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Tech Bytes - Tid Bits in Tech News: When Less is More: FCC Restraint Equals More Choice and Benefits for Consumers
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Press Release

Tech Bytes - Tid Bits in Tech News: When Less is More: FCC Restraint Equals More Choice and Benefits for Consumers

This Tuesday, WorldCom announced that it is filing its first round of applications for fixed wireless broadband services in 60 markets nationwide. This is welcome news for consumers who can expect to receive high-speed fixed wireless Internet access in selected areas by early next year.

08/17/2000
The Trial Lawyer Class Action Scam
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Press Release

The Trial Lawyer Class Action Scam

The Trial Lawyer Class Action Scam Trial Lawyers are Making Millions of Dollars While Consumers Get Coupons! If you won a dollar in a lawsuit and your lawyer got paid almost $1 million, that wouldn't be fair. Yet, that's exactly what's happening with state class action lawsuits. A class action lawsuit allows similarly situated people to go to court as a group. For instance, assume the electric company wrongfully charged several customers an extra $500. Customers could sue as a "class," rather than each one of them suing the electric company on their own.

08/16/2000
Tech Bytes - Tid Bits in Tech News: Gore Walks the Technology Plank on Democratic Platform
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Press Release

Tech Bytes - Tid Bits in Tech News: Gore Walks the Technology Plank on Democratic Platform

The platform Democratic delegates will adopt this week places great emphasis on praising the Internet and New Economy, but fails to offer policy recommendations to ensure the continued success and development of the new economy. The platform contrasts sharply to that of the Republican Party, which calls for a permanent ban on Internet access charges and a three-year moratorium on discriminatory Internet taxes. The Democratic platform contains no mention of either tax, although it does oppose duties and tariffs on international e-commerce.

08/16/2000
Legal Analyst Walter Olson On Tort Reform
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Legal Analyst Walter Olson On Tort Reform

BY Charles Oliver

Investor's Business Daily Presidential candidates Al Gore and George Bush will seek to define themselves as the campaigns pick up steam. One of the biggest policy differences between the two men is on the issue of tort reform. Cutting the costs of the legal system is a major issue of Bush's campaign. Gore has been largely silent on the topic this year, but generally resisted such efforts in the past. Investor's Business Daily spoke to legal analyst Walter Olson about tort reform and the role it may play in the coming election. IBD: Will tort reform be a hot issue in the upcoming election? Olson: The Republicans seem prepared to press it. I counted five mentions of it during speeches at the GOP convention, though Bush himself didn't mention it. IBD: So would it be correct to say that while it will be an issue, it won't be a major one? Olson: No, I think it is a major issue. Bush has stated repeatedly over the course of the campaign that this topic is a high priority for him. IBD: But he's talked about a lot of issues over the last year. Olson: Yes, but Bush has a track record on the issue. When he first campaigned for governor, he said he had a handful of issues that he wanted to focus on, including tort reform. He said that his opponents might want to debate other issues, but he was always going to bring it back to his own core issues. And observers were amazed at how well he kept that promise. IBD: What about after he took office? Olson: Even more remarkably, he continued to focus on those issues, and he got something on all of them. IBD: What did he get in the way of tort reform? Olson: He got quite a bit. In fact, the package of reforms passed in Texas is one of the most sweeping passed by any state. IBD: Was it a very radical package? Olson: No, all of it was in the mainstream of what has been done over the last decade. Texas took various things that other states have done and put them together into one big package. IBD: What was in that package? Olson: One of the big things Texas addressed was forum shopping. IBD: That's where lawyers search for the most favorable venue for their case, even if it has little relation to the case. Olson: Right. Before the changes, suits could be brought in Texas even though the plaintiff wasn't from Texas, the defendant wasn't in Texas and the act being sued over didn't occur in Texas. But under Bush, Texas required a connection to the alleged injury or to the defendant's place of business for a suit to be brought. This has reduced forum shopping. IBD: What else has Texas done? Olson: It's made it easier for judges to punish those who file frivolous suits by ordering them to pay the court costs of those they've sued. Texas also limited punitive damage awards. IBD: What impact did this have? Olson: A recent report from Citizens for a Sound Economy says the changes have reduced tort costs by about $ 7 billion. IBD: How much responsibility does Bush bear for those changes? Olson: Quite a bit. In other states, tort reform began in the legislature, and the governors either simply went along with the proposals or opposed them. But in Texas, Bush was a leader on the issue. IBD: What does Bush want to do at the federal level in terms of tort reform? Olson: Bush called for "three strikes" legislation that would disbar an attorney who files three frivolous lawsuits in federal court in three years. The plan also calls for lawyers who rejected a pretrial settlement and eventually lost their case, or received a much smaller settlement, to pay opponents' legal fees. He also proposed new rules to let clients challenge the fees of their own attorneys in federal court and prohibit federal agencies from paying lawyers with contingency fees. IBD: What about the other side? What is Al Gore's record on tort reform like? Olson: In his years in the Senate, Gore generally opposed efforts to curb lawsuits. IBD: But Gore has been largely silent on the issue during this campaign. Olson: He seems to have judged it an unpromising voter strategy to take the offensive on the issue. IBD: In contrast to Gore, his running mate, Sen. Joe Lieberman, has a long record in favor of tort reform. Olson: That's right. He has said that lawmakers have a duty to minimize disputes, and to encourage those who do have disputes to resolve them as efficiently and as quickly as possible. He joined Republican senators to sponsor legislation providing for small-business liability relief and asbestos-suit reform. And he was one of just four Democrats to vote to curb the huge fees of private lawyers hired by the states to sue tobacco companies. IBD: He also voted to keep the District of Columbia from suing gunmakers for deaths caused by firearms in the district. Olson: That's right, although Lieberman is generally a strong advocate of gun control.

08/16/2000
Tech Bytes - Tid Bits in Tech News: Mobile Phone Legislation Will Trample Liberty and Safety
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Press Release

Tech Bytes - Tid Bits in Tech News: Mobile Phone Legislation Will Trample Liberty and Safety

Few technological advances have aroused as much hostility from certain segments of the population as mobile phones. The often asocial and discourteous behavior of their owners has prompted many restaurants to ban the devices. The New Hampshire legislature is even considering a bill, H.B. 1273, that would outlaw the use of handheld cell phones while driving. The infraction would be treated like a speeding ticket.

08/15/2000
Liberman flip-flops on Social Security
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Press Release

Liberman flip-flops on Social Security

Citizens for a Sound Economy has releases its latest TAX Fact, this one on Lieberman's views on Social Security. Lieberman, who once said, "I think in the end that the individual control of part of the retirement/Social Security funds has to happen," has now said that Bush's plan top do so would "savage" the system. But the only way to turn these overpaid taxes into real assets is to allow workers to invest this money in their own personal retirement accounts. To read more about the Social Security debate, click on the link below.

08/14/2000
Tax Fact 41: On Social Security - The Facts Show Lieberman Was Right The First Time
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Press Release

Tax Fact 41: On Social Security - The Facts Show Lieberman Was Right The First Time

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman – who once supported Social Security Personal Retirement Accounts – now says that Gov. George W. Bush’s plan to do so would “savage” Social Security by taking “$1 trillion out of the nest egg that belongs to every worker in America.” This is a great sound bite, but it clearly misrepresents the facts. The only way to turn these overpaid taxes into real assets is to allow workers to invest this money in their own personal retirement accounts.

08/14/2000
Tech Bytes - Tid Bits in Tech News: Keeping Privacy Private
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Press Release

Tech Bytes - Tid Bits in Tech News: Keeping Privacy Private

Until recently, file-swapping sites like Gnutella, Freenet, and Scour have been relatively unknown. These sites have been brought into the public consciousness in recent weeks thanks to the media coverage of the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA's) lawsuit against Napster. The latest development of this technology was unveiled last Wednesday at Aimster.com.

08/14/2000
A VICE PRESIDENT SETBACKS FORCED GORE TO BROADEN HIS FOCUS BEYOND ENVIRONMENT
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A VICE PRESIDENT SETBACKS FORCED GORE TO BROADEN HIS FOCUS BEYOND ENVIRONMENT

BY Michael Kranish

WASHINGTON - One day last September, Vice President Al Gore met privately with President Clinton to deliver an urgent message. Republicans on Capitol Hill, Gore said, were taking aim at the most important weapon in the war against global warming. Gore was livid.

08/13/2000
Bill Clinton's corporate welfare hypocrisy
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Bill Clinton's corporate welfare hypocrisy

BY Scott A. Hodge

Over the last two years, Bill Clinton has repeatedly rejected meaningful tax relief for hard-working Americans on the excuse that tax cuts might in some way favor the "rich." When he recently vetoed Congress' "marriage penalty" tax relief bill, Clinton charged it was "the first installment of a fiscally reckless tax strategy." White House spokesman Joe Lockhart went even further in charging that the tax bill would disproportionately go to the wealthiest Americans.

08/12/2000

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