1996: Shift away from previous support of affirmative action
Senator William Cohen, a moderate Maine Republican was going to endorse Dole for president. Dole had said publically that he was going to review affirmative action programs---clear shift from his previous support.
Soon after, Cohen went to see him in private. "I don't think you ought to get too far out on this," Cohen cautioned. "This is a codeword for lots of people,"
Ominously, Cohen said that it could be a long, hot summer if blacks felt more and more excluded.
"I only called for a review," Dole responded, blanching. "You can't disagree with that."
"No, I don't,"
Cohen said, "but you ought to be careful." It would appear as if the Republican Party didn't want minorities or women, he added. Cohen felt that Dole understood.
In his maiden speech in the Senate on April 14, 1969, Dole appealed for a presidential commission on people with disabilities. He described the disabled as a group no one joins by personal choice, saying "the requirements for membership are not based on
age, sex, wealth, education, skin color...political party, power or prestige. It's an exceptional group I joined on another April 14: 1945".
It was the beginning of his personal crusade to make life easier for the more than 40 million disabled Americans. By 1990 he had moved Congress to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act,
a sweeping piece of legislation that mandated change in public buildings, accommodations, and transportation to make it easier for the disabled to function in American society.
For Dole, it was his greatest legislative victory.
Dole moved to shore up far right support yesterday by signing on as the first co-sponsor of the Senate version of the Defense of Marriage Act.
The anti-gay legislation bars federal benefits for same-sex couples while allowing states the right to refuse recognition of such marriages that are recognized in other states.
Eliminate gender discrimination in all federal programs
Sen. Dole sponsored S.86 (with 33 co-sponsors): The Sex Discrimination in the United States Code Reform Act:
Title I: Amends Federal laws dealing with the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Merchant
Marine to eliminate gender-based distinctions.
Title II: Elimination of Gender-Based Distinctions Under the Social Security Act and the Railroad Retirement Act
Title III: Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Walsh-Healey Act, the
Child Nutrition Act, the Federal criminal code and other Acts (dealing with Indian affairs, public lands, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, longshoremen and harbor workers, conservation programs, internee benefits, and the spouses of former Presidents, among other subjects) to eliminate gender-based distinctions.
Voted YES 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.