- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Romney’s order

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s administration yesterday demanded copies of all marriage license applications filled out by homosexual couples in Provincetown and three other cities that openly defied the governor’s residency requirement for same-sex “marriages.”

The request may signal the next front in the legal battle over same-sex “marriage,” the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Romney, a Republican who opposes homosexual “marriage,” previously said he would declare any licenses issued to out-of-state homosexual couples void, and he threatened unspecified legal action against any clerks who issued them.

On Monday, clerks in Provincetown — a homosexual-tourist hot spot on Cape Cod — and in Worcester, Springfield and Somerville accepted marriage-license applications from out-of-state couples, just as they had announced they would do.

The angry man

George Soros, the left-wing billionaire and a major Democratic Party contributor, hates President Bush so much that he actually implied in a speech Monday that Mr. Bush is worse than Osama bin Laden.

Mr. Bush’s war on terror has “claimed more innocent victims than the terrorist attacks on September 11,” Mr. Soros told graduates of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.

The New York Post reports that the Hungarian-born financier said “things started going seriously wrong” when Mr. Bush went to war with terrorists.

“It is the war on terror that has led to the torture scenes in Iraq,” Mr. Soros said, adding: “I can testify from personal experience that [democracy] can’t be done by military means.”

Brown’s goal

Former two-term California Gov. Jerry Brown has filed papers saying he intends to run for state attorney general in 2006.

“I’d bring creativity and innovation to that office. I have a lot to give,” Mr. Brown told the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Brown, the mayor of Oakland, quietly filed his required statement of intention to run in 2006 last week.

The son of former Gov. Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, who was defeated for re-election in 1966 by Ronald Reagan, the younger Mr. Brown was California’s secretary of state before succeeding Mr. Reagan as governor in 1975.

Mr. Brown, a staunch opponent of the death penalty, is one of at least four candidates contemplating a run for attorney general in 2006 as Democrat Bill Lockyer, the incumbent, is being forced from office by term limits and will likely run for governor, United Press International reports.

‘Mission accomplished’

“Last week in Washington was the site of the biggest birthday party you never heard of,” John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge wrote yesterday in an op-ed piece in the New York Times.

“The occasion was the 40th anniversary of the American Conservative Union, and the guest list included all the grandees of right-wing America, from Sen. Mitch McConnell to Phyllis Schlafly to Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association to, of course, President Bush,” said the writers, who work for the Economist magazine and authored “The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America.”

“This is the type of partisan anniversary that only one side of America pays attention to — the side that watches Fox News Channel (the host for the evening was that network’s Tony Snow). Yet every Democratic politician in the land could have learned a great deal by attending. It would be going a little far to say that the ACU ought to have celebrated under a banner labeled ‘Mission Accomplished,’ but it is because of such groups that the right has out-organized, out-fought and out-thought liberal America over the past 40 years. And the left still shows no real sign of knowing how to fight back.”

Democratic hope

The upset defeat of Speaker Tom Foley a decade ago symbolized the Republican takeover of the U.S. House. Now Democrats feel they have a chance to win back the seat in Washington state.

Democrats are pinning their hopes on Donald Barbieri, a businessman with a big campaign war chest and a long history of civic duty. Three Republicans hope to keep the seat in the GOP’s hands, the Associated Press reports.

The seat is open because Republican Rep. George Nethercutt, who ousted Mr. Foley in 1994 after 15 terms, is leaving his spot to challenge Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.

So far, Mr. Barbieri has raised more money than the three Republican contenders combined.

However, state Republican Chairman Chris Vance believes the winner of the September primary among three Republicans — state Rep. Cathy McMorris, state Sen. Larry Sheahan, and Spokane lawyer Shaun Cross — will prevail in the general election.

McKinney loses

A federal appeals court rejected a lawsuit filed by supporters of former Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney, who claimed her loss in the 2002 Democratic primary resulted from wide-scale Republican crossover voting.

A three-judge panel in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court Monday that the Democratic Party is free to hold an open primary, the Associated Press reports.

Former state court Judge Denise L. Majette got 58 percent of the vote in the 2002 primary in the 4th Congressional District, east of Atlanta, beating Miss McKinney by almost 20,000 votes. She went on to win the general election by a landslide in the heavily Democratic district.

Miss McKinney is trying to regain her seat and qualified last month for a spot on the July 20 primary ballot. Several other Democrats are also running, including former Atlanta City Council President Cathy Woolard. Mrs. Majette is not seeking a second term, instead running for the U.S. Senate seat to replace retiring Democrat Zell Miller.

Bono and McConnell

Rock star Bono used to hang out with Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and Sen. Jesse Helms, North Carolina Republican, when they were in office. But Bono has found a new friend in Sen. Mitch McConnell.

The Kentucky Republican and the lead singer for the Irish band U2 were on Capitol Hill yesterday promoting human rights in Burma and the fight against AIDS.

“He speaks and an awful lot of people listen,” Mr. McConnell said.

Bono, speaking from behind his baby-blue sunglasses about the U.S. efforts to battle AIDS overseas, said: “We’re here to encourage Congress to continue their work and step it up — we have not won.”

President Bush in 2002 proposed spending $15 billion over five years to help African nations stymie the dread disease.

“All of that money will be appropriated and will be spent as fast as the infrastructure can spend it usefully,” Mr. McConnell said.

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

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