Thursday, August 28, 2003

Nevada recall drive

Emboldened by recall efforts in California, a group of Nevada conservatives upset about the largest tax increase in state history began recall proceedings Wednesday against Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn.

The group filed a notice of intent with the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office in Las Vegas to seek a recall election against Mr. Guinn. Organizers have 90 days to collect 128,109 signatures, or 25 percent of those who cast ballots in the 2002 general election, the Associated Press reports.

“It’s going to be a daunting task,” said Tony Dane, a political consultant and chairman of the Committee to Recall Governor Guinn. “But if people feel motivated enough to take control of their government, it’s possible.”

The group is not backing a recall candidate, Mr. Dane said.

No statewide recall effort has ever succeeded, and no Nevada governor has ever been the subject of a recall election, state Archivist Guy Louis Rocha said.

Million-dollar man

A group trying to persuade retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark to run for president announced yesterday that it has exceeded $1 million in pledges.

“By raising over a million dollars in pledges before General Clark has even finalized his decision, Clark supporters everywhere have sent a powerful message of just how strongly they want General Clark as our next president,” said John Hlinko, co-founder of

“But we’re not stopping at $1 million — we will continue to drive this effort forward, raise as much as possible in pledges for this candidacy, and give General Clark the money he needs to hit the ground running from Day 1,” he said.

Bisexual caucus

A congresswoman from California participated in a conference “that included workshops involving full male and female nudity, ‘sex toy’ demonstrations, XXX pornographic video screenings, and advice on throwing sex parties,” reports Allyson Smith of Concerned Women for America.

Rep. Susan A. Davis, California Democrat, addressed the Aug. 21-24 North American Conference on Bisexuality at San Diego’s Radisson Hotel, telling participants she was “proud” of her sponsorship of “federal bills dealing with employment nondiscrimination, ‘hate crimes’ and homosexual-partner immigration.”

The four-day conference was a how-to seminar on “an extremely dangerous perversion popular among sadistic-oriented homosexuals,” Miss Smith writes. (The practice cannot be described, or even named, in a family newspaper.)

Other highlights reported by Miss Smith:

• “A reported 40 young people attended a 1½ day ‘Bi Youth’ preconference institute.”

• A “Bi Parents and Their Children” workshop where one presenter “showed photos of her long-haired little boy dressed in lavender overalls, a ballerina tutu, and fairy princess and purple Teletubby Halloween costumes.”

• “David Longmire … demonstrated ‘erotic touch’ on fully nude male and female models.”

• “Saturday night’s entertainment included Asian-American musician Magdalen Hsu Li, who sang a song titled ‘[expletive] Bush’ … and a bisexual dance lasting until 1 a.m.”

• One of the lecturers was “sexologist” Ava Cadell, who used puppets of male and female genitalia to illustrate her advice.

Dean’s labor support

Democrat Howard Dean picked up support from Iowa union activists who plan to run ads touting his presidential candidacy to coincide with the Labor Day holiday.

The advertisement, set to appear in Monday’s editions of the Des Moines Register, says Mr. Dean is “the only candidate who will stand up for what we believe and isn’t afraid of what Washington thinks.”

At a news conference in Des Moines yesterday, 136 labor activists released the ad and announced their support for Mr. Dean in the nine-way Democratic primary, the Associated Press reports. Tom Gillespie, president of the Iowa State Building and Trades Council, said he was committed to Mr. Dean because the former Vermont governor has argued for increased domestic spending.

“If we can afford to rebuild Iraq, then we can afford to rebuild our country,” Mr. Gillespie said.

Mr. Dean will join his Democratic rivals in Iowa on Monday in a Labor Day parade from the state Capitol to the State Fairgrounds.

Friends in need

Months ago, California Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante endorsed Joe Lieberman when the presidential candidate needed a boost. So when Mr. Bustamante sought support for his gubernatorial bid in California’s Oct. 7 recall election, he found an early ally in Mr. Lieberman.

This political marriage could pay dividends for both men, the Associated Press reports. Mr. Bustamante needs support among national party leaders while Mr. Lieberman’s ailing Democratic presidential campaign craves attention and political clout.

The Connecticut senator is the only candidate in the nine-person Democratic presidential race urging Californians to vote for Mr. Bustamante in case Democratic Gov. Gray Davis is recalled.

“What we want more than anything else is for the recall effort to fail,” Lieberman spokesman Jano Cabrera said. “But the senator certainly supports Californians having a choice and he is certainly supportive of Cruz Bustamante.”

If Mr. Bustamante becomes governor, Mr. Lieberman would stand apart from the presidential field as an early player in the nation’s hottest political story. And he would have a friend in the California Statehouse.

Kerry’s plan

Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry yesterday proposed sending $25 billion to states struggling with budget deficits as part of a broader plan to jump-start the economy and spur job creation.

The two-year “State Tax Relief and Education” fund would help states that have had to cut education spending and lay off police and firefighters under Bush administration policies that have “brought back the days of deficits, debt and doubt,” Mr. Kerry said.

“When it comes to creating opportunity, restoring fiscal discipline, putting values back into our economy, and preparing for the jobs of the future, George Bush hasn’t lifted a finger. I will move mountains,” Mr. Kerry said at the University of New Hampshire, where he outlined an economic package that mixed new ideas with some old proposals.

The state fund was one of several short-term proposals that Mr. Kerry would finance by repealing President Bush’s tax cuts for the top 1 percent of income earners, the Associated Press reports.

Up in smoke

The Mississippi attorney general on Wednesday accused Colorado and other states of misusing millions of dollars won from tobacco companies he took to court, the Denver Post reports.

Colorado has used much of its $370 million share of the settlement to reduce its budget deficits, Mike Moore said. Most other states do the same, which rankles Mr. Moore, who sued some of the nation’s largest tobacco companies in 1994 and won a $240 billion settlement in 1998.

“I call it moral treason,” he said.

The money states get from tobacco sales every year should be used for health care and tobacco-use prevention programs, he said. But instead, “very few states are spending it well.”

Mr. Moore asked a roomful of North High School students in Denver to tell their political leaders to reroute the tobacco money to tobacco-cessation projects.

“Where’s the outrage?” Mr. Moore asked. “Your governor and legislature are stealing your future.”

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

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