Activities at the October 22 Wednesday Strategy Lunch chaired by Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK).
Andrea Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition discussed S. 869/HR 1858, the Homosexual Quota Bill, for which Senator Jim Jeffords (R-VT) intends to hold hearings shortly. According to the bill's text, it is designed "to provide a comprehensive federal prohibition of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation [and] to provide meaningful and effective remedies for employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation." "Sexual orientation" is defined in the legislation as "homosexuality, bisexuality, or heterosexuality, whether the orientation is real or perceived."
Sheldon discussed and made available written information on why passage of this legislation would, under current employment law and practice, lead to quotas for homosexuals. She also noted that this proposed law is broader in scope than any other enacted civil rights law. It was also noted that: 1) The law would require employers to invade the privacy of their employees because, in order to be certain that homosexuals were sufficiently represented in their workforce, employers would have to quiz employees on their sexual behavior; 2) The law would place employers in the crossfire between claims from homosexual or bisexual advocates and employees with religious or moral beliefs about homosexual or bisexual behavior; 3) The law would require employers with religious or moral opposition to homosexual or bisexual behavior to suppress their opinions, as acknowledging their own beliefs would demonstrate an illegal animus against employees participating in homosexual or bisexual activities; 4) The law would require employers and employees to suppress personal opposition, when it exists, to behaviors that are illegal in many states; 5) Legal actions brought under this law could require the wholesale invasion of privacy of an entire workforce so an employer's record of treatment of employers based on the employee's sexual activities could be discerned in court proceedings; 6) Some small companies could go bankrupt even if they won a case brought under this law, as costs for winning when charges are dismissed in civil rights cases average between $5,000 and $25,000; for winning in summary judgements $25,000 to $75,000 and for winning at trial $150,000 to $250,000.
Sheldon asked participants to contact Senator Lott about this legislation. For a handout or more information contact Andrea Sheldon at 202/547-8570.
Peter Roff of GOPAC noted that Members of Congress are arranging, with interested constituents, to visit over 30 Internal Revenue Service offices this November 15 as the IRS hosts "Open Houses" in select locations. IRS "Open Houses" will be held in: Phoenix, Laguna Nigel, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Denver, Hartford, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Chicago, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, St. Paul, St. Louis, Newark, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Manhattan, Greensboro, Cincinnati, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Nashville, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Richmond, Seattle and Milwaukee. Roff also distributed copies of GOPAC's new bumper sticker: "Support the IRS: Vote Democrat." Contact Peter Roff at 202/484-2282 or firstname.lastname@example.org (www.gopac.com).
Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) discussed two issues: 1) Legislation he has introduced, with Rep. Bill Paxon (R-NY) to end the current tax code by the end of 2000 ("We can do it by the end of 2000 and start the great debate over what we replace it with."); and 2) Hearing his subcommittee will hold November 6 on the impact of violent music lyrics on youth. Witnesses will include C. Delores Tucker, chairman of the National Political Congress of Black Women and Hilary Rosen, President of the Recording Industry Association of America. Contact Senator Brownback at 202/224-6521.
House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Peter Roff of GOPAC discussed the President's opposition to, and likely upcoming veto of, Senator Paul Coverdell's legislation to permit parents to save money tax-free for their children's education. Contact Susan Hirshmann at 202/225-0197 or Peter Roff at 202/484-2282 or email@example.com (www.gopac.com).
House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) discussed "Fast Track" legislation (which would give the President authority to negotiate an unamendable trade treaty). DeLay said that Fast Track would be brought to the floor for a vote when there are 70-90 Democrats voting for it. Noting that 95 Democrats voted for NAFTA, DeLay said "We're going to have a hard time getting 150 Republicans to vote for Fast Track. We're going to need at least 70 Democrats." As a Fast Track supporter, DeLay also criticized President Clinton (who also is a supporter) for inactivity on this issue: "The President has done nothing. He's just started making phone calls 1-2 days ago, after most of the Democrats' votes were already set." Contact Susan Hirshmann at 202/225-0197.
Myron Ebell of Frontiers of Freedom briefed participants on problems property rights activists and conservatives have with S. 1180, the Kempthorne-Chafee "Endangered Species Recovery Act." He noted that the bill was largely written by Kempthorne and the offices of Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), John Chafee (R-RI), Harry Reid (D-NV), along with Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, and that advocates of property rights were essentially shut out of deliberations and not permitted to testify during Senate hearings. Following a discussion of policy aspects of the legislation, he distributed an information kit. Contact Myron Ebell at 703/527-8282.
Bulletin Board: Publications, statements, activities and plans of conservatives in Washington.
Author Dinesh D'Souza has just completed an engaging new biography, scheduled to hit bookstores in November, "Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became and Extraordinary Leader." Chock-full of anecdotes, the book covers Reagan's youth and family life but is especially powerful when it re-creates Reagan's successes in Washington, noting with insight the powerful obstacles he faced and the at times novel ways he overcame them. Author Tom Wolfe says about the book :This marvelous book... convincingly demonstrates Ronald Reagan's moral, political and -- Yes! I'm afraid so! --intellectual superiority... The judge? The only objective one: History." Contact Dinesh D'Souza at 202/862-5800.
The American Policy Center is calling on opponents of making
the UN's Climate Change Protocol American law to stop what they
are doing for one hour on December 5 to protest the treaty. Says
APC: "During that hour attend an old-fashioned Fourth-of-July-type
celebration of liberty. Can't leave work or the house? Wear a
red, white and blue arm band or wrap it around your tree. Turn
on your car lights, honk your horn, call the newsmedia, Congress
and the White House... Bill Clinton is going to Kyoto, Japan to
sign a treaty that will severely damage the U.S. -- for no reason.
Spend one hour to save your nation. Strike for Liberty!"
Contact John Meredith at 703/925-0881 (www.americanpolicy.org).