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Put up or shut up

In recent weeks, Judicial Watch’s radio show, “The Judicial Watch
has offered an opportunity to
all major presidential candidates — Republicans, Democrats and third
party — to come forward on our weekly broadcast to explain to the
American people what each would do to clean up government corruption —
particularly in light of the Clinton scandals.

As predicted by Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton and me, some of
the candidates declined the invitation. Of those who accepted, only
three actually gave straightforward answers. Below is a scorecard of
all the candidates’ responses.


Gov. George W. Bush. Bush’s staff responded to Judicial
Watch’s invitation ultimately by offering only to provide a surrogate
(not the man himself) to appear and answer questions. Judicial Watch,
which prides itself as being the “real thing,” does not deal with
surrogates, and neither should the American people. Judicial Watch
declined the “kind” offer.

Sen. John McCain. Before his recent rise to meteoric
prominence following the New Hampshire primary, Sen. McCain was the
only United States senator to invite Judicial Watch to sit down and lay
out the evidence it had uncovered on campaign finance-Chinagate
corruption. Indeed, the good senator routinely cites Judicial Watch’s
proof of the sale of seats on taxpayer-financed Clinton Commerce
Department trade missions as an example of campaign finance corruption.
While never taking any real action to clean up the corruption — other
than proposing cosmetic campaign finance reform which does little to
solve the rampant bribery — Sen. McCain is ever careful not to mention
conservative Judicial Watch as the primary source of his evidence and
information. Over the last four weeks, Judicial Watch has invited
McCain to appear on “The Judicial Watch Report” to give specifics about
how he will presumably use a reinvigorated Justice Department, and other
government agencies, to prosecute the violators of the public’s trust.
However, McCain has been consistently unavailable — each time promising
to come on the following week. “Next week” never comes, and it would
appear that the senator does not want to give any details about how he
would prosecute specific actors — in particular Bill and Hillary
Clinton and Al Gore — for fear of jeopardizing his “darling” status
with the pro-Clinton elite liberal media. Nor does he want to be heard
on a Judicial Watch radio show, likely for fear that this would brand
him as social conservative. While Judicial Watch was flattered by the
initial invitation to meet with McCain (Judicial Watch has always been
available to meet with any Congressional or other public official,
Republican or Democrat), his recent conduct suggests that he is more
talk than action.

Steve Forbes. Steve Forbes appeared on “The Judicial Watch
Report” last Saturday, and when asked what he would do to clean up the
corruption, he replied, “I will get all the facts out.” When asked a
follow-up question about what he would do once the facts were out (as
they already are) about prosecuting Bill and Hillary Clinton and Al
Gore, among others, Mr. Forbes’ phone mysteriously got its lines
crossed, and he claimed not to be able to hear the question. When
offered an opportunity to reappear on Judicial Watch’s show this or any
other week to specifically answer the question, the millionaire
publisher declined.

Ambassador Alan Keyes. Former United Nations ambassador Keyes
is one of the few presidential candidates (the others being Gary Bauer
and Howard Phillips of the Constitution Party) thus far to give direct
responses to Judicial Watch’s questions. Indeed, he stated that “his
attorney general would prosecute the wrongdoers.” He suggested that I
should be that attorney general — a position I would decline if
offered, given my opinion that Judicial Watch can unfortunately be the
only true watchdog for the American people, thanks to the corrupt
politics of Washington, D.C. We applaud Ambassador Keyes’
forthrightness. He is, however, unlikely to be our next president.

Gary Bauer. Gary Bauer appeared on “The Judicial Watch
Report” last Saturday, and answered questions in a manner identical to
Ambassador Keyes. We thank him for his candor. Yesterday, he withdrew
from the presidential race. Of the current candidates likely to be the
nominee of the Republican Party, intellectual insecurity, cowardice and
hypocrisy unfortunately continue to rule the day.


Vice-President Al Gore. Through Judicial Watch’s press
department, the vice president was invited to appear on “The Judicial
Watch Report.” We never heard back from him.

Former Sen. Bill Bradley. In the words of Rush Limbaugh,
The Democratic candidates are not guilty of hypocrisy. Instead, their
lack of response effectively admits that it is not a good career choice
for them to discuss the crimes of the Clintons and their party on a
conservative radio show.

Lest anyone have any misapprehensions that Judicial Watch is an
anti-Clinton group (causing great concern to the great liberal
journalist Christopher Hitchens, who, in fact, has urged us to dedicate
our entire existence to this worthy endeavor), Judicial Watch intends to
be around for a long time, even if Republicans recapture the White
House. No current likely winner of the presidential election (and
indeed the advantage must go to Al Gore if the economy holds up), much
less majority leader of the Senate or speaker of the House, will have
the courage or conviction to clean up the rampant corruption in
Washington, D.C.. Instead, the people must do it for themselves,
legally — through private foundations and organizations. While this
may sound self-serving, these are the facts and realities of the current
cesspool of politics in the United States, and their enablers in the
elite establishment media.

Finally, Judicial Watch has a special message for Sen. McCain. To
the man who is now the darling of this elite establishment media,
Judicial Watch says, “Shame on you for claiming to be one thing, but in
reality not having the courage to either answer specific questions or be
seen with fellow conservatives who are trying to put words into

Libertarian presidential candidate Harry Browne will appear on “The
Judicial Watch Report” today between 12:00 noon – 2:00 p.m. EST. See
the radio show page of our website for a list of
local stations, and for live and archived broadcasts of “The Judicial
Watch Report.