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Giuliani pulls in big bucks for lectures

Giuliani pulls in big bucks for lectures

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The latest from the political grapevine, compiled by the CNN Political Unit.

Robert Novak reports that Douglas McCarran, president of the carpenters union, has been wooed terrifically by the White House ever since the carpenters left the AFL-CIO. But what a lot of Republicans don't know is that McCarran has just contributed $1 million to the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee. "That's because he thinks the Senate remaining Democratic is in the interest of the carpenters, because of the Davis-Bacon labor wage construction wages act," Novak says. "That's a bad blow for the Republicans."

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani reportedly is getting $100,000 a lecture these days. According to Novak, "He appears at the Murad Theater in Indianapolis on September 4, for example. A lot of big corporations are underwriting it like Eli Lilly, but for an ordinary person to go, it costs $95 to go to this lecture." The price, says Novak, includes dessert and coffee.

Elizabeth Dole will be getting some high-profile help in the weeks ahead -- primarily from the man she hopes to replace in the U.S. Senate. Last Saturday, Sen. Jesse Helms, R-North Carolina, got out of a sick bed to appear with Elizabeth Dole. He is going to be appearing with her frequently, and he's expected to join Bob Dole at one campaign event for Elizabeth. "Now, that's something for the Democrats that's going to be a little tough for Erskine Bowles to match," says Novak. "Do you think he will ask Hillary and Bill Clinton to come down? I don't think so."

A rift among Republicans who are pro-choice, pro-abortion rights? Novak says yes. Ann Stone of Republicans for Choice is probably the most pro-choice Republican, Novak says. "She's always at the national convention losing fights on the platform," he says. But Stone has endorsed Priscilla Owen, Texas Supreme Court Justice, for a federal appellate court judge, and that, Novak says, has brought criticism from other pro- choice Republican groups, including Jennifer Stockman of the Republican Pro-Choice Coalition. "As they say, Priscilla Owen is too anti-abortion," Novak says. "Big rift in the ranks of the pro-choice Republicans."

Retiring GOP conference chairman J.C. Watts recently worked out with the Washington Redskins. But it didn't go exactly as planned for the former University of Oklahoma standout quarterback. Watts pulled a hamstring while running wind sprints with the team's fastest players. An aide says Watts is limping and sore, but otherwise OK. As Watts put it, "The stupidity kicked in. I should have run with the linemen."




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