Naked City

Beyond City Limits

Old senators never die, they just get richer. When U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm leaves office at the end of the year, he'll advance his fortunes by advising others how to advance theirs. No slouch at opportunism, the former chair of the Senate Banking Committee has found work as an investment banker with multinational conglomerate UBS Warburg. According to a UBS press statement, Gramm will advise clients on corporate finance issues and strategy and will work closely with the company's London office. Gramm's wife Wendy, a former federal securities regulator, has also served on numerous corporate boards, including most notoriously Enron Corp. (In fact, UBS Warburg scooped up the bankrupt Enron's banking business.) But the senator says he's confident Warburg is hiring him "for what I know, not who I know." -- Amy Smith

The U.S. House recently passed legislation drafted by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops that allows hospitals and clinics to deny an abortion even if a woman's life is threatened, reports the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. The Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 4691) is unnecessary, says the coalition: Current laws "allow individuals to opt out of performing procedures that go against their religious or moral ideals." Meanwhile, on Sept. 27 the Bush administration "clarified" the Children's Health Insurance Program definition of "child" to include the period from conception to birth. This makes fetuses eligible for coverage even if the women carrying them are denied. Women's reproductive rights groups, including Planned Parenthood, have attacked this change, arguing that C.H.I.P. eligibility should be expanded, rather than just "clarified," to make pregnant women and their children eligible for coverage. -- L.A.

Outgoing House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Lewisville, denied accusations by the A.H. Belo Corp. -- owners of The Dallas Morning News, Denton Record-Chronicle, and WFAA-TV -- of waging a vendetta against the publisher. Armey had inserted a rider into a military spending bill that would require Belo to divest one of the three properties. (The measure was later removed.) Armey's spokesperson denied any ill motive, saying Armey "has had a long-standing concern about independence in the media." Both the Dallas and Denton papers ran articles before the March primary alleging ethical lapses by Armey's son Scott, the Denton Co. judge, who was defeated in his bid for his father's seat. -- M.C.M.

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