- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 24, 2002

'Clumsy and clownish'
"'Simon Aide May Cause Rift in GOP,' the San Francisco Chronicle headlined its tendentious Simon-bashing front-page story on Sunday," George Neumayr writes at www.americanprowler.org, referring to William Simon, the California Republican businessman challenging Democratic Gov. Gray Davis in this year's election.
"Unable to portray the genial and temperate Bill Simon as a wild-eyed extremist, the Chronicle had to ransack his staff for evidence of extremism. It found brace yourself, this is scary an actual Reaganite on the Simon payroll. His name Steve Frank, his title deputy political director," said Mr. Neumayr, a frequent contributor to the California Political Review and a recent media fellow at the Hoover Institution.
"The proper translation of the Chronicle's headline above is: 'After our biased reporting on Steve Frank, we at the Chronicle hope to cause a rift in GOP.'
"The Chronicle uses the standard ploy of quoting anti-Republican Republicans to advance its agenda. 'Moderates' in the party, the Chronicle omnisciently tells us, fear that Simon's 'association' with Frank, and 'with the issues he represents, could cost the party the election.'
"What are Frank's sins as tabulated by the Chronicle? Among other ghoulish deeds, he wants unborn children shown respect, opposes gun control, 'helped elect a slate of born-again Christians to a Southern California school board,' and resists attempts to turn the Republican Party into a clone of the Democrats.
"'Critics worry that Frank's presence on the campaign team could undercut Simon's efforts to attract moderate voters in his race against Democrat Gray Davis,' intones the all-knowing Chronicle. Notice how the Chronicle hides behind the authoritative-sounding phrase 'critics worry' to camouflage its own worry that Simon may win.
"The Chronicle's attempt to smear Simon through a smear of Steve Frank is typical of the clumsy and clownish coverage it supplies whenever an even remotely traditional Republican appears within striking distance of victory."

More plaintiffs
The list of plaintiffs against the new campaign-finance law continues to grow.
Yesterday, Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, and others ranging from Gun Owners of America to a Libertarian candidate for the Senate announced their own challenge to the law, joining the big guns in business and labor the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who filed suit Monday.
President Bush signed the law last month, and it takes effect after November's elections. It prohibits interest groups from using their treasury funds to run ads mentioning a candidate within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election for a federal office. It also requires the Federal Election Commission to write stricter rules prohibiting coordination between interest groups and campaigns.
Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO officials say the advertising restrictions trample First Amendment speech rights, and they say the coordination standards could criminalize basic conversations about public policy between business or union officials and officeholders.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, who led the fight against the bill in the Senate, filed a lawsuit and expects to be the lead plaintiff when the case is heard by a special panel of judges in the District. He has been joined by groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and National Right to Life Committee.
Those watching the various lawsuits expect that all of them will be combined with Mr. McConnell's suit, but groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO filed separate lawsuits to draw attention to how the law particularly damages their interests.

Leftward tilt
"Another liberal has joined the CNN on-air team," Brent Baker writes at the Media Research Center Web site (www.mediaresearch.org).
"After handing a prime time hour to Aaron Brown and planning for another to be anchored by Connie Chung, with Larry King in between, on Monday CNN welcomed Jeffrey Toobin aboard as its new 'legal analyst.' Until last year, he held the same title with ABC News and he's been a New Yorker writer for many years," Mr. Baker said.
"Last year, Toobin penned 'Too Close to Call: The Thirty-Six-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election,' a book in which he argued Bush stole the presidency. He charged in it: 'The wrong man was inaugurated on January 20, 2001, and this is no small thing in our nation's history. The bell of this election can never be unrung and the sound will haunt us for some time.'
"Back in early 2000, he wrote 'A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of a Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President.' On ABC at the time, he maintained he considered Hillary Clinton's claim about a 'vast right-wing conspiracy' to be 'more right than wrong' since 'this scandal existed solely because the conservative wing of the Republican Party decided that they were gonna try to bring down Bill Clinton from practically the first day of his administration.' Toobin charged: 'Clinton was, by comparison, the good guy in this struggle. The president's adversaries appeared literally consumed with hatred for him.'
"Toobin's liberal history includes how he relished trying to bring down the Reagan White House as part of Lawrence Walsh's independent counsel team."

Daschle's friends
On the eve of President Bush's visit to South Dakota today, supporters of Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle began airing a television ad there asking Mr. Bush to tell conservative groups to stop bashing Mr. Daschle.
The 30-second ad, which was scheduled to run in South Dakota's two biggest cities, Sioux Falls and Rapid City, last night and today, welcomes Mr. Bush to Mr. Daschle's home state, but calls on the president to "tell the out-of-state special interests to stop the attacks."
Mr. Bush was scheduled to discuss trade issues and appear with Republican Rep. John Thune, who is engaged in an intense Senate race with incumbent Democrat Tim Johnson, Reuters news agency reports.
Conservative groups such as the Club for Growth, the Tax Relief Coalition and the Family Research Council have sponsored ads in the state, criticizing Mr. Daschle as an obstructionist.
"Back here, Mr. President, your out-of-state allies are attacking Tom Daschle," says the ad sponsored by the group Daschle Democrats.

"You said you would change the tone in politics. Mr. President, tell the out-of-state special interests to stop the attacks."

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