- The Washington Times - Monday, November 28, 2005

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Georgia Republican, has emerged as the top suspect in the dissing of “the Boss” by the Republican-led Senate earlier this month, but the senator maintains that he played no role in turning Capitol Hill into the badlands for singer Bruce Springsteen.

Since the spiking of a resolution honoring the musician before the Thanksgiving holiday recess, no senator has come forward to claim credit. But published reports yesterday fingered Mr. Chambliss as the most likely culprit.

The snub of New Jersey’s favorite son has been widely viewed as retaliation for Mr. Springsteen’s support of Democrat John Kerry of Massachusetts in last year’s presidential campaign and his raising millions of dollars for liberal political organizations.

But the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call suggested another motive in its “Heard On The Hill” column — a grudge Mr. Chambliss holds against one of the resolution’s sponsors, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, New Jersey Democrat.

According to Roll Call, Mr. Chambliss is still fuming over Mr. Lautenberg’s having called him a “chicken hawk” because of the draft deferments he received to avoid military service during the Vietnam War.

Chambliss press secretary Annie Laurie Walters, asked for a reaction to the Roll Call report, said that she talked with the senator yesterday and that “he said the first he heard about it was when he read it in Roll Call.”

She said that the senator doesn’t know anything about the killing of the resolution and that Roll Call “got it wrong.”

Mr. Lautenberg, responding yesterday, said, “Senator Corzine and I wanted to recognize a great accomplishment by a New Jersey native. The Senate passes these resolutions all the time, and I can’t imagine why the Republicans would block it. Even if they don’t like Bruce Springsteen’s songs, they should respect his contribution to American culture.”

The resolution sponsored by Mr. Lautenberg and Sen. Jon Corzine, New Jersey’s other Democratic senator, resembles numerous resolutions of congratulations the Senate passes each year. It was prompted by the 30th anniversary of his breakthrough album, “Born To Run.”

Under the Senate rules, such resolutions can be withdrawn from consideration by the Senate as a result of a single objection from a senator, even if it is done anonymously.

Mr. Corzine reacted to the snubbing of Mr. Springsteen by appropriating his lyrics, “We’ll never surrender looking for ways to honor our local hero who made it big in this land of hope and dreams.”

Since the Senate shot down the Springsteen tribute, some of Mr. Corzine’s constituents have urged him to appoint Mr. Springsteen as his successor to serve the remaining year of the Senate term.

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