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John Edwards on Corporations

Democratic Nominee for Vice President; NC Jr Senator


FactCheck: Halliburton fined for actions while Cheney CEO

EDWARDS: While Cheney was CEO of Halliburton, they paid millions of dollars in fines for providing false information on their company, just like Enron and Ken Lay. They did business with Libya and Iran, two sworn enemies of the US. They're now under investigation for having bribed foreign officials during that period of time.

FACT CHECK: Edwards made several allegations about what Cheney had done as CEO of Halliburton. We can only give Edwards partial credit for his Halliburton attack, however. He implied that Cheney was in charge of the company when it did business with Libya in violation of US sanctions, but that happened long before Cheney joined the company. Edwards was also slightly off when he said Halliburton paid millions in fines " while Cheney was CEO." He meant that it paid fines for matters that took place while Cheney was in charge. And in fact, the SEC announced Aug. 3 that Halliburton will pay $7.5 million to settle a matter that dates back to 1998, when Cheney was CEO.

Source: Edwards-Cheney debate analysis (Ad-Watch by FactCheck.org) Oct 6, 2004

We can stop the job losses, by closing loopholes

Q: Is it realistic to talk to the American people about stopping the global economy and the movement toward it?

A: We can have a real impact on the loss of jobs. We can do something to bring jobs back to replace the jobs that we've lost. I've seen mills close, I've seen what it does to communities, I've seen what it does to families. We need to close loopholes in our tax code to give breaks to companies that are leaving, give tax breaks to American companies that will keep jobs here.

Source: Democratic 2004 primary Debate in Greenville SC Jan 29, 2004

Product liability suits attack corporate indifference

[In a case where a 5-year-old girl was eviscerated by a pool suction drain, we considered 4 parties responsible; 3 settled. We sued the manufacturer of the pool drain cover, Sta-Rite.]

North Carolina's product liability statute was not crafted with the best interests of [negligence victims] in mind. For example, it protected a manufacturer from liability if its product had been altered or modified from its intended use. Sta-Rite contended, "If the screws are in place [on the drain cover], it's not a hazard," but they didn't indicate in their instructions that screws were required,] Sta-Rite had dumped a product on the market without considering its hazards. Underlying this case was Sta-Rite's corporate indifference. It's hard to sit there and listen to strangers say, "Lawsuits like these are what's wrong with America!" and then go home to your innocent daughter and her feeding tubes. [The jury awarded $25 million against Sta-Rite].

Source: Four Trials, by John Edwards, p.187-198 Jan 1, 2004

Howard verdict forced trucking companies' safety training

[Edwards won the Howard case, which awarded punitive damages against a trucking company for an accident by one of its drivers, who was induced to drive unsafely because of incentive pay.] There are 2 endings to the Howard saga-one quite happy, the other less so.

The trucking industry did indeed take notice of the verdict. Trucking firms in the state of North Carolina were soon placing greater emphasis no driver safety training. Some companies even abandoned the practice of paying drivers by the mile.

Unfortunately, the insurance companies lobbied the Republican state legislature and soon a bill was passed disallowing punitive damage awards against a company as a result of an employee's actions, unless the particular action was specifically ratified by corporate officers.

Yes, our lawsuit had sent a message, and that message ultimately was: if you don't like the law, change it. The message to me was: if you can't help enough people being a lawyer, consider being a lawmaker.

Source: Four Trials, by John Edwards, p.157-8 Dec 1, 2003

Tax incentives to companies to keep jobs in America

Q: How do you draw the line between building walls to protect jobs and building walls that create isolationism economically?

EDWARDS: We ought to have trade agreements that have real protections in them that allow our people here at home to compete. But we also ought to close down loopholes in our tax code that give American companies an incentive to go overseas. In fact, we ought to give tax breaks to American companies that will keep jobs right here in America.

We have to protect the jobs we have. We have to create jobs. And in order to create jobs, we ought to identify those places in America where job losses occurred and say to new business, "If you'll start there, we'll give you the seed money with a national venture capital fund"; and second, to existing businesses and industry, "If you'll locate in an urban area, in an inner city, in a rural area, we will give you incentives to go there."

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

Crack down on CEO pay; and require honest accounting

Worker and Shareholder Bill of Rights. Some CEOs have lined their own pockets while workers lost their jobs and families lost their savings. Edwards will crack down on outrageous CEO pay, require honest accounting, and ensure pension fairness for ordinary workers.
Source: Real Solutions For America, campaign booklet by John Edwards Aug 6, 2003

Address moral crisis: Shareholder & Worker Bill of Rights

We need to take on these insider deals. There is not just an economic crisis on Main Street America, there is a moral crisis in corporate America. I want business to succeed, I want CEOs to succeed, but I want them to succeed by doing the right thing- by helping their workers, by doing right by investors. This is why I am proposing a new Shareholder and Worker's Bill of Rights. It is not complicated. This will make our economy stronger, not weaker. This will restore confidence in markets and it will restore fairness on the factory floor.
Source: Speech at the Take Back America Conference, Washington, DC Jun 5, 2003

Voted YES on restricting rules on personal bankruptcy.

Vote to pass a bill that would require debtors able to repay $10,000 or 25 percent of their debts over five years to file under Chapter 13 bankruptcy (reorganization and repayment) rather than Chapter 7 (full discharge of debt).
Bill HR 333 ; vote number 2001-236 on Jul 17, 2001

Rated 15% by the US COC, indicating an anti-business voting record.

Edwards scores 15% by US Chamber of Commerce on business policy

Whether you own a business, represent one, lead a corporate office, or manage an association, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of AmericaSM provides you with a voice of experience and influence in Washington, D.C., and around the globe.

Our members include businesses of all sizes and sectors—from large Fortune 500 companies to home-based, one-person operations. In fact, 96% of our membership encompasses businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

Mission Statement:

"To advance human progress through an economic, political and social system based on individual freedom, incentive, initiative, opportunity, and responsibility."
The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: COC website 03n-COC on Dec 31, 2003

Other candidates on Corporations: John Edwards 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
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty
Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts