- The Washington Times - Monday, April 1, 2002

Traveling man
The chairman of the Montana Republican Party put out a press release last week "encouraging Montanans to call their travel agent as soon as possible" to book a flight to Southern California, where Democratic Sen. Max Baucus was scheduled to hold a business round table and press conference today to discuss economic development.
State Sen. Ken Miller, the Republican chairman, noted that Mr. Baucus' office had issued a press advisory that said in part: "Senator Baucus is shaping common sense, and effective legislation important to California."
Mr. Miller said: "Jobs and economic development is a top concern for all Montanans, and if we want our voice heard, we'd better fly to Los Angeles to meet with Senator Baucus."
Mr. Miller also said that Montanans should take their checkbooks along.
"Although I do not know if Senator Baucus is planning a fund-raiser or not on Monday, records show that he has already received over $176,000 from Californians, most of it from the Hollywood crowd. With his past success, there is no reason to think he wouldn't try to get more cash for his campaign war chest."
The Republican added: "For anyone who would like driving directions to the Baucus meeting on Monday from downtown Billings, please visit our Web site at www.mtgop.org."

It could take awhile
The Rev. Walter Fauntroy, former D.C. delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, says he is confident that descendants of slaves eventually will receive reparations from the federal government on their forebearers' behalf. But he says he recognizes the fight could take awhile.
"On April 5, 1968, [Michigan Democratic] Rep. John Conyers [Jr.] introduced a measure to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. It took 15 years to get it, but we did," Mr. Fauntroy, founding member and former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, told The Washington Times. He is now president of the National Black Leadership Round Table.
Mr. Fauntroy noted that Japanese-Americans who were incarcerated in this country during World War II eventually received financial compensation. He also said that victims of the Holocaust and their descendants were paid a total of $50 billion.
"Our position is: Every wrong deserves a remedy," said Mr. Fauntroy, who hailed the filing last week of a lawsuit that seeks reparations on behalf of millions of slaves who worked unpaid for various American companies. The lawsuit estimated the worth of that labor at $1.4 trillion.

A nonissue
Rep. Mark Kennedy, Minnesota Republican, says he has heard "little, if any" reaction from constituents in his new district to his vote opposing campaign finance reform. But he said a short-lived "telecommunications campaign" by promoters of campaign finance reform was "instituted … against me."
Mr. Kennedy, who represents Minnesota's 2nd District, is running for re-election in the newly redrawn 6th District.
Interviewed Saturday on CNN's "Novak, Hunt & Shields," the congressman said the ad campaign against him "stopped … because it's not legal to have, in Minnesota, a telecommunications campaign unless you have a live voice fronting it, from what I understand."
From his initial comments in the cable network interview, it sounded as if Mr. Kennedy was saying Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, was behind the negative campaign.
But when asked specifically if that was the case, the congressman said, "Some organization promoted that. I can't necessarily say that it was John McCain. I wasn't paying that close of attention."
Neither were prospective voters, if Mr. Kennedy's encounters with constituents at coffee shops he has visited or events where he has appeared are any indication. Not one person has come up to him and said campaign finance reform is "an important issue," he said.

Leadership test
A major test looms in the next four to six weeks for Los Angeles' new mayor, James Hahn, as the Police Commission takes up the mayor's recommendation that police Chief Bernard C. Parks not be given a second term.
"I knew this would be a tough decision for me," Mr. Hahn said. "It was tough politically. It was tough personally. But we have had two years of rising crime, and I cannot allow that to continue."
Mr. Hahn said he is concerned about the anger his decision has generated in the black community Mr. Parks is the city's second black police chief but he hopes to win back its confidence.
A second test will be how he deals with the budget crunch caused by the weak economy.
And that test may very well be followed in the fall by a citywide vote on whether Los Angeles should remain as it is or be broken into two, three or even four cities with secession campaigns on in the San Fernando Valley, Harbor Area and in Hollywood.
"What happens with secession will determine everything," Mr. Hahn said in an interview last week. "That's why it's so important for me to make people aware of what we have done, how we've made government more efficient, more effective. That's why it is so important for me to deal with the crime issues and improve the economy. …
"I'm out in the city three, four days a week. At least one day a week in the Valley, but no one seems to notice that."
Mr. Hahn compared his first year in office with that of his predecessor, Richard Riordan, who emerged as a recognized leader as a result of the Northridge Earthquake.
"Before that, I don't think he was very recognizable," Mr. Hahn said. "Now the last thing I or anyone wants is an earthquake, but it is an event like that which focuses attention on leadership."

Playing Dr. Elders
If you were writing a book that says it's OK to have sex with children, who would you get to write the foreword?
For Judith Levine, author of the new book "Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex," the answer must have seemed obvious.
"Dr. Joycelyn Elders, who was Bill Clinton's surgeon general, wrote the foreword for this evil tome," says Robert H. Knight, director of Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute.
Ms. Levine, who questions "the ideology that it's always harmful for kids to have sexual relationships with adults," warns in her book against the "irrational fears" of parents about "so-called pedophiles."
"Sex is a wonderful, crucial part of growing up, and children and teens can enjoy the pleasures of the body and be safe, too," declares the University of Minnesota Press in promoting the book.
Mr. Knight calls the book "every child molester's dream and every parent's nightmare," predicting that accused child molesters "will be citing this hideous book to excuse their crimes against children."
Dr. Elders "is giving cover for adults having sex with kids so long as the kids give their consent," Mr. Knight says. "Everybody except for the molesters and their apologists knows that children cannot give meaningful consent to sex."

Expensive campaign
Billionaire Republican Michael R. Bloomberg spent more than $76 million of his own money to become mayor of New York City a record for a nonpresidential election in the United States.
The final tally shows he spent $73.9 million during his race to defeat Democrat Mark Green, and $2.5 million on his transition and inaugural ceremony, according to papers filed by his campaign staff on Friday. The total is up from the $74.7 million reported in January.
That amounts to more than four times what Mr. Green spent, and it exceeds the combined $68.9 million spent by Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Rick Lazio in the 2000 U.S. Senate race, the Associated Press reports.
Mr. Bloomberg, who is worth an estimated $4.5 billion, owns the financial data company Bloomberg L.P.

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