Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Loyalist Criticizes `Summer Soldiers'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Loyalist Criticizes `Summer Soldiers'

Article excerpt

Moe Biller, president of the American Postal Workers Union, a stand-up Democrat all his long life - he'll be 79 next month - has never seen so many "chicken-livered" candidates in his party.

He has been steaming over the "summer soldiers" in President Bill Clinton's army, and at a recent private fund-raiser for Rep. Bob Carr of Michigan, he finally got a chance to do something about it. He confronted the president and Carr, a Senate contender who wouldn't go near Clinton in Detroit just two days earlier. Biller unfurled a newspaper column criticizing Democrats fleeing their president.

"Did you see this?" he asked the pair. Clinton said he had and thought it was terrific. Carr said nothing, and Biller told him, "I hope you will associate yourself more closely with the president and his achievements." Carr said he would.

The postal workers have given a total of $5,000 to Carr, including the price of the dinner ticket, which was $2,500. A total of 25 representatives of different lobbies and unions also were on hand.

Clinton, Biller marveled, was totally gracious, telling the guests, "We have just given Bob Carr another week on television." Carr, he noted, had brought his wife and two children, who seemed thrilled to be meeting the president.

Biller later told Carr he had not meant to offend him, "but what is happening is just awful - you should be proud of him."

Carr explained that had he availed himself of Clinton's photo opportunity at the Dearborn Ford plant, he might have broken campaign laws. It wasn't a campaign event, and a Carr appearance would have made the affair an "in-kind" contribution from Ford, requiring equal time for his opponent.

"That's ridiculous," Biller told him.

Carr was not the only candidate to make himself scarce. Two congressional candidates, Lynn Rivers and Bob Mitchell, had other things to do.

One question is how Michigan voters will feel about a man who snubs the president by day in public and then runs around the back door by night for a handout.

Whistle-blower Biller wishes Clinton would be "stronger" with fleeing Democrats and do what Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy or Lyndon Johnson would have done - make them tremble. …

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