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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 18, 2000)
GOP candidates criticize Bush in debate
REPUBLICANS from page 1
“Why should a single mom who’s
getting educated have to pay taxes on
these benefits?” he asked.
McCain responded that the single
mother would receive a tax cut under his
plan, while the taxation on employer
paid benefits would ensure owners of
corporations could not take exemptions
on golf club memberships or free park
ing. The larger issue, he said, is what to
do with die nation’s budget surplus.
The surplus should be used to fund a
tax cut for low- and middle-income peo
ple, address die “ticking time bomb” of
Social Security and pay down the
nation’s $5.6 trillion debt, McCain said.
“Governor Bush’s plan has not one
penny for Social Security, not one penny
for Medicare and not one penny for pay
ing down the national debt,” he said.
“And when you run ads saying
you’re going to take care of Social
Security, my friend, that’s all hat and no
“That’s cute,” Bush said, laughing.
“You know, they’re always cutest
when they’re true,” McCain answered.
Bush said he had $2 trillion, the size
of projected budget surpluses, available
for Social Security. McCain said the
Social Security trust fund needs $5 tril
lion to $7 trillion to stay solvent.
“Let’s not do the Texas two-step
here,” he said.
Later, Bush defended his tax cut
proposal as a way to ensure the federal*
government does not dip into surpluses
for additional spending.
“It’s important to cut taxes to make
sure die economy continues to grow,” he
said. “But, John, it’s also important to
cut taxes to make sure the federal bud
gets don’t become bloated and don’t
McCain criticized Bush’s plan for
sending 36 percent of the tax break to
the wealthiest 1 percent of U.S. citizens.
Furthermore, he said, the president
already has the power to keep spending
in line by vetoing excessive spending
passed by Congress.
Forbes also joined the tax discus
sion, calling Bush and McCain the
“timid tax-cutters.” Forbes supports a
national flat tax on income and the elim
ination of the Internal Revenue Service.
Forbes repeated his charge, first
made in his television ads, that Bush
broke a pledge not to raise taxes in
“Most Texans have never seen those
tax cuts, and the same thing’s going to
happen with your proposal on the feder
al level,” he said.
Bush said that since he became gov
ernor in 1995, Texans have received a
net tax reduction of $300billion, includ
ing the two largest tax cuts in state histo
“You know something, Steve?”
Bush said. “Nearly 69 percent ofTexans
said overwhelmingly in 1998, ‘You’re
the man. We appreciate your tax cuts.’”
Bush also cited an advertisement in
Iowa newspapers written by former Sen.
Bob Dole, who endured similar attacks
from Forbes before becoming the 1996
GOP presidential nominee. Dole said
Forbes’ attacks hurt him in his unsuc
cessful bid to unseat President Clinton.
“What Senator Dole was saying
was, ‘If you’re going to talk about a
man’s record, tell the whole record,”’
Forbes stood by his accusations in
“I think the American people want
an open, honest debate,” he said. “He
signed an anti-tax pledge. He broke the
pledge. End of case.”
On agricultural issues, McCain reit
erated his opposition to tax incentives
for ethanol production, saying they were
not good for U.S. consumers - an
unpopular position in farm-intensive
The other GOP candidates support
the tax breaks for ethanol, a corn-based
“I believe we ought to increase
demand for Iowa products,” Bush said.
“That’s what ethanol does, John. It
increases demand for Iowa com.”
McCain said attempts to revive the
agricultural economy should focus on
opening foreign markets.
“I’m the greatest free-trader you
will know,” he said. “The people in
Beijing and Bangkok will be eating
Iowa beef, and they’re going to love it
because I’ll get those products into their
On many agricultural issues, the
candidates appeared to be largely in
agreement.Bauer encouraged the GOP
to maintain its opposition to abortion,
hammered Bush and other candidates
for their support of most-favored nation
trading status for China and sharply crit
icized Bush’s tax proposal for failing to
make fundamental reforms.
Forbes said people should be given
more freedom to make their own deci
sions on health care, without govern
Hatch urged the party to band
together in the common goal of
“seeding) the Clinton-Gore team go.”
Touting his experience in the Senate, he
said he was most qualified to win the
general election and make an effective
“I like all the tax plans given here,”
he said. “But I live with reality. There
isn’t one of these plans that’s going to go
through.... It’s going to take someone
who knows how to get a tax plan
Keyes renewed his call for the aboli
tion of the income tax - a “slave tax” - in
favor of a national sales tax.
“It’s time as a tax-enslaved people
that we rise up and make it clear we want
the chains off,” he said.Des Moines
Register Editor Dennis Ryerson served
as debate moderator.
Appeal dots Reeves case map
By Michelle Starr
The attorney general’s office has
appealed to the state Supreme Court,
asking it to reconsider its Jan. 7 deci
sion to vacate Randy Reeves’ death
Reeves was sentenced to death for
the 1980 stabbing deaths of Janet
Mesner, 30, and Victoria Lamm, 28,
inside a Quaker meeting house in
Kirk Brown, assistant attorney
general, filed the motion Thursday.
The decision would have become
official today, 10 days after the
court’s opinion was released.
The court’s decision vacated
Reeves’ death sentence on the basis
that he was denied a step in the
appeals process, but the motion from
the attorney general’s office said due
process was also denied.
“Both of us are talking about due
process, but in two different con
texts,” Brown said.
Paula Hutchinson, Reeves’ attor
ney, was not concerned about the
She said she would have thought
it was strange if the attorney general’s
office had not filed one.
But Hutchinson said she doesn’t
think that the court will reverse its
“It’s unheard of for the court to
change for a rehearing, but as attor
neys, we need to cover all of our
bases,” Hutchinson said.
In his motion, Brown said four
misjudgments were made by the state
Supreme Court in the opinion.
Included in the motion was the
argument that the state Supreme
Court misinterpreted a review of the
Reeves’ case by the U.S. Supreme
Court; the U.S. Supreme Court based
its decision on the case Clemens vs.
In Clemens vs. Mississippi, in
March 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court
ruled the state appellate court had the
power of appellate reweighing,
reviewing of aggravating and miti
gating factors, if it didn’t violate state
The court’s Jan. 7 decision stated
that when appellate reweighing
occurred in 1991, Reeves was denied
a step in the appeals process, which is
against Nebraska law.
The missing step in the appeals
process was in a 1991 review, when
the state Supreme Court resentenced
Reeves to death and did not send the
case back to district court.
The motion also said the court’s
decision to allow Reeves to reintro
duce and challenge appellate
reweighing for a third time was erro
“How many times does he have to
ask the same question (of appellate
reweighing)?” Brown asked.
“They’re basically going 180 degrees
the other way.”
The court must make a decision
on this motion before it can release its
If the motion is unsuccessful and
Reeves goes for resentencing, the
case will go back tothe Lancaster
Supreme Court to hear Nebraska case
By Michelle Starr
The U.S. Supreme Court decided
Friday to hear an abortion case that orig
inated in Nebraska.
The court will decide whether it
agrees with an 8th Circuit Court of
Appeals ruling, which said a state law
banning partial-birth abortions was
With the high court’s hearing of the
case,debates across the country con
cerning partial-birth abortions could
end; the decision could help determine
what right states have to restrict a
woman’s choice to end a pregnancy.
The case, Nebraska Attorney
General Don Stenberg vs. Dr. LeRoy
Carhart, a Bellevue doctor who per
forms abortions, will be heard by the
U.S. Supreme Court in late April.
Nebraska law defines partial-birth
abortion as “partially delivering vagi
nally a living unborn child before killing
the unborn child and completing deliv
ery.” It also refers to “living unborn or a
substantial portion thereof.”
Carhart originally filed a motion
that said the Nebraska law, passed in
1997, was worded so vaguely that it
potentially outlawed all abortions
because all include a vaginal extraction.
U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf
said no one could define what a “sub
stantial portion” was.
“We think it’s a time for us to make
this clear once and for all,” said Margie
Kelly, a spokeswoman for the Center for
Reproductive Law and Policy, which is
The law, LB23, was passed by the
Legislature on June 10, 1997. Carhart
filed two days later.
In September, a three-judge panel of
the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
upheld Kopf’s decision.
Nebraska’s case has been used to
help decide similar cases in Arkansas
and Iowa. However, in two other cases
in Illinois and Wisconsin, the 7th U.S.
Court of Appeals upheld partial-birth
abortion laws, saying they could be
enforced in a constitutional manner.
Twenty-eight other states have
adopted similar bans on partial-birth
abortions since 1995, but courts have
blocked or limited the enforcement of
the laws in 19 of the states.
Kelly said she was confident that
die court would rule in Caifaart’s favor.
Deputy Attorney General Steve
anytime you need it.
Grase said the state appealed to the high
court after the 8th Circuit District Court
of Appeals ruled in favor of Carhart.
The law would make performing
partial-birth abortions for any other rea
son than saving the mother’s life a
felony and would carry a 25-year prison
The Associated Press contributed
to this report.
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