- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Hastert vs. Soros

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert yesterday responded to an angry letter from billionaire financier George Soros accusing the politician of implying on national television last weekend that Mr. Soros receives funds from drug cartels.

Mr. Soros sent the letter to Mr. Hastert on Tuesday, telling the Illinois Republican he should be “ashamed” for suggesting “that I might be a criminal simply because I have exercised my First Amendment rights to dissent from the policies of the Bush administration.”

In a reply letter sent yesterday, Mr. Hastert defended his remarks on “Fox News Sunday” and shot back.

“I never implied that you were a criminal, and I never would, that’s not my style,” Mr. Hastert wrote. “I will state clearly that I believe your agenda is dangerous, extreme and wrong for America.”

Mr. Hastert wrote that he’s particularly concerned with Mr. Soros’ fight for drug legalization, and his funding of groups working toward that goal. “These were the drug groups that I referred to in my comments on the ‘Fox News Sunday’ program,” Mr. Hastert wrote, adding that he also strongly disagrees with Mr. Soros’ promotion of euthanasia.

Mr. Hastert also criticized Mr. Soros for funding the largely unregulated “527” groups that have bashed President Bush in television ads this year.

“The American people ought to know that the same people who have fought so aggressively to legalize drugs in this nation and to promote euthanasia are now fighting to defeat George Bush and Republicans in Congress,” Mr. Hastert said. “I would hope that the American people will take note of the radical agenda that lies behind the millions of dollars of negative advertising.”

Try, try again

The Louisiana Supreme Court was asked yesterday to knock a congressman off the Nov. 2 ballot for switching at the last minute to the Republican Party.

The appeal was filed by Jock Scott, who was the leading Republican candidate for Congress until Rep. Rodney Alexander suddenly switched from the Democratic Party, the Associated Press reports.

“Rodney Alexander should be denied the benefit of his cynical actions that violated the letter and spirit of the Louisiana election code,” Mr. Scott’s attorney, Michael Johnson, argued in court papers.

The turmoil began Aug. 6, when Mr. Alexander filed to run for re-election as a Republican 15 minutes before the filing deadline — and two days after he had filed as a Democrat. Furious Democrats sued to keep him off the ballot.

A judge refused to do so, though he reopened the sign-up period for candidates. On Monday, however, an appeals court struck down the new qualifying period.

Story Continues →