- The Washington Times - Friday, November 8, 2002

Lies and such

Paul M. Weyrich, chairman of the Free Congress Foundation, wasn't giddy like most conservatives following this week's Republican landslide.

"The number of lies told by the candidates, I think, has exceeded all other campaigns that I've been aware of," said Mr. Weyrich, adding that Republicans and Democrats alike were guilty. "Negative campaigning works, and I just think that the number of things taken out of context, votes that are distorted for their real meaning, and outright lies that are told by many of the candidates is really extraordinary."

It kind of reminds us of the old saying: "Vote for the man who promises least; he'll be the least disappointing."

Sporting victory

Grab the shells, unleash the hounds sportsmen across the United States are rejoicing over this week's historic gains by Republicans.

Of the 24 Senate candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association, 21 were victorious. On the House side, at least 230 of the 246 NRA-endorsed politicians came out on top.

•In New Hampshire's Senate race, Rep. John E. Sununu beat Gov. Jean Shaheen, but first Mr. Sununu had to defeat anti-hunting sympathizer Sen. Robert C. Smith in a hard-fought primary. Had Mr. Smith won, the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance predicted he would have become chairman of the committee with the greatest influence over hunting, fishing and trapping.

•In Georgia, Democrat incumbent Sen. Max Cleland was ousted by Republican Rep. Saxby Chambliss, a key House supporter of sportsmen who was co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.

•In Maryland, Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, upset by Republican Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., proposed increased gun control in the wake of the sniper shootings. Mr. Ehrlich succeeds Democratic Gov. Parris N. Glendening, "perhaps the only governor in the country to display contempt for sportsmen," the alliance says.

•In Connecticut, Republican Gov. John G. Rowland was elected to a third term. Last summer, he vetoed animal-cruelty legislation that critics say would have affected sportsmen who hunt with hounds.

Sportsmen aren't celebrating in every state, however. In Illinois, anti-gun Democrat Rep. Rod R. Blagojevich was elected governor; in Wisconsin, Democrat Jim Doyle, regarded by sportsmen as anti-hunting, was victorious in the gubernatorial contest; and in Iowa, Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack, who vetoed a bird-hunting bill during his first term, was re-elected.

Many are called

We've been warning of the coming crisis in the federal work force: Nearly half of federal government employees are eligible to retire within the next five years, but young people today aren't considering government careers upon college graduation.

So U.S. Comptroller General David Walker and employees from four federal agencies will engage in dialogue with students at the University of Maryland next week to kick off the "Call to Serve" campaign, encompassing 380 schools nationwide.

A total of 60 federal agencies in need of career bureaucrats have signed on as founding partners in the initiative, co-sponsored by the Partnership for Public Service and the Office of Personnel Management.

Emmylou's efforts

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Emmylou Harris will receive the Patrick J. Leahy Humanitarian Award next week for her efforts to focus attention on the plight of land-mine survivors worldwide.

The Democratic senator from Vermont will personally pay tribute to Miss Harris at a Birchmere Music Hall benefit Tuesday in Alexandria, along with supporters of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation.

"Emmylou Harris embodies humanitarian activism," Mr. Leahy says. "Her humanitarian efforts have greatly advanced the case against land mines, raising awareness for the cause and support for its victims. She is a superstar, a global citizen and a wonderful human being."

Talk about an all-star lineup of musical guests: Mary Chapin Carpenter, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith, Patty Griffin, Buddy and Julie Miller, Jamie O'Hara and last, but never least, John Prine.

Secret recipe

Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Martin Frost of Texas convened an early-morning briefing yesterday on the devastating defeat of his party's candidates by thanking reporters for coming so early. He explained that he needed to leave shortly afterward for the graduation of his youngest daughter from "the CIA."

She's becoming a spy?

"She is graduating from the Culinary Institute of America," he said.

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