- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 16, 2001

Sununu enters race

Rep. John E. Sununu said yesterday he will challenge Sen. Robert C. Smith in next year's Republican primary in New Hampshire, which is expected to be an expensive, bitter and divisive race.

"We must offer positive campaigns of substance and then let the voters decide," Mr. Sununu said at a news conference in Concord.

The announcement ended months of speculation that the three-term congressman would challenge Mr. Smith. Mr. Sununu is the son of former Gov. John H. Sununu, who served as White House chief of staff under President George Bush.

Democratic state Sen. Lou D'Allesandro told the Associated Press that a Smith-Sununu face-off would be "a real, take-your-gloves-off, come-out-swinging, very expensive primary."

The primary will take place in September. The race has national implications for control of the Senate, where Democrats hold a 50-49 advantage.

Democrats see a bitter Republican primary as a plus for Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, who is expected to run for the seat.

Smith supporters would rather have Mr. Sununu stay in the House. "It forebodes ill will, an injured Republican Party," said former Republican state Sen. Jim Rubens.

Mr. Sununu, 37, has been urged to run by some state and national Republicans who do not think Mr. Smith can beat Mrs. Shaheen. Mr. Smith, 60, also angered some Republicans when he left the GOP briefly in 1999 to run for president as an independent. He delivered a stinging attack on the party from the Senate floor.

Not in doubt

New York City's elections commissioner says there is "no realistic doubt" about the outcome of the Democratic mayoral runoff, but Fernando Ferrer, who once conceded the nomination, now says, "We don't know who that nominee is."

Mark Green's margin of victory over Mr. Ferrer in Thursday's vote had shrunk as a re-examination of unofficial returns showed thousands of votes mistakenly had been entered twice. Mr. Green's victory margin, originally reported as about 30,000, had diminished to about 24,600, the Associated Press reports.

The winner faces Republican Michael Bloomberg in November.

Election Commissioner Douglas Kellner said Sunday, "There's no realistic doubt about the outcome." Nevertheless, Mr. Ferrer, the Bronx borough president, said, "As of this moment, we don't know who that nominee is."

Mr. Ferrer's campaign spokesman, John Del Cecato, was asked yesterday if that amounted to a retraction of Mr. Ferrer's Thursday-night concession. "The statement stands for itself," he said.

Said Mr. Green, the city's public advocate: "I won the election. … This technical problem has not risen to the level" of previous controversial election results.

Dodging a bullet

New York City "dodged a bullet on October 11 when one-time Nader's Raider Mark Green defeated Bronx Borough President Freddy Ferrer in the runoff for the Democratic party's mayoral nomination," Fred Siegel writes at the National Review Web site (www.nationalreview.com).

"At a time when the economy is moving into a recession sure to be dramatically deepened by the destruction of the World Trade Center, a Ferrer victory would have sent the city careening downhill," said Mr. Siegel, a professor of history at Cooper Union and author of "The Future Once Happened Here: New York, D.C., L.A., and the Fate of America's Big Cities."

"The problem with Ferrer went well beyond the influence that Ferrer's key ally, Al Sharpton, would have had on demoralizing both the police and the city's middle classes. Ferrer was the candidate of both the Bronx machine and the city's three largest public sector unions. Ferrer's politics derive from the public sector nature of the Bronx economy, which has the highest rate of nonmilitary government employment and the lowest rate of labor-force participation of any county in the country. It's the only borough without a chamber of commerce. In the first round of voting for the Democratic nomination on September 25, all of 1 percent of Ferrer's backers thought that rebuilding the financial district should be the next mayor's top priority.

"Fear of Freddy drove the heroes of 9/11, the city's police and fire unions as well as most of the city's private-sector unions into the Green camp. The Ferrer campaign produced an unlikely mesalliance behind Green, who was endorsed by both the Village Voice and the New York Post. Or as one Brooklynite, who has long loathed the left-liberal Green, explained, 'The choice was between uncertainty and disaster. I voted for uncertainty.'"

Suspicious fund-raiser

The Republican National Committee has asked the Justice Department to investigate an unlikely named fund-raising group: the "George W. Congressional Campaign Committee."

Michael E. Toner, the RNC's top lawyer, sent a letter to Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman in Austin, Texas, last week, suggesting that the GWCCC "may be engaged in fraudulent fund-raising."

The group lists its return address as a post office box in Austin.

"GWCCC is not an entity authorized to conduct fund-raising by the Republican National Committee and is not authorized by or acting on behalf of the White House," Mr. Toner said in his letter. "GWCCC is not registered as a committee with the Federal Election Commission, nor does it have a Web site."

The group, in its fund-raising appeal, cites the Sept. 11 attack on the United States and suggests that it is working to elect Republicans to Congress.

The usual suspects

"In the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, attempts are being made in the United States and elsewhere to understand the hatred of the attackers by shifting responsibility for it onto their target, the United States," Paul Hollander writes in the Weekly Standard.

"We are witnessing a new outpouring of anti-Americanism on a scale not seen since the late 1960s. All the usual suspects, from Noam Chomsky to Paul Kennedy, Katha Pollitt, Norman Mailer, Robin Morgan, Harold Pinter, Edward Said, and Susan Sontag (to mention only a few), have seized the opportunity to vent their longstanding dislike or detestation of this society and culture," said Mr. Hollander, author of the 1995 book "Anti-Americanism: Irrational and Rational."

"No doubt the patriotic rallying of the vast majority has stimulated this resurgence of hostility to America and a willingness to hold the United States culpable for most of the evil in the world."

Forbes and O'Neill

"Economic know-it-all Steve Forbes is chewing on Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's ankle again," Paul Bedard writes in U.S. News & World Report.

"This time it's in a nasty letter calling on O'Neill to question current economic policies. His demand? Tax cuts now. 'You can be a bold catalyst for much needed change,' he writes. 'Or you can become an irrelevancy.' To which a Bushie says, 'In light of the recent tragedy, this isn't really a productive missive.' Allies swear Forbes isn't after O'Neill's job," Mr. Bedard said.

Rock puppies

"In light of current events, we are changing the name of the band to something more friendly, 'Basket Full of Puppies,'" say the members of the heavy metal rock group Anthrax, in a message on the band's Web site, www.anthrax.com.

"In the 20 years we've been known as 'Anthrax,' we never thought the day would come that our name would actually mean what it really means," the band explains, adding that they first heard the word in high school biology class. "'Anthrax' sounded cool, aggressive, and nobody knew what it was."

Oh, and by the way, the band added that it was only joking about calling itself Basket Full of Puppies.

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