Nation

Michael Reagan: ". . . there's some great concern [that] Warren Rudman, who is your overall campaign chair, would be in such a position in a McCain administration to appoint judges like Judge Souter to the bench, as was done during the Bush administration. . . .

Senator McCain: Ah, Warren Rudman did not appoint Judge Souter, President Bush did. . . .

Reagan: Yes, but . . .

McCain: Second of all, Warren Rudman is a fine, decent man who served his country in the Korean War, [was] attorney general of his state, and a senator who was highly respected. It was President Bush that appointed Justice Souter.

Reagan: Right, but Warren Rudman . . .

McCain: Warren Rudman is 70 . . . let me finish, please, could I finish? Ah, ah, Warren Rudman is 70 years old, he's been, he had a serious illness. He's not interested in playing any active role in a McCain administration, and I resent enormously phone calls that were made by Pat Robertson saying that he was a vicious bigot. I think that one might be. . . .

Reagan: The question is . . . what kind of judges would you appoint to the bench? Would they be Souter-like? Would they be judges in the make of a Bork, a Thomas? What kind of judges could we see from a President McCain?

McCain: My record is very clear as to who I have supported and my record is very clear in public statements that Justice Scalia is a justice that I admire very much. I also happen to admire Justice Rehnquist, Chief Justice Rehnquist, who is from the state of Arizona. . . .

Reagan: All right. Next question, education. . . . What is the McCain plan?

McCain: Choice, ah, by the way, before we go into that, ah, are you—it doesn't disturb you that Pat Robertson would call up people and say that, that, ah, Warren Rudman is a vicious bigot? I'd like you to talk about that a little bit.

Reagan: No, senator. No, senator. No, senator, because, let me tell you, I think that gets off . . .

McCain: No, let me tell you, let me tell you, when the man's name is maligned and his reputation is maligned then it ought to be talked about, OK?

[inaudible]

Reagan: Senator McCain, goodbye.

[Reagan hangs up on McCain.]

Reagan: Senator McCain, goodbye. [pause] You know something. I'm ripping this up. You lost my vote.

Charge Eco 'Poll Tax'
Greenback Vote

Even before Ralph Nader announced he would seek the Green Party nomination for president, the tiny party's Oregon contingent was holding an odd convention in Portland, at which members voted to approve Nader. It was an unusual gathering since the party, which prides itself on its egalitarianism, charged those attending $10 a head to enter and vote. Vociferous Greens who don't like Nader—noting that he barely campaigned the last time he ran—said the fee amounted to an illegal poll tax, which effectively banished those with no money and prevented other candidates from putting forward their programs.

"It is a membership fee," said Patrick Mazza, a founder of the Oregon Green Party. "The Seattle Greens also have a membership requirement of $15. Nationally, there has been a level of controversy among Greens over whether membership fees should be a criteria for voting, or whether it should be open to all registered party members."

Virginia Is for Lovers

By a vote of one, the Virginia House of Delegates last month passed legislation to reduce the penalty for sodomy from a five-year felony to a $250 fine. At least under the proposed new law, people convicted of having had anal or oral sex won’t lose the right to vote or hold professional licenses. Chances of final passage are uncertain since it must now go through the conservative Senate and then be accepted by Virginia’s conservative governor, Jim Gilmore. Right-wingers fear a tidal wave of sodomy and ‘‘crimes against nature’’ will sweep the state if the lighter law is enacted.

Additional reporting: Kate Cortesi

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