- The Washington Times - Friday, July 28, 2000

More than 6 million New York voters will receive copies of a 90-page book that calls Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton's record one of "scandal, corruption and radical politics."

The Virginia-based American Conservative Union (ACU) is mailing out copies of the paperback book.

Authored by the group's executive director Christian Josi, the book has been mailed so far to nearly 2 million people on the conservative union's nationwide mailing list.

It is part of a $7 million effort to distribute the book to New York voters, an ACU spokesman said.

Titled "Hillary Rodham Clinton: What Every American Should Know," the book discusses the first lady's ill-fated health care plan, the Vince W. Foster Jr. suicide, the firing of White House travel office employees and Whitewater.

"The goal is to get this into the hands of every voter in New York," said Ian Walters, the conservative union's spokesman. "Liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican."

Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said the multimillion-dollar push to distribute the book is transparent.

"Unfortunately, there are conservative groups that are willing to spend millions of dollars spreading lies around the state," Mr. Wolfson said. "They can't rely on issues so they rely on insults. I think New Yorkers will see this for what it is."

Mr. Walters said the book was being readied when New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani was still the presumed Republican opponent of the first lady, "and I want to emphasize very much that we are not Giuliani fans," Mr. Walters said.

New York Rep. Rick Lazio, who replaced Mr. Giuliani as a candidate in April, has received only average ratings by the conservative union during his three full terms as a congressman.

"This is not done in behalf of any opponent [of the first lady]," Mr. Walters said.

A spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee called the mailing a "$7 million smear campaign."

"Theoretically, we could put together something to counter this," said committee spokesman David DiMartino. "But it is not something we would do. Most of the things that have been published accusing Hillary of things have been discredited."

The book mailing project is the largest ever for the 35-year-old group, which has aligned itself over the years with stalwart conservatives such as Ronald Reagan and Sen. Jesse Helms.

"I have received hundreds of phone calls and letters," Mr. Josi said. "They are pretty evenly split some say I was too easy on her and on the other side, I get calls that say I'm the son of the devil."

He wrote the book with a single purpose: "Any one of these scandals would doom any candidacy in the country, yet she has tons of scandals and the media has been willing to give her a pass. So this is a voter education project."

Also enclosed in the mailing is a letter from former Rep. Gerald Solomon, New York Republican, who retired last year.

In the letter, Mr. Solomon, who now runs his own lobbying firm, tells voters: "Mrs. Clinton is intent upon seeking the power to tell the rest of us how to live our lives."

Mr. Solomon said in an interview Thursday that the media has fallen down in its coverage of Hillary-related controversy.

"The media just does not tell the whole story," said Mr. Solomon, who has been affiliated with the ACU for many years. Mrs. Clinton "really believes that big government knows best. I really think she would be a disaster for our state."

Polls have Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Lazio tied, with the first lady keeping an edge in New York City while Mr. Lazio continues to play well in the suburbs.

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