News Release

Election Issues That Weren’t

As the 1998 campaign nears its end, some observers contend that key realities of American society have remained out of focus. Several policy analysts are available for interviews on subjects they say have gone largely overlooked during this campaign season:

JOHN C. BERG
Director of Graduate Studies at the Government Department of Suffolk University, Berg said: “This election day, many voters will find no real choice on their ballots. Candidates not acceptable to big business have already been eliminated in the ‘wealth primary’ — the scramble to raise enough money to run a campaign. But change is coming. Congress failed to act on campaign finance reform this year, but the clean elections movement is going directly to the voters through ballot questions. Maine and Vermont have already adopted ‘clean elections’ laws to get big money out of politics. Now voters in Massachusetts and Arizona will have a chance on election day to override their legislatures and pass reform laws directly.”

ANDREA DURBIN
Director of the International Program at Friends of the Earth, Durbin said: “While the world’s economy is on a downturn, candidates are not addressing the underlying causes of this meltdown. The international financial institutions failed to maintain economic stability, increased income disparities and impoverished communities. It’s crucial for international trade policies to address environmental and social needs. The U.S. has tremendous influence in shaping trade policy. The U.S. is promoting an anti-environment agenda through institutions like the World Trade Organization and that can lead to the unraveling of domestic environmental regulations.”
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LARRY AGRAN
Executive Director of City Vote and former Mayor of Irvine, California, Agran said: “Where is the discussion of child poverty in America? At a time when the president and others are claiming daily that this is the best economy in a generation, why aren’t responsible political leaders addressing the scandal of child poverty in America? There are over 13 million children officially regarded as poor — inadequate food, shelter, clothing, the essentials of what we call a decent standard of living.”

FRAN TEPLITZ
Policy Director at the PeaceAction Education Fund, Teplitz commented: “Most candidates have avoided making military spending an election-year issue. Congress just passed an extra $8.3 billion give-away to the military…. The new budget deal contains the largest peacetime increase in military spending since Reagan’s presidency. Pentagon pork goes untouched while social services are slashed.”
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For more information, contact the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan (541) 484-9167