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For the week of Sept. 1, 1999 through Sept. 7, 1999

‘Fess up, W.

The cat and mouse game between Gov. George W. Bush of Texas, the 53-year-old Republican presidential front-runner, and the media over whether he used drugs in his distant past should stop. It’s time to clear the air.

The media’s pursuit of the issue is legitimate. Voters are entitled to know as much as possible about the Republican Party’s leading candidate in the 2000 Presidential race. So what’s wrong with confronting the issue now, months before the critical primaries? The question won’t go away. It’s not enough to admit to youthful "mistakes." It’s not enough to say he could have passed an FBI background check in his father’s Presidency.

President Clinton, who redefined the word "lie," got in front of the issue, long ago admitting he tried marijuana.

New Mexico Gov. Gary E. Johnson, a 46-year-old second-term Republican, openly admitted he used marijuana and cocaine in college. He’s the first governor of New Mexico to win a second consecutive four-year term in a state tilted toward Democratic voters.

"It was not something that anybody would have ever known," Johnson recently told a New York Times reporter. "But I knew if I was going to run for office, I should ‘fess up. And if I didn’t win, so be it."

W., let’s move on to substantive campaign issues. Did you or didn’t you? As Gov. Johnson put it, ‘fess up.


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Copyright 1999 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.