Bob Graham on Government Reform
FL Sr Senator (retiring 2004); Democratic Primary Candidate for President
GRAHAM: That was a provision which was put into the Constitution by our founding fathers when there was concern that people of different lands might not carry forward the values upon which this nation was founded. I think it is a provision which has run its time. For instance, there is an excellent governor of Michigan who would be an outstanding candidate for president. She is denied that opportunity because she happened to have been born in Canada. I believe that disserves America and unnecessarily restricts the pool of people who can be president of the United States.
I happen to come from a state that is very diverse. In fact, the Miami community has the highest percentage of persons who were born outside the US of any community in this nation. I understand, by having served and lived in a diverse society, what is required to build the one America that we all seek.
GRAHAM: We have a crisis. Some would say, "Well, this is not a federal responsibility. This is a result of state mismanagement." It is a federal responsibility. The federal government has passed a series of mandates on the states, everything from special education, to No Child Left Behind, to homeland security, and failed to provide the dollars that it was committed to do to make those programs real.
What I think we ought to do is this year is to put $40 billion into the states to help them immediately deal with their crisis. That would provide $330 million for Iowa, incidentally, and to see that those funds are expedited to the states by doing it through a change in the Medicaid formula with the federal government picking up a larger proportion of the costs. That's the best remedy. That's the best prescription to the current crisis.
GRAHAM: Probably no. I believe in the principle of states having responsibility for the conduct of their elections. Now, the Congress has just recently passed a National Election Reform bill which will set some general standards, but more importantly will provide funds to the states to upgrade the quality of their election technology, and the training of election personnel, [etc.] We're not proud of what happened in Florida. But had the election been as close in any other state, similar fractures would have been seen, and therefore [I see] the wisdom of, not a national takeover, but a national system for fair election reform.
|Other candidates on Government Reform:||Bob Graham on other issues:|
George W. Bush
Third Party Candidates:
Carol Moseley Braun
|Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts|