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Consumers, Credit, and Choice
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Press Release

Consumers, Credit, and Choice

Summary consumer position on credit scoring… Consumers can benefit from credit scoring and cost effective ways insurance companies and can lower the price of premiums or facilitate the inclusion of consumers who otherwise would be too expensive to underwrite.

11/19/2002
November Minutemen of the Month
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Press Release

November Minutemen of the Month

After a busy election season, CSE has selected three outstanding activists as the Minutemen of the Month: Lil Banks of Merritt Island, Florida; and Ed and Mary Copeland of Mebane, North Carolina.

11/19/2002
Corr To Perry: Need To Stand Up For Kids
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Corr To Perry: Need To Stand Up For Kids

We are disappointed that one of Texas Governor Rick Perry's first acts after his re-election was the appointment of former tobacco industry lobbyist Mike Toomey as chief of staff in his administration. We hope the Governor will not let the past employment of his top aide cloud his judgment on important issues facing the state. These issues include raising the tax on tobacco products to help reduce both the state's budget deficit and its smoking rate, increasing funding for tobacco prevention programs, and resisting calls to sell the state's tobacco settlement revenues to Wall Street for a fraction of their value. Governor Perry and other Texas leaders should reject the special interests of the tobacco industry and act to protect Texas' kids and health instead. It is unfortunate that Governor Perry has chosen as his top aide a former lobbyist for Philip Morris, the world's largest tobacco company and the manufacturer of Marlboro, the most popular brand among youth smokers. In fact, more kids -- 55.2 percent of all smokers ages 12 to 17 -- smoke Philip Morris's Marlboro than all other brands combined, according to the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. Big Tobacco has consistently opposed higher tobacco taxes. Last June, public health advocates welcomed a proposal by state Senators Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, and Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, to increase Texas' cigarette tax by $1.00 from 41 cents to $1.41. The proposed cigarette tax increase is a win-win-win solution for Texas. It's a health win that will reduce smoking among both kids and adults and save lives by reducing tobacco-caused disease. It's a financial win that will raise much-needed revenue to help balance the state budget. And, it's a political win for Texas legislators because 70 percent of Texas voters supported a $1.00 increase of the tax in a poll earlier this year. In short, increasing the cigarette tax is one of the most important public health measures Texas' leaders can enact. Despite this, the tobacco industry-supported group Citizens For a Sound Economy has actively fought the proposal. Governor Perry should act to reduce tobacco's toll in Texas by increasing funding for tobacco prevention. 28.1 percent of Texas youth currently smoke, and 59,600 more kids become regular, daily smokers every year, one-third of whom will die prematurely. Smoking-caused health care expenses and productivity losses cost Texas $10 billion a year. By fully funding a tobacco prevention program in line with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Texas can reduce this terrible toll and save up to $3 in health care costs related to tobacco-caused disease for every dollar it spends on tobacco prevention. Governor Perry should also reject the Texas Business Association's proposal to securitize all of the state's tobacco settlement. Selling 25 years worth of settlement payments for a smaller up-front payment is a raw deal for kids and taxpayers. This proposal would make it virtually impossible for the state to adequately fund a comprehensive tobacco prevention program in the future. It is a nearsighted approach to the state's budget crunch that will cost taxpayers more in the end. To fix the state's budget gap, Texas leaders should instead enact a higher cigarette tax.

11/19/2002
Textbook Review Process is Fair and Open
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Press Release

Textbook Review Process is Fair and Open

Today’s vote of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) proved to be a win for Texas schoolchildren. The process, which provided citizen input in three public hearings and several months in which written testimony was accepted, brought comments from citizens from around the state.

11/15/2002
Citizens for a Sound Economy’s comments on the Notice of Proposed IRS Rulemaking
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Press Release

Citizens for a Sound Economy’s comments on the Notice of Proposed IRS Rulemaking

Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation (“CSE Foundation”), is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with approximately 280,000 members. Its mission is to educate citizens on, and to promote the adoption of, free-market policies, which it believes inure to the benefit of consumers and citizens generally. CSE Foundation welcomes the opportunity to submit comments on the Internal Revenue Service’s proposed rulemaking, “Guidance on Reporting of Deposit Interest Paid to Nonresident Aliens,” (REG-133254-02). We have a number of concerns about the proposed rule and its adverse impact on the U.S. economy. Consequently, we request that the IRS withdraw the proposed rule.

11/14/2002
Defend schoolchildren from board's `revisions'
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Press Release

Defend schoolchildren from board's `revisions'

Where are academics in the debate over textbooks for public schools? A "citizens" group is bullying textbook publishers into exorcising facts from history, government and social studies books slated for Texas students while most scholars and institutions of higher learning warm the bench.

11/14/2002
Letter to the IRS on Proposed Rulemaking
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Press Release

Letter to the IRS on Proposed Rulemaking

11/14/2002
Nancy Pelosi Earns a Zero on CSE Economic Scorecard
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Press Release

Nancy Pelosi Earns a Zero on CSE Economic Scorecard

Representative Nancy Pelosi, the new House Democrat Minority Leader, scored a worst-possible 0 percent on the CSE Economic Scorecard for the 107th Congress. Analysts at Citizens for a Sound Economy track all legislation in Congress, and identify the votes most critical to maintaining and expanding America’s economy. The result is compiled into the CSE Economic Scorecard, which rated 20 key House votes on key economic issues in the 107th Congress. Members scoring above 80% receive recognition and the prestigious CSE Jefferson Award.

11/14/2002
Washington Agenda-General
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Washington Agenda-General

UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL For content questions, call 202-898-8291 To fax additions or changes, 202-898-8064 For the UPI News Desk call, 202-898-8111 EVENTS ON THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2003 TIME: All Day EVENT: CHAMBER OF COMMERCE holds a conference to discuss Modernizing Medicare for the Next Generation. AGENDA: Highlights: 8:30 a.m. - Welcoming Remarks Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce 8:30 a.m. - The Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare: Lessons Learned and Next Steps Sen. John Breaux (D-LA), Former Co-chair, National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare Rep. Nancy L. Johnson (R-CT), Chairwoman, Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Robert Kerrey, Former Senator (D-NE), Former Member, National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, and President, New School University Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce 9:30 a.m. - Medicare Outlook Dan L. Crippen, Former Director, Congressional Budget Office David Wessel, Deputy Washington Bureau Chief, The Wall Street Journal 10 a.m. - Networking Break 10:15 a.m.- The Medicare Crisis: Implications for Business Andy B. Bressler, Managing Director, Bank of America Nancy-Ann DeParle, Senior Advisor, JP Morgan Partners, LLC Rita Metras, Director, Benefits, Eastman Kodak Kate Sullivan, Director, Health Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce 11:15 a.m. - Building a Medicare System that Works Today and Meets the Needs of Tomorrow Craig L. Fuller, President and CEO, National Association of Chain Drug Stores Thomas R. Saving, Director, Private Enterprise Research Center, Texas A&M University, Senior Fellow, National Center for Policy Analysis and Public Trustee, Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds Karen Ignagni, President and CEO, American Association of Health Plan Nancy E. Taylor, Co-chair, National Health Practice, Greenberg Traurig, LLP 12:30 p.m. - Luncheon Keynote Address Doug Badger, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 1615 H Street NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-463-5682 WEB ADDRESS: uschamber.com TIME: All Day EVENT: NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STATE LEGISLATURES holds its "Leader to Leader" meeting. AGENDA: Highlights: Breakfast Plenary Session with Congressional Leaders Rep. Dennis Hastert Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Sen. Joe Lieberman, Senate Democratic Policy Committee 10 a.m. - State-Federal Issue Summit: Special Education Sen. Chuck Hagel, Nebraska (confirmed) 12 noon - Leaders Plenary Luncheon: Economic Stimulus Sen. Olympia Snowe, Maine Sen. Charles Schumer, New York DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: Grand Hyatt, 1000 H Street NW, Washington, D.C. CONTACT: 202-624-5400 WEB ADDRESS: ncsl.org TIME: All Day EVENT: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL holds its Economic Development Summit, "An Agenda for Change." DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. CONTACT: 202-223-7800 TIME: All Day EVENT: POPULATION RESEARCH INSTITUTE holds its third annual China Human Rights conference. AGENDA: Highlight: 1:15 p.m. - News conference on An American Held Hostage in China, and the Persecution of Chinese Families of Americans: Falun Gong" DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: Concerned Women for America, 1015 15th Street N.W., Suite 1100, Washington, D.C. CONTACT: 540-622-5240 ext 209 WEB ADDRESS: pop.org TIME: 8:45 a.m. EVENT: AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE holds a program on Russian Oil and U.S. Energy Security. Over the past four years, Russian oil production has grown by 25 percent. In February of 2002, Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the world's top oil producer-pumping 7 million barrels per day against the Saudis' 6.9 million. WHO: The speakers are: Leon Aron, AEI Fiona Hill, Brookings Institution James Richard, Firebird Management DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 1150 17th Street NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-862-5933 WEB ADDRESS: aei.org TIME: 9:30 a.m. EVENT: GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY presents a Congressional briefing on "Improving Identification: Enhancing Security, Guarding Privacy." WHO: The speakers are: Rob Atkinson, vice president, Progressive Policy Institute Eileen Doherty, committee director, National Council of State Legislatures Tom Wolfson, senior vice president for government affairs and communications, American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators Mike Swetnam, CEO, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies Richard Norton, executive director, International Biometric Industry Association Mark Kirkorian, executive director, Center for Immigration Studies DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 188 Russell Office Building, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-994-3087 WEB ADDRESS: gwnewscenter.org TIME: 9:30 a.m. EVENT: CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE LAW holds a program to discuss troop readiness for Bio-Chem Attacks. WHO: The speakers are: Rep. John Conyers, D-MI Consumer Activist, Ralph Nader Stephen Robinson, National Gulf War resource Center DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: National Press Club, 14th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: Jason Kafoury, 202-387-8030 or 202-232-9887 TIME: 10 a.m. EVENT: BROOKINGS INSTITUTION holds "Iraq Series" briefing on Iraq: Debating War, Preparing for Reconstruction. WHO: The speakers are: James B. Steinberg, Vice President and Director, Foreign Policy Studies, Brookings Bathsheba N. Crocker, Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies Philip H. Gordon, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, and Director, Center on the United States and France, Brookings Martin S. Indyk, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, and Director, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Michael E. O'hanlon, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, Brookings Kenneth M. Pollack, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, and Director of Research, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-797-6105 WEB ADDRESS: brookings.edu TIME: 11 a.m. EVENT: NATURAL TRAILS AND WATERS COALITION, REP. RUSH HOLT, D-NJ, REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS, R-CT, REP. NICK RAHALL, D-WV, SEN. HARRY REID, D-NV, SEN. LINCOLN CHAFEE, R-RI, hold the Protect Yellowstone news conference DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: U.S. Capitol, Room HC-9, Washington, D.C. CONTACT: Kristen Brengel, 202-429-2694 TIME: 11:30 a.m. EVENT: SENATORS DIANNE FEINSTEIN, D-CA, JUDD GREGG, R-NH, JON CORZINE, D-NJ, PATRICK LEAHY, D-VT AND VISA CEO CARL PASCARELLA hold a news conference to unveil new Visa regulations prohibiting the display of all but the last four digits of credit card numbers on consumer receipts-- effectively setting a new industry standard for the protection of credit card information. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 410 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. CONTACT: Howard Gantman, Sen. Feinstein, 202-224-9629 WEB ADDRESS: sen.gov TIME: 11:30 a.m. EVENT: JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PAUL H. NITZE SCHOOL OF ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL STUDIES Center for Transatlantic Relations at holds a program on "The Czech Republic's View on Current Transatlantic Challenges," with Cyril Svoboda, deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of the Czech Republic. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, Dc CONTACT: 202-663-5626 WEB ADDRESS: sais-jhu.org TIME: 12 noon EVENT: NATIONAL ECONOMIST CLUB holds its luncheon program featuring Alice Rivlin, Brookings Institution. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: Chinatown Garden, 618 H St., NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 703-739-9404 WEB ADDRESS: national-economists.org TIME: 12:30 p.m. EVENT: WOMAN'S NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CLUB presents Kurt Schmoke, Mayor of Baltimore from 1987 to 1999, now Dean of the Howard University School of Law on the first day of January 2003. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 1526 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-232-7363 WEB ADDRESS: democraticwomen.org TIME: 12:30 p.m. EVENT: NATIONAL PRESS CLUB holds its "Luncheon Newsmaker" news program featuring Dr. Elias Zerhouni director National Institutes of Health discussing Is This The Biomedical Century? Challenges for a New Age." DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: National Press Club, 14th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-662-7500 WEB ADDRESS: npc.press.org TIME: 1 p.m. EVENT: CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE, NATIONAL TAXPAYERS UNION, CITIZENS FOR A SOUND ECONOMY, AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM, CLUB FOR GROWTH, AND 60 PLUS AND REP. JEFF FLAKE, R-AZ, hold a news conference to discuss the introduction of legislation that will transfer the money that Congress appropriated on pork projects in the recent omnibus appropriations bill to a reserve fund for defense and homeland security. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 2237 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. CONTACT: Matthew Specht, 202-225-2635 TIME: 1 p.m. EVENT: FOOD & AGRICULTURE POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE holds a news conference on agricultural outlook DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: National Press Club, 14th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: Vicki Trower, 573-882-9710 WEB ADDRESS: fapri.Missouri.edu TIME: 2 p.m. EVENT: INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH FREEDOM holds a panel discussion about the Federal Medical Privacy Rule, which takes effect on April 14, 2003 WHO: The speakers are: Sue Blevins, Institute for Health Freedom Kent Snyder, The Liberty Committee Barbara Fisher, National Vaccine Information Center Robin Kaigh, Esquire DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: National Press Club, 14th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-429-6610 WEB ADDRESS: forhealthfreedom.org TIME: 5 p.m. EVENT: NATIONAL PRESS CLUB presents The 2003 William E. Colby Military Writers Symposium entitled Journalists At War featuring a panel discussion with Rick Atkinson, Joseph Galloway and Sean Naylor moderated by Lewis Sorley. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: National Press Club, 14th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-662-7500 WEB ADDRESS: npc.press.org TIME: 5:30 p.m. EVENT: JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PAUL H. NITZE SCHOOL OF ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL STUDIES holds the annual Rostov Lecture on International Affairs with Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist and best-selling author. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 1740 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-663-5626 WEB ADDRESS: sais-jhu.org TIME: 6 p.m. EVENT: GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY presents Miguel Rodriguez, The George Washington University J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of International Affairs and former president of Costa Rica (1998-2002) will deliver his annual Shapiro Lecture on the advantages of an academic perspective for a world leader DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 800 21st Street NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-994-3087 WEB ADDRESS: gwnewscenter.org TIME: 6 p.m. EVENT: KENNEDY CENTER MILLENIUM STAGE presents The US Naval Academy Band Brass Ensemble blending tradition and change into a wide variety of styles thanks to the unmatched versatility of its members. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-416-8000 WEB ADDRESS: kennedy-center.org TIME: 7 p.m. EVENT: POLITICS & PROSE BOOKSTORE presents Eric Alterman discussing and signing copies of What Liberal Media: The Truth About Bias and the News. Alterman presents an overview of the powerful and moneyed institutions whose interests effectively shape reporting and opinion in a decidedly conservative and even reactionary direction. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-364-1919 WEB ADDRESS: politics-prose.com

11/14/2002
Issues in Eduction
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Issues in Eduction

BY Lucy Hood

A four-month debate over Texas textbooks' portrayal of everything from religion to the Alamo and its profound consequences for schoolchildren across the nation is expected to end this week. Social studies books to be adopted by the State Board of Education were vetted over four months for mistakes, philosophical preferences and compliance with Texas' curriculum. "I think it's over and done with, and we'll pass the proclamation," said state board Chairwoman Grace Shore, R-Longview. But at least one board member and one interest group have cautioned that anything can happen at the last minute. The outcome will affect what students learn nationwide. Texas is the second-largest textbook market in the country. Public schools will spend $345 million on the social studies texts alone, and changes made to the Texas books often end up in classrooms elsewhere. The books, in the end, will incorporate suggestions from the right and the left. Both sides unleashed their critiques at three public hearings in July, August and September. And publishers, to a great extent, acquiesced to their demands. At the behest of Mary Helen Berlanga, D-Corpus Christi, for example, Prentice Hall increased Hispanic representation in some books and created a 32-page section featuring many Hispanics, including defenders of the Alamo, who played a role in Texas history. Publishers also made changes requested by a conservative coalition. The San Antonio-based Texas Public Policy Foundation took the lead with a $100,000 study that produced a list of 533 alleged mistakes. Other groups, such as the Texas Eagle Forum and Citizens for a Sound Economy, offered their own lists. According to the Texas Freedom Network, those revisions promote Christianity, attack Islam and distort the teaching of science and slavery. The network is a liberal group that monitors the religious right. "These kinds of changes go far beyond anyone's idea of factual errors and constitute a form of censorship," said its director, Samantha Smoot. Board member David Bradley, R-Beaumont, part of the social conservative bloc on the board, defended the changes. "Promoting Christianity? That's a crime?" he asked. "America was founded on Christian principles." Asked if the public could expect swift approval of the texts, Bradley hesitated. "Never say never. ... Twenty-four hours is a long time in education," he said, adding fuel to Smoot's fear of a last-minute pitch from the right for additional changes. Board members said the debate had been healthy, producing better books and giving the public an opportunity to participate in the selection process. "It represents democracy in action at its best," said board member Joe Bernal, D-San Antonio. Bernal praised publishers for increasing minority presence in some of the books, and he called the initial lack of Hispanic representation an "error of omission." Errors are important to the board, whose role in the textbook debate is only to correct factual errors, determine if the books conform to the state curriculum, and pass judgment on the bindings. In 1995, lawmakers restricted the board's powers, leaving it "with just enough authority to constantly get us in trouble," said board member Chase Untermeyer, R-Houston. "Right now we live in this half light," Untermeyer said, "in which textbooks are the best but by no means the only example of the problems faced by having partial powers." He suggested lawmakers either restore full authority to the board or take it away altogether. Smoot agreed that something must be done, suggesting that textbook selection be given to a separate entity. "A narrow group of people is able to use this process to grandstand about their political opinions and affect which books are chosen and which are not," she said. "It's clear that a great many things about this process don't serve children."

11/14/2002

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