Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun
Dear MoveOn member,
I want to commend you for your participation in MoveOn. You help to create a critical mass of energy that will put America on a course for peace, prosperity and progress again. You are the real patriots, and I am honored to respond to this informational initiative.
I am Carol Moseley Braun. I have served my country as Ambassador (New Zealand, Samoa, 1999-2001) as US Senator (1992-1998) as a County Executive office holder (1988-1992)as a State Legislator (1979-1988)as an Asst. US Attorney (1973-1977), and as a citizen.
I have one son; he works with computers. I entered politics as a result of an environmental cause in which I participated when my son was small, my neighbors liked my work and asked me to stand for public office. I pride myself on keeping my promises and working to deliver results to the people who elected me. I tell people what I believe in, what I would like to do, and then hold myself accountable for the outcomes of my service. I have a long record of productivity in office, most notably in education and human and civil rights. I was the first woman to serve on the Senate Finance committee, and I was able to legislate to
You can find more information about me at our website, www.carolforpresident.com.
I am running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in order to Rebuild America, physically and spiritually. Our economy remains in the doldrums because of failed economic policy: trickle down economics has never worked, and we must invest in creating prosperity and opportunity for the masses of Americans to make it robust again. The war was an expensive misadventure that the Congress should never have permitted a President who did not receive the majority of the popular vote to initiate. The billions of dollars the American people will have to pay to blow up Iraq (not to mention rebuilding it) would have been better invested in rebuilding our economy, our cities, and our infrastructure, and balancing our budget. Prudent fiscal policy will help preserve retirement security for the next generation.
I am proposing to reform the way elementary and secondary education is paid for by promoting federal investment in rebuilding our crumbling schools and addressing our environmental needs. The federal govenment's 6% contribution to education requires too much reliance on local property taxes to pay for schools. I want to expand the federal contribution to at least 10%.
I want also to reform the way we pay for healthcare, so that every American will have the security of knowing that their health needs will be covered by insurance. I propose to do that with a variation on the old single payer idea, but in ways that will preserve the quality of care we have now and that will restore the provider/patient relationship. It will take a shifting of funding sources from the employment base we now have to a more progressive, elastic source such as the income tax, but will wind up costing no more than the 14% of GDP we currently pay. By so doing, we will give a boost not only to working people (80% of whom currently pay more in payroll taxes than income taxes), but to our export business sector, by removing the cost of health care as a cost they alone (among the industrial nations) have to pass on to consumers in their prices.
I want to rebuild America spiritually by restoring confidence that the American dream is not some relic of the past, and that my generation will leave no less liberty, no less opportunity, no less hope than we inherited from the last generation. I want to bring Americans together and nurture community, so that we can get beyond racism and sexism and discriminations based on anything other than capacity. I want to "move on" beyond the pandering to fear that this administration has adopted to provide security and law enforcement for the American people that builds on our relationships around the world. Our leadership should proceed from our values as a people, and if we come together, we can tackle the global challenges of poverty, terrorism, and the environment. I want to lead America to a renewal that will put us back on an optimistic path. Please join our grassroots effort to change this country's direction, and to make history by extending the prospect of leadership to women.
Carol Moseley Braun
June 17, 2003
These seven questions were among the most popular of over 1,800 posted and rated by MoveOn members on a MoveOn ActionForum. You can also read all of the interview responses on a single page.
1. PEACE (see what other candidates said)
The Bush administration has established the pre-emptive war doctrine as a cornerstone of its foreign policy. There is no end in sight to the ways in which this doctrine can be misused -- simply observe the lack of evidence to support the case for war in Iraq. In other words, barring a change in policy, any country can become the target of our military might. Furthermore, pre-emptive war only legitimizes military aggression by other nations as well. Will you repeal Bush's pre-emptive war doctrine?
--Ricardo Cisternas, Engineer (June 12, 2003; Carlsbad, CA)
2. FREEDOM (see what other candidates said)
The enactment of Patriot Act I is a dangerous erosion of civil liberties in the United States. The proposed Patriot Act II is even more frightening. The purpose of both pieces of legislations seems to be the stifling of dissent rather than improving security in the U.S. If elected would you revisit the Patriot Act with the view of revising or repealing it? If we cannot speak without fear, we aren't living in a democracy.
--Bonnie Mulligan, Supervisor (June 11, 2003; Lanham, MD)
This administration has used 9/11 as a shield to impose an extreme right wing agenda on the American people. Nowhere is that truth more apparent than in regards to civil liberties and the courts. The Patriot Act must be allowed to expire by its own terms, and we must insure that the privacy and constitutional protections traditionally enjoyed are not further diluted. George Orwell wrote fiction: we must not let it become prophecy.
3. RELEVANCE (see what other candidates said)
I think many people using MoveOn.org are concerned with the disastrous effects of the current administration. However, my sense is that most of mainstream America either does not see the faults or is too scared, for reasons related to Homeland and economic security, to question Bush's authority. How will you, the candidate, frame your message and reach out to mainstream America to show how the upcoming presidential election is relevant to their situation and demonstrate how the actions, policies, corporate influence and diplomatic laissez-faire of Team Bush is unhealthy for our country and our future?
--Karen Zgoda, (June 12, 2003; Brighton, MA)
My candidacy is predicated on being a voice for people who need to hear an alternative message than that currently being fed by the administration. As a woman of color, I know that perceptions are important. I hope that my effort to speak truth to power will have a transforming effect on the debate, and that by stirring the currents of opinion, we may be able to spark the imagination of the American people.
4. TRUTH (see what other candidates said)
I would like to know when a Democratic candidate will summon the courage to publicly question the honesty and truthfulness of President Bush. The barrage of spin alluding to intelligence failures and misleading advice of Bush's confidants belies the fact that he alone is ultimately responsible for his words and decisions. Will any candidate demand the truth and an end to this conspiracy of deceit?
--John Kowalko, Machinist (June 12, 2003; Newark, De.)
I have, and I will...
5. SOCIAL PAIN (see what other candidates said)
The present Administration and Congress have enacted huge tax cuts and extreme military spending which may well limit the ability of government to address social needs (health care, education, affordable housing, poverty reduction, etc) for some time to come, as well as entrap future generations in debt. Meanwhile, social ills become more acute. How will you balance fiscal responsibility with the growing needs for health care reform, reinvestment in education and affordable housing, etc?
--Cindy Maxey, organizer, health care justice organization (June 11, 2003; Cleveland, OH)
In 1993 I voted as a Senator for an economic plan that created new economic growth, balanced the budget, invested in education, health care and the environment, and began to address long standing issues such as building capacity in rural and inner city communities. The Clinton years saw an economic rebirth after Bush I did essentially the same thing to the American people that Bush II is doing. War and depression are hallmarks of failed leadership. I hope to put this country on a path toward harmony and security for the whole community. We are all in this together, and policy must reflect the panoply of real concerns and quality of life determinants that especially effect the working class and the most vulnerable in our society. Social justice goes hand in hand with security and law enforcement. We have the highest per capita prison population in the world. We should build schools and housing, not prisons, and focus as much on crime prevention as punishment, by addressing violence and education, health (including mental health)and poverty as we right now spend on trying to resolve the aftermaths of our neglect.
6. ENERGY (see what other candidates said)
Without dependence on fossil fuels, the air and water would be cleaner and we could free ourselves from our poisonous and deadly entanglements with Middle-Eastern oil dictators. What is your view? Can you show the imagination, innovation and determination needed to serve our country through serving the environment?
--Hilary Jirka, Merchandiser (June 12, 2003; Chicago, IL)
Lessening our dependence on fossil fuels should be a top priority for our government. I think we can do so by providing not only direct funding to the development of existing and new alternatives, but by using the tax code to inspire private investment in that direction. When I was in the Senate I was named the "ethanol queen" for my work to start the development of that fuel source. There are others (some even safer than ethanol-such as wind, sun and water techonolgies)that with technology transfer and leaderhip could dramatically reduce our addiciton to oil.
7. ENVIRONMENT (see what other candidates said)
The Bush administration is engaged in an all out war against the environment. Nothing is safe in this assault - not our national parks, wilderness areas, endangered species, the water we drink or the air we breathe. The administration's energy and land use policies are based on the recommendations of private corporate supporters rather than on government-funded studies, their own appointees in the EPA or on public opinion (in keeping with the general disregard for civil rights, more and more often, public comment is not being taken into consideration - sometimes not even being allowed in environmental disputes). The short-sighted policies of this administration could have devastating effects on our country and our planet. Can the Democratic candidate assure us that he will support progressive environmental policies here at home, and assume a leadership position in the global effort to protect the environment?
--A.L. Zuckerman, Associate Producer (June 12, 2003; New York, NY)
My own patriotism proceeds out of a sincere belief that we have no right to leave the next generation less than we inherited. We are stewards of this planet. Stewardship of the land, the air and water is a core responsibility, and the public good of environmental protection must not be sacrificed to private greed. We should work closely with our international allies to advance a world wide environmental agenda, we should work efficiently at home to build on the enhanced environmental protections that the American people demand.