Tags: Insider | Report: | Hillary | 'Unfit | ' | Bill | Denies

Insider Report: Hillary 'Unfit,' Bill Denies Any Wrongdoing

Monday, 25 September 2006 12:00 AM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Democratic Insider: Hillary ‘Unfit' for President
2. Venezuelan Jews Fear Chavez Fosters Anti-Semitism
3. Kiplinger: Democrats Will Torpedo GOP Agenda
4. Lamont Still Fighting the Primary Against Lieberman
5. Bill Clinton: ‘We Did Nothing Wrong'
6. Al Franken a ‘Huge Player' in Fund Raising
7. We Heard: Ann Richards, Fox News

1. Democratic Insider: Hillary ‘Unfit' for President

An upcoming book by a longtime Democratic insider asserts that Sen. Hillary Clinton is "ethically unfit" to hold public office. The author of the book is Jerry Zeifman, who was counsel to the House Judiciary Committee for 17 years. He was chief counsel to the committee during the Watergate episode, a role he chronicled in an earlier book, "Without Honor: The Crimes of Camelot and the Impeachment of President Nixon."

Hillary was a committee staffer at the time. And Zeifman's new book "Hillary's Pursuit of Power" is based in large part on his personal experiences with Hillary.

A press release about the book states: "This book describes and documents unethical practices of Senator Hillary Clinton . . .

"In 1974, [Zeifman] had supervisory authority of a staff that included Hillary Rodham, who was then engaged in a variety of self-serving unethical practices in violation of House rules.

"In 1998, as consultant to a member of the Judiciary Committee that impeached President Clinton, he gained extensive personal insights into the unethical practices of Hillary Clinton in her White House ‘west wing' office.

"A lifelong Democrat, Jerry Zeifman has concluded that Hillary Clinton is ethically unfit to be either a senator or president – and if she were to become President, the last vestige of the traditional moral authority of the party of Roosevelt, Truman and Johnson will be destroyed."

Zeifman provided more details about his dealings with Hillary in a letter he wrote to the New York Post in August 1999. It read in part:

"In December 1974, as general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, I made a personal evaluation of Hillary Rodham (now Mrs. Clinton), a member of the staff we had gathered for our impeachment inquiry on President Richard Nixon. I decided that I could not recommend her for any future position of public or private trust.

"Why? Hillary's main duty on our staff has been described by her authorized biographer as ‘establishing the legal procedures to be followed in the course of the inquiry and impeachment.' A number of the procedures she recommended were ethically flawed.

"And I also concluded that she had violated House and committee rules by disclosing confidential information to unauthorized persons…

"During my … tenure with the House Judiciary Committee, I had supervisory authority over several hundred staff members. With the exception of Ms. Rodham, [special counsel John] Doar and [senior associate special counsel Bernard] Nussbaum, I recommended all of them for future positions of public and private trust."

2. Venezuelan Jews Fear Chavez Fosters Anti-Semitism

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's strident criticism of Israel – and his close ties with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – have Jews in Venezuela fearing a wave of anti-Semitism in the South American nation.

Chavez, who recently hosted Ahmadinejad on a visit to Venezuela, has come out in support of Iran's nuclear program and denounced the war in Lebanon, accusing Israel of a "new Holocaust."

"We are outraged" by Ahmadinejad's visit, said Freddy Pressner, head of the Confederation of Jewish Associations of Venezuela, citing the Iranian leader's Holocaust denial and his statements about erasing Israel from the map.

While Israel's security has always been a cause for concern among Venezuelan Jews, Chavez's ties with Iran has them worried about their own security for the first time, according to the Jerusalem Post.

"No one used to say anti-Semitic things," said Claudia Prengler, who attended a recent conference sponsored by the Confederation. "We've always lived in peace here."

Sammy Eppel, a local columnist, told the conference that he had found 195 anti-Semitic messages in official and pro-government media in a 65-day period ending Aug. 31.

Eppel reportedly showed the front page of a government publication called "Docencia" ("Teaching") that denounced the "Jewish killers" perpetrating the war in Lebanon.

Also, graffiti have been increasingly appearing on the Mariperez synagogue in Caracas, according to the Post, which reported that "some at the conference feared Chavez's attacks on Israel may lead to attacks on local Jews."

There are about 16,000 Jews in Venezuela.

"The government has adopted an anti-Semitic policy," said Eppel. "But it's the government, not the people, that is anti-Semitic."

Pressner added that Chavez and his followers have helped create a "climate of unease and lack of safety. It concerns us."

3. Kiplinger: Democrats Will Torpedo GOP Agenda

The Democrats have a strong chance of gaining control of the House in the midterm elections – and that could doom a number of Republican initiatives, the influential Kiplinger Letter predicts.

With a Democratic majority in the House, liberals would chair most committees and subcommittees, likely leading to increased congressional oversight.

But the Democrats' greatest power will be "saying no," according to Kiplinger, which predicts the House will nix a number of Republican-backed proposals, including:

Interestingly, Kiplinger predicts that scenario will play out even if Republicans hold on to the House.

"The margin of control would likely be so thin that Republican leaders would be forced to try to appease everyone in their own party, a nearly impossible task," the newsletter tells its clients.

"Emboldened Democrats, meanwhile, won't be in the mood to compromise."

4. Lamont Still Fighting the Primary Against Lieberman

Political analysts are surprised by Senate candidate Ned Lamont's ad campaign in Connecticut, which brands his opponent Joe Lieberman as a "turncoat" for running against him as an independent.

The ads indicate that Lamont, who defeated Lieberman in the Democratic primary, is pursuing Democrats who didn't vote in August – the turnout was 43 percent – rather than the voters who will likely decide the election: independents.

"With those ads, I think he is talking to people who already voted for him in the primary," Ken Dautrich, a University of Connecticut professor of public affairs, told the Hartford Courant.

"It would seem the group he needs to go after is the independents."

And Dan Gerstein, communication director of Lieberman's campaign, said: "It is somewhat perplexing to us that Ned is choosing to rerun the primary."

In one Lamont ad featuring people wearing their coats inside out, an announcer says: "Political statement or fashion statement? That's the question in Connecticut where people are wearing their coats inside out. The message: Jo Lieberman is a turncoat."

A woman in the ad says: "He says he is a Democrat. He'll always be a Democrat. Then he loses the primary. It's suddenly all about him."

The Courant points out that neither of the "turncoat" ads now running mentions the issue that dominated the primary: Lieberman's support for the war in Iraq, and his opposition to setting a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal. Lamont favors a timetable.

Meanwhile Lieberman is directing his message toward independents and Republicans, stressing that he can easily work across party lines. In a TV ad, Lieberman walks up to a blackboard and erases a line separating the words "Democrats" and "Republicans."

5. Bill Clinton: ‘We Did Nothing Wrong'

Despite his impeachment, Gennifer Flowers, Whitewater and the other problems that have beset Bill Clinton's political career, the former president still maintains he did nothing wrong.

During a wide-ranging interview with David Remnick of

"He talked about old enemies in Arkansas, about the Resolution Trust Corporation, about Gennifer Flowers, about Susan Schmidt of the Washington Post."

Despite Clinton's claims he is not looking back, "you could see just how deeply he still feels the attacks of the late ‘90s," Remnick disclosed. He noted Clinton's anger is palpable as his "carotid artery seemed to inflate like a jammed garden hose" as these topics were discussed.

But when asked if he thought it would be unbearable to go through all of it again if Hillary ran for president in 2008, Clinton replied: "I don't care, because we know we did nothing wrong."

Surprisingly some of Clinton's closest supporters think he has more to blame than the so-called "Clinton haters."

Remnick quoted one of Clinton's closest aides, former Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, regarding Clinton's state of denial:

"The method he uses to live with himself is to make a clear and precise argument that this was something that others had done to him and not that he had done to himself.

"Because of his brainpower, he can create a logic for anything.

"But deep down he would be such a good person if he could just accept the fact that he screwed up and made mistakes, and move on."

6. Al Franken a ‘Huge Player' in Fund Raising

Comedian and Air America radio host Al Franken's political action committee has raised more than $800,000 for Democratic candidates across the country.

"He's potentially a huge player," said David Schultz, a professor at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., who studies money in politics.

Schultz told the

Franken, who moved his radio show from New York to Minneapolis this year, has said he might form a committee to explore a possible run for the Senate in 2008 against Minnesota Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.

And Franken could be the ultimate beneficiary of his fund raising if he cashes in his chits with candidates he's aided and runs for the Senate.

Franken would not be permitted to use his PAC money to finance his own campaign.

The staunchly liberal radio host is raising a large portion of his funds from the entertainment industry on both coasts. Contributors include Barbra Streisand, Phil Donahue, Larry Hagman, and Norman Lear.

"There's a lot of Hollywood money out there, a lot of ultra-liberal money out there," Sen. Coleman told the

But Coleman said that considering Franken's list of contributors, he "obviously has a sense of humor" in calling his PAC Midwest Values.

"Hollywood values aren't Midwest, and the money isn't Midwest."

7. We Heard ...


In her keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention, Richards – who died of cancer on Sept. 13 – electrified the crowd when she said this about then-Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush: "He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."

Now it's come to light that Richards had actually picked up the line from

According to U.S. News, "when they crossed paths after she had used the line … he thanked her for making it famous. Richards smiled wickedly: ‘I didn't give you credit then,' she said, ‘and I'm not going to give it to you now.'"


And one pro-family group is outraged over the donation from the right leaning Fox.

Americans for Truth – which claims it is "devoted exclusively to exposing and countering the homosexual activist agenda" – sent a letter to Roger Ailes, president of Fox, demanding that the company demonstrate its balanced approach to gay issues by giving a matching $10,000 donation to a pro-family organization.

Other contributors to the NLGJA's convention reportedly included CBS, CNN, Hearst Corp., ESPN, Bloomberg, ABC News and


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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Democratic Insider: Hillary 'Unfit' for President 2. Venezuelan Jews Fear Chavez Fosters Anti-Semitism 3. Kiplinger: Democrats Will Torpedo GOP Agenda 4. Lamont Still Fighting the Primary Against Lieberman 5. Bill...
Monday, 25 September 2006 12:00 AM
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