- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 9, 2000

Secretary Moses

Going far beyond last week's suggestions that the National Rifle Association would work out of the Oval Office if Texas Gov. George W. Bush is elected president of the United States, Gore 2000 this week is suggesting NRA chief Charlton Heston might land his next role in a Bush Cabinet.

Visiting Clinton

First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton has now officially visited every one of New York's 62 counties her final stop, fittingly enough, "Clinton County" on the Quebec border.
Meanwhile, as the entire world waits to hear whether New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani can battle cancer and Mrs. Clinton at the same time, the first lady has launched her first 30-second television ad, titled "First."

Cheeze monument

Democratic Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. of Ohio, long the subject of a Justice Department probe into organized crime, gives us a sworn affidavit he received from a "paid informant" of the FBI who claims he was promised a Washington monument in exchange for the congressman's scalp.
The outspoken congressman says the notarized affidavit was sworn out by James A. Kerchum of Warren, Ohio. The latter says he was an active participant of the Mahoning Valley Corruption Task Force in 1998 and 1999, and identifies four FBI special agents and a Justice Department supervisor he worked under.
"I was primarily a paid informant for the FBI and my FBI code name was Cheeze 1," Mr. Kerchum insists.
He fingers one FBI agent in particular who reportedly told him that Mr. Traficant, a former sheriff of Mahoning County, "was the FBI's number-one target across the United States because he beat them in a federal court in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1983, and that he was an embarrassment to the FBI."
Furthermore, Mr. Kerchum says, the FBI agent promised "if I got Jim Traficant, they would build a monument for me in Washington, D.C."

Rest of the story

There's more behind Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Jim Nicholson than meets the eye.
Selected by the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans as recipient of its prestigious national award (joining the likes of Billy Graham, Colin Powell, Bob Dole, Bob Hope, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial and James Earl Jones), Mr. Nicholson has no choice but to shed light on a past that dealt him many obstacles.
The award, established in 1947 by Dr. Kenneth Beebe and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, is given to individuals who overcome humble or adverse circumstances to achieve success, and then dedicate themselves to helping others.
Mr. Nicholson credits his success to the faith he learned from his mother, the education he earned in a rural one-room schoolhouse, and the opportunities available in a free society.
Born during the Great Depression as the third of seven children, Mr. Nicholson grew up on a tenant farm in Iowa. His alcoholic father provided his family with mismatched shoes, little food to eat, and living conditions without electricity or plumbing.
Mr. Nicholson went to work in the second grade walking farm to farm to sell greeting cards. By the age of 10, he was pumping gas at a filling station, and by high school was one of the "gandy dancers" on the Great Northern Railroad.
Still, he managed to stay in school, earning a place in the National Honor Society. He was also captain of his football team, a member of the student council and a leader in the 4-H Club.

In 1957, he won an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He served in the Army for eight years, including in Vietnam as a U.S. Army Ranger paratrooper and infantry platoon leader. He was one of the youngest officers to command the tactical nuclear weapons units, known as the "Davy Crockett" platoon.

Afterward, he earned a master's degree from Columbia University and a law degree from the University of Denver. He dabbled in politics all the while, and in 1997 he was elected chairman of the RNC, then re-elected last year.

Camp Bubba

"A good friend of mine, a pumpkin farmer named Clyde Bruckerhoff, wonders if the number of applications for internships at the White House has declined since the Lewinsky scandal?" writes F.R., regarding our Leon Panetta poll item of last week finding students "turned off" by politics.
After several days of checking, Clinton spokesman Jim Kennedy says he's been unable to determine if applications are down, but suffice it to say there were enough applications in the pool to select the same number of interns as in previous years.
"On average, we have about 1,000 interns on a yearly basis in the current spring program, we have about 250," says Mr. Kennedy. "In the fall and spring, we have a lower number, and a larger number in the summer when they're not in school."

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