Gore Vidal Doesn't Like Al Gore
Gore is no fan of Gore - author and liberal political pundit Gore Vidal believes Al Gore is a conservative masquerading as a liberal to gain power within the Democratic Party.
"Although we are cousins, and I was a friend of his father, I've always thought he was absolutely pointless as a politician," Vidal - who has claimed to be a distant cousin of Gore - told Stephen Marshall, author of the forthcoming book "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing."
"He's just another conservative Southerner."
And Marshall declared: "Al Gore's voting record as a senator was surprisingly conservative until he rolled his eye toward the White House."
In his book, Marshall of the Guerilla News Network points out:
Gore was pro-life during most of his political career and had an 84 percent anti-abortion rating from the National Right to Life Committee.
In the House, he voted five times in three years for a GOP-sponsored rider granting a tax exemption for schools like Bob Jones University that discriminate on the basis of race.
He called homosexuality "wrong" and "abnormal" and said it was "not an acceptable lifestyle that society should affirm."
Sen. Gore voted against a 1985 bill calling for a mandatory 14-day waiting period for handgun purchases and drew praise from the National Rifle Association.
In the Senate, Gore was one of only 10 Democrats to break with the party and vote for President Bush Sr.'s Gulf War in 1991 - in effect "peddling" his vote in exchange for speaking time on the floor the night before the vote, according to former Sen. Alan Simpson.
"Another border-state, southern lover of the Pentagon," said Vidal.
"There was never anything the Pentagon asked for that Cousin Albert wasn't down there giving it to them."
Despite his environmentalist posture, Gore and the Democrats during the Clinton administration received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Occidental Petroleum, which Marshal calls "one of the worst corporate polluters in the world. In its most scandalous case, an Occidental subsidiary dumped thousands of tons of toxic chemical waste near the residential area of Love Canal in New York."
As vice president, Gore helped Occidental get oil drilling rights in the Elk Hills National Petroleum Reserve in California - the largest turnover of public lands to a private corporation in American history, according to Marshall.
It later came to light that Gore held up to $500,000 worth of Occidental stock through a family trust.
"But for Vidal, the act that most proves Gore's contempt for representative politics was his total acquiescence in the face of the contested 2000 presidential election results in Florida," Marshall writes.
Vidal concluded: "He is of above average intelligence, on issues that people didn't really care about, like the environment. But if there's a hot issue, he runs the mile."