John McCaslin

Who on the job isn't talking about the escalating slugfest between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama?

Discussion around the water cooler this week centers on Mrs. Clinton's trying to weasel her way into the White House by demanding that the Democratic Party drop its own rules and allow primary votes in Florida and Michigan to count. Other cubicle conversations concur how wimpy Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is to kowtow to the New York senator's show of power.

So what's wrong with displays of political affiliation in the workplace?

"While many employees actively campaign for their favorite candidates, they may not be aware that some political activities are inappropriate — if not prohibited — in the workplace," warns the Washington-based Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC).

"With so much of the public attention turned to the election this year, it is important for employees to know their company policy on discussing politics at work," explains ACC President Fredrick J. Krebs, whose association has gone so far as to offer its members — a good many of them lawyers — a three-minute "Politics at Work" phone message to provide guidance on appropriate political activity allowed at work.

Your choice

The Rev. Dennis W. Kleinmann, pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Old Town Alexandria, writes in a recent church bulletin: "It only came to my attention after the fact, but I learned that someone had put 'Catholics for McCain' fliers on cars in our parking lots and on the street.

"It is the position of the Church that we may never promote a specific candidate for office. So, these fliers were not authorized by me or anyone else here at St. Mary's. What we as priests have a duty to do is inform you of the principles involved when voting. Some principles are always and everywhere true, such as the right to life, which should be primary then in our decisions when we choose a candidate for which to vote."

We will note what Father Kleinmann cannot. Democratic Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton are pro-choice, and Republican Sen. John McCain is pro-life.

If walls could talk

Rest assured — well, almost — Washington's Renaissance Mayflower Hotel has hosted its share of history long before, according to reports, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer spent the night of Feb. 13 in room 871 with a prostitute.

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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