- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 30, 2000

Hostile territory

"Little Rock is fretting over new rumors that President Clinton will move his presidential museum, library, and policy center to Georgetown University, his alma mater, if the state courts disbar him for fibbing about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky," Paul Bedard writes in U.S. News & World Report.

"Skip Rutherford, head of the Clinton library foundation, says donors are complaining that Arkansas has become too hostile. The city fears losing tourism and $16.4 million in revenue bonds for the project. One option: Little Rock gets the museum and Georgetown the library and policy center.

Lazio falls, rises

Rep. Rick A. Lazio fell and cut his lip during a Memorial Day parade yesterday, and it took eight stitches to close up the wound.

Mr. Lazio, who recently replaced New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani as the GOP Senate candidate, stopped along the parade route in the Long Island town of Babylon to shake hands. He was sprinting back to rejoin the march as he had done several times before when he lost his footing and fell on his face.

He got up, brushed himself off and kept walking, but he appeared slightly dazed. The top of his lip on the right side of his mouth was cut and bleeding, the Associated Press reports.

Someone ran ahead to a deli and got a cup of ice and some napkins, and he finished the march while dabbing at his lip, which swelled. Mr. Lazio later went to a hospital, where he received the stitches.

McCain's help

Eight of the 17 Republican congressional candidates Sen. John McCain has endorsed or campaigned for do not support his legislation to end donations of unregulated "soft money" contributions from individuals, unions and corporations.

Two of them, Reps. Clay E. Shaw Jr. of Florida and James E. Rogan of California, actually voted against the House version of his bill, the Associated Press reports.

On the other hand, 16 of 17 Democrats in the races where the Arizona Republican has intervened support the soft-money ban legislation named after Mr. McCain and his Democratic co-sponsor, Sen. Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin.

The only Democratic holdout is Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan. But his McCain-endorsed GOP challenger, Republican National Committee member Chuck Yob, also opposes a soft-money ban.

In addition, Mr. McCain doesn't even mention the McCain-Feingold bill on the Web site of his new organization, Straight Talk America. The site had highlighted four other issues taxes, Social Security, education and national security but the entire section was dropped last week after inquiries from the Associated Press. Spokesman Todd Harris said the Web site was being redone.

Mr. McCain said in an interview with AP writer Jonathan D. Salant that he is supporting "reformers" even if they don't believe in campaign overhaul.

Cook's charge

Following last week's vote to grant China permanent normal trade relations, at least one House member now claims he was offered $200,000 by multinational corporations to change his no vote to yes, www.WorldNetDaily.com reports.

"I have turned down over $200,000 in multinational corporation PAC money if I would change my vote," Rep. Merrill Cook, a Republican who represents Utah's 2nd congressional district, told reporter David M. Bresnahan.

"I came to Congress for a reason, and there is not enough money in the world to sway my vote. I will not sell out America's interests," Mr. Cook said.

The congressman said he was delivering on a promise to his constituents not to support "this kind of action or the regime in China." The offers of money came from "multinational corporations and through the Chamber of Commerce 2000 PACs," said Cook spokesman Richard Kuchinsky.

Saying that Mr. Cook "put principle over politics" when he turned down the money from the political action committees, Mr. Kuchinsky said he didn't know how many other congressmen had received similar offers of money in exchange for a favorable vote on the bill. Mr. Kuchinsky did not identify the "multinational corporations," but said they want to build factories in China so they can take advantage of lower wages.

Hillary's secret

Hillary Rodham Clinton is raising tens of thousands of dollars at secret private fund-raisers from cronies of Yasser Arafat, even as she publicly courts Jewish voters, according to a story in the Forward, a Jewish-American newspaper.

Mrs. Clinton is scheduled to march through the Big Apple in the Israel Day Parade on June 4. "But the Forward has learned that on May 12, Mrs. Clinton attended a private fund-raising reception at the Washington mansion of Hani Masri, a close associate of Mr. Arafat. The event, which sources say raised more than $50,000, was closed to the press, which wouldn't have known about the event anyway, since it wasn't listed on Mrs. Clinton's public schedule," the newspaper said.

A week later, on May 19 the same day that New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani dramatically announced his withdrawal from the Senate race Mrs. Clinton quietly slipped into Virginia to attend another fund-raising event, reporter Eli Lake said.

This time, sources told the reporter, she brought in more than $70,000 at the home of Rafat "Ray" Mahmood, a Pakistani-American real-estate developer who was in Islamabad during President Clinton's visit to Pakistan earlier this year. Again, the fund-raiser was closed to the press and not listed on Mrs. Clinton's public schedule.

Mr. Mahmood said he supports Democrats and has no views on foreign policy other than that he supports peace. He said he had been in Pakistan on a family vacation that coincided with Mr. Clinton's visit.

Thank you

"Look for a snowballing of thank-you fund-raisers for key House members who, brows furrowed, announced shortly before the big vote that, after deep soul-searching and meditation, they'd back normalizing trade relations with China," National Journal says.

"Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, a potentially pivotal undecided member until several days before the May 24 vote, will be recognized next month for his (eventual) clearheadedness. His campaign war chest will presumably be topped off at the event, which is being orchestrated by Bergner Bockorny, a lobbying firm that represents the Business Roundtable," the magazine reports.

"Separately, Rep. Martin Frost, Texas Democrat, emerged from the undecided's den, sniffed the air, and just before he publicly embraced China called Motorola Corp. to see if they could help arrange a money bash for him. No promises, but don't be surprised if Frost is accommodated, sooner rather than later."

Difference of opinion

Democratic strategist James Carville always ready to take on anyone who criticizes President Clinton was in a near-frenzy Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" about the recommendation last week by a state-court-appointed committee that Mr. Clinton be disbarred.

"That was the most blown-out-of-proportion … cockamamie thing that's ever happened," Mr. Carville said.

On CBS' "Face the Nation," former Clinton White House counsel Jack Quinn called the recommendation "wholly without precedent, wholly unexpected, and wholly unfair." Mr. Quinn said a letter of reprimand was the punishment "called for" in this case, adding: "It really defies belief that this isn't about politics."

But Rep. Asa Hutchinson, an Arkansas Republican who served as a prosecutor in Mr. Clinton's Senate trial, dismisses that argument. "In fact, this committee was all appointed by the [state] Supreme Court, which are by and large Democrat elected officials; secondly, eight did recuse themselves. But of the six that were remaining that made the decision, four of them voted in the Democratic primary they identify themselves as Democrats," said the congressman, a member of the Judiciary Committee.

"This is not about 'Let's go after the president.' It's about the integrity of the legal profession," and a judge's finding that the president lied under oath, Mr. Hutchinson said.

Back in action

Rep. Floyd D. Spence, South Carolina Republican, is scheduled to be released this morning from the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore after receiving a kidney transplant from his son, David. The operation was performed Friday, and David Spence was released from the hospital Sunday

Bush's ad 'posse'

Texas Gov. George W. Bush is forming a "Park Avenue Posse" to help produce television advertisements for his Republican presidential campaign.

His top media strategist, Mark McKinnon, said Sunday the campaign has recruited New York advertising executive Jim Ferguson to head up a group of Manhattan ad men to advise Mr. Bush's team, based in Austin, Texas.

Mr. Ferguson is president and creative director of Young & Rubicam Inc., one of the nation's most prominent advertising firms. Mr. Ferguson and his recruits will work outside their agencies on a volunteer basis, Mr. McKinnon told the Associated Press.

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