- The Washington Times - Friday, February 8, 2002

Sam's start

Art Linkletter, who four decades ago hosted the television show "Kids Say the Darndest Things," which was entertaining when not hilarious, was in Washington over the weekend and bumped into veteran ABC newsman Sam Donaldson.

Mr. Linkletter, who keeps busy these days as honorary national chairman for the United Seniors Association, told Mr. Donaldson: "You know, Sam, I always wanted to meet you."

"You already have," Mr. Donaldson replied.

"I have?" said Mr. Linkletter.

"Yes, I was on your show when I was a kid," Mr. Donaldson revealed.

Mr. Donaldson tells Inside the Beltway that he was 12 when he appeared on one of Mr. Linkletter's earlier shows in Hollywood. "That would have been 1946. It was the first time I ever appeared in the broadcast medium," he says.

"You had to audition for the show in those days," says Mr. Donaldson, "and they asked, 'Who has a story they can tell?' So I raised my hand." And the rest is history.


Click, click, click

Use of the typewriter, if you can locate one, may no longer be required for those who want to work for the president of the United States.

"Imagine that you have been nominated for a presidential appointment," says Paul C. Light, senior adviser to the Brookings Institution's Presidential Appointee Initiative. "Get yourself a typewriter and get ready to answer nearly 200 questions about your past, present and future."

Until now, all presidential appointees have been forced to complete every form on a typewriter, entering and re-entering basic information such as name, address, marital status and Social Security numbers dozens of times.

But this week, with the nation decades into the computer age, the Nomination Forms Online software was begun as part of the White House 2001 project, allowing presidential appointees to fill out all forms on their computers.

A typical nominee for a presidential post requiring Senate confirmation must file several consent forms and provide extensive personal and financial histories. The personal data questionnaire currently used by the Bush administration covers 23 questions, which run the gamut from describing the general state of one's health to listing any household help one has employed and each book, article or column one has authored.

"There are still too many questions to answer, and too much overlap," says Mr. Light, "but at least appointees don't have to do this all on a typewriter anymore."


Room for error

The fiancee of Washington-area resident Malcolm Ross boarded a flight at Washington Dulles International Airport the other day, but not before she was body-searched and her suitcase completely emptied by airport security personnel. Which was OK by her, so long as such extraordinary security measures keep the flying public safe.

The problem is that when her bag finally arrived at her destination of Jakarta, Indonesia after service stops in Frankfurt and Singapore it was empty.

"Everything was taken," Mr. Ross says. "But that can be replaced. My concern is how this can happen during this heightened state of security. Someone gets [the luggage] out of the shed, does whatever they want to it, and then puts it back into the stream. It's just terrifying."


Women for choice

The Women's Campaign Fund, the political action committee dedicated to electing "pro-choice women" for local, state and federal office, has a new co-chair.

New York-based transportation and aviation consultant Doreen Frasca, a former managing director for Merrill Lynch, was elected to the post during the WCF's annual board meeting. She has been a board member since 1995.

Founded in 1974, the WCF says it has contributed to more than 2,000 candidates in all 50 states Democrats, Republicans and independents alike. Among the candidates the WCF takes credit for helping this year are Sen. Jean Carnahan, Missouri Democrat; Rep. Nancy L. Johnson, Connecticut Republican; and Rep. Constance A. Morella, Maryland Republican.

As co-chair, Miss Frasca will serve alongside Terese Colling, president of Washington-based Colling Swift & Hynes, considered one of the more successful woman-owned lobbying firms in town.


King as King

Rep. Diane E. Watson, California Democrat, will host a congressional screening next Wednesday in the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center Amphitheater for "The Rosa Parks Story," a new CBS television movie depicting the life of the "mother of the civil rights movement."

What's intriguing about the movie, which will air Feb. 24 from 9 to 11 p.m., is that Dexter Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s son, makes a cameo appearance as his father.

Actresses Angela Bassett (Rosa Parks) and Cicely Tyson (Rosa Parks' mother) both plan to attend the gala congressional screening.


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