- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 24, 2002

The Clinton party
Although Bill Clinton is doing most of his work behind the scenes, where he will do the least damage to candidates he supports, the evidence mounts that the former president remains firmly in control of the Democratic Party.
For example, John Podesta, Mr. Clinton's former chief of staff, and Joe Lockhart, Mr. Clinton's former press secretary, issued a memorandum to Democratic leaders around the nation last weekend, the New York Times reports.
"We believe that [President] Bush's decision to embark on a 14-day, 17-plus-state political tour is going to give Bush his own unwelcome and unexpected 'October Surprise' by having the consequence of nationalizing the midterms around the issue of the economy," Mr. Podesta and Mr. Lockhart said.
"Bush's strategy presents Democrats with the opportunity to exploit Republicans' most potent political vulnerability their mismanagement of the economy and poor leadership record on domestic economic issues."
White House officials "expressed confidence that Mr. Bush could withstand those attacks," reporters Elisabeth Bumiller and Adam Nagourney said. The officials noted that Mr. Bush, unlike his predecessor, is likely to help, rather than hurt, his own party's candidates.

Liberals vs. Linkletter
The United Seniors Association, a 1.5 million-member organization that has come under attack from Bill Clinton and The Washington Post, vowed yesterday not to be intimidated.
The group has been running television and radio ads, featuring Art Linkletter, that decry what it calls "Medi-scare and Social Security scare tactics" by politicians seeking advantage in next month's elections. Democrats, backed by liberal newspapers such as The Post, have sought to depict the United Seniors Association as a front group for the pharmaceutical industry.
"When Bill Clinton went into attack mode against us, we knew our effort was having a positive effect. This is a no-holds-barred fight to protect seniors against ruthless politicians," said Charles W. Jarvis, who leads the group.
"Scaring our grandmothers and grandfathers to grab their votes is unconscionable. We will not back down in the face of intimidation, threats, and dishonesty," Mr. Jarvis said in a prepared statement.
"United Seniors will intensify, not reduce, our 'USA Stop Scaring Seniors Now' campaign in the face of these attacks. Citizens must aggressively confront the unconscionable tactics of political fear mongering and age baiting. Neither Bill Clinton nor left-wing storm troopers nor desperate politicians will stop us from leading this effort."
Mr. Jarvis added: "The effort to demonize Art Linkletter, America's Grandfather, shows the utter desperation of some of these people. The great irony is that so-called 'liberals' are again showing they are fully dedicated to suppressing honest, civil debate in the public square."

Simon ups ante
Bill Simon, the Republican candidate for governor of California, plans to lend as much as $2 million to his campaign to finance TV ads in the closing days of the campaign.
"Oh, I'll put a little more in," Mr. Simon told reporters Tuesday. He reportedly has spent $9 million of his own money already.
Simon consultant Sal Russo told the Los Angeles Times that the candidate was willing to spend even more of his own cash because he believes the race is close.
"We've been ahead some days, behind some days, but we're right there," Mr. Russo said. "That's why we're going to max out here at the end."

Oregon surprise
When the Oregon governor's race was taking shape, a sense of inevitability surrounded Democrat Ted Kulongoski's campaign.
Endorsed by the popular outgoing governor, Mr. Kulongoski cruised to an easy primary victory in a state where Republicans haven't won a governor's race in 20 years. The former state legislator and Supreme Court justice held a double-digit lead over Republican rival Kevin Mannix in an August poll.
But with only two weeks before the election, Mr. Kulongoski has watched his lead in the polls dwindle in the face of an aggressive campaign by Mr. Mannix, himself a former Democrat, the Associated Press reports.
Mr. Kulongoski received 45 percent in a recent poll to Mr. Mannix's 41 percent. The margin of error was 4 percentage points.
There is a common perception that Mr. Kulongoski allowed himself to be put on the defensive early on by Mr. Mannix, who painted Mr. Kulongoski as a rampant tax-and-spender.
Mr. Kulongoski opened himself to the criticism by endorsing a $313 million income-tax increase proposed by the legislature as a way to ease the state's budget woes and avoid cuts to schools and programs, AP reporter Brad Cain said.

Ganske's woes
"In a sign that Greg Ganske is going to lose to incumbent Democrat Tom Harkin, the national GOP appears to have given up on the Iowa Senate race," David Hogberg writes a www.americanprowler.org.
"An article in Tuesday's Des Moines Register strongly suggests that President Bush will skip Iowa during his campaign swing in the last two weeks of the election. That means, of course, that Republicans at least those in the Beltway think Ganske has little chance of winning," said Mr. Hogberg, a research analyst at Public Interest Institute, an Iowa-based think tank.
"They likely noticed Ganske's last-ditch attempt to change the issues of the campaign. He is now doing what he should have done three months ago, moving the focus from Democratic strengths like Social Security and education to such issues as energy and human cloning. In what is a pretty clear sign of desperation, Ganske is even trying to link Harkin's past support of welfare benefits for illegal immigrants to the recent tragedy involving 11 illegal immigrants whose remains were discovered in a railroad car in Denison, Iowa. It all seems too little, too late.
"Ganske already had an issue in the secret taping of one of his private strategy sessions that grew into a scandal in late September. So why is Ganske not using "Tapegate" as an issue? One reason is that last week the story saw its legs chopped in half when local and federal prosecutors declined to take legal action against the Harkin campaign.
"Yet there is still the matter of ethics, which would play well here in Iowa, especially in the post-9/11 atmosphere. Yet Ganske has been unwilling to emphasize that aspect in an attempt to keep the story alive."

Harry the Stalinist
"Harry Belafonte's contemptuous and contemptible assaults on Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice surprised a lot of people but shouldn't have," Ronald Radosh writes in the New York Post.
"Most do not know that Belafonte always was, and apparently still is, an unreconstructed Stalinist a man who firmly, profoundly believes that America is evil," said Mr. Radosh, adjunct senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and author of "Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left, the New Left and the Leftover Left."
"Belafonte told CNN's Larry King that Powell was the equivalent of a slave 'who lived in the house' during the days of slavery and who 'served the master.'
"Then he used his influence to get the African aid group, Africare, to disinvite Rice, the scheduled keynote speaker at their fund-raising dinner, at which Belafonte was to be honored for his humanitarian efforts."
Mr. Radosh pointed out Mr. Belafonte's being a featured speaker in a June 2000 rally in Fidel Castro's Cuba that honored Soviet spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, his support for the Soviets in the Cold War and his embrace of the East German prison state.

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