- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 13, 2000

Clinton coaches wife

President Clinton is more than the "cheerleader in chief" for his wife's Senate campaign. He is also a coach, the Associated Press reports.
The president has "dropped in and out" of Hillary Rodham Clinton's practice sessions for her first debate in the New York Senate race, said White House spokesman Jake Siewert.
"Certainly he's an experienced debater, and she said she's never done this before," Mr. Siewert said yesterday. "I'm sure he's offered some advice."
The first lady is facing Republican Rick Lazio tonight in Buffalo, N.Y.
Mr. Siewert declined to reveal how much assistance Mr. Clinton has offered his wife, and said while Mr. Clinton is following her campaign closely, "I wouldn't overplay his role in this."
The president called himself the "cheerleader in chief" during weekend fund-raisers for his wife's Senate bid. Yesterday, he voted for her in the state's Democratic primary.

The meaning of crime

Penny Nance, a board member of Concerned Women for America, yesterday sent a letter to every member of Congress, calling for defeat of "hate crime" legislation when it comes up this week.
"Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest pro-family women's organization with 500,000 members. We are disgusted by the idea propagated by Senator [Edward M.] Kennedy and Representative [Barney] Frank that only some crimes are singled out for special treatment or punishment. Clearly these men do not understand the meaning of violent crime," she said.
"Senator Kennedy said in a recent Senate hearing on the issue that rape is not necessarily a hate crime. As a victim of attempted rape, I wish to inform him that sexual violence is always a matter of hate or some other evil motive. I find his flippant attitude repugnant, disrespectful and discriminatory against women. Obviously, Senator Kennedy still does not get it. Senator Kennedy owes every rape victim in America an apology.
"What could possibly be more hateful than violence against women and children? The moment Congress starts singling out specific groups for more protection against crime they discriminate against others. The murder of Matthew Shepard was evil and hateful but not more hateful then the murder of Polly Klass or the rape of any woman or child. Concerned Women for America finds the entire concept of 'hate crimes' offensive to women and all crime victims."

Disney's pledge

The Walt Disney Company yesterday became the first entertainment giant to react to a scathing federal report accusing the industry of pitching violence to teen-agers, saying it would change its marketing policies.
The company which also owns Touchstone, Miramax Films, Hollywood Pictures and the ABC television network said it would not target or research under-17 audience groups a practice cited in Monday's report. Disney also said it "would not permit" the screening of trailers advertising adult-rated films in theaters showing Disney-brand films.
In addition, ABC will no longer accept ads for adult-rated films in prime time, before 9 p.m., the company said in a statement.

No spending limits

A federal appeals court handed Missouri's major political parties a potent weapon Monday when it tossed out the state's limits on what political parties can contribute to candidates.
The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 ruling, found that limits on contributions by political parties violated the parties' First Amendment rights to disseminate their ideas, the Kansas City Star reports.
Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon immediately promised to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. He said he would seek an order that would allow the state to enforce the limits while the case is under appeal.
Mr. Nixon, a Democrat, said the decision showed "a stunning lack of understanding of what really happens in campaigns."
The ruling will allow contributors to circumvent the state's limits on individual donations by giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to the political parties, which can now forward the money to candidates.
The Missouri Republican Party, which brought the lawsuit challenging the state's limits, called the ruling a victory for free speech.

Landlord Lieberman

A $48 million estate controlled by Joseph I. Lieberman evicted a woman from one of its buildings, then reversed course when she sued the Connecticut senator and charged she lost her job because she was injured on the property, court records show.
Monica E. Beach, 58, continues to live rent-free in the building in Stamford, Conn., until the legal dispute is settled, a spokesman for the Democratic vice-presidential nominee told Associated Press writer David Ho.
A trial is slated for February.
"Senator Lieberman hopes Ms. Beach and the insurance company can settle it amicably before a trial," spokesman Dan Gerstein said.
Miss Beach was evicted by court order in April 1997 for not paying rent in a multifamily building owned by the estate of Mr. Lieberman's uncle, Bernard L. Manger, who died in May 1995.
Mr. Lieberman, selected last month as Al Gore's running mate, became an executor of the estate in February 1996.
Miss Beach filed a personal injury lawsuit in April 1997 against Mr. Lieberman and his co-executor, Harold F. Bernstein. Instead of forcing her from her apartment, the estate and its insurance company responded by letting her stay and agreeing to take rent she owes out of any eventual settlement.

Dyslexia denied

George W. Bush's campaign dismissed a report on Monday that the Republican presidential nominee may be dyslexic, calling it "fiction stranger than truth."
An article in the magazine Vanity Fair by author Gail Sheehy, who frequently writes psychological portraits of politicians, concluded that the Texas governor's often-mocked malapropisms on the campaign trail could stem from dyslexia, a language-based disability in which the sufferer has trouble processing words or sentences.
Among the slips that Miss Sheehy cites as possibly caused by the disability are: "Reading is the basics for all learning," "Put food on your family," and "The senator cannot have it both ways. He can't take the high horse and then claim the low road."
Miss Sheehy quotes several experts as saying those sorts of errors could be caused by dyslexia. She also quoted Houston dyslexia expert Nancy LaFevers as saying, "The errors you've heard Gov. Bush make are consistent with dyslexia."
Sue Horn, the former president of the Maryland branch of the International Dyslexia Association, told Miss Sheehy: "Bush is probably dyslexic, although he has probably never been diagnosed."
But Mr. Bush's Communications Director Karen Hughes, after pointing out the article to reporters aboard the candidate's campaign plane, said it was not true, Reuters reports.
"No, the governor does not have dyslexia," she said. "In this case, fiction is stranger than truth."

Cheney cashes in

Republican vice-presidential nominee Richard B. Cheney, under fire for accepting a multimillion-dollar retirement package from an energy company, cashed in stock options worth about $35 million last month, a recently released government filing showed.
The Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed Mr. Cheney, a former defense secretary, sold 660,000 common shares of Halliburton Co., the company where he served as chief executive officer until July, when he was tapped for the Republican presidential ticket by Texas Gov. George W. Bush.
The SEC filing released Monday showed Mr. Cheney still holds options on 500,000 shares that have exercise prices ranging from $28.13 to $54.50 a share. The options expire each December in the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. In addition, he directly holds 189,800 shares.

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