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Tom Daschle’s Spectacular Budget Disappearing Act!
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Press Release

Tom Daschle’s Spectacular Budget Disappearing Act!

It’s not the Greatest Show on Earth, but the federal budget is definitely the most expensive circus in the world. All the more so this year, thanks to some nifty new tricks from ringleader Sen. Tom Daschle (D - S.D.). Every year, Congress is required to pass an overall plan for U.S. government spending, known as a budget resolution. The budget was due this year on April 15, 2002, and to meet this deadline, President Bush offered his budget plan last February. And the House of Representatives passed its budget in March.

09/25/2002
Response to Leiter's Op-Ed Regarding Textbooks
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Press Release

Response to Leiter's Op-Ed Regarding Textbooks

Leiter's letter lacked truth. The one environmental science textbook removed from the SBOE "approved" list last year was of such poor educational quality that the purchase of it would have equated to robbery of the taxpayers.

09/24/2002
Bring in the Prognosticators
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Press Release

Bring in the Prognosticators

This Week- The House is considering several pieces of legislation this week. They begin with H.R. 4691, the “Abortion Non-Discrimination Act of 2002,” and then will turn to a resolution known as a ‘CR.’ Short for “continuing resolution,’ a CR provides government funding during the interim of the fiscal year and the signing into law of the appropriations bills. It is required since the fiscal year officially ends on October 1st. Near the end of the week they expect to take up a very important piece of legislation limiting medical malpractice claims. This legislation, H.R. 4600, would address a growing crisis in our nation. Due to rampant lawsuite and aggressive trial lawyers medical malpractice insurance has skyrocketed leaving many communities without physician care. This bill would impose some limited legal reform bringing sanity back into the medical liability system. Like the movie Groundhog Day the Senate will take up the interior appropriations bill at the beginning of the week with homeland security being considered on a dual track. This is the fourth week for the interior appropriations bill which might actually be a new record for Senatorial logjams. The Senate also hopes to take up a continuing resolution since the fiscal year ends early next week.

09/24/2002
Al Moves (Further) Left
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Press Release

Al Moves (Further) Left

The former vice president moved out in front of his potential Democratic rivals yesterday by staking out a decidedly anti-Bush position on Iraq. While the other contenders for the Democratic nomination have either totally supported President Bush or given wishy-washy tepid support, Al Gore took a bold step. In a speech that would have made German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder proud, Gore staked out a position as the leading critic of President Bush’s foreign policy.

09/24/2002
Property Rights Rallies...A CSE Hero...and the Sawgrass Rebellion
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Press Release

Property Rights Rallies...A CSE Hero...and the Sawgrass Rebellion

Kathy Van Tuyl would never call herself a hero. But when this member of Oregon's CSE chapter begins talking about her activism in the property rights arena, it is easy to see that she is a very special person. Kathy begins her interview by saying, "I don't really have a dog in this hunt," meaning that her property rights have not been directly violated by land-grabbing government agencies and their green allies.

09/24/2002
Highlights From NC CSE Tax Tour
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Press Release

Highlights From NC CSE Tax Tour

< table width="750" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="5"> < div align="center"> John Hood, from the John Locke Foundation, speaks to CSE members at the Oyster Bay Restaurant on September 18 in Hillsborough.

09/24/2002
Taxpayers Lose Again as North Carolina Legislators Permit Local Governments to Raise Taxes
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Press Release

Taxpayers Lose Again as North Carolina Legislators Permit Local Governments to Raise Taxes

Yesterday, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted to increase taxes on North Carolinians. In a 60-55 vote (55 Democrats and 5 Republicans favored the measure), the House endorsed allowing local governments to increase sales tax from 6.5% to 7% to cover budget shortfalls caused by the Governor taking the reimbursement funds owed to local governments. North Carolina CSE director Jonathan Hill commented:

09/24/2002
Kulongoski Flexes Fundraising Muscle
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Kulongoski Flexes Fundraising Muscle

BY Jeff Mapes

Summary: A hefty contribution from Democratic governors helps him far outpace Republican Kevin Mannix in the latest report Thanks largely to a $150,000 contribution from the Democratic Governors' Association, Democrat Ted Kulongoski far outraised Republican Kevin Mannix in the first half of September in the race for Oregon governor. The candidates were required to file daily contribution reports while the Legislature was in session from Sept. 1-18, and those showed that large donors are playing a key role in the governor's race. During that period, Kulongoski raised about $450,000, while Mannix collected about $250,000. While a third of Kulongoski's money came from one donor, Mannix received about half of his money from three wealthy business people active in Republican politics. Joan Austin, who owns a Newberg dental supply company, and Roderick Wendt, son of one of Oregon's wealthiest men, Klamath Falls businessman Richard Wendt, each gave $50,000. William Colson, who owns a nursing home company, gave $25,000. In the May primary election, all three had backed one of Mannix's rivals, Portland lawyer Ron Saxton. In addition, Mannix said Evergreen Aviation had pledged $50,000 to his campaign. Kulongoski, who has had strong support from organized labor, received almost $90,000 in contributions from six labor groups. But he also made significant inroads with business donors, with Liberty Northwest, a workers' compensation insurer, giving $12,500, and Boise-Cascade and Portland auto dealer Scott Thomason each giving $10,000. The $150,000 from the Democratic Governors' Association was by far the largest contribution the group has ever made in Oregon. B.J. Thornberry, the association's executive director, said the group in part wanted to help Kulongoski counter an independent advertising campaign that Citizens for a Sound Economy has waged against him. Citizens for a Sound Economy, a corporate-backed group that promotes free-market policies, said it has spent more than $116,000 airing ads that criticize Kulongoski for backing a temporary income tax increase to help fill the state budget shortfall. Candidates for state offices once were barred from raising money while the Legislature was in session. But the attorney general said the law was unconstitutional, and the Legislature responded in 2001 by passing a bill requiring candidates to disclose money raised when lawmakers are in session. As a result, the 18-day special session that ended last week gave an early window into the fund-raising of the gubernatorial candidates, who must file complete reports next week. The early reports also showed Kulongoski, who has led in the polls, has had a much broader fund-raising effort than Mannix. He had almost 400 donors who gave more than $50 each, compared with slightly more than 200 for Mannix. Kulongoski, a former state attorney general and Supreme Court justice, received at least $25,000 from legal interests. In addition to the $250,000 in cash he raised, Mannix reported $34,000 of in-kind donations of services and supplies. Amy Casterline, Mannix's campaign manager, said even if Kulongoski is leading in fund-raising, "we've met the goals we've set for ourselves" and will have enough to run a competitive campaign.

09/24/2002
Interest Groups To Influence Social Security Debate In Targeted
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Interest Groups To Influence Social Security Debate In Targeted

BY Mark Wegner

Races As congressional candidates and party committees trade blows over so-called Social Security privatization - and who allegedly favors it - a number of outside groups are jumping into the election-year fray. One business-backed coalition hopes to influence the Social Security debate with a multi-million-dollar ad campaign in 20 competitive congressional races. Derrick Max, executive director of the Coalition for the Modernization and Protection of America's Social Security, also known as COMPASS, said his nonpartisan group has "about $6 [million] to $8 million in the pipeline" for ads that promote Social Security "modernization." COMPASS' membership includes the Business Roundtable, National Association of Manufacturers and Citizens for a Sound Economy. The group has sent out two mailers and deployed grassroots organizers and will begin airing ads in October in 20 unannounced districts. Max said the ads would not mention a candidate's name but would constructively promote the idea of individual accounts. "Republicans, some of them want to push it off the table," Max said. Of Democrats, he said: "I've seen ads that say [GOP opponents] are anti-senior. Neither seems to be a good public-policy debate." House Democrats and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have declared they will make Social Security privatization a key issue this fall. House Republicans have countered by polling and researching responses to the attacks. Saying the ad misrepresented the voting record of GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, the National Republican Congressional Committee successfully persuaded West Virginia broadcasters to pull DCCC ads. National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare's Executive Vice President Max Richtman said his group opposes privatization and is working to clarify where candidates stand on the issue. "In some of these races, the definition of 'privatization' has been manipulated by candidates, so you don't know where people are on these issues," Richtman said. The committee previously backed candidates with independent-expenditure radio campaigns, direct mail and postcards. The group has liberal leanings, but Richtman said the campaign has endorsed and contributed to Republicans, such as Rep. Henry Bonilla, R-Texas, a Democratic target for defeat this cycle. Campaign for America's Future Co-Director Roger Hickey said his group plans to spend a modest amount compared to other groups, but has asserted its clout this election cycle by challenging candidates to sign a pledge to oppose "privatizing Social Security, partially or totally." Hickey, whose campaign includes organized labor and civil rights groups, said some candidates and organizations have muddied the definition of "privatization." In the New Jersey Senate race, he said GOP businessman Doug Forrester has signed a pledge with "wiggle room" on the issue to blunt criticism by Democratic Sen. Robert Torricelli. "He didn't sign our pledge, but he cooked up his own pledge," Hickey said. Andrew Biggs, a Social Security analyst with the libertarian Cato Institute, said privatization was a "catch-all" term used at Cato but never referred to specific legislation. Once Democrats criticized it, Republicans looked for other terminology to describe proposals that divert a portion of an employee's payroll tax to personal accounts. "The reason you had the switch is that the opponents of reform, generally the Democrats, said that privatization was shutting down the system," Biggs said. Jim Martin, president of the conservative-leaning 60 Plus Association, said attacks on Republicans over Social Security are a perennial Democratic campaign tactic that is growing less effective. "It's a lot like crying wolf," Martin said "It's not working like it used to." AARP, at odds with the 60 Plus Association on the issue, is preparing to run a print ad and a television ad this fall to stir debate in the fall election. The group opposes changing the Social Security's funding mechanism and contends that diverting even a portion of the payroll tax would create a "carve-out" for Social Security. AARP Advocacy Director Chris Hansen said the television ad, set to run Oct. 18 in major media markets, would not refer to specific candidates or races. "We want to have a thoughtful, responsible debate on this subject," Hansen said. "We don't want to scare people, but we do want it on their radar screen."

09/24/2002
Recapture Texas' future from zealots, know-nothings
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Press Release

Recapture Texas' future from zealots, know-nothings

In 1999, when the Kansas Board of Education, under the control of fundamentalist extremists, removed the teaching of evolution from the science curriculum in public schools, Kansas became the object of national and international ridicule for having caved in to zealots and know-nothings. But the biggest uproar actually came from business leaders, who recognized that the economic viability of the state depended on the availability of credible public education. Businesses don't relocate to or invest in communities where ignoramuses set the educational curriculum. The Kansas Board reversed itself within a year.

09/21/2002

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