The Daily News Leader from Staunton, Virginia on March 23, 1992 · 16
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The Daily News Leader from Staunton, Virginia · 16

Staunton, Virginia
Issue Date:
Monday, March 23, 1992
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B8 Daily News Leader, Monday, March 23, 1992 Political notebook: Candidates' NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Politicians are usually adept at promising voters what they want to hear. Critics may call it pandering, but it's become part of every campaign. This year, the promises list is long and growing. Democratic front-runner Bill Clinton, campaigning across Connecticut for Tuesday's primary, has criticized the Bush administration for moving to scrap contracts for the Seawolf submarine, built in Groton. That seems to conflict with Clinton's general call for cuts in defense spending. But the cut, contained in Bush's budget, would result in the layoffs of thousands of Connecticut workers and has become an emotional political issue. Former Sen. Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts, before he withdrew from the race last week, criticiz.ed Clinton for "pandering" to Connecticut voters and suggested that the subma Check' scandal puts Foley on defensive WASHINGTON (AP) The bad-check scancjal at the House bank and a general feeling of legislative frustration have combined to put Speaker Thomas Foley, in his third year as the nation's top-ranking Democrat, on the defensive. And the jury isn't likely to be Foley's Democratic colleagues, who elected him speaker, but the voters who could well turn out dozens of incumbent lawmakers this fall and put a dent in the party's House majority. President Bush is sensing the weakness, attacking "paralysis" on Capitol Hill in a speech Friday. "The Democratic leadership is in disarray," Bush said. Vetoing a Democratic tax bill, Bush ridiculed the House for its scandals: "Needless to say, I will not send it back via the I louse Post Office." The post office is the subject of an embezzlement and drug-selling investigation. Foley spent the past week bearing the brunt of anger from lawmakers in trouble because of free overdrafts on their accounts at the now-shuttered House bank. The loudest critic, Rep. Joseph Early, D-Mass., shouted on the House floor that the speaker's handling of the bank had been "a disgrace." Others were quieter, but said the same thing. In interviews last week, Democratic House members voiced opinions ranging fiom full support for Foley to a call for his replacement. "Clearly, the leadership has gotten a wake-up call," said Rep. Dan Glickman, D-Kan. "A lot of members look at the next month or two as a test of (Foley's) leadership." On Friday, Foley moved to dissipate the heat by canceling one relatively minor perk for lawmakers the ability to get free prescription drugs at a doctor's office in the basement below the Capitol dome. He also announced plans to raise the fee members pay to use the House gymnasium, now just $100 a year. He also said he would go ahead this week with a resolution to create a House administrator's post. That Study finds increase in drug charges against women WASHINGTON (AP) Drug crimes accounted for nearly half the 137 percent increase in the number of women held in the nation's local jails during the last decade, the Justice Department said in a study released Sunday. A greater percentage of women inmates than men were held for drug crimes in the nation's jails, said the study by the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics. In 1989, one in three female jail inmates were held on drug-related charges compared with one of every four male prisoners. Six years earlier, about one in eight women inmates were held on drug charges. Women convicted of crimes were nearly twice as likely as men to have used serious drugs daily during the month before their offense took place, the study said. One in four convicted women committed their crime to get money to support their drug habit, according to the study, based on a survey and interviews of selected inmates. More than two-thirds of the women had children under the age of 18. The dramatic increase in the number of women jailed for drug trafficking or possession was accompanied by an equally significant drop in the number of female offenders accused of violent crimes, the study said. The proportion of women inmates held on drug offenses increased from 13.1 percent in 1983 to 33.6 percent in 1989, the study estimated. The percentage of women promise list is growing, changing rine would be killed under any post-Cold War program. "It is not pandering," Clinton insisted Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." He said he had consulted with "a wide range of defense advisers" before deciding to favor the sub. , I le said Bush's proposal to kill the Seawolf was "a clear example of his insensitivity ... he's going to throw all those people on the street." Former California Gov. Jerry Brown has also attacked Clinton on the Seawolf issue as he wages his own unconventional campaign here. He told a rally that the odds of Clinton actually preserving Seawolf if he were elected is "about the same as his selecting (Connecticut Sen.) Joe Licberman for vice president." Of course, in the promises department, Brown doesn't do so badly himself. After a campaign rally in Bridgeport, a supporter asked Brown if he would remove the institution's nuts-and-bolts operations from patronage supervision and create a professional manager. . "The buck stops in the speaker's office," said Rep. Dick Durbin, D-111., who spoke of anger and frustration among his colleagues at the handling of the bank scandal. Foley must make "substantial changes around here get this behind us so we can get back to work," he said, citing the need to eliminate political jobs and remaining perks. Those include free parking at the Capitol and local airports, discounts at Capitol Hill stationery stores, free mailing, satellite transmissions and the use of official photographers. "I don't need a potted plant from the Botanical Garden," Durbin said. "Heck, they die in three days anyway." The real nervousness lies ahead. Last week's primary elections in Illinois ended the terms of five congressional incumbents, a stark reminder of how strong anti-Washington feelings are back home. How incumbents do in primary elections over the coming months, and how House Democrats fare in November's elections will have a lot to do with whether Foley returns for a second full term as speaker, his colleagues said. Despite dire predictions from some political analysts, Foley has said he doesn't expect voters to dump large numbers of incumbents. "I do not believe that we will see any kind of a firestorm of defeat in the House of Representatives based on the operations of the post office or the bank," said the speaker. One knowledgeable former House Democrat said he believed Foley's status would be "dicey" if the party loses more than 20 seats in November. But a loyal member of the leadership team, Rep. Butler Derrick, D-S.C., said, "There are those grumblers out there, but that's all it is a little grumbling." Derrick said Foley "is absolutely in no trouble." detained for violent offenses dropped from 21 percent in 1983 to 13 percent six years later. Estimates of the proportion of women held for particular crimes were based on a random sample of inmates in 424 of the nation's 3,316 jails, which held 37,383 women, up 137 percent from a total of 15,769 in 1983. The estimated number of women jailed for drug crimes rose from 1,999 in 1983 to 11,970 in 1989. The 9,971 increase in the number of women drug offenders was nearly half the 21,614 overall jump in female jail prisoners. During the 1980s, women were by far the fastest growing segment of the nation's jail population. Compared with men, women inmates were more likely to be charged with a drug crime. In 1989, 21.9 percent of male inmates faced drug charges, compared with 33.6 percent of women inmates. In 1983, 13.1 percent of women prisoners in jails were detained on drug charges compared with 9 percent for men. About half the women jailed in 1989 were convicted of the crimes for which they had been arrested. The rest were detained on charges. The study did not list the jails where the surveys and interviews were conducted. The estimated number of women inmates held on drug charges was based on a percentage of a total of inmates whose offenses were known to those con-ductiim the survey: 35.625 in 1989 and 15,259 in 1983. would "reopen the investigation of the assassination of JFK so we can really find out who killed our president?" Brown paused a moment, then said: "Yeah. Sure. That's an easy one." And in the "pandering" department, it is Brown who wore a United Auto Workers jacket throughout his Michigan campaign. Clinton has accused Brown of "re-inventing himself" through the years. President Bush, who has the highest profile of any candidate for broken campaign promises with his abandoned "no new taxes" pledge, is no slacker in the pandering department this campaign season. He had been announcing a string of federal programs that benefit primary states before he finally all but flattened GOP challenger Patrick Buchanan in last week's Michigan primary. Thus, when he was in Oklahoma earlier this month he announced a program to help the oil and gas industry. And, later, a few days before If LowLowRates. Smart TimeTo Borrow. Our loan rates are the lowest they've been in years. Which makes this a very smart time to buy a car or fix up your home or apartment. Waiting could end up costing you a lot more. And at Dominion, you get other money-saving values with your loan. SkipYourFirstPayment. And Others. We let you skip your first payment. And even give you the option to skip others from time to time. Because we know it helps take the pressure off. Dominion BANK A sk ynur lux advisor about the tax advantages of equity lines and loans. If your Dominion Premier balance drops below $ 10,000 in a month, only I irst mortgage balances not included. Personal accounts only. Normal credit criteria apply. Member FDIC. last week's Michigan primary, he announced a regulatory relief program for the auto industry. Campaign officials have even been sending "pander patrol" aides to brief reporters and to explain why federal largess bestowed by Bush on key primary states is really completely, wholly, utterly nonpolitical. Sometimes, even the politicians aren't quite sure of whether they've been pandering or not. At a New York news conference, Clinton was asked to defend himself on criticism that he was cozying up to Israel in a bid to win the support of Jewish voters. "I don't think I've pandered on that," Clinton said. "I don't think continuing to be for the survival of the state of Israel is pandering." In the pander wars, there is also a subdivision of missed opportunities. For instance, Clinton talked about self-determination for Puerto Rico in the Friday debate in Buffalo. But later the same night when he addressed a Puerto Rican community event, he didn't even bring the subject up. Equity Credit Has Special Benefits. Homeowners can get an Equity Loan or Dominion Equity Line with rates even lower than installment loans. And don't forget, they can still qualify for interest tax deductions. We even pay closing costs on equity lines and loans of $10,000 or more for Dominion Premier customers. Scientists Try to uncork dangerous Cameroon gas YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) French and Cameroon scientists will begin an experiment this week aimed at extracting gas from volanic Lake Nyos in hopes of prevening another blast like the one that killed 1,746 people in 1986. The scientists want to see if pumping water laden with carbon dioxide from the bottom of the 600-foot-deep lake would reduce the possibility of another massive gas release. This could eventually allow the 4,000 people relocated after the disaster five years ago to return to their villages and fields along the slopes of the extinct volcano in Cameroon's mountainous northwest. "If the gas is left to accumulate, it could build up to the point where it could erupt again," said John Fonji, a senior geologist with the Cameroon Ministry of Mines, Water and Power. Fonji will head the Cameroon team of scientists, and the four-man French team will be led by Michel Balbwachs of the Univer Common SenseLoans. From ACommon Sense Bank. sity of Savoie and the Volcanic Research Center of Chambery. Carbon dioxide seeps into the bottom of the lake through the porous volcanic rocks beneath the crater. The gas is trapped in the water and creates immense pressure about 20 times that of the lake surface. As the pressure increases, so does the temperature and the tendency of the gas to rise. Scientists are still unclear about what triggered the gas release at Lake Nyos in August 1986, or a similar one in smaller Lake Monoun, 60 miles southwest of Nyos, in 1984 that killed 37 people. Both lakes are in the craters of extinct volcanos. 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