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Previous Document Document 19 of 19.

Copyright 1999 The National Journal, Inc.  
The National Journal

January 23, 1999

SECTION: LETTERS; Pg. 163; Vol. 31, No. 4

LENGTH: 920 words

HEADLINE: Letters for Jan. 23, 1999


GOP Policies Are Working

     In his Dec. 19 article (''A Towering Mayor Who's
Stumbling,'' 12/19&26/98, p. 3030) commenting upon my prospects
for Governor, Mark Cohen accurately pointed out that Jersey
City's teachers and police unions have opposed me in my last two
mayoral elections. (I won anyway, by 58 and 69 percent.) He then
noted that some state Republican leaders resent the pressure I
have put upon them to implement legislation which, though good
policy, is opposed by powerful organized interests: for instance,
school voucher legislation. But Cohen erred when he suggested
that these factors will be a stumbling block if I run for
Governor in 2001.

     As a Republican, I would never have been elected mayor in
overwhelmingly Democratic Jersey City if I were not willing to
fight for the positive agenda I believe in. As it is, I have been
elected three times, so that I am now Jersey City's longest-
serving mayor in 50 years. In my last re-election campaign, I
garnered 46 percent of Jersey City's African-American vote and 76
percent of its Hispanic vote.      The Republican policies I have implemented are working.
They have moved Jersey City from the brink of bankruptcy to
financial stability without increasing its property tax levy.
They have lowered crime almost 40 percent. A Rutgers study has
revealed that 91 percent of the job growth in New Jersey's six
largest cities has occurred in Jersey City alone.
Correspondingly, unemployment has plummeted.

     I may or may not run to succeed Christie Whitman when her
term ends. But if I run, I will not back off from the Republican
policies that I believe can expand freedom and opportunity for
all New Jerseyans. I have proved that when properly presented,
our agenda can garner Democratic support. I certainly believe
that it can win votes in a Republican primary--even if the
teachers union endorses a more establishment opponent.

     - Bret Schundler, Mayor, Jersey City

Internet Industry Wasn't a Loser

     In a recent article about Internet lobbying, it was
stated that ''Internet lobbyists lost a round on this issue
(privacy) in October . . .'' with the passage of the Children's
Online Privacy Protection Act ('',''
12/19&26/98, p. 3012).

     I strongly disagree that the passage of this act was a
loss. Indeed, it was strongly supported by major Internet
companies and trade associations. The Federal Trade Commission,
in its June testimony to Congress, and the Vice President, in his
July speech at the White House on privacy online, called for
legislation on kids' online privacy. Several industry leaders,
the primary kids' groups, the FTC, and the Congress, led by Sens.
John McCain and Richard Bryan, developed this legislation in
about six weeks.

     It was a victory because it set a standard for all to
follow to protect kids under 13 in limiting what information
could be collected online from them. The legislation follows the
self-regulatory guidelines of the Direct Marketing Association,
the Children's Advertising Review Unit, and the Online Privacy

     The legislation clearly identifies what sites are
covered: those specifically targeted to children and where the
age of the child is actually known. This eliminates the
responsibility of general sites that are not aimed at children.
Moreover, the legislation has a provision that allows for
compliance by following industry self-regulation codes. It also
provides some level of pre-emption of state laws. The FTC had
much of this authority anyway, and this balanced legislation
gives the industry a clear target to aim at in compliance.

     Most importantly, the industry responded with the support
of legislation that will make the Net a safer and, therefore, a
more popular place. It surely should not be labeled a loss.

     - Ronald L. Plesser, Partner, Piper & Marbury

Patient Protections Still Needed

     I read with great interest the comments by our friends in
the business and managed care community on health care reform
(''An Overture, Again, on Health Reform,'' 12/12/98, p. 2933).

     It seems that some on the business and managed care side
of the equation are simply trying to change the subject to avoid
congressional action on managed care reform. While many of those
of us in the Patient Access to Responsible Care Alliance would be
happy to discuss methods by which access to health care can be
increased, that's a different issue, and avoiding the deep
problems inherent in managed care's ''just say no'' policy won't

     Managed care plans are busy jacking up premiums and then
arguing that it will get worse if patient protections are
enacted. That is somewhat akin to saying: ''The building has just
collapsed on top of you, but the sky may fall as well.''

     Health care plans can try to save managed care as a cost-
saving device by working with Congress, health care
professionals, and consumers to pass reasonable reforms that will
save the integrity of managed care and restore the confidence in
the system. Or they can spend millions of dollars on a public
relations campaign to try to change the subject in hopes of
avoiding reform.

     - David E. Hebert, Chairman

     Patient Access to Responsible Care Alliance

     Steering Committee

LOAD-DATE: January 25, 1999

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