Thursday, September 27, 2007
"I applaud the efforts of my friend Congressman Conyers on behalf of working Americans, as well as the vital work done on this issue by the AFL-CIO and other unions. Protecting pensions and benefits is essential to the economic security of our workers and our nation.
"We need to reform bankruptcy laws to require large corporations to honor pension obligations to their employees. Workers who lose their retirement funds in Enron-style collapses should go to the front of the line in bankruptcy. Too often companies siphon away money from their bankrupt divisions into healthier ones and then claim to have no money left to pay for the health and retirement benefits of the bankrupt division’s employees. That is an outrage. When I am President, I will not tolerate loopholes that allow companies to defraud their workers.
"We need a President who will fight for working Americans. When I am in the White House, my Secretary of Labor will be a union member, and workers will be guaranteed the rights and benefits that they have earned."
(Hanover, New Hampshire) Gov. Bill Richardson said Wednesday night that he is if elected president he would her would refuse to accept the position of Honorary Chair of the Boy Scouts of America because of Scouting's ban on gays.
The New Mexico governor made the pledge during a Democratic presidential debate in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Richardson was asked if he would accept the chair of the organization, traditionally offered to presidents.
"No, I wouldn’t, because I think as president I would commit myself, number one, that I will be a leader that prevents discrimination on the basis of race, gender and sexual orientation," he replied.
Bill Richardson has been a champion of equal rights for all, and has fought tirelessly for domestic parternship rights in New Mexico. LTS
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Everywhere I go on this campaign -- from Iowa to New Mexico -- I hear people asking when is this war going to end and when will we get all of our troops out of Iraq? Everyone, myself included, is tired of waiting for this war to end and tired of feeling let down by the people we elected.
The message I hear on the road seems pretty clear to me, but apparently the people in Congress aren't getting it. I know legislating is hard work -- I spent 15 years in Congress -- but I believe that when the people have given you a mandate, and soldiers are dying, it is your solemn duty to get the job done no matter what it takes.
Two days ago the Senate had a chance to help get more of our soldiers home for longer periods of time -- but the measure failed. Yesterday they had a chance to set a timeline to start withdrawing troops -- but that failed too. And today, another measure that would've required a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq failed. Three chances to make a difference, lost. But instead of continuing to push on the most important issue facing our country right now, yesterday Congress spent their time debating and condemning a newspaper ad by an anti-war group.
Let's get some perspective here -- ads don't kill people -- wars kill people. And it is long past time to end this war.
From my many years of diplomatic negotiations I have learned that persistence is key to wearing down the most recalcitrant opponents. So I will be persistent -- and I hope you all will too. If we don't get this done now, we may not have a chance again until a Democrat is in the White House in 2009. That is too long to wait.
And while I firmly believe a Democrat will win in November 2008, I also know that some of the other candidates don't share my clear vision for ending the war.
I have been asking them -- how many troops will you leave behind?
My answer is zero.
Their answers are starting to remind me of the same rhetoric we hearing from DC, a little too much hemming, a little too many "we'll see's."
Every day Congress fails to end this war is another day Congress fails to do what we elected them to do. Americans have lost patience with Congress and with the leaders they elected to end the war. But you know what? We have the power. We can end the war.
Let's do that together.