- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 16, 2001

A racial split
At least one prominent Democrat sees a racial divide in the party on whether Al Gore should be given another try for the White House.
"In terms ofenthusiasm, I think there is a very big divide," says Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America's Future, a liberal group with close ties to organized labor.
"I think most of the liberal activists, particularly in the white community, are pretty dismayed with Gore as a candidate, and so there's a lot of resistance to going back. But I think in significant parts of the Democratic Party outside of the activists — in the black community, for example — there is an assumption it was robbed from him and he has a right to run again," Mr. Borosage told Los Angeles Times reporter Ronald Brownstein.
Meanwhile, Sen. John Edwards, a North Carolina Democrat who makes little secret of his presidential ambitions, has been cozying up to Bill Clinton.
Mr. Edwards "has already sought Clinton's advice on campaign organization in about a half dozen phone conversations and meetings," Mr. Brownstein writes.

Nussle vs. Bush
Rep. Jim Nussle, Iowa Republican and chairman of the Budget Committee, is resisting efforts by House Republican leaders and the Bush administration to replace the annual appropriations process with a biennial schedule, the Hill newspaper reports.
"Faced with yet another end-of-the-year spending battle that will almost certainly keep Congress in session well past its October 5 scheduled adjournment date, the administration and House leaders have made reforming the appropriations process a priority," reporter Alexander Bolton writes.
"However, Nussle, an ex officio member of the House leadership, dealt his fellow leaders and the administration a setback shortly before recess by spiking legislation in committee that would have replaced the annual appropriations process with a biennial schedule. Under such a schedule Congress would pass government spending bills every two years.
"Nussle is insisting that the House pursue all budget reforms through a commission he wants to create to study those issues," the reporter said.
However, supporters of the legislation say that, despite Mr. Nussle's opposition, it will probably reach the House floor via the Rules Committee.

Ridge's choice
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge is ready to throw his support to state Attorney General Mike Fisher in the Republican race to choose Mr. Ridge's successor in 2002, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Mr. Ridge, a Republican who cannot run again because of term limits, may be hoping to avoid a bloody battle for his party's nomination. State Treasurer Barbara Hafer also is a candidate.
Mr. Ridge's endorsement could come as early as today, reporter Thomas Fitzgerald writes.
However, Miss Hafer said she would not let Mr. Ridge dictate the party's nomination.
"This is the old way of doing things — a couple of men in a back room deciding for the entire Republican Party," she said. "I'm not going to fold."

Welcome back
Massachusetts acting Gov. Jane Swift returned to work full time Monday after taking an extended maternity leave, just in time to have her homosexual stepson accuse her of being a hypocrite for opposing same-sex "marriage."
Mrs. Swift gave birth to twins on May 15.
"To stay with her Republican supporters, she doesn't want to go too far, because she knows she'll lose votes," Brian Hunt told the Boston Globe for a story published yesterday. "Knowing they have a homosexual son, you'd think they'd be more understanding."
Mr. Hunt, 25, is the son of Mrs. Swift's husband, Chuck Hunt, 47, and his second wife, Andrea. He lives in California and works at a coffee shop.
Mr. Hunt believes he should be allowed to marry his male partner.
Mrs. Swift has supported increased rights for homosexuals but has said she would not support homosexual "marriage" in Massachusetts.
The governor said she supports her stepson despite his public criticism of her stance. She said she considers him to be one of her children, along with her 2-year-old daughter and infant twin daughters, the Associated Press reports.
"I love Brian," Mrs. Swift said. "I support Brian's right to voice his opinion on any policy."
She added: "In my mind, the sanctity of marriage requires that it be confined to marriage between a man and a woman."
Mrs. Swift, 36, is Mr. Hunt's fourth wife. She became acting governor in April when predecessor Paul Cellucci became ambassador to Canada. She is the nation's youngest governor and, when she had twins in May, she became the first to give birth while in office.

Hat in the ring
House Majority Whip David E. Bonior formally began his candidacy for Michigan governor yesterday, saying the state needed tougher environmental protection, more support for schools and protection of workers' rights.
The Michigan Democrat said he had hoped a leader would step forward to take on Michigan's pressing problems, but "I'm tired of waiting. I want to do it while I still have the energy."
Michigan is losing one of its 16 U.S. House seats as a result of the 2000 census, and the Republican-controlled state Legislature put Mr. Bonior and Rep. Sander M. Levin in the same district.
Polls have shown Mr. Bonior trailing former Gov. James Blanchard and Attorney General Jennifer Granholm in the race for the 2002 Democratic nomination.
"We love underdogs, and let me tell you, this underdog knows how to win," Mr. Bonior told hundreds of supporters at Cobo Center in Detroit, the Associated Press reported.
Republican Gov. John Engler cannot run again because of term limits. Mr. Bonior had filed his paperwork for the gubernatorial race in May.

He rolled into jail
A man was arrested for reportedly urging people to throw rolls of toilet paper decorated with President Bush's face at the president's motorcade during his visit to Estes Park, Colo., on Tuesday.
Sheets on the rolls show the smiling faces of Mr. Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Attorney General John Ashcroft. John Fischer sells them on his Web site, along with anti-Bush bumper stickers, the Associated Press reports.
Mr. Fischer, who was charged with disturbing the peace, denied telling anyone to throw the rolls. He said he handed them out along with bumper stickers in a designated protest area along the motorcade route, and that teen-agers suggested throwing them.
"Some of the teen-agers had made those comments to me and I said, 'You better not or you're going to find yourself arrested or worse,'" Mr. Fischer said.
Mr. Fischer, who had wrapped himself in the toilet paper in preparation for the protest, said he was held for about four hours and interviewed by Secret Service agents while in custody.
Mr. Fischer will fight the $150 fine and said he was disappointed with having to sit in jail until Mr. Bush left the area.
"He doesn't come to this area very often, so this was my chance to protest," Mr. Fischer said.

For more information
A Mariposa (Calif.) Gazette item about a local Democratic club meeting included a list of phone numbers and the suggestion that more information could be obtained if you "tap any tree-hugging, egg-sucking, fern-fondling local liberal on the shoulder, because they know everything there is to know anyway." The Gazette's publisher apologized to readers, saying the line was "meant to be a good-natured barb between two employees who have differing political views," the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

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