- The Washington Times - Friday, September 15, 2000

Back on top?

While George W. Bush trails Al Gore in a number of polls, yesterday's bipartisan Voter.com Battleground 2000 Poll shows the Republican back on top by 6 percentage points.
"The survey reports that the vice president's numbers are slipping and George W. Bush is back on top for the first time in weeks," writes Sean Neary of Voter.com News.
"The most significant finding from the poll was that among a select group of voters deemed most likely to cast a ballot if the election were held today, 50 percent said they would pull the lever for Bush, 44 percent for Gore, 4 percent for Green Party presidential nominee Ralph Nader and 1 percent for Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan."
The survey, based on a four-day rolling sample of 1,000 likely voters, was conducted by Democratic pollster Celinda Lake of Lake, Snell, Perry & Associates and Republican pollster Ed Goeas of the Tarrance Group. The margin of error was 3.1 percent.

Corzine's tax return

Jon Corzine, the Democratic candidate for a U.S. Senate seat from New Jersey, is acting like he has something to hide, Republicans charge.
Mr. Corzine has asked the Internal Revenue Service to give him a second extension on the 1999 tax return for the charitable foundation he and his wife established. If the IRS goes along, Mr. Corzine would not have to reveal the recipients of his largesse until after the November elections.
Republican state Chairman Chuck Haytaian called a news conference Wednesday to ask what Mr. Corzine is trying to hide.
"If the foundation is being used as a political slush fund, that's illegal," Mr. Haytaian said, voicing suspicion that the former co-chairman of the investment firm Goldman Sachs was using his personal fortune to buy political support from leaders of nonprofit groups. However, Mr. Haytaian conceded that he had no evidence of such activities, the New York Times reports.
"Show me the forms," Mr. Haytaian said. "Show me the forms and then I'll know, but it certainly raises questions."
A spokesman for Mr. Corzine said he received a 90-day extension from the IRS on June 15 and is seeking a second extension to Dec. 15 because the candidate hired a new accountant last year and because he gave much more to charity in 1999 ($14.5 million) than in prior years, complicating matters.
Mr. Corzine spent an estimated $35 million of his own money in winning the Democratic nomination and is continuing to spend freely while his Republican opponent, Rep. Bob Franks, tries to raise enough money to compete on the airwaves.

Specter's book

Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican, defends what he calls "the single-bullet conclusion" in the JFK assassination in his memoirs due out next month, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
The book is called "Passion for Truth: From Finding JFK's Single Bullet to Questioning Anita Hill to Impeaching Clinton."
Conspiracy theorists such as filmmaker Oliver Stone have derided Mr. Specter, who, as Warren Commission attorney, concluded that the same bullet had struck Mr. Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connally.
"I have always been confident that the Single-Bullet Conclusion is correct," Mr. Specter says in the book. "I have also had a sense that if the conclusion turns out to be incorrect, that would be OK, too, because it was an honest, good-faith soundly reasoned judgment."
However, Mr. Specter says he regrets not interviewing Lyndon Johnson and Mr. Kennedy's widow, Jacqueline.
"I didn't think Lyndon Johnson was complicit in the assassination, but no self-respecting investigation would omit a thorough investigation of the slain president's successor," Mr. Specter says.
He was refused permission to question Mrs. Kennedy.

Subliminal contest

Despite charges by the Gore campaign and the national news media, "subliminal advertising just does not exist," writes Jerry Della Femina, chairman of Femina Rothschild Jeary Advertising.
"This latest charge is a carry-over from the anti-advertising, anti-business days of the 1970s," Mr. Della Femina said in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal.
Last week, Al Gore's presidential campaign, the New York Times and most of the TV networks charged that the George W. Bush presidential campaign was using a sinister technique in a TV ad. The word "RATS" the last four letters of the word "bureaucrats" appeared on screen for a fraction of a second.
"The Republicans don't realize it, but they've come up with a great gambit. If I were doing their presidential advertising, I would pretend that I had intentionally inserted RATS subliminally in the offending commercial. Then I would announce that I was planning to subliminally insert a word or picture in every commercial I make from now until election day," Mr. Della Femina said.
"I would turn it into a national contest. I would urge voters to look at all Bush-Cheney commercials closely to find the hidden message. I would encourage them to tape these commercials and run them back, frame by frame, to find the hidden message… .
"The winner, the person who identifies the most subliminal messages in Republican commercials, will receive a prize. He will be named secretary of health and human services should the Bush-Cheney team carry the election in November. Runners-up will be awarded with ambassadorships to small, hostile countries in the Balkans. Let the games begin."

Sunny mood

"George W. Bush still seems to be in a sunny mood and having a grand time," the New York Post's Deborah Orin writes.
"He may be in trouble but he's not grumping at all," Miss Orin said.
"Jittery Republicans in Washington are busy nail-biting but Bush just shrugs them off as 'panickers.' The polls aren't exactly bringing good news and Bush seems to have a campaign glitch a day but he still seems relaxed and totally at ease."

Cash cow

Political advertising may annoy some voters, but it's a cash cow for local TV stations, which are expected to take in as much as $1 billion from the sale of political ads this year, a new report says.
That's double the haul from 1996, said the Alliance for Better Campaigns, which argues that all that money compels broadcasters to provide candidates free time to talk about issues.
"The broadcasters don't own the airwaves, the public does," Walter Cronkite, former CBS News anchor and honorary co-chairman of the alliance, said in a statement. "We lend the industry billions of dollars worth of our airwaves, free of charge, in return for a pledge to serve the public interest. Profiteering on democracy shouldn't be part of the deal."
The group advocates five minutes of candidate discourse per day in the 30 days before Election Day, the standard recommended by a White House panel in 1998. Just 48 stations 3 percent of the industry have agreed to meet that standard, the Associated Press reports.

Clinton's plea

President Clinton urged American religious leaders yesterday to do what they could to get more U.S. money to help poorer countries with debt relief, disease control and improving education.
In a speech at the White House prayer breakfast, Mr. Clinton urged the leaders to lobby Congress for more funds, saying it was America's responsibility to help other nations, Reuters reports.
"As Americans, we have, I think, a truly unique opportunity and a very profound responsibility to do something now on debt relief, disease and education beyond our borders," Mr. Clinton told about 120 religious leaders in the State Dining Room.

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