- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Dakota duel

Republicans prepared yesterday for an Election Day battle at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation after charges of voter fraud and voter intimidation led to conflicting rulings by a tribal judge and the South Dakota U.S. attorney.

“The tribal judge signed a restraining order … that to read it very broadly it says no Republicans can be there to poll-watch,” said South Dakota Republican Executive Director Jason Glodt. “The U.S. attorney deemed that order illegal.”

South Dakota is considered a key state by both parties because of a tight race between Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and his Republicanchallenger, former Rep. John Thune.

The conflict boiled over late last week after the group Four Directions, organized to get out the vote among Indians, charged that Republicans were intimidating its workers, including videotaping them, and trespassing, Reuters reports.

Oglala Sioux tribal Judge Marina Fast Horse then signed a temporary restraining order that restricted Republican actions at the polls.

U.S. Attorney James McMahon said the order was “blatantly unlawful.”

Tight House races

“Late independent polls offered some encouragement to Republican incumbents in close House races,” Roll Call reported yesterday on its Web site (www.rollcall.com).

• “In Connecticut’s 4th District, Rep. Christopher Shays, a Republican, clung to leads of 5 percent and 8 percent over Democrat Diane Farrell in late-October polls conducted for the University of Connecticut and Research 2000, respectively. Shays, a popular eight-term incumbent, has struggled this year — primarily because Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, is popular in the Nutmeg State and President Bush isn’t. Despite leading in both polls, Mr. Shays is below the magic 50 percent mark thought to signal safety for endangered incumbents.

• “The same is true in Connecticut’s 2nd District, another Democratic-performing seat where Rep. Rob Simmons, a Republican, is in some trouble. A Research 2000 poll there showed Mr. Simmons leading his Democratic challenger, Jim Sullivan, 48 percent to 45 percent. Both Connecticut races are very tight, indeed,” according to Roll Call.

• “But Republicans’ chances may be improving in New Mexico’s 1st District, where Rep. Heather Wilson, a Republican, has opened up an 8-point lead over challenger Richard Romero, a Democrat, in an independent poll released Sunday. The survey, conducted by Research and Polling Inc., showed Mrs. Wilson preferred by 51 percent of the voters and Mr. Romero the choice of 43 percent. The same poll at the beginning of October showed Mrs. Wilson leading by just 1 point.”

Peace prayer

United Press International reported that the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who returned this week to his home in Seoul from a U.S. speaking tour, urged the world to pray that the man elected president of the United States be a peacemaker.

People should pray that the United States’ next leader be a peacemaker who leads a United States that cares for the world, he said, and a man of high moral integrity with an “interreligious outlook.”

Rev. Moon is the founder of News World Communications Inc., a media company that owns The Washington Times and UPI.

Bin Laden’s offer

“The big news in Osama bin Laden’s message to American voters was not his intercession in our election; that clumsy ploy was not as successful as his pre-election panicking of Spain’s voters,” New York Times columnist William Safire writes.

“Nor was the news his delight in the ‘pet goat’ sequence in Michael Moore’s Bush-bashing film [“Fahrenheit 9/11”], and his admonition that ‘Bush is still deceiving you and hiding the truth from you,’ echoing the central Kerry theme. Nor was it the frustrating fact that our Global Enemy No. 1 is alive and well and still at large,” Mr. Safire said.

“The unremarked news is that this mass murderer evidently seeks a kind of truce. Although some coverage of his pre-election message noted an unexpected ‘conciliatory tone,’ we have not fixed on the reason for this change in his attitude.

“‘Each state that does not harm our security will remain safe,’ bin Laden promised, which was ‘why we did not attack Sweden, for example.’ His unmistakable import: If the U.S. were to stop our war on al Qaeda terror … that would be what he called ‘the ideal way to avoid another Manhattan ….’ Stop warring on terror and you will ‘remain safe.’

“Generals do not call for a truce when they’re winning. Bin Laden’s vain hope seems to be that the defeat of Bush will give him time to buy or steal a horrific weapon as an ‘equalizer.’”

Norman stormin’

Retired Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf yesterday demanded that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) stop telling voters that he endorsed Sen. John Kerry for president, United Press International reports.

“The Democratic National Committee is making fraudulent phone calls claiming that I have endorsed Senator Kerry,” Gen. Schwarzkopf said. “Nothing could be further from the truth, and I demand that they stop immediately.”

The phone call, which says it was “paid for by the Democratic National Committee,” has a voice identifying itself as Gen. Schwarzkopf say: “In 2000, I voted for George W. Bush, but this year I’m voting for John Kerry. … John Kerry has a real plan to make our military stronger and to go after terrorists wherever they hide. We need a vote for change. Vote for John Kerry.”

Gen. Schwarzkopf’s statement cites the Democratic presidential nominee’s opposition to President Reagan’s defense buildup and to the removal of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in the Persian Gulf war and his support for proposed billions of dollars in intelligence cuts after the first bombing of the World Trade Center.

“His attempt to make up for these deficiencies by falsifying my endorsement only confirms my impression that he is not the man we need to lead our nation,” Gen. Schwarzkopf said.

According to the Associated Press, DNC spokesman Jano Cabrera accused Republicans of splicing an ad by Gen. Merrill McPeak, a Kerry supporter, to make it sound as if Gen. Schwarzkopf was speaking so they could accuse Democrats of dirty tricks.

Republicans denied being involved.

‘Real hatred’

Tom Wolfe, the novelist and journalist, tweaked New York’s liberal elite and their hatred for President Bush in an interview published yesterday by the Guardian.

“Here is an example of the situation in America,” Mr. Wolfe told reporter Ed Vulliamy of the British newspaper. “Tina Brown wrote in her column that she was at a dinner where a group of media heavyweights were discussing, during dessert, what they could do to stop Bush. Then a waiter announces that he is from the suburbs, and will vote for Bush. And … Tina’s reaction is: ‘How can we persuade these people not to vote for Bush?’ I draw the opposite lesson: that Tina and her circle in the media do not have a clue about the rest of the United States. You are considered twisted and retarded if you support Bush in this election. I have never come across a candidate who is so reviled. Reagan was sniggered at, but this is personal, real hatred.

“Indeed, I was at a similar dinner, listening to the same conversation, and said: ‘If all else fails, you can vote for Bush.’ People looked at me as if I had just said: ‘Oh, I forgot to tell you, I am a child molester.’ I would vote for Bush if for no other reason than to be at the airport waving off all the people who say they are going to London if he wins again. Someone has got to stay behind.”

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

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