- The Washington Times - Monday, September 25, 2000

Rats and hounds

We see the 1998 best seller "Year of the Rat: How Bill Clinton Compromised U.S. Security for Chinese Cash" (Regnery), has been "updated and expanded." (The new title adds "and Al Gore" after "Bill Clinton.")

"The problem is worse than we could have imagined back in '98 the corruption far deeper," the authors explain.

How so?

"We traced how Janet Reno cut a deal with Bill Clinton to save Al Gore's behind on fund raising at the [Buddhist] temple," co-author William C. Triplett II, former chief Republican counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tells this column.

"Bloodhounds were on Gore's trail in 1996, and Reno shut them off in return for another four years as attorney general," says Mr. Triplett, who wrote the book with Edward Timperlake, a former congressional staffer and Naval Academy graduate.

Dogs and moms

Dogs and cats of all stripes and persuasions privately hope Vice President Al Gore doesn't show up for the fourth annual Animal Health Institute's "Pet Night on Capitol Hill."

After all, the AHI represents companies that make medicines for pets, including arthritis medicine that Mr. Gore claimed his dog gets at a cheaper price than his mother-in-law.

On hand in the Cannon Caucus Room Wednesday will be Samantha, the famed English springer spaniel and best-in-show at the 2000 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, and Grand Premier Noblessa's Peace Maker of Stunning, the acclaimed Red Persian and best-in-show at the 1999 CFA International Cat Show.

Samantha is said to be particularly incensed over Mr. Gore's remarks about the disparity of drug costs for pets and people, particularly after the vice president's statements proved erroneous.

Mr. Gore said he forks over three times as much for an arthritis medication for his mother-in-law than for his family dog, although his aides later conceded the vice president was reading from a Democratic briefing page.

Al and Coconut

All this talk about Al Gore's dog reminds us of the time in 1994 when D.C. animal-control authorities received an emergency call from a Secret Service guard posted at the gate of the vice president's mansion on Massachusetts Avenue NW.

The officer reported that a sick dog had been lingering around the vice president's property, and when animal control arrived, they determined the dog, a poodle, required immediate emergency veterinary care. The dog, it turned out, belonged to Mr. Gore.

(This column confirmed the dog suffered from "maggot infestation of the muscles, resulting from an open, untreated wound.")

The dog was transported to Friendship Animal Hospital in the District, where the staff was under "strict order" not to discuss the case. But Mary Healey, executive director of the Washington Humane Society, told us:

"We had received a call to pick up a dog in the vicinity of the vice-presidential property and we responded to the call. We located the dog. I believe it was a poodle … named Coconut. The dog was apparently injured in some way."

This column's initial source said the guard probably knew the dog belonged to the Gores, but "was just trying to get the suffering animal some help without jeopardizing his job."

Tipper Gore told this column through a spokesman: "What happened is we've been having construction on the house and Coconut got out, and was missing for a couple of days. It's an amazing dog. She's 16 years old. It had been outside the grounds and found its way home, and that's when it was discovered."

We never could confirm whether the Gores reported the dog missing.

We're back

Receiving far less publicity during the Million Mom March demanding stronger laws on guns were the Second Amendment Sisters, who staged their own protest on Constitution Avenue in support of the right to bear arms.

This evening in the Longworth House Office Building, the latter bunch of Dallas-based ladies will present Rep. Bob Barr, Georgia Republican, with an additional 100,000 petition signatures demanding that President Clinton and Congress enact laws that target only violent criminals.

"Just after our … march and rally in Washington on this past Mother's Day, we presented Representative Barr with five bound volumes of our signed petitions," Marinelle Thompson, co-founder of the group, told this column.

"At that meeting, he asked that we keep collecting signatures and give them to him," she says, explaining her return visit.

Victims again

Black Americans are being victimized by a bogus scam promising them benefits under the nonexistent "Slave Reparation Act."

"The Slave Reparation Act is a hoax," says Michael Zabko, head of the TREA Senior Citizens League (TSCL), who warns against providing any vital information in return for benefits.

Fliers being circulated around the country claim the act will provide a financial settlement to those who apply. It targets those born before 1928 and of the "Black Ethnic Race."

The fliers tell individuals to write the TSCL post office box in Washington. The group says it has received more than 10,000 inquiries from victims to date.

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