- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 9, 2002

Reich to enter race
Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich is entering the race for governor of Massachusetts, a campaign adviser said yesterday.
Mr. Reich, a Democrat and professor of social and economic policy at Brandeis University, planned to formally announce his candidacy today, the adviser told the Associated Press, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Mr. Reich left President Clinton's Cabinet in 1997 and has never run for elective office.
Republican acting Gov. Jane Swift, Massachusetts' first female governor, is seeking re-election this fall.
Former national party Chairman Steve Grossman is the only Democrat so far to have formally announced his candidacy.
Mr. Reich circulated an e-mail in December asking for support and contributions.

Six Enron meetings
Enron Corp. representatives met six times with Vice President Richard B. Cheney or his aides on the nation's energy policy, including a discussion in mid-October just before the company's sudden collapse.
In a letter to Congress, vice presidential counsel David Addington disclosed the number of meetings between the Bush White House and the former energy giant, whose CEO, Ken Lay, has been among President Bush's top political supporters. The company became the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history on Dec. 2.
Rep. Henry A. Waxman, California Democrat, released the White House's Jan. 3 letter yesterday, the Associated Press reports. He is seeking details of the meetings and information about any telephone calls or e-mail between the vice president's office and Enron.
"An employee of the vice president's staff met on Oct. 10, 2001, with Enron representatives and reports that they discussed energy-policy matters and did not discuss information concerning the financial position of the Enron Corp.," the letter from Mr. Cheney's counsel said.
On Oct. 16, Enron announced huge losses, the first in a series of admissions that eventually drove down the price of the company's stock to less than a dollar a share.
Mr. Addington said Enron's financial condition wasn't discussed at any of the earlier five meetings.
Mr. Cheney met with Mr. Lay for half an hour on April 17 to discuss "energy-policy matters, including the energy crisis in California," said the letter, citing the only previously publicized meeting between Enron and the vice president or his staff.

Hansen to retire
Utah Rep. James V. Hansen, a conservative Republican who worked to keep Western lands open to mining and ranching, said yesterday he will not run for re-election in the fall.
Mr. Hansen, 69, has been in Congress for 21 years.
"With the aid of a great staff, good colleagues and wonderful constituents, I feel we have served the people well and hope my work has been acceptable," said Mr. Hansen, chairman of the House Resources Committee.
As chairman of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, Mr. Hansen helped repeal the nearly blanket ban on gifts to members of Congress.

Cuomo flip-flop
Andrew Cuomo has decided not to accept financial assistance from Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt in his battle for the Democratic nomination for governor of New York.
The pornographer was among the sponsors of a $2,500-a-person fund-raiser being held tomorrow for the former federal housing secretary in Beverly Hills. An invitation to the event listed Mr. Flynt as a vice chairman, a designation bestowed for $10,000 donations.
"The campaign has decided he will not be a vice chairman [of the event] or give money to the campaign," Cuomo campaign manager Josh Isay told the Associated Press last night.
Mr. Isay refused to further discuss the matter. Earlier in the day, he had backed Mr. Flynt's involvement with the fund-raiser.
"Just like Andrew Cuomo has a right to fight for a woman's right to choose and to create homeless shelters for battered women, these people have a right to support Andrew Cuomo," Mr. Isay said then.
Mr. Flynt's involvement in the Cuomo fund-raiser was first reported by the New York Post. That had drawn fire from both parties.
"I guess it's who you seek out when you're blinded by naked ambition," said state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, a Republican.
Added state Assemblywoman Susan John, Rochester Democrat: "It's insulting to all the women who work hard every day in New York. This man has largely made his reputation and his money by exploiting women."

Pompous 'blowhard'
"I had been thinking that Harvard did well to make former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers its new president last summer," Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby writes.
"When the news broke recently that Summers had so offended the stars of Harvard's Afro-American Studies Department that they were thinking of relocating to Princeton, I was sure of it. But now I'm having some doubts," Mr. Jacoby said.
"Af-Am is headed by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and includes the philosopher Anthony Appiah and sociologist William Julius Wilson. But it soon became evident that the only one who really had his nose out of joint was Cornel West, the ubiquitous 'public intellectual' with the trademark afro and endless supply of leftist cant.
"West is one of the great poseurs of modern academe, a blowhard who loves the pompous gush of his own rhetoric, the author of deadly prose like this passage from his book 'Keeping Faith':
"'Following the model of the black disasporan traditions of music, athletics, and rhetoric, black cultural workers must constitute and sustain discursive and institutional networks that deconstruct earlier modern black strategies for identity-formation, demystify power relations that incorporate class, patriarchal and homophobic biases.'"
However, "sad to say, Mr. Summer appears to have caved" to Mr. West and other black activists, the columnist said.

Stretching the press
During a Monday press event at the White House, President Bush gestured to NBC's David Gregory and said, "Stretch?" Catching himself, the president corrected: "I mean Little Stretch."
Mr. Gregory said, "Thank you for that new distinction." And Mr. Bush told him, "It's your new name, by the way."
Given Mr. Bush's penchant for nicknames, there are now three "Stretches" in the White House press corps: Dick Kyle of Bloomberg News, at 6-foot-6, is the original "Stretch." The 6-foot-5 Mr. Gregory is, as of Monday, now known as "Little Stretch." And Bill Sammon of The Washington Times, at 6-foot-7, is "Super Stretch."
Big spenders
"The American Legislative Exchange Council, a bipartisan membership organization of over 2,400 state legislators, has come out with a report showing that state lawmakers increased spending by 63 percent on average during the economic boom of the 1990s," United Press International reports in its "Capital Comment" column.
"According to the report, roughly two of every three surplus dollars that went into state coffers since 1996 has gone to new spending, not to tax reduction. If states had limited spending increases to the growth in population and inflation, states could have cut taxes by $300-$400 per person."

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