- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 9, 2002

Simon says
Bill Simon, Republican candidate for governor of California, told several hundred people at a GOPAC dinner last night that his state is winnable. If he is governor when President Bush runs for re-election in 2004, Mr. Bush's re-election will be "a shoo-in," Mr. Simon said.
Democratic Gov. Gray Davis is beatable because, Mr. Simon said, "anyone who takes a state budget from $8 billion in the black to $17 billion in the red in three years shouldn't be seeking re-election. He should be looking for another job."
The Republican candidate said, "Davis has a lot to answer for. California schools last month, in science, came in last in the nation."
Mr. Simon met yesterday with Cabinet officials and tomorrow will meet with Mr. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney in the Oval Office, officials told The Washington Times.
The dinner at the Willard Hotel was a fund-raiser for the Grand Old Party Political Action Committee. The organization trains and supports state and local Republican candidates. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was general chairman of GOPAC from 1993 to 1995. Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating is the current chairman.

Targeting Souder
"If Indiana Democrats have their way, Gary Condit won't be the only member of Congress to lose a primary this year. The difference in Indiana, however, is that they're targeting a conservative Republican," John J. Miller writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).
"Since 1994, Mark Souder has represented Indiana's Fourth District the Fort Wayne area in the northeast corner of the state, and a seat once occupied by Dan Quayle and Dan Coats. He's been a steady voice of conservatism in Congress, complaining about excessive spending to the point that it sometimes irritates House GOP leaders. He is also a friend to social conservatives. 'Mark Souder is one of the most important members on the Hill for us,' says Connie Mackey of the Family Research Council.
"Redistricting has changed the shape of the district it's so hacked up, in fact, that it's now called the Third District. It remains safely Republican, but many of Souder's potential constituents have never encountered his name on a ballot before. They have seen the name of his Republican primary opponent, Paul Helmke, the former three-term mayor of Fort Wayne who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 1998 against Evan Bayh.
"Helmke almost certainly will need the help of Democrats to defeat Souder. Indiana has open primaries, which means that Democrats can vote in GOP primaries and Republicans can vote in Democratic ones. 'People are unhappy in the sense that Souder is too far to the right or too extreme and I'm more the mainstream, traditional approach,' said Helmke, in a recent interview with Fort Wayne's Journal Gazette."

For the record
"Bill Clinton was president of our Republic for eight years, and what diminishes him diminishes us all," Wall Street Journal editor Robert L. Bartley writes.
"If I may speak for his critics, we have no desire to pursue him from now to eternity. We'd hope instead that in retirement he'd achieve a measure of inner peace and historical detachment, as Richard Nixon ultimately did after his presidential disgrace," Mr. Bartley said.
"Still, when Mr. Clinton and his diehard defenders continue their political offensive against us, surely we have a right to reply. Perhaps indeed an obligation to balance the record in the interests of truth and history. The assertion that Mr. Clinton was exonerated in the independent counsel investigation is a Big Lie; no one takes it seriously just now, but it might prevail through sheer repetition" by such as Clinton defenders as New York Times columnists Frank Rich and Paul Krugman, as well as by Mr. Clinton himself in a recent interview with Newsweek.
"For the record, Bill Clinton was forced to admit wrongdoing, signing an 'Agreed Order of Discipline' on his last day in office as president. It stipulated that he 'knowingly gave evasive and misleading answers' about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, violating Arkansas legal ethics. He agreed to accept suspension of his law license for five years and to pay a fine of $25,000. Earlier, the Arkansas judge found him in contempt for the same testimony, and he paid more than $90,000, not to mention the $850,000 settlement in the Paula Jones suit.
"As for Whitewater itself, the independent counsel did not find 'no evidence' that the Clintons were involved in the financial shenanigans for which Jim McDougal was convicted. In two instances, rather, 'while evidence does exist to indicate Governor Clinton's knowing participation, that evidence was, ultimately, of insufficient weight and insufficiently corroborated, to obtain and sustain a criminal prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt.'"

A new champion
Congress has been so eager to investigate the collapse of Enron that it apparently has set a record for the number of investigative committees.
"Congressional experts say the 11 separate congressional committees and subcommittees looking into Enron appears to be the highest number of panels ever to simultaneously investigate the same topic," Roll Call reports.
"I have never come across any" instance of 11 panels investigating the same issue, associate Senate historian Don Ritchie told reporter Dale Andrews.
The House Financial Services Committee was the first to hold hearings Dec. 12, beating the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee by one week. With 11 panels investigating, 173 members of the House and 85 senators are involved in at least one of those public forums.

Plane diplomacy
"Secretary of State Colin Powell's peacemaking will bring him to Israel later this week, and he'll be carrying at least one big carrot: F-16s," according to the Prowler column (www.americanprowler.com).
"According to a Washington-based defense lobbyist, Lockheed Martin last week reached a tentative deal to build and sell more than 40 F-16s to the Israeli military. The deal for Lockheed's Fort Worth plant could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars for the company and its subcontractors.
"'The Israelis want these jets badly,' says the lobbyist. 'If they want them, they'll have to at least sit down and make an effort at the negotiating table. Otherwise, those fighter jets never get built.'"

Romney rejects pledge
Mitt Romney, the all-but-certain Republican nominee to be the next governor of Massachusetts, "is drawing fire from anti-tax activists in Massachusetts for his refusal to sign a pledge opposing tax increases," United Press International reports in its Capital Comment column.
"The pledge, offered by Barbara Anderson's Committee for Limited Taxation, one of Romney's original supporters, would put him on record against any effort to raise taxes in the state. Romney rejected Anderson's contention that his signature on the pledge would send a clear message to the Democrats who control the state legislature that tax hikes are off the table, earning him praise from the Boston Globe, the editorially more liberal of Beantown's two newspapers. The last three Massachusetts chief executives, Bill Weld, Paul Cellucci, and Jane Swift, all signed the pledge."

Silencing Mom
Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland has found a way to silence the loudest critic of his new cigarette tax: He pays for her smokes.
The governor's mother, Cerie Rowland, told the Associated Press last month she was mobilizing her bridge club to oppose the 61-cent increase her son had proposed to help close the state's budget gap.
According to the Record-Journal of Meriden, Mr. Rowland good-humoredly told state agencies at a luncheon on Friday that the secret to keeping his 70-year-old mother quiet was as simple as paying her off with cigarettes.
"I have bought her silence. It cost me $60 a month more. I buy all her cigarettes." Mr. Rowland said. "Believe me, it was worth buying her silence on this."

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