The race for the White House

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Each week between now and the November election, Woman to Woman Voter Campaign will appear in Blount Today and on the League of Women Voters and American Association of University Women websites. The election project is a joint endeavor of the League of Women Voters, the AAUW and Blount Today and strives to offer a comparison of the views of the two presidential candidates on issues of importance to Blount County. Blount Today is happy to provide editorial space in order to encourage people to vote in November and to be an informed electorate.

Issue: Education

Why should we care about education? Dependence of the U.S. on an educated citizenry; inadequate funding of education, resulting in cutbacks in early childhood education and after-school opportunities, as well as cutbacks at other levels of education; elimination of some subject matter areas from the curricula; loss of good teachers from the teaching profession; rising tuition, affecting ability to attend college.

Senator Obama

• Advocates reform of No Child Left Behind - it is under-funded and has not been effective, though well intentioned

• Believes that increasing tuition is pricing the middle class out of higher education

• Supports charter schools

• Would support improved means of evaluating student progress

• Believes in incentives, including higher pay for teachers

• Favors increased support of high quality after-school learning opportunities

• Favors expansion of early childhood education by $10 billion per year

• Favors incorporation of service into middle and high school curricula and more service into college curricula

• Would use work study funds to pay students for public service rather than for campus jobs

Senator McCain

• Believes that No Child Left Behind has been effective in improving public education.

• Agrees that increased tuition costs are pricing the middle class out of higher education

• Supports charter schools

• Supports vouchers for public or private schools

• Opposes nationally imposed standards

• Advocates expecting accountability of teachers and rewarding high performance

• Favors expanding Head Start programs so all children are ready to learn

• Has opposed funding for 21st Century Learning Center after-school program

• Favors federal tax incentives for education costs

• Favors funding for online education

Sources and further information:

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/issues/issues.education.html

http://www.ontheissues.org/Education.htm#Headlines

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/education/

http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/

http://www.procon.org/

http://www.issue2008.com/

The Issue: the Enivronment

Why should we care about the environment? Effect of climate change on the environment; increasing carbon emissions with expanding use of automobiles and other carbon-emitting equipment; current activity in building of new coal-fired power plants (20 under construction in the US); potential for intrusion into environmentally important areas in search for oil; effects of natural disasters such as fires, floods, earthquakes and tornadoes.

Senator Obama

• Advocates program to greatly reduce carbon emissions: 80% below 1990 levels by 2050

• Favors cap-and-trade system that would limit greenhouse emissions by allowing entities to buy and sell emission rights

• Supports a program such as the Kyoto Protocol; would work with other large energy-consuming nations in addressing climate change

• Promotes freedom from dependence on fossil fuels, development of clean energy, and nuclear energy if clean and safe

• Would double federal science and research funding for clean energy projects; would invest $150 billion over 10 years to create Green jobs and clean energy economy

• Introduced legislation to reduce mercury and lead poisoning; voted for including gas and oil smoke-stacks in mercury regulations

• Would strengthen enforcement of the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act

• Would fund greater energy efficiency throughout the economy

• Would reward forest owners, farmers and ranchers for planting trees and restoring grasslands, which captures carbon dioxide

Senator McCain

• Advocates a program to strengthen emission controls: 60 percent below 1990 levels by 2050

• Favors cap-and-trade system that would limit greenhouse emissions by allowing entities to buy and sell emission rights

• Did not support the Kyoto Protocol but now recognizes global warming as a serious problem

• Would promote preservation of natural resources, use of alternative energy sources and nuclear energy

• Introduced Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act of 2007 to significantly reduce the nation's greenhouse gases, through trading markets and advanced technologies

• Voted for including gas and oil smokestacks in mercury regulations

• Would strengthen enforcement of the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act

• Would preserve and expand national parks and wilderness areas

Sources and further information:

http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/

http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/ImmigrationFactSheet.pdf

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/issues/issues.immigration.html

http://www.ontheissues.org

http://www.procon.org/

http://www.issue2008.com/

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