John Edwards on Government Reform
Democratic Nominee for Vice President; NC Jr Senator
A: I will introduce legislation and sign executive orders to limit the influence of lobbyists and special interests in Washington. These measures will include: preventing candidates for federal office from taking contributions from Washington lobbyists; closing the revolving door between lobbyists' shops and government jobs; shining a bright light on lobbyist influence; and stopping the war profiteering in Iraq
EDWARDS: No. There's something wrong with the impact that Washington lobbyists are having on our system of government. The lobbyists are taking democracy away from the American people. Lobbyists who make huge campaign contributions are lobbying the Congress every day. We need to restore the power in this democracy to the American people so that these insiders are not continuing to run this government.
What I would do is ban their contributions. I would shine a bright light on their activities so we know what they're doing. And I would make them tell us everything they're doing: Who they're lobbying for; the money they're spending; who they're trying to influence. The power of the American people to have their representatives decide only in the interests of the American people has been taken away. I've never taken any money from Washington lobbyists, but no one should be able to take money from them.
For lawyers as well as judges, trials are about credibility-if a jury is to believe in your case, the jury must believe you. You have to earn their trust, and after you have earned it, you have to earn it again, every day.
The 12 souls who spend full days, full weeks, or sometimes long months sitting only a few feet from you get to know you almost as well as you know yourself. My faith in the wisdom of ordinary people took root in the mill towns of my youth. But the juries of my adulthood deepened that faith.
A: I am proud of my 20 years work against powerful insurance companies and drug companies. I believe we have the best legal system in the world, but it is not perfect and can be improved. For example, doctors and health care providers are facing rising malpractice premiums and are having difficulty getting reimbursement for the services they provide. I have proposed that we put additional responsibilities on attorneys who file malpractice cases by requiring that they have the cases reviewed by independent experts who determine that they are serous and meritorious before a case can be filed and that the attorneys certify that this has been done. If an attorney fails to meet their obligations the attorney would be held accountable. And I would impose a three strikes and you're out rule so that if an attorney violated the requirement three times they would lose their right to file such cases for a substantial period of time.
A: I've put forward an agenda that stands up for all Americans. My agenda includes a plan to make the first year of college free for any young person willing to work for it. My agenda for America includes a plan to protect older workers from losing their pensions, a plan to pass a prescription drug benefit and to stop drug companies from keeping less- expensive drugs off the market, and a $2500 family leave tax credit for ne
EDWARDS: I have a plan about how to get the economy going and to help states and municipalities with this terrible budget crisis. I have introduced legislation that would provide $50 billion to states and municipalities so that they don't have to lay off workers, so they are not laying off fire fighters, so they're not cutting education.
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2004 Senate Races:
(AK)Knowles v.Murkowski v.Sykes
(CA)Boxer v.Jones v.Gray
(CO)Coors v.Salazar v.Randall v.Acosta
(GA)Isakson v.Majette v.Buckley
(IA)Grassley v.Small v.Northrop
(LA)John v.Vitter v.Kennedy
(NH)Granny D v.Gregg
(NY)Schumer v.Mills v.McReynolds
(PA)Hoeffel v.Specter v.Summers
(UT)Bennett v.Van Dam
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