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    A daily dose of online news from beyond the Beltway.

    Illinois' Burris Accused of Race Baiting

    By Ryan Thornburg Staff
    Thursday, Feb. 26, 1998

    Roland Burris, the Democrtic front-runner in the Illinois gubernatorial race, spent Wednesday fending off allegations that he had made race an issue in the primary campaign.

    Burris, the only black candidate in the Democratic field of four, issued a cryptic response to reports that he told an African-American community group that his opponents are "non-qualified white boys."

    The allegations stem from a videotape of Burris that aired on a cable-TV community access channel and the local ABC affiliate in Chicago. Both stations dubbed out the words "white boys."

    "I have no factual information that I even said this," Burris said Wednesday. "If I've offended my colleagues, then I apologize to my colleagues. I don't even know whether or not I said it. You have to know the context in which it was said. You're not going to get me to speculate."

    "I have no factual information that I even said this."
    – Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roland Burris. (The Chicago Tribune, Feb. 26)

    Burris Not Admitting to 'White Boys' TV Comment (The Chicago Tribune, Feb. 26)

    Clinton Making Tracks on Ski Trip Out West
    It is already turning out to be a momentous weekend for President Clinton as he travels to California and Utah to celebrate his daughter Chelsea's 18th birthday. At two events Wednesday night in San Francisco, Clinton helped raise $500,000 for Democratic congressional candidates. After giving two keynote addresses in the Bay Area today, the president is expected to meet his wife and daughter for a ski weekend in Utah.

    It will be the first time that Clinton has been to Republican-dominated Utah since the 1992 campaign. If he actually hits the slopes, Clinton would be the first president to ski in Utah.
    Clinton Raises Big Bucks in S.F. (San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 26)
    Park City Set to Play Host to Clintons (The Salt Lake Tribune, Feb. 26)

    Arizona Affirmative Action Ban is Second State Effort to Fail This Year
    Arizona on Wednesday became the second state this year in which the state legislature shot down a proposal to ban race and gender preference programs. Georgia Democrats thwarted a similar measure last week.

    After California led the way in 1996 with its affirmative action ban, opponents of preference programs elsewhere began placing similar measures before state legislators. However, these two recent failures may take the wind out of the sails of other movements.
    Preference Ban Fails in Senate (The Arizona Republic, Feb. 26)
    Caution Slows Affirmative Action Plan (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Feb. 24)

    Another Illinois Candidate Turns to Television Carpet Bombing
    A day after Illinois Republican candidate Harry Seigle said he would spend an unprecedented $250,000 in the state comptroller race, Democratic congressional candidate J.B. Pritzker promised he will spend $500,000 blasting television viewers with his name before the March 17 primary.

    The race between Pritzker, whose family founded Hyatt Hotels, and the other two Democrats vying for the 9th District seat being vacated by longtime Rep. Sidney Yates (D) is likely to be one of the most expensive congressional campaigns in the country.

    All three Democratic candidates in the heavily Jewish 9th District are Jewish themselves and should be able to count on Jewish community support in the general election. The Democratic nominee's efforts to reach out to non-Jewish voters will likely determine the winner. That kind of scramble often means major spending for relatively few votes.
    Pritzker Puts $500,000 Into TV Ad Campaign (The Chicago Tribune, Feb. 26)
    9th District Candidate Emphasize Heritage (The Chicago Tribune, Feb. 22)

    Gambling Industry Losing Its Bet on S.C. Republicans
    In South Carolina, a bill to ban video poker has been a hot issue of late, with Republicans leading the charge to outlaw games of chance. That's bad news for the gambling industry, which donated more than $30,000 to the state Republican House and Senate caucuses during that last two years. During that same period, gaming interests gave slightly more than $18,000 to the Democratic House and Senate caucuses.
    Poker, Politics: No Sure S.C. Bets (The State, Columbia, S.C., Feb. 26)

    Stroke, Not Exhaustion, Put Bentsen in Hospital
    Former U.S. senator and treasury secretary Lloyd Bentsen, 77, told reporters Wednesday that it was a small stroke that sent him to a Houston hospital earlier this week. The hospital had earlier reported that the Texan was suffering from exhaustion.
    Bentsen Says Small Stroke Put Him in the Hospital (The Houston Chronicle, Feb. 26)

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