- The Washington Times - Monday, May 13, 2002

Davis' cash requests
California Gov. Gray Davis sought a $1 million donation from a teachers union during a meeting in his Capitol office, and his campaign once wanted to charge university students $100 each to meet the governor, newspapers reported yesterday.
The reports about Mr. Davis' fund raising come as the Democratic governor faces a tough re-election campaign against Republican Bill Simon.
The governor's request for $1 million came during a Valentine's Day meeting with officers of the California Teachers Association, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Mr. Davis was discussing policy and legislation issues when, "sort of out of the blue, he said 'I need $1 million from you guys,'" association President Wayne Johnson told the newspaper.
There was an "awkward silence," and the political discussion resumed, he said.
State law prohibits state officials from accepting campaign checks in the Capitol, but they can ask for money while on state property.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that, days after the March primary, Davis fund-raiser Mike Montgomery sent a letter to Democratic student supporters at the University of California, Berkeley, offering a chance to "interact with the governor for a mere $100." The letter was obtained by KTVU-TV as part of a joint investigation with the Chronicle.

Nickles vs. Lott?
Assistant Senate Minority Leader Don Nickles, Oklahoma Republican, was asked yesterday whether he intends to challenge Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott for the right to be the chamber's top Republican.
"People always want you to make these Shermanesque statements. I'm not going to say I'll never run for leader. I'd like to be leader sometime. I've been assistant leader for some time," Mr. Nickles said on "Fox News Sunday."
But he said his "real, sole focus" is to try to put Republicans back in the majority in the Senate.
Mr. Nickles said it was "pretty much true" that he had told Mr. Lott that he did not know where the media were picking up their "Nickles-will-challenge-Lott" stories.

Hunker down, ma'am
Barbara Dooley, a radio talk show host and wife of longtime University of Georgia football coach Vince Dooley, says she plans to run for Congress.
Mrs. Dooley, a Republican, said Saturday that she would make a formal announcement in a few weeks for the new 12th District that stretches from Augusta to Savannah. Georgia gained the new House seat after the 2000 Census.
Several Georgia Republicans had been encouraging Mrs. Dooley, 62, to run. Her only campaign experience has been a failed 1991 race for the state House of Representatives.
Nine Democrats are already in the congressional race, including Savannah Mayor Floyd Adams Jr. and Charles "Champ" Walker, son of Senate Majority Leader Charles Walker. Only one other Republican, farmer Woodrow Lovett, has announced.

Fight over Fidel
Rep. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, advocates an end to the U.S. embargo against Cuba, and he says accusations by Undersecretary of State John Bolton that Fidel Castro has been developing biological weapons and may be exporting some technology to places like Libya does not give him second thoughts about his position.
"Not at all. We have always known that Castro is a bad actor. This isn't news at all," said Mr. Flake, a member of the Congressional Cuba Working Group, on CNN's "Saturday Edition."
"That doesn't change the fact that our policy there hasn't done a thing to change the situation. It has been 43 years now that we have had a policy of isolationism, and it has done absolutely nothing, because Castro is still firmly in charge. We need to change it," he said.
But Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican, who also appeared on the show, strongly disagreed.
"This latest development that Castro has the capability of biological warfare, chemical warfare against the United States reminds us that Fidel Castro poses a national security threat, and Cuba should be on the state-sponsored list of terrorism. In fact, Castro, in May of last year, said we can bring America to its knees. He's a sworn enemy of our country."
Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen doesn't foresee anything positive coming out of former President Jimmy Carter's visit to Cuba, which began yesterday. "It's much ado about nothing," she said.

Extra funding
Sen. Evan Bayh, Indiana Democrat, and Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, say they both support President Bush's request for another $200 million for Israel. But they want to examine closely the president's request for an additional $50 million in "humanitarian assistance" for the Palestinians.
Last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved both requests. In interviews yesterday on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer," Mr. Kyl and Mr. Bayh, both members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, were asked whether they will support the extra funding when the matter comes before the Senate.
"I would be inclined to support it if the administration believes it's important for us to continue to play the role of a goodwill broker in this region," said Mr. Bayh, adding: "I'd want to scrutinize the aid to the Palestinian Authority very closely to ensure that it's not going to be siphoned off to indirectly support elements there that do not favor the peace process. But certainly, the Israeli portion I would favor, and I'd take a close look at the other."
Mr. Kyl said he agrees with that approach.
"I would want to make absolutely sure that none of the aid that's going to the PLO is going to reconstitute a military presence or a military group that Yasser Arafat can use to support continued terrorism against the Israelis," he said.

Barred indefinitely
New York Times Editor Howell Raines has banned conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan from writing for the paper, Mr. Sullivan disclosed at his Web site (www.andrewsullivan.com), known as a "blog."
"If, like me, you both write for the mainstream media and also snarl at it on a regular basis, some editors can take revenge and cut you off," Mr. Sullivan said.
"Most of the time, people in big media, being journalists, don't mind criticism, especially from a piddling one-man blog. But others take offense, and you get canned. In my case, I have been barred indefinitely from writing any more for the New York Times Magazine. Although I have long had a fantastic relationship with the editors there, and have written some of my best journalism for them, their boss, Howell Raines, has sent down a ruling. My presence in the Times, I'm told, makes him 'uncomfortable,' and I am off limits for the indefinite future. A great sadness to me, but completely his editorial prerogative and, given the sharpness of some of my broadsides, understandable.
"I'm lucky I have other outlets and this blog of course but it does tend to show that the notion that new media and old media are effortlessly complementary is not completely true. When you bite the hand that feeds you, sometimes you'll get a good slapping. But don't worry. I'll keep biting."

The Democrats' plans
"Democratic Party officials are mapping plans to create their own TV network and public-policy think tank," Paul Bedard writes in U.S. News & World Report.
"The effort, still in its infancy, is a bid to counter what they see as Republican domination in the media. The think-tank planning has been under consideration for months. The goal? To produce public-policy papers that back Democratic legislative programs," Mr. Bedard said.
"The TV idea is new and has a fan in Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe. The aim here is simple: getting Democratic leaders equal time on nightly newscasts."

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