- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 12, 2006

Burying the news

“Why is it that none of the major television networks or newspapers have managed to pay attention to the biggest real scandal of the 2006 campaign season, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s real estate shenanigans?” Jed Babbin asks at www.realclearpolitics.com.

“According to [Wednesday’s] AP report, Reid pocketed a $1.1 million windfall on the sale of some Las Vegas property he didn’t own at the time of the sale. This makes Hillary Clinton’s futures trading venture look like amateur hour. And it’s time for conservatives to act because the biggest scandal is that the media are burying the story,” Mr. Babbin said.

“According to the AP report, the deal was put together by Reid’s longtime friend Jay Brown, ‘… a former casino lawyer whose name surfaced in a major political bribery trial this summer and in other prior organized crime investigations.’ Apparently Brown structured the deal so that Reid could transfer his ownership interest to Brown without disclosing it to the public. And here’s the kicker: Reid didn’t disclose the sale on his financial disclosure forms filed with the Senate.

“Not to make too big a deal of this, but falsifying that report — as Reid apparently did — is a federal crime. Under Title 18 US Code Section 1001, it’s a false official statement. For which Reid could be sent to jail. If you’re looking for this on tonight’s network news or on the front page of tomorrow’s New York Times (next to the newest revival of the Foley minutiae) you won’t find it. There’s ample time for Mark Foley, the discredited generals’ revolt, and even the comprehensively discredited Lancet report on civilian casualties in Iraq. But cover a real scandal, with real misconduct that’s punishable under federal criminal law?”

Never mind

A black leader who had accused Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman of lying about his civil rights record said yesterday that he accepted Mr. Lieberman’s word that he marched with 1960s-era activists against segregation.

“It is true that he marched with Dr. King, but I believe Dr. King would be disappointed in his record as a senator over the past 18 years,” said Henry E. Parker, a former state treasurer, in a statement released by the campaign of Mr. Lieberman’s rival, Ned Lamont.

“I accept the fact that Sen. Lieberman provided documentation that he participated in the civil rights movement in the ‘60s,” Mr. Parker added.

Earlier, the Connecticut Federation of Black Democratic Clubs, which includes 20 clubs, endorsed Mr. Lamont, a Democrat, and questioned whether Mr. Lieberman, who holds his seat as a Democrat but is running for re-election as an independent, had marched for civil rights. Mr. Lamont attended the event, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Lieberman’s campaign responded by producing a 1963 college newspaper clip that cites Mr. Lieberman’s reporting from Jackson, Miss., about the arrests of civil rights workers. Mr. Lieberman was chairman of the Yale Daily News.

“Was I there?” Mr. Lieberman said Wednesday. “You bet I was there.”

Test of leadership

“In one deadly moment, North Korea has succeeded in doing what no amount of backtracking by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert or his beleaguered Republicans could do: It has changed the subject of the national debate. With nuclear weapons in the hands of the most deranged regime in the world, e-mails to pages will have to fade from the forefront of the public’s attention,” Dick Morris writes in the Hill newspaper.

“Will Bush be able to deal with the North Korean crisis? This is truly the moment for a test of his leadership,” Mr. Morris said.

Soros’ left hands

“In August 2004, according to [an] article in the liberal New Yorker, ‘a clandestine summit meeting took place at the Aspen Institute, in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. The participants, all Democrats, were sworn to secrecy’ and included five billionaires who ‘shared a common goal: to use their fortunes to engineer the defeat of President George W. Bush in the 2004 election.’ The wealthiest of these ‘hard-core partisans’ was George Soros, who had been a ‘leading crusader for campaign-finance reform,’ ” Edward Whelan writes in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com.

“Soros, through his Open Society Institute, provides support for the Aspen Institute, which runs various activities in support of its stated mission of ‘[fostering] enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue.’ Among these activities are its ‘Justice and Society Seminars,’ which often have federal judges as participants. The Aspen Institute has waived the steep seminar fee (currently up to $6,950) for participating federal judges, and also has covered their expenses for travel, lodging, and meals,” said Mr. Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

“Soros has also been a major funder of the Community Rights Counsel, a left-wing ‘public interest law firm.’ In addition to its activist litigation efforts, the Community Rights Counsel has been the most vocal opponent of educational seminars for judges operated by anyone other than federal bureaucrats or bar associations. Soros’s left hand apparently knows what his other left hand is doing: The Community Rights Counsel has not criticized the Aspen Institute’s seminars for judges. Instead, one of its primary targets has been the academic programs in economics, philosophy, and history offered by the George Mason University Law and Economics Center.”

Five key races

The U.S. Immigration Reform Political Action Committee yesterday endorsed six Republicans and two Democrats for re-election to the Senate, as well as 10 challengers and two candidates running for open Senate seats.

The group’s communications director, Phil Kent, singled out five Senate endorsements as especially critical because of the sharp differences among candidates on giving amnesty, Social Security and in-state tuition to illegal aliens.

The group backed Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican, over Democrat Bob Casey Jr.; Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, a Republican, over Democratic Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin; Tom Kean Jr., New Jersey Republican, over Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez; Sen. Jim Talent, Missouri Republican, over Democrat Claire McCaskill; and Jan Ting, Delaware Republican, over Democratic Sen. Thomas R. Carper.

Nobel finalist?

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan says she is a finalist for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mrs. Sheehan made the announcement Wednesday night in an Austin, Texas, bookstore while autographing copies of her new book, “Peace Mom,” local ABC affiliate KVUE-TV reported. The station’s Web site provided no further details.

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

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