- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 14, 2000

Not so sweet

Republican Sen. Spencer Abraham of Michigan, locked in a tight contest with Democratic Rep. Debbie Stabenow, has drawn a sour reaction from the maker of Little Debbie snack cakes, the Associated Press reports.
McKee Foods Corp. planned to phone the Abraham campaign yesterday to demand that it stop using the company's logo, the wire service said. Last month, Mr. Abraham launched a Web site www.LiberalDebbie.com that included a "Liberal Debbie" logo with Miss Stabenow's face pasted over the top of the illustration used by the snack cake firm.
A McKee Foods spokesman commented, "The whole logo is a trademark, and anything that dilutes your trademark is illegal."

Protests in Philly

"Something called 'Unity 2000' will bestow its special brand of warmth on delegates attending the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia next month. U2 hopes to muster 100,000 protesters, marchers, flagpole climbers and whatever to let the assembled pols know the demonstrators' feelings about such matters as AIDS, spotted owls and, especially, the evils of 'Big Business,' " writes Wall Street Journal columnist George Melloan.
"Philadelphia's police say they will make room for the protesters, as one might expect in the City of Brotherly Love. But it is hard not to remember that the Seattle cops initially displayed a similar tolerance just before the same cast of characters busted up the World Trade Organization gathering in Seattle last winter. Efforts to launch a 'millennium' round of free-trade talks were aborted," noted Mr. Melloan, who said it was "no accident that Bill Clinton offered moral support to the folks who were trashing the WTO in Seattle. They were part of his political constituency and very much attuned to some of Hillary's statist projects, such as nationalizing health care… .
"And so it's on to Philadelphia for the campaigners of the left. The Philly cops will have their hands full dealing with these people. But the Republicans should see them for what they are, the minions of their opposition when Americans go to the polls next fall."

Forget Monday

"What will draw the nation's TV audiences politics or football? You gotta ask? ABC sure doesn't," National Journal reports.
"The Walt Disney Co.-owned network has scheduled preseason 'Monday Night Football' games for July 31 and Aug. 14 during the Republican and Democratic conventions, respectively. This means, a spokesman said, that ABC will limit its coverage of the conventions' opening nights to whatever can be fit in during halftime that is maybe 20 minutes' worth.
"No wonder the Dems figure on having President Clinton address the delegates in Los Angeles and whatever faction of the American public can be wheedled into watching on Tuesday night instead of Monday," the magazine said

Ex-lawmaker sentenced

Former Rep. Chris Perkins of Kentucky was sentenced yesterday to three months in a halfway house for criminal contempt. The charge was related to the House banking scandal of the early 1990s for which he already served prison time.
Perkins, a Democrat who served in Congress from 1984 to 1992, pleaded guilty in March. He admitted lying to a federal probation officer about his income while a judge was trying to determine whether he should be fined for his role in the scandal, the Associated Press reports.
"I deeply regret the actions I have taken," Perkins told U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina at his sentencing hearing.
Perkins, 45, is attending a Louisville seminary to become a Presbyterian minister, and he told the judge he was a changed man.
"I'm a broken creature. God has entered my life in a way that has profoundly affected me," he said.
Judge Urbina credited Perkins for improving his life, but said, "Misleading the court is not a matter to be dealt with lightly."
Perkins could have received up to a $5,000 fine or six months in prison. Prosecutor Jonathan Rusch argued for the latter.
The banking scandal was uncovered in 1991 and 1992, when the House Ethics Committee discovered thousands of overdrafts written by lawmakers at a special bank that existed solely for their benefit. The bank paid the overdrafts, so none of the checks bounced.
Perkins said he wrote bad checks totaling about $300,000 and made false or misleading statements to obtain loans from commercial banks. He pleaded guilty to bank fraud, conspiracy to file false statements with the Federal Election Commission and filing false financial-disclosure statements with the House.

Writer's block

Remember that book on race relations President Clinton promised to write as the climax to his initiative on race? Nobody at the White House seems to know whether Mr. Clinton will finish it before he leaves office, the Boston Globe reports.
"White House Deputy Press Secretary Jake Siewert said Clinton has told aides within the last month that he devoted some time recently to the book. But whether he will finish it is 'hard to tell,' Siewert said. 'It depends on how much he works on it and what the rest of this year looks like in terms of his day job. He's got a pretty busy day job.' "
Harvard professor Christopher Edley Jr., who advised the administration on Mr. Clinton's race initiative, and chief presidential speechwriter J. Terry Edmunds submitted a draft of more than 200 pages to Mr. Clinton in May 1999. It apparently provoked much disagreement at the White House.
Mr. Edmunds told reporter Ann Scales that from all indications the president is still committed to the book. "But, timing-wise, I have no idea when it might be completed."
He added, "It's basically in his court now."

The ties that bind?

Who stood by House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Georgia Republican, through thick and thin? Who backed the Republicans' Contract With America? And who has "stayed loyal to conservative principles"?
Rep. Michael P. Forbes, New York Democrat. And the Republican Majority Issues Committee (RMIC) wants the Democrats of his 1st District to know it.
Mr. Forbes was elected three times to Congress as a Republican, but switched to the Democratic Party in July 1999.
In a tongue-in-cheek campaign, RMIC, known most recently for being named a defendant in an anti-racketeering lawsuit by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has sent fliers outlining Mr. Forbes' conservative accomplishments to every Democratic primary voter in his district.
RMIC is also is posting ads on the electronic bulletin boards in all 50 of the 7-Eleven convenience stores in the district.

Primary roundup

On a day of primary and runoff elections in five states, an open House seat from South Carolina drew six Republican candidates, while two Arkansas Democrats were in a runoff for a House seat.

In the runoff for the Democratic nomination for an Arkansas House seat, state Sen. Mike Ross defeated former TV reporter Dewayne Graham 58 percent to 42 percent. Mr. Ross will face Rep. Jay Dickey, a Republican, in the fall.

One South Carolina race went to a runoff, with state Rep. Henry Brown taking 44 percent of the vote. Ex-state transportation Chairman H.B. "Buck" Limehouse was second with 33 percent.

The coastal-district seat is held by Republican Rep. Mark Sanford, who pledged to serve just three terms. Democrat Andy Brack, a spokesman for U.S. Sen. Ernest F. Hollings, was unopposed in his primary.

In a primary that essentially decided the seat, Rep. James DeMint, South Carolina Republican, easily defeated Frank Raddish. No Democrat ran in the heavily Republican district.

The biggest seats were uncontested. Sens. Olympia Snowe, Maine Republican, and Kent Conrad, North Dakota Democrat, had no primary opponents.

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