NOT SO BAD: Supreme Court arguments last week in President Clinton vs. Paula Corbin Jones renewed complaints by conservatives that women's groups have not put their shoulders behind Jones. Conservatives argue that the case unmasks a double standard of women's groups who aggressively supported Anita Faye Hill in her sexual harassment complaints during conservative Clarence Thomas' 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings but have been muted in backing Jones because the target is a liberal president. In an interview last week, women's rights leader Gloria Steinem offered a revealing response: "For one thing, Anita Hill harassments, if true, went over a long period of time, after she said no many times. Paula Jones' harassment, if true, was once. And what she alleges is that when she said no, he said, 'Well, I wouldn't want you to do anything you don't want to do.' And the conditions of her job and her promotions didn't change. So there's a different magnitude of allegations."
SMALLER FISH: Congressional staffers are boning up on the Democrats' foreign money transgressions in preparation for public hearings set to begin in March. While the spotlight will focus on Democratic National Committee fund-raiser John Huang and his Indonesian former employer, smaller players are certain to come under scrutiny. One likely candidate is David Mercer, a DNC deputy finance director who initially denied, then acknowledged, calling Huang at the Commerce Department for fund-raising advice. Mercer also was taped by an MSNBC hidden camera offering high-level access in exchange for a fat contribution. The going price, according to Mercer, for a seat next to then-White House aide George Stephanopoulos: "100 to half a million." DNC spokeswoman Amy Weiss Tobe emphasized that a Republican National Committee fund-raiser similarly was burned by MSNBC.