Strategy Lunch: Activities at the October 8, 1997 Wednesday Strategy Lunch chaired by Paul Weyrich.
Bill Pascoe of the American Conservative Union reviewed an October 3 Washington Times op/ed by Lawrence Criner about President Clinton's nominee for Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher, director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The article recounts the CDC's secret tests on newborns to discover if they were HIV+ and the fact that, when some babies were found to be HIV+, the CDC intentionally did not notify the parents. Furthermore, the article recounts, when liberal Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-NY) submitted legislation to stop this practice, Dr. Satcher flew to Washington to try to dissuade him. After the bill became law anyway, in 1996, Satcher's CDC announced plans to resume the practice in 16 states. The op/ed also discusses Satcher's role in Hillary Clinton's Health Care Task Force, the CDC's work with a group whose founder told Time magazine that children have a fundamental right "to be sexual" and whose current president has called for teaching teenagers to arouse each other, and the CDC's grants to a "health initiative" centered around a drag queen fashion show, which Satcher has promised to continue. Contact Bill Pascoe at 703/836-8602.
Baker Spring of The Heritage Foundation and Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) reviewed agreements recently signed by the Clinton Administration relating to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Three of these agreements, Spring said, are sufficiently substantive to require the advice and consent of the Senate. The first of these agreements designates successor states to the Soviet Union so the treaty, signed by the U.S. and U.S.S.R., can remain in force. Noting that the treaty is used to prevent the U.S. from building systems to defend the American mainland from nuclear missiles, Spring questioned why the Administration wishes to continue it: "Why we would want to continue an agreement that forbids us from defending ourselves against incoming ballistic missiles is beyond me." Defeat of the succession agreement would likely invalidate the ABM treaty, Spring said, since one of the two signatory states no longer exists. "We will never in my judgement have a better opportunity to get out from under this misconceived treaty," he said. Inhofe noted that Henry Kissinger, who as Secretary of State in 1972 played a key role in the treaty's negotiation, now opposes it. Inhofe quoted Kissinger saying that it is "nuts to make a virtue out of your vulnerability." Contact Baker Spring at 202/546-4400 and Senator Inhofe at 202/224-4721.
Elaine Donnelley of the Center for Military Readiness (CMR) briefed participants on the Navy's "hardball" campaign of retribution against Lt. Patrick Burns, who informed the CMR of unsafe Navy training practices after his superiors refused to correct them. (The practices involved lowering training standards for female pilots to the point that, Burns believed, their safety was imperiled. Burns was proved correct when one of two female pilots he was training was killed during training.) Donnelley reported that Burns has been told by the Navy that he won't be promoted and that if he "makes one false move" he'll be kicked out. If this happens, Donnelley said, Burns, who entered the Navy as an enlisted man, could be kicked out just before he reaches 20 years of service. She also noted that Burns himself told the Navy he was the leaker, and the Navy would never have known had he not done so. Donnelley also commented on the new report on Sexual Harassment in the Military, which she called "a joke" and "a jobs program for people who do focus groups." She also was critical of Secretary of the Army Togo West, whose policies, she believes, have led to the sex scandal at Abderdeen. Donnelley believes West should resign over Abderdeen as a top Navy official did over Tailhook. Finally, Donnelley discussed West's view that "adversative training" should be ended in the Army -- that is, West's view that recruits not meeting standards should be politely talked with instead of being told to go for a run or do push-ups. The Army is doing this, Donnelley said, to keep recruits in an era of tremendously low morale. Contact Elaine Donnelley at 313/464-6678.
Rep. Mark Neumann (R-WI), who recently announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Russ Feingold, recounted how the Feingold campaign is physically disrupting Neumann's campaign events in Wisconsin. Participants questioned why a prime sponsor of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Bill is not dedicated to running a clean campaign. Contact Rep. Neumann at 202/225-3031.
Bulletin Board: Activities, publications, statements and plans of conservatives in Washington.
Partisan differences took a back seat to children as an array of congressmen, senators and religious leaders gathered for a Washington, D.C. conference to discuss proposals for giving parents public scholarships to send their children to public, private, or religious schools. Rep. Floyd Flake (D-NY), Rev. Dr. Dean Trulear, and Bishop Georghe McKinney, all African-Americans, joined Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA), Dan Coats (R-IN), Spencer Abraham (R-MI) and other conservatives in supporting school choice as a means of supriing improvement in public schools while rescuing poor urban students from schools that fail to educate. Congressional Black Caucus Member Rep. Floyd Flake, who cited surveys showing that more than 62% of inner city families want public scholarships for their children, proclaimed: "We must awaken to the reality that it is time for this change" so that our schools can again "produce Americans who we can be proud of." Contact Mark Rodgers of Senator Santorum's office at 202/224-6324.
A study released by the Heritage Foundation finds that 34.4%
of House members and 50% of Senators with school-age children
send theirs to private, rather than public schools. Nearly 40%
of the Members on the House Education Committee, which has jurisdiction
over school choice, send their children to private schools. For
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Hispanic Caucus,
32% and 44% send the children to private schools, respectively.
Apparently many members of Congress, most of them upper and upper-middle
class citizens themselves, favor school choice for the economically
advantaged while consistently opposing public scholarships, and
opportunity, to inner city youth. Contact Nina Shokraii, author
of the study, at 202/546-4400. *