What Did Gore Know & When? 

What Did Gore Know & When? 
Posted by FoM on November 04, 2000 at 07:41:16 PT
By Eric Fettman
Source: New York Post
‘This is something I dealt with a long time ago," said the presidential candidate as he admitted past substance abuse. "It is old news. When I was young, I did things young people do. When I grew up, I put away childish things." George W. Bush reacting to the November Surprise disclosure of his 1976 arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol? No, although it sounds like it. It was Al Gore, back in January - dismissing allegations that he'd been a regular user of marijuana. Gore did admit that he had smoked pot, but: "When I came back from Vietnam, yes, but not to that extent." 
In fact, at least two recent biographies - including one by respected Washington Post reporters David Maraniss and Ellen Nakashima - conclude that Gore was a much heavier user of marijuana than he's admitted. Is it relevant? If Bush's quarter-century-old DWI arrest matters, then Gore's past drug use should, too. But, needless to say, this campaign has seen no media frenzy over Gore's pot use. It was astonishing to watch breathless journalists fall all over themselves Thursday night as the Bush story broke, declaring that this was indeed a huge story, "if for no other reason than we journalists are on the air talking about it." So why are all those journalists talking about it? "Because it's a big story." Actually, it is a huge story. But not because Bush didn't freely disclose a misdemeanor citation he'd earned back when Jerry Ford was president. After all, the extent of Bush's past drinking problem has hardly been a secret. And as political driving incidents go, it's sure no Chappaquiddick. Indeed, as indiscretions go, it pales next to Bill Clinton's carryings-on inside the White House. No, this story is huge because of the timing and the motivation. The prime source of the information is an eccentric and politically ambitious Maine lawyer and Democratic activist who months ago announced his hopes of throwing a monkey wrench into Campaign 2000. Tom Connolly, who couldn't wait to go on camera and admit having provided the information to FOX-TV reporter Erin Fehlau, was the Democrats' 1998 nominee for governor of Maine. He won with just 12 percent of the vote - and at one point was running so low that the Democrats risked being decertified as a political party in the state. In other words, he felt he owed something to the party. This year, he was a Gore delegate to the Democratic convention - where he handed out buttons calling Bush "Wiener Boy" and pushing his anti-Bush Web site, which he promised would "materially effect [sic] the 2000 Presidential General Election." That site positively obsesses about Bush's past alcohol abuse, speaking of "the profound issue of when will Wiener Boy crack and revert to his old ways of booze addiction and drug abuse." Added Connolly: "A person who refuses to talk about or admit a drug problem still has a problem." Make no mistake - Connolly positively despises Bush, whom he says is made up of "filler . . . pig's lips and snout . . . along with pure bull and rodent feces." And his Web site ominously hints at a "Wiener Boy October Surprise." (In multiple interviews yesterday, he declared his actions "an act of democracy.") The Gore campaign insists it had "absolutely nothing" to do with this. But Erin Lehane, the sister of chief Gore spokesman Chris Lehane, is now a lawyer in Portland, Maine, in a firm headed by state Democratic chairman and ex-Gov. Kenneth Curtis. Like Connolly, who also practices in Portland, Curtis was a Gore delegate. (Oh, and both Lehanes graduated from Kennebunkport HS.) Guilt by association? Hey, Oliver Stone has managed to convince loads of people by playing connect-the-dots with a lot less. But it's hardly coincidental that this story breaks just as Gore - whose slip in the polls is largely due to concerns about his truthfulness - needed a counterattack against Bush on the character issue. As NBC's Matt Lauer offered on yesterday's "Today" show: "The Bush campaign has been labeling Al Gore as deceptive, and now it appears that they have not been completely forthcoming." Would the Gore camp lend itself to such scurrilous activity? Well, back in 1992, Hillary Clinton personally pressed reporters to pursue an unfounded rumor that President George Bush had been carrying on an extramarital affair (ironic, given later developments). If "DWIgate" ends up costing George W. Bush the presidency, that will be an outrage. But if the story backfires and ends up keeping Al Gore out of the White House, that would be poetic justice. E-mail: efettmann Source: New York Post (NY) Author: Eric FettmanPublished: November 4, 2000Copyright: 2000 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc. Contact: letters Website: The Death of Outrage Other Lawbreaker Confirms '76 DUI Arrest: 'I'm Not Proud of That' Choice 2000 Interview With John Warnecke Madness Other Journalist Recalls Gore's Drug Use
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Comment #3 posted by Dan B on November 05, 2000 at 21:12:12 PT:
They Have It Backwards...
"Indeed, as indiscretions go, it pales next to Bill Clinton's carryings-on inside the White House."Let me get this straight: driving while drunk and thereby placing innocent people's lives in jeopardy "pales next to" getting a blow job or smoking a little weed behind closed doors? What planet are these people from? There is a huge difference between a DWI and a sexual indiscretion, and if I were forced to choose a president who had done one or the other, I would without question choose the philanderer. Clinton put his political career in jeopardy; Bush risked not only his own life, but the lives of his fellow citizens. If you ask me, Clinton's "indiscretions" pale in comparison to Bush's wanton disregard for other people's lives. As for me, I'm voting Libertarian.Dan B
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Comment #2 posted by Webster on November 04, 2000 at 12:20:30 PT
Come on, Please.
Hey, are we kidding here or not. The GOP has put on a 7 year vendetta against Bill Clinton with their well-funded organizations, eg, The Rutherford Foundation. They have accused Clinton of everthing from child molestation to outright murder. It has been a relentless onslaught unprecedented in American politics. Now, suddenly we have some half baked lawyer up in Maine who dug up George Bush's old arrest record on a drunk driving, and who feeds it to the press 4 days before the election, and what is the GOP reaction to it all? Why it's all a "left wing conspiracy", of course. My take on all this is simple: GOP, are you listening? If you cannot take it, don't dish it out. The NY Post article printed above sounds more like it was written by the RNC than by any supposedly unbiased journalist. Let's all grow up a little here. You cant sling mud on the one hand non stop for over 7 years and then cry like a banshee when it happens to you. What goes around always comes around. The GOP has been smarting and licking their wounds ever since Watergate, and they would love to jack Al Gore's ass to the wall with something - if they had anything. The Bush people have had years to make his arrest record public and chose to stonewall it, using the lame excuse about not wanting his twin daughters to know of it. If you cannot own up to your past misdeeds to your kids, who the hell can you admit them to? I suppose Bush's cry of "dirty tricks" is supposed to generate some public sympathy for him. Being a "compassionate" type of guy myself, I'd like to say I feel he got a raw deal. Sorry, I just cant do it looking back over the GOP shenanigans of the past 7 plus years. Enough said.
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Comment #1 posted by Robbie on November 04, 2000 at 10:01:43 PT:
Are you kidding?
This guy is unbelieveable. He wants his cake and he wants to eat it as well. The simple fact is, G Dubya decided to keep the DUI thing from the electorate. He wasn't trying to "protect his daughters." He wasn't simply forgetful or didn't think it was important. He kept it from the people. Now, Al Gore smoked a lot more pot than he lets on? So what?! I don't say this because I support Gore, because I support neither of the duopolist Republicrats. I say it because, at the very least, I give credit to Gore for at least admitting that he did smoke pot. (As an aside, Gore's hypocrisy over his view about the medical efficacy of MJ and his insistence that more needs to be pumped into the drug war, has made him an enemy in this camp.)This author's indignation over whether or not Gore was the cause of this November surprise is warrantless. The simple fact is, if the situation was reversed, Georgie boy would do the same thing, and, if not him, certainly someone in his party who's loyal to the cause. In fact they'd be all over it...morally righteous and superior questioning whether Mr. Democrat has the moral right to be a leader. Interesting that they have no problems with their boy doing the same thing.What's more interesting to me than George's DUI in 1976, or even that he was/is/will be an alcoholic, is whether or not he has done cocaine or other "illicit" drugs in the past. So now, if we CAN talk about your personal indiscretions of youth, then what about cocaine?!?! You see, I believe that George will completely evade the cocaine question for one reason and one reason only...the bulk of his supporters will fall away in droves if he admits to cocaine use. That's the skinny. He knows that these right-wing moralists have no problems with his youthful drinking (30?), but they'd put a Scarlett letter on his keister if the nose-candy is mentioned.I had no problem with Bill Clinton smoking pot or getting some in the White House. I did care that he lied...that he "did not inhale" and that he "never had sexual relations with [that] woman." Not that he was a smoker or a philanderer, but that he lied about all of it. This author's moral certitude should be directed, not at what politicians are born to do, (obfuscate, evade, pander, deride, stump,) but at Georgie boy's willingness to supress the truth and evade the responsibility inherent in his former indiscretions.
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