- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 13, 2003

Family feud
President Bush has "quietly started his re-election campaign," which has Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe asking Democrats to open their wallets.
Mr. Bush, warns the DNC head in a memo, has already raised "tens of millions of dollars" for the Republican Party in advance of the 2004 elections.
Since then, says the Democrat, the president has "hired ultraconservative right-wing" campaign operative Ralph Reed to focus full energies on his re-election campaign.
By Mr. McAuliffe's own doing, DNC coffers were virtually depleted during the 2002 election cycle after he authorized that a record amount of money be spent to defeat the president's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
As the Bradenton Herald reported days later: "While the national party poured millions into a fruitless effort in Florida, other Democrats nationally could have used more last-minute money to avoid narrow losses that shifted control of the U.S. Senate to Republicans."
Mr. McAuliffe's tremendous infusion of DNC cash was funneled into the failed gubernatorial campaign of Bill McBride, who ultimately lost to Mr. Bush.
Lest Democrats forget, Mr. McBride's finance chairman was Richard Swann, Mr. McAuliffe's father-in-law.
Democratic union
Despite President Bush's charitable efforts, Democrats should once again be able to bank on union support in 2004.
Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation (NRWF), says his sources reveal that former James P. Hoffa campaign chief and Teamsters union national field director Todd Thompson will be tasked with "tripling" contributions to the Teamsters' political action committee to defeat "all GOP candidates."
The development, he says, appears to represent a "shift in strategy" by union political operatives, who had been willing in the past to support moderate Republicans.
"Despite all of James Hoffa's rhetoric about reaching out to Republicans, the reality is that Teamsters officials are nothing more than Democrat Party shills," Mr. Gleason says.
It also points up a "failed strategy" pursued by the Bush White House to make core policy concessions in exchange for union political support, he says.
Despite the concessions, Mr. Gleason says, union officials have made ongoing attacks on President Bush and other Republicans.
In the 2002 election cycle, the Teamster's PAC, known as DRIVE, spent $2.3 million on behalf of federal candidates, 86 percent of which went to Democratic candidates, according to the NRWF.
Regardless, 40 percent of union households vote for other candidates, including Republicans.
Common tongue
When it comes to speaking English, Steve King made his mark in Iowa.
Now, the Republican freshman is wasting little time making his mark in the 108th Congress.
Sworn into office only weeks ago, Mr. King has already authored two bills, the latest to declare English the official language of the United States.
"The English Language Unity Act … does not affect the teaching and study of other languages," Mr. King stresses. "It does not deter the use of other languages in the home, community, church, or elsewhere."
Rather, the congressman says the need for an official English language appears in newspapers like this one every day. Besides combating terrorism, he cites injuries in the workplace, mistranslations at hospitals, people who are unable to support themselves and their families all because they could not speak English.
Twenty-seven states, not waiting for Uncle Sam to act, have already passed similar English-language statutes.
In fact, it was Mr. King as an Iowa state senator before coming to Capitol Hill who led his state's effort to pass English-language unity legislation. The bill was signed into law in 2002.
Whirlwind tour
On behalf of the 115th Military Police Battalion of the Maryland Army National Guard whose members are unable to be here Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland Democrat, is supporting the Reservists Pay Security Act of 2003.
After all, she says, the local MPs have been deployed repeatedly since Sept. 12, 2001, one day after al Qaeda terrorists struck the United States.
"That is when they were called up to stand guard at the Pentagon," she says. "Then they had a two-week breather. But then they were called up to guard [terrorist] prisoners at Guantanamo Bay [Cuba]. And now they are deployed in Afghanistan."
The legislation seeks to ensure that federal employees who have to take leave to serve in the military reserves receive the same pay as if no interruption in their employment occurred.
Terrorists with wings
An emergency hazmat team that descended on the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington wasn't worried about anthrax.
"The first wing on the sixth floor has been closed and people in hazmat dress are cleaning up the pigeon poop," says our insider. "Pigeons had been living in the attic vents for years and when the snow and rain came it washed the pigeon poop down the walls and ceilings into the offices on the top floor. …
"All the employees in the area have been relocated."

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