Siegel Testifies About Burton
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 2) -- The chairman of the House committee investigating campaign fund-raising is himself the focus of a federal grand jury. Lobbyist Mark Siegel, who has alleged he was "shaken down" for campaign donations by GOP Rep. Dan Burton, testified before the grand jury today. Last year, Siegel was lobbying on behalf of Pakistan while Burton has been one of Pakistan's principal backers on Capitol Hill. Siegel says Burton told him either to raise $5,000 from the Pakistani-American community -- or Burton would cut off Siegel's access to influential Republican lawmakers. Burton denies making the threat, but has acknowledged asking Siegel to raise money for him.
Arkansas Bans Late-Term Abortions
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AllPolitics, April 2) -- Arkansas joined four other states in banning a type of late-term abortion. Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee signed the bill, passed by the state legislature last week, on the steps of the Capitol announcing, "Arkansas did not want to be embarrassed by being a state that would tolerate the abortion of a child who was just literally inches and seconds from birth." Under Arkansas law, the procedure can only be used to save the life of the mother. A doctor who performs it under any other circumstances risks six years in prison or revocation of his or her medical license. During floor debate, the legislators from President Bill Clinton's home state hoped to "send a message" to him. Clinton vetoed a similar, federal, bill last summer and has threatened to do so again.
Leah Rabin Chastises JFK Jr.
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 2) -- Leah Rabin, the widow of Israel's late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, has criticized John F. Kennedy Jr. for crossing the "red line" with the decision to run an article in his magazine, George, authored by the mother of Yigal Amir, Rabin's assassin. As the son of a slain president, Mrs. Rabin asked, "How, of all people, could he do such a thing?" Mrs. Rabin's comments were made Wednesday during an appearance at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. "Perhaps he needed a sensational piece in order to sell his paper," she accused. In an editorial accompanying Guela Amir's piece, Kennedy wrote that he hoped "my family history would bring added attention to their story." He cautioned that Guela Amir's take on the tragedy was not an "objective examination" but instead "the view of an anguished mother and a staunch right-winger." Mrs. Rabin is in the United States to publicize her book on her life with her husband entitled, "Our Life, His Legacy."
St. Louis Elects A Mayor
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (AllPolitics, April 2) -- St. Louis voters on Tuesday elected their former police chief Clarence Harmon as their next mayor by an overwhelming 72 percent. Independent candidate Alderman Marit Clark could only garner 23 percent of the vote, while Republican Jay Dearing only got 5 percent. Harmon, the city's first ever black policy chief, defeated current Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr., St. Louis' first black mayor, in a Democratic primary last month. The race between the two men has been racially charged after Harmon was criticized by some black groups and Bosley's father, Alderman Freeman Bosley Sr., accused him of being a "rented Negro." Mayor Bosley later endorsed the former police chief. Following his victory, Harmon said he was "ready to begin the healing process" following the heated election.
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