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In Action

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
President Bush Announced His Intention to Nominate Four and Appoint Three to Serve in His Administration
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President Bush Announced His Intention to Nominate Four and Appoint Three to Serve in His Administration

The following is an announcement by President Bush: THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary President George W. Bush today announced his intention to nominate four individuals and appoint three individuals to serve in his administration The President intends to nominate Dee Ann McWilliams of Texas, to be Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs. As an active member of the U.S. Army, Major General McWilliams is currently the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel and Installation Management for the U.S. Army in Europe and the Seventh Army. Previously she was the Director of Military Personnel Management with the Department of the Army. She was awarded the U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal for her service. Major General McWilliams earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees from the Steven F. Austin University. She went on to earn a second master's degree in national security strategy from the National Defense University. The President intends to nominate Joseph Robert Goeke of Illinois, to be a Judge of the United States Tax Court for a term of 15 years. He is currently a partner at the law firm of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, where he has practiced tax litigation since 1988. From 1980 until 1988, Mr. Goeke worked in the Chief Counsel's Office at the Internal Revenue Service. He began his service at the I.R.S. as a trial attorney, moved up to senior trial attorney, and eventually became a special international trial attorney. Mr. Goeke is a graduate of Xavier University and he earned his J.D. from the University of Kentucky. The President intends to nominate Ricardo H. Hinojosa of Texas, to be a Member of the United States Sentencing Commission for a term of six years. Judge Hinojosa has served on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas since 1983. He is also currently an Adjunct Professor at South Texas Law School. He graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin, and earned his law degree from Harvard Law School. The President intends to nominate Michael E. Horowitz of Maryland, to be a Member of the United States Sentencing Commission for a term of six years. Mr. Horowitz is currently a partner with the law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. Previously, he served as Chief of Staff and Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Earlier in his career, he served in various posts at the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York, including Chief of the Public Corruption Unit and Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division. He graduated with honors from Brandeis University and earned his law degree from Harvard Law School. The President intends to appoint Eric Steven Lander of Massachusetts, to be a Member of the National Cancer Advisory Board for the remainder of a six year term, expiring March 3, 2006. Dr. Lander, a geneticist, molecular biologist, and mathematician, is a member of the Whitehead Institute and the founder and director of the Whitehead Institute ? M.I.T. Center for Genome Research. He is also a professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to his work in biology, he was an assistant and associate professor of managerial economics at the Harvard Business School from 1981 until 1990. He earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in mathematics from Oxford University. The President intends to appoint the following individuals to be Members of the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations for two-year terms: James Philip Hoffa, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Paul Norman Beckner, President and CEO of Citizens for a Sound Economy SOURCE White House Press Office

01/15/2003
Day of Reckoning Editorial Misses the Point
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Press Release

Day of Reckoning Editorial Misses the Point

The Dallas Morning News stated facts, but missed the point in the editorial “Day of Reckoning – GOP must lead or get out of the way.” You stated correctly that Republicans control the Governor's Mansion, the Senate and the House for the first time since the 19th century. And we are facing a potential $9.9 billion budget shortfall.

01/15/2003
Why Do We Regulate Insurance?
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Press Release

Why Do We Regulate Insurance?

As the economy has evolved, insurance markets have become more diversified, more efficient, and more accurate in assessing risk. Today, consumers have a wide variety of options when shopping for insurance, which has become a major industry in the United States, with revenues of roughly $800 billion and net income of around $40 billion annually. Numerous brokers and agents supply a wide variety of products to meet the needs of consumers. At the same time, insurance instruments are available from a greater number of sources, including self-insurance and financial services providers. Where allowed, competition has generated the results that would be expected in any competitive market—lower prices, a wider variety of goods and services, and more fully informed producers and consumers who can make more knowledgeable decisions about the insurance products they need. Nonetheless, insurance markets in most states remain heavily regulated, which raises costs for consumers.

01/15/2003
Taxpayer Action Day a Rousing Success
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Press Release

Taxpayer Action Day a Rousing Success

Taxpayer Action Day on January 14 was a rousing success. This is the same day that the Washington Education Association chose to walk out of their classrooms and hold a “Day of Action” in Olympia – so we were far-outnumbered – their 20,000 to our 200! But, numbers are never the entire story and we were glad to be in Olympia representing the vast majority of taxpayers who were working on the 14th and who agree that our state government should spend less and tax us less.

01/15/2003
CSE’s Plan for the 108th Congress
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Press Release

CSE’s Plan for the 108th Congress

The start of the new year and the 108th Congress are an opportunity to outline Citizens for a Sound Economy’s legislative agenda for this session. Congress faces many issues (extending unemployment reinsurance, passing a continuing resolution to fund the government until the 11 outstanding appropriations bills are passed, reorganizing Senate committees, working on judicial nominations, etc.), but fundamental tax, Social Security, welfare, civil justice reforms and energy legislation that decreases our nation’s reliance on foreign sources of oil, are legislative priorities that must be addressed today.

01/15/2003
Let the American People Be Heard
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Press Release

Let the American People Be Heard

Often in Washington the political parties engage in fierce battles about small ideas. For example, the Senate right now is fighting over “committee ratios” and last week Congress argued about whether unemployment should be extended for an additional 12 weeks or 18 weeks.

01/15/2003

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