John McCaslin

One Republican presidential candidate we don't hear much about is former Reagan administration ambassador Alan Keyes, who yesterday released a none-too-glowing assessment of leading Republican Party contender Sen. John McCain.

Bottom line: Mr. Keyes cannot support Mr. McCain at the ballot box without abandoning his conservative principles. As he put it, "There's not a single constituency of true conservatives that doesn't have one of John McCain's knives stickin' out of our backs."

Government growth

Inside the Beltway readers weren't laughing when we quoted the American Land Rights Association as saying that Congress is out to seize control of every drop of U.S. water by giving the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jurisdiction over everything from "bathtubs to baptismal fonts."

Actually, the Clean Water Restoration Act of 2007 would effectively amend the 1972 Clean Water Act by replacing the words "navigable waters" with "waters of the United States."

We'll allow reader Andrew Hunt to speak for the others: "The definition of waters in the proposed legislation is very scary. The American Land Rights Association may be a little off but not by much. If your yard does not have very good drainage then they will be able to control it. The only good thing about that is they may say you can no longer have your lawn mowed."

Crooked country

Republicans on Capitol Hill are keeping a running list of nationwide voter-fraud cases during this 2008 election season. Just how prevalent is the problem?

Consider that Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have actually filed lawsuits against each other in Nevada, alleging voter suppression by the other side — from pre-filled-out ballots to providing false information to voters.

And in the Pacific Northwest, there exists "the worst voter-registration fraud in Washington history," reports one news outlet. One county in the state is purging from voter rolls 230 names provided by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

Check with mom

That was Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner shopping with one of his three daughters for a new dress at Hysteria boutique in Old Town Alexandria.

Once she picked out the dress she liked, Mr. Warner had his daughter telephone her mother, former Virginia first lady Lisa Collis, for final approval.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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