Pen & Quill

Re the National Governors Association

Dear NPRI,

I very much enjoyed your article in the June 20 edition of Human Events on the liberal bias of the National Governors Association.

I found it a very timely and informative article—especially since the NGA's lobbyists are presently engaged in a battle to stop anti-tax legislation my boss (Rep. Chris Cox) has introduced in the U.S. Congress. Chris, as you may be aware, has introduced a bill called the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which has been endorsed by Grover Norquist and other anti-tax groups, to impose a national moratorium on taxes targeting the Internet.

While the bill would stop state and local authorities only from imposing taxes that seek to discriminate against the Internet (or to impose tax collection requirements on out-of-state vendors with no other physical connection to the taxing state), the Washington staff at NGA has been lobbying vigorously against the bill, protesting this as just another case of "states rights". What's been especially frustrating is the fact that NGA can't even convince its own members of the veracity of its opinion: the governors of the two largest states in the nation (Pete Wilson in California, George Pataki in New York) not only do not oppose the bill, they actively support it. Despite this vocal split within the governors’ ranks, NGA's Washington staff continues to lobby vigorously to kill the bill.

Thanks for a great article! I hope this information is helpful to you.

Peter Uhlmann
Legislative Director,
Rep. Christopher Cox
Washington, DC

Dear NPRI,

In response to Jason Barrett’s "A Question of Liberty," I for one congratulate you on the opinion editorial.

The right to keep and bear arms is as fundamental as the right to free speech and religion.

It is my attitude that any law-abiding citizen should have the opportunity to posses and own any weapon allowable to local, state or federal authorities. Economics should be the factor, not bureaucratic laws. I do not think of myself as a "gun nut." I am a private citizen, small business owner and an advocate of the Constitution of the United States.


Tom Robinson

Dear NPRI,

I just got your Five Minute Report and it was excellent as usual. (Editor's note: The Five Minute Report is a monthly newsletter sent only to members.) But I would like to add another point of view to the Lake Tahoe Presidential Summit.

The Tahoe event was not just disappointing, it was frightening. An executive order, far more than meaningless, is threatening. Since he has been in office President Clinton has issued over 200 executive orders. Executive orders by pass Congress. He used it without telling Utah’s Congressmen or asking for the state’s approval to take Grand Staircase-Escalante Staircase National Monument. The coal mine located in this region is the only mine producing this type of coal outside of a mine in Indonesia. Before the monument’s designation, the Department of Interior officials officially denied rumors about the designation 13 times.

With an executive order he can, quietly, turn Tahoe into federal property without congressional approval. Or, until the American Land Sovereignty Protection Act (HR 901) passes, turn it over to the United Nations for a Biosphere Reserve. Goodbye private property rights. Clinton and the National Parks System are hungry for land and are voracious eaters. They just swallowed Death Valley and Joshua Tree State Park.


Lois Gross
Las Vegas

Dear NPRI,

I enjoyed your Five Minute Report. Back in May, I felt compelled to comment on a Mike O’Callaghan column, executive editor of the Las Vegas Sun, gushing over the Davis-Bacon Act. To my surprise, the Sun published my letter to the editor with a nice headline: "Davis-Bacon Act Arose from Racist Attitudes."

I didn’t know about the legislative debate over establishing an official state nut. I’m not sure what the candidates might have been, but I’m wondering whether they had names like Greg or Lonnie.


Frank Steinberg
Las Vegas


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