An E-Mail Grab Bag
Here's some of our latest e-mail, on the budget agreement, campaign fund-raising and Rep. Jay Kim. If you'd like to comment on the day's events, send us e-mail at editor@AllPolitics com. And be sure to include your name and home town.
'Tax Relief For The Tobacco Companies'
I must say I agree with House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt if the president uses the line item veto for anything it should be on the tax relief for the tobacco companies. Most people would be expected to pay if they lost a judgment. I know the tobacco companies have been paying Congress a small fortune both directly to congressmen and also to their parties but they should pay directly the judgment against them.
It's not only a question of fairness but also one of influence peddling. It is nice to know that a congressman or senator once bought stays bought, but this is really too much.
Also, the line item veto may not stand up to a Supreme Court challenge, so why not use this opportunity to test the merits. If it stands, great; if not then so much for the Republican idea of the Contract with America.
Perhaps if the line item veto falls to a challenge in Court, it will show that the Republican Party passes poor laws.
It's still worth it to try, and this bill is the place.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak up.
-- Mallory Albertson, Fairfield, Calif., Aug. 6
'Brazen and Obvious Illegal Money'
Your "analysis" of the fund-raising hearings [Spin Central, 8/1/97] and "what you have learned" is a good example of your bias and lack of responsibility to our precious 1st Amendment rights that you people of the Fourth Estate are always saying that keeps us free.
I can't believe that you can make the moral equivalence between the brazen and obvious illegal money laundering directly to the DNC from foreign nationals and the loan guarantee from a foreign national to a think tank which was a legal transaction. Your assertion that the group was ruled by the IRS later to have been too political to be tax exempt is irrelevant. Whether the think tank was a sham or not is also irrelevant because the money that you faithfully report influenced the 1994 elections was originally RNC money that was loaned to the think tank.
Therefore the net gain to the RNC was $0. Actually the more accurate quote to have used would have been Haley Barbour's testimony under oath that the think tank was not a FUNNEL into the RNC but rather a SIPHON. Of course these facts are too messy and don't support the party line that "both sides do it, and it is the process that needs to be reformed." I am not that surprised that TIME would be involved in this type of Democratic party defense, but I am surprised that CNN is willing to slant and twist the truth in this way. To compare the criminal behavior by the DNC and the 50+ witnesses that refuse to comply with because they are either hiding in foreign countries or can't testify because they will incriminate themselves, with the RNC arranging a perfectly LEGAL loan repayment from a group that owed them money even if it involved foreign money, is beyond the pale.
The premise of your article that "But after one month of hearings, there's no solid evidence yet of a Chinese government plot." Has the purpose of these hearings been changed to prove that the Chinese Government had or didn't have a plot? No, these hearings are about campaign financing. We have had spectacular evidence presented of ILLEGALITIES by the DNC and high government officials and very strong circumstantial evidence of White House knowledge and involvement. But rather than write about a potential "constitutional crisis" or about the obstruction of justice, you write about how disinterested the American public is about all of this. I wonder why they are disinterested?
-- John Morton, Aug. 5
'Mr. Kim, It's Time To Stand By Your Word'
Mr. [Jay] Kim's recent admission that he violated campaign finance laws [Kim Plea Postponed Until Aug. 11, (8/4/97] underscores the continuing investigations occurring in Washington of other countries trying to influence our election system. Prosecutors wanted to pursue felony counts against the congressman but Washington, especially in the current climate, chose to offer misdemeanors instead. This is consistent with Mr. Kim's entire congressional life and in the manner in which he was elected; he's been let off.
Consider that during the 1992 election (and since), the press was full of stories of him becoming the "first Korean-American congressman," as if those were credentials enough. They obviously were because, through the entire campaign, if it wasn't written down in his little black book written in his tiny scrawl, he would change the subject when asked a specific question. To say nothing of the fact that once he even stated that he wouldn't answer foreign affairs questions because his opponent knew more than he did -- something the press, by now completely on board to see him elected, didn't report (as they always "forgot" his opponents).
The reaction to Mr. Kim's guilty plea has included that from the Korean-American community, only a few of which live in the congressional district. Hopefully, Korean-Americans will understand that this political process is governed by laws that are supposed to apply to all, regardless of ancestry, wealth or political connections. In Mr. Kim's case, however, he is being allowed a far greater degree of leniency than most citizens would probably receive ... Obviously it helps to be political and wealthy.
What of the constituents of the 41st Congressional District? Mr. Kim has consistently lied to them when he said he wasn't guilty and now we find that he knew he had done wrong for years. This wasn't a surprise for some of us ...
Mr. Kim, it's time to stand by your word this time or, better yet, redeem whatever honor you may have left and just resign.
-- Bob Baker, Anaheim, Calif., Aug. 6
'A Sad, Scary Joke'
Your news bit on Clinton signing the balanced budget and a tax cut into law leaves a reader with the impression that he was the motor behind the whole thing.
If Bill Clinton gets credit for this it will be a sad, scary joke.
The only way this all was possible was with a Republican-controlled Congress. Bill would still be forwarding his budgets with huge deficits into the foreseeable future if it was not for the likes of Newt Gingrich.
Give credit where credit is due.
-- Kevin Kangas, Aug. 5
More Voter's Voice Name That Dog! (12/12/97)
Janet Reno's Decision: More Reaction (12/04/97)
Reno's Independent Counsel Decision (12/03/97)
Turkeys and Other Political Fowl (11/26/97)
Jesse Helms vs. William Weld (9/12/97)
The Line-Item Veto: Your Comments (8/12/97)
Comments on Budget Agreement, Fund-Raising Hearings (8/6/97)
The Fund-Raising Hearings (7/23/97)
The Senate Hearings Continue: Your Comments (7/16/97)
The Campaign Finance Hearings: More Of Your Reactions (7/14/97)
Responses On The Fund-Raising Hearings (7/8/97)
China's Trade Status (6/24/97)
Watergate 25th Anniversary (6/18/97)
China's Trade Status: Your Thoughts (5/20/97)
Late-Term Abortions: More Reader Reaction (5/16/97)
Late-Term Abortions: What Readers Say (5/15/97)
The Budget Deal: Your Views (5/7/97)
FDR Memorial: Your Views (5/2/97)
Volunteerism Summit: Lots Of Skepticism (4/29/97)
On The Dole: More Reaction (4/18/97)
On The Dole: Your Reaction (4/17/97)
Reno's Decision: More Of Your Reactions (4/16/97)
Reno's Decision: Some Strong Opinions (4/15/97)
A Grab Bag of Opinions (4/4/97)
A Taxing Question (3/26/97)
More Thoughts On CDA (3/20/97)
Indecency And The Net (3/18/97)
Clinton's Fund-Raising (3/12/97)
More On Term Limits (2/17/97)
Sound Off On Term Limits (2/13/97)
State Of The Union E-mails (2/4/97)
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