Issue 85 * April 6, 1995

The National Center for Public Policy Research
Amy Moritz, President

E-Mail: [email protected]

Strategy Lunch: Activities at the April 5 & March 29 Wednesday Strategy Lunches chaired by Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK), and Paul Weyrich and Burton Yale Pines of the Free Congress Foundation.

* New Bill Will Reduce, Then Zero-Out Congressional Pay Over Seven Years If Congress Fails to Attack Deficit

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) announced his "Congressional Pay for Performance Act of 1995," for which he is seeking original co-sponsors. The bill calls for reducing the pay of all Members of Congress by 1/2% for each $1 billion the actual deficit exceeds the deficit target to be established by the FY 1996 Budget Resolution. Rep. Bartlett distributed a summary sheet and a chart showing what would happen to Congressional pay if Congress did nothing about the deficit (In 1996 pay would remain at $135,000, but it would go down annually to $112,500, $90,000, $67,500, $45,000, 22,500 and finally $0 by 2002.). The bill calls for ending deficits through spending decreases, not tax increases. "There is absolutely nothing better we could do to reassure the American people that we mean business," said Bartlett. "In the real world, if you don't get the job done, you're outta there. The American people expect no less of us." Contact Rep. Bartlett's office at 202/225-2721.

* Task Force Established to Abolish Four Gov't Departments Says Two Will Go This Year

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) reviewed the activities of the three-month-old task force to eliminate four Cabinet-level government agencies: Energy, Commerce, Education and Housing and Urban Development. Salmon reported that House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich (R-OH) has given the task force a commitment to get rid of two in this year's budget process. Salmon, a former state legislator, said he sees "no value in a federal Department of Education," adding "it's time to get back to the Constitution... you show me where [in the Constitution] you can find authority for 80% of what the federal government does." Contact Rep. Salmon's office at 202/225-2635.

* Disappointed by Term Limits Vote, Congressman Seeks to Limit House Pension Accumulation to 12 Years

Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R-MN) reviewed and sought sponsors for Congressional pension limitation legislation he is drafting (and plans to introduce this week) to limit the accrual of Congressional pensions to the first 12 years of a Member's service. Saying his motive is "disappointment" over the loss of term limits, Gutknecht distributed a summary. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) commented that Rep. Dan Miller (R-FL) is promoting a similar bill that would abolish standard Congressional pensions and end Congressional 401(k) retirement plan contributions for Members of Congress following their 12th year in office. Contact Rep. Gutknecht's staff at 202/225-2472 or Rep. Matt Salmon's office at 202/225-2635.

* Congressman Proposes National Referendum on Term Limits, Taxes & Balanced Budget Amendment

Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) and John Vandenheuvel of his staff were present to review Rep. Hoekstra's proposal for a non-binding "National Advisory Referendum" to be held during the general election in November 1996 on whether or not Congress should approve Constitutional amendments establishing term limits for Members of Congress, a balanced budget, and/or a requirement that any income tax increases be approved by a 3/5 majority of Congress. The cost of the advisory referendum would be paid for by cuts in the Congressional franking budget. Contact Rep. Hoekstra's office at 202/225-4401.

* Congressman Provides In-Depth Review of Federal Debt & Social Security Imbalances; Charts Available

Rep. Mark Neumann (R-WI) led a discussion about the national debt, saying: "If we don't address our most serious problem, I think we don't have a future." Neumann demonstrated via charts the explosion of the federal debt since 1960, saying that U.S. federal debt at the end of the fiscal year represents a debt of $19,000 for every person in the U.S. or $76,000 for every family of four (which has, he said, an average annual income of $32,000). Neumann also used charts to demonstrate the imbalance in Social Security accounts. Let's "give our children the best gift we could possibly give them," Neumann said, by solving these budget crises. Contact Rep. Neumann's office at 202/225-3031.

* Should the Tax Code Discriminate Against Some Home Businesses?

Benson Goldstein of the National Association for the Self-Employed reviewed the IRS's new rules severely restricting the home office tax deduction. The result, he said, is that businesses that visit the customer cannot deduct home office costs. This discriminates against any business requiring home visits (construction, home-visit medical services, etc.), even though these businesses need offices. Goldstein argued that government policy should not impose barriers to home offices, because home offices aid families who need income while caring for children and also because home businesses require less start-up capital, and thus are a good option for people who are not wealthy. Contact the National Association for the Self-Employed at 202/466-2100.

* "Motor Voter" Allows a Dog and a Cat to Vote

Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation reviewed problems with the "Motor Voter" voter registration law. He cited as examples a case in which a dog and a cat were registered to vote and the fact that once an alien registers to vote, he or she can seem eligible for government services they are not eligible to receive. Contact the Free Congress Foundation at 202/546-3000.

* Senate Sets An Unusually Ambitious Schedule for the Next Few Months

Senator Paul Coverdell (R-GA), Carl Parks of Senator Coverdell's staff, and David Hoppe of the staff of Senate Majority Whip Trent Lott (R-MS)'s staff reviewed the Senate schedule, which will include a Whitewater investigation funding resolution, legal reform, tax reduction, the federal budget, crime bill revisions and regulatory reform. Contact Senator Coverdell's office at 202/224-8009 or Senator Lott's office at 202/224-2708.

* House Conservatives to Form Their Own Caucus

Brian Lopina of Rep. Ernest Istook's staff reported the formation of a House GOP conservative caucus. Contact Rep. Istook's office at 202/225-2132.

* California Civil Rights Initiative Reviewed; Heavy Funding of Initiative's Opponents Expected

Glen Custred of the California Civil Rights Initiative read and reviewed the Initiative, which calls for colorblindness in the administration of the government of the state of California. Custred said he expects opponents, including the diversity industry (lawyers, consultants) and the Hollywood left, will heavily outspend backers. He distributed a copy of the initiative. Contact the California Civil Rights Inititiative at 310/286-2274.

* Visiting South African MP Discusses Unrest in Black South African Churches

MP Kenneth Mishu of the Republic of South Africa reviewed the political situation in South Africa, discussing in particular a new government decision to stop churches from meeting in school buildings, which, he said, has caused great unrest within the black community, as 80% of black South African churches meet in schools. Mr. Mishu is returning to South Africa on April 6 but will return to the U.S. soon. Contact Mr. Mishu through Rev. Lou Sheldon at 202/547-8570 or 714/520-0300.

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. _ 1995 The National Center for Public Policy Research.



Return to the Scoop Newsletter Index

Return to National Center Home Page

 


Issue 86 * April 11, 1995

The National Center for Public Policy Research
Amy Moritz, President

E-Mail: [email protected]

Stanton Meeting: Activities at the March 30 Stanton foreign and defense policy meeting chaired by Laszlo Pasztor of Coalitions for America and Amy Moritz of The National Center for Public Policy Research.

* Administration Still Keeps Information on Mexico Bailout from the Congress

Jim Jatras of the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee reviewed the continuing postponement of hearings in the House of Representatives on possible conflicts of interest involving the Clinton Administration on the Mexico bailout issue, saying the lack of inquiry into the issue by the media and others is "absolutely scandalous" & noting that the Mexico deal involves "ten thousand times the money involved in Newt Gingrich's book deal -- and taxpayers' money, not private money." The Administration has provided virtually no information to Congress on the bailout, Jatras said, and the media simply is not interested. Most of the interest is on the left, he said, citing several articles from liberal publications, which he has available. Contact the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee at 202/224-2946.

* New Cuban Democracy Act & Continued Detainment of Cubans at Guantanamo Bay Addressed

Jose Cardnas of the Cuban-American National Foundation reviewed the Cuban Liberty and Democracy Act, the brainchild, Cardnas said, of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms and already approved out of subcommittee on the House side. The bill urges the President to seek an international embargo against Cuba and contains other provisions sponsors hope will promote democracy in Cuba. Hearings on the bill are expected in both the House and Senate in May. Cardnas also addressed Cuba-to-U.S. immigration issues and the so-called "rafter crisis," saying of the long-time detainment of Cubans at Guantanamo Bay: "It simply cannot last any longer without some sort of explosion... the Clinton Administration must resolve this." Contact the Cuban-American National Foundation at 202/265-2822.

* Pearl Harbor Redux?

Freedom House Senior Fellow Al Santoli (author of Everything We Had: an Oral History of the Vietnam War and two other histories, and a frequent contributor of cover stories to Parade magazine) reviewed the People's Republic of China's alliance with the Islamic states and hard-line Russian factions, and the growing high-technology transfer to the PRC, which he called "one of the root causes of China's military expansion." Santoli said "the Chinese communist professionals are the toughest people we have ever dealt with," yet Clinton Administration officials treat any meeting with them "as if it were a Renaissance Weekend" or "a love-in." Santoli noted that the PRC is acquiring a nuclear-powered military submarine fleet and reviewed the plans for the U.S. Navy's "Upper Tier" anti-ballistic missile system, which would, even if deployed, provide only limited protection for Alaska and none for Hawaii. Santoli distributed a variety of news articles, including his own "The Peril of China's Emerging Power" from the March 28, 1995 Washington Times. Contact Freedom House at 703/255-6437.

* U.S. Agency for International Development Spends Much for Little & Should Be Reformed, Critic Says

Laszlo Pastor of Coalitions for America discussed the importance of reforming the U.S. Agency for International Development, citing the quality of the agency's programs and the large amount of money spent on expensive consultants. Contact Coalitions for America at 202/546-3003.

* Group Solicits "Letters to Reagan" for Book-in-Progress

Sara Fitzgerald of Americans for Tax Reform discussed a book she is putting together for Americans for Tax Reform consisting of letters to former President Ronald Reagan about the Reagan Administration's role in ending the Cold War. Americans for Tax Reform is soliciting letters for possible inclusion in the book. Syndicated talk radio host Michael Reagan will write the forward, she said. Contact Americans for Tax Reform at 202/785-0266.

Bulletin Board: Publications, press releases, publications and plans of the conservative community.

* New Bills Seek to Lower Banking Costs & Provide a "Small Business Regulatory Bill of Rights"

Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Connie Mack (R-FL) and Reps. Doug Bereuter (R-NE) and Bill McCollum (R-FL) have introduced bipartisan Banking Regulatory Relief legislation (S. 650 and H.R. 1362). The bill seeks to reduce regulations for the purpose of lowering banking costs and fees, simplifying the home mortgage process, clarifying the Truth in Lending Act, and making it easier and less expensive for small banks to operate in local communities. Senator Shelby also on March 21 introduced a "Small Business Regulatory Bill of Rights," which would: create a 60-day period in which small businesses could correct regulatory violations without penalty; create a set of Miranda rights for small business during a regulatory investigation; compel government agencies to have compliance assistance programs for small business; make federal agencies consider a small business' ability to pay when assessing fines; have assessed fines go to pay off the federal deficit instead of beefing up government agency budgets; plus more. "Each year heavy-handed federal bureaucratic rules & regulations punish small businesses out of existence," said Shelby. "Compliance with federal regulations costs all businesses... $600 billion [or] $6,000 per household." Contact Senator Richard Shelby's office at 202/224-6518.

* Take Your Daughter to Work -- But Be Sure to Leave Your Son Behind

Anticipating April 27's third annual "Take Your Daughter to Work Day," author and professor Christina Hoff Sommers has written an April 10, 1995 Wall Street Journal op/ed analyzing the reasons why the sponsor, the Ms. Foundation for Women, wants to keep the program "boy-free" by opposing the decision of some major firms to include boys. The piece includes an analysis of the educational materials the Ms. Foundation for Women wants boys to study in class while girls visit a parent's workplace and explains why claims the sponsor makes about girls being an "at risk" gender are misleading. The article also looks at which companies and local governments and agencies are sponsoring the program, concluding, in part: "...it can hardly be the intention of Ms.'s allies to be associated with a radical agenda that excludes boys and invents spurious arguments to promote a feminist holiday for girls. Anyone outside the 'sisterhood' who takes a good look at the Ms. materials will be embarrassed and even offended..." Sommers' 1994 book, Who Stole Feminism?, has just been released in paperback by Simon and Schuster.

* More Than 40 Congressmen Seek to Cut House Franked Mail Budget In Half

Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), Rep. Phil English (R-PA), Rep. Jon Fox (R-PA) and more than 40 other Members of Congress are sponsoring the Franked Mail Savings Act (H.R. 923) to cut funding for franked Congressional mail 17% more than recent House Oversight Committee cuts. The goal: achieve a total 50% cut in the franking budget and ban unsolicited mass mail in election years until after the election. The bill has been endorsed by the National Taxpayers Union, Common Cause & Citizens Against Government Waste. Contact Rep. Castle's office at 202/225-4165.

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. 1995 The National Center for Public Policy Research.



Return to the Scoop Newsletter Index

Return to National Center Home Page

 


Issue 87 * April 18, 1995

The National Center for Public Policy Research
Amy Moritz, President

E-Mail: [email protected]

Activities at the March 29 Environmental Policy Task Force meeting chaired by David Ridenour and sponsored by The National Center for Public Policy Research.

* As Congress Considers Endangered Species Act Reform, Task Force Offers 6-Point Reform Plan

David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research led a discussion about the Environmental Policy Task Force's recommendations to Congress as Congress considers reform of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Four basic problems with the ESA were reviewed and a six-point proposal to replace the ESA with a plan that protects wildlife both more effectively and more fairly was discussed. A brief review of Endangered Species Act difficulties and the six-point plan for effective reform will be published in Talking Points form by The National Center for Public Policy Research by mid-April, said Ridenour, and will be widely distributed. Contact The National Center for Public Policy Research at 202/543-4110.

* New Book Reveals "The True State of the Planet"

Brian Seascholes of the Competitive Enterprise Institute discussed Free Press/Simon & Schuster's new release The True State of the Planet: Ten of the World's Premier Environmental Researchers in a Major Challenge to the Environmental Movement, edited by Ron Bailey. The book contains ten chapters, each written by a scientist/recognized expert on a different aspect of environmental concern (cancer risks, air quality, water conservation, global warming, pesticides, ocean protection, population growth, forest protection and more). Contact the Competitive Enterprise Institute at 202/331-1010.

* Regulatory Reform Agenda "Hits A Wall in the Senate"

David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research updated participants on the progress of regulatory reform in the House and Senate, saying that regulatory reform, including a moratorium on new regulations, proceeded well in the House but "hit a wall in the Senate." Ridenour reported that many grassroots organizations are dismayed that Senators allied with the regulatory reform agenda have not been willing to fight for a regulatory moratorium, preferring, instead, to support a much weaker reform agenda. "There were a lot of people who devoted an awful lot of time to the moratorium and to concrete reforms designed to lift much of the regulatory burden from small business and ordinary Americans," said Ridenour, who added that many of these people at present feel that their "trust was broken" by the Senate. Ridenour reviewed the differences between House and Senate proposals and explained why the Senate version is much weaker when it comes to protecting small businesses and ordinary American home/landowners. He also reviewed media coverage of the regulatory reform debate, saying that much of the media coverage has focused only on the benefits of regulatory reform for big business, and that the Senate's "preemptive capitulation on reforms sought by small business unfortunately played into the media stereotype." Contact The National Center for Public Policy Research at 202/543-4110.

* How Much $$$ Does the Environmental Movement Spend?

Bruce Grefrath of the American Land Rights Association distributed copies of Getting Rich: The Environmental Movement's Income, Salary, Contributor, and Investment Patterns, a 35-page report by the Center for Defense of Free Enterprise of Bellevue, Washington. The report, compiled by author (and the Center's Executive Vice President) Ron Arnold, contains a profile of the contributions and expenditures (including executive compensation) of 12 of the richest and best-known environmental groups. It also contains an analysis of land trust transfers of private land to government ownership. Contact the American Land Rights Association at 202/546-2545.

* New Heritage Areas Bill: It's Taxpayers Versus Environmentalists

Bruce Grefrath of the American Land Rights Association reviewed the new National Heritage Area Systems Bill, a new program the 104th Congress appears poised to approve. The legislation, if adopted, would direct government to purchase private lands and designate those lands as "Heritage Areas." Grefrath said the bill, which American Land Rights Association CEO Chuck Cushman has opposed in Congressional testimony, "appears to be driven by local interest groups looking for money." Grefrath said the bill is supported by many environmentalists but is opposed by many taxpayer and land rights groups. Contact the American Land Rights Association at 202/546-2545.

* Half-Hearted Superfund Reform Would Leave Small Business in Peril, Says Analyst

John Shanahan of The Heritage Foundation reviewed the importance of and problems with Superfund, praising Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK)'s aggressive commitment to reform but expressing concern that most of Congress is not committed to ending Superfund abuses and runaway costs. Shanahan reviewed his cost-containment and reform proposals and explained why he fears a half-hearted reform effort would end up helping big business but harming small and medium-sized businesses. Shanahan, who recently testified before the Senate on Superfund reform, has available copies of his testimony as well as a Heritage Foundation paper he wrote detailing Superfund abuses. Contact The Heritage Foundation at 202/546-4400.

* Has a Gov't Regulation Hurt You? Share Your Story

David Ridenour, Vice President of The National Center for Public Policy Research and Director of The National Center's Environmental Policy Task Force, described the Task Force's new "Regulatory Victims Database." This is a database of documented "regulatory victims" cases around the U.S. - instances where ordinary Americans have been penalized or lost property due to hostile government regulations or insensitivity, or excessive or inappropriate government enforcement of those regulations. Members of the general public who believe they have been penalized due to the content/application of government regulations are actively being sought for inclusion in the "Regulatory Victims Database," and can find out how to submit their story for inclusion by contacting Bob Adams of The National Center for Public Policy Research's Environmental Policy Task Force at 202/543-4110, Ridenour said. Contact The National Center for Public Policy Research at 202/543-4110.

* Are Politicians Insensitive to Concerns of Small Property Owners?

Ms. Pat Callahan of the National Association of Small Property Owners (AASPO), a non-profit organization that studies how state and local laws and regulations affect small business owners, land/homeowners, and others, distributed several press releases and short papers addressing the theme that politicians are insensitive to the concerns of small property owners, and a formal, 80+ page report, Case Studies of Rent Control in Boston, recently issued by AASPO. Callahan was particularly critical of some Republican governors. A March 29 AASPO commentary she distributed, for instance, harshly criticizes Massachusetts Governor William Weld (R) for pushing for enactment of a two-year extension of rent control in that state after voters, in November 1994, ended rent control by statewide referendum. Contact the AASPO at 202/244-6277.

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. 1995 The National Center for Public Policy Research.



Return to the Scoop Newsletter Index

Return to National Center Home Page