October 27 Oakland Tribune.
SUCCESS PROVES A LIABILITY FOR FEINSTEIN
by Meredith K. Wadman (Washington bureau)
[Note: this paper is NOT noted for the neutrality and objectivity of the
headlines it puts on articles.]
"If it wasn't for Senator Feinstein, there would be no assault weapons
law," said Sarah Brady, the chair of Handgun Control Inc.
That was just one of a string of legislative victories that have
marked Feinstein's 20 months in Washington, where she arrived after
beating Republican John Seymour, Gov. Pete Wilson's appointed Senate
successor, in a 1992 special election.
Indeed, so indisputable have been Feinstein's freshman successes --
the California Desert Protection Act is another example -- that even
ultra-conservative columnist Robert Novak recently praised her as
"elegant and effective."
But ironically, in an election marked by voter disgust with
Washington, the former San Francisco mayor's very success has become,
in part, a liability.
[Her opponent, Republican Michael Huffington, has a record of almost NO
accomplishment as a congressman. Grand total of pieces of legislation
introduced: 3. He says it's because he's not in favor of lots of laws
interfering with the free market. But why doesn't he introduce bills to
REPEAL laws and taxes, the way he talks like he would? Feinstein
characterizes his record as best summed up by the words "missing in
action." He characterizes Feinstein as "in favor of taxes." I guess his
non-record enables him to, as they say, run as an outsider.]
"Dianne Feinstein has the most productive (two-year) record of any
Senate freshman," said Norm Ornstein, a Congressional expert at the
American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington think tank.
... In a six-month, statewide barrage of television and radio
advertisements, Huffington has pounded Feinstein.... The ads have
shrunk Feinstein's lead from 29 points to single digits.
[Huffington criticizes her for taking special interest campaign
contributions, which he doesn't because he's a Texas oil millionaire (by
inheritance, not by his own work). He criticizes her husband's iffy
financial maneuvers, though he himself has apparently evaded up to
$6,000,000 in state taxes by maintaining a fake double residency in Texas
and California. He has spent $25 million on the race so far vs. $11
million for Feinstein, breaking Sen. Jesse Helms's all-time record of $17
million spent on a Senate race a few years ago.]
Feinstein has been careful to cover her right flank... She has staked
out tough, high-profile positions on crime and illegal immigration,
even at the cost of disappointing liberals.
[Don't get me started on the anti-immigrant frenzy here! Latest tidbit:
Huffington, who is all for every anti-illegal measure there is, turns out
to have employed an illegal immigrant as a nanny for four or five years.]
[In an editorial piece, Christopher Loverro reports how a Huffington rally
on the Berkeley campus, supposedly open to all students, was run according
to rules which said he had to put a Huffington sticker on his chest or he
would be ejected by the Secret Service. Huffington's propaganda machine
tolerates no independence, is his thesis.]