Thursday, May 21, 2015

List of Presidential Hopefuls the Good & the Bad

Here is a list of Presidential hopefuls both Democrat and Republican. I've highlighted with green the things I think are cool, red the things I think are uncool. The things I didn't highlight are the things I didn't know enough to make an informed choice. You decide for yourself.

Hillary Clinton

Contest: 2016
Party/District: D -
Experience: U.S. Secretary of State 2009-2013, U.S. Senator 2001-2009, candidate U.S. President 2008, Attorney Rose Law Firm 1976-1992, Former Staff Attorney Children's Defense Fund, Co-Founder Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
Education: JD Yale University, BA Wellesley College

Position on the Issues

Generally pro-choice
Supports same-sex marriage
• Supports death penalty with restrictions
Opposes "corporate welfare"
Voted for TARP bill
Supports minimum wage increase
Supports public school choice, but not school vouchers
Supports cap-and-trade carbon programs
Supports voting rights for Washington, D.C.
Supports universal health care, but not single payer system
Opposes local police enforcement of federal immigration law
Supports UN sanctions on Iran


Bernie Sanders

Contest: 2016
Party/District: I -
Experience: Senator U.S. Senate 2006-present, Representative U.S. House of Representatives 1990-2006, Mayor City of Burlington 1981-1989, candidate U.S. House of Representatives 1988, candidate Governor of Vermont 1972, 1976, 1986, candidate U.S. Senate 1972, 1974
Education: BS University of Chicago

Position on the Issues

Supports reducing defense spending
Supports tax increases on high-income earners
Supports a balanced budget
Supports a constitutional amendment stating that corporations do not have the same rights as individuals (overturning the Citizens United decision from the U.S. Supreme Court)
Supports stimulus spending during economic downturns
Opposes privatization of Social Security
Supports state regulation of education over federal regulation
Supports federal action to combat climate change
Believes states rather than the federal government should regulate firearms
Supports a single-payer system for health care
Supports a path to citizenship for illegal/undocumented immigrants
Supports same-sex marriage

Priority issues according to Project Vote Smart:

A Strong Safety Net
Getting Our Priorities Right
National Healthcare
Justice and Equality For All
The Environment
A National Energy Policy
Worker's Rights
Progressive Tax Reform


Morrison Bonpasse

Contest: 2016
Party/District: D -
Experience: Author, U.S. Army Special Forces,Executive Director of BonPasse Exoneration Services
Education: BA Yale University, JD Boston University Law School, MPA Northeastern University, MBA Babson College

Position on the Issues

• Opposes the death penalty (Candidate's Website, 2015)
Supports legalization and taxation of drugs (Candidate's Website, 2015)
Supports reducing the prison population and states, "Among the means to reduce imprisonment are the elimination of mandatory prison sentences and restriction of prison sentences to violent offenders" (Candidate's Website, 2015)
"Through improvements in the law enforcement and judicial systems, the U.S. must effectively correct and stop wrongful convictions by bringing them from the current level of approximately 2% to a level of .1% of convictions/inmates or fewer before the end of this decade." (Candidate's Website, 2015)
Supports simplifying federal taxes to a flat tax, and supports balancing the federal budget by reducing borrowing (Candidate's Website, 2015)
"To enhance the stability of the global financial system and to reduce its cost, the United States should embrace the development of a Single Global Currency to replace the U.S. dollar." (Candidate's Website, 2015)
Supports a tax on carbon, opposes additional production of fossil fuels (Candidate's Website, 2015)
Pro-choice (Candidate's Website, 2015)
Supports the Affordable Care Act/"Obamacare" (Candidate's Website, 2015)
Supports a neutral, computer-generated districting process (Candidate's Website, 2015)
Supports a Constitutional Amendment overturning the Citizens United decision (Candidate's Website, 2015)
"The U.S. should support programs to bring the U.S. and global birth rates down to the levels of the death rates in order to bring population growth to ZPG (Zero Population Growth) as soon as possible." (Candidate's Website, 2015)


Ted Cruz

Contest: 2016
Party/District: R -
Experience: Senator U.S. Senate 2012-present, Domestic Policy Advisor Bush Presidential Campaign 1999-2000, Partner Morgan, Lewis & Bockius Limited Liability Partnership 2008-present, Solicitor General of Texas 2003-2008, Director Office of Policy Planning Federal Trade Commission 2001-2003, Associate Deputy Attorney General U.S. Department of Justice 2001
Education: JD Harvard Law School, BA Princeton University

Position on the Issues

Opposes tax increases on any income bracket
Supports audit of the Federal Reserve
Supports single-rate tax system
Strong opponent of Affordable Care Act (known as "Obamacare")
Supports raising the eligibility age for Medicare
Supports private retirement account option for Social Security
Supports raising the retirement age
Supports reduced restrictions on off-shore drilling
Does not support federal regulation of greenhouse gases
Opposes a path to citizenship for illegal/undocumented immigrants
Supports enforcement of federal immigration laws by local police
Supports gun rights
Opposes same-sex marriage
• Supports death penalty
Opposes federal regulation of education
Supports voter ID


Ben Carson

Contest: 2016
Party/District: R -
Experience: Professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center; recipient Presidential Medal of Freedom
Education: Yale University, University of Michigan Medical School
Position on the Issues

Believes a lack of financial regulation was responsible for the 2008 recession ("America the Beautiful" by Ben Carson, 2012)
Supports cutting taxes on corporations ("America the Beautiful" by Ben Carson, 2012)
Supports cutting all government budgets, including entitlements, by 10% ("America the Beautiful" by Ben Carson, 2012)
Supports school choice, saying, "I think having charter schools, having school vouchers, things of that nature are extremely good because unless you are competing for those students, it's very likely you're going to become complacent." ("Draft Ben Carson" website, 2014)
Said the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") "is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. And it is – in a way, it is slavery, in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government." (speech at the Values Voter Summit, 2013)
Supports regulating insurance companies as non-profits ("America the Beautiful" by Ben Carson, 2012)
Supports access to medicinal marijuana, but not recreational marijuana (Fox News, 2014)
Generally pro-life, saying, "the thought of abortion for the sake of convenience does not appeal to me. Many of us turn a blind eye to the wanton slaughter of millions of helpless human babies who are much more sophisticated than some of the other creatures, when nothing is at stake other than the convenience of one or both parents." (Washington Times, 2014)
Supports a guest worker program over mass deportation of illegal/undocumented immigrants ("America the Beautiful" by Ben Carson, 2012)
Generally supports the 2nd Amendment, but open to some restrictions on assault weapons (News Max, 2014)
Supports equal legal rights for same-sex couples and straight couples, but does not believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry (Politico, 2013)


Carly Fiorina

Contest: 2016
Party/District: R -
Experience: Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate from California in 2010
Education: BA Philosophy Stanford University, MBA University of Maryland, MS Management MIT Sloan School of Management

Position on the Issues
Opposes an assault weapons ban (Senate Debate, 2010)
Generally supports fewer regulations and taxes: "If Washington is serious about encouraging job growth and innovation, politicians will stop talking about adding new, burdensome regulations, such as new health care mandates and higher energy costs. Instead, we should be focused on giving small-business owners and entrepreneurs the ability and the opportunity to grow and succeed by cutting taxes, reducing the burden of onerous business regulations and getting credit flowing again." (Candidate's Website, 2010)
• Opposes federal earmarks (Candidate's Website, 2010)
Opposes cap-and-trade programs to reduce global warming (Candidate's Website, 2010)
Generally opposes the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), and said, "While our nation’s health care system is in need of reform, the legislation passed today is an example of the ‘cure’ being worse than the disease. It is a patchwork of Washington insider deals, and it will cost California taxpayers millions, if not billions, of dollars we cannot afford." (Candidate's Website, 2010)
Identifies as pro-life (Daily Signal, 2015)
Voted for Proposition 8, the California same-sex marriage ban (2010)
Regarding Iran: "I believe that we have lost a year to President Obama's failed engagement policy. The time has come for us to impose crippling sanctions unilaterally if necessary. We should be cutting off all access for Iran's leaders and for the Iran Revolutionary guard core to financial institutions to credit, to travel. We should be limiting Iran's imports for fined petroleum. And we should also stand very firmly with the brave men and women in Iran who are challenging the repressive Government and take advantage of the fact that there is a historic split in the theocracy in Iran--the first time in 25 years that that's happened." (Senate Debate, 2010)


Mike Huckabee

Contest: 2016
Party/District: R -
Experience: Arkansas governor, Fox News host, U.S. Presidential candidate 2008
Education: BA Religion, Ouachita Baptist University

Position on the Issues

Opposes marijuana decriminalization (Candidate's Facebook Page)
Supports 2nd Amendment rights ("From Hope to Higher Ground" by Mike Huckabee)
• Supports the death penalty (GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University, Sep 27, 2007)
Supports redirecting welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations (Project Vote Smart Survey, 2002)
Supports infrastructure investment as a way to stimulate the economy, and said "When we turn [to income tax] rebates, most people are going to go out and buy some consumables like a pair of shoes that they probably don’t even need, but they’re going to buy them, and they’re most likely an import from China. My point is, whose economy are we stimulating when we do that? The Heritage Foundation did a pretty interesting study on past rebates & found it does not really stimulate the economy in the way that we hope it will. If you really want an economic stimulus package, look at what infrastructure investment does." (Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Jan 30, 2008)
Supports "Fair Tax" reform and abolishing the IRS (GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida, Jan. 24, 2008)
As Governor, supported a program that allowed children of illegal immigrants to apply for college scholarships ("The Battle for America 2008" by Balz & Johnson)
Supports teaching the ten commandments in school, and using abstinence-only sexual education (Project Vote Smart Survey, 2002)
Supports increased domestic production of fossil fuels ("From Hope to Higher Ground," by Mike Huckabee)
Opposes the individual insurance mandate (GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate, Sep. 17, 2007)
"Passionately" pro-life ("Do the Right Thing" by Mike Huckabee)
Supports voter ID (GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University, Sep 27, 2007)
Regarding a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants: "What does make sense is a revision of our laws, one giving those here illegally a process through which they pay a reasonable fine in admission of their guilt for the past infraction of violating our border laws and agree to adhere to a pathway toward legal status and citizenship. In exchange, our government gains the capacity to know who is here, why they are here, where they are, and whether they carry a communicable disease. But much of the debate has become mired more in definitions than in a real solution." ("From Hope to Higher Ground" by Mike Huckabee)
Opposes same-sex marriage ("Character Makes a Difference" by Mike Huckabee)


Rand Paul

Contest: 2016
Party/District: R -
Experience: Senator U.S. Senate 2010-present, Resident Duke University Medical Center, Founder Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic 1995-present
Education: MD Duke University Medical Center

Position on the Issues

Does not support stimulus spending during economic downturns
Supports privatizing elements of Social Security
Supports raising the retirement age
Opposes bank bailouts
Supports cutting corporate taxes
Supports flat federal tax
Does not support federal regulation of education
Supports school choice
Opposes affirmative action
Does not support environmental regulations aimed at affecting climate change
Does not support cap-and-trade programs to reduce greenhouse gases
Opposes government-run health care and the Affordable Care Act (known as "Obamacare")
Believes states should be the ones to decide on same-sex marriage, not federal government
Supports community drug treatment over federal enforcement of drug laws
Supports medicinal marijuana
Supports excluding industrial hemp from drug laws
Supports 2nd Amendment rights
Opposes limits on magazine size
Wants more transparency of NSA surveillance
• Supports trials for Guantanamo detainees
Supports cutting defense spending
Opposes the Patriot Act
Supports legal status, but not citizenship, for illegal/undocumented immigrants
Opposes U.S. involvement in Syria


Marco Rubio

Contest: 2016
Party/District: R -
Experience: Senator U.S. Senate 2011-present, Speaker Florida State House of Representatives 2006-2008, Majority Leader Florida State House of Representatives 2003-2006, Representative Florida State House of Representatives 2000-2008, Attorney
Education: JD University of Miami, BS University of Florida

Position on the Issues

• Supports balanced budget amendment
Opposes stimulus spending during economic downturns
Supports lower corporate taxes
Supports raising the retirement age
Supports a consumption tax over property taxes
Supports a flat-tax for all income brackets
Supports school vouchers
Opposes cap-and-trade programs to control greenhouse gases
Opposes federal intervention in health care
Opposes funding for stem cell research
Supports prohibition human embryonic stem cell research
Supports path to immigration for illegal/undocumented immigrants
Opposes local law enforcement of immigration law
• Co-sponsored PIPA, but ultimately withdrew his support