Your Influence Counts ... Use It! The SPOTLIGHT by Liberty Lobby

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Clinton to Schumer: Stay in House

  • The White House is intervening in New York politics.
By Mike Blair

Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the leading anti-gun crank in Congress, is being pressured by the Clinton White House to drop out of the New York Democratic primary race for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Alfonse D'Amato.

This would leave the Democratic nod a virtual certainty for 1984 vice presidential candidate and former Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro, who announced her candidacy on January 5, Ferraro resigned January 4 from her position as the in-house liberal on the popular CNN show Crossfire.

Fund-raising is a major concern of the Ferraro camp. Schumer has amassed some $8 million and can fight a costly primary campaign. Ferraro says she will need to spend at least $5.5 million just for the primary.

Clinton and Ferraro are both eyeing the $14 million-plus war chest of D'Amato is unopposed for the GOP nomination.

According to highly placed sources within the New York Democrat Party, Ferraro and Clinton held several "extended telephone conversations" about the Senate race and getting Schumer out of it, while Clinton and the first lady were recently vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Ferraro and her husband, John Zacarro, have a vacation home on the islands.

According to SPOTLIGHT sources, Ferraro has pledged to the president that she will be a leader in fighting for new anti-gun legislation in the Senate.

At the same time, Clinton has been told by political experts in New York that Ferraro has the better chance of defeating D'Amato in the federal election nest November that Schumer.

Schumer is virtually unknown among Democratic voters in the upstate regions of New York.

At the same time, these sources say, Clinton wants to see Schumer remain in the House where he can continue "hauling the administration's water" on the Clinton's anti-gun agenda.

Schumer is willing to sacrifice his safe House seat from a heavily-Jewish New York city district to seek the Senate nomination and, according to most experts, will most likely be defeated by Ferraro in a primary battle. She is currently leading by wide margins I the polls.

In addition to Schumer, Mark Green, New York city's elected consumer advocate, is also a Democratic primary Senate contender. He is seen as most likely to take votes away form Schumer in the primary. Ferraro is seen as the favorite of New York democratic women and voters in upstate.

Schumer is expected to receive heavy support from anti-gun groups, such as Handgun Control Inc., but he will be battered by pro-gun forces. On the other hand, Ferraro's anti-gun philosophy is not well known.

When push comes to shove in the Senate, D'Amato has a record of being pro- gun in most instances.