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Carol Moseley-Braun on Civil Rights

Former IL Senator; Democratic Candidate for President


Have to have an honest conversation about race-Dean is right

Q: Is the Confederate flag an acceptable symbol of anything to an American?

A: We have to have an honest conversation about race in this country. I think Howard's right on that point. We have to have an honest conversation, because without that conversation we will never get to the point where we can pass the laws, where we can have the orders, where we can do the work that's necessary to bring us together as one American family.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Need to reform immigration policy to welcome them

Q: Would you allow driver's license for immigrants?

A: I would work closely with other governments, particularly with Mexico, to work out treaty arrangements, to work out protocols, to work out the kind of arrangements that would give some semblance of order to this process. So that when people come back & forth across the border, they're not dying in the deserts, they're not driving cars without insurance, without licenses. We need to give people a sense of being welcome in this land of immigrants.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Continue to fight for gay rights

Q: What is your stance on gay rights?

A: My record in regards to this issue goes back almost 20 years when I started in the state legislature fighting to end discriminations against people. And I believe that that's the only way to go. If we're going to achieve the promise of America, we have to continue the movement in the direction of liberating the human spirit, of allowing people to contribute to the maximum extent of what they can give to the whole community.

Source: CNN "Rock The Vote" Democratic Debate Nov 5, 2003

Get past the racist strategy that Republican foisted upon

Q: What is your response to Dean's Confederate flag comment?

BRAUN: In the Senate I opened myself up to the venom of the right-wing conspiracy by battling Jesse Helms over the Confederate flag. We have to as Democrats begin to engage a civil conversation how we can get past that racist strategy that the Republicans have foisted upon this country, how we can bring Southern whites and blacks and northern blacks and whites together, how we can come together to reclaim this country-and Latinos, and Asians, and Christians & Muslims & Jews & Protestants.

DEAN: We have to reach out to every single American. We don't have to embrace the Confederate flag, and I never suggested that we did. But we have to reach out to all disenfranchised people. I understand that the Confederate flag is a loathsome symbol, just as I understood all the anti-gay slurs that I had to put up with in Vermont after I signed that bill were loathsome symbols. If we don't reach out to every single American, we can't win.

Source: CNN "Rock The Vote" Democratic Debate Nov 5, 2003

Publicize women's military rapes, even if unpopular

Q: As president, what would be the least popular, most right thing you would do?

MOSELEY BRAUN: I would work to build community and civil society and fight the discrimination against women in daily life. It's recently been reported one in five women cadets at the Air Force Academy were either raped or sexually assaulted, and it is like the biggest kept secret in town. I think looking at this at the academies to see the treatment that women cadets are receiving.

Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

"Sticky floor" pay gap for women still persists

I am very concerned about the pay gap-what I call the sticky floor-on which many women, who are sole providers often for their families, are stuck. Women right now earn 76 cents on the dollar. That's for Anglo women. African-American women, it's about 67 cents on the dollar. And Hispanic women, it's about 56 cents on the dollar. Getting rid of this pay inequity and leveling the playing field between men and women in terms of the amount of money that they earn, will be a priority in my administration.
Source: Democratic Primary Debate, Albuquerque New Mexico Sep 4, 2003

Patriot Act must be allowed to expire

Q: Would you revise or repeal the Patriot Act?

A: The Bush administration has used 9/11 as a shield to impose an extreme right wing agenda on the American people. No where is that truth more apparent than in regards to civil liberties and the courts. The Patriot Act must be allowed to expire by its own terms, and we must insure that the privacy and constitutional protections traditionally enjoyed are not further diluted. George Orwell wrote fiction: we must not let it become prophecy.

Source: MoveOn.org interview Jun 17, 2003

GLBT right to privacy includes consensual gay sex

Q: Here in South Carolina, it's a felony for two gay men to have sex in their own home. Do you support that law? Or is there a fundamental right to privacy that protects that right?

EDWARDS: I believe there is a fundamental right to privacy. I do not believe the government belongs in people's bedrooms. I think that applies to both gay and lesbian couples and heterosexual couples.

MOSELEY-BRAUN: I absolutely agree that gay-lesbian, transgender and bisexual people are entitled to privacy as everybody else.

LIEBERMAN: I don't [support that law]. In fact, the law relates not only to gay couples, but to heterosexual couples as well, and it's a violation of the right of privacy. There is a case right now before the Supreme Court regarding a similar Texas law. I hope and believe it'll be struck down because Lord knows the prosecutors have more important things to do than prosecute cases like this. They ought to be prosecuting drug peddlers and criminals and all the rest.

Source: [X-ref from Edwards] Democratic Debate in Columbia SC May 3, 2003

PATRIOT Act violates liberty & won't yield safety

MOSELEY-BRAUN [to Edwards]: Ben Franklin once said, "They that can give up essential liberties to obtain a little safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." I have real concerns that the PATRIOT Act vastly expending government power of surveillance, wire taps, arbitrary detention, investigation, and arguably violates [six] amendments to the Constitution. You voted for this bill. Will you vote to repeal it, or will you vote to restore the civil liberties guaranteed to the Americans, and privacy guaranteed to the Americans by the Constitution?

EDWARDS: I share that very serious concern. [But] the problem with the PATRIOT Act is not the law itself, it's the way it's being administered, particularly by Attorney General Ashcroft. We have had consistent problems with this. It is why I have proposed taking away from the FBI the responsibility of fighting terrorism and simultaneously setting up an independent watchdog group to make sure that none of us are losing our civil liberties.

Source: [X-ref to Edwards] Democratic Debate in Columbia SC May 3, 2003

PATRIOT Act violates six Constitutional amendments

EDWARDS: John Ashcroft, in the name of protecting America, in the name of fighting a war on terrorism, is eroding our right to privacy, eroding our civil liberties, eroding the very heart and soul of what makes this country great. It's all around the edges. It's creeping. But we have to be so careful and so vigilant to make sure that America does not lose what makes America great.

MOSELEY-BRAUN: We have to take very seriously the assault on our civil liberties that Ashcroft and the Bush administration have begun and that Congress opened the door for with the PATRIOT Act. That act arguably violates the First, the Fourth, the Fifth, the Sixth, the Eighth, and the Fourteenth amendments of the Constitution, have opened the door to e-mails being tapped and phones being tapped and searches and people disappearing in this country for the first time. We have a real crisis in America when it comes to our civil liberties, and I do hope that this act will be repealed.

Source: [X-ref from Edwards] Democratic Debate in Columbia SC May 3, 2003

Voted YES on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women.

Vote to table, or kill, an amendment to repeal the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise [DBE] Program, which requires no less than 10% of highway construction projects funded by the federal government to be contracted to 'disadvantaged business enterprises'
Bill S.1173 ; vote number 1998-23 on Mar 6, 1998

Voted NO on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business.

This legislation would have abolished a program that helps businesses owned by women or minorities compete for federally funded transportation.
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)48; N)52
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture; Bill S.1173 ; vote number 1997-275 on Oct 23, 1997

Voted NO on prohibiting same-sex marriage.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): Vote to prohibit marriage between members of the same sex in federal law, and provide that no state is required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Define 'marriage' as 'between one man and one wo
Bill HR 3396 ; vote number 1996-280 on Sep 10, 1996

Voted YES on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation.

Would have prohibited job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Status: Bill Defeated Y)49; N)50; NV)1
Reference: Employment Non-Discrimination Act; Bill S. 2056 ; vote number 1996-281 on Sep 10, 1996

Voted NO on Amendment to prohibit flag burning.

Approval of a constitutional amendment which would prohibit desecration or burning of the U.S. flag.
Status: Joint Res. Defeated Y)63; N)36
Reference: Flag Desecration Bill; Bill S. J. Res. 31 ; vote number 1995-600 on Dec 12, 1995

Voted NO on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds.

Vote to disallow any funds in the Legislative Appropriations bill from being used to award, require, or encourage any Federal contract, if the contract is being awarded on the basis of the race, color, national origin, or gender of the contractor.
Bill HR 1854 ; vote number 1995-317 on Jul 20, 1995

Other candidates on Civil Rights: Carol Moseley-Braun on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
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Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts