January 30, 1996 – A day loaded with politics and campaigns. The Senate seat in Oregon vacated by Bob Packwood was now being hotly contested as voters were making their way to polling booths in what was termed a “dead-heat” between veteran Democratic congressman Ron Wyden and Republican State Senator Gordon Smith. The Mail-in ballot election was getting down to vote counting this evening. The race to the White House and verbal skirmishes between White House hopefuls Steve Forbes and Senator Bob Dole were in full swing. Bob Dole was telling reporters he wasn’t worried about Steve Forbes campaign ads portraying him as a “Washington insider”. He went on to say that Forbes had spent some $10 million in Dole-bashing ads. In retaliation, Dole released an ad portraying Forbes as wasting government money when he chaired the board that oversaw Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Observers were saying the Forbes-Dole race was now in “one-on-one” territory.
A Congressional audit found that the Government Travel Office it still hasn’t balanced its books more than two years after the previous staff was fired by the Clinton administration. The GAO reported that the current travel office workers never balanced office checkbooks from January through August of 1995, failing to enter about $200,000 in deposits. The audit found that the travel office was slow its vendors including airlines and telephone companies. The office arranged travel for White House news media, and the firing of the former staff was at the center of a House Oversight Committee investigation.
And Greek and Turkish fighter jets were engaged in hostile confrontation over the Eastern Aegean Sea. The two countries threatened to use force to defend a small, barren islet that each claim as its own. More than a dozen Greek and Turkish warships spent the day stalking one another off the coast of this tiny 10-acre island, home only to its inhabitants; goats.
All that, and much more for this January 30, 1996 as presented by National Public Radio News.