Al Gore

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Al Gore Running mate: Sen. Joe Lieberman. Current position: Vice president of the United States Political experience: Vice-President of the United States (1993-present); US senator from Tennessee (1985-1993); candidate for the Democratic nomination for president (1987-1988); US representative from Tennessee, (1977-1985) Work experience: farmer (1973-1990); investigative reporter, editorial writer, The Tennessean (1971-1976); home builder and land developer, Tanglewood Home Builders Co. (1971-1976) Party affiliation: Democrat Educational background: • B.A., Harvard University, 1969; • Vanderbilt University Law School, 1974-76. Military experience: • U.S. Army, 1969-1971 Spouse: Mary Elizabeth "Tipper" Aitcheson Gore Children: Karenna, Kristin, Sarah, Albert Religion: Baptist Birthdate: March 31, 1948 in Washington D.C. Why he wants to be president: "I want to keep our prosperity going, and I know how to do it. I want to do it the right way - not by letting people fend for themselves, or hoping for crumbs of compassion." June 1999, announcing his candidacy George W. Bush Running mate: Dick Cheney Current position: Governor of Texas Born: July 6, 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut, the eldest son of former President George Bush. Grew up in Midland, Texas. Attempting to become the second president's son to occupy the White House. First was the 6th president John Quincy Adams, son of the second President John Adams. Political experience: Governor of Texas (1995-present); adviser and speechwriter for his father's presidential campaign (1987-88); Republican nominee for US representative from Texas' 19th district (1978) Work experience: managing general partner, Texas Rangers baseball team (1989-94); consultant, Harken Energy Corporation (1986); president, Spectrum Corporation (1984-86); founder and CEO, Bush Exploration (1975-84) Party affiliation: Republican Educational background: • B.A., Yale University, 1968; • M.B.A., Harvard University, 1975. Military experience: Pilot in the Texas Air National Guard, 1968-73 Spouse: Laura Welch Bush Children: Twin daughters Barbara and Jenna Religion: Methodist, renewed faith aged 40 after counselling from evangelist Billy Graham. Jesus is his favorite philosopher or thinker because "he changed my heart" Birthdate: July 6, 1946 Contact information: • George W. Bush for President, (512) 637-2000; • Governor's office, (512) 463-2000. Why he wants to be president: "I think our country is ready for a fresh start after a season of cynicism." Speech, February 2, South Carolina. Democratic platform backs open trade, death penalty News-Journal Wire Services ST. LOUIS - Pushing a centrist agenda, the Democrats' platform committee drafted a statement of principles calling for open trade, teacher certification and continued support for the death penalty despite objections from liberal, education and labor interest groups. The policy positions dovetail with the agenda of Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic presidential candidate who also supports capital punishment despite growing debate nationwide about its fairness. Meeting Friday, the committee added an amendment to the death penalty plank in the party platform, calling for DNA evidence to be used when appropriate and for efforts to ensure defendants effective legal counsel, which is in line with Gore's view. "Some believe serious consideration ought to be given to repealing the death penalty," said Gerald Shea, assistant to the president for government affairs of the AFL-CIO, citing differences of opinion on the committee. "I think the party is committed to being tough on crime." The Democratic Party spent the past decade trying to shake a soft-on-crime image that Republicans promoted. Texas Gov. George W. Bush, Gore's Republican opponent, has come under fire for heading a state with the nation's highest number of executions: more than 130 since Bush took office in 1995. North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt, who oversees the draft committee, said he believes Democrats will support the stand. "There are differences in the party about the death penalty," he said. "But the vice president and I support it in certain cases." The draft committee will submit the document to the platform committee on July 29 in Cleveland. Democrats will weigh final approval during their national convention, Aug. 14-17, in Los Angeles. "I believe it's a platform the Vice President Gore can run on, and it's a platform he can win on," said Hunt. Specifically: -On trade, the proposed policy does not address the issue of favored trade status for China, which has been a source of contention within the party and among big labor. But it encourages the need to "aggressively open new markets in which to sell our goods - at home and abroad." Major industrial unions have opposed the context and tone of such language. Democrats included a pledge to educate American workers so that they can compete for jobs in a global economy. The platform also vows to protect human rights and the environment. "It's not the kind of document we would write," said the Shea of the AFL-CIO, which has endorsed Gore. "But in the context of it being an outside group's document, we believe our issues were addressed." -On education, the draft calls for federally required teacher certification and a "rigorous test" for all new teachers despite opposition from some teachers organizations. "Teachers should be answerable for what goes on in the classroom," the draft states. "Bad teachers who are out there should not be allowed to sully the reputation of the teaching profession." Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers, said teachers need to be treated fairly and ensured of due process. "We're not shying away from accountability," she said. "What we're trying to do is to make sure that the field we are playing on is level and that we have the tools to do the job." The committee also included language requiring schools that fail to improve to be shutdown or placed under new leadership. Mary Elizabeth Teasley, director of government relations for National Education Association, offered an amendment to ensure that schools and teachers are rewarded for making positive differences in the classroom. Finally, Democrats reaffirmed their commitment to abortion rights. But Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton, a co-chair of the platform committee, said the party should work to reduce the numbers of abortion in America. "This is a debate within our party," she said. "We could go in the back room and hide it. But we're putting it out on the table, just like trade." - Highlights of points included Friday in the proposed Democratic platform: Trade: -Knock down the barriers to fair trade. Enforce worker rights, human rights and environmental protection in those agreements. -Work to repeal Republican Freedom to Farm Act that has resulted in years of low prices and necessitated billion dollar bailouts. Education: -Have fully qualified, well-trained teachers in every classroom - and every teacher should pass a rigorous test to get there. -Every failing school in America should be turned around - or shut down and reopened under new leadership. -Ensure that no high school student graduates without mastering the basics of reading and math. -Allow parents to choose the best public school for their children. -Make high-quality preschool fully available to every family in every community. -Close the achievement gap between minority students and the rest of America's students. -Children deserve schools of safety and classrooms that are free of fear. -Zero-tolerance policy towards guns in schools. -Each school should institute strict, firm and fair discipline policies. Expand family leave law to make sure parents can attend parent-teacher conferences without fear of job loss. -Make college education as universal as high school with tax deductions for tuition and fees. Fisc

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