Political Scrapbook

Posted: Jul 14, 2001 12:00 AM
GREEN PEOPLE Step aside, Democrats. Move over, Republicans. Make way for the Greens. A national meeting of the Association of State Green Parties (ASGP) will convene later this month, when Green delegates are expected to vote in favor of filing papers with the Federal Election Commission for national committee status to establish a new national party: the Green Party of the United States. "The Nader campaign brought us lots of national attention," says Green organizer Dean Myerson. "Greens generally tend to focus their efforts on local and state races and on local-issue activism, building the party from the ground up. A strong grass-roots foundation will prevent the top-heavy hierarchies and resulting power struggles and schisms that have destroyed other third parties." At the Green Party's 2000 convention in Denver, Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke were nominated as candidates for president and vice president. And while they didn't win, a record 35 Greens were victorious last year, and another 14 this year, bringing the total to 89 Greens who now hold office in 21 states. In California alone, 35 Greens hold municipal office, including five mayors and 19 city council members. BRAIN OPENING Actress Anjelica Huston was in Washington Thursday (July 12) to open the new Smithsonian exhibition, "Brain: The World Inside Your Head." Members of Huston's family have struggled with dyslexia and other brain-related illnesses. In fact, 38 percent of U.S. adults say they have a family member with a brain-related disorder. After closing at the Smithsonian, "Brain" will travel to 15 museums around the country during the next five years. QUOTE OF THE DAY "Though that may be true, we do not consider him to be a regular Republican." -- Washington-based GOP political consultant Craig Shirley, referring to New York state senator -- and, he observed, Ex-Lax heir -- Roy M. Goodman, who despite his liberal leanings is being considered by President Bush to head the National Endowment for the Arts. HOMOSEXUAL ALIENS Same-sex partners of aliens granted two- or four-year work and student visas may accompany their companions to the United States, the State Department states in a revised ruling obtained by this column. "Accompanying one's 'significant other' who is temporarily working or studying in the U.S. would be considered travel for pleasure," the State Department informs U.S. diplomatic and consular posts in a July 9 telegram, "Classification for cohabitating partners." The telegram acknowledges that U.S. consulate posts "frequently encounter cases involving long-term non-immigrants who have a 'cohabitating partner' who wishes to accompany the 'principal' alien to the U.S. "This is true for both opposite and same-sex partners," the telegram notes. And what happens if the couple decides to go their separate ways upon arrival in America? "In making this assessment, it is appropriate to consider the applicant's current circumstances as well as the strength of their relationship," the telegram advises. "An applicant who is part of a couple who have lived together for many years and who are both well-established with strong ties to their country would normally be able to overcome," the telegram states. "Conversely, a 'partner' (boy/girlfriend) who only recently entered into a relationship with the principal and who has weak ties of his/her own may have greater difficulty demonstrating a residence abroad." Thus, State concludes that U.S. officials, when considering issuing visas to cohabitating partners, "should not focus on the duration of stay per se but rather should examine the applicant's ties abroad and the likelihood that he/she will stay in the U.S. illegally after the 'principal' alien returns." ENEMY WITHIN Congress has declared war -- on itself. The Democratic National Committee says Republicans have mounted the first strike, their response after losing control of the Senate. "Republicans declared war on Democrats for 2002 and insist they have a mandate from the voters," says the DNC, citing what it calls a "scathing" memo from Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott after Sen. James M. Jeffords of Vermont abandoned the GOP. "This coup of one puts at peril the agenda that Republicans were given a mandate by the American people to deliver," Lott wrote in that memo. "And most importantly," said the dethroned majority leader, "we must begin to wage the war today for the election in 2002. We have a moral obligation to restore the integrity of our democracy, to restore the democratic process, what was changed in the shadows of the back rooms in Washington."