- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 22, 2000

'Thanks, Al'

Vice President Al Gore's "scheme" for Social Security "doesn't cut it," the New York Post said in an editorial yesterday.
By making couples earning $100,000 or more ineligible to participate in his plan for taxpayer-funded personal retirement accounts, the paper noted, Mr. Gore offered "an incitement to class warfare… . In other words, it's basically another means-tested government entitlement program."
Furthermore, the editorial pointed out the Gore plan's unfairness to those living in "any high-cost-of-living part of the country" such as New York City:
"For sure, 100 grand may be big bucks in flyover country. But, here in New York and environs, it's less than the annual income of a cop married to a nurse or a teacher trying to raise a family while coping with one of the heaviest tax burdens in the land. Thanks, Al. Thanks for nothing."

Vast conspiracy?

Rep. Rick Lazio the New York Republican who only announced his Senate candidacy four weeks ago is in a dead heat with Hillary Rodham Clinton, a new poll shows.
Why? Many New Yorkers say they want to vote against Mrs. Clinton.
The Marist Institute poll released Tuesday showed both candidates with 42 percent support among registered voters.
When pollsters asked voters why they supported either candidate, more than half of those who support Mr. Lazio 53 percent said it was because they "are against Hillary Clinton."

Gore decision center

"Command central" in Vice President Al Gore's new campaign headquarters on the outskirts of Nashville, Tenn., is a mess, reports Sandra Sobieraj of the Associated Press.
"Tucked deep inside Al Gore's campaign headquarters on Mainstream Drive, past mismatched reception-area desks topped by a can of roach spray and abandoned popcorn maker" Miss Sobieraj writes, "is command central: the Kitchen."
The nickname was chosen by Gore aides who rejected "War Room" the legendary nexus where James Carville and George Stephanopoulos plotted the first Clinton-Gore campaign as "too 1992, too Bill Clinton."
The aides wanted "something more homey for the room … where the campaign's toughest shots will be called."
Thus, the Kitchen as in, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the," Miss Sobieraj explains of the room furnished in a style she describes as "college-dorm shabby."
The Gore campaign refused to allow AP photos of the Kitchen, the nickname and decor of which Miss Sobieraj praised as "right in sync with a Democratic presidential campaign aimed straight at swing voters especially parents and women."

Police protest planned

A police union is planning to hold a protest rally at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) announced yesterday that it will join protesters from eight other major police unions who have applied for permission to hold demonstrations outside the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, where the convention will be held in mid-August.
"Our common concerns have reached a critical mass of frustration," said LAPPL President Ted Hunt.
Reuters reports that the Los Angeles union will be joined by police unions from New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Texas, the International Union of Police Associations, and Orange County, Calif.
The Los Angeles police union is upset with the Clinton administration, which is threatening the city with a court order to impose on city police "reforms" demanded by the Justice Department.
"As long as the federal government tries to impose consent decrees which disproportionately trample on the rights of officers while city leaders and command staff escape accountability, we will escalate our campaign to reveal the hypocrisy of leadership," Mr. Hunt said.

Darth debater

Vice President Al Gore is "America's most lethally effective practitioner of high-stakes political debate," James Fallows says in a cover story for the July issue of the Atlantic Monthly.
Mr. Fallows writes that Mr. Gore is the American politician who is "best able to change, purely through debate, the momentum of a political or policy contest."
Despite such a high estimation of Mr. Gore's skill in public debate, Mr. Fallows adds: "Debate has also been the medium in which Al Gore has displayed the least attractive aspects of his campaigning style: aggressiveness turning into brutality, a willingness to bend the rules and stretch the truth if necessary."
Mr. Fallows also says: "Gore is manifestly willing to lie for political convenience."

Voucher vote set

A measure permitting state money to go to vouchers for private schools in California has qualified for the Nov. 7 ballot.
If approved, it would authorize annual state payments of at least $4,000 per pupil to qualifying private and religious schools as grants for their new students, the Associated Press reports.

No pride

Democrats and homosexuals are angry that Rep. Rick Lazio, New York Republican, plans to skip Sunday's Gay Pride Parade in New York City so he can take his Senate campaign upstate.
"It very much shows symbolically where Rick Lazio is on issues of concern to the gay community, which is nowhere," said state Sen. Tom Duane, a Democrat from Manhattan.
Mr. Lazio will campaign Sunday in Buffalo and Saratoga, while his Senate opponent, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, will be marching in the parade.

Hate crimes 'club'

Christian conservative activist Andrea Lafferty thinks voters in Ohio should be "alarmed" by the votes their Republican senators, Mike DeWine and George V. Voinovich, cast Tuesday for a new federal hate-crimes bill.
"Families who accept Scriptural teaching against homosexuality are being cast as hate criminals," said Mrs. Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition.
She said Ohio's senators voted for a bill that "will be a club in the hands of a federal government already hostile to religious citizens."
Mrs. Lafferty said Tuesday's vote shows that Mr. Voinovich and Mr. DeWine "have lost touch with the majority of their constituents, whose religious beliefs forbid homosexual, transsexual and other behaviors given protection and legitimacy in this bill."

Tight race

A Democrat claimed victory in a hotly contested state legislative election late Tuesday night, giving hope to his party's efforts to regain control of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
In the unusual special election to decide who replaces convicted former state Rep. Frank A. Serafini until January, Democrat Jim Wansacz led Republican Tom Parry with 97 percent of the votes counted. Mr. Wansacz led by 53 percent to 47 percent, a gap of fewer than 1,000 votes.
Republicans charged voter fraud and want an investigation.
A Democratic Party spokesman told the Associated Press that one precinct had discrepancies, but said not enough votes were involved to tip the race.
The Republicans now hold a 101-99 edge in the House, the chamber that will decide how to redraw the state's congressional boundaries next year.

Rim shot
CBS "Late Show" host David Letterman, on the vice president's campaign strategy: "People perceive [Vice President Al] Gore as being kind of rigid, kind of stiff, and he's always trying to say that's not true, and show himself as exciting and loose. He's changed his name now to 'Tiger Gore.' … Al Gore is now using the theme song from 'Shaft.' Can you dig it?"

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