February 24, 2001 – Death At Daytona – Pardongate – Low-Tar Cigarettes, Not So Low After All.
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February 24, 2001 – A weekly roundup of events of the previous week – and what a week it was. From Daytona came word that racing legend Dale Earnhardt Sr. was killed. On the afternoon of February 18, 2001, American auto racing driver and team owner Dale Earnhardt was killed instantly in a final-lap collision in the Daytona 500, in which he crashed into a retaining wall after making contact with Sterling Marlin and Ken Schrader. Earnhardt’s death was officially pronounced at the nearby Halifax Medical Center at 5:16 p.m. EST (22:16 UTC). At the time of the crash, he was 49 years old.
From Washington was news of Former U.S. President Bill Clinton criticized for some of his pardons and acts of executive clemency. Pardoning or commuting sentences is a power granted by the U.S. Constitution to sitting U.S. Presidents.
While most presidents grant pardons throughout their terms, Clinton chose to make nearly a third of them on January 20, 2001, his last day in office. This came to be known as Pardongate. While Clinton pardoned a large number (450) of people compared with his immediate one-term predecessor Republican George H. W. Bush, who pardoned only 75, the number of people pardoned by Clinton was comparable to that pardoned by two-term Republican Ronald Reagan and one-term Democrat Jimmy Carter, who pardoned 393 and 534 respectively. The latest wrinkle came in the form of accusations that Hugh Rodhman, New York Senator Hilary Clinton’s brother who was also a Florida lawyer was involved in brokering some of the last-minute pardons which raised a few eyebrows.
And the Tobacco industry was in the news again. This time the flap over low-tar cigarettes being labelled “light”, when in fact, they were anything but. Pressure was now being applied by Capitol Hill to adopt a “truth in advertising” stance and label the cigarettes what they are.
And that’s a small slice of what went on this week, the one ending on February 24, 2001 – as presented by CBS Radio’s Weekend Roundup.