Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Dean vs Kucinich 

Sorry folks, but Kucinich would win in the first round when it comes to progressive views. Bob Harris, a Kucinich supporter who did some research on the views and beliefs of both men, contrasted their views and records on this site:

Health care plan: Kucinich: Canadian-style single-payer system, extending the successes of Medicare, financed by a tax on employers lower than the current cost of private insurance. Dean: Complex 4-prong plan, extending multiple state and federal programs piecemeal, combined with tax credits and incentives, all of which Dean claims is more likely to become law, but still won't cover everyone

Death penalty: Kucinich: Opposes Dean: Favors for "extreme" crimes like terrorism or the killing of a police officer, although critical of Bush administration's "careless" approach to executions

Roe v. Wade: Kucinich: The only candidate pledged to make Roe v. Wade a "litmus test" for appointing federal judges. Dean: Pro-choice, but refuses to promise not to appoint pro-life federal judges

Kyoto treaty: Kucinich: Supports Dean: Says we must "take another look," but has "concerns" about some provisions

Patriot Act: Kucinich: Only presidential candidate who personally voted against it Dean: Would repeal "parts," but also wants to expand intelligence agencies; praises Russ Feingold as only Senator who opposed the act, ignoring Kucinich's vocal House opposition, falsely implying no other candidate opposed the Patriot Act

NAFTA/WTO: Kucinich: Full withdrawal, to replace with fair trade; opposes "fast track" treatment of any future trade legislation; personally marched in Seattle protests Dean: Notes problems with "free" trade, suggesting the need for inclusion of human rights, environmental, and labor standards in trade agreements -- but still pro-NAFTA

Campaign finance reform: Kucinich: Supports voluntary public financing of public elections and a constitutional amendment to allow full public financing Dean: Proposed defunding state public financing laws, funneling campaign money into the general fund (helping balance the budget)

"Star Wars" ballistic missile system: Kucinich:Would abolish; has sponsored legislation banning weapons from space Dean: Would cut only 1/8 of the funding, transferring it to international threat-reduction programs

Pentagon waste :Kucinich: Would cut Pentagon programs which don't even work, like the V-22, F-22, and "Star Wars," and demand accountability for over a $1 trillion in "lost" funds. Dean: Disagrees with any proposed Pentagon cutbacks, and advocates aggressive expansion of intelligence, police, and special forces

Balanced budget: Kucinich: A long-term goal, but deficits may be necessary in the short run for economic and social investment Dean: A main priority -- even equating it with social progress: "we cannot have social justice without a sound fiscal foundation" -- describing himself as "to the right of Bush" on the issue

Gun control: Kucinich: Sponsored a bill calling for child safety devices on all new handguns Dean: Opposes any new federal regulation, considers it a states' rights issue; an "A" rating from NRA most of his career

Medical marijuana: Kucinich: Supports compassionate use Dean: Adamantly opposed to all use.

War on drugs Kucinich:Proposes European-style treatment of addiction as a medical, not criminal problem, with attendant reductions in crime and violence Dean: Accepts National Governors Association position: more federal funding for all aspects of the drug war

Gay rights: Kucinich: Believes gay and straight couples should be 100% equal before the law, including Social Security and domestic-partner benefits; Dean: supports federal civil union legislation Signed a civil union (not gay marriage) bill behind closed doors; trumpets this as an act of singular political courage; opposes similar national laws as a states' rights issue

Energy Kucinich: Supports investment in solar, wind, ocean, and other clean energy; risked career to prevent a power monopoly in Cleveland, saving taxpayers over $200 million Dean: Supports investment in alternative energy and energy efficiency; however, has sided with Vermont state utilities on most issues

Restoration of estate tax Kucinich: Supports Dean: Considers it a states' rights issue

Political experience Kucinich:Has held local, state, and federal office for a total of 17 years. Four-term member of Congress, since 1997. Currently chair of the Progressive Caucus, largest Democratic caucus in Congress.
Dean: Vermont state legislator, 1982-86; Lieutenant Governor, 1986-91; Governor, 1991-2002

Iraq war Kucinich: Opposed staunchly from the beginning, has never wavered Dean: Opposed; softened his rhetoric once the war began and appeared successful; now again firmly opposed

Personal Kucinich: Lifelong member of the working class. Grew up so poor that his family lived in a car more than once. Currently a vegan. Dean: Patrician upbringing. Speaks harshly about negative environmental impact of SUVs. Drives an SUV (a Chevy Suburban).

Wellstone connections Kucinich: Wellstone was a proud member of the Progressive Caucus, which Kucinich leads Dean: Stole the "democratic wing of the democratic party" line from Wellstone after his death

Ambition Kucinich: Began campaign late, in part because he was busy organizing anti-war voices in Congress Dean: Vermont newspapers had to sue to get Dean's 2002 schedule as Governor; Dean spent almost all of the year out the state, and didn't want his constituents to know

Home state to carry Kucinich: Ohio, 21 electoral votes Dean: Vermont, 3 electoral votes