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Taxpayer Groups Encourage Legislature to Holding the Line on State Spending
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Press Release

Taxpayer Groups Encourage Legislature to Holding the Line on State Spending

Gathered around a makeshift kitchen table in a room overlooking the state Capitol, seven groups representing over 200,000 members and millions of taxpayers held a press conference to send a message to the Texas Legislature to hold the line on spending.

04/16/2003
Reed to Return to Radio April 15, 2003, Tuesday
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Reed to Return to Radio April 15, 2003, Tuesday

BY Fanny Seiler

After being fired six months ago as host of the "58 Live" talk show on WCHS radio, Stephen Reed is to return to the airwaves this morning with a call-in show on a competing station. The show will air from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday on WVTS-AM. Reed's talk show will air directly opposite the "Talk Line" program hosted by Hoppy Kercheval on WCHS. Reed used to do that show with Kercheval. Reed's severance package from the West Virginia Radio Corp., owned by Morgantown businessman John Raese, had a clause that prevented Reed from going to work for a competitor for six months. The six months expired Monday. Reed, a conservative, says he will talk about local, state and national events, and hopes to generate robust discussions and debate. One of his first guests will be Kanawha County school board member Pete Thaw, who was barred from WCHS after calling fellow board member John Luoni a "son of a bitch" at a board meeting. Thaw was a frequent caller on the WCHS show. Reed noted that some people may object to Thaw's language, but said the first hole on Raese's nine-hole golf course at Morgantown was named "old bastard." Reed said people who are interested in local, state and national events "will find our show more compelling" and will have to choose between him and Kercheval, whom he said he enjoyed working with at WCHS. "We have different styles," Reed said of him and Kercheval. WVTS is owned by Bristol Broadcasting, which owns several stations in the Charleston area. nnn Mason County resident and Republican activist Alice Click has started a West Virginia chapter of the large national group Citizens for a Sound Economy, which she said began fighting this year for certain causes. They include lower taxes, less government, more freedom for West Virginians and help for seniors needing medications. Click said the chapter is going to take its message to one city and one county at a time. While the group won't endorse political candidates, Click said CSE will put out scorecards to score candidates' philosophies and records on its issues. "We would encourage people to run who have like views," she said. CSE also will be doing key vote alerts on issues it's interested in to encourage legislators to vote a certain away. CSE opposed Gov. Bob Wise's "Canadian-style price controls on Medicaid drugs," and the national organization provided Canadian First Aid (disaster) kits to legislators, Click said recently. She also turned to the national group for help on model legislation on medical malpractice insurance and Workers' Compensation. Rob Capehart, who headed up a tax reform study for former Gov. Cecil Underwood and continues to advocate tax reform, spoke at the chapter's first town hall meeting in Point Pleasant on March 29. Capehart is running for governor on the Republican ticket. Click said if Underwood had been re-elected, he would have had an open mind to the kind of tax structure Capehart proposed. "The national people think he is very much in line with their thinking," she said. "If you give the government more money, they spend more and more money," Click said. CSE is a grass-roots organization, she said. Click is also active in Concerned Women, a national conservative Republican group, and served for a time as director of its West Virginia chapter. She has been vocal against gambling, and formed her own anti-abortion political action committee to help former Delegate Lisa Smith, R-Putnam, win election to the state Senate. Click expressed admiration for another woman in the Senate, Sen. Sarah Minear, R-Tucker, who is interested in running for governor next year. nnn Five Division of Highways employees who lost a grievance over their reassignment met for two hours recently with Charleston lawyer Mike Carey about other legal avenues, including a federal political discrimination lawsuit. After the Education and State Employees Grievance Board dismissed their grievance last year on grounds that the proper procedures were followed, they appealed in Wood County Circuit Court, where the case is still pending. Braxton County lawyer Elizabeth Farber is handling that appeal. The five employees - assistant administrators Carl Antolini, Jim Markle, Paul Reese and Anthony Marascio and District 7 administrator Bob DeVaul - were reassigned when Transportation Secretary Fred VanKirk put engineers in charge of the DOH's 10 districts again. His predecessor, Sam Beverage, had replaced the district engineers with administrators and created assistant administrators' positions in the districts. Carey is representing Tom Badgett, who was dismissed as assistant highways commissioner, a will-and-pleasure position, when Wise took office in January 2001. Janis Reynolds, the grievance board's administrative law judge, held a hearing on Jan. 14, but more testimony is scheduled for Wednesday before law judge Paul Marteney. Besides a change in judges, a new assistant attorney general will have to be assigned. Assistant Attorney General Barry Koerber, DOH's attorney in the case, has been laid off by the attorney general's office. nnn Employees in the Division of General Services are told money is tight, but when health and safety manager Paul Pendergast resigned to take a job in Baltimore, his office was enlarged and made into a conference room. The room is beside the office of Deputy Director Jim Burgess, who said he needed a conference room where he could review architect drawings for projects he oversees. New carpet was installed in the conference room, Burgess' office, the reception room and another area. Burgess said the total cost was about $ 2,500. The conference room was furnished with an old table, he said. The table was refinished and stored in another building for three weeks. One employee worked overtime on the project. Burgess said he didn't replace Pendergast and saved his salary, which was about $ 50,000. "We've made some major cuts," he said. General Services plans to have a consultant evaluate the cost of utilities and recommend an energy management control system. nnn Sources say employees at the Division of Workers' Compensation have been told they aren't to release any information, and to do their work or face dismissal irrespective of Civil Service procedures. nnn State Democratic Chairman Mike Callaghan said he has been contacted by most of the Democratic presidential candidates. Meanwhile, he has hired Steve McElroy to do communications and outreach work at the state Democratic Party's headquarters. McElroy has done political consulting work in prior years. nnn When Gov. Bob Wise and other state officials were in Daytona Beach, Fla., last February to talk with NASCAR officials about an economic development project, Bray Cary, co-owner of West Virginia Media Holding, hitched a ride back to Charleston with Wise on the state plane. Cary formerly was vice president of broadcasting for NASCAR. nnn U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller has helped get a Young Democrats Club started at Hurricane High School, where a Teen Age Republican Club has made a national name for itself. Former Sen. Oshel Craigo, D-Putnam, also reportedly is planning to help the Young Democrats Club.

04/15/2003
Time to Eliminate Double Taxation of Dividends
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Press Release

Time to Eliminate Double Taxation of Dividends

©2003 Copley News Service, 4/15/2003 It's been almost 40 years since Congress enacted President Kennedy's tax cuts and set off an economic boom. Still, only a handful of Democrats - Sens. John Breaux (Louisiana), Zell Miller (Georgia) and Ben Nelson (Nebraska) come to mind - have learned the profound lesson he taught: "It's a paradox that high tax rates cause less revenue," and "the purpose of cutting taxes is not to incur a deficit but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy that can bring a surplus."

04/15/2003
GOP Fractures Over Budget Resolution
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Press Release

GOP Fractures Over Budget Resolution

Medical dictionaries define a fracture as "…an injury, a break in a bone that develops because of repeated or prolonged forces against the bone." Fractures can occur in politics, too. In Washington, the steady injurious force is the Senate's desire to spend ever more money, and the result is a new break between House and Senate Republicans. When GOP leaders return to Washington they may face a difficult time repairing damaged relationships resulting from Senate Republicans' new budget deal.

04/15/2003
Florida Legislators Feel the Heat as Volunteer Leaders Storm Tallahassee!
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Press Release

Florida Legislators Feel the Heat as Volunteer Leaders Storm Tallahassee!

Grassroots leaders from around the state gathered in Tallahassee this month to lobby their legislators for less and to discuss strategy for starting volunteer CSE networks in their communities. Members of both the Florida House and Senate heard from these elite, volunteer activists about the core issues of the Florida Freedom Agenda, including: No Tax Increases, Medical Liability Reform, and Paycheck Protection Legislation.

04/15/2003
Paige's 'Values' Are America's Values
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Press Release

Paige's 'Values' Are America's Values

As published in The Washington Post, Sunday, April 13, 2003 In an editorial on Thursday titled "Preacher Paige," The Post joined a chorus of voices criticizing recent comments made by Secretary of Education Rod Paige on Christian values in education. Today it's called conflict resolution, anger management and school discipline. Not so long ago it was called loving your enemy, turning the other cheek and respecting your elders.

04/14/2003
Libertarians, Group to Rally Against Taxes
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Libertarians, Group to Rally Against Taxes

BY John Greiner, Carmel Perez Snyder and Jack Money

The Oklahoma Libertarian Party and the state chapter of Citizens for a Sound Economy will rally at 5 p.m. Tuesday in opposition to the U.S. income tax. The rally will be at the post office at NW 5 and Harvey in Oklahoma City. The groups say taxes are too high. "The Libertarian Party wouldn't mind a flat tax, so long as the tax rate is zero," said Chris Powell, Libertarian party chairman. "Roughly 30 percent of your income goes to taxes, and the politicians still can't balance their budgets." Teaching children to save Gov. Brad Henry and state Treasurer Robert Butkin urged Oklahomans on Thursday to teach their children to save money during the statewide Teach Children to Save Day, part of a national effort by bankers' associations. "Bankers and educators throughout Oklahoma are focusing efforts on teaching children to save and be responsible with money," Butkin said. Butkin said parents can play a key role in teaching children the value and necessity of saving for the future. Henry said parents also can turn to the Internet for more information. Senate meeting The Oklahoma Senate will not meet Thursday, a practice senators have followed for many years in the week before Easter. Senators were told last week they could be working long hours on the first three days of this week. The Legislature normally is in session Monday through Thursday, except toward the end of the session when legislators sometimes are in session on Fridays as well. The House and Senate staff will be off on Good Friday because they worked on Presidents Day on Feb. 17, a state holiday.

04/13/2003
Current Tax Code isn't Fair, Low or Even Honest
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Current Tax Code isn't Fair, Low or Even Honest

BY Alice Click

Did you do your own taxes this year or did you hire an accountant? If you wanted to calculate your own taxes this year, could you? If not, don't feel so bad. Nearly 56 percent of Americans had to hire a tax professional to do their taxes. In fact, we spent an estimated $86 billion to have someone else figure out exactly what the government wants from us. Taxes and the tax season that never ends have become absurd. At one time - long, long ago - our tax system actually made some sense. Once a year (April 15) you pay a certain specified amount to the government for the benefit of having a national defense and a few other services. Somehow this simple system became twisted and bent, abused and perverted. Consider the following: If you include footnotes and instructions, our tax code currently runs over 50,000 pages. In 2002, individuals, businesses and non-profits spent an estimated 5.8 billion hours complying with the federal income tax code with an estimated compliance cost of over $194 billion. The average family today pays more in taxes than it spends on food, clothing, shelter and transportation combined. Sound like a prescription for reform to you? It is incredible that we have allowed our tax code to wrap itself so maliciously into our daily lives. Instead of once a year, people now must consider the effect of taxes on every-day decisions. Want to have a child? What are the tax implications and do you qualify for any credits? Want to get married - can't afford the increased tax burden? Want to die? That is a real taxable event too. There is no way to "fix" the system - no amount of cosmetic surgery will make our tax code a fair and honest system that allows citizens to judge whether the government is taking a proper amount of their earnings and livelihood. The only answer is to eliminate the entire system and start over from scratch. The tax code should be fair, low and honest - our current tax system is none of those. There are plenty of alternative solutions to our current tax code out there. Some potential remedies include a flat tax, a sales tax and a value-added tax, just to name a few. But for now the important thing is that we understand that the great social experiment known as the income tax has failed. Our tax code has failed. We need to enlist an army of citizens to demand change. Citizens for a Sound Economy is providing a toll-free hotline so that you can tell Congress to "Scrap the Tax Code." Call 1-888-564-6273 and you will be transferred to the office of your representative in Congress. We need a grassroots groundswell for fundamental tax reform. That change can begin with your call demanding a change.

04/13/2003
Texas House Bill 1131 Would Reduce Consumer Choices
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Press Release

Texas House Bill 1131 Would Reduce Consumer Choices

Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy is concerned about legislation – though well intended – that would limit consumer choice and likely eliminate jobs in Texas. HB 1131 by Rep. Flores and the companion bill, SB 435 by Sen. Carona, threaten existing Texas jobs by mandating divestiture of Allstate Insurance in a motor vehicle repair facility, Sterling Auto Body Repair. These bills are not free-market, nor are they pro-consumer. This is a pocket book issue, an issue of consumer choice, and an issue that challenges the appropriate role of government.

04/11/2003
Towards a Sound Policy on Global Warming
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Press Release

Towards a Sound Policy on Global Warming

April 11, 2003 Chairman Pete Domenici Energy and Natural Resources Committee U.S. Senate SD-364 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510-6150 Dear Chairman Domenici:

04/11/2003

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