- The Washington Times - Monday, June 19, 2000

Bill for Bill

When President Clinton bustled through little Hyde Park, N.Y., to visit Franklin D. Roosevelt's estate, Springwood, in late May, the town racked up $2,188.40 in police overtime.

Now the town board is billing the Democratic Leadership Council for the cost. The Washington-based DLC had asked the president to come up and speechify for the locals in a five-hour visit on May 21.

This is a first. DLC officials say they have never been billed for the expensive hubbub that such visits engender. But they're going to consider paying it, according to Director Chuck Alston.

The idea of presenting a bill for services rendered "is not a political decision," said Hyde Park Council member Barbara Sause. "We are all thinking of the taxpayers. We are all thinking of the budget."

"This could start something all over the country," added fellow council member James Stewart. "Clinton, he's all over the country campaigning, and the people, I'm sure, have to pay a lot of money for his protection."

Ironically, New York Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton paid a call to Eleanor Roosevelt's wee cottage, Val-Kill, on Saturday to give a speech about historic preservation.

The cottage is tucked away on the FDR estate and functioned as a retreat for Mrs. Roosevelt.

The town fathers were not quite so concerned about security costs this time around. Just one extra officer was called in for the event, according to local police.

Hillary's new ads

Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is baring her teeth at opponent Rep. Rick A. Lazio, New York Republican, through attack ads that are more stilettos than swords. The ads were released Friday.

The spots are short and sharp, slicing at Mr. Lazio for his take on hate-crime legislation and health care. With stark white type on a dead black screen, the two 15-second spots look like bargain-basement news updates.

"The more you know, the more you wonder," an announcer intones.

Mrs. Clinton's campaign staffers say it's the first move in a newly aggressive campaign, because "this is going to be a race of contrasts."

The New York Times, however, pointed out that Mrs. Clinton was the first candidate for Senate who is going negative and it is a little early.

Most candidates wait until later in the campaign to bring out the nasty weapons.

Mr. Lazio's campaign manager, Bill Dal Col, shrugged off the spots. They were, he said, "a desperate act by a desperate campaign."

Political cruise

Here's one 75-year-old that won't retire. The old presidential yacht Sequoia is coming out of mothballs to once again ply the waters of politics, power and cocktails.

The Kennedy clan plans to take the yacht to the seas off Rhode Island late next month for a friendly little cruise with President Clinton.

But who owns the thing? The Sequoia, site of historic moments of many demeanors for 44 years, cooled its propellers in a Norfolk shipyard for years when the original trust that guaranteed its upkeep ran out and left $3 million in bills.

The Sequoia has new investors who have pooled their money to keep the boat afloat.

"Mr. Clinton really wants to go on it," Gary Silversmith, a Chevy Chase lawyer who organized the group, told the London Daily Telegraph recently. Vice President Al Gore and George W. Bush are on the waiting list for a cruise as well.

The Sequoia was built in 1925 for a private owner, commissioned by Franklin Roosevelt as the presidential yacht in 1933, and later was designated an official historic landmark by Congress.

Forever Young

Republicans seem to attract he-men. Is recently retired San Francisco 49er Steve Young next to join the GOP?

The party already includes former University of Oklahoma quarterback Rep. J.C. Watts Jr. and former Seattle Seahawks/NFL Hall of Famer Rep. Steve Largent, both of Oklahoma.

"Young, like Watts and Largent, is a a pro-family conservative whose politics are a better fit in his home state of Utah than the Bay area," reasoned the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday. "His name has been tossed around before as a potential candidate in both Utah and California."

He has a law degree, too.

" 'My wife's feeling is pretty strong that it wouldn't be good for right now,' Mr. Young said in a statement, which Washingtonians interpret as meaning it's only a matter of time," the Chronicle reported.

Ticket to ride

Richmond has struggled over a case of motherhood and a piece of the pie. The city forked over $9,000 last month to provide transportation for a group of residents to attend the Million Mom March, a Mother's Day event on the Mall unabashedly linked to gun control.

"City Councilmen John Conrad and Sa'ad El-Amin, in conjunction with the city attorney, reached the obvious conclusion about the city's expenditure for the Million Mom March: It was wrong," noted the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Friday.

"Those in favor of gun control naturally see nothing untoward in the city subsidizing their cause, and Mayor Kaine defended the subsidy on the ground that Richmond always has supported stricter gun laws. Thus the debate consisted largely of an exercise in missing the point."

The subsidy, the paper said, "tarnishes the very cause it attempts to support," resembling the " 'spontaneous demonstrations' whipped up by totalitarians and tinpot dictators… . In subsidizing the Million Mom March, the city shot itself in the foot and heightened the divisiveness over an already divisive event."

Trading places

Ready for the daily Daley?

Vice President Al Gore's new presidential campaign manager, William Daley, was on back-to-back Sunday talk shows; he must be serious. And he's already on damage control, trying to mend fences between organized labor and Mr. Gore and he has his work cut out for him.

When the appointment of the free-trade advocate was announced Thursday, the AFL-CIO called it "squarely on the opposite side of working families" while Teamsters said it was a "slap in the face to organized labor."

Things are sunnier in Mr. Daley's version.

"Organized labor and the working men and women are at the heart of this campaign because they are the ones that will benefit as Al Gore keeps this economy strong," Mr. Daley said on ABC's "This Week."

"I look forward to working with labor. Labor played a pivotal role in the primaries and they will play a most pivotal role as they always do in the Democratic Party," Mr. Daley said.

Over on "Fox News Sunday," Mr. Daley said that he had already spoken with labor leaders, and that they were "committed to Al Gore."

Take a seat

Who's coming and going among state delegations according to U.S. Census projections?

Researchers at the Population Reference Bureau (www.prb.org) say that 25 of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives could shift around by 2020.

New York, they say, will lose five seats, while California will add nine, padding out its already burgeoning delegation to 61.

The group also projects that Pennsylvania will lose four seats; Michigan and Ohio, three each; and Illinois, two seats.

Who wins a few? The warmer states seem to have an edge.

PRB forecasts that Texas will add five seats; Florida, three; and Georgia and Arizona, a pair each.

Montana, which has one at-large representative now, would get one more seat after the current census.

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