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News Briefs

New York Senate Race Is Heading for New Fund-Raising Record

NEWSDAY -- NEW YORK

In a race on course to shatter the all-time Senate campaign spending record, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani raised an unprecedented $7 million in contributions in just the last three months, while Hillary Rodham Clinton took in $4 million, their campaigns said Thursday.

The Giuliani campaign has raked in $19 million overall, some of it with the help of direct-mail specialist Richard Viguerie, who also worked on Oliver North’s campaign.

The Clinton campaign’s $4 million brought her total to $12 million since she began running last year.

Each candidate seems to benefit from deep reservoirs of feelings about their opponent -- both anti-Hillary and anti-Rudy sentiment, Adler said. “The only thing that raises money more than love is hate,” he said. “These mountains of money are being built by hate.”

Russian Think-Tank Director Hails Putin’s Economic Reform Strategy

LOS ANGELES TIMES -- MOSCOW

Russia will push forward swiftly with radical economic change under newly elected President Vladimir V. Putin, the man in charge of setting the new policy said Thursday.

At a Moscow news conference, think tank chief German O. Gref promised an ambitious strategy to continue Russia’s transition to a market system, including tax reform, banking system restructuring, land privatization and reform of the justice system and the army.

“Our task is to accomplish a transition to a normal, market-oriented state within the shortest possible time,” Gref said. “(The strategy) provides for a breakthrough scenario of Russia’s development and the implementation of as radical reforms as possible to enable us to make Russia’s economy manageable and market-oriented.”

Gref’s group is looking at banking reform, with hundreds of Russian banks effectively bankrupt. Putin ordered the Central Bank on Wednesday to come up with a plan to reform the banking industry.

Clinton Administration Official Blasts Panel on Internet Tax

NEWSDAY -- WASHINGTON

The Clinton administration Thursday criticized a federal panel studying Internet taxation for allowing political infighting to stymie its work, resulting in a controversial report to Congress.

Stuart Eizenstat, deputy treasury secretary, blasted the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce for failing to achieve the compromise necessary to convert its proposals into “official recommendations” with the support of 13 of 19 commissioners.

The panel deadlocked again Thursday in a 40-minute telephone conference that many saw as a last-ditch effort to break the impasse between the two sides: business executives and tax opponents who support a proposal aimed at rolling back some current levies, and state and local government officials worried that revenue losses will lead to cuts in police, fire protection and other municipal services.

The proposal, written by six executives of major telecommunications and high technology companies, calls for extending the current moratorium on new Internet taxes until 2006 to give state and local governments the time to simplify tax codes. It also would repeal the 3 percent federal levy on telephone use and exempt from sales tax books, videos and music, regardless if they are sold in digital or hardcopy versions.