SIGNING OF THE TIMES
After being spurned by the White House, Democrats and Republican backers of the campaign finance reform law are talking about holding a “passage” ceremony on Capitol Hill after the spring recess. The reason for the staged event, for media purposes obviously, is that, as reported first by The Prowler on March 21, the Bush administration held no signing ceremony for the CFR bill that the president signed into law on Wednesday.
After if became apparent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt that no invitation to a Rose Garden signing ceremony was in the offing, they sent staffers to inform Capitol Hill reporters that not only had they not been invited to the signing, but they didn’t even get a phone call from anyone of import at the White House.
Instead, senior White House staff, such as deputy directors of the legislative affairs office, made the calls to inform them that the bill had been signed. According to one staffer in legislative affairs, this is common practice. “Clinton used to do it all the time,” the staffer said. “And you never heard Republicans whining about it.”
“It was like high school,” says one Hill reporter for a wire service. “‘Oohhh, [Bush] didn’t call me.’ Like some junior cheerleader got the cold shoulder from some senior jock. You’d think they’d be happy that he even signed the bill.”
Apparently the man most insulted about getting the bum’s rush from the Bushies was someone who should have most expected it: Republican turncoat political consultant John Weaver. As reported here on March 20, Weaver is the former adviser to Sen. John McCain who recently went to work for Daschle and Gephardt, after working tirelessly with McCain on CFR. “I think he really expected someone like Bush or Karl Rove to call and congratulate him for a job well fought,” says a senior Republican House leadership staffer.
Instead, Bush did the only thing a red-blooded Republican would do after signing campaign finance reform into law. He went out and raised $3 million for candidates in Georgia and South Carolina.
BICYCLERS AGAINST TERRORISM
Several large environmental groups, including Greenpeace and the Environmental Defense Fund, are mulling a television ad campaign that would mirror the anti-drug ads that popped up after the September 11 terrorist attacks. You’ve seen the ads that essentially say, “If you do drugs, if you buy drugs, you’re supporting a terrorist.” The new environmentalist ads will pitch the idea that buying oil supports terrorists in the Middle East and parts of the “axis of evil.”
“We’re trying to tell Americans that if you fill your car’s gas tank, if you buy oil for your car or even your lawn mower, if you ride public buses to work, you’re supporting terrorists because of the oil you’re using,” says a lobbyist for one of the groups pooling funds for the ad campaign. “We want Americans to walk, ride a bike to do whatever they have to do. If they love their country, they’ll make the sacrifice.”
Producers of the ads will be the same ones who have been putting together the “Truth” antismoking ads.