Howard Dean on Principles & Values
Former VT Governor; Former Democratic Candidate for President
A: Howard Dean decided to put a lot of DNC money into a program to build the state parties in all fifty states. But the congressional leadership is saying, We have a finite amount of money and we have the opportunity to take back the House in 2006, so give us that money and we'll pour it into Ohio, or Florida-into congressional districts that we think we have a chance of turning. Most Democrats seem to agree that Dean's arguments and his detractors' both have merits-to put all that money into winning the House in 2006, and from there build up to bigger wins.
Q: So is 2006 really about 2008?
A: 2006 is important in its own right, but of course 2008 is it. I don't want to say "the whole enchilada," but it's extremely important. 2006 is when a lot of ideas are going to be road-tested, in policy and in strategy, for both parties.
NADER: What you said about that group was a legitimate smear. It's a smear premeditated and knowing. We don't even know this group. Don't try to tar us with this.
Someone once said that the difference between Bush Republicans and Democrats is that Bush Republicans know they're right. The scintilla of self-doubt that was once a laudable aspect of the Democratic tradition of open-mindedness had become as burdensome as Sisyphus's boulder.
DEAN: We did have a little fun in Iowa. I thought I owed it to the 3,500 kids that came out and worked for us.
You know, I'm not a perfect person. I think a lot of people have had a lot of fun at my expense over the Iowa hooting and hollering, and that's justified. But one thing I can tell you is that I'm not kidding about what I say. The things that I do are things I believe in. I think it's important that the president of the US be willing to stand up for what's right and not stand up for what's popular. I did it with No Child Left Behind. That was a mistake a year ago, not just now that everybody's suffering with it. I did it in Iraq. And I did it when I stood up for civil unions for gay and lesbian people my home state when it wasn't popular. And I'm willing to do it again as president.
DEAN: I offer the American people somebody who believes in social justice tempered by being a fiscal conservative. The greatest injustice you can do is to have an unbalanced budget- which means more cuts in social programs. I say what I believe. It's time that somebody in this party stood up for what we believe in and wasn't so careful about what they were saying.
Q: Is that a temperament people want in a president?
DEAN: We absolutely have to stand up for bedrock Democratic principles. We're not going to beat George Bush by trying to be like him. What we're really trying to do here is not just change presidents. What we're really trying to do here is steer the country back to a time when we were all in it together. This president has divided us. When we say we want our country back, we want our country back for all of us. And you have to get out there and lead with your heart and lay it all out for the American people
The Dean campaign flew Braun to Iowa for an endorsement that a source said Dean had been working on for some time.
Braun's decision ends her nearly yearlong quest, having achieved to a degree her goal of rehabilitating her image and reviving her career
It's not known yet what role Braun will play in the Dean campaign, or if the former Vermont governor will ask his supporters to help pay her campaign debt.
When asked why she is endorsing Dean, Braun, who had just arrived in Chicago, said it was "his ability to inspire people." She added, "People are energized and inspired by Howard Dean in a way that shows we don't have to put up with the fear-mongering the Bush campaign has perfected," she said.
Dean, who is a member of the Congregationalist Church, said he does not attend church often, but prays daily. His wife is Jewish, and their two children adopted the Jewish faith. Jesus is an important influence in his life, he said, and has served as a "model" for him. "Christ was someone who sought out people who were disenfranchised, people who were left behind," he said. "He fought against self-righteousness of people who had everything. He was a person who set an extraordinary example that has lasted 2,000 years."
Dean said [as a child], "we didn't have Bible readings. There are traditions where people do that. We didn't. People in the Northeast don't talk about their religion. It's a very personal, private matter, and that's the tradition I was brought up in."
Dean not only slapped his Democratic opponents as Washington insiders who've merely tried to appease Republicans, but he also distanced himself from Bill Clinton and the centrist Democratic Leadership Council that spawned him. "While Bill Clinton has said that the era of big government is over," Dean said, "I believe we must enter a new era for the Democratic Party-not one where we join Republicans and aim simply to limit the damage they inflict on working families."
Dean said he is not promoting bigger government, but "fairer government." Dean called for "a new vision for the Democratic Party" and "a new social contract" for the nation's families. He said the Democratic Party should establish "four new rights" in its social contract-affordable health care, affordable child care, affordable college tuition and guaranteed Social Security.
A: I can't think of any circumstances, with the possible exception of some sort of national-security matter - [such as] if some piece of information were put out that would endanger American lives or some circumstance under which peoples' lives would be in danger or something of that sort.
"Most of the records are open," said a Dean staffer. Still, Dean's efforts to keep official papers secret appear unusually extensive. Last year, Dean's chief counsel sent a directive to all state agencies ordering them to cull their files and remove all correspondence that bore Dean's name-and ship them to the governor's office to be reviewed for "privilege" claims. This removed a "significant number of records" from state files.
Clearly, Americans are disaffected with politics and with politicians. They do not believe that politicians are responsive to them; they don't think government is on their side; they are not particularly interested in the political process. This disaffection must be responsible for a significant proportion of the public's lack of engagement. We need people to get involved again.
Part of the answer is to speak directly to the people. I can't stand Washington-speak, the kind of double-talk and evasiveness that is habitual inside the Beltway. I think that most Americans share my aversion.
Battered Democrats are hungry to hear that. So were the conservatives, then isolated from power, who flocked to Barry Goldwater in 1964. It is the Goldwater campaign, not George McGovern's 1972 antiwar crusade, that Dean's movement most resembles. Goldwater was about preaching the full conservative gospel and giving his followers a vehicle through which they could organize and put it into practice. Goldwater had his share of verbal gaffes. His supporters found them endearing. "Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue," Goldwater said. You could imagine a Dean supporter saying that. Goldwater and his legions built a mighty movement that changed the country and affects politics to this day.
Charlie's death, friends say, had another effect: that of halting Dean's Yale-influenced drift into liberal politics. "It had a huge impact on Howard and moved him thee or four notches to the right," asserts a college friend. He thinks it accounts Dean's "pragmatic" and "middle-of-the-road" approach to social and political issues.
Much of this is speculative, and even Dean says he hasn't entirely worked it through. Nevertheless, there's no denying the seriousness of purpose that emerged in him during those difficult post-Yale years.
Earlier this month, a subcommittee ruled against Dean, ordering him to pay the penalty. Dean says he paid his quarterly tax assessment on time, and at the same time, prepaid three other quarterly assessments in a lump sum, because, he wrote in a letter, "my campaign keeps me so busy."
The payment was due Aug. 12, but the city says it received Dean's check for $6,080.20 on Aug. 21. Dean's Burlington home is assessed at $221,300.
Dean's campaign released a statement yesterday saying, "The Governor is exercising his right, as a citizen of Burlington, to appeal the $76.01 in interest and penalties and will abide by the decision of the Board. This will come as no surprise to Vermonters, who are well aware that Howard Dean is a tightwad."
Dean pledged to fight conservative Republicans, docile Democrats and the rest of the Washington establishment-all of whom he holds responsible for turning Americans away from the political system. "You have the power to take our country back!" he shouted "You have the power!"
Dean actually began his campaign months ago. But he staged a formal announcement to draw attention and money to his long-shot bid. Besides a crowd of 2,500 in Burlington, 15,000 Dean supporters had signed up to attend campaign events in more than 300 cities.
In a call to disenchanted voters of all political stripes, Dean said, "You have the power to rid Washington of all the politics of money. You have the power to take back the Democratic Party. You have the power!"
More than a few people believe that, marked by the family tragedy, Howard Dean looked for a career that was both more serious and more altruistic. He resists that easy explanation. However, when he talks about his brother, there is little of the brashness that otherwise so animates his conversation. His voice goes so low and so dark that you wonder, when he expresses his dislike for ideologues, whether he's simply referring to the extremes of the American political parties or, more deeply, to those ideologues who walk the jungle with their rifles at the ready.
In 1978, Dean graduated from medical school. He married and had two children. And Howard Dean began to get involved in politics.
But the biggest issue in this campaign is the question of patriotism and democracy. I am tired of having [conservatives] lay a claim to patriotism and lay a claim to the American flag. That flag belongs to every single one of us. And I am tired of having our democracy hijacked by the right wing of this country.
Democratic insiders laughed back in May 2002 when Dean said he would run for President. By Sep. 2003, he was the front-runner, and those same Democrats were wondering whether anything or anybody could stop him.
How did this happen? Half the answer was a Democrat attacking the Republican president-doing the things that prudent political practitioners warned Democrats not to do. People's reaction transcended the political-like, "Oh! I thought I was the only one who felt that way."
Dean's breakthrough came at a DNC event in 2003. All the other candidates spoke calmly. Not Dean, who blurted out, "I want to know why so many Democrats aren't standing up against Bush's unilateral war. I'm Howard Dean, and I represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic
And to take on the Democrats who wouldn't. One reason Democrats did so poorly in the 2002 mid-term elections was that their leaders were afraid to attack Bush. They carefully calibrated their positions, hoping they could eke out just enough votes from their core constituencies to keep control of the Senate and House. They didn't. They just frustrated rank-and-file Democrats.
Not only was Dean forthright, he was forthright in plain English. Dean really is something of a policy wonk. But he knows better than to talk that way on the stump.
Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003
I want to change the Democratic Party. I want to change this country, and I want to become the next president so we can have a balanced budget so we can have a decent health care plan in this country, and so we can have a secure nation, not by engaging in preventive war, but by regaining our strength, building a strong military, and being the United States that we used to be where our military values are consistent with our American values.
DEAN: The interesting thing about my campaign is it's really based on hope, not anger. People have a right to be angry with Bush. He is a president who appears sometimes to care more about the special interests that his political policies help rather than ordinary Americans. But our campaign's really based on hope. Our campaign empowers ordinary people, many of whom have not been in politics for years, to get involved. The Constitution of this country says that power belongs to the American people, and that is really what we intend to prove next November, as we bring enormous numbers of new Americans back into this process. 1/4 of all the people who gave us money between June and September were under 30 years old. The only way we can beat George Bush is to have a campaign based on addition, not subtraction. We want to add new people to the Democratic Party so that we can beat George Bush.
I think I may be the only Democrat that can beat President Bush. We have a huge and growing army of supporters and we have raised more money than any other Democratic candidate-mostly in small donations averaging $75 apiece. People all over this country are demoralized by the President's arrogant foreign policy. What we represent is change. What the President represents is more of the same.
A: The neo-conservative movement which has captured this administration has done enormous harm in American and to our standing in the world. This is one reason we need a different president.
A: One quarter of all our donations come from people who are under 30 and I think it is because we respect voters opinions, including young voters, and we often act on them. Younger voters have a lot more to lose from the Bush administration than my generation does. Because of the Bush tax cuts, young people will be saddled with the largest debt in American history. We need a change in this country and young voters are driving that change.
A: Politics is a tough business but I believe the American voters mostly want to hear the positive ideas instead of negative attacks that the other Democrats are throwing at us. We go through this every four years, and in the end the candidate with the most positive agenda usually wins. We will continue to try and stay above the fray with positive and inclusive ideas for America because I think it is the best way to win.
Who were these dissidents? Democrats, for the most part, precisely the folks who vote in Democratic primaries and attend caucuses-the very people who will choose the Democratic nominee. And many of them did not simply "not love" Bush. They disliked him with an intensity that (usually) stopped just short of hate.
Though this opposition was not small, it was a silenced minority. Thanks to that near-consensus among the political cognoscenti that Bush was Superman, dissenters were cowed. Expressing anti-Bush sentiments became almost an underground ritual
But the word "liberal" has come to mean less a set of policy positions that a set of attitudes, even a set of consumer preferences. A "liberal" these days means someone who listens to National Public Radio and drives a Volvo-someone who is different from the average American who goes to church and watches Monday Night Football.
The conventional wisdom holds that Dean and Kerry are the liberals, while Clark, Graham, Edwards, and Gephardt are the moderates. On the record of their public policy positions, Gephardt is to Dean's left, but Gephardt is from Missouri and a church-going Catholic.
Dean is not very far to the left on the ideological spectrum. Within the Democratic Party, Dean is slightly right of center. For a liberal, he's pretty conservative.
You have the power to rise up and take this country back. You have the power to give the party the backbone to challenge this president and all the harm he's done to our country. You have the power to create jobs, to balance the budget and to bring us our dream, which Harry Truman put in our platform in 1948, health insurance for every American.
The reason people don't vote in this country is because we don't give them a reason to vote. This campaign is about giving all of you a reason to vote. It's time to take our party back now and it's time to take our country back.
The most active of the field, publicly at least, is Dean. Dean has energetically worked Iowa and New Hampshire and made progress among liberal activists. His appeal, he believes, is an unvarnished message aimed largely at the left (although he says that his support for balancing the budget and opposition to new gun laws make him impossible to pigeonhole). "It will take somebody who stands up and says what they think and not what they think voters want to hear," he said. "We've got to get away from this stuff that is poll-driven."
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Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a person’s membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. There’s no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.
The New England Governors’ Conference, an informal alliance since colonial days, was formally established in 1937 by the Governors of the six state region to promote New England’s economic development. In 1981, the Conference incorporated as a non-partisan, non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)3 corporation. The region’s six governors serve as its Board of Directors. Annually, the governors select a Chairman to oversee the activities of the organization.
The NEGC’s framework permits the Governors to work together, to coordinate and implement policies and programs which are designed to respond to regional issues. The NEGC coordinates regional policy programs in the areas of economic development, transportation, environment, energy, and health, among others. Through these efforts, the Conference seeks to coordinate, effectively and cost-efficiently, regional policies that reflect and benefit the states. The NEGC manages committees of state officials in such areas as energy, the environment, and economic development.
The NEGC also serves as the New England Secretariat for the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG/ECP). The NEG/ECP, which first met in 1973, is a unique, inter-regional, bi-national organization. [Resolutions from the NEG/ECP appear on each Governor’s web page under the appropriate topic areas. NEG/ECP resolutions do not necessarily reflect the full policy stance of individual governors, but they do represent the consensus viewpoint.]
The National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation’s governors and one of Washington’s most respected public policy organizations. NGA provides governors with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing policy reports on innovative state programs and hosting networking seminars for state government executive branch officials. The NGA Center for Best Practices focuses on state innovations and best practices on issues that range from education and health to technology, welfare reform, and the environment. NGA also provides management and technical assistance to both new and incumbent governors.
Since their initial meeting in 1908 to discuss interstate water problems, governors have worked through the National Governors Association to deal with issues of public policy and governance relating to the states. The association’s ongoing mission is to support the work of the governors by providing a bipartisan forum to help shape and implement national policy and to solve state problems.
Fortune Magazine recently named NGA as one of Washington’s most powerful lobbying organizations due, in large part, to NGA’s ability to lead the debate on issues that impact states. From welfare reform to education, from the historic tobacco settlement to wireless communications tax policies, NGA has influenced major public policy issues while maintaining the strength of our Federalist system of government.
There are three standing committees—on Economic Development and Commerce, Human Resources, and Natural Resources—that provide a venue for governors to examine and develop policy positions on key state and national issues.
[Note: NGA positions represent a majority view of the nation’s governors, but do not necessarily reflect a governor’s individual viewpoint. Governors vote on NGA policy positions but the votes are not made public.]
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