Las Vegas Sun

November 18, 2019

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2008 Elections

John Edwards on the Issues


(John Edwards suspended his race for the Democratic nomination on Jan. 30, following coming in third place in three contests, including his home state of South Carolina.)

A woman should have the right to choose. The government should not make such a health care decision for women. A woman should make that decision with her family and her doctor in the context of her own religious and ethical values. Federal funding should be allowed for family planning. The current federal policy concerning embryonic stem cell research should be changed to allow more research ... more.


Environment and Energy
We must halt global warming. It is the great moral test of our generation and will require the same kind of patriotism that Americans feel about going to war. It will require Americans to sacrifice and alter their behavior by conserving energy in their homes and driving more fuel efficient vehicles. No more nuclear power plants should be built. There should be a moratorium on the building of new coal-fired power plants until we have the capacity to capture the carbon and sequester it underground. ... more.


The plan to help those in subprime foreclosure is one closely linked to the campaign theme to end what is seen as the growing economic disparity between the rich and the poor in America. The plan to fight predatory lending and protect home ownership includes introducing a national law prohibiting all lenders from offering predatory mortgages, provide relief to borrowers before foreclosure occurs through a Home Rescue Fund, holding home owners and lenders accountable and adding mortgage pay-off into bankruptcy laws. Then in response to Bush's plan to put a five-year freeze on interest rates, suggested a seven-year interest rate freeze. Edwards has come under accusation with the subprime foreclosure crisis because of his financial ties with Fortress Investment Group. The group has invested in two mortgage companies (Nation Star Mortgage and Green Tree Lending) that have foreclosed on many homes in the past year. Edwards denies any affiliation with the group and points to his life-long work with underprivileged children and families. ... more


Health Care
You can't have universal health care for 47 million people who don't have coverage without finding a source of revenue. The plan: Businesses should be required to either cover their employees or help finance their health insurance. New tax credits should be created, Medicaid and SCHIP should be expanded, insurance laws should be reformed and health care costs should be contained. Regional "health care markets" would be created to let every American share the bargaining power to buy an affordable, high-quality health plan, increase choices among insurance plans and cut costs for businesses offering insurance. Once those steps are taken, every American would be required to get insurance. ... more.


Our southern border is a mess. We have to secure the border. We need to use better technology to secure our borders. We need more border patrols. A fence shouldn't be built all across the southern border, but there might be some places where existing fences could be could be improved. We should be tougher on employers who are violating the law because there are some abuses there. People who have been living here (illegally) for years and working ought to be able to earn citizenship. The path to citizenship would include requiring them to pay an achievable fine for being here illegally and requiring them to learn to speak English ... more.


This war needs to be brought to an end. Combat troops should be removed from inside Iraq because they have a target on their forehead and because it continues the perception that America is occupying Iraq. Instead, quick reactive troops should be stationed outside of Iraq, probably in Kuwait, that would be focused to move in on Al Qaida forces, not general terrorist activity. We should remove 40,000 to 50,000 combat troops from Iraq immediately and make a complete withdrawal in nine to 10 months. We should leave behind a brigade of 3,500 to 5,000 troops to protect the U.S. embassy and possibly a few hundred troops to protect humanitarian workers ... more.


Reforming the tax structure is part of the larger plan to strengthen the economy and make it a fair playing field for all Americans. The reformed tax code would represent the values of working Americans, which are key to growing and strengthening the economy. This is all a part of a larger plan to build "One America" from the "Two Americas" that exist today. The plan is laid out in an three new tax provisions to stimulate the middle class: match the savings of families up to $500, expand the to pay up to 50 percent of $5,000 in child care expenses and modify the marriage penalty so that it is extended to single workers. ... more.


Yucca Mountain
In 2002, he voted in favor of the Senate bill that would set up the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, which would be 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. That's not surprising, because Edwards' home state of North Carolina has five nuclear reactors and is one of the top U.S. nuclear power producers. However, Edwards has changed his stand since 2002. He now opposes shipping nuclear waste across the country to Nevada, opposes building any new nuclear power plants and says U.S. energy needs should be met with renewable energy sources. ... more


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

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