Robert Novak

 -- In the last election cycle, Specter was given $10,000 by the Teamsters under the leadership of Ron Carey (whose election to the presidency was voided by court order). He received $8,000 from the Laborers Union under President Arthur Coia, who then was under investigation for ties with organized crime and later was barred from active union leadership.

 -- The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, headed by Democratic former Rep. Barbara Kennelly of Connecticut, gave Specter $1,000 last fall. The organization fights Bush's plan for private investment accounts.

 -- Harvard Law Prof. Alan Dershowitz, a fierce critic of the way Bush was elected, has contributed to Specter in the current and previous election cycles.

 -- Harold Ickes Jr., the former Clinton White House aide who runs the Media Fund putting anti-Bush advertising on television, gave Specter $1,000 last year.

 -- Richard Ben-Veniste, the high-powered Washington lawyer serving on the independent 9/11 Commission, is a Specter backer. He contributed to Specter in 1997 when Ben-Veniste was representing Terry McAuliffe, now the Democratic national chairman, in connection with the Teamsters scandal. Ben-Veniste is generous to Democrats, but Specter is the only Republican on record as being helped by him.

 "Arlen is with us on votes that matter," conservative Sen. Rick Santorum, the other Pennsylvania senator, says in a television ad for Specter. Specter did vigorously support Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's confirmation. But he was not "with us" in opposing Robert Bork for the Supreme Court, in failing to support the full Bush tax cut and in voting against President Bill Clinton's removal from office.

 Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, a leader in establishing a liberal litmus test on judicial opponents, last year wrote Bush listing Specter among desirable Supreme Court nominees. If the president can accept George Soros's choice for the Senate, could he go along with Chuck Schumer's suggestion for the Supreme Court?

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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