issues2000

Topics in the News: Disabled Rights


Jeb Bush on Education : Mar 5, 2013
Education savings accounts: Fund students instead of schools

The best way for education policy to catch up with technology advances is to fund students rather than schools. After the Arizona Supreme Court struck down a voucher program for foster and disabled children under the state's Blaine Amendment, the Goldwater Institute proposed an innovative idea called education savings accounts. For any eligible student who leaves the public schools, the state each year deposits the student's share of state education spending in an account owned by the student's family. The accounts can be used for any educational expense, from private school tuition to distance learning, computer software, tutors, community college classes, and discrete public school services. Any money remaining can be saved for college.
Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p.193

Mitt Romney on Education : Oct 3, 2012
Let IDEA and Title I funds follow disabled child

Q: Does the federal government have a responsibility to improve the quality of public education in America?

ROMNEY: Well, the primary responsibility for education is, of course, at the state and local level. But the federal government also can play a very important role. I agree with [the principles of] Race to the Top, not all of them, but some of them I agree with. My own view is, I've added to that. I want the kids that are getting federal dollars from IDEA or Title I--these are disabled kids or lower-income kids--I want them to be able to go to the school of their choice. So all federal funds, instead of going to the state or to the school district, I'd have go, if you will, follow the child and let the parent and the child decide where to send their student.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: First Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate

Paul Ryan on Abortion : Aug 12, 2012
Life begins at conception, so protect unborn children

Social conservatives were skeptical of Romney's moderate record on abortion and family planning, but they see the young Wisconsin Republican running mate, a Catholic, as one of their own.

"Congressman Ryan has a deep, abiding respect for all human life, including unborn children and their mothers, the disabled, and the elderly," said the president of National Right to Life.

Ryan himself has said, "I support the rights of the unborn child. Personally, I believe that life begins at conception, and it is for that reason that I feel we need to protect that life as we would protect other children."

The National Right to Live Committee scores him as "a 100% pro-life voting record" ever since he entered the House in 1999. Abortion rights groups don't quibble with that assessment. "Rep. Ryan has cast 59 votes on reproductive rights while in Congress and not one has been pro-choice," said the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America

Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: Joanne Kenen on Politico.com

Marco Rubio on Families & Children : Jun 19, 2012
Improve state-provided services for kids with disabilities

The most difficult issue we addressed that year concerned the treatment of children with autism. The advocacy group Autism Speaks had targeted Florida as part of a national campaign to mandate insurance coverage for autism. I knew very little about the disorder before 2008, but that changed when Jeanette and I began to meet families of autistic children. We met with parents who couldn't afford the expensive early intervention their kids needed.

I impaneled a special committee charged with improving the services the state provided to children with disabilities. I made sure to appoint both Democrats and Republicans who had expressed an interest in the issue. They produced sweeping legislation that could have helped thousands of families.

The senate passed an autism-only bill. We had had to settle for helping only some of them. It wasn't good enough, but it was something.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: An American Son, by Marco Rubio, p.158-159

Andrew Cuomo on Civil Rights : Jan 4, 2012
Improved services to 2 million residents with disabilities

We must transform the way we deliver services to our over two million residents with disabilities. We spend more than any other state on services and support provided both by our government and a vast array of nonprofit and private agencies. Yet New York ranks in the bottom quartile among states in serving adults with disabilities. This situation is fiscally irresponsible and morally unacceptable.

Many of the problems our disabled residents encounter are not the result of limited resources, but rooted instead in failures in the organization and management of services. We must develop a system that recognizes the potential of and the barriers faced by each individual we serve. We must focus on quality and prevention, and simplify and streamline access to services.

We must erase stigmas and ensure that the rights of people with disabilities are fully recognized and fully protected. In addition, we must do all we can to ensure the safety of those in our care.

Click for Andrew Cuomo on other issues.   Source: 2012 New York State of the State Address

Donald Trump on Social Security : Dec 5, 2011
Disability Racket: $25B in fraudulent disability filings

The top estimates are $2,340,000,000 in Medicare fraud over a decade--or 16% of America's entire national debt!

Then there's the disability racket. Did you know that one out of every 20 people in America now claims disability? That adds up to $170 billion a year in disability checks. Between 2005 and 2009, it is estimated that $25 billion were eaten up in fraudulent Social Security Disability Insurance filings. On and on, scam after scam it goes; as always, taxpayers are the ones getting stiffed.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 77

John Bolton on Families & Children : May 18, 2010
No internationalization of family & domestic issues

The internationalization of domestic issues appears in a host of social issues: abortion; family law and relationships between parent and child (the Convention on the Rights of the Child); and discrimination based on gender (the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women), race (The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination), or disability (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities). The issue here is not, for example, appropriate protections against discrimination, but who should decide such questions. Should it be American citizens operating under our Constitution, or international agreements with nations that care little about fundamental freedoms or the importance of democratic debate? This is where the rubber truly meets the road on sovereignty.
Click for John Bolton on other issues.   Source: Obama is Endangering our Sovereignty, by J. Bolton, p. 41-42

Andrew Cuomo on Welfare & Poverty : Apr 13, 2010
2001 review: Focused HUD on poor working-class families

What were those "new market initiatives" [that Cuomo championed at HUD]? Here's what Sen. Jon Corzine had to say about them in 2001:

"HUD sought to restore its credibility by remaining singularly focused on improving services for the poor, low-income and working-class families, the disabled and senior citizens. It has transformed itself by launching new-market initiatives; integrating lower-income communities into the free market and creating renewal initiatives that spur private sector investment in both urban and rural communities. HUD has also helped America reach its highest homeownership rate ever--67.7%--and in the process helped African-American and Latino households attain record levels of homeownership."

HUD's "new market initiatives" required Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to significantly increase the number of loans purchased involving low-income borrowers: Borrowers who couldn't exactly afford the mortgages they were being offered. Borrowers who are now facing foreclosure in droves.

Click for Andrew Cuomo on other issues.   Source: Take Back America, by Dick Morris, p.192-193

Mitt Romney on Jobs : Mar 2, 2010
Incentivize hiring jobless: cover $2000 in training costs

I have seen that the best training often occurs in the workplace where it is targeted to a job that is actually needed. That is one reason why I favor programs that incentivize employers to hire and train people who have been out of work for an extended period of time, who have disabilities, or who have been affected by the failure of a company or industry. As governor, I was able to establish a program that paid employers $2,000 toward the cost of training anyone they hired who had been out of work for more than a year. For all the benefits that productivity improvements bestow on the many, we need to make sure that the cost is not borne by the few.
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.116

Marco Rubio on Principles & Values : Feb 18, 2010
From poor Cuban family; privileged to be a citizen in US

As I reflect on all the opportunities that I've had in my life, it often reminds me of my grandfather. My grandfather was an enormous influence on me growing up. He was born in 1899 to a poor, rural family in Cuba. When he was a very young man, he had polio, and it permanently disabled him. So he couldn't work the farm, and so they sent him away to school. In fact, he became the only member of his family that can read.

When I was growing up my grandfather lived with us, and told me: Because of where he was born and who he was born to, there was only so much he was able to accomplish. But he wanted me to know that I would not have those limits, that there was no dreams unavailable to me. And he was right.

See, I was not born to a wealthy or connected family. And yet I have never felt limited by the circumstances of my birth. Why did my dreams have the chance that his didn't? Because I am privileged. I am privileged to be a citizen of the single greatest society in all of human history.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Speech to 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference

Jeb Bush on Social Security : Dec 11, 2009
Social service benefits via private & faith-based companies

The Bush social services reform program [was] designed, in large part, to enable private companies, nonprofit organizations and faith-based organizations to provide services that had traditionally been provided by the state: economic benefits to low-income citizens, protective services to children at risk of harm, community services to people who suffered from developmental disabilities, and medical services to poor citizens.

The larger issue regarding the faith-based initiative was that virtually no effort was made to evaluate the activities of the organizations that received public money or to compare their costs and quality of service with those of other service providers. Analysis was impossible and as a consequence the state knows very little about the relative advantages and disadvantages of using faith-based organizations to deliver public services.

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p.144-6

Sarah Palin on Civil Rights : Nov 17, 2009
Fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

With just two weeks to go before the election, I was scheduled to present our policy on special needs issues. I remembered my first campaign promise: that if John and I were elected, the special needs community would have an advocate in the White House. I could write the speech myself, and weave in a lot of my family's experience with Trig.

"There are the world's standards of perfection, and then there are God's, and these are the final measure," I said. "And the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who are most vulnerable." I went on to discuss specific policies a McCain-Palin administration would implement for special needs kids. For example, we would reprioritize some of the $18 billion a year Congress spends on its pork projects and instead fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. "We're going to get our federal priorities straight and fulfill our country's commitment to give every child opportunity and hope in life."

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.321-323

Sarah Palin on Civil Rights : Jul 28, 2008
ADA brings expanded freedom to Americans with disabilities

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Proclamation, “ADA”

Mike Huckabee on Abortion : Jan 30, 2008
I’m pro-life, but have no opinion on Justice O’Connor

Q: Was O’Connor the right choice?

A: History will have to determine that. We need to talk about why the issue of right-to-life is important. For many of us, this is an issue of principle and conviction. It goes to the heart of who we are as a country. If we value each other as human beings & believe that everybody has equal worth, and that that intrinsic value is not affected by net worth, or ancestry, or last name, or job description, or ability, or disability, then the issue of the sanctity of human life is far bigger than just being anti-abortion. It’s about being pro-life and exercising that deep conviction held by our founding fathers that all of us are equal & no one is more equal than another, recognizing that once we ever decide that some people are more equal or less equal than others, then we start moving that line, & it may include us some day. I’m pro-life. I value every human being. I would always make every decision always on the side of life every time I could, without equivocation

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley

Barack Obama on Health Care : Oct 30, 2007
Added 20,000 children to Illinois healthcare

Obama also has a record of success on health care in Illinois. He sponsored the legislation expanding Kid Care and Family Care that added 20,000 children to the state health insurance program. Obama was a cosponsor of the Senior Citizen Prescription Drug Discount Program Act, which enabled senior citizens and the disabled to obtain prescription drugs at discount rates. Obama also cosponsored smaller reforms such as SB989, which allowed Medicaid money to care for mentally or emotionally disturbed children as outpatients rather than the far more expensive option of institutionalizing them, and SB1417, which required all insurance companies operating in Illinois to pay for screenings of colorectal cancer.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: The Improbable Quest, by John K. Wilson, p.148

Barack Obama on Civil Rights : Aug 26, 2007
Strengthen the Americans with Disabilities Act

Obama is committed to strengthening and better enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Obama believes we must restore the original legislative intent of the ADA in the wake of court decisions that have restricted the interpretation of this landmark legislation.

One of the most devastating aspects of Hurricane Katrina is that most of the stranded victims were society’s most vulnerable members, including Americans with disabilities. Too many states and cities do not have adequate plans in place to care for special-needs populations. Obama passed legislation to require states to properly plan the evacuation of special-needs individuals.

Obama understands that children with special needs require meaningful resources to succeed both inside and outside the classroom. Obama is a strong supporter of increased funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 Presidential campaign website, BarackObama.com “Flyers”

Joe Biden on Jobs : Aug 9, 2007
No job discrimination by sexual orientation

Q: Currently, there is no federal law protecting individuals from job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. As president, would you support and work for passage of a federal bill that would prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation an gender identity?

A: Senator Biden opposes employment discrimination of any kind--including race, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation. He has consistently supported the Employment Non Discrimination Act to prohibit employment discrimination on basis of sexual orientation.

Q: Many gay & lesbian people serve in the federal government but do not receive the same health insurance and other employee benefits of married couples. Do you support domestic partner coverage for gay and lesbian employees of the civilian federal workforce?

A: Senator Biden believes that federal employees in legally recognized, committed relationships should not be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate--written questionnaire

Marco Rubio on Education : Apr 30, 2007
Voted for more scholarships for private schools

Rubio voted YES on HB7145, Private School Scholarship Program Expansion Act (passed House 84-34):
Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Florida state legislative voting records

Deval Patrick on Health Care : Sep 15, 2005
Focus on prevention and wellness programs

I envision Massachusetts as a model for public health stewardship, a state that gets healthy and stays healthy-emphasizing disease prevention and wellness programs that help reduce the total cost of illness, injury and disability. We will have effective programs to assure childhood immunizations, and to address drug and alcohol addiction, mental health needs, gun safety and other violence prevention, and HIV/AIDS screening, treatment and prevention.
Click for Deval Patrick on other issues.   Source: Campaign policy booklet, “Moving Massachusetts Forward”

Newt Gingrich on Health Care : Sep 22, 2003
Tax credits for developing technology for disabilities

Medical advances are enabling people to live longer than previously possible with such conditions as spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, or Downs Syndrome. In addition, increasing numbers of people are now living into their eighties and beyond. Beyond the ethical obligation of caring for our country’s most vulnerable population, we must address the health of people with disabilities if we are to make any progress in controlling healthcare costs.

A basic principle for a 21st Century System of Health and Healthcare for people with disabilities is to keep these individuals independent for as long as possible.

We should be exploring tax credits and other financial incentives to encourage companies to develop the right technologies for people with disabilities.

Now, people who can benefit from technologies are often prevented from acquiring them because they are expensive and insurance companies are reluctant to pay for them.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Saving Lives and Saving Money, by Newt Gingrich, p.196-197

Jeb Bush on Families & Children : Jan 22, 2002
Increase KidCare; increase developmentally disabled services

Health and human services spending has increased by a record $4 billion. For example, under our KidCare and Medicaid budget recommendations, 1.3 million children will be receiving health care coverage, up 69 percent from four years ago. The number of developmentally disabled being served has increased by 330 percent.
Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: State of the State address to 2002 Florida Legislature

Jeb Bush on Families & Children : May 31, 2001
Parental consent over government intrusions into families

    While I support the idea of providing comprehensive services for the early identification and intervention of learning disabilities, I have a number of concerns with Senate Bill 1018, grounded on the potential for excessive intrusiveness of government in the lives of Florida’s families.
  1. The bill is silent on the issue of parental consent for referral, assessment and intervention services for identified children and their families. Referrals of “high risk children” are automatic and may be interpreted to be without parental consent.
  2. The absence of a public records exemption to protect the privacy of families and children impacted is also problematic.
  3. The Florida State Laboratory will be required to purchase an expensive piece of equipment to process required Tandem Mass Spectrometry tests of all newborns in the three demonstration counties.
  4. And finally, this program is to be provided at an enormous cost to taxpayers, despite services already provided by the state.
Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Veto notification on Senate Bill 1018

Hillary Clinton on Social Security : Feb 17, 1999
Social Security protects families, not just retirees

Like many Americans, I got my Social Security card when I was a teenager and applied for my first job. Then, of course, I didn’t understand that my wallet-sized card represented a commitment that every American could grow old with dignity. I also didn’t understand that Social Security is not just for the elderly-and not just for retirement. Nearly 1/3 of its beneficiaries are either disabled, widows, widowers or surviving dependents. Social Security is a family protection system.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: “Talking It Over” column

Hillary Clinton on Families & Children : Jan 6, 1999
Help “sandwiched” parents care for elderly plus kids

Millions of Americans take care of aged or disabled loved ones every day. Record numbers remain at home with family and friends, putting more and more working adults in the position of nurturing their children while, at the same time, nursing their aging parents. We call this group the “sandwiched” generation.
There is no simple solution to the problem of caring for our aging and disabled loved ones. These initiatives offer a solid first step, and I am gratified by the support they have received from diverse advocacy groups and members of both political parties.
The senior boom is one of the most important challenges our generation and our children will face in the coming century. It is up to us to prove that the infirmities of age need not be the indignities of age. It is up to us to protect our children and grandchildren from the unsustainable burden of caring for us. It is up to us to do everything in our power now to lift the quality of life for every American family.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: “Talking It Over” column

Jesse Ventura on Education : Jan 1, 1999
Mainstream disabled students

The best chance disabled students have for productive adult lives comes from being mainstreamed among other students. My daughter Jade is living proof of that. She has a disability, but we have made sure that she has gotten the same kind of exposure as other kids her age. There are a few exceptions; there are students whose special needs are such that mainstreaming won’t work for them. But in the majority of cases, mainstreaming should be supported, encouraged, and facilitated for disabled students.
Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Ain’t Got Time To Bleed, p. 30

  • Additional quotations related to Disabled Rights issues can be found under Civil Rights.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Civil Rights.
Candidates on Civil Rights:
Incumbents:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
Secy.John Kerry
Secy.Chuck Hagel

 Related issues:
Affirmative Action
Gay Rights
Gays in Military
HIV-AIDS
Privacy

2016 Presidential contenders:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Amb.John Bolton(R-MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(R-FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(T-MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(R-NJ)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(D-NY)
Sen.Ted Cruz(T-TX)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(D-NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(D-IL)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(R-LA)
Gov.Nikk Haley(R-SC)
Rep.Peter King(R-NY)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(D-MD)
Gov.Deval Patrick(D-MA)
Sen.Rand Paul(R-KY)
Sen.Rob Portman(R-OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(R-FL)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
2012 Presidential:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(T-MN)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(R-GA)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(R-AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(R-UT)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Gov.Sarah Palin(R-AK)
Rep.Ron Paul(R-TX)
Gov.Rick Perry(R-TX)
Gov.Mitt Romney(R-MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(R-WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(R-PA)
Donald Trump(I-NY)
Please consider volunteering for OnTheIssues!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Mar 06, 2014