- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 20, 2002

From the archives

Georgia Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney, facing possible political extinction in today's Democratic primary, is recycling an old endorsement.

Andrew Young, the popular former Atlanta mayor, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a recorded telephone message with him endorsing Mrs. McKinney is a "fudge" that was recycled from a prior campaign endorsement.

Mr. Young said that he "really didn't want to get involved" in the contentious battle between Mrs. McKinney and her challenger, former state Judge Denise Majette.

Polls have Miss Majette deadlocked with the five-term incumbent Mrs. McKinney going into today's vote.

The message was played on a phone tape along with recorded endorsements from actor Robert Redford, basketball legend Magic Johnson and former President Bill Clinton.

A spokesman for the McKinney campaign said that the Young tape must have been pulled from "the archives."

State Rep. Tyrone Brooks, who is managing the McKinney campaign, said he was "baffled" by the miscue.

A tight spot

"Last week, we learned the fate of Sgt. 1st Class Christopher James Speer. He was one of five U.S. soldiers wounded in an ambush in Afghanistan on July 27. The other four are expected to recover. But, on Aug. 7, Speer succumbed to his head injuries. Defense Department officials delayed news of his death at the request of his family," Brendan Miniter writes at www.opinionjournal.com.

"This isn't the kind of war news that seems to matter in this city, however. At least, so it seems from the debate over the Department of Homeland Security. The House passed a bill giving the president what he wants in the new department the power to hire, fire and promote people on merit as well as marshal financial resources from one agency to another within the department. The Senate version doesn't have these provisions a difference Sen. Joe Lieberman dismisses as a 'labor-management dispute.'

"Sen. Lieberman knows better, for this issue could end up undermining a core group within the Democratic Party. This is labor politics at its worst. Donkeys might be stubborn, but they're not stupid. Union leaders stump, raise money and turn out the votes for them. That's one reason why many politicos thought the Democrats won a big victory by federalizing airport baggage and passenger screeners. At the time, it seemed the ranks of federal unionized labor forces a strong Democratic constituency would swell by 50,000 or more donkey supporters," Mr. Miniter said.

"President Bush, however, has a different agenda. His proposal calls for allowing Homeland employees to join a union, if they want to so, if the president wins this, the Democrats can put away the branding iron. All those new Transportation Security Administration baggage screeners won't be herded into the Democrats' corral after all.

"That places Sens. Daschle and Lieberman and others in a tight spot. They can't accept the president's plan, for doing so would be to accept that a pillar of their party rests on a fallacy that what's good for Big Labor is good for America. Yet, not doing so makes them partially responsible for government ineptitude in combatting terrorism."

More triangulation

"Rep. John Dingell's trouncing of Rep. Lynn Rivers in a Democratic primary earlier this month has not ended the sniping between the two Michigan lawmakers," Ed Henry writes in his Heard on the Hill column in Roll Call.

"Dingell was none too pleased to pick up a copy of Roll Call after the Aug. 6 primary to find Rivers quoted as saying that former President Bill Clinton had called her after the loss to say that she 'did the right thing in running against' the 23-term lawmaker.

"A source close to Dingell called HOH last week to insist that 'for the past six months the president privately communicated that [Miss Rivers] did not do the right thing' by challenging the veteran Democrat.

"In a sign that he still knows how to triangulate with the best of them, Clinton also called Dingell after the race. 'He called and congratulated John and said he ran a good race,' the Dingell source said. 'He told John that the country needed him and that John had a critical role to play in the fall campaigns.'"

Tendentious theme

"We're pleased, we guess, that the New York Times thought our article on Iraq by Brent Scowcroft last Thursday was important enough to lead its front page two days in a row," the Wall Street Journal says.

"We'd be more pleased, though, if instead of trumpeting our story to advance a tendentious theme, the Times kept its opinions on its editorial page," the Journal said in an editorial yesterday.

"The Times' theme is that the Scowcroft article means the Republican Party, or at least some major faction of it, is in revolt against the Bush foreign policy. This is not news; it's a wish in the eye of the remnants of the old anti-Vietnam left."

The Journal also noted that the New York newspaper falsely enlisted former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as another opponent of the war. While most news outlets were not fooled by the Times' assertion, the Media Research Center reports that the "NBC Nightly News" on Friday followed the Times' lead and cited Mr. Kissinger as being part of a Republican revolt against a war in Iraq.

Unusual friendship

Mark Farnham has at least 35 years remaining in his prison sentence for riddling a highway patrolman with bullets after robbing a bank 20 years ago.

But his best hope at getting out anytime soon lies with the man he nearly killed on a desolate Wyoming highway, the Associated Press reports.

Stephen Watt is seeking the Republican nomination for Wyoming governor in today's primary and says releasing his assailant would be among his first acts if elected.

Mr. Watt forgave Farnham four years after the shooting and visits him regularly at the state penitentiary. He calls the convict his best friend, despite being blinded in one eye from the shooting and still carrying a painful bullet near his spine.

Farnham became the first inmate in Wyoming to earn a college degree, lured private companies to the prison to employ inmates and put together a newsletter for convicts to write about the pain they caused their victims.

Mr. Watt is running against four other Republicans in the primary as the candidates seek to succeed Republican Gov. Jim Geringer, who is prohibited by law from seeking a third term. Mr. Watt was trailing in the latest polls.

'Time to be silent'

Rep. John Thune, the Republican candidate for a U.S. Senate seat from South Dakota, announced yesterday that his campaign would suspend TV, radio and print advertising from Monday, Sept. 9, through Friday, Sept. 13 to honor the victims of the September 11 tragedies.

"There is a time to speak and a time to be silent," Mr. Thune said in a prepared statement. "While the issues discussed by my campaign are important to the future of South Dakota, it is appropriate that we take a time to pause and reflect about the lives lost and forever changed by the terrorist attacks of September 11th. I gladly sign this pledge and hope that every campaign and issue-based group not associated with the candidates will do the right thing and honor this day by making the same pledge."

The Professional Fire Fighters of South Dakota called on the South Dakota campaigns for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor and the political parties to sign a pledge to cease political advertising for the workweek of September 11. This pledge will allow South Dakotans to "reflect on the bravery of those who lost their lives on September 11th and those who continue to put their lives on the line everyday to make our communities and our country safer."

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