Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Frist snub

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist spoke by video to the first Justice Sunday evangelical rally in April, but he wasn’t invited to address Justice Sunday 2 on Aug. 14, even though it’s in his home state of Tennessee, the Associated Press reports.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said yesterday on the group’s Web site that Mr. Frist’s recently announced support for expanded research on human embryos “reflects an unwise and unnecessary choice, both for public policy and for respecting the dignity of human life.”

But in a telephone interview later yesterday, Mr. Perkins said Mr. Frist wasn’t invited because he had participated by videotape in the group’s previous event. The event is being held in Nashville, he said, mostly to get country music stars to perform.

“There is a disagreement” with the senator, Mr. Perkins said, but said the majority leader might be invited to future events.

Organizers hope the gathering, titled “Justice Sunday 2: God Save the United States and this Honorable Court,” will build support for the nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to the Supreme Court and bring attention to judicial issues of importance to evangelicals, said Amber Hildebrand, a spokeswoman for the Family Research Council.

Frist spokesman Amy Call said her boss would not be in Tennessee the day of the event.

The new sheriff

“Stonewalling Democrats made President Bush‘s day by helping him send John Bolton to the United Nations with a tough-guy image as the new sheriff who’ll crack down on scandals and demand reform,” the New York Post’s Deborah Orin writes.

“All the Democratic whining that Bolton is too abrasive means the United Nations will expect him to project aggressively U.S. interests and demand an end to scandals like oil-for-food. Nothing could be better for Bush,” Miss Orin said.

“Democrats also helped make it clear that Bolton comes to the United Nations with Bush’s full clout behind him, because the president cared enough to make a unilateral recess appointment after a Democratic filibuster tried to block Bolton.

“In the world of diplomacy, clout comes from knowing that an envoy has the president’s ear — that’s why Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is such a stunning success.

“The real risk for Bush would have been to yield to Democrats and choose someone else. Then the U.N. envoy would be publicly labeled as a second choice whose views had no clout.”

Election fraud

A nonpartisan group yesterday released a report that said paid Democratic operatives were far more involved in voter intimidation and suppression activities than were their Republican counterparts during the 2004 presidential election.

The American Center for Voting Rights Legislative Fund (ACVR) report, “Vote Fraud, Intimidation & Suppression in the 2004 Presidential Election,” said neither party had a clean record on the issue, but Democrats were worse.

Examples include paid Democratic operatives charged with slashing tires on Republican get-out-the-vote vans in Milwaukee and an Ohio court order stopping Democratic operatives from calling voters and telling them the wrong date for the election and faulty polling-place information, according to the report.

The report further found that thousands of Americans were disenfranchised by illegal votes cast and a coordinated effort by members of certain “nonpartisan” organizations to rig the election system through voter-registration fraud in more than a dozen states.

The ACVR Legislative Fund is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that neither supports nor endorses any political party or candidate.

Bayh’s PAC

Sen. Evan Bayh, Indiana Democrat, is among the most prolific fundraisers in the early jockeying among potential 2008 presidential candidates, Gannett News Service reports.

Mr. Bayh raised $1.17 million this year through a fundraising arm that will help him raise his profile and build a campaign team, according to recent disclosure reports. Some of that money paid for a public-speaking consultant whose former clients included the late Princess Diana, reporter Maureen Groppe said.

But even though Mr. Bayh collected more through his political action committee (PAC) than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, did through hers, Mrs. Clinton showed why she is considered the most formidable fundraiser of the potential Democratic candidates, raising $10 million in six months for her 2006 re-election campaign.

Still, Mr. Bayh did raise more money than Sen. Russell D. Feingold, Wisconsin Democrat, and Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., Delaware Democrat, who have had less-active exploratory campaigns.

And he raised more than last year’s nominees — Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards — who still have active PACs and could run again in 2008.

Outraged Democrats

“Can anyone beyond the Beltway recall what the Bolton drama was about beyond yelling at a few bureaucrats?” the Wall Street Journal asks in an editorial.

“Deciding [Monday] that it was past time to get on with the serious work of confronting the U.N.’s manifest problems, President Bush used his recess-appointment power to send John Bolton to Turtle Bay. That should be good news for anyone with a good-faith interest in reforming the U.N., now at perhaps the most critical moment in its 60-year history,” the newspaper said.

“The post had been vacant for six months. Senate Democrats, under the ‘leadership’ of Joe Biden and Chris Dodd, have prolonged and thwarted every attempt to hold a vote on Mr. Bolton, who of course would have been confirmed had his name reached the Senate floor. No wild accusation was ever proved, other than that he sought the removal of two intelligence analysts for incompetence and insubordination.”

“Mr. Bush now faces crocodile shouts of outrage for having bypassed the Senate, but the appointment is an entirely appropriate use of his constitutional authority to staff the government. Nor has he shown himself willing to abuse the appointment power, unlike the most recent Democratic president,” who named Bill Lann Lee as “acting” assistant attorney general for civil rights after it became clear Mr. Lee would be defeated in the Senate.

Powerful women

The second annual Forbes magazine ranking of the world’s most powerful women has placed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the top.

Second in the listing of 100 women was Wu Yi, vice prime minister of China, followed by Sonia Gandhi, the head of India’s Congress Party. First lady Laura Bush ranked fourth, followed by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat.

The survey uses weighting factors based on such things as press mentions and the size of the economic sphere over which a leader holds sway.

• Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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