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Grand Jury Issues 10-Count Indictment Against James Traficant; Florida Lawmakers Pass Election Reform

Aired May 4, 2001 - 17:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: Live from Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff.


REP. JAMES TRAFICANT (D), OHIO: They better fix the damn jury because there's going to be a rumble wherever it is.


ANNOUNCER: As he has been predicting for months, Ohio Congressman James Traficant has been indicted on corruption charges.

Florida lawmakers vote to chuck chads and the ballots behind them in hopes of avoiding a repeat of the November election nightmare.


GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: Rather than try to relive the past, we've been focusing on making sure that 2002 looks a lot different.


ANNOUNCER: We'll get in step with the new rhythm at the White House, the style the substance, and don't forget the sports.

Now, Judy Woodruff takes you INSIDE POLITICS.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for joining us.

Congressman James Traficant is used to being on the giving and receiving end of political attacks, but this is something quite different: a 10-count indictment by a federal grand jury in Cleveland today on corruption charges. The Ohio Democrat stands accused of bribery, tax evasion, obstruction of justice, seeking bribes, conspiracy to defraud the government, and racketeering.

The indictment alleges that Traficant accepted, quote, "Things of value for political influence while serving in Congress." The charges against Traficant stem from a lengthy federal investigation into public corruption and organized crime.

CNN's Jonathan Karl has more now on the charges against Traficant and the nine-term congressman's controversial tenure on Capitol Hill.


JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): James Traficant's indictment didn't come as a surprise. For more than a year now, he's been telling anyone who will listen that it was coming.


TRAFICANT: Yeah, I am definitely under investigation as we speak. I expect to be indicted any day. There's a tremendous amount of pressure on me. I'm the only American in history to defeat the Justice Department in the Rico case pro se. And I'm going to look at 12 jurors again, and they better get all 12 and they better fix the damn jury, because there's going to be a rumble where it is.


KARL: The nine-term Ohio Democrat last tangled with the Justice Department back in 1983 when he was arrested for allegedly taking $163,000 in bribes from organized crime. He defended himself and was acquitted. The highly publicized case propelled him to Congress the next year.

In Congress, Traficant has been one of the most colorful and wildly unpredictable members of the House, best known for his outrageous one-minute speeches on the floor like this one back in 1995 on flag burning...


TRAFICANT: You can defecate and urinate on Old Glory to make a political statement, but you can't touch a mailbox. Ladies and gentlemen of Congress, when did we start pledging allegiance to the mailboxes of our country?


KARL: ... or his speech just last week on a less conventional topic.


TRAFICANT: There's now a new bra. It's called the holster bra, the gun bra. That's right, a brassiere to conceal a hidden handgun. Unbelievable. What's next? A maxi girdle to conceal a stinger missile? Beam me up.


KARL: Traficant is a lifetime Democrat, a union ally and ardent opponent of free trade. But his politics have been as unpredictable as his rhetoric. He bugged his party to support a Republican tax cut but did it in exchange for an increase in the minimum wage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRAFICANT: But a tax break for the boss, who raises the wages of my workers, is a decent tradeoff for me.


KARL: And earlier this year, Traficant committed the ultimate political heresy: crossing party lines to vote for Republican Dennis Hastert as speaker of the House.






KARL: That made Traficant persona non grata in the Democratic Party, which promptly stripped him of all of his committee assignments.


REP. MARTIN FROST (D), TEXAS: So he's kind of a man without a country. I don't believe the Republicans ever gave him committee assignments either. I don't think anyone wants him at this point.


KARL: Traficant has put out two written statements in response to this news of his indictment. The first reads, quote, "I have expected the indictment. I have had a bull's eye on my back ever since I defeated the Department of Justice, being the only American in United States history to have defeated the Justice Department in a Rico case pro se. I will defend myself again in court." That, of course, Traficant referring back to that 1983 indictment where he defended himself in court against bribery charges and was acquitted.

He also released a second statement that said that he will have a public statement he will come out before the cameras on Monday. In that statement, he also took a shot at quote, "the overzealous bureaucrats in Cleveland," saying he will defend himself against those bureaucrats, and he was sorry for all of the pressure and intimidation they have put on good people -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: John, you reported on the Democrat's reaction when Traficant voted for Dennis Hastert to be the House speaker. What are they saying now? What's their reaction to all of this?

KARL: Well, there's virtually nothing on the record from Democrats. They're taking essentially a no-comment approach to this. Martin Frost did the say that he hopes this gets cleared up quickly so that the people of Youngstown, Ohio, which Traficant represents, will have a congressman with a cloud over his head; either he would be convicted or be acquitted. But privately, Democrats are saying it's about time. That's a direct quote from a senior Democratic aide in the House, saying it's about time. They are saying also that regardless of what happens to Traficant in this case, they already have him at the very top of their list of members of the House that they will challenge in the next election, they will work to defeat in the next election. That despite the fact that Traficant still remains a Democrat. He has not switched parties.

WOODRUFF: Jon Karl at the Capitol, thanks.

We turn now to Florida. Lawmakers there tried today to turn a state that has come to symbolize election problems into a model for reform. As CNN's John Zarrella reports, the newly approved legislation would make the infamous chad a thing of the past.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Images like this -- a bleary-eyed election official trying to determine voter intent through a pinhole of light in a punch card -- are now and forever images of the past in Florida.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One-hundred-twenty ayes, zero nays, Mr. Speaker.


ZARRELLA: On the last day of its session, the Florida legislature overwhelmingly passed and sent on to an anxiously awaiting governor Jeb Bush a package of election reform legislation.


BUSH: We have, I think, a world class election law that will be implemented in the year 2002 so that people will have full confidence that their vote will matter and that their political involvement in our great democracy will work.


ZARRELLA: The centerpiece of the bill is the elimination of the much-maligned punch cards blamed for the November presidential fiasco. The bill replaces punch cards, mechanical levers and paper ballots with optical scanners, like fill-in-the-bubble devices. But within the next couple of months, it's expected that the more sophisticated touch screen machines will also be certified.


JIM KANE, FLORIDA VOTER: On November 7th last year, in many people's minds, we were last. Well, let me tell you, as of today, we're first.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ZARRELLA: Some of the money goes to helping the counties buy the new machines. But each county will be responsible for the lion's share of the cost. The rest of the cash goes to poll worker training and voter education. That, election experts say, is hugely important.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because you can provide the average voter with the best equipment in the world, but if they don't know how to vote or how to operate that equipment, then they're going to make errors.


ZARRELLA: Jim Kane says the new technology won't make the system foolproof, and he expects there will be plenty of problems in the 2002 election. And the new high-tech voting equipment won't eliminate the possibility of a close election resulting in a hand recount.

(on camera): But unlike the November election where a dimpled chad meant one thing to one canvassing board and something entirely different to another, the legislation provides for the establishment of a statewide standard to determine voter intent. And Secretary of State Katherine Harris, the legislature has determined, will decide what that standard should be. John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.


WOODRUFF: Florida governor Jeb Bush will join us a little bit later on INSIDE POLITICS to talk about election reform in his state.

There's much more ahead on this Friday edition of INSIDE POLITICS, including our weekly political roundtable. Up next, a new way to delay a vote by Congress. The mystery of those missing pages in the 2002 federal budget. Also ahead, Florida passes, as we just said, sweeping election reform legislation. Governor Jeb Bush will join us later in this hour. And later, a candidate for Virginia governor goes country. This is INSIDE POLITICS.


WOODRUFF: It will be sometime next week before the budget compromise sees a vote on Capitol Hill. The revised budget, delayed by an error early this morning, may now lack key support.

Joining us now with the latest from Capitol Hill, Kate Snow -- Kate?

KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, it looks like there could be some danger for this budget agreement that was agreed to and touted the at the White House earlier in week. You remember President Bush surrounded by moderate Democrats? Well, some of those moderate Democrats expressing concern tonight. The House wasn't able to pull all of it together until very late last night, and they did try to vote on this budget resolution. They brought it out at about midnight and then at about 1:30 or 2:00 a.m. in the morning this morning, they had a little crisis. They noticed that two pages were missing from the two-inch thick budget resolution document. One of those pages describes the tax cut at $1.25 trillion over 11 years and another 100 billion over 11 years also. Now this is important.

Further down, there's a sentence that was added at the last minute last night. That sentence says, "It is the sense of the Congress that the $100 billion will be for an economic stimulus package over the next two years." Now some of the key Senate moderates who originally signed onto this deal with the White House say that that change right there is not strongly worded enough to ensure that the $100 billion indeed be used over the next two years.

A spokesman for Senator John Breaux tells me that he has not decided yet but that he is reserving judgment now about whether he would actually vote for this budget resolution, that he has deep concerns, reservations and is disappointed. A spokesperson for Senator Ben Nelson says that he is unlikely to vote for it in its present form. And again, they think they need to negotiate some better language, but I can also tell you that another Republican aide very close to the negotiations on the Republican side says there's not going to be anymore negotiating involved; that this is essentially closed deal, this is the language.

So that could mean, Judy, that they could start to lose some of this support. In fact, Senator Conrad was just recently speaking to us here, and he says that he's heard that there are some senators expressing doubts.


SEN. KENT CONRAD (D), NORTH DAKOTA: There are senators who have told me who voted for what passed in the Senate who will not vote for this conference agreement. I have also had senators tell me that they do not believe that what is in this conference agreement fairly reflects what they understood their agreement to be.


SNOW: Now on the House side, Republicans say that they are still very confident that they're going to be able to get this through next week, probably on Wednesday. Now they refer to what happened earlier this morning in 2:00 a.m. and those missing pages as simply a technical error, simply a glitch. They say it was an oversight, it was an accident. It wasn't meant to slowdown this process, and they think they've got plenty of votes to go ahead. Still on the House side, Democrats are expressing concerns about those two missing pages and about the fact that they think this budget is being rushed through.


REP. MARTIN FROST (D), TEXAS: The Republicans were so intent last night on ramming this through the House that they left out two pages of the report and they couldn't bring it up to a vote, couldn't bring it up for a vote because of that. This is no way to govern our country. The budget resolution ignores the almost certain increases in defense spending, the expansion of tax credits for the uninsured. Paying down the debt, and the billions of dollars needed for education. These are all priorities the Republicans have said they intend to address, and yet they have no realistic plan for addressing them.


SNOW: Now Republicans counter that they have addressed those concerns in this $1.97 trillion budget that they've laid out, effective spending for the next year. They point out that they think that they will have the votes to pass this, that they do have the support. And they're planning to do that as early as next Wednesday -- Judy.'

WOODRUFF: Kate, are we to understand that if this mistake with the two pages have not happened, that this would have all been passed and that the Democratic concerns would never have surfaced?

SNOW: Well, it gets very tricky, Judy. There's a little bit of discrepancy over what exactly happened to those two pages. Did they simply get misplaced? Were they lost in a photocopier, which is what Republicans from the Budget Committee say happened, or did they perhaps get removed in order to change them and that's why they didn't make it back into the final product? In either case, certainly if they had been there, then you're right, that they probably would have been able to pass this last night. They had the Republican support in the House to pass it. They had the momentum going and they probably would have sent it back over to the Senate. The Senate now is what's looking like the question mark. Will they have those 10-15 moderate Democrats they thought they would have to join and to make this a bipartisan budget deal -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: It's never dull up there on the Hill, is it? Kate Snow, thanks very much.

While the administration waits for a budget outcome, the groundwork for another policy announcement is already being laid. The president's energy plan is due out in less than two weeks. As Major Garret reports, the White House is taking preemptive action, trying to bolster the president's environmental credentials.


MAJOR GARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the days before the president releases his energy plan, officials say the White House will do its best to look green. Preserving parts of President Clinton's rule protecting 60 million acres of national forests was one move; ordering federal energy conservation this summer in California another. And in the days leading up to the May 17th release of the president's energy plan, Mr. Bush will send his EPA director and interior secretary on the road. Senior officials tell CNN the trips will highlight environmentally sensitive elements of the president's energy plan.


SEN. JEFF BINGAMAN (D), NEW MEXICO: Well, I do think they're trying to backfill a little bit.


GARRETT: Backfilling to blunt criticism that an energy policy shaped by two former oil men will place production well ahead of the environment. Environmental activists aren't buying it.


GREGORY WETSTONE, NATIONAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: I think right now they're being dishonest in talking a little bit about conservation while putting the plan together with the input from the oil companies and the energy industry.


GARRETT: But White House officials say the president could not be more honest in his pursuit of what they call a balanced policy, and that conservation, while important, cannot solve the nation's energy crunch.


GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is naive for the American people and its leadership, and those who purport to speak for the American people -- some of those -- to say that we can be OK from an energy perspective by only focusing on conservation. We've got to find additional supplies of energy.


GARRETT: That means drilling for oil on federal lands, building more power plants, including nuclear reactors, and moving natural gas farther and faster.


SEN. FRANK MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA: America's wants action, and this administration is poised to give them action in the corrective. Responses are going to be needed to turn this around.



GARRETT : Senior White House aides say the environment is a concern, but there is another one. They fear that if price spikes and blackouts this summer are worse than expected, Congress will start screaming for short-term remedies such as price controls. But the Bush energy plan is all about long-term solutions, and it's the fervent hope here at the White House that that plan will be enough to keep Congress from panicking -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Major, to a different subject now. Tell us a little bit about the president's decision to go ahead and appoint to the federal appeals court someone who President Clinton had originally appointed.

GARRETT: Yes. The man's name is Roger Gregory, a distinguished attorney from Richmond, Virginia and the first African-American ever appointed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. That was a recess appointment by President Clinton. Now this has been expected on Capitol Hill. Senior Democratic aides I've talked to were not surprised by this. Both the Republican senators from Virginia -- John Warner and Senator Allen -- have asked the president to reappoint Roger Gregory. He has made clear to the Senate he intends to do so. And if the White House believes this is going to break any of the ice between himself and Senate Democrats on the issue of judicial appointments, aides I've talked to said it won't be it at all. There's still plenty of ice to be broken. Senate Democrats very upset about the way the administration is pursuing other judicial appointments -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: And Major, on yet another front, what is the White House saying about the vote up at the U.N. to vote the United States off of the United Nation's Commission on Human Rights?

GARRETT: Well, officially, they're disappointed by it. They're not really sure exactly what's at the root of the vote. They say it could be a number of things. It could be some upset within the European capitols about the United States moving away from the Kyoto treaty on global warming or moving ahead on missile defense, but they think the root of it might be a general sense of unease among nations involved in the UN. The United States has yet to pay its $582 millions in dues. Those dues are still awaiting approval in Congress. Whatever is behind, this Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary, did point out today that he finds it rather odd, in his words, that this new UN Human Rights Commission will include nations such as Libya and Sudan, nations that other Western capitols have denounced for poor human rights -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Major Garrett at the White House, thank you.

And there's more political news ahead, including an update from indicted congressman James Traficant's home district. But first, we'll check the day's other top stories. A kidnapped girl will be reunited with her family after FBI agents track down her abductor. The latest from this case and other news just ahead.


WOODRUFF: Returning now to our lead story: the indictment today of Democratic Congressman James Traficant. Let's go to Traficant's political home base: Youngstown, Ohio. CNN national correspondent Bob Franken is there.

Hello, Bob.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Judy. I'm standing in front of the federal courthouse which also houses Traficant's office. He has not been seen here today. He has been indicted on 10 counts that include four bribery, two tax evasion, one obstruction of justice, one seeking bribes, one conspiracy to defraud the federal government, and one for racketeering. The charges include allegations that Traficant allowed work to be done on his farm and his boat in return for favors, intervening with prison officials on behalf of the contractor's son, intervening with the federal government on behalf of business interests of the people who provided the money. He is also charged with accepting $2,500 a month from a staff person in return, a kickback for being kept on the staff and renting office property from that person. Also charged with trying to destroy evidence and testifying falsely before a grand jury, charged with tax evasion in the years of 1988 and '99. All of these are charges that Traficant says he will fight. He is being ordered to within the next two weeks surrender. He will not be arrested. He will, in fact, appear before the federal judge in Cleveland for arraignment within the next two weeks. Again, will not be arrested.

Now Traficant has been defiant. He's been saying all along that he expected to be indicted. And earlier in the day, he told reporters, quote, "I'm as frightened as can be. I'm going to say this to the U.S. attorney: 'You'd best defeat me, because if I beat you, you'll be working in Mingo junction,'" which is a town about as big as this microphone around here.

Traficant, of course, is somebody who has been charged before in 1983. When he was the county sheriff, he was charged with racketeering charges. At that time, he defended himself in court in Cleveland and was successful. He beat the charge. And of course over the years, has been constantly targeting the Internal Revenue Service, and of late, the Justice Department.

He is saying that he's going to defend himself this time. There is a businessman in town, however, who has been implicated in this. He was not charged but the prosecutors put out what they call a bill of information. And the businessman says that he admits to the charges. Sources say that he is going to, in fact, testify against Traficant. But Traficant says that he is going to beat the charges. But as I said, Judy, he said, "I'm as frightened as can be." Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Bob Franken reporting from Youngstown, Ohio, thanks.

And now let's look at some of this day's other top stories. In Texas, a kidnapped girl is free today and her alleged captor, a convicted sex offender, suspected in other recent abductions, is dead. Authorities were acting on a tip this morning when they stopped a car in the town of Kerrville driven by Gary Dale Cox. They say when Cox pulled over, 11-year-old Leah Henry jumped from the car and ran. Then they say the suspect shot himself dead.

Leah Henry disappeared in Houston Monday. To find her, authorities used descriptions of a man provided by two other recent kidnapping victims and a license plate number provided by a witness. Officials say this is a case that went their way.


RICK MOSQUERA, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: There's probably no greater feeling for us in a situation like this. You know, we were praying with them. We were holding our breaths with them. But we also shared the confidence that they did that we were going to be able to bring this to a peaceful resolution.


WOODRUFF: This afternoon, the kidnapping victim was reunited with her parents at a hospital where she was taken to be examined.

The trial of a teenager accused of murdering his teacher continued today in West Palm Beach, Florida. A fellow student testified that Nathaniel Brazill showed her a gun and bullets three days before the shooting. Defense attorneys admit that Brazill shot the teacher but say he fired the gun accidentally. If convicted, Brazill could be sentenced to live in prison.

The fate of baseball star Darryl Strawberry is on hold. Strawberry, who is on probation, was in court to answer charges of illegally leaving a court-ordered drug treatment facility. Prosecutors want Strawberry sent to prison for 18 months. Doctors testifying for Strawberry said medical and emotional problems have kept him from solving his drug addiction problem. Judge Florence Foster said she will review the testimony and rule next week.

American experts have finished inspecting the crippled surveillance plane that was forced to land on China's Hainan Island. They said it is possible to repair the plane and fly it off the island. Pentagon officials say that China would prefer that the plane be taken apart and shipped back in pieces.

The stock market shook off news of an unemployment increase to post big gains. The Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate rose to a two-and-a-half-year high in April. After losing more than 100 points in the first few minutes of trading, the Dow rebounded and closed up more than 154 points. The Nasdaq was also up by 45 points. There's more on why the markets rose on what would seem to be bad economic news on the "Moneyline Newshour," and that airs at 6:30 Eastern.

When INSIDE POLITICS returns, Florida governor Jeb Bush joins us. We'll ask him about the election reform bill he's preparing to sign. Will it fix the problems that created that nightmare back in November?


WOODRUFF: Now our discussion of election reform in Florida, where the state legislature passed a landmark bill today. Florida Governor Jeb Bush joins us from now from Tallahassee.

Governor, tell us, please, what will this piece of legislation accomplish?

JEB BUSH, GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: Well, it will create a single standard for the entire state and it will create a single standard for the machine recounts and a single standard for manual recounts. It provides a lot of funding so that we can have voter education, a provisional ballot, reform of the absentee ballot process. All in all, this is the most comprehensive piece of election reform I think, I know, in our state's history. And I believe we'll be a model for the rest of the country now.

WOODRUFF: Now there are some people who are watching this including the election supervisor in Palm Beach County, Teresa LePore, who we all got to know during last November and December. She's referring to these referring to these optical scanners, this new device as a lateral move here. How do you know that this new machinery is really going to be any more reliable than what you have right now?

BUSH: Because it's in place already in about half the counties or close to half the counties, and the error rates were significantly lower. I guarantee you, and I know the supervisor of elections is Palm Beach County does not consider the butterfly ballot with what she had to be anything remotely as good as this.

I've talked to her about it and they may want to upgrade it to touch screen if they do, and the law will allow them to do that, but what we're going to fund across the state, and match with local governments, is the optical scanning machines at the precinct level. And the error rates there are just incredibly low.

WOODRUFF: Is this money, the $32 million, the price tag for this, enough to cover what you're trying to do?

BUSH: Well remember, we have two legislative sessions to do this. This first commitment, I think is going to be ample to buy the equipment. If there's -- if we need additional monies, which we might, in the next legislative session, there's a commitment for this. We may even get some money from Washington, D.C., who knows.

WOODRUFF: Where you have some connections, perhaps.

Governor, among other things this legislation provides for statewide manual recounts under certain circumstances. Now as everybody knows, your brother the president, his lawyers argued forcibly against that during the election and the recount period. Why are you supporting it now?

BUSH: Well, because there's going to be a standard of how those ballots would be counted. If you recall, and we all do, seeing the canvassing boards at each county kind of in excruciating pain holding up punchcards and looking into the sun to determine if they were dimpled, or pregnant, or punched chads is completely inappropriate.

There should be one single standard. It should be a standard that the courts would consider appropriate and this is what this legislation does. So there wouldn't -- it would take out the mystery of a manual recount and it would only be in close elections, like the one that was in November.

WOODRUFF: And why wasn't that possible to do last fall, last November?

BUSH: Because the law previously allowed for canvassing boards to have more discretion about what the standards would be. And so what we saw was this, I think, a horrific process where the standards changed in each county several times. And it just -- it created chaos. And so this standardization, I think, statewide with both the standard of the recount and when the recount would occur makes a lot of sense.

WOODRUFF: Governor, having presided over this state during this whole period, as you look back on it, how do you feel about it? What do you think when you look back on the whole process?

BUSH: Well, I'm proud of our state's weathering the storm, and I'm more -- I'm actually very proud that we in a bipartisan way, this bill that passed had two "no" votes out of 160 votes. So, Democrats and Republicans supported it. There was a thorough vetting process across the state. I'm proud of how we came together to make recommendations on a wide array of subjects, not just the machines and the recounts to make it work.

And so we responded to clear flaws. I guarantee you, Judy, that no state would have been able to survive what we did in enduring those 36 days. No system was in place that could have ever created the election results that we had.

WOODRUFF: Governor, just two quick last questions. Number one: Everybody has been grading your brother on his first 100 days in office. How do you think he's doing?

BUSH: "A" plus.

WOODRUFF: Now you can tell us the truth. What do you really think?

BUSH: I think he's done great to do what -- he campaigned on four or five things and he's fighting to get those done and that's the kind of thing that will restore confidence, I believe, in Washington, D.C. I hope the tax cut passes and his education reform is modeled after states like Florida, so I can't argue with that either.

WOODRUFF: Governor, I have to ask this last question. At the White House Correspondent Dinner last Saturday night, your brother showed a room full of journalists, three or four thousand people, a fairly revealing picture of you. I think you were about one year old. Did he get your permission to do that?

BUSH: He didn't, and he's also going to get my revenge one of these days. He'll never know when, but I'm going to strike.

WOODRUFF: Are you ready to share with us what the revenge is going to consist of?

BUSH: No, it wouldn't be fun if I did.

WOODRUFF: So you're not going to tell us what your -- have you talked to him since then?

BUSH: Oh yes, and I told him I can go to those exact same scrapbooks, my friend, and you better be careful.

WOODRUFF: So we have that to look forward to.

Governor Jeb Bush. We, thank you very much for joining us.

BUSH: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: We appreciate it. Coming up next on INSIDE POLITICS: Cinco De Mayo at Pennsylvania Avenue. The president gets an early start on the Mexican holiday.

Also ahead, music of a different sort in the Virginia race for governor.


WOODRUFF: President Bush today got an early start on tomorrow's celebrations of Cinco De Mayo with a festival on the White House lawn. The Cinco De Mayo holiday celebrates a Mexican army victory over French forces back in 1862. And it's observed in many Mexican American communities. The president also taped a Spanish version of his weekly radio address. And this week's Democratic response will also be recorded in Spanish.

The Democrats are trying to appeal to Hispanic voters with a new television ad. A new DNC commercial takes aim at White House policies on a variety of issues, including tax cuts.




WOODRUFF: The democrats have spent $80,000 on airtime. This ad started running yesterday on Spanish language networks Univision and Telemundo.

Ever since Georgia Democratic Senator Zell Miller co-sponsored the Bush tax cut with Republican Phil Gramm some have speculated that Miller might switch parties. Fellow Democrats were not pleased with Miller's defection on such an important issue. And a published report now says that Miller is tiring of the criticism.

Joining me to talk about Miller's party status is Matt Towery. He wrote about the latest Miller rumors in the political newsletter "Bill Shipp's Georgia." And Matt Towery is the author of "Mean Business: The Insider's Guide To Winning Any Election."

Matt Towery, how do you know -- you write that Zell Miller is seriously thinking about switching parties. His office is saying that's not true. How do you know it is true?

MATT TOWERY, AUTHOR, "MEAN BUSINESS: THE INSIDER'S GUIDE TO WINNING ANY ELECTION": Well, let me clarify, Judy. I own -- I don't own -- but I'm the largest shareholder along with a major newspaper chain and, which owns "Bill Shipp's Georgia." I don't normally write for "Bill Shipp's Georgia" news type stories.

I have it on the highest authority, I think, that you can have as a source. I wouldn't reveal who that source is, but I have total confidence in it. And if you notice Senator Miller, when he responded to this, and he did not directly, through his press spokesman, said that he had no intention of changing parties, or was not going to change parties at this time. And that left a lot of room open. And in fact I have good reason to believe Zell Miller is strongly considering the possibility of switching. When, is the question.

WOODRUFF: Well, what do you think? What do you hear about "when"? What do you think?

TOWERY: Well there's -- there are a couple of things that we've been told. First of all, that Miller was thinking about the possibility of becoming a Republican and then resigning in the year 2002, and forcing a special election that basically coincided with the Georgia general election. That would mean he would be on the ballot in 2002.

Now Governor Roy Barns here in Georgia is very popular. He's done an excellent job as governor. I think he has good approval ratings. But Georgia, as you know, is a very unusual state. It's a state that can send you Newt Gingrich who I worked with for years, and at the same time can send you someone like Zell Miller, a Democrat who's very popular, as well as a Roy Barnes.

So what would happen is Miller would switch parties, become a Republican, if in fact he were to do this, enjoy the fruits of his labor and some of the goodies that come with it, but resign and prove that he's popular enough to win either way. Right now he probably is. He's probably the most popular politician in the state of Georgia. Roy Barnes probably being very close.

WOODRUFF: So. for this to work, you're saying it would have to happen sometime in the coming months.

TOWERY: Well, the question is: He doesn't have to do that. He could wait for the year 2002 and do it. But the question then is, it begs logic. Why would he wait and only enjoy being Republican for a month or two simply to be in the middle of a mid-term election? I would say this, one reason he might wait, as you well know, Judy, is that these campaigns, mid-term elections for presidents often times are not good elections for the party that's in power.

Now George W. Bush is doing very well right now in the approval ratings, but that can turn in a second's notice. We all know that. Look at Bill Clinton in 1992. So, I think that's one reason why he might actually wait and see what the political waters are in 2002, or closer to it.

WOODRUFF: I assume you've have spent some time talking to people who know Zell Miller very well. Maybe you yourself know him very well. What do you think is at his core? I mean, what is his political philosophy? TOWERY: Well, his political philosophy is -- I mean I served when I was in the legislature, Zell Miller was governor, I do know him well. Zell Miller will tell you, he has thin skin. Now he would also probably tell you that he could get upset fairly easily. Some of his close associates, such as James Carville, who ran his campaign in 1990, he happened to be on the ballot, by the way, running for governor when I was running for lieutenant governor and they absolutely swamped us in the general election.

But nevertheless, James Carville made a big name and he came our and asked Zel Miller just a few months ago to rerun a $1,000 donation. That did not sit well with Zell Miller, and he's had some criticism from some of the more partisan Democrats in Georgia. That doesn't sit well with him either. So, I think that's the sort of thing that might motivate him. But what also might motivate him is the fact that he knows that he can win either way in the state of Georgia. He's almost invincible.

WOODRUFF: All right, Matt Towery, political observer in the state of Georgia. We thank you very much for being with us.

TOWERY: Thank you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Well, Senator Zell Miller is well known as a fan of Bluegrass music. And he will, no doubt, appreciate a new ad for Virginia Democratic candidate for governor, Mark Warner.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Mark Warner is ready to lead our commonwealth. He'll will work for mountain people and economic health.


WOODRUFF: This down-home ad is part of an early $1 million television ad purchased for Mark Warner. He's a wealthy venture capitalist running unopposed for the Democratic nomination in Virginia. He enjoys an early fund raising lead over his potential Republican opponents.

Straight ahead, we tackle the issues of the week that was, in our weekly political roundtable. Also ahead: Command in chief and an avid sports fan. The president brings his interest in athletics to the White House.


WOODRUFF: As we do every Friday on INSIDE POLITICS, time now to consider the main issues of the week just passed here in Washington. And joining me for our political roundtable: CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield, he's in New York. Frank Del Olmo of "The Los Angeles Times" joins us from Los Angeles. And Karen Tumulty of "TIME" magazine is with me here in Washington.

Jeff, Greenfield, to you first on energy. The administration sending mixed signals this week or what?

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: I think what's happened here is that the intention of the Bush Administration, which is clearly and was in campaign and has been throughout the first month, toward an aggressive attempt to say, we need more new sources of energy, is colliding with the realization that this is the one area where they seem to have had a political misstep, namely, in suggesting that they were less concerned with the environment than voters would like them to be.

And I think that's why you saw so many attempts a couple of weeks ago, with Christy Todd Whitman, to say, no, no, we're going protect this, we're going to protect that. So, I think that's what's going on here. It's almost like instinct is clashing with political reality.

WOODRUFF: Frank Del Olmo, how is all this coming across in California?

FRANK DEL OLMO, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": Still very mixed and still but largely because of the environmental concerns out here and the general consensus that environmentalism is important in California, still more to the negative side for the administration. Their messages are starting to get through, but they're still having to run up against the reality that the initial announcements on some of these things like the roads through virgin forests and drilling off -- drilling for oil in Alaska and places like that initially caused such a stir. They still haven't managed to overcome that.

WOODRUFF: Karen Tumulty, are they going to be able to straighten it out when they put the entire policy out in another week-and-a-half or so?

KAREN TUMULTY, "TIME": Well, it was interesting this week because we saw them basically take a step toward pre-damage control. After Dick Cheney's speech, with his heavy emphasis on energy production, the president issued an order for conservation in federal buildings, essentially turning up the thermostat, particularly in California.

I think that's an effort to give sort of a green tinge to a report that environmentalists are going to see a lot of smoke and soot in.

WOODRUFF: Jeff Greenfield, let me turn quickly, because there's so much we want to cover here, to education reform. Curious it's the conservative Republicans who are more upset with what the president's doing on education than are the Democrats.

GREENFIELD: Yeah, I think this is the first -- the first time in this period that what has been a very disciplined, united conservative front has made public its discontent. There are no vouchers in this plan. The whole issue of school choice, which is dear to conservative hearts, seems to have been soft-pedaled. A lot of them are talking about the fact that this is Ted Kennedy's education bill, not George W. Bush's. One of his own education advisers has been publicly critical about it. But again, I think this is an area, when you talk about education, the merits of the case of saying anything other we're going -- we need to spend more money because children are our future are very difficult arguments to make. People understand, let's spend money on our kids, even if the case for accountability and structural reform remains to be made. I just think that they decided this is one fight they're not yet ready to make in any full-throated way.

WOODRUFF: Frank Del Olmo, is this even on the radar screens out in California?

DEL OLMO: It is, but barely. And I think this is where, although the politics is certainly wise to take vouchers out of the -- out of the education bill to get it passed, for it to get attention in California, a place where this, the whole issue of the dysfunction of public schools, has been such a political issue -- and especially here in Los Angeles. We had a mayoral primary recently where you would have thought the 15 candidates for mayor were running for superintendent of schools, it was such an issue.

But you would need something as dramatic as vouchers, I think, to really get it on the radar screen, because, as I say, the debates over schools in Los Angeles and San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco -- right now, there's so much ground combat going on about that, that these debates in Washington are still sort of seen as somewhere up around the 30,000-foot level and not really impacting folks in California yet.

It would take something pretty dramatic, I think, to get it on the radar screen.

WOODRUFF: Karen Tumulty, I'm going to turn the corner again and ask you just a quick question about international affairs. In sizing up the president's first hundred days, we're beginning to hear from allies, Europe -- in Europe and in Asia that there's mixed reactions at this point to the president. What sort of signals are they sending right now?

TUMULTY: Well, a lot of the allies, particularly in Europe, remember that when George Burn was campaigning for president he promised over and over again that he was going to be a reliable ally. And in their view, he's pulled back on a lot of his promises on things like global warming.

And so you're not only seeing complaints, but you're seeing some sort of symbolic slaps in the face. For instance, just yesterday, the United States failed to win a seat on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and it failed to win it primarily because the allies in Europe didn't make room for the United States.

So I think you're going to see a lot of both complaining in diplomatic circles and sort of these kind of tangible and sometimes symbolic action as rebukes to the United States.


GREENFIELD: It's interesting, Judy...

WOODRUFF: Go ahead, Jeff.

GREENFIELD: It's interesting that -- that when Colin Powell was asked about this, he made the point -- he pointed back to the early 1980s when President Reagan put Pershing II missiles in Germany, and there was a great hue and cry that this was going to destabilize relations with the Soviet Union and ultimately it worked out.

And his argument was, well, allies always worry when the United States makes what seems to be a different policy, because we're the 800-pound gorilla.

The question, I think, is whether or not that argument is going to work in a post-Cold War environment when what seems to be taking precedence now is a kind of another long-term conservative Republican notion that in a post-Cold War era a little more unilateralism, or maybe a lot more unilateralism, is the right way to go: that we need to kind of be America first in the sense of what policies and what strategies we pursue.

So I mean, I think it's true that the fact that the allies are unsettled is kind of a long-term story about new presidents, particularly those who don't have a lot of Washington experience. But it's going to be interesting to see whether or not this group of seasoned Washington hands around Bush is actually going to take a policy that breaks with what Europe has thought they were going to get from a second George Bush.

WOODRUFF: Frank Del Olmo, should we just write off some of this reaction overseas to the fact that it is a new president and they're just going to have to get used to it.

DEL OLMO: I think so, and I do think there's still going to be some political payoff for the president in this country on some of these issues.

One thing that was done this week, the speech on the missile defense system, which clearly has all of the allies concerned in Europe, and also obviously causes great concern in Asia -- it's very important for folks in California to consider. What got overlooked is the fact that that is one area of defense, you know, the defense downsizing that took place in the early '90s after the end of the Cold War -- a lot of that missile research, the lasers and all of that, is done in Southern California: from Santa Barbara to San Diego. So actually, that went over quite well in California and I think it was received rather favorably, allowing for the fact that there's going to be this debate on whether it works or not, how the most effective way to make it work is.

There's going to be a lot of people making very good salaries at defense industries in Southern California trying to find out.

WOODRUFF: A quick round-the-table question to all three of you. Do you think this blue-ribbon panel the president has appointed to look at Social Security is going to help him sell the idea of privatizing it? -- Jeff?



TUMULTY: I'd have to agree. I'd have to agree with Senator John Breaux today, that the chance is basically zero to none.

WOODRUFF: And Frank Del Olmo, you get the last word.

DEL OLMO: I'd have to say no. Yeah, it's still too hot an issue for anybody to really try to touch.

WOODRUFF: All right. Well, thanks to all three of you. Not fair to throw that to you and make you answer in one word, but we appreciate your being with us.

Frank Del Olmo in Los Angeles...

DEL OLMO: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: ... Jeff Greenfield in New York, and Karen Tumulty here in Washington -- thanks again.

Well, President Bush is -- is the first to admit that one of his greatest passions is baseball. This weekend, the president hosts the first of a series of T-Ball games on the South Lawn, and as Kelly Wallace reports, even the guest list at the White House reflects the commander in chief's love of sports.


KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As presidential perks go, for President Bush, this day couldn't get much better. First, a salute to the Air Force Academy football team.

BUSH: Today we honor the history that you've made on the playing field.

WALLACE: And then a tribute to last year's World Series champions, the New York Yankees.

BUSH: Well, it's my honor to welcome the mighty Yanks to the Rose Garden, a team that broke my heart many a time as the owner of the Texas Rangers.


WALLACE: He is the first onetime baseball owner to work in the Oval Office, and his passion for sports, especially baseball, is often on display at the White House. So far, he's honored college champions, such as Duke and Notre Dame for basketball, mingled with more than 40 baseball hall-of-famers, and threw out the first pitch on opening day in Milwaukee, even though his lob failed to reach home plate. BUD SELIG, COMMISSIONER OF BASEBALL: He is really a great fan. You know, I remember from our days together in baseball all the conversations that we had. He actually flew to Milwaukee to watch Robin Yount get his 3,000th hit with me.

WALLACE: The president brings that love of the game to the White House this weekend, hosting the first T-Ball league on the South Lawn.

BUSH: What's going to be interesting about that day is there's going to be some little kid trying to adjust his batting gloves just like Jeter does, or somebody trying to emulate the swing of Tino Martinez.

WALLACE: Mr. Bush says, when he was a kid, he dreamt of becoming a Major League star, not president. He played Little League in Midland, Texas. His former coach says maybe it's good he chose the business side of the game.

FRANK ITTNER, LITTLE LEAGUE COACH: You'd throw a ball and he'd step back instead of stepping forward, and I couldn't get him -- couldn't break him of that.

WALLACE: While not the Major Leaguer, he is still quite an athlete, rarely missing a workout or the latest scores.

ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He reads the sports pages. I would never in a room full of journalists indicate to you the order in which he reads the paper.

WALLACE: President Bush is not the first avid sports fan in the Oval Office, but you get the sense, for him, this perk of the job seems like a dream come true.

Kelly Wallace, CNN, the White House


WOODRUFF: And there's much more ahead on INSIDE POLITICS. In the next 30 minutes, the latest on Ohio's embattled congressman.


REP. JAMES TRAFICANT (D), OHIO: I'll tell you what, I'm getting ready for the fight. I've had it.


WOODRUFF: The legal troubles of Capitol Hill's outspoken and controversial Democrat. That story and much more when INSIDE POLITICS continues.


WOODRUFF: Ohio Congressman James Traficant vows to fight a 10- count indictment on corruption charges. We'll discuss the ways of Washington and a remarkable tale surrounding a book on that subject. And later: Attention, Earthlings. Bill Schneider reaches for the stars in the political play of the week.

ANNOUNCER: From Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff.

WOODRUFF Welcome back to INSIDE POLITICS. Congressman James Traficant says that he will speak out publicly on Monday about the new criminal indictment against him. But in a written statement today, the Ohio Democrat said he will defend himself in court against the corruption charges, including allegations of bribery and racketeering. Before the indictment by a federal grand jury in Cleveland, Traficant spoke in Ohio about the charges he knew were coming.


REP. JAMES TRAFICANT (D), OHIO: I'm as frightened as anyone would be in my position. I want to say this to the U.S. attorneys: You also have pressure. You must defeat me, because if I defeat you, you'll be working in Mingo Junction. And I'm going to show up.


WOODRUFF: Mingo Junction being a small town outside of Youngstown. For more on the charges against Traficant we are joined now by CNN's justice correspondent, Kelli Arena.

Kelli, tell us a little bit more about these allegations. And we understand they involve his dealings with local businesses?

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Judy. To start with, he allegedly had improper dealings with at least three local businesses. In one situation, he apparently interfered with local and federal prison authorities on behalf of one local business, in exchange for materials and work done on his farm.

In other situation, he also -- allegedly gave political favors to another company -- even interfering and trying to help out with the owner's son's DUI conviction -- also in exchange for materials and work done on his farm.

In a third situation, he allegedly received money and repairs -- free repairs on his boat, also in exchange for political favors. In this case, it was promoting a technology that the company was developing at the time.

So a real quid pro quo here. Of course, these are allegations, charges which he gets to defend himself against.

WOODRUFF: And Kelli, allegations that his Congressional aides were somehow involved?

ARENA: This is very interesting, Judy. In one situation, he allegedly hired a lawyer to work for him on his Congressional staff, and told -- instructed this employee to take out $2,500 a month out of his paycheck. The employee was instructed to cash his paycheck for $2,500 in an envelope, slip it under the Congressman's office door.

He also allegedly used Congressional staffers to do work on his farm, on his boat, on government time, and they were not paid. So that's where it falls into the whole defrauding the government charge that he faces.

WOODRUFF: All right. CNN's justice correspondent, Kelli Arena, thanks.

ARENA: You're welcome.

WOODRUFF: In Florida today, six months after that state plunged the presidential race into chaos, state lawmakers approved a sweeping overhaul of the voting system. The measure would do away with punch- card ballots and establish uniform guidelines for recounts in close elections. As you heard on INSIDE POLITICS just a short while ago, Florida Governor Jeb Bush says he plans to sign the $32 million measure. Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who gained national attention during the election dispute, also is praising the legislation.


KATHERINE HARRIS, FLORIDA SECRETARY OF STATE: We really feel that they address the two principles that we discussed from the beginning: Restoring the confidence of the voter and making certain that the United States Supreme Court ruling for a uniform standard was addressed.

Not only was the substance of legislation passed wholeheartedly, but additionally, the funding for all the voting systems, to create that uniform standard and to make certain the database exists so that we can eliminate those who are deceased. And those double votes will be addressed.


WOODRUFF: The measure approved today calls for every precinct in Florida to replace the old punch-card ballots by the 2002 elections.

Will Floridians find new voting technology to be better than the old?

CNN's David George has an inside view of the new systems that are available.


DAVID GEORGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Florida counties will switch to either optical scanners.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can put the ballot in at any orientation.

GEORGE: Or touch-screen technology.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And they select the person of their choice. GEORGE: In time for elections in 2002. Researchers from MIT and CAL Tech, shown here before a dinner at MIT, have been studying voting methods nationwide since the Florida vote count debacle in November.

In a preliminary report, these researchers say optical scanning offers the best blend of the past and the future. Modern technology, counting paper ballots, marked the old-fashioned way, by hand.

PROF. STEPHEN ANSOLABEHERE, MIT: One of the optically-scanned ballot is it connects the arrow, there's a front end of an arrow and the back end of the arrow and a blank space in between, and you draw a line connecting the arrow.

Another version is more like a -- if you remember a standardized test, where there are bubbles that you fill in. And you have to mark the bubble properly.

GEORGE: Paper jams can slow the optical counting process if it's done all at once at a central location. But MIT's Ansolabehere says putting optical vote scanners in each precinct, at a cost of about $5,000, gives voters one last look at their ballots just before they're tallied.

ANSOLABEHERE: It gives the voter the ability to check what he did and get some feedback, and that's a very, very important part of preventing people from making mistakes.

GEORGE: Florida counties have the option of opting for touch- screen voting stations resembling ATM machines, once they're certified by the state. But touch-screen voting does seem to have its shortcomings. The MIT-Caltech researchers say that in the last four presidential elections, state-of-the-art touch-screen systems were right up there with outdated punch cards in producing spoiled and unmarked ballots, at a rate 50 percent higher than optical scanners, lever machines and paper ballots. In other words, touch screens still need work.

PROF. THOMAS PALFREY, CALIF. INST. OF TECHNOLOGY: Some electronic technologies have done well, but there's a lot of variance in that, partly because it's a newer technology.

GEORGE: Florida begins its switch to new voting technology almost immediately. The MIT and Caltech researchers have until next month to finish their report.

David George, CNN.


WOODRUFF: CNN has learned that President Bush has decided against -- excuse me -- against the creation of a so-called counterterrorism czar. The new post was recommended by two separate blue-ribbon panels, but administration officials tell CNN that the White House will instead create an Office of National Preparedness in order to coordinate government efforts against domestic terrorism.

Secretary of State Colin Powell and other officials are expected to reveal the administration plans next week at a Senate hearing.

When INSIDE POLITICS returns: the real insiders in the nation's capital. A book by the late columnist Meg Greenfield pulls back the curtain on Washington's permanent residents.


WOODRUFF: There is no shortage of books about the leaders who have come and gone through the years here in the nation's capital. And while many of the people who live here in Washington come from someplace else, a lot of them have come to stay.

The late columnist and "Washington Post" editorial page editor, Meg Greenfield, was intrigued by the city's transplants and how the city changed their lives. And her book on the subject has just been published.

Joining me now to talk about the late Meg Greenfield and her book are two women who knew her very well. Katharine Graham, the chairman of "The Washington Post" company, and Sally Quinn, who writes for "The Washington Post."

Thank you both for being here.


WOODRUFF: Kay Graham, to you first. For someone who chose to live in the city for 40 years, Meg Greenfield had a pretty harsh view about the people here. Why do you think that was?

GRAHAM: Well, I don't think -- I think she spoke more harshly than she felt. I think she related to a lot of people and had a lot of friends, and had a very important position here. She did see things from outside, and make judgments, but that's what she did. She was an editorial writer, and I suppose they make judgments.

WOODRUFF: She kept that sort of outsider's view the entire time she was here, didn't she, Sally?

SALLY QUINN, "WASHINGTON POST": Yes, and I think one of the things that made her so effective is that Meg absolutely shunned any kind of publicity or celebrity for herself. And most people, most characters in Washington, whether they're politicians or whether they're journalists or lawyers or lobbyists -- people end up having quite a high profile.

And for somebody who had the job that she had, which was really high-powered, she never, as far as I know, Kay, never gave an interview, never did television, never did anything. I mean, she really kept herself out of the fray.

GRAHAM: She gave one interview, and it was to the "Post's" house organ.

(LAUGHTER) WOODRUFF: She compares, Kay Graham, she compares Washington to high school. What does she mean -- what did she mean by that?

GRAHAM: Well, she -- meant just that. She thought that there were people who were snobs, or people who got into things, or people who were freshman. And I think she did carry out that parallel to high school in the book.

QUINN: She had one really great line in her book where she was talking about how, you know, all of the people who came to Washington were always the people who were the smartest kids in their class and the teacher's pet. And she said, everybody -- all the people in Washington are the people who didn't put the cat in the washing machine, but they did tell on -- they did rat on the people who did.

WOODRUFF: They were the ratters.

QUINN: They were the tattletales. They were the goody two- shoes.


WOODRUFF: Kay Graham, she writes about -- she certainly is critical at points. She also writes about the few people she greatly admired, and they were enormously ideological disparate. I mean, all the way from the late Philip Hart, the very liberal senator, Alan Greenspan, all the way to Oliver North, the former White House aide involved in Iran-Contra. How do you...

GRAHAM: I don't know that she really admired all those people, but she saw them as standing for something, in different parts of Washington that were typical.

WOODRUFF: In a way that others didn't?

GRAHAM: Yes. Yes.

QUINN: And she also talked about how -- and she even included -- she was kind of rough on herself in the book, too, of people who come to Washington sort of full of idealism. And along the way they begin to be part of the scene and therefore they lose their idealism and passion and become part of the Washington sort of scenario. And I think what she was talking about with those people, were people who didn't give up their idealism, or didn't give up their passions. Whether they were good or bad, they still held on what they believed.

WOODRUFF: What did she bring to Washington, Kay Graham, that we don't really have now?

GRAHAM: She brought her point of view, which was terribly interesting, because it was in no mold. It was just Meg. And Meg's -- I mean, the editorial page never was predictable, and Meg wasn't predictable. And she was so brilliant and so knowledgeable that she always casts light on things.

QUINN: She also had a fantastic sense of humor. WOODRUFF: A wicked sense of humor.

QUINN: Wicked, and saw this sense of humor in everything she did. What was the story about going to see -- you always used to sneak away and go see the movies, and you ask her...

GRAHAM: She said to me one day, you know, we can go and see movies at 5:00. You can just leave. They won't notice.

WOODRUFF: From the office?

GRAHAM: And once I said to her -- well, we did like movies, and I said, "Do you want to go and see the French president?" Because we also traveled together, and I was going to Paris and was going to see him and I thought she'd like to come. And so she said, "Sure, where's it playing?"


WOODRUFF: Sally, she's pretty rough in the book on journalists. I mean, she talks about effigy journalism. And oddly enough, she advocates journalists being closer to their sources, rather than more distant, which is, you know, something most people recoil at the idea.

QUINN: Well, I happen to agree with her position. There are two positions, the Meg Greenfield one, and the Izzy Stone. Izzy Stone was the purist who said no journalist should ever know or talk to any of their sources or any of the people they write about.

Meg thought that was nonsense. She thought that you ought to be friendly with them, you ought to get to know them. It helps you to write about them. But what she was talking about, from a point of view of maintaining absolute integrity, so that if there was a problem, when she and Alan Simpson, who was her friend, got into a brouhaha at one point, she was very tough on him in the editorial page. In other words, she didn't let the friendship stand in the way of what she thought was right or wrong.

GRAHAM: That's right.

WOODRUFF: Kay, you know a lot of journalists in this city. Do they agree with that view, that they ought to be closer to sources?

GRAHAM: I don't think -- I think that it's extreme. I mean, the idea that you should not be. I think most people do like to know their sources. I think if you're a beat reporter it may be harder. But if you're Meg's kind of journalist, or any that I know, it helps to know sources. But you have to -- they have to understand that you're going to tell the truth as you see it.

WOODRUFF: What would you say she would have liked -- if she were still alive, and she died two years ago, what would she change? What's the one thing? If she could change something about Washington, what do you think it would be?

QUINN: Don't you think she really, in the end, loved living here and being part of the community? I mean, she -- I think she really liked the passing parade. And I think that despite this, often, sort of harsh judgments that she made, I think that she really loved everything about the city, and loved being the observer of all of these antics.

GRAHAM: She had a real place in Washington. People knew her, and respected her opinion, and she had a lot of influence. And I think she enjoyed all that.

WOODRUFF: Well, some of that comes through in the book, "Washington by Meg Greenfield." Thank you very much, Katharine Graham and Sally Quinn. Thank you both. I appreciate it.

Still ahead on INSIDE POLITICS bill: "A Play of the Week" that soars beyond politics. Bill Schneider explains when we continue.


WOODRUFF: There is much more INSIDE POLITICS coming up, but first let's go to Willow Bay for a preview of what is ahead at bottom of this hour on "MONEYLINE." Hi, Willow.

WILLOW BAY, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, Judy. Coming up on "MONEYLINE": a troubling jobs report and a healthy rebound on Wall Street. Investors bet that more rate cuts are on the way, after U.S. businesses cut jobs for the second month in a row, the biggest drop in a decade.

And there's lots of money on the line at tomorrow's Kentucky Derby, but most of that cash is nowhere near the track. We'll have those stories and more next on "MONEYLINE." INSIDE POLITICS continues right after this.



WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): He had plenty of money to pay for a ticket, but he ran smack up against the most immovable force in the world: government bureaucracy.

JOHN GLENN, FORMER ASTRONAUT: I think the time when we're selling seats on the station isn't quite here yet.

SCHNEIDER: How could Tito get around the bureaucrats? He hired lawyers, lobbyists. He tried to expand his influence by giving money, more than $100,000 to the Bush for President Campaign and the Republican Party. But the bureaucrats wouldn't budge until Mr. Tito figured out a way around them. It's an international space station. The Russians were sending up a spacecraft, and boy, do the Russians need money.

YURI SEMYONOV, ENERGIA CORPORATION (through translator): These commercial flights bring a very helpful boost to our modest budget.

SCHNEIDER: Could a seat be booked with the Russians for, say, $20 million? First class? It's our spacecraft, the Russians said, and we can take along anybody we want, for a price.

NASA gave up its opposition after Tito signed some legal documents relieving the agency of any responsibility. So, off he went from Kazakhstan last Saturday, with his son and girlfriend there to see him off.

YURI KOPTEV, RUSSIAN AEROSPACE AGENCY (through translator): This flight opens a new page in history of space exploration, paving a road to space not only for professionals, but for amateur explorers as well.

SCHNEIDER: Tito has been an enthusiastic tourist.

DENNIS TITO, SPACE TOURIST: It goes well beyond anything that I would have ever dreamed.

SCHNEIDER: Even though he got a spot of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) from the food.

TITO: And I drank some juice, and had some dry foods, which didn't agree with me, so I had my first -- dealt with space sickness, and I learned that I have to be careful.

SCHNEIDER: Bottom line for any tourist?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think it was worth the price of the ticket?

TITO: Absolutely.

SCHNEIDER: Would he recommend it to others?

TITO: Unfortunately, it is very expensive at this point, but there are others that can afford this, and I would like to encourage it.

SCHNEIDER: "Titanic" director James Cameron says he'd like to go. He wants to be king of the universe! Like a clever politician, Dennis Tito played the Russians off the Americans, and he knew how to use his money to grease the wheels. It was the ultimate triumph of capitalism, and the "Political Play of the Week."


SCHNEIDER: Anyone else up for the trip? Well, you know, former President Clinton is America's tourist-in-chief right now. And he has a friend named Marc Rich who has a lot of money. You think Mr. Clinton might like to go to the Moon? Just an idea.

WOODRUFF: Well, they haven't had any political analysts go up there either.

SCHNEIDER: That's right. I am willing.

WOODRUFF: Are you listening, NASA? Bill Schneider, thanks. That is all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS, but of course you can go online all the time at CNN's AOL keyword: "CNN."

This programming note: former Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr and former White House special counsel Lanny Davis are the guests tonight on "CROSSFIRE," starting at 7:30 Eastern. And on Sunday, House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt is a guest on "LATE EDITION," starting at noon Eastern here on CNN.

I'm Judy Woodruff. "MONEYLINE" is next.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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