Edwards’ position against tort reform–a movement by state legislatures to limit the number of malpractice suits or minimize the hefty amounts awarded by juries. “He is a prosecuting lawyer who makes it difficult for physicians,” he says. “He sues doctors and wants to keep malpractice coverage high and benefits and payouts high.” The couple approves of stem cell research and genetic cloning, which they believe can lead to significant strides in treatments for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes–a position contrary to that of the Republican Party platform.
Favored Policy: Because the Leveretts are in the upper income level, Bush’s tax policies have benefited their family. “Taxes have been lessened, allowing me to hire more people,” he says, noting favorable reductions in capital gains and inheritance taxes. “The one thing that dictates what you can leave to your family if you have anything to leave is the inheritance tax. That is money that you save and if you die, I don’t think the government has any right to any more of it just because you didn’t spend it all,” he adds.
Why: As far as Larry is concerned, “We have four bad candidates for the White House.”
ELECTION 2004 TALE OF THE TAPE
Name: George W. Bush, Age: 58 (Born July 6, 1946), Birthplace: New Haven, CT
Education: Bachelor’s, Yale University (1968); M.B.A., Harvard Business School (1975)
Military Background: Served as an F-102 fighter pilot in the Texas Air National Guard
Political Experience: Elected governor of Texas in 1994. Served until winning the 2000 presidential election.
Professional Experience: Headed up several energy businesses and served as managing general partner of the Texas Rangers baseball franchise.
HIS POSITION ON THE ISSUES:
Civil Rights: Bush opposed the University of Michigan affirmative action program when it went before the Supreme Court. He has yet to act on the End Racial Profiling Act of 2004, which would ban racial profiling at all levels of government and provide systematic monitoring and enforcement mechanisms for law enforcement agencies. He also intends to expand the controversial USA Patriot Act.
Federal Judges: Bush has named 15 African Americans to the 200 judgeships he has filled during his term (or 7.5%). By contrast, Democratic President Jimmy Carter named 38 black judges of a total of 265 in his one term of office, and President Bill Clinton appointed 38 African Americans out of 204 in his first term.
Economic Stimulus: Bush’s primary approach to growing the economy and creating jobs is to make the provisions of his $1.7 trillion tax cut legislation permanent, including decreases on taxes for married couples, doubling the child tax credit, and phasing out the inheritance tax. A large portion of the tax savings have gone to the richest 1% of the population.
Jobs: Bush sees the Opportunity Zones initiative as a way to attract private and public investment and provide jobs for new workers by encouraging businesses to locate in needy communities. One of the primary aims of the initiative is to spur the development of residential construction. The zones will also receive priority consideration for