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"You bet I cut taxes at the top.... What we Republicans should stand for is growth in the economy. We ought to make the pie higher." -- George W. Bush, in the South Carolina GOP primary debateEdited by Robert McNattReturn to top

A League of Women Netrepreneurs

The Venerable League of Women Voters has jumped on the Internet IPO bandwagon. But has it sold its soul in the process? The league, which is on record as favoring campaign-finance reform, is looking to reap an undisclosed amount of fees and stock options for working on a new Web site that solicits campaign donations.

Grassroots.com has $35 million in venture capital and such backers as Mike McCurry, ex-spokesman for President Clinton, and John Sununu, former chief of staff for George Bush. Grassroots.com will provide information on candidates to voters, with an emphasis on state and local races. The site, which vows to be nonpartisan, will take a cut of online campaign contributions. But it needs help to gather info on all those statehouse candidates and would-be aldermen. Enter the league. "We had to have them," says Craig Johnson, a venture capitalist and the dot-com's interim CEO. "We couldn't think of another way to reach that deep into the political scene."

Yet the league is still uneasy over the plan. "There was a robust discussion, and it's not over yet," admits Executive Director Jane Gruenebaum. Next year's initial public offering might quiet the debate. Says Johnson: "Maybe this is the chance to build a true endowment for the league."By Lorraine Woellert; Edited by Robert McNattReturn to top

Rezoning Arizona

With air pollution and traffic jams marring Arizona's once quite livable cities, the state is brawling over sprawl. For better or worse, the outcome may affect how mushrooming urban areas across the nation handle growth.

The Sierra Club and other groups are pushing a ballot initiative that would require cities such as booming Phoenix to draw boundaries beyond which development would be severely limited. The initiative would also require municipalities to draft detailed growth plans subject to voter approval. Business groups, aided by Republican Governor Jane Dee Hull, are fighting back. On Feb. 14, Hull convened a legislative session to consider putting a milder "Growing Smarter" ballot proposal.

The enviro's plan is bitterly opposed. "In the worst case, almost anything could be stopped, and no one would want to relocate to Phoenix. That would be horrendous for the state," says Michael Welborn, chairman of Bank One Arizona in Phoenix. Counters Sandy Bahr of the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon Chapter: "It's not going to stop growth, just make sure it's better planned." Opponents plan legal efforts to keep the greens' proposal off the ballot in November.By John Carey; Edited by Robert McNattReturn to top

Virgos for Gore

Political prognosticators are having a tough time picking winners in the Presidential sweepstakes. So for kicks, independent pollster John Zogby looked to the zodiac for some answers. Do voters born under a given sign favor particular candidates or is voting astrologically neutral?

In a hypothetical match-up between Vice-President Al Gore and Republican front-runner George W. Bush, the Democrat took the Virgo vote 58% to 34% for Bush. Despite Gore's thinning hair, he's also the clear choice of Aquarians, 48% to 37%. Other pro-Gore birth signs: Pisces, Aries, Leo, and Scorpio.

Bush does best among those born under the sign of Taurus, leading Gore 54% to 42%. Quips Zogby: "Taurus is a bull. You can draw your own conclusions." Also in the Bush alignment: Cancer, Libra, Sagittarius, and Capricorn. Those born under the sign of Gemini, the twins, are--surprise--nearly evenly divided. Capricorn voters are the most undecided, at 20%.

As for the upstarts, Bill Bradley loses everywhere in the zodiac, but does best among Aquarians, while John McCain, if he faced Gore, is preferred by Scorpios by 68% to 25%.By Richard S. Dunham; Edited by Robert McNattReturn to top


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