Super Tuesday Came in October This Year!
 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 Education Miracle".
 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 that
 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 white and
 non-white students, the national tests showed them actually increasing
 slightly in some areas.

 Researchers offered no definitive explanation for the "stark differences" in
 results on the tests.

 But they said it may be that Texas educators, who are awarded for student
 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 senior RAND
 researcher who helped lead the study, "What do Test Scores in Texas Tell Us?"

 "There is nothing remarkable in Texas education," Klein told Reuters. "With
 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 test scores
 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 claims
 that his education reforms have worked," Fabiani said.

 Gore's running mate, Joseph Lieberman, added, "We all hope and pray for
 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 candidate Dick
 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 this year,
 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 acolytes has
 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 from the
 August 2000 issue:

 Of more immediate interest, at least to Al Gore, are Nader's respectable poll numbers:
 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 that would
 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 for Policy
 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 piece I
 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 1962 issue
 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 public
 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, Nader's
 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 who would
 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%, and
 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.

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