Note: Republican efforts to eliminate funding for the Legal Services
Corporation because of its many abuses continue to falter because of the
lackluster support for reform shown by many moderate Republican Members
of Congress. This letter, being circulated by the National Legal and Policy
Center among conservative groups on Capitol Hill for signatures, shows the
effort being brought to bear on some of the LSC's most ardent defenders.
May 15, 1997
Hon. Jon D. Fox
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congressman Fox,
We object to your on-going efforts to save the federal legal services program.
As you know, much of the $283 million in taxpayer funds that is provided
to the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is a direct subsidy to liberal legal
and political activism.
It is bad enough that it was your amendment that forestalled additional
cuts in legal services funding in 1996. We now learn in 1997 that you have
hypocritically torpedoed one of the reforms that you argued in 1996 would
help clean up the program.
The reform was to allow for competition for LSC grants instead of the presumptive
refunding that all grantees previously enjoyed. LSC awarded exactly one
grant out of nearly 300 on a truly competitive basis. But that was too much
for you, apparently because it was your ox that was being gored.
According to press reports, you successfully requested that the winning
grantee, the Dessen, Moses & sheinhoff law firm, turn down the grant.
You demanded that LSC redirect the grant to the former grantee, Montgomery
County Legal Aid, on whose board you previously served.
It appears that your professed concern for the poor is insincere and that
your real motivation is the continued flow of pork to your lawyer friends.
There is not an organization listed below that has not had its agenda damaged
by legal services activists. Your continued support of federal funding for
legal services will be considered an offensive action against us. We ask
that you cease and desist any further support for legal services funding.
For more information, contact the National Legal and Policy Center at
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