June 6, 2007
Ever wondered how a particular legislator voted on an issue – here is the place to find out.
The candidates that already have their issues statements posted on this site are listed below – linked to their voting records. Only those candidates that have a voting record will be listed.
New candidates that have a listing at issues2000.org will have that link in the post.
June 5, 2007
One more candidate, this one not so mainstream. Maybe he isn’t mainstream because he sounds like he has the pulse of the American people. Most of us call ourselves Republicans or Democrats, but realistically we are a bunch of middle of the roaders, who care mostly about the issues that affect their families.
Senator Gravel’s position on Iraq remains clear and consistent: to commence an immediate and orderly withdrawal of all U.S. troops that will have them home within 60 days. The sooner U.S. troops are withdrawn, the sooner we can pursue aggressive diplomacy to bring an end to the civil war that currently consumes Iraq. Senator Gravel seeks to work with neighboring countries to lead a collective effort to bring peace to Iraq.
One of the leading opponents of the Vietnam War, Senator Gravel was one of the first current or former elected officials to publicly oppose the planned invasion of Iraq in 2002. He appeared on MSNBC prior to the invasion insisting that intelligence showed that there were indeed no weapons of mass destruction, that Iraq posed no threat to the United States and that invading Iraq was against America’s national interests and would result in a disaster of epic proportions for both the United States and the Iraqi people.
Today, more than four years into the invasion, the death toll of U.S. troops has climbed over 3,300 with over 50,000 more permanently maimed, some having lost limbs, others their sight. Tens of thousands more are afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and urgently need psychological care. The Iraqi civilian death toll nears three-quarters of a million, and still there remains no end in sight to the bloodshed.
As President, Senator Gravel will call for a U.S. corporate withdrawal from Iraq and hand over reconstruction contracts to Iraqi businesses which will empower Iraqi nationals to reconstruct their own country.
Senator Gravel firmly opposes a military confrontation with Iran and advocates a diplomatic solution to the current situation. Several signs indicate that the Bush administration is moving towards a military confrontation with Iran and Syria; the deployment of a “major strike group” of ships to the Persian Gulf, the detaining of six Iranian officials of a consular office flying the Iranian flag, pointed accusations that both nations are fueling the insurgency in Iraq and the President’s remarks that the U.S. would disrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria to those insurgents. The threat of war against another sovereign nation while wars continue to rage in Iraq, the Palestinian Authority and Afghanistan, only serves to further threaten global stability.
THE NATIONAL INITIATIVE FOR DEMOCRACY
The National Initiative for Democracy is a federal ballot initiative. The central power of government is lawmaking. Therefore, the people must be empowered to make laws if they are ever to gain control of their government.
There is only one entity in the U.S. that pays taxes: the individual. Businesses and corporations do not, they merely collect taxes from consumers of their products and pass on the taxes to the government. The Fair Tax proposal calls for eliminating the IRS and the Income Tax and replacing it with a progressive national Sales Tax on new products and services. To compensate for necessities, such as food, lodging, clothing, etc there would be a “prebate” to reimburse taxpayers for the taxes paid on necessities.
GLOBAL WARMING/CLIMATE CHANGE
Senator Gravel believes that global climate change is a matter of national security. As President, he will act swiftly to reduce America’s carbon footprint in the world bypassing legislation that caps emissions. By putting a hard cap on greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. will improve energy efficiency while generating energy from low-carbon sources. Both of these pathways provide lasting benefits from the economic and environmental perspectives. Improved energy efficiency reduces energy costs and makes American-made products more competitive. These pathways provide lasting benefits from both economic and environmental perspectives. America can become an exporter again if we have the correct visionary policy.
However, any legislation will have little impact on the global environment if we do not work together with other global polluters. Fighting global warming can only be effective if it is a collective global effort. As President, Senator Gravel will see that the U.S. launches and leads a massive global scientific effort to end energy dependence on oil and integrate the world’s scientific community in this task.
UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE VOUCHERS
Senator Gravel advocates a universal health-care voucher program in which the federal government would issue annual health care vouchers to Americans based on their projected needs. Under the Senator’s plan, all Americans would be fully covered and would be free to use their vouchers to choose their own health care professional. No one would ever be denied health insurance because of their health, wealth, or any other reason. A universal health-care voucher plan will also relieve American businesses of the financial responsibility of insuring their workers while ensuring that their workers get adequate care.
Senator Gravel favors protecting our borders and monitoring the flow of illegal immigrants into our country. He also favors a guest worker program and setting up naturalization procedures that would fairly bring existing illegal immigrants into legal status.
The senator’s position is that America must address the root cause of illegal immigration. Any discussion of Mexican immigration must include NAFTA and the concept of “free trade.” The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been a disaster for the working class of both the US and Mexico. A study by the Economic Policy Institute found that over 1,000,000 US jobs were lost as a result of NAFTA, a third of them manufacturing jobs. In Mexico, 1.3 million farm workers lost their jobs in the same period. This has led to a wave of immigrant workers looking for work in the US job market.
Major structural changes must be made to NAFTA in order to restore lost jobs. Reforming unfair trade policies will stimulate job growth on both sides of the border and allow Mexican workers to remain in their motherland. We must make fair trade a priority if we are to rebuild the American middle class.
Senator Gravel supports same-sex marriage and opposes the Defense of Marriage Act. He supports expanding hate-crime legislation and opposes laws that allow discrimination against sexual orientation, as well as discrimination on the basis of one’s gender identity or expression. In the absence of full marriage rights, the senator supports domestic partner benefits for all Americans. He strongly opposes the military’s ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ legislation on the grounds that it is unconstitutional, as it restricts the rights of gay Americans, and he opposes any state or national constitutional amendment that restricts the rights of the LGBT community.
Senator Mike Gravel wants to put real money, rather than borrowed money, in the Social Security Trust Fund, investing it properly and identifying the interests of individual beneficiaries so they can leave their surplus funds to their heirs. He also calls on Congress to stop raiding the Social Security Trust Fund. This is key to ensuring that Social Security will be around long after the Baby Boomers are gone for the next generation of Americans who have paid into it.
Senator Mike Gravel enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1951 and served for three years as an adjutant in the Communications Services and as a Special Agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps. Our war veterans are not, as some would have it, a “special interest” but are our primary interest. As President, Sen. Gravel would ensure that veterans receive full and unambiguous funding for their most important needs, including health care that is indexed to the increasing cost of care and medicine. He would also make permanent the 100 percent disability ratings of those diagnosed as suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He would also make sure that the VA system is fully financed and has sufficient well-trained personnel to provide the finest care that is available. As the senator says, “We can do no less and will do much more.”
No Child Left Behind has left far too many children behind. We have a dire situation in America; 30% of our kids do not graduate from high school. Nearly a third of our children are condemned to a substandard economic existence. Education in America must be properly funded. However, money will not solve all the problems. Washington D.C. ranks first in dollars spent, yet ranks last in achievement. We need to approach education comprehensively. We must properly fund education while raising the overall standard of living in America and making education a vital part of a healthy, thriving community.
The United States incarcerates more people and at a higher rate than any other peacetime nation in the world. According to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics the number of US residents behind bars has now reached more than 2.3 million.
We are losing an entire generation of young men and women to our prisons. Our nation’s ineffective and wasteful “war on drugs” plays a major role in this. We must place a greater emphasis on rehabilitation and prevention. We must de-criminalize minor drug offenses and increase the availability and visibility of substance abuse treatment and prevention in our communities as well as in jails and prisons.
We must increase the use of special drug courts in which addicted offenders are given the opportunity to complete court supervised substance abuse treatment instead of being sentenced to prison. We must eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing laws. We must increase the use of alternative penalties for nonviolent drug offenders. Drug defendants convicted of nonviolent offenses should not be given mandatory prison sentences. We should emphasize the criminalization of the importers, manufacturers, and major distributors, rather than just the street venders. Prisons in this country should be a legitimate criminal sanction — but it should be an extension of a fair, just and wise society.
2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS
While Senator Gravel fully supports the 2nd Amendment, he believes that fundamental change must take place with regards to gun ownership. The senator advocates a licensing program where a potential gun owner must be licensed as well as properly trained with a firearm before they may own one.
June 5, 2007
While I have not yet decided on a candidate to support, I believe that choice needs to made through the acquisition of knowledge. Therefore, I am posting each candidates stand on the issues, and maybe a few other things that interest me. Both sides need to field a strong QUALITY candidate, they will accomplish that if people pay attention and VOTE.
America’s middle class is under siege and ready for change. People are working harder and longer for less and less. For six long years, America’s middle class and working families have been invisible to our president. When Hillary is in the White House, no American will be invisible to the president of the United States.
Nearly 47 million Americans — including 9 million children — don’t have health insurance. America is ready for universal health care. Hillary has the vision and the experience to make it a reality. This is a battle Hillary has fought before — and she has the scars to prove it. She knows better than anyone how to fight and build the political support to get the job done.
America is ready for a leader who will end the war in Iraq. Hillary’s roadmap out of Iraq, the Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act of 2007, is a plan to end the war before the next president takes the oath of office. But if the Bush administration won’t end the war, as president and commander in chief, Hillary will.
The choices we make about energy touch nearly every aspect of our lives. Our economy, our national security, our health, and the future of our planet are all at stake as we make a choice between energy independence and dependence on foreign sources of oil. Hillary has proposed an Apollo Project-like program dedicated to achieving energy independence.
Hillary will ensure that all those who sacrifice on behalf of our country receive the help and care they need. They not only deserve our country’s gratitude and support; they deserve the gold standard in health care and benefits when they return home. That is our most solemn obligation to those who have put their lives on the line for our country.
America is ready for a president who fights for our children. From her first job out of law school at the Children’s Defense Fund to her time as First Lady of Arkansas and of the United States to her service in the Senate, helping children has been at the center of Hillary’s public life.
The next president’s most urgent task will be to restore America’s standing in the world to promote our interests, ensure our security, and advance our values. America is stronger when we lead the world through alliances. As president, Hillary will lead by the words of the Declaration of Independence, which pledged “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind.”
Hillary’s historic statement in 1995 that “women’s rights are human rights” still echoes worldwide. As a lawyer, advocate, First Lady, and senator, Hillary has fought for issues important to women here at home and around the world for decades. Hillary will continue her lifelong fight to ensure that all Americans are treated with respect and dignity.
Americans are ready for a government that puts competency ahead of cronyism. For the past six years, we’ve had an administration that has contempt for government. And because they view it with contempt, they treat it with contempt. We need a return to transparency and a system of checks and balances, and a 21st century government to meet our 21st century challenges.
Fair and honest elections are the bedrock of a successful democracy. Yet we have seen abuses in national elections since 2000 that have undermined our democracy and Americans’ faith in our electoral system. Hillary is a leading champion of election reform. She has introduced the Count Every Vote Act to avoid repeating the problems of the past and ensure the integrity of our elections.
crosspublished at betagnome.com
This story got me thinking. And most times, that is a dangerous thing.
The internet and local media, blogs and opinion sites are all covering this issue. Where is the Mainstream media? Where is the 24/7 coverage of this on CNN?
How is your wallet feeling? I started thinking about this last weekend. My wife and I were talking about the price of gas and she said “Groceries are getting ridiculous, eggs alone are up over 30 cents a dozen”. I do the grocery shopping in our house, but she had went the week before after about a 6 week gap. The prices rose a bit each week, numbing me to the effect.
When the price of gas goes up 30 cents in a day – everyone notices. When the price of milk goes up 75 cents a gallon over 6 months, people take it in stride.
Everything is connected, transportation costs are affected by the cost of fuel, ethanol producers are buying as much corn as they can, so corn related items increase, feed for cattle, tortillas, you get the point.
I question just how severely these price increases will impact our economy. I have long predicted a “significant” recession, it now seems inevitable. Consider the stock market runup, the housing price decline, the subprime housing market bust, the low value of the dollar against major foreign currencies, how long we have had low interest rates and the overall cyclical nature of our economy. What do you get – recession. At least that’s my opinion.
Oil companies blame the cost of gas on lack of refining capability, but choose not to build more refineries. They make $40 Billion dollar yearly profits, and the American consumer goes into debt to get to work or the grocery store.
Grocery companies will probably make the same kinds of arguments, a portion of which may be justifiable, But I believe it all comes down to one word – GREED. To hell with reasonable profits, to hell with taking care of our customer – fill our pockets as full as we can, as fast as we can.
[tags]inflation, gas prices, grocery prices, money[/tags]