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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release October 18, 1999


I am deeply angered and disappointed to learn of Senator Helms's intention to block Carol Moseley-Braun's nomination as Ambassador to New Zealand. To exact partisan revenge on Senator Moseley-Braun simply because she stood on principle against the renewal of a patent involving the use of the Confederate flag is outrageous and wrong.

On issue after issue, this Republican Congress is caving into the extreme right-wing -- putting raw, right-wing ideology first, and the national interest last: playing politics with the federal courts, and leaving dozens of vacancies while highly qualified nominees, like Ronnie L. White, are shelved and defeated. Killing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and ending decades of bipartisanship on matters of arms control and national security. Some House Republicans are now working to undermine the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to punish and prevent crimes of hate -- which passed the Senate by an overwhelming majority in both parties.

The Senate should give Carol Moseley-Braun the up-or-down vote she deserves, so that she may serve as our next Ambassador to New Zealand. I call on Governor Bush, Senators McCain and Hatch, and the other Republican candidates to join in rejecting Senator Helms's disgraceful tactic. It is time to put an end to the politics of personal vindictiveness and divisiveness, and it is time for this Congress to act in the interests of America's working families again.