New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, January 5, 2003, Page 6

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

January 05, 2003

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Issue date: Sunday, January 5, 2003

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 5, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Page 6A — Herald-Zeitung — Sunday, January 5, 2003 *Forum Contact Managing Editor Gary E. Maitland, 625-9144 ext. 220 New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels Zeitiing was founded 1852; New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890. The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958. Doug Toney, Editor and Publisher Gary E. Maitland, Managing Editor www.herald-zeitung.com (830) 625-9144 Editorial Challenges demand cooperative spirit Comal County’s elected officials welcomed the new year Wednesday with a solemn promise to confront a plethora of problems spawned by the tremendous growth of the last decade. The challenges are not insurmountable, but now more than perhaps ever before, meeting them demands a realization that cooperation between city and county governments is a necessity. Th be truthful, both sides have always paid hp service to the need to work hand-in-hand in the interests of the bigger picture. But the follow through has been lacking. Now, the table has been set for better cooperation. County Judge Danny Scheel recognized the need for improved relationships when he was a county commissioner. As county judge, he has continued to try to foster those relationships with some success. New City Manager Charles Pinto has brought a different tone to City Hall, and that will almost certainly prove beneficial to future dealings between the two governments. And the addition of Jan Kennady as Precinct 4’s representative on the County Commission can be interpreted as a positive addition. Kennady is a former New Braunfels mayor and city council member. Those experiences and the ties she has made bode well for improved relations. Much work must be done in the year ahead. The problems of water use and availability, flood control and rapid growth are not going away. And the best way to tackle these issues is with a combined front. Today In History — By The Associated Press Today is Sunday, Jan. 5, the fifth day of 2003. There are 360 days left in the year. Today’s history highlight: On Jan. 5, 1896, an Austrian newspaper (“Wiener Presse”) reported the discovery by German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen of a type of radiation that came to be known as “X-rays.” On this date: In 1781, a British naval expedition led by Benedict Arnold burned Richmond, Va. In 1925, Nellie T. Ross succeeded her late husband as governor of Wyoming, Policy The Herald-Zeitung encourages the submission of letters. Letters must be 250 words or fewer, and the Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions. An address and telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included so authorship can be confirmed. Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor c/othe Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax: (830) 606-3413 e-mail: [email protected] ‘Cradle of Naval Aviation’ is a special place becoming the first female governor in U.S. history. In 1933, the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, 60, died in Northampton, Mass. In 1943, educator and scientist George Washington Carver died in Tuskegee, Ala., at age 81. In 1949, in his State of the Union address, President Truman labeled his administration the “Fair Deal.” In 1994, Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, 81, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, died in Boston. PENSACOLA, Fla. — I’ve come to the only place in Florida that seems Christmassy in the traditional sense. The very tip of the Florida Panhandle gets reasonably cold, has enough trees that shed their leaves and doesn’t look very tropical, though, of course, it’s greener than Ohio at this time of year and bare of snow. Actually, Pensacola is the site of the very first European settlement on the North American continent. A poor Spaniard and his would-be colonists landed here by mistake around 1559, lost their supplies in a storm and, after nearly starving, were finally rescued. Neither they nor their rescuer knew where they were or that the other even existed. AAA had not yet been invented. It was all by accident. At any rate, that’s why St. Augustine, founded in 1565, can justly claim to be America’s oldest city. Those of us from Pensacola always say “oldest continuous settlement.” Both happen to be my favorite Florida cities. Florida is such a vast and diverse state that it can mean many things to different people, sort of like the blind men trying to describe an elephant. For fast pace and Latin flavor, there’s Miami; families flock to Disney World and the other massive theme parks in Write’Em President George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, D.C. 20500 U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Dallas Room 284 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 8023 Vantage Drive, Suite 460 San Antonio, TX 78230 (210) 340-2885 Charley Reese Orlando; race fans and motorcyclists go to Daytona Beach; those with a yen for sunsets, fishing and drinking gravitate to the Keys; and the really rich tend to settle on the southwest coast. I like Pensacola the best. The city bes on a massive bay that, for a short period of time, was a busier port than New York City. It is the home of Naval aviation, and a visit to the Naval Aviation Museum is worth the trip from wherever you are. The Navy’s acrobatic team, the Blue Angels, is also stationed here. Pensacola is called both the “Cradle of Naval Aviation” and the “Mother-in-Law of Naval Aviation.” Many a young man has earned his wings and a bride during his stay here. There are Spanish forts — San Carlos and Barranca — to explore, and an American fort, Pickens, on Santa Rosa Island. Fort Pickens once housed Gero nimo, the Apache medicine man, and years ago I talked to a lady who could recall seeing him. Apparently, they put the warrior on display, and people would be ferried out by boat to the island. That island, Santa Rosa, is the location of Pensacola’s beach, and it is — no exaggeration — the most beautiful in the world. The sand is sugar-white and so fine you can’t drive on it. It even “barks” when you walk on it. Thanks to the efforts of many local people who showed more foresight than greed, the island is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, so it is protected from development, except for a small part. Best of all, not that many people know about it, so you can still go even in the summer months and find a place where there’s only you, the sand and the sea. Tile blend of Spanish, Navy and Old South has created a unique culture in Pensacola you won’t find anywhere else in Florida. Of course, if you’re of the loud and rude type, please visit Miami Beach or Fort Lauderdale. They’re your kind of city. You won’t be welcomed in Pensacola. (Charley Reese is a syndicated columnist). Fax: (210) 349-6753 U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio Room 2231 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-4236 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio, TX 78209 (210) 821-5024 Circ D. Rodriguez D-San Antonio Room 323 Cannon House Washington, D C. 20515 (202) 225-1640 1313 S.E. Military, Suite 115 San Antonio, TX 78214 (210)924-7383 Governor Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin, TX 78711 (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512)463-1849 Texas State Representative Edmund Kuempel, R-Seguin PO. Box 911 Seguin, TX 78155 (830) 379-8732 Fax: (830) 463-5896 Texas State Senator Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio, TX 78209 (210) 826-7800 Fax: (210) 826-0571 Judith Zaffirini D-Laredo P.O. Box 627 Laredo, TX 78042-0627 (956) 722-2293 12702 Toepperwein Rd #214 San Antonio, TX 78233 (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262Score another win for political speech freedom By American standards, European nations heavily restrain political speech and participation in campaigns. This is also true of our northern neighbor, Canada. However, the latest legal developments in Europe and Canada suggest that those who prefer to stifle political speech and limit political participation through regulation may be losing ground. American campaign finance regulators should take note. Recently, the European Court of Human Rights threw a wrench into the widespread European practice of banning paid political advertising on both television and radio. The European Court ruled on a Swiss case involving an animal rights group that wanted to air an ad encouraging viewers to eat less meat and to better protect animals. The Swiss government forbade broadcasters from airing the ad as it contravened the country’s ban on political advertising. However, the European Court ruled that the Swiss ban violated the “freedom of expression” article of the European Human Rights Convention. Patrick Basham Guest Column Score one for political speech. What will the outcome of this case mean for comparable political ad bans in other European countries? British Prime Minister Tbny Blair’s government, for example, is now in the unenviable position of trying to figure out how to maintain the longstanding British ban on political advertising while making British law compatible with European law. Blair is hoping the European Court overlooks the new British communications legislation that maintains the political ad ban. He trusts that the European Court will accept his Electoral Commission’s position that providing free air time to British parties is a sufficient sop to free speech. Of course, the allocation of free air time — a “reform” long-favored by American campaign finance regulators — is a politically driven, arbitrary process that serves the interests of the incumbent political class, regardless of partisanship. Limiting the amount of political advertising by banning paid ads ensures that the electorate receives only cursory snippets of information from the parties and little, if any, from other, nonpartisan sources. Critically, these advertising restrictions further the cause of incumbency protection, i.e., they significantly reduce the likelihood that incumbents will be defeated. In practice, money spent on political advertising enables political information to be widely disseminated, thereby increasing the probability of a competitive election. According to a recent study by the University of Wisconsin’s Kenneth Goldstein, U.S. political ad spending during the 2002 midterm election totaled $996 million and purchased 1.5 million television ads. That may sound like a lot, but it’s money that’s largely well spent. Matthew Felling of the Center for Media and Public Affairs points out that, “As the amount of face time on local and national broadcasts diminishes, political advertising potentially increases the opportunity for candidates to communicate with voters.” What about campaign spending by interest groups? Our new campaign finance law severely restricts “third party” ad spending during the 60 days prior to an election. Tb our north, the Canadian government just came unstuck in its attempt to gag interest groups. On Dec. 16, 2002, an appeals court struck down Canadian legislation that effectively banned participation in campaigns by interest groups and individuals. The law restricted nonpartisan campaign spending to a ridiculously low $2,(XX) per district and $100,000 nationally. Score another one for political speech. Needless to say, the Canadian ' political elite is outraged at the court’s ruling. Don Boudria, a senior parliamentarian for the governing Liberal party, predicts an “open season for third parties.” In a clear admission that the goal of such regulation is to censor nonstatist speech, Boudria fears interest groups will now run ad campaigns, “like in the United States,” attacking socialized health care and gun control. Commenting on the Canadian government’s position, the National Post newspaper proffered this retort: “How are sizeable minorities ... to get their voices heard at the crucial moment in the life of a democracy — during an election — unless they can band together and challenge the policymaking monopoly of entrenched parties?” Indeed. In the New Year, the U.S. Supreme Court will address similar questions concerning draconian advertising restrictions placed upon nonpoliticians by the American political class. We should hope the United States joins the trend toward liberalizing controls on political speech and participation. (Patrick Basham is senior fellow in the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute, www.cato.org.) ;

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