- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 3, 2000

Dialing for dollars

"Several years before coming to the White House and quickly replacing its relatively new phone system, Bill Clinton had the same thing done in the Arkansas statehouse," WorldNetDaily reports.

"He not only had a contractor yank out the state Capitol's existing phone system, but he also had it modify the tracing software to remove phone numbers from long-distance billing records," reporter Paul Sperry said.

"As first reported in the April 27 edition of WorldNetDaily, President Clinton paid AT&T;, in effect, to turn off a software feature that records the originating desk phone numbers of overseas calls from the White House, says former White House phone manager Sheryl Hall. The motive for hiding the source of the White House phone calls is unclear. But a former Arkansas state government department head charges that Clinton, as governor, blocked the state phone system's caller detail to hide costly out-of-state campaign fund-raising calls that he and his aides made from his Little Rock, Ark., office.

"The official speculates that dialing for dollars explains the secret phone software changes in the White House. 'More than likely, they've been making fund-raising calls in there and they don't want people to find out,' said the state official, who wished to remain anonymous. 'I mean, they were doing that in Arkansas.' "

Knock, knock

New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani can knock on the door of New York's Conservative Party, as he announced he would do on Monday, but the party is not ready to let him in.

"As I've said all along, he cannot be on the party's ballot if he is also supported by the Liberal Party and if he supports partial-birth abortion," Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long told The Washington Times yesterday.

Mr. Giuliani had said he planned to contact Mr. Long yesterday in the wake of news that former Rep. Joseph J. DioGuardi would seek the Conservative Party nod, but the mayor had not done so as of late afternoon. Mr. Giuliani said he wants the Conservative Party's backing.

The mayor has enjoyed the support and the ballot position of the Liberal Party during his two terms.

Meanwhile, a Republican insider said the state's Liberal Party may support no one in the Senate race.

"The vice chairman [Raymond B. Harding] is a longtime friend of Rudy's," the source said. "He would never allow the party to support Hillary [Clinton] and may sit the whole thing out."

Both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Giuliani are scheduled to appear before the Liberal Party's Policy Committee this weekend.

He's changed, grown

Americans for Democratic Action, one of the Democrats' most liberal voting blocs, endorsed Al Gore yesterday though a top ADA official admitted that earlier this year the ADA's board was split between Mr. Gore and Bill Bradley.

Not only that, ADA National Director Amy Isaacs suggested that Mr. Gore was not necessarily their ideal candidate.

"We would normally endorse in January. But neither Gore nor Bradley could win the needed 60 percent vote from our board for an endorsement. We were split," Ms. Isaacs told The Washington Times yesterday.

"We're dealing with a reality base here as to who is out there right now," she said. "For example, we might have preferred Paul Wellstone, but Paul is not running," she said of the arch-liberal Minnesota senator who has a near perfect ADA voting record.

Mr. Gore receives "a moderate 66 percent" lifetime voting rating over the course of his career in Congress, the ADA said. But it added that "since then he has changed and grown," meaning he has moved further to the left.

"The differences between Gore and [George W.] Bush are fairly distinct. Gore is by far the more liberal of the two candidates for president," Ms. Isaacs said.

Platform planks

Thirty-six national conservative organizations have formed a coalition to lobby at the national party conventions for the adoption of conservative platform planks, the American Conservative Union Foundation announced yesterday.

Among the groups are Americans for Tax Reform, the Christian Coalition, Citizens Against Government Waste, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Independent Women's Forum, the National Rifle Association, National Right to Life PAC, and National Taxpayers Union.

A mystery

"President Clinton appears to have most of the U.S. government beavering away on behalf of Fidel Castro's agenda these days. But a few officials have been excused from Elian duty for another task: They are trying to persuade Russia to let the U.S. defend itself against the growing threat of ballistic-missile attack by the likes of North Korea or Iraq or some similar danger in the future," the Wall Street Journal says.

"It is a mystery, best left to those who will parse the Clinton presidency in years to come, why the U.S. has put itself in the preposterous position of seeking Moscow's permission to build a defense against a rogue nation or an accidental missile launch. This ought to be a national security priority, not a matter for diplomatic negotiation," the newspaper said in an editorial.

"The administration has already wasted seven precious years in refusing to pursue a defense against this growing threat. With less than a year remaining of the Clinton era, the essential task now is to make sure the next president's hands aren't tied for the important job ahead. If Mr. Clinton succeeds in doing a deal on the ABM Treaty at his Moscow summit next month, it will make it harder for the next president to get the job done quickly. It takes only a look at the proliferation of ballistic missiles worldwide to understand why speed is of the essence."

Tired and confused

The San Francisco Examiner's publisher testified that he offered Mayor Willie Brown favorable treatment in editorials if Mr. Brown would support Hearst Corp.'s purchase of the San Francisco Chronicle. Hours later, the publisher said he misspoke.

Timothy White testified Monday that he told Mr. Brown at a lunch meeting in August, several weeks after the $660 million purchase of the Chronicle had been announced, that the mayor could expect "more favorable treatment" in Examiner editorials if he supported the sale, the Associated Press reports.

In an e-mail afterward to the head of Hearst's newspaper division and read in court, Mr. White said: "I asked Willie how I was going to justify to my superiors in New York wanting to support him and cooperate with him when he was seeming to go out of his way to make our lives difficult."

Mr. White's testimony in federal court was later recanted by both the Hearst Corp. and Mr. White himself.

"It is not now nor has it ever been a policy of the San Francisco Examiner to trade favorable editorial coverage for any gains, including political influence," Hearst said in a statement.

"I was tired and confused by the question," Mr. White said in a statement distributed by Hearst. "The implication of my answer that the pages of the Examiner can be influenced, under any circumstances, is absurd."

Mr. White was the first witness in a trial on a lawsuit challenging Hearst's purchase of the Chronicle.

If Hillary loses …

Hillary Rodham Clinton tells Ladies' Home Journal in its June issue that if she loses the New York race, "I'll probably be connected with a foundation or academic institution in some way."

She added that she would remain active on political issues that matter to her, saying: "I'll support the same issues raising the minimum wage, expanding the earned income tax credit for poor working people and putting more teachers into the classroom to lower class size in our public schools."

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