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  1. 4 points
    Washington Post Election Coverage 1988 ISSUE #1 FRONT PAGE Congressman Douglas Seymour (D-SC) seen leaving the Democratic fundraiser in New York (AP Pictures) Party Fundraisers Showcase Potential Top Presidential Candidates (New York) - Over the weekend, Democrats gathered in New York and Republicans gathered in Texas respectively to hold dueling large fundraisers dinners which seemingly had ripple effects in Washington. Governor Mario Cuomo (D-NY) was present in New York at the Democratic fundraiser and Vice President George Bush (R-TX) attended the Republican dinner in Texas. Both of them have ruled out a Presidential run which made their respective appearances as household names seem as though they were giving a nod to prospective Presidential candidates whom are already making decisions about key upcoming primaries such as Iowa and New Hampshire, helping bring in large donors to the dinners. At the Republican dinner, several notable high-ranking members spoke extensively. RNC Chairman Michael Marshall (R-NC) attended and House Minority Leader Kyle Fitzgerald (R-TX) was there as well. Out of the two members of Republican leadership, analysts have said Leader Fitzgerald has made the most movement toward a Presidential campaign. "House Minority Leader Fitzgerald, from what I gathered, really resonated on the issue of taxes with those in attendance," a Republican source told the Post, "he laid out a specific plan and it really provides a clear picture of where he stands on these issues, there's no ambiguity." The source noted several issues were touched upon at the fundraiser by the different speakers. Congressman Abraham Saroyan (R-MT) gave a speech that played well to those concerned about national security and the military, according the source, and the speech "sounded like it was geared for a Presidential run." On a different token, Congressman and Reverend Anderson Kaine (R-IL) gave a speech heavily geared toward social issues. The speech was "heavily filled" with references to opposition to abortion and a war against Christianity internationally. The source noted Kaine is going to be "one of the big claimants" of the religious vote if he decides to run in the Presidential election. RNC Chairman Michael Marshall also appealed to the Christian Coalition crowd, emphasizing his role in the introduction of the 'Defense of Marriage Act' and assuring those in the crowd the importance of Judeo-Christian values. It remains unclear which of these four top speakers at the fundraiser intend to run for President, but by most analysts accounts, each of them share a fair shot at appealing to different cross-sections of the party. At the end of the fundraiser, the general feeling of the source was that donors had several highlights for the night. House Minority Leader Kyle Fitzgerald's specific plan (eliminating the Estate tax, AMT tax) on taxes was the main highlight, Congressman Anderson Kaine's blunt comments on fighting for Christianity is now seared into the mind of top endorsers in that faction of the party, and Congressman Abraham Saroyan's comments on his willingness to use the might and power of the U.S. military to spread democracy have peaked the interest of many already working within the Reagan Administration NSC. We were lucky enough to also score a source who gave us insight into what happened at the Democratic fundraiser dinner in New York. According to our source, the top three notable speakers at the event were Congressman Ari Goodman (D-GA), House Majority Whip Thomas Blackstone (D-MA), and Congressman Douglas Seymour (D-SC). Ari Goodman, the "old country boy from Georgia" as our source put it, gave a speech that sounded like a stump speech. The source noted it was particularly effective and the delivery was praised by those in attendance as someone who would resonate clearly with 'blue-collar workers.' "The speech did something no Democrat has been able to do effectively up to this point, and that is lay out clearly what Democrats have actually accomplished under President Regan the past year," our source said. House Majority Whip Thomas Blackstone gave a speech that the source said "very much" sounded like a speech of someone intending to run for President. It was a progressive speech, according to the source, and it "could be a missing piece that is needed" in the Democratic primary according to many donors. At the end of the night, Congressman Douglas Seymour -- the man who is perhaps the most for sure nominee in the race -- gave a speech highlighting his major accomplishments. According to our source, Seymour's speech reminded donors of his major role in legislation such as the Higher Education Savings Act, Protecting American Textile Workers, among other major legislation which has had major coverage in the media. The source noted that Douglas Seymour clearly has the best foundation at the moment, and the most attention from donors, but both Ari Goodman and Thomas Blackstone serve as "worthy, considerable" challengers." "Donors are impressed by the words of Goodman and want to see him lay out more foundation for a campaign over the next few months," the source told us, "they want to be assured their money will be going toward something real." That seems the key these next few weeks for candidates, to reassure donors and begin to build a base of voters at the upcoming straw polls and in the media. Upcoming Strawpolls Have Big Stakes for Candidates in Wide Open Fields (Washington D.C.) - The upcoming straw polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, for Republicans and Democrats respectively, are going to play a "huge role" in giving candidates name recognition at the beginning of the Presidential race, unlike anything we've ever seen before in recent history according to many analysts. In an op-ed written for The Washington Post, political analyst Kelliher McCaul noted we haven't had two parties with such open primaries "since the election of 1952" when General Dwight Eisenhower was nominated for the Republicans. With the wide open primaries, and none of the candidates carrying the amount of name recognition a Vice President might have or the leading General of World War II might receive, the 1988 Presidential field is 'wide open.' "I'm amazed we haven't seen more people dipping their toes in the water, at the very least," McCaul wrote, "because this election is unprecedented in how open it is for new faces to emerge and cement their names on the national stage." Those who participated in the large donor dinners over the weekend are largely expected to attend the respective straw polls. Analysts have also warned, however, that too much thought can be put into early polling. "If a candidate delivers a particularly good speech, makes a slip up and gives a gaffe to the media, or a new candidate emerges after the straw poll, things just fundamentally change," Washington Post's Jacob Olliver warned, "the straw poll is an indication perhaps, but sometimes people just put too much stock into it." Largely there has been agreement that the straw-poll, if nothing more, will serve as a stage to introduce candidates to the national media who will be more free to cover the speakers freely and without reservation. "Candidates will do well to appeal to the specific voters of Iowa and New Hampshire respectively," Olliver noted, "which, from where I'm sitting, doesn't reflect the country." SIDE STORIES Republicans Hold Slight Lead in Generic Congressional Ballot (Washington D.C.) – In a poll conducted by ABC News/Washington Post showed Republicans currently hold a slight lead in the national congressional generic ballot, edging out Democrats 52% to 45%. This is despite the fact that Democrats have shown an ability to enact policies through Congress, even putting the Reagan Administration in tough situations such as when the ‘Protecting American Textile Manufacturing Act’ was passed and the President eventually vetoed the bill. Some analysts have attributed the lack of voter’s warmth toward the party due to the fact that they haven’t shown consistent leadership in the House. Democrats do have a record to tout, but analysts have largely agreed they have failed to put together a unified message as Republicans have been able to do over the past few months. Democratic Primary Rule Changes Could “Fundamentally Change” 1988 Election, Experts Predict (Washington D.C.) – NBC Elections analyst Jacob Olliver recently released an op-ed in the New York Times with the subject being the upcoming Democratic Presidential Primary, a recently changed election process which Olliver predicted could “fundamentally change” the face of the election. The rules were silently changed earlier this year and sources say it was done unanimously within the party. Super delegates were abolished, the threshold to receive delegates was reduced to 10%, and winner-take-all system was stripped from all state primaries and caucuses, replaced by proportionate delegate distribution. On a local level, the changes have rocked many with some being angered by the stripping of super delegates. “I have participated in the Democratic National Convention as a super delegate twice now,” Alice Lawson, a locally elected Democrat in Michigan told us, “this is needlessly taking the voice away from people like myself who didn’t have one before.” The super delegate system was criticized by activists as favoring candidates who were seen as more electable or more friendly to the national party and requiring glad-handing to get votes. Olliver predicted if the Democratic primary happens to be a particularly close election, a proportionate system could help a more unconventional candidate reach the threshold needed to either win or compete at the national convention. Voters Identify National Security as Top Issue in Upcoming Election (Washington D.C.) – In a Gallup poll released this week, likely voters identified national security as the top issue they are concerned about heading into the 1988 election. The issue has consistently topped issue polls and it has been no different as of late, with voters increasingly concerned and watchful of the Soviet Union. The second issue was the economy and jobs, and behind that was high taxes. Crime, the deficit, and healthcare were also not far behind in the Gallup poll. Political analyst Maryann Landry said the poll was reflective of skepticism of American foreign policy and what changes might come as the Reagan administration makes its exit. “Iran-Contra is still an issue, it’s still relevant, and it hurts Republicans on the issue of national security,” Landry wrote, “yet Democrats, as in other areas, have managed to provide the popular President with little public scrutiny on the issue.” Landry predicted the issue of national security has yet to be framed by either party among likely voters. Most pundits have agreed, though, that it will be important for Democrats to have a candidate who can qualm any fears of independent voters looking for a commander-in-chief who can lead in times of tumultuous chaos. On that same token, political strategists in the Republican Party have acknowledged they are looking for a candidate who can resonate on the issue of national security the same way Vice President George Bush would have been able to do if he had decided to run. At the end of the day, the race is yet to be defined by any single issue and voters remain on the fence on which party is best suited to handle the issues they list as top priorities.
  2. 4 points
    Hey everyone. It's been a hectic week with the Presidential race going into full swing and various deadlines falling in the past week. But I wanted to take a moment and say I hope everyone who lives in the U.S. enjoys their Thanksgiving tomorrow with friends and family. I'm thankful for everyone who is playing VGS and who stuck around even after a major lull in activity and also for those we haven't seen in a while who have came back to VGS. Cheers.
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    Birth Name: John White Date of Birth: March 14th, 1934 Place of Birth: Miami, Florida Place of Residence: Miami, Florida Party: Democratic party Ideology: Centrism/Left-Leaning Faction: New Democrat Religion: Roman Catholicism Andrea White, spouse, healthcare attorney, b.10/12/1932, pob. Miami, Florida Stephanie, daughter, b.5/19/1964 James, son, b.2/29/1968 Elizabeth, daughter, b.2/29/1972 Robert, son, b.11/11/1975 Educational History: B.A., Military policy, The United States Military Academy, 1962 M.B.A., Economics, University of Florida, 1956 Occupational History: U.S. Representative from Florida’s 18th District Since January 3rd, 1984 Chairman, CEO of Sunshine Airways 1976-1983 Co-Founder, Chief Pilot of Sunshine Airways 1972-1976 Active service, U.S. Air Force 1962-1972
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    Washington Post Election Coverage 1988 SPECIAL ISSUE #1 FRONT PAGE Kaine seen greeting visitors at the Iowa strawpoll upon arriving (Washington Post) Kaine Wins Iowa Strawpoll IOWA GOP STRAWPOLL RESULTS KAINE – 33% (1398) MARSHALL – 26% (1102) SAROYAN – 22% (932) FITZGERALD – 19% (805) OTHER – 2% (85) TOTAL: 100% (4322) (Ames) - The Iowa Republican straw-poll has always been an event which has drawn ire from some in the political realm – either for being too much work for such an inconsequential event or whether it’s the fact that the strawpoll isn’t necessarily an indicator on who will win Iowa in the end. After all, this weekend’s Iowa fair and strawpoll only had about 4,000 or so attendees give or take. A concert held in Ames the same night drew a crowd well over 7,000. Over 100,000 are expected to vote in the caucus in January. “This event is standard fare for politics,” one observer agreed, “a whole lot of show, pomp, and circumstance just to be disappointed a while later.” Others, however, note that a win at the Iowa strawpoll can be a big boost for a campaign – even if it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll go on to win the state, it does mean they have some momentum and the ability to garner support. Plus, it’s also an opportunity to corral donors who want to be reassured of base support before writing any big checks. At the 1987 Iowa Republican strawpoll, the crowd was bigger than years past. There was more excitement in the air at the event than usual. Jim Terell, an Ames resident of thirty-nine years, said the event made him excited about volunteering for Republican Candidate Congressman Anderson Kaine of Illinois. “My family has owned a farm here in Iowa for a long time and the Reverend seems to understand what that means,” Terell said, noting Anderson’s comments on farmers as his prime reason for voting for him in the strawpoll. Congressman Anderson has been increasingly talked about as a favorite among evangelicals, being a reverend and speaking on those issues which are of prime importance to evangelical Christians. Interestingly, Anderson didn’t speak as extensively on social issues dominating the media right now (such as DOMA), but he spent more time on the first amendment and how he would help out farmers in the state. It seemed to pay off at the strawpoll as Anderson won out with over 1300 votes nonetheless. “I think it was the talk of unions and his support of farms that won it for the Reverend,” another resident and straw-poll voter Terra Dawson told us, “plenty of blue collar folks here in Iowa who want better intend to support Reverend Anderson.” While this was a common sentiment among those we questioned, a heavy focus did seem to be on major social issues which seem to be dominating the news lately. Right on Congressman Anderson’s tail was RNC Chairman Michael Marshall of North Carolina who spoke extensively on key social issues, including abortion and what he described as ‘Christian moral values.’ In his speech, he also spoke about taxes, the deficit, and balancing the budget, yet it seemed his words on ‘Christian values’ won him major support at the strawpoll. “I had my hand ready to check for Rev. Anderson, but I recalled the words of Marshall on protecting the moral code of America, and it seemed stronger to me,” one resident said, who was bussed in to participate at the event from a local Church in Iowa. It might be anecdotal but it did seem Marshall’s record on key social issues did give him a leg up in Iowa. Coming in third place was Congressman Abe Saroyan of Montana, a dark horse of sorts who came into larger consideration following the fundraising dinner held in Houston, Texas. According to sources, his words on the military and foreign policy piqued the interest of the likes of Vice President George Bush and others within the current Reagan administration. At the strawpoll, however, Congressman Saroyan gave a speech worthy of the stump and hammered home the theme of not settling for ‘good enough’, as those around him sang the praises of President Reagan. While Saroyan did the same thing, he did it noting he knew it ‘wasn’t enough.’ This message seemed to resonate with those in attendance. Finally, in last place came House Minority Leader Kyle Fitzgerald of Texas, a surprise to some who believe that Fitzgerald’s message on taxes and immigration is likely to resonate with primary voters. The House Minority Leader spoke in specifics on what he intended to do in order to cut taxes and curb growing trade deficits. His words on immigration also seemed to be agreed upon by most all attendees. While it’s only speculation on the potential impact on the poll, Fitzgerald also didn’t deliver any message on key social issues currently dominating media headlines. At the end of the day, some political observers continue to believe House Minority Leader Kyle Fitzgerald could still be a favorite to win Iowa, despite what the polls say. Others believe Congressman Anderson Kaine is a strong favorite due to his strong stances on abortion, the Defense of Marriage Act, and the second amendment. “If Marshall had not been so strong on these issues early on and been a leader on issues like DOMA, which has been somewhat controversial but is popular among this crowd, then Anderson would be the favorite to win Iowa,” political analyst Jacob Olliver wrote in an op-ed. One Republican strategist noted that House Minority Leader Kyle Fitzgerald will likely fare better in the state than the strawpoll is giving him credit for. At the end of the event, the candidates went home (or, more likely, to their hotels) and confetti, ketchup smeared paper plates, and soda bottles were left to be swept up. The Iowa caucus is only a week away and the campaign is finally in full force. The Iowa Republican strawpoll, the first major event of the campaign, has given us but a taste of what’s to come.
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    Rev. Anderson Kaine Announces Candidacy for the Presidency In downtown Springfield, at the steps of the Illinois State Capital and standing paces away from the statue of Abraham Lincoln that reminds all Americans of the last full measure of devotion our Greatest President gave to the cause of a free America, Reverend Anderson Kaine (R-IL) gave a speech announcing his candidacy to the Presidency of the United States of America. Below is the full text of the speech.
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    I see that there are some tensions in the technical thread...
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    Mr Speaker, I second the motion to table this bill. I am ashamed that my colleges across the isle insist on ballooning the deficit to give handouts to the rich. This will not help the middle class nor the economy. I yield
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    Gallup Congressional Approval Ratings, Quarter 4 1987 POLLING OF INDIVIDUAL DISTRICTS ON REPRESENTATIVE'S APPROVAL/DISAPPROVAL Douglas Seymour (D, South Carolina) Approve - 47% Disapprove -39% Undecided - 14% ANALYSIS: Congressman Seymour has been very visible and active in the public eye. To boot, his ideology matches his state and district. The Congressman is also now a Presidential candidate and his constituents are largely excited about it. Although, and it will be a common warning, any candidate who doesn't remember they are still a Congressman could suffer back home. While Seymour has been recognized by his constituents for his work in Congress at this point, the same won't necessarily ring true if he misses work to campaign. Those who remain undecided on Seymour are largely those who are likely undecided in the Presidential race, taking the survey as a question if they would vote for Seymour for President. Al Baudin (D, Maine) Approve - 43% Disapprove -38% Undecided - 19% ANALYSIS: Al Baudin is very new and was just elected Speaker of the House. His constituents remain very much on the fence at this point in terms of where they stand on his tenure. For Baudin,his district is one which he will have to make clear his stance on the issues and be a leader for Democrats on the floor during debates. It remains to be seen if he will fulfill that role as Speaker of the House. Thomas Blackstone (D, Massachusetts) Approve - 44% Disapprove - 38% Undecided - 18% ANALYSIS: While the House Majority Whip has been vocal on issues in the past, lately, his constituents haven't heard a lot from him -- except that he's running for President. The Congressman needs to make sure he doesn't disappoint his constituents back home by not doing his job in Congress even as he juggles a Presidential campaign. Patrick Carroll (D, Massachusetts) Approve - 38% Disapprove - 39% Undecided - 21% ANALYSIS: Since being elected House Majority Leader nearly over a month ago, Carroll's constituents haven't seen much from him. A Democrat in Massachusetts has a lot of opportunity to make waves in New England and across the country. Carroll is especially in that position as perhaps the current most powerful Democrat in Washington. So far, however, his constituents have largely been disappointed. Elaine Pruitt (D, Texas) Approve - 40% Disapprove - 39% Undecided - 21% ANALYSIS: Conway is new to the Gallup poll and this is essentially her beginning point. The Congresswoman's district in Texas appreciates her early rhetoric on economic growth and looks forward to hearing more from her. Ari Goodman (D, Georgia) Approve - 46% Disapprove - 37% Undecided - 17% ANALYSIS: Congressman Ari Goodman has been very pro-active in Congress, introducing legislation which focused on his constituency and which were touted in the press. Additionally, Goodman was also one of many to announce their Presidential campaign. Goodman should continue his work for his district to keep him in their good graces. Georgia looks forward to seeing what Goodman is capable of and hopefully founding out more about his principles and ideas. John White (D, Florida) Approve - 43% Disapprove - 39% Undecided - 18% ANALYSIS: John White is brand new to the game -- literally, wink wink. Despite that, he has voiced his opinion on major issues such as the economy, the greyhound strike, among others. In addition to that, he announced his Presidential campaign. It looks promising for the Florida Congressman but his constituents want to see more out of him in Congress, participating actively on their behalf. White coming in first in the New Hampshire straw-poll also have him a slight boost. Leonard Brenner (D, Virginia) Approve - 39% Disapprove - 39% Undecided - 22% ANALYSIS: There has not been a previously recorded approval for Brenner. This is his starting point and his constituents look forward to seeing more from him. Kyle Fitzgerald (R, Texas) Approve - 49% Disapprove - 39% Undecided - 12% ANALYSIS: House Minority Leader Kyle Fitzgerald are generally pleased with how he has been preforming in Congress. Specifically they like that he's actively tackling different issues important to them such as illegal immigration and the issue of lower taxes. It was speculated early on whether or not Fitzgerald would run for President and his announcement also gave him a slight boost at home. His constituents, of course, still expect him to represent them in Congress and as the leader of the Republicans in the House but they are also eager to see if their Congressman can capture the Republican nomination. Michael Marshall (R, North Carolina) Approve - 49% Disapprove - 35% Undecided - 16% ANALYSIS: The former RNC Chairman is well known in his district due to his early leadership on key issues which were receiving national attention. In Marshall's district, his constituent support his reverent support for the President in addition to his call for more economic measures. The Presidential campaign of Marshall has received recognition by his constituents as well. Though many of his constituents remain skeptical if he is focused on them or just focused on national issues and Presidential aspirations. If Marshall doesn't qualm this criticism, he will very likely see his disapprovals rise. Anderson Kaine (R, Illinois) Approve - 48% Disapprove - 43% Undecided - 9% ANALYSIS: Congressman and Reverend Anderson Kaine has an established record in Congress, responding to major issues in the zeitgeist and has also announced his candidacy for the Presidency. Kaine coming in first in the Iowa Republican straw-poll also gave him a boost. Anderson is well-liked within his district in Illinois but is not very well liked by Democrats in the district which explains his higher disapproval rating. Just as everyone else has been warned, if the Congressman is found to be ignoring his constituents back home, his disapprovals could possibly raise so it will be important to continue his work in Congress even as he juggles a campaign. Abe Saroyan (R, Montana) Approve - 42% Disapprove - 39% Undecided - 19% ANALYSIS: Congressman Saroyan shares some similarities with some others, even Democrats, who have announced for President. He is relatively new to the Gallup poll and in addition doesn't have an established record in Congress since Gallup started polling individual districts. His constituents are pleased with what he has offered in his Presidential campaign thus far and look forward to seeing more out of him. Zander Kahuhu (R, Washington) Approve - 50% Disapprove - 42% Undecided - 8% ANALYSIS: The newly elected Chairman of the Republican Party, Zander Kahuhu, is a Washington Republican that is largely well-liked by his constituents due to the clear fact he's working in Congress. Whether it be sponsoring or advocating for certain bills, such as his bill for Veterans or his support for the 'Helping Others Home Act', Zander Kahuhu matches his state and district well. His constituents are excited to see what he can accomplish as Chairman of the Republican Party. James Jefferson (R, Virginia) Approve - 40% Disapprove - 39% Undecided - 21% ANALYSIS: The Republican House Minority Whip, the second ranking Republican in the caucus and the only one not running for President, has been largely absent from the public the past month. His constituents would like to see more of him and especially since his boss is running for President and there is a void to fill in leadership in Congress. Ralph Barrett (R, Arizona) Approve - 39% Disapprove - 39% Undecided - 22% ANALYSIS: Ralph has been missing the past few months from the public eye but that doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't have a shot of making a comeback in his district. If the Congressman is active in the press, he might gain favor back in his district.
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    Economy needs Confidence WASHINGTON DC - Fmr. Chairman of the Republican National Committee and Presidential Candidate spoke to members of the press regarding recent woes with the stock market and the economy. "Right now across the country we hear politicians criticizing the President for his decision to speak quietly about recent events which have happened with regards to the economy. This isn't right, what we have saw throughout the economic policies of this administration is more jobs and good wages for the American people. I've been very clear about the economic situation that we need here in the United States, I want to give people the freedom and means, through tax cuts, to build their economic future and secure their financial security. There's nothing better right now than to send a message of confidence to American markets and investors around the globe than to give the American people a tax cut, give them an increase in purchasing power. Cut the capital gains tax so we encourage them to invest in the markets, this is the type of free-flowing economy that we need and should endorse. The American people are getting on, jobs are being created and tax cuts are helping people make ends meet. The President and his team absolutely did the right thing by confiding, managing and thinking of solutions. For the President to come out and talk about a recession or crash, it would mean very serious consequences for investor confidence and other economic indicators. What we have seen here is successful economic management. The type that I've been talking about since we've kicked off the campaign. I support it completely."
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    Presidential Announcement Atlanta, Georgia
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    LOA on the 17th and 18th for birthday "celebrations", will largely be limited to essential posting in that period.
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    Mr. Chairman, I believe this has passed. I yield.
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    The Committee staff is instructed to give credentials to Congressman Kaine for at least a 24 hour period, to allow for the Minority Leader to update his listing of HELP Committee members on the official roster.
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    The minority leader did place a full roster to each committee during this Congressional session. The Speaker has no right to change those appointments, and they stand until this Congress adjourns and a new Congress is formed. The Speaker's decision not to recognize them is a violation of the House rules.
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    The Speaker did not remove anyone from Committee. However it is required the committee members appear on the new roster which the Minority Leader has not yet done. I would urge the Rev. Congressman to encourage his Caucus Leader to submit the names for the new roster.
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    'Defense of Marriage Act' Brought to House Floor, Critics Wary of Implications (Washington D.C.) - The House is debating the 'Defense of Marriage Act', introduced by RNC Chairman Michael Marshall (R-NC), legislation which would define marriage as being between one man and one woman under federal code. The legislation was brought to the floor after a vote which received more than two thirds of Congress agreeing to debate it on the floor. The Defense of Marriage Act, or 'DOMA' as some politicians have referred to it, defines marriage as being between 'one man and one woman, 'one husband and one wife.' Despite the overwhelming vote in favor of debating the legislation, commentators are scratching their heads on what caused the 'definition of marriage' to suddenly become the top issue in the United States Congress. ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) activist Larry Kramer, however, presented his own theory in a recently released statement to the press. "This is clearly a response to the growing concern and growing alarm to the AIDS epidemic within the gay community," Kramer wrote in his statement, "this purposeful targeting of this community because of an epidemic like this is not only callous and short-sighted, but truly reprehensible." Kramer called on activists to oppose the attempts by Congress to pass 'DOMA' and finished his press statement by saying ACT UP would be doing its part to lobby Congress members. On the other hand, the Christian Coalition has said the bill has nothing to do with the AIDS epidemic and is instead legislation designed to protect the historical religious institution of marriage and cement that leading a moral lifestyle which emphasizes families at the core is fundamental to American culture. Founder of the Christian Coalition of America, Pat Robertson, called it a "positive step forward for a society that recognizes morality and recognizes the importance of family." At a recent Republican fundraiser, it was reported RNC Chairman Michael Marshall touted his support of the Defense of Marriage Act and made sure to mention that he was the lead sponsor of the bill. Reverend and Congressman Anderson Kaine (R-IL) has also been seen as a candidate that could appeal to the religious faction of the Republican voter base in the 1988 primary. "It seems like the 'defense of marriage' is now another core component for those who are appealing to the heavily religious faction within the Republican Party," Republican strategist John Sawyer said, "although this particular action does come across as a more reactionary response to the AIDS epidemic." According to a poll conducted by the National Policy Research Center in January of this year, only 11% of American's said they approved of same-sex marriage while 66% of American's said they were opposed. Aside from this, there hasn't been a lot of action or discussion on the issue of defining marriage or recognizing same-sex marriage in this decade. Several times, questions of same-sex marriage have appeared in courts across the country and have systematically failed to receive recognition, with the most recent being a case in Pennsylvania which denied divorce of a same-sex couple because a same-sex couple is inherently ineligible to marry in the first place. It is clear proponents of the legislation have both the country and the law on their side, however critics have warned that responding to the AIDS epidemic by targeting same-sex couples is a "slippery slope." The legislation appears to be set to pass the House of Representatives with members of both parties voicing their support, including most notably on the Democratic side, likely Presidential candidate Douglas Seymour (D-SC). Notable possible opposition on the Democratic side is House Majority Whip Thomas Blackstone (D-MA), a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who voted against debating the bill on the floor.
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    The Iowa Republican strawpoll and New Hampshire Democratic strawpoll have been posted here. You MUST make a post at least acknowledging you're attending the event. Speeches are not necessary, but they will be counted and seen as a plus. You may also post outlines of your key campaign principles, themes, or a small message to those attending. Republicans must have posts in by November 15th and Democrats must have posts in by November 16th. Participation in these events will be key indicators for further media coverage of the upcoming election as the filing deadline is also coming up on November 17th. All deadline times are 11:59pm EST!
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    Ahead of Primaries, Unemployment Rate Falls (Washington D.C.) - The Quarter 4 jobs report released this week proved to be good news for Republicans hoping to run on the economic record of President Reagan as the unemployment rate dropped from 5.9% to 5.6% in the latest jobs report adding 510,000 jobs. Republicans have been sweating the possibility of slowed growth in the final quarter of the year but the preliminary numbers released by the White House today show they have nothing to fear -- things are sailing smoothly for them. Inflation has also remained steady, not reaching anything beyond the first half year rate of 5.5%. On the other hand, however, the deficit remains high as do U.S. trade deficits, an issue Democrats are looking to target and take advantage of in the upcoming 1988 election. It has remained a vulnerability of the Reagan Administration and is likely to follow Republicans into 1988 just as a growing economy will benefit them.
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    Leonard H. Brenner Character Name: Leonard Hudson "Leo" Brenner Seat Held: Eighth Congressional District of Virginia Political Party: Democratic Faction: Establishment Date of Birth: Alexandria, Virginia Race/Ethnicity: Caucasian American Sex/Gender: Male Religion: United Methodist Family Information Rose Brenner (née Abernathy), spouse (m. 1941) Lisa Nicholson (née Brenner), daughter (b. 1942) Stephen Brenner, son (b. 1956) Educational History Virginia Military Institute, BA in International Studies (Class of 1945) Columbia Law School, Juris Doctor (Class of 1952) Occupational History Navy Intelligence Officer (1945 to 1953) Collection Management Officer, CIA (1952 to 1968) Foreign Service Officer (1968 to 1977) U.S. Ambassador to Panama (1977 to 1981) Special Interest Representative (1981 to 1983) U.S. Representative from Virginia's 8th District (1983 to present)
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    Finally decided to bite the effing bullet eh? Welcome to the party man

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