- The Washington Times - Friday, July 21, 2000

Win either way

Democrats who find themselves sitting on the fence should take out their ballpoint pens and start writing.

Any Democrat who can write an essay of 1,000 words or less and make a convincing, persuasive and sincere argument as to why they would switch parties and vote for George W. Bush could win $2,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington for the inauguration.

So pledges Steve Gooden, former honorary youth chairman of the Republican National Convention, the only black ever appointed to the post (1992 and 1996).

Mr. Gooden says the essay should center around one's own intention to vote for Mr. Bush, justification for doing so, and how they might persuade fellow Democrats to do the same.

The contest ends Aug. 31. A panel of teachers, ministers and political party representatives will review all entries. Three finalists will be selected, and Mr. Gooden will pick the winner.

Author of the "Presidential Pledge of Integrity," Mr. Gooden is founder of the Web site www.wewillpayit.com, a philanthropic company that pays bills and provides clothing, food, toys and medicine for the needy.

Essays should be sent to Steve Gooden, P.O. Box 5313, Orange, Calif., 92863, or e-mailed to sgooden@msn.com.

Inside the Beltway will announce the winner.

Decide for yourself

Coinciding with the government's newly released National Assessment on Climate Change, the nonpartisan Competitive Enterprise Institute has introduced a revolutionary new technology to bring global climate forecasting into the home.

By responding to subtle shifts in individual microclimates, the hand-held precision device available for only $8 allows any person to quickly make his or her own assessment of global climate change. The device is said to detect global cooling, too.

The national assessment report is being attacked by the CEI for its "scientifically unfounded" forecasts. Dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government, CEI is astounded that the assessment actually attempts to predict global warming impacts on nine different regions of the United States.

Peach harvest

Hundreds of boxes of peaches have been distributed to offices throughout the Senate and U.S. Capitol the return address: Sen. Ernest F. Hollings, South Carolina Democrat.

Mr. Hollings says what better way to make the point that his relatively small state is second in the nation in peach production.

"What else curbs a sweet tooth, is delicious, nutritious and satisfying, but not fattening?" asks the senator, who expects to be shaking plenty of sticky hands in the coming days.

Quote of the week

"But I think the greatest condemnation of this once-working-

families' party, the Democratic Party, is that, in the last 10 years, they have become very good at electing very bad Republicans."

Ralph Nader, Green Party candidate for president, speaking this week at the National Press Club

Chimps and chumps

Letters fill this week's mailbag. On the top is one by Ralph Bristol, of Spartanburg, S.C.:

"Rep. Rick Santorum's idea for a 'Stepmother's Day' is the single most harebrained idea I've seen emerge from the halls of Congress since the death tax. I have no biological children of my own, but I am the proud stepfather of three. [Stepchildren] honor us because we've done things to earn their love and respect. Mother's Day and Father's Day are just as much for stepmothers and stepfathers … but to create an alternative day for us is condescending, offensive, and just plain stupid."

Peter A. Bookman of Washington writes: "I normally enjoy every item in your column, but I must take issue with the snide remarks about the statute to spend some money so that some abused animals can be humanely treated. The money proposed to be spent under the 'CHIMP' Act is a consequence of the far greater sums being spent to abuse and torture countless thousands of animals in unnecessary research by a number of federal agencies."

And finally, Bruce J. Conrad is angry enough to write: "I don't respond to newspaper articles, but your segment on the campaign videos struck a sour note with me. The response of the Bush Campaign official that the actions of the [Democratic Party] secretary were, in some way, unfortunate for the Gore Campaign, was uncalled for. The secretary had a package that did not belong to her organization, and she readily gave it to the rightful owner. What's wrong with that?

"We Republicans are supposed to stand for family values, and one of those values is to not be in possession of something that is not yours. I commend the secretary for her honesty, and I condemn the Bush activist for his childish approach to the activities that are part of the democratic process. We have too much of this already, and we don't need any more of this 'winning is everything' attitude."

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