Inside the Beltway

By McCaslin, John | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 23, 2001 | Go to article overview
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Inside the Beltway


McCaslin, John, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


WON'T LET GO

"Al Gore Wins The Election!"

Or so the Democratic National Committee declares, five weeks after Republican George W. Bush was sworn in as president.

The DNC is peddling an Orlando Sentinel newspaper review of "discarded" ballots in 16 Florida counties, and a similar Palm Beach Post review, together handing Mr. Gore a 721-vote victory over Mr. Bush.

"The numbers don't lie: Al Gore carried Florida and won the 2000 election," says newly crowned DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe. "It's too bad Bush was so afraid of counting the votes that the press had to do it. Bush should keep these numbers in mind as he pushes his radical right-wing agenda."

What Mr. McAuliffe doesn't mention is ballots are discarded for myriad reasons in every state during a presidential election, so the argument that Mr. Gore won the White House based on an independent recount in only one state is moot.

MISSES THE GARDEN

Some 50 civil rights leaders came to Washington this week to hear Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe rail against the nation's "decrepit" election system.

Which he says is plagued by racial profiling.

"Profiling on the highway has now moved to the voting booth," says Mr. McAuliffe, "especially African-Americans and Hispanics."

Hand-picked for the DNC post by Bill and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party's top fund-raiser vows to continue his fight for election reform until such time as President Bush "invites me to the Rose Garden" for the signing of voting-reform legislation.

PLAYING NICE

It's not surprising that freshman Rep. Mike Pence, Indiana Republican, is building a soundproof booth in his office.

After all, he hosted "The Mike Pence Show" over 18 radio stations from 1992 to 1999, and was host of UPN television's "The Mike Pence Show" for four years.

"He still does a lot of interviews, so he's setting up a small broadcast station inside the office," communications director Ken Collins tells us. "Actually, it's going to be padded in a couple of days."

The former talk-show host actually ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1990 and 1998, only to acknowledge later that he'd participated in too much mudslinging with his opponent.

"Following that experience," reveals Mr. Collins, "he published an essay, `Confessions of a Negative Campaigner.' Thus, the prime directive of his [2000] campaign was to keep it civil. He didn't go negative, knowing what happens when you do."

BOOKS AND BEAKERS

Never did we realize the pent-up emotions of librarians until writing this week about Sen.

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