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Stop the Tour

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) is being urged by two interest groups to cancel a Capitol tour scheduled for tonight with a controversial Republican who advocates for the impeachment of “activist” federal judges. [IMGCAP(1)]

The Interfaith Alliance and the People For the American Way sent separate letters to Frist last week asking him to call off the tour with David Barton, the founder of WallBuilders. Barton is known for promoting the influence of Christianity on the nation’s history. He advocates for removing the wall that divides the church and state, and he also has called for the impeachment of federal judges who are not responsive to the will of the people. (The text of the People For the American Way letter appears on page 4.)

Frist invited all 100 Senators and their families to join the tour, which he suggested would provide “a Fresh Perspective on Our Nation’s Religious Heritage.”

Despite some Democratic objections to Frist’s decision to invite Barton to lead the tour, there are no plans to cancel the tour.

City Guys. Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) will announce a new advisory committee on Wednesday for his “Saving America’s Cities” working group, which is lead by Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), a former mayor of Dayton.

Their advisory committee includes: former GOP vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp; former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.); former Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.); Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (D); District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams (D); Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League and former mayor of New Orleans; Donald Plusquellic, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and current mayor of Akron, Ohio; and Valerie Lemmie, city manager of Cincinnati.

The advisory panel will make recommendations to Capitol Hill to assist city leaders dealing with economic development challenges.

— Mark Preston and John Bresnahan

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