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Beware of State Supreme Court Justices
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Beware of State Supreme Court Justices

BY James T. Riley

Last month, voters in several states went to the polls not only to vote for president, but for an office that has, until now, garnered little attention - state supreme court justice. With the specter cast by the Florida Supreme Court over the presidential election, citizens now are coming to realize the importance of this office more than ever before.

12/24/2000
Cooksey honored by AAO
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Cooksey honored by AAO

WASHINGTON -- Rep. John Cooksey, who combines the practice of medicine with service in the U.S. House of Representatives, was honored by the American Academy of Opthamology at its annual meeting recently. Cooksey was recognized as the AAO's "Guest of Honor" at the annual meeting in Dallas for his contributions as a practicing opthamologist and U.S. congressman. It will be in the latest of several awards received by Cooksey this year.

12/23/2000
Jack Kemp Criticizes President Clinton's Refusal to Acknowledge Economic Dangers
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Press Release

Jack Kemp Criticizes President Clinton's Refusal to Acknowledge Economic Dangers

Today Empower America co-director, Jack Kemp issued the following statement:

12/22/2000
Jack Kemp Criticizes President Clinton's Refusal to Acknowledge Economic Dangers
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Press Release

Jack Kemp Criticizes President Clinton's Refusal to Acknowledge Economic Dangers

Today Empower America co-director, Jack Kemp issued the following statement:

12/22/2000
White House Accuses Bush Team Of Undermining Economy For Political Gain
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White House Accuses Bush Team Of Undermining Economy For Political Gain

USA Today (12/22, McQuillan) reports, "In sharp contrast with the warm exchange between" President-elect George W. Bush and "President Clinton during a visit to the White House on Tuesday, administration officials are objecting to Bush's repeated warnings of an economic slowdown. They say Bush is undermining the strength of the economy to create support for tax cuts he says will help the economy." White House economic adviser Gene Sperling said yesterday, "It seems like a serious mistake for the president-elect to be continually sounding a drumbeat of economic anxiety," adding that he "risks creating a harmful economic anxiety that itself could have a negative impact." Sperling said "Republicans are trying to fuel fears about the economy to justify Bush's call for a $1.3 trillion tax cut over nine years, a proposal that was central to his campaign." Bush "said he is being practical." Added the President- elect, "I think people are going to find out that when I'm sworn in as the president I'll be a realist, " adding, "And if there are warning signs on the horizon, we need to pay attention to them, and we need to act in a positive way to make sure that our economy continues to grow." ABC News (12/21, Martin) added, "Republicans and Democrats fight all the time over all sorts of issues. This particular argument is whether George W. Bush is low-balling economic growth for political gain. Today, the President-elect defended himself against White House charges that he is playing politics about an economic slowdown." Bush was shown saying, "One of my responsibilities is to anticipate problems and be prepared to act, should they occur." ABC added that after Sperling's comments, Vice President-elect Cheney was also "quick to respond." Cheney was shown saying, "Both President- elect Bush and myself have tried to be cautious in that regard. But there does seem to be a lot of evidence out there." ABC added, "From the White House office he will soon vacate, Sperling argued back -- the new team should be cautious." Sperling was shown saying, "A president needs to show he's non- political and independent and objective when he talks about the economy. Because the risk is, in serving the short-term political objective, they will actually make the economy and confidence worse." CBS (12/21, Roberts) reported, "At a time when the President-elect should be focused on transition he find himself in a fight with the outgoing Administration -- a fight he feels he had to pick if he hopes to survive past his first four years." CBS added, "Democrats have accused Bush of acting more like a candidate than an incoming President, but Bush is all too well aware that if the economy goes south on his watch Democrats will beat him over the head with it for the next four years just like they did his father." CBS (12/21, Rather) reported last night, "All of this can be pretty confusing so for clarity a short time ago I talked to one of the world's best known economists, the Secretary of Treasury of the US, Larry Summers. I talked to him about the health of the economy as the Clinton Administration leaves office. I talked to him about a possible recession." Rather: "Is it smart politics to be talking about a recession at this stage?" Summers: "Well, that's a judgment for others to make. I think what's important is to try to focus on the underlying realities. The consensus forecast continues to be for moderate growth in the 3% range over the next four quarters. We'll have to see, but I think it's a mistake to lose sight of some very strong fundamentals." The Washington Post (12/22, Allen, Ricks) reports that Bush "stepped up his warnings about the state of the economy today, despite complaints from the White House that his bearish talk could become a self-fulfilling prophecy." Bush "said there are 'warning signs on the horizon'" even as "a variety of high-level Clinton administration officials worked the airwaves and telephones, charging that Bush is trying to promote his tax cut at the expense of market confidence, and is seeking to avoid blame for any future downturn." The Washington Times (12/22, Cain) reports, "The simmering dispute lent an undercurrent of friction to Mr. Bush's conciliatory meeting Tuesday with President Clinton in the Oval Office. " NBC (12/21, Brokaw) reported last night, "President-elect Bush says this is a dangerous time and his massive tax cut is the best course correction. The White House and Democrats countered that scenario is too radical, and it will only bring more trouble." NBC added, "In Austin, Bush dismissed the criticism, insisting he is just being realistic." Reuters (12/21, Edmonds) reported, " Fresh debate raged on Thursday as the George W. Bush team parried accusations it was trying to 'talk down' the economy for political ends, arguing instead that it was offering necessary 'straight talk' about an evolving slowdown." Clinton economic adviser Gene Sperling "accused Bush of undermining the economy for short-term partisan gain so as to bolster the case for his $1. 3 trillion tax cut plan." Sperling said, "What you're seeing is President- elect Bush and his team actually talking down our economy, actually probably injecting more fear and anxiety into the economy than is justified. And I think that's a serious mistake for him." CNN (12/21, Inside Politics, Woodruff) reported the rally on Wall Street yesterday "did not seem to take the heat off the President-elect, who has been speculating a good deal in public about the possibility of a recession." CNN (O'Connor) added, "The 'R' word. To the Clinton Administration, those are fighting words." Clinton economic adviser Gene Sperling was shown saying, "To talk down your own economy just because you think it might help your political positioning, or put a little more blame on your predecessor, or try to give you a little more credit, is really a very short-term strategy." CNN added, "So is President- elect Bush just trying to garner support for his tax cut?" Jim Miller of Citizens for a Sound Economy was shown saying, "They have an incentive, not only to have a tax cut as an inoculation against a recession, but also to have people recognize that the circumstances are not the best right now, and when they take over, it's not really on their watch that the economy was going down." CNN added, "And don't president-elects traditionally talk down the economy?" Brookings Institution analyst Alice Rivlin was shown saying, " It is unusual for a president to talk about recession. I don't ever remember that. And it seems to me it's a dangerous thing for a president to do." CNN added, "Dangerous because markets are influenced by psychology -- confidence - - which drives spending. And confidence can be quickly shattered when the word recession is used." But while "some say talk of recession is worsening a slowing economy, others say it's simply being realistic and prudent."

12/22/2000
People on the Move
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People on the Move

Advertising Turk & Co. in Claremont has hired Tony Pinto as creative director, His most recent employer was Ayzenberg Group. * * * Airports Los Angeles World Airports has appointed Paul L. Green to the newly created position of deputy executive director-chief operating officer, responsible for administration and operations at Ontario International Airport. Green most recently was director and chief executive officer with the marine division of the Washington State Department of Transportation. * * * Banks

12/18/2000
Hispanic Contractors Association Joins Affordable Housing Group, Opposes Softwood Lumber Pact
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Hispanic Contractors Association Joins Affordable Housing Group, Opposes Softwood Lumber Pact

The United States Hispanic Contractors Association, the fastest growing Hispanic business association in the U.S. with more than 130,000 members in 15 states, has joined the American Consumers for Affordable Homes (ACAH), an ad hoc alliance of 14 other major associations and companies working to assure that the U.S./Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) ends in three months. "Market volatility for lumber prices is an economic challenge for Hispanic contractors throughout the United States along with the millions of Americans they are trying to help reach the American dream of home ownership," said Frank Fuentes, chairman of the Hispanic Contractors Association. "Our organization's goal is to help Hispanics succeed in the construction industry, and the SLA is one of the largest roadblocks we are now facing," Fuentes continued. "It simply doesn't make sense for our members, American families and the nation's economy. When families do not have appropriate housing, we all suffer-worker morale, the structure of our families and our communities. We need to end this bad trade policy at the earliest possible time. " By restricting the amount of lumber from Canada, the SLA results in the addition of about $50 to the price of 1,000 board feet of framing lumber and raises the cost of an average new home by $1,000, according to the National Association of Home Builders. As a result, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 300,000 families are priced out of the housing market each year. Even when lumber prices are down, the volatility and unpredictability of lumber prices and supply for framing homes, caused by this failed policy, directly harms contractors, who cannot control their costs, Fuentes noted. The SLA, entered into in 1996, is scheduled to end April 1, 2001, and ACAH is urging that it be allowed to expire without modification or extension. Other members of the ACAH include: Abitibi-Consolidated Sales Corporation; CHEP USA; Citizens for a Sound Economy; Coalition for Indian Housing and Development; Consumers for World Trade; Free Trade Lumber Council; Home Depot; International Mass Retail Association; Leggett & Platt, Inc.; Manufactured Housing Institute; National Association of Home Builders; National Black Chamber of Commerce; National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association; and the National Retail Federation.

12/18/2000
A New Tax System for the 21st Century
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Press Release

A New Tax System for the 21st Century

Copley News Service, 12/13/2000

12/13/2000
Region Briefs
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Region Briefs

NATIONAL EPISCOPAL HEAD Bishop to meet at St. James Church Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, nationwide head of the Episcopal Church, will hold services today at 11:30 a.m. at St. James Episcopal Church, 25 South Third St. The service is open to the public. As part of his tour of the Wilmington area, Bishop Griswold will also have lunch at St. James and meet with clergy of the diocese and their spouses. Earlier in the day, he will visit the homeless shelter and church at the Good Shepherd House on Queen Street.

12/12/2000
Region Briefs
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Region Briefs

WILMINGTON AIRPORT Search group ends interviews Officials hope to announce a new airport director for the Wilmington airport in about two weeks. New Hanover County Airport Authority Member Carter Lambeth said the search committee has finished interviews with the three candidates and hopes to announce a decision soon. Al Roseman, chairman of the authority, said he expected a decision would be made in 10 to 14 days. The airport has been without a top official since Will Plentl Jr. stepped down for personal reasons in early November.

12/12/2000

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