- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A list ignored

“‘I just deleted it,’ says an official at a Washington-based social-conservative organization. ‘It looked like junk e-mail.’

“‘It’ is what has become known as The List, a document naming allegedly gay Republican congressional staffers that has been e-mailed to a number of conservative groups in the last few days,” Byron York writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).

“According to a report by David Corn, a writer for the left-wing magazine the Nation, anti-Republican ‘gay politicos’ sent the list to several social-conservative organizations — among them Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and the Southern Baptist Convention — in hopes of setting off ‘a civil war within the GOP, to turn the anti-gay social cons against the GOP’s Velvet Mafia.’

“As it turned out, at least two organizations apparently deleted the e-mail, either as part of routine file upkeep or because they weren’t interested in its contents. Others didn’t open the attachment — the list was included as a separate file — fearing that it contained a virus. And some opened it up and didn’t see much that was new. ‘We work on the Hill,’ says one conservative activist. ‘There weren’t a lot of surprises on the list.’ So far, the much hoped-for civil war doesn’t seem to be happening,” Mr. York said.

“But the campaign to spread The List is accomplishing something. It is offering clues about who is behind it.

“The version of The List sent to at least some of the conservative organizations originated from the e-mail address [email protected] That is the address of a California-based group, the Health Policy and Research Foundation, an organization devoted mostly to work involving AIDS, that is run by a businessman and former Democratic National Committee staffer named Rick Reidy.”

McCain vs. Clintons

Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, yesterday accused former President Bill Clinton of failing to act in the 1990s to stop North Korea from developing nuclear weapons.

“I would remind Senator Hillary RodhamClinton and other Democrats critical of the Bush administration’s policies that the framework agreement her husband’s administration negotiated was a failure,” Mr. McCain said at a press conference in Southfield, Mich., after a campaign appearance for Republican Senate candidate Mike Bouchard.

“The Koreans received millions and millions in energy assistance. They’ve diverted millions of dollars of food assistance to their military,” he said.

Mr. McCain also called on China to “step up to the plate” and vote for sanctions and reject calls for one-on-one talks between the United States and North Korea, the Associated Press reports.

“The worst thing we could do is to accede to North Korea’s demand for bilateral talks,” Mr. McCain said. “When has rewarding North Korea’s bad behavior ever gotten us anything more than worse behavior?”

Angry Sharpton

The Rev. Al Sharpton accused Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut of “flagrant race baiting” for highlighting his support of rival Ned Lamont as “remarkable,” the New York Post reports.

“The charges came in a letter after Mr. Lieberman, at a Manhattan fundraiser last week, reportedly called it a ‘remarkable moment’ when Mr. Sharpton appeared onstage with Mr. Lamont after his Democratic primary victory as he questioned Mr. Lamont’s commitment to Israel,” the paper reported.

“It is your open and flagrant race baiting and your risking black-Jewish relations … that is most troubling to me,” Mr. Sharpton wrote.

Lieberman spokeswoman Tammy Sun criticized the “baseless, extreme and divisive [attack] from one of Ned Lamont’s closest advisers.”

Big lead

Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist has a commanding lead over Democratic nominee Rep. Jim Davis in their race to replace Gov. Jeb Bush, a new poll shows.

Mr. Crist was backed by 53 percent of likely voters, compared with 43 percent who said they favored the Democratic congressman from Tampa, with 3 percent undecided.

The random telephone survey of 783 likely voters was taken between Oct. 3 and 8 by Quinnipiac (Conn.) University Polling Institute. Mr. Crist was favored by 50 percent to Mr. Davis’ 39 percent in a larger sampling of 968 registered voters.

The margin of error was 3.5 percentage points in the sampling of likely voters and 3.2 percentage points among registered voters.

Mr. Bush, a Republican, is prohibited from seeking a third term.

On the road again

Officials will gather today in Atlanta for the sixth federally funded AIDS conference in the past six months — “not counting the International AIDS Conference held in August that was attended by 78 Health and Human Services Department employees,” says a Senate investigator who has chronicled the travel habits of HHS bureaucrats.

Despite the proliferation of AIDS-related travel opportunities, the three-day HIV/STD Educator/Trainer Network (ETN) Meeting in Atlanta bills itself as “the only meeting of its kind.”

Meeting at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Atlanta’s upscale Buckhead district, the taxpayer-funded conference coincides with the annual Taste of Atlanta food festival Saturday at Lenox Square Mall in Buckhead.

A roller coaster

“The ups and downs of this roller-coaster campaign year are starting to make my stomach queasy, but then again it may just be all of the airline food I’ve been eating lately,” political analyst Charlie Cook writes at www.nationaljournal.com.

“The combination of the worsening situation in Iraq and the Foleygate scandal have effectively crowded terrorism, national security and falling gasoline prices out of the public eye, shifting the venue of this campaign away from three things that had, albeit briefly, advantaged Republicans,” Mr. Cook said.

“Still, with four weeks to go, the nuclear test in North Korea should serve as a reminder that events could shift this spotlight yet again to more favorable — or at least less unfavorable — terms for the GOP. We will be watching the situation with North Korea to see if it gives Republicans any traction.”

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

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