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ISSUES

2004

Home - Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio

Presidential Scorecard on Progressive issues

  Chart # 2 below - Democratic candidates on the issues

Welfare Reform Bill of 1996

Patriot Act / Governmental Surveillance

Universal Health Care

Iraq War / Sharon's plan for making settlements permanent 

Fast Track - NAFTA Repeal / Repeal Taft Hartley Act

Millionaire Tax Cuts for Wealthy

Reproductive Privacy Rights

Presidential Progressive Scorecard Chart


1a & 1b) Welfare Reform Bill of 1996 / Increase Minimum Wage to at least Poverty level for family of four 

Welfare Reform of 1996 / Increase Minimum Wage to 8.85 or above  For  Against Undecided / Not Available
Bush Supports Welfare Reform  Does not support $8.85  
Kerry Voted for Welfare Reform Does not support $8.85   
Nader   Against Welfare Bill / Supports $10 an hour law  
Cobb   Supports a Living Wage Could not find definitive quote for Welfare Bill - probably against

Kerry site:  http://www.johnkerry.com/index.html Kerry has said he would support an increase to 7.00 an hour, after prodding from Nader.  Voted for increase to 6.65 an hour but bill did not pass.  After his New Hampshire victory, Kerry boasted to CNN viewers that he voted for the 1996 "welfare reform" law -- which amounts to class war against low-income mothers.  (Normon Solomon quote.)  Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0130-10.htm 

Cobb site: http://www.votecobb.org/ 

Bush site: http://www.georgewbush.com/ 

Nader site: http://votenader.org/ 


2) Patriot Act / Governmental Surveillance
https://ssl.capwiz.com/aclu/issues/votes/?chamber=S&congress=1081&votenum=146
Less well-known than the Patriot Act, another vote against civil rights took place on May 8, 2003.   The Senate passed the so-called "Lone Wolf" Act (S. 113) by a vote of 90-4. The ACLU opposed this legislation because it would unnecessarily expand government surveillance powers, violate the Fourth Amendment by allowing surveillance without probable cause and would not address underlying problems with intelligence agencies.  (1st Session of the 108th Congress, Senate Vote 146)  

Kerry did not bother to vote on the Surveillance Bill.  Edwards voted for it. 

Patriot Act / Governmental Surveillance For Against Undecided / Not Available
Bush For Welfare Reform Bill / Signed Surveillance Bill     
Kerry Voted for Patriot Act   Did not vote-Surveillance
Nader   Against  
Cobb   Against  

3) Universal Health Care

Universal Health Care For Against  Undecided / Not Available
Bush   Against  
Kerry   Against  
Nader For    
Cobb For    

4a & 4b) Iraq War / Sharon's plan for making settlements permanent 

Iraq War / Sharon's plan For Against Undecided / Not Available
Bush For both     
Kerry For both    
Nader   Against both  
Cobb   Against both  

Bush:  I could think of allot of adjectives to apply to Bush, none of them favorable.

Kerry:  Voted for Iraq War Resolution.  Has defended that position many times.  Now says Bush should have "explored all other options first."  However, in his statement on the floor of Congress, he was obviously looking for a good reason, since he said in part: "Why is Saddam Hussein attempting to develop nuclear weapons when most nations don't even try, and responsible nations that have them attempt to limit their potential for disaster?"  The evidence was slim to none for that statement, as was common knowledge in the halls of Congress that the statement had no merit.  Kerry's statement supporting the war was full of hypocrisy.  Kerry's full statement can be assessed here:  http://www.independentsforkerry.org/uploads/media/kerry-iraq.html 


5a & 5b Fast Track - NAFTA Repeal / Repeal Taft Hartley Act

Fast Track - NAFTA Repeal / Repeal Taft Hartley Act For  Against Undecided / Not Available
Bush   Supports NAFTA / Fast Track / Not for repeal of Taft Hartley.  Supports even more oppressive bills  
Kerry   Voted for NAFTA / GATT / Has never supported Taft Hartley repeal  
Nader Against Fast Track- against NAFTA / Supports repeal of Taft Hartley    
Cobb Against Fast Track- against NAFTA / Supports repeal of Taft Hartley    

6) Millionaire Tax Cuts for Wealthy

Kerry did not bother to vote for or against on the Millionaire tax cut, so he received no points.  Many times if a Congressman doesn't want to be on record on an issue, they will not vote or be absent during the vote.  It is harder to challenge a record if no vote was cast. For instance, Kerry did not vote on a bill that was a measure to make public the names of persons detained at Guantanamo Bay:   https://ssl.capwiz.com/aclu/issues/votes/?chamber=S&congress=1081&votenum=279&tally=1
Kerry, Lieberman and Edwards all did not vote on that bill, and they were all running for President.  

Millionaire Tax Cuts For  Against Undecided / Not Available
Bush Wants to make it permanent    
Kerry     Did not bother to vote on this important issue
Nader   Against  
Cobb   Against  

7) Reproductive Privacy Rights

Reproductive Rights For  Against Undecided / Not Available
Bush   Against Reproductive rights  
Kerry* For Reproductive rights    
Nader For Reproductive rights    
Cobb For Reproductive rights    

Kerry:  Kerry has made recent statements that he would appoint Supreme Court appointees who did not support abortion rights.  In interview with the Associated Press, Kerry said he would be open to appointing pro-life judges, as long as they weren't the deciding vote in overturning Roe v. Wade. http://www.lifenews.com/nat519.html  So Kerry is making a very serious hedge even on abortion rights, but credit is still given due to his record thus far.  


Scorecard Explanation

How does President Bush, a Republican, Probable Democratic Nominee Kerry, Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb, and Ralph Nader stand on progressive issues?  I have not included in this draft the Socialist Party USA candidate but certainly will and have contacted the SPUSA.  I have used many of the same issues as I used for an earlier assessment of Democratic Candidates, with several changes.  I have dropped the Democratic Leadership Council issue and added the issue of whether or not the candidate agrees with Prime Minister Sharon's plan to make many of the "settlements" permanent. I have also added an issue that asks if the candidate supports a minimum wage that is compatible with what the minimum wage was in 1968, when it was at the peak of its effectiveness and was just below the poverty wage for someone working 40 hours for a family of four: http://www.aflcio.org/yourjobeconomy/minimumwage/  Also, similar info can be found here: http://www.epinet.org/content.cfm/issueguides_minwage_fig1  As of 2003, the poverty figures for a family of four is 8.85 cents, if a worker either works 40 a week for 52 weeks or gets the typical 2 weeks paid vacation and works 50 weeks.  http://www.livingwagecampaign.org/wagelevel.php  So I will take 2003 figures.  If a candidate has taken a position they will support a minimum wage increase to at least 8.85 cents an hour, they are given points on that issue.  

I have removed the issue of the Estate Tax Permanent Repeal since the original issue of the Millionaire Tax Cut addresses the same general concern.  I have also added an issue if the candidates support a worker's rights law and / or the repeal of Taft-Hartley.  The issue of the Patriot Act and Governmental Surveillance bill is combined into 1 issue for ten points in scoring. If a candidate is for one and not the other, they will receive 5 points.

I have also added the issue:  Does the candidates support Universal Health Care.  I have combined Fast Track and NAFTA in to one issue with each counting 5 points, the same as 2a and 2b.  

Presidential Progressive Scorecard Chart

Name Welfare Reform / Increase minimum wage to poverty level Patriot Act - Governmental Surveillance Universal Health Care Iraq War / Sharon's plan Fast Track - NAFTA / Repeal Taft Hartley Act Millionaire Tax Cuts Reproductive Rights Total Score (out of 100)
Bush 

0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Kerry 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 10
Nader 20 10 10 20 20 10 10 100
Cobb* 10 10 10 20 20 10 10 90

*Still compiling Cobb data


How do the Democratic Candidates stand on the issues?  
(See more in-depth explanations on all the issues listed, see below)

Welfare Reform Bill of 1996  

Patriot Act of 2001 / Governmental Surveillance

Iraq War Resolution

Fast Track Trade Authority / NAFTA

Democratic Leadership Council Agreement

Millionaire Tax Cuts / Estate Tax Permanent Repeal

Reproductive Rights Criminalization 

Progressive Scorecard Chart   (Those who have dropped out are in red) Latest Updates

1) Welfare Reform Bill of 1996

Welfare Reform of 1996 For Against Undecided / Not available
John Kerry Voted For W.R. Bill    
Howard Dean Supports W.R. Bill    
John Edwards     Could not find definitive quote
Joseph Lieberman Voted For W.R. Bill    
Al Sharpton   Against W.R. Bill   
Dennis Kucinich     Could not find definitive quote
Wesley Clark     Could not find definitive quote
Carol Moseley Braun   Voted against W. R. Bill  
Dick Gephardt   Voted against W. R. Bill  

John Kerry: On the domestic front, after his New Hampshire victory, Kerry boasted to CNN viewers that he voted for the 1996 "welfare reform" law -- which amounts to class war against low-income mothers.  (Normon Solomon quote.)  Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0130-10.htm 

Howard Dean: Likewise, Howard Dean also supported that draconian measure. On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, Dean talked about the welfare law as a terrific booster of self-esteem for poor moms -- even though the law is pushing them out of the home into dead-end minimum wage jobs.  (Normon Solomon quote.)  Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0130-10.htm (Update) Dean dropped out on Feb. 18.

John Edwards:  Was not member of Senate in 1996 http://www.cnn.com/US/9607/24/welfare.roll.call/index.html 

Joseph Lieberman:  Like Kerry, voted for Welfare Reform Bill of 1996.    http://www.cnn.com/US/9607/24/welfare.roll.call/index.html   (Update):  Senator Lieberman withdrew from race on Feb. 3rd, after doing poorly in primaries) 

Al Sharpton: Has publicly stated he was against the Welfare Reform Bill of 1996.

Dennis Kucinich:  Was not elected to the U.S. House of Representatives until 1996, after the vote.  Has has stated the bill was unfair to single mothers, but on his campaign site, the issue is not even addressed in his Platform or listed as an issue.  In 1996 he said: 
Q: What principles do you support regarding the US welfare system?
A: Provide work not welfare for those able to work. (Source: 1996 Congressional National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1996)
I could not find a definite quote as to whether he would or would not have supported the Welfare Reform Bill of 1996

Wesley Clark:  Could not find quote for or against.  Says he wants to raise minimum wage to 7 dollars an hour by 2007.  http://www.issues2000.org/2004/Wesley_Clark_Welfare_+_Poverty.htm  (Update) General Clark dropped out of the race on Feb. 10th, after losses in both the Tennessee and Virginia primaries.

Carol Moseley Braun: Dropped out of race before Iowa Caucuses.  Voted AGAINST the Welfare Reform Bill of 1996  

Dick Gephardt:  He withdrew from race after Iowa Caucus.  Voted against Welfare Reform Bill of 1996. 


2a & 2b) Patriot Act of 2001 / Governmental Surveillance
https://ssl.capwiz.com/aclu/issues/votes/?chamber=S&congress=1081&votenum=146
Less well-known than the Patriot Act, another vote against civil rights took place on May 8, 2003.   The Senate passed the so-called "Lone Wolf" Act (S. 113) by a vote of 90-4. The ACLU opposed this legislation because it would unnecessarily expand government surveillance powers, violate the Fourth Amendment by allowing surveillance without probable cause and would not address underlying problems with intelligence agencies.  (1st Session of the 108th Congress, Senate Vote 146)

Patriot Act of 2001 / Governmental Surveillance  For Against Undecided / Not available
John Kerry Voted For Act Patriot Act
  Did not vote-Surveillance
Howard Dean   Against Patriot Act of 2001
Against Surveillance Bill *
 
John Edwards Voted For Patriot Act
Voted For Surveillance Bill
   
Joseph Lieberman Voted For Patriot Act
  Did not vote-Surveillance
Al Sharpton   Against Patriot Act of 2001
Against Surveillance Bill
 
Dennis Kucinich   Voted Against Patriot Act
Against Surveillance Bill
 
Wesley Clark   Against Patriot Act of 2001 Could not find definitive quote - Surveillance Bill
Carol Moseley Braun   Against Patriot Act of 2001
Against Surveillance Bill
 
Dick Gephardt Voted For Patriot Act   Could not find definitive quote - Surveillance Bill

Kerry: Voted for Patriot Act of 2001, did not vote; Surveillance Bill. 

Dean: Says he is against Patriot Act.  But has made statements that could be interpreted as serious hedges on that stand.  In a Truthout interview in May of 2003 http://www.truthout.org/docs_03/052203A.shtml, Dean said, in part: " I would do two things. First of all, I would remove the parts of the Patriot Act that are clearly unconstitutional. It can't be constitutional to hold an American citizen without access to a lawyer. Secondly, it can't be constitutional for the FBI to be able to go through your files at the library or the local video store, to see what you've taken out in the last week, without a warrant."

John Edwards:  Voted for Patriot Act of 2001, Voted for Surveillance Bill. 

Joseph Lieberman: Voted for Patriot Act of 2001, Did not vote - Surveillance Bill. 

Al Sharpton:  Strongly against both.

Dennis Kucinich:  Voted Against Patriot Act of 2001.  Against Surveillance Bill.  

Wesley Clark:  Says he is against act Patriot Act.  However, in considering his civil rights positions, it should be noted he is a strong supporter of the School of Americas in Georgia, which now goes by the name “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.”

Carol Moseley Braun: Not in Congress at time of votes. Strongly against both bills.

Dick Gephardt:  Voted for Patriot Act of 2001.  


3) Iraq War Resolution

Iraq War Resolution For Against Undecided / Not available
John Kerry Voted for Resolution    
Howard Dean   Against Resolution  
John Edwards Voted for Resolution    
Joseph Lieberman Voted for Resolution    
Al Sharpton   Against Resolution  
Dennis Kucinich   Voted Against Resolution  
Wesley Clark   Against Resolution*  
Carol Moseley Braun   Against Resolution  
Dick Gephardt Voted for Resolution    

Kerry:  Voted for Iraq War Resolution.  Has defended that position many times.  Now says Bush should have "explored all other options first."  However, in his statement on the floor of Congress, he was obviously looking for a good reason, since he said in part: "Why is Saddam Hussein attempting to develop nuclear weapons when most nations don't even try, and responsible nations that have them attempt to limit their potential for disaster?"  The evidence was slim to none for that statement, as was common knowledge in the halls of Congress that the statement had no merit.  Kerry's statement supporting the war was full of hypocrisy.  Kerry's full statement can be assessed here:  http://www.independentsforkerry.org/uploads/media/kerry-iraq.html 

To be fair, Kerry also said, " In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days--to work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force. If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out."  

However, the Congress gave the authority without requiring the President to return to Congress for ultimate approval.  If a situation developed where Saddam did not "cooperate", Congress could have easily granted authority at that time.  It was also common knowledge Bush wanted war irregardless, and recently it has become known that the Bush Administration was looking for an excuse to go to war with Iraq well before 9-11.  So Kerry is trying to have it both ways.  Supporting the war, and thereby playing it politically safe, while hedging his bets by saying the resolution was intended by him to only for a last resort.  

Howard Dean:  One could find somewhat contradictory statements from Dean, but essentially he has been relentless in his criticism of the war.

John Edwards: Voted for Iraq Resolution.  Says it was to protect the United States from Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction.  Source: Campaign website, johnedwards2004.com, "Key Issues" Jul 17, 2003

Joseph Lieberman: Voted for the Iraq War Resolution.  Said this:  "You know what I would say to the parents of Americans who are serving in Iraq? Your sons and daughters are serving in a heroic and historic cause. They have thrown over Saddam Hussein, liberated a people and protected America and the rest of the world from a dangerous dictator. They are now involved in a critical battle in the war on terrorism. These are enemies of civilization, and if we don't get together and defeat them now, shame on us." Once said, during the Iraq War debate, "there is not an inch of difference between President Bush and myself in the war against Iraq." 

Al Sharpton:  Is strongly against the Iraq War.  He said, in response to a MoveOn interview, about the Iraq War Resolution:  It's a dangerous and traditionally un-American doctrine. We cannot pre-emptively attack Iraq using shaky intelligence by using "facts" and "an imminent threat theory" that was not convincing to most of the rest of the world. Within the framework of the UN, if an attack on the United States is imminent, we already have the right of preemptive self-defense under existing international law.

Dennis Kucinich:  Has consistently been against the war, voted against the war. 

Wesley Clark:  Now says he would "never have voted" for the resolution.  He said that on Sept. 19th, 2003, a day after having said "probably" would have supported it.  See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A37215-2003Sep19?language=printer 
However, to be fair, he has consistently spoke against the war since that time.

Carol Moseley Braun:  Against war.  Called Bush's policy of "Pre-emptive war " dangerous and ought to be rejected by the American people."

Dick Gephardt:  As minority leader, was very supportive of Iraq War Resolution, and tried to persuade other representatives to also vote for war.  


4a & 4b) Fast Track Trade Authority / NAFTA 
Source: http://www.cwa-union.org/international/ftaa/congress_votes.asp 

Fast Track For  Against Undecided / Not available
John Kerry Voted for Fast Track in 97/98, 2001, 2002.  Supports NAFTA    
Howard Dean Supported NAFTA and Fast Track under Clinton    
John Edwards Voted for Fast Track in 2001 Voted against Fast Track in 2002.  Against NAFTA.  Not member of Senate at time of NAFTA  vote  
Joseph Lieberman Voted for Fast Track in  97/98, 2001, 2002.  Supports NAFTA    
Al Sharpton   Against Fast Track/NAFTA  
Dennis Kucinich   Voted Against Fast Track in 97/98, 2001, 2002.  Against NAFTA  
Wesley Clark Supports NAFTA   Could not find definitive quote for Fast Track
Carol Moseley Braun Supported NAFTA while in Senate.   Voted against Fast Track in  97 / Last year in Senate  
Dick Gephardt   Voted against Fast Track 97/98, 2001, 2002.  Voted against NAFTA  

Democratic Leadership Council  http://www.ndol.org/
Their own website above should give progressives grave concern.  Not just for the Democratic Party, but the entire nation.  Supported by some of the most wealthy corporations in the world, including former wealthy ones like Enron, the DLC has an agenda they call "The Third Way."  In part, the website states:  "The Third Way philosophy seeks to adapt enduring progressive values to the new challenges of he information age. It rests on three cornerstones: the idea that government should promote equal opportunity for all while granting special privilege for none; an ethic of mutual responsibility that equally rejects the politics of entitlement and the politics of social abandonment; and, a new approach to governing that empowers citizens to act for themselves."   According to the PROGRESSIVE Magazine, the DLC gets its Corporate funding from: Bank One, Citigroup, Dow Chemical, DuPont, General Electric, the Health Insurance Corporation of America, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, Occidental Petroleum, Raytheon, and much of the rest of the Fortune 500.  http://www.progressive.org/nich1000.htm 

Democratic Leadership Council  For Against Undecided / Not available
John Kerry Member    
Howard Dean   Has spoken against policies  
John Edwards  Member    
Joseph Lieberman Member    
Al Sharpton   Has spoken against policies  
Dennis Kucinich   Has spoken against policies  
Wesley Clark     Could not find definitive quote
Carol Moseley Braun   Was not member   
Dick Gephardt * Member     

* Gephardt, however, did not always follow the policies of the DLC, especially on trade and welfare issues.


6a & 6b) Millionaire Tax Cuts / Permanent Estate Tax Repeal 
(Note:  ESTATE TAX PERMANENT REPEAL—H.R. 8—Senate Republicans attempted to make permanent the temporary repeal of the federal estate, gift and generation-skipping taxes that were part of the Bush administration’s massive millionaire tax cut.  This was a separate vote from the millionaire tax cut.  These taxes are three of the most progressive taxes in the internal revenue code. Eliminating the estate tax would cost taxpayers $840 billion over the next 20 years and would benefit the estates of fewer than 2 percent of all taxpayers. The amendment was defeated when the motion to waive the Congressional Budget Act—which requires 60 votes—failed on June 12, 2002, 54–44: Y=W; N=R (R: 45–2; D: 9–41; I: 0–1)

Millionaire Tax Cuts For  Against Undecided / Not available
John Kerry Voted against Permanent Estate Tax Repeal Did not vote on millionaire tax.  
Howard Dean   Against both bills   
John Edwards   Voted Against both bills  
Joseph Lieberman   Voted Against both bills  
Al Sharpton   Against millionaire tax cut / Permanent Estate Tax Repeal *  
Dennis Kucinich   Voted Against both bills  
Wesley Clark   Against both bills  
Carol Moseley Braun   Against both bills  
Dick Gephardt   Voted Against both bills  

7) Reproductive Rights Criminalization
Abortion of course has always been highly debated on both sides of the issue.  Regardless of one's stance, do we want to throw women in prison or have the government interfere with privacy?  Since the "Welfare Reform" bill was passed, with half of the Democrats voting for it as well, there is really no "safety net" for women who may not be able to provide for their children.  But since the Hyde Amendment, most poor women do not qualify for Medicaid funds anyhow.  On one hand abortion opponents say they value life, on the other they cut services for women who may want an abortion because they are poor.   

Reproductive Rights For Criminalization  Against Criminalization  Undecided / Not available
John Kerry   Strongly Against  
Howard Dean   Strongly Against  
John Edwards   Strongly Against  
Joseph Lieberman   Strongly Against  
Al Sharpton   Strongly Against  
Dennis Kucinich   Strongly Against*  
Wesley Clark   Strongly Against  
Carol Moseley Braun   Strongly Against  
Dick Gephardt   Strongly Against  

* Kucinich had voted consistently against Abortion rights until 2003.  However, since then he has voted in favor of privacy and non-criminalization.  The Congressman now says he is "pro-choice."  


Progressive Scorecard explanation

Why these issues were chosen / Scoring

The Welfare Reform issue was chosen frankly because it is an important issue to me.  I feel it shows a brazen contempt for the less fortunate, and was a defining moment for the lengths the Clinton Administration would go to gain re-election.  Each issue counts 10 points.  I have combined issue 4, NAFTA and Fast Track, into one labor issue to conserve space and each counts 10 points.   If someone voted for Fast Track one time and voted against Fast Track another, as in the case of Senator Edwards, I gave him half the points for Fast Track, 5.  Since he is against NAFTA, he was awarded 10 points on that, giving him a total of 15 points on issues 4a & 4b.  I have done the same for 6a & 6b; 2a & 2b with points and scoring. 

Only one Senator, Feingold, voted against the so-called Patriot Act.  I think it is fair to use this as an issue anyhow.  It was probably the most important civil rights vote since the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The Iraq War Resolution may go down in history as evidence of a Congress that has lost all responsibility to abide by what the Constitution states is theirs.  I included the Millionaire tax refund as a counterbalance to the cuts in services for everyone else and included the Estate Tax Permanent Repeal.  That inclusion was made to show a broader picture in response to criticism on the first draft of this effort, which only included the millionaire tax cut.  I did not include such issues as Abortion, Gay Rights, or the Minimum wage.  However, in consultation with Simone Morgen, one of the Co-Chairs of DSCO, I added the Reproductive Rights issue, as well as the Freedom to Form a Union vote and the Surveillance issue.  As far as the Minimum wage, Democrats have historically been more willing to vote for minimum wage increases with a Republican Congress, and the first two years of Clinton, when Congress was still controlled by Democrats, no increase was legislated.  It is true that other issues, had they been chosen, could have given very different results.  For instance, Kerry, Edward, and even Lieberman have fairly decent Labor records, according to the AFL-CIO.  Kucinich has the highest.  But for issues that are really big, or controversial, the records of most is much less progressive.  That seems to be especially true of Kerry.  Kerry did not bother to vote for or against on the Millionaire tax cut, so he received no points.  Many times if a Congressman doesn't want to be on record on an issue, they will not vote or be absent during the vote.  It is harder to challenge a record if no vote was cast.  Kerry and Lieberman both decided not to vote on the Surveillance Bill.  Edwards voted for it.  As far as  Kucinich's stands on the Welfare Reform Bill of 1996, if his position becomes known, I will update the chart and info as necessary.  The same holds true if Clark's or Edward's positions become known.  However, in the case of Kucinich, it is likely he would have voted against the Welfare Reform bill.  I will update if the positions of Clark or Dean become known on the Surveillance issue.  In the case of Clark, he probably supports Fast Track, but I could not find definitive quote.  Also, he seems to be pretty flexible on his stands.  

A note on Sharpton.  Although he scores high in the issues, he has been getting advice from folks who are anything but progressive, and may have reasons for running other than wanting his issues to be heard or winning the Presidency:  http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0204-09.htm 


Latest Updates

I could not find a quote that was definitive for Al Sharpton's position on the Permanent Estate Tax Repeal.  I have now:  http://www.fightforthefuture.org/candidates/candidates.cfm?cid=21 (SEIU) "I would repeal virtually all of President Bush's tax cuts from 2001 to 2003, except those that would benefit the poor, workers and the middle class -- e.g., child care tax credits -- and fight for a permanent and more progressive tax system generally. Fair taxes would provide a tax cut to virtually 80% of Americans."-Al Sharpton  (Updated Feb. 6, 2004)

In an earlier draft, the issue about Freedom to Form a Union was used.  In 1998, the Republican Congress tried to make it even harder for Unions to be formed by an attempt to substantially weaken the right to organize, an already weak "right."  All the Democratic Candidates voted in favor of Labor rights or said they would support them.  The scorecard is an attempt to show the candidates differences with each other and compare them with Progressive values rather than compare them to the Republicans.  In keeping with that goal, the issue of whether they were DLC members or supporters was used instead.  

Originally, I had former Governor Dean's position on the Surveillance Bill as "Could not find definitive quote - Surveillance Bill."  I have found a quote on his campaign site that seems to clearly indicate he is against it.  Under "Bill of Rights" it reads: 
2.  The right to be free from government surveillance and unwarranted suspicion of American citizens

 http://www.deanforamerica.com/site/cg/index.html?type=page&pagename=GenDeanRights  (Updated Feb. 13, 2004)


Based on the issues above then, the scoring is as follows: (Note: It is interesting to note that the "Front-runner", as of Feb.3, 2004, Kerry, scores worse than what Gore would have.  I do not know how Gore would have voted on the Millionaire tax cut, but he was wrong on Fast Track, Welfare Reform, and NAFTA, but he is against the Iraq War.  So a good argument could be made that Kerry is less progressive than Gore.)  

Progressive Scorecard Chart

Name Welfare Reform Patriot Act / Government Surveillance  Iraq War Fast Track  / NAFTA Member of or agreement with DLC Tax cut for Wealthy / Estate tax cut  Against Criminalization of Abortion Total Score
(out of 100)
Kerry

0

0 0 0

Member 0

10 10

20

Dean 0 20 10 0 10 20 10 70
Edwards 0 0 0 15   Member 0 20 10 45
Lieberman 0 0 0 0 Member 0 20 10 30
Sharpton * 10 20 10 20 10 20 10 100
Kucinich 0 20 10 20 10 20 10 90
Clark 0 10 10 0 0 20 10 50
Braun 10 20 10 10 10 20 10 90
Gephardt  10 0 0 20 Member 0 20 10 60

Stories you will not find on DSCO

The Scott Peterson case
Janet Jackson's breast stories
Martha Stewart case
Re-hash of O.J. Simpson trial
Apologies for candidates records, no matter the party.  See scorecard above