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BOSTON--Speaking at a $1000 per plate Republican fundraiser at the Westin Hotel, Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth H. Dole yesterday urged state GOP members to unite behind their party's slate of congressional and local candidates.
Dole was filling in for President Bush, who cancelled at the last minute so he could lobby on Capitol Hill for the federal deficit reduction plan.
"It's not the first time--and it won't be the last--that a Yalie asked a Harvard to come to his aid," said Dole, who holds education and law degrees from Harvard.
The President's absence resulted in a slew of no-shows at the luncheon, but GOP functionaries were still sanguine about the day's events. "You never judge by the number of people," saidPeter Berlandi of the party finance committee."You judge by the amount of money."
Dole set the tone for the fundraiser bylambasting Democrats for fiscal irresponsibility."If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulateit. And if it stops moving, subsidize it," shesaid, describing Democratic fiscal initiatives.
Other GOP notaries echoed Dole's sentiments."These are extraordinary times inMassachusetts--some might even say revolutionary,"said state Republican party chair Ray Shamie, whocited a "Democratic monopoly" as the cause for thestate's fiscal disaster.
Gubernatorial hopeful William F. Weld '66 alsocriticized the predominantly Democratic statelegislature, calling the state's spiralling taxrate "fiscal insanity." The former prosectuor alsoreiterated his support for the Citizens forLimited Taxation (CLT) tax rollback petition,which would cut state services and expenses inorder to return taxes to their 1988 level.
Massachusetts students--in both public andprivate institutions--have expressed concern inrecent weeks about the possible effect CLT wouldhave on scholarship availability, but Republicanshere dismissed claims that it would depleteeducation funds.
"People are worried, but they're worried byscare tactics," said state minority leader StevenD. Pierce, who is devoting his services to theWeld campaign after suffering defeat in the GOPprimary. "Scholarship programs will be protected,"he promised.
In a rhetorical stunt, Pierce explained thatthe CLT petition would ultimately help students."When those students graduate and if they decideto stay in Massachusetts, they'll have a job," hereasoned.
While blaming state Democratic tax-and-spendpolicies for the Massachusetts fiscal decline,Republicans also pointed the finger atCongressional Democrats for exacerbating thecurrent deficit crisis and then refusing tocooperate with Republicans on a budget reductionplan.
"I place the blame for spending where itbelongs--on the Democrats, who control bothbranches of Congress," said Shamie.
Envisioning a Republican nirvana, Dole teasedher audience with the vision of aRepublican-controlled Congress working with aRepublican Administration in forwarding aRepublican agenda. She equated a vote forRepublican Senatorial hopeful Jim Rappaport with avote for this scenario.
"I've been married to the majority leader inthe Senate and the minority leader in the Senate,"Dole said, referring to her husband, Sen. RobertDole (R-Kans.). "And let me tell you: There's aworld of difference."
Silber and the Sox
Although he wasn't present, John R. Silber, theDemocratic gubernatorial candidate, was clearly onthe collective conscience of those present. WhileWeld repeatedly alluded to Silber's unsavorypolitical connections--especially to State SenatePresident William M. Bulger--he was equally keenon painting Silber as indifferent on a day wheneveryone in Massachusetts was reveling in the RedSox's victory in their division.
"A couple of weeks ago, John Silber said theRed Sox had no chance," said Weld. "It's JohnSilber who has no chance." With those words, hepresented Mrs. Dole with a satin Red Sox jacket.
State GOP candidates also responded negativelyto Silber's recent proposals to limit legislativeterms to six years and the state assembly to a sixmonth session, claiming that the Democrat wassimply usurping longstanding Republicaninitiatives.
According to Weld, a similarproposal--submitted by Republican JosephMalone--is presently languishing in the JointRules Committee, supervised by Democrats.
"It seems that Dr. Silber is aJohnny-come-lately on this issue," said Pierce.
Two years after the Bush campaign ridiculed the"liberal boutiques" of Harvard, the institutionmade an impressive showing at the GOP fundraiser.
Alumni were scattered liberally around theballroom, including Daniel W. Daly '66, who lostto Rappaport in the Republican primary, partyfunctionary Gordon M. Nelson '62 and, of course,Dole and Weld.
Beaming at the gubernatorial hopeful, Doleadmitted to some personal pleasure in seeing aHarvard man attain such success. "As a new memberof the Harvard Board of Overseers, I can say itsure is good to see another alum doing well," shesaid
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