Now for the most compelling two minutes in television anywhere, here are the pickings from Special Report's "Political Grapevine."
Voters get a return on their investment
Fifty-two Vermonters will soon get a check in the mail. It's not the tax refund check. This one from now-independent Senator James Jeffords. When Jeffords left the GOP last May, he offered to return campaign contributions to anyone who had supported him when he was a Republican. It turns out that 52 people took him up on that offer. Refunds total $17,470.
How many soldiers does it take to make an army?
The army of one is now an army of zero. You may recall seeing a TV ad for the Army's special forces featuring a lone soldier who claims, "I'm an army of one, and can you see my strength." Well, the soldier in that ad, Army Specialist Richard Lovett, has dropped out of the grueling special forces training course, citing personal and professional reasons.
Ready to run?
Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan is exploring a run for governor of California in 2002. Riordan has filed papers allowing him to raise funds for a gubernatorial race and has announced a statewide tour. The White House and several members of California's Republican congressional delegation have encouraged Riordan to run. However, he would have to defeat two challengers in a primary before taking on incumbent Democrat Gray Davis.
Has to go along with the idea
Federal planners and Washington, DC city officials are considering a proposal to build a tunnel under Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House. The plan is being floated as an alternative to reopening the street, which was closed for security reasons following the April 1995, Oklahoma City bombing.
However, supporters say the tunnel idea won't go anywhere unless President Bush requests funding for it. So far, the White House hasn't indicated whether or not Mr. Bush supports that idea.
Snout not up to snuff
A West Virginia couple has dodged a drug rap thanks to the so-so sniffing of a police drug dog. The German Shepherd named Falco reportedly sniffed out 560 pounds of marijuana in the couple's motor home last August. But a federal judge dropped the charges saying Falco's track record did not give officers probable cause for the search. Falco had indicated smelling narcotics 225 times in the past two years, but police actually found drugs 80 times. That's a 35 percent success rate.
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