- The Washington Times - Monday, March 29, 2004

Mob action

A mob supporting illegal immigrants harassed presidential adviser Karl Rove and his family at their home yesterday, but had less luck locating the residence of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

Hundred of demonstrators surrounded Mr. Rove’s home in Northwest, pounding on his windows, The Washington Post reports. Mr. Rove finally agreed to meet with two representatives if the others would leave. The protesters then reboarded their school buses and Mr. Rove proceeded to chew out the remaining two for scaring his children.

The protesters said they were rallying for a bill that would legalize the status of illegals who graduate from high school in the United States, and would qualify them for in-state college tuition.

The action was led by National People’s Action, a self-described “community improvement” group that often organizes demonstrations outside the homes of government officials, CNN said.

The same group showed up on Capitol Hill at what they thought was the home of Mrs. Chao, the labor secretary, but became confused, according to Dan Mattausch, who lives in the neighborhood.

Mr. Mattausch told this column that it was “more like a mob” than a protest and that the organizers had used their buses to block the intersection of 3rd and C streets NW.

He said that “they were definitely an agitated group,” and “didn’t realize which house it was.”

“So I kind of ambled up, and I don’t know what’s going on.

“‘Where does Chao live?’ they asked. So I told them, ‘They don’t live there anymore.’”

Crestfallen, the protesters left.

Majette enters race

A freshman congresswoman said yesterday she will run for the seat of retiring Georgia Democratic Sen. Zell Miller, joining a race in which Democrats have struggled to field a strong candidate.

Rep. Denise L. Majette, elected two years ago in DeKalb County near Atlanta, becomes the highest-profile Democrat to seek the office. The two others are little-known state senators, the Associated Press reports.

Republicans, however, have four candidates, including two incumbent congressmen who have been campaigning for nearly a year.

Mrs. Majette acknowledged that Democrats are foundering in the race.

“If the Democratic Party leadership here had their act together, they wouldn’t be in this situation,” she said. Mrs. Majette said she didn’t talk to Mr. Miller or the state Democratic Party before deciding to run.

Mrs. Majette, who has no statewide fund-raising network, said she will need to raise $5 million to $10 million to compete in the July 20 primary.

Mrs. Majette is best known for defeating Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney, another black Democrat, in 2002.

Clarke for Gore

All his political donations have been to Democrats, but former antiterrorism official Richard A. Clarke tried to convince the commission investigating the September 11 terrorist attacks that he is a Republican.

“I’m not working for the Kerry campaign. Last time I had to declare my party loyalty, it was to vote in the Virginia primary for president of the United States in the year 2000, and I asked for a Republican ballot,” Mr. Clarke testified under oath last week.

That answer might have been good enough for the nonpartisan terrorism panel, but not for NBC’s Tim Russert.

“Did you vote for George Bush in 2000?” Mr. Russert asked Mr. Clarke on “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

“No, I did not,” Mr. Clarke answered.

“You voted for Al Gore?” Mr. Russert asked.

“Yes, I did,” Mr. Clarke said.

“In 2004, you’ll vote for John Kerry?” Mr. Russert asked.

“I’m not going to endorse John Kerry,” Mr. Clarke said. “That’s what the White House wants me to do. They want to say I’m part of the Kerry campaign. I’ve already pledged I’m not part of the Kerry campaign, and I will not serve in the Kerry administration.”

“Will you vote for him?” Mr. Russert asked.

“That’s my business,” Mr. Clarke said.

Nader’s letter

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader in a letter last week to the Green Party said he would accept the party’s endorsement, but emphasized that he would refuse to accept its nomination.

“I will not intrude on the party’s presidential-selection process,” Mr. Nader said in the letter, which was sent to Green Party headquarters in Washington. “As you know, I am running as an Independent and am not seeking nor accepting the Green Party nomination. If you do not choose a presidential candidate in Milwaukee, I would welcome your endorsement and have said the same to other third parties as well. And if individuals want to work with our campaign as part of the broad Independent coalition that is developing, we would be grateful.”

Mr. Nader ran on the Green Party ticket in 2000, earning 2.7 million votes and giving the party a prominence that is coveted by other third parties. Mr. Nader also ran as the party’s candidate in 1996, in which he was on the ballot in 22 states and garnered 685,000 votes.

“Should the national Green Party decide to endorse my candidacy and have its members focus their efforts on state and local races, then State Green Party ballot lines and the participation of Greens in a variety of ways would be mutually helpful,” Mr. Nader continued in the letter. “However, having spent years helping to build the Green Party, I do not want to be put in a position of responding to individual state parties and thereby dividing the national party because of state ballot requirements.”

Kerry’s preaching

The Bush campaign has accused Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry of going “beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse” in quoting Scripture to criticize the president.

In a short address Sunday at the New Northside Baptist Church in St. Louis, Mr. Kerry quoted from James 2:14: “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but doesn’t have works.” Mr. Kerry then said: “When we look at what is happening in America today, where are the works of compassion?”

The Bush-Cheney camp cited that quote as an improper use of the Christian Scriptures to take a veiled slap at Mr. Bush, a conservative Christian, and the president’s “compassionate conservative” label, Knight Ridder reports.

“John Kerry’s comment at New Northside Baptist Church was beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse, and a sad exploitation of Scripture for a political attack,” said Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt.

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

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