- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 25, 2001


Davis 'symphony
"Gray Davis lost his cool last week when a group of obtuse California legislators gave a glassy-eyed reception to his latest energy scheme. According to one witness, the governor uttered a veritable 'symphony of obscenities," Wall Street Journal columnist George Melloan writes.
"Probably it wasnt clear to the legislators how the plan will save Californians from broiling in the dark when air conditioners kick in this summer and knock out an already overstressed electric power system. Indeed, it isnt entirely obvious how paying Southern California Edison $2.76 billion for transmission lines would solve a rather more fundamental problem, the shortage of generating capacity," Mr. Melloan said.
"Legislators, to be sure, didnt have brilliant ideas of their own and the prescriptions of some of the governors Democrat henchmen were from cloud-cuckoo-land, like one threat to jail utility executives. The hysteria will get worse.
"Its not easy to feel sorry for Gov. Davis and his fears that the power crisis will destroy his political career. He simply ran out of dodges. He tried to blame his problem on 'a disastrous experiment in deregulation. That overlooked an important fact: California power is not now and has never been, in modern history, deregulated. Regulation is the problem.
"The governor also stooped to that favorite ploy of demagogues, blaming producers for the messes the pols themselves created."

Pryor eyes Senate seat
Arkansas Attorney General Mark Pryor says he will run for the U.S. Senate next year.
Mr. Pryor, the son of former U.S. Sen. David Pryor, threw his hat into the ring for the 2002 Democratic primary Monday. He said he would be organizing his campaign staff over the next few weeks, the Associated Press reports.
"I know Im the underdog in this race, and thats OK," he said.
Republican Sen. Tim Hutchinson has said he will seek a second term. State Rep. Jim Bob Duggar also has announced he will challenge Mr. Hutchinson in the Republican primary.
President Bush plans to attend a campaign fund-raiser for Mr. Hutchinson today in Little Rock.
Mr. Pryor, 38, served as a state representative before becoming the states chief lawyer. His father also was a state representative, a congressman and governor. He retired in 1997 after 18 years in the Senate.

Hoyer pushes GOP
The top Democrat on a congressional panel that oversees election reform said yesterday that President Bush and Republicans need to weigh in on the issue soon if there is to be federal help in upgrading voting systems before the 2002 elections.
But House Speaker J. Dennis Hasterts office said it is Democrats who have slowed reform efforts by not agreeing to Republican plans for a select committee on elections, Cox News Service reports.
Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, said he hopes the House and Senate can pass similar election reform bills before the August recess. Mr. Hoyer is the ranking Democrat on the Committee on House Administration, which will hold a hearing today featuring Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris and other election officials from around the United States.
"Its a very high-powered hearing," said Chairman Bob Ney, Ohio Republican. "I think it shows that the Republicans are very serious about this, or we wouldnt do this hearing."
About 50 election reform bills have been filed in the House, including one by Mr. Hoyer offering up to $434 million in federal money to help state and local governments replace punch-card voting machines, and $150 million in annual grants for voter education, voting equipment and technology development.
Mr. Bush did not include any election reform money in his budget and has not made any reform proposals. Mr. Hoyer told reporters he hopes the president will offer a "substantive response" on the issue by mid-May so Congress can pass legislation this summer.

McAuliffes accusation
The Democratic National Committee has accused the Bush-Cheney committee set up to manage the Florida vote recount of evading a new federal law on political spending. The Democrats asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate, the Associated Press reports.
Democratic national Chairman Terry McAuliffe wrote IRS Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti on Monday and charged the Bush-Cheney recount operation was a "stealth PAC," referring to political action committees required under a new federal law to disclose their expenditures. The law requires that private tax-exempt groups disclose their finances.
The Bush-Cheney recount committee responded by saying it was part of the Bush-Cheney campaign and was not required to report its finances.
The Bush-Cheney fund raised about $8 million and paid the expenses of workers who helped with the recount of last years presidential vote in Florida. The committee indicated that contributions to the fund have been included on the campaign Web site, but did not list campaign expenditures.
Democrat Al Gores recount committee registered under the law and its reports to the IRS through March 31 indicated contributions of $3.7 million and expenditures of $2.6 million.

Barney Frank, the film
New York filmmaker Bart Everly hopes to complete a film about Rep. Barney Frank in the fall, the Boston Globe reports.
Mr. Everly has accumulated more than 80 hours of footage, mostly from following around the Massachusetts Democrat for two years, beginning at the time of the impeachment hearings.
"With footage of newspaper headlines and magazine covers, the film details Franks decision to disclose that he is gay," reporter Wayne Washington writes.
The film will be titled "Let's Get Frank." Part of it will be shown in Arlington on June 22, when Americans for Democratic Action honors Mr. Frank as its man of the year.

Sibling rivalry
"Already clashing over offshore oil drilling permits in Florida, the First Siblings are facing another family row after the Quebec summit that agreed to launch a Free Trade Agreement of the Americas by 2005," UPI reports.
"Governor Jeb Bush of Florida was elected with the loyal support of the states sugar and orange growers, who would be bankrupt without protection from foreign competition. For the sugar industry alone, that protection is worth over $1.3 billion a year, and the American consumer pays double the world market price," the wire service said.
"Guess which two agricultural exports Brazil most wants to send flooding into the U.S. under the free trade deal that the First Brother was promoting so hard in Quebec."

Back to campus
Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright is returning to Georgetown University.
Mrs. Albright has accepted a professorship at the School of Foreign Service, where she will teach diplomacy, the university said yesterday.
"Georgetown has been an important part of my life because it respects education and public service," said Mrs. Albright, who was a professor of international affairs at the university between 1982 and 1993.
Robert Gallucci, dean of the foreign service school, said Mrs. Albright, would be "a bridge between the academic study of international affairs and the world of the practitioner."
Mrs. Albright, who maintains a residence just blocks from the university campus, left academia in 1993 to become U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Four years later, she became the first female secretary of state.

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