- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 10, 2005

McCain violation?

Imagine having a law named after yourself, only to then stand accused of violating the spirit of that law — if not the law itself.

A public policy group is calling for an investigation of Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, for possible violations of the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform law.

The Federal Election Commission is being urged by Citizen Outreach to investigate donations to the Reform Institute, a tax-exempt organization co-founded by Mr. McCain. Citizen Outreach says Cablevision Systems Corp. donated $200,000 to the organization — at the same time that Mr. McCain was pushing for a pricing plan supported by the cable company.

“Maybe Senator McCain isn’t exactly as clean as the driven snow when it comes to big money in politics after all,” says the policy group, labeling him a possible “hypocrite.”

The donations were uncovered this week by the Associated Press. Mr. McCain denies any wrongdoing.

Hot booth

No sooner did this column report yesterday that one of D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams’ favorite restaurant tables in Washington is tucked behind the colorful Venetian masks and mirrors of Teatro Goldoni on K Street, then who should show up without luncheon reservations yesterday — trying out his honor’s “power booth No. 5,” no less — but first lady Laura Bush.

She and her two guests dined on chef-owner Fabrizio Aielli’s signature Risotto with lobster, with roasted tomatoes, truffle oil and sweet basil. (The award-winning Venetian chef began his culinary career by watching his mother cook while growing up on the island of Cipriani, off the coast of Venice.)

Drawing on the images of the theater and the mystical city of Venice, Teatro Goldoni is considered by Wine Spectator to be one of the best Italian restaurants in the United States.

Odd couple

The unlikely pair of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will share the spotlight Tuesday, each to be honored with the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s 2005 Health Quality Awards for their work on behalf of health care.

Actress Mary Tyler Moore will join the two as an award recipient, before dashing to the Willard InterContinental, where she and actress Marlo Thomas of “That Girl” fame will receive Research America Advocacy Awards for their support of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, respectively.

ABC newsman Sam Donaldson, a cancer survivor, will serve as master of ceremonies of the latter dinner event.

Politically tied

Dubya Duds had such tremendous sales in the past year that the New York City-based company has decided to change its name and expand its business to commemorate other great Americans.

Company spokesman Stuart Hotchkiss tells Inside the Beltway the first new release, set for early April, will be a Ronald Reagan jelly bean tie.

Soon to follow will be a dozen or so necktie and bow tie designs, featuring President Bush and former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, among others. Each tie will be branded with the company’s new name, Capital Ties.

Tartan Day

It took seven years, but the House this week finally adopted a Tartan Day resolution, a Senate version of which — sponsored by Sen. Trent Lott, Mississippi Republican — was approved in 1998.

“There are very few countries that have such close ties as the United States and Scotland,” said Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr., Tennessee Republican, who sponsored the resolution with Rep. Mike McIntyre, North Carolina Democrat.

Both men praised the Declaration of Arbroath as an influence on this country’s Declaration of Independence. Tartan Day commemorates the signing of the letter at Arbroath Abbey on April 6, 1320, which then was sent to the pope urging him to recognize Scottish independence and condemn England’s repeated attempts to claim Scotland.

It’s worth noting that as Mr. Duncan reviewed Scottish history, mentioning the tyranny of England’s Edward I and the heroism of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, Rep. Candice S. Miller, Michigan Republican and a second-generation Scottish-American — who was serving as presiding officer for the session — stepped down from the speaker’s bench to express her support.

On March 20, Mr. McIntyre and Mr. Duncan will lead a congressional delegation to Scotland to present a copy of the resolution to the Scottish Parliament.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]tontimes.com.

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