Newsletter: New Edition of National Center for Public Policy Research Newsletter Online

Message from David and Amy Ridenour “[A]n ultra-conservative think-tank that makes the Cato Institute look like a hotbed of raving Trotskyist revolutionaries.” That’s how the liberal magazine Salon recently described your National Center for Public Policy Research. They meant it as an insult. We took it as a compliment. They wouldn’t have resorted to an ad hominem attack if they didn’t believe we were making a difference. Your National Center for Public Policy Research makes a difference on many important issues. Take Social Security and Medicare reform, for example. As proud Americans and concerned parents, we can’t help but feel personally vested in our nation’s future. And we understand that future generations are deeply affected by the decisions we make today. If only more of our elected leaders did so, too. Both Social Security and Medicare are literally insolvent and have a combined unfunded liability seven times the size of our entire economy. In just 11 short years, Social Security will be paying more in benefits than it receives in taxes. Liberals have been fighting to block meaningful reform, and steadfastly refuse to allow young Americans to invest a small portion of their own Social Security taxes in private accounts. Medicare is in even worse shape, facing a funding shortfall nearly six times larger than Social Security’s deficit. Meanwhile, Senator Ted Kennedy continues his crusade for a single-payer “universal” health care system, calling for the extension of Medicare coverage to every man, woman and child in the U.S. We’re alerting the public to these looming crises through a variety of means, most recently through a new series of our trademark Talking Points cards. If you haven’t seen them and want copies, let us know. Fighting to educate Americans about common sense solutions to critical problems is what The National Center for Public Policy Research is all about. Does this make us “ultra-conservative” – or just effective? Sincerely, David and Amy Ridenour In the News Amy Ridenour with Jonathan, Katie and Christopher in 2003. Spring 2006 1 2 Telling the Truth about Judges Conservatives will tell you a “judge’s authority derives entirely from the fact that he is applying the law and not his personal values” (Reagan Supreme Court nominee Judge Robert Bork, September 15, 1987). Others say “law is not really handed down from on high… Rather, it emerges… the result, I tend to think, of a conversation” (Clinton-appointed Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, January 13, 2005). Members of our African-American leadership group Project 21 are steadfast supporters of judicial nominees who adhere to what the Constitution says, not what it might say if stretched, twisted, or manipulated. They are on the front lines in the fight to ensure the American public knows the truth about Supreme Court nominees, and the difference between an orginalist jurist and one who looks to his or her own opinions – or international law – when issuing rulings. Dozens of members make up Project 21’s special Judicial Task Force, including U.S. Civil Rights Commission Commissioner Peter Kirsanow, former Senate Judiciary Committee Staffer Cheryl Harley LeBon and former U.S. Department of Education General Counsel Brian Jones. Project 21 members also defend the honor and reputation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas against defamatory attacks. When Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called Thomas “an embarrassment to the Supreme Court,” Project 21’s Wendell Talley retorted, “Senator Reid has revealed the intolerance found on the political left for minorities who do not reside on their ideological plantation. Justice Thomas has been in the public eye for approximately 15 years and conducted himself with integrity. Reid seemed to be around just 15 minutes before he made a fool of himself.” When Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado tried to send Justice Thomas to the back of the bus by calling Thomas an “abomination,” Project 21’s Mychal Massie said, “[Senator Salazar] implies that Justice Thomas and his achievements can be overlooked because they don’t conform with the preconceived notions that Senator Salazar and his liberal colleagues seem to have for black Americans… Senator Salazar is essentially telling us that Clarence Thomas’s rise from poverty to the U.S. Supreme Court can be discounted simply because he is conservative.” When the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorialized that Thomas isn’t fully black, saying “[Thomas] deserves an asterisk [next to designations of him as a black man] because he arguably does not represent the views of mainstream black America,” Project 21’s Deroy Murdock slapped the paper down, saying, “Justice Thomas is not on the Court to represent ’mainstream black America’ any more than Justice Antonin Scalia is supposed to stick up for Americans of Italian descent or Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is supposed to be the Court’s voice of American Jewry.” Project 21 members were interviewed or cited over 700 times on judicial issues over the last year. Project 21’s Don Scoggins is interviewed on black conservatives by Fox News reporter Beth Parker. 3 “In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Trial lawyers don’t ask the public’s opinion before they file suits that can raise taxes or drive legal products from store shelves. One of the good guys, Texas Attorney General John Cornyn, says ‘we should not be making social change and establishing public policy through the courthouse instead of the statehouse.’ He’s right.” -Amy Ridenour, “Put a Brake on Government Lawsuits,” July 1999 Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial ruling last summer in Kelo v. New London, the issue of private property rights has risen to the forefront of public policy debate. So it was no surprise that this year’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference, a gathering of nearly 5,000 conservative leaders and activists, devoted nearly an hour of its jam-packed agenda to the topic. The National Center was one of four organizations invited to help construct a property rights panel and speak to the CPAC audience. Many attendees were appalled to learn Americans could lose the right to use their property simply because an endangered species might reside on their land. Still more were shocked when we told them how the government uses phony “wetlands” rulings to destroy property rights and plunge good folks into financial ruin. Education is essential for action. This year’s CPAC attendees now have some intellectual ammunition to help them in the battle to restore property rights. Peyton Knight addresses the 2006 Conservative Political Action Conference. “Secure private property rights are the underpinning of a free society,” said Knight. “Yet… these rights have been eroded and mauled beyond recognition.” Addressing the Conservative Movement From Our Archives 4 When the U.N. hosted a conference in Montreal, Canada to promote sharp curbs on fossil fuels, ostensibly to stop global warming, The National Center turned out in force to counter the U.N.’s spin machine. Vice President David Ridenour, Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs Peyton Knight and Policy Analyst Ryan Balis all participated. Our message was straightforward: the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty is expensive, environmentally irrelevant, and for all practical purposes dead, and so, too, are the U.N.’s current efforts to craft a subsequent treaty. The Kyoto treaty could have cost the U.S. as much as three percent of our GDP every year, just to reduce global temperatures by less than two-tenths of one percent (if that). The National Center has long maintained that the Kyoto Treaty was designed less for controlling greenhouse gas emissions than controlling U.S. economic growth. Few things illustrate this point better than the fact that Europe lost interest in the treaty as soon as it was clear that the U.S. would take no part in it. As Senior Fellow Dana Joel Gattuso pointed out in a recent National Center study, “13 of the 15 original members of the European Union have increased their emissions since 1990… by 2010, the 15 nations’ emissions collectively will exceed 1990 levels by seven percent.” Nonetheless, the Montreal conference was an attempt by the U.N. and left-leaning groups to breathe life back into the Kyoto process and craft yet another dubious scheme to use the global warming theory as a means to penalize America for our economic strength. Most Kyoto-style schemes, whether hatched at the U.N. or U.S. Senate, include “emissions credits” plans that would force businesses to “purchase” the “right” to emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The National Center does not favor such schemes. And, based on Europe’s failure to fulfill its Vice President David Ridenour and Policy Analyst Ryan Balis outside the United Nations Global Warming Conference in Montreal, Canada, where they drew attention to the flaws in the U.N.’s Kyoto Treaty. National Center Cools Off UN Global Warming Party 5 Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen discusses global warming with Donna King of Reuters Television. obligations under the Kyoto Treaty, such mechanisms also seem unworkable. As David Ridenour declared: “Kyoto-style emissions credits aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. Unless, of course, that paper happens to be toilet paper.” Following that theme, National Center staffers distributed hundreds of press releases analyzing the just failure of the Kyoto Treaty, and distributed nearly 150 rolls of “emissions credits” to conference attendees. The “credits” were printed on rolls of toilet paper, aptly symbolizing Kyoto’s true value. As much as the U.N. claims to champion “diversity,” not everyone at the U.N.’s Montreal conference was pleased to see the National Center’s challenge to the predominating leftist mindset: – A U.N. official tried to confiscate our press releases. – Greenpeace activists tried to put our emissions credits display in the trash. – A French reporter became furious at The National Center’s Peyton Knight and implied that the only reason we are skeptical of leftist claims on global warming is because the global warming theory can’t be found in the Bible’s Book of Genesis. – The staff of pro-Kyoto U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) tried to block us from distributing press releases to conference participants. We persevered, however, and received over 80 international media citations, including two New York Times articles. Going into the belly of the beast to fight for liberty and free markets isn’t always the easiest thing to do. But as our work in Montreal shows, it can be very effective. 6 “I didn’t like the amount of money the government took from me, so I decided to divert it,” says Dr. Letty Lutzker, explaining why she started supporting conservative and free market causes about 15 years ago. Today, less of her hard-earned money goes to support big government programs… …and more of it goes to organizations, such as The National Center for Public Policy Research, that fight such programs. Letty Lutzker is the Chief of Nuclear Medicine at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, a post she has held since 1988. She’s been an enthusiastic supporter of The National Center for more than four years. Her generosity has earned her special recognition as a member of both The National Center’s Chairman’s and Nathan Hale Patriots clubs. Letty’s name appears prominently on plaques in the conference room and main lobby of our national headquarters. Letty is married to Kalman Detrich, a native of Hungary who came to America following the 1956 revolution. The uprising was brutally crushed by the Soviet military, resulting in the deaths of between 25,000 and 100,000 of Detrich’s fellow Hungarians. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that the cause of liberty is especially near and dear to Letty’s heart. She views property rights – an issue to which The National Center has devoted significant resources – as absolutely critical to the cause of liberty. “Individual liberty means what you own is yours,” says Letty. “If your property can be taken away from you, then what individual liberty do you have?” Letty is enthusiastic about The National Center’s other work in the environmental policy arena, too, including our work exposing the anti-science, anti-progress bias of the environmental movement. As a physician in nuclear medicine, she’s witnessed firsthand the many benefits of radiopharmaceuticals, which among other things give doctors the ability to locate elusive cancerous tumors. “The Greens have been able to incite terror over radioactivity without any honest discussion of the good it does,” she laments. She’s critical of the environmental movement’s push to cover vast open spaces with windmill farms. “Windmills are the quintessential symbol of the stupidity of the environmental left. It is the least efficient way to produce electricity,” she says. “Nuclear is obviously the most efficient. If you really want to create green spaces, you go nuclear.” Letty believes The National Center’s work on other regulatory issues is important, too. “I work in a highly regulated field. Working in medicine is like working in a socialist country,” she says. “It is getting more oppressive every day.” She notes that the endless “layers and layers of bureaucracy” put a serious strain on not only the advancement of medicine, but also doctors’ ability to perform routine duties. “So many doctors are forced to hire more and more people just to deal with the paperwork to show compliance with the regulations,” she says. “And the push for a single party-payer system is very frightening for the future of medicine in this country.” Letty grew up in a predominantly liberal neighborhood and remembers begging her parents to tell her how they cast their votes in 1956. They eventually told her, but only after she promised not to tell any of the neighbors. You see, they had voted for Eisenhower. Today, Letty is still surrounded by liberals, but she doesn’t keep her conservatism a secret. She tries to engage her liberal friends in political discussion, convinced that if they only knew the facts they’d be conservative as she is. Perhaps this is one reason she likes the National Center’s black leadership network Project 21 so much. “It is very important to this country to break monolithic voting blocs,” Letty says. “I really like seeing [Project 21 member] Mychal Massie on television.” Making tax-deductible contributions to groups such as The National Center isn’t the only way Letty and her husband have diverted their money away from government. They recently moved to eastern Pennsylvania to “escape the confiscatory taxes of Westchester [New York].” As a consequence, she now has a 50-mile commute each day to St. Barnabas, NJ. But conservative talk radio makes the time fly, she says. Considering Dr. Lutzker’s breadth of knowledge on the issues, and her passion for conservative values, she could have a show of her own. Donor Profile: Letty Goodman Lutzker, M.D. 7 You Can Keep Future Generations on the Right Road… …by helping ensure your National Center for Public Policy Research is always around to right their course when they stray. Your generous support of our work tells us you cherish American liberty. It also tells us that you don’t just think of the here and now, but the future and the kind of America future generations will inherit. The National Center will serve as your voice for future generations. You can help ensure this voice is a strong one by making a special “Legacy” gift today. Legacy gifts are those contributions you make as part of your estate planning. They can include donations through bequests, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, and insurance policies, among others. To follow is a description of how one such Legacy gift, Charitable Remainder Trusts, work: Trusts are similar to bequests, but can have very significant tax advantages for supporters. A Charitable Remainder Trust, for example, offers dramatic benefits to your family by effectively doubling the impact of your estate. If $500,000 of your estate would be subject to estate taxes, for example, federal and possibly state governments would end up with the lion’s share of it if you chose to leave the money directly to your heirs. Legacy Gift Information Request Please send me information on making a legacy gift. I’m interested in information on… Leaving a bequest. Charitable Gift Annuities that can provide me with stable income while providing for The National Center’s future. Charitable Remainder Trusts. Charitable Lead Trusts. Name ____________________________________ Address __________________________________ City State Zip _____________________________ Phone Number ____________________________ Best Time to Reach ________________________ But this doesn’t need to happen if you put the $500,000 into a Charitable Remainder Trust, instead. Here’s what would happen… You would receive an annual income for life. You could take that annual income for several years and use it to purchase a life insurance policy with a face value of $500,000. Since the appreciation of the Trust would likely exceed the amount of the payments to you, the amount in the Trust would continue to grow over the years. Then, when you pass away, the National Center (and any other charity you might designate) would receive the $500,000 (probably more with appreciation), your heirs would receive the $500,000 from the life insurance policy tax-free, and the government would receive nothing. For more information, please use the form below. 501 Capitol Court, NE Suite 200 Washington, DC 20002 In December, the National Center for Public Policy Research distributed rolls of toilet paper at climate treaty talks in Montreal printed with the phrase “emissions credit” in five languages—reflecting what it claimed is the value of such credits, which are earned by cutting greenhouse gases linked to warming. “Black leadership in this country embraces the culture of victimology, personal grievances and separatism. And that doesn’t work.” – Project 21’s Darryn Martin [Project 21 Member Michael] King also disputed the suggestion that any advancement by minorities has stopped. “When you look at the number of individuals across the nation both in elective and appointed office, the numbers are certainly increasing,” he said. And some property rights groups, like the National Center for Public Policy Research, based in Washington, oppose [provisions in a Republican Endangered Species Act proposal] because too much regulation remains. “Cooperative doesn’t mean voluntary,” said Peyton Knight, the group’s director of environment and regulatory affairs. “It does not help if I’m saying, ‘Cooperate or else.’” “When Congress approved its $59.7 billion, 663-page 2005 education bill, it included 1,175 mandated projects, or ‘earmarks’… These earmarks included $450,000 for the Baseball Hall of Fame and $25,000 to help students in Clark County, Nevada, study Mariachi music. At the time, American 15-year-olds ranked 28th in math and 22nd in science… Perhaps they would have done better, had baseball and Mariachi music been among the subjects tested.” – Amy Ridenour RIVERSIDE, CA PRESS-ENTERPRISE

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.