Presidential Campaign and Candidates


Ted Kennedy for President 1980 Campaign Brochure

Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy for President 1980 Campaign Brochure

‘Kennedy for President’


"We must not permit the dream of social progress to be shattered by those whose promises have failed.  We cannot permit the Democratic Party to remain captive to those who have been so confused about its ideals. 

I am committed to this campaign because I am committed to those ideals."


Courage and Choice What did candidate Carter promise for New York?  And what did President Carter deliver? 

In 1976, Republican President Gerald Ford told New York City: "drop dead." In the years since, President Carter has, in effect, told New York: "Die slowly."


­               Candidate Carter promised the city fair treatment in Federal programs.  But President Carter reduced aid to New York City by 13% in real dollars. 

­               Candidate Carter promised the Federal us some shun of the city's welfare costs.  But as President he forces New York to continue to bear an unfair burden and welfare costs. 

­               Candidate Carter promised the Federal assumption of the city's health expenditures.  But, as President, he forces New York to continue to pay immense costs for federally mandated health programs. 

­               Candidate Carter promised to increase the number of subsidized low and moderate income housing units.  But, as President, he actually reduced the number of low and moderate income housing from the Ford years. 

­               He promised to "cut in half" what he called "Ford's Misery Index," pledging to reduce inflation to 6% and unemployment to 4%.  But "Carter's Misery Index" is twice as high, with inflation over 18% and unemployment at 6.5%, and both are climbing upward.

­               Candidate Carter promised more federal aid to mass transportation and to increase New York's share.  But President Carter has maintained the old mass transit formula, and New York, with 35% of its riders, gets 13% of the very modest federal transportation funds. 

­               In 1976, he promised a "a new national urban policy" to aid all the countries cities.  In 1977, after a dramatic visit to view the South Bronx, Jimmy Carter promised federal support for revitalization.  In 1978, he announced "a new urban policy" and promptly abandoned its most important provisions.  If his record is any indication, we will get another big promise in 1980, and the same kind of no delivery. 


"The only way to stop inflation is to stop it in its tracks."


Inflation The country is having its most serious economic threat since the great depression of the 1930's.  Inflation soared from 4.8% in 1976 to over 18% in 1980.  Forecasts of inflation of 18% and 20% are now considered reasonable. 

Carter inflation is, in fact, the largest factor in the national urban crisis.  Rising costs erode urban services and living standards.  As inflation soars, the fiscal crisis has spread throughout the nation.  City governments cut back on police, firemen, on sanitation workers, and on teachers.  All over, union members - with 4% pay increases - have had to grapple with 13% increases while city governments have less real dollars for their own workers.  And as tensions rise, municipal strikes multiply, and the cost is neither greed by unions nor callousness by city managers.  The cause is Carter's inflation.  When New York City begins its bargaining with municipal unions, the two sides sit opposite each other and Carter inflation sits at the head of the table. 

The Carter plan for recovery in a strange medicine: the administration has announced that a recession is the best way to fight inflation.  Thus, those most vulnerable will pay for it first. 

Senator Kennedy has faced inflation and unemployment squarely: "Inflation is out of control.  There is only one recourse: the President should impose an immediate six-month freeze on inflation - followed by mandatory controls, as long as necessary, across the board - not only on prices and wages, but also on profits, dividends, interest rates and rent."


Urban Aid In May, 1976, Candidate Carter wrote a letter to Mayor Abraham Beame and promised that his federal government would relieve cities of their local welfare burden.  We are no closer to the federalization of welfare now then we were in 1976.  Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan observed that not only has President Carter failed, but "he didn't even try.  "If honored, federal assumptions of the city welfare burden would close half of New York's budget gap each year. 

Candidate Carter called the present health system "a national disgrace." Yet, after three years, he has come up only with a proposal that is neither comprehensive nor systematic, but still manages to be highly inflationary.  Today, 1.4 million New Yorkers have no health insurance at all; caring for them takes $300-400 million a year from the city budget already stretched beyond its limits. 


Senator Kennedy's commitment to national health insurance is without parallel in government.  His welfare reform bill in the Senate would cost less than the present one and would provide states and localities with the relief they need.  If Senator Kennedy's proposals were adopted, New York City would have no budget gap at all. 

"New York will not rise on the tide of more Federal money alone, "senator Kennedy said. "But the state city, whose mast is taller than most, is only temporary becalmed.  New York has problems which are national in origin and whose solutions require a national response.  I stand ready to work with New York, as I have in the past, to help refurbish the flagship of urban America."


I'm committed to an America where the many who are handicapped, the minority who are not white and the majority who are women will not suffer from injustice…

And I'm committed to an America where the state of a person's health will not be determined by the amount of a person's wealth."


Housing In 1976, Carter set a goal of two million new housing units a year; the present rate is 1.3 million and declining.  In New York City, the housing stock has been reduced every single Carter year.  The housing depression (the number of subsidized units for low and middle income families is less than in the last Republican years) means not only the end of the American families dream, but hundreds of thousands of men and women in the construction industry out of work as well - and, with 15% mortgages, slim work on the horizon. 

In 1977, President Carter stood amid the rubble of Charlotte Street and described it as intolerable.  He said that its revival would be a good test of his urban policy.  It was.  Today Charlotte Street is abandoned, deteriorating, and festering. 

Twenty minutes away.  Bedford-Stuyvesant is a community being reborn.  Fifteen years ago, Senator Robert Kennedy stood in Bed-Stuy and called it " intolerable " --today houses are being rehabilitated, shopping centers are prospering, and hope has replaced despair.  There's a big difference between someone who truly cares and someone who says he does.  There is a big difference between the Carter promise and a Kennedy performance. 


"The time for a stand-by plan is over.  The time for a stand-up plan is now."


Energy Three years ago, the President called it "the moral equivalent of war." Today, the Carter strategy on the energy crisis has been called "timid ", "limp" and "disastrous".

The public, paying $1.30 a gallon for gas and $1.00 a gallon for heating oil and watching Exxon register the first $4,000,000,000 profit in industrial history, hardly knows what to call it.  First, President Carter called for an end to foreign oil dependence.  Than he set import quotas actually higher than our annual consumption. 

Carter administration created a scale of unequal sacrifice based on unfair prices that would bring hardship to ordinary people.  The average family will pay $1,000 a year through the 1980s just to support the cost of the Carter decontrols of oil.  And while they do, the oil companies haul in unconscionable profits. 

To reduce our dependence, to show the world our mobilized resolve, "We must adopt a system of gasoline rationing without delay - not rationing by price, as the administration has decreed, but rather in a way that demands a fair sacrifice from all Americans."

Senator Kennedy has called for: an immediate moratorium on all future licensing of nuclear power plants, a comprehensive and orderly phase-out of all existing reactors as alternative energy sources become available, and a national program to increase energy efficiency, promote conservation and develop energy resources.


"Crime stalks everyone, everywhere.  No region of our nation is immune.  It tarnishes the quality of life of all our citizens.  We must take sound, practical, concrete steps to deal with the soaring increase in our crime rate."


Crime Candidate Carter promise to overhaul the federal criminal justice system.  He promised to eliminate much of that discretion practiced by judges and probation officers in determining the length of sentences. He promised to help reduce offenses and rehabilitate offenders. 

During the past three years, President Carter has not issued one major statement on crime and criminal justice.

Senator Kennedy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, carries authority, wisdom and expertise in dealing with these problems.

Senator Kennedy has sponsored new federal sentencing statutes to deter criminals from depending on "receiving a lenient term of imprisonment or probation." This bill will also prevent the discrepancy of sentencing based only on the amount of legal counsel an individual was able to afford. 

Senator Kennedy, acting on the knowledge that 49% of all murders in the United States were carried out with the use of handguns, sponsored the 1979 Handgun Control Act, designed to at last impose tough restrictions on the possession and transfer of the infamous "Saturday Night Specials," New York's Number One Problem. 

Senator Kennedy sponsored the 1979 Victim Crime Bill to provide the desperately needed assistance to victims of violent crimes. 

In a field demanding a comprehensive intelligence, Senator Kennedy offers it.  "Criminal justice," he has said, "must be a top White House priority."


Unemployment Unemployment continues to plague the nation.  It now stands at 6.5%, it is 8.5% in New York, 20% of among minorities and 40% among minority youth.  Economists generally agree that unemployment will shortly reach 8% nationally.  This is not some abstract economic statistic. In the next few months an additional million and a half men and women are certain to lose their jobs.

President Carter came to power in 1976 firmly endorsing the principles of Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment for All Americans.  In 1980, there is but another broken promise. 

On the floor of Congress when: co-sponsoring Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment legislation, Senator Kennedy stated, "We are not fulfilling our most basic responsibilities to the American people if we fail to adapt meaningful steps to move the country toward full employment."


"In this age of energy shortage, if we didn't have cities, we would have to invent them."


Mass Transit When Jimmy Carter ran for President in 1976, he pledged that the cornerstone of his urban and energy program would be a comprehensive mass transit program. Things change quickly in his philosophy: within two years, he pressured Congress to reduce its appropriations by 50% by threatening to veto all mass transit legislation. The 1979 Carter budget held only $700 million in mass transit aid for the entire decade of the 1980s - New York City alone will need $3 billion.

Senator Kennedy believes that mass transit attracts private development, improves property values and strengthens the tax base. It also conserves vast amounts of energy and knocks out pollution. He wants to invest in mass transit, as he did when he broke the Highway Trust Fund and permitted the use of its huge surpluses for mass transit, a plan indicative of his ongoing concern for urban revitalization. Senator Kennedy is committed to an America where "the cities that are the center of our civilization will be preserved and strengthen."


"I have a different view of the highest office in the land - a view of a forceful, effective Presidency, in the thick of the action, at the center of all the great concerns our people share."


Presidential Leadership Kennedy and Carter. What is the difference?

One is a Democrat, and the tradition of activism and strength of leadership. Jimmy Carter has abandoned that tradition.  In his State of the Union address, Carter said: "Government cannot solve our problems. It cannot set our goals.  It cannot define our vision. Government cannot eliminate poverty or provide a bountiful economy, or reduce inflation, or save our cities, or cure illiteracy or provide energy."

Senator Edward M. Kennedy said something else:

"I seek an active presidency, with a vision for the nation. That vision is not a set of sentiments. It is not a collection of buzzwords…It does not mean declaring 'the moral equivalent of war' while neglecting to mobilize the nation. It does not mean calling the tax system a "disgrace to the human race" while surrendering the fight for tax reform. It does not mean calling nuclear power 'a last resort' while making in a first priority.

"Vision in the presidency demands deeds matched to ideals."

Senator Kennedy wants to be an active President, a vital President, for our times. He wants to be the President who finally achieves full civil rights - who sees an ERA in this nation and who passes an economic bill of rights for women. He wants to be the President who at last closes tax loopholes and tames monopoly, so the free enterprise system will truly be free. He wants to be the President who brings national health insurance to safeguard each American family from fear of bankruptcy due to illness, and the President who opens hospitals, not closes them. He wants to be the President who finally stops urban deterioration and revitalizes the inner city economy. He wants to be the President who finally brings about the federalization of welfare. He wants to be the President who halts the dependence on a nuclear future that could hazard the future itself. He wants to be the President who guides an America powerful enough to deter war and strong enough to do the work of peace in the world.

He wants to be the President who will do good not just for the moment, but for all time, and not just for the loudest factions, but for the average Americans who want - and deserve - a good American life.

For, as Senator Kennedy said, "When the unity of our present fear fades, when the crowds stop cheering and the bands stop playing, someone has to speak for all Americans.

"It is their Union - and the state of their lives deserves to be addressed. If my candidacy means anything, it means a commitment to stand and speak for them.  "


"The most important test of Presidential leadership is to release the native energies of the people. The only thing that paralyzes us today is the myth that we cannot move.  This country is not prepared to sound retreat. It is ready to advance.  It is willing to make a stand.  And so am I." -Senator Edward M.  Kennedy


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