- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 1, 2002

Beckel leaves Blinken's campaign

BOISE, Idaho Bob Beckel, the Democratic strategist who ran Walter Mondale's 1984 presidential campaign, is no longer managing U.S. Senate candidate Alan Blinken's campaign following a published report that he was an extortion target.
The Northern Virginia Journal in Arlington reported Friday that after Mr. Beckel paid a woman to perform sex acts at his Maryland home he was told to pay $50,000 to keep the incident from becoming public. Three persons from Alexandria, Washington and Fairfax County were arrested last week for extortion.
"Effective immediately, Bob Beckel is no longer with Alan Blinken's campaign for the U.S. Senate," the Blinken campaign said in a statement Friday night.
Mr. Blinken's spokesman, Ryan Hill, would only say, "Bob's no longer with the campaign. He and Alan worked it out."
Alexandria Circuit Court records say Mr. Beckel paid a woman $1,900 to visit his home June 27-29.
Mr. Beckel was later told by letter to drop off $50,000 in cash to keep his wife, employer and newspapers from learning about the trysts.
Mr. Beckel went to his lawyer and they contacted authorities. On Aug. 21, Angela Anglin, Abdullah Hamid and Eric Holland were arrested on extortion charges.

Candidate once fired for lying on application
DOVER, Del. A Democratic congressional hopeful was once fired from a job as a college security guard for lying about his background and was sued by a landlady for repeatedly not paying rent on an office, court records show.
Mike Miller, who runs a tax-preparation and lawn service business in Lewes, is running against Wilmington lawyer Steve Biener in the Sept. 7 Democratic primary.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Mr. Miller, 33, refused to discuss details of his past. He said he wanted to concentrate on campaign issues such as Social Security and prescription drug benefits.
"I haven't been dishonest about anything," Mr. Miller said.
Records obtained by the Associated Press show Mr. Miller lied about graduating from the University of Maryland at College Park, when he applied in 1992 for a job at Delaware State College, now Delaware State University. He also falsely represented his work experience at the University of Maryland, according to Delaware State officials.

Atheist sues Congress over prayer
California atheist Michael Newdow has filed a lawsuit against Congress to try to end its chaplain-led traditional opening prayer, arguing the Constitution protects the separation of church and state.
The suit, lodged in federal court in Washington, claims it is unconstitutional to have publicly funded chaplains leading prayers in the chambers of Congress.

Prisons suspend satanic services
LEXINGTON, Ky. The Kentucky Department of Corrections has suspended formal satanic worship services at the Green River Correctional Complex while officials work to shape a statewide policy on the practice.
Inmates at Green River, a medium-security prison in Central City, had been allowed to hold weekly satanic services this summer as part of the official religious services calendar, said Lisa Carnahan, a corrections spokeswoman.
"We honestly didn't know it was on the religious calendar," Miss Carnahan said after the Lexington Herald-Leader questioned the practice.
"We are researching it to see what we are required to allow under the law. But we've found information that indicates that satanic services could be a threat to the institutions, so for now we won't aid or abet satanic worship," she said.
Under federal law and U.S. Supreme Court decisions, correctional institutions may not prohibit the exercise of inmates' religious freedom, as long as the practice of the recognized religion does not compromise the safety of other inmates or the staff, said Joe Weedon, manager of government affairs for the American Correctional Association.
Satanic services were suspended Thursday at Green River after the newspaper's inquiry.
Inmates of at least two of the state's other 14 prisons practice satanism on their own, Miss Carnahan said.

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