- The Washington Times - Monday, June 3, 2002

Katherine returns
Those still moaning over the 2000 presidential election will have some new insight to consider.
Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who got some rough treatment in the press during those months, is at work on a book about the voting controversy and what she learned from it.
During the monthlong controversy, Mrs. Harris' advice about "sticking to your guns" and "staring down the dog" became the genesis for her book.
"Center of the Storm: Practicing Principled Leadership in Times of Crisis," will be published Sept. 3, just two weeks before Mrs. Harris faces a Republican primary for a Sarasota-area's congressional seat.
In the book, Mrs. Harris will tell her side of the 36-day legal battle following the November election, the publishers said. They said the book would "debunk myths debated during the recount."
The book, which also includes tips on leadership skills, is being published jointly by WorldNetDaily, a conservative news Web site, and Thomas Nelson Publishers, a Christian publishing house whose authors include the Rev. Billy Graham.

From the land of chad
Palm Beach County, Fla., announced officials will stage a "mock election" July 13 to acquaint voters with new touch-screen voting machines before fall elections.
The practice voting booths will be placed in community centers and several local Publix supermarkets prompting the Palm Beach Post to run a mock advisory as well:
"Dear Voter/Shopper Thank you for choosing Publix, 'Where Voting is a Pleasure.'
"Please do not try to insert your Lotto picks into the slot in this Sequoia voting machine. THIS IS NOT A LOTTERY AREA. If you try playing the Lotto in this machine, you will likely cause a malfunction, or possibly create an unexplained vote in the Wellington run-off."
"We here at Publix, along with our partners at the Supervisor of Elections Office, hope that you will find this mock election whets your appetite for both the fall elections, and for our mock-election cupcakes (with confectionery chad icing) that come in our special 'recount' packaging of 11 in a dozen container," the advisory concluded.

Holier than thou
Alabama's race for governor has done got religion.
Rep. Bob Riley, the Republican front-runner for tomorrow's primary, ran campaign ads of himself in church with a Southern Baptist minister who vouched for Mr. Riley's strong family values.
Lt. Gov. Steve Windom, meanwhile, kicked off his campaign by appearing with a church choir, and his first ad solicited donations to help Alabama's chief justice fend off lawsuits challenging his posting of the Ten Commandments in the state judicial building.
The third GOP candidate, Tim James, is a son of former Gov. Fob James, who once said he would call out the National Guard to keep the Ten Commandments in a courtroom.
The winner of tomorrow's primary most likely will face first-term Gov. Don Siegelman the only Democrat elected governor of Alabama since George Wallace.
Meanwhile, at least one Democratic candidate for Senate is also going the religious route: lawyer Julian McPhillips has used a "clergy coordinator" in his bid for support in the churches. His opponent, state Auditor Susan Parker, has questioned the strategy.

Tinseltown wakes up
"Displays of overt patriotism once dismissed by the political left as quaint and naive are now commonplace, and the Republican president routinely sports uncommonly high approval ratings. America, it appears, has drifted to the right since 9/11, but has famously liberal Hollywood followed suit? Increasingly, insiders are saying the answer is yes," states the current Hollywood Reporter.
The industry paper also conducted a survey to determine which stars are proving the most ideologically annoying.
Alec Baldwin, whom the New York Post calls "the Bloviator," is high on the list of celebrities who are disliked because of their politics. Needless to say, Jane Fonda and Barbra Streisand also were prominent in the category of what the newspaper calls "Baldwin-esque blowhards."
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Oprah Winfrey and rock star Bono won kudos; Charlton Heston and Rosie O'Donnell made both the most-admired and most-hated lists.

The J word
ABC is not shy about broadcasting verbal vulgarity on shows like "NYPD Blue." So why would ABC bleep out the name of Jesus on its daytime talk show "The View," asks the Media Research Center.
Created by Barbara Walters, "The View" is hosted by Meredith Vieira with Joy Behar, Star Jones and Lisa Ling. In recent days, viewers followed Miss Behar's dieting with daily on-air weigh-ins, which ended May 22.
On the May 23 show, Miss Vieira made note of that fact, to which Miss Behar replied: "Yes, and thank you, thank you, Jesus, is all I have to say."
But by the time the New York-based show was rebroadcast to West Coast audiences, Miss Behar's comment was reduced to "thank you, thank you [bleep]." The cast discussed their disapproval Friday, with Miss Jones summing up their exasperation: "They let us say all kinds of things on TV, but they beep Jesus? That makes no sense."
"It makes no sense, of course, unless you consider Jesus Christ offensive," noted Liz Swasey of the Media Research Center.

A Venezuelan visit
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said yesterday he had invited black members of the U.S. Congress to act as mediators and help foster a dialogue with his domestic political foes after a failed April coup against him, Reuters reports.
Mr. Chavez, speaking on his weekly "Hello, President" TV show, said he had received a May 22 letter of support from the Congressional Black Caucus.
In their letter, some 30 House members condemned the April 11-14 coup against the left-wing Venezuelan leader led by rebel generals and admirals and expressed support for his call for reconciliation, made once he was reinstated by loyal troops and supporters.
Mr. Chavez, who is of mixed race, thanked "these black brothers and sisters" and invited them to visit Venezuela, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter and also a major supplier of petroleum products to the United States.
"We have invited them, and they have accepted, to come and participate as observers, mediators and facilitators for the national dialogue," Mr. Chavez said. He added the Black Caucus members would visit in the next few months.

Unconventional
Not every city wants to play host to Republicans and Democrats. As many as 18 of 26 cities asked to bid for the chance to host the 2004 Democratic or Republican national conventions have declined, saying the conventions now offer less of an image boost.
"They've gotten very expensive to put on," Larry Noble of the Center for Responsive Politics told the Dallas Morning News. "The national exposure brought about by hosting the convention has diminished."
Both the Republicans and the Democrats are thinking about holding smaller national conventions, maybe with the federal government picking up the tab for security, a cost expected to rise after September 11.
In 2000, Los Angeles spent a reported $35 million on the Democrats, Philadelphia $66 million on the Republicans. Compare those figures to about $5.4 million as the final tally for Dallas in 1984 and the $10.7 million bid for Houston in 1992 as sites of Republican conventions.
Meanwhile, the conventions fascinate very few. In 1976, the three broadcast networks devoted 50 hours to convention coverage. Two years ago, they carried one-fifth of that. A Pew Research Center poll found 52 percent of people surveyed expressing interest in 1992 but only 34 percent in 2000.

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