- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Pitching against Hillary

Hillary Rodham Clinton "just can't win when it comes to baseball," Robert Hardt Jr. and Gregg Birnbaum write in their "Campaign Buzz" column in the New York Post.
"The first lady has taken endless grief over her claim to be a lifelong Yankee fan and now, even her past rooting for her native state's Chicago Cubs is costing her," the columnists say.
"Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the White Sox the Windy City's other team is hosting a fund-raiser for Rick Lazio in his Comiskey Park skybox on Friday, when the team takes on the Red Sox.
"The word is that Reinsdorf wants to make Clinton pay for her allegiance to the rival Cubs.
"In case anyone's wondering, Lazio's a [Mets] fan."

New explanation

The TV networks started out reporting that gasoline price increases in the Midwest were probably the result of new Environmental Protection Agency regulations there, but soon switched to the Clinton administration line that $2-a-gallon gas was caused by oil-company "gouging," the Media Research Center reports.
"While oil industry officials continued to protest their innocence in sound bites, reporters stopped suggesting that regulations were to blame and started looking for government to find the real culprits," the MRC's Rich Noyes writes.
"From June 1 to June 12, four stories on the ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC evening newscasts spent more than 30 seconds discussing the EPA's rules as a probable cause. From June 13 to June 26, only two such stories appeared, compared with 16 that promoted the idea that 'price gouging' was at fault."

Private briefing

James Carville, former campaign adviser and chief defender of President Clinton, will be advising Kentucky Democrats on how to regain the state Senate, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.
Mr. Carville will be holding a seminar for Kentucky Democratic senators and candidates at the party's state headquarters in what state Democratic Chairman David Boswell called a "one-day private briefing and critique, and not a fund-raiser."

Group 'in trouble'

"The Family Research Council, one of the most respected socially conservative organizations in the country since its founding in 1981, is in trouble," Ramesh Ponnuru and Ben Domenech write at National Review's Internet site (www.nationalreview.com).
"Since its president, Gary Bauer, left to run for president in January 1999, the group has fallen on hard times under the dual leadership of Executive Vice President Chuck Donovan and chief spokesperson Janet Parshall. In a letter to donors this weekend, James Dobson (a board member) pleads desperately for financial help," the writers said.
"According to Dobson, FRC is currently operating with a $3.2 million deficit. Many of FRC's traditional donors have been withholding financial support to the organization this year, which still hasn't named a replacement for Bauer.
"Dobson's letter points to FRC's past legislative successes, and warns that, 'If this shortfall isn't eased, the organization will have no choice but to pare back its public policy efforts.' "

Primary roundup

Political rookie Derek Smith upset embattled Rep. Merrill Cook in Utah's Republican primary yesterday, handily beating the two-term incumbent.

With nearly half of precincts reporting, Mr. Smith led Mr. Cook 58 percent to 42 percent.

Both men are pro-life conservatives who oppose gun control. The race focused on Mr. Cook's temper and accusations of erratic behavior from former staffers. The state party sought out an opponent who they felt could beat Democrat Jim Matheson.

Mr. Smith, a 35-year-old computer company co-founder, spent $509,000 of his own money, the Associated Press reported.

Also yesterday, Utah Gov. Michael O. Leavitt fended off conservative challenger Glen Davis for the party nomination.

In South Carolina, Republican voters yesterday chose a candidate for a congressional district on the coast, and re-elected a state representative being challenged by her estranged husband.

State Rep. Henry Brown beat former state Transportation Chairman H.B. "Buck" Limehouse for the nomination to replace retiring Rep. Mark Sanford, South Carolina Republican.

Associated Press reports gave Mr. Brown 55 percent to 45 percent for Mr. Limehouse. He will face Democrat Andy Brack.

In the husband-wife race, two-term Republican state Rep. Shirley Hinson defeated retired school principal Jimmy Hinson with 52 percent of the vote. She faces no Democratic opposition.

An insulting question

Joan Johnson is insulted when people ask why she's a Republican, the Associated Press reports.
"This is a question that's never asked of a white person," snaps Mrs. Johnson, who jumped into the race for Rep. Rick Lazio's House seat when the Long Island congressman decided to challenge first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Senate.
"It says to me that in America, the majority race thinks that blacks are assigned to one party, and that's an insult," she says, "because people can get off the boat from China, Vietnam or any place and be anything they want to be. But if I'm black in America, I'm supposed to be a Democrat."
So why is she a Republican?
"Because I believe that many of the principles of the Republican Party empower our people," Mrs. Johnson says.
Nominated earlier this month by the GOP, she could become the first black Republican woman in Congress.
The 66-year-old Mrs. Johnson has been town clerk of Islip since 1991. She previously served as Islip's human service administrator and ran a Head Start program. The Republicans hold a 56-44 edge in voter registration in the Long Island, N.Y., district.
"We should make people come after our vote the way they come after the Jewish vote," Mrs. Johnson says. "They don't come after our vote because I think our people are misinformed. And they're misinformed and kept that way by some of our Democratic brothers and sisters."

Raining on Hollywood

Hollywood celebrities are not pleased with the American Investigator newsmagazine show called "Amazon Rainforest: Clear-cutting the Myths."
The syndicated television program, which is due to air at 10 p.m. Friday, says the Amazon rain forest is one of the most intact and least endangered forests on the planet, and suggests that Hollywood celebrities such as Robin Williams, Diana Ross, Elton John, and Sting are duping the public with their benefit concerts and other fund-raisers.
"We interview the tribal leaders who have contempt for environmental activists and celebrities because they feel exploited by them," says Marc Morano, a reporter for the program.
The Amazon special airs on WTMW Channel 14 on most Washington-area cable outlets. More information is available at www.ai-tv.com.

To the contrary

"Al Gore opined last week that hate crimes 'hurt the heart of America, the faith that we are one people with common values,' " Dorothy Rabinowitz notes in the Wall Street Journal.
"To the contrary, those who hold to the faith that we are one people don't require two sets of laws one for crimes against government-designated victim groups, the other for the rest of America."


Yesterday's column misidentified the chairman of the House Rules Committee. David Dreier, California Republican, heads the panel.

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