- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 25, 2008

NEWS BLACKOUT

“Writing in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal and National Review Online, Ethics and Public Policy Center senior fellow Stanley Kurtz traced Barack Obama’s partnership with former domestic terrorist William Ayers, when the two collaborated at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a charity established to help Chicago’s public schools that was commandeered by Ayers to promote his radical agenda,” the Media Research Center’s Rich Noyes writes at newsbusters.org.

“The association between Obama and Ayers has received virtually no attention from the three broadcast networks, with the conspicuous exception of a primary-season debate sponsored by ABC when George Stephanopoulos asked Obama about his relationship with Ayers. Out of 1,365 broadcast evening news stories about Obama prior to the end of the primaries, only two mentioned Ayers - one a brief mention of the debate question on the April 17 ‘Nightly News,’ and the other an April 20 ‘World News Sunday’ story about [John] McCain raising the Ayers issue on ‘This Week.’

“With just 42 days left until Election Day, the broadcast networks have not presented a single in-depth report on Obama’s relationship with Ayers. But Kurtz’s review of the documents at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) showed the two ‘worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda,’ which ‘flowed from Mr. Ayers’ educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism.’”

PAY EQUITY

“Two weeks ago, I explored the gap between Barack Obama’s rhetoric on pay equity and the reality of how he pays women in his Senate office. While Obama preaches equal pay for equal work, he does not practice it on Capitol Hill,” Deroy Murdock writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).

“Well, it turns out that his running mate, Joe Biden, is even worse,” Mr. Murdock said.

“Based on calculations using Senate pay records posted by LegiStorm.com, a political-transparency organization, between Oct. 1, 2007, and March 31, 2008, Obama’s 28 male staffers divided among themselves total payroll expenditures of $1,523,120. Obama’s average male employee earned $54,397 on an annualized basis.

“Obama’s 30 female employees split $1,354,580 among themselves, or $45,152, on average.

“Among Obama’s top five highest-paid - and likely most senior - employees, one was female. Among his top 20, seven were women.

“All told, for every dollar that Obama paid his average male staffer, his female counterpart made just 83 cents.

“As for Biden, his 14 male staffers split a total payroll outlay of $1,077,128.40. So, Biden’s average male employee earned $76,937.74 per annum.

“Biden’s 27 female employees divided $1,517,874.47, or $56,217.57, on average.

“Among Biden’s top five highest-paid aides, one was a woman. Among the top 20, 11 were women.

“All told, for every dollar that Biden paid his average male staffer, his female equivalent made only 73 cents.”

Women in Sen. John McCain’s Senate office make $1.04 for every dollar a man makes, the columnist said.

RANGEL PROBE

The House ethics committee said Wednesday it was establishing an investigative panel to determine whether Rep. Charles B. Rangel, the influential chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, had broken House rules as a result of several reported lapses in his personal financial affairs, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Rangel, New York Democrat, has urged the ethics committee to look into questions surrounding his finances while rejecting Republican demands that he step down as head of the tax-writing committee.

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, welcomed the investigation and renewed his call for Mr. Rangel to vacate his chairmanship. “During this time of economic crisis, it is not in our nation’s best interest to have the chairman of the House’s powerful tax-writing committee under investigation for unethical conduct related to his failure to comply with tax laws.”

Mr. Rangel last week wrote six checks for back taxes totaling $10,800 while stressing in a letter to New Yorkers that he had done nothing dishonorable and was the target of a GOP “guerrilla war.”

The 78-year-old lawmaker has been hit by a series of embarrassing revelations - that he didn’t pay taxes on rental income for a beach house in the Dominican Republic; that he used three rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem, including one for a campaign office; and that he used his congressional stationery to seek private donations to a college center named after him.

Heading the four-man investigative subcommittee will be acting ethics committee chairman Rep. Gene Green, Texas Democrat, and the top Republican on the ethics committee, Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington.

NO TRASH TALK

Former President Bill Clinton says if Democrats want someone to dump on Sen. John McCain, he’s not the guy.

Some members of his party have been complaining that Mr. Clinton has not been enthusiastic enough in his support for Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, who defeated Mr. Clinton’s wife in the primary campaign, and heaping too much praise on Mr. McCain, the Associated Press reports.

But Mr. Clinton told CNN’s “Larry King Live” on Wednesday that he doesn’t think “dumping” on Mr. McCain or his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is a winning strategy. He said undecided voters aren’t interested in attacks, but rather solutions for the problems they face.

“I just don’t believe that getting up here and hyperventilating about Governor Palin, or Senator McCain for that matter, is a productive use of a former president’s time and is not a vote-getter,” he said, adding that he admires Mr. McCain even though he disagrees with several of his issue positions.

Mr. Clinton said he and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, of New York, gave vigorous endorsements to Mr. Obama at the national convention last month and that Mrs. Clinton has traveled extensively on Mr. Obama’s behalf. That includes a tour of Michigan on Saturday.

“I think you can argue that she has done more than all other runner-ups have in the Democratic Party in 40 years,” the former president said. “We have been quite clear on this. We’re not party-wreckers, and we believe that the country needs to take a different course.”

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

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