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John Kerry on Government Reform

Jr Senator (MA), Democratic nominee for President


FactCheck: Yes, Kerry was absent from Senate 76% in 2003

BUSH_CHENEY CLAIM: "As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Kerry was absent for 76 percent of the committee's hearings."

CNN FACT CHECK:Official records confirm that Sen John Kerry attended 11 out of 49 public committee meetings from 1993 through January 2001, for an absentee rate of 78%. President Bush's campaign credits Kerry for attending another public meeting in June 1999, although official records do not indicate exactly who attended. Assuming Kerry did attend this 12th meeting, his absentee rate would be 76%, as the Bush campaign claims. The Kerry campaign says that most of the committee meetings are closed and that attendance records are not public, suggesting that his attendance rate could be higher if closed meetings were included in the tally. However, Kerry himself could authorize the committee to release his attendance records for closed meetings, but has not done so.

Source: CNN FactCheck on statements by Bush and Kerry: Oct 29, 2004

FactCheck: Kerry passed more than 5 bills, but less than 56

BUSH: He introduced some 300 bills and he's passed five.

KERRY: Once again, the president is misleading America. I've actually passed 56 individual bills that I've personally written and, in addition to that, and not always under my name, there are amendments on certain bills.

FACT CHECK: Bush said Kerry passed five bills. Kerry said he's passed 56. Who's right? That depends on the definition of "passed" and "bills." Bush counted only measures technically defined as "bills," leaving out four "joint resolutions" that also have the force of law, and he also omitted two laws whose House versions were adopted in a form nearly identical to Senate versions authored by Kerry. When Kerry said "I've actually passed 56 individual bills that I've personally written" he was counting everything that had passed the Senate, whether or not it cleared the House. He also counts 24 resolutions that have no force of law.

Source: Analysis of Third Bush-Kerry debate (FactCheck.org) Oct 15, 2004

Every vote must be counted

Q: What will you do to assure elections officials that the federal government is committed to making the Help America Vote Act work as Congress intended?

A: we are going to prechallenge some of these automatic machines -- the Diebold machines -- where there have already been problems. And we're going to prechallenge and have a team across this country who are focused on those particular areas of the country where they are notorious about switching addresses, telling people they're not registered

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

Flag and patriotism belong to all Americans

Q: What do you think about the actions and policies of the Bush administration?

A: People want to know why Bush is rolling back environmental protections, why everyone is sacrificing for the war on terrorism except millionaires who are just getting new tax breaks, and why is he selecting judges who want to turn back the clock on civil rights and workers rights and the right to choose. The American flag and patriotism doesn't belong to any political party - it belongs to all of us as Americans.

Source: MoveOn.org interview Jun 17, 2003

Only Senator elected 4 times without a dime of PAC money

It is time that we had a President who doesn't just talk about family values, but who values families in the policies we present to the nation. I'm angry about the way this administration sides with the insiders, the influential, those who have the power to parade their extraordinary sums of money in Washington. Almost $100 million a month, spent to get the Congress to do something or to stop the Congress from doing something. And usually it's a power exercised behind closed doors with privileged secrecy that they deny a spotlight on to the American people.

I stand before you as the only person elected to the US Senate four times without ever taking a dime of soft money, special interest PAC money, or independent expenditures. I will be a President who will get the money out of American politics and restore the democracy of our country for all Americans.

Source: Speech at the Take Back America Conference, Washington, DC Jun 5, 2003

Voted YES on banning "soft money" contributions and restricting issue ads.

Vote on passage of H.R. 2356; Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (Shays-Meehan bill, House equivalent of McCain-Feingoldf bill). Vote to ban “soft money” contributions to national political parties but permit up to $10,000 in soft money contributions to state and local parties to help with voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives. The bill would stop issue ads from targeting specific candidates within 30 days of the primary or 60 days of the general election. Additionally, the bill would raise the individual contribution limit from $1,000 to $2,000 per election for House and Senate candidates, both of which would be indexed for inflation.
Bill HR.2356 ; vote number 2002-54 on Mar 20, 2002

Voted NO on require photo ID (not just signature) for voter registration.

Motion to Table Schumer Amdt. No. 2937; To permit the use of a signature or personal mark for the purpose of verifying the identity of voters who register by mail, and for other purposes. Voting Yes would kill the amendment. The amendment would allow a signature to identify voters who register by mail, instead of requiring showing photo identification or other proof of residence before being allowed to vote.
Bill S.565 ; vote number 2002-38 on Feb 27, 2002

Voted YES on banning campaign donations from unions and corporations.

Vote to ban soft money donations to political parties and forbid corporate general funds and union general funds from being spent on issue ads. The bill would increase the individual contribution limit to candidates from $1,000 to $2,000.
Bill S.27 ; vote number 2001-64 on Apr 2, 2001

Voted YES on continuing funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

This table motion would end debate on an amendment aimed at funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. Support for the motion to table is a vote for NEA funding. [YES to table means supporting the NEA; NO means defunding the NEA].
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)80; N)16; NV)4
Reference: Motion to table Smith Amdt #1569; Bill H.R. 2466 ; vote number 1999-260 on Aug 5, 1999

Voted YES on favoring 1997 McCain-Feingold overhaul of campaign finance.

Support of the campaign finance bill proposed by Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Feingold (D-WI).
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)53; N)47
Reference: Campaign Finance Reform Bill; Bill S. 25 ; vote number 1997-267 on Oct 7, 1997

Voted YES on Approving the presidential line-item veto.

Approval of the presidential line-item veto authority.
Status: Conf Rpt Agreed to Y)69; N)31
Reference: Conference Report on S. 4; Bill S. 4 ; vote number 1996-56 on Mar 27, 1996

Voted NO on banning more types of Congressional gifts.

To exclude certain items from the Congressional Gift Ban.
Status: Amdt Failed Y)39; N)60; NV)1
Reference: Murkowski Amdt to S. 1061; Bill S. 1061 ; vote number 1995-339 on Jul 28, 1995

Voluntary public financing for all general elections.

Kerry signed the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

Return Politics to the People
At a time when much of the world is emulating American values and institutions, too many Americans have lost confidence in their political system. They are turned off by a partisan debate that often seems to revolve not around opposing philosophies but around contending sets of interest groups. They believe that our current system for financing campaigns gives disproportionate power to wealthy individuals and groups and exerts too much influence over legislative and regulatory outcomes.

The time for piecemeal reform is past. As campaign costs soar at every level, we need to move toward voluntary public financing of all general elections and press broadcasters to donate television time to candidates.

The Internet holds tremendous potential for making campaigns less expensive and more edifying and for engaging Americans directly in electoral politics. We should promote the Internet as a new vehicle for political communication and champion online voting.

Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC9 on Aug 1, 2000

Make Election Day a national holiday.

Kerry introduced the Federal Election Day Act

Designates November 5, 2002, and November 2, 2004, as Federal Election Day. Makes Federal Election Day a legal public holiday. Identical bills introduced in House HR.934, Senate S.1388 and S.2104.

Source: Bill sponsored by 2 Senators and 1 Rep 01-SR21 on Aug 1, 2001

Other candidates on Government Reform: John Kerry 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