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(the political couch)
Bush and this site's issues: (click
here for this site's issues explained)
Campaign, Election Reform; Environment; Animal Protection; Judicial, Human Rights, Media Reform; Sustainable Economics
10 is best and 1 is worst; scores are relative to other candidates.
Send us any information on Bush, not already discussed below, that falls within this site's issues.
Written before the election, but still applies. Bush has lived up to all fears and the destruction predicted of his administration.
If you read the detailed description of Al Gore's negatives and imagine who could be worse, you have some understanding of how Bush scores on most of this site's issues.
Bush gets more money than Gore from all the people who created the problems mentioned in the paragraphs criticizing Gore. These very moneyed contributors normally contribute more to the politicians they feel will be helpful; Bush's record in Texas and his statements and appointments tell them he will be very responsive to their agenda (see the Bush contributors and the summary below)
BUSH GORE MONEY TRAIL (source Center for Responsive Politics as of 6-1-00)
Agribusiness: Bush : $2,148,624 - Gore $240,350
Oil & Gas: Bush $1,463,799 - Gore $95,460 (Bush once said "You can't get too close to the oil industry")
Construction: Bush $3,472,821 - Gore $920,938
Real Estate: Bush $3,661,372 - Gore $1,213,310
Automotive: Bush $1,019,581 - Gore $79,085
Drug companies: Republicans/Bush 73% of $13,800,000 - Democrats/Gore 23% of $13,800,000 (Wall Street Journal 7-7-00)
CAMPAIGN, ELECTION REFORM 2
There is little indication that George W. would be willing to put off his generous funders by clamping down on the most egregious and damaging polluters in the nation by instituting any meaningful campaign reform.
When put on the spot, Bush opposed most of the provisions of the McCain / Feingold Campaign reform act.
Polling shows that the vast majority of voters want campaign finance reform. Yet in 1999 when the major media was giving Bush accolades and courting his big advertising budget, he probably could have broken the filibuster in the Senate led by Republican's Lott and McConnell which doomed the McCain / Feingold Campaign reform act. By publicly speaking out in favor of the bill he would have saved this needed reform and this would have helped Bush in his campaign against McCain, since voters viewed McCain as better on this important issue.
Bush's key congressional supporters (Lott and McConnell and Company) are the people most hostile to campaign reform.
Bush obviously does not want to limit the money he gets from the deep pockets in the Republican Party in favor of any real democracy in our election process.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION 2
Even a cursory look at how George W. managed to accumulate the astounding sum of over $70 million for his primary campaign, reveals a list of major polluters including Marathon Oil and Exxon.
In Texas, which has the worst pollution in the nation, industry continues to call the shots (according to EPA figures Texas is ranked number one in air and water pollution). Examples of Bush's complicity with the major Texas polluters are well documented by Ken Silverstein in the Sierra Club article, "The Texas governor talks green, but he walks with the industry giants."
In May of 1999 in what Bush refers to as his "biggest environmental achievement," a Texas bill, which purported to close loopholes that allowed 828 industrial plants to continue operating without obtaining air permits from the state, was actually drafted by the polluters themselves.
Plants subsequently coming on-line were required to obtain a permit but the grand-fathered plants, some dating to the 1930's, which produce hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic emissions per year (or one third of Texas' industrial pollution), were allowed to continue as before because of voluntary compliance.
Of the 461 polluting plants in Texas that did not face mandatory state or federal emission cuts, only 30 responded to Bush's voluntary program.(source Dallas Morning News).
These industries contributed at least $2 million to the George W. primary campaign.
One of Bush's biggest contributors is Enron, a major beneficiary of Bush-enacted legislation.
As Governor-elect in 1994, Bush opposed a new vehicle-emissions testing program that had been designed and contracted by the state to implement the 1990 Clean Air Act calling it "onerous and inconvenient".
The first legislation Mr. Bush signed as Governor was a bill that put the emissions tests on hold reneging on its multimillion dollar contract with the major contractor for the program, Tejas Testing Technology. The contractor sued the state and won a settlement of $140 million. Bush and other state officials raided the state's environmental programs (superfund cleanup and Texas clean air fund) to pay off $130million of the settlement!
The Texas Natural Resource Conversation Commission (TNRCC) - a rough equivalent of the EPA - has been labeled "Train Wreck" by Texas conservationists. Bush appointments to this commission range from a law firm oil specialist; to a former Dept of Agriculture commissioner who let a drive to gut "right to know" laws that protected farm workers from unannounced aerial pesticide spraying. A "soap" actress who is also on the board of the National Rifle Association was another protect-the-status-quo appointment
Bush, at the start of his run for president, declared himself an environmentalist and promised to do for the country what he has done so well for Texas!
During the Bush administration no new parkland was purchased even though Texas is ranked 49th in per capita spending on state parks.
Texas leads the nation in industrial toxic air pollution and in the number of facilities that violate clean-water standards. It also has the highest rate of toxic waste production as well as the greatest number of odious factory farms and feedlots.
Bush vows to reverse Clinton's recent forest protection program and want increased timber sales from national forests, opposes new national parks, advocates oil drilling in the arctic national refuge, opposes Kyoto protocol, lobbied to weaken the federal Clean Air Act, opposed federal action on water standards for factory farms.
Thankfully, Bush has stopped referring to himself as an "environmentalist."
ANIMAL PROTECTION: 1
Kill 322 species of animals and receive the distinction of being a honorable member of Safari International! George W. was recently named "Governor of the Year" by Safari International and the "award" was accepted for him by his father before 10,000 cheering, animal killers.
George W is clearly no friend of endangered creatures in Texas and through his agencies and appointments has opposed endangered species designation for the jaguar, Arkansas River shiner, Barton Springs salamander and the swift fox.
In a friendly Bush NY Times newspaper piece by longtime pal, Terry Throckmorton, he recalled how "terrible to animals" he and Bush were as children in Midland Texas where, among other things, they delighted in blowing up frogs.
The NRA (National Rifle Association), almost always on the wrong side of animal protection issues, has raised over $250,000 for Bush and their VP openly bragged at a NRA meeting about the close relationship they will enjoy if Bush is elected.
Bush has received the most contributions of the presidential candidates from
the slaughterhouse industry, factory farms and cattle ranchers. Bush has indicated
that increasing meat exports to foreign countries, especially China, will be
one of his priorities to solve our balance of payments problem.
(also see http://www.animalpeoplenews.org/rats1200.html)
JUDICIAL REFORM: Criminal 3 Civil 5
Keeping violent criminals off the street is a laudable goal, unfortunately Bush's actions limit this goal.
In addition to violent criminals, who should be in jail, the Texas jails are filled with non-violent drug users and petty criminals at great tax payer expense.
These non-violent prisoners are unnecessarily crowding expensive jail space and learning to become violent in the brutal prison environment. When released, they may have learned to become violent criminals to prey on the rest of us.
Bush, who allegedly used cocaine in his youth, would have been incarcerated if he had been caught under Texas drug laws. He also has been honest enough to admit a serious drinking problem in his 20's and 30's. In Texas many people with this problem end up in jail at least once, unless they are protected by power and privilege. The point is, there are many people taking valuable jail space in Texas who were no different than Bush in his college days and post college days. There are better solutions and Bush knows it from personal experience.
Bush has received large contributions from the prison industry in Texas. The huge number of non-violent criminals in Texas prisons helps the growth of the prison industry which in turn helps Bush through very generous campaign contributions.
Bush statements and policies in Texas would indicate that he has some understanding of the problem of lawsuits that are mainly extortion schemes seeking settlement money from deep pockets. Gore and Nader seem naïve in this area.
Bush would have had a higher score in this area except that his vision of tort reform severely limits suits against large entities where there is real damage and cover-up (such as major polluters), but does little to cure the relatively small but numerous extorting personal injury suits directed at individuals and there insurance carriers.
Bush is inconsistent with his vision of tort reform. He did not consider the Texas Cattlemen Association's suit against Oprah Winfrey and Howard Lyman (ex-cattle rancher) for questioning the health and safety of the beef industry, a "frivolous" lawsuit. He supports the use of Texas "food disparagement laws" to bring lawsuits which will limit first amendment rights of free speech.
BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS: 2
This may be the area to worry most about Bush. A list of his alignments and major supporters are clear indicators of his real philosophies as opposed to campaign rhetoric: His father (see the Bush Senior record as Director of the CIA); Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson of the Christian Right; his VP running mate Cheney (genocides and covert operations in Africa); Enron, the energy and oil multi-national and Bush's biggest corporate contributor (major environmental and human rights abuses in India, South America and Texas). See this site's Human Rights section and see progressive.org for recent articles on Enron and Cheney.
Bush's own efforts to limit access to information in Texas and his attempts to shut down web sites that are critical of him even in a parody (gwbush.com), do not speak well of his understanding of the first amendment. He personally directing the Texas state police to arrest peaceful demonstrators blocking nothing is another indicator of his abuse of the first amendment.
Bush has a long-term, historically strong alignment with the hard-core Christian Right leadership which has made every effort to take away a number of basic constitutional rights that most Americans still wish to retain.
Bush and Cheney's ties and support from international arms dealers is far greater
than Gores, which is already too high. If they are elected, past support indicates
that there will be increased tax-payer supported military aid to dictatorships
around the globe with a concurrent large increase in human rights abuses.
(See this site's Human Rights section and keep in mind that Bush's father and Cheney will probably be his closes advisers, then look at their record and his stated policies on military foreign aid and the military budget.)
As President, Bush would be likely to severely limit citizen right to know, right to criticize the government and right to control individual destiny.
MEDIA REFORM: 2
Bush has been treated very well by the major media; having the largest political advertising budget has helped pave the way for the kid glove treatment he has received early in the campaign. Beyond his advertising dollars, there are long term ties to Bush through his father and the Republican party.
If you follow the dollars and news coverage, it is relatively well know that General Electric (which owns NBC) executives have tilted towards the Republicans and Bush, primarily though their CEO (Welch) and the executives he installed to follow him. This is also true of the Murdock group; Fox through Gingrich and other prominent Republicans and to a large extent the major players at CBS are predominantly Republican. ABC through Eisner (CEO Disney -ABC) tends to be partial to Democrats, except in the 2000 election cycle Disney/ABC gave more to Republicans than Democrats.
Bush had many opportunities to speak out against the consolidation of the public airwaves into the hands of a few; if you look at the contributions he has received from the industry you can see why he has not.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMICS: 4
The Bush negatives read just like Gore's on this issue except more so. With one exception, Bush has a little better understanding than Gore of the fact that most government institutions offer inefficient solutions to the average American's economic problems. It appears that the Bush tax plan is somewhat better than Gore's in the low income brackets, but overly generous and worse in the higher brackets.
How American natural resources are extracted strongly relates to how sustainable large segments of the economy will be. In this area Bush has constantly succumbed to the wishes of the large resource extractors and polluters. He will probably encourage increased environmental destruction more than Gore because he is receiving more campaign contributions than Gore from polluters and resources extractors.
Bush has supported all the Republican sponsored legislation which caused major
clear-cuts and erosion in national forests. These practices cause a boom-bust
economy in the effected industries; the bust cycle is usually
much longer than the boom cycle.
The salvage logging legislation and the Forest Services non-enforcement of sustainable logging practices are two of many examples of destructive Republican legislation. Many destructive managers in the Forests Service came in under Bush (Senior) and Reagan and with the contributions Bush is receiving from the multi-national timber companies, we can expect the same or worse.
The Forest Services loses taxpayer dollars even though it auctions off public forest logging-rights to timber companies. It primarily creates this corporate welfare by paying for the logging roads which cause erosion and landslides and loss of fisheries which escalates the economic devastation.
Bush has received more money from the massive hog farms, cattle feed lots and large factory farm chicken operations than Gore. These operations have caused massive water pollution and health problems which have eroded general worker productivity in these regions, lowered net disposable income and lowered real estate values in the areas neighboring these industries. The long term economic costs and jobs lost in other sectors produced by these industries far out weigh the small number of direct jobs these industries produce.
In very brief summary, George Bush Junior will be George Bush Senior with a
greater debt to destructive large campaign contributors and with even less "street
knowledge" than his father and more vindictive towards those who criticize
This news release of the near future says it best:
"WASHINGTON, D.C. January 2001 -- The Republicans now control all aspects of the Federal Government. Top issues this session are: prayer in school, flag burning, missile defense system (star wars), gutting pollution standards, repealing the endangered species act, overturning Roe v. Wade, and packing the Federal Courts with right wing evangelical judges and appointees." News release paraphrased from: http://www.georgebush2000.com/preview1.html
Longer version of Team Bush's original draft press release can be seen at: Bush Leaked Press Release
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