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ACTION ALERT Contacts Needed to U.S. Senators on Ashcroft Nomination and McCain-Feingold Bill to Restrict Free Speech About Politicians.

JANUARY 12, 2001 -- Beginning as soon as late January, the U.S. Senate will deal with two issues of key concern to the pro-life movement. The first of these is President-elect Bush's nomination of former Missouri Senator John Ashcroft as attorney general. The second is possible Senate consideration of the McCain-Feingold "campaign finance reform" legislation that could severely restrict the right of NRLC and other pro-life groups to communicate with the public about the actions of those who hold or seek federal office.

It is important for all senators to receive communications on both issues. However, in general, it is particularly important that Democratic senators receive large numbers of letters and calls in support of the Ashcroft nomination, and particularly important that Republican senators receive letters and calls in opposition to the McCain-Feingold bill.

All available means of activating grassroots networks should be utilized to galvanize citizen activity on these issues, including telephone trees, church bulletins, call-ins to appropriate radio talk shows, and letters to the editor of local newspapers.

The information below provides basic information on these two issues. For further information and updates on these and other federal issues, see the NRLC web site at www.nrlc.org under "Federal Legislation."

Ashcroft Nomination

President-elect Bush has named pro-life former Senator John Ashcroft of Missouri as attorney general. A large coalition of organizations has vowed to defeat Ashcroft in the Senate, with Ashcroft's strong pro-life views at the top of their list of objections. The anti-Ashcroft coalition includes the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), the National Abortion Federation, and other pro-abortion groups.

"We're going to spend whatever it takes," vowed NARAL President Kate Michelman. PPFA President Gloria Feldt said. "Our activists will oppose the nomination of this anti-choice extremist and will do everything in their power to prevent the approval of his nomination."

It is especially important that Democratic senators receive large numbers of letters and phone calls urging them to vote in favor of Ashcroft's nomination. While most Republican senators are expected to support the nomination, they too need to receive encouragement to actively work for Ashcroft's confirmation and to resist the well-funded pressure campaign by the anti-Ashcroft coalition.

While letters should be in the writers' own words, here are some key points:

* As a former state attorney general, former governor, and former member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, John Ashcroft is exceptionally well qualified to serve as Attorney General of the United States.

* John Ashcroft is known as a man of strong integrity, whose deep religious convictions are shared by many millions of Americans.

* John Ashcroft will enforce the laws that Congress has enacted. In 1996, Ashcroft said, "I oppose unlawfully barricading or otherwise curtailing access to legal abortion clinics. I condemn violence regarding this issue by individuals either in favor of or against abortion."

* President Bush has a right to have an attorney general who shares his positions in support of the right to life.

McCain-Feingold Bill

Senator John McCain (R-Az.) has indicated that he and Senator Russell Feingold (D-Wi.) will seek to force Senate action on some version of their so-called "campaign finance reform" legislation during the early weeks of the new congressional session.

The latest version of the McCain-Feingold bill has not yet been revealed. However, past versions of the bill have contained provisions that would restrict the right of groups such as NRLC to communicate with the public regarding the positions and voting records of those who hold or seek federal office. Such restrictions, if enacted, would further enhance the power of the institutional news/entertainment media to control what citizens are told about right-to-life issues and about the actions of federal politicians on those issues.

Please encourage letters and calls to all U.S. senators - - especially Republicans and newly elected Democrats. Urge them "to oppose the McCain-Feingold bill and any other campaign reform bill that would restrict the right of citizen groups to spend money on ads or publications that comment on the positions of politicians on specific issues."

How to Contact Your Senators

The mailing address for all U.S. senators is:

Senator ________________

U.S. Senate

Washington, D.C. 20510

All senators' offices may be telephoned through the Capitol Switchboard, 202-224-3121. In addition, calls to senators' in-state offices are particularly helpful.

Another Way You Can Help

Please send a copy of any letter received from a senator, or any report in your local press regarding the position of one of your senators on these issues, to:

National Right to Life / Federal Legislative Office

419-Seventh Street, Northwest, Suite 500

Washington, D.C. 20004

Fax: (202) 347-3668

E-mail: Legfederal@aol.com>EN
COPYRIGHT 2001 National Right to Life Committee, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:campaign finance reform legislation
Publication:National Right to Life News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Words:779
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