Issue 201 * October 9, 1998
The National Center for Public Policy Research
Amy Ridenour, President
20 F Street NW, Suite 700 * Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 507-6398 * Fax (301) 498-1301
Strategy Lunch: Activities at the October
7 Strategy Lunch chaired by Morton Blackwell of the Leadership
Institute and sponsored by Coalitions for America (202/546-3003).
Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK) and others discussed activities in the House. Regarding appropriations, DeLay said, "The House has held the conservative line. [But] some subcommittee chairmen in the Senate are spending money like it's water." DeLay also said that on appropriations, "Clinton's not engaged. He doesn't care... We don't know where the President [stands on most of these appropriations bills]. Nobody knows." DeLay also said he's been "chewed out" by conservative Members of Congress consistently lately because of Congressional concessions to the White House to avoid a government shutdown, but, he said, he doesn't see much alternative to the concessions because most Republican Members "don't have the stomach for a prolonged government shutdown." Istook asked DeLay's opinion on Istook's thought that while the accepted wisdom is that the House GOP leadership is making concessions to the White House because the Republicans think it is in their best interest to go home and campaign, in fact the Democrats benefit more from the opportunity to go home. Istook noted that Rep. John Linder, head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, has said that not a single GOP Congressional incumbent is trailing in the polls. DeLay replied that the conventional wisdom is not quite correct, inasmuch as the Senate is playing a much larger role in the thinking of the House GOP leadership than most people realize. Rather than insist on going home ASAP, he said, the House GOP leadership has actually warned the Senate (as part of ongoing negotiations over various bills between the House and Senate) that the House is willing to stay in session until election day if necessary. Contact Rep. DeLay via Autumn Hanna at 202/225-0197.
Mike Hammond, a consultant to several conservative groups and a long-time staff member of the U.S. Senate, distributed, and then discussed, a letter to all meeting participants. The letter told a personal story: "For the last two years, I have spent most of my time in my home in New Hampshire caring for my 87-year-old mother with Alzheimer's... On September 17, New Hampshire social workers, accompanied by two police, barged into my home without a search warrant... they physically dragged my mother out of our home, without any court order, doctor's opinion, or finding of probable cause. Frail and in poor health, my mother was pulled from my home, screaming and cursing, against her vocal opposition and against mine. My mother had a heart attack on the way to the hospital, and arrived in critical condition... Within a few days, my mother was made a ward of the state in a proceeding where she had no representation, no family member was notified, and the only party present was the state attorney seeking to take away all of her freedom and her right to make decisions regarding her own life... She continue[s] to lie in Concord Hospital. My observation is that she spend most of her alert hours calling my name and screaming for someone to take her home. It appears that the hospital has dealt with this situation by keeping her under heavy sedation in order to muffle her cries for help." Hammond asked: "What sort of country is this if the government can drag people [out of their home] without a search warrant, without a court order, without a doctor's opinion? My mother doesn't deserve being dragged out of her home and almost killed just because the government wants to regulate our family." Hammond is seeking publicity for his family's plight and legal assistance. Contact Mike Hammond at 603/774-3113, 703/321-8585 or 202/544-3343.
Senator John Ashcroft (R-MO) reviewed his new economic proposal, which calls for 1) lowering the federal tax rate to 10% for people making $68,400 or less annually; 2) allows people to invest up to $5,000 per year in a tax-free IRA (which people can withdraw funds from at their own discretion); 3) ending tax deductions except for home ownership, buying health insurance or contributing to charity. There are other substantial provisions. The plan is available in booklet form. Contact Tevi Troy at Senator Ashcroft's office at 202/224-6154.
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) discussed upcoming Senate votes,
including a vote on President Clinton's nomination of Rose Gottemoeller
to be Assistant Secretary of Energy for Nonproliferation and National
Security. Mrs. Gottemoeller wants the U.S. to adopt a no-first-use
nuclear policy, she wants the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
(which outlaws the U.S. defending itself from incoming missiles)
to remain the cornerstone of American security policy, and she
has advocated banning nuclear weapons entirely. Contact Senator
Inhofe via Gary Hoitsma at 202/224-4721.
Stanton Meeting: Activities at the October
1 Stanton foreign and defense policy meeting chaired by Laszlo
Pasztor of Coalitions for America and sponsored by Coalitions
for America (202/546-3003).
Vladimir Matusevitch, former head of the Russian division of the Voice of America, distributed English translations of broadcasts of the U.S. government's Radio Liberty. These broadcasts into Russia call Ken Starr a "Salem witch hunter," compare him to Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition, compare his investigation to killings in the circuses of Ancient Rome, and call President Clinton a victim of "inquisitorial harassment by a fanatical prosecutor with unlimited power." Radio Liberty has also broadcast, Matusevitch said, that Starr puts "democracy in danger." They've also broadcast the view that, "if no moral brakes exist" upon Ken Starr and other Americans who insist on investigating possible perjury and obstruction of justice, then, "regardless of... the U.S. Constitution, regardless of U.S. state laws, [Americans] are obligated to be guided by international law, which is above national law, [which says], 'No one has the right to invade a person's private life.'" Radio Liberty has not broadcast the other side of this issue, said Matusevitch, such as Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT)'s Senate speech or New York Times editorials criticizing Clinton. Radio Liberty is run by Clinton appointee Thomas Dine. Matusevitch also distributed a column by Dine in an official Radio Liberty publication largely dedicated to a vociferous attack on Ken Starr. Contact Vladimir Matusevitch at 301/365-9575.
Ambassador Philip Dimitrov of Bulgaria, former Prime Minister of that nation, reviewed progress in Bulgaria & developments in Russia. Contact Ambassador Dimitrov at 202/387-7969.
Tim Hunter of State Department Watch announced that the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee has convened hearings on international
child abduction, except that they are excluding abductions to
the Middle East, which is, Hunter said, the major region Americans
are held as captives. Hunter estimated that 10,000 Americans are
held in the Middle East. Many are children, but some are adults
held in a form of indentured servitude. These Americans can't
escape because some of these countries, including Saudi Arabia,
won't give exit visas to anyone, including foreign nationals,
without their employer's permission. Hunter mentioned that the
relatives of some persons held in the Middle East have set up
web sites about their relatives' predicament. One is at http://www.sauduction.com.
Contact Tim Hunter at 202/452-5555 or TNHunter@bellatlantic.net.*