- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 14, 2000

Bob Jones again

The Bob Jones University controversy that dominated much of the Republican presidential primary campaign is bubbling over into congressional races, the Associated Press reports.
Democrats, eager to regain control of Congress, are trying to tie Republicans to the fundamentalist Christian school in Greenville, S.C., that, until earlier this month, had anti-Catholic statements on its Web site and forbade interracial dating.
In the Senate, Democrats pushed a resolution condemning the school, while in the House, the party's fund-raising arm distributed a memorandum on Bob Jones' policies and urged candidates to use it to attack Republicans.
"Your Republican opponent may be asked about his/her reaction to [Republican presidential candidate George W.] Bush's handling of the Bob Jones visit," says a memo from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Consider issuing a press release, holding a news conference, or writing a letter to the editor to highlight your feelings on the national Republican Party's alliance with right-wing extremist groups."
Democrats are not immune from criticism on the Bob Jones issue. South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges, a Democrat who has endorsed Vice President Al Gore for president, has spoken there.
Bob Jones already has become an issue in the contentious Missouri Senate race. For several weeks, Gov. Mel Carnahan and his Democratic allies have pummeled Republican Sen. John Ashcroft over his connection to the school.
Mr. Ashcroft, who is seeking a second term and is expected to face Mr. Carnahan in the fall, attended commencement ceremonies last May at Bob Jones, where he received an honorary degree. Calling the visit "offensive," Mr. Carnahan said Mr. Ashcroft should return the degree and release his remarks to show whether he knew of the school's attitudes on race and religion.
Mr. Ashcroft said he "really didn't know about the specific teachings of Bob Jones University" and fired back that Mr. Carnahan offended Catholics by vetoing a ban on partial-birth abortions. Mr. Ashcroft said he will return the degree only if Mr. Carnahan returns campaign contributions from pro-choice groups.

Artist offends Jews

An artist whose work compares New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani to a Nazi has aroused the wrath of the Anti-Defamation League. The group says artist Hans Haacke trivializes the Holocaust by using it to attack contemporary politicians.
"Trivializing the Holocaust is the last thing I want to do," the German-born Mr. Haacke told the New York Times.
The work, which goes on display at the Whitney Museum in New York on March 23, features "a wall that juxtaposes the First Amendment with statements made by Mr. Giuliani and anti-art quotations by three conservative politicians, written in the Gothic Fraktur typeface once favored by the Nazis and sometimes used by neo-Nazis," the newspaper said. "Beneath the passages is a row of trash cans that blare the sound of marching troops."
The newspaper did not identify the three conservative politicians attacked by the artist.
Mr. Haacke said he intended to focus on the First Amendment and artistic freedom in the wake of Mr. Giuliani's attempt last fall to cut off funding for the Brooklyn Museum of Art, whose "Sensation" exhibit included anti-Catholic art.
The artist also said he was taking aim at politicians in Washington who "have curtailed the freedom of the National Endowment for the Arts."

Favorite daughter?

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee predicted yesterday that Hillary Rodham Clinton will have a hard time winning a Senate seat in New York.

"It's hard for me to believe that New York would elect someone to be senator who's never lived there, been educated there, worked there," Mr. Huckabee told the Associated Press. "Someone who moves to Arkansas and said 'I've never lived here, never been educated here, never had a job here and I want to be your next senator' they'd be hooted to the next border."

Mr. Huckabee also said the first lady could not win Arkansas' Senate seat. "Her views are far left of center," he said.

Mr. Huckabee also took a swipe at President Clinton, saying the Arkansas ex-governor will "go down in history as the most polarizing president of all time."

"He just has a way of drawing a line in the sand and saying 'Democrats on this side, Republicans on that side and let's have a stalemate,' " Mr. Huckabee said.

Traficant's threat

Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., the Ohio Democrat who last week survived a tough primary challenge, is threatening to back Republican Speaker J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois over Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri in 2001.
Mr. Traficant's "open flirtation with the GOP in recent months has led to speculation that the quixotic lawmaker may begin voting in the Republican Conference, or become an independent after November," Roll Call reports.
"You could say it's 50-50," Mr. Traficant said, referring to his vote for speaker in the next Congress.
Mr. Traficant believes the campaign wing of House Democrats offered covert support for his opponent in the primary, reporter Ethan Wallison said.

Protests in Chappaqua

Two dozen protesters chanting "Israel yes, Hillary no," demonstrated in Hillary Rodham Clinton's new suburban neighborhood in Chappaqua, N.Y., but police kept them out of sight of the Clinton home.
The demonstration Sunday was the first near the Clinton home since the president and first lady moved in two months ago as she began her quest for a U.S. Senate seat.
Roughly 40 police officers kept the small crowd behind barricades at the bottom of the street. There were no arrests, the Associated Press reports.
The protesters denounced the first lady's support for the current Mideast peace process, and claimed she was against freeing Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.
The protesters included members of Kach and Kahane Chai, two groups on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations.
Mrs. Clinton's spokesman, Howard Wolfson, said: "We are certainly not going to be lectured to by a member of a terrorist organization who opposes the Middle East peace process."

Pataki's primary reform

Stung by accusations that he had tried to stack the deck in New York's primary for George W. Bush, Gov. George E. Pataki is proposing making things more open next time around.
Mr. Pataki's proposal, announced yesterday, would allow all nationally recognized Republican presidential candidates onto the New York ballot and make the state's primary a winner-take-all contest for the party, the Associated Press reports. New York Republicans would also get to vote directly for the candidates, not for delegates as is currently the rule.
New York Democrats apportion their delegates based on the vote for each candidate competing in the party's state primary. In last week's New York Republican primary, Mr. Bush won at least 67 of the 93 delegates at stake. Sen. John McCain took the rest. Mr. Pataki ran the Texas governor's campaign in New York.
Mr. Pataki and New York Republican Chairman William Powers led an unsuccessful effort to use the state's complex ballot access rules to keep everyone but Mr. Bush off the primary ballot this year.

Not impressed

Rep. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, is not impressed by Al Gore's plan to make campaign finance reform a centerpiece of his campaign for the presidency.
"Al Gore, of all people, saying, 'This is the centerpiece of my campaign,' that'd be like Bill Clinton giving sexual harassment seminars," Mr. Graham said on "Fox News Sunday."

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