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104-7 discussion postponed -- again
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104-7 discussion postponed -- again

BY BILL SANDIFER

RALEIGH -- Start-and-stop efforts to revise a 1907 state law governing state-federal land jurisdiction stopped again Tuesday. Slated for afternoon debate, discussion of House Bill 236 was postponed for the second time -- the victim of conflicting demands on House Speaker Jim Black's time. As he entered the House for a 1 p.m. session, Black said a 3:30 p.m. town meeting in Greenville would cut the session short. "This is my last one in the East," said Black.

04/06/2005
U.S. House Moves to Re-Regulate Trucking Industry
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Press Release

U.S. House Moves to Re-Regulate Trucking Industry

OPPOSE ECONOMIC RE-REGULATION OF TRUCKING INDUSTRY THROUGH MANDATORY FUEL SURCHARGES • The House recently passed its version of the surface transportation bill, which included a provision that would undo 25 years of free-market transportation policy and would lead to the economic re-regulation of the trucking industry.

04/01/2005
The Fight for Freedom Begins in the States
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Press Release

The Fight for Freedom Begins in the States

Thank you. My name is Wayne Brough and I’m the chief economist for FreedomWorks. I want to thank you for the opportunity to discuss this important issue. Wendell Phillips said, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” And it is important to note that such vigilance begins at home. That means state and local governments deserve the same scrutiny that we apply to the federal government. Everything the federal government does, state governments do, too: taxes, regulations, property rights, and judicial reform are all important issues at the state level.

02/22/2005
Housing Ills Blamed On NIMBY, Regulation
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Housing Ills Blamed On NIMBY, Regulation

BY Sandra Fleishman

Excessive regulation and not-in-my-back-yard thinking deserve much of the blame for the nation's shortage of affordable homes, federal housing officials said yesterday. And that's a situation that hasn't changed in 14 years, since then-housing secretary Jack Kemp issued a report that was seen as a challenge to environmentalists and anti-growth advocates.

02/15/2005
North Carolina Freedom Works/CSE Battles Government Land Grab
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Press Release

North Carolina Freedom Works/CSE Battles Government Land Grab

The United States Navy is condemning privately-owned land in Eastern North Carolina. More than a year ago, North Carolina FreedomWorks/CSE joined with the citizens of Beaufort and Washington counties and numerous organizations in opposition of the Navy’s proposed outlying landing field (OLF). Under the current plan, the Navy will acquire 32,000 acres of prime farmland owned by families whom have farmed their fields for generations. Many citizens, the majority of whom are seniors, will lose their generational homes.

02/04/2005
Free market vs. bureaucracy
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Free market vs. bureaucracy

BY C. Boyden Gray

In its recent decision, Europe's Court of First Instance in Luxembourg refused to suspend the sanctions placed on Microsoft by European Commission competition authorities. Microsoft will proceed with its appeal against the regulators, but the company must immediately comply with the excessive sanctions imposed by the Europeans. Even if Europe's antitrust regulators eventually lose their case, which could last several years, the marketplace damage will already have been done by the sanctions. The European courts and regulators still have not learned that they need to proceed cautiously in imposing overly intrusive government regulations. In September, this same court ruled that European regulators erred in June 2000 by blocking the MCI/WorldCom bid to purchase Sprint. But the ruling came four years too late for MCI, which long ago abandoned its pursuit of Sprint in the face of regulatory pressure. The results of the MCI decision should have demonstrated the problem with applying regulatory remedies prematurely. Unfortunately for consumers and the technology marketplace, this lesson has fallen on deaf ears. The heavy-handed ruling of the European antitrust authorities cost Microsoft more than $600 million, a record fine for antitrust violations. But even worse, European regulators have ordered Microsoft to reveal valuable software code information to rivals and strip its flagship Windows software of its audio- and video-playing capabilities. Make no mistake: This case reaches far beyond Microsoft (and its investors). If European regulators win the day in the very end, they will establish a precedent that hurts global competition across virtually all industries. Microsoft rightly argues that competition and consumers are hurt if businesses, even industry-leading companies, cannot freely improve their products. By effectively freezing Microsoft's incentive to innovate and compete in markets, European regulators limit consumer choice and remove one stick that spurs on Microsoft's competitors to create better products. Other large companies with complex, market-leading products would be wise to assist Microsoft with its appeal. In fact, in a strange unfolding of events, European aircraft manufacturer Airbus filed to intervene on Microsoft's behalf and then withdrew after news of the filing became public. Airbus' filing made perfect sense: Should an airplane manufacturer only be able to sell bare-bone fuselages and wings? By the logic of the European case against Microsoft, Airbus could be limited in how it improves aircraft with better engines, seats, galleys, and so on. Just as European regulators are set on determining what constitutes a computer operating system, so too could they regulate what defines an airplane, an automobile, a piece of medical equipment, a cell phone or any other product. It is unclear why Airbus withdrew, but it does raise some questions. Are there other large companies that want to speak out, but are avoiding the fray? The Court of First Instance has a strong track record of overturning decisions made by competition regulators, but it rarely suspends sanctions. European regulators famously blocked the General Electric-Honeywell merger in July 2001, after the transaction received approval from U.S. authorities. The Court of First Instance might yet allow the deal to proceed more than three years after the iron was hot. That decision, along with the MCI ruling, demonstrates that in the European judicial system, justice is often denied by its very delay. Microsoft is yet another victim of the court's unwillingness to take early action against excessive regulation. Will U.S. companies continue to face jeopardy in the Kafkaesque European bureaucracy? There are signs that the harshest days of antitrust regulation across the Atlantic may be waning. European regulators are standing aside and letting the Oracle acquisition of PeopleSoft proceed. In addition, the head of the competition commission, the interventionist Mario Monti, just stepped down and was replaced by the more market-friendly Neelie Kroes. This changing of the guard could help Microsoft and other American companies down the road. But antitrust harmonization between the United States and Europe should not rely on the whims of a single personality. In 2005, the Bush administration must reach out to European authorities and once and for all hammer out a more cooperative and free-market approach to antitrust enforcement. The conflicting systems are not merely inefficient. They create uncertainty and hamper competition, which costs everyone in today's global economy.

01/11/2005
European Court Forces Microsoft to Alter Its Products
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Press Release

European Court Forces Microsoft to Alter Its Products

FreedomWorks is dismayed with the European Court of First Instance’s rejection of Microsoft’s request to suspend sanctions until the appeal of the European Commission’s March 2004 decision is heard by the court. In denying the request, President of European Court of First Instance, Judge Bo Vesterdorf, will force Microsoft to provide customers in the European Union a stripped-down version of its operating system that does not include a media player, as well as providing competitors access to portions of its code to enhance interoperability. The ruling is at odds with U.S. antitrust determinations and adds a degree of uncertainty to the dynamic high-tech market. Just as disturbing, the decision may establish a precedent for future aggressive antitrust policies against American companies in the European Union.

12/22/2004
European Court Forces Microsoft to Alter Its Products
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Press Release

European Court Forces Microsoft to Alter Its Products

FreedomWorks is dismayed with the European Court of First Instance’s rejection of Microsoft’s request to suspend sanctions until the appeal of the European Commission’s March 2004 decision is heard by the court. In denying the request, President of European Court of First Instance, Judge Bo Vesterdorf, will force Microsoft to provide customers in the European Union a stripped-down version of its operating system that does not include a media player, as well as providing competitors access to portions of its code to enhance interoperability. The ruling is at odds with U.S. antitrust determinations and adds a degree of uncertainty to the dynamic high-tech market. Just as disturbing, the decision may establish a precedent for future aggressive antitrust policies against American companies in the European Union.

12/22/2004
WHAT IS THE EMPOWERMENT ZONE?
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WHAT IS THE EMPOWERMENT ZONE?

BY Jeff Wilkinson

To combat poverty in their poorest neighborhoods, the cities of Columbia and Sumter five years ago jointly applied for a federal grant that promised to deliver $100 million to the two cities from 1999 to 2009. The “empowerment zone” grants were available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Columbia-Sumter Empowerment Zone became one of 15 empowerment zones in the nation. It joined the ranks of those in Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta and other large cities. And it would be the only joint zone in the country.

12/12/2004
NAHB Symposium Focuses On Growing Shortage Of Affordably Priced Workforce Housing
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NAHB Symposium Focuses On Growing Shortage Of Affordably Priced Workforce Housing

BY NAHB

December 9, 2004 - On an issue of growing concern for the American public, a day-long Workforce Housing Symposium held yesterday at the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C. provided a forum for housing industry leaders, community advocates, employers and top government officials to discuss their efforts to solve the shortage of affordably priced housing for workers in the communities they serve.

12/09/2004

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