- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 25, 2006

McCarthyites

“Far from condemning a CIA official’s damaging leak of classified information about ongoing efforts to prevent terrorism, on the Sunday morning interview shows, three panelists — a former network White House correspondent, a newspaper and radio veteran and a current network anchor — hailed Mary McCarthy, the CIA staffer fired last week for telling The Washington Post’s Dana Priest about secret prisons in Eastern Europe,” the Media Research Center’s Brent Baker writes at www.mrc.org.

“ABC’s Sam Donaldson heralded the revelations as ‘a victory for the American people’ and compared her actions with those sitting at lunch counters in the 1960s, NPR’s Juan Williams trumpeted her ‘right to speak’ and her ‘act of conscience’ and CBS’s Bob Schieffer characterized the prisons as what ‘scares’ him and claimed the ‘CIA fired an agent’ just ‘for hanging out’ with a reporter.”

Backing Landrieu

The third-place finisher in the New Orleans mayoral race endorsed Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu yesterday over Mayor C. Ray Nagin in next month’s runoff election.

Ron Forman, head of the organization that runs New Orleans’ zoo and aquarium, said Mr. Landrieu has his “full support” in the contest to decide who should lead the city in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“Mitch Landrieu has the experience to implement a plan, to manage a plan and to rebuild our city,” Mr. Forman said.

Mr. Landrieu said he was pleased to get Mr. Forman’s endorsement so quickly. “It needs all of its people to come together. I cannot do this by myself,” Mr. Landrieu said. Mr. Forman received about 17 percent of the overall vote Saturday to Mr. Nagin’s 38 percent and Mr. Landrieu’s 29 percent.

Mr. Forman is white, and much of his support came from Mr. Nagin’s 2002 base, white conservatives. Mr. Nagin, a former cable-TV executive who is black, was largely abandoned by whites this time, but was supported by black voters, the Associated Press reports.

If Mr. Landrieu wins the runoff May 20, he will be the first white mayor of New Orleans since his father, Maurice E. “Moon” Landrieu, held the office in the 1970s.

Abandoning Kucinich

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, Ohio Democrat, who had enjoyed the support of the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s editorial page in the past, has lost the newspaper’s endorsement to primary opponent Barbara Anne Ferris, CNN’s Mark Preston writes in the Morning Grind column at www.cnn.com.

“Rather than focusing on the real and immediate needs of this district, which encompasses the West Side of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County’s western suburbs, Kucinich has been on a quixotic journey of increasingly grandiose proportions,” the newspaper said. “He spent much of 2004 on a one-man campaign for president of the United States, having cobbled together a creaky, left-slanted platform upon which his party would not set foot, but which he would not abandon. And though he says he has no plans to resume that quest next year, he declines to rule it out.”

McKinney files

Amid a swarm of television cameras, Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney arrived at the state Capitol in Atlanta yesterday to file for re-election.

Miss McKinney smiled broadly, but didn’t comment on her recent scuffle with a U.S. Capitol Police officer, the Associated Press reports.

“Hello, so good to see you,” the Democratic congresswoman said as she made her way around the House chamber.

Miss McKinney was one of dozens of candidates filing the required paperwork and fees yesterday to run for office. Elected officials and those hoping to unseat them shook hands and hugged friends and supporters. Campaign T-shirts and buttons were everywhere.

Earlier, Miss McKinney’s Democratic opponent,DeKalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson, filed his own qualifying papers.

“I think that citizens in the 4th District are tired of constant controversy,” Mr. Johnson said. “They want effective leadership in the halls of Congress.”

Tale of the tape

The New York Post is complying with federal subpoenas connected to its reports about recorded telephone conversations involving New York Gov. George E. Pataki, his wife, top aides and others, a Post spokesman said yesterday.

One subpoena seeks grand jury testimony from the Post’s state editor, Albany-based Fredric U. Dicker, who wrote about the conversations in August after receiving a tape of the conversations anonymously, the newspaper said. Another subpoena asked for the tape and the envelope in which it arrived.

“They have already turned the tapes over to the FBI. They have met with the FBI, and they are fully cooperating,” Post spokesman Howard Rubenstein told the Associated Press.

Recording telephone conversations without a court order is illegal in New York unless one of the parties in the conversation is aware of the taping. Among other things, the recorded conversations featured discussions, often in blunt and graphic terms, about patronage hiring by the Pataki administration. In one conversation, the governor’s wife, Libby Pataki, complained about the lack of publicity she was receiving.

Federal case

Three federal judges in Washington yesterday heard a complaint by a conservative group that wants to air an advertisement around election time singling out Maine’s two U.S. senators on the issue of homosexual “marriage,” the Associated Press reports.

The Christian Civic League is challenging a provision of federal law that bars corporate and union treasury funds from being used to influence campaigns right before an election. The league’s proposed radio ad represents grass-roots lobbying rather than electioneering, said James Bopp, an attorney for the conservative group, which claims its free speech rights are harmed by the law.

In Maine’s election primary, scheduled for June 13, Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, a Republican, is running unopposed. Maine’s other senator, Republican Susan Collins, doesn’t face re-election until 2008.

The Federal Election Commission said allowing the ad to run would seriously erode what has been a bright-line rule in the campaign-fundraising reform law, which prohibits corporations or interest groups from airing advertisements that name candidates within 30 days of a primary election and 60 days before general elections.

Judge Judith Roberts asked whether the ad would comply with the law if the names of the senators were removed. FEC lawyer David Kolker said such a move would allow for “the kind of mischief” that led to the law’s enactment in the first place.

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

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