Ken Boehm of the National Legal and Policy Center discussed two issues: 1) an ethics complaint his group filed on July 1, 1996 against Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), alleging that McDermott improperly used House funds to subsidize his reelection campaigns, and 2) the Legal Services Corporation's lawsuit in Texas seeking to throw out the absentee ballots of 800 active-duty military personnel on the grounds that military personnel on active deployment shouldn't be considered residents. Boehm said the Congressional leadership has not yet developed an appropriations plan for the LSC this year, and said "there is no case to be made any more that [the LSC] can be reformed." He distributed press releases, the McDermott ethics complaint, and background materials. Contact Ken Boehm at 703/847-3088.
John Ashburn of Senator John Ashcroft (R-MO)'s office briefed attendees on a bill to be introduced by Ashcroft and Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) in February to ban using federal funds for assisted suicide. Even if the Court should decide that we have a right to assisted suicide, said Ashburn, it doesn't mean that people have a right to have other people pay for it. Contact John Ashburn at 202/224-6154.
Larry DiRita of the office of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy reported on the troubled nomination of Anthony Lake to head the CIA. DiRita and Gaffney distributed information explaining four concerns:
Contact Larry DiRita at 202/224-5922 and Frank Gaffney at 202/466-0515.
Dr. Bonner Cohen of EPA Watch discussed the EPA's proposed new regulations to "strengthen the air quality standards for particulate matter, known as soot, and ground level ozone, known as smog." The EPA, Cohen said, is raising the standards at a time when many municipalities have just managed to comply with the old ones, so complying will be expensive and may require some communities to place limits on outdoor bar-b-queing , indoor fireplaces, motor boats, and leaf blowers, and force car pooling. Cohen has an 8x11 map of the U.S. showing which municipalities will be affected; copies are available. Contact Dr. Cohen at 202/739-0179.
Maureen Hogan of Adopt a Special Kid, America's oldest and largest special needs adoption agency, discussed the scandal of local governments refusing to allow children in foster care to be adopted by loving parents because the local government wishes to maintain federal subsidies pegged to the number of children they have in foster care. There are about 700,000 kids in foster care, Hogan said, of which 50,000 are eligible for immediate adoption and an additional 200,000 could be made eligible, but for financial reasons no effort is made to do so. Hogan distributed several background materials. Contact Maureen Hogan at 202/388-3888 (http://www.aask.org).
Dave Coolidge of the Ethics & Public Policy Center briefed participants on the current status of the Hawaii same-sex marriage case. The case is ongoing on three levels now, he said
Contact Dave Coolidge at 202/682-1200.
Lincoln Oliphant of the Senate Republican Policy Committee discussed Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)'s Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), introduced by Kennedy to add sexual preference to the employment discrimination laws, and distributed a four-page paper giving 17 reasons to oppose ENDA. Oliphant also distributed copies of a proposed bill, the "Freedom, Responsibility, Equality and Employment Act (FREE)," which would make it a violation of civil rights for government to coerce certain moral judgements on the people. For instance, the bill would allow the Boy Scouts or owners of gay bars to hire only heterosexual or homosexual employees if they so desired. The group suggested adding to the bill an affirmative right for job applicants to decline to answer questions about their sexual preferences if they wish to retain privacy. Contact Lincoln Oliphant at 202/224-2774 (http://www.senate.gov/~rpc/).
Mary Sadick of the American Life League discussed the U.S. Supreme Court's just-completed hearing of two assisted suicide cases, analyzed the likely outcome of the case, and discussed the case's implications. ALL filed a brief saying that laws allowing some people to be killed by doctors violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Mary Udavich of the Rutherford Institute announced that Rutherford has a case summary available. Contact Mary Sadick at 703/690-2510 and Mary Udavich at 804/978-3888 (http://rutherford.org).
NAACP President Kweisi Mfume's statement condemning the Maryland NAACP president and others for protesting an invitation to Justice Clarence Thomas to speak at a youth festival follows in the spirit of tolerance preached by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., says Project 21 member Stuart Pigler, an aide to Michigan State Senate Majority Leader Dick Posthumuss. Pigler said, "I was pleased that Kweisi Mfume of the NAACP denounced the Maryland state chapter for thwarting Justice Thomas' speech to a group of young people. Martin Luther King Jr. accepted diversity of thought within the black community. Unfortunately, I believe many blacks are intimidated to really express free speech in their communities." For information or an interview with Project 21, contact Arturo Silva at 202/543-4110 or 301/441-8421 or [email protected]
Scoop is published by The National Center for Public Policy Research to provide information about the activities of the conservative movement. Coverage of a meeting or statement in Scoop does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Copyright 1997 The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints of articles in Scoop permitted provided source is credited.
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