CNN INSIDE POLITICS
Government Wants to Track More Foreign Visitors; Rowley Talks to Congressional Investigators; Hollywood May Secede Form Los Angeles
Aired June 5, 2002 - 16:00 ET
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.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington. A new Bush administration plan to track more foreign visitors is renewing questions about racial profiling.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jonathan Karl on Capitol Hill. After blowing the whistle on FBI intelligence slip-ups, Coleen Rowley talks to congressional investigators behind closed doors.
CHARLES FELDMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Charles Feldman in Hollywood, which is moving closer today to getting a divorce from Los Angeles -- a divorce that could only happen in, well, Hollywood.
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: I'm Jeff Greenfield in New York and I'll look at how intelligence agencies might be burdened by a mission impossible.
WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. The Bush administration says it is a valid weapon in the war on terror. But Arab and immigrant groups say they are outraged by a new federal plan to sharply increase the registration and fingerprinting of foreign visitors.
Attorney General John Ashcroft announced the new requirements less than two hours ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: It is critically important that we stop known or suspected terrorists from entering the country. Fingerprints are essential to that enterprise. Terrorists and wanted criminals often attempt to enter the country using assumed names or false documents, false passports. But fingerprints don't lie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Our justice correspondent Kelli Arena is here now.
Kelli, who would these new requirements cover?
KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Attorney General John Ashcroft said it would obviously include state sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran and Iraq. But it would also some countries that he did not name today.
He said that the profile would be changing. But sources do tell us that they could include countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia. Mostly Middle Eastern countries.
WOODRUFF: And how does the Justice Department respond to these charges that have already popped up, that this really constitutes racial profiling?
ARENA: Well, in the first place, the attorney general said that that profile of which countries will be included will constantly be fluctuating, as the war on terror fluctuates itself. He also said that there was not one single country that is exempt here, because individuals are also profiled within this plan.
So you could have an individual from any European country, any overseas country, that would fit the profile and be subject to these requirements as well. This is a war.
The Department said, look, this is what we have do. This will deter people, perhaps, from trying to get into the country. And this is something that we need to do to fight the war on terrorism. We need to know who is in the country, where they are, and when they leave, if they leave.
WOODRUFF: All right, Kelli Arena, our justice correspondent, thanks very much.
ARENA: You're welcome.
WOODRUFF: Now we go to the congressional investigation of September the 11th, and questions for the FBI field agent who was behind a scathing and now famous letter. Our congressional correspondent, Jonathan Karl, is on Capitol Hill. Jon, where do things stand right now?
KARL: Well, Judy, we have two things going on right now. One behind me in the Capitol building, in that room S-407, the intelligence committee is having their second day of hearings. Essentially, again, listening to their staff and the results of their investigations going back to February of this year.
But the more interesting proceeding i happening down at FBI Headquarters, where investigators from that same intelligence committee are interviewing Coleen Rowley. This is the second time they have spoken to he.
The first time was on May 21, which was the day that, at the end of her interview, she handed over that now-famous 13-page memo to Robert Mueller, talking about how FBI headquarters bungled the Moussaoui investigation, and expressed the concern that Mueller himself was doing something of a whitewash about the problems at the FBI.
That proceeding, like the one behind me, is taking place in secret. But tomorrow Rowley will be before the cameras. The judiciary committee is having a public, open hearing that will feature Rowley. She will be testifying.
And she actually also had breakfast this morning with a key Republican on that committee, Chuck Grassley, perhaps the most fierce critic of the FBI up here on Capitol Hill. Grassley had a one-on-one breakfast with Rowley this morning.
Now, tomorrow it's not just Rowley. We'll also hear from Robert Mueller, the FBI director, at that same public hearing. And also from Glenn Fine. He's a name you're probably going to be hearing a lot about.
Glenn Fine is the inspector general for the Justice Department. He is the one that has been charged with doing an internal investigation into the FBI's actions before and after September 11. He'll be testifying along with Rowley and Mueller tomorrow -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right, Jonathan Karl at the Capitol, thanks very much.
As the Senate judiciary committee prepares to open its own 9/11 hearing tomorrow, Democratic Chairman Patrick Leahy and Republican member Charles Grassley join us now from Capitol Hill. Senators, thank you for being with us.
Senator Leahy, to you first. President Bush said very plainly yesterday, one committee, one investigation into intelligence failures before 9/11 is fine, but no more than that. Is your committee going beyond what the president wants?
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D), VERMONT: No, I think the president is right in having one committee look at the intelligence matters. And I have an enormous amount of respect for the leadership of both the Senate and the House intelligence committee. And they are jointly doing the intelligence matters.
What we're doing is a continuation of the oversight hearings that we began a year ago, of the FBI and the Department of Justice. That would have to be done in any event. The FBI has proposed a major reorganization.
It's our committee that has to look at that and determine whether to go forward with it. The attorney general has proposed very significant new guidelines -- a change from those that we've followed for 35 years or more -- at the attorney general's office. We have to look at that.
And of course, we have the ultimate responsibility to both the Democratic and Republican leadership of the Senate to report on whether there were mistakes made by the FBI and the Department of Justice.
WOODRUFF: Senator Grassley, do you think, though, that these hearings that your committee is conducting are really going -- really defying what the president is asking?
SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: Listen, if the president met that the judiciary committee should not do its constitutional responsibility of oversight, the president would be wrong. I would tell President Bush that he would be wrong. So I think we're doing our job. That's what we have to do.
And in fact, one of the reasons we have the problems we have is that over, you know, several decades, the FBI has had so much respect in the Congress, and there hasn't been a proper job of oversight done. And that's why I compliment Chairman Leahy on keeping the FBI on a short leash.
WOODRUFF: Senator Leahy, let me quote to you something former Senator Gary Hart was quoted today in the "Christian Science Monitor" yesterday as saying. He said -- quote -- "The fact that nine months have gone by since the attack and we are just now getting people in government to turn over evidence of failures shows the depth and breadth of the problem."
Is he right about that?
LEAHY: Well, I think to some extent, he is. I mean, Senator Hart was -- is probably as careful a person in looking into these issues as anyone I have served with.
But I think Senator Grassley plays it well. He says we have a constitutional duty. Not just a constitutional right, a constitutional duty. Chuck Grassley has oftentimes been a lonely voice in asking these questions. I think now we realize that both Democrats and Republicans are going to do a better job at asking these questions.
Because I sent a letter to both Attorney General Ashcroft and Director Mueller back last year, saying, we want to know, the committee wants to know, anything that shows that there were mistakes before 9/11. We're just beginning to get the answer to those questions.
WOODRUFF: Senator Grassley, as reported a moment ago, you met today privately with the FBI agent Coleen Rowley, who was so critical of FBI headquarters. What is she going to be telling your committee when she testifies?
GRASSLEY: Well, remember, we're talking to an agent that is committed to the true mission of the FBI. She has been an agent for 21 years. She is an agent's agent. She has a lot of information.
And we're going to seek -- well, I can only say what information I'm going to seek from her and that is: her analysis and review and suggestions on stage two of the FBI reforms. I want her to tell me as best she can of what is wrong at headquarters that so many important things, like the Moussaoui investigation, get stonewalled there. And...
GRASSLEY: I'm sorry, what did you say?
WOODRUFF: Did she think the reforms that have been announced already by Director Mueller are sufficient?
GRASSLEY: I did not talk to her about those specifics. I think that we ought to leave that to her testimony tomorrow. But let me say this. She's got the courage of a whistle-blower.
She is a patriotic American. She wants the FBI to succeed. I want the FBI to succeed. But without reforms, we don't have an agency in the forefront of the war on terrorism that can win it, if the FBI can't.
WOODRUFF: Senator Leahy, David Frasca, who was the head of the FBI's radical fundamentalist unit, came before your committee staff yesterday. And we're told, it's been reported, he said, counter to earlier reports, he did not get both the Phoenix memo and the memo about Zacarias Moussaoui at the same time. And he said no one in the FBI put two and two together. Is that, do you believe, primarily the problem? Go ahead.
LEAHY: I won't go into what he discussed. That was in a closed- door meeting. But obviously the thrust of our questions tomorrow to the inspector general, to the director of the FBI, and to Ms. Rowley, is going to be, did people connect the dots? Did they put two and two together? And if they did, why did this ever happen?
WOODRUFF: And if that's the question, do you then go on to say here's what should be done about it? Or do you leave it to the FBI to fix it?
LEAHY: Well, where the FBI has suggested ways to fix it Attorney General Ashcroft has suggested ways to fix it -- in both cases, to fix the mistakes that were made -- we want to know one, the full extent of the mistakes made at the Department of Justice or at the FBI. And secondly, once we know that, then it's going to be a lot easier to say whether the corrections they're talking about would work.
WOODRUFF: Senator Grassley, yesterday President Bush said it was a problem the FBI and the CIA weren't sharing information. But he said now basically that's been fixed, they're doing it. Are you confident now that that has been fixed?
GRASSLEY: I'm not very confident it's been fixed. I'm confident that the president believes it's been fixed. And I hope he believes it's been fixed.
But remember here, you're talking about a cultural problem. I hear the FBI high-ups say, you know, this is our institution. They keep referring to "our" institution. That's the problem. They think that the FBI is an end to itself. It's there to serve the American people. And the CIA, as well.
When they get over this attitude that they're and end into themselves, there won't be any problems. There will be cooperation and they will get done what needs to be done.
WOODRUFF: All right, Senator Charles Grassley, Senator Patrick Leahy, both from the Senate judiciary committee. Gentlemen, we appreciate you joining us. And we'll look forward to those hearings getting under way.
LEAHY: Good to be with you.
WOODRUFF: Thank you.
Well, the results are in from the second busiest primary day of election 2002. Coming up, we will review some of the winners and losers. And we'll will get dueling views on what it all may mean for the battle for control of the House.
Al Gore is going to Hollywood again to help a fellow Democrat. We'll tell you what Gore hopes to get out of it.
And later, a new setback for opponents of a nuclear waste dump at Yucca mountain. We'll go behind the scenes of this radioactive political battle.
WOODRUFF: "On the Record" this Wednesday, the two members of Congress in charge of winning and keeping a House majority for their respective parties. In a moment I'll talk with Republican Tom Davis and Democrat Nita Lowey.
But first, some results from yesterday's House primaries. Governor Bill Janklow handily defeated former Senator Larry Pressler to win the GOP race for South Dakota's only House seat. Janklow now faces Democrat Stephanie Herseth.
New Jersey Republicans chose conservative Scott Garrett to replace a retiring Marge Roukema in the fifth district. He will face Democrat Anne Sumers this fall.
In New Mexico, second-district Republicans nominated Steve Pearce in a five-way race. He faces Democrat John Arthur Smith in the battle to replace, or succeed, retiring Republican Joe Skeen.
Two other key primaries were in Iowa. In the newly-drawn fifth, that is, no Republican won 35 percent of the votes, so the opponent for Democrat Paul Shomshor will be chosen at the state convention.
Meanwhile, Congressman Greg Gangske won the GOP Senate primary and he will face Democrat Tom Harkin in the fall. In the race for Gangske's fourth district seat, GOP Congressman Tom Latham will take on Democrat John Norris.
Now as promised, the representatives who head their party's campaign committees in the House, Democrat Nita Lowey of New York and Republican Tom Davis of Virginia.
All right, looking at the results from yesterday, does either party come out of these results with any sort of advantage going into November? Nita Lowey, Congresswoman Lowey?
REP. NITA LOWEY (D), NEW YORK: Well, we feel very positive. It was a great night for Democrats, led by our two Anns, Ann Hutchinson and Anne Sumers. We think we have a great chance to win both of those seats.
And as we've said all along, this is an election where we're going to win district by district. And to have candidates like Anne Sumers, running against an extreme right wing conservative, we feel very comfortable about that one.
And Ann Hutchinson, who really as a mayor, made sure that she turned all of the deficits into surpluses, running against Nussle, who's chair of the budget committee, who managed to turned deficits -- excuse me -- surpluses to deficits. We feel really good about those races.
WOODRUFF: And, Tom Davis, should the Democrats feel so good about those two contests?
REP. TOM DAVIS (R), VIRGINIA: Well, they won their primaries. I don't think they're going to win either general election. When you look at the history of those districts, I think Scott Garrett is not an extremist at all.
He's certainly conservative. But that's the district that was carried by Bret Schundler in governor's race in New Jersey last year. And he can carry much. Pretty solid Republican district.
I think that the Democratic candidate there is untested. She's made some statements that there are more terrorists in New Jersey than there are in Kandahar. And I think she better get schooled pretty quickly on national issues if she wants to run a respectable race.
We feel very comfortable going into November in terms of how the playing field looks for us today. I chaired the campaign committee two years ago, when most of the pundits thought we were going to lose the House. We always knew it would be close.
We feel much better this time. But I always caution, five month is an eternity in politics. A lot of things can happen. It's important to get your best candidates in districts, even though they may not appear able to win today. Things happen over a five-month period. I think both parties did that last night.
WOODRUFF: And, Nita Lowey, you're not predicting the Democrats are going to take over control of the House, are you?
LOWEY: Oh, of course I am. We have been saying for a couple of months that we came out of redistricting really very well. And my good friend Tom predicted we'd be down to 10 or 12. I've said all along that it would be pretty much even, which is what it is.
And when you look at what happened last night, you look at our good candidates, with regard to Anne Sumers in New Jersey, she's an ophthalmologist. She is very, very positive about all of the issues we care about, whether it's Social Security or whether it's what happened to the prescription drug benefit you promised.
And even Marge Roukema says, be careful, if it's the wrong candidate that wins, if it's the right wing extremists that win, Anne Sumers is going to be successful.
WOODRUFF: Tom Davis, let me turn you quickly to New York. Representative Ben Gilman is saying he's open to the idea of switching parties if he'd have to be in a position of running against another Republican. He was redistricted out of the district he was in.
Is there something the Republicans can do to keep him in the party?
DAVIS: Well, look, I think Ben has been a very capable member of the House for nearly 30 years. He's served admirably as a committee chairman. I don't think he'll run as a Democrat.
I talked to him today. He's weighing all of his options at this point, which is running in a Republican primary. Running in an adjacent district against a Democratic incumbent.
His statement was, it was interesting that Democrats had asked him to run. No harm in asking, Nita, but I don't think he's going to do that at the end of the day.
WOODRUFF: And, Nita Lowey, what do you think he's going to do?
LOWEY: I think Ben Gilman is a fine man. And I just want to make clear we welcome him as part of the Democratic Party. And I also want to congratulate Shelly Silva, who worked closely with the governor and Senator Bruno in producing a really fair plan. They worked very, very hard and we feel very optimistic as a result of that plan.
WOODRUFF: Let me ask you both about something that we reported on back in the middle of May, and that is those photographs the Republican Party put out, including a photograph of President Bush on Air Force 1, on the phone with the vice president on 9/11. The party was using this to raise money at the time. They said they'd raised about $150,000. Well, it turns out they raised $1.4 million.
So, Nita Lowey, did your criticism and the criticism of other Democrats backfire here?
LOWEY: No, after September 11, Democrats and Republicans worked closely together. In fact, Tom and I stopped all fund-raising. We are supportive of the president in the war on terrorism. And it seemed to us kind of inappropriate, and wrong, to use this kind of picture to raise funds, when we're working so closely together on a bipartisan foreign policy.
DAVIS: Let me answer that, Judy. Obviously it backfired. We had a huge grassroots firestorm of Republicans across the country who wanted this picture. This is not a picture that was privy just to Republicans, the White House. This is a picture anybody could purchase over the Internet. It's a series of pictures. It's just a picture of President Bush on the phone.
WOODRUFF: Well, will the Republican committees be -- are you planning to use any other 9/11-related photographs to sell? DAVIS: No. And this is one of a series of photographs of the president in action during his administration. This is something previous administrations have done in action. And frankly, his actions on 9/11 were part of that.
But this in no way exploits that particular day. It's just a picture of President Bush on the phone, for heaven sakes.
LOWEY: We have a difference of opinions on that issue, certainly, Judy.
DAVIS: All I can say is that our grassroots loves it. And they are paying for it. And we're happy to use their contributions to keep the House.
I just want to say one other thing. The Democrats have been predicting constantly, in '96, in '98, in 2000, to take the House. It's the same tired refrain. I think they have less chance this time than they had any other years.
LOWEY: We have continued to pick up seats in every cycle, as you well know, Tom. And this time we're going to go over the goal post and win the House.
DAVIS: But you have in the midterm this term. We've picked up...
LOWEY: Since 1862, the party in the White House has lost seats in the House.
DAVIS: All but three times. Well, we're going to make history.
WOODRUFF: You wait until the end of the interview to really get into it. Thanks very much.
DAVIS: OK, Judy, thanks.
LOWEY: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: Tom Davis, Nita Lowey, good to see both of you. Thank you. We'll see you again soon.
We'll have more primary results a little later in our campaign news daily. Up next, the "Newscycle." The new rules for certain visitors to the United States and the criticism already facing the attorney general.
WOODRUFF: In our "Newscycle" this Wednesday, the man accused in the 1998 shooting of a Buffalo doctor who performed abortions pleaded not guilty last hour to federal murder charges. James Kopp arrived in the U.S. earlier today from France, where he was captured more than a year ago. In Israel, 17 people were killed today by a suicide bomber who drove a car filled with explosives alongside a crowded bus. At least 35 other people were wounded in the attack. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has delayed his planned trip to Washington by one day. He is expected to arrive now on Saturday.
Attorney General John Ashcroft today announced visitors from certain countries will face tough new registration requirements. Ashcroft said the visitors can expect to be fingerprinted and photographed. But he defended the measures as a small price to pay for increased security.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHCROFT: We are an open country. We welcome people from around the world to visit a land which we believe is a blessed land. We will continue to greet our international neighbors with goodwill. Asking some neighbors and visitors to verify their activities while they're here is fully consistent with that outlook.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: With us now, CNN contributor Tavis Smiley and Terry Jeffrey, who's editor of "Human Events" magazine. You both have listened to what the attorney general announced today. They want to essentially identify, photograph, fingerprint, register, aliens coming into the U.S. Most of them, many of them, will be people from Arab nations and from Muslim and Middle Eastern countries.
Is this a necessity in a time of war, Terry Jeffrey?
TERRY JEFFREY, EDITOR, "HUMAN EVENTS": Well, I think it is, Judy. I think it is a step in the right direction. I'm not sure it goes far enough. Let me explain why.
According to the State Department, between September 12 and March 31 this country issued 50,000 new temporary visas for people from the non-Israeli Middle East to come into the United States. A few weeks ago, John Ashcroft made an announcement I though got too little attention.
We all remember when the Justice Department said it was going to go out and try and interview 5,000 Arab Muslim men between the ages of 18 and 33 who had entered the United States on temporary visas after January 21.
Ashcroft said they had only been able to find about half of those. Out of the 2,500 they couldn't find, and they thought about 800 had left the country, meaning there are 1,700 Arab Muslim men in the terrorist age bracket who have disappeared into this country. We can't find them. We don't know where they are. That is unacceptable. We have to find a way of preventing that from happening in the future.
WOODRUFF: Is this the right way to do that, Tavis Smiley?
TAVIS SMILEY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely not, Judy. Absolutely not.
I think a few things. No. 1, this, quite frankly, smacks of a police state. And America, No. 1, is better than that. No. 2, racial profiling, as you can see, just got worse in this country. And, as a person of color, I'm certainly awfully sensitive to that. I've been stopped a couple times for what we called DWB, driving while black. I would hate to be an Arab these days in this country.
Thirdly, I think it is, at best, disingenuous of the Justice Department to be scapegoating immigrants at a time such as this, when we are learning every day more and more information -- indeed these hearings tomorrow -- about what the FBI knew and when they knew it, what the president knew and when he knew it.
It's not a matter of scapegoating immigrants. It is a matter of our Justice Department not using information right under its nose, not to mention, I don't know how these new rules would have stopped a terrorist named Timothy McVeigh or how it would have stopped the terrorists behind the anthrax attacks. It's disingenuous at best.
JEFFREY: Well, Judy, this is not racial profiling and these are not immigrants. These are people who are foreign nationals who wish to visit the United States and we're being gracious enough to let into our country.
Now, here's a logical way of thinking about it. If you had boarded a plane on September 11, and there were four Arab Muslim men from Saudi Arabia or Egypt on that plane under the age of 35, there was a decent chance your plane might have been hijacked and flown into a building. If there were not four men of that description on the plane, your plane would not have been hijacked.
The question we ought not to be asking ourselves today is: How do we discriminate which of these people in our country ought to get on the plane? The question ought to be: Are we prudent in allowing people of this description to enter our country while we in a congressionally authorized war against a terrorist group that recruits people out of this demographic?
SMILEY: Well, there's nothing logical about this.
The fact of the matter is that one does not have to be of Arab or Muslim descent to be a terrorist, given, as I said earlier, Timothy McVeigh and the person or persons behind the anthrax attacks. We just saw Bobby Frank Cherry in Birmingham, Alabama, finally go to jail 40 years later for killing those four little girls in that Birmingham church. The point is, one does not have to be of a certain descent to be a terrorist.
And, for that matter, are we going to start profiling over-50- year-old white men for stealing money, as they did at Enron? The fact of the matter is, we cannot judge folks based upon color. America is better than that. And we have got to balance our civil liberties with going after terrorists, but we have got to do better than what Ashcroft is suggesting now.
WOODRUFF: Gentlemen, you raised Enron. And we only have a little bit of time. I do want to ask you about this. The White House late yesterday turned over 2,100 some-odd pages of documents to congressional committees. Senator Lieberman, their staff, is saying they don't know if this is everything. The White House says there is nothing incriminating there.
Should the Lieberman committee and the House committee just forget this and move on, Terry Jeffrey?
JEFFREY: No, I don't think so.
I think Congress has legitimate oversight over what the administration did relative to regulating Enron. I think, ultimately, Congress has power under the Constitution to compel the president to produce just about any document. If he doesn't, ultimately, they could impeach him, if they wish to, under the Constitution.
I think the Democrats, though, are digging a dry hole here. I do not think there's a scandal here. I don't think there's any impropriety in the way people in the Bush administration dealt with Enron. So go ahead and do it. You are not going to find anything.
SMILEY: Well, I certainly, Judy, don't want a longstanding, never-ending Whitewater investigation. But I think, given the fact that the White House certainly was involved in these discussions with folks at Enron, given the fact that there are some legitimate questions, Congress ought to move forward. Let's find out what the president knew and what he knew and what Cheney knew and what he knew around this issue as well.
Let's just have some full disclosure. They want to have a new kind of White House with more scrutiny and they want to prove to us that they are above board and better than the Clinton White House, put all the facts on the table.
WOODRUFF: We're going to leave it there.
Tavis Smiley, Terry Jeffrey, gentlemen, good to see you both.
JEFFREY: Good to see you.
SMILEY: Thank you, Judy.
WOODRUFF: Thank you.
True Hollywood political stories are coming up next. The famous Hollywood sign is part of the custody battle, as the land of the stars tries to go solo from L.A.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WOODRUFF: For the first time since the 2000 election, Al Gore has asked one of his donors to organize a fund-raiser for another politician. Gore will be attending the event in Hollywood tonight.
Ron Brownstein of "The Los Angeles Times" tells us who Gore is helping and how he will also be helping himself.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Jeanne Shaheen, the Democratic governor of New Hampshire, so far has raised only about $5,000 from the entertainment industry for her U.S. Senate bid.
That meager showing isn't particularly surprising. Movie and music moguls don't have much reason to court tiny New Hampshire. But the men and women who want to be president have every reason to woo New Hampshire, site of the kickoff presidential primary, which largely explains why Governor Shaheen tonight will be collecting checks in Hollywood after all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D), NEW HAMPSHIRE: The vice president of the United States, Al Gore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWNSTEIN: Shaheen's Hollywood break came when she asked her old friend Al Gore if he could help her raise money for her Senate race. And Gore asked his old friend Alan Horn, the president of Warner Brothers, to host an event for the governor.
In the great Hollywood tradition of tie-ins and cross- merchandising, tonight's double-bill offers benefits for both Shaheen and Gore. Shaheen receives an infusion of cash for her race against Bob Smith or Representative John Sununu in a city where she probably couldn't raise bus fare on her own. Gore earns a chit with Shaheen, who is likely to be a key player in the 2004 New Hampshire presidential primary, whether she wins or loses this fall.
The evening will also provide Gore his first chance to reintroduce himself to the film world since 2000. In that campaign, Gore raised more than $1 million from the movie, music and television industries. But many Hollywood insiders are dubious of Gore the sequel. The buzz in L.A. lately has focused more on fresher faces, like North Carolina Senator John Edwards.
Like Arnold Schwarzenegger feeling the heat from The Rock or Vin Diesel, Gore is now under pressure to prove that his name on the marquee can still fill a hall.
This is Ron Brownstein for INSIDE POLITICS.
(END VIDEOTAPE) WOODRUFF: Sticking with the Hollywood theme: A California agency is expected today to recommend that an initiative to let Hollywood secede from Los Angeles be on the ballot in citywide elections this November.
CNN's Charles Feldman has been talking to some of the players in this real-life political drama.
CHARLES FELDMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Although most movie studios long ago left Hollywood for other parts of L.A., for most people, the mere mention of the name Hollywood conjures up images of movie stars, sleek limos, and lavish, lush scandals.
But now there is a movement afoot to divorce Hollywood from the rest of Los Angeles, to make Tinseltown a real town. And this man wants to be its mayor.
GENE LA PIETRA, HOLLYWOOD VOTE: The time has come to reinvent Hollywood, to let it grow to its potential and to help surrounding areas as well.
FELDMAN: He does have a point, to a point. Tourists usually notice how rundown Hollywood is. While its had some nips and tucks in recent years -- a new home for the Academy Awards, for example -- it really needs a major face-lift.
But amputation from the rest of the city, in the view of Hollywood's honorary mayor, is, as "Variety" might say, not a boffo idea.
(on camera): Let's think about what would happen should a vote come and Hollywood be broken off from the city of Los Angeles. In your view, what would happen then?
JOHNNY GRANT, HONORARY MAYOR OF HOLLYWOOD: Well, nothing for a long, long time, because they wouldn't have the money to do it. That's what really frightens me. They have got some grandiose ideas. I respect that. I respect anyone following their dream. I followed mine. I've been here all these years. So, that's that. But I just don't think they have planned this thing out.
FELDMAN (voice-over): Writers have long argued that Los Angeles is not really a city, but a collection of small communities. But until recently, no one seriously thought that the city would or could break itself apart.
Power and money -- what else? -- are the driving forces in this scenario.
LA PIETRA: The city of Los Angeles has been historically overcharging Hollywood $19 million for police officers that are not here. We do not have a narcotics bureau in Hollywood. We do not have a visitors bureau in Hollywood, although we get charged for all of those services. FELDMAN: But Hollywood's P.R. mayor says the secessionists are talking bunk.
GRANT: They don't have candidates. We will be voting. We don't even know who the people are. They don't have a city government. They are talking about having a city hall with a city manager and a secretary and maybe three other people using a half a secretary. You would need more than that for animal control.
FELDMAN: Hollywood residents are only now starting to focus on this issue. Many here expect the campaign ahead to be a real slugfest, with the outcome far from certain. But one thing is sure today: This is bound to make one hell of a Hollywood movie.
Charles Feldman, CNN, Los Angeles.
WOODRUFF: Massachusetts Republican Mitt Romney is facing questions about which state he calls home. The GOP nominee for Bay State governor has a home in Utah, which has been classified as his primary residence for tax purposes since 1999. The classification saved Romney $54,000 on his state property taxes.
A Romney spokesman and a Utah tax assessor said today that the classification was -- quote -- "a clerical mistake." Massachusetts Democrats say that they are considering a challenge to Romney's residency and his eligibility to run for governor. The state constitution requires a governor live in the state for seven years prior to election.
Our "Campaign News Daily" begins with more results from Tuesday's primaries. Businessman Douglas Forrester won the New Jersey GOP Senate primary. Forrester will take on Democrat incumbent Bob Torricelli. The Republican nominee wasted little time bringing up Torricelli's so-called ethics problems, labeling the campaign a race for the integrity of New Jersey.
Mideast politics helped force Democratic Congressman Earl Hilliard into a runoff in Alabama's rural 7th District. Hilliard edged attorney Artur Davis by 3 percentage point, but neither candidate won a majority. Davis benefited from contributions from Jewish donors who were angered by Hilliard's past links to pro-Arab causes.
In Baltimore, Mayor Martin O'Malley says he will not join the Democratic race for Maryland governor. O'Malley considered challenging Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend for the nomination, but O'Malley said today that he still has work to do in Baltimore.
And one more primary note: It looks as if the incumbent mayor of Long Beach, California, has won her write-in bid for reelection. As we told you yesterday, Beverly O'Neill mounted the write-in campaign as a way to get around the city's term-limits law. Well, causing a buzz today on Capitol Hill today: Florida's secretary of state, Katherine Harris, hurrying to make the rounds among lawmakers as she campaigns to join their ranks. Harris may be a famous face after her high-profile role in the Florida election recount, but our Capitol Hill producer, Ted Barrett, reports that the House candidate had to wait in security lines like almost every other visitor before discussing campaign issues with several lawmakers.
The difficult job of gathering intelligence just head -- Jeff Greenfield considers the question: Is the job of preventing terrorism a new kind of mission impossible?
WOODRUFF: The complicated job of gathering intelligence and preventing future acts of terrorism is a lot easier in movies and TV, of course. But real life is a much different story.
More now from our senior analyst, Jeff Greenfield.
GREENFIELD: On Capitol Hill and in the press, some very tough questions are being aimed at the people and the agencies charged with finding out what America's adversaries are up to and with protecting us from their worst intentions.
Embedded in those questions is a central assumption: that the United States should be able to uncover and to stop these adversaries at every turn. Question: Is that assumption unrealistic? And, if so, where might it have come from? Well, here is one very off-the- wall possibility.
(voice-over): Yes, it's a television show, "Mission: Impossible," that ran for seven years on CBS between 1966 and 1973.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Good morning, Mr. Phelps.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GREENFIELD: Every week, James Phelps and his band of incredibly crafty agents received instructions to combat some powerful evildoers here or abroad...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Once you get inside Stavik's (ph) headquarters...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GREENFIELD: ... with a blend of incredibly clever inventions and incredibly clever schemes. Our heroes could converse in any language, probably because all the bad guys spoke badly accented English. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Tell Kotve (ph) to proceed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GREENFIELD: They could whip up phony I.D.s, phony uniforms. And, within a matter of minutes, they could wind up inside the inner sanctums of the bad guys.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: You think he's my husband.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GREENFIELD: Nobody checked them out. Nobody apparently noticed that five people they had never seen before were popping up in highly sensitive places.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Now, Jim.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GREENFIELD: And, by the end of the hour, the good guys were rescued, the bad guys were in disarray, and all was well.
(on camera): As with the "James Bond" movies that were in full flower at the time, "Mission: Impossible" was, of course, an escapist fantasy.
But think about the world it portrayed. These agents operated with no congressional oversight. There was no group of rival secret agents keeping information from them. There was no intrusive press to second-guess them. So, you have to wonder whether such a fantasy might have helped shape some unrealistic expectations, the same way that movies and television portrayed, say, cops that solved every crime, defense lawyers who only defended the innocent, or reporters driven only by the highest of motives.
Jeff Greenfield, CNN, New York.
WOODRUFF: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted today in favor of a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, putting the Senate closer to overriding the state of Nevada's opposition to the Yucca project. The state's senators are engaged in an uphill battle to block the dump.
CNN's Brooks Jackson watched one of them in action.
BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another tough day ahead for Nevada's John Ensign.
SEN. JOHN ENSIGN (R), NEVADA: Tracy, you coming?
JACKSON: Ensign's unenviable job is to somehow persuade fellow Republicans they should keep nuclear waste in their own states and not ship it to his state. Today, he is calling on Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.
ENSIGN: Hi, Judd. How are you?
SEN. JUDD GREGG (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: How are you?
JACKSON: It's a case of policy making strange bedfellows. Ensign now works in harness with an old nemesis, Democratic Senator Harry Reid, who once said a vote for John Ensign is a vote for nuclear waste in Nevada.
When the two ran against each other in 1998, Reid ran this ad:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, REID CAMPAIGN AD)
ANNOUNCER: How can we trust John Ensign to fight against a permanent nuclear waste site in Nevada?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: Ensign lost by 428 votes, then won Nevada's other Senate seat two years later. Now he is trying to prove Reid was wrong.
ENSIGN: It is probably consuming 80 percent of my time as a U.S. senator in the last several months.
JACKSON: To win, Ensign needs a dozen or more Republicans to vote against the nuclear industry and against their own administration: a tough sell. He argues safety and cost.
ENSIGN: We try to hit the fiscal conservative in them, because this thing is a boondoggle that is at least $60 billion, probably going to go more to $100 billion, which is just outrageous.
A second thing that we hit with them is the transportation aspect. After September 11, terrorists are looking now for a dirty bomb in the United States. We are going to exactly give the terrorists plenty of opportunities by shipping this nuclear waste across the country through major metropolitan areas, through their neighborhoods, where a shoulder-fired TOW missile, an anti-tank missile, can breach one of these nuclear waste canisters. They have been shown to be able to do that. JACKSON: In his office, Ensign has a briefing book for every Republican senator and maps showing the routes that nuclear shipments might take, such as the Oklahoma interstate, where a bridge collapsed.
ENSIGN: Can you imagine one of these nuclear-waste canisters on I-40 when that barge hit?
JACKSON: Today, he had hoped to move Senator Gregg to undecided, from yes to maybe, but Gregg has a nuclear plant in his own state to worry about.
GREGG: It's tough to say whether I'm on maybe yet. I want the waste out of New Hampshire. I want it to go somewhere where it should go.
JACKSON: Few think Ensign can win. The deciding Senate vote is expected by the end of July. And, by one count, 48 senators already have publicly declared they won't be voting his way, putting Ensign just two votes away from defeat.
Brooks Jackson, CNN, Washington.
WOODRUFF: A long day at the Capitol.
Here now a look at what's coming up on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS" -- hello, Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS": Hi, Judy.
There are several fronts in the war on terror we are following this hour. Also, many Arab-Americans are outraged over new Justice Department regulations released today. We'll tell you why. And, during the coming hour, police in Los Angeles are scheduled to answer questions about that high-profile mystery involving a dead boy found in a swimming pool.
It's all coming up at the top of the hour, right after INSIDE POLITICS.
WOODRUFF: That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS" is next. I'm Judy Woodruff.
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Talks to Congressional Investigators; Hollywood May Secede Form Los Angeles>