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April 13, 1997

The Issues:

The Media
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  • From the National Journal: An in-depth profile of Senator John McCain. What would be the consequences of giving political candidates free TV air time? A look at the impact of base closing on local communities, and how they are coping. The latest controversy surrounding the future of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

    From The Washington Post: An analysis of the "line item veto" decision handed down by a federal district court this past week. What are the factors behind Janet Reno's continued reluctance to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Democratic Party campaign fundraising? At what point should job safety take precedence over enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act?

    From The Los Angeles Times: An article on a brewing constitutional controversy in Minnesota about the respective powers of judges and prosecutors. Articles on the impact of federal welfare reform on local government, and the choices facing state agencies who must implement provisions of Proposition 209. Ronald Brownstein highlights the quiet debate about the future of social security now taking place in Congress.

    The Washington Post

    Judge Strikes Down Line-Item Veto Law
    In a move that strikes at the core of the nation's founding document, a federal judge ruled the line-item veto to be unconstitutional. Among the questions thereby raised: Does Congress have the right to cede part of its Constitutionally delegated authority?

    Disabilities Act Dilemma: Job Rights vs. Job Safety
    Maximizing individual rights and opportunities is an American tradition. Recent lawsuits involving the Americans with Disabilities Act, however, reveal how that laudable goal may conflict with public safety and other public goods.

    In Funds Probe Decision, Reno Defers to Career Staff
    Relations between career officials and political appointees are a little-noticed but highly important aspect of how bureaucracy works. Attorney General Janet Reno's handling of the campaign-finance controversy offers insight into those relations.

    National Journal

    The Lone Ranger
    In a Congress where members face pressure to be deal-makers, team players, or partisan warriors, John McCain stands out. This article profiles the Arizona Republican, who figures importantly in the campaign-finance debate--and who may run for president.

    Tuning Out Free TV
    At least since the Nixon-Kennedy debates, few people have doubted that television changes American politics, often for the worse. Even so, some argue that TV's role in the campaign-finance morass, and in the solution to that problem, may be rather modest.

    Baseless Concerns
    Weaning a community's economy from its reliance on military spending need not be all that painful--as the experience of Long Beach, California, makes plain. That city's experience also demonstrates the need for a strong public sector to plan and manage that conversion process.

    TVA's Bid Opens Floodgates of Debate
    A legacy of the New Deal and a monument to "big government," the Tennessee Valley Authority now aims to reduce its scope. But it appears unlikely to enjoy smooth sailing along the way, either politically or financially.

    The Los Angeles Times

    Profound L.A. Effect Seen From Welfare Reform
    The effects of a policy as complex and decentralized as welfare reform are hard to predict. But according to one study of the probable effects in Los Angeles--a major laboratory for looking at this policy--reform may prove dire at both a human and an economic level.

    Agencies Left to Sort Out How to Obey
    California's Proposition 209 directs the public sector in that state to end all preferences based on race. But what constitutes a preference? Various agencies, including universities, must now contend with the messy details of that sweeping directive.

    Bitter Debate Over Judicial Discretion Divides Minnesota
    Great conflicts between the branches of American government take place at the local as well as the national level. In Minnesota, for example, prosecutors have accused some judges of usurping executive-branch authority.

    Conservatives Want Risks of Old Age Assumed by People, Not Government
    The two largest federal entitlement programs--Social Security and Medicare--stem from a basic policy principle: the mandatory pooling of risk. In the name of individual rights, many conservatives are attacking that principle and seeking to alter those programs.

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