- The Washington Times - Friday, December 10, 1999


All they want for Christmas is an SLR-95 semiautomatic? Well, maybe.
A Republican candidate for Congress in Illinois is raising campaign money by raffling off two guns a rifle and a .45 handgun at $5 a ticket.
So far, Michael Curtiss has sold 1,500 of them. The raffle also includes a safety lesson and a book on crime. But Dr. Curtiss, a physician, is out to make a point.
“Someone has to draw a line, and the raffle is an illustration that it’s not the gun that kills; it’s the idiot behind it,” he said.
Dr. Curtiss hopes to win the seat now held by Rep. Lane Evans, a Democrat.
A North Carolina private school, meanwhile, is raffling off five guns to raise money for a new Future Farmer’s of America building. The school expected to bring in $4,000.
Instead, the Hobgood Academy, located 70 miles northeast of Raleigh, took in $23,000.

And a visit for Bill

As wronged wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton has long been a magnet for advice. Now the New York Post has a few ideas for Mrs. Clinton, the candidate.
“Here’s my political advice for Mrs. Clinton,” the gossip maven Liz Smith said Thursday. “Move quickly into the Westchester house, have the President come and visit, but forget all about Washington and being first lady; in fact, resign from this unofficial role. Forget what America wants and start thinking about what New York state wants. Start answering reporters back with a little sass.”
“New Yorkers,” Miss Smith added, “love a little sass.”

A second look

Though President Clinton pledged to have a “fully integrated” Cabinet and administration back in 1992, USA Today reports it hasn’t quite panned out.
“A closer look at his record reveals a White House operation that lacks racial diversity where some say it matters most: in several key decision-making positions,” the paper noted.
While Mr. Clinton’s 14-member Cabinet and executive staff reflect racial diversity, Mr. Clinton’s 26 key advisers have all been white, which USA Today finds “stunning.”
“Many openly wonder how a president so closely committed to racial inclusion could squander an opportunity to give minorities a more direct hand in helping him shape national policy,” the paper said.

Torque the pork

If Sen. John McCain wins the White House and the Republicans still hold Congress, will peace reign?
No way.
Mr. McCain has those pork-barreling big spenders of all persuasions in his sights.
He plans to chase after fellow Republican congressmen and senators, among others.
“And Democrats and libertarians and vegetarians, whoever does it,” Mr. McCain told NBC Thursday. “This thing is out of control … . We have pork-barrel spending of $6 billion on the defense bill when we have 12,000 enlisted families on food stamps. You know, that makes me mad.”
The Arizona Republican thinks the culprits are running scared. But he’s not done yet.
“In addition, I’ll get the soft money, the huge amounts of money out of American political campaigns,” Mr. McCain said.
“And that will hurt the lobbyists, the legislatures, and this iron triangle that exists down in Washington. Look, if anybody wants the status quo in Washington, they don’t want me.”

Bush whacking

It’s just a little whack, but it’s a whack nonetheless.
For the first time, Arizona Sen. John McCain leads Texas Gov. George W. Bush in a poll of New Hampshire voters released Thursday by American Research Group.
Just two months before the first presidential primary, Mr. McCain got support from 37 percent of likely Republican voters compared with 30 percent for Mr. Bush.
It is all due to “the appeal of Sen. McCain’s independent conservative message,” said spokesman Peter Spaulding.
Elsewhere in the Republican field, Steve Forbes was third, with 10 percent. Alan Keyes had 5 percent; Gary Bauer and Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch each scored 1 percent.
Among Democrats, the poll found former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley in a near tie with Vice President Al Gore, getting 44 percent to the vice president’s 40 percent.

Bush, Part 2

Polls differ.
About 8,000 people cast their theoretical vote for the White House slot at www.politics.com, the first “secure” cyber-election.
George Bush, in this case, won the contest. The Texas governor took 29 percent of the votes, followed by Bill Bradley at 21 percent, Pat Buchanan at 17 percent and John McCain at 12 percent.
Al Gore received 10 percent, with Steve Forbes and Alan Keyes both garnering 5 percent of the votes.
The net vote sponsored by Politics.com and Votation.com will be repeated before major election events next year, including the New Hampshire primary and party conventions.
This on-line experiment, the groups hope, will inspire officials to explore on-line voting and lure ambivalent voters back to the polls.
A new Spanish-language Internet site, meanwhile, hopes to pique the interest of Hispanic voters and increase turnout as well (www.latinvote.org).

Needs some cents

Monica Lewinsky may be peddling her own purses on the Internet these days, but Elizabeth Ward Gracen another presidential paramour is broke.
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported Thursday that the former Miss Arkansas and screen siren filed for bankruptcy in Little Rock Dec. 2. She owes $194,000, including $15,000 in back income taxes and $2,500 in Arkansas state taxes, plus bills rung up by an ex-boyfriend.
He is now in a French jail for embezzlement and pretending to be a U.N. ambassador.
Over the years, Miss Gracen, 38, played a sword-carrying immortal on a TV series and posed for Playboy. Last year, she went public with her 1983 fling with Mr. Clinton, a one-night-stand that she said was consensual.
“We had an intimate evening,” Miss Gracen told the press last year.

Party of partying

Washington Life, a society magazine, has just released its official “Washington Social List for 2000” that assesses the most “socially active or desirable” guests.
Ah, but to be on that separate and narrow “A list” headed up, of course, by the president and vice president of the United States and spouses.
There are but seven Hill denizens on the A list, all senators. And only two are Republicans.
The GOP, apparently, is not the party party.
Here’s the breakdown: For the Democrats, we have Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and John Kerry of Massachusetts, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, Sen. Charles S. Robb of Virginia and Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia.
The two lone Republican party guys are Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi and Sen. John W. Warner of Virginia.

Remembering the first

By order of the United States Congress, bells will be rung and flags lowered to half-staff across the country at 1 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday.
It will be 200 years to the day that George Washington died unexpectedly of a respiratory ailment at Mount Vernon. He was 67.
Government offices, schools, businesses and churches are expected to participate. For more information, see the Mount Vernon Web site of Washington’s Virginia home, Mount Vernon, at www.mountvernon.org and www.gwashington1999.org.

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