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In an exclusive interview in the N.Y. TIMES, PRESIDENT CLINTON's passion for the game of golf was noted by Berke & Broder as he moves in to the latter part of his Presidency. U.S. Senator John Breaux (D-LA), on Clinton's second term: "It's golf, golf, golf -- interspersed with politics." Some "prominent Democrats" said that they were surprised by Clinton's "longing for the golf course." U.S. Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD): "It's amazing to me. He can pour out data about a golf course like he can about polls and voting turnouts ... He regales us, with some frequency, with stories of being on the golf course and hitting this incredible drive." Clinton: "It's not fair to say I'm obsessed with it" (Berke & Broder, N.Y. TIMES, 12/7).
The MLS Wizards are expected to announce DOUG NEWMAN, a "top executive" at adidas, as their new GM today (K.C. STAR, 12/7)....Target-Chip Ganassi Racing announced the resignation of MICHAEL KNIGHT, VP Communications (N.Y. POST, 12/6)....NJ- based The Score Board announced that KEN GOLDIN has resigned as CEO & Board of Dir Chair (Score Board).
The "empire" of News Corp. Chair RUPERT MURDOCH was examined in a front-page feature by Paul Farhi in Sunday's WASHINGTON POST. Murdoch became an American citizen in the mid-80's to comply with U.S. law prohibiting foreign ownership of TV stations, and those TV stations provide News Corp. "with the vast majority of its revenue and profit." But "through the deft use of international accounting loopholes and offshore tax havens, Murdoch has paid corporate income taxes at one-fifth the rate of his chief U.S. rivals throughout the '90s." Farhi added that there is "no suggestion from U.S. authorities of any impropriety" in the way Murdoch has done business and that the "international tax and accounting strategies employed by News Corp. may, in fact, make Murdoch a model for the 21-century entrepreneur -- a captain of an industry who operates under so many flags at once that it's hard to know where his allegiances lie or how his businesses function" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/6).
Former Isles Owner JOHN SPANO was indicted on two counts of federal bank fraud four days after he "backed out of a plea bargain with three states." He will be arraigned on the charges Wednesday in Boston (Mult., 12/6)....JEFF GORDON, on Forbes magazine listing him among the top sports earners of '97 with combined earnings of $10.3M, ranking him 32 out of 40: "What's amazing about that is you don't know the source of it, but it's so accurate" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/6)....Yankees Owner GEORGE STEINBRENNER, on the five-year, $34M deal agent SCOTT BORAS secured for JAY BELL with the D'Backs: "Boras is just throwing out numbers. Some people bite. He took [D'Backs Managing General Partner] JERRY COLANGELO over the coals. He made him look like a fool" (UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/7). ...PEYTON MANNING will be a guest on "Late Show" with David Letterman tonight. He becomes the first college football player ever to guest on Letterman (NASHVILLE BANNER, 12/5).