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July 20, 1990 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-07-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

INSIDE WASHINGTON

JAMES D. BESSER

Washington Correspondent

A

congressional race in
Florida has developed
some twists that have
a few Jewish legislators hot
under the collar.
The debate centers on the
aggressive campaign of Scott
Shore, a conservative
Republican, to unseat in-
cumbent Rep. Harry
Johnston, a Democrat.
Shore, a businessman, is a
former official with the
American Israel Public Af-
fairs Committee.
In a recent mailing to
potential Jewish con-
tributors, Shore hauled out
the heavy rhetorical ar-
tillery — accusing Johnston
of being "not too picky"
about committee
assignments, and blasting

the incumbent for relying on
the "moderate Jewish con-
stituency" for information
about Jewish issues.
"It doesn't take much to
figure out that the 'moderate
Jewish constituency' Harry
refers to is the Liberal Left
Wing," according to Shore's
fire-and-brimstone cam-
paign tract.
Shore also criticized
Johnston's response to last
year's speech by Secretary of
State James Baker to the
AIPAC policy conference.
Johnston, according to the
Shore brochure, suggested
that the speech had very
little impact on Congress —
and that there are a number
of Jewish legislators on the
Foreign Affairs committee.

"Sounds like Harry is say-
ing,`Some of my best friends
are Jewish: " according to
the glossy pamphlet.
Jewish Democrats in Con-
gress were not amused. Re-
cently, several legislators
circulated a letter suppor-
ting Johnston's credentials
as a supporter of Israel and
obliquely criticizing Shore's
negative campaign style
within the Jewish commun-
ity.
Ben Waldman, director of
the conservative National
Jewish Coalition, saw things
differently.
"Scott Shore's campaign is
an example of the recent
emergence of a number of
young, dynamic Jewish can-
didates," Waldman said. "To
me, the story here is the po-
litical maturation of a whole
generation of Jewish Repub-
licans who entered politics
in the past 10 years."

Bush Sent Arabs Wrong
Message On U.N. Bill

When President George
Bush signed the bill urging
the United Nations to repeal
its 1975 "Zionism as
Racism" resolution several
weeks ago, it represented a
victory for a number of Jew-
ish groups that had pressed
hard for the bill —and for
Sen. Rudy Boschwitz (R-
Minn.) and Sen. Daniel
Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.),
the key sponsors of the mea-
sure.
But the White House took
some of the pleasure out of
the victory.
Despite the quiet urging of
several Jewish organiza-
tions and congressional of-
fices, the White House
refused to hold a signing
ceremony. Instead, a state-
ment was issued in the pres-
ident's name seconding the
call for a repeal of the U.N.
resolution.
"It was definitely a disap-
pointment," said one Jewish
activist who was involved in

Sens. Boschwitz, Moynihan: the pleasure was not unalloyed.

the discussions. "Clearly,
this was a calculated deci-
sion on the part of the White
House not to make this into
a public signing. I think it
sends an incorrect message
to the Arab world."
That message, according to
several Jewish activists, is

that despite the strong
statement from Congress on
the issue, the United States
is not really serious about
pressing the international
body to rescind a resolution
that the pro-Israel commun-
ity regards as an obstacle to
a Middle East peace. ❑

Effort To Block Saudi
Arms Sale Fizzles

Efforts to block a gigantic
arms sale to Saudi Arabia
quietly fizzled last week
when the clock ran out for
Congressional disapproval.
The administration had
proposed more than $4
billion in hardware for the
Saudis, including TOW anti-
tank missiles, armored
vehicles and improvements
for the AWACS sold to the

Saudis in 1981 after a bitter
battle with pro-Israel forces.
Rep. Larry Smith (D-Fla.)
had introduced a "resolution
of disapproval" that could
have blocked the sale.
Behind the scenes, Smith
was negotiating to limit
what he saw as the most
dangerous components of the
sale — including the TOW
missiles.

By law, Congress has 30
days after official notifica-
tion to reject a foreign arms
sale. Both houses must ap-
prove the resolution of dis-
approval.
But Smith was unable to
generate much interest
among his colleagues.
Smith continues to argue
that the sale represents one
more dangerous escalation.

Abp.

Sen. Kohl, Rep. Weiss among magazine's "Best."

Jewish Legislators
Get Magazine Accolade

The Washingtonian Maga-
zine recently published its
"Best and Worst in Wash-
ington" issue, and several
Jewish legislators came in
for some heavy praise.
In a poll of House and
Senate staffers, Sen. Herb
Kohl (D-Wis.) was rated the
Senate's "Office Angel" —
the senator with the most
contented staff.
"He's a real pussycat,"
said one envious aide to an-
other senator.
On the House side, the
honors went to another Jew-
ish legislator — Rep. Ted
Weiss, the New York liberal
Democrat and all-around
nice guy.
A few other awards were of

note to Jewish politicos. The
"Brain Dead" contest in the
House resulted in a tie. The
honors were divided between
Rep. James Traficant (D-
Ohio), who has spearhead-
ed a crusade charging the
Office of Special Investiga-
tions (OSI) with harassing
several suspected Nazi war
criminals, and Rep. Gus
Savage, the Illinois
Democrat whose remarks at
a campaign rally earlier this
year ignited a storm of
criticism from Jewish
groups.
The award for the smartest
congressman went to Rep.
Barney Frank, the
outspoken Jewish Democrat
from Massachusetts.

Jewish Activists Back
'Troubled Family' Bill

Family issues have become
the hot political commodity
of the 1990s. But as the re-
cent veto of the family and
medical leave bill demon-
strated, when it comes to
spending money for family
oriented programs, election-
year promises bend to other
considerations.
Now, another bill is attrac-
ting the attention of some
Jewish groups here. The
Family Preservation Act of
1990 is a wide-ranging bill
that would provide a number
of services to troubled
families.
Specifically, the bill would
provide grants to child wel-
fare agencies, fund demon-
stration programs to beef up
foster care services, and pro-
vide for research and train-
ing to improve the foster-
care system.
The bill would update
earlier legislation — which
President Ronald Reagan
urged Congress to repeal.

"We're looking at some
pretty scary predictions,"
said Susan Banes Harris,
Washington representative
for the New York Jewish
Federations, a group active-
ly promoting the current
bill.
"If current trends con-
tinue, the number of chil-
dren in out-of-home care
could go up to 800,000 by
1995. So it's evident we have
to do more to help keep
families from falling apart
— and to provide safe, effec-
tive foster care for those that
become dysfunctional."
"Some people say this is
not a Jewish problem. But in
New York and other urban
areas, we've always had
strong child welfare pro-
grams. In some cities, there
are foster homes for Jewish
teens. In New York, our
Jewish agencies work with
all segments of society. It's a
problem we'd all hoped
would go away."

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

27

ATI C ► ill

In Florida: Hardball
Politics Or Mudslinging?

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