- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 14, 2001

The Thurmond tape

Nancy Moore Thurmond, the estranged wife of Sen. Strom Thurmond, South Carolina Republican, says she definitely is not angling to succeed Mr. Thurmond should he become incapacitated.
Mrs. Thurmond, in a faxed statement to several reporters Sunday, denied news reports that her husband had made a videotape for South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges asking the Democrat to appoint his wife to the Senate seat if for some reason he was unable to continue.
There was a three-minute tape, but it was actually a farewell to the people of South Carolina made by Mr. Thurmond last year in the Senate recording studio, she said.
"Strom and I decided in the event of a disabling illness or death, it would be the right thing to do and historically important for Strom to have on record a speech thanking the people of South Carolina and his staff," Mrs. Thurmond said in the statement, quoted yesterday in the New York Times.
Mr. Thurmond, at 98 the longest-serving senator in history, has been hospitalized several times in the past year. His health could determine if the Senate remains split 50-50, because South Carolina's governor would be expected to appoint a fellow Democrat.
Mrs. Thurmond, a Republican, said she has no interest in becoming a senator, and said so in a meeting with the governor in November.

Taxes feed foes of cut

Thirty-one nonprofit groups that have united to oppose President Bush's tax-cut plan are recipients of federal tax money, according to the Capital Research Center.
"It is not surprising that these organizations would oppose any cuts in one of their major sources of revenue money collected from American taxpayers," said Capital Research Center President Terrence Scanlon.
The groups are part of the "Fair Taxes for All" coalition created to oppose tax cuts.
The bulk of these tax dollars went to the National Council of Senior Citizens (NCSC), whose successor group, the Alliance for Retired Americans, joined the Fair Taxes for All coalition. NCSC received more than $300 million in grants in the past five years, according to the Federal Assistance Award Data System.
Other coalition members receiving significant taxpayer support include the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, the NAACP, the National Education Association, and the National Council of La Raza.
Organized labor is taking a leading role in the anti-tax-cut coalition. The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the nation's largest government employee union, co-chairs the coalition alongside People for the American Way. AFSCME received $447,000 in federal grants from 1997 through 1999.
The AFL-CIO, which received more than $6 million in tax money from 1997 through 2000, is a member of the coalition and has started "Bushwatch," a Web site dedicated to opposing Mr. Bush's legislative agenda.

Hillary's fall

"The pardon scandal is the flypaper that has caught Hillary [Clinton] and brought her down," Dick Morris says of the New York senator and former first lady.
"It is a scandal that will keep on giving. As U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White continues her investigation into the New Square and Rich pardons, she is likely to keep the matter alive and on the front burner while Hillary struggles to get a word in edgewise. Since White is a Democrat [indeed a Clinton] appointee, the Clinton damage-control squad will have a hard time painting her with a Kenneth Starr brush," Mr. Morris said in a column in the New York Post.
"It is unlikely that White will be able to pin a bribery indictment on Hillary. She doubtless never said the magic words that would have sealed a quid pro quo of votes for pardons. But White doesn't have to reach that far. The lesser offense of receiving a gratuity, also a felony, does not require an explicit arrangement. Its terms may be broad enough to ensnare her. But an indictment or a conviction are not necessary to kill Hillary's national political fortunes. An investigation will suffice."
"The fact that Hillary's national numbers are dropping, and will likely drop further, may shoot down her presidential possibilities. As White's investigation continues, she is likely to fall further and further, putting the nomination for president out of reach."

Professor Gore

It's easy to tell when professor Al Gore is teaching there's a motorcade, Secret Service agents and students asking for autographs, the Associated Press reports.
The former vice president has embarked on a new career as an educator, and he's pushing a pet idea at two Tennessee universities the connection between families and communities. He calls the subject family-centered community building, but even the professor himself is looking for a snappier name.
What's it all about? In laymen's terms, it's the way families help their hometowns and the way those towns help families. Or, as Mr. Gore describes it: "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts applies to families and communities."
In the classroom, Mr. Gore's lectures seem like a variation of the town meetings he frequently led on the presidential campaign trail last year, AP reporter Arlene Levinson writes.
At Fisk University on Monday, the former vice president faced a semicircle of students as he spoke on the day's topic, "Education and Learning."
He opened the two-hour class by introducing a video of youngsters talking about how they learn, followed by two guest speakers, before making his own remarks and taking questions.
Mr. Gore repeated the entire presentation an hour later at sprawling Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.

Bush plan popular

A majority of Americans like what they see in President Bush's education reform proposals, according to a new Harris Poll released yesterday.
The nationwide poll of more than 1,000 adults found that 67 percent of those who are familiar with Mr. Bush's proposals said they supported them, while only 19 percent were opposed.
However, the same poll found that many people were ignorant about Mr. Bush's education plan. Forty-three percent of those polled said they were unaware of the president's proposals and only 42 percent said they had some knowledge of the plan's details.
Due to the lack of awareness, the poll questioned respondents about the core principles of Mr. Bush's plan annual student testing and linking federal funds for schools to test results.
An overwhelming majority of 87 percent said they favor schools testing children in grades three through eight in reading and math. An almost 2-1 majority favored using federal money to reward states where test results improve.

Small difference

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that former Rep. Barbara Rose Collins, Michigan Democrat, was not defamed by a 1996 Detroit Free Press article in which she was quoted as saying, "All white people, I don't believe, are intolerant. That's why I say I love the individuals but I hate the race."
Miss Collins actually said, "All white people, I don't believe, are intolerant. That's why I say I love the individuals, but I don't like the race."
In an opinion released Monday, the court said Miss Collins' actual statement was substantially equivalent to the published quotation, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Short on cash

Sen. Maria Cantwell's stock holdings have plummeted at least 90 percent and she is unable to pay campaign debts, the Washington state-based Everett Herald reports.
A spokesman for the Washington Democrat said she is considering a partial repayment while renegotiating $3.8 million in bank loans due this week, the newspaper said.

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