Presidential Campaign and Candidates


Bill Bradley for President 2000 Campaign Brochure

Bill Bradley for President 2000 Campaign Brochure

ĎIt Can Happen.í


A Different Campaign. It Can Happen. Thatís why I promised myself -- and I promise you -- that my campaign wonít be politics as usual. I want my campaign to give you reasons why you should vote for me -- not reasons why you shouldnít vote for someone else. Iím trying to run a different campaign. One that focuses on issues, not attacks. Iím traveling around the country telling voters who I am, what I believe, and what I plan to do if elected. Iím focusing on fewer issues, but ones that affect more of us, and ones that we can really do something about. Sometimes youíll agree with me; sometimes you wonít. But youíll always know exactly where I stand. And I want to know where you stand. I welcome your ideas, your questions, and your encouragement!

Iíve spent the last 30 years on the road, listening to the stories of thousands of Americans, and I look forward to hearing yours. I think it would be refreshing to have a different campaign.

If we do it together, it can happen. -Bill Bradley


Our economy is healthy. Isnít it time that our people were?


In a nation as rich as ours, no child should be without health care coverage. No grandmother should be without medication because she cannot afford it.

Yet today, 45 million Americans -- 80 percent of them in working families -- are uninsured. Millions more are unhappy with the coverage they receive or struggling to pay for all or part of the insurance they have. HMOs have caused frustration and misery for millions more. Many families are just one unexpected illness or injury away from financial ruin. This doesnít make sense. And itís unacceptable.

My proposal will provide all Americans access to quality and affordable health care. Specifically, it guarantees health care for all children; it provides significant tax relief -- full deduction of a health care premiums -- to working families so they can afford coverage; it provides portability so that working families wonít lose their health insurance when they lose or change jobs; and it preserves and protects Medicare, while expanding it to provide options for prescription drugs and coordinated community care, which will provide home services when needed to keep seniors in their homes and avoid placement in nursing homes. My proposal also will double the resources available for community health services and for the Centers for Disease Control for health promotion.

My proposal will cost $55-65 billion annually -- it wonít be cheap, but we canít afford not to do it.

Good health is a blessing, not a right. But good health care is a right. It is up to all of us to ensure that right for all Americans.

There has never been a better time to make this right a reality for all. If not now, when?


How many more deaths will it take?


At a time of unparalleled peace and prosperity, 13 of our children are killed every day by guns. Our childrenís toys are more heavily regulated than the guns that take their lives. Our most sacred sanctuaries -- our houses of worship, day care centers and schools -- are no longer off-limits to the madness of gun violence. In a great country, this is unacceptable.

As President, I will stand up to the National Rifle Association, even though conventional wisdom tells us it is politically perilous to take them on. But our childrenís future and safety are far too precious to be left to conventional wisdom.

We must act, and we must act now. I will be governed by a simple and common sense principle: If you obtain a gun lawfully, use it responsibly, and store it safely, your rights to gun ownership will be protected.

I believe our government has a legitimate interest in protecting the public safety. Hereís what we must do: We must ban the distribution, sale, and manufacture of junk handguns and require registration for all handguns in America. We must require licensing with a safety course for every person who owns a handgun and insist on mandatory trigger locks for guns. And we must prohibit gun dealers from selling guns in residential neighborhoods.

Itís time we take bold steps to protect our communities, our families, and our children. Weíll save thousands of lives. That makes all the sense in the world.


For whom if not for our children?


Achieving a quality education is the gateway through which our children must pass if they are to share in the American Dream. Yet too many of our kids are stuck in inadequate schools and donít receive the tools they need to earn a better life. Does this make sense?

Iím the son of a teacher, Iím married to a teacher, and Iíve done a little teaching myself. I know the power of effective teachers. I believe the single biggest thing we can do to improve our schools is to make sure that there is an excellent teacher in every classroom. We must build a system founded on the belief that all our children regardless of where they live or socio-economic circumstances -- will be expected to achieve at high levels.

To prepare our children for the new realities of a new century, I propose creating a program of scholarships and loan forgiveness that will train 60,000 new teachers every year to help meet the needs of low-income urban and rural school districts. My proposal will offer existing teachers lifelong learning opportunities, allowing them to stay current in their subjects and update their skills. I will also create public-private partnerships in communities throughout the country to provide pre-school children with the care and education they need in their critical early years so they can come to school ready to learn. I will ensure that we have a network of after-school centers run by community groups and faith-based organizations and provide incentives for our older citizens to mentor todayís youth. Americaís future depends on our children. Nothing makes more sense than investing in their education.


It wasnít my turn to eat today.


In the richest nation on earth, it is simply unacceptable that nearly one-fifth of Americaís children are ill-fed, ill-housed, and ill-educated. Nearly 14 million of our children being robbed of what should be their birthright is a moral lapse that no great nation can tolerate.

I challenge the country to eliminate child poverty as we know it. I am committed to raising three million children out of poverty by the end of the next presidential term, four million more in the term after that.

As President, I plan to achieve these goals by helping parents give their children the necessities of life. We must increase the income of poor families by increasing the minimum wage, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, and permitting mothers on welfare to keep their child support payments. We should make the Dependent Care Tax Credit refundable, increase availability and affordability of child care, and improve access to food stamps for low-income families.

I also propose bolstering our childrenís prospects by enrolling 400,000 more children in Head Start and developing support homes for pregnant teens.

America has the wealth and know-how to eliminate child poverty as we know it. Now letís find the will.


Racial unity is central to our American future.


Our economy is strong, but are our hearts? For me the quest for racial unity remains the defining moral issue of our time.

I want to lead our people toward racial healing because it is the right thing to do, and because racial harmony will mean a safer, better life for all of us.

Over the last 35 years, America has seen much progress on race relations, but we still have a long way to go. We need to get to a time in America where, in the words of Toni Morrison, ďrace exists, but it doesnít matter.Ē A time when we can see beneath skin color or eye shape or nationality to the individual. Only then will we be able to achieve the dignity for which America stands.

When Ronald Reagan was President, everyone knew that if you wanted to please the boss, you cut taxes, increased military spending, and fought communism. If Iím President, I want one thing to be known: If you want to please the boss, one of the things youíd better show is how in your department or agency youíve furthered tolerance and racial understanding.

We can survive as 265 million individuals. But we wonít prosper as a country or flourish as a people if we donít look out for one another.


How much is your vote worth?


Money is distorting the democratic process in this country in a fundamental way. Our system is supposed to be one person, one vote, but we all know that people with more money have a voice that is a little louder.

Thatís why Congress seems so eager and determined to act on issues like accelerated depreciation, which benefits business interests. Or why it seems so paralyzed and indifferent when it comes to ending child poverty, helping all Americans have access to affordable, quality health care, or controlling the sale and use of guns.

I am committed to reducing the role of money in politics. As President, I will decrease the power of special interests by banning soft money. I will push through public financing of congressional races. To make sure all candidates have the opportunity to be heard, I will require every broadcaster to make time available to candidates in the 60 days before an election. I will also put citizens back in control of our democracy by making voting easier. I propose same-day registration, a Voting Leave Act that requires employers to give employees time off to vote, and studying voting over the Internet.

The worth of each personís vote should never be measured in dollars.


ďI believe we can make a better life for ourselves and for our country -- A life that is true to our foundersí ideals. A life that is built on honesty and common sense; that provides a better future for our children; that challenges us to be better as individuals and as a country; and asserts a truth we all know -- that we are all in this journey together. Together, it can happen!Ē -Bill Bradley


Learn about Bill Bradley! About his childhood in Crystal City, Missouri. About his years at Princeton and Oxford. Rhodes Scholar. Olympic gold medalist. Member of the World Champion New York Knicks. Three-term U.S. Senator from New Jersey. Advocate for a fairer tax system and architect of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which lowered taxes and eliminated billions of dollars in special interest loopholes. Author of laws expanding access to health care for pregnant women and children; protections for senior citizens, improved child support enforcement. It can happen! 


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