- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 15, 2001

Child support

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is $5.2 million in hard-dollar debt, Inside the Beltway has learned.

Yet that didn't stop the DCCC, then chaired by Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy of Rhode Island, from making a $100,000 disbursement to the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow-PUSH Coalition on Nov. 8, 2000, according to records we obtained.

Remember those apples next time you give to the Democrats.

Right to assemble

Talk about keeping an arm's length from Bill Clinton.

The ex-president is set to lecture at Salem State College in Massachusetts March 26, his first public forum since leaving office last month.

Eastern Bank is sponsor of the event, and while bank President Stanley J. Lokowski says the bank is pleased to support Mr. Clinton's campus gig, that stops short of an endorsement. In fact, Eastern Bank has gone so far as to issue an automatic reply to those questioning Mr. Clinton's appearance.

"For 10 years, Eastern Bank has been one of the corporate sponsors of the Salem State College speaker series," the statement says. "Next month, the college will host former president Bill Clinton …

"Our sponsorship does not reflect an endorsement of any speaker. Instead, it's a commitment to support an educationally significant speaker series. We appreciate your thoughts on the former president's appearance and hope you will join us in respecting the college's right to host such events."

Students must pay to hear the president's speech: $125 for premium seating or $25 to sit in the bleachers.

General Clinton

Here's another legacy to hand former President Bill Clinton, who was accused only yesterday in this column of toying with U.S. soldiers to cloud discussion of his personal problems.

It turns out the number of overseas missions assigned by the White House to the U.S. military increased dramatically during the Clinton administration. Figures released by Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, show Mr. Clinton deployed military forces 40 times, compared with 14 times under President Bush and 16 times under President Reagan.

Moles for animals

The Environmental Protection Agency wants to know how People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was able to leave a voice-mail message from actor Jack Lemmon in the telephone mailboxes of an estimated 18,000 EPA employees.

An EPA official in Washington investigating the infiltration in which Mr. Lemmon blasted the agency's animal chemical-toxicity tests contacted PETA Tuesday night requesting information.

"We remained pretty much tight-lipped about it," a PETA official tells this column, however hinting of assistance from "within" the EPA.

Don't eat the tuna

Our colleague Ed Henry at Roll Call notes it's been a difficult couple of weeks for the U.S. Capitol Police, the force still reeling from an Inaugural Day mishap in which a complete stranger was allowed an "unscheduled" handshake with President Bush.

(OK, to be fair, where was the Secret Service?)

Now Mr. Henry has learned that a refrigerator located on the terrace level of the U.S. Capitol was "wounded" over the weekend in a bizarre incident.

An officer was apparently "toying with his Glock" and accidentally fired a bullet into the refrigerator, sending fellow officers scurrying.

Luckily, nobody was injured, but the cop has been suspended with pay and had his police privileges revoked pending an internal-affairs investigation.

Cheap Valentines

You know it's St. Valentine's Day on Capitol Hill when House Republican Conference Chairman Rep. J.C. Watts Jr. of Oklahoma issues a news release on hot-pink paper.

And forget chocolate or jewelry. Instead, Mr. Watts taped Luv Pops lollipops, adorned with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, to the release.

Reporters quickly swiped every one of the heart-shaped suckers, leaving the pile of pink releases otherwise untouched.

Promises, promises

Here's how Republican Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Sam Brownback of Kansas enticed reporters to their marriage tax penalty news conference yesterday:

Rose are Red

Violets are Blue

Don't let the marriage tax penalty get to you.

On Wednesday, Valentine's Day, here in the Senate

A press conference is called to tell how to end it.

In the Capitol's Mansfield Room, you should go

At 10:30 in the morning, don't you know.

With Senators Hutchison, Brownback, et al.

And this year, the White House won't drop the ball

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