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Sentator John Kerry (Democrat, Massachusetts) John Kerry was born on December 11, 1943. A graduate of Yale, entered the Navy, serving in Vietnam. He received a Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V, and three awards of the Purple Heart for his service in combat. Later, Kerry co-founded the Vietnam Veterans of America and became a spokesperson for the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. In 1984, afer winning election as Lieutenant Governor in 1982, Kerry ran and was first elected to serve in the United States Senate. John Kerry is married to heiress Teresa Heinz. He has two daughters, Alexandra and Vanessa.

Taxes & Spending: Based on ratings from taxpayer advocacy groups such as National Taxpayers Union and Americans for Tax Reform, this candidate shares very little of their views. According to the Concord Coalition, he is agrees with slightly less than half their positions on balanced budget issue. On his site he calls for "a fair reshaping of estate taxes so no family owned small business is sold just to pay Uncle Sam."
While not calling for a formal national job policy, John Kerry (according to his site "supports efforts that put America back to work. He backed efforts to restore $31 billion in highway cuts made by the Bush Administration last year, which threatened 300,000 jobs. And he supports creating American jobs and renewing our cities through building infrastructure, school construction and modernization, tax credits and cleaning up polluted areas in our country."

Social Services Funding: In a voice vote, as a member of the Senate Finance Committee approved the mark-up of the Charity Aid, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act. The bill heads to the full Senate.

Welfare: The Children's Defense Fund, an organization concerned how poverty and welfare cuts effect children and families, recently gave him a score of 91%. BIPAC, the Business-Industry Political Action Committee gave Kerry a score of 0%.

Security & Terrorism: Voted "yes" on HR 3162, Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001.
Voted "yes" on the "Visa Entry Reform Act of 2001", a bill to strengthen counter-terrorism efforts by imposing restrictions on student visas and among other things, it creates a centralized 'lookout' database.


Kerry said, "John Ashcroft has designated American citizens as 'enemy combatants,' and has incarcerated them indefinitely without charging them with a crime, without allowing them to appear in court, without allowing them to consult with counsel or communicate in any way with the outside world. John Kerry believes citizens should have the right to a lawyer and that foreign citizens should be given the right to hearings to determine their status." (John Kerry Press Release , December 1, 2003)

Foreign Affairs: Voted "yes" on H.J.RES.114, Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq, a resolution that would authorize the use of force against Iraq. The administration would be required to report to Congress that diplomatic options have been exhausted before, or within 48 hours after military action has started. Every 60 days the president would also be required to submit a progress report to Congress.
In August, in response the question by President Bush, John Kerry has said he would have voted for the congressional resolution authorising force against Iraq even if he had known then no weapons of mass destruction would be found. "I'll answer it directly. Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe it is the right authority for a president to have but I would have used that authority effectively." "My goal, my diplomacy, my statesmanship is to get our troops reduced in number and I believe if you do the statesmanship properly, I believe if you do the kind of alliance building that is available to us, that it's appropriate to have a goal of reducing the troops over that period of time," he said.

"I know from my own trips to Israel that the majority of the Israeli people understand and expect that one day there will be a Palestinian state. Their frustration is that they do not see a committed partner in peace on the Palestinian side. Palestinians must stop the violence - this is the fundamental building block of the peace process. The Palestinian leadership must be reformed, not only for the future of the Palestinian people but also for the sake of peace. I believe Israel would respond to this new partner after all, Israel has already indicated its willingness to freeze settlements and to move toward the establishment of a Palestinian state as part of a comprehensive peace process."
Regarding Bush's new strike first policy: "I believe we always have a preemptive right." Kerry has more recently been critical of the Bush's hawkish stance. Kerry has spoken against a preemptive and unilateral war.

Education: Kerry opposes school vouchers, saying they gloss over a crisis in the schools. He says the gap between suburban and urban schools is ''separate and unequal'' and more insidious than segregation was in its day. He backs increased flexibility for school administrators to dismiss teachers. He supports "efforts to expand public school choice programs and support for charter schools". He opposes unfunded federal mandates for schools. John Kerry is proposing a new ‘Education Trust Fund’ that means fully funding education, no questions asked.
Kerry announced a plan that includes a service-for-college program that would offer students four years of public college tuition in exchange for two years of community service. Voted "yes" on an amendment that would increase the tax deduction for college tuition costs from $5,000 to $12,000 and increase the tax credit on student loan interest from $500 to $1,000. Kerry’s "College Opportunity Tax Credit" will make four years of college affordable for all Americans. He will provide a credit for each and every year of college on the first $4,000 paid in tuition – the typical tuition and fees at a public college or university.

Healthcare: "We need a strong patient's bill of rights and we need it now, and we will not rest until every single American has affordable health coverage that no bureaucrat can take away."
Plans universal health care proposal.
Voted "no" on banning human cloning. (Bill S. 1601 on Feb 11, 1998)

Social Security: Voted "no" on Social Security Lockbox & limiting national debt. This amendment offered by Sen. Abraham (R-MI) that would have created a Social Security "lockbox" and establish limits on the public debt.
According to his senate web site, "Senator Kerry supported a real Social Security lockbox to protect the Social Security program from raids on its resources. Senator Kerry opposed Republican efforts to pass a phony Social Security lockbox that did nothing for Medicare, did not adequately protect Social Security, and established annual public debt limits that risked default. He opposed Republican efforts to include a trap door in lockbox legislation-any legislation that Republicans label "Social Security reform" could use Social Security surpluses for any number of purposes unrelated to paying Social Security benefits, including privatizing Social Security or paying for tax cuts."

Illicit Drugs: Voted "no" on S 625, a bill to increase penalties on certain drug-related crimes.

Trade: "I am as strongly committed as Kucinich is to worker rights, but it would be disastrous to just cancel NAFTA and withdraw from the WTO. You have to fix it. You have to have a president who understands how to use the power that we have as the world's biggest marketplace to properly leverage the kind of behavior that we want."

Ex-felons' Voting Rights: Voted "yes" on this issue.

Gun Policy: He received "F" from the NRA, and 100% from The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

Abortion Policy: He received a 100% score from Planned Parenthood and 0% from the National Right to Life Committee.

Environmental Policy: Kerry received 92% from the League of Conservation Voters.

Minority Issues: He received a 100% score from the NAACP.

Civil Liberties: He received a 50% score from The American Civil Liberties Union.

Websites:

  • johnkerry.com - Campaign site. Various issues
  • johnkerry.com - Civil_liberties
  • johnkerry.com/site/PageServer?pagename=news_2002_1003 - Preemptive attacks
  • boston.com/news/daily/01/kerry.htm - Education
  • http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/healthcare/nw/nw002900.php3- Universal health care
  • senate.gov/~kerry/low/atwork_issues_social_record.html - Social Security
  • http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/2003/iraq-030123-kerry01.htm - Palestinian State
  • november.org/razorwire/2002-01spring/eyeoncongress.html - Ex-Felons voting
  • www.concordcoalition.org - The Concord Coalition
  • www.atr.org - Americans for Tax Reform
  • www.ntu.org - National Taxpayers Union
  • www.childrensdefense.org - The Children's Defense Fund
  • www.bipac.org - Business-Industry Political Action Committee
  • www.nra.org - The National Rifle Association
  • www.gunfree.org - The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
  • www.plannedparenthood.org - Planned Parenthood
  • www.nrlc.org - National Right to Life Committee
  • www.lcv.org - League of Conservation Voters
  • www.naacp.org - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • www.aclu.org - American Civil Liberties Union
  • www.vote-smart.org - Vote-Smart.org