Foes Are Lying, Says Hancock Congressman Defends Tax-Cutting Initiative

Article excerpt

U.S. Rep. Mel Hancock, R-Mo., on Saturday accused opponents of waging a big-lie propaganda campaign against his initiative petition drive for a tax-cutting constitutional amendment.

Meanwhile, across town, Lt. Gov. Roger Wilson called fellow Democrats to arms against the proposal.

"Do we want to continue with the progressive steps of Mel Carnahan, or take a step backward as Mel Hancock wants us to do?" Wilson asked at the St. Louis County Democrats' Thomas Jefferson Days celebration in Bridgeton.

Hancock spoke at the Drury Inn-Union Station at the Missouri Libertarian Party's state convention. He said his campaign to put the so-called "Hancock II" proposal on the November ballot has been helped by some of his opponents' digs:

Last week, University of Missouri President George A. Russell said the university might be forced to close one of its four campuses if the amendment succeeded.

Last month, James R. Moody, a budget officer under former Gov. John Ashcroft, said the measure would force the state to cut $1 billion from the state budget.

Hancock said Russell's prediction was preposterous and had helped his drive get more supporters. And he said Moody's prediction was too high.

"All we're talking about is rolling back $500 million; that's just 4 percent of the state budget," Hancock said. …