The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 20, 1997, Page 2, Image 2

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    Corporation galas note Clinton’s inaugural
Congress members and
administration officials
attend festivities for
. business and mingling.
By Connie Cass
Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Frofti omelette-and
bloody Mary brunches to postmidnight danc
ing, Congress members and administration of
ficials had their choice of nonstop parties Sun
day served up by corporations and other special
The weekend fests sponsored by Philip Mor
ris, Anheuser-Busch, MCI and others were a
prelude to countless other parties and receptions
planned by corporations to mark President
Clinton’s swearing-in today.
Thie, Clinton’s inaugural team broke with
tradition by barring corporate financing of
today’s “official” events. But the “unofficial”
parties drew big crowds.
For corporations keenly aware of
Washington’s power to affect their bottom lines,
the buffet line remains a favorite tool.
The Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago
Mercantile Exchange laid out bagels, French
toast, fresh fruit and made-to-order omelettes
Sunday at a restaurant near the White House.
Guests included Illinois Congress members
and their aides as well as Chicago Mayor Rich
ard M. Daley and his brother, William Daley,
Clinton’s nominee for commerce secretary.
“We invited people we work with regularly,
and this is the beginning of a new Congress, so
we thought it was a good way to be friendly with
them,” said Celesta Jurkovich, senior vice presi
dent of government relations for the Chicago
Board ofTrade.
Issues important to the two giant Chicago
based exchanges include a recurring proposal
to tax futures trades and pending reform of the
Commodities Exchange Act. Jurkovich said
there was little time at the brunch to discuss spe
cific legislation.
Such parties are among the few options left
fa* lobbyists who want to entertain senators and
House members, tinder rules that took effect last
year, motet gifts Mid dinners are banned. But
Party excludes black suburb
WASHINGTON (AP) — What if President
Clinton held his second inaugural in the other
Washington: the one of vacant lots and crush
ing poverty?
“It would be wonderful,” said activist Rahim
Jenkins. “All the streets cleaned. All the new
trees that would be planted. It would give people
here some hope.”
But then reality intrudes:
“We don’t have any hotels here. And I can’t
think of anywhere I could rent a tuxedo if I
needed to. We do have (me good caterer, and
plenty of liquor stores, but we know that party
isn’t for us.
“Their party could be on another planet for
all it means down here.”
Down here is Anacostia, in the capital’s
southeast quadrant, across the narrow river from
the Capitol where President Clinton takes the
oath of office today.
“That river might as well be the Great Wall
of China. We are totally forgotten here,” said
Lamont Mitchell, whose Imani Cafe is the only
sit-down restaurant in Anacostia.
Anacosua s nitty Diutts oner dazzling views
of the monuments of Washington. The White
House is just two miles away, a distance resi
dents say might as well be light years.
Inaugural festivities ending tonight, bathed
in opulence and grandeur, sharpen the contrast.
“He’s president now, and he’s going to be
president when it’s all over,” said James Daws,
a construction worker. “Maybe he could have a
nice little party or something, but three days is
too much.”
there’s a broad exception for “widely attended
events,” like the Illinois buffet.
Rep. Jerry Weller, R-Ill., defended the event
and other corporate parties as an important
chance for Republicans such as himself to get
to know the Daleys and Democrats in Congress.
“Sometimes the self-proclaimed reformers
are so extreme they want us to operate in a
vacuum,” Weller said. “These so-called reforms
have a detrimental impact—the breakdown of
relationships and socializing between Republi
cans and Democrats that we need to work to
It’s like we don’t
Lamont Mitchell
restaurant owner
Fireworks, galas, parades, balls (one honor
ing first cat Socks): None of the events is being
held in Anacostia.
“At the very least, they could have had a
prayer breakfast here or something,” Mitchell
said. “With all these black folks here, they know
we got some churches. But we aren’t even an
“It’s like we don’t exist, and this inaugural
is a perfect example,” he said.
There is, he said, a “systematic exclusion of
Anacostia from official Washington because it’s
92 to 94 percent black.”
None of the inaugural revelry comes cheaply.
Ticket sales for the parade and balls are sup
posed to cover most the events, but taxpayers
will still pay $12.4 million for costs associated
with official events.
“Hell, I’d rather see that money go to the
Boys Club or something,” said Felix Carter, sell
ing T-shirts from a van on Martin Luther King
Avenue, Anacostia’s main drag. “They need to
spend money and get these young boys off the
But Ed Rothschild, a spokesman for the con
sumer group, Public Citizen, argues that corpo
rations use the inauguration as “just another rea
son to have another bash and gain access to in
fluence Congress.”
Philip Morris Cos., maker of cigarettes and
parent of Kraft Foods, invited foreign diplomats
to a brunch featuring donkey-shaped macaroni
and cheese.
“We do business in well over 150 countries,
so it’s only fitting we honor the diplomatic
corps,” said spokeswoman Darienne Dennis.
Bombs strike
abortion dime
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — An abortion clinic
that was firebombed cm New Year’s Day was
struck byWo bombs Sunday that caused minor
damage. No injuries were reported.
The Reproductive Services clinic was closed
at the time of the afternoon blasts, said police
Sgt. Wayne Allen. Technicians and bomb-sniff
ing dogs searched the single-story building and
found no more explosives.
The blasts went off at the back of the clinic
and caused only minor damage to the building,
except for heavy damage to glass panels.
Police did not know what kind of explosives
caused the blast or whether the bombs exploded
on the outside or inside of the building, which
Allen said “had been rendered safe both inside
and out.”
Police had no suspects and no one has
claimed responsibility, Allen said. He said it was
too early to speculate if the bomber may have
been the same person who firebombed the clinic
on Jan. 1.
The FBI will take over the investigation
Monday because of last week’s bombings at an
Atlanta clinic and the Jan. 22 anniversary of Roe
v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that legal
ized abortion, Allen said.
“I hope this doesn’t mean that violence is
going to flare up around the nation,” said Sherri
Finik, the clinic’s executive director. “If a fa
natic can do this to our clinic or any other fam
ily planning service that puts all of our citizens
in jeopardy.”
. Tulsa police Officer Michelle Markey heard
and felt the blasts from her patrol car across the
street. She called it in on her radio, then rushed
to the building but saw nobody fleeing.
A woman who said she was a 14-year em
ployee learned of the blast from TV reports and
went to the clinic. The woman, who gave her
name only as Terry, said she was outraged.
“Certain groups would consider this a vic
tory, but what it is is an outright attack on
women’s rights,” she said.
The clinic employs about 15 to 20 people
who provide family planning, abortions and
adoption services, she said.
On New Year’s Day, two firebombs thrown
at the clinic caused minor smoke and fire dam
age. No one was inside the building, which was
closed for the holiday.
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Bomb kills many after massacre
ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — A car
bomb exploded Sunday outside a
downtown cafe, killing at least 20
people and wounding dozens just hours
after attackers massacred 36 villagers,
decapitating some, south of the capi
A second explosion was reported
Sunday near Reghaia, about 20 miles
east of Algiers, residents said. There
were reports of injuries but no details.
Government security forces, speak
ing on condition of anonymity, said
they dismantled at least six car bombs
in the Algiers area.
The violence was the worst in what
has been a bloody 1997 in this North
African country, where a five-year Is
lamic insurgency has killed at least
The car bomb exploded shortly af
ter 8 pm. Sunday in downtown Algiers
and was powerful enough to be heard
across the capital. The government said
10 people were killed, but hospitals
receiving the victims said there were
at least 20 dead and 60 or more
wounded, 10 seriously.
I i—
Witnesses said the bomb exploded
in front of a cafe next to a cinema in
the popular Belcourt quarter while resi
dents were breaking their daily fast for
the holy month of Ramadan.
The street was littered with bodies,
many covered by sheets borrowed from
nearby homes. Authorities sealed off
the area.
The force of the blast heavily dam
aged shops and nearby buildings.
In Beni-Slimane, a village 45 miles
south of Algiers, attackers killed 36
people in bloodshed that lasted hours,
security forces said. The official APS
news agency said some of the victims
were decapitated.
It was not clear whether the massa
cre was late Saturday or early Sunday.
No one claimed responsibility for
either attack, but suspicion fell on Is
lamic radicals fighting to overthrow the
government and install a strict Islamic
Algeria’s insurgency began in Janu
ary 1992, when the army-backed gov
ernment canceled legislative elections
that candidates of the Islamic Salva
tion Front were poised to win.
On Saturday, the Algerian govern
ment said the first parliamentary elec
tions since 1992 would be held in May
and June. A recent constitutional
change bans political parties based on
religion, and some groups say the up
coming elections are a farce since they
cannot field candidates.
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