Bruce Chapman

International Region Shares A Common Destiny

Once more a good idea is taking on a life of its own. The idea is "Cascadia," the concept that the Pacific Northwest of the United States and the two Western provinces of Canada are in reality one international region with a common destiny. There will be many false starts and half-steps. No body exists to convene this new entity, though the legislators of the Northwest states and Canada's Western provinces have organized the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) that is helping to set out much of the agenda. But even among those who are enthusiastic about greater regional cooperation - which is most of those who have thought about the subject - there is no agreement yet about certain fundamentals: -- How does regional cooperation express itself in spheres outside of government, such as education, the arts and, of course, business associations? Some of the most interesting moves for collaboration have come through business, including the creation of "PACE" (the Pacific Corridor Enterprise Council), which seeks to lower barriers to cross-border commerce. The Seattle-based nonprofit issues journal, The New Pacific, was bought out by a Vancouver group that is revising its format but expects to keep alive a regional perspective. In sports, fans (and business people) in Portland and Vancouver have rallied to the cause of saving the Seattle Mariners, while many in Seattle, as well, aspire to an eventual "regionalization" of the team. This is not just to build a stronger business base, but to make baseball a tangible example of the growing regional affinity of spirit. Read More ›

Seattle Tells Nintendo: Let’s Play Ball

Wall Street Journal; New York; Jan 29, 1992; Chapman, Bruce; Edition: Eastern edition Start Page: PAGE A12 ISSN: 00999660 Subject Terms: Syndicates & syndication Professional baseball Prejudice Companies: Seattle Mariners Nintendo of America Inc Nintendo Co Ltd Abstract: Bruce Chapman chastizes the hasty reactions of some in Seattle to the offer by a syndicate that includes the family that owns Read More ›

The People’s ‘Right’ to a Show

Wall Street Journal; New York; Dec 2, 1991; Chapman, Bruce; Edition: Eastern edition Start Page: PAGE A12 ISSN: 00999660 Subject Terms: Public figures Privacy Journalism Personal Names: Smith, William Kennedy Abstract: Bruce Chapman discusses the vaguaries of the “right to privacy” as it applies to people caught in the news. He offers the example of the William Kennedy Smith rape Read More ›

Partisan Politics Needed in New County Government

THE King County Council is about to recommend to the voters that they merge the county government with Metro and make the expanded government "nonpartisan." Bowing to nonpartisan municipal officials, an apparent council majority thinks that ending the role of parties in the county will improve the political process. Nonpartisan politics makes sense in a small constituency where the voters may be able to keep track of a few candidates, or in narrow-purpose entities such as the port. Even the City of Seattle, at about 500,000 population and growing very slowly, is still more or less comprehensible for voters and elected officials alike. In King County we are so far from a party-machine system that our two dedicated, but avocational, party chairs have to plead with folks to become precinct committeepeople. They have few inducements to offer in a system with almost no patronage and little recognition. Now the parties stand to lose even their present role in recruiting and sponsoring regional candidates. Read More ›

Careful Trade Contacts Will Encourage Chinese Freedom Forces

Two decades ago, the Port of Seattle decided to trade with the People's Republic of China, a business relationship that now has positioned Washington as the biggest exporting state to the PRC (nearly $800 million in 1988), and one of the biggest importers from that country (over $1.21 billion). Puget Sound ports are closer to China than are California's, and Northwest business people have a sustained personable style that results in the long-term trust the China trade requires. Now comes an opportunity for the Puget Sound region to become the major U.S. gateway for the burgeoning China trade in the 21st century. The PRC has asked to follow up contacts with Washington officials, such as Secretary of State Ralph Munro, and with private citizen groups, such as the Spokane-based Citizen Ambassador Program and the Washington State China Relations Council, and send an exploratory trade mission to Seattle. Read More ›

It’s Ba-ack! National Service 1989 — Put Brakes on the Omnibus

Wall Street Journal; New York; Oct 16, 1989; By ; Edition: Eastern edition Start Page: 1 ISSN: 00999660 Abstract: Why does the national-service virus keep coming back? Perhaps it is because utopian nostalgia evokes both military experience and the social gospel. If only we could get America’s wastrel youth into at least a psychic uniform we might be able to Read More ›

Is the U.S. Ready For European Political Integration?

If economic integration in Europe is still a novel topic for most Americans, however, political integration in Europe is truly terra incognita. Political union is the aim of the European Community, and one that many EC leaders are eager to hurry along after 1992. But the implications of a full political union have not been studied in detail by the United States, they are certain to impinge upon our NATO defense alliance, the West's role in encouraging liberalization in Eastern Europe, and chances for a military understanding with the Soviets. Political union, Western leaders would agree, must not proceed in a way that damages present defense unity. Should the Soviets think that the North Americans could be decoupled from their European partners, the domestic Soviet rationale for accommodation with the West (``If you can't beat 'em, join 'em'') would be undermined. -- One source of trouble will be neutralism. The European Community includes neutral Ireland, although the Irish are a long way from the Iron Curtain and no one minds their neutrality much, including the Irish. Read More ›

The South Rises, Joining the GOP

FOR the century and a quarter of the Republican Party's existence, the largest stumbling block to control of Congress has been the Democratic "Solid South." Along the populated states on either side of the Mason-Dixon line, as GOP analyst John Morgan notes, Americans long voted the way their ancestors fought in the Civil War. In the 11 old Confederacy states the only traditional Republican districts were in the Appalachian hills of North Carolina and Tennessee that once supported the Union cause. Last week's remarkable congressional elections suggest that the South may be uniting again, but this time behind the Republican party. It is enough to make Jefferson Davis spin in his grave - and William Jefferson Clinton chew his nails. In 1960, the U.S. Senate seat vacated by newly elected Vice President Lyndon Johnson was won by Republican John Tower and the present congressional realignment really began. Civil rights controversies and the weight of Great Society programs pushed many Dixiecrats into the GOP column after Barry Goldwater's defense of states' rights in 1964. Read More ›

The Adoption Option Needs Sound Nourishment From Bush

EVEN if the Supreme Court does not change Roe vs. Wade in some way that greatly decreases the number of abortions performed, America faces a rising number of out-of-wedlock births. They are now nearing 900,000 a year - one out of four births in our country. Meanwhile, more than 300,000 children are cycled through foster-care homes, some for their whole childhood. But adoption, the policy, is an orphan, relatively unfunded and poorly advertised. In the Reagan administration, the president sincerely supported adoption, calling it ``the forgotten option.'' Among those forgetting it, however, were key White House aides and most officials at the Department of Health and Human Services. They believed, cynically, that adoption and the abortion issue were synonymous in people's minds, and that such issues should not be raised, except when unavoidable. Adoption and abortion, indeed, are connected subjects, but they also are separable. Adoption has its own history, identity and claims. Those who are ``pro-choice'' certainly should encourage the choice of adoption, especially in light of the huge number of out-of-wedlock births that have developed, even after the Roe vs. Wade decision. ``Pro-life'' people should take responsibility for the children who result when abortion is averted. Adoption alone cannot solve the whole problem, of course, but it can help. Read More ›

The ‘Soft Tyranny’ of Hidden Taxation

THE issues of scandals, term limits, Haiti, Iraq and crime dominate the news and TV ads this campaign season. However something deeper and mostly unarticulated may be doing more to shape the nation's politics. The decisive issue of 1994 could well be people's continuing frustration over their inability to get ahead financially - and their conviction that government is both directly and indirectly hampering them. The large, increasingly middle-aged middle class finds salary increases scarce and restructuring layoffs common. If these are prosperous times, people wonder, what will the next recession bring? With many ordinary families turning over to government at various levels almost half their incomes (roughly 25 percent federal income tax, 15.3 percent Social Security, 8 percent state and local sales tax, plus property taxes and assorted special taxes and fees), it becomes harder and harder for the baby boomers who have so shaped political trends in the past to see how they can afford to send their children to college or save adequately for retirement. Polls show that voters no longer are impressed by politicians' offers to satisfy their personal concerns with still more government programs. That is part of the reason why Democrats, as the party that traditionally defends the utility of government action, are in particular trouble this year. Even now-standard efforts by congressional candidates to avoid a negative national trend by "localizing" campaigns may backfire. Localizing usually means showing how the incumbent can "bring home the bacon." But as voters watch television accounts of this going on all over the country - Sen. Ted Kennedy holding up giant posters of federal checks he is delivering to particular constituencies and Speaker Tom Foley boasting of road contracts and police positions brought to Spokane - they see that it is they who are paying for all that bacon and that the price is too high. Yesterday's bacon is becoming today's pork. Read More ›