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Bob Graham on Civil Rights

FL Sr Senator (retiring 2004); Democratic Primary Candidate for President


Voted for Patriot Act, but against Patriot Act II

Q: Would you revise or repeal the Patriot Act?

A: The Patriot Act I passed the Senate 98-1. It was a good faith effort by Congress in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to protect our country from the threat of international terrorists. I would not support a Patriot Act II. Furthermore, I think that we need a serious, thorough examination of the current Patriot Act and the problems of how Ashcroft implements it before the act comes for reauthorization in 2005.

Source: MoveOn.org interview Jun 17, 2003

Created jobs as Governor, with focus on minority business

GRAHAM: Yesterday we saw the latest unemployment report, which hit 6% for the second time in six months. Among African Americans, unemployment is almost 11%. These are tragedies. As governor of Florida, I facilitated the creation of over 1 million new jobs, [while supporting] diversity & minority businesses. What would you do to solve the unemployment problem and with it the disparity [in unemployment for] African-Americans?

LIEBERMAN: The Bush administration has been an abysmal failure in leading our economy. We've lost 500,000 jobs in the last 3 months, disproportionately among African-Americans. Bush has one answer to every problem, which is a tax cut, one that we can't afford, one that is unfair, and one we now know doesn't work.

We've got to go back to the policies that worked during the Clinton-Gore years: fiscal discipline; smart tax cuts to help create jobs; and investments in education, health care & homeland security. Let's get the economy going. A rising tide raises all boats.

Source: [X-ref to Lieberman] Democratic Debate in Columbia SC May 3, 2003

Put the Civil War behind us: end Confederacy extremism

EDWARDS [to Graham]: You and I are both from the South. I believe it's really important for people from the South to lead, not follow, on Civil Rights, that I think it's important for us to have judges that we know will enforce our civil rights laws. I believe the president is wrong about [opposing] the Affirmative Action program at the University of Michigan. What do you believe we as Southerners can do to lift up and embrace people who today, not 40 years ago, today, still suffer the effects of discrimination every minute of their lives?

GRAHAM: One of the things that I would do, is to see that we put the Civil War behind us. Frankly, we Southerners have allowed the most extreme groups within our society to steal the images of the Confederacy and then use them as sources of division and hatred within our population.

Source: [X-ref from Edwards] Democratic Debate in Columbia SC May 3, 2003

Voted YES on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes.

Motion to Invoke Cloture on S. 625; Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act of 2001. The bill would expand the definition of hate crimes to incorporate acts committed because of a victim's sex, sexual orientation or disability and permit the federal government to help states prosecute hate crimes even if no federally protected action was implicated. If the cloture motion is agreed to, debate will be limited and a vote will occur. If the cloture motion is rejected debate could continue indefinitely and instead the bill is usually set aside. Hence a Yes vote supports the expansion of the definition of hate crimes, and a No vote keeps the existing definition. Three-fifths of the Senate, or 60 members, is required to invoke cloture.
Bill S.625 ; vote number 2002-147 on Jun 11, 2002

Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping.

Motion to table (kill) the amendment that would provide that in order to conduct roving surveillance, the person implementing the order must ascertain that the target of the surveillance is present in the house or is using the phone that has been tapped.
Bill S1510 ; vote number 2001-300 on Oct 11, 2001

Voted YES on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation.

Vote on an amendment that would expand the definition of hate crimes to include gender, sexual orientation and disability. The previous definition included only racial, religious or ethnic bias.
Bill S.2549 ; vote number 2000-136 on Jun 20, 2000

Voted YES on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women.

Vote to table, or kill, an amendment to repeal the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise [DBE] Program, which requires no less than 10% of highway construction projects funded by the federal government to be contracted to 'disadvantaged business enterprises'
Bill S.1173 ; vote number 1998-23 on Mar 6, 1998

Voted NO on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business.

This legislation would have abolished a program that helps businesses owned by women or minorities compete for federally funded transportation.
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)48; N)52
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture; Bill S.1173 ; vote number 1997-275 on Oct 23, 1997

Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): Vote to prohibit marriage between members of the same sex in federal law, and provide that no state is required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Define 'marriage' as 'between one man and one wo
Bill HR 3396 ; vote number 1996-280 on Sep 10, 1996

Voted YES on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation.

Would have prohibited job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Status: Bill Defeated Y)49; N)50; NV)1
Reference: Employment Non-Discrimination Act; Bill S. 2056 ; vote number 1996-281 on Sep 10, 1996

Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit flag burning.

Approval of a constitutional amendment which would prohibit desecration or burning of the U.S. flag.
Status: Joint Res. Defeated Y)63; N)36
Reference: Flag Desecration Bill; Bill S. J. Res. 31 ; vote number 1995-600 on Dec 12, 1995

Voted NO on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds.

Vote to disallow any funds in the Legislative Appropriations bill from being used to award, require, or encourage any Federal contract, if the contract is being awarded on the basis of the race, color, national origin, or gender of the contractor.
Bill HR 1854 ; vote number 1995-317 on Jul 20, 1995

Rated 60% by the ACLU, indicating a mixed civil rights voting record.

Graham scores 60% by the ACLU on civil rights issues

We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor. If the rights of society’s most vulnerable members are denied, everybody’s rights are imperiled.

Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: ACLU website 02n-ACLU on Dec 31, 2002

Other candidates on Civil Rights: Bob Graham on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
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Foreign Policy
Free Trade
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Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
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Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
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Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts