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Inside the Beltway

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 27, 2010

HOLA, AMERICA

Consider that a new AP poll says President Obama's favorability ratings among the burgeoning Hispanic voting bloc are only "tepid." Against that background, a deft strategy has emerged from the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, which has launched "Vota Tus Valores" — vote your values — a $1 million voter-outreach campaign to educate Hispanic voters about the pro-life/traditional marriage/free-enterprise platform of U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina in California.

"Now is the time for the Latino voice to be heard. We are tired of being taken for granted by Democrats who expect our 'minority vote,' but don't respect us or our values. The Latino vote is waking up," says Alfonso Aguilar,the group's executive director.

The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List also is joining the fray with its own $100,000 outreach to California's Hispanic voters, which account for up to 20 percent of the state's entire electorate.

"Poll after poll shows that the overwhelming majority of Latino voters call themselves pro-life and that Latino voters are comprising an increasing percentage of the voting bloc. We've been waiting for Carly Fiorina since the day Barbara Boxer was elected," says the group's president, Marjorie Dannenfelser.

TWISTED SISTER UNKINKS

"In 1985, you guys might remember when Tipper Gore wanted to put 'offensive' labels on music, and your album with Twisted Sister was one of the targets. What did they call it?" daytime talk-show host Wendy Williams asked Dee Snider, frontman for the aforementioned band.

"The song 'We're Not Going to Take It' was part of the 'filthy 15,' for violence — they said it was a violent song. They wanted to rate everything. I went down to Washington with Frank Zappa and John Denver to testify before Congress, and I was the scourge of society. I was the poster boy for everything wrong with society. Let's cut to 25 years later. I'm still married — none of my kids have been busted for drug possession. Can Al and Tipper Gore say the same thing? I don't think so," Mr. Snider observed.

HE'S STILL GOT IT

Lean-faced, perfectly on message and sporting a very snappy goatee, former senator and presidential hopeful Fred Thompson has surfaced in a new advocacy ad for the League of American Voters, reminding the public that everybody's taxes will go up in five months, once President George W. Bush's tax cuts expire Dec. 31

"Our nation faces a massive automatic tax increase at the end of this year when the Bush tax cuts expire," Mr. Thompson says. "When that happens, your income taxes could increase by 10 percent or more, capital-gains taxes will jump more than 30 percent, and taxes on dividends will more than double. It's not a pretty picture."

See the new spot, and the group's petition to renew the Bush tax cuts here: www.leagueofamericanvoters.com/petition

CATCHY NAME

Beware, big government. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas has introduced a bill titled "The Health Care Bureaucrats Elimination Act," co-sponsored by fellow Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Jon Kyl of Arizona, Pat Roberts of Kansas and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. The legislation is intended to "remove unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats" from the personal health decisions of senior citizens. The bill would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).

"In true fashion of Obama-Reid-Pelosi hubris, the IPAB is the definition of a government takeover," Mr. Cornyn says. "This bill to repeal IPAB is just one step towards starting over with real health care reform that empowers patients instead of Beltway bureaucrats."

STILL ON RADAR

"Context and Consequences: A Conversation with Shirley Sherrod" — Title of a public forum with the former Department of Agriculture official before the National Association of Black Journalists' annual convention in San Diego on Thursday

Those who pine for details can examine all 39 points of the new Pew Research Project for Excellence in Journalism's "Story of Shirley Sherrod: Reconstruction of a Media Mess" here: www.journalism.org.

ACHY BREAKY

Several cases of painful dengue fever, a potentially fatal viral disease transmitted by "urban dwelling" mosquitoes, have recently been reported in the U.S., says the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, primarily in Texas and Florida.

"Despite the threat of further introduction of dengue into the mainland United States, as well as the risk of introduction of additional vector-borne diseases, President Obama's 2011 fiscal budget reduces to zero the funding to support the vector-borne infectious-disease program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," the group says.

"Although we recognize and applaud the need to constantly scan the federal budget to identify outdated or unnecessary programs, eliminating the CDC's vector-borne infectious-disease program is not one of these areas. The proposed cuts to this program would be shortsighted, and would harm the health of the American people," says Dr. Edward T. Ryan, president of the 107-year-old medical group.

POLL DU JOUR

77 percent of Americans say people favor tough laws against illegal immigrants because they're concerned about the effects of that population on economic conditions and law enforcement.

• 20 percent say people favor the laws because they "dislike Latinos."

• 59 percent are dissatisfied with the way President Obama has handled illegal immigration.

• 55 percent say they favor the new immigration law in Arizona.

• 51 percent are "dissatisfied" and 23 percent are "angry" about the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S.

• 50 percent say Arizona's new law will not reduce illegal immigration; 48 percent say it will.

Source: A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll of 1,018 adults conducted July 16-21.

Details, details, details to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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