- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fighting poverty

“Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who recently proposed an educational policy that urged ‘every financial barrier’ be removed for American kids who want to go to college, has been going to college himself — as a high-paid speaker, his financial records show,” the San Francisco Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci writes in a blog at www.sfgate.com.

“The candidate charged a whopping $55,000 to speak to a crowd of 1,787 at the taxpayer-funded University of California at Davis” on Jan. 9, 2006, Joe Martin, the public relations officer for the campus’ Mondavi Center confirmed Monday.

“That amount — which comes to about $31 a person in the audience — included Edwards’ travel and airfare, and was the highest speaking fee in the nine appearances he made before colleges and universities last year, according to his financial records,” the writer said.

“The earnings — though made before Edwards was a declared Democratic presidential candidate — could hand ammunition to his competition for the Democratic presidential nomination. The candidate — who was then the head of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina — chose to speak on ‘Poverty, the great moral issue facing America,’ as his $55,000 topic at UC Davis.”

Rush explains

Republicans who support the Senate immigration bill are “stupid,” Rush Limbaugh said Monday on his top-rated radio talk show.

“They’re just blind on this. They have no clue what the result of this, if it were enacted as written, would do to them. They have no idea what it would do to their party. They can’t. They can’t have any idea, otherwise they wouldn’t be supporting this,” he said.

If the law passes, Mr. Limbaugh said, “we are going to import so many people who will be, by their economic necessity … they’re going to become Democrat voters, and this brings about … a genuine threat to the viability of a conservative movement in this country as having any practical reason to exist. … This is the thing the Republicans don’t see. This is precisely why the Democrats are for this. …

“The point of [the immigration bill] is to make it just impossible for the conservative movement to have any practical reason to exist in terms of a majority movement in this country.”

Martinez explains

Republican National Committee Chairman Sen. Mel Martinez rejects the claim that the new immigration bill will anger conservatives and destroy the GOP’s chances to win in the 2008 election.

On CNN’s “Late Edition” on Sunday, Mr. Martinez said immigration “could be the saving of the Republican Party, frankly.”

“And to do nothing would be the wrong thing for the American people,” added Mr. Martinez, who is optimistic that the legislation will make it through Congress and who is counting on President Bush “to get us over the finish line.”

Huckabee vs. Carter

Republican presidential candidate and Southern Baptist minister Mike Huckabee said yesterday he will skip a Baptist conference organized by Jimmy Carter after the former president called the Bush administration the “worst in history” in international relations.

The former Arkansas governor said he would not participate in the Baptist Covenant Program Celebration in Atlanta in January, scheduled to feature Mr. Carter and former President Bill Clinton.

“Withdrawing from the gathering is one of the few ways that I can show my disappointment in the comments that were made this weekend,” Mr. Huckabee said.

Mr. Huckabee criticized Mr. Carter for a statement he made to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for a Saturday story in which he said: “I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history.”

That comment, Mr. Huckabee said, “violated an unspoken code that you don’t make personal attacks on others who currently hold the job. You just don’t.”

Funding radicals

“No one disputes that secondary-mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae need reform. But congressional Democrats look at a reform bill moving through the House as an opportunity to crack open a honey pot for their political allies. Led by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, they have written into the bill a provision that would pump money into the coffers of radical liberal activists.” the editors of National Review write at www.nationalreview.com.

“The bill … calls for the creation of an ‘affordable-housing fund’ to be financed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Those responsible for this provision maintain that the fund is intended to direct money toward housing programs that would benefit the poor. During the first year, a Finance Committee press release says, the money would be largely directed toward areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

“True enough. But there is a convenient catch for the Democrats. The money in the fund — expected to total more than a billion dollars over the next five years — would be siphoned through hard-left activists like ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now).

“ACORN is a fringe political group of the ‘stop being so polite’ variety, and it has a history of shady activity,” the magazine said.

A Giuliani foe

“As Rudolph W. Giuliani runs for president, his image as a chief executive who steered New York through the disaster of September 11 has become a pillar of his campaign. But one former member of his inner circle keeps surfacing to revisit that history in ways that are unflattering to Mr. Giuliani: Jerome M. Hauer, New York City’s first emergency management director,” the New York Times reports.

“In recent days, Mr. Hauer has challenged Mr. Giuliani’s recollection that he had little role as mayor in placing the city’s emergency command center at the ill-fated World Trade Center. Mr. Hauer has also disputed the claim by the Giuliani campaign that the mayor’s wife, Judith Giuliani, had coordinated a help center for families after the attack.

“And he has contradicted Mr. Giuliani’s assertions that the city’s emergency response was well coordinated that day, a point he made most notably to the authors of ‘Grand Illusion,’ a book that depicts Mr. Giuliani’s anti-terrorism efforts as deeply flawed.”

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

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