- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 15, 2000

Noble: Chip Saltsman for moving the Mayberrys out of a dirty patch of Al Gore's America.

"I'm tired with putting up with lies. I'm tired of Al Gore," Tracy Mayberry told the AP as she readied for a move to a better life a life a state away from the man she calls a "slumlord," Al Gore.

But Tracy and her disabled husband, Charles, were not alone as they prepared to move their five children to Lima, Ohio. Tennessee's Republican Party was on the scene and ready to help out.

Republican State Chairman Chip Saltsman Jr. led a troop of party members sporting orange shirts to help the Mayberrys pack up and leave a house owned by the vice president, a house in such disrepair that raw sewage was leaking onto the floor and sparks flew from electrical outlets. The family, including one daughter who is mentally retarded and one who has a seizure disorder, lives on $1,536 a month in Social Security from Mr. Mayberry's disability benefit.

Mr. Gore had promised to make repairs, but according to Mrs. Mayberry, his efforts fell short. For helping the Mayberrys escape this dirty little patch of Al Gore's America, Mr. Saltsman is noble of the week for The Washington Times.

In all, Mr. Saltsman and his party friends lent their backs in the move and spent about $1,000 on a moving truck, gas and hotel fees. Thanks to this effort the Mayberrys were able to move to a six-bedroom, $425 per-month house. And who says Republicans are not compassionate?

"This is the 'Volunteer State,' and we do help our own," Mr. Saltsman said, referring to the state's motto. "Apparently, that is something Al Gore never learned growing up in Washington, D.C." Mr. Gore, of course, claims to have grown up in Tennessee. Evidently he didn't bring much of the state's spirit with him.

* Knave: Tony Blair, for his "drinking" problem.

What do you do when you are the prime minister of England and your teen-age son is found passed out in a drunken stupor in a park? Tony Blair is facing this very problem, which is particularly embarrassing because he has recently railed against public drunkenness. His refusal to abide by the standards he tries to impose on others makes him a political knave.

It seems that not too long ago, Euan Blair, the prime minister's son, had so much to drink he got sick and then passed out in a park. He was celebrating with a group of friends after completing a strenuous battery of year-end tests at school. When he came to, he was alone. Well, he was without his friends but with law-enforcement officials. He was taken to a nearby police station where he tried lying his way out of the mess he gave the police a false name. The drunken wits of the teen finally gave in, and he admitted his identity.

The tabloid press in England is famous for its rambunctious reporting, so it wasn't long before the story was splashed across the front page of newspapers everywhere. But this was far from the only story that Mr. Blair was finding embarrassing.

Mr. Blair recently came up with a preposterous idea. He proposed to have police officers lead drunks to ATMs to pay fines on the spot for being drunk in a public place. Clearly, such a policing technique would invite law-enforcement corruption and abuse of power. The conservative Tories in Parliament, of course, reminded the prime minister that before being forced to surrender one's property to the government, a court of law must first hear the case and find the defendant guilty. Maybe Mr. Blair understands this point now, for he didn't hand over a thick wallet to police. Indeed, he didn't even go to the station himself. Given that Mr. Blair isn't inclined to take his own advice, perhaps he should be more careful about offering it to everyone else.

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