Robert Novak

 Hard-line Democrats led by Sen. Richard Durbin have been preparing to attack President Bush for not passing into law recommendations of the independent 9/11 commission by putting critical family members on weekend television programs. To accomplish that, Thursday was the effective deadline for declaring an impasse in Senate-House negotiations. Instead, Lieberman, senior Senate Democrat on the Conference Committee, insisted on still trying to get a bill.

 A footnote: The Durbin scenario also was undermined when Philip Zelikow, the independent commission's executive director, unexpectedly sided with the House Republican version of the reform bill.


 The South Dakota Republican Party has mailed to a national list of contributors a "pink slip" soliciting eleventh hour funds against Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle's re-election.

 Labeled "Notice of Dismissal," the card lists possible contributions from $25
to $1,000 supporting former Republican Rep. John Thune against Daschle. "Here's your last chance to hand him the PINK SLIP he deserves," says the card.

 A footnote: Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York, senior Democrat on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, in an Oct. 13 letter asked his contributors for "an additional $1,000 payable to Rangel for Congress" even though he faces only token opposition for re-election. The money would be sent to Democratic congressional candidates in close contests.

Robert Novak

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

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