RNC an­nounces sup­port for rock star Bono’s $30 bil­lion poverty ini­tia­tive

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Ralph Z. Hallow

The Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee on Aug. 2 took the first step to­ward en­dors­ing a pro­posal by Ir­ish rock star Bono to spend an es­ti­mated $30 bil­lion in U.S. taxes to elim­i­nate global poverty — a move some un­happy con­ser­va­tive RNC mem­bers la­beled a step to­ward so­cial­ism.

But the RNC’s Res­o­lu­tions Com­mit­tee also pleased con­ser­va­tives by en­dors­ing a res­o­lu­tion call­ing on the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to de­vote all means nec­es­sary to se­cur­ing the na­tion’s borders against an in­flux of il­le­gal aliens.

“The Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee has taken the first step to­ward telling Congress the high­est pri­or­ity is to se­cure our borders now,” said Ari­zona Repub­li­can Party Chair­man Randy Pullen. “If you don’t do any­thing else — we don’t need to have a guest-worker pro­gram, we don’t need com­pre­hen­sive im­mi­gra­tion re­form — we need to se­cure the borders now.”

The res­o­lu­tion, pre­sented by Mr. Pullen, con­spic­u­ously lacks any ref­er­ence to pro­grams sup­ported by Pres­i­dent Bush, Sen. John McCain of Ari­zona or Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, the RNC’s gen­eral chair­man, that would le­git­imize il­le­gal aliens al­ready in the United States or launch a “guest-worker” pro­gram.

In a move that some con­ser­va­tive mem­bers said as­ton­ished them, the res­o­lu­tions com­mit­tee did not re­scind the RNC’s ear­lier en­dorse­ment of a plan to des­ig­nate 1 per­cent of the fed­eral bud­get for the “One” global anti-poverty pro­gram.

Op­po­nents of the pro­posal had com­plained that with­out seek­ing their ad­vice or con­sent, RNC Chair­man Robert M. “Mike” Dun­can on June 11 uni­lat­er­ally put the RNC on record as sup­port­ing the move­ment.

“It’s hard to be­lieve my party would vote for some­thing like this, which sounds like a do-gooder pro­gram,” said John H. Hager, the new Vir­ginia Repub­li­can Party chair­man.

Mr. Pullen also op­posed the Bonoini­ti­ated pro­gram “One,” which is co-chaired by Jack Oliver, a Bush 2000 cam­paign fundraiser and Wash­ing­ton-based lob­by­ist. RNC mem­bers said Mr. Oliver sent two per­sons to the Min­neapo­lis meet­ing to lobby mem­bers in fa­vor of the “One” pro­gram, and its off­shoot “One Vote ’08,” which aims to make global poverty and health a key is­sue in the 2008 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

“I don’t think we should be al­lo­cat­ing 1 per­cent of the U.S. bud­get for re­lief around the world,” Mr. Pullen said. “That’s not the busi­ness of gov­ern­ment. The private sec­tor gives bil­lions of dol­lars to sup­port­ing wor­thy causes. That’s al­ways been the Amer­i­can way. Do­nat­ing money to coun­tries that don’t live by the rule of law or who have war­lords killing peo­ple is feed­ing, not fix­ing, the prob­lem.”

Mr. Dun­can, who was the choice of the Bush White House to run the day-to-day af­fairs of the RNC, said in June, “One Vote ’08 is do­ing an amaz­ing, com­pas­sion­ate thing, and I am proud to say the RNC sup­ports their ef­forts com­pletely.”

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