Airport, has ordered 100 elephant planters, placed throughout the airport in celebration of the upcoming Republican National Convention.
"We're ordering 100 elephant planters, made of cast-stone," airport spokesman Mark Pesce tells this column. "There are two elephants on either side, with their trunks up, each weighing 235 pounds."
And Democrats griping about the planters will and won't be happy to know that the GOP herd will stay put, welcoming arrivals to the "City of Brotherly Love" for years, if not decades after the 30,000 Republican conventioneers depart Aug. 4.
Mr. Testa explains the elephant is a friendly beast.

View of America?

Rumors abound at the Voice of America of a possible reduction-in-force in the European Division, perhaps to make room for VOA's expansion into television.
A VOA contact says other language services could also be targeted for RIFs, with the Broadcasting Board of Governors to make an announcement either way as early as tomorrow. The VOA has 1,111 employees.
Last week, newly installed VOA Director Sanford J. Ungar met with employees of the English/ News Division and "got an earful" about shortcomings of the VOA news format and management of the newsroom, says our contact.
Tied to the disgruntlement, he adds, are rumors of a project generally described as "VOA-TV."
"Someone at the upper levels of the agency wants VOA to get into television," he says. "This has come under a lot of internal criticism by the broadcasting staff as being foolish and costly [as] VOA does not have the resources to do television and compete with the likes of CNN, BBC and other regional television broadcasters.
"The general attitude … is that they are going to do television, no matter what the outcome."
Last fall, the $100-million-plus foreign broadcast arm of the U.S. government became independent under a State Department reorganization bill.

Big bucks

In its annual survey, the National Journal reveals what the top trade association, think tank and special-interest group chiefs are paid each year. All figures are from 1998:
Eugene Upshaw Jr., NFL Players Association: $1.8 million
Frank G. Zarb, Association of Securities Dealers: $1.6 million.
Ronald L. Ziegler, Association of Chain Drug Stores: $1.4 million
Jack Valenti, Motion Picture Association of America: $1 million.
Robert E. Vagley, American Insurance Association: $925,000
Carroll A. Campbell, American Council of Life Insurance: $891,000
Jason S. Berman, Recording Industry Association of America: $861,000
Patrick G. Hays, Blue Cross/ Blue Shield Association: $838,000
William L. Ball III, National Soft Drink Association: $817,000
Decker Anstrom, National Cable TV Association: $812,000
Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., American Gaming Association: $752,500
Former Democratic Rep. Daniel Mica, Credit Union National Association: $688,000
Former Clinton Deputy Chief of Staff Roy Neel, United States Telecom Association: $512,000
Edwin J. Feulner, Heritage Foundation: $462,000
Former Democratic Rep. Patricia Schroeder, Association Of American Publishers: $380,000
Wayne LaPierre, National Rifle Association: $249,539
Sarah Brady, Handgun Control: $239,000
John J. Sweeney, AFL-CIO: $200,000
Al From, Democratic Leadership Council: $174,000
Gary Bauer, Family Research Council: $161,000
Patricia Ireland, National Organization for Women: $141,000
Former Democratic Rep. Peter Kostmayer, Zero Population Growth: $104,000
Former Democratic Rep. Dave McCurdy, Electronic Industries Alliance: $101,000.

I do?

We'd written that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich would not be reflecting on his recent divorce and adulterous affair with a young congressional aide, even if tomorrow's American Enterprise Institute talk is titled "Reflections of a Private Citizen."
But Mr. Gingrich might want to stick around AEI's Wohlstetter Conference Center until Friday, when the institute in a diversion from politics hosts a pre-Valentine's Day book forum titled: "I Do? The Thinking Person's Guide to Enduring Romance and a Happy Marriage."
Marriage rates are steadily declining, and despite all the talk about "family values" and the breakup of marriages, little attention is paid to what makes a successful marriage.
At the same time, old-fashioned "courting" has disappeared and no new customs have emerged to guide men and women toward the goal of a stable and fulfilling married life.
The AEI will bring together a panel of experts Judith Martin, "Miss Manners," among them who will discuss ways to put romance back into lives, revive courting, and prepare the heart and mind for love and marriage.

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