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Dan Quayle, Regulation Terminator

You won't hear any Dan Quayle jokes from Roland S. Boreham Jr. The Fort Smith (Ark.) chief executive, whose Baldor Electric Co. builds motors, has signed up for Quayle's campaign to simplify product-liability laws. "The system is so doggone complicated and expensive, other countries are laughing at us," he says. "We're at a competitive disadvantage."

But is the Vice-President, whose shaky political reputation casts a long shadow over his role as head of the President's Council on Competitiveness, the guy to lead the charge? Boreham pauses. "To hell with that," he says. "When someone comes along, fighting back effectively, I say go for it."