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  FEDERAL
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 NEW  02/17/04
MACHINISTS UNION ENDORSES
JOHN KERRY FOR PRESIDENT

HELP STOP THE PRESIDENTS ATTACK ON OVERTIME
CLICK HERE!

GET ACTIVE!!! GET INVOLVED!!!
FAIR TAXES 4 ALL,
WHAT YOU CAN DO!



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"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -Plato

For some interesting reading about our appointed President check out
Bush Watch

INDEX ( FOR THIS PAGE)
Click a topic to go directly to it.

IOWA
VOTER REGISTRATION, INFORMATION, ABSENTEE BALLOTS
NEBRASKA
VOTER REGISTRATION, INFORMATION, ABSENTEE BALLOTS
SOUTH DAKOTA
VOTER REGISTRATION, INFORMATION, ABSENTEE BALLOTS
AFL-CIO
Working Families
Presidential Forum

August 5, 2003
Chicago, Ill.
IOWA GOVERNOR, SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES
with contact information
NEBRASKA GOVERNOR, SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES
with contact information
SOUTH DAKOTA GOVERNOR, SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES
with contact information
WHAT U.S. PRESIDENTS SAID ABOUT LABOR
HUMOR? LIKE FATHER LIKE SON  Updated  06/19/03
IOWA SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES
[BOTH STATE AND FEDERAL] RESPONSES TO ISSUES I'VE WRITTEN THEM ABOUT
UNEMPLOYMENT STATISTICS CLINTON/GORE VS. BUSH/CHENEY
POLITICAL NEWS
FROM THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE, IOWA SENATE DEMOCRATS, NEBRASKA DEMOCRATS AND SOUTH DAKOTA DEMOCRATIC PARTY
CAPWIZ CONTACT IOWA, NEBRASKA, SOUTH DAKOTA LEGISLATURES BUZZFLASH
PROVIDES HEADLINES, NEWS, AND COMMENTARY FOR A GEOGRAPHICALLY-DIVERSE, POLITICALLY-SAVVY, PRO-DEMOCRACY, ANTI-HYPOCRACY WEB AUDIENCE, REACHING 2.5 MILLION VISITORS A MONTH AND GROWING.

IOWA 
RESIDENTS CAN VOTE BY ABSENTEE
BALLOT. ERGO, THERE IS NO REASON NOT TO
VOTE ON ANY ELECTION DAY!!!!!!!!!!

ABSENTEE BALLOT DEADLINE - By polls close Election Day, If mailed...must be post marked before Election Day and received no later than the Monday after the election. You can get an absentee ballot from
your county auditor or download it below. You may absentee vote
in person at the county auditor's office. On election day, you may
not vote absentee at the county auditors office.
ABSENTEE BALLOT FORM
THE ABOVE FORM IS PROVIDED ON LINE
FROM THE IOWA SECRETARY OF STATE OFFICE
IT IS IN PDF FORMAT AND YOU WILL NEED
ADOBE READER TO ACCESS IT. DOWNLOAD ADOBE READER
FREE BY CLICKING HERE.



IOWA Voter Guide and Registration Information
http://www.sos.state.ia.us/elections/voterreg/voterguidefiles/contents.html

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NEBRASKA

Absentee Ballot Deadlines - Request an Absentee Ballot by mail no later than 4 PM the Friday before the election. Mail in absentee ballots must be returned by 10 AM the Thursday following the election (the second day after the election) The last day to vote
absentee in person at the local election office is the day before the election. Download the form below. Pay attention to the rules for absentee ballots in Voter Information.

Voter Information

http://www.sos.state.ne.us/Elections/voterinfo.htm

Voter Registration Card

http://www.sos.state.ne.us/forms/pdf/vr.pdf 

Absentee Ballot Request Form

http://www.sos.state.ne.us/Elections/absentee.pdf 

For any of the .pdf files above you will need Adobe Reader. Download it free by clicking Here.
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SOUTH DAKOTA
Registration Deadline - In person or by mail 15 days prior to General Election. Register with County Auditor. Download the form below.

Absentee Ballot Deadline - Voting in person at the County Auditors should be done before election day. Applications for mail in ballots are also accepted by the County Auditor. Voters who are sick or confined may send an authorized messenger to pick up the Absentee
Ballot. No applications will be accepted after 3 PM on Election Day. All voted ballots must be returned to the auditor in time to be delivered to the appropriate polling place prior to the closing of the polls.
Download Absentee ballot request below.

Online Voters Guide
http://www.state.sd.us/sos/vote

Online Registration Form (Print & Mail In)
https://www.state.sd.us/sos/voter_registration_form.htm

Online Registration Form PDF (Print & Mail In)
http://www.state.sd.us/sos/Voter%20Registration%20Form.pdf 

Online Absentee Ballot Request Form (Print & Mail In)
https://www.state.sd.us/sos/Absentee/absenapp.htm

Text Absentee Ballot Request Form (Print & Mail In)
http://www.state.sd.us/sos/ABSENAPP.TXT

PDF Absentee Ballot Request Form (Print & Mail In)
http://www.state.sd.us/sos/Absentee/absenapp.pdf 

 For any of the .pdf files above you will need Adobe Reader. Download it free by clicking Here.
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CAPWIZ

http://capwiz.com/iamaw/home/

 Please click on the link above and take a minute to complete e-mail letters
to congress.
(Check back frequently or bookmark this page)
Thanks for your help!

Michael D. King, CR
IAM Midwest Territory
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POLITICAL NEWS
Also check out our "Speak Out, Be Heard" , "News", "Knowledge is Power" and
 UPDATED  04/13/04 
 
CLICK THE BANNER
pages for important issues to working men and women. Take the action necessary,
especially on the "Speak Out, Be Heard" page.

 CHECK OUT NEWS FROM;

CLICK THE BANNER


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OR IF YOU PREFER YOU CAN CHECK OUT OTHER 
PARTIES BY USING YOUR BROWSER

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IOWA STATE SENATE DISTRICTS AND E-MAIL
IOWA STATE HOUSE DISTRICTS AND E-MAIL
STATE OF IOWA LEGISLATIVE HOME PAGE

 NEBRASKA STATE SENATORS, DISTRICTS & E-MAIL.
STATE OF NEBRASKA UNICAMERAL HOME PAGE
NEBRASKA U.S. SENATORS AND
 U.S. REPRESENTATIVES
IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

SOUTH DAKOTA LEGISLATURE
SOUTH DAKOTA U.S. SENATORS AND U.S. REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

A REMINDER: WHEN YOU WRITE YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVES, U.S. SENATORS OR U.S. CONGRESS PERSON, INCLUDE YOUR SNAIL MAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR E-MAIL OR MOST OF THEM WON'T REPLY.

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WHAT U.S. PRESIDENTS SAID ABOUT THE IAM AND LABOR

HUMOR?
QUOTES FROM GEORGE W. BUSH


OTHER QUOTES FROM GWB

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LIKE FATHER LIKE SON

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IOWA GOVERNOR, SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES

GOVERNOR


Gov. Thomas J. Vilsack (D)
2nd Term/53%, Term ends in 2007
Phone: 515-281-5211
Fax: 515-281-6611

Web: http://www.iowa.gov
E-mail: rose.mary.pratt@igov.state.ia.us
Address: State Capitol, Des Moines, IA 50319-0001

SENATORS


Senator Tom Harkin (D)
4th Term/54%
E-mail: tom_harkin@harkin.senate.gov
Web: www.senate.gov/-harkin
Phone: (202) 224-3254
Fax: (202) 224-9369
Address: 731 Hart Senate Office Building
 Washington, DC 20510
District Office: Des Moines, Iowa
District Phone: (515) 284-4574


Charles E. Grassley (R)
4th Term/68%
E-mail: chuck_grassley@grassley.senate.gov
Web: www.senate.gov/grassley
Phone: (202) 224-3477
Fax: (202) 224-6020
Address: 135 Hart Senate Office Building
 Washington, DC 20510
District Office: Des Moines, Iowa
District Phone: (515) 284-4890

 

CONGRESS

District 1
Counties in District 1: Butler, Fayette, Clayton, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Delaware, Dubuque, Jackson, Jones, Scott, Clinton and Bremer

Representative Jim Nussle (R)
7th Term/57%
E-mail: nussleia@mail.house.gov
Web: http://nussle.house.gov/
Phone: (202) 225-2911
Fax: (202) 225-9129
Address: 303 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
District Offices and Phone: Manchester, 563-927-5141;
Dubuque, 563-557-7740; Waterloo, 319-235-1109; Davenport, 563-326-1841.

District 2
Counties in District 2: Lynn, Johnson, Cedar, Muscatine, Washington, Louisa, Wapello, Jefferson, Henry, Des Moines, Wayne, Appanoose, Davis, Van Buren, and Lee

Representative James A. "Jim" Leach (R)
14th Term/52%
E-mail: talk2jim@mail.house.gov
Web: www.house.gov/leach/
Phone: (202) 225-6576
Fax: (202) 226-1278
Address: 2186 Rayburn House Office Building
             Washington, DC 20515
District Offices and Phone: Cedar Rapids, 319-363-4773; 
Iowa City, 319-351-0789; Burlington, 319-754-1106; Ottumwa, 641-684-4024.

District 3
Counties in District 3: Grundy, Tama, Benton, Polk, Jasper, Poweshiek, Iowa, Marion, Mahaska, Keokuk, Lucas, and Monroe

Representative Leonard L. Boswell (D)
4th Term/53%
E-mail: rep.boswell.ia03@mail.house.gov
Web: www.house.gov/boswell
Phone: (202) 225-3806
Fax: (202) 225-5608
Address: 1029 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
District Offices and Phone: Des Moines, 515-282-1909.

District 4
Counties in District 4: Emmet, Palto Alto, Kossuth, Winnebago, Hancock, Worth, 
Cerro Gordo, Mitchell, Floyd, Howard, Chickasaw, Winneshiek, Allamakee, Pocahontas, Humbolt, Wright, Franklin, Calhoun, Webster, Hamilton, Hardin, Greene, Boone, Story, Marshall, Dallas, Madison and Warren

Representative Tom Latham (R)
5th Term/55%
E-mail: tom.latham@mail.house.gov
Web Site: http://www.house.gov/latham/
Phone: 202-225-5476
Fax: 202-225-3301
Address: 440 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
District Offices and Phone: Ames, 515-232-2885; Fort Dodge, 515-573-2738;
Clear Lake, 641-357-5225

District 5
Counties in District 5: Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Sioux, O'Brien, Clay, Plymouth, Cherokee, Buena Vista, Woodbury, Ida, Sac, Monona, Crawford, Carroll, Harrison, Shelby, Audubon, Guthrie, Pottawattamie, Cass, Adair, Mills, Montgomery, Adams, Union, Clarke, Fremont, Page, Taylor, Ringold and Decatur

Representative Steve King (R)
1st Term/62%
E-mail: http://www.house.gov/steveking/zipauth.htm
Web Site: http://www.house.gov/steveking/
Phone: (202) 225-7000
Address: 1432 Longworth HOB,
Washington, DC 20515
District Offices and Phone: Storm Lake, 712-732-4197;
Sioux City, 712-224-4692.

IAM POLITICAL AND LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY

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NEBRASKA GOVERNOR, SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES

GOVERNOR


Gov. Mike Johanns (R)
2nd Term/69%, Term ends in 2007
Phone: 402-471-2244
Fax: 402-471-6031
Web: http://www.nebraska.gov
E-mail: mjohanns@notes.state.ne.us
Address: P.O. Box 94848, Lincoln, NE 68509-4848

SENATORS


Senator Chuck Hagel (R)
2nd Term/83%
Web: http://www.hagel.senate.gov
Phone: (202) 224-4224
Fax: (202) 224-5213
Address:  248 Russell Building
 Washington, DC 20510
District Offices and Phone: Omaha, 402-758-8981; Lincoln, 402-476-1400;
Scottsbluff, 308-632-6032; Kearney, 308-236-7501


Senator Ben Nelson (D)
1st Term/51%
Web: http://www.bennelson.senate.gov
E-mail: senator@bennelson.senate.gov
Phone: (202) 224-6551
Fax: (202) 228-0012
Address:  720 Hart Senate Office Building
 Washington, DC 20510
District Offices and Phone: Lincoln, 402-441-4600; Omaha, 402-391-3411;
Chadron, 308-260-2278; McCook, 308-340-1264; Scottsbluff, 308-631-7614

CONGRESS

District 1

Representative Doug Bereuter (R)
13th Term/85%
Web Site: http://www.house.gov/bereuter
Phone: (202) 225-4806
Fax: (202) 225-5686

Address: 2184 RHOB,
Washington, DC 20515
District Offices and Phone: Lincoln, 402-438-1598; Fremont, 402-727-0888.

District 2

Representative Lee Terry (R)
3rd Term/63%
E-mail: talk2lee@mail.house.gov
Web Site: http://www.leeterry.house.gov
Phone: (202) 225-4155
Fax: (202) 226-5452

Address: 1524 LHOB,
Washington, DC 20515
District Office and Phone: Omaha, 402-397-9944.

District 3

Representative Tom Osborne (R)
2nd Term/Unc.
Web Site: http://www.house.gov/osborne 
Phone: (202) 225-6435
Fax: (202) 226-1385

Address: 507 CHOB,
Washington, DC 20515
District Office and Phone: Grand Island, 308-381-5555; Scottsbluff, 308-632-3333.

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SOUTH DAKOTA GOVERNOR, SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES

GOVERNOR


Gov. M. Michael Rounds (R)
1st Term/57%, Term ends in 2007
Phone: 605-773-3212
Fax: 605-773-4711
E-mail: governor@state.sd.us
Address: 500 East Capitol St., Pierre, SD 57501

SENATORS


Senator Thomas A. Daschle (D)
3rd Term/62%
Web: http://www.daschle.senate.gov
Phone: (202) 224-2321
Fax: (202) 224-6603
Address:  509 Hart Senate Office Building
 Washington, DC 20510
District Offices and Phone: Sioux Falls, 605-334-9596; Aberdeen, 605-225-8823;
Rapid City, 605-348-7551.


Senator Tim Johnson (D)
2nd Term/50%
Web: http://www.johnson.senate.gov
Phone: (202) 224-5842
Fax: (202) 228-5765
Address:  136 Hart Senate Office Building
 Washington, DC 20510
District Offices and Phone: Sioux Falls, 605-332-8896; Aberdeen, 605-226-3440;
Rapid City, 605-341-3990.

CONGRESS


Representative William J. Janklow (R-At Large)
1st Term/53%
Web Site: http://www.house.gov/janklow 
Phone: (202) 225-2801
Fax: (202) 225-5823

Address: 1504 LHOB,
Washington, DC 20515
District Office and Phone: Sioux Falls, 605-367-8371; Rapid City, 605-394-5280;
Aberdeen, 605-626-3440.

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 IOWA SENATORS, REPRESENTATIVES, IOWA GOVERNOR AND REPRESENTATIVES 
RESPONSES TO ISSUES I'VE WRITTEN THEM ABOUT

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Has a positive voting record for working men and women
Economic Stimulus Package
Ergonomics
Amtrak
Fast Track
Working Women
  Illegal Immigrants
  Homeland Security
Miguel Estrada nomination
Rock Island Arsenal
S. 317 - Comp Time
Workers Rights

 Updated  06/19/04
Fair Labor Standards Act 
(proposed changes to overtime pay rules).

Prescription Drug Bill
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Has a negative voting record for working men and women
AT&T and Comcast merger
  Ergonomics
Fast Track
  Working Women
Retirement Savings and Pensions
Social Security
Illegal Immigrants
Homeland Security
  Economic Security Act 
(on extending unemployment benefits)
Miguel Estrada nomination
Prescription Drug and Medicare Improvement Act
Maytag Closing, Galesburg, Illinois and Free Trade

 Updated  06/14/04
Proposed Changes to Overtime Regulations

Employee Free Choice Act (S.1925)

5th District Representative
Steve King (R-IA)
Has a negative voting record for working men and women

Health Care Reform
Budget Priorities
Family Time Flexibility Act (H.R.1119) aka Comp Time

 Updated  06/14/04
Proposed Changes to Federal Overtime Rules

Child Tax Credits
Transformation in the Department of Defense (DOD)
Employee Free Choice Act
Medicare reform and prescription drug bill
State Senator:
Steven Warnstadt
Has a positive voting record for working men and women



HF 259, Withholding Compensation Payments from Injured Workers
HF313, a bill that makes changes to public sector collective bargaining.

State Representative, District 2:
Roger Wendt
Has a positive voting record for working men and women
Iowa Values Fund
HF 259, Withholding Compensation Payments from Injured Workers
Governor Thomas J. Vilsack
Has a positive record as governor for working men and women
Iowa Values Fund

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Fair Taxes for All
http://www.fairtaxes4all.org

FTFA Statement of Principles

  Our nation needs a federal tax system that raises sufficient revenue to meet our shared priorities and invest in our common future.  Our nation needs a tax system in which individuals and corporations contribute their fair share, based on ability to pay. 

  The tax cuts proposed by President Bush and enacted by Congress since 2001 do not meet these criteria.

 

        They are fiscally irresponsible; they jeopardize the nation's ability to meet its domestic priorities and international responsibilities. 

 

        They have been ineffective and inadequate in stimulating real job and wage growth for working Americans. 

 

        They saddle future generations with enormous levels of debt. 

 

        They are highly inequitable; they improperly shift the responsibility for paying taxes from wealthy individuals and corporations to lower-and middle-income working people. 

 

        They adversely affect states' revenues; they deprive states and localities of funds needed to provide crucial public services, thereby forcing increases in state and local taxes and/or cuts in services.

 

We therefore support:

 

        Reforming the tax system to restore fairness, including requiring corporations and wealthy individuals to pay their fair share; to provide adequate funds to meet pressing federal, state, and local public needs; and to strengthen the economy.

 

        Reversing tax cut policies that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy and corporations and drain revenues needed to meet current and future national priorities. 

 

        Holding any additional tax cuts including efforts to extend and/or make the 2001-2003 tax cuts permanent to rigorous standards of fairness and affordability.

 

        Closing existing tax loopholes and rejecting new ones that allow corporations to evade and avoid taxes.

 

To sign the statement of principles, please contact:

Deb Stehr, Iowa Citizen Action Network
Box 769
Lake View, IA 51450

Phone (712) 657-2915 or (712) 657-3068
Fax (712) 657-2915 
e-mail dstehr@netins.net

WHAT YOU CAN DO!
You can fill in the blanks below and submit this sign up sheet on line. 
While your at it check out FairTaxes4All and sign their petition. 

Name
Organization
Address
City State Zip
Phone
E-mail

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AFL-CIO Working Families Presidential Forum

The forum's unique format allowed workers from around the country to share their concerns and pose the forum's questions in videotaped segments focusing on jobs, health care, retirement security, corporate accountability, education, state and city budget crises and workers' freedom to form unions.

Buoyed by cheers from 2,500 union members attending the forum, the nine presidential contenders slammed President George W. Bush's economic and tax policies, offered solutions to the nation's greatest job loss since World War II and vowed to protect Social Security. They presented diverse approaches to America's health care crisis and promised to protect the rights of workers who want to join unions.

The candidates aimed most of their criticism at Bush rather than their Democratic rivals, defining themselves as pro-working family and Bush as a champion of wealthy special interests and corporate greed. "This administration has declared war on the middle class in this country," charged Rep. Dick Gephardt (Mo.).

Creating Good Jobs and a Strong Economy

"Since President Bush has been in office, 2.7 million manufacturing jobs have been lost. I've lost two of them," said Baltimore crane operator Vicky Bielawski, a member of Steelworkers Local 9477. "Can you tell me what you're going to do save manufacturing jobs in the United States?"

"We need to get rid of these tax laws that give big business incentives to move offshore. In fact we need ought to reverse those laws and give incentives for companies to stay right here and keep their jobs in America," said Sen. John Edwards (N.C.).

Carol Moseley Braun, a former U.S. senator from Illinois, also called for new tax incentives to protect and create jobs because "manufacturing is vitally important to our country. It is the way we support our families. It creates more secondary and tertiary jobs than any other industry in the country."

After viewing the 90-minute forum, moderated by National Public Radio's (NPR's) Bob Edwards, Bielawski said she was glad to hear the candidates talk about the core working family issue of job loss. "It's good to know it's an issue that's at the top of everybody's mind," she said.

Another questioner was Dave Bevard, a 30-year-employee at the Maytag Corp.'s Galesburg, Ill., plant that is due to close next year and throw 3,000 people out of work. Bevard particularly was interested in the candidates' answers about trade policies and jobs.

"Obviously they all differ from Bush just by insisting that trade agreements are stronger for labor, jobs and the environment and that a global race to the bottom is not what we need," he said.

During the segment on jobs, NPR's Edwards asked several of the candidates for their views on Bush's attack on overtime pay that could cost as many as 8 million workers their right to overtime pay.

"To alter overtime for anyone is a threat to everyone," responded candidate Al Sharpton. "We cannot open the door for this administration in any way, shape or form to change the wages of workers....People must be paid for the work they do and for the time they work. It must not be compromised," he said.

Building a Healthy America

The candidates presented a range of distinct solutions to America's health care crisis with platforms aimed at increasing access to quality care and controlling costs.

"What are you planning to do about the high cost of health care? Many people would like to be covered but can't afford to pay the high premiums or prescription drug costs," said Mary Tapia Barthel, a Schaumburg, Ill., cashier and member of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881.

Gephardt (D-Mo.) offered a plan that "requires every employer to offer health care to each worker. We will rescind the Bush tax cuts to pay for the plan....This is a moral issue. It is immoral to have anybody without health insurance in this country."

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) proposed a federal catastrophic insurance program that would relieve a significant financial burden on health plans, especially those negotiated by unions.

"One hundred sixty-three million people get their health care in the workplace, but every time you negotiate a new contract, your entire wage increase goes to health care, and we need to take that back," he said.

Safeguarding Retirement and Holding Corporations Accountable

"The Bush administration is trying mess up Social Security with private accounts," said Claudette Gadsden, a Baltimore residential consultant and member of Communications Workers of America Local 2101. "I don't want my money invested in the stock market. Do you have a plan to protect Social Security?"

Florida Sen. Bob Graham responded, "We should secure the strength of Social Security and we should not allow privatization to throw Social Security into the situation of so many people's 401(k) riding on the lottery of the stock market."

Several of the candidates also called for pension portability so workers can carry their earned credits from job to job.

"I'm glad they were so strong against privatization and for letting people keep their pensions when they move to other jobs, because it's not like it was years ago. People change jobs a lot now," said Gadsden.

Moderator Edwards quizzed the candidates about their proposals to hold corporations accountable in light of recent corporate scandals that have cost workers tens of thousands of jobs and billions in lost retirement savings.

"We need real corporate reform and pension parity so people at the top can't protect their own pension while cutting workers' pensions...we've got to do something about CEO pay going up when the value of their company is going down," and corporations should "stop cooking the books," said former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.

Protecting Education and State and City Budgets and Services

States and cities are facing their worst budget crisis in more than half a century, forcing them to cut funding in education, slash services and lay off workers.

"We [teachers] are all very concerned about meeting the standards and having to do much more with less. As president, what will you do to protect education in our country?" asked Janella Hinds, a Brooklyn public school teacher and member of United Federation of Teachers/AFT Local 2.

Gephardt said he would make sure federal education mandates are fully funded, including the "No Child Left Behind Act" that imposes new standards and requirements on schools but does not provide adequate funds to meet those goals. He also proposed a National Teacher Corps to train teachers and repay their education loans if they agree to teach where they are most needed for five years.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), while supporting a trial of controversial school vouchers, also spoke out for public school teachers. "We have to treat and pay teachers like the professionals they really are," he said.

In addition to facing serious education funding gaps, the states bear new budget burdens for the cost of homeland security, which is not fully funded by the federal government.

Stacy Landrum, a Fire Fighters Local 1400 member from Rutledge, Pa., asked the candidates, "Since 9-11, there has been a lot of talk about homeland security, but my question is how are you going to pay for it? What are you going to do differently to make sure the money is available?"

"The first rule of medicine," said Graham, "is to inflict no harm and what the federal government has been doing is inflicting pain by not providing funds to support these mandates...and undercutting the tax base of states. I would provide full funding for homeland security, education and transportation."

Ensuring All Workers Have the Freedom to Form a Union

All nine candidates spoke forcefully about the need for strong unions in America and pledged to defend the right of workers to organize unions. The Bush administration has attacked federal workers' rights and their union and civil service protections. In the private sector, when workers try to form unions, they face increasingly hostile employer tactics, from being forced to attend anti-union meetings to threats of shutdowns and outright firings.

"I worked for Cintas for almost six years. When I started to fight for the union, Cintas fired me. I'd like to know what you will do for the workers' right to form a union?" asked Clorinda Valdivia, a UNITE member from Bay Shore, N.Y.

The candidates touted their records of support for union workers and called for reforming federal labor laws.

"I intend to use the full power of the White House....I will issue an executive order that says when half the workers sign cards. It's an automatic union," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio).

Following the forum, Machinists member Bevard said, "What we need to do in this election is to frame the issues, not let Bush divert people's attention. In 1992, they said "It's the economy stupid." That's how we beat the first George Bush. Well in 2004, it's still the economy and that's how we can beat this George Bush."

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BUZZFLASH

BuzzFlash provides headlines, news, and commentary for a geographically-diverse, politically-savvy, pro-democracy, anti-hypocrisy web audience, reaching 2.5 million visitors a month and growing. Check them out at http://www.buzzflash.com/

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