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Archive for Tuesday, November 21, 1995

MEETING SHAPES GOP PLATFORM

November 21, 1995

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Local Republicans will forward their suggestions for a party platform to the state party level.

Douglas County Republicans want a state party platform that calls for reducing the federal deficit, reforming income taxes and the welfare system and ending abortion on demand.

Those were among the top planks that emerged over the weekend as the Douglas County Central Republican Committee met to make recommendations for the state party platform.

Nearly 40 Republicans worked on the platform Saturday, deliberating on 45 issues and resolutions "line by line," said Jim Lock, vice chairman of the central committee.

"There was quite a bit of good open debate and give and take and communication on the issues," Lock said. "I was pretty happy with it."

Gov. Bill Graves had said he opposed development of a state party platform because it would emphasize issues, especially abortion, that divide the moderate and conservative wings of the Kansas Republican Party.

But the state committee, which is controlled by social conservatives, voted in April to proceed with development of a state party platform. GOP leaders have said no candidate will be denied funds for not endorsing all of the platform planks.

Lock said reducing the federal deficit was ranked the highest concern among Republicans who attended three recent platform caucuses held in Baldwin and Lawrence.

Income tax reform was second on their priorities, followed by welfare reform and then the elimination of abortion on demand, Lock said.

Local Republicans also said they wanted the platform to call for restoring state rights and to call for no special rights based on sexual preference.

Other planks local Republicans want to see in the state platform include allowing private school vouchers. They also want to reform property taxes, restore private-property rights, reform Medicare and set up term limits for Congress and reform campaign finance laws, Lock said.

The number of people voting pro and con on each issue varied significantly, he said. The results will be tabulated and sent to the State Republican Committee, which is expected to compile similar platform proposals from all of Kansas' 105 counties by late January, Lock said.

The intent of the process was to build communication between Republicans at the local level, he said.

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