Posted by: jamesvw | November 16, 2009

December 8 – Massachusetts Senate Candidates on the Issues

Democratic Massachusetts Senate Candidates on Select Issues

All of these stances are taken from the candidates websites unless otherwise noted. Read this post to learn the background about the race. And request your absentee ballot here.

Visit each website to learn more about the candidates. Michael Capuano, Martha Coakley, Alan Khazei and Steve Pagliuca

Health Care

Capuano – Voted for the House version of health care reform earlier this month. “Strongly supports a public insurance option” and health care must “achieve universal access and it must not adversely impact residents and health care providers in Massachusetts.”

Coakley – In one of the biggest differences of the campaign, Coakley says that she will not vote for current health care bill because of the anti-abortion amendment that does not allow for insurance plans to cover the medical procedure. Supports health care reform that includes “an individual mandate and a public insurance option that will complement the existing employer-sponsored insurance framework by providing coverage to those that lack it”

Khazei – Says he would vote for the current bill already passed by the house, despite reservations about the anti-abortion ammendment. Wants to “enact comprehensive reform that ends insurance company abuses and includes a strong public option to provide real competition and control costs.”

Pagliuca – Would also vote for the House-approved bill. Supports “a public option as a piece of the bigger challenge of health care reform that’s built to bring down costs and provide affordable, quality care for all”

Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

Capuano – Was one of 126 Democrats to vote against authorizing the use of force in Iraq. He also voted against the PATRIOT act. He does not have a position stated on his website for how to move forward in Afghanistan, but he does support accelerating “the process of reducing our military presence” in Iraq.

Coakley – Says she “would have voted against” the Iraq war and presents a three-pronged approach to Afghanistan – “protect Americans at home and soldiers serving abroad”,  “work to empower the Afghan Government and security forces and encourage economic and social development” and “work with the Pakistani Government to ensure their backing and support in containing the Taliban and driving Al Qaeda members out of Pakistan”

Khazei – Supports “the process to remove all U.S. combat troops from Iraq…in a way that minimizes danger and disruption” and is the only candidate to definitively say that he does not support a troop increase in Afghanistan.

“We must better clarify our mission, set concrete goals and objectives, be honest about the costs in American lives and treasure, implement a time line, and develop an exit strategy.”

Pagliuca – “Sharp critic” against the war in Iraq and states that he is “wary of sending more troops to Afghanistan without a compelling strategy that outlines how they will be used and the strategic goals their deployment will support.”

“My bias would be to bring our troops home as safely and as judiciously as possible.”

More below the jump

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From left: Michael Capuano, Martha Coakley, Alan Khazei, Steve Pagliuca

Economic Stimulus

Economic plans are difficult to condense and to separate out differences between the candidates. Needless to say, all the candidates are in favor of creating jobs and increasing regulation of financial institutions. To read each economic platform, here is Capuano’s, Coakley’s, Khazei’s, and Pagiluca’s.

Immigration Reform

Interestingly, though Immigration Reform will be the next great fight, perhaps alongside climate change legislation, after the health care battle is done, only Khazei has a page dedicated to immigration.

Gay Rights

Capuano – Co-sponsor of a bill to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA is a law mandating that the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages.

Coakley – Wants to repeal DOMA and favors marriage equality. Filed a lawsuit challenging DOMA as discriminatory.

Khazei – Wants to repeal DOMA and military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. Supports marriage equality.

Pagliuca – Supports marriage equality and would repeal DOMA and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell while also supporting the strengthening of hate crime legislation to cover sexuality.

Rights of Women

Capuano – “Resolutely pro-choice” and an original co-sponsor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, passed in 2009

Coakley – Strongly pro-choice. “Successfully advocated for and defended legislation to create and expand buffer zones around reproductive health care facilities to ensure the safety of patients and staff members.”

Khazei – “believes that a woman’s right to decide to have a safe and legal abortion is indispensable” and supports increased access to reproductive health care

Pagliuca – “believe[s] in a woman’s right to choose”

Visit each website to learn more about the candidates. Michael Capuano, Martha Coakley, Alan Khazei and Steve Pagliuca.

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