- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Frank challenger

Declaring Rep. Barney Frank “out of place” and “the last gasp of limousine liberalism,” native Massachusetts businessman and conservative talk-show host Chuck Morse is out to unseat the liberal incumbent.

A native of Brookline, Mass., Mr. Morse has opened a campaign office in New Bedford and has named Ben Kilgore, a Boston-based public relations practitioner and speechwriter to former Boston Mayor Kevin White, to oversee his campaign.

“After a quarter-century in office, the incumbent has become accustomed to not being taken to task for the reckless irresponsibility of his actions, a sure sign that he has stayed too long in the corridors of power,” Mr. Kilgore said.

Mr. Frank is now in his 12th term in the state’s 4th District.

“People have had it with the funny business in Massachusetts. This state makes California look tame,” Mr. Kilgore tells Inside the Beltway. “I am betting we have a good competitive race, with an upset in the making.”

Mr. Frank ran unopposed in 2002, and two years earlier, handily defeated Republican opponent Martin D. Travis by capturing 75 percent of the vote.

Mr. Morse, who is planning a February fund-raiser in Washington, predicts the race will be one of the signature congressional contests this fall — “defining the electoral fault lines in the nation.”

“All America is going to be watching what happens here,” he said.

He pledges to “capture the imagination of voters and appeals to independents and conservative Democrats, as well as Republicans. Certainly, the voters of the district will have no problem making distinctions between the candidates. It’s a clear choice.”

We last wrote about Mr. Frank in December, when he celebrated the capture of Saddam Hussein by inserting into the Congressional Record two anti-Bush op-eds from The Washington Post that he said “received far too little attention.”

Mr. Frank agreed with the articles’ contention that the Iraqi war was motivated not by a fear of weapons of mass destruction or the need to combat terrorism, but rather, by a conscious policy choice in service of the Bush administration’s worldview.

The first member ever to announce his homosexuality, Mr. Frank in 1990 was handed a reprimand by the House after The Washington Times reported that a male prostitute was operating his prostitution business from the congressman’s apartment.

Unilateral speech

The State Department’s Foreign Press Center hosted more than 150 international reporters in Iowa and New Hampshire “to observe how democracy works,” although it didn’t get any help from Sen. John Kerry’s campaign.

“And here Kerry is the one screaming all this ‘unilateral’ stuff, that the U.S. should not go it alone,” a State Department employee said.

“Our guys couldn’t get in, none of them were given credentials by Kerry’s people,” she told Inside the Beltway, referring to foreign reporters who had wanted to cover Mr. Kerry’s victory speech and celebration in the New Hampshire primary. “They couldn’t even pull the tape from his speech. Some of these guys were not happy.”

A representative from Mr. Kerry’s campaign said there wasn’t space enough for the foreign reporters.

What are left of the foreign scribes arrived in South Carolina yesterday.

Thanks a lot

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards couldn’t wait to get “home” to South Carolina, where he’s banking on his first primary season victory Tuesday.

And how helpful will Democratic Sen. Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina be to the first-term senator-turned-presidential candidate?

“I know he was born here [in South Carolina] and he and I are good trial lawyers together, but he doesn’t have nearly the experience to go all the way and really take that White House,” Mr. Hollings told the Greenville News.

Anti-terror campaign

Turkish leaders have arrived in Washington to discuss aid for Iraq, although they are guests this evening at the Mayflower, along with Bush administration officials and members of Congress, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).

Also in attendance will be Iraq’s new ambassador to the United States, Rend Rahim Francke.

Rep. Robert Wexler, Florida Democrat, will present a special award this evening on behalf of JINSA to Turkish television broadcaster Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, recognizing his support of rebuilding efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and his longtime dedication to improving understanding and cooperation between the United States and Turkey.

During the war in Iraq, Mr. Karamehmet’s TV news channel, SKY-Turk, provided daring footage from Baghdad that was aired in this country.


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