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We're On Track to Repeal Health Care -- Here's How We'll Do It

 Wednesday, as its first major act, the new House of Representatives passed a bill to repeal the government takeover of health care. On Thursday, the House passed a “replace” resolution instructing key committees to begin replacing Obamacare with a patient-centered approach. “Repeal and replace” is proceeding according to schedule. Official Washington wants to dismiss the repeal vote as a stunt, and move on. But far from “symbolic,” yesterday’s vote showed repeal is real and creates huge momentum for the next stop: the Senate.

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Op-ed Placement

We're On Track to Repeal Health Care -- Here's How We'll Do It

BY Dean Clancy

 Wednesday, as its first major act, the new House of Representatives passed a bill to repeal the government takeover of health care. On Thursday, the House passed a “replace” resolution instructing key committees to begin replacing Obamacare with a patient-centered approach. “Repeal and replace” is proceeding according to schedule. Official Washington wants to dismiss the repeal vote as a stunt, and move on. But far from “symbolic,” yesterday’s vote showed repeal is real and creates huge momentum for the next stop: the Senate.

02/02/2011
5 Reasons Why We CAN Repeal Obamacare In 2011

The outgoing Congress, which began with a bailout-and-stimulus bang, ends with a Tea Party-inflicted whimper, bruised by a series of post-election "shellackings" on taxes, spending and pork.Meanwhile, a new Congress is charging toward the Hill like the U.S Cavalry, reinforced with scores of Tea Party-backed candidates and committed to a new day in Washington.

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Op-ed Placement

5 Reasons Why We CAN Repeal Obamacare In 2011

BY Matt Kibbe

The outgoing Congress, which began with a bailout-and-stimulus bang, ends with a Tea Party-inflicted whimper, bruised by a series of post-election "shellackings" on taxes, spending and pork.Meanwhile, a new Congress is charging toward the Hill like the U.S Cavalry, reinforced with scores of Tea Party-backed candidates and committed to a new day in Washington.

01/04/2011
GOP Closely Watching Washington House Primary

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Voters in the evenly balanced 3rd District weighed in Tuesday on who should replace Democratic U.S. Rep. Brian Baird in a contest watched closely by Republicans hoping to make gains in Congress.Democrat Denny Heck, who has raised more than $1 million, was likely to advance to the November ballot along with one of the two Republican candidates.Republican state Rep. Jaime Herrera of Camas, a former aide to GOP Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, got early national buzz after six-term incumbent Baird announced his retirement last year.

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Newspaper Article

GOP Closely Watching Washington House Primary

BY Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Voters in the evenly balanced 3rd District weighed in Tuesday on who should replace Democratic U.S. Rep. Brian Baird in a contest watched closely by Republicans hoping to make gains in Congress.Democrat Denny Heck, who has raised more than $1 million, was likely to advance to the November ballot along with one of the two Republican candidates.Republican state Rep. Jaime Herrera of Camas, a former aide to GOP Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, got early national buzz after six-term incumbent Baird announced his retirement last year.

09/03/2010
Tea Party Aims to Influence 2010 Elections Without Big Bucks

WASHINGTON- Tea Party activists say they can influence the 2010 midterm elections without the big bucks traditionally needed by Washington establishment Republicans and Democrats."It doesn't cost any money to be an activist," said Anastasia Przybylski of Kitchen Table Patriots, a Tea Party group in Pennsylvania.Przybylski and her colleague Ana Puig are among activists from a dozen states who came together for a Tea Party Summit of sorts, organized by Freedom Works, over the past few days in Washington.

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Newspaper Article

Tea Party Aims to Influence 2010 Elections Without Big Bucks

BY Jake Gibson

WASHINGTON- Tea Party activists say they can influence the 2010 midterm elections without the big bucks traditionally needed by Washington establishment Republicans and Democrats."It doesn't cost any money to be an activist," said Anastasia Przybylski of Kitchen Table Patriots, a Tea Party group in Pennsylvania.Przybylski and her colleague Ana Puig are among activists from a dozen states who came together for a Tea Party Summit of sorts, organized by Freedom Works, over the past few days in Washington.

08/16/2010
Deep Pockets Abound in 2010 Field

The 2010 midterm elections  are shaping up to be a contentious bunch, with money as critical a factor as ever. The difference in 2010 is, there seem to be more millionaire and billionaire self-financed candidates on the scene than ever before.

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Newspaper Article

Deep Pockets Abound in 2010 Field

BY Jake Gibson

The 2010 midterm elections  are shaping up to be a contentious bunch, with money as critical a factor as ever. The difference in 2010 is, there seem to be more millionaire and billionaire self-financed candidates on the scene than ever before.

08/13/2010
Tea Partiers Go Big With Fundraising Campaign to Rival MoveOn.org

Eyeing the success of Moveon.org and other grassroots groups, the conservative-minded FreedomWorks, which has been at the frontline organizing tea partiers into a half-million strong membership, has announced ambitious plans on the fundraising front. "(MoveOn) raised around $31 million in 2003. We're not sure we can raise that much, but think we can be in the multi-millions and be a major player in 2010," said Rob Jordan, FreedomWorks' vice president of federal and state campaigns.

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Tea Partiers Go Big With Fundraising Campaign to Rival MoveOn.org

BY Jake Gibson

Eyeing the success of Moveon.org and other grassroots groups, the conservative-minded FreedomWorks, which has been at the frontline organizing tea partiers into a half-million strong membership, has announced ambitious plans on the fundraising front. "(MoveOn) raised around $31 million in 2003. We're not sure we can raise that much, but think we can be in the multi-millions and be a major player in 2010," said Rob Jordan, FreedomWorks' vice president of federal and state campaigns.

02/13/2010
Fox and Friends – Boyden Gray

HOST: we are joined by goorg gray. great to see you, i know you are thrilled about the nomination. give us your opinion about how tough of a time you think he is going to have getting through the senate confirmation hearings. BOYDEN GRAY: i don't think it is going to be an absolute cake walk. people for the american way said this would be a constitutional ca taftify which i think is a llittle over the top. but i think he is going to be confirmed by a comfortable majority. i can't imagine having that much difficulty. HOST: when did you find out about it?

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Fox and Friends – Boyden Gray

HOST: we are joined by goorg gray. great to see you, i know you are thrilled about the nomination. give us your opinion about how tough of a time you think he is going to have getting through the senate confirmation hearings. BOYDEN GRAY: i don't think it is going to be an absolute cake walk. people for the american way said this would be a constitutional ca taftify which i think is a llittle over the top. but i think he is going to be confirmed by a comfortable majority. i can't imagine having that much difficulty. HOST: when did you find out about it?

07/20/2005
Asbestos Lawsuit Aims to Save Companies, Help Victims

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have been sickened or even killed by diseases related to asbestos (search) while dozens of companies that manufactured the material have gone bankrupt paying damages. Other companies fear a similar fate. The court system, groaning under still more related cases, has prompted Congress to intervene. But some say the cure is worse than the disease. Asbestos, once a dangerous fiber used in building insulation, is now manufactured in safe, encased forms. But for years, human exposure to it led to closures, clean-ups and lawsuits. Exposure to free-floating, spear-like asbestos fibers can lead to severe lung ailments such as asbestosis. The worst form — mesothelioma (search)— is a fatal cancer in the lining of lung. At least 2,000 new mesothelioma cases are diagnosed each year. Asbestos litigation has clogged the courts. Real victims seek damages, but phony ones do, too. Seventy-seven companies have gone bankrupt paying damages to both real victims and frauds. "We know there have been a lot of injustices that have occurred over the years," said Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. Thousands of other asbestos cases are pending. Ten U.S. companies alone face $25 billion in projected liability. "We clearly have a system that's being exploited for opportunistic reasons, and in the process you're having real people being harmed," said Wayne Brough, vice president of Freedom Works, which supports less government and lower taxes. Congress wants to reduce corporate liability and compensate real asbestos victims. The proposed remedy: A bipartisan Senate bill that creates a $140 billion trust fund financed by asbestos companies and insurers. A special court would grant awards on a no-fault basis. The goals are to eliminate lawsuits, speed up compensation and use specific criteria to weed out phony claims. "It will enable thousands of victims of asbestos, who've been able to collect nothing, to collect now from this fund. They've been unable to collect anything because their companies are bankrupt," said Sen. Arlen Specter (search), R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and chief sponsor of the legislation. The bill passed the panel last month, but more changes are expected before it goes to a full Senate vote. Big manufacturers like auto companies support the bill, preferring predictable trust fund payments to years of unknown liability. When senators unveiled the legislation, companies with asbestos-related liability saw their stocks soar. That, liberal critics say, is evidence that the bill's a big corporate giveaway. "Many companies that are liable for this problem are going to be let off the hook. They are only going to be paying pennies on the dollar into this trust fund," said Frank Clemente, director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch. Senators concede that the trust fund can work only as long as it remains solvent. One huge variable — how many victims qualify for payments — will determine that. Right now, 100,000 damage claims are filed every year. "This is an unprecedented fund. We don't know how many victims there are out there," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Critics say they fear the trust fund won't last and Congress won't go back to big business to foot additional costs. "They always underestimate the number of claims that come in, how much gets paid out and in the end the taxpayers end up paying for it," Clemente said. The Senate bill, which passed out of committee by a wide margin, also caps lawyers fees at 5 percent, down from the 40 percent typically applied in asbestos cases. The White House calls it another potential tort reform victory. Conservative critics are pushing a House bill that spells out what constitutes an asbestos-related disease. This approach, they say, protects companies, victims and taxpayers.

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Asbestos Lawsuit Aims to Save Companies, Help Victims

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have been sickened or even killed by diseases related to asbestos (search) while dozens of companies that manufactured the material have gone bankrupt paying damages. Other companies fear a similar fate. The court system, groaning under still more related cases, has prompted Congress to intervene. But some say the cure is worse than the disease. Asbestos, once a dangerous fiber used in building insulation, is now manufactured in safe, encased forms. But for years, human exposure to it led to closures, clean-ups and lawsuits. Exposure to free-floating, spear-like asbestos fibers can lead to severe lung ailments such as asbestosis. The worst form — mesothelioma (search)— is a fatal cancer in the lining of lung. At least 2,000 new mesothelioma cases are diagnosed each year. Asbestos litigation has clogged the courts. Real victims seek damages, but phony ones do, too. Seventy-seven companies have gone bankrupt paying damages to both real victims and frauds. "We know there have been a lot of injustices that have occurred over the years," said Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. Thousands of other asbestos cases are pending. Ten U.S. companies alone face $25 billion in projected liability. "We clearly have a system that's being exploited for opportunistic reasons, and in the process you're having real people being harmed," said Wayne Brough, vice president of Freedom Works, which supports less government and lower taxes. Congress wants to reduce corporate liability and compensate real asbestos victims. The proposed remedy: A bipartisan Senate bill that creates a $140 billion trust fund financed by asbestos companies and insurers. A special court would grant awards on a no-fault basis. The goals are to eliminate lawsuits, speed up compensation and use specific criteria to weed out phony claims. "It will enable thousands of victims of asbestos, who've been able to collect nothing, to collect now from this fund. They've been unable to collect anything because their companies are bankrupt," said Sen. Arlen Specter (search), R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and chief sponsor of the legislation. The bill passed the panel last month, but more changes are expected before it goes to a full Senate vote. Big manufacturers like auto companies support the bill, preferring predictable trust fund payments to years of unknown liability. When senators unveiled the legislation, companies with asbestos-related liability saw their stocks soar. That, liberal critics say, is evidence that the bill's a big corporate giveaway. "Many companies that are liable for this problem are going to be let off the hook. They are only going to be paying pennies on the dollar into this trust fund," said Frank Clemente, director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch. Senators concede that the trust fund can work only as long as it remains solvent. One huge variable — how many victims qualify for payments — will determine that. Right now, 100,000 damage claims are filed every year. "This is an unprecedented fund. We don't know how many victims there are out there," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Critics say they fear the trust fund won't last and Congress won't go back to big business to foot additional costs. "They always underestimate the number of claims that come in, how much gets paid out and in the end the taxpayers end up paying for it," Clemente said. The Senate bill, which passed out of committee by a wide margin, also caps lawyers fees at 5 percent, down from the 40 percent typically applied in asbestos cases. The White House calls it another potential tort reform victory. Conservative critics are pushing a House bill that spells out what constitutes an asbestos-related disease. This approach, they say, protects companies, victims and taxpayers.

06/12/2005
Money Matters

The latest from the Political Grapevine:

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Money Matters

BY Brit Hume

The latest from the Political Grapevine:

07/02/2004
States Have Chance to Tax Internet After Moratorium Expires

WASHINGTON — The World Wide Web (search) has been left vulnerable to new levies by states and local governments now free from an Internet tax moratorium (search) Congress failed to renew before adjourning for the year. The ban on taxes that prevents state lawmakers from imposing a utility fee much like that imposed for phone or cable TV use expired Nov. 1.

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States Have Chance to Tax Internet After Moratorium Expires

BY Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

WASHINGTON — The World Wide Web (search) has been left vulnerable to new levies by states and local governments now free from an Internet tax moratorium (search) Congress failed to renew before adjourning for the year. The ban on taxes that prevents state lawmakers from imposing a utility fee much like that imposed for phone or cable TV use expired Nov. 1.

12/22/2003