Prez Hopeful Defends Demjanjuk
Death-camp guard or not, Seven Hills celebrity John Demjanjuk has an admirer in Pat Buchanan, perennial Presidential candidate and master of the outrageous take. Buttonholed after a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., last week, Buchanan opined, "I think what they're doing to John Demjanjuk is disgraceful. We already know the Justice Department engaged in outright fraud in order to prosecute him the first time and put him through hell . . . I think this is a travesty of justice and a moral outrage." Buchanan carries plenty of his own Nazi baggage, having characterized Holocaust survivors as given to "group fantasies of martyrdom and heroics." He's also been an outspoken critic of the DOJ's Nazi-hunting unit, which a federal judge ruled "acted with reckless disregard for the truth" in withholding evidence showing that Demjanjuk was not Ivan the Terrible, a guard at Treblinka. If Demjanjuk can still vote next year, he'll no doubt happily pull the lever for Buchanan, who promises, "If I'm elected President, we will clean house at that little subdivision at the Department of Justice."
Wanted: a home for twin sixteen-foot Buddhas. Call nightclub impresario Terry Barbu, who was ready to install them in the old Rumrunners space in the Flats and reopen it as the Funky Buddha. But he was skunked by Basement owner Gary Bauer, who stepped in at the last minute and outbid Barbu for the space. A counteroffer was rejected, according to Barbu, who is determined to find another space that will siphon off the Basement crowds. Bauer's "paranoia is going to cost him a lot of money," Barbu warns. Coming up: Zen and the art of club competition.
It looks as if Xchange Point, the embattled needle-exchange program, will survive Executive Director Ken Vail after all. Vail's recent resignation had been in the works for several months, after board members started "mentoring" him to tone down his self-defeating rhetoric and media ploys. But the organization continued to lose support, and after a May 13 expose in Scene, all but two board members resigned. Vail, who declined comment, will be joining a harm-reduction program in California and not leaving many fans behind. "I'm not going to jump up and down and sing Ken's praises," says board President Jondarr Bradshaw. "The problems we had were due to Ken's personality." Vail will remain a national advisor to the agency--just don't look for his name on its letterhead.
Hallelujah! Two and a half months after an information request was filed, City Hall finally released the police report for the assault following the Cleveland police and fire departments' Guns and Hoses bash, delightfully embellishing what was reported in this space on March 25. According to the report, at 3:30 a.m. on February 28, Andy, an off-duty Cleveland policeman, was blissfully sharing a bed in room 611 at the downtown Marriott with Leanne and Kerry. Suddenly Jeff and Billy (conspicuously not identified as firemen) were at the door and proceeded to drag Andy out of bed and punch, kick, and slap him, with the admonition, "Fucking cop, how tough are you now without all your friends? This will teach you for sleeping with my girlfriend." Andy was taken to Mt. Sinai and treated for facial injuries, bruises, and a possible broken rib, and Jeff and Billy were charged with felonious assault on a police officer. Next year's affair should be a humdinger.