- The Washington Times - Monday, August 19, 2002

Help for Simon
President Bush will appear at three private fund-raisers in California on Friday and Saturday to help the struggling gubernatorial campaign of Bill Simon, the Sacramento Bee reports.
"The fund-raisers, hosted by three of the state's corporate titans, are expected to raise $3 million for Simon," reporter Margaret Talev wrote yesterday at the newspaper's Web site (www.sacbee.com).
Mr. Simon said Friday he also plans to contribute more of his own money to the campaign and believes that with the president's help and a streamlined campaign he can raise $25 million, attract broader support and rebound. "It's been a challenging few weeks, but we've come through it fine and I think we're in good shape," he said.
However, a Republican strategist in Washington who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the reporter: "Everyone understands that the Simon campaign is dead. It's over. But the president is a man of his word and he keeps his commitments."

Jesse's protest
"On September 13, two days after America observes the one-year anniversary of the worst day in its history, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and his mob will take to the streets of Washington to protest against President George W. Bush," Rod Dreher writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).
"Such timing is bound to make an impression on the American people, but probably not the one Jackson hopes for. In any case, Jackson will not be dissuaded. As Jackson told 'Hardball' host Chris Matthews [on Wednesday], 'Mr. Bush has not met with civil-rights organizations. It's a closed-door policy.'
"This does not mean the president has snubbed black people; much to the contrary, he's consistently met with African-American pastors and business leaders, the kind of men and women whose names don't turn up on journalists' Rolodexes, and who don't have a professional axe to grind. Aside from post-[September 11] patriotism, this may have something to do with the fact that 54 percent of nonwhites in a recent Gallup poll approve of the job Bush is doing," Mr. Dreher said.
The columnist added: "From the Right, it will be satisfying to see Jackson in Washington railing against the popular wartime president in Washington on the same week that the nation he leads marks the one-year anniversary of September 11 in what will surely be a coast-to-coast outpouring of patriotic solidarity. How many of the corporations who have been buying a racial seal of approval by contributing to Jackson will be keen to be associated with him after that? Jesse's cracking up, and the president is helping him along by standing there and doing absolutely nothing. Who knew it would be so easy?"

Where is Powell?
"Reading the [Brent] Scowcroft/New York Times 'arguments against war,' one is struck by how laughably weak they are," William Kristol writes in an editorial for the Weekly Standard.
"European international-law wishfulness and full-blown Pat Buchanan isolationism are the two intellectually honest alternatives to the Bush Doctrine. Scowcroft and the Times wish to embrace neither, so they pretend instead to be terribly 'concerned' with the administration's alleged failure to 'make the case.' Somehow, Vice President Cheney's fine speech in San Francisco on Aug. 7, or Condoleezza Rice's superb Aug. 15 interview with the BBC, to say nothing of Donald Rumsfeld's impressive press briefings and President Bush's strong statements these don't count," Mr. Kristol said.
"But of course the problem with the administration has nothing to do with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, or Rice. The problem is with the leading Republican in the State Department. Where is Colin Powell? The secretary of state is the lead spokesman for American foreign policy. This secretary of state, because of his popularity at home and his stature abroad, could be particularly helpful if he were to join the president, the vice president, the national security adviser, and the defense secretary in making the case for the Bush Doctrine with respect to Iraq. Instead, he allows his aides to tell the New York Times on background that he disagrees with the president and is desperately trying to restrain him.
"Colin Powell is an impressive man. He is loyally assisted by the able Richard Armitage. They are entitled to their foreign policy views. But they will soon have to decide whom they wish to serve the president, or his opponents."

Schumer's bill
The Christian Coalition of America on Friday faxed an "Action Alert" to its members, urging them to contact local members of Congress and ask for a "no" vote on a bankruptcy reform bill that singles out abortion opponents.
"If the ultra-liberal New York Sen. Charles Schumer's pro-abortion language in the Bankruptcy Conference Report, HR 333, is not stripped out before it reaches the House floor, the financial well-being of many peaceful pro-life protesters will be threatened," the group said.
"The Schumer language is so intentionally vague, sidewalk counselors at abortion facilities could be sued and forced to pay abortionists and their supporters settlement money. Non-violent pro-lifers could be compelled to send checks to Planned Parenthood for the rest of their lives. This would be an absolute revulsion to them and to others who support them."

Try, try again
Voter News Service, an elections consortium of six media organizations, is developing and testing a new vote-counting system that will be running for November's midterm elections, VNS officials say.
The member organizations ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox and the Associated Press reviewed the changes at a board meeting last week, the Associated Press reports.
VNS began work on the new system after its information was used in making wrong calls on the presidential election in 2000.
VNS counts votes and conducts election-place polling, using the material to help its members project winners. The consortium hired Battelle Memorial Institute, an Ohio-based company, to help build a new system after its members decided against scrapping VNS entirely. VNS had been in touch with Battelle about updating its service even before the 2000 election.
The AP conducts its own vote count, independent of VNS, and for the first time the VNS computer system will have the AP material available as a backup to its own data, the wire service said.
The new system also will take better account of absentee voting, which was considered a key weakness in making projections in Florida in 2000, said Ted Savaglio, VNS executive director.
Bill Wheatley, executive vice president of NBC News, said he expects news organizations, with the 2000 experience in mind, to be conservative this November in making projections, "not because they don't have faith in the models, but because they want to be sure there's no possibility of error."

Lots of Democrats
White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey dismisses complaints by some Democrats that members of their party were not invited to President Bush's economic summit last week in Waco, Texas.
"Lots of Democrats were there," Mr. Lindsey said on CNN's "Novak, Hunt & Shields," which aired Saturday.
"We didn't do a list. We didn't check R's and D's before they went but afterwards someone sent us the list, and there were 43 Democrats, who not only voted Democrat but gave enough money to show up on the Federal Election Commission scoreboard," the White House official added.
Mr. Lindsey said a "real cross-section of economic America" was represented at the conference. "There were labor union people there, there were CEOs there, Republicans and Democrats," he said.
"But no Democratic member of Congress," co-host Mark Shields noted.
"And no Republican member of Congress" either, Mr. Lindsey retorted.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected]

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