- The Washington Times - Monday, January 17, 2005

Not this time

“What’s his name, Teddy Kennedy?”

Julius Washington-Williams Jr., who was 19 years old when his mother, Essie Mae, confessed to her children that her biological father — and their grandfather — was white and a U.S. senator. Mrs. Washington-Williams, whose mother was black, tells her story for the first time in the forthcoming book, “Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond.

Blacks’ beliefs

A panel of leading black religious conservatives will discuss the future of the black church vote as part of the executive conference of the National Clergy Council, which convenes after Sunday services at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington.

The panel says it will examine voting trends and sentiments among black church attendees and, more particularly, “how they are changing relative to key moral issues, such as abortion rights and same-sex relationships.”

Among the panelists: the Rev. Johnny Hunter, founder and president of the Life Education And Resource Network (LEARN); the Rev. Kenneth Barney, senior pastor of the 5,000-member New Antioch Baptist Church in Randallstown, Md.; the Rev. Clenard H. Childress, director of LEARN; Phyllis Berry-Myers of the Center for New Black Leadership;the Rev. Luke Robinson of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; and Paulette Roseboro of the African American Life Alliance.

Path to power

Forget about becoming a senator or congressman.

The key to the White House, or so recent history shows us, is hidden in a governor’s mansion.

Consider former governors Jimmy Carter of Georgia, Ronald Reagan of California, Bill Clinton of Arkansas and George W. Bush of Texas — each bypassing the often-contentious Capitol Hill to reach the Oval Office.

Now, eager to retake the executive mansion in 2008, Democrats among other places are looking south — to Richmond and Virginia Democratic Gov. Mark Warner.

Asked about the national spotlight suddenly shining on Mr. Warner, a highly successful business entrepreneur who managed to steer a large tax overhaul through a Republican-dominated legislature — the first general tax increase in the state in nearly two decades — Virginia Rep. James P. Moran, a Democrat,gave Inside the Beltway a thumbs up.

Although he remains mum on his future, word is the 50-year-old Mr. Warner (no relation to Virginia senior Sen. John W. Warner), who is now beginning his final year as governor, could challenge Republican Sen. George Allen in 2006 — or solely concentrate on capturing the White House in 2008.

Asked about both scenarios, a beaming Mr. Moran flashed a double thumbs up.

Left-leaning dogs

“Your recent articles about two cats named Colin Powell brought to mind California’s most experienced hunter of vote fraud, who found that of pets registered to vote, cats tend to vote Republican and dogs tend to vote Democrat,” observes Paul Sarvis of Elk Grove, Calif.

Swearing in Cicero

Whenever the topic turns to the nation’s massive budget deficit, we turn to Sid Taylor, research associate for the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.

After all, nobody has more experience crunching numbers than Mr. Taylor, who is four months shy of his 91st birthday.

He quotes Cicero, circa 63 B.C.: “The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt.”

“No matter how you say it, Cicero, the greatest Roman orator of 20 centuries ago, was right,” concludes Mr. Taylor. “Imagine, Marcus Tullius Cicero sitting in the Oval Office. ‘Vote Cicero and save your dough!’”

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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