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Robert Reich on Principles & Values : Nov 30, 2001

Pro-economic growth progressive

Robert Reich, the former Clinton administration labor secretary who earlier this year denounced the Democratic Party as ''expired and gone,'' is testing the waters for a run for the Democratic nomination for governor, a party official said yesterday.

Reich has quietly told state Democratic leaders he is very interested in joining the gubernatorial race because he feels the current candidates are not offering the vision or liberal agenda that he advocates. ''He's very serious about this,'' said the party official, who met with Reich yesterday.

Party leaders who have talked to him say Reich would label his message as ''pro-economic growth.'' It is based on developing a working partnership among government, labor, and the business community.

Reich is telling party officials that he feels the candidates have not developed the coherent progressive message that he feels the party nominee should take into the general election.

Restless even during his 41/2 years as Bill Clinton's labor secretary, Reich has cast himself as an outspoken liberal ready to castigate the former president and others for reshaping the party in the image of the Republican Party.

A onetime Oxford classmate of Clinton, Reich penned a stinging column in the Washington Post in March in which he talked of ''interminable Clinton scandals'' and failed policies of the Democratic Party. ''The Democratic Party is stone dead, dead as a doornail,'' he wrote. Reich has defended his remarks, saying he was trying to stimulate debate within the party to develop a focused message. He has said he has no intention of abandoning the party.

Reich's prodding of Clinton on the minimum wage, worker training, and what he calls corporate welfare alienated him from the former president. ''I made his life miserable,'' Reich said in an interview earlier this year on Fox News.

Source: Frank Phillips, Boston Globe, p. A1
Click for more headlines by Robert Reich

Pat Leahy on Terrorism : Nov 26, 2001

Ashcroft owes the country an explanation

Attorney General John Ashcroft "owes the country an explanation" of new law enforcement measures issued by the Bush administration for use in the battle against terrorism, the chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee said Sunday.

In an interview on NBC's "Meet The Press," Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, said he wants Ashcroft to appear before his committee for a lengthy hearing to discuss President Bush's order allowing the use of military tribunals to try suspected terrorists, a Justice Department's decision to monitor phone conversations between suspects and their lawyers and the questioning of thousands of people of Middle Eastern descent.

Leahy said these "ad hoc, outside-the-justice system methods" go well beyond the new anti-terrorism measures that Congress recently approved at Ashcroft's urging.

"It is bothering a great number of people, Republicans and Democrats. I think the attorney general owes the country -- certainly owes the Congress -- an explanation," he said.

Leahy and the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, sent Ashcroft a letter asking him to appear before the committee. Leahy said Sunday that Ashcroft is now scheduled to appear the week after next.

In addition to the questioning of Ashcroft by Leahy's committee, the House Judiciary Committee is also considering holding hearings on Bush's authorization allowing the use of military tribunals.

The tribunals could be used to try non-citizens accused of terrorist acts, using rules set out by the secretary of defense. Individuals brought before the tribunals would have no right to a jury trial, no right to confront their accusers and no right to judicial review of trial procedures or sentences, which could include death.

Critics on both the left and right have assailed the order, saying it is too far-reaching and compromises American principles. But Bush has defended the plan, calling it "the absolute right thing to do" to maintain national security in the event that terrorists are captured alive and to spare criminal court jurors from potential harm.

But Leahy said the United States has "an enormous ability" to deal with terrorist suspects without resorting to such extraordinary means. "We end up looking to the people we've asked to be our allies more and more like some of the things that we are fighting against," he said.

Click for more headlines by Pat Leahy on War issues

Tom Ridge on Terrorism : Nov 24, 2001

Consolidate inspections for food safety

Worried that bioterrorists might strike next at the nation's food supplies, the Bush administration is reviving a controversial proposal to bring the government's patchwork of food safety agencies under one roof. Government food inspections are now scattered across about a dozen agencies.

Critics say the system, which has been pieced together over the last century, is duplicative, inefficient and inconsistent. Its most outspoken defenders are the food-processing and agricultural industries, which have grown comfortable with today's arrangements and fear that change would mean tighter regulation.

Industry has scuttled past attempts at consolidation, but the idea is gaining momentum in light of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the deadly anthrax scares. Tom Ridge is leading the effort. "For security enhancement, we ought to at least take a look at whether or not we need to merge functions, merge agencies. One agency does chickens and pigs, another agency does vegetables," Ridge said. "The question is--and we need to consider this in light of homeland security--whether or not we want to have multiple organizations basically tasked with the same responsibility or if we couldn't enhance our security, improve our efficiency and maybe save a few bucks... if we merged functions."

Ridge did not give himself a deadline but said the administration would begin exploring consolidation options as early as this year. President Bush generally opposes creating new government agencies, and he is thought more likely to favor consolidating inspection responsibilities under an existing agency, such as the FDA. Ridge's comments "have caused some heartburn for us," said [a lobbyist] for the National Food Processors Association. "The truth is, the system is not broken."

Source: Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
Click for more headlines by Tom Ridge on War issues

George W. Bush on Terrorism : Nov 20, 2001

Launch Coalition Information Service, better late than never

The U.S.-led coalition launched an effort Tuesday to get its message on the war in Afghanistan out to a foreign audience, conceding that a month and a half after it began bombing, the move came a bit late in the game.

The new Coalition Information Service opened phone lines to answer questions from the news media and held a news conference in Islamabad – the first of what it said would be daily briefings.

The CIS spokesman conceded that the inauguration of the operation – after coalition bombing had already helped drive the Taliban from most of Afghanistan – should have happened long ago. "To a certain extent, we dropped the ball," he said.

Images of civilians killed in coalition bombing caused many to turn against the war. And the Taliban's ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, had given regular briefings in Islamabad until Pakistan's government ordered a halt.

Meanwhile, aside from a few interviews U.S. officials gave to the Arabic-language news network Al-Jazeera, the U.S.-led coalition had little media presence outside the United States and Britain.

President Bush recognized that, announcing on Oct. 31 that he would send media officials to Britain and Pakistan to explain the anti-terrorism fight to foreign audiences.

Source: Niko Price, Associated Press, Islamabad, Pakistan
Click for more headlines by George W. Bush on War issues

George W. Bush on Terrorism : Nov 19, 2001

Federalize airport security

President Bush signed legislation to put the nation's airport baggage screeners on the federal payroll. "For our airways there is one supreme priority, security," Bush said in a ceremony at Reagan National Airport that coincided with the beginning of the busy holiday travel season. "For the first time, airport security will become a direct federal responsibility."

The legislation--the subject of political wrangling--was the latest in a series of steps the government has taken to tighten safety in the skies. Additional air marshals have been assigned to flights in greater numbers; airline companies have strengthened cockpit doors and members of the National Guard now patrol many of the nation's airports.

The measure requires airports to expand inspections of checked baggage, and explosive detection systems are to be in place by the end of next year. The Transportation Department may authorize pilots to have weapons in the cockpit of their planes.

To finance the security improvements, passengers will be charged a $2.50 fee each time they board a plane for a flight, up to $5 per trip.

Final passage was delayed for weeks, though, in a partisan struggle over the status of baggage screeners. The Senate voted 100-0 for legislation putting them on the federal payrolls, but House Republicans opposed to an expansion of the government work force dug in their heels and won passage of a bill that would have left them in private companies.

Bush voiced support for the House alternative, but also signaled his willingness to sign any bill Congress sent him.

The compromise bill he signed requires all 28,000 baggage screeners to become federal employees, with the exception of five facilities that will take part in a pilot program testing alternatives. After three years, airports may seek permission form the government to return to a private system of monitoring.

In his remarks, Bush noted the differences of opinion, but said passage of the measure was a fresh sign of the nation's unity after the terrorist attacks. "Security comes first. The federal government will set high standards. And we will enforce them," he said.

Source: Scott Lindlaw, Associated, Press, in Chicago Sun-Times
Click for more headlines by George W. Bush on War issues

Ashcroft on Civil Rights : Nov 18, 2001

Security trumps a well-informed citizenry

Federal agencies are imposing a stricter standard in reviewing hundreds of thousands of Freedom of Information Act requests from the public each year; officials no longer have to show that disclosure would cause "substantial harm" before rejecting a request. Watchdog groups say they have already started to see rejections of requests that likely would have been granted before.

The trend reverses a decades-long shift toward greater public access to information, even highly sensitive documents such as the Pentagon Papers or unconventional manifestos such as "The Anarchist's Cookbook," a compilation of recipes for making bombs. The popularity of the Internet has made sensitive information even easier to come by in recent years, but the events of Sept. 11 are now fueling a new debate in Washington: How much do Americans need to know?

At least 15 federal agencies have yanked potentially sensitive information off the Internet, or removed Web sites altogether, for fear that terrorists could exploit the government data. The excised material ranges from information on chemical reactors and risk-management programs to airport data and mapping of oil pipelines. Several states have followed the federal government's lead. California, for example, has removed information on dams and aqueducts, state officials said.

The swinging of the pendulum away from open records, supporters of the trend say, is a necessary safeguard against terrorists who could use sensitive public information to attack airports, water treatment plants, nuclear reactors and more.

In an Oct. 12 memo announcing the new Freedom of Information Act policies, Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft said that, while "a well-informed citizenry" is essential to government accountability, national security should be a priority.

Source: Eric Lichtblau, Los Angeles Times
Click for more headlines by John Ashcroft

Ashcroft on Terrorism : Nov 14 2001

“Interview” 5,000 Mideast passport-holders

John Ashcroft directed law enforcement authorities to interview more than 5,000 foreign men living in the US to determine whether they have information that might prevent terrorist attacks. The list includes men ages 18 to 33 who entered the United States on non-immigrant visas since Jan. 1, 2000, from specific countries. Most of the men hold passports from Middle Eastern nations, the Justice Department said. Ashcroft said that all interviews would be voluntary and that interview subjects would not be detained.

The two orders were the latest in a series of actions the Bush administration has taken against the threat of terrorism. Ashcroft recently expanded the Justice Department's authority to monitor some jailhouse conversations between inmates and their lawyers, and he has broadened government power to deny visas and to deport people deemed supportive of terrorist activities.

Arab American and civil liberties groups denounced the plan as racial and religious profiling. "This type of sweeping investigation carries with it the potential to create the impression that interviewees are being singled out because of their race, ethnicity or religion," said a director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

An ACLU lawyer said such an effort, if not undertaken with great sensitivity, "could undermine collaboration and confidence in the very communities that the government is seeking information from."

Source: Josh Meyer & Staff Writers, Los Angeles Times
Click for more headlines by John Ashcroft

George W. Bush on Terrorism : Nov 14, 2001

Military tribunals for terrorists instead of criminal courts

President Bush signed a military order giving him the option of trying non-US citizens suspected of terrorism before a special military commission as opposed to civilian courts.

People designated as terrorists by the president shall be "placed under the control of the secretary of Defense," the order says, and he will have "exclusive jurisdiction" over them. They may not seek the aid of "any court of the United States," nor of "any court of any foreign nation or any international tribunal." A special military commission to try any member of al Qaeda or any individual who has "engaged in, aided or abetted, or conspired to commit" acts of terrorism or knowingly harbored terrorists.

An ACLU director said "[the president must] justify why the current system does not allow for the timely prosecution of those accused of terrorist activities. Absent such a compelling justification, today's order is deeply disturbing and further evidence that the administration is totally unwilling to abide by the checks and balances that are so central to our democracy. Increasingly they appear willing to circumvent the requirements of the Bill of Rights."

Bush said in the military order: "I have determined that an extraordinary emergency exists for national defense purposes that this emergency constitutes an urgent and compelling government interest, and that issuance of this order is necessary to meet the emergency."

Bush aides said there are precedents for Bush's action: President Franklin D. Roosevelt used special military commissions in World War II to try German saboteurs and terrorists; President Lincoln used them during the Civil War; and President George Washington used special military commissions to execute spies.

Click for more headlines by George W. Bush on War issues

George W. Bush on Terrorism : Nov 14, 2001

Analysis: Are military tribunals for terrorists constitutional?

President Bush issued a broadly worded order late Tuesday that allows the use of special military courts to try suspected terrorists, whether they are picked up in Afghanistan, other countries or in the United States.

A White House spokeswoman stressed that the order applies only to "noncitizens." And, in a military or civilian court or not, the suspected terrorists would get "a full and fair trial," she said.

The US Constitution applies to "persons," not just citizens, and the Supreme Court has said in the past that the government may not close the courthouse doors to people. Anyone can file a writ of habeas corpus asking for a judge to take up their case.

In the past, however, courts have drawn a distinction between military combatants and people who are picked up for crimes such as spying and sabotage. While the combatants have been tried before military tribunals, the US has tried spies and foreign agents in its criminal courts.

A former Navy prosecutor said Bush's order "is certainly without precedent since World War II," when the US used military tribunals to try Nazi saboteurs and Japanese. He noted that military tribunals give the government a much greater chance of conviction than traditional courts and allow military prosecutors to shield intelligence information that they might be forced to disclose in civilian courts.

Another constitutional scholar said Bush's order is fraught with potential problems. "I am very troubled by it because it allows the government to try people without having to follow the Constitution's protections." He said Bush's directive could essentially do away with public trials for some suspected terrorists and trials by juries of their peers, two of the most fundamental rights under the Constitution.

John Dean, former counsel to President Nixon, wrote recently that he supports the idea of using the military tribunals against terrorists but said it would require an act of Congress. "Congress should pass an act--in part because terrorism is very different from other crime," Dean wrote. He noted that [in a public trial] jurors' names would be publicized, placing them at risk, and terrorists could walk free based on legal technicalities such as failure to read them their Miranda rights. "Such tribunals are more efficient, less costly and more likely to provide swift and sure justice," Dean wrote.

In 1942, when Nazi Germany landed eight saboteurs on the East Coast, they were treated as military combatants. They were tried in a secret military court in Washington, were convicted and most were hanged. The Supreme Court refused their pleas to intervene. This is often cited as the strongest precedent for allowing secret, military tribunals. But it was also a special case, because the Germans were at war with the United States and had landed military agents on US shores.

Source: Josh Meyer & Staff Writers, Los Angeles Times
Click for more headlines by George W. Bush on War issues

George W. Bush on Foreign Policy : Nov 10, 2001

Every nation obliged to crack down on terrorist financing

Every nation has a stake in this cause. As we meet, the terrorists are planning more murder, perhaps in my country or perhaps in yours. They kill because they aspire to dominate. They seek to overthrow governments and destabilize entire regions.

Last week, anticipating this meeting of the General Assembly, they denounced the United Nations. They called our secretary general a criminal and condemned all Arab nations here as traitors to Islam.

They can be expected to use chemical, biological and nuclear weapons the moment they are capable of doing so. No hint of conscience would prevent it. This threat cannot be ignored. This threat cannot be appeased. Civilization itself, the civilization we share, is threatened.

The most basic obligations in this new conflict have already been defined by the United Nations. On September 28, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1373. It's requirements are clear. Every United Nations member has a responsibility to crack down on terrorist financing. We must pass all necessary laws in our own countries to allow the confiscation of terrorist assets.

We must apply those laws to every financial institution in every nation. We have a responsibility to share intelligence and coordinate the efforts of law enforcement. If you know something, tell us. If we know something, we'll tell you. And when we find the terrorists, we must work together to bring them to justice.

We have a responsibility to deny any sanctuary, safe haven or transit to terrorists. Every known terrorist camp must be shut down, its operators apprehended and evidence of their arrest presented to the United Nations. We have a responsibility to deny weapons to terrorists and to actively prevent private citizens from providing them.

These obligations are urgent, and they are binding on every nation with a place in this chamber. Many governments are taking these obligations seriously, and my country appreciates it.

Yet, even beyond Resolution 1373, more is required and more is expected of our coalition against terror.

We're asking for a comprehensive commitment to this fight. We must unite in opposing all terrorists, not just some of them.

In this world, there are good causes and bad causes, and we may disagree on where that line is drawn. Yet, there is no such thing as a good terrorist. No national aspiration, no remembered wrong can ever justify the deliberate murder of the innocent. Any government that rejects this principle, trying to pick and choose its terrorist friends, will know the consequences.

We must speak the truth about terror. Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th, malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists themselves, away from the guilty. To inflame ethnic hatred is to advance the cause of terror.

The war against terror must not serve as an excuse to persecute ethnic and religious minorities in any country. Innocent people must be allowed to live their own lives, by their own customs, under their own religion.

And every nation must have avenues for the peaceful expression of opinion and dissent. When these avenues are closed, the temptation to speak through violence grows.

We must press on with our agenda for peace and prosperity in every land. My country has pledged to encouraging development and expanding trade. My country had pledged to investing in education and combating AIDS and other infectious diseases around the world.

Following September 11, these pledges are even more important. In our struggle against hateful groups that exploit poverty and despair, we must offer an alternative of opportunity and hope.

The American government also stands by its commitment to a just peace in the Middle East. We are working toward the day when two states--Israel and Palestine--live peacefully together within secure and recognized borders as called for by the Security Council resolutions.

We will do all in our power to bring both parties back into negotiations. But peace will only come when all have sworn off forever incitement, violence and terror.

And finally, this struggle is a defining moment for the United Nations itself. And the world needs its principled leadership. It undermines the credibility of this great institution, for example, when the Commission on Human Rights offers seats to the world's most persistent violators of human rights. The United Nations depends above all on its moral authority and that authority must be preserved.

Source: Address to the United Nations General Assembly (NYC)
Click for more headlines by George W. Bush on Foreign Policy

Jane Swift on Tax Reform : Nov 9, 2001

Sales tax holiday to help slumping businesses

Bay State buyers could find themselves in No-Taxachusetts this holiday season, saving hundreds of dollars under a temporary sales-tax freeze meant to boost the retail industry crippled by an economic freefall.

The tax-free weekend legislation being filed today by acting Gov. Jane M. Swift would eliminate levies on everything from computers to toys, electronics and cars.

``I'm sure, like me, many parents already have a lengthy holiday list from their children and, by waiving the sales tax on Dec. 1st and 2nd, we will have an opportunity to check off a couple more items on the list,'' Swift said.

Swift said her plan - juxtaposed by the Legislature's bid to stop a planned tax cut and immediately scoffed at by Democratic leaders - would pump needed cash into the economy by helping businesses starved for foot traffic.

Desperate shop owners embraced the idea, saying they need help - even if it is a gimmick.

Swift, under fire for battles with Massport and the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, desperately wants to change the subject, aides admit. The Republican governor unveiled the plan during a press conference dominated by the other pesky political issues, bringing questions about severance deals back to tax cuts and stalled budgets.

The proposal would eliminate the 5 percent sales tax for all retail items sold over the two-day period. Swift aides said it would cost about $40 million in lost tax revenue that would be buttressed by the $34 million Tax Reduction Fund, a savings account that holds surplus tax revenue.

The $6 million loss would easily be made up in extra meal and employment taxes expected to increase in that period, according to Swift financial analysts.

``Retail is one of the areas that's been hardest hit in our economic slowdown and this, I believe, is a very appropriate way to help them in what is traditionally their most important season,'' Swift said.

The plan models one implemented in New York State and in New York City at various times over the past few years around the holidays and before the start of the school year. A New York Division of Taxation analysis of a recent weeklong freeze on clothing taxes for purchases up to $500 hiked sales by 73 percent during the moratorium, officials said.

The acting governor's bid for a tax free-for-all highlights an intensifying State House battle over taxes and state spending, certain to peak in the final weeks of the political year.

Politically, the proposal gave Swift the chance to hammer Democratic lawmakers eyeing a proposal floated by Senate President Thomas F. Birmingham to halt the income-tax cuts approved by voters last year. Birmingham, a likely candidate for governor, is lobbying senators as the House considers a similar freeze.

``This is a proposal that is all about relief and recovery,'' Swift said. ``And I would also be remiss if I didn't remind members of the Legislature that that is what the full implementation of our tax rollback is about - relief for families and recovery for our economy.''

Source: David R. Guarino, Boston Herald, p. 1
Click for more headlines by Jane Swift on Tax Reform

NJ & VA Gubernatorial Elections : Nov 7, 2001

Jim McGreevey & Mark Warner win Governor's races

Democrats rolled to victory in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races Tuesday night, recapturing seats Republicans have held for the last eight years. Though the races turned more on local dynamics than on national themes, the twin gubernatorial wins by venture capitalist Mark Warner in Virginia and Woodbridge Mayor James E. McGreevey in New Jersey gave Democrats optimism about their prospects against the GOP in next year's midterm elections.

National Republican leaders had been concerned for weeks about the prospects of their gubernatorial candidates, former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler and former Virginia Atty. Gen. Mark Earley. Several hours before the polls closed Tuesday, RNC officials seemed to acknowledge defeat by e-mailing reporters a memo on why they should not view the results as a slap at President Bush.

The New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races have attracted increased attention in recent years as the initial tests of voter sentiment in the first year of a new presidential term. But this year they were eclipsed by the long shadow of the Sept. 11 hijackings and the subsequent anthrax attacks.

Both McGreevey and Warner are comeback winners. McGreevey narrowly lost the New Jersey gubernatorial race four years ago to Christie Whitman, now head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Warner, a former Virginia Democratic Party chairman who made a fortune as a venture capitalist, lost to Republican John Warner in the 1996 senatorial contest.

The twin victories give the Democrats 21 governors; the GOP has 27, and there are two independents. That is the highest number of governorships the Democrats have held since 1994. In next year's midterm election, voters will choose governors in 36 states, along with 34 senators and all 435 members of the House of Representatives.

Republican tax messages seemed to fizzle in both contests. In Virginia, Earley sharply attacked Warner for supporting a referendum that would allow Northern Virginia voters to raise their sales tax to pay for transportation improvements. In New Jersey, Schundler centered his campaign on a pledge to cut taxes and a charge that McGreevey would raise them. But both Democrats weathered the attacks, largely because they portrayed themselves as fiscal conservatives who would also be tough on spending.

The Democrats also adroitly handled social issues. In New Jersey, a classic socially liberal coastal state, McGreevey relentlessly hammered Schundler over his opposition to legalized abortion and gun control and his support for private school vouchers--to the point where Schundler tried to mute (or even renounce) his positions on all three.

In Virginia, a much more culturally conservative state, Warner went in the opposite direction. Looking to reverse the Democratic erosion in rural counties, he courted the National Rifle Assn., aggressively organized sportsmen and echoed the NRA argument that enforcing existing gun laws should be a higher priority than passing new ones.

Source: Ronald Brownstein, Los Angeles Times
Click for more headlines by Bret Schundler, James McGreevey, Mark Earley, or Mark Warner

Ashcroft on Assisted Suicide : Nov 7, 2001

Oregon assisted suicide law overturned

Attorney General Ashcroft effectively blocked Oregon's landmark assisted-suicide law yesterday, authorizing federal drug agents to identify and punish doctors who prescribe federally controlled drugs to help terminally ill patients die. In a memorandum to Drug Enforcement Administrator Asa Hutchinson, Ashcroft wrote that assisting in a suicide is not a "legitimate medical purpose" under federal law. He said DEA agents should seek to revoke the drug licenses of Oregon physicians who help patients commit suicide.

The opinion reverses a 1998 administrative decision by former attorney general Janet Reno and effectively bars Oregon physicians from legally prescribing narcotics to help patients commit suicide under the state's Death With Dignity Act, according to Oregon officials and medical experts. All 70 people known to have died under the law took federally controlled drugs such as the barbiturate secobarbitol, state officials said.

Although Ashcroft's decision appears to leave open the possibility of using less powerful drugs not regulated by the DEA, Oregon officials and medical experts said the risk of harm to patients and difficulties for physicians would be too high. Other states that enact assisted-suicide laws would face the same restrictions, officials said. Ashcroft's letter does not call for criminal prosecution of physicians. But some predicted the decision would make doctors more hesitant to prescribe powerful painkillers that could be used to commit suicide.

Sen. Ron Wyden(D-Ore.), who personally opposed the assisted-suicide law but has led efforts to block Congress from overruling it, said the opinion undermines the will of Oregon voters. They approved assisted suicide in 1994 and 1997 referenda. "I guess the Bush administration is frustrated by the inconvenience of the democratic process," Wyden said. "They have administratively tossed the ballots of Oregon's voters in the trash." No other state has a law allowing assisted suicide.

But Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) hailed the decision as a triumph of principle over politics. A broad alliance of religious, medical and social groups that oppose Oregon's law said the order was a sensible way to halt what they consider a violation of a physician's ethical code.

Ashcroft based his decision on a unanimous ruling by the Supreme Court in May that said federal drug laws do not allow for the medical use of marijuana to ease pain from AIDS, cancer and other diseases. The court did not overturn state laws allowing patients to use marijuana for medical reasons, but made the drug more difficult to obtain by denying patients the right to claim "medical necessity" as a reason to ignore federal statutes.

In a separate 1997 decision, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution does not guarantee Americans the right to commit suicide with the help of a physician, leaving the issue to state legislatures to decide. The ruling upheld laws in New York and Washington states that made it a crime for doctors to give lethal drugs to dying patients. The high court also refused in 1997 to hear a challenge to Oregon's assisted-suicide law.

Under Oregon's Death With Dignity Act, physicians may provide, but not administer, a lethal prescription to terminally ill adults who are Oregon residents. The legislation requires that two physicians agree that the patient has less than six months to live, has voluntarily chosen to die and is able to make health-related decisions.

Ashcroft, an ardent abortion foe who was then a U.S. senator from Missouri, complained that Reno was "bending the rules" in issuing her administrative decision. At least 70 terminally ill people have ended their lives since the law took effect, and at least 26 others have received prescriptions for lethal doses of drugs under the program, according to Oregon health officials.

Source: Dan Eggen and Ceci Connolly, Washington Post, p. A1
Click for more headlines by John Ashcroft, Asa Hutchinson, Gordon Smith, or Ron Wyden

George W. Bush on Immigration : Oct 30, 2001

Review & tighten immigration rules

President Bush on Monday ordered a major review of the nation's immigration laws, a move that seeks to enhance the government's ability to keep out or deport foreigners with suspected terrorist links. The review also is to conduct a thorough review of student visa policies. "We're going to start asking a lot of questions that heretofore have not been asked," Bush said as he presided over the first meeting of the Homeland Security Council. "I'm going to tighten up the visa policy."

At the same time, the White House conceded that the administration's unrelenting focus on counter-terrorism would indefinitely delay a separate drive to relax immigration regulations for Mexican workers. Before the Sept. 11 attacks, immigration--and possibly legal status for millions of illegal immigrants--was at the top of Washington and Mexico City's bilateral agenda. But as a White House spokesman said: "No, it's not dead. But . . . it has not moved at the pace the president had hoped it would move, and I think that's understandable." Mexican officials, while disappointed that an immigration pact has been put on hold, have publicly backed the White House's anti-terrorism effort and voiced hope that bilateral progress on the issue will resume.

In unveiling his latest anti-terrorism measure, Bush tried to differentiate between well-intentioned visitors and those who would enter the U.S. to do harm. "We welcome legal immigrants, and we welcome people coming to America. We welcome the process that encourages people to come to our country to visit, to study or to work," Bush said. "What we don't welcome are people who come to hurt the American people, and so therefore we're going to be very diligent with our visas and observant with the behavior of people who come to this country." In investigating the attacks, the government has detained nearly 1,000 people, many of whom are suspected of immigration violations.

Despite the president's reassurances, some civil liberties organizations expressed concern that the task force may recommend stiff measures that would adversely affect all foreign visitors and result in reduced immigration levels. Immigrant advocates emphasized that the president has gone out of his way to say he supports immigration. The Sept. 11 attacks have prompted some in Congress to push for restrictions in overall immigration levels, but such proposals have not picked up legislative steam. Civil libertarians have generally supported proposals to improve screening of foreign visitors and steps to help ensure that terrorists and criminals are denied entry.

The White House said the task force would coordinate programs designed to deny entry to foreigners "associated with, suspected of being engaged in or supporting terrorist activity." At least nine of the 19 hijacking suspects were in the United States on valid visas; two others entered as legal visitors and stayed beyond their visas' expiration dates. At least two were admitted as students but violated the terms of their student visas. "We plan on making sure that if a person has applied for a student visa, they actually go to college or university," Bush said.

The White House said one of the goals of the review of student visa policies is to prohibit the education and training of foreigners "who would use their training to harm the United States and its allies." This is a clear reference to the fact that several of the hijacking suspects, including Mohamed Atta and several other suspected ringleaders, received pilot training in the United States, apparently in preparation for commandeering the civilian flights.

The task force also is to work more closely with immigration and customs officials in Canada and Mexico on developing a common database to deny potential terrorists easy entry into the United States. Authorities have long worried about terrorists and other lawbreakers entering the U.S. through the nation's thousands of miles of porous border. "Our task is to do everything we can to protect the American people from any threat whatsoever," Bush said. The prospect of increasing hemispheric cooperation has buoyed the hopes of those pushing for a U.S.-Mexico immigration accord that would include a large-scale legalization for illegal immigrants.

Source: EDWIN CHEN and PATRICK J. McDONNELL, Los Angeles Times
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John McCain on Terror War : Oct 29, 2001

Use ground troops in Afghanistan

Whether to halt the bombing for Ramadan and what can be done to turn the tide in the military campaign before then have emerged as the two most troubling issues for the Bush administration. The White House is under pressure, both at home and abroad, to keep up pressure on the Taliban regime while remaining sensitive to Islamic concerns.

Yesterday, several members of Congress indicated that they believe that ground trops may be needed. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, speaking on CBS's ''Face the Nation,'' said the United States must unleash ''the might of United States military power,'' including ground troops.

The administration would have to move swiftly to put ground troops in Afghanistan before winter. Pausing for Ramadan could well make that impossible. McCain, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said considerations such as Ramadan are ''secondary to the primary job of eliminating the enemy.''

''No conflict that I know of has ever been won by air power alone,'' said McCain. He said US air power could be used ''more intensively and more effectively than'' it has been so far.

Source: Elizabeth Neuffer, Boston Globe
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Colin Powell on Foreign Policy : Oct 18, 2001

Recognize that Russians are fighting terrorism in Chechnya

Secretary Powell said he, Bush, and Russian President Putin would discuss Russia’s military campaign in Chechnya, where no political solution is in sight. The Bush administration shifted policy on Chechnya last month, portraying the conflict there for the first time as one involving a terrorist threat.

Secretary Powell today said that while “We recognize that they have to fight terrorist activities in Chechnya, they have to do it in a way that reflects a solid consideration of human rights and accountability for past atrocities that we know took place.”

“Not every Chechen who is in a resistance mode is necessarily a terrorist,” he added.

Source: Patrick Tyler and Celia Dugger, NY Times, p. B3
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George W. Bush on China : Oct 18, 2001

Anti-terrorist ally China no longer a strategic competitor

President Bush, who came into office just months ago talking of China as a “strategic competitor,” departed for Shanghai today on a trip expected to complete a significant shift in his policy toward Beijing as he seeks to build, maintain and expand a global coalition against terrorism. The importance attached to Bush’s appearance was clear simply from the fact that the president was taking the trip while his nation was at war and coping with spreading anthrax attacks. When President Bill Clinton was ordering the bombing of Iraq three years ago, he skipped the meeting.

But Bush made plain that his focus would not be the trade issues that traditionally dominate the Asian gathering. “Of course we’ll talk about economics and trade,” he said. “But the main thing that will be on my mind is to continue to rally the world against terrorists,” and to remind other leaders “that evil knows no borders.”

The events of the last five weeks have made it critical for Bush to develop ties with China that more closely resemble the “strategic partnership” envisaged by President Clinton and once openly disdained by President Bush. All talk of strategic competition has been omitted from Bush’s comments, officials say, and his aides have quietly sanded away all the hard edges from the message he will deliver to his Chinese hosts in his visit, starting on Thursday.

“You won’t hear much about dissidents, or Taiwan, or the dust-up with the spy plane,” said a Bush adviser, referring to the incident last spring when a Chinese fighter hit an EP-3 surveillance plane, forcing it to land. “He can’t afford that now. The Chinese have never been in a better mood to rebuild their relationship with Washington, and they know that now the president needs them, too.” [Another analyst] said, “You’ll never hear the words strategic competitor again.”

Source: David Sanger, NY Times, p. B3
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Colin Powell on Defense : Oct 18, 2001

Missile defense will be a stabilizing influence

Secretary Powell will present to the Russian foreign minister new, undisclosed proposals on how the United States and Russia might reach an agreement on a strategic framework to reduce offensive nuclear arsenals and pave the way for American missile defenses. “I would not expect that we would arrive at closure on the strategic” issues “on this trip,” Secretary Powell said. “But certainly, we’ll be moving the ball quite a bit farther down the field before approaching” the summit meeting at which Bush will be the host for the Russian President Putin. That meeting will take place at the presidential ranch in Crawford, Tex., next month.

In a news conference, Secretary Powell said he rejected a reported assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency that American missile defenses would incite an arms race, among China, India and Pakistan.

“I don’t agree with that assessment,” Secretary Powell said. “I think the kind of missile defense that we are planning on is a very limited missile defense.”

“I think missile defense in the long run will be seen as stabilizing, not destabilizing,” he added, “because it takes some of the currency away from the value of strategic offensive weapons.”

Source: Patrick Tyler and Celia Dugger, NY Times, p. B3
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Terrorism Czar Tom Ridge : Oct 16, 2001

Increase supply of smallpox vaccine; consider national ID cards

Newly appointed Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge says he’s working to increase the supply of smallpox vaccine in the U.S., to expand laboratory testing facilities for detecting bioterrorism threats, and that he would consider some form of national ID card for Americans.

Q: Governor, when you took this job, bioterrorism was a theory and a threat. Now, it’s a reality. Is it your number one priority this week?

A: It’s the number one priority this week and for the weeks ahead. I think one of the reasons the president called me to action was that we have a new world, a much more complex world. We have enemies that would use bioterrorism. And he wants somebody in the White House close to him to coordinate all the work that we’ve been doing within government and external to government to deal with it.

Q: We’ve had a first-hand experience, as you know, at NBC.

A: You sure have.

Q: Is it terrorism?

A: Well, I don’t think we have any credible evidence to tie it specific to Al-Qaida or a group of terrorists. But I think the presumption — we ought to operate under the presumption that it is. Whether it’s tied to a group that we’re focusing in on now or some other group, it is an act of terrorism. It’s that new world. It’s that new environment that we have to deal with.

Q: Part of homeland security is peace of mind. A lot of people know there’s an acute shortage of Cipro which is the most effective antidote to anthrax. Are you gonna have to expedite the manufacture of that at whatever cost it takes?

A: I think since this is the president’s priority and the nation’s priority, you will see that that has been and is being done. One of the challenges we have is the new threat with these bioterrorist events. We didn’t predict and couldn’t possibly [see] the need. And we learn something about our needs every single day as we try to deal with this. And part of my responsibility is to respond quickly to those needs. And responding quickly to build up antibiotic supplies and vaccines is something that we’re in the process of doing.

Source: NBC News interview with Tom Brokaw
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Bill Clinton on Terrorism : Sept 18, 2001

Tried to kill bin Laden; anti-assassination law didn’t apply

In his first extended interview since the terrorist attacks, former president Bill Clinton said that his administration “did what we thought we could” to hunt down Osama bin Laden after the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa in 1998.

Clinton discussed the cruise missile attacks he ordered on bin Laden and Afghan targets in August 1998: “We had quite good intelligence that he and his top lieutenants would be in his training camps. So I ordered the cruise missile attacks and we didn’t even tell anybody — including the Pakistanis, whose airspace we had to travel over — until the last minute. Unfortunately we missed him, but apparently not by much. ... I made it clear afterwards that we should take all necessary action to apprehend him and get him, but we never had another chance where the intelligence reports were reliable enough to justify another military action.”

The former president cited a number of successes his administration had in the fight against terrorism, including efforts to thwart planned attacks during the millennium celebrations and an assassination of Pope John Paul II. Even so, Clinton admitted that “all the things we stopped still don’t count for much in the end, when 5,000 people are dead. We have to have offense as well as defense.”

Clinton offered unequivocal support for the Bush administration’s efforts to form a global coalition to combat terrorism, saying, “We need to do whatever is necessary. In the end, it’s very difficult to get all this done with satellites and tapping into telephones and breaking into computers. You need to have people on the ground if you’re going to nail these people.”

To that end, Clinton said the ban on assassinations signed by then-president Gerald Ford doesn’t apply in the case of Osama bin Laden because he is not a head of state. Echoing comments by members of the Bush administration, the former president admitted that “getting Osama bin Laden is the beginning, not the end of this process. But it’s an important first step.”

Source: NBC News interview with Tom Brokaw
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George W. Bush on World Trade Center attack : Sept 12, 2001

Terrorism against our nation will not stand

“The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger,” the president said. “None of us will ever forget this day. Yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.”

Even as he vowed retaliation for the destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon, the president was in the extraordinary position of being at war with a faceless enemy, possibly a terrorist group not tied directly to any country. Unlike a war in which the enemy is obvious and targets bountiful, Bush’s options in this case may be limited unless the US government can clearly identify the responsible group and destroy it.

While suspicions centered on Middle Eastern groups, there was no certified claim of responsibility. One of Bush’s first moves will be to try to gather a global alliance to find the terrorists and attack them, similar to the way his father waged the Gulf War, some analysts said.

The attacks signaled a turn in Bush’s presidency that immediately tested his capabilities as a leader and healer. Like the elder President Bush, who once commented that he hadn’t been “tested by fire” until the Gulf War, Bush was thrust into a crisis that is bound to define his presidency.

Reprising a refrain used by his father in the Gulf War, Bush solemnly declared, “Terrorism against our nation will not stand.”

The attacks also raised serious questions about what is called homeland defense.

So far, Bush’s focus on defending the United States from within has been on developing a space-based antimissile system. But that system almost certainly would have been useless against the hijacked commercial airliners involved in yesterday’s assault.

The best defense against such an assault is solid intelligence, but terrorists have apparently learned from prior investigations how to keep their plotting secret and their conversations private.

One possible result of the attacks is some restraint on the civil liberties that many Americans take for granted, with much tougher security searches at airports and looser constraints on police investigative methods. Some specialists are already calling for an end to separation between the military and domestic law enforcement.

Questions will immediately be asked about why the CIA failed to issue warnings about an attack. For years, analysts have warned that this country was vulnerable to attacks from within.

Just last December, a congressional advisory panel on terrorism issued a report that received little notice but which predicted that a major attack was imminent.

Source: Michael Kranish, Boston Globe, p. A18
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George W. Bush on World Trade Center attack : Sept 11, 2001

No distinction between terrorists and those who harbor them

These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.

Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature, and we responded with the best of America, with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it's prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, D.C., to help with local rescue efforts.

Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks.

The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow.

Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well.

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I've directed the full resources for our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance.

America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.

Source: Televised speech to the nation
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John Ashcroft on Technology : Sept 7, 2001

Justice Dept. drops Microsoft breakup

By choosing to stop pursuing a breakup of Microsoft Corp., the government refocused attention on whether the Bush administration will aggressively prosecute the company for antitrust violations or try to reach a minimal settlement and move on.

Many experts also said that by removing the severest possible sanction from the bargaining table, the Justice Department and its allies, 17 states and the District of Columbia, have handed a significant victory to the Redmond, Wash.-based software firm. Microsoft viewed any proposed breakup as a fundamental threat to its success and vigorously fought the idea in court. "Obviously it's a concession," said a law professor at Howard University. "It's clear this Department of Justice was never crazy about the idea of a breakup as a philosophical matter." He said dropping the breakup plan was probably done for practical reasons, given that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia set high standards for approving any such proposal. But, he added, the decision also fits with more conservative views of antitrust law and how far governments should intervene in the marketplace.

During his presidential campaign, George W. Bush indicated that he had concerns about a proposed Microsoft breakup, saying that he was "on the side of innovation, not litigation." The administration continues to battle suspicions, especially from some Microsoft competitors, that cozy relationships between White House officials and Microsoft may be influencing the way Justice handles the case.

Microsoft gave $2.5 million to Bush and other Republicans during last year's election campaign. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met in June with Vice President Cheney, although officials said antitrust issues were not discussed. Cheney's son-in-law, Phil Perry, oversees the Justice Department's antitrust division as acting associate attorney general.

But top-ranking Justice Department officials said yesterday that the decision to abandon a breakup remedy was made by Charles A. James, the new antitrust chief and veteran antitrust litigator who has been given broad discretion by Attorney General John D. Ashcroft. James briefed Ashcroft [and other officials] on the decision, but none had any influence over what action to take, Justice officials said. Ashcroft was briefed this week. He didn't explicitly approve or disapprove James's decision, the officials said.

In addition to announcing that it would stop seeking a breakup of Microsoft into separate operating-system and applications businesses, the Justice Department also said it would drop its claim that Microsoft illegally hurt competitors by tying, or bundling, its Web browser and other features to its Windows operating system.

"The department is seeking to streamline the case with the goal of securing an effective remedy as quickly as possible," the department said in a prepared statement.

Many longtime observers said the decision to drop the tying portion of the case was, in the words of one former Justice litigator, "a no-brainer" -- in part because the Web browser market has changed so much that the point is moot.

But several said the Justice Department left room for concern in the language it used to abandon the breakup of Microsoft. One Washington lawyer said it bears close watching whether the Justice Department will use all the power it has under antitrust law to seek stiff penalties against the company, or settle for a weaker resolution.

Source: Dan Eggen, Washington Post, Page A12
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Gary Condit : Sept 3, 2001

Unapologetic about conduct in Chandra Levy investigation

There might have been some way for Gary Condit to have made a bigger hash of his comeback tour last week, but it's hard to see how.

An old trial lawyer's rule holds that a defendant can get away with calling one witness a liar. Two people--maybe. More than that, and the jury will figure, rightly or wrongly, that you're the liar.

Mrs. Levy claims Condit denied to her that he had had an affair with her daughter? She must have "misunderstood the conversation," he told Connie Chung last Thursday. The police say he bobbed and weaved through the first two interrogations? "I'm puzzled by why the police chief would say that," he replied. A flight attendant claims he wanted her to lie about their affair on a false affidavit? "I'm puzzled by people who take advantage of tragedy." Chandra's aunt says he was obsessive about secrecy? "I don't know why the aunt would say that." It sure was a strange way to launch a rehabilitation, as one of his advisers later admitted.

The curious thing about Condit's performance was that there seemed to be so many well-worn paths to redemption. When they heard Condit was finally ready to jump on the media barbecue last week, two of Bill Clinton's many lawyers actually sat around their offices writing the script in their heads. The drill is so routine by now that you can practically download it from "I did a stupid thing, America. In an attempt to protect my family and Chandra Levy's, I kept my mouth shut when I should have gone immediately to the police. I shouldn't have waited for them to come to me. These are mistakes I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and I am deeply sorry."

But Condit has always seemed like a poor man's Clinton, a politician who lacked the instincts or talent to get himself out of trouble of his own making. Everything is eerily familiar--the long-suffering wife Carolyn Condit understudying Hillary, the still frames of a Monica look-alike, and the pol trying somehow to appease both his lawyers and his pollsters, all in the same sentence. There was even a haunting "that woman" moment when Condit declared of his wife, "I've been married for 34 years, and I intend to stay married to that woman as long as she'll have me."

It was hard for Condit to convince even sympathetic viewers of his innocence because he acted so pitiless. You needed to listen carefully to find a single expression of any appropriate feeling, whether of sympathy for the Levys or remorse for his own behavior or fear for Chandra's fate or fury at the lynching by the press. Instead the answers were measured, etched with legal constraint and word-perfect repetition, as though he didn't dare get one wrong. That may be perfectly understandable for someone who has had his apartment ransacked by police, his DNA tested and his guilt presumed by endless hours of cable talkers, and still has federal agents on his back for possible obstruction of justice. But for those who had never quite tuned into the story until Thursday night, the manner was all wrong. An innocent man looking to salvage his reputation would be all empathy and earnestness, not defiant half-answers or the lawyerly "Don't say more than you're asked" stance, and certainly not a taut smile when asked whether you've killed a "close friend."

Condit's lawyer Abbe Lowell said that in the first police interview, two detectives asked Condit about his relationship with Levy. He said he'd answer if they could explain why it was relevant. "They never followed up," Lowell said. A D.C. police detective said privately he wasn't sure whether Condit is hiding something or is just a slippery politician who gives you that impression.

Source: Michael Duffy & Nancy Gibbs, Time Magazine
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Rod Paige on School Choice : Aug 31, 2001

Supports home-schooling, charters, and funding private schools

Q: How do the administration's proposed policies address home schooling families?

A: Under the administration's support of expanded parental options, which is the third pillar of the president's plan, we want to give parents options to find the best education venue for their child. Home schooling is one choice. We are very supportive of parental choice.

Q: What is your personal view on whether school vouchers will help inner-city kids vs. weakening public schools? What will you do on that front in the Education Department?

A: I rarely use the term vouchers because it has been so trashed by current writers and thinkers, so I have to use another term to communicate my ideas.

I do not accept the charge that students attending private schools at public expense adversely impacts the public school system. As a seven-year urban superintendent for one of the nations largest public school systems, I am a passionate advocate and supporter of public education. My experience in Houston where we contracted some students out to private vendors and private schools in fact strengthened the public school system. Research sponsored by the Department of Education shows that public schools are strengthened when charter schools are in the vicinity. Competition has shown us in other organizational areas to be positive not negative.

Secondly, the idea of public education is a concept not a structure. The whole idea is to provide an appropriate education for students at public expense. This allows for and I think requires multiple delivery systems of education for students. I believe public schools properly resourced and operated can perform as well as any private schools, indeed my goal in Houston was to outperform private schools. Public schools should have no fear of competition from private schools because when they are their best they can be the best.

Source: Washington Post On-line interview
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George W. Bush on Defense : Aug 24, 2001

US will withdraw from the ABM Treaty on our timetable

President Bush said today that the United States plans to "withdraw from the ABM Treaty on our timetable" to allow for the development of a missile defense system but has not yet set a deadline. Bush's remarks about pulling out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty come after senior U.S. officials failed in recent weeks to reach an understanding with their Russian counterparts about the future of strategic arms control.

Moscow has signaled it is open to limited amendments of the treaty to accommodate some testing of a missile shield but has balked at U.S. suggestions that the two countries agree to withdraw entirely.

Although Bush said the United States would withdraw from the agreement "at a time convenient to America," he added that officials "would consult closely with our allies in Europe as well as continue to consult closely with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin." The president's remarks, however, created some confusion because Bush in one breath was addressing two separate issues: whether the United States intends to withdraw from the treaty and whether the administration has set a firm timeline.

Bush has previously advocated getting rid of the accord, and it remained unclear today whether he meant to signal that his administration has foreclosed the possibility of rewriting the accord to allow for the testing and deployment of missile defenses.

With the Pentagon estimating that testing of its missile shield program could violate the terms of the treaty in a matter of months, Bush's remarks held open the prospect that Washington could unilaterally pull out of the accord. That is an option some State Department officials worry will sour relations with European allies who are concerned about angering Moscow and upsetting the global framework of arms control.

"I have no specific timetable in mind," Bush said. "I do know that the ABM Treaty hampers us from doing what we need to do. And secondly, I do know that Mr. Putin is aware of our desires to move beyond the ABM Treaty, and we will."

The president sought to still speculation that the administration had decided to provide the six-month notice required for withdrawal from the accord around the time Bush is scheduled to meet Putin at his ranch here in November.

Source: Amy Goldstein and Alan Sipress, Washington Post
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Jesse Helms on Civil Rights : Aug. 23, 2001

Remains critical of affirmative action & gay rights

While critics may view Helms as a throwback to an old Southern political machine, his supporters here saw him as a ''just-folks'' local leader who does not compromise his convictions. He never apologized for his attacks on civil rights or his verbal battles against integration. What some considered racist comments others called ''good-natured exchanges.''

Helms never won more than 55 percent of the vote, but he became a force among conservatives because of his strong support for prayer in schools and his criticism of affirmative action and homosexuality. He openly rejected gay rights, calling homosexuals ''disgusting.'' He is against abortion rights and funding of the arts. And, he once jokingly warned President Clinton that he would need a bodyguard if he ventured into North Carolina.

That honesty may have seemed mean-spirted and intolerant to some, but it also gained Helms many followers. ''I never thought he was racist. People like Jesse around here,'' said a constituent, who is white and who is a church deacon. ''I like his moral issues. He believes in God.''

Source: Tatsha Robertson, Boston Globe, p. A2
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Jesse Helms : Aug. 23, 2001

Will not run for re-election in 2002; will remain active on issues

I would be 88 if I ran in 2002 -- and was elected and lived to finish a sixth term. This, my family and I have decided, unanimously, I should not do, and I shall not. That is my formal announcement. You see, if my health continues to be good when my present (fifth) term ends at the 2002 adjournment sine die of the 107th Congress, I'll be 81 years old. I will then have served 30 years as a Senator from North Carolina, longer than any other Senator elected by the people of North Carolina, (and not in my wildest imagination did it ever occur to me that such a privilege would ever be mine!)

But I am, by no means, announcing my "retirement." A great deal of work lies ahead of the Senate this fall -- and next year when there will much significant legislation. (For example, the Senate will be taking up and renewing the Farm Bill which comes around every five years, and you don't need me to explain how important this particular farm bill will be to farm families all across North Carolina.

In addition, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider, among other important matters, significant legislation that will set the course for the future of America's defense systems. And, then, there is the necessity of monitoring the implementation of the Helms-Biden demands reforming the United Nations, which has already saved the American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Source: Pre-recorded speech
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Jesse Helms, Elizabeth Dole, & Lauch Faircloth : Aug. 22, 2001

Helms announces retirement; Dole may run

Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, a conservative stalwart for nearly 30 years, plans to appear on television in Raleigh on Wednesday evening to announce that he will retire from the Senate when his fifth term expires in January 2003, a person close to Mr. Helms said today.

Helms, who was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee until the Republicans lost control of the Senate earlier this year, has had health problems in recent years. A nerve condition, peripheral neuropathy, has numbed his feet and forced him to navigate the corridors of the Capitol in a motorized scooter. It was also expected to make campaigning unpleasant for a man who does not relish it under the best of circumstances.

Helms would leave an outsized legacy in both Washington and North Carolina. His ardent conservatism on both foreign policy and social issues presaged the rise of right-wing Republicanism in the South, and his adamant stands on issues like relations with China and judicial nominations made him a figure who could not be ignored by presidents, Congressional leaders or foreign heads of state.

On Capitol Hill, he became known as Senator No, for his unflinching willingness to stall movement on legislation and appointments until he won his way, often on completely unrelated issues.

In North Carolina, that same stubbornness and straightforwardness, often won admiration, even from those who disagreed with him on the issues.

And yet, Helms often offended many liberals and moderates with his ultraconservative views on race and homosexuality, making him an enduring bogeyman to the American left.

Among those seen as potential contenders for Mr. Helms's Senate seat is Elizabeth Dole, the former presidential candidate and two-time cabinet secretary, who has said she would give the race "serious consideration" if Mr. Helms declined to run. A group of her supporters in North Carolina, Mrs. Dole's home state, have started efforts to draft her into the race.

If she announced, Mrs. Dole would become the instant heavyweight in the Republican field. But whether Mrs. Dole, whose 2000 presidential campaign never caught fire, would clear the field of other Republicans is a matter of speculation.

Among the other Republicans who have expressed interest are Representatives Richard M. Burr and Robin Hayes, former Senator Lauch Faircloth (who was defeated for re- election in 1998), former Mayor Richard Vinroot of Charlotte and Jim Snyder, a lawyer.

Without Mr. Helms as an incumbent, the race in North Carolina is likely to become a focal point for both parties. While the state is considered conservative, it has elected Democrats as governor and United States senator in recent years and an influx of Northerners has moderated its politics.

Source: Kevin Sack, NY Times
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Al Gore on Principles & Values : Aug 12, 2001

Opens PAC; Schedules political speeches for September

Former vice president Al Gore is sparking a sharp debate within the Democratic Party as he begins to emerge from self-imposed exile, underscoring the obstacles he will face if he decides to seek the presidency again in 2004. Gore's closest confidants say he has made no decision about whether to seek a rematch against President Bush and has the luxury of not having to do so for many months. But as Gore returns from a summer in Europe, Democratic activists and potential rivals assume he is preparing plans for a gradual reentry this fall, with an eye toward another presidential bid.

If he does, they say, he will face bitterness from some Democrats over his performance in the 2000 campaign, stiff opposition for the Democratic nomination in 2004 and the defection of some advisers and fundraisers to other campaigns. Democratic strategists and Gore loyalists agree that he must repair his relationship with former president Bill Clinton, which one described as "a bad problem." He also needs to reaffirm his ties to the party's most important constituencies, including organized labor and minorities.

Gore's allies say the inside talk among Democrats overestimates the obstacles he faces. Gore, they say, enjoys substantial advantages over any of the others who might seek the Democratic nomination, including goodwill among many Democratic voters who believed he was robbed of the presidency, strength in early polls against potential rivals, including Bush, and the confidence from having run before. Still, Gore's advisers acknowledge that another bid for the presidency would be far more difficult than the last. He may be able to wait longer than other candidates, an adviser said, "but that doesn't mean he's not going to have to go out and work for it. He will have to work harder than the last time."

Whether Democratic voters believe Gore deserves another chance may depend on the impressions Gore makes when he begins to speak out this fall [with a political speech scheduled for the Iowa Democratic Party fundraising dinner on Sept. 29].. A top adviser from his previous campaign said that "the most important thing" Gore must figure out before he fully returns to political life is "who he is," the same issue that dogged him during the last campaign.

Gore's return to the political -- though not the public -- arena begins this week. He and former Tennessee governor Lamar Alexander (R) hosted a bipartisan workshop on politics yesterday in Nashville. Beginning today, Gore will host a private training academy for about two dozen young Democrats who will then go to work in Democratic campaigns and state parties -- and perhaps another Gore campaign.

Despite criticism from some Democrats who said he should have been attacking Bush earlier, Gore has preferred a gradual emergence. He spent the summer in Europe (where he grew a beard that he has not shed), vacationing with his family and working on a book with his wife, Tipper. (Democratic sources say Tipper Gore prefers that her husband not run again.) While there, he also made several speeches, his principal source of income now that he is out of office for the first time in a quarter century. This fall he will resume teaching at Middle Tennessee State University and Fisk University. He has set up an office in Tennessee and plans to spend a day or two a week in the state, where he will tend to political fence-mending after having lost his home state to Bush.

Gore also recently leased office space in suburban Virginia for a new political action committee that he will formally launch this fall. The PAC will pay for his political travels this year and next and make contributions to other Democrats. Gore has agreed to campaign for New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial candidate James McGreevey, the first of many pledges Gore has made to campaign for Democrats.

Source: Dan Balz and Ruth Marcus, Washington Post, p. A1
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President Bush on Abortion : Aug. 9, 2001

Allow limited federal funding for stem cell research

As I thought through [stem-cell research], I kept returning to two fundamental questions. First, are these frozen embryos human life and therefore something precious to be protected? And second, if they're going to be destroyed anyway, shouldn't they be used for a greater good, for research that has the potential to save and improve other lives?

As the discoveries of modern science create tremendous hope, they also lay vast ethical minefields. As the genius of science extends the horizons of what we can do, we increasingly confront complex questions about what we should do.

Embryonic stem cell research is at the leading edge of a series of moral hazards. The initial stem cell researcher was at first reluctant to begin his research, fearing it might be used for human cloning. Scientists have already cloned a sheep. Researchers are telling us the next step could be to clone human beings to create individual designer stem cells, essentially to grow another you to be available in case you need another heart or lung or liver.

I strongly oppose human cloning, as do most Americans. We recoil at the idea of growing human beings for spare body parts or creating life for our convenience. And while we must devote enormous energy to conquering disease, it is equally important that we pay attention to the moral concerns raised by the new frontier of human embryo stem cell research. Even the most noble ends do not justify any means.

My position on these issues is shaped by deeply held beliefs. I'm a strong supporter of science and technology and believe they have the potential for incredible good, to improve lives, to save life, to conquer disease. Research offers hope that millions of our loved ones may be cured of a disease and rid of their suffering. I have friends whose children suffer from juvenile diabetes. Nancy Reagan has written me about President Reagan's struggle with Alzheimer's. My own family has confronted the tragedy of childhood leukemia. And like all Americans, I have great hope for cures.

I also believe human life is a sacred gift from our creator. I worry about a culture that devalues life and believe, as your president, I have an important obligation to foster and encourage respect for life in America and throughout the world. And while we're all hopeful about the potential of this research, no one can be certain that the science will live up to the hope it has generated.

Eight years ago scientists believed fetal tissue research offered great hope for cures and treatments, yet the progress to date has not lived up to its initial expectations. Embryonic stem cell research offers both great promise and great — and great peril.

So I have decided we must proceed with great care. As a result of private research, more than 60 genetically diverse stem cell lines already exist. They were created from embryos that have already been destroyed and they have the ability to regenerate themselves indefinitely, creating ongoing opportunities for research.

I have concluded that we should allow federal funds to be used for research on these existing stem cell lines, where the life- and-death decision has already been made. Leading scientists tell me research on these 60 lines has great promise that could lead to breakthrough therapies and cures. This allows us to explore the promise and potential of stem cell research without crossing a fundamental moral line by providing taxpayer funding that would sanction or encourage further destruction of human embryos that have at least the potential for life.

I also believe that great scientific progress can be made through aggressive federal funding of research on umbilical cord, placenta, adult and animal stem cells which do not involve the same moral dilemma. This year, your government will spend $250 million on this important research.

I will also name a president's council to monitor stem cell research, to recommend appropriate guidelines and regulations and to consider all of the medical and ethical ramifications of biomedical innovation. As we go forward, I hope we will always be guided by both intellect and heart, by both our capabilities and our conscience.

Source: Speech in Crawford, Texas
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James Greenwood & Tom DeLay on Abortion : Aug. 1, 2001

House bans all human cloning

The House of Representatives voted yesterday to ban all human cloning, making a statement about the sanctity of life but threatening medical research that one day could lead to cures of painful or deadly illnesses. In a 265-to-162 vote, the House approved legislation that would impose a fine of at least $1 million and a prison sentence of up to 10 years on anyone who participates in human cloning. The measure also prohibits importation of a cloned human embryo or its “product” - an undefined provision that the ban’s opponents fear could keep Americans from benefiting from possible cures developed overseas.

“Human beings should not be cloned to stock a medical junkyard of spare parts for medical experimentation,” said House majority whip Tom DeLay, Republican of Texas. Cloning, even for research purposes alone, is “no better than medical strip mining. The preservation of life is what’s being lost here,” DeLay said on the House floor.

Others argued that cloning for research and therapeutic purposes could save lives. “Why would we kill this research? Why would we condemn the world for future generations not to have the benefit of this miracle?” asked an emotional Representative James C. Greenwood, Republican of Pennsylvania.

Greenwood offered an amendment to allow limited cloning of human cells for scientific research. Scientists believe they may one day be able to replace dying or injured human tissue with replacements obtained from a patient via a cloning process. “If you take a cheek cell out of Jim Greenwood and it divides, I would be mightily surprised ... if God would choose that moment to put a soul in it,” Greenwood said. The House defeated Greenwood’s amendment, 249 to 178.

Source: Susan Milligan, Boston Globe
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Jimmy Carter on Electoral Reform : July 31, 2001

Make Election Day a national holiday; recommendations of Electoral Reform Commission

    This election commission [headed by Carter and Ford, to recommend reforms] is comprised of 28 members, about as diverse a group as you could possibly imagine, almost equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, chosen because of their deep, sometimes life-long interest in the electoral process in our country. I'm just briefly going to outline the recommendations made:
  1. Each state should devise a uniform voter registration system and enforce it. Now this is done by individual counties; there more than 4,000 of them, and this creates a great deal of confusion.
  2. Voters who come to the polling place on Election Day quite often have found some confusion about whether or not they are qualified, and we are recommending provisional balloting. The voter has a right to cast a ballot. And it's sealed in an envelope. And later after Election Day is over, it is counted if that person has actually qualified to vote there and is not registered at other places.
  3. There should be a national holiday in which to have the election. One suggestion has been that this be combined with Veterans Day.
  4. Overseas voting should be made clearer and fairer and less confusing. The absentee ballots for military persons overseas or Americans living overseas would be greatly expedited by having one central voter registration point, which we recommend.
  5. The news media should not project winners in any states until all 48 contiguous states have finished their voting process and the polls have closed. This would not include Alaska and Hawaii, which would delay it too much. And this would be hopefully a voluntary commitment by the major networks and the major cable companies. If they don't do it, then we recommend that Congress take action. We recognize that there are First Amendment principles involved, but we think this is an important one.
  6. Each state would be required to set uniform standards, both for the performance of voting procedures--punch cards, the mechanical kind, scanning, paper ballots--and that there be a standard required that there would be no more than a 2% error, either over-votes or under-votes.
  7. Felons should be permitted to vote after they complete their sentence or their probation period, at the latest. Some states now, to my surprise, do not permit felons ever to vote again.
  8. Congress should appropriate a modest amount of money, $1 to $2 billion over a three or four year period, which would be about $300 million a year, and this would establish a revolving fund which could go to the states if they meet their matching requirements and to be used to carry out all these recommendations.
  9. All television networks should be encouraged to provide five minutes a day, free of charge, for use by presidential candidates who have qualified for matching funds for the last 30 days of the campaign. So for 30 days, five minutes a day would be used for those major candidates to present their views to the American people.
  10. The networks should provide free time for instruction of voters on how they should cast their ballots.
Source: Press Conference on Electoral Reform Commission results
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George W. Bush on Defense : Jul 22, 2001

Link National Missile Defense to missile cuts with Russia

Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to tie US plans for building a missile defense shield to talks on reducing nuclear stockpiles. “The two go hand in hand,” Bush said. Bush also said he wanted a new accord to replace the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty.

Bush described himself and his Russian counterpart as “young leaders who are interested in forging a more peaceful world.” Putin said the linkage was “unexpected,” and cautioned that neither country was ready to discuss details. “We’re not ready at this time to talk about threshold limits or the numbers themselves. But a joint striving exists,” Putin said.

Bush’s national security adviser, Condoleeza Rice, will travel to Moscow to begin developing a framework for discussions. Soon after he became president, Bush directed the Pentagon to consider further cuts in nuclear stockpiles, and has suggested he would be willing to go ahead with reductions with out without comparable cuts by Russia. The United States has about 7,000 strategic nuclear weapons. Under the START II agreement with Russia, that number will fall to between 3,000 and 3,500. In 1997, President Clinton and President Boris Yeltsin agreed in principle that a follow-on treaty should reduce the numbers to 2,000 to 2,500. Putin has suggested 1,500 warheads each would be adequate.

The Russian president has opposed U.S. plans for a missile shield, saying it violates the ABM pact, the Cold War-era treaty designed to curtail the arms race through a built-in vulnerability to nuclear attack. Putin has said previously that if the United State puts aside the ABM, Russia will tear up all other arms control agreements. He has also has suggested that Moscow could respond to U.S. moves by fitting multiple warheads to its single warhead missiles.

In a joint statement, Bush and Putin said “major changes in the world” compelled them to link offensive and defensive measures. “We already have some strong and tangible points of agreement. We will shortly begin intensive consultations on the interrelated subjects of offensive and defensive systems,” the statement said.

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George W. Bush on Environment : Jul 22, 2001

Will respond to Kyoto Protocol with strategy package by September

Q: You promised to have a global warming package ready for the Marrakesh meeting in September?

A: My administration has had a full-scale review of the climate issue; that we’re in the process of developing a strategy as quickly as we possibly can and one that we look forward to sharing with our friends and allies. A strategy that begins with the notion that we want to reduce greenhouse gasses in America. A strategy, also, that takes a realistic look at how best to do so, a look based upon science and a look with a notion that we can have economic growth and sound environmental policy.

I made it clear to our friends and allies that the methodology of the current protocol is one that, if implemented, would severely affect economic growth in America, and that I believe that it makes sense for those who trade with us to make sure that our environmental policy is one that continues to stimulate economic activity so that trade means something between nations.

The spirit of our dialogue was very positive. I guess you could say that I broke the ice during my last trip to Europe, so people understood exactly where I was coming from. There should be no doubt in their mind about our position -- that we share the goal, but we believe that, strongly believe that we need to find a methodology of achieving the goal that won’t wreck the U.S. economy.

The Europeans are interested in the strategy that we’re going to adopt. And when it’s formulated I will present it to them. And I look forward to doing that. And they’re going to find out that when I say we’re interested in reducing greenhouse gasses that we mean it. They’re also going to be pleased to hear that it’s going to be in such a way that won’t damage their largest trading partner. And so will the American people, who want to make sure that there’s work and jobs available.

Source: Press conference by Pres. Bush and Russian Pres. Putin
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Florida Recount analysis : July 15, 2001

GOP gained by focusing on overseas ballots

In the morning after Election Day, George W. Bush held an unofficial lead of 1,784 votes in Florida, but to his campaign strategists the margin felt perilously slim. They were right to worry. Within a week, recounts would erode Mr. Bush's unofficial lead to just 300 votes.

With the presidency hanging on the outcome in Florida, the Bush team quickly grasped that the best hope of ensuring victory was the trove of ballots still arriving in the mail from Florida residents living abroad. Over the next 18 days, the Republicans mounted a legal and public relations campaign to persuade canvassing boards in Bush strongholds to waive the state's election laws when counting overseas absentee ballots.

Their goal was simple: to count the maximum number of overseas ballots in counties won by Mr. Bush, particularly those with a high concentration of military voters, while seeking to disqualify overseas ballots in counties won by Vice President Al Gore.

A six-month investigation by The New York Times of this chapter in the closest presidential election in American history shows that the Republican effort had a decided impact. Under intense pressure from the Republicans, Florida officials accepted hundreds of overseas absentee ballots that failed to comply with state election laws.

In an analysis of the 2,490 ballots from Americans living abroad that were counted as legal votes after Election Day, The Times found 680 questionable votes. Although it is not known for whom the flawed ballots were cast, four out of five were accepted in counties carried by Mr. Bush, The Times found. Mr. Bush's final margin in the official total was 537 votes.

The flawed votes included ballots without postmarks, ballots postmarked after the election, ballots without witness signatures, ballots mailed from towns and cities within the United States and even ballots from voters who voted twice. All would have been disqualified had the state's election laws been strictly enforced.

The Republican push on absentee ballots became an effective counterweight to the Gore campaign's push for manual recounts in mainly Democratic counties in southern Florida.

In its investigation, The Times found that these overseas ballots - the only votes that could legally be received and counted after Election Day - were judged by markedly different standards, depending on where they were counted.

The unequal treatment of these ballots is at odds with statements by Bush campaign leaders and by the Florida secretary of state, Katherine Harris, that rules should be applied uniformly and certainly not changed in the middle of a contested election. It also conflicts with the equal protection guarantee that the United States Supreme Court invoked in December when it halted a statewide manual recount and effectively handed Florida to Mr. Bush.

The Times study found no evidence of vote fraud by either party. In particular, while some voters admitted in interviews that they had cast illegal ballots after Election Day, the investigation found no support for the suspicions of Democrats that the Bush campaign had organized an effort to solicit late votes.

Rather, the Republicans poured their energy into the speedy delivery and liberal treatment of likely Bush ballots from abroad. In a Tallahassee ``war room'' within the offices of Ms. Harris, veteran Republican political consultants helped shape the post-election instructions to county canvassing boards. In Washington, senior Bush campaign officials urged the Pentagon to accelerate the collection and delivery of military ballots, and indeed ballots arrived more quickly than in previous elections. Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee helped the campaign obtain private contact information for military voters.

Republicans provided their lawyers with a detailed playbook that included instructions on how to challenge likely Gore votes while fighting for the inclusion of likely Bush votes. In some counties where Mr. Gore was strong, Bush lawyers stood by silently while Gore lawyers challenged overseas ballots, even likely Gore ballots.

The effectiveness of the Republican effort is demonstrated by striking disparities in how different counties treated ballots with similar defects. For instance, counties carried by Mr. Gore accepted 2 in 10 ballots that had no evidence they were mailed on or before Election Day. Counties carried by Mr. Bush accepted 6 in 10 of the same kinds of ballots. Bush counties were four times as likely as Gore counties to count ballots lacking witness signatures and addresses.

In reconstructing the story of the absentee vote, The Times collected copies of virtually all the overseas ballot envelopes that arrived after Election Day and built a comprehensive database for statistical analysis. The Times also examined thousands of pages of election documents and canvassing board meeting transcripts and interviewed more than 300 voters in 43 countries.

Because the ballots themselves are separated from the envelopes containing voter information, it is impossible to know whether the outcome of the election would have been different had the flawed ballot envelopes been treated consistently.

The Times asked Gary King, a Harvard expert on voting patterns and statistical models, what would have happened had the flawed ballots been discarded. He concluded that there was no way to declare a winner with mathematical certainty under those circumstances. His best estimate, he said, was that Mr. Bush's margin would have been reduced to 245 votes. Dr. King estimated that there was only a slight chance that discarding the questionable ballots would have made Mr. Gore the winner.

Separate from this investigation, a consortium of newspapers, including The Times, has hired experts to examine all ballots cast in Florida to see whether the official count was affected by faulty voting machines. The results are expected later this summer.

Source: David Barstw & Don Van Natta, NY Times
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Gary Condit : Jul 15, 2001

Embroiled in Chandra Levy investigation

California's Central Valley, a sunny heartland of fertile farms among the state's fastest-growing cities, prides itself on its family values and farmland. But the region's rapidly gaining notoriety of another sort -- as the home of embattled Rep. Gary Condit and the missing intern with whom he reportedly had a sexual relationship.

Unlike other California districts where residents frequently don't know their lawmakers' names let alone faces, Condit is a highly visible and popular native son. Loyalty runs deep to the longtime legislator, who delighted in his 1980s battles with more liberal colleagues in the state Capitol.

In 1989, he replaced former Congressman Tony Coelho, who resigned over questions related to his finances. Coelho, despite the controversy that swirled about him more than a decade ago in Washington, remains enormously popular and influential in the valley.

Condit's Western good looks and affable small-town manner have endeared him to a rural constituency. Perhaps more than in bigger, glitzier California cities, people see Condit as an extension of themselves, the son of a small-town minister who made good.

But Condit has become embroiled in the missing persons case involving 24-year-old Chandra Levy, a former federal intern from Condit's district who disappeared 2 1/2 months ago. While he's not a suspect, Washington, D.C., police say, Condit's sex life -- both with Levy and a flight attendant -- has come under scrutiny.

Source: Associated Press in NY Times
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Ronald Reagan on Foregn Policy : Jul 2, 1991

Reagan Doctrine: active & open anti-Communism

Reagan did not call what he was doing the Reagan Doctrine. That phrase was coined by columnist Charles Krauthammer in a Time magazine essay in April 1985. Krauthammer took as his text a passage in the president's February 1985 State of the Union address in which Reagan declared:
We must not break faith with those who are risking their lives on every continent from Afghanistan to Nicaragua to defy Soviet-supported agression and secure rights that have been ours since birth. Support for freedom fighters is self defense.
Krauthammer had in 1983 written a column urging the administration to abandon its pretense that its Nicaraguan policy was based merely on the desire to halt the flow of arms and openly proclaim an intention to support the contras in the overthrow of the Sandanista government. Krauthammer said in 1985, "I hoped that a 'doctrine' enshrining the legitimacy of overthrowing nasty communist governments would keep the debate honest." Krauthammer described the Reagan Doctrine as a policy of "democratic militance" that "proclaims overt and unashamed support for anti-Communist revolution" on grounds of "justice, necessity, and democratic tradition."

But the admnistration's "support for freedom fighters" was less consistent than Krauthammer's rationale. Reagan never succeeded in formulating a doctrine of assisting Communist insurgencies that was broadly applicable. A case can be made that Reagan did not believe in the Reagan Doctrine, except in Nicaragua and perhaps in Angola. In dealing with most other insurgencies, Reagan followed State Department guidance and basically continued policies that were already in place.

Source: The Role of a Lifetime, by Lou Cannon, p. 369
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Sandra Day O'Connor on Crime : Jul 5, 2001

Questions whether death penalty is fairly administered

O’Connor said, “If statistics are any indication, the system may well be allowing some innocent defendants to be executed.” O’Connor’s statement [indicates] that she is willing to grapple with unfairness and error in the application of the death penalty [and] is also open to broader challenges to the death penalty’s fundamental fairness. “Serious questions are being raised about whether the death penalty is being fairly administered in this country,” O’Connor said, noting that last year six death row inmates were exonerated, bringing the total to 90 since 1973. She also deplored the fact that only a few states allow for post-conviction DNA testing, and that Texas defendants with the resources to hire their own lawyers are considerably less likely to be convicted than those with appointed counsel. “Perhaps it’s time to look at minimum standards for appointed counsel in death cases and adequate compensation for appointed counsel when they are used,” she said.
Source: Op-Ed page, NY Times
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Armey, Watts, & DeLay on Abortion : Jul 3, 2001

Block research funding for embryonic stem cells

House Republican leaders urged prohibiting spending federal money on biomedical research that used embryonic stem cells - primordial cells that can reproduce themselves and can, in theory, be manipulated to create almost any cells in the human body. Three top House Republicans, Dick Armey, Tom DeLay, & J. C. Watts issued a joint statement saying:
The federal government cannot morally look the other way with respect to the destruction of human embryos, then accept & pay for extracted stem cells for the purpose of medical research. It is not pro-life to rely on an industry of death, even if the intention is to find cures for diseases. We can find cures with life-affirming, not life-destroying, methods that are becoming more promising with each passing day. Republicans take a back seat to no one when it comes to promoting medical research. We will continue to properly fund crucial research, but it must advance the cause of life without sacrificing some lives to better others.
Source: Robert Pear, NY Times, p. A1
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Orrin Hatch, Tommy Thompson, Strom Thurmond, Zell Miller, Duke Cunningham and Gordon Smith on Abortion : Jul 2, 2001

Both pro-life and pro-stem cell research

Several prominent conservative Republicans argue it is possible to be both “pro-life” and “pro-stem cell.” “Stem cell research facilitates life,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who studied the issue for two years before deciding to aggressively lobby the Bush administration. “Abortion destroys life; this is about saving lives.”

“The most pro-life position would be to help people who suffer from these maladies,” Hatch said. “That is far more ethical than just abandoning or discarding these embryonic stem cells.“ For politicians such as Hatch, a Mormon, the decision to break with many of their allies in the antiabortion community was closely tied to the enormous medical potential of embryonic stem cells to treat a wide range of debilitating conditions. Hatch is hardly alone. In recent days, the pro-stem cell contingent [has come to include HHS Secretary] Tommy Thompson, Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA.), and Sens. Zell Miller (D, GA), Strom Thurmond (R-SC) and Gordon Smith (R-OR).

Source: Ceci Connolly, Washington Post, p. A01
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John Ashcroft on Gun Control : Jul 3, 2001

Unequivocal individual gun rights, but restrictions ok

Two advocacy groups plan to file an ethics complaint today against John Ashcroft, arguing that a recent letter from Ashcroft to the National Rifle Association improperly undermines the government’s position in a pending court case. Ashcroft wrote in a May 17 letter to the NRA that he “unequivocally” believes the Constitution protects the right of individuals to own guns. In a Texas case, the US government has argued the opposite, maintaining that the right to own a gun contained in the Second Amendment is a collective, not individual, right.

Ashcroft said in his letter that he “cannot comment on any pending litigation,” but the complaint argues that the rest of his comments have the effect of undermining such litigation. A Justice Department spokeswoman said that Ashcroft “believes there’s an individual right to own a gun, but there are also reasonable restrictions. The two are not mutually exclusive.”

Source: Dan Eggen, Washington Post, Page A17
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Kent Conrad on Tax Reform : Jul 2, 2001

Tax cuts will force raids on Trust Funds

The first installment of the tax cuts took effect July 1, but only for an estimated 35 million middle- and upper-income taxpayers, [and only for] a few dollars a week. The reduction does not affect the 15% bracket, which includes an estimated 95 million taxpayers; [they will have to wait for refund checks beginning in late July]. Most economists say the combined impact will be about 1/2% on the nation’s GDP. “Cutting income tax rates is the strongest fiscal policy stimulus for our economy,” said Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill. “And it is happening exactly when the economy needs it.”

Democratic critics of the tax cut say that’s a meager economic return for a measure that costs an estimated $1.35 trillion over 10 years. Sen. Kent Conrad (D, ND) said the tax cut will eventually force “raids” on the Social Security and Medicare trust funds to make good on commitments like national defense and education spending. “I fear we are facing a real problem,” said Conrad.

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Tony Hall on War & Peace : Jul 1, 2001

Restrict “conflict diamonds” to end African war financing

So-called “conflict diamonds” are sold to pay for armies terrorizing some of the poorest people on earth. “If you have a glass of wine tonight, you’re going to know exactly where that bottle of wine came from. Why shouldn’t you know where that diamond is coming from? There’s no paper trail,” says Rep. Tony Hall. “There’s no system to stop conflict diamonds.”

Conflict diamonds are diamonds that are financing wars in Africa and costing millions of innocent people their lives and limbs. Hall says the only way to stop this bloodshed is to stop buying diamonds from these war zones. “You should ask the question, ‘Where is this diamond from?’ ” says Hall. “If that jeweler says, ‘I don’t know,’ don’t buy a diamond there until he finds out.” But how do you find out? Right now, after a diamond is cut and polished, there’s no way to know. For the past three years, Hall has pushed legislation so consumers can make sure the diamonds they are buying are not linked to human suffering.

Source: Bob Arnot,
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Chuck Schumer on Gun Control : Jun 29, 2001

Cutting record-keeping limits fosters gun sale fraud & abuse

Attorney General John Ashcroft announced plans to slash the length of time that the government can keep records on instant background checks for gun buyers. The proposal, which infuriated gun control advocates, calls for such records to be held for only one business day after a sale. Ashcroft said , “The intent of the law is to protect the privacy of legitimate gun purchasers.”

Law enforcement agencies can retain records for up to 180 days. The time limit is to drop to 90 days next week. The plan drew immediate criticism from Democratic lawmakers, who accused the Bush administration of pandering to gun dealers and the NRA. “This is the most disappointing news we’ve received in the fight to bring rationality to our guns and laws,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D, NY), who vowed to fight the plan. Schumer and other gun control advocates argued the records should be kept for a reasonable time to help law enforcement agencies uncover fraud and abuse in gun sales.

Source: Cheryl W. Thompson, Washington Post, p. A2
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Justices O'Connor, Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, and Rehnquist on Health Care : Jun 29, 2001

States cannot ban cigarette ads near schools

The Supreme Court handed the tobacco industry a major victory over state efforts to restrict tobacco advertising, striking down Massachusetts regulations that would have banned such advertising near playgrounds and schools. Massachusetts had argued that the rules were necessary to prevent tobacco makers from inducing children to try a highly addictive and hazardous substance. But the court, dividing 5 to 4, agreed with the industry that the state could not adopt restrictions on top of those imposed by federal law. In addition, the court said, the rules infringed on freedom of speech.

The court’s decision effectively prevents state and local governments from unilaterally adding regulations on cigarette advertising, as many have attempted to do in recent years. Justice O’Connor wrote-with Rehnquist, Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas concurring-that federal law “places limits on policy choices available to the States.” The cases are Lorillard v. Reilly, 00-596, and Altadis USA v. Reilly, 00-597.

Source: Charles Lane, Washington Post, p. A1
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Justices Souter, Stevens, Ginsburg, & Breyer on Health Care : Jun 29, 2001

Allow states to restrict cigarette ads beyond federal rules

The Supreme Court handed the tobacco industry a major victory over state efforts to restrict tobacco advertising, striking down Massachusetts regulations that would have banned such advertising near playgrounds and schools. Massachusetts had argued that the rules were necessary to prevent tobacco makers from inducing children to try a highly addictive and hazardous substance. But the court, dividing 5 to 4, agreed with the industry that the state could not adopt restrictions on top of those imposed by federal law. In addition, the court said, the rules infringed on freedom of speech.

The court’s decision effectively prevents state and local governments from unilaterally adding regulations on cigarette advertising, as many have attempted to do in recent years. Justice O’Connor wrote-with Rehnquist, Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas concurring-that federal law “places limits on policy choices available to the States.” The cases are Lorillard v. Reilly, 00-596, and Altadis USA v. Reilly, 00-597.

Source: Charles Lane, Washington Post, p. A1
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Anthony Kennedy on Immigration : Jun 29, 2001

No judicial limit on detaining illegal immigrants

The Supreme Court ruled today that the government may not detain deportable aliens indefinitely simply for lack of a country willing to take them. The 5-to-4 decision rejected the government’s view, as argued by both the Clinton and Bush administrations, that immigration law authorized and the Constitution permitted indefinite, even lifelong detention of immigrants adjudged deportable but unable to be repatriated.

Justice Breyer’s majority opinion-joined by O’Connor, Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg- said that because interpreting the law in that way would present a “serious constitutional threat” under the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of due process, the court would construe the law to permit only “reasonable” detention, [defined as] six months in custody.

Justice Kennedy objected that the court was unwisely substituting “judicial judgment for the executive’s discretion and authority.” The case, Zadvydas v. Davis, No. 99-7791, will have an immediate impact on at least several thousand people.

Source: Linda Greenhouse, NY Times
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George W. Bush on Welfare & Poverty : Jun 25, 2001

Fund faith-based social services, not worship services

President Bush, facing broad opposition to his plan to help churches get federal contracts for social services, is trying to revive the legislation by adding stricter requirements for use of the money, administration officials said. The change is part of an effort by Bush and his staff to get the legislation back on track after Republican lawmakers told the administration privately that it is dead in its current form. Bush plans to tell the Conference of Mayors annual meeting that under his plan, federal money that goes to religious organizations “must be spent on social services, not worship services.”

The president’s faith-based initiative was one of the earliest entries on his list of six top goals and is the one to which he is most personally attached. It is designed to allow religious groups the chance to win federal contracts to help juvenile delinquents, the homeless and the elderly without making the programs secular.

Source: Mike Allen, Washington Post, p. A1
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Al Gore on Principles & Values : Jun 24, 2001

Laying groundwork for possible comeback

People close to Gore say he is not likely to reenter the public arena in earnest until this fall, and, in his deliberate manner, is still pondering “how he wants to emerge.” But as Democrats debate his political future, the candidate appears to be at least laying the groundwork for a comeback. He has been talking to supporters about establishing a policy institute in Tennessee, perhaps connected to Vanderbilt University, as well as a political action committee.

Gore believes he would have won the presidency if the US Supreme Court had allowed the Florida recount to be completed. But they say his victory in the popular vote has softened the blow, making his feelings of rejection less painful than they otherwise might be. Gore’s associates say there is plenty of time for him to decide whether to make another go at the White House. Many of Gore’s friends and advisers say that if they had to bet, they would put their money on another Gore presidential run.

Source: Susan Baer, Baltimore Sun
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Bob Graham on Tax Reform : Jun 21, 2001

Estate tax repeal hurts federal-state relations

Governors and state legislators are chafing under a Congressional timetable that calls for the states to lose their estate tax revenues by 2005 while stretching the repeal of the federal estate tax more gradually over 10 years. Senator Bob Graham of Florida, a Democrat and former governor, said that Congress’s treatment of the states might set a dangerous precedent, particularly in dealing with coming debates like the taxation of sales on the Internet. “It’s going to have an adverse effect on the state-federal relationship on fiscal policy,” Senator Graham said, “with states feeling they are very distinctly the redheaded third cousin at the family picnic.”

About 2% of all estates, those larger than $675,000, are subject to federal estate taxes. Since 1926, the federal government has allowed taxpayers to claim a dollar-for-dollar credit against their federal estate tax liability for the amount of death taxes they pay to their states.

Source: Kevin Sack, NY Times
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Jeb Bush on Tax Reform : Jun 21, 2001

Supports estate tax repeal, but not at states’ expense

Even as they deal with declining revenue growth from a softening economy, states are scrambling to plan for the potential loss of $50 billion to $100 billion over 10 years from the repeal of the federal estate tax enacted last month. The loss in revenue would come because states for 75 years have tied their own estate and inheritance taxes to the federal estate tax.

Governors are also chafing under a Congressional timetable that calls for the states to lose their tax revenues by 2005 while stretching the repeal of the federal estate tax more gradually over 10 years. Jeb Bush warned about anticipated revenue shortfalls [in Florida], including the expected loss of $210 million from the estate tax in the 2002-03 fiscal year. “While I support the eventual repeal of the estate tax,” Mr. Bush, the president’s brother, wrote, “shifting the burden merely allows Washington to spend more, while requiring us to spend less.”

Source: Kevin Sack, NY Times
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John Ashcroft on Crime : Jun 19, 2001

No racial bias in Garza execution nor in federal system

Convicted murderer Juan Raul Garza was executed Tuesday by lethal injection today. Garza’s and Timothy McVeigh’s deaths are the only two federal executions since 1963. Garza was sentenced to death for each of the murders under a federal “drug kingpin” statute.

John Ashcroft said there is no reason to spare Garza’s life. He said Garza was [found guilty] for three deaths and [was responsible for] five others -- including at least four murders in Mexico for which he was never prosecuted. Ashcroft also said there was no racial bias in the case, emphasizing the prosecutor was Hispanic, as were seven of the eight victims. The Department of Justice, as well, said a recently completed study found no racial bias in the federal system. Garza’s attorney John Howley strongly disagreed, saying “there’s no question that race plays a big part in every death sentence. The fact is we only give out the death penalty in this country to poor, to minorities, and to the mentally retarded,” he said.

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Randy Forbes on Abortion : Jun 18, 2001

Supports abstinence education

  • Chief Patron, legislation to include Abstinence education in the Family Life Program in the Virginia Public School System (Enacted 1999)
    Source: Candidate web site
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    George W. Bush on Defense : Jun 14, 2001

    Listens to Europeans on SDI, but “intent on the right thing”

    As he talked with NATO leaders today, Bush was careful in many ways to project an awareness of European concerns about a missile defense shield, and a willingness to address them. Referring to European worries that the US was poised to go it alone on several issues of common concern, Bush said, “Unilateralists don’t come around the table to listen to others and to share opinion.” He said any new approach to security must “include greater nonproliferation and counterproliferation efforts.” He vowed to “reach out to Russian leaders,” indicating his recognition of the importance that some European leaders attach to Russian consent before a missile system is built.

    But at the same time, Bush seemed to be serving notice that he planned to do what he wanted to do, and that his intention in talking to European allies was largely to bring them around to his point of view, not to alter his own. “I’m intent upon doing what I think is the right thing in order to make the world more peaceful,” he said.

    Source: Frank Bruni, NY Times
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    Dick Gephardt on running for President in 2004 : June 10, 2001

    Gephardt building national infrastructure for presidential bid

    House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) has begun laying the groundwork for a 2004 presidential bid, seeking to position himself as the Democratic Party's chief critic of Bush administration policies, according to top advisers.

    Gephardt has yet to make a formal decision on whether he will run in 2004, according to his aides, but he has discussed the prospect with donors, advisers and party organizers. According to these supporters, Gephardt's efforts to return the Democrats to the majority in the House in the midterm elections next year make him uniquely positioned to seek the nation's highest office.

    "He's got a national infrastructure, both in terms of money and politics," said a former aide who works as a consultant to Gephardt's political action committee. "If he gives us the green light in 2003, we can have a national campaign up and running in a matter of weeks."

    Gephardt, who failed to capture the Democratic nomination in a run for the presidency in 1988, stressed in an interview Thursday that he is visiting New Hampshire as part of his congressional campaign duties. But he would not rule out the idea of a second presidential bid. "This is a decision that comes after the [2002] election. I don't put it on the table. I don't put it off the table," he said. "We need to stay focused on winning the House back. After that is over, we can figure out the next step. We obviously want to take the White House back, because that is what we believe in."

    Democratic strategists said Gephardt enjoys several advantages over other Democrats whose names have surfaced as potential nominees, such as the new Senate majority leader, Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.), and Sens. John Edwards (N.C.), John F. Kerry (Mass.), Evan Bayh (Ind.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.). Only former vice president Al Gore has a comparable national network of political allies, according to these officials.

    Gephardt said Democrats "need to lay out an alternative view of where the country should be going." He is planning to deliver a series of speeches on issues including education, health care, defense and foreign affairs. Even as Gephardt seeks a platform from which to attack Bush, however, he must contend with the fact that Daschle, his longtime ally, is better positioned to command national attention now that Democrats are in the majority in the Senate.

    Gephardt also could encounter several obstacles if he chose to run for president, particularly if he failed for the fourth time in his quest to win the House.

    Source: Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, Page A4
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    George Pataki on School Choice : Jun 7, 2001

    Fund charter schools as independent non-profit entities

      Here is a brief summary of Governor Pataki’s proposed Charter Schools Act:
    • Charter schools would be independent and autonomous public schools operated by not-for-profit corporations;
    • Charter schools would be exempt from state and local education mandates, except for laws relating to health and safety, civil rights and student assessment;
    • Admission would be by application, with preferences allowed for “at-risk” students. If demand exceeds capacity, a random selection process would be used. Charter Schools cannot charge tuition or an application fee;
    • Charter schools would be allowed to hire non-certified teachers;
    • The average per-pupil approved operating expenses of a school district would follow a child to charter schools.
    • A new Charter Schools Stimulus Fund would give grants and loans on a competitive basis to assist charter schools with start-up costs and expenses.
    Source: Governor’s web site,
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    Jim Jeffords on Education : Jun 4, 2001

    Individuals With Disabilities Education Act revived

    Newly empowered by the defection of Republican Senator Jim Jeffords, Senate Democrats take control this week with plans to push for a project he has championed for more than a quarter-century: a special-education program [called the] Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA. The White House and Republican leaders in Congress have argued against committing the federal government to paying its legally mandated 40% share of the program. Although Jeffords and other supporters forced a voice vote on the Senate floor last month in favor of the plan, it appeared unlikely that a Republican Congress would include the measure in the final education bill and in the appropriations process. Jeffords made full funding of IDEA, a program to help communities pay for court-mandated education of disabled students, a condition of supporting President Bush’s tax and budget plan. When the White House balked, Jeffords ultimately left the GOP after his relationship with his party further deteriorated.
    Source: Susan Milligan, Boston Globe, p. A1
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    John McCain on running for President in 2004 : June 2, 2001

    Running as independent, or centralizing GOP?

    Maverick Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, in a widening rift with President Bush and his party's dominant conservative wing, is talking with advisers about leaving the GOP and launching a third-party challenge to Bush in 2004, those close to the senator say.

    Such a move is not imminent, they say. For the near term, McCain, who upset Bush in the 2000 New Hampshire primary and won 5 million primary-season votes, will work to build a centrist faction within the GOP to mirror the moderate "New Democrats." But if Bush struggles as president, and if McCain loses on key issues such as defense funding and campaign finance reform, advisers say he may challenge Bush in the same way the reformist Teddy Roosevelt, McCain's hero, battled a conservative Republican, William Howard Taft, in 1912.

    Over the last two years, McCain has undergone a virtual ideological conversion, severing almost all ties to the right wing of the GOP. In addition to supporting legislation adamantly opposed by most of his Republican colleagues, he has joined Democrats in becoming a leading sponsor of patients' rights, fewer tax breaks for the rich and new gun control measures.

    Asked if he plans to run for president again as a Republican or independent, McCain said, "I don't envision running again." He said Democrats "approached me a couple of times" to discuss party switching, but he said he told them he has "no cause to leave the Republican Party, period." He said his willingness to talk should not be interpreted as a signal of his willingness to abandon the GOP. McCain aides say his only goal for the moment is to influence the Republican Party.

    Whether or not McCain leaves the GOP, he has transformed himself from quirky conservative before the 2000 campaign to spokesman for an embattled progressive wing of the Republican Party today.

    McCain's agenda, and that of a prospective McCain-led third party, is a hawkish foreign policy, domestic reform and a call for universal national service for young Americans. McCain sees each party held hostage by its base -- Democrats wedded to entitlements and Republicans dominated by corporate interests -- thus leaving room for a centrist populism. A couple of McCain's advisers have convinced themselves he could win the presidency in 2004 as a third-party candidate. Others suggest that even if he lost, he could reshape politics more to his liking for years to come.

    Source: Thomas Edsall and Dana Milbank, Washington Post, Page A1
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    Joe Moakley on Foreign Policy : Jun 2, 2001

    Greatest accomplishment was cutting off aid to El Salvador

    Moakley said he considered his greatest achievement his work to cut off military aid to El Salvador and the effort to prosecute the murderers of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in 1989. Moakley led a special congressional task force whose findings helped convict two Salvadoran soldiers and put an end to US aid to the Central American nation. “It is never a crime to speak up for the poor and helpless, or the ill; it is never a crime to tell the truth; it is never a crime to demand justice; it is never a crime to teach people their rights; it is never a crime to struggle for a just peace,” he said about his effort. “It is never a crime. It is always a duty.”
    Source: Pamela Ferdinand, Washington Post, p. A3
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    Steve Lynch on Government Reform : May 30, 2001

    Serves on commerce, ethics, and rules committees

      Committees on which the legislator serves:
    • COMMERCE AND LABOR (Senate Chairperson)
    DISTRICT DESCRIPTION: The district lies entirely within the city of Boston and includes the neighborhoods of South Boston, Chinatown, Back Bay and Bay Village. It also includes portions of Dorchester, the South End, Beacon Hill, Roxbury and Allston.
    Source: State Legislature web site
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    Harry Reid on Environment : May 28, 2001

    More energy efficiency, no drilling in ANWR

    The Senate is expected to reorganize itself upon returning from its Memorial Day recess [as a result of Jim Jeffords’ resignation from the GOP]. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say the change will be abrupt, broad, and deep: The Republican-led Senate dwelt on tax cuts, energy production, and Bush-style education reform. The Democratic-led Senate is likely to shift the focus to health care, energy efficiency, and Ted Kennedy-style education priorities. Democratic Whip Harry Reid (D, NV) said the agenda is likely to include a minimum wage increase, a prescription drug benefit as part of Medicare, and energy initiatives excluding drilling in ANWR but including conservation measures and some relief for California.

    Democrats plan to give new impetus to election law reforms and will lean on the House to act soon on campaign finance legislation, Reid said. Democrats also intend to push for privacy initiatives and to propose modest and as yet undefined gun control measures.

    Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, p. A-6
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    Tom Daschle on Principles & Values : May 28, 2001

    Shift away from Bush priorities will follow shift in Senate

    When Democrats take control of the Senate early in June, they plan swift action on patients’ rights legislation, followed by rapid-fire consideration of other long-stalled Democratic initiatives. Along the way, they intend to sidetrack many of President Bush’s proposals. Soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D, SD), spelling out some of the practical effects of the new political reality on Capitol Hill, said that Bush priorities such as a missile-defense shield, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and expanding nuclear energy will be shelved.

    Flexing the political muscle he gained with Vermont Sen. James Jeffords’ decision to leave the Republican Party, Daschle said Democrats will have one-person majorities in committees. While offering olive branches to the president and GOP Senators, Daschle made it clear that there had been a sea change in Washington. The Senate is expected to reorganize itself upon returning from its Memorial Day recess.

    Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, p. A-1
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    Colin Powell on Free Trade : May 8, 2001

    Democracy flowers when trade is free

    The White House began a week of lobbying for its free trade agenda with both Bush and Powell speaking to the Council of the Americas, a business group meeting in Washington. Powell said democracy flowers when trade is free. “Did NAFTA hurt democracy in Mexico? No,” Powell said. “Today Mexico has a president elected from the opposition, the first in 70 years.”
    Source: USA Today, p. 8A
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    Dick Cheney on Environment : May 8, 2001

    Give nuclear powera fresh look

    Nuclear power can both solve America’s energy woes and help protect the environment, Vice President Cheney told CNN. The answers, Cheney said, lie in increasing the supply of energy sources -- a policy that would include giving nuclear power “a fresh look.” Cheney said, “It is a safe technology and doesn’t emit any carbon dioxide at all. With the gas prices rising the way they are, nuclear is looking like a good alternative.”

    Cheney acknowledged that the problem of nuclear waste was “a tough one” and that the US would need to establish a single location to dump the waste, a program he said has been very successful in Europe. “Right now we’ve got waste piling up at reactors all over the country,” he said. “Eventually, there ought to be a permanent repository.” Cheney foresees an additional 1,300 to 1,900 new power plants over the next 20 years to meet demand -- some of which could be nuclear plants -- along with a number of refineries to process oil.

    Source: Interview with CNN’s John King
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    Donald Rumsfeld on Defense : May 7, 2001

    Abandon the “two major war” basis for size of military

    Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is set to unveil sweeping changes in US military strategy, including the formal abandonment of the “two major war” yardstick that for a decade has been used to determine the size of the military. Rumsfeld will seek final approval for the new US strategy, which appears to involve some of the biggest changes in the US military in a decade.

    Putting aside the “two major war” approach is more a matter of the size of the military than of planning for war. For about a decade, the military has used the possibility of having to fight wars in two places -- Korea and Iraq are the two examples frequently used -- to figure out the minimum number of troops, airplanes, ships and gear needed. Among other things, abandoning the approach will remove a floor that for years has kept the active-duty military at about 1.4 million people. [The new policy would] put less emphasis on preparing for conventional warfare and more on handling murkier situations.

    Source: Thomas E. Ricks and Walter Pincus, Washington Post, p. A01
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    George W. Bush on Social Security : May 2, 2001

    Bush commission members all back privatization

    Bush named a bipartisan commission today to study Social Security reform and develop a plan to let workers invest some of their payroll taxes in private accounts. The co-chairman will be former New York senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a prominent Democrat who has long urged partial privatization of the government retirement program. The other members of the new commission, all of whom also support privatization, include academics and former lawmakers.

    Congressional Democrats immediately complained that the commission is made up only of those who already support Bush’s plan to allow taxpayers to put part of their 12.4% Social Security payroll tax into private retirement accounts. Supporters of the idea say it would allow workers to reap higher returns.

    Reforms are needed because the program will go broke by 2037. Opponents call Bush’s plan too risky, especially in light of recent stock market turbulence.

    Source: Mimi Hall, USA Today, p. 7A
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    Gerald Ford on Principles & Values : May 1, 2001

    Profile in Courage Award for pardon of Nixon

    Former president Gerald Ford was named this year’s winner of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation’s Profile in Courage Award for pardoning former president Richard Nixon in 1974. Many believe the pardon cost Ford re-election in 1976 and prevented a full airing of a scandal that involved bribery and political spying. But the givers of the award say the move spared the nation a protracted legal battle. “This had to be considered a great act of political courage because he knew what the public’s attitude was,” said the chair of the award committee.

    Nixon resigned Aug. 8, 1974, rather than be impeached on charges of obstructing justice. Ford pardoned him a month later for any crimes he might have committed while in office.

    Source: USA Today, p. 4A
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    Lindsey Graham on Abortion : Apr 27, 2001

    Federal crime to harm fetus during an assault

    Abortion foes won House approval of legislation that would make it a federal crime to harm or kill a fetus during an assault. The legislation would create a federal offense for destroying or injuring a fetus at any stage of development during an assault. 24 states have similar laws. The measure would not affect a woman who had a legal abortion of health providers who perform the procedure.

    Supporters of the legislation said the new crime is not related to abortion but would protect women who choose to have their babies. They did not use the word abortion in their arguments, and they referred to fetuses as “unborn children.” Rep. Lindsey Graham (R, SC), who wrote the bill, said, “America is deeply divided about government interfering with the right to choose, but that doesn’t mean we consider the unborn child an enemy.” Critics said the measure was unconstitutional and an effort to undo Roe v. Wade, by classifying a fetus as a living being, which the Supreme Court did not do.

    Source: USA Today, by Tom Squitieri, p. 4A
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    Mel Martinez on Welfare & Poverty : Apr 27, 2001

    More spending on homeownership & mutifamily loans

    In this administration’s first 100 days, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez kept his promise to focus on home ownership while also bringing sound management to the agency. “During my confirmation hearing, I outlined my plans to promote home ownership and to make HUD work better for our communities,” said Martinez. “I am confident our track record over the past 100 days reflects our sincere commitment to do just that.”

    In only a little over 3 months, Martinez proposed a 6.8% budget increase that will expand homeownership opportunities and for the first time in nine years, he raised multifamily loan limits by 25%, to spur construction.

    Martinez has also been extremely responsive to the nation’s immediate needs, earmarking $105 million to help pay skyrocketing utility bills for public housing residents and expediting federal assistance to communities in Washington State following the devastating earthquake in March.

    Source: Press Release
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    George W. Bush on China : Apr 26, 2001

    Do “whatever it takes” to defend Taiwan, including military

    Pres. Bush said he would do “whatever it took”-including the use of US military forces-to defend Taiwan against China, potentially adding new tension to the troubled US-China relationship.

    Bush touched off the controversy in a morning TV interview when he was asked if the US would defend Taiwan with the full force of the US military. “Whatever it took to help Taiwan defend herself,” he replied. In later interviews, Bush said military action was “certainly an option,” but he also said that Taiwan should not declare its independence.

    The US has long supported a “one China” principle, but has insisted that Taiwan and China resolve their differences peacefully. Bush and his aides said the president’s remarks were not meant to signal a change in policy. Under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, the US is obligated to provide Taiwan with equipment to defend itself. Whatever else the US might do to defend Taiwan has been left deliberately vague by previous administrations.

    Source: Inland Valley [So. Cal.] Daily Bulletin, p. 1
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    Jesse Helms on Immigration : Apr 18, 2001

    Work with new Mexican government to reduce immigration

    There is no voice more critical of Mexico than that of Jesse Helms. But Helms, meeting with his Mexican counterpart for the first time, suggested that democratic change in Mexico had helped change his attitude. “It is true that over the course of my public life I have criticized certain political leaders and policies of Mexico,” he said. “But I am not now, and have never been, a critic of Mexico.”

    “The best way to discourage illegal immigration to the US is to encourage in Mexico market reforms and economic opportunity,“ he said. ”President Fox is committed to this, and I am committed to helping him achieve it.“ During the meeting, he urged Mexico to help enforce the US-Mexican border-even as Fox has expressed interest in working toward the eventual free movement of workers between both countries. Helms described creating ”a new era of cooperation ... allowing us to work together to secure our common border and discourage the illegal immigration that serves neither your country nor mine.“

    Source: Associated Press in NY Times
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    Rev. Jesse Jackson on China : Apr 10, 2001

    Appeal to Chinese morality; apologize when needed

    Jesse Jackson has offered to go to China to work for the release of 24 US servicemen. “If a delegation appealing to the Chinese directly would help, we’d be willing,” Jackson said. “We’ve done it before, and each time we were successful.”

    Jackson said he was not criticizing President Bush’s efforts, but pointed to international disputes he has successfully mediated, including helping free Americans in Syria, Iraq and Yugoslavia. “In each instance, we had to make a moral appeal,” Jackson said. “You do it in a way that does honor to our country. Religious people can be a bridge.“

    Jackson said he would not interfere with US diplomatic efforts, but added that he thought the US should apologize for the collision of a US spy plane and a Chinese fighter that led to the present standoff between the two countries. ”I think our government should say: ‘If we have violated you in any way, it was not intentional and we apologize,“‘ Jackson said. ”Getting Americans home is worth expressing an apology.“

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    Gary Johnson on Drugs : Apr 9, 2001

    War on Drugs is a miserable failure; $6M for treatment

    California and Arizona have gone the furthest in decriminalizing non-violent drug use, raising the issue’s profile natioannaly and spurring about 10 other states this year to consider a similar philosophical shift. Arguing that the multibillion-dollar drug war has been a failure, legislatures in New York, Hawaii, Arkansas, and elsewhere are considering revisions to mandatory sentence laws for low-level drug offenders and may provide millions of dollars to drug diversion programs.

    Last month, the New Mexico legislature approved five drug bills proposed by Republican Gov. Gary Johnson, an ardent supporter of decriminalizing drugs. Included in the package are measures that will allocate $6 million to expand treatment services, legal protections for syringe sales, and restoring voting rights for felons who have served their time. “The war on drugs is a miserable failure,” Johnson said. “50% of the money for prisons and courts is spent on drugs. What we’re doing isn’t working.”

    Source: V. Dion Haynes, Chicago Tribune, p. 6
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    John McCain on Government Reform : Apr 2, 2001

    CFR passes Senate; focus on House, not court challenges

    The Senate is expected to pass a bill to ban unlimited contributions to political parties, a practice known as “soft money.” Supporters, including Senate sponsors John McCain, R-AZ, and Russ Feingold, D-WI, say the bill will break large donors’ power over lawmakers. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, and other opponents argue it violates the right of free speech.

    In addition to banning soft money, it would raise the amount of direct contributions for candidates from $1,000 to $2,000, beef up disclosure requirements and restrict advertising by independent groups. McCain said he would worry about a court challenge when it comes. First, he said, he will focus on getting the bill through the House of Representatives.

    Republicans left open the possibility that McCain would not even be named to the conference committee [which will work on the bill after House approval]. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-NE, said McCain’s views on campaign finance reform did not square with those of most of his GOP colleagues.

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    Jeff Sessions on Budget & Economy : Mar 16, 2001

    Tighten bankruptcy rules; it costs society & is immoral

    The Senate voted overwhelmingly today to overhaul the nation’s bankruptcy laws and make it harder for people to erase their debts. The lopsided vote, 83 to 15, makes it far more likely that the federal bankruptcy code will be rewritten this year. The House has passed a similar bill, and Pres. Bush has signaled that he will sign it.

    The bill’s sponsors said it would end abuses by people who have the ability to pay some of their debts but who choose instead to erase them by filing for bankruptcy. They said that abusive debtors who entered bankruptcy had forced up the cost of borrowing for all other consumers. “They have to raise the interest rates on all the rest of us,” said Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama. “I absolutely think this is a moral decision,” Mr. Sessions said of his support for the bill, describing it as an issue of personal responsibility. “It’s unhealthy to promote the idea that a person who can pay a substantial portion of his or her debts can just walk away.”

    Source: Philip Shenon, NY Times
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    Paul Wellstone on Budget & Economy : Mar 16, 2001

    Bankruptcy is safety net; reform only helps big banks

    The Senate voted overwhelmingly today to overhaul the nation’s bankruptcy laws and make it harder for people to erase their debts. The bill’s critics say that credit- card companies and other lenders are themselves largely to blame for the explosion in bankruptcy-specifically, that their mass solicitations for high-interest credit cards and other loans have encouraged irresponsible spending that has landed borrowers in bankruptcy court.

    Opponents said the bill would provide billions of dollars to credit-card companies and other lenders over the next decade at the expense of vulnerable debtors, many of them forced into bankruptcy because of medical bills, job loss or divorce. Senator Paul Wellstone, who was the most vocal opponent of the bill, said the bankruptcy system was meant to be a safety net for honest debtors. “It’s being shredded by this piece of legislation,” Wellstone said. “This bill is a wish list for the credit-card industry and a nightmare for vulnerable families.”

    Source: Philip Shenon, NY Times
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    Dick Gephardt on Tax Reform : Mar 8, 2001

    Crazy to cut taxes without creating a budget first

    Democrats were angered that the GOP leadership have pushed to get the tax cut bill through the House so rapidly, saying it makes little sense to draft a tax cut before creating a fiscal year 2002 budget resolution. “This is happening without a budget, without hearings, without input from anybody,” Dick Gephardt said, complaining that the debate structure laid out by the majority Republicans did no justice to a bill with a size & scope such as this one. “This is the biggest tax bill we have ever taken up in this Congress,“ he said. ”They’ve scheduled two hours debate on a $1 trillion tax cut. That’s crazy.“

    A Democratic alternative that would have slashed taxes by some $600 billion over 10 years included a doubling of the standard deduction for married couples -- a facet not included in the Republican bill. The Republicans have said they wish to get the tax rate changes passed first, and they plan to return later to issues such as marriage penalty relief and elimination of the estate tax.

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    Gray Davis on Budget & Economy : Mar 1, 2001

    Retail energy market was never deregulated

    The system we inherited, which was put in place without a dissenting vote in the legislature, deregulated the wholesale market. But it did not deregulate the retail market. It lowered rates 10% and froze them for five years. We call this a flawed deregulation scheme. That’s why we say that because it was not deregulation; we deregulated the wholesale market but froze the retail market. Also, we did not do what every other state that deregulated did, which was require that the people who buy our power plants to sell us back the power. Every other state that sold off its power plants did that. So we have 5000 megawatts being sent out of the state serving other markets in search of higher prices.

    So that is what I inherited, a flawed deregulation scheme which under the best of circumstances was likely to produce distortions. The good news is that we’re not complaining. We’re not looking to Washington to solve our problems. We’re fixing them ourselves.

    Source: Press Release
    Click for more headlines by Gray Davis on Budget & Economy

    Christie Todd Whitman on Health Care : Feb 28, 2001

    New diesel pollution control protects public health

    The EPA will move forward with its rule to make heavy-duty trucks and buses run cleaner. EPA will require a 97% reduction in the sulfur content of highway diesel fuel from its current level of 500 parts per million to 15 parts per million. Whitman said, “This action [should] not be delayed, in order to protect public health and the environment.”

    Once this action is fully implemented, 2.6 million tons of smog-causing nitrogen oxide emissions will be reduced each year. Soot or particulate matter will be reduced by 110,000 tons a year. An estimated 8,300 premature deaths, 5,500 cases of chronic bronchitis and 17,600 cases of acute bronchitis in children will also be prevented annually. It is also estimated to help avoid more than 360,000 asthma attacks and 386,000 cases of respiratory symptoms in asthmatic children every year. In addition, 1.5 million lost work days, 7,100 hospital visits and 2,400 emergency room visits for asthma will be prevented.

    Source: Press Release, “Diesel-Sulfur Fuel”
    Click for more headlines by Christie Todd Whitman on Health Care

    Christie Todd Whitman on Technology : Feb 28, 2001

    $25M for integrating state environmental information systems

    EPA will place a greater emphasis on innovative approaches to environmental protection, such as market-based incentives, and will request $25 million in grant funding to help states better integrate their environmental information systems. At present, the data collected on various systems are done separately. “There are air data and water data but they are not easily integrated,” Whitman said. “Doing a better job of integrating these systems will facilitate results-based management.”
    Source: EPA Press Release, “Budget”
    Click for more headlines by Christie Todd Whitman on Technology

    Rush Limbaugh on Tax Reform : Feb 27, 2001

    No trigger on tax cuts, “trigger lock” instead

    The Democrats are running around all over the place talking about a “trigger” on President Bush’s tax cut. Here’s the truth: Gephardt and the Democrats want a trigger that calls off any scheduled tax cut if the surpluses fail to materialize. What can Democrats do to kill the surplus? Spend it!

    If they go on a spending spree, they wipe out the surplus, trigger the trigger, and there is no tax cut. That’s why they’re for it. The existence of a trigger, in essence, puts their finger on it. They can pull the trigger on the tax cut and kill it, simply by spending more money! You know what we need instead of a trigger? We need a trigger lock in this bill. If they’re going to put a trigger in, that cancels tax cuts if the surplus doesn’t materialize, then we need a trigger lock so they can’t pull the trigger and spend your money. In reality, the trigger should be on the spending, not the tax cut. The Democrats have it completely backwards.

    Click for more headlines by Rush Limbaugh on Tax Reform

    Jesse Ventura on Government Reform : Feb 26, 2001

    Will not actively fund-raise for re-election: “No strings”

    Maybe my success is partly about the fact that I have not had a fundraiser since I was sworn into office. No strings attached. It’s great.

    I get criticized for making money on weekends. I’m an entertainer and have been all my life and so occasionally I will make a few dollars entertaining on the weekends. But I wonder what my critics would say if I was traveling around every weekend raising money for my campaign chest? That would be okay, I’m sure. No thanks. I don’t take bribes. In fact I recommend it to all politicians. You sleep well. And you don’t have to go to those God-awful fundraisers, and pretend you are aware of some lobbyist’s problem that you’ve never heard of.

    And you know what? Having no strings attached is so great that if I run for re-election I will promise the people of Minnesota that I will not actively raise a dime. The people of Minnesota will know my record. If they approve, they will re-elect me. If not, they won’t. Win or lose, my conscience will be clear.

    Source: Speech to the National Press Club, Washington, DC
    Click for more headlines by Jesse Ventura on Government Reform

    Jesse Gordon on Budget & Economy : Feb 25, 2001

    Cal. energy: let prices rise, and crisis will disappear

    The current “crisis” with California energy prices, many politicians say, indicates a failure of electricity deregulation. That’s simply untrue - it means energy prices were not fully deregulated at all. In their “deregulation,” California allowed suppliers from anywhere, but required that they meet prices that the state determined. The “crisis” came about because the cost of supplying electricity exceeded the allowed price. The solution is to deregulate prices - that would end the “crisis” in a very short time.

    Yes, the poor would be hurt by rising oil & gas prices. The way to deal with that is to implement programs to help the poor. For example, there’s a federal program called LIHEAP which pays for heating oil for low-income people. That program could be replicated for paying for electricity. Helping out the poor shouldn’t require the rest of us to live in a constant energy crisis.

    Source: America Asks About Politics,
    Click for more headlines by Jesse Gordon on Budget & Economy

    Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values : Feb 22, 2001

    Not involved in pardons, neither with husband nor brother

    Sen. Clinton said she was disappointed after learning her brother had been paid to help two convicts win clemency from her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Clinton said she had no knowledge that her brother Hugh Rodham had been paid almost $400,000 for legal work for two applicants for presidential clemency, Carlos Vignali and Almon Braswell.

    Although she demanded he return the money, Clinton said she has not spoken with her brother at all since the news broke. “I knew nothing about my brother’s involvement in these pardons,“ she said. ”I love my brother, but. I’m very disappointed and I’m very disturbed.“ Rodham’s lawyer said he had returned most of the fees to both clemency clients. She added that she had no role in any of her husband’s 11th-hour pardons.

    The disclosures opened up a new area for congressional investigators, who were already looking into a controversy over former President Clinton’s pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich and his business partner.

    Source: Kate Snow & Eileen O’Connor,
    Click for more headlines by Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values

    Jimmy Carter on Principles & Values : Feb 21, 2001

    Former President criticizes Clinton’s last-minute pardons

    Former President Carter said that Bill Clinton abused his power and brought disgrace to the White House with his last-minute pardon of fugitive Marc Rich. “I think President Clinton made one of his most serious mistakes in the way he handled the pardon situation the last few hours he was in office,” Carter said . “A number of them were quite questionable, including about 40 not recommended by the Justice Department.” Of the Rich pardon, Carter said: “I don’t think there is any doubt that some of the factors in his pardon were attributable to his large gifts. In my opinion, that was disgraceful.“ Clinton has insisted there was nothing wrong with his pardon of Rich, who until then had been wanted by the Justice Department for allegedly evading more than $48 million in taxes, fraud and illegal oil deals with Iran. Carter said he pardoned about 500 people during his four years in the White House, most of those in the first three years, and none during the final weeks of his term.
    Source: Associated Press on
    Click for more headlines by Jimmy Carter on Principles & Values

    Mike Easley on Education : Feb 19, 2001

    Use a lottery to fund elementary schools

    In this tight fiscal environment, it is going to take some creative solutions to continue funding real progress in education. The truth is, North Carolina is already funding smaller classes and education improvements. Unfortunately, we’re funding them in VA and GA and soon in SC and TN. We are spending hundreds of millions of North Carolina’s dollars to build new schools in other states, while we’re packing our kids in trailers at home. We are the only state that plays the lottery and gives away the proceeds.

    I want to keep North Carolina’s money in North Carolina’s schools for North Carolina’s children. Those resources could, and should, stay home. I am not saying a lottery for education is the only solution, it’s just one solution. If anyone has another way to find the $400 - $500 million for education, I am open to it. But you can’t just say “no” we’re against a lottery-finish the sentence-tell me what you’re for, because next year 100,000 five-year olds will show up at the schoolhouse door.

    Source: State of the State Address to North Carolina Legislature
    Click for more headlines by Mike Easley on Education

    Bill Clinton on Principles & Values : Feb 18, 2001

    Rich pardon based on numerous foreign policy & legal reasons

      Because of the intense scrutiny and criticism of the pardons of Marc Rich and his partner Pincus Green, I want to explain what I did and why. They were indicted in 1983 on charges of racketeering and mail and wire fraud, arising out of their oil business. I decided to grant the pardons for the following legal and foreign policy reasons:
    1. Other oil companies that had structured transactions like Rich’s were sued civilly instead of being indicted;
    2. In 1985, the Department of Energy found that the manner in which the Rich/Green companies had accounted for [other related] transactions was proper;
    3. two highly regarded tax experts reviewed the transactions in question and concluded that the companies “were correct in their US income tax treatment.”
    4. their companies had paid $200 million in fines, penalties, and taxes [despite the tax review];
    5. finally, many Israeli and Jewish community leaders urged Rich’s pardon because of his contributions and services to charitable causes.
    Source: Editorial by Clinton in NY Times
    Click for more headlines by Bill Clinton on Principles & Values

    Donald Evans on Technology : Feb 17, 2001

    Census redistricting will be based on Evan’s (GOP) figures

    Commerce Secretary Evans said yesterday that he-not the census director-will decide how to tally the 2000 Census, virtually ensuring that Republicans will prevail in the bitter dispute over which set of population figures is released to states for redrawing political boundaries.

    Evans’s decision, which triggered strong criticism from Democrats, revoked a Clinton administration policy that put the politically charged decision in the hands of the census director. At issue is whether redistricting should be based on raw numbers from the census or figures that have been adjusted to compensate for people who were missed-disproportionately minorities, immigrants and the poor. Evans said he would seek advice from career Census Bureau officials and others, but he is widely expected to decide against adjustment.

    With states due to receive redistricting data next month, the decision must be made soon. Because control of the US House hinges on only a few seats, the political stakes are high.

    Source: D’Vera Cohn, Washington Post, Page A12
    Click for more headlines by Donald Evans on Technology

    George W. Bush on War & Peace : Feb 16, 2001

    Bomb Iraq routinely to enforce no-fly zone

    Q: What is the message that you want to send with the new bombing of Iraq?

    A: The US is engaged in the Middle East and Persian Gulf. We will remain so. Since 1991, our country has been enforcing what’s called a no-fly zone. A routine mission was conducted to enforce the no-fly zone. And it is a mission about which I was informed and I authorized. But, I repeat, it is a routine mission, and we will continue to enforce the no-fly zone until the world is told otherwise.

    Q: Does this signal a hardening of the US position towards Iraq?

    A: Saddam Hussein has got to understand that we expect him to conform to the agreement that he signed after Desert Storm. We will enforce the no-fly zone, both south and north. Our intention is to make sure that the world is as peaceful as possible. And we’re going to watch very carefully as to whether or not he develops weapons of mass destruction, and if we catch him doing so we’ll take the appropriate action.

    Source: Press Conference, San Cristobal, Mexico
    Click for more headlines by George W. Bush on War & Peace

    Rudy Giuliani on Civil Rights : Feb 16, 2001

    Anti-Catholic art is disgusting; appoints decency council

    A photography exhibit that includes a work depicting Jesus as a naked woman is stirring debate at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The work “Yo Mama’s Last Supper” features the photographer nude and surrounded by 12 black apostles. Another collage depicts a topless woman, crucified.

    “I think what they did is disgusting, it’s outrageous,” Giuliani said, adding that anti-Catholicism “is accepted in our city and in our society.” Giuliani is appointing a task force “that can set decency standards for those institutions that are using the taxpayers’ money.“

    In 1999, the museum’s ”Sensation“ show featured an elephant dung-embellished Virgin Mary. The mayor froze the museum’s annual $7.2 million city subsidy, then sued in state court to evict the museum. A judge ruled that the city had violated the First Amendment and restored the funding. This time, Giuliani said he would go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, whose decisions he said are based on ”showing decency and respect for religion.“

    Source: Associated Press in NY Times
    Click for more headlines by Rudy Giuliani on Civil Rights

    Norman Mineta on Government Reform : Feb 15, 2001

    $38 million to promote seat belt use

    Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta today announced that 43 states will share approximately $38.2 million in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration grants for states that develop innovative projects to increase seat belt use. “I am pleased to see these funds provided to states to promote seat belt use,” Secretary Mineta said. “Everyone should buckle up for every trip because seat belts are the best protection available in a crash. Their use improves safety and can prevent injury and death.”
    Source: Press Release
    Click for more headlines by Norman Mineta on Government Reform

    Rod Paige on Education : Feb 15, 2001

    No Child Left Behind: flexible non-extreme framework

    1. Bush’s proposed program, No Child Left Behind is, as the President has described it, “a framework from which we can all work together -- Democrat, Republican, and Independent-to strengthen our elementary and secondary schools.” This means that within the context of principles like accountability for results, choice for parents and students, and flexibility for schools and teachers, we are open to your ideas on how to meet our shared goals.
    2. No Child Left Behind is bold and ambitious, but it is not extreme in any sense of the word. Rather, it builds very deliberately on existing efforts at the Federal, State, and local levels to use standards, assessments, accountability, flexibility, and choice to improve the quality of education for all of our children.
    3. It is uncomfortably clear that our system of elementary and secondary education is failing to do its job for far too many of our children -- a failure that the American people will no longer tolerate.
    Source: Senate testimony, “No Child Left Behind”
    Click for more headlines by Rod Paige on Education

    Bob Wise on Health Care : Feb 14, 2001

    More discounts for prescription drugs

    We now have a strategy to contain prescription drug costs: we’re going to create a pharmacy benefit program for our poorest senior citizens. We’re going to expand the discount program for seniors above the poverty level. We’re developing a drug benefit plan that could be an add-on for people on Medicare and employer-based insurance. And we’re going to pool the buying power of all the state agencies that purchase medicine and use this to drive a harder bargain with the drug companies.
    Source: State of the State Address to West Virginia Legislature
    Click for more headlines by Bob Wise on Health Care

    Clarence Thomas on Principles & Values : Feb 13, 2001

    People who stand up for beliefs are culturally intimidated

    Speaking to a conservative gathering, Justice Clarence Thomas said that the nation was engaged in a cultural war in which people who stood for their beliefs were often intimidated into silence. “One cannot be cowed by criticism,” Justice Thomas said. He said that when, as a black public official in 1980, he first criticized programs like affirmative action and busing for school integration, he was “subjected to intimidation.”

    “Debate was not permitted,” he said. “Orthodoxy was enforced.” Thomas delivered a version of a speech that he has given before and that has the principal theme that courage is required to battle an intellectual orthodoxy imposed on people. The theme was distinctly autobiographical, as he has often been the object of withering criticism for his conservative views that are at odds with the views of most other black Americans. He said that “today, no one can honestly be surprised by the venomous attacks” unleashed on anyone who disagreed with conventional wisdom.

    Source: NY Times, p. A22
    Click for more headlines by Clarence Thomas on Principles & Values

    Dennis Miller on Civil Rights : Feb 9, 2001

    Tolerance is fine; just don’t make me pay for it

    I will accept anyone’s lifestyle, appearance, belief or idiosyncrasy just as long as they don’t ask me to pay for it or wanna sit next to me on a plane and talk about it. What I do object to are fringe groups who go beyond the notion of tolerance and demand our approval.

    Why can’t anyone just shut up and listen anymore? Whatever happened to the genteel art of letting someone go on and on thinking he’s right while you bask securely in the knowledge that he or she is completely full of it?

    Source: Dennis Miller Show, “Rant”
    Click for more headlines by Dennis Miller on Civil Rights

    Lincoln Almond on Budget & Economy : Feb 7, 2001

    $325M tax cuts & business incentives to attract investment

    We’ve strengthened our economy. That’s enabled us to cut the income tax for the fourth year in a row and we’ll do it again this year. All told, we’ll ease the tax burden on families by $204 million dollars. And when you tally up all of the incentives we’ve put in place for business, it’s over $121 million. That’s encouraging existing companies to expand, and it’s attracting new investment to our state.
    Source: State of the State Address to Rhode Island Legislature
    Click for more headlines by Lincoln Almond on Budget & Economy

    Donny DiFrancesco on Tax Reform : Feb 5, 2001

    High property taxes obstruct high quality of life

    One way government works for people is by removing obstacles to a better quality of life. For many New Jerseyans-from the young couple starting out to the senior citizens striving to remain in their homes-there is no greater obstacle than high property taxes.

    I have a plan for easing this burden. I ask my colleagues in both houses to join me in enacting Property Tax Relief Now. Returning excess surplus to the taxpayers is the right thing to do. It is relief they need. It is relief they deserve.

    Source: Address To The People of New Jersey as Acting Governor
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    Frank Keating on Tax Reform : Feb 5, 2001

    Reduce and ultimately abolish the estate tax

    We have talked about the estate tax and we have worked around the edges, but we haven’t done what we have to do. To save Oklahoma’s family farms and businesses, we need to become a federal pick up state and slowly, but ever so surely, reduce and ultimately abolish the estate tax. It is a non-budget item; we can do it this year.
    Source: State of the State address to Oklahoma legislature
    Click for more headlines by Frank Keating on Tax Reform

    Ann Veneman on Free Trade : Feb 3, 2001

    Open markets help farmers

    Highlighting her belief that more open markets are needed to help promote U.S. food and agricultural products, Veneman was actively involved in the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations, NAFTA, and the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement. Secretary Veneman also made it a priority to expand global opportunities for California agriculture.
    Source: Agriculture Department’s web site, “Secretary’s Bio”
    Click for more headlines by Ann Veneman on Free Trade

    Anthony Principi on Defense : Feb 3, 2001

    Veterans Administration is second-largest federal department

    As Secretary, Mr. Principi directs the federal government’s second largest department, responsible for a nationwide system of health care services, benefits programs, and national cemeteries for America’s veterans and dependents. With an annual budget of $48 billion, VA employs some 219,000 people at hundreds of VA medical centers, clinics, benefits offices, and national cemeteries throughout the country.
    Source: V.A. web site, “Secretary’s Bio”
    Click for more headlines by Anthony Principi on Defense

    Elaine Chao on Foreign Policy : Feb 3, 2001

    Established Peace Corps programs in Baltic republics

    Chao was Director of the Peace Corps, the world’s largest international volunteer organization. As Director, she established the first Peace Corps program in the Baltic nations of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.
    Source: Dept. of Labor web site, “Secretary’s Bio”
    Click for more headlines by Elaine Chao on Foreign Policy

    Spencer Abraham on Budget & Economy : Feb 3, 2001

    No price caps on electricity; focus on reducing demand

    Abraham rejected a plea from several Western governors today for the federal government to impose temporary price caps on wholesale electricity, after listening to their concerns that “exorbitant” and “out of control” electricity costs were spreading economic havoc across the region. “At a time when demand is a very serious challenge for us this summer,” Abraham said, “anything that puts disincentives in place, that would work against reducing demand, I think has to be looked at very closely.”
    Source: New York Times, p. A1
    Click for more headlines by Spencer Abraham on Budget & Economy

    Tommy Thompson on Health Care : Feb 2, 2001

    Vows to protect Medicare, add drug benefit

    We will modernize Medicare so it is effective and financially sound for today’s seniors and for tomorrow’s. And, we must find a way to provide seniors and the disabled affordable access to prescription drugs. In the next few weeks, we will craft a Patient’s Bill of Rights. We will aggressively act to provide access to affordable health insurance for the more than 43 million Americans who are uninsured.
    Source: Introductory speech to HHS Employees
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    John Engler on Tax Reform : Jan 31, 2001

    Strengthen Taxpayer Bill of Rights

    Just as taxpayers have a right to keep more of their money, they have a right to be treated fairly. Tonight, I urge you to strengthen our Taxpayer Bill of Rights by assuring homestead exemptions are received by those entitled to them, by requiring Boards of Review to provide residential property taxpayers with written explanations of decisions, and by easing electronic filing requirements.
    Source: State of the State Address to Michigan legislature
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    Maria Cantwell on Abortion : Jan 30, 2001

    Votes against Ashcroft, citing reproductive rights

    Senator Ashcroft has taken positions on reproductive rights -- an issue of critical importance to women in this country -- that are clearly outside the mainstream of public opinion. His record of pushing legislation limiting the right to a legal abortion and contraception, as Missouri Attorney General, Governor, and Senator, have caused great anxiety for many in my state. As Missouri Attorney General, he took up numerous cases in his crusade to challenge the Roe v. Wade decision.

    As my colleague Sen. Leahy stated previously, “there is no appointed position within the Federal Government that can affect more lives in more ways than the attorney general--we all look to the attorney general to ensure even-handed law enforcement; equal justice for all; (and) protection of our basic constitutional rights.” The bottom line is that: I am not convinced that Senator Ashcroft will enforce the letter and spirit of the law in the area of women’s reproductive rights.

    Source: Press Release, “Ashcroft”
    Click for more headlines by Maria Cantwell on Abortion

    Joseph Lieberman on School Choice : Jan 23, 2001

    Keep vouchers out of reforms, so reforms can get done

    Some moderate Republicans are worried that a prolonged battle over vouchers would endanger the more widely supported facet of Bush’s $47.6 billion education proposals. Joe Lieberman [and other Democrats will] introduce a bill which includes many of the popular GOP-sponsored accountability provisions minus the voucher plan. Lieberman said there were many similarities between the education proposals, but much work will be needed to build consensus.
    Click for more headlines by Joseph Lieberman on School Choice

    Ted Kennedy on School Choice : Jan 23, 2001

    Steadfast opponent of vouchers

    Most Democrats and a handful of moderate Republicans oppose federally funded vouchers. Sen. Kennedy has been a steadfast opponent. “I don’t think we ought to abandon schools by taking money away from public schools in order to save them. And that’s been my position for some period of time,” Kennedy said. “[Bush opposes that] position. But I can’t emphasize enough the other areas where the president was reaching out, in education and policy, and where there is very broad agreement.”
    Click for more headlines by Ted Kennedy on School Choice

    Zell Miller on Tax Reform : Jan 21, 2001

    Supports Bush’s $1.3 trillion tax cut

    Miller will co-sponsor President Bush’s 10-year, $1.3 trillion tax cut. Miller’s support for Bush’s tax cut is not shared by many Democrats on Capitol Hill. Democrats agree Congress should pass a tax cut, but that it needs to be smaller. Bush’s plan, they say, would eat up all of the surplus and then some.

    This isn’t the first time Miller has stepped out front on an issue. Miller was the first Democrat to put out a statement saying he would vote for John Ashcroft for attorney general.

    Source: Patty Davis,
    Click for more headlines by Zell Miller on Tax Reform

    Gale Norton on Environment : Jan 19, 2001

    Have open mind on global warming

    Q: You have written that there is little consensus over whether global warming is occurring.

    A: I will maintain an open mind and receive new scientific information as it is put forward. There is still disagreement as to the causes and the long- term future. And obviously, there is disagreement about what ought to be done in that regard. I will certainly rely on scientific information as it becomes available.

    Source: Confirmation Hearings, U.S. Senate
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    Libertarian Party on Environment : Jan 17, 2001

    Gale Norton is ‘giant leap’ for environmental sense

    Confirming former Libertarian Party member Gale Norton as Secretary of the Interior would be “one giant leap” towards more sensible federal environmental and land-use policies, the Libertarian Party said today. “The nomination of former Libertarian Gale Norton is one small step for the Republican Party, but one giant leap for Libertarian-style environmental policies,” said the party’s national director, Steve Dasbach. “Norton is a refreshing change of pace from the typical knee-jerk, anti-capitalism, tree-worshipping environmentalist -- and that makes her the best possible choice for Secretary of the Interior. She seems to support a sensible free-market environmentalism that balances the need for a healthy planet with the importance of liberty, property rights, and limited government. Norton, who served as attorney general of Colorado from 1991 to 1998, had an extensive history as a Libertarian Party activist before joining the Republican Party.
    Source: LP Press Release
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    Rick Perry on Budget & Economy : Jan 16, 2001

    Priorities: education; transportation; border; e-government

    Rick Perry presented his 2002-03 budget to the Texas Legislature, a spending plan that meets critical state needs & funds the state’s top priorities, while leaving nearly $200 million unspent for possible future education, health care or criminal justice needs. “Beyond meeting essential state needs, Texas should set clear priorities: education; transportation; the 1,200-mile border region; and utilizing advances in technology to make government more efficient, effective and convenient,” Perry said.

    “This budget meets important state needs-like education, health and criminal justice-and appropriately invests in the future, without raising taxes. The Texas economy is strong, but cooling, and that requires increased caution in the state budget. This proposal balances the competing demands for state resources and does so in a fiscally responsible manner.” The nation’s and the state’s cooling economy dictate that most of the increased spending go toward maintaining current government services.

    Source: Press Release, “State Budget”
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    Jean Carnahan on Principles & Values : Jan 8, 2001

    A centrist seeking commonsense solutions

    Jean Carnahan graduated from George Washington University with a degree in Business and Public Administration. She has three surviving children and two grandsons. Her son Russ is an attorney and Missouri legislator; Robin and Tom are also attorneys.

    In her new role as U.S. Senator, Carnahan views herself as a centrist, seeking commonsense solutions and as an advocate for Missouri jobs, schools, and families

    Source: Senate web site,
    Click for more headlines by Jean Carnahan on Principles & Values

    Mark Warner on Education : Jan 8, 2001

    High-Tech Partnership for Historically Black Colleges

      [Warner suports the] Virginia High-Tech Partnership, which links Virginia’s five Historically Black Colleges with more than 75 fast-growing high-tech businesses. Its accomplishments include:
    • Holding annual job fairs in which scores of companies pre-screen & interview students.
    • 17 companies offered students 25 internships or jobs in 1998.
    • 34 companies offered 53 students internships or jobs in 1999.
    • More than 65 companies are projected to offer students internships or jobs in 2000.
    Source:, “Leaving No One Behind”
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    Howard Dean on Health Care : Jan 4, 2001

    Keep “community rating”: insure older people at same rates

    Let me talk for a moment about what will not work. Vermont has a system of community rating where all age groups are charged the same for their coverage, despite the fact that older people use more health care than younger people. Some insurance companies left the state because they wanted to avoid insuring older people so they could make plenty of money by only covering low-risk Vermonters. Eliminating community rating will not make health insurance more affordable or accessible. It will simply add on another cost shift, causing those employees over 50 and their employers to pay even more money so that costs can be reduced for those under 35. I don’t believe Vermonters want this solution.

    Our challenge is to find solutions that will work. I am appointing a special Governor’s Commission on Health Care Availability and Affordability, to find ways we can achieve the dual goals of controlling costs and guaranteeing universal access.

    Source: State of the State Address to Vermont General Assembly
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    Jeanne Shaheen on Education : Jan 4, 2001

    Standards for teachers; kindergarten for kids

    The people of New Hampshire understand that funding alone will not give us excellent schools. We must set high standards for our schools and hold them accountable for meeting those standards. We have debated school accountability for three years. This year we must act.

    We must also improve educational opportunities for our youngest children. We must extend our kindergarten construction program and make sure that every five-year-old in New Hampshire has the opportunity to attend public kindergarten.

    Source: Inaugural Address to New Hampshire Legislature
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    Ted Turner on Environment : Jan 1, 2001

    Environmentalism is survival

    I see the whole field of environmentalism and population as nothing more than the survival of the human species.
    Source: home page
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    George Bush Sr. on Foreign Policy : Dec 25, 2000

    Supported 1990 South Africa sanctions

    In 1990, Bush met separately with South Africa’s reform-minded president, F. W. de Klerk, and with the newly freed black nationalist leader Nelson Mandela. By supporting sanctions against the South African government, Bush appeared to help speed the dismantling of its system of racial separation. His administration lifted the sanctions in 1991 after concluding that the requirements imposed by Congress had been met.
    Source: Grolier Encyclopedia on-line, “The Presidency”
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    Ronald Reagan on Budget & Economy : Dec 25, 2000

    U.S. economy does not need master planners, just freedom

    Carter had run for the presidency on a platform calling for what the Democrats called “national economic planning.” I’m sure they meant well - liberals usually do - but our economy was one of the great wonders of the world. It didn’t need master planners. It worked because it operated on principles of freedom, millions of free decisions how they wanted to work and live, how they wanted to spend their money, while reaping the rewards of their individual labor.
    Click for more headlines by Ronald Reagan on Budget & Economy

    Pat Buchanan on Principles & Values : Dec 10, 2000

    Buchanan more spoiler than Nader, in state-based analysis

    The conventional view is that Nader cost Gore a victory, while Buchanan was not a factor, because Nader won 2.8 million votes to Buchanan’s 450,000. But the key question is which states were so close that third-party voters could have made a difference, had they instead voted for Bush or Gore.

    There were 8 states in which no candidate received a majority of votes. In ME and NE, Gore won [by more than Buchanan’s vote], so those are moot. In FL and NH, Bush won, but by fewer votes than Nader received [i.e., Nader was the “spoiler” there].

    In the remaining four states, IA, NM, OR, and WI, Buchanan’s vote total exceeded the difference between Gore and Bush. Combined, these four states account for 30 electoral votes, or one more than FL and NH combined. In other words, if Buchanan has dropped out and his supporters had switched to Bush, Bush would not have needed Florida to become president. Click here for state-by-state vote tallies.

    Source: Davis Leonhardt, New York Times, p. 4
    Click for more headlines by Pat Buchanan on Principles & Values

    Ralph Nader on Principles & Values : Dec 10, 2000

    Nader less spoiler than Buchanan, in state-based analysis

    The conventional view is that Nader cost Gore a victory, while Buchanan was not a factor, because Nader won 2.8 million votes to Buchanan’s 450,000. But the key question is which states were so close that third-party voters could have made a difference, had they instead voted for Bush or Gore.

    There were 8 states in which no candidate received a majority of votes. In ME and NE, Gore won [by more than Buchanan’s vote], so those are moot. In FL and NH, Bush won, but by fewer votes than Nader received [i.e., Nader was the “spoiler” there].

    In the remaining four states, IA, NM, OR, and WI, Buchanan’s vote total exceeded the difference between Gore and Bush. Combined, these four states account for 30 electoral votes, or one more than FL and NH combined. In other words, if Buchanan has dropped out and his supporters had switched to Bush, Bush would not have needed Florida to become president. Click here for state-by-state vote tallies.

    Source: Davis Leonhardt, New York Times, p. 4
    Click for more headlines by Ralph Nader on Principles & Values

    Harry Browne on Principles & Values : Nov 22, 2000

    Florida is full of partisan power brokers

    The Florida ballot fiasco has produced at least one valuable benefit: It has shown us exactly how government actually operates. Almost everyone watching the news from Florida can see that anyone with the power to affect the outcome is a Democrat or Republican who is acting according to his own partisan interest.

    So the final outcome won’t depend on “truth” or “justice” or “fairness”-but on the party affiliation of whoever turns out to be the person making the final decision. In other words, what should be a non-partisan, objective ruling will instead be a partisan, politically motivated decision.

    Is that the way government should operate? Perhaps not, but that’s the way government does operate. And that’s the way government always operates. In fact, if politicians will act in such a blatantly self-interested way as they have in Florida with the whole country watching them, imagine what they do when there’s no press coverage of their decisions.

    Source: Press Release, “Liberty Wire”
    Click for more headlines by Harry Browne on Principles & Values

    Natural Law Party on Civil Rights : Nov 7, 2000

    Same sex marriage is not a government issue

    Government should not attempt to legislate morality or to intervene in the private moral decisions of its citizenry. Therefore, on principle, the Natural Law Party will not draft legislation to discriminate against, nor to actively support, same-sex marriage.
    Source: Natural Law Party Platform 2000
    Click for more headlines by Natural Law Party on Civil Rights

    Mel Carnahan on Principles & Values : Oct 30, 2000

    Jean Carnahan will accept appointment

    Jean Carnahan, the widow of Gov. Mel Carnahan, said she would accept appointment to the Senate if her husband wins the seat posthumously. “I just so much believed in the dreams and the hopes that my husband had, I didn’t want them to die,” she said. “I want to be a part of helping them stay alive.”

    Carnahan, a two-term governor, died in a plane crash October 16. Carnahan’s death came too late for his name to be replaced on the ballot. Last week, Gov. Roger Wilson said he would appoint Carnahan’s widow to fill the Senate seat should Carnahan win.

    The Carnahan-Ashcroft race was considered one of the tightest in the nation. But since the governor’s death, polls have shown him leading Ashcroft by margins of 5% to 11%. If Carnahan outpolls Ashcroft on November 7, Wilson said he would appoint Jean Carnahan to the Senate for two years. An election for a full six-year term would be held in 2002. Republicans in the state have raised questions about whether Carnahan’s election would be legal.

    Click for more headlines by Mel Carnahan on Principles & Values

    Rick Lazio on Education : Oct 28, 2000

    Testing only new teachers is trap by teachers’ unions

    LAZIO [to Clinton]: Why you would say to a new teacher that just came out of school and has learned the most current up-to-date methodology for teaching-why you would say teacher testing is OK for them but it’s not OK for somebody that’s been out there and teaching for 15 years and may have lost touch with their ability to use the latest techniques. And I think it’s because in the end I’m not trapped by the status quo. I’m not trapped by the teachers’ unions, which I think Mrs. Clinton is.

    Q: Are you trapped by the teachers unions?

    CLINTON: No. In fact I’m very much in line with what I think will work and what experts in the field think. You know, I’m a lawyer. I had to take a bar exam. Mr. Lazio’s a lawyer. He took a bar exam and he wasn’t tested every five years. I think teachers are professionals and should be treated as professionals. That’s why I believe that we should test teachers in the beginning to make sure that when they got their teaching degree, that they’re qualified.

    Source: NY Senate debate on NBC
    Click for more headlines by Rick Lazio on Education

    Carla Howell on Crime : Oct 23, 2000

    Death penalty OK morally; but don’t trust govt to do it

    Q: What about the death penalty?

    A: First, it’s not a federal issue. I would not be dealing with that issue as a senator; I would push it back to the state and local level. Second, I have no problem with it morally. But I do have a problem with it from a Big Government perspective: it costs 5 times as much to implement the death penalty as to keep someone in prison for life. And, I don’t trust the government to enforce the death penalty. So I would vote against it.

    Source: Howie Carr Show, WRKO
    Click for more headlines by Carla Howell on Crime

    Bill Bradley on Principles & Values : Sep 9, 2000

    The journey from here to change the world

    To all these young people who believe that America can be just, I say, Never give up and never sell out. You don’t have to give up your idealism to be successful in America. You don’t have to become complacent. To the contrary, you should be angry with the state of our democracy, the conditions of poverty, the absence of universal health care, the continuation of racism; and if you get angry enough and are smart enough and work hard enough, you can change things. You don’t have to give up what you truly believe so as not to offend power, for real power lies within each of you-the power to mobilize an army of citizens who want to change the world. Yes, want to change the world! That’s what I tried to do in my campaign. I lost. But all of you don’t have to lose; you can triumph over ignorance and spitefulness, corruption and greed. You can take the high road and succeed, if wnough of you take it together.
    Source: The Journey From Here, by Bill Bradley, p.165
    Click for more headlines by Bill Bradley on Principles & Values

    Republican Party on War & Peace : Aug 12, 2000

    Contribute in Balkans, but let NATO run it

    The U.S. is contributing to NATO’s peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. Those troops cannot stay indefinitely without jeopardizing the American ability to defend other important interests. Over time European troops should take the place of American forces under the NATO umbrella as the United States and its allies work together to bring peace and democracy to the Balkans. The next Republican president will not negotiate with indicted war criminals such as Slobodan Milosevic.
    Source: Republican Platform adopted at GOP National Convention
    Click for more headlines by Republican Party on War & Peace

    Sierra Club on Forests : Aug 1, 2000

    We need protected forests

    The need for protected forests cannot be overstated. Instead of recognizing the value of forests for clean air and water, recreation, wildlife habitat and the benefits for future generations, the Forest Service assessed our natural treasures only in terms of timber targets and congressional appropriations. As a result, today almost of our old growth forests are gone and the timber industry has turned our National Forests into a patchwork of clearcuts, logging roads and devastated habitat.
    Source: Seeing the Forests for their Green: Commercial Logging Pgm
    Click for more headlines by Sierra Club on Forests

    Steve Lynch on Heath Care : Jul 31, 2000

    More funding and scholarships for nurses’ aides

    Highlighting senior health care issues in the FY 2001 budget is a prescription drug insurance program that is extremely important to senior citizens in South Boston. “The cost of prescription drugs for our seniors has become a serious problem felt throughout the Commonwealth,” said Lynch. “This language in the budget seeks to rectify that. We understand the importance of the health of our seniors, and we want to assure that they receive the best health care possible.”

    Several initiatives that will benefit residents of our nursing homes were also included in the budget, most notably, a $35 million wage increase for certified nursing aides. According to Senator Lynch, the budget establishes a permanent advisory council to oversee the quality of care in nursing homes; $5 million to establish a competitive grant program for nursing homes to develop a career ladder program for current nursing home aides; and $1 million to fund at least 1,000 scholarships for nursing aides’ training programs.

    Source: Press Release, “Seniors and Veterans”
    Click for more headlines by Steve Lynch on Heath Care

    Alan Keyes on Abortion : Jul 27, 2000

    Withdraws; job done since GOP & V.P. are both pro-life

    Talk-radio host Alan Keyes will officially end his long-shot campaign for the Republican presidential nomination next week, but aides said the well-spoken conservative has not yet decided whether to endorse George W. Bush.

    “His work is done now that the Republican Party has adopted a pro-life platform and pro-life running mate,” said a Keyes spokesperson. Bush announced Tuesday that Dick Cheney would be his vice presidential running mate.

    Source: Reuters, in Boston Globe, p. A15
    Click for more headlines by Alan Keyes on Abortion

    Winona LaDuke on Budget & Economy : Jul 23, 2000

    Overconsumption fuels unwarranted economic expansion

    “The essence of the problem is about consumption, recognizing that a society that consumes one-third of the world’s resources is unsustainable. This level of consumption requires constant intervention into other people’s lands. That’s what’s going on.
    Source: Cascadia Planet, “Native Activists”, by Patrick Mazza
    Click for more headlines by Winona LaDuke on Budget & Economy

    Green Party on Defense : Jul 11, 2000

    SDI doesn’t work; money better spent elsewhere

    Q: I assume you’re against SDI?

    A: Well, it doesn’t work, even according to the physics community. Gen. MacArthur warned against looking for enemies. [An enemy] could bring a nuclear bomb in a suitcase -- so what are we gonna do, have a $500 billion suitcase defense system? We have far more serious needs -- with billions spent on arms instead of spending pennies to protect children’s health.

    Source: Ralph Nader on National Public Radio, “The Connection”
    Click for more headlines by Green Party on Defense

    Dianne Feinstein on Immigration : Jul 6, 2000

    $127M for INS to reduce immigrant visa backlog

    Senator Dianne Feinstein is prime sponsor of a bill aimed at reducing the backlog of naturalization and visa applications. “I would hope [candidates] would endorse this bill and urge prompt passage of this legislation by Congress,” said Feinstein, who is pushing for $127 million for the agency to hire staff and boost computer operations without increasing application fees.
    Source: Paul Shepard, Associated Press, in Boston Globe, page A12
    Click for more headlines by Dianne Feinstein on Immigration

    Arianna Huffington on Government Reform : Jul 2, 2000

    Open up voting, ballots, and debates

    [We should] ease the voting rules with measures like same-day registration, [as] the first step in a new voters’ rights movement which this country needs both to make voting easier and to open up the political process to those outside the entrenched two-party system.

    Reformers are also proposing “early voting,” which extends the election period from a single day to up to three weeks; “weekend voting,” which, like early voting, keeps the polls open longer, and on days that are more convenient; and “vote by mail,” an institutionalized form of absentee voting in which the entire election is held by mail.

    Of course, once it’s easier to vote, the problem becomes finding someone worth voting for. That’s where questions of ballot access and debate access come into play. Byzantine ballot regulations make it next to impossible for those outside the political mainstream to take on the system. [And] the other way the two parties try to perpetuate their duopoly is by limiting access to debates.

    Source: How to Overthrow the Government, p.256-60
    Click for more headlines by Arianna Huffington on Government Reform

    Cato Institute on Global Warming : Jul 2, 2000

    Measured warming is recovery from previous cooling

    The small amount of warming during the past century occurred mainly before 1940 and is most likely a natural recovery from previous cooling, not a manifestation of human-induced warming.
    Source: Jerry Taylor, “Heated Rhetoric”, Cate web site
    Click for more headlines by Cato Institute on Global Warming

    Donald Trump on Tax Reform : Jul 2, 2000

    Opposes flat tax; benefits wealthy too much

      I object to the flat tax:
    • It is unfair to the poor; eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit [hurts] taxpayers at the lowest rungs of the ladder.
    • It is unfair to workers by taxing them for health insurance and other benefits.
    • Only the wealthy would reap a windfall, because a flat tax would allow them to cash in interest payments and capital gains without paying personal income taxes.
    • I don’t believe that a flat tax could raise enough revenue to keep the government operating.
    Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.186
    Click for more headlines by Donald Trump on Tax Reform

    Steve Forbes on Principles & Values : Feb 11, 2000

    Withdraws, saying “money well spent”

    Quipping that “ we were nosed out by a landslide,” Steve Forbes yesterday ended his costly quest for the Republican presidential nomination. “Today I am withdrawing from the presidential contest, but I’m not withdrawing from the public square,” Forbes said Campaign workers applauded a final reprise of the flat tax, anti-abortion speech he’d used throughout the campaign. Forbes said he left with no regrets, offered no candidate endorsements, and said no to the question of running for the Senate from New Jersey this year. Forbes spent more than $30 million of his publishing fortune for the 2000 campaign. He said it was money well spent because he’d moved the Republican debate toward his conservative agenda. “And that agenda will come to pass, mark my words,” said Forbes. Forbes decided to quit the race after running third, with 20% of the vote, in the Delaware primary.
    Source: Boston Globe, p. A40
    Click for more headlines by Steve Forbes on Principles & Values

    Gary Bauer on Principles & Values : Feb 5, 2000

    Withdraws after NH Primary

    Bauer abandoned his presidential bid after his last-place finish in the New Hampshire primary. “I was in it to actually get the nomination,” Bauer said. “When it became clear to me that I could not see a realistic way to do that, it seemed to me that the better part of valor was to move aside.” As he bowed out, Bauer gave a final plug for his defining issues, including opposition to abortion and to trade with China. He said he felt good about pushing the debate toward conservative issues. “Sometimes in the debates. I heard my words even when my lips weren’t moving. So I think my message was catching on,” he said.

    Bauer declined to endorse any of the four Republicans still vying for the GOP nomination. Bauer noted those who remain: the son of a president, the son of an admiral, and the son of a tycoon. “I’m the son of a janitor,” he said.

    Source: Associated Press, in Sacramento Bee, p. A9
    Click for more headlines by Gary Bauer on Principles & Values

    Tom Ridge on Techonology : Jan 28, 2000

    End computer service tax; start R&D tax credit

    His first two budgets increased spending at less than the rate of inflation and he got the legislature to abolish the state tax on computer services and give a tax credit for research and development.
    Source: National Journal, the Almanac of American Politics
    Click for more headlines by Tom Ridge on Techonology

    Bob Smith on Principles & Values : Oct 28, 1999

    Exiting race, returning to GOP

    Smith said he was folding his presidential campaign, citing the prohibitive cost of running as an independent. Smith said he still believes what he said on leaving the GOP in July. “We won the revolution on issues. We won the revolution on principle,” he told his colleagues then. “But the desire to stay in power caused us to start listening to the pollsters again. I want my party to stand for something,” he said.
    Source: David Espo, Associated Press
    Click for more headlines by Bob Smith on Principles & Values

    Elizabeth Dole on Government Reform : Oct 20, 1999

    Dole withdraws from race; cites campaign finance

    Elizabeth Dole abandoned her bid for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, citing an inability to raise money. “The bottom line remains money,” she said. Later, she said soft money should be phased out. But she also said the $1,000 per donor contribution limit to presidential campaigns - set in 1974 - needs to be changed. “That doesn’t even reflect the rate of inflation. [It should be] increased, perhaps to as much as $5,000.”
    Click for more headlines by Elizabeth Dole on Government Reform

    Dan Quayle on Families & Children : Sep 6, 1999

    Promote at-home parents via 30% tax cut & less fed rules

    Quayle’s reforms would remove many of the barriers that make remaining at home so difficult for so many parents. These initiatives include a 30% across-the-board tax reduction, extension of the daycare tax credit to all parents, ending the tax code’s bias towards employer-supplied health coverage, abolishing federal rules that prohibit employers and employees from negotiating comp or flex time arrangements, and relief from unnecessary and costly federal regulations.
    Source: Press Release on Labor Day
    Click for more headlines by Dan Quayle on Families & Children

    Jesse Jackson Jr. on Budget & Economy : Jul 2, 1999

    Lotteries disproportionately hurt the poor

    Ask many low-income people how they plan to make half a million dollars in the course of their lifetimes and most will tell you, “I’m going to win the lottery.” So they go into their local convenience store, betting on the numbers every day, in search of a phantom. They make this the centerpiece of their financial planning. This is complete and utter folly.

    Saving and investing even small amounts, steadily over your lifetime, is the best way to create wealth. Trying to hit it big by winning the lottery is sheer nonsense. The chance of winning is infinitesimal.

    Lotteries disproportionately hurt the poor. [A 1999 survey found] that people who live in the lowest-income areas spend more than five times as much of their money on lottery tickets as do people who live in the highest-income areas. And for every $10,000 of income earned in low-income areas, $108 was spent on taxes and $111 on the lottery. This is why the lottery is often called “a tax on the poor.”

    Source: It’s About the Money!, p.220
    Click for more headlines by Jesse Jackson Jr. on Budget & Economy

    Lamar Alexander on Environment : Jul 2, 1999

    Bipartisan wetland protection & pollution clean-up

    “Republicans must do more though than simply react to environmental legislation-we must take the lead and work on environmental issues in an open-minded, bipartisan fashion. During my tenure as Governor of Tennessee I worked to control water pollution, protect our precious wetland areas and clean up hazardous waste. Our efforts resulted in the National Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation and the Conservationist of the Year award from the Tennessee Conservation League.
    Source: Exploratory Committee web-site
    Click for more headlines by Lamar Alexander on Environment

    Noam Chomsky on War & Peace : Jul 2, 1999

    US chartered UN & must follow UN decisions on Iraq

    The debate over the Iraq crisis kept within rigid bounds that excluded the obvious answer: the US and UK should act in accord with their laws and treaty obligations. The relevant legal framework is formulated in the Charter of the United Nations, which is recognized as the foundation of international law and world order, and which under the US Constitution is “the supreme law of the land.” The Charter states that “The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of peace, or act of aggression, and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken.“

    There are legitimate ways to react to the many threats to world peace. If Iraq’s neighbors feel threatened, they can approach the Security Council to authorize appropriate measures to respond to the threat. If the US and Britain feel threatened, they can do the same. But no state has the authority to make its own determinations on these matters and to act as it chooses.

    Source: Acts of Aggression, by Noam Chomsky, p. 15-16
    Click for more headlines by Noam Chomsky on War & Peace

    John Kasich on War & Peace : May 28, 1999

    Congressional debate before sending in ground troops

    [A House Bill sponsored by John Kasich] would cut off money for American ground troops unless Congress approved their deployment in advance. The bill would permit ground forces to conduct search and rescue missions. “We should avoid escalation in this conflict because the only rational and durable solution is one that is arrived at through negotiation,” said Mr. Kasich. “There are far too many unanswered questions about the use of ground troops - questions that should require full congressional debate
    Source: “Road Reports”
    Click for more headlines by John Kasich on War & Peace

    Newt Gingrich on Principles & Values : Jul 2, 1998

    Polls are biased left; GOP wins on the issues

    There is another great source of liberal power, not quite the same thing as the press but working hand in hand with it--and that is news media public opinion polls. Polls can be manipulated: through the pools selected for polling and through the wording of the questions. First of all, if you ask all adults rather than likely voters, your results will be skewed by the responses of people who are not interested in politics and will therefore be more likely simply to parrot what they have picked up from television. The more likely you are to vote, the more likely you are to pay attention to the arguments. As we’ve lately been discovering, the more you pay attention to the arguments, the more likely you are to vote for us.

    Source: Lessons Learned the Hard Way, by Newt Gingrich, p. 73-75
    Click for more headlines by Newt Gingrich on Principles & Values

    Ross Perot on Civil Rights : Jan 15, 1998

    Affirmative action is “squishy” - education is key

    What chance does a disadvantaged child have if the neurons are shut down? You want to change America in one generation? Cut out all these squishy little meetings and get out on the street and fix the problem. Now, to have that child’s brain fully tapped, that’s the key to that child’s success. But if that child never got wired -- in effect, the neurons never got connected -- all the affirmative action in the world can’t fix that.
    Source: National Press Club interview
    Click for more headlines by Ross Perot on Civil Rights

    Richard Nixon on Defense : Jul 2, 1997

    Supported missile defense as means to achieve SALT

    Nixon realized that to secure the SALT pact [Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty], the US had to deal from a position of strength. He had to make the Soviets eager to come to the bargaining table. Nixon the strategist wanted to have two cards to strengthen his hand: the first, an ABM (anti-ballistic missile), to repel missile strikes; and second, rapprochement with mainland China. Almost all the leading experts recommended against these defense and foreign policy actions as “destabilizing.”

    Privately, Nixon argued that more important than the fact that the ABM would deflect such a missile strike was that it possibly could. An avid poker player during his navy days, Nixon told his friends that it was like an ace showing on the table. The irony inherent in the left’s attack of the ABM was that the Democrats opposed ABM because they believed it would not work, while the Russians opposed it because they believed it would.. The Kremlin feared the prowess of American technology.

    Source: Ten Commandments of Statecraft, by James Humes, p. 37-38
    Click for more headlines by Richard Nixon on Defense

    Mario Cuomo on Principles & Values : Jul 2, 1995

    Underlying principle: We’re all in this together

    To deal effectively with our problems we must understand, accept, and apply one fundamental, indispensable proposition. It is the ancient truth that drove primitive people together to ward off their enemies and wild beasts, to find food and shelter, to raise their children in safety, and eventually to raise up a civilization. Now, in this ever more complex world, we need to accept and apply this basic truth: that we’re all in this together, like a family, interconnected and interdependent, and that we cannot afford to revert to a world of “us against them.” It is the one great idea that is indispensable to realizing our full potential as a people.

    It is also the ancient wisdom. The Hebrew sages told the Jews that their role in life is to repair the entire universe: tikkun olam. Christians are taught that their task is to complete God’s work in the world, that we are all, no matter how small, “collaborators in creation.”

    Source: Reason to Believe, by Mario Cuomo, p. 11-12 & 81
    Click for more headlines by Mario Cuomo on Principles & Values

    Alan Keyes withdraws : Jul 27, 2000

    Withdraws; job done since GOP & V.P. are both pro-life

    Talk-radio host Alan Keyes will officially end his long-shot campaign for the Republican presidential nomination next week, but aides said the well-spoken conservative has not yet decided whether to endorse George W. Bush.

    “His work is done now that the Republican Party has adopted a pro-life platform and pro-life running mate,” said a Keyes spokesperson. Bush announced Tuesday that Dick Cheney would be his vice presidential running mate.

    Source: Reuters, in Boston Globe, p. A15

    John McCain withdraws: Mar 9, 2000

    Leaves race, urging service to country

    Announcing the suspension of his campaign: I’ve been in my country’s service since I was 17 years old. I neither know nor want any other life, for I can find no greater honor than service. You served your country in this campaign by fighting for the causes that will sustain America’s greatness. Keep fighting. America needs you. I ask from you one last promise: Promise me that you will never give up, that you will continue your service in the worthy cause of revitalizing our democracy. Thank you.
    Source: Announcement of withdrawal from race

    Bill Bradley withdraws: Mar 9, 2000

    Leaves race with respect for people over “politics as usual”

    We have been defeated. But the cause for which I ran has not been. The cause of trying to create a new politics in this country, the cause of trying to fulfill our special promise as a nation, that cannot be defeated, by one or 100 defeats. I want to leave this race the same way I got in: with a minimum of politics as usual, and a maximum of respect for the American people & their dreams. I believe these dreams can be the foundation of a new politics that can truly make our country soar. Thank you.
    Source: Announcement of withdrawal from race

    Steve Forbes withdraws: Feb 11, 2000

    Withdraws, saying "money well spent"

    Quipping that "we were nosed out by a landslide," Steve Forbes yesterday ended his costly quest for the Republican presidential nomination. "Today I am withdrawing from the presidential contest, but I'm not withdrawing from the public square," Forbes said Campaign workers applauded a final reprise of the flat tax, anti-abortion speech he'd used throughout the campaign. Forbes said he left with no regrets, offered no candidate endorsements, and said "no" to the question of running for the Senate from New Jersey this year. Forbes spent more than $30 million of his publishing fortune for the 2000 campaign. He said it was money well spent because he'd moved the Republica debate toward his conservative agenda. "And that agenda will come to pass, mark my words," said Forbes. Forbes decided to quit the race after running third, with 20% of the vote, in the Delaware primary.
    Source: Boston Globe, p. A40

    Gary Bauer withdraws: Feb. 5, 2000

    Withdraws after NH Primary

    Bauer abandoned his presidential bid after his last-place finish in the New Hampshire primary. "I was in it to actually get the nomination," Bauer said. "When it became clear to me that I could not see a realistic way to do that, it seemed to me that the better part of valor was to move aside." As he bowed out, Bauer gave a final plug for his defining issues, including opposition to abortion and to trade with China. He said he felt good about pushing the debate toward conservative issues. "Sometimes in the debates… I heard my words even when my lips weren't moving. So I think my message was catching on," he said.

    Bauer declined to endorse any of the four Republicans still vying for the GOP nomination. Bauer noted those who remain: the son of a president, the son of an admiral, and the son of a tycoon. "I'm the son of a janitor," he said.

    Source: Associated Press, in Sacramento Bee p. A9

    Orrin Hatch withdraws: Jan. 26, 2000

    Withdraws, citing too-late entry & anti-Mormon bias

    After his last-place showing in the Iowa caucuses, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch abandoned his nomination bid and endorsed George W. Bush for the nomination. Hatch blamed his late entry into the race for his poor showing in the caucuses. "I got in too late. I regret having not gotten in earlier. I think it would have made a difference."

    Hatch, the only Mormon among the presidential contenders, has said anti-Mormon bias hurt him among Christian conservative voters. He said a Gallup Poll showed that 17% of Americans would not vote for a Mormon, adding he hoped his candidacy helped dispel some misconceptions about his religious faith. "I can't do anything about bigotry but I can do a lot about people who are misinformed about my faith and about some people who don't believe we are Christian," he said. While he endorsed Bush, Hatch said any of the five remaining GOP candidates would be an "improvement over the current occupant of the White House."

  • Bob Smith withdraws: Oct 28, 1999

    Exiting race, returning to GOP

    Smith announced he was folding his presidential campaign, citing the prohibitive cost of running as an independent. Smith said he still believes what he said on leaving the GOP in July. "We won the revolution on issues. We won the revolution on principle," he told his colleagues then. "But the desire to stay in power caused us to start listening to the pollsters again. I want my party to stand for something," he said.
    Source: David Espo, Associated Press

    Elizabeth Dole withdraws: Oct 20, 1999

    Dole withdraws from race; cites campaign finance

    Elizabeth Dole abandoned her bid for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, citing an inability to raise money. “The bottom line remains money,” she said. Later, she said soft money should be phased out. But she also said the $1,000 per donor contribution limit to presidential campaigns - set in 1974 - needs to be changed. “That doesn’t even reflect the rate of inflation. [It should be] increased, perhaps to as much as $5,000.”

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