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7-29-2003 I sent this to Wilson

5-19-2003

This is offensive
WilsonWatch response

May 19, 2003

I sent this to Wilson

Dear Ms. Wilson:

I am a conservative constituent who is generally loathe to invite you to expand an existing federal program other than the military and other essential existing services. However, I would urge you to consider rejecting the so-called State Option Proposal in H.R. 2210, as well as certain other deficiencies in the bill.

Head Start is one federal program whose success is undisputed. As a former educator, and now attorney, I believe the proposal will threaten the quality and reach of Head Start's early education services. Research shows that quality is crucial in achieving successful early educational outcomes. Research also shows that the quality of state-funded early education is extremely mixed. Indeed, the states that meet Head Start's quality in all areas all chose to adopt Head Start performance standards in the first instance.

The latest proposal undermines this quality for a variety of reasons. First, it eliminates the standards for any state that chooses to administer the Head Start program. Thus, it makes the new quality enhancements inapplicable to these states and, in the process, eliminates the quality guarantees. In addition, participating states could use quality improvement funds for any related purpose, including, impliedly, those unrelated to quality.

Next, there is no review of state plans. In fact, state plans are approved by default if the Secretary decides to do nothing. The lack of oversight makes high quality less likely, not more.

(In general, it seems odd to me that a program with Head Start's track record on the federal level would be given the state-option, when most deficit-heavy states are already cutting funds for early education and care.).

The state option also threatens the essential income targeting aspect of Head Start. Presumably, the Secretary could permit states to determine eligibility without reference to poverty at all. Income targeting is critical to serving the most at-risk of failure in later years. The poorer in our midst should not be expensed for the benefit of the less needy.

I am also concerned that the new proposal threatens access to early Head Start. Research demonstrates that such early care is essential toward achieving educational success in later years. Although the proposal requires states choosing this option to meet the requirements for Early Head Start, it does not require that funds be used to serve only infants and toddlers. Most states lack early education and care programs that serve large numbers of three and four-year-olds. Even more lack programs for infants and toddlers. The possibility that states would use Early Head Start funds for programs for 3- and 4-year-olds is a significant risk. Early Head Start should be expanded, not reduced.

Again, I am urging you to oppose the Title II state option proposal. Although I would agree that shifting power and money away from Washington is preferable as a matter of principle, that principle should not prevail in this instance. Put a feather in your education cap this time: Instead of claiming success for "reforming" Head Start (which you won't by supporting this proposal), claim victory by strengthening this proven program essential to education. Reject the state-option proposal.

Anonymous

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May 19, 2003

This is offensive

Dear Wilsonwatch:

This is offensive.

You have, by implication, now associated Heather Wilson with terrorist organizations and rogue nations who seek WMD, as though there were a comparison to be made between the two. There is not.

It is at times like these that I wish I was advising Ms. Wilson for I would offer two pieces of advice: (1) pay your organization absolutely no mind; your baseless diatribes deserve no audience because your ridiculous positions speak for themselves; and (2) associate your invective with the other idiots that reflect your "Party" leaders, i.e. John Kerry ("Regime change in Washington.").

At some point, Democrats will realize they will never win anything being merely an "opposition" party. Democrats have no idea what they stand for with respect to national security policy, and most of their voters don't care anymore. Republicans make them feel safe, and that's enough for them. Democrats need to tell us what they believe in, and come up with alternatives, not mere invective. Yet, at the risk of being labelled a hypocrite, here's some invective for you: Don't let your hatred for Wilson and Bush runneth so much over, that you have none left over for those abroad that want you dead; Wilson and Bush are on your side.

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WilsonWatch Response

Dear Sir or Madam:

Thank you for your letter. NMPA does not associate Congresswoman Heather Wilson with terrorists. You drew that conclusion. Our site simply reports nuclear weapons are "Weapons of Mass Destruction." That is a fact (George Bush, CNN, NYT, FOX NEWS agree). Wilson's report encourages development or the possibility of such development. That is a fact.

NMPA's goal is to provide a perspective absent from the media, and our intent is to publish the truth about Congresswoman Wilson's activities in Washington. As we are both aware, Americans always support their leadership in times of threat, and NMPA is no different. However, all politicians must be held accountable to their constituency. And the beauty of our constitutional freedoms is that all people may make their voices heard.

As far as your statement about Bush and Wilson being on our side, you are absolutely correct that as to foreign threats we are on the same side; as to misrepresenting positions on Title I funding, as to the appropriateness of tax cuts at a time when this country has spent billions of dollars ridding the world of an evil dictator, we respectfully disagree with your contention that we should overlook our
concerns just because Wilson and Bush are "bully" on Saddam. We find it beyond irony that in 1998 Heather Wilson criticized Title I federal funding for education in New Mexico, only to tout it as a prize she has won for New Mexico in 2003. And to add insult to injury, Wilson voted in favor of reducing the amount of Title I funding New Mexico ultimately received.

Wilson and Bush are responsible to the American public, and, yes, Congresswoman Wilson is responsible to New Mexico - both you and me. We need not support all her positions; in fact, it is our duty to question those we disagree with. If you are proposing blind loyalty to our political leadership, we decline your offer.

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Issue:
EDUCATION

Our state desperately needs better schools, but our representative votes against education. She cut Title I funding by $4 billion and voted for a budget resolution that took $36 million from New Mexico social programs.
Read More about Education

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