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Bill Richardson

1) We should continue in this war until Iraq is a stable democracy


Richardson believes congress should exercise its prerogative and de-authorize the war in Iraq under the War Powers Act. He says he would have insisted on a fixed withdrawal date before voting to renew funding. He said he was wrong to have initially supported the war and, more recently, to have advocated staying in Iraq until the nation was stabilized. His call for withdrawal would leave no residual troops behind, after six months, other than marine guards at the American embassy. Richardson hopes to substitute security forces from nearby countries and wants to hold a regional diplomatic conference.

Bowers Chris "Talking Iraq With Bill Richardson," My DD (04/13/07)

Richardson: Iraq Deadline Needed, UPI (05/27/07)

Issues: Iraq Bill Richardson President

2) Efforts to combat global warming should be increased


Bill Richardson believes that global warming is an immanent danger. "We need to act boldly and act now. It's time for a revolution," he says, "and that's what I'm proposing." Richardson calls for a variety of approaches: an eventual 50 mpg fuel efficiency standard; carbon caps and trade programs to reduce global warming by 90%by 2050 and 20% by 2020; 30% of electricity generated by alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, biofuel, and carbon-clean coal generation; market incentives to develop new technologies. He proposes to pay partially for these efforts through the sale of carbon permits and also by cutting out selected tax loopholes. To indicate his credentials for dealing with energy issues, Richardson cites his previous experience as Secretary of the Department of Energy and his clean energy accomplishments as Governor of New Mexico.

Clean Energy, Bill Richardson President, video (n.d.)

Issues:Energy Bill Richardson President (n.d.)

"Richardson on Global Warming," Governor Bill Richardson, video, Democracy for America (n.d.)

3) The federal government should provide a universal health care system


Bill Richardson sets portable health insurance for every American as a national goal. He wants working families and small business to be able to purchase the same health care as is available to congress through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan, which offers many options. Medicare would be extended to citizens over 55 and will also insure seniors and the disabled. Lower income Americans would get the services of an expanded Medicaid and State Child Health Insurance (SCHIP). Veterans would get care with fewer bureaucratic delays. In Richardson's plan, every individual must have insurance, but families will get a refundable, income-adjusted tax credit to help pay for their costs. Every employer will be required to provide health insurance for their employees or pay an equivalent fee to the federal government. As president, Richardson plans to streamline administrative costs and immediately relieve families forced into debt by high medical expenses. He advocates prevention, research, and "payment systems that reward performance."

"Richardson Health Plan Executive Summary," Issues: Health Care Bill

"Bill Richardson on Health Care" On the Issues

Laszewski, Robert "Democratic Presidential Candidate Bill Richardson Supports the Employer Mandate as a Way to Provide Health Insurance" Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review, blog, (04/18/07)

4) Same-sex marriage should be banned


Although Bill Richardson does not support the outright banning of same-sex marriage he voted for the Defense of marriage Act ('96) as a congressman, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and allows states not to recognize these marriages if they occur legally in other states. As for why he opposes same-sex marriages, he says, "I'm just not there yet. I'm a Catholic." He supports national legislation for civil unions.

"The Candidates On Gay Marriage, Religion and Politics," The Pew Forum On Religion & Public Life

Same-Sex marriage: Issues, CNN Election Center 2008

Federal Defense Of Marriage Act, H.R. Rep. No. 104-664 at 1-18 (1996)

5) The civil law should be reformed so that lawsuits are less common and damage verdicts against individuals and businesses are lower


Although Bill Richardson has not recently spoken out publicly about reforms to make "frivolous" lawsuits more difficult to file or to cap damages in verdicts against businesses and individuals, it is reasonable to assume he is against these reforms. If he were for them at the federal level, this would be a time to campaign for them as rival John Edwards already has the support of anti-reform trial lawyers and Richardson could benefit from the endorsements of several active associations and professional groups advocating for this sort of "tort reform." In his health care proposal, capping damages or controlling malpractice litigation would be a reasonable form of cost-cutting, something he would surely have thought about when proposing extended coverage without raising taxes. In the mid-nineties, as a congressman from New Mexico, Richardson voted for some legal reforms that limited damages and imposed some additional limitations on how lawsuits could be filed.

Governor Bill Richardson (NM) Voting Record, Project Vote Smart

6) The US should increase foreign aid


"America is a great nation that knows how to defend itself. We are also a nation that has been willing to pay in blood as well as in coin for what we believe is the right thing to do and we have a sense that in order to do right by ourselves, we must be ready to do right by others. We defend ourselves most effectively when we lead others."—Bill Richardson "The New Realism and the Rebirth of American Leadership," Council On Foreign Relations (02/08/07)

Bill Richardson, as a former ambassador to the United Nations with extensive diplomatic experience, believes that foreign aid is an important foreign policy tool and a means of rewarding human rights initiatives and helping to enact political reforms. Aware of how foreign aid is often siphoned off through corruption, he advocates increased accountability in major international institutions such as the World Bank and the United Nations. He has called for increasing foreign aid to combat disease and to cope with humanitarian crises such as Darfur. He proposes a Marshall Plan for the Middle East and North Africa and says that it is important to support public education throughout the Muslim world. Richardson believes America should lead other donors in offering debt relief and transforming loans to grants. During a campaign stop in Iowa, he suggested Iowa could help improve agriculture on a global scale as part of a foreign aid effort that would also boost American agriculture while enhancing America's reputation.

Bill Richardson "The New Realism and the Rebirth of American Leadership," Council On Foreign Relations (02/08/07)

"A New Realism in Foreign Policy," Issues Bill Richardson President

Bandow, Doug "Foreign Aid Simply Won't Reform Dictators" Cato Institute (07/11/07)

Burns, Douglas "Bill Richardson's old-school Iowa strategy paying dividends" Iowa Independent (05/20/07)

House Party, Hampton: 2 pm, A Day on the Trail: Part 4 The Bill Richardson Blog

7) Murderers should face the death penalty


Bill Richardson supports the death penalty for "the most heinous crimes" as long as it is accompanied by strict safeguards. In campaigning for governor during the 2002 election, he said that defendants should be able to use DNA evidence and have access to sound legal representation.

"The Candidates on the Death Penalty," Religion & Politics, The Pew Forum on Religion and Political Life

Bill Richardson On Crime On the Issues

8) The government should stop subsidizing farmers


While Bill Richardson has not made any recent public statements about farm subsidies, he would probably like to see like to see a new farm bill with different priorities than those passed in former years. As an experienced diplomat governing a border state, he would surely wish to stop subsidizing commodities which are then dumped on an international market below cost, driving subsistence farmers from other countries off the land and into a vagrant labor pool. He would probably want to divert funds from select commodity subsidies to help farmers produce alternative energies such as wind power and biofuel. He has been a leader in developing sustainable energy resources and plans to make this a top priority of his presidency. Because he likes to keep taxes low, it's a logical option for him to redeploy commodity subsidy funds to other targeted projects in order to revitalize rural America.

Should the United States Cut its Farm Subsidies? Council on Foreign Relations (05/27/07)

Henriques, Gisele and Raj Patel "NAFTA, Corn, and Mexico's Agricultural Trade Liberalization," Americas Program, Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC) (02.13.04)

Kohn, Sally Migration and Corn Common Dreams (05/19/07)

9) Before the social security system runs out of money, we should increase social security taxes to maintain benefits


Whenever possible, Bill Richardson prefers to address problems without raising taxes and believes that efforts to restore social security must be fiscally prudent and bipartisan, even though reformers should refrain from cutting promised benefits. He refers to social security as an insurance program and opposes plans that would allow workers to divert some of their social security savings into private accounts. Richardson does advocate "universal pensions," (rather like 401(k)s) as a separate and supplementary program. He has not yet addressed social security's future insolvency.

"Where The Candidates Stand," Project on Social Security Choice, Cato Institute

Bill Richardson CNN Election Center 2008

"Governor Bill Richardson (D-Nm) Holds A News Teleconference To Deliver The Democratic Governors' Pre-Buttal To The President's State Of The Union Address" Press Release, Democratic Governors (02/02/05)

10) The federal government should be able to hold a suspected terrorist indefinitely without charging them with a crime


"I would shut down the detention center at Guantanamo, I would shut down the Abu Ghraib prison. I would rejoin the International Criminal Court. I would abolish policies of torture. I would restore habeas corpus." —Bill Richardson

Joel Connelly "A 2008 underdog worthy of our attention," Seattle Pi (05/17/07)

Bill Richardson believes that all detainees have the right to challenge the circumstances of their detainment before a court and has called for the restoration of habeas corpus, which guarantees that right.

"Bill Richardson at Young Dems of America-Omaha Conference" Left In The Midwest (05/24/07) published on Bill Richardson President

Joel Connelly "A 2008 underdog worthy of our attention," Seattle Pi (05/17/07)

11) The War on Drugs is a failure and should be curtailed.


Gov. Bill Richardson believes that the War on Drugs is failing and that more attention needs to be paid to treatment and education. Although Gov. Bill Richardson signed a bill legalizing the use of medical marijuana in New Mexico ('07), he is against the legalization of drugs and expresses concern about the role drugs play in crime. He emphasizes drug courts, treatment for actual and potential users, favors drug education, but advocates mandatory prison sentences for those who sell drugs. He has signed a law protecting users from prosecution for seeking medical help for an overdose and preventing authorities from prosecuting them based on evidence “gained as a result of the seeking of medical assistance.” ('07)

"Bill Richardson," Blog Reload (05/24/07)

Blumenthal, Ralph "New Mexico Bars Drug Charge When Overdose Is Reported," New York Times (04/05/07)

"Bill Richardson On the Issues," On The Issues

12) America should take stronger and more consistent measures against the presence of illegal immigrants in the United States


Gov. Bill Richardson (NM) declared a state of emergency on the Mexican border and joined with Gov. Janet Napolitano (AZ) to pressure the federal government into picking up the costs of illegal immigration. He believes that the federal government should increase enforcement efforts around ports as well as borders and penalize employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Nevertheless he opposes the compromise bill of 2007 because he feels it tears families apart, creates a second-class tier of immigrant workers, and wastes money on a fence that will never work. Immigrants "who pass a background check, learn English, pay back taxes and fines for being here illegally get the opportunity for legal status" and all others should leave. The U.S. will have to work more closely with Mexico and other Latin American countries, he says, and also crack down on human traffickers and document forgers. Finally, Richardson believes, "The number of guest workers allowed at any one time must be based upon the needs of the US economy. Our goal must be to meet demand for jobs that go unfilled by American citizens, and no more."

"Realistic Immigration Reform," Issues, Bill Richardson President

Western Roundup, Democrats For The West

"Bill Richardson On the Issues," On The Issues


Postivie Quote of the Day American Labor Party