- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 23, 2000

Noble: Regina Seltzer a 71-year-old grandmother and former librarian who beat political turncoat Rep. Michael P. Forbes to become the Democratic congressional nominee in New York's 1st district by a mere 35 votes.

While this section rarely praises Democrats, Regina Seltzer is a worthy exception. From her campaign headquarters in her kitchen, she won a classic campaign of "retail politics," going door to door and pedaling around the East End of Long Island distributing campaign literature. The total budget for her campaign came to a mere $40,000. She claimed, "I don't like to ask people for money."

Her opponent was a three-term congressman who left the Republican Party last year and who had the endorsement of the Democratic Party and a war chest of $1.4 million, some of which was raised at a fund-raiser last April attended by President Clinton.

After receiving the news of her win, Mrs. Seltzer exclaimed, "I really feel humbled. It says anybody in this country can still have a shot at running for government."

Mr. Forbes said that he wished Mrs. Seltzer well, although he had no plans to turn over the remains of his war chest, including $180,000 that he received from the Democratic State Committee for political advertising, telling the New York Times, "I just can't hand it off to her."

Mrs. Seltzer faces another uphill battle against Republican challenger Felix J. Grucci Jr. for Mr. Forbes' seat. While we hope that voters in the 1st district have the wisdom to select the best candidate for the job, Mrs. Seltzer deserves congratulations on her truly astonishing win.

Knave: Jon Corzine, the Democratic candidate for a U.S. Senate seat from New Jersey, who finally acknowledged this week that he received endorsements from two groups led by well-known African-American leaders to whom he had previously given charitable contributions.

Mr. Corzine, a former executive at Goldman-Sachs, spent a record-setting $35 million to win the Democratic primary. His foundation, the Jon and Joanne Corzine Foundation, gave over $10 million to charities last year.

One of the gifts was a $25,000 donation made last December to the St. Matthew AME Church, led by Rev. Reginald Jackson, the executive director of the Black Ministers Council of New Jersey. While receiving the Council's endorsement in April, Mr. Corzine stood silently as a minister on the Council claimed that none of them had received donations from him.

The Rev. Jessie L. Jackson campaigned with Mr. Corzine in black neighborhoods the day before the June primary. According to Mr. Corzine, this had nothing to do with the $50,000 that he donated in January to Project PUSH, which is led by Rev. Jackson.

A fellow Democrat, Bruce Afran, who is running for the same seat on the Green Party ticket, denounced Mr. Corzine's actions, saying, "We've seen the corruption of the entire Democratic Party through the influence of Jon Corzine. Now the Corzine campaign is effectively corrupting churches."

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