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THE ISSUES / AL SHARPTON
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About Al Sharpton:
The Rev. Al Sharpton entered the presidential race on January 22, 2003, by filing papers to form an exploratory committee. The head of the National Action Network, a civil rights group, he ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 1994 and New York City mayor in 1997. He conceded the presidential nomination to Sen. John Kerry on March 15, 2004, but said he would continue to campaign for his "urban agenda."
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Editor's note: This chart features brief summaries of candidates' viewpoints on some issues, based on their statements and records. Most candidates have offered more comprehensive explanations of their positions on these and other issues. More information may be found on their campaign Web sites.
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TOPIC
POSITION
Affirmative Action
Supports affirmative action policies
Gay marriage
Backs marriage rights for same-sex couples
Gays in the military
End ban on openly gay, lesbian, bisexual individuals
Gay adoption
Supports adoption by gay men, women
Hate crime legislation
Would add sexual orientation to federal law
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TOPIC
POSITION
National Missile Defense
No public position
Increase size of Army
Would not engage in deployments like Iraq
Program budgets
Would look for ways to trim waste at the Pentagon
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TOPIC
POSITION
Drilling in ANWR
No public position
Alternative fuels
Support building of hybrid and electric vehicles
Energy policy
Would push for a cap on carbon dioxide emissions
Gas mileage requirements
Would raise average requirement to 45 miles per gallon
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TOPIC
POSITION
Drug costs
No public position available
Medicare solvency
No public position available
Prescription drugs benefit
No public position available
Nationalized health care
Favors a national, government-funded single-payer plan
Sue HMOs
No public position available
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TOPIC
POSITION
Enemy combatants
No public position available
Patriot Act
Opposes Patriot Act
Immigration
Current immigration law is discriminatory
Intelligence agencies
No public position available
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TOPIC
POSITION
War in Iraq
Opposed U.S.-led war
Iraqi reconstruction
Favors multinational strategy via the U.N.
Pre-emption policy
Opposes the doctrine; calls it un-American
Afghanistan
No public position available
Middle East
Would create "real relationship" with allies in Arab world
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TOPIC
POSITION
Abortion
Supports a woman's right to an abortion
Death penalty
Opposes death penalty
Drug policy
No public position available
Gun control
Supports licensing and registration of handguns
Education reform
No public position available
Supreme Court
No public position available
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TOPIC
POSITION
Social Security
Greater economic growth will keep Social Security solvent
State fiscal crisis
No public position available
Tax cuts
Would repeal Bush tax cuts
Budget deficits
Reduce deficit by repealing Bush tax cuts
Job creation
Proposes $250 billion infrastructure improvement plan
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NOTE
• AG: Attorney General; ANWR: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; CAFÉ: Standards that provide tax and other incentives for consumers to purchase and alternative fuel vehicles; COPS: Community Oriented Policing Program; DOMA: Defense of Marriage Act; GLBT: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered; NCLB: No Child Left Behind; NMD: National Missile Defense.
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