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In Action

Gore Dodges Responsibility with Phony Energy Strategy
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Press Release

Gore Dodges Responsibility with Phony Energy Strategy

Citizens for a Sound Economy today criticized Vice President Al Gore’s newly-announced “national energy strategy” for the 21st century. “This so-called ‘strategy’ is nothing more than a political stunt designed to dodge responsibility for soaring oil prices,” said Patrick Burns, Director of Environmental Policy at CSE. “Rather than rely on markets to make investment decisions, the Vice President has crafted a hodgepodge of government handouts.”

06/27/2000
Just Do What's Right, Mr. President
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Press Release

Just Do What's Right, Mr. President

Copley News Service, 06/27/2000 As much as I want to see a tax cut enacted this year, I'm coming to the conclusion that the price the president is demanding for his signature on a tax bill is just too steep to pay. Bill Clinton has said the only way he will sign a tax cut into law before he leaves office is in exchange for Congress' passing a large new health-care entitlement program. That's presidential extortion, and it's no way to run a country.

06/27/2000
Trial Lawyers Campaigning for Political Office
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Press Release

Trial Lawyers Campaigning for Political Office

I>The Washington Post published an article on June 25th, outlining the growing role of trial lawyers in the Democratic Party, entitled, “Trial Lawyers: From Courtroom to Campaign Trail.” In particular, the article focused on Michael Ciresi, a Minnesota plaintiffs’ lawyer who running for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

06/27/2000
Double Duty for a Microsoft Investigator
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Double Duty for a Microsoft Investigator

BY John Markoff and Matt Richtel

pirates and counterfeiters of the company's software, it turned to a private investigative firm with a reputation for coming up with sensitive information for high-profile clients. So Microsoft was taken aback this month by reports that linked the firm, Investigative Group International, to mysterious efforts to obtain the trash of a pro-Microsoft trade association in Washington, presumably looking for documents that would embarrass the company as it fought a high-stakes antitrust case.

06/27/2000
Tech Bytes – Tid Bits in Tech News: Don’t like AOL’s Pop-up Ads? Don’t Switch ISPs, Sue!
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Press Release

Tech Bytes – Tid Bits in Tech News: Don’t like AOL’s Pop-up Ads? Don’t Switch ISPs, Sue!

In a court order dated June 20th, Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge Fredricka Smith approved a multimillion dollar class-action lawsuit against America Online. The suit, filed on behalf of 2.5 million subscribers, contends that AOL’s “pop-up” advertisements unfairly charge hourly subscribers for the time their service is “blocked.”

06/26/2000
Hidden Taxes Hurt Consumers, Erode Faith in Honest Government
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Press Release

Hidden Taxes Hurt Consumers, Erode Faith in Honest Government

North Carolina Citizens for a Sound Economy RELEASE http://www.cse.org Monday, June 26, 2000 CONTACT: Chuck Fuller (919) 807-0100 ALERT: SB 1463 to be SCORED VOTE Hidden Taxes Hurt Consumers, Erode Faith in Honest Government RALEIGH–North Carolina CSE announced today that its members will "SCORE VOTE" SB 1463, the Dare Utility Undergrounding Amendments. The Senate is expected to approve the legislation today and the House Finance Committee will take up the issue tomorrow.

06/26/2000
Microsoft-Backed Lobbying Groups Claim Security Breaches
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Microsoft-Backed Lobbying Groups Claim Security Breaches

BY Dominique Deckmyn

Responding to published reports last week, Microsoft Corp. said a number of alleged attempts to steal information from lobbying groups associated with it prove "the lengths to which [competitors] are prepared to go to attack Microsoft." But according to one security expert, such security breaches are nothing out of theordinary. People sifting through garbage and even impersonating staff or contractors are "common practice" in many industries, said David Remnitz, CEO of security consultancy firm IFsec LLC in New York. "I don't think Microsoft should act surprised about this," said Remnitz. "This occurs in every highly competitive industry." However, he said, charges are rarely pressed because it's hard to find out who has been stealing information. Last week, Allison Rosen, vice president of public affairs at the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) in Washington, confirmed a report published in The Wall Street Journal that said a company calling itself Upstream Technologies rented space on the same floor as ACT. A person from Upstream ontwo occasions offered cleaning personnel up to $1,200 in cash for garbage belonging to ACT, said Rosen. ACT describes its mission as supporting technological innovation "without undue government interference" and counts Microsoft as a member. Last week, the Journal reported that documents and laptops disappeared in a number of incidents at Citizens for a Sound Economy in Washington and The Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif., both of which receive funding from Microsoft. The Journal claimed that documents obtained in this manner were leaked to the press, becoming the source for stories critical of Microsoft's lobbying attempts. Microsoft spokesman Rick Miller said the information that was leaked to the press didn't affect the company's antitrust trial but was "more an attempt to influence the political arena." "This latest allegation is particularly troubling and really shows the lengths to which [Microsoft's competitors] are prepared to go to attack Microsoft," Miller said. Microsoft competitors contacted by Computerworld, including Novell Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc., Oracle Corp. and Netscape Communications Corp., offered no comment on the incidents. "We're trying not to be too Oliver Stone or John Grisham about this," said Rosen, referring to the creators of popular suspense novels and movies. "[But] our entrance on the Washington scene apparently rattled some cages." Microsoft's attempts at lobbying Washington via a wide network of advocacy groups have occasionally led to embarrassment. For instance, it was revealed last fall that Microsoft had bankrolled aseries of supposedly independent advertisements supporting its case. Other revelations that reached the media included the precise amount of funding Microsoft had provided to some of these lobbying groups. Miller said Microsoft has never attempted to hide the fact that it financed these and other groups -- it merely kept the exact amounts confidential. Microsoft is likely to step up its lobbying efforts even further in the future, according to Miller. But he added that this shouldn't be construed as an attempt to influence the outcome of its legal dispute with the U.S. Department of Justice. "We want to win this case in the courts, not in the political arena," said Miller. w Michael Meehan contributed to this story.

06/26/2000
Examples of 'Stealth' Campaign Committees
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Examples of 'Stealth' Campaign Committees

How many "stealth funds" are out there, ready to influence the outcome of an election? No one knows for sure because no disclosure is required. Marianne Holt, an analyst with the Center for Public Integrity, which tracks money in politics, estimates about two dozen. "Like a black hole, from which neither light nor matter can escape, these groups operate with invisibility and anonymity," she said. Some are more public than others. Here are a few examples:

06/26/2000
Not Quite Microsoft of Politics
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Not Quite Microsoft of Politics

BY Rob Christensen

If David Price or Jesse Helms were making computers rather than laws, the antitrust lawyers in the U.S. Justice Department would be breathing down their necks. Deregulation may have helped free up the private sector, but Congress thinks of itself as the Microsoft of politics. Members of Congress provide themselves with free mail, telephones, Internet access and Web pages. They have taxpayer-paid caseworkers back in their districts. They hold town meetings. They deliver the pork for the folks back home. They design their districts to suit their political leanings.

06/25/2000
House Blocks EPA From Gouging Consumers
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Press Release

House Blocks EPA From Gouging Consumers

Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) applauds action taken by the House of Representatives that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from unconstitutionally imposing burdensome regulations on Americans. On Wednesday, June 21, the House of Representatives approved an amendment to H.R. 4635, the VA-HUD-Independent Agencies appropriations bill, that would block the EPA from using funds to designate ozone non-attainment areas under a new 8-hour ozone standard. The courts have said that the new ozone rules are unenforceable.

06/23/2000

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