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Odd men out.

George Bush, Dan Quayle, Jim Bakergone, all gone. Bush has vowed, mercifully, that he will never again seek elective office. A good thing, too; given recent revelations about his role in the Iran-contra scandal (from the notebooks of Caspar Weinberger, no less) and other like and evolving scandals involving Iraq, BCCI, and several faded S&Ls, Bush's second term would probably have been hobbled by a raft of indictments and investigations, anyway. But what of Quayle and Baker? Might not these two overlords of the age of greed return someday like bad pennies?

It's doubtful. But if Dan Quayle decides to run for the Oval Office in 1996, perhaps the press will keep in mind the sordid Brett Kimberlin affair. Kimberlin, you may recall, was the man who alleged to have regularly supplied a young law student named Dan Quayle with copious amounts of pot. Four years ago, when Kimberlin (then as now an inmate at the El Reno, Oklahoma, federal prison) called a press conference to announce his charges, he suddenly found himself placed in solitary confinement. And this on the direct orders of J. Michael Quinlin, director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The story of this and Kimberlin's subsequent treatment at the hands of federal prison authorities was pursued only fitfully for the ensuing four years - and then only by the alternative press. But just weeks before the 1992 election, Kimberlin's story suddenly was everywhere. Mark Singer recounted the tale of I'affaire Kimberlin in the pages of the New Yorker, and Stephen Labaton provided a front-pager for the New York Times. Kimberlin's lawyers had filed suit, claiming that his civil and legal rights had been seriously infringed - an opinion now shared by the US. Senate Subcommittee on Government Management, chaired by Carl Levin (D-Michigan).

It seems that Baker, then - Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, and Quayle-handler David Beckwith had an been scrambling for some time to keep the Kimberlin story well under wraps. Back on April 13, 1992, Beckwith - identifying himself only as "Dave" - called a San Antonio radio talk-show to viciously berate Kimberlin, who was being interviewed on-air from prison.

Doug Ireland of the Village Voice maintains that the Kimberlin case will eventually circle back to Jim Baker, who is already seriously entangled in the quagmire of Iraqgate (as Jonathan Kwitny reported in the October 20, 1992, Village Voice). All in all, there may well be two fewer Republican presidential candidates come 1996.
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Title Annotation:Against the Grain; Dan Quayle, James A. Baker
Author:O'Sullivan, Gerry
Publication:The Humanist
Article Type:Column
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Words:406
Previous Article:Themes from the 1992 World Congress in Amsterdam.
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