Heartlander: May-June 2011 (full text html)
Tuesday, August 16, 5:30 - 7:30 pm: Jak’s Tap, Chicago. Drinks and pizza with Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, authors of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong with America. Registration fee is $25. www.heartland.org/events/events.html
Thursday, October 13, 7:30 am - 3:30 pm: University Club, Chicago. Seventh Emerging Issues Forum, a day-long policy conference bringing elected officials, policy experts, and Heartland supporters from around the country together to discuss the biggest public policy issues on the horizon. www.heartland.org/events/EIF2011
Thursday, October 13, 5:30 - 9:00 pm: Hilton Chicago Hotel, Chicago. The EIF will be followed by Heartland’s 27th Anniversary Benefit Dinner, with a reception, silent auction, and dinner with speakers. www.heartland.org/events/Benefit2011
Budget & Tax News
The June issue of Budget & Tax News reports on state budgets and tax hike plans, a proposed increase in the airport Passenger Facility Charge, corporate income taxes, and federal aid to state governments.
Outreach to Elected Officials
Federal, state, and local elected officials were contacted by Heartland’s government relations team nearly 4,000 times in April and May, including 259 personal contacts.
- We provided information to state elected officials in Nevada (alcohol and cigarette taxes); and Louisiana, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin (tobacco taxes).
- We contacted members of Congress and tech and telecom staffers in DC about wireless tax fairness.
- Government Relations Director John Nothdurft attended the spring meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
We had 135 print, online, and broadcast media hits in April and May, reaching a known audience of 7.9 million.
- Senior Fellow Peter Ferrara did more than a dozen radio interviews discussing President Barack Obama’s “tax piracy” and appeared on the nationally syndicated Thom Hartmann Radio Program and CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
- Peter and Research Fellow Steve Stanek were published in The Wall Street Journal (circ. 2,092,000); Peter was published by the American Spectator online and writes a regular weekly column for Forbes online. Steve and Executive Editor Diane Bast were published in The Chicago Tribune (circ. 441,506), and Steve was published by American Thinker online.
- On April 18, New Media Specialist Keely Drukala and Administrative Intern Judy Kratochvil attended a Tea Party rally at Daley Plaza in Chicago.
- Seven interviews were added to the Budget & Tax News podcast, and it attracted 12,207 “listens.”
Property & Casualty Insurance: Where Does Your State Rank?
Heartland Policy Study #130, “2011 Property and Casualty Insurance Report Card,” can be downloaded in Adobe’s PDF format from the FIRE Policy News Web site at www.firepolicy-news.org/article/30283. Donors of $100 or more can request a free copy of the study; call Cheryl Parker at 312/377-4000.
Vermont and Ohio had the best property and casualty insurance regulatory environments in the U.S. in 2010, followed by Illinois and Maine, according to Heartland Policy Study #130, “2011 Property and Casualty Insurance Report Card.”
Those four states earned “A” grades on the report card, while Hawaii, Texas, California, and Florida earned “F” grades.
Author Eli Lehrer, vice president of Washington, DC operations for Heartland and national director of its Center on Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (CFIRE), examined nine variables, including politicization of the insurance regulatory system, the size of residual markets, market concentration, rate regulation, and rules for the use of credit scoring.
More than 2,000 copies of the study were mailed to legislators in the top and bottom states and to media, civic and business leaders, and think tanks across the country.
FIRE Policy News
The June issue of FIRE Policy News reports on the Fed’s bailout of foreign banks, new-home construction and housing prices, property and casualty insurance, and inflation.
Outreach to Elected Officials
Federal, state, and local elected officials were contacted by Heartland’s government relations and CFIRE teams more than 17,600 times in April and May, including 66 personal contacts.
- We provided information to members of Congress (Internet gaming, federal reinsurance, and campaign finance reform); elected officials in top gaming states (Internet gaming); state legislators in top reinsurance markets (impact of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami); California, Florida, and Texas (windstorm and earthquake insurance); Illinois (workers’ comp); and North Carolina (auto insurance).
- We met with national and state elected officials and their staffs on flood insurance, earthquake losses, auto insurance, and offshore affiliated tax issues. Eli and Senior Fellow Alan Smith attended the spring meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council.
- CFIRE co-hosted an event on April 26 with American Action Forum asking, “Are Employee Pensions the Cause of the Financial Crisis in the States?” The forum was held at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC; roughly 70 people attended.
- Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced the Consumer Option for an Alternative System To Allocate Losses Act of 2011, or COASTAL Act. The bill is based on a proposal developed by Heartland Policy Advisor Scott Richardson, a former South Carolina insurance commissioner.
We had 58 print, online, and broadcast media hits in April and May, reaching a known audience of 4.6 million.
- Members of the CFIRE team were published by newspapers in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC. On May 21, after several conversations with Eli and Senior Fellow Don Brown, The Wall Street Journal (circ. 2,092,000) published an editorial about Florida insurance issues.
- Eli addressed the Reston (Virginia) Republican Club on housing issues and a meeting of Renaissance Reinsurance (Bermuda) about policy matters in Washington, DC.
- Nine interviews were added to the FIRE Policy News podcast, and it attracted 10,838 “listens.”
Policy Brief: State Insurance Exchanges
“State Insurance Exchanges: The Case Against Implementation” can be downloaded in Adobe’s PDF format from the Health Care News Web site at www.healthpolicy-news.org/article/29802. Donors of $100 or more can request a free copy of the study; call Cheryl Parker at 312/377-4000.
“State Insurance Exchanges: The Case Against Implementation,” a Heartland Policy Brief by Health Care News Managing Editor Benjamin Domenech, was released in April.
“State policymakers face a complex task as they decide whether to implement President Barack Obama’s health care law,” Benjamin explains. “They must decide whether to implement a series of burdensome regulations and vague requirements even as their representatives in the courts argue that key provisions of the law are unconstitutional.”
Benjamin notes several state policymakers have attempted to find a middle path between compliance and resistance. But the middle path “offers no protection against future decisions by the federal bureaucracy, collaborates with an unconstitutional framework, and risks undercutting court cases across the country.”
The brief was distributed by email to more than 5,700 state elected officials and our think tank colleagues.
Health Care News
The May and June issues of Health Care News report on state health insurance exchanges, Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, Medicaid reform, the feds’ auction system for medical devices, personalized medicine, and public employee health care.
Outreach to Elected Officials
Federal, state, and local elected officials were contacted by Heartland’s government relations team nearly 25,000 times in April and May, including 47 personal contacts.
- On April 7, we hosted a “Big Ideas for Health Care Reform” event in Washington, DC. The forum, keynoted by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), offered a roadmap for Congress to reform America’s health care system in a way that would empower individuals, lower costs, and ensure that health care is more accessible for all Americans.
- Benjamin unveiled a new Web site (www.reformmedicaid.org) that aims to help educate lawmakers and other interested parties on Medicaid reform.
- Eli Lehrer, vice president for Washington, DC operations at Heartland, attended a series of meetings on Capitol Hill about medical device issues, and Legislative Specialist Matthew Glans contacted members of Congress and staffers about the issue.
- Horace Cooper, head of Heartland’s Free to Choose Medicine (FTCM) project, worked with Rep. David Rivera’s office on drafting a FTCM bill and met regularly with allies.
Outreach to Media
We had 41 print, online, and broadcast media hits in April and May, reaching a known audience of 1.5 million.
- Senior Fellows Maureen Martin and Peter Ferrara appeared on radio shows in Connecticut, Maryland, Missouri, and New York to discuss legal challenges to Obamacare.
- Maureen, Benjamin, and other Heartland staff members were published by newspapers in California, Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC.
- Senior Fellow Richard Dolinar, MD discussed the past, present, and future of health care at a meeting of small business owners in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- Six interviews were added to the podcast, and it attracted 7,381 “listens.”
Sixth International Conference on Climate Change
Heartland’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change, held in Washington, DC on June 30 - July 1, 2011, attracted nearly 500 participants, including state elected officials from across the country. http://climateconference.heartland.org/
Environment & Climate News
The May issue of Environment & Climate News reports on global warming, oil and natural gas production, nutrient runoff restrictions, and genetically modified agriculture.
Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change: Update
The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) added reviews of 100 scientific papers to its Web site (www.nipccreport.org) in April and May. The reviews add to the mountain of evidence demonstrating how out of touch is the alarmist view promulgated by the United Nations and others on the subject of global warming. A joint project of The Heartland Institute, the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, and the Science and Environmental Policy Project, NIPCC provides critical balance in the debate over CO2-induced climate change.
Outreach to Elected Officials
Federal, state, and local elected officials were contacted by Heartland’s government relations team more than 26,400 times in April and May, including 227 personal contacts.
- We provided information to elected officials in California, Maryland, Missouri, and Oregon (BPA and product packaging); top nuclear-energy-producing states (Price-Anderson Act); and the CFIRE email list (wind insurance and climate change policy).
- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced he will pull the state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative of Northeastern states. The New Hampshire state Senate also passed RGGI-related bills: one that would cut in half the amount of money consumers will pay to participate in the RGGI, and another that would withdraw the state from the initiative if Massachusetts withdraws.
We had 200 print, online, and broadcast media hits in April and May, reaching a known audience of 186,704.
- Science Director Jay Lehr discussed nuclear power in Japan on the nationally syndicated Mark Levin and Lou Dobbs radio shows. Senior Fellow James M. Taylor discussed global warming on the nationally syndicated Cari & Rob and G. Gordon Liddy radio shows.
- Jay was quoted in National Review online, while James writes a weekly column for Forbes online. The American Spectator online published an article by Senior Fellow Peter Ferrara and The American Thinker online published one by Jim Johnston, a Heartland economic advisor.
- Jay and Senior Fellow Dennis Avery delivered speeches to audiences in California, Missouri, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia.
- Four interviews were added to the Environment & Climate News podcast, attracting 14,491 “listens.”
School Reform News
The May and June issues of School Reform News report on the Arizona tuition tax credit scholarship and DC Opportunity Scholarship programs, the Parent Trigger, federally funded preschool, national standards, and digital learning.
Outreach to Elected Officials
Federal, state, and local elected officials were contacted by Heartland’s government relations team more than 11,100 times in April and May, including 919 personal contacts.
- Legislative Specialist Marc Oestreich worked with state elected officials in Indiana and Ohio on Parent Trigger initiatives. He testified before the Ohio House Finance Subcommittee. Bruno Behrend, director of Heartland’s Center for School Transformation, testified in Maine.
- On May 12, Marc hosted a Capital Forum at the statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey to discuss state Sen. Joe Kyrillos’ Parent Trigger bill. Eight legislators, eight members of the state department of education, eight representatives of special-interest groups, and five members of the press attended.
- Marc, Bruno, Heartland President Joseph Bast, and Julie Drenner, Texas director of Heartland’s Center on Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate, worked to inform Texas legislators about the Taxpayers’ Savings Grants Program proposal.
- We provided information to federal education staffers and several state legislatures (for-profit higher education regulations); Illinois and Louisiana (Parent Trigger); Florida (class-size mandates); and New Jersey and Michigan (school bus advertising).
- On April 13–15, Marc attended the National Conference of State Legislatures’ spring meeting in Washington, DC. He met with staff members of several congressmen and the education leadership from various states to talk about the Parent Trigger and efforts to reauthorize and restructure the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
We had 78 print, online, and broadcast media hits in April and May, reaching a known audience of 4.1 million.
- Bruno, Ben, and Government Relations Director John Nothdurft discussed education reform, including the Parent Trigger, on radio and TV programs in Chicago; Columbus and Toledo, Ohio; Austin, Dallas, Houston, Lubbock, and Silsbee, Texas; and on the nationally syndicated Cari & Rob Show.
- Ben, Marc, and Senior Fellow Robert Holland were published by newspapers in California, Louisiana, New York, Ohio, and Washington, DC. Heartland was mentioned in The Wall Street Journal online in an article by John Fund about the Texas Taxpayers’ Savings Grants proposal.
- Events Manager Nikki Comerford exhibited at the National Catholic Education Association’s annual meeting in New Orleans, while Bruno discussed the Parent Trigger with audiences in Illinois and Maine.
- Four interviews were added to the School Reform News podcast, which attracted 7,688 “listens.”
InfoTech & Telecom News
The May and June issues of InfoTech & Telecom News report on the proposed acquisition by AT&T of T-Mobile, municipal wi-fi, satellite radio, cyberbullying, data-mining, and government investments in broadband.
Outreach to Elected Officials
Federal, state, and local elected officials were contacted by Heartland’s government relations team nearly 10,400 times in April and May, including 83 personal contacts.
- We provided information to members of Congress, tech and telecom Hill staffers, and members of the Federal Communications Commission (data-roaming and wireless tax fairness); and state legislators in Texas (video franchising).
- On April 13–15, Legislative Specialist Marc Oestreich attended the National Conference of State Legislatures’ spring meeting in Washington, DC. He met with several congressional staffers, telecom and tech leadership, and staffers of the FCC to discuss initiatives dealing with wireless spectrum.
We had 27 print, online, and broadcast media hits in April and May, reaching a known audience of 337,526.
- Communications Director Jim Lakely, co-director of Heartland’s Center on the Digital Economy, guested on the nationally syndicated Cari & Rob Radio Show to discuss online gaming.
- InfoTech & Telecom News Managing Editor Bruce Edward Walker was published by The Detroit News (circ. 251,104), and Jim was quoted by The Christian Science Monitor (circ. 56,083) and Associated Press.
- Six interviews were added to the IT&T News podcast, which attracted 10,425 “listens.”
Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly
Nine issues of Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly were released in April, May, and June. Among the highlights ...
- An Iowa attorney who allegedly served his female client four “cocktails” during their meeting to discus her drunken driving conviction has been charged for assaulting her with intent to commit sexual abuse.
- A lawsuit filed by an Indiana woman who claims she was injured because a Carnival cruise ship was going too fast is now set to proceed.
- A Colorado college student has filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau claiming she was cheated by a company from which she ordered a ghostwritten research paper.
- A $50,000 lawsuit is pending against Adidas North America, filed by an Illinois woman who claims she fell because her Adidas shoes “stuck together.”
- A possible new law in Hawaii would impose personal liability on travel writers if tourists die or are injured at attractions they recommend.
- A transsexual inmate in California is suing the state because it refused to pay for his sex-change surgery.
- The Texas state Senate sent a bill to Gov. Rick Perry making it a crime to lie about the size of a fish caught during an angling tournament.