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Clinton targets deadbeat parents

President Clinton is urging states to post "wanted" lists on the Internet and in post offices to track down "deadbeat" parents who refuse to pay child support.

"If you deliberately refuse to pay it," Clinton warned, "you can find your face posted in the post office. We will track you down with computers. . . . We'll find you through the Internet."

Paying his 25th visit to California as president, Clinton devoted himself to promoting family-values themes popular with middle-class voters.

Before arriving here, the president opened the day with a speech in Denver, saying that deadbeat fathers' and mothers' refusal to pay was "a moral outrage and a social disaster." If they all met their legal responsibilities, the government could move 800,000 women and children off the welfare rolls, Clinton said.

At Monrovia, an ethnically mixed community on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County, Clinton endorsed the city's efforts to combat teen crime through curfews, a tough truancy law and school uniform requirements.

"I hope by coming here today that we will put a face on the idea that the American people do not have to tolerate unacceptable rates of crime," the president told an overflow crowd at Monrovia High School auditorium.

"The American people do not have to tolerate worrying whether their children are safe. The American people do not have to tolerate schools that are dysfunctional."

Outside, about 1,000 people chanted, "We want Bill. We want Bill." The president made a beeline to them after his speech to shake hands.

Clinton also was the star attraction for two evening fund-raisers in Los Angeles expected to net $2-million for the Democratic Party. Over three days, Clinton will raise a total of $5-million for the party.

The family-values theme will continue today when Clinton will reach out to women with an initiative to help police respond more effectively to domestic violence. White House press secretary Mike McCurry said Clinton will offer ideas to deal with the overload of 911 emergency calls.

Clinton borrowed the idea of posting "Wanted" lists in post offices and on the Internet from 20 states that have Web sites dealing with the issue of child-support delinquency. He said post offices would cooperate with any state that wants to post "wanted" lists of parents who owe support, and he challenged all states to adopt such a program.