- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 14, 2000

Surprise visit

Former President George Bush made a surprise visit yesterday to the "Imus in the Morning" radio show, where Mr. Imus has turned his full satirical guns on Mr. Bush's son, George W. Bush, in recent weeks.
Calling from Kennebunkport, Maine, the elder Mr. Bush told Mr. Imus he had just received a jar of the radio host's personal salsa.
"I haven't felt that way since I threw up on the Japanese prime minister," Mr. Bush deadpanned.
"I've got to go," the former president said later, but not before inviting Mr. Imus to his vacation home for a horseback ride. Mr. Imus was seriously injured this summer when a horse threw him.
The horse's name, Mr. Bush said, is "Subliminal."
Mr. Imus laughed heartily, and later said the ex-president "was pretty good."

Campaign prop

Former Sen. Bob Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, charges that the Federal Election Commission's general counsel plans to use him as a political prop today when the body considers whether Mr. Dole should be held liable for $3 million in transgressions from the last campaign.
"I have been going back and forth with the FEC for nearly four years trying to resolve various disputes about fund raising and expenditures in the 1996 presidential election," Mr. Dole says in a letter to The Washington Times.
"There is something a little disquieting about the commission (probably its partisan Democratic General Counsel Lawrence M. Noble) giving us two days' notice and announcing a public hearing" for today.
"The Clinton-Gore campaign was totally absolved by the commission in 1999, even though at one point the Clinton-Gore potential liability was publicly stated to be $7 million. Now just two months before the 2000 election Mr. Noble finally gets around to the Dole-Kemp campaign and is asking the commission to make me personally liable for nearly $3 million.
"No one has accused me of campaign violations. I did not make illegal phone calls or visit the Buddhist Temple or raise Chinese money. I have even agreed to testify before a congressional committee or have a special prosecutor investigate my campaign fund-raising activities," Mr. Dole said.
"I'm a bit skeptical about the timing of Mr. Noble's present effort. This is a double standard being applied, because I was the Republican candidate and because Mr. Noble wants the public to believe that Bob Dole and Jack Kemp, not Bill Clinton and Al Gore, were the bad guys in 1996."
Mr. Dole added, in capital letters, "Where's the outrage?"

Forbes defeated

New York Rep. Michael P. Forbes, who switched from the Republicans to the Democrats last year, apparently has gone down to defeat in the Democratic primary, losing to a little-known and underfinanced former librarian.
Regina Seltzer, 71, who raised $40,000 to Mr. Forbes' $1.4 million, defeated Mr. Forbes by 39 votes of the 11,611 cast, according to unofficial returns Tuesday night, the Associated Press reports.
"This is about the people of this community who have said in no uncertain terms to Mr. Forbes, 'You're fired.' It's a really, really amazing thing," said Miss Seltzer, who declared victory 90 minutes after the polls closed.
Mr. Forbes, who switched parties last year after being wooed by Democrats trying to reclaim House control, said voting machines had been impounded for a recount that would take several days.
"If my opponent is truly several dozen votes ahead, we're going to support her and live by the will of the people," he said.
Miss Seltzer will face Republican Felix Grucci in November. Mr. Grucci was unopposed. The GOP has sent mailings to Democrats gleefully touting Mr. Forbes' 100 percent rating from the Christian Coalition.

Gillespie joins Bush

Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush has hired Washington consultant Ed Gillespie to help hone his message.
Mr. Gillespie, who oversaw the communications operation at the Republican National Convention, will work for Bush communications director Karen Hughes, who offered him the job last week, the Associated Press reports.
An expert at melding policy and politics, Mr. Gillespie will help Mr. Bush shape and deliver his agenda from the campaign's headquarters in Austin, Texas.
"I'm going to head to Austin," said Mr. Gillespie, who has been an informal adviser to the campaign for months. "I've been asking if there's any way I can help out since the convention. I'm going to basically do what I've been doing, just do it down there."
Mr. Gillespie is former policy and communications director of the House Republican Caucus and held the same title under Texas Rep. Dick Armey during the congressman's first year as House majority leader. Mr. Gillespie will take a leave of absence from his private-sector consulting firm.
Mr. Gillespie said he has been talking to campaign officials for a month about the job.

Al-gate?

Does G. Gordon Liddy have an alibi?Burglars broke into the New York headquarters of Vice President Al Gore's presidential campaign and "stole several computers containing confidential information," New York's WABC-TV reported last night.
The break-in, at the Gore offices on the 19th floor of 2 Penn Plaza in midtown Manhattan, took place between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. yesterday, the station reported on its Web site.
"Campaign workers told New York City detectives three laptop computers and a Palm Pilot were stolen… . Staffers were clearly unnerved by the theft, and refused to discuss it."
But police were not suggesting that this was a Watergate-style case of political espionage.
"Detectives believe the burglars were more interested in the computers than in their contents," the station's N.J. Burkett reported.
Police called it "a crime of opportunity that does not appear to have been politically motivated, at least so far," according to WABC. "Investigators say other offices here have reported similar break-ins in the past few weeks, and that this incident may or may not be related."

Nixon's brother

Among the supporters who greeted Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush in Monroe, Wash., yesterday was a man who has been closer to presidential politics than most Edward Nixon, younger brother of the late President Richard M. Nixon.
"He's going to do fine," Mr. Nixon said of the Texas governor, who has been slipping slightly in recent polls. "My brother always said you don't want to peak too early. Bush and his people have the means to bring this thing together."
Mr. Nixon, 70, is a retired geologist and Navy veteran who lives in Lynnwood, Wash. He is tall, thin, graying and bespectacled, and resembles his famous brother in facial features and mannerisms. His brother was president from 1969 to 1974.
As he waited for Mr. Bush to arrive for a speech on the environment along the banks of the Skykomish River, Mr. Nixon was asked what advice his brother might have given the Republican nominee.
"You have to talk for yourself and speak without notes and be very forceful in what you say," Mr. Nixon said. "A 'read' speech doesn't make an impact. And you need a lot of help from your aides you can't know everything."
A former resident of California, where Mr. Bush will be campaigning today, Mr. Nixon said politics in the state confounds him nowadays.

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