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Letter to the editor


I noticed in our newspaper that Al Gore is portraying his rival, George Bush,
as a puppet of big oil. This wire service article was negatively slanted
against Bush with bare mention of Gore's oil industry connections. Well, here
is the rest of the story.
In 1997, with the assistance of ``Honest Tony' Coelho, Gore helped
Occidental Petroleum buy the publicly owned Elk Hills oil field in California.
The sale of this strategic national treasure was the largest privatization in
American history, and benefited Occidental by tripling its oil reserves.This
deal was a curious reversal of prior Clinton-Gore policy wherein they had
repeatedly declared private lands public for political purposes. Such was the
federal grab of two million acres in Utah, rich with clean burning coal, which
conveniently left important Democratic contributor James Riady (Lippo Group)
with a virtual monopoly on this scarce commodity.
Gore's ties to Occidental go back decades when ``fellow traveler' and
oilman Armand Hammer bought himself a congressman named Albert Gore Sr. Today
Occidental continues to pay Gore $20,000 annually for mineral rights on his
Tennessee estate.
Gore controls $500,000 in Occidental stock and Occidental has given a half
million in soft money to the Democrats since Gore has been vice president. For
$1 million: Who is big oil's best friend? My final answer....Al Gore.
Since we now have the higher gas prices called for in his goofy book
perhaps ``Slum Lord' Gore can use the excess profits to repair the toilet in
his tenant's hovel.
Fred H. Gregory


Letter to the editor


Al Gore and George Bush have uttered more than a few malapropisms (letter,
Sept. 19), but their fumbling misuse of words shouldn't be an issue with the
undecided voter.
What matters is the candidates' respect for the truth. Gore shows outright
contempt for it. He is an inveterate liar. He evasively dissembles in sworn
testimony. He panders to polls and special-interest groups. He compulsively
exaggerates. He fudges the facts. In his convention speech he falsely claimed
that the Bush tax plan would only give the average American family an extra
Diet Coke per day.
When Gore's lie was exposed, his staff had to admit that the Bush proposal
would in fact let this family keep $1,600 more of their own money each year.
It is clear that he will say anything to get elected. Remember, it was Gore
who first used the infamous Willie Horton against a fellow Democrat.
Surprisingly, on Sept. 20, even the Washington Post took an editorial swipe
at the VP: ``In lashing out at big oil, big pharmaceutical firms and big HMO's,
Gore is playing the demagogue, and he himself must know it.' The Post
concludes: ``Mr. Gore seems more intent upon telling us that he's for the
people, not the powerful. Given his history, the slogan seems about as sincere
as it is useful.'
Now that has the ring of truth.
Nothing Gore says is worthy of belief except his embrace of the Democratic
platform, which will require even further expansion of government.

Fred Gregory


There is nothing new or surprising in U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno's
stubborn refusal to name an independent counsel to probe Vice President Al
Gore's fund-raising role in the 1996 campaign and possible charges of false
statements under oath.
Reno is in the tank for Gore as she has been for President Bill Clinton.
This latest dodge was explained at her Aug. 23 press conference in narrow
hypertechnical legalisms. Gore himself contemptuously answered questions from
investigators by stating he did not know he was attending a fund-raiser at the
Hsi Lai Buddhist temple in Los Angeles even when confronted with his own e-mail
to an aide in which he refers to the event as a ``fund-raiser.' Then, in a rare
truthful slip, the vice president called it a fund-raiser, only to be abruptly
corrected by his defense attorney, at which point Gore asked to amend his
testimony.Robert J. Conrad, selected by Reno from the U.S. attorney's office in
Charlotte to head the four-years overdue task-force examination of these
matters, recently recommended that Reno appoint an outside prosecutor. Two
other unnamed Justice Department attorneys agreed with Conrad. All three
individuals will no doubt become radioactive in the department for daring to
say honestly, ``The king doesn't have any clothes on.'
Reno's loyalty to her bosses is steadfast, but her stalling undermines the
rule of law. On two prior occasions she has decided that special counsels were
not warranted to look into separate fact situations where Gore may have
violated the law. These ``judgments' were contrary to the advice and
recommendation of FBI Director Louis Freeh and her handpicked prosecutor,
Charles LaBella from San Diego, both career law enforcement officials of
unquestioned integrity.
Excuse me! So what we have here is a vice president who has been nominated
by his party to run for president, and the best we can say for him is that he
is not indictable.
Let us now turn back the pages of history to 1988, when then-Attorney
General Edwin Meese III had just undergone an exhaustive 14-month investigation
into his public and private life by Independent Counsel James McKay. The
814-page report issued by McKay stated that no indictment was warranted. The
self-styled citizens group, Common Cause, was not satisfied and called for an
internal Justice inquisition of Meese to determine if he had violated the code
of conduct for government employees.
Then our editors at the News & Record meanly reproached Meese (``Meese
misses point,' July 25, 1988). ``Though prosecution was not advised by McKay,
his report hardly amounts to exoneration. Yet Meese continues to claim that if
he is not criminally charged, he has acted responsibly. He blithely forgets
that his office demands more than just staying out of jail. ... Just because
the special counsel's investigation did not deem Meese to be criminally
indictable does not mean that the attorney general's hands are clean. The taint
lingers on.'
Well said, I suppose, but only if you juxtapose the cases of Edwin Meese
and Al Gore and hold the vice president to the same rigid standard. Meese was
clumsy but not venal. I think after any objective comparison one could conclude
that Al Gore is not fit for the position he now holds or the higher office that
he seeks.
Yes, the taint lingers on. A powerful miasma hangs over the U.S. Justice
Department and is causing some career employees to retch. Let's hope the voters
will rid us of that foul odor this fall.

Fred Gregory


Letter to the editor


Your fragile apologia for the sleazy, illegal, no restraint fund-raising of Al
Gore was, of course, predictable and disgustingly kind. (``The system
victimizes a respectable politician,' Sept. 9).
Gore is a dangerous environmental extremist. He favors expansion of
government. He is a hypocrite regarding tobacco. His book damns the automobile
as a ``moral threat.' Now he degrades the high office he holds.
Gore got caught dialing for dollars. His "no controlling legal authority"
press conference was laughable. First he claimed that ``on a few occasions' he
made fund-raising calls from the White House for ``soft money.' Upon closer
examination, ``a few' turned out to be 46. Then it was disclosed by The
Washington Post that he knew, or should have known, that some of the bucks he
extorted were to be used by the Clinton-Gore election effort. Hello, Janet
Reno. The press asked the questions, dug up the answers and viola...the
attorney general finally triggered the long overdue process to name an
independent counsel to investigate this sordid mess.The editorial's attempt to
excuse Gore's felonies by blaming reckless staff work is so much guano. First,
they called the April 1996 Buddhist Temple affair, ``community outreach.' You
ignore the fact that Gore's own e-mail refers to the upcoming event as a fund
raiser. I guess the devil made him do it. Betcha can't wait to endorse Gore for
president in 2000, that is if you are able to determine...is he a man or a

Fred H. Gregory

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