Thursday, June 12, 2008

Obama 2008 Convention Speech

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama
"The American Promise"
Democratic National Convention
August 28, 2008
Denver, Colorado

Barack Obama Convention Speech Video

Text As prepared for delivery


To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation;

With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.
Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest - a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton, who last night made the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.

To the love of my life, our next First Lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha and Malia - I love you so much, and I'm so proud of all of you.

Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story - of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

It is that promise that has always set this country apart - that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.

That's why I stand here tonight. Because for two hundred and thirty two years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women - students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.

We meet at one of those defining moments - a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.

These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.

This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.

Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land - enough! This moment - this election - is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.

The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives - on health care and education and the economy - Senator McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this President. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisors - the man who wrote his economic plan - was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."

A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I know.

Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.

For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy - give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is - you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps - even if you don't have boots. You're on your own.

Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America.

You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.

We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President - when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.

We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job - an economy that honors the dignity of work.

The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great - a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.

Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.

In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.

When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.

And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.

I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as President of the United States.

What is that promise?

It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.

It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves - protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.

Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.

That's the promise of America - the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.

That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President.
Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.

As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.

America, now is not the time for small plans.

Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American - if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.

Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.

Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime - by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less - because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy.

And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.

Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility - that's the essence of America's promise.

And just as we keep our keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.

For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.

And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a President who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice - but it is not the change we need.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans - have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.

But what I will not do is suggest that the Senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and patriotism.

The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served the United States of America.

So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose - our sense of higher purpose. And that's what we have to restore.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

And you know what - it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you.

For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it - because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.

America, this is one of those moments.

I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I've seen it. Because I've lived it. I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I've seen it in Washington, when we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands.

And I've seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and in those who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.

This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours - a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.

And it is that promise that forty five years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.

The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.

But what the people heard instead - people of every creed and color, from every walk of life - is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.

"We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."

America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise - that American promise - and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.

There Is Not A Liberal America And A Conservative America

Barack Obama, Democratic National Convention in Boston July 27, 2004,

"It is that fundamental belief -- it is that fundamental belief -- I am my brother's keeper, I am my sisters' keeper -- that makes this country work.

It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family: "E pluribus unum," out of many, one.

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.

Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America.

There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America.

The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states.

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism, or do we participate in a politics of hope?"

Barack Obama, Democratic National Convention in Boston July 27, 2004

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Democratic Values

The Democratic Pledge To America

It is crucial that all of us representing the Democratic Party in this 2008 election year can convey to prospective voters the values that all Democrats hold dear! There are three fundamental principles that inspire our Democratic philosophy.

First, Democrats are resolved to safeguard our individual freedoms. For two centuries, America has been defined by its commitment to constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and rights.

Second, Democrats strive to guarantee equal opportunity for all. America's historic success has come by providing all citizens, not just the privileged few, with an education that empowers every citizen to secure a better life for their families.

Third, Democrats are determined to protect our national security. To make us truly secure, America must not only stop domestic criminals and foreign terrorists, it must also promote our health security, seniors welfare security, infrastructure security, food security, product security, drug security, environmental security, fiscal security, job security and imported goods security. While forcefully continuing to protect lives, health and property, we must ultimately feel secure that a competent government will also respond to protect and then rebuild our lives when disasters, like hurricanes and floods, strike our local communities.

These three principles might be summed up in one simple statement: Democrats believe that government exists to promote and protect the common good for all citizens; that government must play a role to ensure there is a level playing field for every American and that no one special interest is allowed to gain unfair advantage over even a single American.

President Clinton contrasted the "Common Good" values of Democrats with those of Conservative Republicans stating that, "Where [Democrats] favor equal opportunity and empowerment, they believe the country is best served by the maximum concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the right people. We believe in mutual responsibility. They believe in large measure that people make or break their own lives, and you're on your own. We believe in striving, at least, to cooperate with others, because we think there are very few problems in the world we can solve on our own. They favor unilateralism whenever possible and cooperation when it's unavoidable."

The "Common Good" Value Is The Foundation Of Many Answers To The Question; "For What Do Democrats Stand?"

While it is important that Democrats are prepared to carry our Party's message forward, we must also not allow Republicans to redefine any message to their own advantage. First among the messages that Republicans wish to define for themselves, is the message of security. Republicans, particularly presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Senator John McCain, seek to define "Security" only under its most narrow definition of defending against a foreign terrorist threat. The desire to own this "security" message is understandable for Republicans since this is now the only issue where Republicans continue to poll ahead of Democrats.

While the hazard of foreign terrorist organizations is of vital concern and must be thoughtfully addressed by competent leadership, Americans are more likely to face a much more immediate threat of Flood, Hurricane, Earthquake, Tornado, Cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, Diabetes, Contaminated Food, Unsafe Imported Products, Off-shoring Job Loss or even Interstate Bridge Collapse caused by governmental neglect of our national infrastructure! Therefore, Democrats must remind voters that government's responsibility to keep Americans secure applies to every aspect of American day-to-day life. This is why the following sample Democratic message elevator-speeches, cutting across several key election issues, have been typecast under the "security" theme. (An "elevator speech" is a short overview of an idea for a product, service, or political position. The name reflects the fact that an elevator speech can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride - for example, 30-45 seconds).

Use these sample messages as is or rework them into your own words so that you can deliver the messages with heartfelt passion. Use them individually or mix and match the messages depending on the issues most important to your audience.

The Democratic Pledge To America
"For What Do Democrats Stand?"

Economic Security - Give every American economic security and job security with a fair opportunity to prosper and pass on a better life to the next generation!

National Security – The first responsibility of each U.S. President is to guarantee the security of America through a well trained military that stands at the highest readiness level! The President and every member of the U.S House and U.S. Senate must have a firm grasp on when and how it is reasonable and advised to use military strategy as a tool to advance our national security interests.

Health and Welfare Security – The security of affordable quality health care should be available to every American.

Educational Security – Every American has the right to an education that includes affordable colleges and universities, prepares them to live a better life than their parents, and also allows them to bequeath a better future to their children!

Environmental Security – All Americans deserve a clean, healthy environment!

Energy Security - We need programs to develop energy efficiency and alternative technologies. Energy Independence Strengthens National Security!

Rights Security - America's Constitutional Government has a responsibility to protect and promote the common good for every single American, not just the perceived "majority" Americans! Government shouldn't be allowed to invade every American's email and phone conversations without warrant just because the technology exists to do so!

The Democratic Pledge To America
"For What Do Democrats Stand?"
Talking Point Messages

Economic Security - Give every American economic security and job security with a fair opportunity to prosper and pass on a better life to the next generation!

  • Democrats stand for jobs for Americans in America that offer a living wage and fair benefits. Our economy should provide economic opportunities for all hard-working individuals and families. Therefore, we support a legislative agenda that not only keeps jobs from disappearing offshore to China, Russia and India, but also guarantees a minimum living wage for every hard working American!
  • Democrats stand for rational government spending and fiscal policies. Through the Republican Party's borrow and spend policies over the past eight years, the National Debt continues to increase an average of $1.42 billion per day - or nearly $1 million a minute - as spending mounts for the U.S. military policing action in Iraq. Republican spending and fiscal policies have ballooned interest payments on the national debt, which now stands at an incredible $9.13 trillion. Today each man, woman, child and infant living in the United States is responsible for $30,000 in national debt; a legacy we will leave to our children and grandchildren. ....Therefore, we support a legislative agenda that stops the mounting deficit spending of the past six years, balances the federal budget and stops the dollar's six-year decline from its status as the internationally preferred business exchange currency.
  • Democrats stand for a strong dollar plan of action. The Bush administration has allowed the U.S. Dollar valuation to fall to historic lows against the Euro and other currencies. The dollar's 41 percent drop against the euro during Bush's term has contributed substantially to the surge in imported oil and gasoline prices, fanned inflation pressures and contributed to massive American balance of trade deficits. Therefore, we stand for legislation that promotes a trade policy that serves the interests, not just of multinational corporations, but also of every American's vital interest in economic security.
  • Democrats stand for legislation that will allow the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission to end speculative manipulation of energy commodity trading markets. The so-called "Enron Loophole" was created and attached to U.S. Senate legislation in December 2000 by McCain campaign co-chair Senator Phil Gramm at the behest of Enron executives. It was this "loop hole legislation" that Enron exploited to speculatively manipulate electricity commodity trading in California energy markets in the summer of 2001, spawning artificial electricity shortages, steep climbs in electricity prices and rolling brownouts across California. Therefore, we stand for legislation that not only eliminates unbridled and unregulated oil and gas commodity trading loopholes, but also regulates speculative commodity trading practices, such as has skyrocketed gasoline prices by as much as an additional 50 percent since the summer of 2007.
  • Democrats stand for national infrastructure investment. The lack of infrastructure investment by the Bush Administration and previous Republican controlled congresses has allowed levies and interstate bridges to decay into collapse, roadways to crumble and our electrical distribution infrastructure to lag. Therefore, we stand for a well-maintained national infrastructure where maintenance and expansion is determined not by politics, but by what will maximize our safety and homeland security, and by what will keep our economy growing strong.
  • Democrats stand against wholesale foreign ownership of our national infrastructure. The Bush Administration and previous Republican controlled congresses have actively promoted the policy of foreign investment in and ownership of U.S. infrastructure. In 2006 the United Arab Emirates-owned Dubai Ports World almost acquired a company that ran critical U.S. ports until the public became aware of the deal and pressured Congress and the Bush Administration to stop the purchase. Yet, the Bush administration continues to promote foreign ownership of key public interest infrastructures such as roads, public water systems and airports. The Spanish company Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte SA was almost allowed to purchase the State Highway 121 toll road in North Texas until public pressure derailed the deal at the last minute. In June 2008 the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Affairs has announced it will stop publishing a key report tracking those foreign investments so as to hide such acquisitions from public scrutiny. Therefore, we stand for reversing the Republican legislative and administrative policies that actively promote and encourage foreign ownership of U.S. public interest infrastructure.
  • Democrats stand for moderate regulation of financial institutions. Immediately after Republicans eliminated the regulatory guidelines of prudent banking practices, unscrupulous home mortgage lenders were free to unfairly prey on both American home buyers and securities investors. Mortgage lenders were free to aggressively market risky sub-prime home mortgages to unsuspecting home buyers and then speculatively trade those risky sub-prime loans in securities markets to such unrestrained levels that the U.S. Federal Reserve is now forced into government bailouts of private securities companies to avert economic disaster. The U.S. Federal Reserve was forced into such a Federal bailout of Bear Stearns in March 2008 over these risky sub-prime mortgage loan trading practices. The depth of sub-prime mortgage loan risks to the U.S. economy are yet unfolding with thousands more American homeowners losing their homes every month through foreclosure. Republicans would rather allow banks and brokers to take unmitigated and unregulated risks, to profit the few, and then socialize the bailout cost of those "too big to fail" by adding the rotten fruits of their bad decisions onto the public debt. Therefore, we stand for legislation that will restore the federal banking regulatory authority that the Republicans discarded in their zeal to eliminate protective government oversight in every quarter of American financing and commerce.

National Security – The first responsibility of each U.S. President is to guarantee the security of America through a well trained military that stands at the highest readiness level! The President and every member of the U.S House and U.S. Senate must have a firm grasp on when and how it is reasonable and advised to use military strategy as a tool to advance our national security interests.

  • Democrats stand for rational use of our military forces. America must have a well-managed military force with rational tours of duty for Active Duty, Guard and Reserve units that do not break down and wear out our first line of national defense. Even before September 11, 2001, our military leaders indicated that members and families of all armed services branches were stretched thin in meeting deployments requirements. The subsequent miscalculations for a quick and cheap war in Iraq, which has extended to five costly years of policing an Iraqi civil war, added to the necessary operations in Afghanistan, have placed extreme stress on Active Duty, Guard and Reserve forces alike..... Therefore, we plead for legislation and competent Congressional oversight in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate that will restore rational tours of duty for Active Duty, Guard and Reserve units and that will return America's armed forces to peak readiness levels.
  • Democrats stand for rewarding our men and women in uniform for their courageous service to America. In addition to our strong support for the 21st Century GI Bill championed by Democratic Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, Democrats also strongly believe that our veterans deserve the best health care available, unimpeded by needless bureaucratic red tape and Republican appointed VA Administrators who seek to hide the true extent of physical and mental injuries that result from repeated back-to-back extended tours of duty. Therefore, we demand legislation and Veteran's Administration oversight from every branch of government that guarantees our self-sacrificing veterans will receive the health care and benefits they rightly deserve!!

Health and Welfare Security – The security of affordable quality health care should be available to every American.

  • ....Democrats stand for a security safety net for the most vulnerable Americans. We must protect the security of our nation's children, elderly, wounded military veterans, and disadvantaged. Children should never have to go to school hungry and never have to skip health care because their parents can't afford it! Therefore, we support strengthened legislation and strict enforcement of existing legislation to make health care, child care, veteran care and elder care accessible, efficient and effective.
  • Democrats stand for universal health care through shared responsibility. The American health care system is broken. Over the past five years, families have seen premiums increase by 90 percent while benefits have been cut. America has an embarrassing 47 million adults and 9 million children who are uninsured and 50 million adults who are under-insured. Since 2001, premiums for family coverage have increased 78 percent, while wages have gone up 19 percent and inflation is up 17 percent. Republicans promote a "you're on your own" free-for-all market system to drive health care coverage. Therefore, we support a legislative agenda that drives universal health care for every single American citizen through shared responsibility.
  • Democrats stand for modest oversight of insurance, drug and health care companies. Totally unbridled and unregulated free-for-all market forces allow drug companies to reap unprecedented profits -- even after the drug companies annually squander 65 billion dollars for advertising, derived from what Americans paid for their pharmaceuticals..... In 2004, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry spent 24 percent of their $235 billion in U.S. revenues on promotion, versus 13 percent for research and development. Therefore, we favor a legislative agenda that provides modest controls over what insurance and drug companies can do with their profits, what drug companies can charge for their products, and how fast health care fees can escalate.
  • Democrats stand for expanded federal funding of advanced therapeutic DNA research. Advanced therapeutic DNA research will lead to treatments and cures for a range of diseases that begins with Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, Diabetes, Cancer and Spinal Cord Injuries. The American people overwhelmingly support expanded federal funding of therapeutic DNA research, and yet, the Republicans in Washington, bowing to the pressure from their extreme right-wing base, have prevented the passage of bipartisan funding legislation for seven years..... Therefore, we favor a legislative agenda that seeks to increase federal support for every form of advanced therapeutic DNA research.

Educational Security – Every American has the right to an education that includes affordable colleges and universities, prepares them to live a better life than their parents, and also allows them to bequeath a better future to their children!

  • Democrats stand for building an education system that is the best in the world. Every child should have an equal opportunity to attend elementary and high schools that provide a quality education, and then attend an affordable college or university of their choice. Therefore, we support legislation to invest in our children's education through smaller class sizes, more after-school and pre-school programs, more affordable colleges and universities and more widely available low interest student loans.

Environmental Security – All Americans deserve a clean, healthy environment!

  • Democrats stand for a clean and safe environment. We must conserve our natural resources both to secure our own health and well being, and to fulfill our responsibility to future generations. Democrats believe it is prudent to control pollution through a series of increasingly effective policy actions in order to prevent the total destruction of our environment. Republicans would rather allow industry to belch out poisonous wastes and climate warming carbon, in accordance with their "anything goes" free-market philosophy. Republicans are in denial regarding those hidden economic costs of environmental destruction, devastating climate change, and unconscionable damage to people's health. Therefore, we support a legislative agenda to restore and then strengthen pollution and carbon emissions regulations that have been eliminated by the Republican controlled congresses and Bush Administration over the past eight years.

Energy Security - We need programs to develop energy efficiency and alternative technologies. Energy Independence Strengthens National Security!

  • Democrats stand for increased National Security through Energy Independence. America must lead the world in the development of new energy technologies and conservation strategies that will free America from dependence on foreign oil. Energy independence will reduce the country's strategic dependence on Middle East oil and thus reduce the risk that the U.S. must maintain armed forces in Middle East countries for the next 100 years, as Senator McCain has suggested. Investment in the development of new energy technologies will also fuel business investment and job growth in America. Republicans would rather "drive pedal to the metal" until the last drop of oil is burned, and then socialize the cost of 100-year military expeditions to secure foreign oil reserves. Therefore, we support legislation that redirects federal tax subsidies that are currently "gifted" to big oil companies, into programs that will develop alternative energy and energy conservation technologies, similar in scope and urgency to President Kennedy's 1960's era "landing a man on the moon in a decade" program.

Rights Security - America's Constitutional Government has a responsibility to protect and promote the common good for every single American, not just the perceived "majority" Americans! Government shouldn't be allowed to invade every American's email and phone conversations without warrant just because the technology exists to do so!

  • Democrats stand for the protection of family privacy. For Americans to be truly free, government must stay out of our private family lives. Whether the personal and family choice is related to sustaining artificial life support for family members, health care choices for our aged parents suffering from Alzheimer's Disease or even family planning choices, families must have the right to make the difficult family decisions as God gives them, individually, the light to make their choice..... Therefore, we favor a legislative and U.S. Supreme Court appointment philosophy that keeps family life choices strictly within the family without government interference and demagoguery.
  • Democrats stand for the appointment of non-partisan U.S. Supreme Court Justices that will impartially apply constitutional oversight in the Supreme Court's review of low court rulings. Long after the next president is gone, his appointments will be sitting on the bench, making decisions that impact our rights and liberties. The next President will likely appoint as many as three new Supreme Court Justices to the bench. Therefore, we believe the President of the United States should appoint U.S. Supreme Court Justices who support the principles underlying the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. We demand Justices who support an individual's privacy and right to make intimate and personal choices.
  • Democrats stand for crime deterrence that focuses on opportunity availability instead of retribution. Tough sentences alone don't make us safer. A report released in February 2008 indicates that more than one in every 100 U.S. citizens is now confined in an American jail or prison. The United States has 5 percent of the world's population, and yet it has 25 percent of the world's incarcerated population. We need to deter crime with more police on the beat, programs for at-risk youth, better education, a strong job market and job skills retraining. ....Therefore, we favor a legislative agenda that provides more funding to local police forces across America in addition to the legislative agendas to promote youth programs, to provide better education, and to build a vibrant economy that will provide good jobs on American soil to every American wanting a job.
  • Democrats stand for the elimination of discrimination. Discrimination against any American diminishes freedom for us all.

Tom Daley 3rd TX Congressional District

Tom Daley Candidate for the 3rd TX Congressional District

For U.S. House of Representatives, Texas 3rd Congressional District

The 3rd Texas Congressional District includes a large portion of the southwestern corner of Collin County that includes Plano and most of Frisco and McKinney. The 3rd District also encompasses the northeastern corner of Dallas County that includes parts of Richardson, Garland and Dallas.

Collin and Dallas County residents must check their Registration Card to verify their respective congressional district number. Your Congressional District Number can be found on your 2008 Orange Voter's Registration Card within the box titled "Congress." Click on the map to enlarge. The 3rd District on the map is shaded in yellow and the 4th District is shaded in pink.

A Congressional District is an area within a state entitled to elect one "congressional member" to the United States House of Representatives. The United States has a total of 435 Congressional districts and each district has about 570,000 people. The 435 congressional seats are reapportioned within and among the 50 states after each decennial census as prescribed in Section 2, Article I of the Constitution of the United States according to a formula established by the congress.

Texas has 32 U.S. Congressional Districts. The Texas legislature has primary responsibility for "redistricting" the U.S. Congressional Districts within Texas as well as the districts for the Texas State Senate, State House and State Board of Education after each decennial census. The Texas legislature also has the primary role in making changes to state judicial districts. Section 28, Article III of the Texas Constitution requires the legislature to "redistrict" the various governmental jurisdictions during its first regular session following publication of each United States decennial census.

For an Interactive Map of Texas U.S. Congressional (110th Congress) districts, plus State House, State Senate and State Board of Education Districts click here.

TOM DALEY is running for the U.S. House of Representatives 3rd Congressional District seat currently held by Republican Sam Johnson.
Mr. Johnson, who will be 78 years old in October 2008, was first elected to the 3rd District House Seat in a special election on May 8, 1991. Johnson has been reelected to the U.S. House Seat in eight regular elections beginning in 1992. The Texas 3rd District House Seat has arguably been one of the deepest red Republican districts in Texas and the United States since 1968 when the Republican Party first took control of the 3rd district House Seat. Johnson ran for reection unopposed by a Democratic Candidate in the 1992, 1994, 1998 and 2004 elections. Johnson has voted against tax incentives for energy conservation and clean/alternative energy development. Johnson also voted to eliminate "critical habitat" for endangered species and to reduce liability for hazardous waste dumping and clean up. Johnson opposes universal health care coverage, supports the privatization of social security and has voted against re-regulating the home mortgage industry. To review Johnson's positions on the issues and his U.S. House of Representatives voting record, click here.

Tom Daley Campaign Video