THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What the vice president and I understand is that you can't conserve your way to energy independence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Why then is President Bush ordering federal agencies in California to conserve? We'll spotlight power politics.
On two big issues for the White House, there is heat today from the left.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT, (D-MO), MINORITY LEADER: This is a PR exercise. And it's a fraud.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: And from the right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BENNETT, FORMER EDUCATION SECRETARY: This was a great set of proposals, so come on, Mr. President, fight for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Plus: there's new movement in the march to build a museum of African-American history in Washington.
Now, Judy Woodruff takes you INSIDE POLITICS.
JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST: Thank you for joining us. We begin with President Bush's new push for conservation of energy and, perhaps, of political capital as well. Our Major Garrett reports on Mr. Bush's order today, aimed at saving precious power in California, and whether it may cast White House policy in a more favorable light. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
BUSH: This is a long run -- this a long-run solution.
MAJOR GARRETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Stung by criticism that he's ignored California's energy plight, President Bush put federal buildings there on an energy diet.
BUSH: Today I'm instructing all agencies, federal agencies, to reduce their peak-hour electricity use in the state of California.
GARRETT: The goal: cut usage by 10 percent at all California federal facilities, including military posts, during stage two and stage three energy alerts. How? Raise thermostats to 78 degrees, turn off all nonessential lighting, shut down escalators. And if things really get bad, curtail computer use for personal e-mails.
BUSH: This is a serious situation in the state of California.
GARRETT: To underscore the point, Mr. Bush sent his energy secretary to California to meet with the governor and tour federal buildings. All other federal buildings, including the White House, have 30 days to report on ways to cut energy use. It's faintly reminiscent of President Carter's conservation campaign, complete with a cardigan to ward off the cold, during the energy crisis of the late '70s.
Critics say the White House response is more show than substance.
DAVID NEMITZOW, ALLIANCE TO SAVE ENERGY: The amount of energy it saves will be quite modest. The federal facilities are a small part of the California energy mix.
GARRETT: California faces up to 35 blackouts this summer. The state's congressional delegation has been lobbying the White House to support temporary price caps. That way, California could afford to buy more power, and consumers could dodge staggering electricity bills. Thursday, the House Democratic leader championed the cause.
GEPHARDT: So, rather than just cutting back and conserving energy in federal facilities, we ought to be using federal agencies that have the power now to hold down on these outrageous price increases.
GARRETT: But the White House says absolutely no to price caps. In the interview with CNN, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said and I quote: "Price caps in California will make the blackout problem much worse. It will on the one hand, increase supply, and on the other hand, make it difficult to reduce demand" -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Major, why this emphasis on conservation just a few days after Vice President Cheney said in a speech that conservation was not going to be a key part of the administration's energy plan? GARRETT: Well, the White House officials say that they did not want to leave the impression that conservation would have nothing to do with its overall energy strategy, due to be released on May 17.
They acknowledge privately that conservation is not going to be a key part of it, and the president said today, that the president -- that the United States must develop more energy, and the emphasis of that energy policy will be all on development, a little bit on conservation.
So the White House wanted to address two acute political problems right now: the sense in California held powerfully, even by some Republicans, that this White House is not doing enough to help the state deal with its energy crisis; and two, at least suggest there is a conservation component, even though in reality, two weeks from now, it is going to be clear that conservation is going to play a small role compared to development of future energy sources -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Major, separately today, there was a decision out of the White House on whether to ban logging in the national forests. What can you tell us about that?
GARRETT: Shortly before President Clinton left office, he propounded a rule that set aside about 60 million acres of national forest land, preserving them from development and logging. The White House is going to stick with most of that, but our senior White House correspondent John King has learned that there will be some provisions or some attempt by the administration to at least acknowledge complaints by states most affected by that rule, in Alaska, Idaho and Colorado.
There is a case pending in Idaho. The administration is going to try to at least address some of the concerns expressed in those states, but by and large, allow that Clinton environmental order to stand -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right. Major Garrett at the White House, thank you.
All this talk of energy conservation has a somewhat familiar ring to it. Our senior political analyst Bill Schneider is here now. Bill, what's the main issue in the debate over energy policy?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Conservation versus production. Now, this is a debate we've had before, during the energy crisis of the 1970s. But this time, the debate is taking a peculiar shape. It looks like a debate between the Bush administration and the Carter administration. Here's what President Carter had to say about the energy crisis back in 1979.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1979)
JIMMY CARTER, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm proposing a bold conservation program to involve every state, county and city and every average American in our energy battle. This effort will permit you to build conservation into your homes and your lives at a cost you can afford. I ask Congress to give me authority for mandatory conservation and for stand-by gasoline rationing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHNEIDER: Carter's emphasis was clearly on conservation, even rationing. Yikes! Republicans like Ronald Reagan had contempt for Carter's approach. You could hear that same contempt in Vice President Cheney's remarks on Monday, 22 years later.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The game here is efficiency, not austerity. We all remember the energy crisis of the 1970s when people in positions of responsibility complained that Americans just used too much energy. Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis, all by itself, for sound, comprehensive energy policy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHNEIDER: Cheney's message was: get real! Americans are not going to change their way of life. The only way we're going to solve this energy crisis is with increased production.
WOODRUFF: So, Bill, what are the differences between the energy problem we face today and the problem back in the late 1970s?
SCHNEIDER: Well, in the '70s, there were real shortages of supply related to OPEC and two big oil shocks in the Middle East. Now, nobody's talking about running out of oil. The problem is a shortage of refining capacity.
Now, what we learned in the '70s is that bureaucratic rationing does not work very well in this country, except in times of war. We ration things like gasoline, and electricity, and health care in this country by price. If there's a shortage, the price goes up.
But you know, voters don't like it when prices go up. They want government to do something. OK, Cheney said. We'll do something. We'll stimulate more production.
WOODRUFF: So, does that create a political problem for the administration?
SCHNEIDER: Interestingly, it does, and here's why: Bush and Cheney both come out of the energy industry. Now, that makes this administration's priorities suspect in the minds of many Americans.
Recently, the "Washington Post" poll asked: "Which is more important to you, protecting the environment or finding new sources of oil and natural gas?" Most Americans said, "protecting the environment." Then the poll asked: "Which do you think is more important to President Bush?" Well, energy over the environment: 76 to 16. Totally different priorities.
Now that is why the president today called for quote, "a balanced approach." He said conservation would have an important role in his energy program. In fact, today, he sounded more like President Carter than he did like his own vice president -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right. Bill Schneider, thank you very much. We appreciate it.
And now for more on energy policy and politics, let's turn to Senator Craig Thomas of Wyoming who is a member of the Senator Energy Committee. Senator Thomas, thank you for being with us.
SEN. CRAIG THOMAS (R), WYOMING: Sure, it's a pleasure.
WOODRUFF: The president's statements today, a move in the right direction?
THOMAS: Oh, sure. And I think -- I have been listening to your conversation. I think there are two different things here. Conservation is a part of all of our energy problems, long-term and short-term. But conservation which the president was talking about is more important on the short-term, because many of the long-term things can't happen that quickly.
So I think they belong in both categories, but particularly in the short term in the California situation.
WOODRUFF: It's interesting you say that, because, as you just heard Bill Schneider discussing, there is some confusion out there, because just three days ago, the vice president was saying: "Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it's not a sufficient basis for an energy policy."
THOMAS: I think it's not sufficient. We talk about renewable, so on. They produce about 1 or 2 percent of the total. What we have done is we have reduced production of oil, for instance, by 40 percent. We've increased consumption by about 40 percent. We find ourselves now 60 percent reliant on OPEC, or foreign oil.
So we do have to have diversity in our energy, we have to have more domestic production and conservation, and I am sure both the president and Mr. Cheney would agree with that.
WOODRUFF: Do you think the administration is sending out mixed signals?
THOMAS: No, I don't. I don't. And as I said, I think part of it deals with short term, part of it with longer term.
But there is no question that -- what -- conservation is part of it. But in addition, you have to have more production, if we want to continue the usage that we have now.
WOODRUFF: Well, if conservation is important in the short run, Senator Thomas, with today's directive, as I understand it, the federal properties in California are only consuming about 2 percent of that state's energy. Is this really going to make a dent in the problem?
THOMAS: Well, I don't think the president -- the president is talking about that portion of the economy, the federal facilities that he has control over. And I think he's implying, and hopefully the state of California will pick up on, the rest of the folks out there also, doing the same thing. After all, California's got some responsibilities in this, too, and they should be exercising their own prerogatives.
WOODRUFF: So you're saying even though it's 2 percent, or some modest fraction, that it's -- the symbolism of it is at least as important?
THOMAS: Well, I was talking about renewables. I think you could have more than that, particularly if there is a crisis, as there is now. You know, you turn up your thermostat, do some things you wouldn't normally do. But in a crisis situation, you can do that and have a fairly substantial impact.
WOODRUFF: Senator, if conservation is important at all, the program the president was talking about today is similar to a program administered by the Federal Department of Energy, which was cut in the president's budget proposal by something like 48, 50 percent.
THOMAS: Well, I think the movement has been towards doing more research, doing research on clean coal, alternative methods of fuel, and so on. Look, if we're going to talk about conservation, you and I have to do some conservation. You have to turn down your thermostat, and I do, too. And maybe I'll have to do something about that car of mine that uses more gas than it needs to. I don't know that that's necessarily a governmental thing. The people of California ought to be doing something on their own.
WOODRUFF: All right. Well, Senator Craig Thomas, we thank you very much for joining us.
THOMAS: My pleasure.
WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.
And we are going to talk now with a Democrat, the ranking Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He is also joining us from Capitol Hill, and he is Democratic Senator Jeff Bingaman of the state of New Mexico.
Senator Bingaman, are you there? I know the camera was swinging around to get you.
SEN. JEFF BINGAMAN (D), NEW MEXICO: Well, I am here.
WOODRUFF: There you are.
BINGAMAN: How are you, Judy? Good to talk with you.
WOODRUFF: I'm fine. Thank you for joining us.
Senator, let me just pick up where we left off with Senator Thomas. Is this a move today in the right direction?
BINGAMAN: You're talking about the president's announcement with regard to federal installations, or federal facilities?
WOODRUFF: In California, that's right.
BINGAMAN: Well, I think it's a move in the right direction. It's a very small move, of course. There's a lot of other things that need to be done and need to be done quickly in order to try to help with the situation in California.
Conservation is a good share of the answer in the short term. We've got real shortages anticipated this summer, and the best thing that can be done to deal with those in the very short term is conservation. But we need to produce more power, too.
WOODRUFF: What are some of the other things that you think need to be done?
BINGAMAN: Well, I think the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission needs to be taking strong action to deal with the price of power being sold into California. The prices have been way too high, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been very slow to take action to deal with that.
We need to pass an expansion of the LIHEAP program, the Low- Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which will help people, many of the lower-income and even moderate-income families, to pay their utility bills this summer, as well as their bills for this winter. Some of them have gotten behind. So that's the priority.
WOODRUFF: Well, let me ask you about the prices being too high. Are you saying there should be caps on those prices?
BINGAMAN: Yes, I'm saying that the prices should be tied somewhat to the cost, so that you can't just have a gouging going on of -- where the prices being charged are just whatever the market will bear. I think that is not a just and reasonable price.
The Federal Power Act makes it clear that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is responsible for setting just and reasonable prices, where they are not otherwise just and reasonable. And this is a case where they are not.
WOODRUFF: But we just had our White House correspondent, Major Garrett, reporting that the energy secretary today, Spencer Abraham, in an interview, saying there will not be price caps if they can do about it.
BINGAMAN: Well that has been their position. They've taken a pretty much hands-off position with regard to the California's problems, and have said that the federal government should stay out of this issue. I disagree with that.
I think if California's economy is slowed because of the energy problems there, it's going to impact the entire country -- certainly going to impact the rest of the West, part of the area of the country I live in. I think the federal government should be much more aggressive in helping California to deal with this problem. WOODRUFF: But their view would be, and is, as I understand it, that this is a problem that the people of California, their government institutions, got themselves into. The federal government's role should be very limited here.
BINGAMAN: Well, I think, you know, you can spend a lot of time in Washington trying to assign blame for problems that have surfaced and occurred. I don't think that's very productive. I think we need to be figuring out: What can we do from this point on to solve the problem?
We've got to be sure that people have adequate power in California this summer. We've got to be sure that the prices being charged are not exorbitant.
WOODRUFF: Senator, let me ask you about -- finally, about the question I posed to Senator Thomas about the president proposing cutbacks in an agency of the Department of Energy very similar to the program the president was supporting today.
Is the administration being consistent on these conservation matters?
BINGAMAN: No, I don't think there's any consistency in it. The budget that we were given by the president proposes cuts in funding for energy efficiency programs like the one he today endorsed. They proposed cuts in funding for renewable energy development, proposes cuts in research and development for all kinds of energy and energy efficiency.
And I think all of that is short-sighted. If you're really focused on a long-term energy policy that will meet our needs in the future, you've got to maintain funding in those programs.
WOODRUFF: All right. Well, Senator Jeff Bingaman, member of the Senate Energy Committee. We thank you very much for joining us.
BINGAMAN: Thank you very much.
WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.
Still much more ahead on INSIDE POLITICS, including a look at the last-minute wrangling over next year's federal budget. A vote in the House is expected later today. We'll have the latest from Capitol Hill.
Also ahead: the battle over education reform. Some conservatives complain the president is not playing to win.
And later: more names are added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This is INSIDE POLITICS.
WOODRUFF: On Capitol Hill at this hour, House Republicans are working to iron out last-minute details on the 2002 federal budget. Standing by at the Capitol with the latest, including when the House might vote on the measure, CNN congressional correspondent Kate Snow -- Kate.
KATE SNOW, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Judy, that's the question of the day. You know, we started out the day thinking that the House would take this up sometime this morning and then the Senate would follow suit. Well, guess what? It looks like we maybe looking at a House vote as late as 11:00, even midnight tonight. That is because they are wrangling over some last-minute details. Republicans had some issues to clear up.
Like, for example, who would be in charge of the $5 billion in the emergency spending in this budget? Who would figure out what to spend that on? And beyond that, if they wanted to send on other emergency situations, how would they determine what an emergency was? That was one issue of contention.
Another one on the Senate's side involved Senator Gordon Smith and a plan that he had to provide health insurance to the uninsured. There was $28 billion set aside in the Senate version of the budget for that program over three years. Well, it was changed in the conference to over 10 years. It was spread out over 10 years. Senator Smith didn't really like that. So, he's been putting up a fight for his program up there.
Those issues holding up the process, hailed by President Bush -- the agreement hailed by President Bush yesterday, the budget chairman on the House side, Jim Nussle likened all of this to all 535 members of Congress, trying to order a pizza. He said, imagine that. You'd have some who would want sausage, some would want pepperoni, and you'd probably end up with a pizza that had a few anchovies on it that nobody wanted; you'd have to send it back to the kitchen. Squabbles like this, Nussle said, are simply part of the process, and he said it doesn't take away from the fact that they have a budget.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM NUSSLE (R-IA), BUDGET CHAIRMAN: So when the president gets involved with this, he is involved with his priorities. His priorities were agreed to, having the largest tax relief possible. Having the spending number that was at his level: below 5 percent. That's a huge victory for the president. The largest debt relief. Segregating the Medicare trust fund.
Those are big victories. There are some little anchovies, as I was describing, while the president may not be directly involved in those negotiations, the House and Senate have to be in order to make sure that those things are taken care of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNOW: Most Democrats up here on the Hill are not likely to vote for this budget, many of them coming out today, calling this budget a sham, a fraud. They've called it is a joke, they've called it is a PR exercise, a monster, and a political document. And one another term, an iceberg. They say you only see the tip of this budget and that the real costs -- the real cuts are hidden.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KENT CONRAD (D), NORTH DAKOTA: The president has a giant ceremony down at the White House to talk about strengthening Social Security, and yet they put out a budget that doesn't have a dime to strengthen Social Security. So there's not any money to strengthen education. There's not any money for the environment. There's not any money to strengthen Social Security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNOW: Now, Republicans would tell you that there is money for that, just not as much as the Democrats want. Democrats say, there's not enough money in all of this budget to pay for things like the tax cut. They say that $1.3 trillion figure that's now in this budget is not enough to pay for the Republican's tax cuts.
All of that said, Judy, this is expected to pass at some point -- the House and at some point the Senate, the Senate moderate Democrats already talking about supporting it. Senator John Breaux, one of them, and he is right now on the floor of the Senate trying to drum up support for the cause.
Judy, back to you.
WOODRUFF: Kate, yesterday they were describing the increase in spending from this fiscal year to the next one and what, 4.9 percent? Just under the 5 percent increase. Now, that's more than the president wanted. Is there a sense of where that's going to end up?
SNOW: Well, that's the figure that they are at. And that hasn't changed today. Despite all of these the squabbles over the detail, that number is fixed. The Democrats pointed out today that that number does not include Social Security and other entitlement programs. So, they say that the spending is actually less than that, if you look at all government spending as a total.
But in any case, the number is set pretty well firm at 4.9 and everyone thinks that they can probably live with that. But the key is, in the appropriations process, Judy, as you may remember from past years, they can probably find a way to spend above that, it they really try -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: And they have been known to do that. All right, Kate Snow, thank you very much.
There is much more political news ahead, but first, the days other top stories, including the FBI bust of a crime ring, accused of smuggling immigrants into the U.S. The details, when INSIDE POLITICS continues.
WOODRUFF: We will have more of the day's political news coming up, but now a look at some other top stories. A dramatic day in court in the trial of a student accused of killing a former teacher. Video from a school surveillance camera was played in court. It shows Nathaniel Brazill, who was 13 years old at the time, shooting Barry Grunow in the face. Defense attorneys admit that Brazill shot the teacher, but said that it was accidental. Brazill is being tried as an adult and could face life in prison with no parole if convicted on a first-degree murder charge.
The FBI says it has broken up an immigrant smuggling ring, in a series of arrests in Los Angeles this morning. Law enforcement officials say the ring was charging Ukrainians some $7,000 to immigrate illegally into this country. They say many of the immigrants then turned to prostitution to cover the charges. The FBI says the numbers of people handled by the ring was probably in the thousands.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK PATTERSON, FBI: Well, we know that a little over 200 were interdicted by the border patrol and INS and our conservative estimate is that was probably about 10 percent of the total operation. There were a lot of people running through this operation. It was very, very active.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: The immigrants caught in the operation will not face criminal charges, but will be the subjects of deportation proceedings.
The surgery for model Nikki Taylor wrapped up this afternoon and she is said to remain in critical condition at a hospital in Atlanta. Reporters waited outside all day, while Taylor was in surgery for five hours. She was injured over the weekend in a car accident. Taylor sustained serious liver damage and other internal injuries in the wreck. Taylor has been one of the top fashion models for more than a decade.
Also, former Beatle George Harrison has undergone successful surgery for lung cancer. A statement from his lawyer indicates Harrison was treated at the Mayo clinic in Minnesota, but does not say when the surgery took place. This is Harrison's second treatment for cancer, after having lymph tissue removed from his neck in 1997.
The slower economy hit home last week for more American workers. The Labor Department reports 421,000 Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment assistance, that's a five-year high. The total of first-time claims was 9,000 more than the previous week, negating predictions the number would actually drop. The nationwide rate of unemployment is due out tomorrow.
The news on unemployment sparked a sell-off on Wall Street, as the markets started the day losing value, and never recovered. The Dow was down more than 80 points by the closing bell. The Nasdaq was also in negative territory throughout the day, ending with a loss of more than 74 points. There's more on what factors are moving the markets, on the "MONEYLINE NEWS HOUR." That's right after INSIDE POLITICS, at 6:30 Eastern.
Coming up next: grumbling on the right about the president's education reform plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENNETT: This is a signature issue. This was the issue he did so well on in Texas, and these -- this was a great set of proposals, so come on, Mr. President, fight for it!
WOODRUFF: Heavy-hitting conservatives go public with their complaints.
WOODRUFF: From Texas to Washington, education has been a key element of the George W. Bush political agenda. And the president is no doubt used to criticism from Democrats and teachers unions. But as CNN congressional correspondent Jonathan Karl reports, these days Mr. Bush is hearing criticism from some unlikely places.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As he works with Democrats on education, President Bush is facing a revolt from conservatives who say he is letting Democrats hijack his number one domestic priority.
BENNETT: He should fight like he's going to win, like he means to win, like he really thinks these principles are important. Otherwise, they are gone before you know, which is the way it looks on some of these.
KARL: The president has aggressively courted Democrats, including five face-to-face meetings with Senator Ted Kennedy, and almost daily meetings between president's senior education advisers and key Democrats on Capitol Hill.
In the process, the president has won broad support for most of his education agenda. But conservatives say the price of that support has been stripping the education bill of the central principles Mr. Bush campaigned on.
REP. JOHN SHADEGG (R), ARIZONA: I think the White House has made a call that this needs to be a bipartisan bill, but if the price of making it a bipartisan bill is that it no longer has any Republican priorities in it and has all Democrat priorities in it, then I think the president may have to rethink his strategy.
KARL: Complaint number one is that the White House has, in the view of conservatives, given up on the idea of allowing poor students in failing schools to get federal dollars to attend private school, the idea critics call vouchers. SHADEGG: The president had a very, very modest proposal in there for a little bit of choice in education to help out kids in failing inner city schools. It appears today that may be stripped out. That was kind of the heart of the entire bill from the president's perspective.
KARL: Conservatives also say the principle of local control has been compromised away. The president's original proposal called for giving states freedom in how they spend federal education dollars. Under a compromise worked out with the Democrats, that provision will now be a pilot program affecting only some school districts in seven states.
BENNETT: What is missing the sense from the White House that it is going to fight for those principles. What is missing -- well, I mean, school choice is gone.
KARL: A significant minority of congressional Republicans share Bill Bennett's view on that, especially conservatives in the House. But by and large, most Republicans up here applaud what the president is trying to do on education, and say that he is going to try to get as much as he can done, given the reality of a Senate evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Jon, changing the subject, we understand that there was some sort of a blowup today in the Senate Judiciary Committee?
KARL: Oh, absolutely, Judy. The Senate Judiciary Committee today was meeting to vote on two very crucial Justice Department nominees: one, Larry Thompson, as the deputy attorney general and two, the solicitor general, Ted Olson. Those nominations were expected to be confirmed, confirmed quite easily today, but before the Judiciary Committee could take a vote, the Democrats on the committee walked out, making a vote impossible.
They are complaining about something unrelated to those two nominations. Democrats on a committee are upset about the process for confirming judicial nominees, and there's a bunch of judicial nominees expected to be sent up here by the White House some time next week.
What they're saying is they want to have -- senators have essentially veto power over judicial nominees from their home states, something they say was simply the case when President Clinton was president. That's what they're saying they want.
Here's what Charles Schumer said after they walked out of that hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: They intend to try to abrogate the Senate's role in choosing judges, so that they can create the most ideological bench that we have seen in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: Now, Orrin Hatch, who is the chairman of the Judiciary Committee here in the Senate, said that Democrats were playing games with critical Justice Department nominations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I don't see how we can tolerate any more games being played with the Department of Justice nominees. These are important positions for our law enforcement and we just can't allow these procedural tactics to go on. If a senator opposes these nominees, let's go ahead and vote on them, and that senator can cast his or her vote any way they want to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: Now, Judy, this is blocking two critical nominations, as we have said. But also it's really setting the stage for what may be a real battle royal starting next week, and that's when the White House is expected to send up anywhere from 10 to perhaps as many as 30 nominees for federal judicial appointments -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right. Jon, I want to ask you about something else as well, and that is you are hearing that there are some senators that are having second thoughts about the economic stimulus piece in the tax cut plan?
KARL: Well, at least one very critical Republican senator, and that's Chuck Grassley, the chairman of Senate Finance Committee. If you remember when the Senate passed -- you know, came to their agreement on the budget outline, it included $100 billion in economic stimulus tax cuts, tax cuts that were take to place this year, retroactive tax cuts.
Well, now, Senator Chuck Grassley is saying the economy is doing better than they had thought, and he now no longer sees the need for such a stimulus tax cut, that that $100 billion, instead of being sent back to taxpayers this year, will simply be folded into the 10-year tax cut plan that they have talked about.
So, now, we're talking no economic stimulus tax cut, but instead folding that into the president's overall tax package, which means that it actually raises the 10-year tax cut to $1.35 trillion, all over 10 years. This is something that is going to prompt some complaints from Democrats, but it's not clear they can do much about it.
WOODRUFF: So, it sounds like it's definite, Jon?
KARL: Well, this is Senator Chuck Grassley, it's just one senator saying this, but he is the chairman of the Finance Committee, and we are told his views are shared by many other Republicans up here, so it's not a definite, but it's clearly looking like that's the direction the Senate is moving.
WOODRUFF: All right, Jon Karl, thanks very much. Education reformers in Washington may want to take note of a kind of a grass roots rebellion under way in New York. Dozens of eighth- graders stay home today with their parents' approval, because the parents have decided to boycott a standardized test required by the state.
And Brian Palmer has the story.
BRIAN PALMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ground zero for an educational rebellion is a dining room table in an affluent bedroom community outside New York City.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can't take anybody that we have not made arrangements with their parents.
PALMER: Its leaders: moms, planning a boycott of state-mandated exams for eighth-graders.
LESLIE BERKOVITZ, PROTEST ORGANIZER: What really lies at the bottom of this is an opposition to one-size-fits-all assessments. The reality is that what we believe is that standards are great. What we're really asking for is to maintain local control over curriculum and local control over assessments.
PALMER: The stat Education Department stands by the tests.
JAMES KADAMUS, NEW YORK STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT: The tests are really developed based on New York curriculum and are developed by New York teachers to judge whether or not students across the state are meeting a common state standard. We don't think that testing three times during a student's career really is too much testing.
PALMER (on camera): Families of about one-third of the eighth graders here at Scarsdale Middle School, or about 130 students, have expressed interest in joining the boycott. Those who don't support the boycott, however, don't necessarily support the test.
MALANIE SPIVAC, PTA PRESIDENT, SCARSDALE MIDDLE SCHOOL: It's the kids being overloaded with these tests was one part of it. Another part was the fact that the tests were then driving our curriculum. We had to then teach to the test.
PALMER (voice-over): Scarsdale's superintendent doesn't support the boycott, but he allowed teachers to cut the time spent prepping kids for the state exams. Parents supported the move, despite his warning it could mean lower test scores in this normally high-scoring district.
MICHAEL MCGILL, SUPT. SCARSDALE SCHOOLS: What we've done this spring is just to say to folks, look, we don't want to do any more special sessions prepping for examinations.
PALMER: Calls for testing to hold teachers and schools accountable have become a standard political refrain. BUSH: We must tie funding to higher standards and accountability for results.
MCGILL: It's a simple and singular answer to a very complex problem.
PALMER: The Scarsdale boycotters say politicians don't have the answers, the community does. They want state officials to let their schools focus more on teaching and less on testing.
Brian Palmer, CNN, Scarsdale, New York.
WOODRUFF: Just ahead, putting the accomplishments and the history of African-Americans on display. We'll talk with Congressmen John Lewis and J.C. Watts about the latest move on Capitol Hill.
WOODRUFF: In Washington today, the names of six servicemen were added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The added veterans died resulting from wartime injuries or their deaths were reclassified as wartime casualties. Also, the crosses next to 28 names were changed to diamond, as they moved from the missing in action list, to the killed in action list. The names of more than 58,000 veterans are etched into the wall.
Lawmakers in the House and Senate today introduced legislation to create a museum of African-American history here in Washington. Similar measures have failed in years past, but the current measure has bipartisan support. And joining us now, two of those supporters: Democratic Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, and Republican Congressman J.C. Watts of Oklahoma. Congressman Lewis, to you first, why is this needed?
REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: Judy, it is the right thing to do, to tell the whole story, the complete story of African-American history. From the days of slavery when African-Americans were first brought to this land we must tell the story: The story, a reconstruction, the whole share cropping system, the system of segregation and racial discrimination. People need to see not only the history, but also see and feel the contribution of African- American to the American society.
So, when generations of young people, and those not so young, come and visit Washington and come to the mall, they will have an opportunity to visit this museum.
WOODRUFF: Congressman Watts, from your perspective, why is it needed?
REP. J.C. WATTS (R), OKLAHOMA: Judy, I echo what John just shared. From slavery, civil war, up through today, African-Americans have made profound contributions to American life: Their inventions, music, food, technology, in the area of education. So I think it's good to memorialize, for those that visit our nation's capital, to memorialize African-American history and I think, give the sense and I think, confirm the sense that African-American history is in fact American history.
WOODRUFF: But Congressman Lewis, you have been fighting for this museum, as I understand it, for 12 years now. Why is it taking this long to garner the sort of support you need?
LEWIS: Sometimes Judy, in any major effort or struggle, it takes time, but we learned during the early days of the civil rights movement that you should never give up. You should never give in or give out. And this time we have strong bipartisan support from the leadership of the Congress -- it's amazing to me the leadership that is supporting it in the Senate, in the House, both Democrats and Republicans.
WOODRUFF: Well, let me ask Congressman Watts, as I understand it, Congressman Watts, this is the first time there has been bipartisan support, meaning there hasn't been Republican support or at least sufficient Republican support. Why not before now?
WATTS: Well, Judy, John and I have worked together on several different issues: Ethnic health care disparities, we worked on legislation to recognize the contribution the slaves have made concerning building our nation's capitol, the White House here in Washington, D.C.
I can't speak to the past. I mean it would be easy for me to go back in '93, and '94 when Democrats controlled everything and say, why didn't we get it done then, or why hadn't we gotten it done over the last six years that Republicans have been in the majority and the Democrats have been in the White House. I really can't speak to that. We are addressing now.
John and I are working together in the House to make it happen. Max Cleland, Democrat from Georgia, Sam Brownback, Republican from Kansas, their working, leading this effort in the Senate. So we think it's a good idea whose time has come, and we are looking forward to pressing the issue.
WOODRUFF: Congressman Lewis, is there opposition to it, and how much is it going to cost?
LEWIS: Oh, I don't see any major opposition. This is going to be a both private and public effort. There will be some resources coming from the federal government, but we want to raise a considerable amount of money to support its effort from the private sector, from business, from foundations, from church groups, from individuals. There are individuals in the African-American community, in the majority community with resources, with money that they can help build this national African-American Museum.
WOODRUFF: And Congressman Watts, as I understand it, this would go into an existing building that is part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution, so it won't require new construction. Is that right? WATTS: You are absolutely right. The Smithsonian has designated a building on the mall, about 180,000 square feet. As Congressman Lewis mentioned, this bill calls for about $15 million. A third of that will be public money, two-thirds will be private money, and that $15 million will go to administer and have drawings and take an assessment of what it's going to cost to rehabilitate the building that's been designated.
So it's a great effort. I think John Lewis embodies African- American history, the civil rights movement. I'm honored to be a part of it, and we look forward again to pressing this issue. And we're delighted to have support on both sides of the aisle to make this happen.
WOODRUFF: All right. Well, gentlemen, Congressman Watts and Congressman Lewis, we want to thank you both for joining us.
WATTS: Thank you.
LEWIS: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.
For Former Vice President Gore, another job is over. How did he do as a journalism professor at Columbia University? A couple of his students will join us to cast their votes.
WOODRUFF: Fourteen years ago today, "The Miami Herald" published the report that marked the beginning of the end of Democrat Gary Harts presidential campaign.
TOM MINTIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): ... reported in its Sunday editions, that two "Herald" reporters followed a Miami woman to Gary Harts townhouse in Washington this weekend. The woman, apparently in her '20s and described as an actress, was trailed from the time she left Miami aboard an Eastern Airlines flight. The newspaper report goes on to say the unidentified woman spent Friday night and most of Saturday at Hart's townhouse.
The reporters observed Hart and the woman leave the townhouse by a side entrance, supposedly walking arm-in-arm around the block, and then to Hart's car in front of the townhouse.
Hart should not be surprised reporters are following him. In Sunday's "New York Times" magazine, the presidential candidate is profiled on 11 pages. The story also includes a challenge Hart recently made to reporters.
He apparently was attempting to put an end to the accusations that he was a womanizer. "Follow me around," Hart said, "I don't care... I'm serious. If anybody wants to put a tail on, go ahead. They'd be very bored." (END VIDEOTAPE)
WOODRUFF: That was part of a report by CNN's Tom Mintier, from May 3, 1987, 14 years ago today. Not long after, a tabloid picture of Gary Hart with Donna Rice, aboard the boat named "The Monkey Business," and that helped to seal Hart's political fall.
Well, now we focus on another Democrat who has had his share of political ups and downs, Former Vice President Al Gore. Gore has wrapped up his stint teaching journalism classes at Columbia University, his first job after losing the presidency to George W. Bush.
Two of the studies who took Gore's class join us now to give him his final grade as a professor. They are Lenora Chu and Michael Arnone.
Michael, let me begin with you. How did he do?
MICHAEL ARNONE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY STUDENT: He did all right. It was his last class. The entire school was there this time, so it was about 300 students. He was a bit stiff at the beginning as he discussed what he did in the first seven classes, but then when he started taking questions from the audience, he really loosened up, and was quite candid by the end.
WOODRUFF: But as far as the overall course goes, Lenora Chu, how would you assess his performance as a professor?
LENORA CHU, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY STUDENT: His performance as a professor -- he's very -- he has a lot of presence, and it's very obvious that he's an intelligent man. And he has a breadth of knowledge that can he speak very articulately about. His teaching skills are definitely there. They can developed, of course. But as far as subject content, that's another matter.
WOODRUFF: Well, Michael Arnone, let me ask you about a quote from one of your fellow students, a young man named Seth Solomo (ph), now. He was quoted in "The New York Times" today as saying: "It's really a problem to have a professor who's afraid to say what he thinks."
Do you agree with that?
ARNONE: Well, Seth is a friend of mine and he and I have discussed it. And I think it is a problem when a professor can't feel free to say what he thinks about a certain subject. Gore, of course, is an exceptional instance. He's coming out of extraordinary circumstances.
He addressed the class, during the question-and-answer period, where he came out and said that when he came here he didn't -- it was not his intention to discuss the election, his feelings about the results, or anything like that. So, there was a sense of disappointment on many students' part that they didn't get that out of class, but that came out of miscommunication from the outside about what the class really was.
WOODRUFF: Lenora Chu, there was another criticism we read today of the former vice president, that he, in so many words, didn't play to his strength -- that he didn't talk about how political figures deal with the press, for example. Was that a problem for you?
CHU: I had noticed that. It's unfortunate. What Mr. Gore has to offer as a professor is his expertise, and his expertise is his experience in the White House and how politicians deal with the press. And unfortunately, he chose not to speak about that. But what we did learn was more about the issues, such as the environment and the economy, family planning and that sort of thing.
CHU: Go ahead, I'm sorry.
WOODRUFF: I was just going to say to both of you, what about from some of guest lecturers? Not only Alan Greenspan, you had media mogul Rupert Murdoch, you had David Letterman. What did you learn from them? Michael, to you first.
ARNONE: Well, Letterman actually was a very interesting class. He came in and we were talking about the use of humor in doing journalism, and also whether political commentary by late-night talk show hosts actually shapes an agenda. Gore said yes, but Letterman said no. He equated it to: you read "Blondie" in the funny papers each day, but they don't judge what they do based on what Blondie does in the paper.
WOODRUFF: And, Lenora, did you get anything else out of David Letterman, or how about Alan Greenspan?
CHU: Well, Mr. Letterman definitely was very, very entertaining. He's very witty. I'm convinced he writes his own monologue. As far as Mr. Greenspan, he came on, I think, was it the day after they had announced the rate cuts, and unfortunately, we couldn't speak about the economy in specific terms. But as far as his view on journalism, I think we learned quite a bit.
WOODRUFF: And what was that?
CHU: That was -- we should strive for objectivity. It's a worthy goal, it's very difficult to achieve. And then we sort of pontificated about the obstacles to objectivity.
WOODRUFF: We appreciate both of your joining us. It sounds like you had an experience that many other American college students would have liked to have participated in.
ARNONE: Thank you. It was the hottest ticket in town.
WOODRUFF: Michael Arnone and Lenora Chu, thank you both. We appreciate your joining us.
CHU: Thank you, Judy.
WOODRUFF: There is much more INSIDE POLITICS ahead. In the next 30 minutes, the latest on two key issues with the Bush administration.
Also, from Texas to Washington, the governor's office to the Oval Office, she's been at the side of George W. Bush. We'll take a closer look at one of the president's most trusted advisers.
WOODRUFF: An update on contacts between the Chinese and U.S. militaries. The Bush administration tries to clarify its policy.
On the airwaves, a sometimes hostile environment for President Bush. We'll focus on the latest issue ads.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "All Things Considered" celebrates 30 years on the air. We started the same year President Nixon...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: We'll join in the anniversary tributes to a radio news institution.
Welcome back to INSIDE POLITICS.
During a sensitive time for U.S.-China relations, the Bush administration had a good deal of explaining to do today. At issue: mixed messages delivered the day before on military contacts between Washington and Beijing. Our military affairs correspondent Jamie McIntyre has the latest word on U.S. policy and the politics that may be at play.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The original blanket suspension of military ties between the U.S. and China was outlined in a memo issued and signed Monday by an aide to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The Pentagon insists that was mistake, that the aide misunderstood what Rumsfeld wanted.
REAR ADM. CRAIG QUIGLEY, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: So, this was an honest misinterpretation, nothing more, nothing less.
MCINTYRE: But some administration officials tell CNN that's a cover story, that in fact Rumsfeld was forced to soften his initial order, because he failed to clear it with the White House. And while several top Pentagon officials believe that's what happened, the Pentagon's spokesman insists it's not true.
QUIGLEY: The people that believe that are incorrect.
MCINTYRE: Under the corrected policy, any contact between the U.S. and Chinese militaries, from ship visits to embassy parties, will have to be approved by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on a case-by-case basis. And President Bush indicated that approval will no longer be routine.
BUSH: If it's a useless exercise, and it doesn't make the relationship any better, then we won't do that.
MCINTYRE: The White House says there are no plans to cancel President Bush's planned trip to China in October, but there are other signals of a new harder line. While the Pentagon is recalling some 600,000 Chinese-made army berets it is also reviewing what else the military buys that might be made in China.
And the U.S. is hinting, subtly, that it might oppose China's bid to host the 2008 Olympics.
QUIGLEY: We have not decided whether we will or will not.
MCINTYRE: Meanwhile, a team of U.S. civilians trying to determine if the crippled U.S. EP-3 surveillance plane can be flown off Hainan Island, has been stymied by the Chinese military. So far the Chinese have refused to provide electricity, so the experts can power up the plane.
MCINTYRE: Some official here suggest that the new revised Pentagon policy may be different in tone only. After all, they point out, if the Defense Secretary Rumsfeld wants to completely cut ties between the United States and Chinese militaries, he can simply do it on a case-by-case basis -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: So, Jamie, that gets to my question. Is this a deep philosophical difference here or what?
MCINTYRE: Well it look like this was the classic Washington definition of a gaffe, that is accidentally telling the truth. It looks like the policy that they put out on Monday was essential what they wanted to do and cutting back severely on ties. But they didn't want to do it in such a heavy-handed way, and so, they've had to apologize and make a little bit of a course correction.
They're trying to send a subtle message -- a little bit subtler message here that will become clear as the Pentagon in the months ahead makes decisions on whether to resume any of those military to military contacts.
WOODRUFF: All right, Jamie McIntyre, at the Pentagon. Thanks.
The Bush administration also tried today to clarify its policy on energy conservation, just days after Vice President Cheney put the emphasis on producing power, rather than saving it.
President Bush ordered federal agencies in California to cut their energy use, to help ease the state's power crunch. Mr. Bush said he supports conservation along with a longer-term effort to increase energy supply.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: We can do a better job in conservation, but we darn sure have to do a better job of finding more supply. It's naive for the American people and its leadership -- and those who support to speak for the American people, some of those, to say that we can be OK from an energy perspective by only focusing on conservation. We've got to find additional supplies of energy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Members of California's Congressional delegation have been lobbying for another fix; that is temporary energy price caps, but the Bush administration says it's still against that idea.
There is an entry on energy politics and in Bob Novak's notebook and Bob joining us now.
Bob, what are hearing about the president's push for conservation in California, in the federal agencies anyway?
ROBERT NOVAK, "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": The administration, Judy, is very worried about California. They think that the rolling blackouts will be much more severe this summer than anything that you have ever seen, and they don't want to be seen as, California, go to hell, as the Democrats say.
So, they are trying to do -- look like they are active. But the problem is -- when the president says conserve energy and the government buildings and the federal courts by not turning the air conditioner on, or by roasting this summer, it looks a little like Jimmy Carter, you know: futile, instead of solving the problem. You try to lather it over. I have heard a lot of criticism of that today.
WOODRUFF: Now, what about -- you are also picking up some information or people's comments on the president's nuclear energy plan.
NOVAK: This is fascinating. Some building trade union leaders at the very top level went into the White House yesterday to talk to some Bush aides. And they said, if President Bush comes out very strong for nuclear power and building nuclear power plants to give them needed jobs, they will abandon the Democrats and go all the way with George Bush, no matter what he does on other things.
That is a tempting political offer, and I think they are going to take him up on that, and see, if the president goes fully nuke to get these federal unions supporting him.
WOODRUFF: Change of subject now. The budget: they are debating it still on the Hill. What is the latest on that?
NOVAK: Congress is wonderful. They are all set to go this morning and then Gordon Smith, Republican from Oregon, wanted to tighten up the protection of Medicare funds and that started the ball rolling; everybody wanted some changes.
Now the House is going to be voting tonight. It looks like they're not going to get the Senate voting until Friday morning. They don't want this going to next week. You know what this is? This is Kentucky Derby weekend, and senators don't like to work on Friday anyway. They hate to work on Friday! When they have plans to go to the Kentucky Derby. So, they are hung by their own petard on this one.
WOODRUFF: All right, politics. The New Jersey Senate race. What are you hearing?
NOVAK: We've got ex-Congressman Bob Franks the Republicans last sold into running for governor. I don't hear anything but pessimism from the Republicans. They think there's a disaster. Christie Whitman left the party in terrible shape.
They say that right now it looks like the Republicans will not only lose the governorship in New Jersey this year, but also the state assembly and maybe the state's senate, and they don't think that Steve Forbes will try to save the party by running for the Senate next year.
WOODRUFF: And you have an item about something that the New York Senator Hillary Clinton is opposing.
NOVAK: Well, the only publicity that she has gotten lately is her opposition to Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Ann Gall (sic), who's been on the commission for 10 years. President Bush named her for chairman. And she's a conservative. She doesn't want this tough restrictions on baby baths and all kinds of things like that, car seats, as the others.
And so, Hillary Clinton's after this woman. But Ann Gall (sic), unlike Hillary Clinton, is a real New Yorker, she is from Buffalo. Also, she is kind of a role model in the adoption movement. She has two adoptive -- she is a single mother with two adopted children from Guatemala. She's been the adoptive mother of the year.
So, a lot of people think that Hillary Clinton is going to be pulling back from this opposition. Some of her aides are already saying she will not filibuster against Ann Gall (sic).
WOODRUFF: All right, Bob Novak. We always love that peek in your notebook. Thanks very much.
Just ahead, when the hot button issues hit the airwaves, David Peeler checks the ad reel. He is up next on INSIDE POLITICS.
WOODRUFF: As the Bush team shifted from a campaign machine to a new presidential administration, Karen Hughes stepped back from the front line. Her role as counselor to the president is less visible than her earlier role as the campaign communications director. But as Kelly Wallace reports, even in the first 100 days, it is clear Hughes is one of the most influential members of the president's White House team.
KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When President Bush makes a major announcement, Karen Hughes is there. And when he hits the road to tout his domestic agenda, she packs her bags, too. Hughes is one of Mr. Bush's most trusted advisers and is also the highest ranking women ever to work in the White House. But that's not a description she really likes.
KAREN HUGHES, WHITE HOUSE CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I really cringe, and I don't know why.
WALLACE: Hughes wants to make clear, the president has a very big inner circle. You don't want to single yourself out?
HUGHES: No, I really don't, -- because -- because his leadership style and the model of the way the White House works is a team.
WALLACE: But her colleagues say no one knows the president better. She knows him so well that she can, and often does, change his speeches to put them into his words.
HUGHES: I've worked for him for long enough that -- I hear -- I am not sure I have my own voice anymore. I hear his voice in my head.
WALLACE: Hughes manages a staff of 43. The main focus: Getting the president's message out. But she also weighs in on all major decisions, with the Mr. Bush often asking aides, what does Karen think?
DAN BARTLETT, DEPUTY TO THE COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: When I replace her in a meeting, as her deputy, particularly with the president I might be asked about my opinion, and then I'm quickly asked if that opinion has been vetted by Karen.
WALLACE: During the presidential campaign, Hughes established herself as a fierce defender of her boss's record. She's worked with him since his first run for governor back in 1994 and refuses publicly or privately to acknowledge any of the president's potential shortcomings.
HUGHES: My job is to communicate his message, not to go out and try to undermine it in any way by critiquing it. There's plenty of people available 24 hours a day, I'm sure, to criticize what we're doing.
WALLACE: Hughes is often in her west wing office before 7:00 a.m. and on her way to her family by 7:00 p.m. But on Wednesdays she leaves even earlier to be with her 14-year-old son. HUGHES: Someone at his school told me that he had said, "Well, I'm not going to see my mom much anymore, she has to work all the time now," which broke my heart. It did. It broke my heart, and so I was looking for a way to make sure -- to let him know that he is my priority.
WALLACE: Her priority at the White House: helping the president, but also not being afraid to tell him what she thinks.
HUGHES: He welcomes that. He wants -- people -- his staff to give him their honest opinions.
WALLACE: That honesty, combined with loyalty over the years, has made her one of most valued aids to George W. Bush and she may cringe at this, but one of the most powerful women in Washington.
Kelly Wallace, CNN, the White House.
WOODRUFF: And time now to take a closer look at how interest groups opposed to certain White House policies are trying to influence the debate by targeting voters in their living rooms.
Joining me from New York, David Peeler of Competitive Media Reporting.
DAVID PEELER, COMPETITIVE MEDIA REPORTING: Hi, Judy.
WOODRUFF: Let's start with one of the big spenders on TV issue ads since President Bush took office, the abortion rights group, NARAL.
PEELER: Well, Judy, NARAL has about $40 million dollars that they plan to spend over the next four years against the abortion issue. And here's an example of what they've kicked off with:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In his first 100 days on the job, George W. Bush has seized every opportunity to restrict to a woman's right to choose and his assault has just begun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PEELER: Judy, this is a very, very sophisticated group. They only aired this ad in the Sunday news programs and three of the news programs. And so, it was a very, very targeted audience. It's pundit advertising as we call it. What they are trying to do is obviously shape the debate. If you recall, the first 100 days have really been around tax cuts and the environment and what NARAL is doing here is if they can't get Wolf Blitzer or Tim Russert to ask the question on the news show, they're running their ads on that news show so they can stay out in front of the public and in front of the debate. WOODRUFF: David, what about another important issue that emerged in the first 100 days and that is the environment.
PEELER: Well, -- you know -- the environment is a hot topic. And what we see here is a group called the Pew Wilderness Foundation, -- a running -- using a kind of a humorous spin to talk about a very serious point. Let's take a look:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That ought to hold if the weather turns. Here, you try.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Okay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch your fingers.
SON: Hey, dad, I got something.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on. Hey, honey, Josh just caught something.
How are you doing, son?
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Hurry!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm coming.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Be careful, daddy.
DAVID DUCHOVNY, ACTOR (voice-over): What are you going to tell your kids when there is no wilderness left? Help save our open spaces.
FATHER: Hey, I'm camping here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PEELER: This is also another very sophisticated group funded by the Pew Foundation. They have a tremendous amount of money behind them. When you look at this, in conjunction with what the Sierra Club and some other environmental groups are out there spending, you can absolutely rest assured that the environment is going to be an issue that the democratic side continues to put out in front of the American public.
With the GOP in office, you can expect over the next four years that you're going see a tremendous amount of issue advertising on these various types of issues, in particular the environment.
WOODRUFF: Well, from the environment let's go to the New York mayor's race. What kind of money are we seeing spent there, David?
PEELER: Well, Alan Hevesi must believe in the environment,too, because he's recycling some of his ads that he ran for city controller a few years ago. Let's take a look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Controller Alan Hevesi, one tough town, one tough controller. One strong leader for New York City's future.
Well, Alan's the only mayoral candidate out and in the air waves right now, and he has some interesting little tactic that he is trying to use. If you see the next clip, he is using the take -- you see above our CNN sign: "MEBQ." That's not a new network. Don't get worried. If you watch this ad run, you will see what I mean.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: Democrat Alan Hevesi, mayor; most experienced, best qualified.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PEELER: Well, most experienced, best qualified; I'm not sure if it's a great creative tactic, but he's spending $2.3 million so far. So clearly what you can expect in the New York mayoral race as the four Democratic candidates try and break out of the pack they're going to advertise early, they're going to spend an awful lot of money, and then they've got to face, probably, Michael Bloomberg in the general election. And we know that Michael Bloomberg has quite a bit of money to spend, so this may be the highest-spending mayoral race in history.
WOODRUFF: All right. Well, we know that you will be following it all. David Peeler, thank you very much; Competitive Media Reporting.
PEELER: Thank you, Judy.
WOODRUFF: When INSIDE POLITICS returns, celebrating a milestone at National Public Radio. We go inside the studio for a look at the first 30 years of "All Things Considered."
WOODRUFF: There's more INSIDE POLITICS coming up, but first let's go to Willow Bay for a preview of what is ahead at the bottom of the hour of "MONEYLINE." Hi, Willow.
WILLOW BAY, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, Judy. Coming up next on "MONEYLINE," the Nasdaq snaps a four-session winning streak on news that jobless claims are mounting. And the CBS hit "Survivor" snatches Thursday nights from NBC, but will it last? We'll have those stories and more next on "MONEYLINE." INSIDE POLITICS continues in just a moment.
WOODRUFF: If ever an afternoon comes along when you can't get to a television to watch INSIDE POLITICS, you might do well to turn on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." The program is celebrating its 30th anniversary this week, and CNN's Bruce Morton stopped by the studio recently to learn the secrets of the program's success.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "All Things Considered" celebrates 30 years on the air. We started the same year President Nixon declared war on cancer.
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You know the theme. "All Things Considered" has been on the air longer than Tom Brokaw, or Rush Limbaugh, or Larry King. "All Things Considered" is 30 years old. What does it do right to live so long?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From NPR News, it's "All Things Considered."
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST, "ALL THINGS CONSIDERED": It's a very selfish enterprise. We put on a show that we would like to hear.
MORTON: Robert Conley (ph) was the first host -- they don't say "anchor." There've been others.
NOAH ADAMS, HOST, "ALL THINGS CONSIDERED": When Susan Stamberg and Bob Edwards were doing the program, and I was listening in Kentucky, those were conversational voices speaking to me as if I were a friend, in a way, but also as if I cared about what was happening in the news.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Israel's foreign minister is in Washington to talk to the secretary of State.
ELLEN WEISS, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "ALL THINGS CONSIDERED": We have to blend international, domestic, interviews, reporter stories, commentary, humor, music, literature, arts. I tell people it's sort of like being in a liberal arts college.
MORTON: The mix starts at a 10:00 a.m. meeting. At this one, host Linda Wertheimer wonders about President Bush's plan to let people invest Social Security funds in the market.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, "ALL THINGS CONSIDERED": Somebody must have done a survey somewhere about how everybody was hot for the Social Security investment, and how it's being affected by the fall of the market.
MORTON: That afternoon, she interviews a professor from the Kennedy School of Government who's been studying public opinion on the issue.
WERTHEIMER: This latest commission to revamp Social Security has a mandate from the president to create a system that makes room for investing some...
MORTON: Back in the meeting, there's talk about a new video game.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The whole theme of this game is that you're God, and you're represented by a disembodied hand.
MORTON: Wait a minute. Video game? Isn't that a picture story?
SIEGEL: We always used to say that the pictures were better on radio because they're in your own mind.
MORTON: They do stories on art shows, photography exhibits. They have won most of the awards there are.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "All Things Considered," National Public Radio's very first program becomes the first public radio program to be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame.
BRUCE DUMONT, PRESIDENT, RADIO HALL OF FAME: The anchoring has been terrific, the reporting has been excellent, and most importantly, they have been able to do that day-in, day-out for 30 years.
MORTON: What stories do they remember? Noah Adams is proud of his Gulf War coverage. He and Siegel stayed on the air, and stayed, and stayed.
ADAMS: I can recall riding my bicycle home at 1:30 that morning, up Massachusetts Avenue, feeling pretty good about that night.
MORTON: Ellen Weiss remembers a series on abortion as the Supreme Court issued an important ruling in 1992.
WEISS: Linda Wertheimer had an idea, which was to talk to older women, women who have had abortions before it was ever legal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1992)
WERTHEIMER: When you say you were afraid, do you know what you were afraid of?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, partly I was afraid of, you know, the whole procedure. I mean, I really didn't know what I was getting into.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WEISS: You suddenly realized that this debate was more than a debate about politics. It was about real people.
MORTON: They remember what they call "driveway stories": people got home and sat in the car until the story ended. They get criticized too: too liberal, often.
SIEGEL: We were created in the early 1970s, and there was a kind of baby boomer, reform the world, let's get this thing right mood to the program and to the beginnings of National Public Radio that have always been there.
MORTON: They have succeeded. More reporters, more stations, more listeners, weekly audience almost 10 million. WERTHEIMER: As the rest of radio dropped out of news and as people got more and more FM radios in cars and spent more time in their cars stuck in traffic, all of those things worked for us.
MORTON: That and one thing more, that these people really like what they do for a living.
WEISS: The great thing is that we get to try and do it every day, and when we don't do as well as you think we should do, we get to come in the next day and try to do it again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's "All Things Considered," from NPR News...
MORTON: Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.
WOODRUFF: And there are a lot of us who really like what they do. Congratulations, "All Things Considered."
And that's all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS. This programming note: Senator Edward Kennedy the guest tonight on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS," starting at 8:00 Eastern. And radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh the guest tonight on "LARRY KING LIVE." You can see that beginning at 9:00 Eastern here on CNN.
I'm Judy Woodruff. "MONEYLINE" is next.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com