Monday, August 18, 2003

Georgia candidate

Andrew Young, the former Atlanta mayor, U.S. representative and ambassador to the United Nations, plans to seek the Democratic nomination to succeed Sen. Zell Miller, a maverick Democrat who is retiring next year.

“My children are secure financially, but my grandchildren — the kind of debt we’re building up, the kind of confusion we’re creating in the global order, is a threat to my grandchildren’s security,” Mr. Young told the New York Times. “I have a feeling that we really don’t know what we’re doing.”

Mr. Young said his decision to seek a U.S. Senate seat came about last month when he was flying home after leading a conference in Lagos, Nigeria. A few former representatives on the plane, all of them white Democrats, urged him to run, “saying his stature would make him unique among freshmen senators,” reporter David M. Halbfinger writes.

Mr. Young, 71, who is black, would need nearly 40 percent of the white vote and an overwhelming black turnout, unidentified “political experts” told the reporter.

Mr. Young plans a formal announcement in September.

Janklow’s anguish

Republican Rep. Bill Janklow says he feels “anguish” about the death of a motorcyclist who collided with a car he was driving. Authorities said the intersection had a stop sign for only Mr. Janklow, and an investigation was continuing.

Mr. Janklow, 63, a former four-term South Dakota governor in his first congressional term, sustained minor injuries in Saturday’s crash but didn’t require medical attention, said Col. Dan Mosteller, the head of the state highway patrol.

Randolph E. Scott, 55, of Hardwick, Minn., was pronounced dead at the scene, Col. Mosteller said.

Authorities said the intersection had a stop sign on the road Mr. Janklow was on, but did not immediately indicate whether they thought he had run it or stopped and then not seen the approaching cyclist. Col. Mosteller said an accident report would be available “in a couple of days,” the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Janklow said in a statement Sunday that he was recovering from his injuries at home.

“Personally, and on behalf of my family, we feel as much anguish for this gentleman and his family and friends as is humanly possible,” Mr. Janklow said, adding that any more comment at this time would be inappropriate.

Russ Janklow, the congressman’s son, said his father “feels absolutely horrible about this.”

“I’ve never seen him as distraught as I saw him last night.”

Prosecutor Bill Ellingson said he was awaiting accident reports before deciding whether to file charges.

Sigh of relief

Many of the nation’s governors are sympathetic to embattled colleague Gray Davis in California and are breathing a collective sigh of relief that they don’t face his state’s relatively easy recall rules.

Members of the Democratic Governors Association will campaign in California with Mr. Davis and send money to the state to try to defeat the recall effort, an aide to Washington Gov. Gary Locke, the group’s chairman, said Sunday.

Colorado Gov. Bill Owens, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said his group supports the recall effort, but isn’t backing a particular candidate running to replace Mr. Davis.

“We think the last years under Gray Davis have been bereft of leadership and that California could benefit from a Republican governor,” Mr. Owens said.

But some Republicans interviewed in Indianapolis at the summer meeting of the National Governors Association said they are uncomfortable with the recall.

“My concern about recalls is that it basically begins to limit one’s ability to do anything other than what is politically expedient or popular at the moment,” said Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, which doesn’t have a recall provision. “‘At the moment’ may be a long way from what in the long run is in the best interest of the country.”

Edwards’ plan

Sen. John Edwards is calling for revamping the nation’s college-loan program, eliminating the role of banks and making loans directly to students from the federal government.

The North Carolinian, seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, said such a move would save “billions of dollars” each year and allow financial assistance to be provided to an additional 3 million youngsters every year, the Associated Press reports.

“We should give the money to the people who need it the most, our kids,” Mr. Edwards said in remarks prepared for delivery in Des Moines, Iowa, yesterday.

The federal government offers subsidies to banks and other lenders to lower interest rates on student loans, but the loans are made by the financial institutions.

Under Mr. Edwards’ plan, the loans would come from the federal government, which would also have to assume the liability for loans that aren’t repaid.

The plan Mr. Edwards was releasing does not carry a specific price tag, but he said the money being paid to financial institutions could be shifted to student-aid programs, including his “college for everyone” proposal.

In addition, Mr. Edwards called for an ending of “legacy” admissions, a policy where colleges are more likely to admit the children of alumni. He said that makes it tougher for students who are the first in the family to attend college to gain admission. He also called for an increase in spending on Pell Grants, a need-based grant program intended to aid low-income youngsters in financing college costs.

Bush’s Web site

President Bush’s re-election effort plans to complement his campaigning with an online push, starting a Web site to take advantage of increasingly Internet-savvy political donors and activists.

The site —, scheduled to go up this morning — invites visitors to punch in their ZIP codes for information on how to get involved in the campaign locally, such as writing letters to local newspapers, phoning in to radio shows, volunteering at Bush events and helping to get out the Republican vote.

The site will also be an important fund-raising tool. The campaign has raised at least $1.3 million through the Internet since a temporary Web site went up in mid-May, the Associated Press reports.

That’s a small amount compared with the more than $35 million Mr. Bush and his running mate, Vice President Dick Cheney, have raised by headlining fund-raisers around the country. But it’s also money that costs far less to raise than donations taken in through glitzy luncheons and dinners.

“I think smart campaigns use the Web to reach the 58 percent of Americans online,” campaign manager Ken Mehlman said yesterday.

Mr. Mehlman said the Bush site will include several “cutting-edge” features. Among them, it will have a constant campaign newsfeed and list of Bush fund-raising volunteers and donors.

Econ 101

“CBS’s Bob Schieffer must have flunked Econ 101, or never taken such a course,” the Media Research Center’s Brent Baker writes at

“When, on Sunday’s ‘Face the Nation,’ Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham suggested electricity company customers will need to pay for upgrades to the grid system, an incredulous Schieffer pleaded, ‘Wait, wait, wait. Let’s back up. So you’re saying the customers are going to have to pay for this?’ Schieffer recommended another entity pay for it: ‘Aren’t the companies going to have to bear some of this cost?’

“As if companies, even regulated electrical-utility monopolies, are somehow independent money machines, which don’t pass on costs to their customers,” Mr. Baker observed.

“Maybe Schieffer was just stunned by the idea that the federal government would not impose a program to use taxpayer money to pay for any such upgrade project.”

• Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or

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