Monday, October 28, 2002

Conyers insults Powell
Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat, says he agrees that Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is a “house slave” of the Bush administration.
Mr. Conyers, in an interview Thursday with reporter Marc Morano of the Cybercast News Service (, said left-wing singer Harry Belafonte was absolutely right in describing Mr. Powell that way recently.
“I have been reading and rereading what [Mr. Belafonte] said and I am trying to find where there is something inaccurate about what he said, and I can’t find it,” Mr. Conyers said.
“Do I agree with the [slavery] analogy? Yes, completely,” he added.
The Democrat was interviewed by Mr. Morano before the Africare charity group honored Mr. Belafonte at a D.C. dinner. Africare, at the insistence of Mr. Belafonte, blackballed National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice as the dinner’s keynote speaker.
Mr. Conyers said that the charity made the correct decision in snubbing Miss Rice, whom Mr. Belafonte also described as a Bush administration “slave” and a traitor to her race.

Mondale’s own words
Paul Wellstone, who died in a plane crash last week, was a college professor before winning his Senate seat in 1990.
Just a year earlier, in 1989, Minnesota Democrats had hoped that former Vice President Walter Mondale would be their best hope to defeat incumbent Sen. Rudy Boschwitz.
Mr. Mondale turned them down.
“One of the requirements of a healthy party is that it renews itself,” Mr. Mondale said at the time. “You can’t keep running Walter Mondale for everything.”

Behind closed doors
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton apparently is one of those Democrats who just can’t get over the 2000 presidential election.
Despite repeated recounts official and unofficial that showed George W. Bush won Florida and, thus, the presidency, Mrs. Clinton recently told a crowd at a private fund-raiser that Mr. Bush was “selected” rather than elected, Newsweek reports.
The New York Democrat made the comment at a closed-door fund-raiser for embattled Sen. Jean Carnahan, Missouri Democrat, the magazine said.
“You know, I’m a fan of Clintonomics, and this administration is destroying in months our eight years of economic progress,” Mrs. Clinton said while addressing the audience from a perch on the staircase of movie producer Alan Horn’s art-filled Bel Air home, reporter Howard Fineman writes.
Though Mrs. Clinton and her husband. Bill, have raised more money than any other Democratic political team this year, Mrs. Clinton said that Mr. Bush’s machine has raised far more “to try to ruin the reputations of our candidates or, if they can’t, to depress the turnout” by making campaigns unpalatably nasty. “But, you know, you have got to hand it to them. These people are ruthless and they are relentless.”

Anger at Saudis
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, says “bipartisan anger” is sky-high in the Senate as a result of “increasing, objective evidence” that Saudi Arabians are the “major financial supporters of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.”
That’s “certainly” true when it comes to al Qaeda, Mr. Lieberman said yesterday on “Fox News Sunday.”
The senator, who is eyeing a presidential bid in 2004, said that the Saudis “have been good allies to us,” but enough is enough.
“You come to a point where you’ve got to tell even your friends, ‘This is unacceptable and outrageous,’” Mr. Lieberman said.
He said that U.S. officials need to make clear to Saudi officials that they “have to take action within their kingdom to stop this support of people who have killed Americans and want to kill more of us.”
He said that during his 14 years in the Senate, “I have never seen as much bipartisan anger toward the Saudis and willingness to really alter this relationship as I see today.”

Waste watchers
Tom Schatz, president of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), said that his group is endorsing 18 incumbent House members and one incumbent senator for re-election next month. All their picks are Republicans.
Mr. Schatz said that his group wants to see Sen. Wayne Allard, Colorado Republican, keep his seat in his tight race with Democrat Tom Strickland.
The 18 Republican incumbents in the House that the CCAGW has endorsed are Reps. Jeff Flake, John Shadegg, and J.D. Hayworth, all of Arizona; Reps. Ed Royce and Christopher Cox of California; Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado; Rep. Ric Keller of Florida; Rep. John Linder of Georgia; Rep. Philip M. Crane of Illinois, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay and Rep. John Culberson, both of Texas; Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan; Rep. Steve Chabot of Ohio; Rep. Ernest Istook of Oklahoma; Rep. Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania; Rep. Jim DeMint of South Carolina; Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia; and Rep. Mark Green of Wisconsin.
The group endorses federal lawmakers based on their records for cutting “pork” from federal programs. To be selected, Mr. Schatz said, a candidate must have a CCAGW rating of 90 percent or greater and must also have participated in at least 75 percent of the votes called in his chamber.

Not-so-moderate ad
A high-profile homosexual rights group says Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., Maryland Republican, is an “extremist” rather than the “moderate” he contends he is, and it has purchased radio time to make that point.
The $10,000 Human Rights Campaign political ad, running this week on Washington radio station WTOP-AM, contrasts unfavorably the “moderate” credentials of Mr. Ehrlich, Republican nominee for Maryland governor, with those of Rep. Constance A. Morella, Maryland Republican, who is seeking re-election to her House seat.
HRC says that Mrs. Morella is a “true moderate” who has sponsored a wide variety of measures designed to increase homosexual rights.
“On the other hand, there’s Congressman Bob Ehrlich,” lesbian activist Candace Gingrich half-sister of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says in the ad.
“He’s never supported a law protecting gays in the work force from discrimination. He opposed a strong hate-crimes prevention measure, and he doesn’t even support [using] Medicaid funds for HIV prescription medications,” Miss Gingrich added.
She tells listeners to phone Mr. Ehrlich’s D.C. congressional office and “tell him to stop pretending to be a Morella moderate.”

Musical chairs
Control of the Senate could change several times during the upcoming lame-duck session, depending on how certain races come out, New York Times reporter Alison Mitchell writes.
For example, if Sen. Jean Carnahan, Missouri Democrat, loses to Republican Jim Talent, the latter could take office as soon as the next day, because this is technically a special election. Mrs. Carnahan was appointed not elected in 2000.
Meanwhile, under Minnesota law, whoever wins the Nov. 5 election would be sworn in immediately to replace Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone, who died in a plane crash last week.
And, finally, if Sen. Frank H. Murkowski, Alaska Republican, wins the governorship of his state, he would have to resign his Senate seat before being sworn in as governor on Dec. 2. Under state law, he would have to wait five days before naming a replacement senator, possibly giving the Democrats control until Dec. 7.

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