Dispatches > The Buzz

Flash Traffic

Political buzz from Washington

Issue: "Target: Taiwan," May 5, 2001

New Jersey's 2001 race for governor is getting bloody, and a conservative Republican is benefiting ... the GOP primary is June 26 and polls in late April found Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler closing the gap from 30 points to just 6 points behind acting Gov. Donald T. "Donny" DiFrancesco (the Republican legislator who replaced Christine Todd Whitman when she moved to the Environmental Protection Agency) ... Last week, DiFrancesco, under blistering attack from Democrats and The New York Times for possible legal ethics violations, suddenly withdrew from the race ... but rather than back Schundler, watch the GOP establishment encourage former Congressman Bob Franks to enter the race. Franks narrowly lost the Senate race last year to limousine liberal Jon Corzine ... Is Pat Robertson going soft on Communist China's forced abortion policy? ... sure sounded that way on CNN recently ... "Well, you know, I don't agree with it, but at the same time, they've got 1.2 billion people and they don't know what to do," said Robertson ... "If every family over there was allowed to have three or four children, the population would be completely unsustainable. So, I think that right now they're doing what they have to do" ... doing what they have to do? ... Robertson quickly issued a "clarification," but conservatives are outraged ... "I can't even explain the context of how a remark like that could occur," former Christian Coalition spokesman Mike Russell says ... Marshall Wittmann, former legislative adviser to Robertson, believes the remark signals the "demise" of the Christian Coalition ... Before a Communist Chinese fighter plane downed a U.S. reconnaissance flight, the White House had announced President Bush would travel to Asia in October ... first to Japan, then to the Republic of Korea, then to the APEC economic summit in Shanghai, China, then on to Beijing ... the White House is now considering canceling the China portion of the trip ... HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson hires Rob Schwarzwalder as director of his speechwriting office ... a strong advocate of free-market health care reform, Schwarzwalder leaves the National Association of Manufacturers where he served as communications director for NAM President Jerry Jasinowski ... he previously served several stints on Capitol Hill ... a devout evangelical who once studied for the ministry, Schwarzwalder is also expected to be a key player on pro-family and pro-life issues ... The National Day of Prayer (NDP) Washington conference occurs May 3 and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez is scheduled to speak ... as is Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) ... Prison Fellowship's Chuck Colson is the keynote speaker ... Two major evangelical leaders are not attending this year's NDP conference due to very serious health problems ... Campus Crusade for Christ founder Bill Bright has been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis disease and is deteriorating rapidly ... aides to Bright say the former candy business CEO who devoted his life to reaching students with the gospel is now able to use less than 45 percent of his lung capacity and may not live through the year ... he's currently compiling "every good idea he ever thought of" over the past 50 years since he launched Crusade ... Billy Graham, suffering from Parkinson's disease, is sending a prayer to be read ... Speaking of which ... staffers throughout the White House and Justice Department are enthusiastic about a new book ... but it's not about politics ... it's about prayer ... The Prayer of Jabez-a thin, 96-page volume about a one-paragraph plea to God found in 1 Chronicles-is being read by a surprising number of people in Washington ... unnoticed by the press, the book is No. 6 on the Washington Post bestseller list ... and just hit No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list nationwide ... written by Walk Through The Bible's Bruce H. Wilkinson, Jabez has already sold more than 4 million copies ...

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Joel C. Rosenberg
Joel C. Rosenberg


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