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Moving on Over-Transferring the OPP Blog to OPP Website June 12, 2009

Posted by Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy in Annoucements.
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This WordPress blog is being transferred to the Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy website. Look for our blog on the OPP home page. Thanks for your attention and participation. We hope you continue to view and commment on the Center for Inquiry Offiice of Public Policy’s important work in Washington DC.

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Toni Van Pelt on Pete Dominick’s Radio Show June 11, 2009

Posted by Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy in Annoucements.
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Toni Van Pelt, Policy Director of CFI’s Office of Public Policy, appeared on Stand Up! with Pete Dominick on Tuesday 9 June. The show is featured on Sirius 110 and XM 130 satellite radio.
Toni talked about a news article that appeared earlier in the day in a Capitol Hill newspaper Politico . The article, entitled “Atheists Keep Faith with Obama,” included quotations from Toni and Nathan Bupp, director of communications for the Center for Inquiry. Referring to her group as “nonbelievers” and “secular humanists,” Toni emphasized the need to tread lightly on certain issues, in order to avoid a backlash. “Pragmatically, there are some really serious things that we need to focus our work on.”
Pete directed the conversation to CFI’s current work on the Hill and one of the most important issues of the day Charitiable Choice. Toni recounted the history of Charitable Choice and what it meant in the fight to tear down the wall separating church and state. CFI performed a detailed historical study of federal funding for faith-based programs, extending from the rise of “charitable choice” legislation during the Clinton administration through the explosion of taxpayer funding for religious programs under George W. Bush’s Faith Based and Community Initiative. Charitable Choice and Faith Based Initiatives are the most potent weapons being used in the battle today. For more information on this crucial issue please read the CFI position paper. Toni may be heard on the Pete Dominick show from time to time–a “semi-regular,” as Pete said on air. Stay tuned to an important voice for secular humanism.
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OPP at Endorsement of Sotomayor by Law Enforcement June 10, 2009

Posted by Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy in Annoucements.
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Yesterday Toni Van Pelt, Policy Director, CFI Office of Public Policy, and Ruth Mitchell. OPP staff associate, attended a press conference in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, hosted by Vice President Joe Biden. Representatives of law enforcement from across the U.S. endorsed the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The press conference focused on the earliest part of Sotomayor’s career, when, fresh out of law school, she served as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan under legendary district attorney, Robert Morgenthau. Now 90 years old, Morgenthau was present at the press conference and enthusiastically endorsed his former assistant district attorney.

The speakers made their endorsements in front of a line of city police chiefs, including Cathy Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan DC Police. Other speakers included Joseph I. Cassilly, president of the National District Attorneys Association, and John F.Timoney, Chief of Police in Miami, FL, and president of the Police Executive Research Forum. The audience consisted of representatives of police organizations and district attorneys from near and far.

In his remarks, Vice president Biden stressed Sotomayor’s experience as a district attorney, sharing the experiences of police and prosecutors in combating crime in New York neighborhoods. He appealed to the shared experience of everyone in the room as a reason to support her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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