- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 3, 2002

Party switcher
Mississippi Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck switched to the Republican Party yesterday, confirming political rumors that had circulated for months.
Miss Tuck had run as a Democrat in four campaigns two for the state Senate and one each for secretary of state and lieutenant governor.
"Today marks a new direction in my life," Miss Tuck told a crowd of more than 200 at the state Capitol. "Yesterday, I was honored to represent the people of Mississippi as a Democrat. Today, I am honored to represent the people as a Republican."
Miss Tuck said that her Democratic Party support slipped when she declined to endorse Al Gore for president in 2000, when she supported a congressional redistricting plan that she considered more fair than that backed by Democrats and when she sided with the business community on tort reform.
"I am the same Amy Tuck today that I was yesterday," she said.
Miss Tuck was joined in Jackson by members of the Mississippi congressional delegation, a large number of Republican Party leaders and GOP members of the Legislature, the Associated Press reports.

'Hissy fit'
"The hate-Henry industry within the aging liberal establishment is having a hissy fit over President Bush's appointment of Henry Kissinger to chair the commission inquiring into why our government failed to anticipate September 11, and how to avert such disasters in the future," New York Times columnist William Safire writes.
"I yield to nobody in presenting credentials as a Kissinger critic. On my wall is a 1973 drawing by David Levine, the greatest caricaturist since James Gillray, showing me gleefully ensconced in the powerful secretary of state's hair, bedeviling him mercilessly from my new perch at the New York Times," Mr. Safire said.
"What's the rationale for a card-carrying Kissinger critic to be pleased by Bush's giving this battered but unbowed national resource the power of subpoena to serve his country one last time?
"Just as FDR appointed Joseph P. Kennedy as first chairman of the SEC because that predator knew all the manipulative tricks, Bush chose Kissinger because the old operator can see through the secret obfuscations he mastered long ago.
"And because 'only Nixon' could bring along right-wingers in his opening to Beijing, Henry is one of the few who has the trust of the keepers of the secrets to reveal to the commission the truth about our weaknesses, past and present."

'Wahhabi' Democrats
"So Senator [John] Kerry has made it official: He's running for President," David Frum writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).
"Kerry told Tim Russert on Sunday that he has formed an exploratory committee, with a formal announcement of candidacy to come later. So far his campaign is long on biography ('During the NBC interview,' the AP observes, 'Kerry repeatedly mentioned his service in Vietnam') and short on ideas. There was a time when Kerry questioned the public-school monopoly and other Democratic dogmas but the Democratic primaries are as hospitable to questioning minds as a Saudi Arabian divinity school," Mr. Frum said.
"Remember when Gary Hart appealed to Atari Democrats? Kerry is running as a Wahhabi Democrat, demanding a return to ancient orthodoxies on everything from foreign policy (all he is saying is give peace a chance again) to energy (the Incan empire ran on solar power why can't America?).
"Kerry's entry into the race and his choice of issues is an early hint that the Democrats as a party are not taking seriously their defeat in the '00 and '02 elections. Of their top possible candidates Gore, Kerry, Lieberman, Daschle, Gephardt, Edwards, Davis, Dean all but Edwards have made clear that they are going to campaign on what might be called the Sorehead Platform: We were robbed in 2000! Roger Ailes wouldn't let us get our message out in '02! No to everything that has happened since no to tax cuts, no to military action in Iraq, no to homeland security, no, no, no, no, no. Oh, and we almost forgot: all that talk about increasing energy production here in North America? No to that too."

Kerry vs. Bush
Sen. John Kerry attacked the Bush administration yesterday, saying it gave a boost to insurance companies last week while allowing 1 million people to lose unemployment benefits just after Christmas.
"This administration is willing to do terrorism insurance for big industry, but they weren't willing to do unemployment compensation for people who are out of work," the Democratic presidential hopeful from Massachusetts said a day after announcing that he would form a presidential exploratory committee. "That's the big difference in how we approach the economy."
Congress adjourned for the year without extending jobless benefits for laid-off workers facing the expiration of federal unemployment compensation starting Dec. 28.
Last week, President Bush signed a bill that would reimburse the insurance industry up to $100 billion in the event of a terror attack.

Recruiting teens
The Family Research Council yesterday called on Congress to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood, citing the abortion provider's payments to teenagers to train as "outreach workers."
Planned Parenthood signed a deal with the Morrow County, Ohio, school system to pay teenagers $100 to be trained as "outreach workers." They would then be paid an additional reward for every teenage client they recruit as a new Planned Parenthood customer.
The money the organization will use to pay its teenage workers will come in part from federal and state grants via the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program, the Family Research Council said.
"Under no circumstances should taxpayers be forced to subsidize Planned Parenthood's efforts to promote teen sex," said Ken Connor, president of the council. "The idea of paying teens to recruit other teens into Planned Parenthood's grasp is unconscionable; doing it with taxpayer dollars is outrageous."
According to the Government Accounting Office, Planned Parenthood received more than $137 million in federal money during fiscal 2001.

Traficant auction
The family of imprisoned ex-U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. put some of his possessions up for auction, including a duck stamp collection and paintings of a naked woman in a courtroom.
The auction Sunday in Brookfield, Ohio, drew an estimated $10,000, the Associated Press reports. The stamps sold for $626 and the two paintings of the naked woman raised $400 and some eyebrows.
Meanwhile, House officials are demanding that several pieces of furniture be returned as property of the government, Roll Call reports.
About 500 people gathered for the three-hour auction. The items were collected from Traficant's Washington, D.C., office, his Boardman office and his Green Township farmhouse.
Traficant, 61, was convicted on racketeering charges in April and later was expelled from the House. In August, he began serving an eight-year sentence at the Allenwood federal prison in White Deer, Pa.

Hey, big spender
Billionaire B. Thomas Golisano spent more than $73.9 million on his losing third-party bid for governor of New York, breaking the nonpresidential spending record set last year by Michael Bloomberg when he was elected mayor of the state, according to campaign reports filed yesterday.
The businessman's spending pushed the total price tag for the New York governor's race above $137 million, eclipsing the record $130.5 million spent on the 1998 contest for governor of California, the Associated Press reports.
Republican Gov. George E. Pataki easily won a third term against Democratic state Comptroller H. Carl McCall in the New York race.
"I don't feel bad about it whatsoever," Mr. Golisano said yesterday about his heavy spending.


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