Time: Tue Sep 02 06:57:08 1997
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Date: Tue, 02 Sep 1997 06:50:15 -0700
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From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Gephart Threatens-If Dornan Challenge Continues (fwd)
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>Gephardt threatens to 'shut House down' if Dornan challenge continues
>Copyright  1997 The Associated Press 
>WASHINGTON (September 1, 1997 8:58 p.m. EDT) -- Defeated Republican Rep. Bob
>Dornan  often enraged colleagues with his bombastic speeches, so it's not
>surprising that his legal challenge to win back his seat is producing a
>volatile reaction. Democratic leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., is threatening
>to "shut the House ... down" if a Republican investigation of Dornan's
>defeat continues.
>But Republicans insist they'll forge ahead with a probe of the conservative
>Californian's 984-vote upset loss to Democrat Loretta Sanchez in
>California's 46th congressional district last year.
>"We believe we have to get to the bottom of it," said Rep. Bill Thomas,
>R-Calif., who has jurisdiction as chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
>A three-member House task force is reviewing Dornan's allegations that
>Sanchez won because of voter fraud by illegal aliens and other non-U.S.
>citizens in the Orange County district.
>Both parties acknowledge that illegal votes were cast in November, but the
>level of wrongdoing is strongly disputed.
>Dornan contends there were enough improper ballots to support a new
>election. Sanchez -- the first woman and Hispanic sent to Congress from the
>district -- says she won the race fair and square.
>Gephardt has asserted "there's no question" that Sanchez won.
>If Republicans "continue in this immoral pursuit, the Democratic Party in
>the House of Representatives will shut the House ... down until this
>investigation is shut down," he fumed.
>Gephardt's emotional warning -- indicative of the strong reactions Dornan
>frequently drew during his nine congressional terms -- came in a recent
>speech to La Raza, which represents Hispanic-Americans.
>Dornan said Democrats are unjustifiably raising the issue of race in the
>"The Democrats better pray I don't get a special election, because if I'm
>re-elected I will take them apart line by line for their racist attacks on
>me and the Republican Party," Dornan said in an interview. Dornan said his
>challenge "has nothing to do with race."
>The acknowledgement of some vote fraud sets the House investigation apart
>from a Senate probe of last year's Louisiana Senate race. Republican Woody
>Jenkins' has challenged the victory of Democrat Mary Landrieu.
>Without any consensus on that disputed election, Senate Democrats withdrew
>from the probe earlier this summer and are threatening to stall Senate
>legislation if Republicans don't halt the investigation.
>Such legislative stalls are common in the Senate, where a single member can
>tie the chamber in knots unless 60 of the 100 senators vote to end a
>filibuster. In the House, where a simple majority rules in most cases, such
>threats are more rare.
>But this case is not ordinary.
>First, there have been allegations of racism, with Democrats contending
>Sanchez was challenged because she's Mexican-American and with Republicans
>labeling Democrats as racist for even making the suggestion.
>Second, the case involves Dornan, who also was a Republican presidential
>contender in last year's GOP primaries.
>Dornan's fiery House speeches often evoked intense anger from Democrats, who
>many times
>demanded that his words be stricken from the official record. It wasn't just
>Dornan's words that provoked his critics. It was his frenzied style as he
>attacked homosexuals, President Clinton, pro-choice advocates on abortion
>and other liberal targets.
>His staunch backing for the B-1 bomber in the 1980s earned the former Air
>Force pilot his enduring nickname, "B-1 Bob."
>Sanchez, who said she has spent $400,000 in lawyer's fees on the case so
>far, is trying to get on with business.
>"I'm concentrating on the work we have in the House," Sanchez said. "This
>office is the people's office. It's not Bob Dornan's office. It's not my
>office. ... It's got to stop."
>Sanchez' lawyer Wylie Aitken said she won "and there is absolutely nothing
>that has been discovered that in any way detracts from that."
>"The law is very clear," said Michael Schroeder, one of Dornan's lawyers.
>"It says that if there are more illegal votes than the margin of victory,
>you must vacate the seat."
>Outside of Washington, a joint criminal investigation by the California
>secretary of state and the Orange County district attorney is focusing on
>the voter registration activities of Hermandad Mexicana Nacional -- a
>county-based immigrant aid group that runs citizenship classes.
>Bill Jones, the California secretary of state, has found that at least 303
>people who voted in the 46th District election weren't citizens at the time,
>making their ballots invalid under state law.
>That alone wouldn't affect the outcome since it doesn't exceed the margin of
>victory and no one knows which candidate the individuals supported.
>--By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press
>Copyright  1997 Nando.net

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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