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October 29, 1998 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-29

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 29, 1998 - 5A

Democrats lash
out against GOP
for attack ads

Plan of attack


WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrats
lashed out yesterday against a $10 mil-
lion Republican ad campaign that makes
an issue out of the Monica Lewinsky
scandal even as party leaders struggled
to raise money for a counterpunch.
Undeterred and flush with cash,
Republicans planned to add another TV
spot to their arsenal, this one accusing
President Clinton of hiding behind "legal
mumbo jumbo" in the Lewinsky case.
Clinton complained at a news confer-
ence that Democrats are "being very
badly outspent" by Republicans, but he
passed up a chance to criticize their strat-
egy. Republicans can "make the election
about whatever they want to make the
election about," he said.
Said Vice President Al Gore:
"Attacking the president and investigat-
ing the president has apparently become
an obsession with the Republicans."
House Minority Leader Dick
Gephardt (D-Missouri), in a conference
call with reporters, called the ads "a sign
of what they intend to do if we leave
them in charge of the Congress, and that
is continue an open-ended, non-ending
impeachment investigation."
Republican Party spokesperson Mary
Crawford replied: "The president is the
head of their party. We strongly disagree
with his ideas and their party's ideas. This
election is about their ideas versus our
ideas, and that's what these ads are
House Democrats began production
on an ad to counter the GOP blitz,
although it was expected to run in fewer
markets than Republican commercials.

Gephardt was leading an effort to raise
money for the new spot, sources said.
"We're not going to be able to compete
in every place but we're going to have a
response in as many places as we can,"
Gephardt said. The ad may be modeled
on a spot by Kentucky Democrat Chris
Gorman, opponent of Rep. Anne
Northup, who leans against a fence post
for his ad and says, "They're so focused
on getting Bill Clinton that they've for-
gotten about the rest of us."
The National Republican
Congressional Committee launched 29
ads tailored for specific congressional
districts plus three multi-district ads.
Those three ads blend talk of GOP
achievements with subtle but clear ref-
erences to the Lewinsky affair.
"For seven months he lied," a woman
in one ad says. After a discussion about
GOP accomplishments, an announcer
says, "Republicans are the balance we
need." Another ad running in just three
Southern congressional districts says,
"Reward Bill Clinton. Or, vote
Republican." The most widely aired ad,
the most subtle of the three, includes an
image of Clinton wagging his finger at
cameras as he denied the affair.
Republican strategists who helped
produce the ads say the campaign is not
designed to make the election a referen-
dum on Clinton, who faces impeach-
ment proceedings in November. Instead,
they hope to use the omnipresent scan-
dal to amplify their broader message: A
Republican Congress is a check against
a Democratic president who can't be


The captain of an Air China jet hijacked his own plane Tuesday as it was headed
toward Taiwan. No one was injured, but the pilot was taken into custody.

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* The Puntarenas cemetery, west of the Costa Rica capitol, San Jose, is
flooded by heavy rains as the country feels the effects of Hurricane Mitch.
Hurrne Mitch
punishes Honduras


LA CEIBA, Honduras (AP) -
Hurricane Mitch paused in its whirl
through the western Caribbean yes-
terday to punish Honduras with 120
mph winds, sweeping away bridges,
flooding neighborhoods and killing
at least 14 people.
Mitch was almost stationary over
the Bay Islands, a Honduras tourist
area popular with American scuba
divers and beachcombers. According
to unconfirmed reports, another 14
* people died on the island of Guanaja
just east of Roatan, which would
raise the death toll to 28.
The storm was only 30 miles off
the coast, and hurricane-force winds
stretched 105 miles from the storm's
center. That meant the Honduran
coast and a good portion of the inte-
rior was under hurricane conditions
for more than a day.
At its peak Tuesday, Mitch was
classified as the fourth-strongest
Caribbean hurricane this century
with 180 mph winds.
By yesterday afternoon, the 350-
mile-wide storm still packed a
punch, but its sustained winds were
down to 120 mph.
The U.S. National Weather Service
said only three Atlantic storms were
stronger than Mitch at its peak:
Gilbert in 1988, Allen in 1980 and the
Labor Day hurricane of 1935.
The rainfall - up to 25 inches in

mountain areas - began to take a
toll. More than 50 rivers had overrun
their banks, and the government
evacuated more than 45,000 people
from low-lying areas, according to
Col. Guillermo Pinel, chief of the
National Emergency Committee.
Many towns were cut off by
washed-out roads and downed
bridges, and phone lines were severed
on the Bay Islands, making it difficult
to gauge the extent of the damage.
Both highways out of La Ceiba, a
city of 40,000 people, were cut yes-
terday. To the east, the Saopin bridge
sagged into the water as the swollen
river weakened its pillars. To the
west, the Pico Bonito bridge was
entirely washed away.
Electricity was out in the entire
town, and the sea moved a half-block
into town in some places.
Waves crashed against the walls of
seafront discos and people waded
through knee-deep water with furmi-
ture on their backs to flee flooded
In the Barrio Ingles shantytown,
the ground was entirely covered in
white foam from the surf, making it
look like it hailed.
Honduran officials reported five
deaths - one in a collapsed house,
two men electrocuted when they
were blown off a roof and one man
drowned in a swollen river.

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