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FreedomWorks Wisconsin Letter to Editor Campaign Scores Another Hit
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Press Release

FreedomWorks Wisconsin Letter to Editor Campaign Scores Another Hit

Letter in the Kenosha News Dear Editor: Here’s the whole truth about Social Security, Ms. Swanson. It’s going broke. Maybe not tomorrow or the next day, but it is going broke. As a pay-as-you-go scheme, current workers pay for current beneficiaries of Social Security. The whole truth is that when the latter outstrips the former, the program runs massive deficits that will total $12 trillion.

02/15/2005
Housing Ills Blamed On NIMBY, Regulation
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Housing Ills Blamed On NIMBY, Regulation

BY Sandra Fleishman

Excessive regulation and not-in-my-back-yard thinking deserve much of the blame for the nation's shortage of affordable homes, federal housing officials said yesterday. And that's a situation that hasn't changed in 14 years, since then-housing secretary Jack Kemp issued a report that was seen as a challenge to environmentalists and anti-growth advocates.

02/15/2005
Rules in flux
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Rules in flux

BY Wayne T. Brough

Change is nothing new in the high-tech world. After all, cutting-edge technologies are transforming by nature, finding new ways to solve old problems. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in today's telecommunications market, where the Federal Communications Commission chairman has announced his resignation, states are rewriting their telecommunications rules, and digitized Internet protocols are swiftly making old analog technologies obsolete. In short, the technology, the players and the rules of the game are all in flux. This provides the perfect opportunity to overhaul today's regulations, which are based on yesterday's technologies and no longer serve consumers or competitors. Outgoing FCC Chairman Michael Powell was acutely aware of the changes afoot. His tenure was marked by a vision to promote a more competitive marketplace through new rules that acknowledge innovations since the 1996 Telecommunications Act was signed into law. As telephone, cable, wireless and satellite technologies converged, the old rules intended to open the market began to stifle competition and limit critical investments. Different taxes and regulations for these different providers make little sense when they all compete to provide consumers the latest bundle of voice, video and data services. Unfortunately, political hurdles and bureaucratic inertia have left Mr. Powell's vision unfulfilled, leaving those in the marketplace to fight it out in the courts rather than compete for customers. Ideally, the incoming chairman will continue carrying the mantle of reform, ushering in a new marketplace where all providers can compete head-to-head in an open market. State regulations have also begun to chafe, and a number of states are rewriting their telecommunications laws. Here, too, competition and removing barriers to innovation should be emphasized. Though wireless subscribers now outnumber landlines in a number of states, the laws ignore this important source of competition, as well the threat from phone service provided by cable companies using VOIP technologies. Instead, the laws have artificially segmented the market, with different rules, taxes and requirements for phone companies, cable companies, wireless companies and others. The current round of rewrites should modernize failing laws and establish a true competitive marketplace that allows all providers to compete equally for customers. The marketplace itself is probably the best arbiter of change, with new technologies driving significant industry realignments. In addition to landlines and wireless service providers, cable companies are pursuing new customers through broadband deployment that serves up the triple threat of voice, data and video services. Satellite companies have joined the fray, offering even more competition, and power companies are not far behind. Meanwhile, the Baby Bells, which rarely ventured each other's territories, aggressively pursue customers beyond their home territory. So it is not surprising the market is reinventing itself. Sprint has a $35 billion merger deal with Nextel, SBC has announced its intention to acquire AT&T for $16 billion, and Verizon has just unveiled its plan to acquire MCI for $6.6 billion. The Sprint merger creates a formidable competitor on the wireless side, while the SBC and Verizon acquisitions offer the legacy phone companies a foothold in the national business market as well as a quicker transition to the latest digital technology, fast replacing the old analog phone systems. Such mergers and acquisitions reflect the fundamental changes under way in today's marketplace, and are critical steps in the transformation to the next wave of telecommunications. While these changes mean better technologies and new services for consumers, already there are cries of monopoly and fears of the resurrection of Ma Bell. But in a world of change, today's market cannot be compared to the past. There is no Ma Bell that stands alone when consumers can choose among wireless, cable, satellite and, eventually, power companies. Today, the copper wires that traditionally connected customers to the outside world no longer have a monopoly; there are a number of conduits between providers and consumers, all providing real competition, which keeps prices low and customer service high. Ma Bell's time has come and gone, and so must the era of contrived competition under the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Technology and the marketplace have outpaced the old rules, and state and federal regulators must recraft their laws to promote rather than prohibit the unfolding new competition. The market is changing and consumers stand to gain a great deal, but only if the government is willing to eliminate the outdated regulations and taxes that have stymied investment and growth in the telecommunications sector.

02/15/2005
Florida FreedomWorks Cheer PRAs at President Bush’s Townhall
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Press Release

Florida FreedomWorks Cheer PRAs at President Bush’s Townhall

FreedomWorks is on the front lines of the battle over Social Security (check out the great photos below). Over a hundred FreedomWorks activists, many donning Social Security reform stickers, came out to support Personal Retirement Accounts (PRAs) at President Bush’s Florida townhall meeting on the issue.

02/14/2005
4 nominated to replace Doyle
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4 nominated to replace Doyle

BY PETER WONG

Four no-new-taxes conservatives were nominated Saturday by Marion County Republicans to the Oregon House seat left vacant by the resignation of Dan Doyle. The four nominees, all from Salem, were: Chris Bishop, 31, a lawyer in the Salem firm of Kevin Mannix, the current state Republican Party chairman and a former legislator. Kevin Cameron, 48, owner of Cafe Today, which has restaurants in the basement of the Capitol and other locations.

02/13/2005
Conservatives Join Forces for Bush Plans
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Conservatives Join Forces for Bush Plans

BY Thomas B. Edsall

With billions of dollars at stake, a large network of influential conservative groups is mounting a high-priced campaign to help the White House win passage of legislation to partially privatize Social Security and limit class-action lawsuits. Corporate America, the financial services industry, conservative think tanks, much of the Washington trade association community, the Republican Party and GOP lobbyists and consultants are prepared to spend $200 million or more to influence the outcome of two of the toughest legislative fights in recent memory.

02/13/2005
FreedomWorks Cheers Rhode Island Senators' Tort Votes
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Press Release

FreedomWorks Cheers Rhode Island Senators' Tort Votes

Rhode Island may be our nation's smallest state, but it played a big role in passing commonsense tort reform legislation in the Senate late yesterday. Both of Rhode Island’s Senators— Sen. Lincoln Chafee and Sen. Jack Reed— voted for S. 5, "The Class Action Reform Act of 2005."

02/11/2005
Florida FreedomWorks Tour in Boca Raton on Feb. 24
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Press Release

Florida FreedomWorks Tour in Boca Raton on Feb. 24

On February 24th, Florida FreedomWorks Social Security Reform Tour will feature Max Pappas, Policy Director at FreedomWorks in Washington, DC. Max will address the Boca Raton Republican Club on Social Security Reform and Personal Retirement Accounts. The luncheon meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, at the Boca Raton Country Club clubhouse, 17751 Boca Club Blvd., Boca Raton.

02/11/2005
Senate Sees 28 Vote Swing on Class Action Reform
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Press Release

Senate Sees 28 Vote Swing on Class Action Reform

FreedomWorks cheered the U.S. Senate for passing S.5, the Class Action Fairness Act, by a large bipartisan vote late yesterday. Class Action reform is a major component of the FreedomWorks’ agenda and is part of a broad and ongoing grassroots educational campaign. In the past year alone, FreedomWorks reached four million targeted citizens with information about tort reform and where elected officials stand on the issue. During this time, FreedomWorks members also generated thousands personalized letters and calls to Capitol Hill demanding legal reform.

02/11/2005
Senate Sees 28 Vote Swing on Class Action Reform
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Press Release

Senate Sees 28 Vote Swing on Class Action Reform

FreedomWorks cheered the U.S. Senate for passing S.5, the Class Action Fairness Act, by a large bipartisan vote late yesterday. Class Action reform is a major component of the FreedomWorks’ agenda and is part of a broad and ongoing grassroots educational campaign. In the past year alone, FreedomWorks reached four million targeted citizens with information about tort reform and where elected officials stand on the issue. During this time, FreedomWorks members also generated thousands personalized letters and calls to Capitol Hill demanding legal reform.

02/11/2005

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