Central resource for supporters of Clark, Dean, Edwards, Kucinich, and Sharpton--or any Dem who is concerned that Kerry has been crowned by the media, as well as some Dems, without any true examination of his record
The Village Voice: Features: When John Kerry's Courage Went M.I.A. by Sydney H. Schanberg: "Senator John Kerry, a decorated battle veteran, was courageous as a navy lieutenant in the Vietnam War. But he was not so courageous more than two decades later, when he covered up voluminous evidence that a significant number of live American prisoners--perhaps hundreds--were never acknowledged or returned after the war-ending treaty was signed in January 1973.
The Massachusetts senator, now seeking the presidency, carried out this subterfuge a little over a decade ago-- shredding documents, suppressing testimony, and sanitizing the committee's final report--when he was chairman of the Senate Select Committee on P.O.W./ M.I.A. Affairs. "
JAMES HOFFA, PRESIDENT, TEAMSTERS UNION: Well, I think it's George Bush has made everybody come together around one candidate.
And, basically, we are all endorsing John Kerry because he is most electable and he has got a 92 percent rating on labor issues. He's coming around on trade. I think this is the candidate that can really win the race. And I think all the different groups, whether it's labor, civil rights, environmentalists, everybody is coming together because the main goal is to beat George Bush in the fall.
MATTHEWS: Remember the great scene in the movie "The Candidate," with this good-looking California candidate, sort of a John Tunney-like, he meets with this tough, tough labor leader. And the labor leader says, we got a lot in common, and the candidate says, we ain't got nothing in common.
Do you have anything really in common with John Kerry, really?
HOFFA: Well, we sat with him. I interviewed him. I've spent some time with him.
We are talking about jobs. We're talking about nine million people unemployed. We are talking about three million manufacturing jobs disappearing. He has got a plan to put America back to work.
MATTHEWS: Yes. But isn't he the same guy...
HOFFA: He's got a lot of plans.
MATTHEWS: Bill Clinton was for NAFTA. He was for NAFTA. George W. Bush is for NAFTA. His father was pushing it from the beginning. The Bushes basically are the godfather of NAFTA. And Bill Clinton and John Kerry signed aboard as consiglieres in that. How can you say that he is your guy if he on the other side of the main issue?
HOFFA: Because that‘s one of the key issues I asked him. I said, how can we vote for you after you voted for NAFTA and these other agreements?
MATTHEWS: And he said?
HOFFA: And he basically says, look, times have changed. When we voted for that, we thought it would work. He believes that it worked throughout the Clinton era. And now things have changed.
Now you‘ve got a hemorrhaging of jobs.
HOFFA: And now you have the second generation of jobs, the computer programmers, the software jobs, you know, going to India. So this thing has changed completely.
And he realizes something is wrong and he says he is going to form a committee. And I am going to be on the committee. In the first 120 days, we are going to review NAFTA, China and all the different deals.
MATTHEWS: How about ANWR? You guys want to see ANWR because you want to see guys working in your business. I guess there‘s a lot of Teamsters jobs up there lined up and organized, if you could put a pipeline up to the Alaska wilderness. He is against that.
HOFFA: Well, we talked about that.
He says, look, I am against ANWR, but I am going to put that pipeline in and we‘re going to drill like never before.
MATTHEWS: What, are they going to run water through it?
HOFFA: ... more jobs than the ANWR would have ever created.
MATTHEWS: What are they going to run through the pipeline?
HOFFA: And that‘s the position he‘s taking.
MATTHEWS: But he is against drilling up there. What are they going to run through the pipeline?
HOFFA: Well, they are going to drill all over, according to him. And he says, we‘re going to be drilling all over the United States. And he says that is going to create more jobs.
MATTHEWS: You got that guy rolling.
MATTHEWS: What position was he in when he made all these promises?
MATTHEWS: It just seems amazing that he has turned around on NAFTA, turned around on WTO, turned around on ANWR, anything to get the Teamsters.
MATTHEWS: Who is going to be boss if he gets in there, you or him?
HOFFA: Well, I think that
MATTHEWS: It sounds like you are the boss.
HOFFA: He talked in front of the entire Economic Alliance about trade and about things that have gone wrong, about all the displacement.
HOFFA: You can‘t campaign around this country and not feel the pain out there of all the people that have lost their jobs.
Not Quite A Dream Team; Some of John Kerry's Foreign Policy Advisers Should Give Pause to Progressives: "Consider Kerry's foreign policy advisers. Ask the candidate's supporters, and the advisor they mention first is Joe Wilson, the Clinton-era National Security Council member who investigated claims that Saddam Hussein was trying to buy weapons-grade uranium from Niger. Wilson won battle stars from progressives for going public with his findings, which contradicted the Bush administration's claims. Wilson's wife, CIA agent Valerie Plame, was outed by a White House source or sources as a consequence.
Wilson may be a white hat, but it's hard to say the same about Richard Morningstar, Rand Beers and William Perry, three other members of Kerry's foreign policy team.
Morningstar, a former advisor to President Clinton on Caspian energy, was instrumental in pushing for the controversial Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. The plan has strong support on both sides of the political aisle.
A consortium of oil companies are deeply invested, including Britain's BP, and the U.S. firms Unocal and Amerada Hess. In the 1990s, the Clinton administration did all it could to clear the way for BTC, including extending U.S. Export-Import Bank financing, and recruiting Dick Cheney, James Baker and others to lobby local governments. James Baker's law firm, Baker Botts, represents BP. Dick Cheney's Halliburton, an oil-industry supplier, won the contract to build refineries for several Caspian states. As a member of its Board of Directors, Condoleezza Rice helped negotiate Chevron's deal to drill the Caspian's purportedly richest field, the Tengiz. "
John Kerry was the Democratic front-runner early last year, a bad one, and the status didn't last long.
Now that he's back on top, the dominant figure in a two-man race, the Massachusetts senator may be slipping into his old habits — cautious, cold and a creature of Congress. There are the familiar signs of overconfidence, starting with his curt dismissal of rival John Edwards.
"Look, I'm not running just against him," Kerry snapped at an interviewer last week. Conveniently ignoring the fact that no other Democratic candidate stands a chance against him, Kerry added, "You know there are others in the race. Obviously, he's one of the leading contenders."
"I take that seriously," Kerry said.
But some advisers and supporters say Kerry may not be taking Edwards seriously enough. They recognize in the candidate and his campaign a calculated nonchalance toward Edwards that Kerry once held for Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor who stole the front-runner's mantle from Kerry in mid-2003.
Hmmm...isn't likability one of the things that makes you "electable?"
NOW THAT IT doesn't much matter anymore, we learn, finally, the financiers behind a group called Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values. The group surfaced in December, about a month before the start of the Democratic primaries, with $500,000 worth of hard-hitting television ads attacking former Vermont governor Howard Dean, then the front-runner. Its organizers refused to release the names of its donors -- and the archaic reporting schedule that governs disclosure by such groups didn't require them to do so until this month.
While Mr. Gephardt's backers constituted the bulk of the donors, they weren't alone: Slim-Fast Foods founder S. Daniel Abraham, a major Democratic donor who contributed to his home state senator, Bob Graham (Fla.), and to Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), gave $100,000. J. McDonald Williams, a former chairman of the Trammell Crow construction company and a donor to the Bush-Cheney campaign this year, though to Democrats in previous cycles, gave $50,000.
And then there's former senator Robert G. Torricelli (D-N.J.), who donated $50,000 -- not from his own pocket, but out of his leftover campaign funds. Mr. Torricelli, you will remember, had the cash to spare because he was forced to quit his reelection race after being "severely admonished" by the Senate Ethics Committee for accepting expensive gifts from a campaign donor he was doing official favors for. Now a champion at collecting special-interest money is gathering checks for Mr. Kerry, who's busy railing against those interests.
All this is interesting, but it would have been nice to know who was financing these attacks -- and who they were allied with -- while they were still airing. Adding insult to injury, the group's report -- which was filed Jan. 30 -- didn't show up on the Internal Revenue Service Web site until Friday, due to an IRS glitch that prevented it from submitting the report electronically. The IRS was given the job of releasing this information because groups such as this one don't have to register with the Federal Election Commission. But the agency is used to keeping data secret, not making sure information is publicly available. It needs to get better at this new task.
How do you feel about "outsourcing"? John Kerry, the Default Democrat that his party's poor voters are trying hard to pretend to be excited about, is very opposed to it. His stump speech includes fierce denunciations of American corporations that export jobs overseas. He has pledged his support for a "Call Center Consumer's Right To Know", which would require that the guy at the call center identify his location at the beginning of every call. Right now, you just get vague hints – for example, if I'm in New Hampshire and dial directory inquiries and ask for a number in Woodsville and the fellow says, "Certainly, sir. What hemisphere is that in?"
Unfortunately, this "Right To Know" system wasn't in place when Kerry's campaign placed calls to potential voters in Wisconsin. So it was only a few observant Democrats with "Caller ID" displays who happened to notice that the calls were coming from an Ontario area code. Ontario is not in the United States. They don't even have call centers in Ontario, only kinky misspelt call centres. Yet all those calls explaining that "John Kerry's the candidate you can count on to stand up to selfish corporations exporting American jobs to foreign countries" were coming from Canada.
So Kerry took immediate action and fired the company. A couple of days later, he found himself beset by rumours about him and a young intern, who's since left the country for Kenya. What a guy. Even his interns are outsourced to Third World jurisdictions. So all the doorstepping of the poor gal that would normally be done by big-time salaried National Enquirer correspondents with expense accounts has now been sub-contracted to minimum-wage East African stringers.
Kerry waffle watch. John Kerry lost his lead in 2003 because he couldn't give straight answers to simple questions. Then the guy with the straight answers, Howard Dean, started giving answers so brutally straight (your taxes will go up, sit down and let me finish) that people decided a bit more diplomacy was in order. But Kerry has to watch his bad habits in this area. He never walks into a sentence without leaving himself a way out. His evasiveness smells fishy.
First, panelist Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel asked Kerry whether he would change his votes on NAFTA and other trade agreements in light of the jobs lost since then. Kerry gave a lawyerly answer blaming President Bush for failing to enforce "side agreements" that supposedly would have protected the jobs. Then he changed the subject to job creation and ended up talking, incredibly, about stem cell research. When Kerry finally came up for air, Gilbert asked, "But no regrets about those votes?" Kerry dodged again: "I regret the way that they haven't been enforced, sure."
The pattern went on. Panelist Lester Holt asked Kerry to explain why he had voted for—but then criticized—the Patriot Act and the No Child Left Behind law. Kerry gave another lawyerly answer, blaming Bush for implementing both laws improperly. Gilbert asked Kerry, "Would you see yourself as a war president?" Kerry replied with a ridiculous litany: "I'd see myself first of all as a jobs president, as a health care president, as an education president, and also an environmental president." Later, Holt asked, "If it were to come before you today for a vote—the issue of a constitutional amendment defining marriage as that between a man and a woman—would you vote yes or would you vote no?" Kerry replied, "Well, it depends on the terminology ..."
In case you've forgotten why so many people soured on Kerry in 2003: This is why.
Other Democratic presidential aspirants also have missed votes, but to a lesser degree than Gephardt. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) failed to add his voice in 63 instances this year, 34 percent of Senate votes. (Not included in this total are two votes he missed in February due to prostate surgery.)
Last Thursday, when the Senate considered the House version of President Bush’s global AIDS initiative, Kerry used a floor debate to decry a provision in the legislation that required 33 percent of funds to be spent on abstinence education.
“We should not tie the president’s hands ... I will support an amendment to strike this earmark.”
Later in the day, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) proposed just such an amendment. Kerry missed the vote on the proposal, which failed 45-52.
“It’s not just votes they miss. They miss the negotiations, they miss the discussions,” said RNC spokesman Jim Dyke. “So when Gephardt goes out and talks about energy policy and how important it is, not only did he miss all the votes on energy legislation, but he missed being a part of the discussions that led to the legislation.”
John Kerry is not pro-gun, pro-hunting,pro-military, pro-balanced budget he has a 35yr record and it does not support the lies his campaign is putting out..
Voted with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence 100 percent of the time.
Voted with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence 100 percent of the time.
Received an F from the National Rifle Association in 2002.
Received an F from Gun Owners of American for the 108th Congress.
Opposes the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (H.R. 1036 / S. 659), which grants gun manufacturers, distributors and dealers immunity from lawsuits. The measure passed the House and has the support of 55 senators. The Senate is expected to consider the measure in 2004.
Voted in favor of an amendment to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (S. 1607), commonly known as the "assault weapons" ban. President Clinton signed the bill into law in 1994.
Voted in favor the Brady Bill (H.R. 1025 / S. 414), which required a five-day waiting period on handgun purchases and established a national instant criminal background check system. President Clinton signed the bill into law in 1993.
"Howard Dean and I have huge difference[s] on guns and what's appropriate. I don't want to be the candidate of the NRA in this country. I don't think the Democratic Party should be the candidacy of the NRA. And when I was fighting to ban assault weapons in 1992 and '93, Howard Dean was appealing to the NRA for their endorsement, and he got it. He's been endorsed more times by the NRA than the NEA."
- Democratic presidential debate in Boston, Nov. 4, 2003
Leading the way in spending among Senate candidates was Democrat John Kerry, who won re-election in Massachusetts. This summer, Kerry and his opponent, Republican Governor William Weld, agreed to limit campaign spending on advertising to $5 million each.
But in October -- with the race in a dead-heat -- Senator Kerry's campaign announced it was breaking the cap. Both candidates eventually ended up over the limit, with Governor Weld spending $6.6 million and Senator Kerry spending nearly $9 million to keep his Senate Seat.
In 1996 Kerry accepted money raised by controversial Taiwanese entrepreneur Johnny Chung after writing a letter to help a businesswoman friend of Chung's. Chung later pleaded guilty to funnelling illegal donations to the campaigns of Kerry and Bill Clinton. More recently disgraced ex-senator Bob Torricelli admitted he was raising cash for Kerry's campaign. Torricelli was the subject of a high-profile investigation into fundraising favours that ended his career in 2002.
All of this punches a hole in the key aspect of Kerry's dramatic rise to the front of the Democratic race: his 'electability'. The first Republican attack ad of the presidential campaign was emailed to six million people last week. It concentrated solely on Kerry's links to special interests.
Republicans think Kerry cannot be stopped by his rivals and they now know their opponent. Many Democrats believe that is why allegations over Kerry's sex life have now been made on the Drudge Report, a gossip website that broke the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The woman at the heart of the alleged affair, a former journalist, is believed to be hiding in Kenya. Democrats see the Drudge story as a smear to take the heat off Bush at a time of growing disquiet about his service in the National Guard during the Vietnam war. It is a long-standing Republican strategy to leak stories to right-wing websites which are picked up by mainstream media.
John Kerry, the Democratic favourite to face George Bush in the US presidential elections, has taken millions of dollars in financial backing from special interests and lobbyists. Kerry, who has made fighting special interests a key part of his campaign, has also backed legislation favouring some of his donors and written letters on behalf of corporate backers.
Questions about Kerry's financial backers come as his campaign has been forced to fight back against sex scandal rumours after a right-wing gossip website alleged the Massachusetts senator had had an affair with a much younger intern. After weeks of positive press, Kerry's background is now coming under intense scrutiny as the fight with Bush looms.
Kerry - like Bush - has recruited an army of 'bundlers' who skip around strict campaign finance laws by gathering $2,000 cheques from friends and employees into bundles of $50,000 or $100,000. Kerry has 32 $100,000 bundlers and 87 $50,000 bundlers. They come mainly from powerful law firms, real estate companies, financiers and lobbyists.
Kerry has received more money from lobbyists over the past 15 years than any other serving senator. Some of Kerry's close links with lobbyists have raised eyebrows among supporters used to his campaign slogan: 'From the moment I take up office, I will stand up to special interests.'
Kerry has strong ties to lobbyists for the telecommunications industry. Michael Whouley, a top Kerry political aide, is a registered lobbyist for telecoms giant AT&T. Kerry has also taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from Boston lobbying firm Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky. Kerry's brother Cameron is a lawyer for the company which represents communications firms and the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association.