- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 3, 2002

Torricelli and Clinton
Sen. Robert G. Torricelli, the New Jersey Democrat who withdrew his candidacy for re-election this week, had one great strength: the ability to raise money for himself and others, Michael Barone writes in the Wall Street Journal.
"Mr. Torricelli paid tribute to Bill Clinton in his Trenton speech, and you might say his downfall shows the Clintonization of the party," Mr. Barone said.
"It's expensive to date women like Bianca Jagger or Patricia Duff. What is amazing is that Mr. Torricelli thought he could get away with all this. But then Bill Clinton got away with what he did. And there, behind him in Trenton, looking stricken, was his former wife, Susan Holloway, who is a professional fund-raiser."
Mr. Torricelli's downfall "may turn out to be a turning point in American politics," Mr. Barone added.
"One of the great assets in the Democratic Party over the last decade has been the fund-raising base built by Bill Clinton and Bob Torricelli. But Democratic money givers are now split over Iraq, their ability to easily donate large sums has been weakened by campaign-finance legislation, and rich people in the future may hesitate before becoming closely involved with politicians who turn out to be corrupt. The Torricelli ascendancy may turn out to have been their golden age."

Thrown overboard
Good riddance. That seems to be the message some Democrats have for Sen. Robert G. Torricelli, the New Jersey Democrat who this week tearfully quit rather than fight for re-election.
"Some Democrats went so far as to say privately that they would be better off without Mr. Torricelli even if they could not field another candidate and had to cede the race," the New York Times reports. "They argued that they would then be free to shift millions of dollars from New Jersey into other close [Senate] races."
Someone identified only as "a senior party strategist" told reporter Alison Mitchell: "Is this a high-risk strategy that may or may not succeed? Yes, but it's better to have some hope than no hope."

In Krugman's court
Salon, the left-wing Internet magazine, yesterday disavowed its story that Secretary of the Army Thomas White had conspired to cover up losses at an Enron division he once headed.
"After careful review," the editor's note said, "Salon's editors have decided to take down from our Web site an article titled 'Tom White played key role in covering up Enron losses' that we published on Aug. 29. We took this unusual step because we have come to the conclusion that we can no longer stand by the story in its entirety. Though we have corroborated most of the reporting in the article, some unanswered questions remain. Specifically, we have been unable to independently confirm the authenticity of an e-mail from former Enron executive and current Army Secretary Thomas White that was quoted in the article."
National Review, in a staff story posted on its Web site (www.nationalreview.com) yesterday, said: "With that, the original Salon story, so compelling in its allegations against White, simply vanished. To their credit, Salon's editors were the ones who informed their readers of the serious problems with [Jason] Leopold's piece.
"But readers of the New York Times have not been so well informed. Despite the seriousness of the plagiarism [in the Salon article] which became public more than a week ago [columnist] Paul Krugman has not yet published a correction or a clarification of his original piece touting Leopold's work. Now that Salon has backed away from the e-mail story, Krugman's allegations seem completely baseless."
Mr. Krugman, himself a former Enron adviser, had cited the Salon article in calling Mr. White a potential "corporate evildoer."
"Now Salon has removed the piece from its website. The question is: What will Paul Krugman do?" National Review said.

Georgia on his mind
President Bush will go to Atlanta on Oct. 17 to campaign for U.S. Senate candidate Saxby Chambliss and Republican gubernatorial nominee Sonny Perdue, Cox News Service reports.
"This visit shows the national party and the president believe that both these races are winnable," said state Republican Party Chairman Ralph Reed.
Mr. Bush will attend a noon fund-raiser at the downtown Marriott Marquis, an event that will attract television cameras less than three weeks before the Nov. 5 general election. Mr. Chambliss and Mr. Perdue are sharing top billing at the event.

Siegelman's vow
Alabama Gov. Donald Siegelman said he will call a special session after the Nov. 5 election to raise corporate taxes on businesses that he labels freeloaders.
The special session will be scheduled before the new Legislature convenes on March 4 for its next regular session and could come as early as December, campaign spokesman Rip Andrews told the Associated Press.
"The days when giant out-of-state corporations could freeload on the backs of Alabama schoolchildren are coming to an end and coming to an end the day I'm re-elected," the Democratic governor said in a statement released Monday.

Star power
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Democrat Bill McBride are importing political star power in their campaigns for governor as the race continues to draw attention from the national parties.
Mr. Bush was joined Tuesday by his sister-in-law, first lady Laura Bush, at a "Women for Jeb" rally at which about 700 women chanted, "Four more years," the Associated Press reports.
"He's worked so hard for public schools; he's worked hard to fight crime. These are issues that are important to all Floridians, and especially to Florida's women," Laura Bush said.
The Democratic nominee, meanwhile, is turning to a host of party heavyweights, including former President Bill Clinton, who plans to hold an Oct. 18 fund-raising luncheon for Mr. McBride in New York. Mr. McBride's campaign also hopes to set up a fund-raiser with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton when she travels to Miami later this month.

Rendell ahead
Former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell holds a 15-point lead over Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher in the governor's race, according to a new statewide poll.
Forty-five percent of Pennsylvania's registered voters support Mr. Rendell, the Democratic nominee, while 30 percent favor Mr. Fisher, the Republican, and 24 percent are undecided, according to the survey by Millersville University's Center for Opinion Research. In June, a poll by the same group showed Mr. Rendell leading Mr. Fisher 42 percent to 30 percent.
The telephone survey of 573 voters was conducted last Thursday through Sunday. The margin of error was 4 percentage points.

McCall fading
Democrat Carl McCall has fallen 16 points behind Republican incumbent George E. Pataki in the New York gubernatorial race, according to a new poll.
Mr. Pataki led Mr. McCall 48 percent to 32 percent, with 9 percent for third-party candidate and billionaire Thomas Golisano, in the Marist College survey of likely voters.

Fighting for freedom
Yesterday, while the House International Relations Committee was holding a hearing, the proceedings were interrupted briefly by several female anti-war protesters, who were led away by police.
When Chairman Henry J. Hyde, Illinois Republican, rapped his gavel to quiet the protesters, Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney, Georgia Democrat, criticized him.
"Is freedom of speech out of order in the House of Representatives?" Mrs. McKinney asked.

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