"The President...talks like Dirty Harry, but he acts like Barney Fife."--Bob Dole, Sept. 16
"George Bush talks like Clint Eastwood, but his record looks like Barney Fife." --Democratic campaign statement, 1992EDITED BY LARRY LIGHTReturn to top
PAT CHOATE'S MESSY DIVORCE: JUST DON'T TELL ROSS
IN 1992, ROSS PEROT declared he would never put an adulterer in his administration. "I wouldn't have people like that," he said on 20/20 then. And when Ross was boss at Electronic Data Systems, adultery was cause for dismissal.
Turns out his '96 running mate, economist Pat Choate, settled a messy divorce in 1994 from a wife of 25 years, who accused him of adultery. According to legal papers on record in District of Columbia Superior Court, ex-wife Diane, who filed for divorce in 1993, charged that Choate for at least two years had been involved in an "adulterous relationship" with Kay Casey, an Arizona schoolteacher. He married Casey after the divorce went through.
Choate contends that it was Diane who walked out on him in 1988, when she went to Switzerland to study Jungian psychoanalysis for four years. He calls his ex-wife's allegations a "negotiating position" aimed at getting a bigger settlement. They ended up splitting most of their assets, including royalties from books he wrote during their marriage. Choate calls her charge untrue, but declines to elaborate, saying: "It is wrong to violate my privacy to attack Ross Perot."
Court papers show he also asked for a divorce, but nothing in the file indicates his response to the adultery question. His ex-wife didn't return calls for comment, nor did his current wife. As for Perot, spokeswoman Sharon Holman says he knew about the divorce, but she referred all further inquiries to Choate.EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT By Christina Del Valle and Douglas HarbrechtReturn to top
ONLINE PRYING MADE EASY
PRIVACY ADVOCATES ARE apoplectic over a new online search service that unearths personal information. Lexis-Nexis, one of the largest online data providers, has received a torrent ef protesting calls and E-mail messages about the three-month-old service, called P-Trak.
P-Trak can reveal your name (and maiden name), phone number, current and previous two addresses, and month and year of birth. This is culled from more than 300 million records bought from credit-reporting agency Trans- Union. P-Trak initially provided Social Security numbers, but stopped after agreeing it might invite consumer fraud. Some of this info is available free on the Web, but P-Trak is more comprehensive. For $85, anyone can get a search done.
Privacy groups say this information, even without Social Security numbers, is the raw material for credit-card fraud, and also reveals unlisted phones. They want Congress to stop credit agencies from selling data. The company says the flap is overblown, since the info is publicly available.EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT By Lisa SandersReturn to top
THE FAA'S NORTHERN EXPOSURE
KNOCKED FOR LAX OVERSIGHT, the Federal Aviation Administration is starting an extensive safety exam of airports. But its first crackdown--on one of the world's riskiest airports, Juneau International--is getting heavy flak. The regional carrier serving Alaska's capital is fighting the agency's move to ban takeoff routes the FAA deems too dangerous, which could lead to flight cancellations.
Alaska Airlines says the FAA's concerns are exaggerated and its order will hamper the carrier's Juneau operations. Says a spokesman: "Safety is our No.1 priority." The company is appealing the FAA's edict to the National Transportation Safety Board. Other airlines are watching the dispute closely for clues to respond to the FAA initiative.
The FAA thinks axing some routes is a no-brainer. The airport is surrounded by gla-ciers and 2,000-foot peaks. It has treacherous wind shear, plus frequent ice and fog. The FAA says Juneau has had too many mishaps for comfort: at least four close calls in the past two years when aircraft pilots temporarily lost control, and a crash killing eight in 1992.EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT By Christina Del ValleReturn to top