- The Washington Times - Monday, January 31, 2005

NAACP obstruction

The NAACP is refusing to cooperate with an Internal Revenue Service investigation into whether its chairman made an improper political speech, charging that the timing of the probe was politically motivated, the Associated Press reported.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said in October that the group’s tax-exempt status was under review after its chairman, Julian Bond, gave a speech last summer that criticized President Bush on Iraq and domestic issues.

In a letter to the IRS on Thursday, NAACP lawyers said the group will not hand over documents requested in the probe and argued that the IRS followed improper procedure by beginning its exam before the group had filed its 2004 tax return.

“We must conclude that the intention was to chill appropriate voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts, whether conducted by the NAACP or by other organizations that are targeted by similar examinations in the program,” they wrote.

Federal law bars the IRS from discussing specifics of tax returns or audits, but IRS spokesman Terry Lemons said that groups being investigated for political activity span the ideological spectrum and that such decisions are made by career civil servants, not political appointees.

Helms letter

Former Sen. Jesse Helms, North Carolina Republican, is using two of his favorite villains — former President Bill Clinton and the United Nations — to raise money for his senatorial library, the Raleigh News & Observer reports.

In his fund-raising letter for the Jesse Helms Center, the former senator and bete noire of liberals everywhere asks recipients to send $20 to $2,000 to fight efforts to make Mr. Clinton the new secretary-general of the United Nations.

“That’s right,” writes Mr. Helms, now retired in Raleigh. “Bill Clinton is actively seeking to head one of the most well-financed and influential world bodies ever created by man.

“I’m sure you might agree that putting a left-wing, undisciplined and ethically challenged former president of the United States into a position of such power would be a tragic mistake,” Mr. Helms writes.

“That’s why today, with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton already serving the interests of the socialist-dominated U.N., conservatives like you and I cannot afford to sit back and allow Bill Clinton the chance to corrupt the rest of the world and impose ‘global taxation’ on our families.”

The letter includes a petition to President Bush, asking him not to support Mr. Clinton for the U.N. post.

Unhappy millions

“When you heard about the stunning success of the Iraqi elections, were you thrilled? Did you see it as a triumph for democracy and for the armed forces of the United States that have sacrificed and suffered and fought so valiantly over the past 18 months to get Iraq to this moment?” New York Post columnist John Podhoretz asks.

“Or did you momentarily feel an onrush of disappointment because you knew, you just knew, that this was going to redound to the credit of George W. Bush? This means you, Michael Moore. I’m talking to you, Teddy Kennedy,” Mr. Podhoretz said.

“And not just to the two of you, but to all those who follow in your train.

“There are literally millions of Americans who are unhappy today because millions of Iraqis went to the polls [Sunday]. And why? Because this isn’t just a success for Bush.”

“It’s a big, fat, gigantic winning vindication of the guy that the Moores and Kennedys and millions of others still can’t believe anybody voted for.

“And they know it.

“And it’s killing them.”

Dean’s victory

Howard Dean won the backing of state Democratic Party leaders yesterday, putting him in a strong position to win the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee.

“If all of our members vote for him, that will be half of what he needs to win the chairman’s job,” said Mark Brewer, chairman of the Association of State Democratic Chairs.

Mr. Dean, the party’s former presidential front-runner, won 56 votes from the state chairmen, and Democratic activist Donnie Fowler won 21 during a national conference call. The state chairmen ignored a recommendation made Sunday by the executive committee to back Mr. Fowler. Other candidates’ support yesterday was in single digits.

“We’re asking all of our state chairs and vice chairs to follow our endorsements,” Mr. Brewer said, noting that would bring 112 votes. “And we think they will.”

Mr. Dean’s victory led former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb to drop out of the race yesterday and endorse the former Vermont governor.

Mr. Webb pulled out immediately after the vote, the Denver Post reports. Also yesterday, Colorado Democratic Chairman Chris Gates backed Mr. Dean after stumping for Mr. Webb for more than a month.

His ‘integrity’

A Tennessee state senator who testified in court that he lives in two homes with two different women — is threatening to sue a state Republican leader who suggested that the Democrat doesn’t live in his Memphis district.

State Sen. John Ford testified in Juvenile Court that he spends some days with ex-wife Tamara Mitchell-Ford and their three children, and that on other days, he stays with his longtime girlfriend, Connie Mathews, and their two children.

Neither of those homes is in state Senate District 29, which Mr. Ford has represented since 1975.

Press coverage of Mr. Ford’s testimony prompted state Republican Party Chairman Bob Davis to ask state officials whether Mr. Ford is meeting residency requirements for holding a Senate seat.

Mr. Davis’ accusation is a “scurrilous attack on my integrity,” Mr. Ford told the Associated Press. “He is doing this for no other reason than to drag my name through the mud. Anyone who impugns my name is subject to a lawsuit.”

Mr. Ford’s testimony about his two residences came in a case involving a third woman, mother of the senator’s 10-year-old daughter, who was seeking an increase in child-support payments. Mr. Ford has been relying on a new state law, which he sponsored and guided through the General Assembly, that says court-ordered child-support increases can be offset with proof that the noncustodial parent is supporting other children.

Codey says no

New Jersey acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, who took office late last year to fill out his scandal-tainted predecessor’s term, announced yesterday that he will not enter the gubernatorial race.

He endorsed U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine, the only Democrat to formally enter the race, the Associated Press reports. The decision leaves a clear path to November’s general election for Mr. Corzine, a former Wall Street executive. Seven Republicans are running.

Mr. Codey, also the state Senate president, is serving the final year of former Gov. James E. McGreevey’s term.

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

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