Activities at the July 15 Strategy Lunch chaired by Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation & House Majority Whip Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX).
Fred Goldman, father of Ron Goldman (one of two murder victims in the O.J. Simpson trial), and Greg Facchiano of the staff of Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), discussed Salmon's HR 4258, the "No Second Chances for Murderers, Rapists or Child Molesters Act of 1998," and distributed a fact kit. If approved, the bill would hold states financially accountable if they release violent criminals and murderers from prison too early. It would do so by withholding some federal moneys from a state if one of its violent ex-convicts commits a violent crime in another state after release from prison. Goldman said the No Second Chances bill would "make it financially undesirable for a state to release murderers, rapists and child molesters" because if a state did so and the ex-convict then committed a similar crime in another state, the first state would be required to pay the court and incarceration costs of re-institutionalizing the criminal, and also compensate the victim or victims in the amount of $100,000. The money would come from a deduction in federal aid given to the first state, which would then be given to the second state by the federal government. Many states, said Goldman, say they release violent prisoners now for financial reasons, so this bill would help eliminate a state's financial motivation for releasing violent criminals back into the general public.
Several statistics were cited. Goldman said there are "20,000-25,000 murders every year in this nation [and] 40% of the murderers committed murder or a violent crime before. 60% of the crime in this country has been committed by someone who has committed a crime before." The fact kit says 100 people are murdered, 445 people are raped and 1,200 people are sexually assaulted every year by violent ex-convicts who cross state lines to commit crimes again. It also notes that the average actual time served in the U.S. for homicide is just 5 years, 11 months; by men for rape is 4 years, 9 months; for sexual assault, including on children, 2 years, 9 months. For information contact Fred Goldman and Greg Facchiano via Greg Facchiano in Rep. Matt Salmon's office at 202/225-3121 or read National Policy Analysis #205 at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA205.html.
Preston Noell of the international lay Catholic organization Tradition, Family, Property (TFP) updated participants on the progress of the protest against the play "Corpus Christi," which is under production at the federally-funded Manhattan Theatre Club in New York. (Funding is via the National Endowment for the Arts, which, in addition to other moneys for the club, authorized a $31,000 grant specifically for the play "Corpus Christi" in 1996.) Objections to the play include the fact that in it, the character portraying Jesus Christ has sex with his apostles and is referred to as "King of the Queers." TFP president Raymond Earl Drake wrote to the author of "Corpus Christi" on May 12, asking him to confirm that the production "will not contain anything injurious to the honor and memory of Our Lord Jesus Christ or offensive to the Catholic faith." Drake has not received the courtesy of a reply from anyone associated with the production.
Noell said TFP has distributed over one million flyers protesting the play so far, is recruiting local government officials and bodies to pass resolutions opposing taxpayer funding of blasphemous material, and is planning a protest at the theatre when and if the play debuts. He asked concerned citizens to take several steps, including the following: 1) Contact the Manhattan Theatre Club at 212/399-3000, fax 212/399-4329, e-mail [email protected], to express your indignation about their decision to produce a blasphemous play; 2) encourage friends, family members and associates to do the same; 3) contact local government officials and encourage them to enact local resolutions expressing opposition to government funding of art which depicts Jesus Christ in an offensive manner; 4) write letters to the editor; 5) call talk shows; 6) ask the pastor of your church to speak out against this and to include information about the issue in the church bulletin; 7) order lots of free "Stop Blasphemy Now" flyers from TFP at 717/225-7147 or [email protected] (http://www.tfp.org). Contact Preston Noell at 703/539-9880 or [email protected].
House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) reviewed with participants conservative portions of appropriations bills that will soon be voted on in the House. He said that it would be valuable for the grassroots to express an opinion on these provisions to the Congress because some Members will challenge these provisions on the floor in an attempt to get them removed. Some of the provisions he mentioned included: A ban on abortion funding for federal prisoners; a ban on Legal Services funds going to organizations engaging in abortion-related litigation; a conscience clause for prison employees regarding arranging abortions; a reduction in the U.S. assessment to the United Nations from 25% of the UN budget to 22% (Commerce/Justice/State appropriation); a parental notification requirement before minors are given federally-funded contraceptive services; a ban on federal funding of human embryo research and human cloning; a clarification of the Hyde Amendment to include federal trust funds; a provision ensuring that hospitals may participate in Medicare+Choice without having to commit abortions; freezing Title X funding at last year's level of $203 million; a ban on federal funding of needle exchange programs; cutting the appropriation for Goals 2000 in half; reforms to emphasize teaching English as a priority in bilingual public school programs (Labor/HHS appropriation); zero funding for Americorps; a ban on using federal funds to implement the Kyoto global warming treaty unless and until the U.S. Senate ratifies the treaty (VA/HUD appropriation); a ban on abortion coverage in the Federal Employees Health benefits plan -- with a possible exception for rape and incest; ban on mandatory diversity training if not relevant to job performance (Treasury/Postal); level funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities; eliminate the increase in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (Interior). Contact Rep. DeLay via Autumn Hanna at 202/225-0197.
Lisa Dean of the Free Congress Foundation summarized continuing efforts to prevent the Administration from mandating national ID cards. Contact Lisa Dean at 202/546-3000 or [email protected] (http://www.freecongress.org).
Myron Ebell of Frontiers of Freedom announced that his group will convene a working group to study presidential executive orders. He also announced that Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) has said that he want to place parts of Senator Dirk Kempthorne (R-ID)'s faulty Endangered Species Act Bill, which has almost no chance of passage otherwise, on the Interior appropriations bill. Contact Myron Ebell at 703/527-8282 or [email protected] (http://www.ff.org).
Kenneth Brown, author of the new book "Scandalgate: Exposing
America's Moral Deficit Disorder," described his book, published
by Legacy Communications. Contact Kenneth Brown via Legacy Communications
at 615/784-2394. *