ELECTION 2000: Election tension torments advocates

WASHINGTON: The delayed outcome of this year's presidential election proved especially hard on America's issue advocacy groups, who waited anxiously last week to learn whether the next four years would bring an administration friendly to their causes.

WASHINGTON: The delayed outcome of this year's presidential election proved especially hard on America's issue advocacy groups, who waited anxiously last week to learn whether the next four years would bring an administration friendly to their causes.

WASHINGTON: The delayed outcome of this year's presidential election proved especially hard on America's issue advocacy groups, who waited anxiously last week to learn whether the next four years would bring an administration friendly to their causes.

Changes in the Oval Office routinely alter the landscape on which such groups wage their battles. While the winner of that office was still unclear, many chose instead to focus on gains made in Congress.

An exasperated Carol Tobias, director of the National Right to Life Political Action Committee, recalled the long election night in her office.

'There was a lot of screaming and crying here after 2 am,' she said.

'We all know that the next four years under Al Gore would be pretty grim, but we'll be working closely with Congress. Really, the president doesn't have that much authority on his own.'

Similar scenes played out across town, as workers at the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence awaited results. 'Over the years we've worked very closely with the Clinton Administration,' said spokesperson David Bernstein.

Hesitant to discuss the possible effects of a Bush presidency, Bernstein also stressed the importance of congressional victories.

'We made great inroads on the Hill yesterday,' he said. 'We have been working with a virtual gridlock since Republicans took control in '94, but we see attitudes shifting. We're not looking forward to a Bush presidency.'

Others, however, were in a position to take a more laid-back approach.

Steve Hahn, spokesperson for the AARP, said: 'Both candidates made prescription drugs and Social Security a priority. This is now a grass-roots issue.'



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