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Kids First!...

Anti-Voucher Group Draws Ire From Record Company

06/27/2000
Associated Press Newswires
Copyright 2000. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

DETROIT (AP) - A group that opposes school vouchers has stopped distributing a video featuring a Whitney Houston song after a complaint from Houston's record company.

ALL Kids First!, which opposes this year's ballot measure to allow state-funded vouchers, hired a consulting company to produce a promotional video.

A subcontractor hired by the consulting company used Houston's 1985 hit "The Greatest Love of All" in the video. Arista Records Inc., who says the subcontractor didn't receive permission to use the song, ordered ALL Kids First! to stop distributing the video.

"Naturally, we would prefer to resolve this problem amicably and trust you will not force us to institute formal legal proceedings," the company said in a letter.

Laura Wotruba, a spokeswoman for ALL Kids First!, said her group believed the subcontractor had permission to use the song.

"We did some checking and we were told that we did have permission," she told the Detroit Free Press for a story Tuesday. "We were completely surprised that we didn't have permission."

Wotruba said ALL Kids First! has asked people not to use the video and is no longer distributing copies of it.

The incident is a frustrating one for ALL Kids First!, which is already trailing behind the pro-voucher group Kids First! Yes! in fundraising. Kids First! Yes! said this month that it has raised $3.7 million; ALL Kids First! said it has raised about $500,000.

Voters will be asked in November whether to approve the proposal, which would allow vouchers worth $3,100 for students in public schools with low graduation rates. The vouchers could be used at private and parochial schools.

[Thanks MG]

NEWSFILE: 27 JUNE 2000

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