- The Washington Times - Monday, January 17, 2000

Lincoln logs

Despite the rampant criticism President Clinton endured after he was forced to reveal that he invited big donors to slumber in the Lincoln Bedroom, he didn't curtail the practice.
Two big Democratic donors tell us they've sawed logs in the Lincoln Bedroom within the past 18 months.
Vinod Gupta, a computer entrepreneur who has donated at least $75,000 to Democrats this election cycle and recently made a $1 million contribution to help underwrite the Millennium Eve festivities on the Mall an effort guided by the White House says he slept there "a few months ago."
He said it was not a reward for his political donations, but acknowledges he was invited to a related private celebration at the White House on New Year's Eve because of the $1 million tax-deductible contribution.
He was rewarded big time at that soiree. Not only did he slide up to Mr. Clinton's head table, he was seated next to Elizabeth Taylor, the screen legend he has idolized since he blew "a month's allowance" to watch her in "Cleopatra" as a dirt-poor student in India three decades ago.
Mr. Gupta, who made millions through Nebraska-based INFOusa, a company that sells computerized name lists, lodged at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown when he returned here for the New Year's blowout.
"I much prefer a hotel room over the Lincoln Bedroom," he says. "It's like living in fishbowl. It's like someone's watching you all the time."
Similarly, a far bigger Democratic donor, who asks not to be identified, says he and his spouse stayed in the Lincoln Bedroom during the late summer or early fall of 1998.
When White House spokesman Jim Kennedy was asked if Mr. Clinton stopped the practice and if he could verify the sleepovers, he would only say: "The Clintons, on occasion, have guests who stay at the White House residence."
He also declined to release a list of all sleepover guests since January 1999.

Lincoln addition

Yes, Raul Fernandez, the 30-something high-tech entrepreneur who last week joined fellow industry giants Ted Leonsis, Jon Ledecky and Dick Patrick as an investor and partner in their sports and entertainment empire Lincoln Holdings LLC, is the same Raul Fernandez who served as legislative assistant to former Rep. Jack Kemp, New York Republican, while a student at the University of Maryland, from 1984 to 1988.
"I was born in Washington D.C., and to be a part of a professional sports organization devoted to the people of this region is a thrill of a lifetime for me," says Mr. Fernandez, the founder, chairman and CEO of Proxicom, the Reston-based Internet consulting and development firm with offices throughout the world.
Appropriately enough, Mr. Fernandez has his old boss, Mr. Kemp, sitting on Proxicom's board of directors.
Lincoln Holdings owns 100 percent of the Washington Capitals and a 44 percent position in Washington Sports and Entertainment, including the Washington Wizards, the Washington Mystics, MCI Center, USAirways Arena and TicketMaster Washington/ Baltimore.

Beyond the village

"No matter where you live, her left-wing agenda will affect your life if she becomes a U.S. senator," New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani gives as one reason behind his latest national fund-raising letter, referring to likely senatorial opponent Hillary Rodham Clinton (or, as as he's nicknamed the first lady, "this overnight Yankee fan.")
Mr. Giuliani is quick to add he's not the Empire State's only senatorial hopeful seeking campaign contributions from across the border.
Among other events, he points to Mrs. Clinton's "star-studded Hollywood fund-raisers," all part of what is shaping up to become the most expensive Senate campaign in U.S. history.

Nader's army

New Mexico Green Party leader Carol Miller says she will be among the "political spark plugs" and dissatisfied voters who will gather on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday to call on public interest advocate Ralph Nader to run for president this fall.
The assembly will present Mr. Nader with a proclamation, signed by political activists around the country, urging him to run a grass-roots, independent presidential campaign.
Mr. Nader allowed the Green Party to put his name on the ballot in fewer than half the states in 1996, and set and observed a campaign-spending limit of $5,000 (he received about 700,000 votes, or almost 2 percent of the vote in those states).
If he decides to run in 2000 and receives the Green Party nomination again, Mr. Nader assured representatives of the Green Party that he will not impose the $5,000 limit again and will campaign vigorously in every state where activists set up personal appearances for him.

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