- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 24, 2001

Nadler triggered pardon

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat and an ardent advocate of gun control, was behind Bill Clinton's presidential pardon of terrorist Susan Rosenberg, the New York Post reports.
Miss Rosenberg, a member of the Weather Underground, was serving a 58-year sentence for weapons possession, and was a suspect in a Brink's robbery in Nyack, N.Y., that left two policemen and a guard dead.
A spokesman for Mr. Nadler said a rabbi had provided the congressman with "compelling information" from Miss Rosenberg's parole hearing and that Mr. Nadler had let the White House counsel's office know the concerns of Miss Rosenberg's family.
Mr. Nadler was a prominent defender of Mr. Clinton during impeachment.

Double standard

Eight years ago, when President Clinton revoked President Reagan's pro-life executive orders, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather and Peter Jennings all portrayed it as a promise kept.
But on Monday, after President Bush kept a campaign promise and reversed Mr. Clinton, the three top network anchors all portrayed the move as a payoff to the right wing, the Media Research Center noted yesterday.
For example, here's what CBS' Dan Rather reported on Jan. 22, 1993: "It was 20 years ago today, the United States Supreme Court handed down its landmark abortion-rights ruling and the controversy hasn't stopped since. Today, with the stroke of a pen, President Clinton delivered on his campaign promise to cancel several anti-abortion regulations of the Reagan-Bush years."
Compare that to Mr. Rather's words Monday: "This was President Bush's first day at the office and he did something to quickly please the right flank in his party: He reinstituted an anti-abortion policy that had been in place during his father's term and the Reagan presidency, but was lifted during the Clinton years."

Strom's choice

Sen. Strom Thurmond yesterday nominated his 28-year-old son, Strom Thurmond Jr., to be the top federal prosecutor in South Carolina.
The South Carolina Republican's recommendation of his son for U.S. attorney was among six he made to President Bush.
The younger Mr. Thurmond is an assistant state prosecutor and a 1998 University of South Carolina law school graduate. He has endorsements from both Republican and Democratic leaders. He has no official affiliation, the Associated Press reports.
The elder Mr. Thurmond, 98, is the oldest and longest-serving senator and the second-ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which would review the nomination. The Senate rarely rejects a nomination pushed by one of its members.
"I feel that each is uniquely qualified and will serve with integrity and distinction," the senator said of his recommendations.
Since they are political appointees, most U.S. attorneys around the country will be replaced in the coming months under the Bush administration. Traditionally, whichever party wins the White House lets its senators recommend candidates in their respective states.
South Carolina's outgoing U.S. attorney, J. Rene Josey, who has served since 1996, was picked by the state's other senator, Democrat Ernest F. Hollings.

Bono in hospital

Rep. Mary Bono, California Republican, underwent surgery yesterday to remove a benign mass in her lower abdomen.
Her California office said she was doing well after the surgery.
"Congresswoman Bono's prognosis is excellent," Dr. John DeMersseman said in a prepared statement before he performed the surgery at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. "This is a fairly routine procedure for many women, and I anticipate a full recovery."
Mrs. Bono was expected to leave the hospital within several days and spend six to eight weeks recuperating at her Palm Springs home.
Spokesman Rusty Payne said Mrs. Bono has asked for a computer in her hospital room "which means, as she told me, no rest for her congressional staff."
Mrs. Bono is the widow of Rep. Sonny Bono, who died Jan. 5, 1998, in a skiing accident while vacationing with his family near Lake Tahoe.
"Congresswoman Bono appreciates the kind thoughts from friends, family and well-wishers, and looks forward to a speedy recovery," Mr. Payne said.

Norton's phone calls

Interior Secretary-designate Gale A. Norton made a series of recorded telephone calls before last November's election, claiming Democrats were engaged in a smear campaign against Republican opponents in competitive Colorado legislative races.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that in the messages, which went to thousands of potential voters, Mrs. Norton identified herself only as Colorado's former attorney general. She failed to say she was calling on behalf of the Republican Party, the newspaper said.
Mrs. Norton served two terms as the state's attorney general, leaving office in 1999. Democrats claim that by highlighting her law-enforcement career in the phone messages, she implied she was alerting the public rather than delivering a political message.
Sean Murphy, executive director of the Colorado Republican Party, said he enlisted Mrs. Norton's help and defended her calls, as did a Norton spokeswoman.
"It's common practice to inform voters about false or misleading information that is disseminated during a campaign, and she was trying to set the record straight for those candidates," spokeswoman Jeanie Mamo told the Times.

Florida post-mortem

Florida's county election supervisors gathered yesterday for the first time since the presidential race and called on the Legislature to adopt uniform voting technology throughout the state.

The Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections also voted at its annual winter meeting for a single set of standards on how to conduct a recount, the Associated Press reports.

"We do not want to go through another election with the punch-card ballot," said Kurt Browning, Pasco County supervisor.

The Legislature could consider the recommendations during its upcoming session.

Many officials complained about the lack of uniformity. Twenty-four counties use a punch-card system, one uses a lever system, one uses a paper system and 41 use optical scanners.

Secretary of State Katherine Harris promised at the meeting to lobby lawmakers to fund election-related upgrades.

"We must make our voting system the model of the nation, a system that makes the intent of the voter self-evident," Mrs. Harris told the 67 supervisors.

Pathetic performance

"The most seriously pathetic players" in the California electricity crisis "are the politicians," the Wall Street Journal says.
"Particularly Gov. Gray Davis. He didn't get it last summer when the trouble began. He didn't get it last month when the problems multiplied, and he still doesn't get it," the newspaper said in an editorial.
"Not only did Mr. Davis accuse out-of-state power suppliers of being 'pirates' and 'marauders,' but he has proposed making the withholding of power a criminal act and suggested committing public lands to power-plant construction 'on the condition that energy be distributed only in California.'
"And then there was his trip to Washington to plead (successfully) for the Clinton administration to compel suppliers to sell to California utilities and ask [the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee] to impose price caps on power sold in the Western power grid. He has also signed a law to block utilities from selling their power plants and forcing them to sell that power only in California at 'reasonable rates.'
"Currently he is pushing a scheme whereby the state would buy, at long-term contract, power at $55 per megawatt hour probably below the cost of production and certainly below current market prices," ignoring the laws of supply and demand.


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