- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Excruciating
The Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday night was "excruciatingly politicized," New York Post columnist John Podhoretz writes.
"The show's opening film montage featured five political figures talking about the movies. One was Laura Bush. The other four? [Jerry] Brown, the leftoid Democratic weirdo mayor of [Oakland, Calif.]; Willie Brown, San Francisco's Democratic mayor; Lani Guinier, the leftist law professor whom Bill Clinton deemed too radically quota-conscious for his administration. And New York's own Al Sharpton, who intends to be a Democratic candidate for president," Mr. Podhoretz said.
"That's a 4-to-1 Democratic, left-wing tilt. Are people still willing to argue that Hollywood doesn't have a liberal bias?
"Worse still was a pointed salute during that montage to a little-known 1974 documentary called 'Hearts and Minds.' At the Oscar ceremony in 1975, producer Bert Schneider read a telegram of thanks from the North Vietnamese government the same government whose military had just concluded a 12-year war against the United States that led to the deaths of 58,000 young American men.
"Oscar-show producer Laura Ziskin knows that perfectly well. She could have had the tribute to 'Hearts and Minds' eliminated. In my view, she left it in to send some kind of subliminal message to the country about the war on terrorism."

The NRA and Dole
"The National Rifle Association is debating internally about how to deal with its 'Liddy Problem.' No, not the G-man. Elizabeth Dole," the Prowler column says at www.americanprowler.org.
"According a staffer with the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, which spearheads the group's political activities, the NRA board is debating whether to endorse Dole in her Senate bid. (Dole will most likely face off against either former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles or Elaine Marshall, the Tarheel State's secretary of state. Former Statehouse speaker Dan Blue is running a distant third in Democratic polling.)
"'We don't want to endorse her,' says the ILA policy staffer. 'She's been awful on gun ownership issues, gun control issues. The NRA can't be expected just to endorse every Republican the party puts up.'
"This is especially true in North Carolina, where the NRA's roots and support run deep. The NRA board told both the White House and Republican National Committee board members that if they put Dole on the Senate ballot, they risked not gaining the NRA endorsement.
"'This North Carolina race may be our opportunity to show our independence,' says an NRA board member.

Oh, dear
In Florida, Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Theresa LePore is at the center of another election brouhaha, and this one is not about her infamous butterfly ballots.
Boca Raton candidate Emil Danciu sued Monday, claiming the March 12 city election was flawed because poll workers were inadequately trained and the new touch-screen voting machines malfunctioned, the Associated Press reports.
Mr. Danciu, a former mayor, finished third in a four-way race for two seats on the city commission. The suit seeks to have the results overturned and a new election held.
The defendants are Miss LePore, the county and city canvassing boards and the two winners, Bill Hager and Susan Haynie.
The suit includes affidavits from eight voters who said they had trouble casting ballots on the ATM-style devices. It also says voters should be given paper receipts to confirm their vote was recorded.
Miss LePore said the only problems reported to her office were screens temporarily freezing when voters chose between English and Spanish, which did not prevent voting.

Opposing amnesty
The chairman of the American Conservative Union yesterday urged the Senate to reject House-passed legislation that would allow some foreigners in the United States to renew expired visas and apply for permanent residency without returning to their home countries.
David A. Keene condemned the legislation, which he said would grant amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants.
"After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, our government has taken measures to secure our borders for the purpose of effectively tracking those who enter this country. Millions of dollars are being added to the federal budget in an effort to make America more secure. Yet, the House has approved and the Senate has before it a bill that would seriously undermine the security of our borders. This bill [ensures] that illegal immigration will continue," Mr. Keene said in a prepared statement.
The measure "does nothing more than reward illegal immigrants for breaking the law" and is "counterintuitive to the ideal that immigration to the United States should be permitted and encouraged, so long as it occurs through the appropriate legal channels," Mr. Keene said.

Women's work
Chuck Yob, a Republican National Committee member from Michigan, said he will not resign over his remark that women running for statewide elective office are best suited for secretary of state because "they like that kind of work."
Two Republican candidates for Michigan governor, Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus and state Sen. John Schwarz of Battle Creek, called for Mr. Yob to step down.
Mr. Yob rejected their suggestions in a statement Monday, the Associated Press reports.
"Under no circumstances will I resign my position as national committeeman. I was elected by our party's grass roots, not its elected officials," he said.
During a taping of the Michigan public affairs program "Off the Record" earlier this month, Mr. Yob said secretary of state is a good job for a woman.
"That's a real nice place on the ticket for a woman. They like that kind of work," he said. "Most county clerks across the state, which is a jump to [secretary of state], are women and they have the experience."

Crab vs. ribs
Rep. Steny H. Hoyer has anted up two pounds of Maryland crabs against two pounds of Kansas City barbecue from Rep. Dennis Moore that the Maryland Terrapins will beat the Kansas Jayhawks in Saturday's semifinal of the NCAA basketball tournament.
"Everyone knows that, aside from Wildcat burgers and Tiger stew, a Jayhawk's favorite meal is turtle soup," said Mr. Moore, a Democrat who graduated from Kansas in 1967 and whose district now includes the school.
But Mr. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, said he doubts that will happen.
"I want to assure my good friend Dennis that while I'm feasting on those delicious Kansas City ribs, I'll order him up a slice of humble pie," the 1963 graduate of Maryland said. "Dennis should have remembered that old fable of the hare and tortoise. You should always fear the turtle."

A family affair
Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife, Janet, made national history yesterday when they both filed to run for statewide office.
The Republican governor is seeking re-election to his second full term, while his wife is running for secretary of state in her first bid for public office.
The National Governors Association and the Council of State Governments told the Associated Press they knew of no other sitting governor and spouse running for statewide elected office at the same time.
The secretary of state's office is responsible for upkeep of the state Capitol and maintaining state corporate records, election records and financial disclosure reports.
The Huckabees said yesterday that they see no conflict of interest if both win. Each position is an independent constitutional office, so Mr. Huckabee would not be his wife's boss, and he would be prevented by term limits from running for re-election if he wins in November.
Mrs. Huckabee, the mother of three, stressed she would be "a keeper of the records. I'm not changing the records."
"It's a great opportunity for us to show that public service is a family commitment," Mr. Huckabee said.


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