Does Kerry have no Senate record?

Q: I hear Bush supporters say that the reason Kerry focuses on his military record is because he has very little in the way of a Senate record. Is that true?

A: One of the worst distortions on both sides of the Bush-Kerry debate is that both claim the other has accomplished nothing in office. It's a gross distortion on both sides. Our website has plentiful evidence to disprove it. To show just some of it, I picked twenty headlines from Bush's page and twenty from Kerry's:

The first Kerry batch are bills he introduced (his name is on them as the lead sposor, which addresses the Bush contention of "There's no bills with his name on them"). For those who are more into the legislative process, I included 10 more bills which actually became law which have Kerry's name on them.

The Bush list are all his agenda items which were accomplished during his first term (not campaign promises, but policy initiatives or presidential action).

All of the above are detailed with full explanations and source citations at and

-- Jesse Gordon, Aug. 2004

Responses from readers

Most of the responses to the above (which was sent out as an OnTheIssues newsletter) imply we're biased towards Kerry or towards Bush. As long as we're accused roughly equally on both sides, we feel we're doing our job right. We got more accusations of being pro-Bush on this one, but a good share of pro-Kerry accusations too. All articulate responses appear below.

Our headlines are not editorial judgments -- they express the candidate's issue stance in the candidate's terms. In this case, Bush's accomplishments are as Bush would describe them -- many people wrote in saying "these are not really accomplishments." We acknowledge that non-Bush supporters will consider some of these NEGATIVE accomplishments -- we're listing what Bush promised and implemented, not judging whether they're positive or negative.

-- ed.

Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 08:31:00 -0500
From: Sarah Fadness, Milwaukee WI
Subject: Re: Have Bush & Kerry accomplished anything?

I feel that I can be somewhat open to the other side, but I have to tell you that
some of these "accomplishments" are bunk.

Date: 9/17/2004 6:33:53 PM Eastern Daylight Time
To: (OnTheIssues News)

It looks like you're providing some excellent material, but your lead commentary is incoherent. I dislike Bush, but your commentary on Kerry's "accomplishments" is obviously an apologetic.

In any common sense meaning, an accomplishment entails the application of some effort to a project that succeeds. Simply "introducing a bill in the Senate" ... which may require some effort ... is not in any sense an "accomplishment", if it never passes.

Nor is it any kind of achievement to sign on as a co-sponsor for a bill that passes. The amount of effort required to be a co-sponsor is very close to zero, so granting Kerry any credit for its passage is not just a stretch, it's a joke.

I could fault the Bush list as well, but your feeble defense of Kerry's record was so obvious that it puts a dent in your overall credibility.

-- Bill Westmiller

From: "Tom Moore"
Subject: Re: Have Bush & Kerry accomplished anything?
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 09:24:01 -0600

I'm no Kerry fan but you missed quite a bit on Bush. Gigantic Deficit, dead
soldiers for little purpose, pushed HC fuel projects avoiding push on
renewable and efficiency, Iraq and Afghanistan in shambles, reduce vet
benefits, inadequate supplies to soldiers and pay cuts for dangerous
assignments, blocked drugs from Canada with bull shit excuses , gave
Humers big tax breaks, big tax breaks to the very wealthy, presided over
massive outsourcing. I could go on but...

Subject: Re: Have Bush & Kerry accomplished anything?
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 5:08:44 +0000

bull ----! Use correct facts, and its obvious this organiztion is liberal. You are either for Bush or just another predator.

-- Dennis

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 23:14:52 -0400
Subject: Re: Have Bush & Kerry accomplished anything?
From: Michael R. Fitzgerald, Jacksonville, Florida

You forgot a few.

From: Lou Janowski, Madison, Wisconsin
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 10:16:51 -0500

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 16:33:50 -0700
From: "Blair P. Houghton"
Subject: Re: Have Bush & Kerry accomplished anything?

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