Sunday, October 21, 2007

Does Richardson Support the DREAM ACT?

It would be a good thing to know that Richardson supports the DREAM ACT. But there is no mention of it in his ads or newspaper articles about him. Perhaps somebody should send an email to his campaign office and ask...

I'm glad someone is not just talking about Hillary.
Richardson willing to take unpopular positions
By Holly Ramer, Associated Press Writer | October 20, 2007

NORTH HAMPTON, N.H. --When it comes to illegal immigration, Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson often says he knows his position costs him votes, but he remains determined to "accept it and do the right thing."

The New Mexico governor applied that same attitude to a range of issues Saturday, giving often unpopular but candid answers to voters gathered at a supporter's home.

When a woman urged him to forget corn-based ethanol and focus only on other potential renewable fuel sources, Richardson refused. When a man asked him to support raising taxes on gasoline, Richardson again said no.

"I think the middle class has been hit enough, and I think there are better ways to do it," he said, saying he prefers tax incentives for companies that develop renewable energy sources and other measures.

"I just worry that every time we put a tax on gasoline, the middle class gets hit. Plus, it's not terribly popular. I'm being honest with you," he said.

When the topic switched to Social Security, Richardson said he is not ready to support raising Social Security taxes on high-income earners. Currently, the government collects money to pay Social Security benefits from taxes on each workers' earnings up to $97,500, but some have suggested raising or eliminating that cap.

"I would be willing to consider it. I'm not supporting it now because I believe that is -- for family businesses, for small farmers, for middle income families -- that is a tax increase," he said.

On illegal immigration, Richardson praised the reform bill that failed in Congress this year that would have provided a pathway to legal citizenship to illegal immigrants who learn English and pay fines and back taxes.

"I'm being candid. This is not a perfect solution, but it is far better than doing nothing or deporting everyone," he said. "The best thing to do when you have a tough issue is face it... you lose votes, but you should accept it and do the right thing."

Richardson was accompanied by his wife, Barbara, who was asked by a voter why her husband should be president.

"Could I think about that?" Barbara Richardson joked, then explained that her husband's approach to problems sets him apart from other candidates. She noted his experience in negotiating for the release of American hostages.

"He's always gone back to the table with a different proposal, a different approach to the problem, to achieve his goals," she said. "I think the way he looks at his opponent, in terms of respect -- even though he might not sit down and have dinner with the guy -- it's different.

"You combine that with his background in legislation, diplomacy, management as both governor and a large agency (the federal Energy Department) -- I think that separates him out from most of the other candidates. All of them," she said.

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