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WASHINGTON INSIGHT

SUPER BLOWOUT: Jack Kemp, the former NFL quarterback and perennial presidential prospect, threw a long, scoring bomb in the fund-raising arena during Super Bowl festivities in Atlanta. Nearly 300 affluent supporters eager to see Kemp dive into the White House end zone in 1996 handed off $5,000 apiece for the right to party all weekend with the chatty Republican. . . . They got to attend a reception Friday night, and Saturday afternoon they rubbed shoulders with NFL legends Johnny Unitas, Jim Brown and others at a lunch. That was just the first quarter. There was a big entertainment show Saturday night, a pregame lunch Sunday with ex-Washington Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs and the Georgia Tech band and cheerleaders, tickets to the Bills-Cowboys clash and a postgame buffet. . . . Sal Russo, a spokesman for Kemp’s presidential political action committee, wouldn’t say how much he hopes to clear after expenses. But a guess starts at a hefty $300,000.

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HERALDED HOOSIER HEEDS HIMSELF: Top Indiana Republicans believed that they had just the recipe to help fellow Hoosier Dan Quayle win the ’96 GOP presidential nomination. Sources say they urged the former vice president to run for governor of his home state before bolting off in pursuit of the White House. That way, his friends reasoned, Quayle could fashion a reputation as a competent executive and shed the rap that he’s a lightweight. As an alternative, they suggested, he could create the same impression by serving for a while as the high-profile chief executive of his family’s influential newspaper chain, Central Newspapers Inc. . . . So far Quayle has spurned the counsel of the Indianians. Instead of shooting for the open governor’s seat in 1996, he is already plotting his run for the presidency.

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LOBBYISTS’ LAMENT: Lobbyists are moaning over sharply reduced tax breaks for lobbying expenses. Congress last year ordered a crackdown on deductions for meals and entertainment--and for corporate executives’ trips to Washington to strategize with their lobbyists. The Internal Revenue Service has just issued interim regulations, and many small lobbying operations fear that they will be pushed out of business. . . . An agricultural lobbyist figures big clients will be willing to keep paying the bills despite reduced tax breaks because “lobbying is such a small part of their total budget. But the small- and middle-size outfits, for whom lobbying is an optional thing, may decide it ain’t worth it now.” . . . A California lobbyist said he hasn’t changed his ways, although he pays a price. “I used to deduct 80% for schmoozing” with lawmakers and aides, he said, “but now it’s only 50%, and I have to eat it. It ticks me off, but it’s a major part of my business.”

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COVER-UP: The government is buying dozens of wigs to advance the cause of science. They are offered to people who volunteer for tests of experimental anti-cancer drugs at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. . . . In many clinical trials, the chemotherapy causes total baldness. So volunteers are given a voucher to present at Amy’s Hair Studio nearby. Owner Amy Cordaro charges the government $200 on a wide selection of wigs regularly priced at $550. . . . “It makes people feel good about themselves and, therefore, easier for them to join our trials,” an NIH official said. Virtually all the women take up the offer, but only about half the men do.


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