- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Vote fraud probed
The FBI has seized thousands of pages of St. Louis Election Board records relating to possible vote fraud in the November elections as well as last months mayoral contest.
The action Monday drew cheers from the Landmark Legal Foundation, which five weeks ago wrote the Justice Departments Public Integrity Section, seeking an investigation of voter irregularities in St. Louis. On Election Day in November, a city judge ordered that the polls be kept open for an additional three hours based on a petition signed by a voter who had died in 1999. An appellate court reversed that order, but not until the polls had remained open for 45 minutes past the scheduled 7 p.m. closing.
"Were very encouraged that the FBI has joined this battle," Landmark President Mark Levin said in a prepared statement. "There are thousands of irregularities, including the registration of people who are deceased. Someone even submitted voter registration cards for a dog and three dead aldermen."

Cantwell complaint

Sen. Maria Cantwell, Washington Democrat and ex-millionaire, is the latest target of the National Legal and Policy Center. The center yesterday filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, charging Miss Cantwell with illegal financial activities during her campaign last year.
"The gravamen of this complaint is quite simple: Cantwell violated federal election law by securing an under-collateralized loan and by using the proceeds of two loans secured at rates below those available to the general public to finance her campaign," the document reads.
The action is a response to an Associated Press article that stated the freshman lawmaker pledged a $375,000 home as collateral on a $600,000 line of credit. The piece also said Miss Cantwell, on a second, $4 million campaign loan, received the lenders prime rate, "potentially saving her tens of thousands of dollars." FEC rules prohibit candidates form receiving a more favorable rate than another bank customer for the same type of loan.
Miss Cantwell did not respond to the charges in the article. But a spokeswoman said, "This is a judgment a bank makes," before directing other questions to the lender, U.S. Bank.

Al who?

"Here is an item I am reluctant to write as it seems a bit derriere garde, if you know what I mean," New York Post gossip columnist Liz Smith writes.
"And also, I am afraid nobody will know whom Im writing about. Do any of you remember a guy named Al Gore? He ran for president and almost won. They said the election was his to lose and he lost it," the columnist said.
"As for the disappearing candidate Mr. Gore, all I know about him is that he was mighty buffed up for the presidential race. But the minute it was over, he started eating and filling himself up with instant gratification. They say hes pretty chubby these days."
The columnist added this tidbit: "And I hear that our former president, William Jefferson Clinton, has been hanging out three and four nights a week in one of Chappaquas local saloons. He sits around shooting the breeze and drinking non-alcoholic beer. He likes to talk. And hes one of those people who need people."

Clinton lease

The General Services Administration yesterday awarded a lease for former President Bill Clintons 8,300 square foot Harlem office.
The 10-year lease for the top floor at 55 W.125th St. will cost $261,450 per year, excluding tenant improvements, the GSA said in a statement yesterday.
The lease also includes 308 square feet for the Secret Service, which the Department of Treasury will pay at the same rate of $31.50 per square foot. According to the statement, landlord Judy LLC will contribute $337,060 toward tenant improvements.
The former president, who has been referred to as the "first black president," took the Harlem offices after a furor erupted over his first choice of post-presidential digs a swanky midtown Manhattan building that would have cost as much as the office space for all other living former presidents combined.

Feinstein and China
"If there were any doubts that Sen. Dianne Feinsteins loyalties lean more toward protecting her rich husbands financial interests in Communist China than protecting Americas strategic interests in East Asia namely Taiwan she put them to rest recently," Paul Sperry writes at WorldNetDaily.com.
"In the span of two weeks, the California Democrat parroted mainland objections over pending U.S. arms sales to missile-targeted Taiwan and broadcast a maudlin mea culpa to Beijings hardliners for the international crisis that they caused," Mr. Sperry said.
"First, the weepy apology.
"'I want the Chinese to know that I, as a senior senator from California, am deeply sorry about the loss of a Chinese pilot, she blubbered April 4 on CNN. Then she broadened it to: 'Were sorry.
"Apparently she threw in the extra apology for her husband, Richard 'Dick Blum, whose investment firm has raised more than $100 million for China and would like to keep doing business there," Mr. Sperry said.
"Later in the broadcast, she actually doubted that the ChiComs acted aggressively in clipping our plane and holding our airmen. Then, sounding more like the Chinese ambassador, she cautioned President Bush to 'be careful in making demands."

A warming trend

"President Bushs choice of a gay man to head the White House AIDS office is the latest sign of a warming trend between gays and the GOP," USA Today reports.
"Bush named four openly gay people to help with his transition, and aides are interviewing more than a dozen for key jobs. Bush hasleft in place a 1998 order banning discrimination against gays in 1.7 million federal civil service jobs," reporter Jill Lawrence writes.
The Log Cabin Federation "estimates that Clinton named more than 100 openly gay people among hundreds of appointees. In past GOP administrations, gay people did not publicly disclose their sexual orientation. Scott Evertz, who was named to head the White House Office of National AIDS Policy last week, led Log Cabins Wisconsin chapter."
However, some social conservatives are frustrated, the reporter said. Richard Lessner of American Renewal said the AIDS office amounts to an advocacy post, and "even Bill Clinton did not name a prominent gay activist" to lead it. "Increasingly, were seeing gestures from the president that are strikingly inconsistent with his repeated assertions that he stands for marriage and the family."

Robertsons position

The Rev. Pat Robertson issued a statement yesterday to make clear that he has not changed his position on abortion.
In an interview with CNNs Wolf Blitzer on Monday night, the social conservative and pro-life leader had said he understood why Chinas leaders restrict the number of children each couple is allowed, sometimes resorting to forced abortions.
"If every family over there was allowed to have three or four children, the population would be completely unsustainable," Mr. Robertson told Mr. Blitzer. "So I think that right now theyre doing what they have to do."
Mr. Robertson, in his statement yesterday, said that in the CNN interview he did not express "my full conviction in regard to the question of population growth of mainland China. I have been and will always be strongly pro-life, and my teachings over the past 40 years in private and in public reflect my deeply held convictions."
He added: "The Chinese government has by law restricted the birth rate to one child per family. Given their situation, intelligent family planning reflects an obvious necessity; however, I am unalterably opposed to the policy which would result in forced abortions or sex selection."

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