- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Bobsled Fitch

George B. Fitch brings a lifelong record of accomplishments (one of which you won’t believe) to his candidacy to become the next Republican governor of Virginia.

For six years, he has been mayor of Warrenton, at one time among the highest-taxed towns in Virginia. Putting the brakes on reckless spending, Mr. Fitch awarded the town the lowest property taxes of any community in the state.

His record as mayor similarly caught the eye of first lady Laura Bush and her Council on Historic Preservation, which presented the town its “Preserve America Community Award.” In addition, Mr. Fitch received wide acclaim from Civil War heritage groups for his efforts in creating the John Mosby Museum.

For more than a decade before that, Mr. Fitch worked in foreign service on trade issues, including on President Reagan’s first foreign-policy initiative. He was trade consul to Belize, and later was appointed commercial trade attache to Jamaica and France. Today, he serves on President Bush’s Advisory Council on International Trade.

An amazing resume for a small-town mayor, one would argue.

Yet none of this intriguing personal history is what Mr. Fitch is best-known for.

His most widely known success, his gubernatorial campaign concurs, is creating the much-celebrated bobsled team from Jamaica in time for the 1988 Calgary Olympics — an accomplishment most dismissed as impossible for the snowless tropical island.

Government classes

“How do you think the Republican leadership, comprised of men with names like George, Dennis and Bill, will react to the letter opposing John Bolton’s nomination signed by the striped-pants group of Arthur, Princeton, Monteagle and Spurgeon?”

So asks Washington lobbyist Jay Sullivan, referring to a letter made public yesterday signed by a group of former American diplomats who are calling on the Senate to reject John R. Bolton’s nomination to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

“He is the wrong man for this position,” reads the letter to Sen. Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who has scheduled hearings on Mr. Bolton’s controversial nomination for April 7.

Among the signers: Arthur A. Hartman, former ambassador to France and the Soviet Union; Princeton N. Lyman, former ambassador to South Africa and Nigeria; Monteagle Stearns, former ambassador to Greece and Ivory Coast; and Spurgeon M. Keeny Jr., former deputy director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

Congressional bug

With hay fever season fast approaching, a conservative foundation is warning consumers they soon may be sneezing, wheezing, itching and coughing more — thanks to Congress and state legislatures.

Congress and lawmakers in some 20 states are pushing for laws to place everyday cold and allergy medicines behind the counter — for distribution only through licensed pharmacists. The goal is to limit access to pseudoephedrine, an ingredient in cold medications that methamphetamine producers use to make their illegal drug.

But these proposals are bad remedies, says Kerri Houston, vice president of policy for Frontiers of Freedom.

“Passing consumer restrictions will have little effect on criminal meth producers already breaking the law,” she says. “If these laws are passed, consumers will be rubbing their red, itchy eyes in disbelief.”

Deserving dads

Among the winners of the 2005 Fatherhood Awards to be presented in Washington next month by the National Fatherhood Initiative is Orlando Magic Vice President Pat Williams. And deservedly so.

Mr. Williams and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of 19 children, including 14 adopted from four nations. They range in age from 18 to 32.

Other father of the year honors go to country music star Buddy Jewell, Atlanta Falcons star Allen Rossum and Fox News Channel pundit Fred Barnes. Mr. Barnes not only took his son to the opening game of the 2004 World Series at Boston’s Fenway Park — the highest scoring Game 1 in World Series history, with the Red Sox scoring 11 runs to the St. Louis Cardinals’ 9 — this columnist got to tag along.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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