The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 15, 1995 · Page 2
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 2

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Monday, May 15, 1995
Page 2
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A2 Monday, May 15,1995 The Salina Journal Congress reflects militia's anti-government views By JILL LAWRENCE Th» Associated Pr»i» WASHINGTON — One lawmaker wants to disarm forest rangers, another suggests federal agents should report to local sheriffs and others warn the Justice Department against raiding armed state militia groups. The hostility festering against the federal government in some quarters has found a voice in Congress. And to many, especially since the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, it's a disconcerting voice: a voice suggesting that the government is pushing people too far, that its employees are an occupying army, that citizens have just cause for fear. The members of Congress reflecting such constituency sentiment range from Rep. Helen Chenoweth, R-Idaho, author of the sheriffs bill, to House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., who says that "of course" Chenoweth's idea is bad policy but it's a potent signal nevertheless. "That's telling you something about her constituents, and not just extremists," he said. "It should be taken very seriously as a symbol." The highly volatile climate is being fanned by a "patriot" movement rooted in mistrust and fear of a tyrannical central government. Militias are the armed wings of the movement. Chip Berlet, who has studied paramilitary groups and conspiracy theorists for 14 years at Political Research Associates, a liberal think tank, estimates there are 5 million people in the movement and about 50 local, state and federal officeholders "for whom the 'patriot' movement is a constituency that they don't want to offend." The solicitousness, not surprisingly, corresponds to the growing clout of the movement. A graphic example occurred just this year when patriot groups, making extensive use of fax networks, shortwave radio and the Internet computer network blocked a Conference of the States planned by the National Governors Association and other mainstream groups. Organizers scheduled the conference Oct. 23-25 in Philadelphia — a period that happens to include United Nations Day on Oct. 24. All hell suddenly broke loose. They were convinced that the convention would then repeal the Second Amendment right to bear arms. "The logic is beyond me," said Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Liberal watchdog groups are exploring ties among the "patriot," private-property rights and religious right movements. Federal lawmakers are taking pains to show they are on the same wave length as their agitated constituents. Some echo "patriot" rhetoric; others have specific ties to militias. Prominent among the latter are Chenoweth and GOP Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas, freshmen elected just last year in the national Republican drive for smaller, less intrusive government. Stockman received a militia-generated fax about the Oklahoma City bombing around the time it occurred and has been praised by militia members on their short- wave radio shows. An avid gun-rights champion; he was among those warning the Justice Department against raids on militias. A poem written to Stockman by a friend, posted.on his office wall, rejoices that "the voice that spoke at Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill now speaks to Capitol Hill." Those Revolutionary War battles are rallying cries for the militia movement. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and Rep. Barbara Vucanovich, R-Nev., are among those indicating a general solidarity with the disaffected. Craig wants to disarm forest rangers he says are fueling fears of "an armed federal entity" in the West. Vu- canovich says federal agents must expect violence if they're insensitive. Incensed liberals have accused Republicans of accommodating, and in some cases encouraging, the anti-government mood. "The paranoid fear of government is an extremist position, and every one of us ought to say that," said Rep. Patricia Schroeder, D-Colo. Nominee gains more GOP support Packwood would vote for Foster By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Sen. Bob Packwood said Sunday he would vote to confirm Dr. Henry Foster as surgeon general and predicted that an attempt by his fellow Republicans to block a vote on the nomination would fail. Packwood, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the qualifications of the Tennessee obstetrician-gynecologist are "excellent" and that "short of . some skeleton coming forth," he ; would support him. "My hunch is on this one that the filibuster won't last long," said Packwood, R-Ore. Sixty votes are needed to stop a filibuster. Gramm Packwood But Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, a leading opponent of Foster's nomination to become the nation's chief health spokesman, promised that he would launch a filibuster to prevent a vote. "I'm going to do everything in my power to stop this nomination," Gramm said. Gramm and other Republicans have opposed Foster because of inaccurate statements he made the Salina Journal P.O. Box 740. Salina, KS 67402 • Salina (913) 823-6363 • Kansas 800-827-6363 Published seven days a week. 365 days a year at 333 S. Fourth, Salina, Kansas, by Salina Journal Inc. (USPS 478-060) HARRIS RAYL, Publisher ADVERTISING: Jeanny Sharp, director CIRCULATION: Bryan Sandmeier, manager BUSINESS: David Martin, manager NEWS: Scott Seirer, executive editor PRODUCTION: David Atkinson, manager about his record in performing abortions and' questions about his knowledge of a syphilis study among black men in Alabama. But Foster's strong performance before the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee earlier this month appears to have tilted the Senate in his favor. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., who earlier had threatened to keep the nomination, from coming to a vote on the Senate floor, has since softened that stance, promising to meet Foster before making a decision. The Labor Committee has scheduled a vote May 24. So far, one Republican member of the panel, James Jeffords of Ver- STOCKQUOTE HOTLINE Journal 825-6000 Category 9000 mont, has come out in support of Foster. Foster would win approval of the committee, where the GOP has a 9-7 advantage, if one more Republican backs him. Whether or not the committee approves Foster, his nomination could go to the floor for a vote by the Senate. all (yes ALL) CleanPapers ™ mMM **^*^sies3uiHmxNy&m _ recycle For pickup 827-0777, ROCKPORT DRESSPORTS BROWN'S SHOE FIT EVERYDAY LOW PRICE Brown Black Wine Sizes 8-14 Width N-M-W Also Wine Plain Toe *1T5 00 9HOM. FIT CO. Downtown Salina Sug. Retail Mon.'Fri. 9:00-6:00 Thurs. 9:00-8:00 Sat. 9:00-5:30 Subscription rates By carrier (three months, tax included): in Salina $38; outside Salina S39, by motor route $42. By mail (three months, in Kansas): daily $40, Monday through Saturday $36, Sunday $18.50. By mail (three months, outside of Kansas): daily $43.50, Monday through Saturday $35, Sunday $22.75. Subscriber services Call the Circulation Department between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. daily, 5:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Sundays, or 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on major holidays. No paper? Call before 10 a.m. in Salina only for delivery that day. For quotes (delayed 15 minutes), enter a ticker symbol using the table and press*. A-21 F-33 K-52 P-71 U-82 Z-03 V-83 W-91 B-22 C-23 D-31. 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