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Commentary by Howard Phillips, Chairman of The Conservative Caucus


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Home | July 2008 Archives


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 News Release - Chinese Olympics | July 31, 2008 | Digg This
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The Conservative Caucus
450 Maple Avenue, East
Vienna, VA 22180

For Immediate Release

Contact: Charles Orndorff

Interview Availability on the Beijing Olympics

Vienna, VA.  Howard Phillips is available during the 2008 Beijing Olympics to offer commentary concerning Communist China, including Chinese military and economic threats to the United States, and China’s activities in the Sudan.

Mr. Phillips has studied Chinese and Communist strategies, led a fact-finding delegation to China, and organized opposed to trade deals with the PRC.

Mr. Phillips knew Jesse Owens, the U.S. Olympic athlete who confounded Hitler at the 1936 Olympics, and he can draw the historical parallels between the Olympics in 1936 and 2008.

Mr. Phillips is highly critical of President Bush attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing and meeting with PRC Chairman Hu Jintao.  He notes that Bush’s visit awards the Chinese regime with honors FDR did not give to Hitler at the 1936 Olympics.

Mr. Phillips can provide balance with Beijing-prepared news and commentary, offer rebuttal to PRC propaganda, and keep the critical issues of genocide, human rights and freedom part of the debate during the games.

Mr. Phillips is host of the weekly public affairs television program, Conservative Roundtable, and is frequently interviewed on radio TV.

To arrange an interview or talk show appearance with Howard Phillips, contact Charles Orndorff at 703-938-9626,

Howard Phillips’ biography:

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 Robert Pastor & NAU | July 30, 2008 | Digg This


Trying to lull to sleep critics of the North American Union (NAU), its principal architect, Robert Pastor, in an article titled, "The Future of North America" published in the CFR’s Foreign Affairs magazine says the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) is probably on its last legs because of "its largely bureaucratic nature and the decision policy makers made to keep SPP largely below the radar of public opinion. The strategy of acting on technical issues in an incremental, bureaucratic way and keeping the issues away from public view has generated more suspicion than accomplishments," Pastor admitted.

In my view, Pastor is "playing possum". He argues that "The three heads of state (U.S., Mexico, and Canada) must also commit to building a new consciousness, a new way of thinking about one’s neighbors and about the continental agenda. Americans, Canadians, and Mexicans can be nationals and North Americans at the same time" asserts Pastor.

In the Foreign Affairs article, Pastor recommended creating new North American institutions, including a North American Investment Fund of at least $20 billion per year "to connect central and southern Mexico to the United States with roads, ports, and communications".

According to Dr. Jerome Corsi, Pastor also called for the continuation of annual North American heads-of-state summits and the appointment in the next administration of a national adviser for North American affairs, who would chair cabinet-level committee to formulate a comprehensive plan for North America.

Pastor also encouraged creating a dozen university centers for North American studies "to educate a new generation of students to think North America".

 National Review | July 29, 2008 | Digg This


"National Review" ain’t what it used to be. One example is the review by Gerard Alexander (5/19/08, p. 60), an associate professor of politics at the University of Virginia, in which, commenting on Adam Clymer’s book, "Drawing the Line at the Big Ditch: the Panama Canal Treaties and the Rise of the Right. Alexander thoroughly discounts the very significant role the Canal issue played in the U.S. Senate elections of 1978 and 1980.

Alexander’s ill-informed, poorly premised review discounts the Canal issue, criticizing the author, Adam Clymer, because "he omits mention of the majority of pro-treaty Democratic senators who were reelected in the uphill year of 1980".

"National Review" should do a better job in its selection of book reviewers. Mr. Alexander causes one to question what his students are being taught in their study of politics at the University of Virginia.

 Second Amendment Decision | July 24, 2008 | Digg This


While there has been a great deal of coverage of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the handgun ban of the D.C. City Council, several points have received little or no attention.

1. While the overall decision was 5-4, the Court was unanimous in finding that the Second Amendment refers to an individual right. Justice Breyer’s dissent, with which Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg concurred, states that there are four "starting points . . . to which I believe the entire Court subscribes". The first of these four is that "the Amendment protects an ‘individual right’". Likewise, the dissenting opinion of Justice Stevens (with the other three concurring) says "surely it protects a right that can be enforced by individuals." The four dissenting justices put severe qualifications on this right, but recognized its existence.

2. The handgun ban in Washington, D.C. is unique in having been adopted by a City Council which was created by Congress, and Congress retains (as required by the Constitution) the right to overturn the law or even to abolish the Council and resume the direct legislative power over the District. This makes the ban a Federal action, and still leaves open the question of whether the Supreme Court would apply the Second Amendment to the states and local governments.

The Bill of Rights was originally intended to apply only to the Federal government, and not until well into the Twentieth Century did the Supreme Court begin to apply some of the amendments to state law as well (referred to as incorporation).

Justice Scalia’s opinion, in a footnote, hints that the majority in this case is inclined to demand consistency, applying the Second Amendment in the same way as the First Amendment. Scalia says (referring to a Nineteenth century case, United States v. Cruikshank) that "with respect to Cruikshank’s continuing validity on incorporation, a question not presented by this case, we note that Cruikshank also said that the First Amendment did not apply against the States".

3. Justice Breyer unintentionally provided a reminder that allowing the erosion of liberty in one area leads to its erosion elsewhere. Defending his claim that Second Amendment rights must be subject to a "balancing test" against worthy goals, he refers to the First Amendment case of Nixon v. Shrink Missouri Government. In that case the Court upheld state infringements on free speech in political campaigns in the name of campaign finance reform. Perhaps, now that the Court has taken a stronger position on the Second Amendment, it will soon do the same for the First. (In fact, its decision on the "millionaire amendment" suggests the possibility of exactly that.)

4. Justice Breyer also defended the D.C. statute on the interesting grounds that it allowed ownership of rifles and shotguns, which Breyer described as "more suitable for an ‘urban area’" than handguns. That will no doubt come as a surprise to many urban residents.

 Obama & Chicago | July 23, 2008 | Digg This


Thomas F. Roeser reports in The Wanderer (July 17, 2008, front page), "Chicago has officially become the sun in the Democratic Party firmament around which all other planets orbit. After the party’s Denver convention, the entire party machinery will move to Chicago to run the campaign from here. Reasons:

  1. Without Mayor Richard M. Daley’s backing, Obama would not even be an asterisk among the candidates;
  2. it is also the stomping grounds of David Axelrod, Obama’s top strategist, who is also Dailey’s;
  3. it is home to Valerie Jarrett, the most influential black in the city, excluding Obama, who served as planning and development commissioner for Daley, is a top confidante of Obama and his wife (Jarrett conferred on Michelle Obama the $300,000 a year salary from the University of Chicago hospitals where Jarrett serves as board member; Sen. Obama secured many federal grants for the hospital)."

 Jesse Helms | July 21, 2008 | Digg This


A few days before his death, I had a premonition that Senator Jesse Helms would die on July 4, a symbolic victory for the late Senator.

During the 1970s and early ‘80s, Senator Helms and I were very close. In fact, the strategy for The Conservative Caucus was developed in his Senate office with the able assistance of Dr. James P. Lucier, Sr. and John Carbaugh, two of his principal assistants.

Working with Senator Helms, I helped lead the fight against the Panama Canal surrender, the Carter-Brezhnev SALT treaty, and much more. In 1980, together with his top strategic adviser and manager, Tom Ellis, I helped direct a campaign for Ronald Reagan to choose Senator Helms as his running mate. Indeed, on the very day that Reagan chose George Bush, I met with former Governor Reagan to plead my case, but, it was evident from my meeting with the future President that, prodded by Nancy Reagan and Jim Baker, he had already settled on George H.W. Bush.

Senator Helms, in his career, personified the reasons why term limits might be a good idea. First elected in 1972, and reelected in 1978, conservatives could not fault Senator Helms on any important issue. However, following his reelection in 1984, Helms became a typical mainstream Establishment Republican who, on most issues, did the bidding of Jim Baker, Howard Baker, and others who ran the Reagan and Bush White House.

One of the reasons Helms changed after his third election was his choice of Admiral Bud Nance, a boyhood friend, to be his chief-of-staff. Nance was pro-abortion, and, as was Helms, was active in the Masonic movement. Nance pushed Helms to make some very unwise staff changes and influenced Helms for the worse on key policy questions.

"Since he had to go sometime, Jesse Helms would have liked the idea of dying on July 4. The main cause of his life was defending liberty, especially against Soviet Communism, and so we wouldn’t be surprised if he held out to make it to the early hours of our national holiday before dying yesterday at age 86." Wall Street Journal, 7/5-6/08, p. A10

Marc Thiessen, Sen. Helms’ Foreign Relations Committee spokesman from 1995 to 2001, writes (Washington Post, 7/7/08, p. A13) that "With the passing of Sen. Jesse Helms, the media have demonstrated one final time that they never fully understood the power or impact of this great man. Consider, for example, The Post’s obituary of Helms; here are some things you would not learn about his life and legacy by reading it:

Marc Thiessen - The Jesse Helms You Should Remember ...

 Bush Has No Shame | July 17, 2008 | Digg This


When I served on the staff of President Richard Nixon, in charge of Federal youth programs, it was my privilege to meet and spend some time with Jesse Owens, America’s hero at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Although I am no fan of Franklin D. Roosevelt, I respect the fact that he decided not to attend the Berlin Olympics since, had he done so, he would have given honor and prestige to the even-then notorious Adolf Hitler.

But George W. Bush has no such shame. He will attend the Beijing Olympics this August, saying that "it would be an affront to the Chinese people" should he stay home.

President Bush can almost always be counted on to do the wrong thing. It would not be an affront to the Chinese people for him to skip the opening ceremonies, it would merely be an affront to the tyrants who rule Communist China.

 Jesse Helms & Tim Russert | July 16, 2008 | Digg This


I am not a member of the Tim Russert fan club. In the time I spent with him, he manifested a hostile, condescending attitude toward me and other non-Republican, non-Democrat Presidential candidates.

As Tom Roeser points out in the following article, Russert has received extensive tributes from those in the media who profited from his career and shared his pro-abortion ideology.

How shameful it is that a significant historic personage, Jesse Helms, has received so little coverage on the occasion of his passing, compared with the tidal waves of encomia following the unexpected death of the self-promoting Mr. Russert.

"Initially it was supposed to be only a five-day wake. But it’s been weeks and still going on. I mean the TV industry’s mourning for Tim Russert, the host of Meet the Press celebrated as the blue-collar, Irish Democrat impresario, nice guy, always true to his roots, good family man, loving son to his father, a Buffalo Bills and New York Yankees fan, senior vice president of NBC News-Washington, Washington bureau chief of NBC News, moderator of Meet the Press and co-anchor of NBC News election coverage. To which can be added, a pro-Bush defender of the Iraq War but also for a time in respect to hallowed liberal Democratic tradition, a NARAL Catholic.

"On the evening following his death, commercials were shoved off NBC Nightly News which was almost entirely dedicated to his memory. Tributes flooded in from Barack Obama, John McCain, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. Dateline NBC did a documentary on his life. Other news agencies chimed in including CBS, ABC, CNN, and the BBC. MSNBC devoted three straight hours of commercial-free tributes.

"On the first Meet the Press Sunday following his death, the program was devoted entirely to remembering Russert with the empty anchor’s chair foremost on camera. A candlelight vigil by 1,000 was held in ‘Tim Russert Park’ in his hometown of Buffalo, N.Y. The next day at his funeral at Holy Trinity church in Washington following which came a tribute at the Kennedy Center, the eulogies continued with a rendition of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ performed on the ukulele by the same man whose recording was found on Russert’s iPod. And – get this – as mourners left Holy Trinity, they saw in the sky, behold!, a double-rainbow that was captured permanently on her cell-phone camera by Colleen King of MSNBC’s Hardball and can be seen today on its website.

"The real reason for the bereavement: His success in turning a dying Sunday morning TV interview program into a multi-million dollar cash cow for his employer and a network worried the money gusher would stop. Making oodles of money is the great achievement of our world. And when you use a bicycle pump to inflate what was almost dead air into a helium balloon that billows full of bucks for a big TV network making you a celebrity Big Foot, you are deservedly wept for by this country’s secular cheerleaders, some of whom want his job.

"So, you’ll pardon me if I stand apart from the NBC-orchestrated drive to elevate Russert to canonization that is running quicker than that of John Paul II. Yeah ‘he was a man who never forgot his humble roots’ because he never stopped talking about where he came from. Doing it all the while having dinner with the Georgetown Grahams and spending much of his summers at Nantucket (‘my dad worked two jobs and I walked to school 8 blocks in the snow’). Not that he was the only TV big foot to come from humble roots (Tom Brokaw came from the University of South Dakota, Dan Rather from Sam Houston State and Sam Donaldson from Texas Western) but Russert was the only one who could spend his whole life extolling his humble origins.

"Now while NBC continues to eulogize Russert, let’s do it with the truth. …

"Hard-nosed Democratic liberal he was, in his early formative years as a savvy pol with two national Democratic figures he was also abortion’s Great Enabler. Before he hit the NBC network he had steered two major league Democratic Catholics who just could have returned their party to its traditional values to mundane pro-abort status where they fell far short of the presidency they coveted. …

"Without ever having been a journalist or even having been on TV for any appreciable time, Russert left [N.Y. Governor Mario] Cuomo’s office in 1984. He joined NBC not as a journalist but because the network sorely needed a pol with strong Democratic ties and the skill to work up deals with the GOP to line up TV stories and guests.

"But as it turned out, his first assignment wasn’t to land a pol at all. It was to get Pope John Paul II to do his first interview on network television for NBC. Russert scored. That led to other coups and got him the job of Washington bureau chief and a vice presidency in 1988. Then along came the network’s Meet the Press. It was the longest running of all TV network shows (since 1947) but it was in deep trouble under some lackluster interrogators including Garrick Utley, Marvin Kalb, Bill Monroe, Roger Mudd. Important guests were begging off and preferring to go to the really hot Sunday show – ABC’s This Week with David Brinkley which featured a major league guest followed by a lively panel with Sam Donaldson as predictable liberal with a bad hairpiece and an obnoxious bent, George Will as a studious epigrammatic neocon, and Coke Roberts, an NPR feminist Catholic, daughter of a deceased Louisiana House majority leader, a cutie who could go either this way or that on issues. …

"Russert merchandised himself as the Buffalo-and-Big-Russ Working-class kid from Buffalo who was set apart from the Ivy Leagues writing a book about his garbageman father, further burnishing his own image as the working class anchor. …

"With the George W. Bush administration, Russert cut a brilliant deal. He sent word to them that he would ask his usual snotty question of Vice Resident Dick Cheney and others – Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and other Pentagon figures – but would give them ample time to bloviate or as the Bush people delicately phrased it ‘get [the] message out.’ So the deal was cooked. One week before the Iraq invasion to a super-hyped promotional campaign, Cheney appeared before Russert on Meet the Press. Predictably Russert’s opening question was sarcastic: ‘Many Americans and many people around the world are asking just one question: Why is it acceptable for the United States to lead a military attack against a nation that has not attacked the United States? What’s your answer?

"The answer given by Cheney lasted more than 1,000 words and constituted a filibuster – but two sides were immensely pleased: the liberals who savored the caustic question and the White House which got ample time to bloviate on the answer. The same pattern reappeared all the time which got the White House nixing other networks in order to appear on Meet the Press. …

"When the Valerie Plame affair broke, former Cheney communications director Cathie Martin testified ‘I suggested we put the vice president on Meet the Press which was a tactic we often used. It’s our best format, allowing us [the administration] to control the message.’ [Italics mine]

"Inside deals like this made Meet the Press a top revenue grosser and brought multi-millionaire status to the kid from Buffalo." Source: Thomas Roeser, The Wanderer, 7/3/08, pp. 1, 5

 Candidates Refuse the NAU Pledge | July 15, 2008 | Digg This
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The Conservative Caucus
450 Maple Avenue, East
Vienna, VA 22180

For Immediate Release

Contact: Charles Orndorff


Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama have failed to pledge their support for American independence, indicating they may favor continuing President Bush’s policy of gradually merging the United States, Mexico, and Canada into a North American Union (NAU), said Howard Phillips, Chairman of The Conservative Caucus (TCC).

Last month, TCC sent each candidate a request to pledge his opposition to the NAU and support for American independence. Neither has replied nor made any public statement on the issue.

"It appears that both John McCain and Barack Obama intend to lead the nation through a third term for George Bush," said Phillips. "Not only has each of them failed to express opposition to the NAU, but both have supported an immigration policy that would virtually erase our borders. Likewise, both support continuation of NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement], which also greatly weakens control of our borders."

Phillips warned that a North American government, much like that of the European Union, would gain supremacy over the U.S. Constitution unless the trend toward the NAU is stopped.

The Conservative Caucus led in the formation of the Coalition to Block the North American Union in 2006. Howard Phillips serves as Chairman of the Coalition.


 Howard Phillips to Speak at Ron Paul Rally | July 10, 2008 | Digg This
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The Conservative Caucus
450 Maple Avenue, East
Vienna, VA 22180

For Immediate Release

Contact: Charles Orndorff

News Advisory and Interview Opportunity

Howard Phillips Joins Ron Paul at U.S. Capitol
Against North American Union

Conservative Caucus Chairman Howard Phillips will join the Honorable Ron Paul to speak at a march and rally at 11:00 AM, Saturday, July 12 on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

Mr. Phillips will urge the attendees to call and visit their representatives in support of H.C.R. 40, the Congressional Resolution to block the planned merger of the United States with Mexico and Canada, known as the North American Union.

Mr. Phillips will be available for interviews regarding the North American Union, the NAFTA Superhighway, and issues relating to American independence and international trade.

– 30 –

 The Second Amendment | July 9, 2008 | Digg This


The Scalia decision/opinion in the Heller case, upholding the individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment, is not an unmixed blessing.

Scalia allied himself with those who consider restrictions on the Second Amendment to be acceptable, whether they relate to concealed carry, weapons in educational institutions and government buildings, as well as qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

Scalia also embraced the notion that it is appropriate to prohibit "the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons’ ".

 Kent Snyder | July 7, 2008 | Digg This


It was a shock to learn that my friend, Kent Snyder, Chairman of Ron Paul’s Presidential campaign, has died.

Kent supported Congressman Paul’s quest for the Presidency on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1988, and was responsible for Congressman Paul’s 2008 Presidential campaign strategy. At the time of his death, Kent was 49 years old. He succumbed to a long bout with pneumonia – no doubt exacerbated by his relentless, tireless, unyielding efforts in behalf of Ron Paul and the principles for which he stands.  Memorial Service Information

 Free Speech | July 3, 2008 | Digg This


While the Supreme Court news has been dominated by stories of the D.C. handgun decision, the Court handed down another important victory for the Constitution that same day.

My friend, Jack Davis, won his challenge to the so-called millionaire’s amendment (part of the McCain-Feingold law), which allowed candidates to accept donations of as much as $6,900 (the normal limit is $2,300) if the opponent spends more than $350,000 of his own money for campaign purposes. The candidate’s political party is allow allowed to spend more than the normal limit.

It was good to see that five justices recognized the unconstitutional nature of allowing one candidate to accept donations of $6,900, while limiting his opponent to $2,300. The Court now appears to have a slim majority that is sympathetic to at least chipping away at McCain-Feingold’s restrictions on free speech, and some of those justices are on record as believing that the existing limitations on campaign contributions and expenditures are a violation of the First Amendment.

However, it sent a chill down my spine to read the dissent of Justice Stevens, in which he argued that the Court should allow Congress to put limits on campaign expenditures. According to Stevens, "limitations would likely have the salutary effect of improving the quality of the exposition of idea." Stevens was especially concerned that "flooding the airwaves with slogans and sound-bites may well do more to obscure the issues than to enlighten listeners."

Justice Stevens may believe that the American people will become better-informed if Congress is allowed to reduce the amount of information available, but I prefer a wide open, unlimited debate. I found it interesting that even someone as liberal as Justice Ginsburg was unwilling to associate herself with this part of Stevens’ opinion.

 Left Wing Institute | July 2, 2008 | Digg This


Under pressure from West Virginia Senator Jennings Randolph, Ronald Reagan rolled over and signed into law a "Great Society" style boondoggle called the Institute of Peace, which provides jobs and funding to a large array of liberal and left-wing activists.

On June 5, George Bush embraced the Institute by participating in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Institute’s new headquarters.

Chairman of the Institute is Robin West, with whom I served on the staff of the Republican National Committee in 1967.

Funding for the Institute’s headquarters came, of course, from you, me, and other taxpayers, thanks to an earmark by Alaska Senator Ted Stevens.

In his remarks Bush said, "We’re transforming America’s capabilities to help poor and struggling societies become healthy and prosperous.

"And we’ve seen those effective transformations through the Emergency plan for AIDS or malaria initiative or the Millennium Challenge Account…America is training international peacekeepers so they can deploy to provide security in troubled regions…So far, we’ve trained more than 40,000 peacekeepers and the plan is to train 75,000 additional." Source: Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, June 9, 2008, Volume 44, Number 22

 Dan Kuykendall | July 1, 2008 | Digg This


Dan Kuykendall, who died on June 12 at 83, was someone with whom I had numerous, highly informative conversations during the period when he served as a member of Congress for Tennessee.

Kuykendall was a brilliant political strategist and a faithful conservative member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

"Almost every book or study about how the South went from being solidly Democratic to very reliably Republican will cite Tennessee’s Dan Kuykendall as a player in that change. When he died on June 12 at 83 after a long illness, Kuykendall was remembered for his early work in the GOP vineyards when the Tennessee Republican Party was almost nonexistent as for his tenure as a conservative U.S. House member from 1966-74.

"Born in Cherokee, Tex., Kuykendall (pronounced ‘KIRK-en-dall’) served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and graduated from Texax A&M University in 1947. As regional manager for Proctor&Gamble, he moved his family to Memphis in 1955 and won high marks for training salesmen.

"Kuykendall’s skill at salesmanship was put to a major test when he began recruiting fellow volunteers for the Republican Party in overwhelmingly Democratic Memphis. After working on Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign in 1960 (when Tennessee went Republican by 75,000 votes), Kuykendall managed former City Councilman Bob James’ near-successful race for Congress in 1962.

"Two years later, Kuykendall sought office himself by carrying the GOP banner against Sen. (1952-70) Albert Gore, Sr. (D.-Tenn.). Proudly aligning himself with Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater, the salesman-candidate promised a ‘rip-roaring campaign of truth and candor.’ He slammed Gore (lifetime Americans for Constitutional Action rating: 8%) for his anti-business record, declaring ‘Sen. Gore’s flagrant and indiscriminate attacks on the business leaders of this nation have kept many businesses from establishing plants in Tennessee and consequently our industrial program has suffered.’ Many Democratic business leaders crossed party lines to back the Republican hopeful and he drew a handsome 46% of the vote against Gore.

"Kuykendall roared back in 1966 and unseated democratic Rep. George Crider. A solid conservative, Kuykendall served on the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. After hostile redistricting in 1971, Kuykendall found himself in a district deprived of its former ‘silk-stocking suburbs’ of Shelby County and with a heavily enhanced black population from Memphis. In a district that was now 30% black, Kuykendall campaigned in black precincts, not hiding his conservatism, and won a close re-election in 1972. But in the so-called ‘Watergate Year’ of 1974, he lost by 574 votes to Democrat Harold Ford. (My friend Fran Fawcett, then a WHBQ TV reporter in Memphis, recalled to me her election-night interview with Kuykendall in which the congressman thought he had won the squeaker. ‘I had to tell him he had lost—on the air,’ she said.).

"After several years as a private consultant and lobbyist, Kuykendall threw his energy and resourcefulness into designing and building furniture in his basement workshop." Source: John Gizzi, Human Events, 6/23/08, p. 19

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