- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 5, 2000

Klink likely nominee

Rep. Ron Klink last night won the Democratic race to challenge Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican.

With 74 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Associated Press, Mr. Klink had 42 percent of the vote, while state Sen. Allyson Y. Schwartz had 25 percent and former state Labor Secretary Thomas P. Foley had 24 percent. Three other candidates shared 9 percent.

Mr. Klink, Mr. Foley and Miss Schwartz largely refrained from attacking each other, choosing instead to take shots at Mr. Santorum, a major foe of partial-birth abortion who drew no Republican opposition.

Wisconsin voters also went to the polls yesterday, and Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist won a fourth four-year term.

Mr. Norquist had 55 percent of the vote to downtown businessman George Watts' 45 percent.

Mr. Watts ran to the right of the Democratic mayor on the city's business climate and law enforcement.

In the small Wisconsin town of Tomah, Ed Thompson, the younger brother of Gov. Tommy Thompson, beat incumbent Mayor Bud Johnson 1,179 to 909.

Ed Thompson has been a Las Vegas poker professional, a prison cook, a snowplow driver, and a "Toughman" fighter.

Meanwhile, in the formalities that are the presidential primaries now, Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush yesterday easily won Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Lazio and Giuliani

"Et tu, Ricky? Why is Rep. Rick Lazio trying to stick a shiv in Rudy Giuliani's back? With Republicans like these, who needs Democrats?" writes New York Post columnist Rod Dreher.
"The mayor is down in the polls, the result of his inept mishandling of the Patrick Dorismond shooting. Giuliani needs his troops rallying to his side now, particularly with the threat of Reno Justice taking over the NYPD at Al Sharpton's behest," Mr. Dreher said.
"What he doesn't need is a member of his own party mischievously trying to gin up talk of a destructive primary mano a mano that's never going to happen.
"Lazio, the Long Island Republican, told Sam Donaldson on Sunday, 'We are in the process of potentially blowing this race.'
"We? The only race-blowing car bomb I see is a last-minute primary challenge driven by Rick Lazio's ambition."

Nobody home

The White House is empty, as far as the U.S. Census is concerned.
President and Mrs. Clinton received two census forms one at the White House and one at their home in Chappaqua, N.Y., USA Today reports. They decided to file from New York.
And luckily for them, it was the short form, not the longer version that has roiled folks from sea to shining sea.
Perhaps it was fitting that the first family's census decision involved a fib.
"The Census Bureau's guidelines say that people who have more than one residence should be counted at the residence where they live most of the time," said reporters Laurence McQuillan and Haya El Nasser.

Divided loyalties

Florida Republicans are torn between Rep. Bill McCollum and Education Commissioner Tom Gallagher, who are seeking the party's U.S. Senate nomination.
Mr. Gallagher is viewed "as more moderate," while Mr. McCollum "has been a champion of conservative causes," the Tampa Tribune reports.
Former party Chairman Tom Slade told the newspaper: "The problem people are having with this race is that it is the closest thing to a mathematical split I've ever seen in how it's divided up Republican loyalists in Florida… . And they feel pretty passionate about it, so if you take sides, you're going to tick off half the loyalists."

No room for dissent

Delegates at the El Paso County, Texas, Democratic Party convention expelled Mayor Carlos Ramirez from the party Saturday because of his campaigning for Republican presidential candidate Gov. George W. Bush, the El Paso Times reports.
"This means he can't go around the country calling himself a conservative Democrat for Bush anymore," said state Rep. Norma Chavez, who supported the resolution.
Longtime state Rep. Paul Moreno disagreed with the move, saying, "We still have freedom of speech."
Mr. Ramirez, who did not attend the convention, said he was surprised by the move, which came after a voice vote of more than 200 delegates at the Memorial Gym of the University of Texas at El Paso. "I think it's disturbing to see there's still people trying to control how we think, how we act and how we vote. This is still a free country," Mr. Ramirez told reporter David Crowder.
Mr. Ramirez raised eyebrows within the local party after several recent high-profile trips in support of Mr. Bush's candidacy in New Hampshire and California.

Darn space aliens

"Do the Clintons have something against extraterrestrials?" John J. Miller and Ramesh Ponnuru ask at National Review's World Wide Web site (www.nationalreview.com).
"On Saturday yes, April Fool's Day President Clinton provided this analysis of the GOP strategy in the New York Senate race: 'The only way they can win is to convince people that we're space aliens.'
"We've scoured the Internet, and nowhere can we find a statement in which the Clintons actually deny that they're from another planet not that we'd believe them if they did. Alien life forms have been a recurring topic of conversation for the First Couple. Last summer, Hillary complained to a Paris audience about 'space aliens that are always blowing up Washington, D.C., and the White House' in the movies an apparent reference to 'Independence Day.' "

Lawmaker commutes

The Minnesota Constitution requires that a candidate be a resident of the state when running for office, "but nothing in that document prohibits a lawmaker from moving away," State Legislatures magazine notes.
State Rep. Doug Reuter "has announced his decision to move to Texas at the end of this year's session and stay in office till the end of the year," the magazine said, citing the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
"Some criticism has resulted, but Reuter said he didn't want to resign because the district would then be without representation for the rest of the year, and a special election is unlikely."

Rest of the story

The news media eagerly jumped all over last week's Pew poll finding that some people did not like George W. Bush's personality. But for some strange reason they did not report one word about what the poll said about Al Gore.
The Pew poll also asked voters to give them one word that best describes Mr. Gore. Here's a sampling of some of the unreported responses:
Twenty-four said he was "boring."
Seven said he was "dull."
Six said he was "dishonest."
Six said he was "incompetent."
Six said "dislike."
Five said he was "weak."
Five said he was "mediocre."
Five said he was a "fake."

Buttoned down

"While U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin's staff continues to wonder if he will become Al Gore's running mate, those 'Gore-Durbin 2000' buttons just keep popping up all over the place since Gore showed up [in Chicago] for the St. Patrick's Day parade a few weeks ago," Chicago Tribune columnists Ellen Warren and Terry Armour write.
"The buttons aren't new. In fact, they surfaced two years ago when rumors of a Gore-Durbin ticket first came to light. Chicago lawyer Martin Castro had them made."

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