- The Washington Times - Friday, August 27, 2004

Angry Democrats

A group angry that Sen. Zell Miller will deliver the keynote address to the Republican National Convention has kicked off an Internet campaign demanding that the Georgian stop calling himself a Democrat, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

“Zell votes like a Republican, he talks like a Republican and he’s going to speak to the Republicans. People who are going to see that should know the whole story behind it,” said Eric Carbone, a Democrat who created an anti-Miller Web site.

The site, www.zellout.com, has received “hundreds and hundreds” of e-mails from Democrats angry at Mr. Miller, its creators said.

Each time someone signs the petition, an e-mail is sent to Mr. Miller’s Senate office. Mr. Carbone said that for every 1,000 signatures he gathers, he’ll deliver a red elephant to the senator’s office.

Mr. Miller, who has vowed not to leave the Democratic Party, said the site “doesn’t bother me.”

“My office doesn’t even bother me with things like that.”

Matthews vs. facts

“Normally an interview on a newly released book consists of the author being asked questions about his book and the author answering the questions,” observes syndicated columnist Ann Coulter. But when John O’Neill, co-author of “Unfit for Command,” appeared on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” he barely got in a word.

Mr. O’Neill — whose book examines John Kerry’s service in the Vietnam war — was paired on the MSNBC program with Kerry campaign spokesman John Hurley.

After nearly an hour of tag-team interruptions from Mr. Hurley and host Chris Matthews, Mr. O’Neill lamented that he was not being allowed to talk, prompting a lecture from Mr. Matthews:

“One of the oldest tricks on this show is for somebody to come on the show after talking for 20 minutes and say they haven’t had the chance to talk,” Mr. Matthews said. “I’ll be glad to clock you, John, on how many minutes you spoke on the show. So don’t try that old trick. It is a particularly conservative trick, OK? So let’s move on here.”

Alas for Mr. Matthews, Miss Coulter checked the “Hardball” transcript:

“Total words by book author John O’Neill: approximately 1,150. (Complete sentences devoid of Matthews interruptions: about 2.)

“Total words by paid Kerry flack Hurley: approximately 950.

“Total words by Matthews … approximately 2,290.”

A squeaker

After a 16-day delay while ballots were counted, a Colorado state representative yesterday conceded to the state’s former natural resources chief in the Republican primary for the 3rd Congressional District.

Greg Walcher had 15,571 votes, or about 31.9 percent of the vote, defeating state Rep. Matt Smith, who had 15,298 votes, or 31.3 percent of the vote, according to results released Wednesday by Secretary of State Donetta Davidson. Three other candidates trailed by large margins, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Walcher will face Democratic state Rep. John Salazar, who had no primary opposition, in the Nov. 2 election. The winner will succeed Republican Rep. Scott McInnis, who is retiring.

Olympic refusal

President Bush’s re-election campaign refused a request yesterday by the U.S. Olympic Committee to pull a television ad that mentions the Olympics.

Bush campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel said the ads will continue through Sunday, the final day of the Athens Games.

“We are on firm legal ground to mention the Olympics to make a factual point in a political advertisement,” Mr. Stanzel said.

The USOC asked the campaign to pull the ads, committee spokesman Darryl Seibel said. The ad shows a swimmer and the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan.

“In 1972, there were 40 democracies in the world. Today, 120,” an announcer says. “Freedom is spreading throughout the world like a sunrise. And this Olympics there will be two more free nations. And two fewer terrorist regimes.”

‘Knock it off’

The issue of race has surfaced in the contest between the two top Democratic rivals for governor of Washington, roiling a contest that until this week had been relatively quiet.

Front-runner Christine Gregoire on Wednesday angrily accused her primary rival, Ron Sims, of instigating an outcry over her membership in an all-white college sorority in the late-1960s, the Associated Press reports. Mr. Sims, who is black, denies the accusation.

Mrs. Gregoire, the state’s first female attorney general, hit back Wednesday during a speech before the state Labor Council convention. “Knock it off, Ron,” Mrs. Gregoire shouted, her voice shaking with anger. “It’s time for this to stop.”

Warming up

The Republican National Convention doesn’t start until Monday, but New York police yesterday made at least 15 convention-related arrests, Steve Miller of The Washington Times reports from the city.

Eleven AIDS activists were arrested after they stripped naked outside Madison Square Garden, stopping traffic. The charges ranged from public lewdness to reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.

Four more people were arrested after dangling from a room they reportedly had rented at the city’s prestigious Plaza Hotel. The suspects suspended a three-story banner with two arrows pointing in opposite directions, one reading “truth” and the other “Bush.” A police officer suffered a leg injury requiring 36 stitches while making the arrests, police said.

Finally, police with plastic handcuffs were mobilized last night outside a gathering of protesters at Union Square, where at least two more arrests were made.

Sorry governor

The former aide to Gov. James E. McGreevey, New Jersey Democrat, might not sue him for sexual harassment if he simply apologizes, the Associated Press reports.

“If the governor were to stand up and very clearly own up and apologize for what he did to Golan, this whole thing would go away very quickly,” said Allen Lowy, attorney for Golan Cipel. “It’s not about money. It’s never been about money.”

McGreevey spokesman Micah Rasmussen said the governor would not apologize because there had been no sexual harassment. When Mr. McGreevey announced his resignation two weeks ago, he said he had had an extramarital affair with a man.

Forget Maryland

Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. thinks it would be a waste of time for President Bush, a fellow Republican, to campaign in the state.

Mr. Bush “needs to be in the states he can potentially win,” Mr. Ehrlich told WTOP radio on Wednesday. “He should not, in all likelihood, come to Maryland. My advice to him is not to come to Maryland. … We’re not terribly competitive.”

Maryland is one of the most Democratic states in the nation, although in 2002 Mr. Ehrlich became the first Republican since Spiro Agnew to win the state’s governorship.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected].

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