- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 26, 2000

Law on Hillary

Steven Law, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, tell us how you really feel about Hillary Rodham Clinton refusing to disclose the names of soft money donors to her Senate campaign.
"Hillary's latest campaign finance scheme would make even John Huang blush. This latest scandal shows that Hillary Clinton is pathologically unable to play straight everything she does has to have some sneaky, underhanded legal dodge in it."

Duma on the Hill

Never before has such a high-level delegation of Russian Duma officials come to huddle with U.S. lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
The Hart Senate Office Building is the site next Tuesday of a foreign policy forum examining the prospects of "reintegrating Russia into the West." The Duma's recent ratification of START II and the nuclear test ban treaty, and President Clinton's June meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, are up for discussion.
The Russian delegation will include Vladimir Lukin, vice speaker of the Duma; Konstantin Kosachev and Alexander Shabanov, both deputy chairmen of the Duma's Foreign Relations Committee; and Vladimir Ryzhkov, coordinator of Russian-American parliamentary ties.
More than a dozen U.S. lawmakers will participate, including House Majority Whip Tom DeLay of Texas and Republican Sens. Fred Thompson of Tennessee and Jon Kyl of Arizona.
"We have largely blown the strategic opportunity given the West when the Soviet Union collapsed a decade ago. It is not clear if we will get a second chance," says Free Congress President Paul M. Weyrich, forum co-host with the American University of Moscow. "It has been our contention that, played correctly, Russia can become a strategic ally of the West. Right now she is anything but that."

Politics aside

It pays to be a Democrat if you're one of 17 lawmakers featured in ad campaigns announced yesterday by the Sierra Club.
Sixteen of the ad campaigns on a number of local environmental issues either attack Republicans or praise Democrats. The sole exception is Rep. Chris Shays, Connecticut Republican, who is cited for leading the fight to clean up sewage on Long Island Sound.
The group will spend $8 million over the next six months.
One Republican under fire is Michigan Sen. Spencer Abraham.
A TV ad shows children cannonballing into one of the Great Lakes. It tells viewers that while toxins have closed beaches, Mr. Abraham voted against a bill to clean up pollution.
A press release issued by the Sierra Foundation yesterday, announcing the ad campaign, made no mention of the heavy partisan tilt. The release merely says the ads "spotlight" the environmental records of the lawmakers.

Watergate gators

One of Washington's most exotic restaurateurs, Dominique D'Ermo, who put rattlesnakes and alligators on the menus of presidents, is now cooking up a storm at the Watergate.
Just ask Elizabeth Dole, who dropped into the new "Dominique's Famous Restaurant at The Watergate" this week for a bowl of U.S. Senate Bean Soup.
A native of Lyon, France, Dominique founded his original restaurant in 1974 (he sold in 1987) just two blocks from the White House. In 1975, he created the first Bastille Day Race in the United States. And where might we find Dominique's glamorous host, Diana Damewood?
"I am the restaurant's consultant and special events coordinator," she said yesterday, just as Dominique's owner, Naval Mehra, walked through the door. Head of the Potomac, Md.-based Hunter Restaurant Group, this is Mr. Mehra's first downtown D.C. venture.
"Naval Mehra [has] found an incredible location for Dominique's, directly across the street from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts," says Dominique, who introduced "before-and-after theatre dining" to the nation's capital.
And yes, Dominique's new menu has some familiar aromas: from roasted rack of lamb to scorched snake.

Miller & Aiken?

Two veteran political strategists from opposing camps are the newest vice presidents of Shandwick Washington, created by the merger of Shandwick International's Washington office and the Cassidy Companies, a group of five government relations and public affairs firms.
One is Mark Miller, a veteran of the 1992 and 1996 Clinton-Gore campaigns who led efforts to pass NAFTA and the Brady bill during his tenure at the White House as director of presidential letters and messages.
The other is Loran Brueggen Aiken, Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign press secretary. She is ex-media director for Smith & Harroff, where clients included the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Stick to Scotch

The male establishment from Tysons to Tijuana was in an uproar over our item yesterday showing a majority of drinkers polled by Jose Cuervo Tequila would prefer partying with Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"This survey doesn't say much for the good taste of Jose Ceurvo drinkers," says reader Bob Collins. "I don't drink it and certainly don't find this survey's results a recommendation to start."
F.R. Duplantier, one of our nation's top limerick writers, adds: "Sounds like survey respondents have had too much to drink already."

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