- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 9, 1999

Roger rebounds

When Vice President Al Gore up and moved his presidential campaign headquarters to Nashville, several aides didn’t follow, chief among them Roger Salazar, who until recently was principal spokesman for Gore 2000.
Now we learn that the American Cancer Society has just named Mr. Salazar its director of communications and media advocacy. He’ll work out of the society’s Washington-based national government relations office.
In an interview with this column earlier this year, Mr. Salazar, a former White House spokesman under President Clinton, was looking forward to proving to America that Mr. Gore isn’t as stiff as we might think.
Oh well, it’s the thought that counts.

Beats the Palm

Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, invite Inside the Beltway readers who wish to contribute to his presidential campaign to “an evening with the stars” at a genuine Nashville saloon next Wednesday.
“Come celebrate with Dick Gephardt, Tom Daschle, Master of Ceremonies Al Franken, Aaron Neville, Blackhawk, Kim Richey and many more at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville on December 15,” reads the invitation.

New club

There’s a new political organization at 18th and K the Club for Growth created by Cato Institute economist Stephen Moore, National Review President Dusty Rhodes, and Wall Street broker Dick Gilder.
“It arose out of frustration with the current Republican Congress, realizing we needed an enforcement mechanism to ensure that people who call themselves fiscal conservatives actually vote that way,” says executive director Leila Bate, the former legislative director to Rep. David M. McIntosh, Indiana Republican.
She says the club’s main concerns are tax cuts and fundamental tax reform, personal investment of Social Security, and school choice for all families.
Brent Bahler, who handles communications, says the organization will be modeled after Emily’s List, a political action committee that funnels cash to pro-choice Democratic women, “but with a very different objective.”
“It will work to target contributions to committed economic conservatives who are in winnable races, even GOP primaries against moderate incumbents. “The ultimate goal is to organize 10,000 check-writing donors who will only contribute as much as $10 million to club-endorsed candidates,” he says.
“The result could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars going into campaigns that might otherwise lose just for the lack of funds.”

Sheen in 2000

Taking his role of president of the United States to heart, “West Wing” star Martin Sheen has set out to protect the rights of the homeless starting with their right to eat tofu.
The actor believes homeless people who happen to be vegetarian deserve warm, filling holiday meals just like everyone else. So he’s teamed up with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to stock homeless shelters with Tofurky, a meatless alternative to turkey.
“With 17 million vegetarians in the United States today, you will doubtlessly have some visitors who have given up meat,” Mr. Sheen writes to directors of 350 shelters across the nation.

IRS wrap

Our two items, one a parody, on the Internal Revenue Service yesterday generated more than the normal response, probably because, unlike other federal agencies, every American sooner or later has to deal with the IRS.
As for the IRS sending out 11 million postcards to selected taxpayers this month, inviting them to join the world of paperless tax-return filing using e-file customer numbers in lieu of signatures, Mike writes:
“I found your piece on e-filing interesting. But, your article doesn’t mention the scam with e-filing: comparing the cost of e-filing, which is $5.00 to $10.00, to paper filing, $0.36. I think I will let the tree-huggers continue to call me cold hearted conservative and waste a tree and save the $9.64.”
Finally, the spoof about the taxpayer who sent the IRS four toilet seats (valued by Pentagon standards at $2,400) and six hammers (valued at $1,029) instead of a check for the amount owed, Ruby Poirel, a tax preparer at 1927 Calvert Street NW, says she laughed so hard for so long that she’s decided to frame both English and Spanish versions of the column and place them on her desk for clients to read.
If Ruby sounds like your kind of tax preparer, she’s accepting appointments at 202/332-6323.

Garner guarantee

We wish to thank readers for all the rave reviews about The Washington Times’ new and improved Web site (www.washtimes.com), which should be fully operational shortly.
Meaning James C. Opicka, of Kettering, Ohio, and Bob Bradshaw, of Omaha, Neb., needn’t worry, Garner’s daily cartoon, temporarily lost in the cyberspace shuffle, shall appear again soon.

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