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GOP pitches charity – Focus on religious groups

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In the race for the White House, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush and vice presidential hopeful Richard Cheney are focusing on volunteerism as a means to aid social problems, the Associated Press reported Oct.31.

With one week to go before the election, the GOP ticket is revisiting its theme of compassionate conservatism. The ticket favors private philanthropy over federal aid programs.

Bush would dedicate $8 billion during his first year in office for tax credits to encourage Americans to give more to charity.

The plan also aims to increase the role of faith-based organizations in fighting social problems by allowing the groups to compete for federal contracts to provide social services without forgoing their religious focus.

Critics, including Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore, question whether such arrangements would violate the separation of church and state.

For full story, go to AltaVista and the San Francisco Chronicle.

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