- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 12, 2006

On opposite sides

Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, campaigned yesterday for a conservative congressman who publicly disagreed with the potential 2008 presidential candidate on how to deal with illegal aliens.

Six-term Rep. Steve Chabot, Ohio Republican, made it clear that while he welcomed Mr. McCain’s appearance at a breakfast fundraiser in Cincinnati, the two are on opposite sides on how to deal with the nation’s estimated 10 million to 12 million illegal aliens, the Associated Press reports.

“This happens to be an area where the senator and I don’t agree,” Mr. Chabot said after Mr. McCain attended the fundraiser for Mr. Chabot’s re-election campaign. Mr. Chabot said they do agree on some issues.

Last year, Mr. Chabot voted for a House bill that would make illegal immigration a felony and make offering non-emergency aid or assistance to illegals a federal crime. The bill also calls for building a fence along 700 miles of the border with Mexico.

Mr. McCain favors legislation that seeks better border security, regulations on the future entry of foreign workers and allows most of the nation’s illegal immigrants to eventually qualify for citizenship through a series of steps, including paying any back taxes and passing criminal background checks.

Harris responds

Rep. Katherine Harris, a Republican who is running for a U.S. Senate seat from Florida, fired back at National Review this week after the conservative magazine called for her to withdraw “for the good of her party and for the good of her own reputation.”

In an open letter to magazine founder William F. Buckley Jr., Mrs. Harris said she was “disappointed in the short-sighted editorial” and that she “will be the next senator from Florida.” She even invited Mr. Buckley to campaign with her in Florida, suggesting that “D.C. insiders” are sabotaging her Senate bid, the Miami Herald reports.

The National Review said Mrs. Harris can’t defeat incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, but that there’s still time for another Republican candidate to get in the race against the Democrat the magazine calls a “colorless career politician.”

Lieberman’s option

Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, refused Monday to rule out an independent candidacy if he loses the Democratic nomination, saying his re-election to a fourth term is too important for his state.

“The definitive answer is that I am not foreclosing the option,” Mr. Lieberman said. “If I wanted to run as an independent, I would do it today. I don’t. I am a Democrat. I want to run as a Democrat.”

Mr. Lieberman’s campaign staff has tried repeatedly to damp down speculation about an independent candidacy, most recently after the question arose Sunday at a campaign stop in Windsor, Conn. But the candidate said Monday he feels obliged to keep his options open, the Hartford Courant reports.

Mr. Lieberman is being challenged for the Democratic nomination by Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont, who is basing his candidacy on Mr. Lieberman’s support for President Bush on key issues, most notably the administration’s conduct of the war in Iraq.

Bush Award winner

The Rev. Billy Graham accepted the 2006 George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service on Monday in College Station, Texas.

“To be honest, when you first contacted me about this award, I was very reluctant to accept it,” the 87-year-old evangelist said to former President George Bush. “The words ‘public service’ usually bring to mind someone who has been active in government or politics, or perhaps a business leader or philanthropist. But that has not been my calling.”

The preacher said his calling has been to help people look beyond this world and onto the next, the Associated Press reports. But over time, Mr. Graham said, he has come to accept that his “commitment to Christ makes me more concerned about this world.”

Steele wins prize

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation announced yesterday that one of the four 2006 Bradley Prizes to honor outstanding achievement will be awarded to Shelby Steele of the Hoover Institution.

Mr. Steele, a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution, specializes in race relations, American social culture and identity politics.

“The Bradley Foundation is honoring Dr. Steele for his contributions to the study of race in America and his undying devotion to equality for all,” said Michael W. Grebe, president and chief executive officer of the Bradley Foundation. “He has a distinguished body of work that has led to understanding of racial equality in America.”

Mr. Steele and three other recipients will be presented the awards during a ceremony to be held at the Kennedy Center on May 25. Each award carries a stipend of $250,000.

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

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