Ex-senator Talent launches new free-market group

Monday, October 19, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Former U.S. senator Jim Talent is forming a foundation to promote free-market principles that he contends are being abandoned by his successors in Washington.

The Republican will serve as chairman of the American Freedom and Enterprise Foundation, which will launch today.

"The message really is that a lot of what's going on in Washington violates what were consensus ideas about the importance of free markets as the underpinning of the economy," said Talent, who served four years in the Senate before being defeated in 2006 by Democrat Claire McCaskill.

He previously served eight years each in the U.S. House and the Missouri House of Representatives.

Talent cites the debt associated with the federal economic stimulus package and recent climate control bills that seek to limit carbon emissions as examples of how he believes Congress is straying from free-market principles.

Talent says the new think tank hopes to hold several issue-based forums around Missouri and plans to use Internet social networking sites to spread its message. The executive director of the group will be Katie Smith, a former aide to Talent who was director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture under former Republican governor Matt Blunt.

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