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In Action

Pelosi brings pedigree to new post as Congress' most powerful woman
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Pelosi brings pedigree to new post as Congress' most powerful woman

BY JUSTIN PRITCHARD

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Nancy Pelosi loves old maps - graphic testimony to the spirit of exploration, faded images of what was known and unknown. "Maps are about the places and the geography and the Earth, but they're also about how people saw the world and the courage it took for them to go places," she says. "What we want to do in politics is blaze trails and not just follow paths."

01/16/2003
U.S., Singapore Wrap Up Free-Trade Deal
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U.S., Singapore Wrap Up Free-Trade Deal

The Bush administration announced Wednesday it had cleared away the last hurdle to a free-trade agreement with Singapore, wrapping up the deal a month after a similar one with Chile, the Associated Press reported. Administration officials said a final round of telephone negotiations between Treasury Undersecretary John Taylor and Koh Yong Guan, managing director of Singapore's monetary authority, resolved the lone sticking point: treatment of capital flows during periods of financial crises. Under the deal, Singapore may impose capital controls if it deems them necessary, but U.S. investors may file claims to recoup any investments trapped in Singapore. The administration hopes to use agreements with Chile, Singapore and other countries to give momentum to the negotiations on even bigger prizes: a deal covering all countries except Cuba in the Western Hemisphere, and new global trade talks covering the 144 nations in the World Trade Organization. The deal with Singapore would wipe out tariffs and other trade barriers on about $33 billion in merchandise trade between the two nations. It also would give U.S. banks and service companies more access to one of Asia's main financial centers. Meanwhile, President Bush, who has tried to lure organized labor into the Republicans' political camp, Wednesday named Teamsters' President James Hoffa to an administration advisory panel on trade. Bush also named Paul Beckner, president of Citizens for a Sound Economy, a group that advocates lower taxes and less government, to a two-year term on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

01/16/2003
Capital Comment for January 16, 2003
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Capital Comment for January 16, 2003

BY United Press International

Capital Comment -- Daily news notes, political rumors, and important events that shape politics and public policy in Washington and the world from United Press International. Hitting the ground running... The presidential campaign of Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry is off to a fast start. Moments before President George W. Bush was due to make an official statement of administration policy on the University of Michigan affirmative action case, Kerry's campaign released a strongly worded statement critical of Bush. "In their first significant opportunity to show a more inclusive side of the Republican Party, the Bush administration has decided to intervene and try to undermine Michigan's efforts. The Bush administration continues a disturbing pattern of using the rhetoric of diversity as a substitute for real progress on a civil rights agenda," Kerry's statement read. Bush announced that his administration would be filing a brief in support of the plaintiffs' contention that the University of Michigan unfairly considers the race of applicants in making decisions as to who will be admitted.

01/16/2003
CSE to Gov. Wise: ‘Canadian-Style Health Care Isn’t the Answer’
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Press Release

CSE to Gov. Wise: ‘Canadian-Style Health Care Isn’t the Answer’

Faced with a Medicaid-driven budget crisis, Governor Bob Wise is demanding “Canadian prices” on pharmaceuticals sold in West Virginia. Yet, if Governor Wise looked further at the Canadian system, he’d realize that Canadian-style health care is a prescription for disaster. That’s why Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) on Friday is kicking off a statewide education campaign to stop Gov. Wise’s plans. As part of its campaign, CSE is launching a series of radio ads across the state and sending “Canadian Healthcare First Aid Kits” to state legislators and the Governor.

01/16/2003
U.S., Singapore Wrap Up Free-Trade Deal
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U.S., Singapore Wrap Up Free-Trade Deal

The Bush administration announced Wednesday it had cleared away the last hurdle to a free-trade agreement with Singapore, wrapping up the deal a month after a similar one with Chile, the Associated Press reported. Administration officials said a final round of telephone negotiations between Treasury Undersecretary John Taylor and Koh Yong Guan, managing director of Singapore's monetary authority, resolved the lone sticking point: treatment of capital flows during periods of financial crises. Under the deal, Singapore may impose capital controls if it deems them necessary, but U.S. investors may file claims to recoup any investments trapped in Singapore. The administration hopes to use agreements with Chile, Singapore and other countries to give momentum to the negotiations on even bigger prizes: a deal covering all countries except Cuba in the Western Hemisphere, and new global trade talks covering the 144 nations in the World Trade Organization. The deal with Singapore would wipe out tariffs and other trade barriers on about $33 billion in merchandise trade between the two nations. It also would give U.S. banks and service companies more access to one of Asia's main financial centers. Meanwhile, President Bush, who has tried to lure organized labor into the Republicans' political camp, Wednesday named Teamsters' President James Hoffa to an administration advisory panel on trade. Bush also named Paul Beckner, president of Citizens for a Sound Economy, a group that advocates lower taxes and less government, to a two-year term on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

01/16/2003
UPI's Capital Comment
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UPI's Capital Comment

Capital Comment -- Daily news notes, political rumors, and important events that shape politics and public policy in Washington and the world from United Press International. Hitting the ground running... The presidential campaign of Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry is off to a fast start. Moments before President George W. Bush was due to make an official statement of administration policy on the University of Michigan affirmative action case, Kerry's campaign released a strongly worded statement critical of Bush. "In their first significant opportunity to show a more inclusive side of the Republican Party, the Bush administration has decided to intervene and try to undermine Michigan's efforts. The Bush administration continues a disturbing pattern of using the rhetoric of diversity as a substitute for real progress on a civil rights agenda," Kerry's statement read. Bush announced that his administration would be filing a brief in support of the plaintiffs' contention that the University of Michigan unfairly considers the race of applicants in making decisions as to who will be admitted.

01/16/2003
Bush Names Teamster Leader to Trade Panel
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Bush Names Teamster Leader to Trade Panel

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush, who has tried to woo organized labor into the Republicans' political camp, on Wednesday named Teamsters President James P. Hoffa to an administration advisory panel on trade. Bush also named Paul Beckner, president of the conservative Citizens for a Sound Economy, a group that advocates lower taxes and less government, to a two-year term on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

01/15/2003
Bush names Teamsters leaders to advisory panel on trade
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Bush names Teamsters leaders to advisory panel on trade

President Bush, who has tried to woo organized labor into the Republicans' political camp, on Wednesday named Teamsters President James P. Hoffa to an administration advisory panel on trade. Bush also named Paul Beckner, president of the conservative Citizens for a Sound Economy, a group that advocates lower taxes and less government, to a two-year term on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. The large panel is made up of industry and labor leaders who give advice to U.S. negotiators as they pursue new trade agreements with other nations. The White House has made reaching out to organized labor, traditionally allied with Democrats, a priority. The Teamsters and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters are among a handful of conservative-leaning unions that Bush and his advisers have targeted since taking office almost two years ago. Hoffa, for instance, was a guest of honor at Bush's State of the Union speech last year and worked with the White House on efforts in Congress to open an Alaskan wildlife refuge to oil drilling.

01/15/2003
State of the State: Taxpayer protest targets demonstrating teachers
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State of the State: Taxpayer protest targets demonstrating teachers

BY DON JENKINS

OLYMPIA -- Thousands of rallying teachers provided the backdrop and a foil Monday for speakers at a taxpayer protest that drew a couple of hundred. "It's a shame you can't have a crowd like that for a taxpayer-appreciation day. The thing about taxpayers is they're busy making a living," needled David Boze, a conservative talk-show host on a Seattle radio station. The Evergreen Freedom Foundation and Citizens for a Sound Economy organized the no-tax-increase rally, which not coincidentally occurred at the same time as the Washington Education Association's "Day of Action." The two demonstrations, separated by a four-lane street, created a festive atmosphere on the Legislature's second day in session. The regional director of Citizens for a Sound Economy, Russell Walker, told tax protesters that they were taking part in an "American tradition ... of engaging in the process to change public policy." He characterized the teacher rally as a "circus." Other speakers at the taxpayer rally complained that government has made Washington a bad place for businesses. They also ripped the teachers' union. "Their union leadership is all about power," said EFF President Bob Williams, a former state legislator from Longview and the WEA's arch critic. Five legislators spoke at the taxpayer rally, including 17th District Rep. Marc Boldt, R-Hockinson. Later, Boldt said the teachers' protest won't influence lawmakers. "To tell you the truth, most of the teachers were misled by the union that something was going to get accomplished," he said. The teachers should have waited for legislators to settle into a routine, he said. "None of the freshmen know where the bathrooms are. They're trying to get their offices and committees in order," he said. "I think if (teachers) had waited a week or two, it probably would have changed, but today, I don't see any good." Marvin Karlsen, 75, of Brush Prairie, said he came to protest against taxes and as a counterdemonstration to the teachers. "I resent the fact that in the climate we're in now, they have the audacity to want more money," Karlsen said. Woodland Truck Lines owner Darlene Johnson said she came because of what she described as business-unfriendly policies by the state. "All manufacturing is going down in this state. Well, we haul for manufacturing," she said. "I didn't even know (the teachers) were coming, but our education system needs to be revamped. We pay more and more and we get less," Johnson said. "They want more taxes so they can fund education -- give me a break." Several speakers alluded to teachers taking the day off to rally instead of teach. "I really hate to see teachers strike; it drives me crazy," said Rep. John Ahern, R-Spokane.

01/15/2003
Counter-rally urges fiscal restraint
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Counter-rally urges fiscal restraint

BY Brad Shannon

Antitax advocates had their own rally on the soggy Capitol lawn Tuesday, listening to a litany of speeches that favored lower taxes, fewer regulations on business and more accountability for government. As many as 100 people joined the rally, which was on the opposite side of Capitol Way from the more than 20,000 people reported to have rallied for education. Some in the antitax crowd, including event speakers, said they believe their tax-control message finally is getting through during the state's recent economic decline. They stood under a canopy for shelter but a cold breeze knifed through the sides as a series of lawmakers, activists and representatives of the event co-sponsors, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Olympia-based Evergreen Freedom Foundation, pitched their antitax themes. '10-year drunk' "There are people here in the Legislature who understand what the people have been saying for quite some time - no new taxes," said Rep. Lois McMahan, a Republican from the Gig Harbor area. McMahan told the group that Washington has "a spending problem, not a revenue problem." Rep. John Ahern, R-Spokane, said state government has been "on a 10-year drunk and it's time to sober up." The state's economic issues are "the only issue this year that really matters," said Rep. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood. State Sen. Tim Sheldon, a conservative Democrat from Mason County, spoke of needing to improve the state's business climate. The remarks clashed with what teachers across the street were pitching at a Washington Education Association rally, but EFF President Bob Williams said he thought the two events were able to remain separate. Sheldon, who has sponsored legislation to penalize teachers' pay if they strike, said in an interview that he nonetheless thought it was good to have both rallies. "I think it's good that the public will come to Olympia and express its opinion," he said. But he added that he would have preferred if teachers had chosen a Saturday or other nonwork day to visit. Williams said he was unsure what effect his rally could have on lawmakers facing a potential $2.4 billion budget deficit. "I think the governor and the majority of the Legislature recognize the economy can't take more taxes," Williams said. "I don't even see them going for a tax increase right now." Williams disputes size of hole Williams disputed the size of the deficit, pointing out that more than half the gap is caused by proposals to increase state spending over current levels. Hold spending to current levels and all but $800 million or $900 million of the gap goes away, Williams said. EFF has supported Gov. Gary Locke's new budget approach, which attempts to establish priorities for spending. Locke's budget would suspend two education initiatives for two years and cut other education programs, reducing the potential budget hit by about $545 million in lower education spending alone. The pro-business rally drew onlookers from the school strike and others, like Olympia activist Gil Carbone, who criticized EFF. "Basically, their position is they are going to improve government by taking money away from government," said Carbone, a former Olympia City Council member. "I think it's a non sequitur and untenable. Somebody needed to tell them that." Preschool teacher Lauren Tozzi of Seattle held a sign advocating an income tax and other causes. "State income tax, duh," one message declared. Another said: "Tax the rich. Educate the rest of us." "The rich definitely aren't paying their fair share," Tozzi complained. "I'm the rich she wants to tax," said Ron Moss, a retired road-builder from Olympia who was attending the EFF rally. Moss said his own children were home-schooled, yet he had to pay taxes - a situation he thinks entitles him to a refund. Even so, he was glad to see the two rallies, Moss said. "It's healthy to have the pro and the con, and the con and pro." "I think the governor and the majority of the Legislature recognize the economy can't take more taxes. I don't even see them going for a tax increase right now." - Bob Williams, Evergreen Freedom Foundation president B2, 15.01.2003; Micah Fonken, 7, of Maple Valley holds a sign opposing new taxes during a rally by The Evergreen Freedom Foundation on Tuesday afternoon on the Capitol Campus. The rally coincided with a large teachers march and rally. Tony Overman/The Olympian

01/15/2003

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