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Flash Traffic

Flash Traffic | Political Buzz from Washington

Issue: "GOP: No room for error," Oct. 19, 2002

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) was slow to support President Bush's war resolution against Iraq, but at the same time he took credit for "working closely with the president to build a broad bipartisan coalition" of support, new questions cropped up about who else he'd been working with.

As the resolution was headed to approval, Sen. Daschle's name remained on a "Not In Our Name" anti-war online petition that blasts the president's Iraq policy as "unjust, immoral, and illegitimate." Within four hours of WORLD's first call to the senator's office for comment, his communications director faxed a statement denying any involvement with the petition: "Sen. Daschle did not sign this petition nor did he direct anyone to add his name to the petition. It is unfortunate that someone would choose to forge Sen. Daschle's name."

Not In Our Name-with the support of prominent liberals like Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, and Oliver Stone-purchased full-page ads that ran in the Los Angeles Times (Oct. 4) and The New York Times (Sept. 19) denouncing President Bush's pursuit of the global war on terror. (NION's website is soliciting donations to pay for a future placement of the ad in USA Today.) Also among those who signed the NION ads that appeared in the newspapers: Hollywood personalities Ed Asner, Kasey Kasem, and Danny Glover; leftist intellectuals Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, and Barbara Ehrenreich; and activists Gloria Steinem, Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, and Martin Luther King III. WORLD called NION for a response to Sen. Daschle's forgery accusation; phone calls to the New York phone number listed on its website were routed to voicemail and WORLD's messages were not returned. NION lists only one other senator, Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), as a signer. Amy Bonitatibus, a staffer in Sen. Clinton's office, could not confirm whether the senator actually signed on. Told of Sen. Daschle's denial, she suggested Sen. Clinton would probably do the same, but did not call back with more information as of Oct. 10. Names on the NION ads appear alphabetically. The first name is that of former U.S. Sen. James Abourezk, an anti-Israel senator who employed Tom Daschle as a legislative aide in the 1970s (see "Who is Tom Daschle?" Oct. 12). Young Mr. Daschle handled foreign-policy issues for Sen. Abourezk.

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Keep an eye on Maine's 2nd Congressional District, now one of the hottest House races in the country. For two decades, the seat was held by moderate Republicans, first William Cohen and then Olympia Snowe. When Ms. Snowe was elected to the Senate, Democrat John Baldacci won the seat. But Rep. Baldacci is now running for governor and GOP strategists believe they have a good shot at taking back the seat. The Republican candidate is Kevin Raye, 41, Sen. Snowe's former chief of staff. Interestingly, Mr. Raye-pro-abortion and pro-gun-is squaring off against former Maine State Senate president Mike Michaud, a pro-life, pro-gun Democrat who was endorsed by National Right to Life in the Democratic primaries. The race is neck and neck.

A new survey finds the battle for the U.S. Senate seat from New Jersey a dead heat. GOP businessman Doug Forrester and Democrat Frank Lautenberg both draw 44 percent, according to the Star-Ledger/ Eagleton-Rutgers poll. A Quinnipiac University poll finds Mr. Lautenberg slightly ahead, 49 percent to 45 percent.

Two years ago, then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris found herself under attack by the Gore campaign, Democratic political operatives, and much of the news media. Now, amidst her own campaign for Congress to replace retiring GOP Rep. Dan Miller, Ms. Harris says she forgives them all. "To forgive unilaterally, completely, and unconditionally constitutes one of the most liberating experiences of my life," she writes in her new book, Center of the Storm. Ms. Harris says she received 750,000 e-mails of support during the post-election crisis, a base of support that has helped her raise $2.6 million for the House race she seems on track to win. She says her faith in Christ and her commitment to reading the Bible helped her get through her darkest hours. "A man who cannot forgive," she says, quoting Charles Spurgeon, "is a poor fellow indeed, for he punishes himself for the sins of others."

Joel C. Rosenberg
Joel C. Rosenberg

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