Super Tuesday Came in October
Unsavory Revelations Concerning His Rivals Gives Gore a Boost
by Tamara Baker
Oct. 25, 2000 -- SAINT PAUL, MN (AmpolNS) -- Contrary to what
you may have
been told, Super Tuesday did not fall in March this year. It fell on October 24, 2000.
Item: Remember the Rand Corporation study that Bush used
as the basis for his
'Texas Education Miracle" claims?
Guess what: A second Rand study totally debunks the "Texas
Better yet, the story was covered on NBC's Nightly News, where it was seen by
tens of millions of American viewers. In fact, it was mentioned that the best scores in
the new Rand study occurred BEFORE Dubya took over as Governor in 1995!
Here's some choice excerpts:
THE STUDY BY the nonprofit RAND Corp., a private think tank, found
dramatic increases in tests administered by Texas are not reflected in
national exams taken by the same youngsters.
In fact, while Texas found the gaps in achievement shrinking between
non-white students, the national tests showed them actually increasing
slightly in some areas.
Researchers offered no definitive explanation for the "stark differences"
results on the tests.
But they said it may be that Texas educators, who are awarded
achievement, may coach youngsters to do well on state tests.
This is the infamous 'teaching to the test' we've heard about
from 60 Minutes
and elsewhere. Texas kids are dropping out of school like crazy, but so long
as they can be coached to do well on the state tests, Dubya doesn't care:
he'll just wave his cooked-up test scores as 'proof' of his efficacy as
But wait! There's more!
"I think 'the Texas miracle' is a myth," said Stephen Klein, a
researcher who helped lead the study, "What do Test Scores in Texas Tell Us?"
"There is nothing remarkable in Texas education," Klein told Reuters.
few exceptions, notably fourth-grade math, gains in Texas in recent years were
about the same as in the (rest of the) United States."
Bush, Texas governor since 1995, has cited big increases in state
as evidence he has turned around his schools and can upgrade the nation's classrooms.
Mark Fabiani, a deputy campaign manager for Democratic presidential
nominee Al Gore,
jumped on the RAND study, saying, "The very foundation of the Bush campaign just crumbled."
"This RAND report reveals serious questions about Mr. Bush's repeated
that his education reforms have worked," Fabiani said.
Gore's running mate, Joseph Lieberman, added, "We all hope and
miracles, but they are not occurring in the Texas school system."
And just when I'd finished absorbing that bit of news...
Along comes Item Two!
"Dick Cheney's Most Recent Employer Suspected of Bilking Uncle Sam"
Here's the opening of the story as it appeared in the Los Angeles Times:
Criminal Probe Targets
Halliburton Subsidiary Inquiry:
Company once overseen by Cheney is being investigated by U.S. for alleged
overbilling during its role in conversion of Ft. Ord. Firm denies wrongdoing.
By ERIC LICHTBLAU, Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON--A company overseen by Republican vice presidential
Cheney until four months ago is under criminal investigation for allegedly defrauding the
federal government out of millions of dollars in the closure of the Ft. Ord military base.
The probe appears to have been triggered by a former Brown &
Root Services Corp.
manager who filed a whistle-blower lawsuit alleging that the engineering company billed
the government for high-quality goods but substituted lesser-quality materials in its
Northern California work. The employee has been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors
to appear before a grand jury on the matter as early as Nov. 2, just days before the election,
according to his attorney. More subpoenas are expected.
Now, fair is fair here.
I don't really want to see Dick Cheney and Halliburton broken
on the wheel.
I'd just like to see them both undergo the same type of excessively thorough,
total-body-cavity-search type of probing that the Clinton-Gore team has had to
put up with these last eight years. The Clintons and Al Gore have come away
clean from each of their probes. Could the same be said of Dick Cheney, should
he get the 'black president' treatment?
But wait! There's even more!
Item Three: Nader Revealed to Favor Bush Win Despite Denials!!
Ever since Robert F. Kennedy Jr. called him on it in August of
Ralph Nader has denied heatedly that he wants to see Bush win rather than
Gore. But Joe Conason, in the October 24th issue of Salon, brings up something
Ralph doesn't want his Dem-leaning supporters to see:
Just how much a Republican victory would trouble Nader and his
never been clear. The consumer advocate, like many of his prominent backers,
has talked out of both sides of his mouth about this disturbing prospect.
Several months ago, Nader indignantly denied a quote attributed to him by
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the environmental advocate and Gore supporter, to the
effect that the Green maverick would actually prefer a Bush victory. But the editors
of Outside magazine cited a transcript of an interview with Nader showing he had
said just that in an unguarded moment.
Speaking of Outside Magazine, here's a nice little Nader tidbit
August 2000 issue:
Of more immediate interest, at least to Al Gore, are Nader's respectable
7 to 10 percent in California as of June, 6 percent nationally. If California tips Green enough,
Bush could win the state and the whole damn election.
Which, Nader confided to Outside in June, wouldn't
be so bad.
When asked if someone put a gun to his head and told him to vote for
either Gore or Bush, which he would choose, Nader answered
without hesitation: "Bush."
Not that he actually thinks the man he calls "Bush Inc." deserves
to be elected:
"He'll do whatever industry wants done." The rumpled crusader clearly prefers to sink his
righteous teeth into Al Gore, however: "He's totally betrayed his 1992 book," Nader says.
"It's all rhetoric." Gore "groveled openly" to automakers, charges Nader, who concludes
with the sotto voce realpolitik of a ward heeler: "If you want the parties to
diverge from one another, have Bush win."
And why would Ralph want a Bush win? Is it just because he claims
force the Dems to the left -- or could it be, at least in part, that Nader
himself is more conservative than he lets on?
Here's some evidence for the latter view:
Item Four: Right-Wing Writer Exposes Ralph Nader's Conservative Roots
Bruce Bartlett, senior fellow at the far-right National Center
Analysis, wrote an article on Nader's conservatism (and his attempts to woo
conservative institutions such as Rupert Murdoch's Weekly Standard) that was
published on the NCPA's website on September 20, 2000. Here's the beef:
...There is an old saying that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
With this in mind,
I began to wonder if there wasn't something about Nader that I, a political conservative,
could support. I figured that anyone so hated by the liberal establishment couldn't be all bad.
It turns out that Nader has conservative roots and a not implausible argument that he is a conservative.
I am not sure if it is his first published article, but the earliest
was able to find by Ralph Nader was published in the ultra-conservative
American Mercury magazine in March 1960. (The American Mercury was a highly
respected magazine in the 1920s and 1930s, but fell on hard times and was sold
to some ultra-conservatives in the 1940s, who turned the magazine sharply to
the right. Until the founding of National Review, it was the most prominent
conservative publication in America.) ...
...The second article I discovered by Nader appeared in the October
of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, a
venerable free market group. This article is called, "How the Winstedites Kept
Their Integrity." It tells about a battle fought by the citizens of Winsted,
Connecticut, Nader's home town, against a federal public housing project
proposed for their town...
Surprisingly, Nader makes a convincing free market argument against
housing that is as applicable today as it was then. He pointed out that the
town was not getting something for nothing from the federal government,
because local taxpayers would have to foot the bill for city services provided
to the tenants, since no local property tax could be assessed on the federal
property. Wrote Nader, "A vicious circle begins to operate; as private
property is undermined by public competition, private investment is
discouraged by the threat of more public housing. As local property taxes
increase, the prospects diminish for new or expanding industry."
Nader went on to conclude that Big Government was to blame, in
words that could
easily have been spoken by Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan. "Giant government
has outgrown the capacity of the institutions designed to restrain its encroachments
and abuses....Any government intrusion into the economy deters the alleged
beneficiaries from voicing their views or participating in civic life," Nader wrote.
It is easy to dismiss these conservative sentiments. After all,
campaign consists mainly of attacks on big corporations and he has long
advocated expanded government power to protect consumers. Nevertheless, there
is a conservative strain in Nader's thinking that survives to the present day.
For example, in his acceptance to the Association of State Green Parties in
June, Nader appealed to conservatives for support.
"Don't conservatives, in contrast to corporatists, want movement
toward a safe
environment, toward ending corporate welfare and the commercialization of
childhood? Don't they too want a voice in shaping a clean environment rooted
in the interests of the people? Don't they want a fair and responsive marketplace,
for their health needs and savings?" he asked...
Now, what was that again about Ralph being the real progressive
never sell out to the forces of corporate conservatism?
All of this could be why Gore's suddenly doing much better lately.
He's now up by three points in the latest MSNBC-Reuters poll 45%-42%,
trending upwards. Up to now, the American media in general, and broadcast
media in particular, have given Al Gore the jalapeno-enema treatment while his
opponents Nader and Bush have largely gotten free rides, and this is reflected
in how close the race is between Gore and Bush. But, now that the media is
starting to look at both Bush and Nader with the same critical eyes it turns
routinely on Gore, expect to see more and wilder revelations about those two
gentlemen, even as the press starts to report honestly and fairly about the
many good things Al Gore has done for his country.