18 Sep 1998 Scoop: September 18, 1998
Contents* Rep. DeLay Addresses Release of Clinton Grand Jury Videotape
* Public Isn’t Supporting the President, Senator Says
* Tax Cuts Are Good, But So is Saving Social Security
* U.S. Tax Dollars Are Being Used to Criticize Ken Starr Abroad
* Support for Arms Control in Senate Has Weakened, But Senators Still Oppose Missile Defense
* Puerto Ricans Are Being Told That Statehood Doesn’t Mean Speaking English
* Former Russian Dissident Suggests Upgrading American University Programs in Russia
Activities at the September 16 Strategy Lunch chaired by Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK), and sponsored by Coalitions for America (202/546-3003).
Rep. DeLay Addresses Release of Clinton Grand Jury VideotapeHouse Majority Whip Tom DeLay (who received a standing ovation from meeting participants in support of his honest and outspoken approach to the Clinton scandals when he began speaking) discussed the scandals. Among his comments: “Anyone who makes their decision [about impeachment] based on the polls… believes in the rule of Man, not the rule of law.” Regarding a possible censure of the President, DeLay said: “It is either impeachment, or no impeachment.” About the situation generally and comity in the House, DeLay said: “This is very serious… We recognize the gravity of the situation… The Democrats are desperate. They’re looking to pick a fight. We’re bending over backwards to avoid a fight, but they’re [determined] to find one.” Regarding the release of the videotape of the President’s August 17 grand jury testimony, DeLay pointed out that the House already voted to release by September 28 all materials that are not injurious to innocent third parties. Contact Rep. DeLay via Autumn Hanna at 202/225-0197.
Public Isn’t Supporting the President, Senator SaysSenator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) discussed the Clinton scandal, the Holbrook nomination for UN Ambassador, Senator Dirk Kempthorne (R-ID)’s Endangered Species Act bill, among other issues. On the scandal, Inhofe noted that during the first half hour after the Starr report was released, his Oklahoma City office received 367 phone calls about the scandal. Of these, he said, 28 supported Clinton. In addition, he said, 94% of the e-mails he’s received have favored either impeachment or resignation. “Everyone [in the Senate] I’ve talked to says the same,” he added. Contact Senator Inhofe via Gary Hoitsma at 202/224-4721.
Tax Cuts Are Good, But So is Saving Social SecurityCongressman Mark Neumann (R-WI) discussed tax cuts: “We like tax cuts. Tax cuts are a good thing. But you take tax cuts out of spending reductions or the general fund. You do not take tax cuts out of Social Security.” Contact Rep. Neumann at 202/225-3031.
Stanton Meeting: Activities at the September 18 Stanton foreign and defense policy meeting chaired by Laszlo Pasztor of Coalitions for America and sponsored by Coalitions for America (202/546-3003).
U.S. Tax Dollars Are Being Used to Criticize Ken Starr AbroadVladimir Matusevich, the former director of the Russian service of the U.S. government-operated Radio Liberty, presented two commentaries that recently appeared in the Russian media about Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky and Ken Starr. One, called “The Taming of the Lie,” spoke of Starr’s investigation as the U.S. government’s way to root out corruption. It pointed out that safeguards of this sort need to be implemented in Russia, where government leaders lie on a regular basis and corruption is rampant. The other called the Starr investigation a “puppet show” and compared it to the Spanish Inquisition in the Middle Ages. The disagreement is not uncommon, but the sources are. The commentary supporting the Starr investigation comes from the Russian Literary Gazette. The second commentary, the one critical of Starr, came from Radio Liberty correspondent Boris Paramonov and was paid for by the U.S. government. Matusevich is planning to make English translations of both commentaries available. He says they should be sent to Congress to show how taxpayer money is being used to rally foreign public opinion against the Starr investigation. Contact Vladimir Matusevich at 301/365-9575.
Support for Arms Control in Senate Has Weakened, But Senators Still Oppose Missile DefenseBaker Spring of The Heritage Foundation said two recent votes in the U.S. Senate show the once overwhelming coalition supporting arms control is fragmented, something Spring says is a by-product of the Clinton Administration’s contentious but successful 1997 campaign to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Spring said legislation to fund a commission to implement the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), introduced to show support for the CTBT and pressure Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms (R-NC) to report the CTBT out of his committee, received only 49 votes. This is well below the 67 needed for passage. Spring also said a bill to develop an American anti-ballistic missile (ABM) defense system is one vote shy of breaking the filibuster blocking its passage. Both votes, Spring says, indicate the Clinton Administration faces an “uphill battle” in rebuilding the once strong consensus for arms control. Spring says this “dramatically different” mood among senators is a result of the heavy-handed campaign to ratify the CWC – a treaty to ban chemical weapons that many believe will overburden U.S. businesses and actually increase chemical weapons proliferation. Spring said senators up for reelection who oppose breaking the filibuster on building ABM defenses are Barbara Boxer (D-CA), John Breaux (D-LA), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Bob Graham (D-FL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), Harry Reid (D-NV) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). Contact Baker Spring at 202/546-4400 or [email protected] (Review Heritage papers on this topic at the Heritage online publications library at http://www.heritage.org/heritage/library/.)
Puerto Ricans Are Being Told That Statehood Doesn’t Mean Speaking EnglishJim Boulet of English First played a pro-Puerto Rico statehood commercial being shown in Puerto Rico that repeats five times in 30 seconds that a vote for statehood is not a vote for accepting the English language. Puerto Rico will conduct a non-binding vote on the statehood issue on December 13, 1998. Boulet attempted to play the commercial at the conclusion of a pro-statehood press conference held at the U.S. Capitol, but a statehood supporter pulled the plug on Boulet’s TV/VCR unit and called the Capitol Police to remove him. Boulet also said a “Sense of the Senate” resolution in support of Puerto Rico voting on its status may be introduced and that Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) may allow it to come up for a vote. Boulet warned statehood proponents could use such a vote at a later date to pressure senators supporting the resolution to actually vote in favor of Puerto Rico statehood. Contact Jim Boulet at 703/321-8818 or [email protected] (http://www.englishfirst.org).
Former Russian Dissident Suggests Upgrading American University Programs in RussiaEdward Lozansky of the Westwind Institute said that U.S. policy of supporting the corrupt and bureaucratic Russian government has failed, and that Congress should encourage more private involvement in Russian education and business. Lozansky, a former dissident and Russian academic, fears that Russian intellectuals may stray from their pro-Western leanings unless there is an infusion of American education. Lozansky suggested expanding existing American university programs in Russia that are independent of the Russian government. Lozansky said such partnerships could be expanded to include new relationships between Russian and American businesses. Contact Edward Lozansky at 202/986-6010.