And now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine:
Going Back to Arkansas
Former President Clinton will appear in West Memphis, Ark., for a "countdown to victory" rally for Democratic candidates there. But one of the most important candidates, Mark Pryor, who is running for the U.S. Senate, has decided not to attend. His campaign says it's because he has a debate the following day. "We want him rested," a campaign aide told The Washington Post. But aides also said Pryor "is not from the Bill Clinton school of politics." In fact, The Post says people on both sides say Pryor's absence from the event has more to do with Clinton's unpopularity in the state because of what the paper calls his "less than upright behavior in the White House." Pryor, the son of former Sen. David Pryor, is running against Republican Sen. Tim Hutchinson. And according to The Post, Pryor is hoping to make an issue of Hutchinson's 1999 divorce, followed by his marriage to a former staffer. A joint appearance with Clinton, the paper says, could muddy that message.
A Capital Idea
For an election that hasn't even happened yet, Washington D.C.'s Democratic mayoral primary has had plenty of fireworks. From its tales of forged signatures to its colorful cast of candidates, now comes more good news. The D.C. Board of Elections anticipates it will take as long as 10 days to count thousands of write-in ballots expected for two major candidates in the race. Officials worry that the name Mayor Anthony Williams might look a lot like minister Willie Wilson when written in by D.C. voters. Fifty election workers have been hired for the sole purpose of counting the handwritten votes. Williams was forced to run as a write-in candidate after the elections board denied him a spot on the ballot because his nominating petitions were filled with forgeries.
Protesters Trying to Push Mayor Out
And in Roseville, Minn., hundreds of protesters showed up to push for the mayor's resignation. Included in the crowd? The mayor himself. "I'm joining in with the fun, this is entertainment," said Mayor John Kysylyczyn, who came bearing a sign that read, "Death to the Mayor." Mayor "K" has come under fire for several ethics violations, but says he has no plans to resign.
An Australian court has given a convicted heroin dealer the all-clear to write off $118,000 dollars in stolen drug money from his taxes. The Australian Federal Court ruled that because jailed felon Francesco Dominico La Rosa had earned his taxable income through selling drugs, he was likewise entitled to deduct from his taxes any expenses incurred as part of his criminal endeavors. La Rosa was jailed for 12 years in 1996 for importing and selling heroin.