- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 31, 2000

Help from friends

Senate candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Rick Lazio rolled out the big guns yesterday, with the first lady releasing a fund-raising letter from President Clinton and the New York congressman running a TV ad starring John McCain.

"I have worked as hard as I could to turn our country around," the president writes in the appeal. "Now, the work must be carried on by others. No one is more qualified than Hillary to do it."

In the new Lazio ad, Mr. McCain casts doubt on Mrs. Clinton's claim that she is willing to give up unlimited soft-money campaign contributions if her Republican opponent does the same.

"It's pretty clear there's only one Senate candidate who really wants campaign finance reform Rick Lazio," the Arizona Republican says.

The president's letter "about the Senate candidate I know best" warns that his wife's opponents "will spare no expense and respect no boundaries in their efforts to defeat her," the Associated Press reports.

The president says he is making the appeal "not just out of personal interest, but also in the hope of advancing the values and highest ideals of our party and our nation."

Lieberman and the ADL

Refusing to bow to criticism from the Anti-Defamation League that he has overemphasized religion in his vice-presidential campaign, Democrat Joseph I. Lieberman says he will continue to discuss "the constructive role that faith has traditionally played in American life, and what it can play in our future."
"The ADL has a job to do, and I respect them. In this case, I respectfully disagree," Mr. Lieberman said Tuesday in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle during a campaign stop in San Diego. "Faith is a source of unity, I believe, and it has also been a source of good works."
Mr. Lieberman was quick to add that he is "a fervent believer in the First Amendment and the separation of church and state." But the Connecticut senator added: "I'm not talking about programs here. I'm talking about a tone of respect for the place that faith plays in people's lives and the lives of the American people."
The comments by the first Orthodox Jew to be part of a presidential ticket came in response to sharp criticism this week from ADL Director Abraham Foxman, who charged that Mr. Lieberman appeared to be almost "hawking religion" in his most recent campaign stops, in which he discussed the importance of religious beliefs in American life.

The religious center

"Candidates, of course, can say whatever they want in the quest for votes. At a time when America appears to be in a religious revival, it may be smart for Democrats to emulate Republicans in the pursuit of voters who might be described as the 'politically faithful.' After all, every successful Democratic presidential candidate, beginning with Jimmy Carter, who famously described himself as a 'born-again Christian,' has stressed his religious beliefs," writes USA Today political columnist Walter Shapiro.
"Yet by ignoring [presidential candidate Al] Gore's talk of asking himself, 'What would Jesus do?' and by condoning [vice-presidential candidate Joseph I.] Lieberman's religious rhetoric, the Democrats have opened themselves to charges of hypocrisy. In their unswerving support for abortion rights, the Democrats have frequently displayed an intolerant attitude to the religious motivations of many abortion foes. In the Democratic lexicon, there is no epithet worse than charging that your opponent is in cahoots with the 'religious right,' " Mr. Shapiro said.
"Lieberman is a moderate, not a right-wing conservative. But imagine the outcry if Republicans began attacking the Democratic vice-presidential nominee for being part of the 'religious center.' "

Like father, like son

Tom Liddy's name stands out among the crowded field of candidates for an Arizona congressional seat.
Mr. Liddy is a Phoenix lawyer, Marine Corps veteran, party activist, former schoolteacher and son of G. Gordon Liddy, radio personality and figure from the Watergate scandal.
"My dad has given me a name that is very high profile," the younger Mr. Liddy said. "He's a guy who never backed away from a fight and relished some of them. Like father, like son."
The son now seeks to succeed Rep. Matt Salmon, who is keeping a pledge to serve only six years in Congress. Mr. Liddy has already gotten support from former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican.
Mr. Liddy, 37, is running against Scottsdale lobbyist Susan Bitter Smith, former Goldwater Institute Executive Director Jeff Flake, former Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio and Phoenix businessman Bert Tollefson.
The winner will face Democrat David Mendoza, a Phoenix union executive, and Libertarian Jon Burroughs in the general election. Neither has mounted much in the way of a public campaign so far, the Associated Press reports.

Cheney pushes tax cut

Richard B. Cheney pushed for the Republican ticket's tax-cut proposal yesterday in a North Carolina campaign stop as he crisscrossed the South in an effort to keep the region in the Republican column, the Associated Press reports.

Standing with a Charlotte family during a brief rally before a luncheon, the Republican vice-presidential candidate said families would get a $1,000-per-child tax exemption from the Bush-Cheney tax proposal.

He also said a Bush administration would let citizens decide how to spend the federal budget surplus.

"The other side thinks that [the surplus] is the result of the genius of government, but we know it is the result of the hard work of the American taxpayer," Mr. Cheney said. "The American taxpayer ought to be able to decide themselves how to spend it."

Art for Democrats

A scantily clad Al Gore, painted surfing on a microchip by Spider Man co-creator Stan Lee, is one of 2,000 artworks that will be auctioned over the Internet next month to raise money for Democratic Party candidates.

The sale of works by 78 artists such as Jeff Koons, Yoko Ono, Richard Rauschenberg, Joel Shapiro, Andy Warhol, Annie Leibovitz and even Tipper Gore, will be held on www.dncar2000.com beginning Sept. 11 and ending the first week of October. The auction of 85 original pieces and 16 limited edition prints of 100 is expected to raise up to $1 million for Mr. Gore and Democratic congressional candidates, Bloomberg News reports.

Artist Chuck Close, who donated two huge photo-portraits of the vice president, and Mr. Gore's 27-year-old daughter, Karenna Gore Schiff, announced the auction yesterday at the Gallery of www.Leftbid.com in Manhattan. They said a handful of the works, such as a sculpture by Mr. Shapiro and an electric guitar by Frank Gehry, should produce bids of up to $50,000.

Wrestling for votes

The World Wrestling Federation has a deal for presidential contenders Al Gore and George W. Bush and no, it doesn't involve having them slam each other with folding chairs.
The federation yesterday offered the candidates five minutes each on the UPN network's "WWF Smackdown" to address the show's viewers. The catch: both must make one of their official debates a "youth debate" where young adults ask the questions and moderate, Scripps Howard News Service reports.
WWF says the show that airs Thursdays is the leading program among 18-to-34-year-olds. According to John Dervin of Youth Vote 2000, the show could offer the candidates the equivalent of President Clinton's 1992 appealing-to-youth appearances on "Arsenio" and MTV.

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