George Mason in the News

Posted: July 20, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason recently received.

Thursday, July 12, Los Angeles Times

Disregard Subpoenas, Justice Dept. Says

“The Justice Department has concluded that President Bush’s former top lawyer, and possibly other senior White House officials, can ignore subpoenas from Congress to testify about the firings of U.S. attorneys. The opinion was prepared this week by the department’s Office of Legal Counsel, in response to questions from former White House Counsel Harriet E. Miers, who was subpoenaed to testify today before the House Judiciary Committee. Miers told the panel in a letter faxed Tuesday night that she would not appear, citing the Justice memo and advice from the White House. ‘Miers should show up,’ said Mark Rozell, a political science professor and expert on executive privilege at George Mason University. ‘There is no reason that she cannot answer questions about matters unrelated to presidential confidentiality and then refuse certain questions that she believes violate that principle. Besides, the White House dumped a lot of the burden for this fiasco on her shoulders, so she has the most incentive to talk and clear herself.’”

Tuesday, July 17, Washington Post

Va. Driver Fees Now Election Weapon

“An online petition against Virginia’s steep new ‘abusive driver’ fees neared 100,000 signatures Monday, accelerating lawmakers’ calls for the General Assembly to rescind them before voters go to the polls Nov. 6. Pointing up the political power of the issue, at one point Monday more than 1,000 people an hour were signing the petition demanding that lawmakers repeal the fees — some of which can top $1,000 — or risk being voted out of office. All 140 Senate and House seats are up for election this fall, and many lawmakers say they are being deluged with comments from constituents opposed to the fees, which are aimed at drunk and reckless drivers. ‘Lawmakers have been caught flat-footed,’ said Mark Rozell, a political science professor at George Mason University. ‘They had no idea this would generate so much outrage by such a large number of people… This is a way for many citizens to express discontent with government fees and what people consider to be abuses by government.’”

Tuesday, July 17, USA Today

GOP Hopefuls Outspending Dems So Far

“The top Republican presidential candidates spent more than their Democratic counterparts in the first six months of the year, even though the Republican contenders raised less money, the latest campaign-finance reports show. Republicans Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain outspent Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards by more than $20 million, a USA Today analysis found. The three Republicans lag the top Democrats in total receipts by $40 million and have $61 million less in the bank. The Republicans ‘are running Cadillac campaigns,’ said Michael McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University in Virginia. He cautioned that they will ‘have to re-engineer their campaigns and downsize to a more efficient vehicle’ if they are to compete effectively when more than 20 states hold primaries or caucuses Feb. 5.”

Tuesday, July 17, Washington Post

Earthquake Spills Water at Japanese Nuclear Plant

“A small amount of water used to cool radioactive spent fuel rods at a Japanese nuclear reactor leaked into the Sea of Japan as a result of a massive earthquake that struck the country yesterday, though officials of Tokyo Electric Power insisted it posed no danger. The leak took place at one of the seven units at the company’s sprawling Kashiwazaki-Kariwa facility, the largest nuclear-power-producing site in the world. The unit, one of the two newest at the site, was designed by General Electric and is similar to about half of the reactors in the United States. About 1.5 liters of slightly radioactive water spilled out of the cooling pool for spent fuel rods, leaked into another supply of water, and 315 gallons of that water were pumped into the sea. ‘It doesn’t sound like it’s such a big deal, but it is a leak and it makes you wonder whether the cooling pool is damaged,’ said Allison Macfarlane, professor of environmental science and policy at George Mason University.”

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