Election update: canditate platforms

With the upcoming election, the media has been abuzz with political white noise. We see and hear every day how words can be analyzed, twisted and squeezed through the juicer until they become almost unrecognizable. With phrases like “putting lipstick on a pig,” “Joe the plumber” and “I can see Russia from my backyard” still ringing in our ears, it is hard to find the truth behind the rhetoric. So here, compiled from the candidates’ own Web sites, are the candidates’ positions on three subjects of importance to college students: the environment, the budget/economy and education.Compiled by Lindsey Ahlen for The Lawrentian:

State Representatives

Penny Bernard Shaber (Dem.) http://www.penny4assembly.com/node/3

We can learn to spend the right amount of money for a well-made product, from a local industry when possible. We can learn to not spend beyond our means, including government spending, so we break the cycle of debt and credit. We can learn to save money and invest in companies that do take care of their workers and the environment. We, the consumers, have to take the first steps to make this happen. We probably cannot count on corporations or the government to do this for us. We can ask governments to also buy locally and conserve as much as possible. We can ask government to address and solve other problems that influence our economy like affordable health care, environmental protection, controlling spending and reforming taxes.

The Education System needs to be adequately funded so we can provide the best learning situation for all children starting with Early Childhood Education and Four Year Old Kindergarten through High School. We need to consider that not all children will benefit from a college education. Some will benefit from a Vocational and Technical Education that will lead them into apprenticeships and trade professions. We need to provide for schools that create a supportive and inclusive environment asking for family and parental involvement as much as possible in the process of educating the future workforce of the state

Jo Egelhoff (Rep.) http://www.votejo2008.com/issues-2/

I will work to reduce the tax burden-for families and businesses-and improve our business climate so that employers look to our state as a place to locate to, not flee from. I will work to cut through bureaucratic red-tape that too often holds back businesses. State agencies must be allies of the business community — not adversaries. I will work for targeted tax relief measures that will help employers create new jobs in Wisconsin — from capital investment and reinvestment and R&D tax credits that encourage investing right here in our community to a higher education tax credit for companies that are willing to invest in their workforce’s continued education.

I will direct more of our education dollars into the classroom for programs that actually benefit the children. I will demand high standards from our schools, especially in areas like math and science. I will work with school boards to find cost savings, such as allowing competitive bidding for health insurance. And I will work to keep our schools safe by prohibiting felons from working in our schools and strengthening the partnership between our schools and law enforcement.

Congressional Candidates
John Gard (Rep.) http://www.gardforcongress.com/Compare_the_Candidates.aspx

Allow environmentally safe exploration in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge. Doing so would create approximately 14,000 jobs in Wisconsin alone
Increase access for oil exploration in the deep-water areas off of America’s coastline known as the Outer Continental Shelf this could result in 150,000-700,000 jobs
Allow development of shale oils
Cut red tape on refineries
Eliminate barriers to the expansion of emission free nuclear power production and facilitating the process for nuclear waste disposal
Put tighter controls on investors who trade in the oil futures market

Strengthen oversight of new financial products to insure availability of capital
Help small businesses stay alive
Help families get credit when they need it
Protect retirement accounts
Steven Kagen (Dem.) http://www.kagen4congress.com/issues/#civilwar

We must become an energy independent nation by establishing four essential goals, as we begin to confront climate change: (1) emit less carbon dioxide and other pollutants; (2) invest in renewable energy resources; (3) enable existing utilities to become renewable energy sources; and (4) begin to decrease the effects of human activities upon our environment. These three elements are the foundation for an independent energy future for America. Drill for new oil in America, Invest in renewable forms of energy, and Prevent energy price manipulation, everywhere in the world. And let’s make certain the more than 140 billion barrels of oil lying beneath our national boundaries and territorial waters are sold to Americans first.

We need to establish higher standards, measurable outcomes and affordable tuition for all our children. That means continuous improvement and higher expectations. It also means heading off schemes to take our hard-earned tax dollars out of public schools and into voucher plans for private schools. We need to invest in public education to solve the many challenges we face.

Presidential Candidates

John McCain (Rep.) http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/

1) Transform Electricity
renewable energy sources
2) Expand Domestic Production of Oil and Gas
3) Address speculative pricing of oil
4) Transform transportation
battery technology
clean car challenge
flex fuel vehicles (FFVs)
alternative fuels
6) Building Efficiency
Government Purchasing
American Homes
The Lexington Plan
Commit Our Country To Expanding Domestic Oil Exploration.
Promote and expand the use of our domestic supplies of natural gas.
Investing in clean alternative sources of energy
Protecting environment by addressing climate change
Promoting energy efficiency
Addressing speculative pricing of oil

Reasonable economic growth. Growth is an imperative – historically the greatest success in reducing deficits (late 1980s; late 1990s) took place in the context of economic growth.
Comprehensive spending controls. Bringing the budget to balance will require across-the-board scrutiny of spending and making tough choices on new spending proposals.
Bi-partisanship in budget efforts. Much as the late 1990s witnessed bipartisan efforts to put the fiscal house in order, bi-partisan efforts will be the key to undoing the recent spending binge.

No Child Left Behind has focused our attention on the realities of how students perform against a common standard. John McCain believes that we can no longer accept low standards for some students and high standards for others. In this age of honest reporting, we finally see what is happening to students who were previously invisible. While that is progress all its own, it compels us to seek and find solutions to the dismal facts before us.
John McCain will place parents and children at the center of the education process, empowering parents by greatly expanding the ability of parents to choose among schools for their children. He believes all federal financial support must be predicated on providing parents the ability to move their children, and the dollars associated with them, from failing school.

Higher Education
Improve research by eliminating earmarks
Fix student lending programs
Barack Obama (Dem) http://www.barackobama.com/issues/

Provide short-term relief to American families facing pain at the pump
Help create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.
Within 10 years save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined.
Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars — cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon — on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America.
Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Jumpstart the Economy
Enact a Windfall Profits Tax to Provide a $1,000 Emergency Energy Rebate to American Families
Provide $50 billion to Jumpstart the Economy and Prevent 1 Million Americans from Losing Their Jobs
Provide Middle Class Americans Tax Relief
Provide tax cut for working families
Eliminate income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000
Simplify tax filings for middle class Americans
Job Creation
Invest in the manufacturing sector and create 5 million new green jobs
Support Small Business
Protect Homeownership and Crack Down on Mortgage Fraud
Create a universal mortgage credit
Ensure More Accountability in the Subprime Mortgage Industry
Mandate Accurate Loan Disclosure
Close Bankruptcy Loophole for Mortgage Companies
Address Predatory Credit Card Practices
Reform Bankruptcy Laws
Work/Family Balance

Reform No Child Left Behind:
Obama and Biden will reform NCLB, which starts by funding the law. Obama and Biden believe teachers should not be forced to spend the academic year preparing students to fill in bubbles on standardized tests. He will improve the assessments used to track student progress to measure readiness for college and the workplace and improve student learning in a timely, individualized manner. Obama and Biden will also improve NCLB’s accountability system so that we are supporting schools that need improvement, rather than punishing them.
Support High-Quality Schools and Close Low-Performing Charter Schools
Make Math and Science Education a National Priority
Address the Dropout Crisis
Expand High-Quality Afterschool Opportunities
Support College Outreach Programs
Support College Credit Initiatives
Support English Language Learners

Higher Education
Create the American Opportunity Tax Credit: Obama and Biden will make college affordable for all Americans by creating a new American Opportunity Tax Credit. This universal and fully refundable credit will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students. Recipients of the credit will be required to conduct 100 hours of community service.
Simplify the Application Process for Financial Aid: Obama and Biden will streamline the financial aid process by eliminating the current federal financial aid application and enabling families to apply simply by checking a box on their tax form, authorizing their tax information to be used, and eliminating the need for a separate application.

Early Voting
Appleton City Clerk’s Office
100 N Appleton
Appleton WI 54913
Hours: Open Oct. 6 to Nov. 3