Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2014

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2008 Elections

Bill Richardson on the Issues

 

(Editor's Note: Richardson dropped out of the presidential race for the Democratic nomination after finishing fourth place twice, with 2 percent of the delegate in the Iowa caucus and 5 percent of the delegate in the New Hampshire primary. Read an explanation on his campaign Web site.)

Abortion
He is pro-choice and promises to support abortion rights and medical privacy for women. He is the only candidate who has said he was committed to appointing judges who consider Roe v. Wade settled law ... more

 

Environment and Energy
He has detailed a 21st century Marshall Plan to combat the global threats, which includes dealing with climate change, environmental degradation and resource depletion. He wants to restore the Clean Water Act. He wants to revive Clean Air Act standards and help states enforce them. He also wants to expand the Clean Air Act to include protections from old and dirty power plants and provide incentives for the use of cleaner fuels. He wants to expand the disclosure of toxic pollution by reversing the EPA's position on corporate reporting. He says a national Apollo-style program is needed for a climate change program. We also need a shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy in 12 years and a national effort where the president asks each American to conserve on appliances, air conditioning, washing machines, mass transit and lighting. He also wants to provide incentives to encourage "green" buildings, solar roofs and have the government fleet move to electric vehicles. He is also a strong advocate of light rail and bullet trains ... more

 

Foreclosures
Bill Richardson has called numerous times for bankruptcy protection for primary homes, as well as a rate freeze on “the worst subprime loans” with adjustable rates. He has criticized President George W. Bush and Congress for a lack of leadership and for allowing too much self-regulation by the market. The New Mexico governor claims a record of protecting homeowners and borrowers, citing the state’s low rate of foreclosures. As governor, he fought for New Mexico’s Home Loan Protection Act. As president, Richardson wishes to act aggressively against the housing crisis by reforming bankruptcy laws, temporarily freezing the introductory rates on some adjustable-rate loans, insist on transparency within the housing industry and extending the time debtors have to repay their mortgages, among other things. ... more

 

Health Care
Working families and small businesses will be able to purchase coverage through the same plan that members of Congress enjoy. Everyone who needs coverage will get an advance refundable tax credit based on income. Everyone will be required to have health insurance coverage and employers will pay their fair share ... more

 

Immigration
Richardson does not support legislation that builds walls between nations and ultimately tears families apart. He proposes national reform that would require those already in the county to learn English and pay back taxes, among other criteria, in order to gain legalization. To stop further illegal immigration, Richardson proposes helping Mexico to implement reforms within their country in addition to increasing the number of legal immigrants allowed in the U.S. each year ... more

 

Iraq
All troops need to be withdrawn from Iraq by 2009 to begin a new political direction and end the violence. Richardson's plan does not include leaving any residual troops behind on bases or for training purposes. Post withdrawal, Richardson proposes U.S. diplomacy to gather the three religious factions in Iraq for negotiations ... more

 

Taxes
Richardson promises to curb government spending and bring back the budget surpluses that existed under the Clinton Administration. He would make the middle-class tax cuts permanent and create new tax credits that would spark innovation and stimulate the economy. As he did for the state of New Mexico while he was governor, he would balance the country’s budget and reduce the federal deficit. In addition to implementing a constitutional amendment to balance the budget with “pay-as-you-go” policies, Richardson would also eliminate the almost $30 million in earmarks that Congress currently has and eliminate the $70 million directed toward corporate welfare. He would take $100 million from the war in Iraq and spend it on domestic needs ... more

 

Yucca Mountain
Since October, 2007, Richardson has fallen under scrutiny for his 20-year relationship with the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository proposal. A Denver Post article in October 2007 reported that while Richardson was in Congress, he voted for the “Screw Nevada bill” in 1987 that coupled defense and health care measures into the narrowing of possible nuclear waste dump sites from three to one - the one being Yucca Mountain. But on the local television show, more

 

— Las Vegas Sun new media managing editor Dave Toplikar and new media intern Jenna Kohler compiled to this report.

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