Nation: Speaker's Plaint

Sarah McClendon, who represents a string of Texas newspapers, has made a career of battle-axing Washington politicians during press conferences. Last week she asked House Speaker John McCormack some especially blunt questions about his relationship with Nathan Voloshen, who used the Speaker's office to peddle considerable influence around Washington. As the meeting broke up, McCormack, 77, the Speaker for five years and a Congressman for 41 years, walked beside McClendon saying, almost plaintively: "I'm clean, Sarah. I've always been clean. You know that. I'm clean, Sarah . . ."


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