- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Colorado appeal

Colorado Republicans asked the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday to temporarily block the state’s congressional-redistricting map, which favors Democrats, saying state Supreme Court justices wrongly threw out their own plan.

If a stay is granted, Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson would use the GOP-drawn alternative in November’s elections, which includes two hotly contested races.

Republican state legislators said the existing redistricting plan, passed in 2002, violates the Colorado Constitution because it was drawn up by a judge and not state lawmakers.

The Colorado Supreme Court tossed out the Republican alternative, saying the judge had the right to draw the map because lawmakers took too long to come up with one themselves.

Republican lawmakers then appealed to the high court.

State Democrats had no immediate comment on the appeal, the Associated Press reports.

Last week, three federal judges rejected a separate Republican challenge over Colorado’s redistricting map, but stayed their ruling to see if the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the issue.

Team Dean eats, runs

The Howard Dean presidential campaign skipped out on a $963 restaurant bill in Iowa, WHO-TV in Des Moines reports.

Brown Bag Deli owner Scott Hoffman told the TV station that on Jan. 16 his four-employee business received an order for 200 brown-bag specials with turkey, roast beef, ham and veggie sandwiches. The total cost: $963.01.

“As he headed out that day, Scott remembered this customer has paid its bills late a couple times before. So he promised delivery this time with one condition, ‘c.o.d.,’” the station said on its Web site (whotv.com).

“He showed up at the customer’s downtown office just in time for lunch. The Dean headquarters was utter chaos. But he couldn’t find anyone who’d pay him. They said try the other building next door. Same answer next door, try the other building. Scott went back and forth for 20 minutes. Nobody would pay.

“He just assumed they would pay in good faith. After all, Dick Gephardt’s campaign paid its lunch bills on time. And Howard Dean has thousands of followers in Iowa. Can’t one of them give Scott his money?” the TV station asked.

“We tried all day to reach Howard Dean’s people no comment from them yet. By the way, Scott Hoffman says he considered himself a possible Dean supporter before the incident. He’s since changed his mind.”

Pay up, Arnold

A California judge ruled that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger broke state law by borrowing more than $4.5 million to finance his run for governor in October’s recall election.

In a preliminary decision that could force Mr. Schwarzenegger to repay the money personally, Superior Court Judge Loren McMaster ruled on Monday that the Republican governor had violated a law restricting candidates from accepting personal loans of more than $100,000 for their campaigns, said Lowell Finley, the lawyer who filed a lawsuit challenging the loan.

Mr. Schwarzenegger’s attorney said the governor had relied on a ruling from the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission that his actions were legal.

“The campaign committee intends to comply with the judge’s order,” Schwarzenegger attorney Colleen McAndrews said in a statement. “We are gratified that the judge held that the campaign acted in good faith and in reliance on the FPPC’s erroneous regulation.”

Dean and Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean says he would appoint Bill Clinton to negotiate a peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis.

“If I were president tomorrow, the first thing I would do is pick up the phone and call the only person who has had any kind of success in bringing the Palestinians and the Israelis together in the last 25 years I’d call Bill Clinton and ask him to represent me in the peace process,” Mr. Dean told the audience in a packed auditorium at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, Agence France-Presse reports.

Rehnquist’s reply

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist has rejected a request from two Democratic senators that Justice Antonin Scalia recuse himself from a case involving Vice President Dick Cheney.

The reply was released by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.

Justice Scalia went on a hunting trip with Mr. Cheney only a month after the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on whether an energy task force headed by Mr. Cheney should be forced to list the names of those it consulted.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat and ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat and a presidential contender, sent Chief Justice Rehnquist a letter suggesting that it would be improper for Justice Scalia to participate in the Cheney case.

In letters to both senators, Chief Justice Rehnquist crisply denied a conflict, United Press International reports.

“I think that any suggestion by or Senator Leahy as to why a justice should recuse himself in a pending case is ill-considered,” the letter said.

Prosecutors lose

Prosecutors in Colorado are subject to the state’s term-limits law, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

The term-limits law, approved by voters in 1994 as a constitutional amendment, limits certain elected officials to two four-year terms. Fifteen of Colorado’s 22 district attorneys will be affected this fall, the Associated Press reports.

“It’s a huge loss in terms of prosecutorial experience,” said Denver prosecutor Bill Ritter, who is in his final year of a second term.

Lautenberg marries

Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg married Bonnie S. Englebardt at her apartment in Manhattan, his Senate office announced.

“I feel terrific,” the 80-year-old New Jersey senator told the Associated Press in a phone interview Monday from his office in Newark. “If you feel as good at my age as I do, you will have lived a good, long life.”

Mr. Lautenberg’s first marriage ended in divorce in 1997, 10 years after he and his first wife were separated. It was also the second marriage for Miss Englebardt, a 56-year-old widow.

On the ballot

Although she dropped out of the presidential race before the Iowa caucuses, former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun’s name will be on the Illinois primary ballot on March 16.

Mrs. Moseley Braun withdrew Jan. 15 and threw her support to former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.

“I will stay on the Illinois ballot to support my delegates so they can go to the Democratic National Convention,” Mrs. Moseley Braun said in a prepared statement.

If elected, her uncommitted delegates can switch to any candidate they like at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in July, United Press International reports.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpiercewashingtontimes.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide