Bush Promotes New Web Site

Wednesday, July 19th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Politics in the new millennium: Gov. George W. Bush launched a new Web site Wednesday and made a point of personally showing it off while his campaign prepared a TV ad to steer people to it.

The Web site allows users to download posters or placards for campaign events, listen to live Internet ``radio shows'' and enter ``fun and humorous'' contests — as well as offering the usual features providing news about the candidate and asking for money.

``It's the only thing in our campaign we're constantly reinventing,'' Bush said in a dig at Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic opponent he accuses of changing positions for political reasons.

Bush also was meeting privately with members of his high-technology council of advisers, including Dell Computer Corp. chairman Michael Dell. The group planned to discuss Internet privacy, cyber crime and a ``digital divide'' that often leaves minority members behind.
At a brief news conference, Bush took a fresh swipe at Gore and the Clinton administration, accusing them of declining to take a clear position on whether to breach Snake River dams in the Pacific Northwest to save salmon.

Administration officials, meanwhile, released statements making their case that the action isn't necessary for now despite pleas by environmentalists. Business interests oppose breaching the dams.

``I don't believe we ought to be breaching the dams,'' said Bush, who made the same point while campaigning recently in Oregon. As to Gore, ``He needs to stand up and let us know his position,'' Bush said.

Gore, campaigning in Kansas City, Mo., said, ``I think what is needed is to bring all the stakeholders together. I'm going to bring all the parties together to come up with a solution that respects the environment and that does not cause an upheaval in the economy.''

Bush brought up the subject of the Snake River dams as he demonstrated how to navigate through his Web site to find news releases.

A TV ad touting the Web site will air Friday in the San Francisco-San Jose and New York City markets, said campaign spokesman Ari Fleischer. Using fast-paced music, flashing lights and tilted camera angles, the ad directs people to go to www.georgewbush.com. The Bush campaign said it is the first political ad devoted primarily to driving voters to the Web.

However, the revamped Bush Web site wasn't quite ready to go. On Wednesday afternoon, large chunks of the Spanish-language section still were blank. The Gore campaign tried to make something of that, noting the pictures of Bush were ready and saying ``it's a question of priorities.''

During his news conference, Bush joked that the modern-day technology could play a role in his choice for a running mate. One factor, he said with a smile, was ``whether or not they've got a good Web page.''

Before his meeting with the high-tech advisers, Bush said, ``America is a pioneer in the high-tech industry and it is vital for us to maintain this status. Leading the world in innovation will not only improve the lives of Americans, but will also create many quality jobs.''

The Bush campaign announced Wednesday that Elaine Chao will be a featured speaker during the opening night of the Republican Convention. Chao is married to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

She is the former head of the United Way and the Peace Corps. She served as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation under President Bush. Currently, Chao is a distinguished fellow at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Chao's family immigrated to the United States from Taiwan when Chao was 8 years old.