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How many of you have congratulated yourselves for having voted for a fine conservative Democrat in Rep. Bill Orton? Let us look at his record and see whether he votes conservative or otherwise. Here are some of the issues he has voted on this year.

Criminalizing pro-life free speech. Roll call vote 70, March 17, 1994. This bill makes peaceful protests in front of abortion clinics by pro-life Americans a federal crime, subject to prison terms and heavy fines. This bill violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right of people to assemble peacefully. Bill adopted 237-169. Orton voted for this bill.Balanced budget amendment. Roll call vote 62, March 17, 1994. Constitutional amendment by Joe Barton, R-Texas, to mandate a balanced budget by the year 2000 while also limiting the growth of federal taxation by tying it to the growth in national income. Amendment failed 213-215. Orton voted against this bill.

Tax relief for families. Roll call vote 55, March 11, 1994. John Kasich, R-Ohio, offered a pro-family alternative to President Clinton's tax-and-spend budget. The Kasich budget called for a family tax credit of $500 per child. In addition, the Kasich budget called for $284 billion in domestic program spending cuts and a $119 billion in tax relief. Kasich's budget was rejected 165-243. Orton voted against this budget.

Denying parents a say in education. Roll call vote 86, March 23, 1994. Called "Goals 2000" by its proponents, this $700 million spending program takes education decisions away from parents and turns them over to a federal bureaucracy. This bill is considered the first step toward the creation of a National School Board, which would have complete control over education in America and would dictate the values taught to our children. Approved 306-121. Orton voted for this bill.

Promoting homosexuality to schoolchildren. Roll call vote 91, March 24, 1994. Amendment by Jolene Unsoeld, D-Wash., to permit educational agencies to use tax money to teach children that homosexuality is a positive lifestyle alternative. Amendment adopted 224-194. Orton voted for this amendment.

Abstinence-based sex education. Roll vote 76, March 22, 1994. Amendment by Unsoeld to permit schools to receive federal funds even if they do not base sex education curricula on the reality that abstinence from premarital sexual activity is the best protection against sexually transmitted disease and unintended pregnancies. Amendment passed 262-166. Orton voted for this bill.

I suggest we try Dixie Thompson for a time and see if she will represent our thinking in Washington.

D. Carl Warnock