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Inside Politics

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Kinder, gentler, etc.

Stop the presses. Somebody call Al Gore. A Harris poll released yesterday revealed that Republicans are more "socially responsible" than Democrats.

Strange, and maybe even true.

The survey, conducted May 8 to 14, found that overall, two-thirds of the 2,383 respondents had "good intentions" to volunteer or donate money, while 31 percent said "people have a personal responsibility to make the world a better place by being actively involved with various issues and causes." About 8 percent said they were "extremely involved" in good causes.

But here's the prickly part:

"Politically, it is often said that Republicans think of themselves while Democrats think of others, but according to our study, there is not much of a difference between the two when it comes to social responsibility. In fact, Republicans may be slightly more socially responsible than Democrats. One quarter of Democrats (24 percent) are 'true to their own self' compared to 22 percent of Republicans, and 9 percent of Republicans and 8 percent of Democrats each practice what they preach," the survey said.

Queen bee buzz

Select politicians are already receiving the royal treatment in the mainstream press, Geoffrey Dickens of Newsbusters.com said yesterday. One New York Democrat is getting more than her share, perhaps.

NBC's early morning crowd has "crowned Hillary as 'unbeatable.' This morning's 'Today' pumped Hillary Clinton as the next nominee of the Democratic Party and even used two former Clinton flacks, Lisa Caputo and Dick Morris, to posit she may be unbeatable in the general election," Mr. Dickens said.

"In fact, Today co-host Meredith Vieira acted as a third flack as she called Hillary the 'Teflon Candidate' and noted two recent anti-Clinton books haven't 'made any dent in her popularity.' Vieira greeted viewers with Hillary's inevitability: 'Senator Hillary Clinton's definitely on a roll. A new poll out today shows her lead widening. So why is she doing so well, and can she go the distance?' "

The morning hostess then got pushy with her guests, insisting, "The point is, you both think it's a done deal."

Well, not exactly.

Mr. Morris replied, "I would never say it's a done deal" while Miss Caputo offered, "A long way to go."

More bee buzz

The Democratic presidential contenders continue to slouch along behind front-running Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. According to a Rasmussen Reports survey of 775 likely Democratic voters, Mrs. Clinton is in the lead, favored by 38 percent of likely voters, followed by Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois at 27 percent and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina at 16 percent.

Also slogging along: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (3 percent), Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware (2 percent), and Sen. Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio and former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska (1 percent each). Eleven percent of the respondents are undecided.

The survey was conducted from June 11 to Thursday and had a margin of error of four percentage points.

Mrs. Clinton also outpolls Republican hopefuls in hypothetical November matchups, according to another Rasmussen survey of 800 likely voters. That survey had her defeating former Sen. Fred Thompson by 48 percent to 43 percent and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts by a 50 percent to 41 percent margin.

Obama-rama

During his 12 years in politics, Sen. Barack Obama has received nearly three times more campaign cash from indicted businessman Tony Rezko and his associates than he has publicly acknowledged, the Chicago Sun-Times said yesterday. The Illinois Democrat has collected at least $168,308 from Mr. Rezko and his circle, along with an unknown amount of money from people who attended fundraising events hosted by Mr. Rezko since the mid-1990s.

But seven months ago, the lawmaker told the newspaper his "best estimate" was that Mr. Rezko raised "between $50,000 and $60,000" during Mr. Obama's political career.

"Obama, who wants to be the nation's next president, has been purging some of those donations — giving charities more than $30,000 he got from Rezko and three of his business partners referenced in Rezko's federal indictments. All three attended a lavish fundraiser Rezko hosted for Obama four years ago," the Sun-Times said.

"Obama, however, has kept $6,850 from others who also are referenced in Rezko's indictments. Obama also has hung on to contributions from doctors whom Rezko helped appoint to a state government panel involved in some of Rezko's alleged fraud schemes."

Hola, America

Those hit hardest by the effects of massive illegal immigration are often legal American black and Hispanic citizens, say two groups opposed to free-for-all borders and freewheeling amnesty.

"More often than not, the faces of those most directly harmed by mass illegal immigration are brown or black," said Al Rodriguez, chairman of You Don't Speak for Me, a coalition of American Hispanics opposed to giving amnesty to illegal aliens.

"Millions of hardworking American Hispanics are victimized by illegal immigration when resources are diverted from their children's education to make room for the children of illegal aliens, and every time they look for work only to find that the job has gone to an illegal alien," Mr. Rodriguez said.

"For centuries, American blacks struggled first for emancipation and then for their full rights and opportunities as citizens," added Ted Hayes, chairman of Choose Black America, a black organization fighting amnesty.

"Illegal immigration and the proposed amnesty threaten to undo that struggle in the space of one generation. Before George Bush and a handful of legislators in Washington sign away our children's future, we demand a seat at the table to have our voices heard," Mr. Hayes said.

The pair will appear at the National Press Club today to elaborate.

ZIP drive

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is mighty transparent these days, providing a handy-dandy, online map to display the locales of the nation's heaviest contributors to White House hopefuls. Already, Democratic candidates have raised $95 million and Republicans $62 million, according to FEC records.

But there are magic ZIP codes that harbor those with the deepest pockets. Curious?

The top five are: 10021, 10022, 10128, 10028 and 10024 — all located on the East Side of Manhattan. In sixth place is 90210 of Los Angeles fame, followed by 10023 and 10019, both on Manhattan's West Side. The lone Washington ZIP code — 20007 — is in ninth place, with 60614 (Chicago's Lincoln Park district) in 10th place.

"We've always had the philosophy that we're the primary source for this material," FEC spokesman Bob Biersack told Forbes magazine. "We do feel like we have the responsibility to make the information approachable to more than just experienced campaign finance users."

c Contact Jennifer Harper at jharper@washingtontimes.com or 202/636-3085.