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 TIME CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics with Congressional Quarterly


Et tu, Jim: Is it curtains for Nicholson?

By Michael Duffy

TIME magazine

Most of the Nation's 31 Republican Governors will meet in New Orleans this week to chew over the election results, install Oklahoma's Frank Keating as their new leader and discuss a possible coup. The target is Jim Nicholson, the G.O.P. party chairman who many Republicans say shares the blame for making a hash of the recent elections and for being, looking and sounding too conservative in general. Several of the Governors, including Michigan's John Engler, have said in public that it's time for Nicholson to pack his bags. Following the model used by the Democrats, the Governors will discuss making an elected official, perhaps Engler himself or Virginia's Jim Gilmore, the G.O.P.'s new front man, while a more seasoned Washington fund raiser could run the party day to day. Leading the race for the No. 2 spot is Wayne Berman, the finance chairman of the Republican Governors Association. The full Republican National Committee does not vote until January>

Back to the good old days for the G.O.P.?

By James Carney

When Newt Gingrich and his self-proclaimed revolutionaries took power after the 1994 elections, they passed the so-called gift ban, a deliberately draconian law that prohibits members of Congress and their staffs from accepting gifts of any value--even a cup of coffee--from lobbyists, journalists and contributors. Another reform: Gingrich placed six-year term limits on all committee chairmen. But in the days since Newt announced his resignation, his presumptive heir, Bob Livingston of Louisiana, has been peppered with furtive requests from fellow Republicans who want to turn back the reform clock. The total gift ban, they argue, is humiliating because it presumes lawmakers can be bought for a pittance. And some current committee chairmen, faced with losing power in just two years, are suddenly seeing the value in accruing the wisdom and effectiveness that only a long tenure can provide. They want the term limits revoked. Another idea being floated: a pay raise for House members, something Livingston has supported in the past. But lawmakers shouldn't get their hopes up. Said a G.O.P. official on Capitol Hill, referring to the idea of revoking term limits for committee chairmen: "That'll fly like a lead Zeppelin."


Cover Date: November 23, 1998

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