The Political Grapevine - August 3, 2001

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And now the end-of-the-week pickings from Special Report's "Political Grapevine."  

Where in the world is Bob Barr?

Republican Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia isn't going to help state Democrats map his political future.  Barr sold his home in his district back in February.  And since then, he has been renting, but he won't say exactly where.  Barr fears Democrats in the state legislature
will try to redraw congressional boundaries in such a way as to place him in somebody else's district. 

Members of Congress are not required to live in the districts they represent.  But it's rare for them not to live in the same areas as their constituents.

Losing the distraction

The press secretary for California's Governor Gray Davis has now sold his stock holdings in an energy company.  As we've been telling you, Steve Maviglio came under fire this week when he had announced he purchased shares in Calpine Corporation at the same time he was praising the company to the press. 

Maviglio took a $1,300 loss on the sale.  But he said he wanted to rid himself of the distraction.  Davis said he stood by his press secretary, but some Republicans have called for his resignation. 

Doesn't like the sound of junior?

And there are some rumblings in Mississippi about Trent Lott's leaving the Senate to run for governor.   Biloxi Sun Herald columnist, Bill Minor, writes that if Lott loses his leadership position, he's currently minority leader, he would be likely to run for governor in 2003 rather than to remain junior senator under Thad Cochran. 

In an interview, Lott said that that was: "the most bizarre idea I've seen or heard in a long time.  No truth to it whatsoever, none."

Wants more swearing in his committee

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama is taking issue with some recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Sessions says the Democratic Chairman of the committee, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, is not swearing in witnesses properly.  Sessions says Leahy is not asking witnesses to utter "so help me God" when sworn in under oath. 

Leahy says he just reads the oath from a card and didn't intentionally drop the words.  Sessions is considering an effort to make the language part of Senate rules.

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