Voting Fraud

Be Honest

Be Sad


Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people.

what should be important

Kerry vs. Bush on the Issues
Senate Records including voting history
Fighting Terrorism: Kerry vs. Bush
The Economy

The Environment


Kerry: Missed Votes
Edwards: Missed Votes
Service Records
Military Voting Record
Intelligence Funding
Intelligence Meeting Attendance
Voting for the Iraq War Resolution
Kerry Voted Against All Weapon Systems?
Kerry Voted Against Overall Defense Budgets 38 Times?
Kerry Voted Against Funding For F-18 Fighters At Least Eight Times?
arriage penalty taxes
Middle Class Tax Cuts
The $87 Billion
1st and 4th Most Liberal?

Berger cleared of Charges

Swift Boat Nonsense
Personal funding in the Kerry - Weld Race
The Tides Foundation
Fire Hydrant

Prescription Drug Care cards
Malpractice Suits
Late Term Abortion Ban
Yucca Mountain
Ghengis Kahn
Trial Lawyers
Democratic Harrassment at Florida Polls


The Left Coaster
Divided Nation
One Thousand Reasons
Independents for Kerry
McSweeney's Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush
Broken Campaign Promises
The Winter Soldier Testimony

Kerry and Bush on the Issues:

Kerry and Bush on GLBT Issues
Kerry and Bush on the Environment
(see also the NRDC)
Kerry and Bush on Reproductive Rights
Kerry and Bush on Economic Justice
Kerry and Bush on Health Care
Kerry and Bush on Affordable Housing
Kerry and Bush on Education
Kerry and Bush on Civil Rights
Kerry and Bush on Women and Violence
Kerry and Bush on Judicial Appointments
Kerry and Bush on Women in the Military

Kerry's Senate Record (votes and legislation)

Here is how he has voted through the years:

How interest groups have rated him:

John Kerry has a distinguished legislative record. He and John McCain negotiated an agreement with Vietnam to provide a full accounting for POW-MIAs. He wrote the first bill reducing acid rain. He has repeatedly led the charge in protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from drilling. He has passed legislation that shut down money laundering activities of terrorists and drug traffickers.

President Clinton Praised Kerry for Putting 100,000 Cops on the Street – “When we tried to get past six years of talking tough on crime but nothing happening, rhetoric and rhetoric and rhetoric and no action, to put 100,000 police on the street, to ban deadly assault weapons to pass the Brady bill, the other side, [the Republicans] led the fight against it. But John Kerry helped us pass the toughest, smartest, best crime bill this country has seen in many a day, and the crime rate has gone down for four years in a row. John Kerry was on the right side of history.” [Public Papers of the President: Fall River, MA; 8/28/96]

Democratic Leader Tom Daschle Says Kerry Knows How to Get the Legislative Job Done in the Senate - Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle had kind words for John Kerry’s work on Campaign Finance Reform when he asked Kerry to chair the Democratic Steering Committee: "From our teen-smoking bill to HMO reform and Campaign Finance Reform, John Kerry has demonstrated that he clearly knows how to get the job done. He is a valued and trusted member of our leadership team, and I am pleased he has accepted another term as Chairman of the Steering and Coordination Committee." [Daschle Press Release, 11/19/98]

Even Dr. Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader Says Kerry’s Global AIDS Legislation is a “Huge Step Forward”: “’The Kerry-Frist bill is a huge step forward,” said [current Majority Leader Bill] Frist. “It further validates U.S. leadership in the global effort to end devastation many countries face in the fight against HIV/AIDS’.” [Office of Senator Frist, press release 7/12/02]

Legislative Achievements: 58 bills and resolutions John Kerry has sponsored over the years have passed the U.S. Senate. Countless others have been improved because of his work, including the Clean Air Act, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the COPS program.

John Kerry has taken on the special interests and won. He fought against Newt Gingrich’s anti-labor and anti-environmental regulatory reform. He has fought to raise the minimum wage. He has worked to shut down wasteful corporate subsidies. And John Kerry played an important role in the effort to reach a settlement with the tobacco companies that ended marketing to children and teenagers.

The number of bills that bear your name is a poor measure of legislative accomplishment. For example, Ted Kennedy, who most would acknowledge as the most accomplished Democratic Senator in a generation, has had just 9 bills signed into law in 10 years. Of the more than 400 bills Kennedy sponsored in 108th, 105th and 104th Congresses none were signed into law. And Bill Frist, the Republican Majority Leader, has sponsored 88 bills in the 108th Congress and zero have become law. In the 107th Congress, Frist sponsored 52 bills and 1 became law. It was a bill to authorize and urge the President to promote democracy in Zimbabwe.

For comparison, here is a summary of the legislation sponsored and passed by Vice President Cheney during his 11 year legislative career.

96th Congress: 4 Sponsored; 0 became Law
97th Congress: 4 Sponsored: 0 became Law
98th Congress: 8 Sponsored: 0 became Law
99th Congress: 7 Sponsored: 1 became Law: (H.R.1246 : A bill to establish a federally declared floodway for the Colorado River below Davis Dam.)
100th Congress: 7 Sponsored: 1 became Law: (H.R.712 : A bill for the relief of Lawrence K. Lunt.)
101st Congress: 1 Sponsored: 0 became Law

Fighting Terrorism: Kerry vs. Bush

One of Kerry's main accomplishments in the Senate was not a piece of legislation, but rather taking the lead in the war on terror. In 1986, he formed "The Kerry Committee" to investigate allegations of illegal gun-running and narcotics trafficking by the CIA and State Department. The Kerry Committee's report eventually led to:

The Iran-Contra hearings
Uncovering Manuel Noriega’s involvement with drug-running and his ties to the CIA
The downfall of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), through which Noriega had laundered money

Kerry's persistence in shutting down money laundering operations and the selling of arms to terrorists angered some of his colleagues, particularly when he put a powerful fellow democrat on the witness stand - Clark Clifford, who represented BCCI.

What is Iran-Contra?

There's a good article here about it, but in a nutshell:

In the Iran-Contra Affair, Ronald Reagan's administration secretly sold arms to Iran, which was at war with Iraq from 1980 to 1988, and spent the profits to support Contra rebels fighting to overthrow the democratically-elected Sandinista government of Nicaragua. This was a violation of an Act of Congress which prohibited the sale of weapons to Iran, as well as in violation of UN sanctions. Bush Sr. was Vice President at the time.

Then the Israeli government began acting as an intermediary by shipping missiles to Iran in exchange for the release of some hostages. Israelis sold their missiles, and we secretly replaced what they sent to Iran. The BCCI bank was used for money laundering, and the CIA helped the Contras traffic drugs, including smuggling cocaine into the US.

Reagan claimed he had not been informed of the operation despite a January 1, 1986 entry in Reagan's personal diary that stated "I agreed to sell TOWs to Iran." The United States Congress then on November 18, 1987 issued its final report on the affair, which stated that Reagan bore "ultimate responsibility" for wrongdoing by his aides and his administration exhibited "secrecy, deception, and disdain for the law." Oliver North and John Poindexter were indicted on multiple charges on March 16, 1988. North, indicted on nine counts, was convicted of three: lying to Congress, destroying an official document, and accepting an illegal gratuity. The charges were vacated upon appeal. Poindexter was convicted on several felony counts of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and altering and destroying documents pertinent to the investigation. His convictions were also overturned on appeal on essentially the same grounds as North's.

George W. Bush appointed John Poindexter as Director of the Pentagon's Information Awareness Office, the man convicted in 1990 on five felony charges of conspiracy, making false statements to Congress and obstructing congressional inquiries.

George W. Bush appointed Elliott Abrams special White House assistant for democracy and human rights. Another former Iran-Contra defendant, Abrams pleaded guilty to withholding information from Congress, then was pardoned by the first President Bush.

George W. Bush appointed Otto Reich as the State Department's top official for Latin America. From 1983 to 1986, Reich led a State Department office accused of a covert domestic-propaganda effort against Nicaragua's leftist Sandinista government.

George W. Bush appointed Lee Hamilton to handle the 9-11 investigation. Hamiltion was chairman of the House select committee investigating the Iran-contra affair. Despite being shown ample evidence against Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, he did not probe their wrongdoing, explaining later on PBS 'Frontline,' that he did not think it would have been 'good for the country' to put the public through another impeachment trial.

Bush has also appointed at least four others involved in the Iran Contra scandal: Richard Armitage, John Negroponte, Mitch Daniels, and Rogelio Pardo-Maurer

These are the same people that John Kerry has fought to remove from government because of their support of terrorism.

Iran Contra sources

The Economy

For the big picture of where the economy has gone, using Bureau of Labor Statistics, go here: You can mouse over the charts to see the forecasts for the future. In the meantime, here are some clams and facts:

Claim: Average GDP Over Most Recent Three Quarters (note the comparison)

1996: 3.1%
2004: 5.6%

Reality: Why look at a 9 month period?

Since the recession ended in the last quarter of 2001, the economy has grown by 3.6 percent. The Commerce Department said that the gross domestic product, the country's total output of goods and services, slowed sharply in the April-June quarter from a 4.5 percent growth rate in the first three months of the year.

The size of the slowdown caught economists by surprise. Many had been looking for GDP growth to come in around 3.8 percent in the second quarter. Even that would have been a sharp deceleration for an economy that had been growing at a 5.4 percent annual rate through the year ending in March.

Claim: the economy is doing great, Kerry is trying to put a gloomy spin on it. Wages have gone up!

The overall income Americans reported to the government shrank for two consecutive years after the Internet stock market bubble burst in 2000, the first time that has effectively happened since the modern tax system was introduced during World War II, newly disclosed information from the Internal Revenue Service shows.

Before the recent drop, the last time reported incomes fell for even one year was in 1953. The only other time since World War II that the I.R.S. reported an interruption in income gains was from 1947 to 1949, but that was because of changes in the tax law at the time that affected how income was reported rather than an actual fall.

Adjusted for inflation, the income of all Americans fell 9.2 percent from 2000 to 2002, according to the new I.R.S. data.

Falling incomes, rather than tax cuts, appear to count for the greatest share of the decline in income taxes paid.

More than 352,000 taxpayers, one of every eight who had worked their way above $200,000 of income in 2000, fell below that figure in 2002.

During the same two years the number of Americans reporting no income or that they actually lost money for tax purposes exploded, growing 48.5 percent, to 1.7 million in 2002.

Total compensation for chief executives of four companies - Oracle, Apple Computer, Yahoo and Colgate-Palmolive - rose more than 1,000 percent in 2003.

More rich people bought homes, but the homeownership rate for Americans with incomes below the median has fallen.

Since President Bush took office, the percentage of mortgage loans in foreclosure rose from 1.21 percent to 1.27 percent - an increase of 5 percent.

Since President Bush took office, the homeownership rate for households with family income below the median family income has fallen from 51.8 percent to 51.5 percent.

Since President Bush took office, the homeownership gap between whites and African-Americans has increased - from 26.1 percent to 26.2 percent.

Since President Bush took office, the homeownership gap between whites and Hispanics has increased by 7 percent - from 26.4 percent to 28.2 percent.

Currently, the white homeownership rate is over 75 percent and the African-American and Hispanic homeownership rates are both below 50 percent.

Since President Bush took office, the Hispanic homeownership rate has actually fallen - from 47.5 percent to 47.3 percent.

The percentage of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans made to minority homebuyers has fallen.

Since President Bush took office, the percentage of FHA loans made to minority homebuyers has fallen by 16 percent - from 41.7 percent in 2000 to 35 percent in 2003.

Since President Bush took office, the difference in mortgage loan denial rates between minorities and non-minorities has increased by 8.3 percent. Minorities are now almost twice as likely to be turned down for a loan as non-minorities.

More on housing.

Claim: Bush's unemployment rates are better than Clinton's, based on a comparison of the rates after 4 years in office.
Jan-June Average Unemployment

1996: 5.5%
2004: 5.6%

A feeble attempt to imply that Bush's unemployment policies are more effective than Clinton's. A comparison showing an increase and decrease puts this in perspective.

1992 7.5
1993 6.9
1994 6.1
1995 5.6
1996 5.4
1997 4.9
1998 4.5
1999 4.2
2000 4.0
2001 4.7
2002 5.8
2003 6.0

1.8 million Private sector jobs lost since Bush took office

New jobs pay less, paying an average of 21% less than jobs lost;

Family income has declined - The typical family has seen inflation adjusted income decline by nearly $1,500;

Costs of health insurance, child care and gasoline have risen dramatically -- the price of oil has now risen to a historic high, which means gas prices will continue to rise

The Environment

NRDC has a running summary of Bush's environmental record.

Kerry's Education

A whisper campaign states that, unlike Bush, Senator Kerry did not attend graduate school. This is impossible, since Senator Kerry is an attorney.

Graduated from Yale, gave graduation speech,

Graduated from Boston Law College in 1976

(Bush applied for Law school but was rejected, which is why he has an MBA instead of a law degree.)

Cheney flunked out of Yale.

Kerry's Medals were earned

There is only one logical explanation of the contradictory accounts of Sen. John Kerry’s first combat injury: Lt. Cmdr. Grant Hibbard, a major Purple Heart detractor, never saw the wound!

The physician’s procedure note, written 34 years ago, compared to Hibbard’s account, reveals the clue: The doctor removed a piece of shrapnel from a wound "ABOVE THE ELBOW," while Hibbard described a "Scratch on the FOREARM"– a distinctly different part of the body.

John Kerry wrote that, while under fire on the Mekong Delta, "A stinging piece of heat socked into my arm and just seemed to burn like hell." The physician’s report reads: "3 DEC 1968 U.S. NAVAL SUPPORT FACILITY CAM RANH BAY RVN FPO Shrapnel in left arm above elbow. Shrapnel removed and appl. Bacitracin. Ret. to duty."1

After the shrapnel was removed, Kerry said that his arm was bandaged and the shrapnel was handed to him. Then, he would have donned the official Vietnam attire – a ‘jungle fatigue shirt’ with the sleeves rolled up TO THE CREASE OF THE ELBOW – a style that hides the entire upper arm.

John Kerry returned to duty after treatment, encountered Hibbard, his C.O., and showed him the shrapnel. Now, 35 years later, Hibbard states Kerry "Had a little scratch on his forearm, and he was holding a piece of shrapnel," (As reported in the ‘The Boston Globe’, according to a Douglas Brinkley article and others.)

Hibbard’s scenario not only contradicts the medical report but defies logic. If a shrapnel fragment leaves "a scratch," then the fragment has to graze the arm as it flies past, and there is no shrapnel to remove.

Physicians are taught to immediately write a brief description of the nature and location of an injury and the procedure performed. The doctor’s report, unmarred by political motivation and written just after the shrapnel removal, is the reliable report. And, it supports Kerry’s account.

Kerry volunteered for perilous duty in Vietnam and received two shrapnel wounds and an arm injury in combat, a Bronze Medal and a Silver Star. His courage in serving our country should be appreciated, not mocked.

1 As cited by Douglas Brinkley, who reviewed Kerry's medical report from the incident while he was writing "Tour of Duty," Kerry’s biography.

Missed Votes

Kerry handles the need to miss votes by having an arrangement with the Senate Democratic leadership to return should his vote be needed. He also places the way he would have voted if present in the public record. Prior to running for President, Kerry had an excellent voting record, with a voting percentage in the upper 90's. (Some conservative sources have made unsubstantiated claims that he had a poor voting record before running.)

These are a few years that cover his full time voting record before he started campaigning for President

Roll Call Vote Analysis

Year............ Voting............. Participation Party........ Support Presidential Support

2002.............. 96%......................... 92%.................................. 72%
2001.............. 98%......................... 98%................................... 65%
2000.............. 95%......................... 96%................................... 97%
1999.............. 99%......................... 95%.................................... 93%

Edwards and Missed Votes

Cheney in the Vice Presidential debates chose to perpetuate a rumor that Edwards was rarely in the Senate to Vote. Here is the voting record of Senator Edwards:

1999 Cast 371 out of 374 votes for a 99.2% voting record
2000 Cast 298 out of 298 votes for a 100% voting record
2001 Cast 377 out of 380 votes for a 99.2% voting record
2002 Cast 253 out of 253 votes for a 100% voting record
2003 Cast 281 out of 459 votes for a 61.2% voting record
2004 Cast 84 out of 198 votes for a 42.4% voting record

Overall Edwards has cast 1664 out of 1962 votes for a 84.8% voting record

Kerry's Service Record (compared with Bush's)

Kerry requested one for studies, was denied
Bush requested one for studies, and used it until it ran out.

Kerry volunteered for swift boat service in Vietnam, volunteered for special missions once in Vietnam. From his request: "I request duty in Vietnam." "I consider the opportunity to serve in Vietnam an extremely important part of being in the armed forces and believe that my request is in the best interests of the Navy."
Bush used family connections to jump a waiting list to get an ANG slot ahead of other more qualified candidates. From his Request: checked "I do not volunteer for overseas."
Requested a transfer to an Alabama Air National Guard unit with no planes.

Kerry: no issues
Bush: missed his annual flight physical and was grounded, missed drills for large part of a year. Claims he showed up in Alabama. Bush's assigned unit commander, William Turnipseed, and his administrative officer, Kenneth K. Lott, do not believe that Bush reported.

Kerry: wounded in combat three times.

Kerry: went into gunfire to save a fellow soldier, while injured
Bush None

Kerry: honorable, left 6 months early to run for congress.
Bush: honorable, left 8 months early to go to college

Kerry: Silver Star with Combat "V", Bronze Star with Combat "V", 3 Purple Hearts, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Citation Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 4 bronze stars, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam MUC Gallantry Cross Medal Color with Palm, Republic of Vietnam MUC Civil Action Medal Color with Palm.

Bush: None. Note: TAFMS stands for Total Active Federal Military Service. I'm not sure about TAFCS. They have both been whited out.

Records available:
Bush: ?

Time in Vietnam:
Kerry: Nov 1968 - April 1969
Bush: none

What their Commanders say:
Kerry: "Kerry is my aide and Flag Lieutenant and his outstanding attributes as a naval officer and gentleman are personally known to me. He has made an exemplary record while serving his country ashore and afloat. This has been well documented officially. It is my opinion that both the country and the Navy will be better served if he gains the office he seeks. [senate]. I strongly urge that his request for early release be given every consideration."

"Ensign Kerry is an outstanding officer whose every effort in his nine months in USS GRIDLEY has been characterized by success and a high degree of professionalism. He is a highly talented, polished and professional naval officer who achieves uniformly top grade results. He has served as an Electrical Officer and Public Affairs Officer in his first half year on board and two months ago assumed the challenging duties of First Lieutenant, although very junior for this assignment. His accomplishments in the latter billet have been spectacular. He has trained, led, and genuinely inspired his division to produce results which seemed earlier to be beyond their capability.

Highly intelligent, well-read and skilled at oral and written expression, Ensign Kerry is one of the brightest, most capable, young officers I have ever had the pleasure of observing. Meticulous in attention to detail, he is a sound administrator and a natural, highly effective leader.

This officer has a sound background in seamanship and boat handling gained through considerable small boat experience prior to his appointment in the Navy. I have personal knowledge of his great motivation for this assignment and every confidence in his ability to excel in it."

Bush: "Verbal Orders of the Commander on 1 Aug 72 suspending 1ST LT George W. Bush ... from flying status are confirmed ... Reason for suspension: failure to accomplish annual medical examination."

Annual Officer Evaluation: Not observed in all categories.

" This officer should have been reassigned in May 1972 since he is no longer training in his AFSC or with his unit of assignment."

"Not rated for this period 1 May 72 through 30 Apr 73."

Military Votes
Numerous variants of this message claiming that Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts"voted to kill every military appropriation for the development and deployment of every weapons systems since 1988" have been circulating since at least February 2004. The message's implication — that Senator Kerry distinctly and specifically voted to kill upwards of a dozen different weapons systems — is inaccurate and grossly misleading, however.

Intelligence funding

“This misleading attack is a reminder of why George Bush has lost credibility with the American people. You bet, John Kerry voted against business as usual in our intelligence community. It’s no secret that we’ve got some serious gaps in our intelligence. He voted against a proposed billion dollar bloat in the intelligence budget, because it was essentially a slush fund for defense contractors. Unlike George Bush, John Kerry does not and will not support every special spending project supported by Halliburton and other defense contractor.”

Fact Check: John Kerry has supported $200 billion in intelligence funding over the past seven years – a 50 percent increase since 1996.

FY03 Intel Authorization $39.3-$41.3 Billion*
[2002, Unanimous Senate Voice Vote 9/25/02]

FY02 Intel Authorization $33 Billion*
[2001, Unanimous Senate Voice Vote 12/13/01]

FY01 Intel Authorization $29.5-$31.5 Billion*
[2000, Unanimous Senate Voice Vote 12/6/00]

FY00 Intel Authorization $29-$30 Billion*
[1999, Unanimous Senate Voice Vote 11/19/1999]

FY99 Intel Authorization $29.0 Billion*
[1998, Unanimous Senate Voice Vote 10/8/98]

FY98 Intel Authorization $26.7 Billion*
[1997, Senate Roll Call Vote #109]

FY97 Intel Authorization $26.6 Billion*
[1996, Unanimous Senate Voice Vote 9/25/96]

Another bit of dishonesty is RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie's claim, at a news conference, that in 1995, Kerry voted to cut $1.5 billion from the intelligence budget. John Pike, who runs the invaluable Web site, said that: The Air Force's National Reconnaissance Office had appropriated that much money to operate a spy satellite that, as things turned out, it never launched. So the Senate passed an amendment rescinding the money—not to cancel a program, but to get a refund on a program that the NRO had canceled. Kerry voted for the amendment, as did a majority of his colleagues.

Yet another misleading statement is that, while on committee, Kerry Proposed Over $7.5 Billion In Across The Board Cuts To Intelligence Budget, All Of Which Were Rejected By Democrats And Republicans Alike. (S. 1826, Introduced 2/3/1994; S. Amdt. 1452, Introduced 2/9/94; S. 1290, Introduced 9/29/95)

S. 1826, Introduced 2/3/1994: A bill to reduce the deficit for fiscal years 1994 through 1998, which was not voted on, instead it was referred to the committee on appropriations. Interesting items in it: Terminates the Selective Service System; Limits the number of nuclear warheads maintained by the United States; Amends the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 to reduce the funding level for marketing promotion programs.

S. Amdt. 1452, Introduced 2/9/94:
I need a reference for that one. "The text of S. AMDT. 1452 has not yet been received from GPO"

S. 1290, Introduced 9/29/95:
A bill to reduce the deficit. Kerry did introduce a bill on Sept. 29, 1995—S. 1290—that, among many other things, would have cut the intelligence budget by $300 million per year over a five-year period, or $1.5 billion in all.

But let's look at that bill more closely.

First, would such a reduction have "gutted" the intelligence services? Intelligence budgets are classified, but private budget sleuths have estimated that the 1995 budget totaled about $28 billion. Thus, taking out $300 million would have meant a reduction of about 1 percent. This is not a gutting.

Second, and more to the point, Kerry's proposal would have not have cut a single intelligence program.
Of course, to a guy like Bush who can't seem to count when doing his own federal budget and job predictions each year, I guess it is a gutting when you cut 1%. Maybe since Bush calls a 1% cut a "gutting", we can call his domestic spending cuts of 1% or more a "gutting" also.

On the same day that Kerry's bill was read on the Senate floor, two of his colleagues—Democrat Bob Kerrey and Republican Arlen Specter—introduced a similar measure. Their bill would have cut the budget of the National Reconnaissance Office, the division of the U.S. intelligence community in charge of spy satellites.

According to that day's Congressional Record, Specter said he was offering an amendment "to address concerns about financial practices and management" at the NRO. Specifically, "the NRO has accumulated more than $1 billion in unspent funds without informing the Pentagon, CIA, or Congress." He called this accumulation "one more example of how intelligence agencies sometimes use their secret status to avoid accountability."
The Kerrey-Specter bill proposed to cut the NRO's budget "to reflect the availability of funds … that have accumulated in the carry-forward accounts" from previous years. Another co-sponsor of the bill, Sen. Richard Bryan, D–Nev., noted that these "carry-forward accounts" amounted to "more than $1.5 billion."

This was the same $1.5 billion that John Kerry was proposing to cut—over a five-year period—in his bill. It had nothing to do with intelligence, terrorism, or anything of substance. It was a motion to rescind money that had been handed out but never spent.

By the way, the Kerrey-Specter bill—which called for the same intelligence cut that George W. Bush is attacking John Kerry for proposing—passed on the Senate floor by a voice vote. It was sheer common sense. It also led to major investigations into the NRO's finances, both by the White House and by the CIA's general counsel.
John Kerry's bill died—its title was read on the floor, then it was sent to the Senate Budget Committee—but, again, not because it was an abhorrence. It died for two reasons. First, some of its provisions, including the intelligence cut, were covered in other bills. Second, Kerry's bill was not just about the intelligence budget; it was a 16-page document, titled "The Responsible Deficit Reduction Act of 1995," that called for a scattershot of specific cuts across the entire federal budget.

Intelligence Meeting attendance. A new attack ad claims that Kerry missed most of the Senate Intelligence Committee meetings. Their attendance numbers, however, are actually not attendance numbers at all, but rather the percentage of open hearings at which Senator Kerry made a statement. For example from 1993-1998 the Select Intelligence Committee held more than 329 meetings, hearings and markups. Just 65 of these were open meetings. [Senate Report 104-1; Senate Report 105-1; Senate Report 106-3]

They also claim "In the year after the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, Kerry was absent for every single one.” Again, the ad is not counting attendance at meetings, but only the number of statements he made at open hearings. In that timeframe, there were only 7 open hearings. All in all, during the 103rd Congress, the Committee held a total of 103 on-the-record meetings and hearings. There were seventy (70) oversight hearings and seven (7) business meetings. Twelve (12) hearings were held on the budget including the Conference sessions with the House. Hearings on specific legislation totaled nine (9) and nomination hearings totaled one (1). [Senate Report 104-1: Oversight Over Intelligence Activities in the 103rd Congress].

Voting for the Iraq War Resolution

October 09, 2002

Statement on US Senate Floor (to Bush)

Mr. President, I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force - if necessary - to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security and that of our allies in the Persian Gulf region. And I will vote "yes" because on the question of how best to hold Saddam Hussein accountable, the Administration, including the President, recognizes that war must be our last option to address this threat, not the first, and that we should be acting in concert with allies around the globe to make the world's case against Saddam Hussein. As the President made clear earlier this week, "Approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable." It means that "America speaks with one voice."

Let me be clear: I am voting to give this authority to the President for one reason and one reason only: to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction if we cannot accomplish that objective through new tough weapons inspections. 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, immediate" inspections 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 the first to speak out. If we do go to war with Iraq, it is imperative that we do so in concert with others in the international community. The Administration has come to recognize this as has our closet ally, Prime Minister Tony Blair in Britain. The Administration may not be in the habit of building coalitions, but that is what they need to do - and it is what can be done. If we go it alone without reason, we risk inflaming an entire region and breeding a new generation of terrorists, a new cadre of anti-American zealots - and we will be less secure, not more secure, at the end of the day, even with Saddam Hussein disarmed. Let there be no doubt or confusion as to where I stand: I will support a multilateral effort to disarm Iraq by force, if we have exhausted all other options. But I cannot - and will not - support a unilateral, US war against Iraq unless the threat is imminent and no multilateral effort is possible.

And in voting to grant the President the authority to use force, I am not giving him carte blanche to run roughshod over every country that poses - or may pose - a potential threat to the United States. Every nation has the right to act preemptively if it faces an imminent and grave threat. But the threat we face, today, with Iraq fails the test. Yes, it is grave because of the deadliness of Saddam Hussein's arsenal and the very high probability that he will use these weapons one day if he is not disarmed. But it is not imminent. None of our intelligence reports suggest that Saddam Hussein is about to launch any kind of attack against us or countries in the region. The argument for going to war against Iraq is rooted in enforcement of the international community's demand that Iraq disarm. It is not rooted in the doctrine of preemption. Nor is the grant of authority in this resolution an acknowledgment that Congress accepts or agrees with the President's new strategic doctrine of preemption. Just the opposite. This resolution clearly limits the authority given to the President to use force in Iraq, and only Iraq, and for the specific purpose of defending the United States against the threat posed by Iraq "and" enforcing relevant Security Council resolutions. The definition of purpose circumscribes the authority given to the President to the use of force to disarm Iraq because only Iraq's weapons of mass destruction meet the two criteria laid out in this resolution.

Mr. President, Congressional action on this resolution is not the end of our national debate on how best to disarm Iraq. Nor does it mean that we have exhausted all our peaceful options to achieve this goal. There is much more to be done.

The Administration must continue its efforts to build support at the United Nations for a new, unfettered, unconditional weapons inspection regime. If we can eliminate the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs through inspections whenever, wherever, and however we want them - including in presidential palaces -- and I am highly skeptical we can given the Iraqi regime's record of thwarting U.N. inspectors in the past - then we have an obligation to try that course of action first, before we expend American lives and treasure on a war with Iraq.

American success in the Persian Gulf War was enhanced by the creation of a multinational coalition. Our coalition partners -- I'd add -- picked up the overwhelming burden of the costs of that war. It is imperative that the Administration continue to work to multilateralize its current effort against Iraq. If the Administration's initiatives at the United Nations are real and sincere, other nations are more likely to stand behind our efforts to force Iraq to disarm, be it through a new, rigorous, no-nonsense inspection regime, or if necessary through the use of force. The United States without question has the military power to enter this conflict unilaterally, but we need logistical support such as bases, command and control centers, and overflight rights from allies in the region. That support will come only if they are convinced of the credibility of our arguments and the legitimacy of our mission. The United Nations never has veto power to stop the United States from doing what it must to protect its citizens, but it is in our interests to act with our allies if that is at all possible - and it should be: the burden of eliminating the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein's hands is not ours alone.

Kerry Voted Against All Weapon Systems?

Claim: Senator John Kerry "voted to kill every military appropriation for the development and deployment of every weapons systems since 1988."

Status: False.

A closer look at the weapons systems Kerry is being attacked on:

APACHE HELICOPTER: Kerry has supported $13 billion in defense authorizations for the Apache
AEGIS SHIPS: Kerry has supported at least $53 billion defense authorizations for the Aegis program
BRADLEY FIGHTING VEHICLES: Kerry has supported at least $8.5 billion in defense authorizations for the Bradley program
BLACKHAWK HELICOPTERS: Kerry has supported at least $13 billion in defense authorizations on versions of the Blackhawk.
B-2 BOMBER: Kerry has supported over $16.7 billion in defense authorizations for the B-2 program
C-17 CARGO JETS: Kerry supported at least $34.5 billion in defense authorizations for the C-17
F/A-18 FIGHTER JETS : Kerry supported at least $60 billion in defense authorizations for the F/A-18 and F-18
F-16 FIGHTER JETS: Kerry supported at least $25 billion in defense authorizations for the F-16.
TOMAHAWK MISSILES: Kerry supported at least $6 billion in defense authorizations for the Tomahawk missile program.
C-130 CARGO JETS: Kerry supported at least $12 billion in defense authorizations for the C-130
PATRIOT MISSILE SYSTEM: Kerry supported at least $10 billion in defense authorizations for the Patriot program.

SOURCES ON KERRY SPENDING: Congressional Quarterly Almanacs, 1986- 2002; House Armed Service Committee Authorization Conference Report Summaries; Conference Reports for Defense Authorizations, FY1986 - present

Kerry Has Voted To Cut, Transfer Or Otherwise Decrease Overall Defense Budget At Least Thirty-Eight Times?

The Bush Website makes this claim, and specifically lists these bills as the 38 times Kerry has voted against defense. But they don't explain what the bills are. Let's look:

S. Con. Res. 32, CQ Vote #52: Rejected 43-54: R 1-50; D 42-4, 5/8/85, Kerry Voted Yea;
Amendment 64, “Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text.“

S. Con. Res. 120, CQ Vote #88: Adopted 66-29: R 38-13; D 28-16, 5/1/86, Kerry Voted Nay;
Amendment 1822 “In the Nature of a substitute” ?

S.Con.Res. 30, CQ Vote #60: Motion Agreed To 64-31: R 38-5; D 26-26, 5/3/89, Kerry Voted Nay; A motion to table Amendment 81, To provide increased funding for education, training and social services.

H.R. 2072, CQ Vote #72: Motion Agreed To 77-18: R 30-11; D 47-7, 6/1/89, Kerry Voted Nay;
Motion to table amendment 111 (Dire Emergency Supplemental Appropriations and Transfers, Urgent Supplementals, and Correcting Enrollment Errors Act of 1989 ) Statement of Purpose: A bill to provide for additional funding for Federal prison space.

S. 2884, CQ Vote #216: Motion Agreed To 51-48: R 34-11; D 17-37, 8/3/90, Kerry Voted Nay;
S.Amdt. 2522 to S. 2884 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991 )
A motion to table an amendment to establish a demonstration program to allow drug addicted mothers to reside in drug abuse treatment facilities with their children, and to offer such mothers new behavior and education skills which can help prevent substance abuse in subsequent generations.

S. Con. Res. 29, CQ Vote #49: Motion Rejected 22-73: R 1-39; D 21-34, 4/25/91, Kerry Voted Yea;
Amendment 81: To decrease funding for defense and decrease the deficit. Entire Bill was replaced with H. Con. Res. 121

S. Con. Res. 106, CQ Vote #73: Motion Agreed To 53-40: R 38-1; D 15-39, 4/9/92, Kerry Voted
Nay; Amendment 1768 To reduce amounts allocated to defense and, if legislation is enacted to eliminate the separate budget categories, to increase spending on urgent domestic needs. Eventually the entire bill was replaced by H. Con. Res. 287.

S. Con. Res. 106, CQ Vote #69: Rejected 45-50: R 4-37; D 41-13, 4/9/92, Kerry Voted Yea;
Amendment 1763 To reduce the fiscal year 1993 defense budget authority. Eventually the entire bill was replaced by H. Con. Res. 287.

S. 2403, CQ Vote #85: Adopted 61-38: R 7-36; D 54-2, 5/6/92, Kerry Voted Yea;
A bill to rescind certain budget authority proposed to be rescinded in special messages transmitted to the Congress by the President on March 20, 1992, in accordance with Title X of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, as amended. Overwhelmingly approved.

H.R. 4990, CQ Vote #108: Adopted 90-9: R 34-9; D 56-0, 5/21/92, Kerry Voted Yea;
A bill rescinding certain budget authority, and for other purposes. Overwhelmingly approved.

S. 1122, CQ Vote #156: Motion Rejected 16-81: R 8-45; D 8-36, 6/8/99, Kerry Voted Yea;
Amendment 584: To reduce amounts appropriated for unrequested, low-priority, unnecessary, and wasteful spending. (Proposed by Sen. McCain)

S. Con. Res. 18, CQ Vote #46: Adopted 69-30: R 31-12; D 38-18, 3/23/93, Kerry Voted Nay;
Amendment 189 To express the sense of the Senate regarding budget functional category 050 adjustments for changes in inflation assumptions and in assumptions regarding Federal pay increases.

S. Con. Res. 13, CQ Vote #180: Rejected 40-60: R 37-17; D 3-43, 5/23/95, Kerry Voted Nay;
Amendment 1125 To restore adequate defense budget levels and to provide for offsetting reductions from non-defense discretionary spending and non-defense spending in the defense budget.

S. 1087, CQ Vote #389: Motion Agreed To 56-42: R 50-3; D 6-39, 8/10/95, Kerry Voted Nay;
This was not a vote on a bill, it was a vote on a motion to table an amendment (2404) To reduce by $3,200,000,000 the total amount to be appropriated.

S. Con. Res. 57, CQ Vote #113: Rejected 42-57: R 6-47; D 36-10, 5/15/96, Kerry Voted Yea;
Amendment 3963 To reduce defense spending (by a total of $10,600,000).
On page 4, line 8, decrease the amount by $8,300,000,000.
On page 4, line 17, decrease the amount by $2,300,000,000.
Eventually the entire bill was replaced with H.CON.RES. 178

S. 1745, CQ Vote #172: Rejected 34-65: R 4-49; D 30-16, 6/26/96, Kerry Voted Yea;
Amendment 4266 To limit the total amount authorized to be appropriated by the bill to the amount requested by the President and to apply the excess to budget deficit reduction.

S. 1745, CQ Vote #173: Rejected 45-55: R 6-47; D 39-8, 6/26/96, Kerry Voted Yea;
Amendment 4345 To ensure that the total amount authorized to be appropriated by the bill does not exceed the total amount of the authorizations of appropriations reported by the Committee on Armed Services.

H.R. 4278, CQ Vote #302: Passed 84-15: R 38-14; D 46-1, 9/30/96, Kerry Voted Yea;
H.R. 4278 (Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 ) Measure Title: A bill making omnibus consolidated appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1997, and for other purposes. Overwhelmingly approved.

H. Con. Res. 68, CQ Vote #86: Adopted 54-44: R 54-0; D 0-44, 4/15/99, Kerry Voted Nay;
Establishing the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2000 and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for each of fiscal years 2001 through 2009.
"The bad news for the science community is that the Majority's budget treats R&D very poorly. The good news is that this budget is almost entirely irrelevant to the funding decisions Congress will ultimately make in negotiation with the White House."
"The budget offered by the Republican leadership leaves in place caps designed to get us out of a deficit that our economic growth has conquered. Their budget promises future tax cuts that can only work if we assume that we can maintain our unprecedented run of economic growth for another five years. Their budget forces cuts on discretionary programs that no one believes will be politically possible or desirable from a public policy perspective. “

H.R. 2707, CQ Vote #182: Motion Rejected 28-69: R 3-39; D 25-30, 9/10/91, Kerry Voted Yea;
Amendment 1083 to increase the amounts made available for disease control, biomedical research, mental health,low-income home energy assistance, legalization assistance grants Head Start, Chapter I basic grants, and Pell grants, offset from defense.

S. Con. Res. 13, CQ Vote #181: Rejected 28-71: R 2-51; D 26-20, 5/24/95, Kerry Voted Yea;
Amendment 1126 To reduce unnecessary military spending, holding military spending to a freeze in overall spending over 7 years protecting readiness and modernization activities and shifting the savings to education and job training, restoring a portion of the reductions proposed for those programs in the resolution.

H.R. 2707, CQ Vote #182: Motion Rejected 28-69: R 3-39; D 25-30, 9/10/91, Kerry Voted Yea;
This one is listed twice. I guess they really liked it.

S. 2399, CQ Vote #56: Motion Rejected 50-48: R 3-40; D 47-8, 3/26/92, Kerry Voted Yea;
On the Cloture Motion (Motion To Invoke Cloture on S. 2399, “A bill to allow rational choice between defense and domestic discretionary spending.”

S. Con. Res. 106, CQ Vote #70: Motion Rejected 36-62: R 3-39; D 33-23, 4/9/92, Kerry Voted Yea;
H.R. 5677, CQ Vote #208: Motion Rejected 36-62: R 5-38; D 31-24, 9/16/92, Kerry Voted Yea;
Amendment 2999 To increase the amounts made available for Head Start, Healthy Start, Job Corps, disease control, maternal and child health, child care, community health centers, infant mortality, child welfare services, biomedical research, low-income home energy assistance, Pell grants, Chapter I basic grants, special education, vocational education, Impact Aid, libraries, and other programs, offset from defense.

H.R. 5677, CQ Vote #209: Motion Rejected 30-67: R 6-37; D 24-30, 9/16/92, Kerry Yea;
Amendment 3000 To rescind certain appropriations made available in the Fiscal Year 1992 Department of Defense Appropriations Act under Title III "Procurement", and to make funds available to the Department of Education for "Student Financial Assistance".

H.R. 5677, CQ Vote #211: Motion Rejected 43-53: R 14-28; D 29-25, 9/17/92, Kerry Voted Yea; Amendment 3019, To increase the amounts available for carrying out programs of cancer research.

S. Con. Res. 18, CQ Vote #50: Motion Agreed To 58-41: R 6-37; D 52-4, 3/23/93, Kerry Voted
Yea; A vote to table amendment 198 To adjust defense spending consistent with a $60 billion reduction from last year's defense plan over 1994 to 1998.

S. 1298, CQ Vote #253: Motion Agreed To 61-32: R 35-5; D 26-27, 9/9/93, Kerry Voted Nay;
On the Motion to Table (motion to table ) S.Amdt. 792 to S. 1298 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 ) Statement of Purpose: To increase funding for comprehensive substance abuse treatment programs for women and children.

S. Con. Res. 63, CQ Vote #66: Rejected 42-58: R 42-2; D 0-56, 3/23/94, Kerry Voted Nay;
On the Amendment (Domenici Amdt. No. 1560 ) In the nature of a substitute. ?

S. Con. Res. 13, CQ Vote #204: Rejected 31-68: R 1-53; D 30-15, 5/25/95, Kerry Voted Yea;
On the Amendment (lautenberg amdt no. 1168) To allow the shift of up to $1,000,000,000 from wasteful bureaucratic overhead and wasteful procurement in the military budget for use in strengthening enforcement of immigration laws.

S. Con. Res. 13, CQ Vote #205: Rejected 26-73: R 2-52; D 24-21, 5/25/95, Kerry Voted Yea;
On the Amendment (lautenberg amdt no. 1169 ) To allow the shift of up to $2,000,000,000 from wasteful bureaucratic overhead and wasteful procurement in the military budget for use in addressing the problem of domestic violence.

H.R. 1944, CQ Vote #319: Motion Agreed To 57-40: R 47-5; D 10-35, 7/21/95, Kerry Voted Nay;
He voted against a motion to table amendment 1833 (Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Additional Disaster Assistance, for Anti-terrorism Initiatives, for Assistance in the Recovery from the Tragedy that Occurred at Oklahoma City, and Rescissions Act, 1995 )

H.R. 1944, CQ Vote #320: Motion Agreed To 65-32: R 49-3; D 16-29, 7/21/95, Kerry Voted Nay;
A motion to table S.Amdt. 1833 to H.R. 1944 (Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Additional Disaster Assistance, for Anti-terrorism Initiatives, for Assistance in the Recovery from the Tragedy that Occurred at Oklahoma City, and Rescissions Act, 1995 )

S. 1745, CQ Vote #175: Motion Agreed To 60-40: R 50-3; D 10-37, 6/26/96, Kerry Voted Nay;
Motion to Table Amendment 4347 to restore funding for certain educational and employment assistance programs to levels requested by the President by authorizing the Secretary of Defense to transfer defense funds that are excess to the funding levels provided in the future-years defense program and to the other funding objectives of the Chief of Staff of the Army, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps.

S. 1061, CQ Vote #229: Motion Rejected 27-72: R 2-53; D 25-19, 9/10/97, Kerry Voted Yea;
This was a vote for amendment 1087, to increase funding for the Head Start Act.

S. 2057, CQ Vote #173: Rejected 18-74: R 1-50; D 17-24, 6/25/98, Kerry Voted Yea;
To provide with an offset, $270,000,000 for the Child Development Program of the Department of Defense.

S. 1077, CQ Vote #224: Motion Agreed To 77-22: R 48-0; D 29-21; I 0-1, 7/10/01, Kerry Voted Nay
Voted against tabling an amendment to increase funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, with an offset.

Kerry Voted Against Funding For F-18 Fighters At Least Eight Times, In 1990, 1995, 1996.
The Bush Website makes this claim, and specifically lists these bills as the 8 times Kerry has voted against the F-18. But they don't explain what the bills are. Let's look:

S. 3189, CQ Vote #273: Passed 79-16: R 37-5; D 42-11, 10/15/90, Kerry Voted Nay;
While this implies he voted “against funding F-18 Fighters”, this was not a bill about the F-18. In the 3,399 word summary of the bill, the F-18 is not mentioned.

H.R. 5803, CQ Vote #319: Adopted 80-17: R 37-6; D 43-11, 10/26/90, Kerry Voted Nay;
While this implies he voted “against funding F-18 Fighters”, this was not a bill about the F-18. In the 5,431 word summary of the bill, the F-18 is not mentioned.

H.R. 4739, CQ Vote #320: Adopted 80-17: R 37-6; D 43-11, 10/26/90, Kerry Voted Nay;
While this implies he voted “against funding F-18 Fighters”, this was not a bill about the F-18. In the 19,728 word summary of the bill, the F-18 is not mentioned.

H.R. 1530, CQ Vote #399: Passed 64-34: R 50-3; D 14-31, 9/6/95, Kerry Voted Nay;
While this implies he voted “against funding F-18 Fighters”, this was not a bill about the F-18. In the 33,137 word summary of the bill, the F-18 is not mentioned.

H.R. 2126, CQ Vote #579: Adopted 59-39: R 48-5; D 11-34, 11/16/95, Kerry Voted Nay;
While this implies he voted “against funding F-18 Fighters”, this was not a bill about the F-18. In the 2,233 word summary of the bill, the F-18 is not mentioned.

H.R. 1530, CQ Vote #608: Adopted 51-43: R 47-2; D 4-41, 12/19/95, Kerry Voted Nay;
While this implies he voted “against funding F-18 Fighters”, this was not a bill about the F-18. In the 33,137 word summary of the bill, the F-18 is not mentioned. Note: this bill is listed twice, see above.

S. 1124, CQ Vote #5: Adopted 56-34: R 42-3; D 14-31, 1/26/96, Kerry Voted Nay;
While this implies he voted “against funding F-18 Fighters”, this was not a bill about the F-18. In the 32,826 word summary of the bill, the F-18 is not mentioned.

H.R. 3230, CQ Vote #279: Adopted 73-26: R 50-3; D 23-23, 9/10/96, Kerry Voted Nay
While this implies he voted “against funding F-18 Fighters”, this was not a bill about the F-18. In the 24,606 word summary of the bill, the F-18 is not mentioned.

Before George W. Bush's political operatives started pounding on John Kerry for voting against certain weapons systems during his years in the Senate, they should have taken a look at this quotation:

"After completing 20 planes for which we have begun procurement, we will shut down further production of the B-2 bomber. We will cancel the small ICBM program. We will cease production of new warheads for our sea-based ballistic missiles. We will stop all new production of the Peacekeeper [MX] missile. And we will not purchase any more advanced cruise missiles. … The reductions I have approved will save us an additional $50 billion over the next five years. By 1997 we will have cut defense by 30 percent since I took office."

The speaker was President George H.W. Bush, the current president's father, in his State of the Union address on Jan. 28, 1992.

They should also have looked up some testimony by Dick Cheney, the first President Bush's secretary of defense (and now vice president), three days later, boasting of similar slashings before the Senate Armed Services Committee:

"Overall, since I've been Secretary, we will have taken the five-year defense program down by well over $300 billion. That's the peace dividend. … And now we're adding to that another $50 billion … of so-called peace dividend."

Cheney proceeded to lay into the then-Democratically controlled Congress for refusing to cut more weapons systems.

"Congress has let me cancel a few programs. But you've squabbled and sometimes bickered and horse-traded and ended up forcing me to spend money on weapons that don't fill a vital need in these times of tight budgets and new requirements. … You've directed me to buy more M-1s, F-14s, and F-16s—all great systems … but we have enough of them."

The Republican operatives might also have noticed Gen. Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the same hearings, testifying about plans to cut Army divisions by one-third, Navy aircraft carriers by one-fifth, and active armed forces by half a million men and women, to say noting of "major reductions" in fighter wings and strategic bombers.

Granted, these reductions were made in the wake of the Soviet Union's dissolution and the Cold War's demise. But that's just the point: Proposed cuts must be examined in context. A vote against a particular weapons system doesn't necessarily indicate indifference toward national defense.

Looking at the weapons that the RNC says Kerry voted to cut, a good case could be made, certainly at the time, that some of them (the B-2 bomber and President Reagan's "Star Wars" missile-defense program) should have been cut. As for the others (the M-1 tank and the F-14, F-15, and F-16 fighter planes, among others), Kerry didn't really vote to cut them.

The claim about these votes was made in the Republican National Committee "Research Briefing" of Feb. 22. The report lists 13 weapons systems that Kerry voted to cut—the ones cited above, as well as Patriot air-defense missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles, and AH64 Apache helicopters, among others.

It is instructive, however, to look at the footnotes. Almost all of them cite Kerry's vote on Senate bill S. 3189 (CQ Vote No. 273) on Oct. 15, 1990. Do a Google search, and you will learn that S. 3189 was the Fiscal Year 1991 Defense Appropriations Act, and CQ Vote No. 273 was a vote on the entire bill. There was no vote on those weapons systems specifically.

On a couple of the weapons, the RNC report cites H.R. 5803 and H.R. 2126. Look those up. They turn out to be votes on the House-Senate conference committee reports for the defense appropriations bills in October 1990 (the same year as S. 3189) and September 1995.

In other words, Kerry was one of 16 senators (including five Republicans) to vote against a defense appropriations bill 14 years ago. He was also one of an unspecified number of senators to vote against a conference report on a defense bill nine years ago. The RNC takes these facts and extrapolates from them that he voted against a dozen weapons systems that were in those bills. The Republicans could have claimed, with equal logic, that Kerry voted to abolish the entire U.S. armed forces, but that might have raised suspicions. Claiming that he opposed a list of specific weapons systems has an air of plausibility. On close examination, though, it reeks of rank dishonesty.

An examination of Kerry's real voting record during his 20 years in the Senate indicates that he did vote to restrict or cut certain weapons systems. From 1989-92, he supported amendments to halt production of the B-2 stealth bomber. (In 1992, George H.W. Bush halted it himself.) It is true that the B-2 came in handy during the recent war in Iraq—but for reasons having nothing to do with its original rationale.

The B-2 came into being as an airplane that would drop nuclear bombs on the Soviet Union. The program was very controversial at the time. It was extremely expensive. Its stealth technology had serious technical bugs. More to the point, a grand debate was raging in defense circles at the time over whether, in an age of intercontinental ballistic missiles and long-range cruise missiles, the United States needed any new bomber that would fly into the Soviet Union's heavily defended airspace. The debate was not just between hawks and doves; advocates and critics could be found among both.

In the latest war, B-2s—modified to carry conventional munitions—were among the planes that dropped smart bombs on Iraq. But that was like hopping in the Lincoln stretch limo to drop Grandma off at church. As for the other stealth plane used in both Iraq wars—the F-117, which was designed for non-nuclear missions—there is no indication that Kerry ever opposed it.

The RNC doesn't mention it, but Kerry also supported amendments to limit (but not kill) funding for President Reagan's fanciful (and eventually much-altered) "Star Wars" missile-defense system. Kerry sponsored amendments to ban tests of anti-satellite weapons, as long as the Soviet Union also refrained from testing. In retrospect, trying to limit the vulnerability of satellites was a very good idea since many of our smart bombs are guided to their targets by signals from satellites. Kery also voted for amendments to restrict the deployment of the MX missile (Reagan changed its deployment plan several times, and Bush finally stopped the program altogether) and to ban the production of nerve-gas weapons.

At the same time, in 1991, Kerry opposed an amendment to impose an arbitrary 2 percent cut in the military budget. In 1992, he opposed an amendment to cut Pentagon intelligence programs by $1 billion. In 1994, he voted against a motion to cut $30.5 billion from the defense budget over the next five years and to redistribute the money to programs for education and the disabled. That same year, he opposed an amendment to postpone construction of a new aircraft carrier. In 1996, he opposed a motion to cut six F-18 jet fighters from the budget. In 1999, he voted against a motion to terminate the Trident II missile. (Interestingly, the F-18 and Trident II are among the weapons systems that the RNC claims Kerry opposed.)

Did Kerry vote to eliminate the Marriage Penalty Tax?

From Bush's website "In 1998, Kerry Voted Against Eliminating Marriage Penalty Relief For Married Taxpayers With Combined Incomes Less Than $50,000 Per Year, Saving Taxpayers $46 Billion Over 10 Years. (S. 1415, CQ Vote #154: Rejected 48-50: R 5-49; D 43-1, 6/10/98, Kerry Voted Yea)"

The actual amendment is about a Tobacco Trust Fund, with some language thrown in about marriage penalties for good measure. From the amendment that Senator Kerry voted to table:

(1) In general: Except as provided in paragraph (2) and notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the amount credited to the National Tobacco Trust Fund under section 401(b) of this Act for any fiscal year shall be reduced by the amount of the decrease in Federal revenues for such fiscal year which the Secretary of the Treasury estimates will result from the amendments made by this title. The Secretary shall increase or decrease the amount of any reduction under this section to reflect any incorrect estimate for any preceding fiscal year.

(2) Limitation on reduction after fiscal year 2007:

(A) In general: Except as provided in subparagraph (B), with respect to any fiscal year after fiscal year 2007, the reduction determined under paragraph (1) shall not exceed 33 percent of the total amount credited to the National Tobacco Trust Fund for such fiscal year.

Kerry voted against Middle Class Tax Cuts?

The claim on Bush's website: In 1995, Kerry Voted For A Resolution That Said Middle Class Tax Cuts Were Not Wise. The sense of the Senate amendment, killed on a motion by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), said, "reducing the deficit should be one of the nation's highest priorities, and that a middle-class tax cut would undermine and be inconsistent with the goal of achieving a balanced budget." (H.J. Res. 1, CQ Vote #67: Motion Agreed To 66-32: R 49-3; D 17-29, 2/14/95, Kerry Voted Nay)

The resolution did not mention middle class tax cuts anywhere in it. The only reference in all four versions of it to taxes is this single line: SECTION 2. No bill to increase tax revenue shall become law unless approved by a three-fifths majority of the whole number of each House of Congress."

Furthermore, vote #67 was a motion to commit to Senate Committee on Budget, tabled in Senate. It was not a "sense of the Senate Amendment as claimed.

Why did Kerry vote against the $87 billion bill?

Kerry didn't vote against funding the troops. In fact, John Kerry proposed a bill to fund the troops. He voted to pay for the funding, too, instead of further running up the deficit. Bush threatened to veto a bill for funding the troops if it didn't run up the deficit. The GOP agreed, their version passed, and now we have record-setting deficits.

Listen to his statement: He hits the main point hard within the first minute and a half, but the rest of the speech is well worth the listen, if you want the full perspective on his feelings about the war. It's the modern day Winter Soldier's testimony. [My words, not his]

The $87 billion supplemental bill was presented with no "payback provision," meaning that our tax money would have paid for every penny of this.

$18.6 billion - or 21% - was allocated for "security, relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction in Iraq"
$5.56 billion for the electric sector
$4.33 billion for water resources and sanitation
$3.24 billion for security and law enforcement
$2.10 billion for oil infrastructure
$1.32 billion for justice, public safety infrastructure, and civil society
$793 million for health care
$500 million for transportation and telecommunications
$370 million for roads, bridges, and construction
$280 million for education, refugees, human rights, democracy and governance
$153 million for private sector development

The Senate rejected an amendment that would prevent further fiscal abuses. Sponsored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), the amendment would have barred funds from going to contracts with companies that owe deferred compensation to Cheney and 21 other administration officials. It was defeated by a 65-34 vote, with only Democrats voting in support.

Vocal opponents of the bill included:

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA): "When the roll is called on this $87 legislation, which provides no effective conditions for genuine international participation and a clear change in policy in Iraq, I intend to vote no. The amount of money is huge. It is 87 times what the federal government spends annually on after-school programs. It is 7 times what President Bush proposed to spend on education for low-income schools in 2004. It is 9 times what the federal government spends on special education each year. It is 8 times what the government spends to help middle- and low-income students go to college. It is 15 times what the government spends on cancer research. It is 27 times what the government spends on substance abuse and mental health treatment." (Source: Washington Post, October 19, 2003.)

Representative Lois Capps (D-CA): "I rise in opposition to this bill. Last year I voted against the war in Iraq because I believed this
administration had overstated its case for this pre-emptive war, rushed us unilaterally into this conflict, and ultimately had no real plan for the postwar reconstruction. Despite the President's protests, these concerns have proved legitimate."

Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV): "Mr. President, the Emperor has no clothes. This entire adventure in Iraq has been based on propaganda and manipulation. Eighty-seven billion dollars is too much to pay for the continuation of a war based on falsehoods. . This huge spending bill has been rushed through this chamber in just one month. There were just three open hearings by the Senate Appropriations Committee on $87 billion, without a single outside witness called to challenge the Administration's line."More information at:

On a related note, if Bush is so concerned about troops and their body armor, why is he refusing to to allow 1300 donated bullet proof vests to be shipped to Iraq? The vests were requested by 1st Sgt. Fred Chisholm, they were collected by a sheriff, and they have been sitting in a warehouse since May, 2004. Rumsfeld and Bush refuse to grant permission to ship them, and Jeb refuses to intervene in this case. Chisholm wanted the vests so his soldiers could pad the interior of their thin-skinned Humvees to protect against homemade roadside bombs and other weapons.


first and fourth most liberal?

Assertions that the Democrats' presumptive nominees are extreme liberals fall flat. True, Mr. Kerry's voting history places him to the left of today's median Senate Democrat (Tom Daschle of South Dakota). But he is closer to the center of the Democratic Party than he is to the most liberal senators, including Mr. Kennedy. John Edwards falls just to the right of the median Democrat. In fact, he is nearly indistinguishable from Mr. Lieberman, the Democrats' vice presidential candidate in 2000.

On the other side of the partisan divide, Mr. Bush - like Mr. Kerry - is more extreme than his party's median senator (Richard Shelby of Alabama). He is also noticeably more conservative than his primary challenger in 2000, John McCain. So any assertion that the Democratic candidates are out of the mainstream might easily be applied to the Republicans as well. In fact, if any of the four candidates on the national party tickets this year is out of the mainstream, it is Mr. Cheney, who in his last full term in the House was on the right flank of roughly 90 percent of his Republican colleagues.

berger cleared of charges

Swift Boat Nonsense

This section got so long I moved it here to speed download time.

Quotes. There is an email floating around with less than intelligent quotes, attributed to John Kerry. The majority of the quotes are actually from Dan Quayle. The email has been circulating since 1999, with various politicians blamed for the quotes.

Personal funding in the Kerry - Weld Race

From Bush's website:
In 1996, Kerry And Weld Established $500,000 Limit Of Personal Wealth To Be Used In Senate Campaign. “In 1996, Kerry and Weld gave their already noteworthy Senate race added significance by establishing a spending cap. The candidates agreed to spend no more than $6.9 million from July 1 through the election. Weld ended up spending $6.6 million and Kerry $6.3 million. One key element of the agreement limited the candidates to spending $500,000 in personal wealth, a clause Weld favored because Kerry is married to a millionaire, Teresa Heinz.” (Glen Johnson, “In Kerry’s Plan For A Pac, The Resolution Of Opposites,” The Boston Globe, 12/18/01)

Kerry Broke Agreement By Spending $1.2 Million Over Limit. “Post-election reports showed a last-minute infusion of $1.7 million from Kerry’s wife, heiress Teresa Heinz. … Kerry denied that his campaign violated its agreement. The money had been loaned--not contributed--by his wife, he explained. ‘There was nothing in the agreement that restricted us from taking a loan … and we paid it back in $1,000 and $2,000 chunks.’” (“Global Ecology Lobby Rocked By Defection,” Political Finance, The Newsletter, 1/02)

What this doesn't mention is that Kerry and Weld made this agreement, and then Weld violated it, overspending by nearly half a million on tv ads. Once Weld broke it, there was no reason for Kerry to stick with it. A contract is two sided; Weld voided it.

Also, just as a study in rhetoric, note the use of the words "millionaire," "heiress," and the statement that Weld favored the cap because of Teresa's wealth.

One would never know from this that Weld is a millionaire. In the 1970s Bush Sr.'s uncle sold his brokerage company G.H. Walker & Co. to White, Weld & Co. and became a director of the latter company before its merger with Merrill Lynch in 1978.

Weld is now said to be heir to the White, Weld fortune. Weld is a principal at Leeds Weld & Co., which describes itself as the United States's largest private equity fund focused on investing in the education and training industry.

Teresa and Tides
In recent weeks, The Heinz Endowments has been accused of using its funding of the Tides Center of Western Pennsylvania to advance a laundry list of partisan causes and fringe political groups. This accusation is simply wrong.

It originated in an opinion column written by a researcher for the conservative, Washington, D.C.-based Capital Research Center. The crux of CRC’s argument is that money directed by the Endowments to Tides is "fungible." By supporting projects through Tides, CRC alleged that Heinz has secretly funneled money to every other organization that has ever received funding through Tides Center and the separate Tides Foundation.

Since first being published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, CRC’s accusation has been picked up and expanded in opinion pieces in a number of newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and the Washington Times. But not even these publications have leveled this allegation in actual news stories.

The reason why is obvious: The charge does not stand up to objective scrutiny. Four facts undercut it completely. First, by legally binding contract, every penny of Heinz’s support to Tides has been explicitly directed to specific projects in Pennsylvania. It cannot legally be redirected and is the exact opposite of fungible.

Second, the Tides Center is a provider of management and administrative services, and we have used it only for those services, not to advance Tides’ grantmaking agenda. Foundations from all across the country-many, like Heinz, with strong centrist agendas-use these services to incubate an array of nonprofit programs. So does the federal government. It is no more accurate to suggest that Heinz supports every one of these programs than it is to suggest that someone who contributes to a specific group through the United Way supports the agenda of every other United Way beneficiary.

Third, the projects we have supported through Tides speak for themselves. They include programs to test the career readiness of area high school students, protect Pittsburgh’s environment and retain young people in our region-hardly an extremist agenda.

Fourth and finally, information about every one of our Tides-related grants is and always has been readily available in our public filings, annual reports and here on our web site. Far from being secretive, we have been consistently open in detailing the nature of our grants to Tides and every other organization we fund.

Ridiculous story about a Fire Hydrant
They did have a fire hydrant moved (not removed, but moved around the corner), to create parking in front of their house. The move was approved by the chief of the fire department, and didn't endangered anyone. John and Teresa paid to have it moved.
What you will not find is a single reference to what Bush did in Arlington, Texas, in the early 1990s, when he was the part-owner of and principal glad-hander for the Texas Rangers baseball team. Bush did not have a fire hydrant moved. Rather, he had an entire 13-acre neighborhood moved — well, flattened — so that he could build a new ballpark for the Rangers. He did this by persuading the Texas legislature to create an independent authority to take the land by eminent domain and use it for a stadium — a remarkable piece of sports socialism that the former owners of the Red Sox unsuccessfully tried to replicate a decade later. (Note: that plan, apparently dead and gone, would have displaced the offices of the Boston Phoenix, which opposed it strenuously.)
The Arlington property owners, who were pretty well-off themselves, went to court and tried to fight back. But Bush and the Rangers got their way. Eventually the authority — that is, the taxpayers — paid $4.2 million for the land, and another $191 million to build the stadium itself, or more than three times the contribution that the Rangers themselves were required to make.

Kerry's Homes
I'm not sure what this has to do with the campaign at all. Do people vote based on a candidate's house?

However, the aggregate value of these five homes is roughly $29 million, but the claim that John Kerry "owns" all of these properties is problematic. John and Teresa Kerry signed a prenuptial agreement and have kept their premarital assets separate. The Boston townhouse (which John Kerry mortgaged in 2003 to finance his presidential bid) is the only one of these homes that they own as a couple; the other four belonged to Teresa before her 1995 marriage to John Kerry, and some of them are even still listed under the name of her late husband.

Also, according to the London Times, the Italian villa bought by actor George Clooney was sold a year before John Kerry announced his intention to seek the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, and it was owned not by John or Teresa Kerry, but by Mrs. Drue Heinz, a relative of Teresa's through her marriage to John Heinz:

Teresa does not own Heinz
Moreover, the Heinz Company's operations are not an example of the type of outsourcing that is currently a hot political issue

Prescription Drug Care cards

Seniors have to select a card during the sign-up period.
Companies can changes prices when they want, but seniors are stuck with the card for a year.
The discounts are usually less than state programs and much less than Canadian purchases.
The government is prohibited from negotiating drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies.
Private insurance companies are being paid billions of dollars to subsidize people from going onto straight Medicare.
The administration lied to Congress about the cost of the program.

The Bush administration has promised the new Medicare drug discount card program will save all seniors money on their medicines. Yet, according to the Boston Globe, the White House allowed drug card industry CEO David Halbert (a longtime Bush campaign contributor) to be involved in the original crafting of the discount card program. The result is a program that enriches drug card companies at the expense of consumers. The cards do not guarantee any price savings for consumers, allowing drug card companies to change their "discounts" at any time in order to maximize profits.

Now, as the program is set to start, the White House has once again looked to its top campaign contributors in deciding which companies it approved to administer the cards. All told, the 73 companies selected gave President Bush and conservatives in Congress more than $5 million since 2000. Of those 73 companies approved by the administration, 20 (almost one third) have been involved in fraud charges. Those 20 companies made more than 60% of the total contributions to Bush and conservatives by drug card companies, calling into question whether the administration overlooked those companies' records because of their financial ties to the Bush Campaign.

Cover-Up Costs
The Bush administration may have broken the law on Medicare.

Recently revealed federal documents show that the Bush administration estimated last year that the new Medicare prescription-drug benefit could cost almost $600 billion, more than half again as much as it publicly predicted at the time. Even worse, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has concluded that administration efforts to conceal this and other unflattering cost forecasts of the proposal while it was debated "appear to violate a specific and express prohibition of federal law."

Malpractice Suits

Claim: The Bush administration has stated that uncapped malpractice suits drive up health care costs by 5-9%, or a total of $60 billion and $108 billion per year.

Reality: This data is derived from a single study done in 1996, based only on a study on heart patients. Both the General Accounting Office and the Congressional Budget Office criticize the 1996 study the Bush administration uses as their main support. These nonpartisan agencies suggest savings – if any – would be relatively small.

On Jan. 8, 2004, the Congressional Budget Office also said the 1996 study wasn’t a valid basis for projecting total costs of defensive medicine.

When CBO applied the methods used in the study of Medicare patients hospitalized for two types of heart disease to a broader set of ailments, it found no evidence that restrictions on tort liability reduce medical spending. Moreover, using a different set of data, CBO found no statistically significant difference in per capita health care spending between states with and without limits on malpractice torts.

Worth noting: The nonpartisan CBO is now headed by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who previously was chief economist for President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers.

Kerry and Edwards support these proposals to help with the malpractice crisis: encouraging arbitration, review of cases to weed out frivilous suits, sanctions against attorneys who file frivilous suits, and an elimination of most punitive awards (which are responsible for many of the huge malpractice settlements in states where they are legal).

In contrast, Bush promotes a cap on settlements, which does not differentiate between real damages. Therefore a person who truly suffers $1 million in damages could not collect more that $250.000 under Bush's proposals. This would also not be of much benefit because malpractice carriers have a history of rising premiums independent of actual costs.

Late Term Abortion Ban. There seems to be confusion about why John Kerry voted against the banning of late term abortions. He voted against it, because it left out any provisions that would protect the mother in a life threatening situation. In other words, under the Republican bill, without ammendment, if a mother's life is in jeopardy, she still can't have the abortion, even if it will save her life.

Yucca Mountain: Bush claims that Senator Kerry "says he's strongly against (storing nuclear waste at) Yucca here in Nevada, but he voted for it several times." Not true. "Each time Kerry has faced the simple choice of voting whether or not to send waste to Yucca Mountain, he has voted against it. But he has voted for some measures that had provisions to allow nuclear dumps there. Some 16 years ago, Kerry voted for an overall budget bill that included a provision favoring putting the nuclear waste in Nevada."

Ghengis Kahn: I've seen this as a talking point on the RNC blogs, for some reason. Kerry pronounced the name Ghengis with a soft G, which is the more authentic pronunciation. If you look at the alternate spellings, it's pretty clear. "Ghengis Khan. Genghis Khan, also spelled Ching-gis Khan, Chingis Khan, Jenghiz Khan, or Jinghis Khan..."

Trial Lawyers: This is a summary of major cases litigated by Senator Edwards. Here is an article talking about the effects of large awards on the insurance industry.

Democratic Harrassment at Florida Polls

A story in the Sun Sentinal reports that republicans are being intimidated at the polls. One of the complainers, Elaine Fandino, reported problems with Kerry supporters showing up at the polls with their campaign signs. Here is a photo of her - she's the one in the center, in front of the line of people at the polls, holding a giant BUSH sign: and here she is rioting to try to stop the vote recount in 2000: Another supposed victim, Juan D'Arce "couldn't stand the taunting, so he turned away and did not vote." He is a republican in charge of setting up debates at colleges in Florida. Lawrence Gottfried, who "used to be a democrat" filed a lawsuit concerning the recount in 2000