The Gore campaign recently mailed an invitation to Chung, but Johnny sang, "return to sender."

Published May 17, 1999 4:00PM (EDT)

If you were thinking of starting a Web site called, or, you're outta luck. The George W. Bush campaign scored those and numerous other Bush-whacking URLs about a year ago, to make sure they redirect you right where the Bush band wants you to land: the official Bush campaign site at (Note to self: Procure rights to

But Washington whisperers are far more scandalized by a few other tellingly named sites purchased by the Bush camp:,, and among them. Perhaps even more tellingly, and were not bought.

Word of the sites, which may provide insight into the as-yet-undeclared but nevertheless front-running Republican governor's veepest thoughts, leaked out last Thursday via Politics1 and was quickly picked up and circulated by consultants for rival presidential candidate Steve "I have more money than I know what to do with so I guess I'll run for president again" Forbes seeking to portray Bush as overconfident and less conservative than he maintains. (New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, New York Gov. George Pataki and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge are all moderate, pro-choice Republicans, although Michigan Gov. John Engler is a conservative abortion opponent.)

But Bush campaign spokespeople say that none of the names registered -- or not registered -- mean anything, as it is "way too premature to even address the issue of a running mate," and that they are the work of an "enterprising young staff person" who took it upon himself to reserve the governors' names when he was just supposed to stick with the potty-mouthed sites. (The over-enthusiastic youth didn't do a very thorough job; appears to be available.)

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Humble talk from a humble guy

"I think it's smart. And I really agree with him."

-- President Clinton on Al Gore's decision not to mention him while campaigning

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Monica, always cheap, now cheaper!

Get out your kneepads! Monica Lewinsky -- hair slicked back and curled under just so (evoking independent-minded Mary Richards on the old "Mary Tyler Moore Show"), demure half-smile belying the giddy girlish giggle beneath, peekaboo undies safely out of sight -- is now ready and waiting for you to pick her up cheap.

Less than three months after its early March release, "Monica's Story," the "Vox"-loving vixen's bestselling Andrew Morton-penned biography, has been tossed into bookstore bargain bins. Relegation to the remaindered shelf is, according to Publishers Weekly business and news editor Jim Milliot, "a common approach that publishers use to try to boost sales of a hardcover that's lagging."

But John Murphy, director of publicity for St. Martin's Press, the book's publisher, said the book sold out its initial printing of 350,000 faster than Barbara Walters could say, "What's phone sex?" and that about half a million copies of the kiss-and-tell-all-that's-left-to-tell tome have been thong-snapped up in the United States alone. The company, he stressed, is "very pleased" with the performance of the eager-to-please ex-intern's hardcover and is merely making room for the book's mass market paperback release.

Just weeks after hitting the stores, "Monica's Story" (now No. 2,775 on's sales list) was eclipsed by George Stephanopoulos' Clinton snitch-fest "All Too Human" (ranked No. 118 on Amazon -- and he didn't have to offer so much as a French kiss for his Oval Office access). "I don't think anybody is surprised," said Milliot of the hardcover's hard luck. "I think most predictions were that it would have a short shelf life." Maybe Monica oughtn't to have ditched out on all those TV and radio interviews after all.

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To err is human, to forgive ongoing

"I think forgiveness is an ongoing effort and challenge and it is something that I think about and engage in nearly every day."

-- Hillary Rodham Clinton, appearing on CNN, on whether or not she has forgiven her husband

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Why Johnny can't read his mail without finding yet another invitation ...

Looks like Al Gore's campaign folks better do a little merge-purge on their mailing list.

One person the Gore-niks probably don't want to have at their parties is Johnny Chung, who was recently given five years' probation for illegally contributing to the 1996 Clinton-Gore reelection campaign. But that didn't stop them from inviting Chung to a fundraiser last month.

Chung testified before conservative Judicial Watch last Thursday that he received unwanted invites to a Los Angeles event from the fearless veep via mail and fax at his home and office, adding that in recent days he was also solicited by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "This is not the kind of mailings I like to receive anymore," Chung said he told his wife.

Gore spokesman Roger Salazar said Chung was "immediately removed" from the campaign's mailing list when Al's minions "found out that his name was on one of the lists that we purchased." And not a moment too soon.

By Amy Reiter

MORE FROM Amy Reiter

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Al Gore Bill Clinton Celebrity George W. Bush Hillary Rodham Clinton