- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 17, 2004

Carolina runoff

Things are heating up in South Carolina, where former Gov. David Beasley and Rep. Jim DeMint square off Tuesday in a Republican runoff to select a challenger for the Senate seat being vacated by Ernest F. Hollings.

In the battle to face Democrat Inez Tenenbaum, the state education superintendent, Mr. Beasley questioned Mr. DeMint’s credentials to represent the GOP, suggesting he would undermine efforts by the state’s Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.

“When you look at the voting records, we don’t need a U.S. senator who’s going to cancel out Lindsey Graham’s vote,” Mr. Beasley said.

Mr. Graham quickly distanced himself from the Beasley claim, the Greenville News reported.

“I’m not going to endorse either one of them, but I don’t want the public to think that there’s some major difference between me and Jim DeMint,” Mr. Graham said.

Mr. Graham said “the idea that Jim is going to cancel my vote out as a senator is not accurate because we do agree most of the time. The voters should know, I like Jim DeMint, I’m philosophically aligned with him … and if he becomes the nominee, he’ll be a great senator.

“I’ll work with David Beasley equally well, but there’s no reason to think that Jim DeMint and I would not be a very good team for South Carolina,” he said.

Mr. DeMint said he was “glad that Lindsey set the record straight.”

Mr. Beasley led the six-candidate field in the June 8 Republican primary with 37 percent of the votes; Mr. DeMint was second, with 27 percent, winning a slot in the Tuesday runoff.

Bushwhacked’

A San Francisco AIDS organization that recently lost its federal funding after conducting “obscene” sex workshops has received a contribution from President Bush’s former AIDS adviser, who now works for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Scott Evertz, who served as the director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy from April 2001 until July 2002, gave $100 to the Stop AIDS Project’s “Bushwhacked” fund, according to the Bay Area Reporter.

A November 2001 investigation by HHS found that some Stop AIDS workshops met the “legal definition of obscene material.” Washington conservatives were outraged that federal funds supported workshops such as “Great Sex,” “Flirt, Date and Score” and “Booty Call.”

“I urge others who agree that this organization is doing good work to reach into their pockets and to contribute as well,” Mr. Evertz told the Bay Area Reporter. However, Mr. Evertz, a special assistant to HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson on global AIDS initiatives, said he did not endorse the title of the “Bushwhacked” challenge grant.

Clinton’s ‘badge’

Former President Bill Clinton tells CBS’ “60 Minutes” that he never considered resigning and is proud he fought efforts to impeach him amid the scandal over his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

“I stood up to it and beat it back,” Mr. Clinton said of the impeachment process, which he describes as “an abuse of power.”

“The whole battle was a badge of honor. I don’t see it as a stain, because it was illegitimate.”

The interview, to take up the full hour of Sunday’s program, is timed to next week’s publication of Mr. Clinton’s memoir, “My Life,” which covers his Arkansas childhood, his tenure as that state’s governor as well as his presidency.

Mr. Clinton said he sees the Lewinsky affair as “a terrible moral error” whose disclosure to his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, put him “in the doghouse.”

“I did something for the worst possible reason. Just because I could,” Mr. Clinton said of his infidelity. “I think that’s just about the most morally indefensible reason anybody could have for doing anything.”

Excerpts from the interview, taped Tuesday at Mr. Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, N.Y., and last weekend in Arkansas, were released Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.

Judicial struggle

The Senate Judiciary Committee, on a party-line vote yesterday, recommended seating a Michigan judge who was nominated 2½ years ago for a federal appeals court.

The 10-9 vote by the majority GOP sends the nomination of Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Henry Saad to the full Senate, where it faces an uncertain future.

Democrats could threaten to filibuster the nomination, as they have done to stall or block votes on six of President Bush’s judicial nominations.

Judge Saad was nominated to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears cases from federal district courts in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Traditionally, each state has supplied four judges to the 16-member court, but owing to a political dispute going back to the Clinton administration, all four of the Michigan seats are empty.

Michigan’s two Democratic senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, have blocked Judge Saad’s nomination in part because Republicans would not allow votes on two of President Clinton‘snominees for the court.

No apologies

The commission organizing the U.S. presidential campaign debates defended its decision yesterday to set conditions for participation that are likely to exclude independent candidate Ralph Nader.

The commission said candidates could be included in the three presidential debates and the single vice-presidential debate only if they had a chance of winning a majority in the Electoral College or had 15 percent support in the electorate in the polls, Reuters news agency reports.

Mr. Nader, seen as potentially drawing votes from Democratic challenger John Kerry, has poll support that’s only in the single digits.

“We have no apologies to make,” said commission co-Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf, a former chairman of the Republican Party. “It’s been a prudent and thoughtful exercise.”

“We believe the 15 percent criterion is a fair and balanced number,” added Paul Kirk, the other co-chairman, who once headed the Democratic Party.

A vast conspiracy

Following the screening of a documentary about his presidency, Bill Clinton told the audience that he became an enemy of right-wing America in an attack led by Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth W. Starr.

“The Hunting of the President,” a movie about what filmmakers Harry Thomason and Nickolas Perry call a political smear campaign against Mr. Clinton, premiered at a crowded New York University theater Wednesday.

Mr. Clinton, who addressed a group of about 1,000 people, said Mr. Starr was “the instrument of a grand design.” He said the roots of the modern American right began in the 1960s with turmoil over civil rights and the Vietnam War.

“When the Berlin Wall fell, the perpetual right in America, which always needs an enemy, didn’t have an enemy anymore, so I had to serve as the next best thing,” Mr. Clinton said.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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