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Inside Report: Bloomberg for President?

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    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/06/inside_report_bloomberg_for_pr_1.html Inside Report: Bloomberg for President? By Robert Novak BLOOMBERG FOR
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 14, 2006
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      Inside Report: Bloomberg for President?
      By Robert Novak


      WASHINGTON -- Democrats close to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton take
      seriously a possible third-party presidential candidacy in 2008 by
      Michael Bloomberg despite the mayor of New York's disavowal of interest.

      One prominent investment banker with political connections predicts
      that Bloomberg will dispose of his multibillion-dollar business
      interests before his term as mayor ends a year before the presidential
      election. While expected to continue his heavy philanthropy, he will
      have millions to spare for a presidential campaign.

      A footnote: Unity08, the third-party movement established by ex-Jimmy
      Carter aides Hamilton Jordan and Gerald Rafshoon, is reported by
      political insiders to be seeking financial aid from Bloomberg. But if
      the mayor is going to contribute to such a cause, it likely would be
      on behalf of his own candidacy.


      Sen. John McCain canceled his scheduled appearance for Republican
      Brian Bilbray, who won Tuesday's special congressional election in San
      Diego to replace the disgraced Duke Cunningham, not out of pique but
      because the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)
      suggested it would be a good idea.

      McCain canceled his visit after Bilbray repeatedly attacked the
      Kennedy-McCain immigration "amnesty" bill. The Bilbray campaign did
      not ask McCain to cancel, and the senator had planned to fulfill his
      commitment. However, the NRCC suggested McCain's presence would not be
      helpful in a campaign where Bilbray was stressing opposition to
      illegal immigration.

      A footnote: Republican National Chairman Ken Mehlman is credited with
      masterminding operations that retained the congressional seat.


      Bush administration officials are delighted to hear that Wendy
      Paulson, the liberal Democratic wife of Treasury Secretary-designate
      Henry Paulson, intends to remain in their upper West Side luxury
      apartment in Manhattan without moving to Washington.

      Since 1997, Wendy Paulson has contributed $32,800 to Democrats,
      compared with $10,500 to Republicans ($1,000 to Sen. John McCain for
      his 2000 presidential run and the rest to liberal Republicans). Her
      contributions include $6,000 to Sen. Hillary Clinton and $5,000 to
      HILLPAC (Clinton's political action committee).

      Republicans fear that if Mrs. Paulson is much in evidence at events in
      the capital, she would be subject to questions from reporters that
      might result in embarrassing answers.


      Rep. John Spratt of South Carolina, ranking Democrat on the House
      Budget Committee, has followed orders from House Minority Leader Nancy
      Pelosi to abandon his original proposal for a limited presidential
      line-item veto.

      Spratt's proposal has been adopted by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of
      Wisconsin as a remedy for earmarked funds inserted by members of
      Congress. The plan would empower the president to veto individual
      spending items, subject to mandatory up-or-down votes in both the
      House and Senate. The House Budget Committee will consider the bill

      Pelosi has decreed blanket Democratic opposition to this and any other
      Republican budget reform, and Spratt went along. That means Republican
      members of the Appropriations Committee, who oppose any line-item
      veto, could join with Democrats to defeat Ryan's proposal when it
      reaches the House floor.


      Lobbyists were eager last Thursday to attend the annual fund-raiser
      for Rep. Ralph Regula in the belief he might be succeeding Rep. Jerry
      Lewis of California as House Appropriations Committee chairman.

      The early evening reception ($1,000 for individuals, $2,500 for
      political action committees) was held at the Washington mansion of
      lobbyist Wayne Berman, as it is every year. It was a magnet for
      lobbyists this year because of conflict-of-interest allegations
      against Lewis, including new charges in a report last Wednesday by
      NBC's investigative unit.

      A footnote: The competing event Thursday was sponsored by Republican
      operatives Ed Gillespie and Mary Matalin on behalf of Sen. George
      Allen, a presidential prospect who faces an unexpectedly tough
      re-election battle in Virginia, probably against Democrat James Webb
      (President Ronald Reagan's secretary of the Navy). A reception at
      Matalin's home in Alexandria, Va., was followed by a $5,000-a-plate
      dinner at the nearby Morrison House Hotel.

      Copyright 2006 Creators Syndicate
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