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Four lawmakers seek `exoneration’ of Lyndon LaRouche


Four Arizona lawmakers, including a Tucson Democrat, have signed a petition being sent to President Clinton seeking the “exoneration’ of extremist politician Lyndon LaRouche.

Signing the document were Reps. Jorge Garcia, D-Tucson; David Farnsworth, R-Globe; Jeff Groscost, R-Mesa; and Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa.

LaRouche, who was convicted of fraud and tax conspiracy, spent five years behind bars before being released last year. He claims he was victimized by a government conspiracy aimed at curtailing his influence.

Groscost, a former majority whip in the Arizona House, said he was contacted about supporting LaRouche about two months ago.

Bowers said he chose to back LaRouche because of his belief the controversial political figure was mistreated.

“I don’t necessarily agree with everything he (LaRouche) stands for,’ Bowers told the Associated Press. “But I have seen some documents that show he may have been railroaded. It seems to me that they did him dirty. To me, this is wrong. In America, we don’t do this to people.’

Repeated attempts to reach Garcia last night to ask him why he is supporting LaRouche were unsuccessful.

LaRouche ran for president in 1976 as the U.S. Labor Party candidate and in 1984 under the banner of his National Democratic Policy Committee, which was not affiliated with the Democratic Party. In 1992, he ran a presidential campaign as an independent from his prison cell.


Representatives of Gov. Fife Symington’s office disbursed nearly $400,000 yesterday for southern Arizona summer school and jobs programs.

“Our goal in distributing these funds is for each county and community to expand local programs enabling more young people to work this summer,’ said Symington in a statement issued by his office.

The $385,380 dedicated to southern Arizona is part of $1 million appropriated through House Bill 2227 during the past legislative session to provide for summer youth employment, education and gang prevention efforts throughout the state.

Armando Ruiz, director of the Governor’s Office of Neighborhood Revitalization, said southern Arizona cities receiving money under the legislation are Douglas, Safford, Nogales, Eloy, Casa Grande and Coolidge. He said Pima, Cochise, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Santa Cruz and Pinal counties will also receive funds.

In an attempt to increase business involvement in the summer jobs plan, a state tax credit will be offered to qualifying employers for the amount of wages paid to students enrolled in the summer school and jobs program.


Not only did U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Tucson, vote against a proposed constitutional amendment banning burning of the American flag, he explained why he did so in a speech from the House floor.

“There is not a crisis of disrespect for the American flag as a symbol of this great country,’ he said. “In fact, the Congressional Research Service reports there were all of three incidents of flag burning in 1994 . . . .

“We do not need to pass a constitutional amendment on the flag to show that we love and respect this great symbol of America,’ Kolbe concluded. “You can’t legislate patriotism and you can’t pass laws to make people love their flag.’

The amendment, which passed overwhelmingly in the House, will be considered by the Senate later this summer.


Political writer David Pittman’s column appears every Friday in the Tucson Citizen. Call him at 573-4589 or fax a message to him at 573-4569.

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