Before we close the book on Al Gore doing “anything” it takes to sit in the Oval Office, let’s revisit this dire reminder from Bill Bradley in February, when the former New Jersey senator battled Mr. Gore in the Democratic presidential primary:
“In 1991, Al Gore told his hometown newspaper that in order to win an election you have to rip your opponent’s lungs out and then move on.”
“I’m not like George Bush. If he wins or loses, life goes on. I’ll do anything to win.”
Vice President Al Gore, speaking to an aide just as his presidential campaign was gearing up in 1999.
Hatch the judge
More bad news for Al Gore’s bureaucrats.
Inside the Beltway has learned that the inspector general of the Environmental Protection Agency, Nikki Tinsley, has forwarded the results of her month-long probe of “pro-Gore e-mails at the EPA” to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel for possible disciplinary action.
On two occasions in recent months, this column was the first to report that the EPA had begun an internal investigation of e-mails that smelled of presidential politics including one purportedly circulated by the EPA’s chief administrative law judge, Susan Biro.
“The state of Texas, under the leadership of Governor George W. Bush, is ranked: 50th in spending for teachers’ salaries, 49th in spending on the environment, 48th in per-capita funding for public health,” Judge Biro’s unflattering e-mail of the GOP presidential candidate began.
Then, last month, House Science Committee Chairman Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Wisconsin Republican, alerted the IG to another unnamed high-level EPA official who mistook politics for pollution.
“It has come to my attention that an EPA manager is sending e-mails endorsing a political candidate and requesting other EPA employees and EPA contractors to pass on this information,” the congressman stated. “I am very disturbed that an EPA employee appears to be using government time and property to campaign for a presidential candidate and request that you investigate this matter immediately.”
Now, in a letter to the chairman this week, IG Tinsley finds: “[I]t was determined that this matter could be a potential violation of the Hatch Act,” and as a result the matter was being referred to the Office of Special Counsel “to determine whether there was a violation of the Hatch Act and to bring a complaint for disciplinary action.”
Tricks and tracks
The outwardly gleeful Al Gore has been cautious not to use language deemed offensive while contesting the White House election. But that’s not stopping the Gore-Lieberman campaign from slinging mud, as you’ll see in the campaign’s mailing yesterday to Gore supporters:
“Already, the Republicans have used every trick in the book to delay this hand count. Now, the Republican-controlled state Legislature wants to throw out all our votes and pick the electors themselves. They want to railroad the wishes of the more than 50 million Americans across the country who voted for Al Gore and Joe Lieberman as well as the millions who voted for our opponents.
“If you believe that the people of America should be the ones who pick the next president not the Florida State Legislature then make your voice heard.”
The campaign urges supporters to rally around the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee, and wear orange ribbons “to show that you demand that the Florida State Legislature not muzzle the voices of millions of voters.”
Oh, and any spare pocket change would also be appreciated, the campaign adds.
We’ve found no truth whatsoever to the rumor that should outgoing Montana governor and Bush adviser Marc Racicot decline the office of interior secretary, Mr. Bush will fulfill his “bipartisan spirit” campaign pledge by appointing Al Gore to the post.
That’s right, Mr. “Earth in the Balance” Gore himself.
President Clinton displayed such “bipartisan spirit” by tapping former Republican Sen. William S. Cohen to be his defense secretary.
Two in heaven
Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. Chairman William R. Tiefel will host a cocktail reception on Wednesday evening in honor of columnist Art Buchwald’s newest book, “Stella in Heaven.”
Meanwhile, Bob and Elizabeth Dole will host a Dec. 18 book party at the Watergate to celebrate “Follow The Leader: A Dog’s-Eye View of Washington,” chronicling the journey of the family’s schnauzer that Mrs. Dole rescued from the D.C. Humane Society just before he was about to go to “sleep.”
Leader, unfortunately, missed out on his book tour, dying March 1, 1999, at the ripe old age of 17, which is 119 for you and me.