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For My.Ayala's Class 3rd Elections
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October25,2004 and October26,2004
John F. Kerry was born on December 11, 1943 at Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Colorado. His father, Richard, volunteered in the Army Air Corps and flew DC-3's and B-29's as a test pilot during World War II. His mother, Rosemary, was a lifelong community activist and devoted parent. She was a Girl Scout leader for 50 years, and one of her proudest possessions was her 50 year Girl Scout pin. She was an environmentalist and a community activist.
Not long after John Kerry was born, the family settled in Massachusetts. Growing up there, his parents taught him the values of service and responsibility and the blessings of his Catholic faith, lessons John Kerry carries with him to this day.
Because his father was a Foreign Service Officer in the Eisenhower administration, John Kerry traveled a lot when he was young. On these trips, he learned firsthand what makes America a leader in the world - our optimism and our democratic values. And he learned that nations across the world share many common goals and that the best way to achieve them is through building strong alliances.
As he was graduating from Yale, John Kerry volunteered to serve in Vietnam, because, as he later said, "it was the right thing to do." He believed that “to whom much is given, much is required.” And he felt he had an obligation to give something back to his country. John Kerry served two tours of duty. On his second tour, he volunteered to serve on a Swift Boat in the river deltas, one of the most dangerous assignments of the war. His leadership, courage, and sacrifice earned him a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Combat V, and three Purple Hearts.
But John Kerry's wartime experience taught him a painful lesson that he could not forget, even after he returned home. In the midst of battle, he had seen the lives of his fellow soldiers, his friends, put at risk because some leaders in Washington were making bad decisions. He decided he had a responsibility to his friends still serving, the friends he had lost, and his country, to help restore responsible leadership in America.
So he decided to become active as a Vietnam Veteran Against the War (VVAW). He became a spokesman for VVAW and later co-founded Vietnam Veterans of America. Only 27 years old, John Kerry sounded this call to reason in April 1971 when he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and posed the powerful question, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"
Later, John Kerry accepted another tour of duty - to serve in America's communities. After graduating from Boston College Law School in 1976, John Kerry went to work as a top prosecutor in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. He took on organized crime and put behind bars "one of the state's most notorious gangsters, the number two organized crime figure in New England." He fought for victims' rights and created programs for rape counseling.
John Kerry was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1982. In that office, he organized the nation's Governors to combat the acid rain that was polluting lakes, rivers, and the nation's water supply. Two years later, he was elected to the United States Senate and he has won reelection three-times since. He is now serving his fourth term, after winning again in 2002.
John Kerry entered the Senate with a reputation as a man of conviction. He confirmed that reputation by taking bold decisions on important issues. He helped provide health insurance for millions of low-income children. He has fought to improve public education , protect our natural environment, and strengthen our economy. He has been praised as one of the leading environmentalists in the Senate, who stopped the Bush-Cheney plan to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
John Kerry has never forgotten the lessons he learned as a young man – lessons that have been strengthened in his 19 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has learned that America must work with other countries to achieve our goals and the world's common goals. From his ground-breaking work on the Iran-Contra scandal to his leadership on global AIDS, John Kerry has distinguished himself as one of our nation's most respected voices on national security and international affairs .
As chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, he worked closely with John McCain to learn the truth about American soldiers missing in Vietnam and to normalize relations with that country. As the ranking Democrat on the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee, he is a leading expert on that region, including North Korea.
Years before September 11th, John Kerry wrote The New War, an in-depth study of America's national security in the 21st Century. He worked on a bipartisan basis to craft the American response to September 11th and has been a leading voice on American policy in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war on terrorism, the Middle East peace process and Israel's security.
John Kerry would not be running today if it were not for the enthusiastic support of his family. He is married to Teresa Heinz Kerry, and they have a blended family that includes two daughters, three sons, one grandchild, and a German Shepherd named Cym.
John Edwars' John Edwards was born in Seneca, South Carolina in 1953 and raised in Robbins, North Carolina. There, he learned the values of hard work and perseverance from his father, Wallace, who worked in the textile mills for 36 years and from his mother, Bobbie, who ran a shop and worked at the post office. Working alongside his father at the mill, he formed a strong belief that all Americans deserve an equal chance to succeed and be heard.
A proud product of public schools, John Edwards was the first person in his family to attend college. He worked his way through North Carolina State University where he graduated with high honors in 1974. And he earned a law degree with honors in 1977 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
After graduating from law school, John Edwards set out on a path to fight for families who needed help. For nearly two decades, he stood up for victims’ rights against the insurance industry and stood down their armies of lawyers. He gave families hope in their darkest moments and helped them overcome challenges greater than any they had ever known. His passion and dedication to the people he defended earned him the respect, recognition, and gratitude of people across North Carolina.
In 1998, he ran for the Senate and won, defeating an incumbent Republican. In the Senate, Edwards quickly emerged as a champion of middle class Americans. He won bipartisan praise for his leadership in the fight for a Patients’ Bill of Rights, which passed the Senate in 2001, but was blocked by the Bush administration. He wrote and helped pass a measure so teams of skilled educators could go into troubled schools and help turn them around. He worked to protect civil liberties and save Social Security and Medicare .
Edwards believes quality health care should be a right for all. He co-wrote legislation to bring down the price of prescription drugs by $60 billion. And as an advocate for the environment, he led the fight against the Bush administration’s roll back of our clean air laws. He was a leader in passing campaign finance reform, and authored a new rule that requires lawyers to take action to stop corporate wrongdoing.
As a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, Edwards has traveled throughout the Middle East, South Asia, the Persian Gulf, Central Asia, and Europe. And he has met with military commanders, U.S. intelligence officials, prominent regional policy experts, and key foreign leaders. After September 11th, he helped improve security at our ports. And he proposed innovative ways to defend our computer systems, improve our emergency warning system, and increase the effectiveness of the terrorism watch list.
John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, who met as law students at Chapel Hill, were married in 1977. They have had four children: their eldest daughter, Cate, a recent graduate of Princeton University; six-year-old Emma Claire, and a four-year-old son, Jack. Their first child, Wade, died in 1996.
John and Elizabeth Edwards opened the Wade Edwards Learning Lab in Raleigh, North Carolina. The learning lab offers students afterschool access to computers and tutoring in technology. The Edwards family also established an education foundation in memory of their son that offers college scholarships to students.
George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States. He was sworn into office January 20, 2001, after a campaign in which he outlined sweeping proposals to reform America's public schools, transform our national defense, provide tax relief, modernize Social Security and Medicare , and encourage faith-based and community organizations to work with government to help Americans in need. President Bush served for six years as the 46th Governor of the State of Texas, where he earned a reputation as a compassionate conservative who shaped public policy based on the principles of limited government, personal responsibility, strong families, and local control.
President Bush was born on July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut, and he grew up in Midland and Houston, Texas. He received a bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1968, then served as an F-102 fighter pilot in the Texas Air National Guard. President Bush received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1975. After graduating, he moved back to Midland and began a career in the energy business. After working on his father's successful 1988 presidential campaign, he assembled the group of partners that purchased the Texas Rangers baseball franchise in 1989.
He served as managing general partner of the Texas Rangers until he was elected Governor on November 8, 1994, with 53.5 percent of the vote. He became the first Governor in Texas history to be elected to consecutive four-year terms when he was re-elected on November 3, 1998, with 68.6 percent of the vote.
Since taking office, President Bush has signed into law bold initiatives to improve public schools by raising standards, requiring accountability, and strengthening local control. He has signed tax relief that provided rebate checks and lower tax rates for everyone who pays income taxes in America. He has increased pay and benefits for America's military and is working to save and strengthen Social Security and Medicare. He is also committed to ushering in a responsibility era in America, and has called on all Americans to be "citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens building communities of service and a Nation of character."
The attacks of September 11th changed America - and in President Bush's words, "in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment." President Bush declared war against terror and has made victory in the war on terrorism and the advance of human freedom the priorities of his Administration. Already, the United States military and a great coalition of nations have liberated the people of Afghanistan from the brutal Taliban regime and denied al Qaeda its safe haven of operations. Thousands of terrorists have been captured or killed and operations have been disrupted in many countries around the world. In the President's words, "our Nation - this generation - will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail."
President Bush is married to Laura Welch Bush, a former teacher and librarian, and they have twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna. The Bush family also includes their dog, Barney, and a cat, India.
Richard B. Cheney
Vice President Richard B. Cheney has had a distinguished career as a businessman and public servant, serving four Presidents and as an elected official. Throughout his service, Mr. Cheney served with duty, honor, and unwavering leadership, gaining him the respect of the American people during trying military times.
Mr. Cheney was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, on January 30, 1941 and grew up in Casper, Wyoming. He earned his bachelor's and master's of arts degrees from the University of Wyoming. His career in public service began in 1969 when he joined the Nixon Administration, serving in a number of positions at the Cost of Living Council, at the Office of Economic Opportunity, and within the White House.
When Gerald Ford assumed the Presidency in August 1974, Mr. Cheney served on the transition team and later as Deputy Assistant to the President. In November 1975, he was named Assistant to the President and White House Chief of Staff, a position he held throughout the remainder of the Ford Administration.
After he returned to his home state of Wyoming in 1977, Mr. Cheney was elected to serve as the state's sole Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was re-elected five times and elected by his colleagues to serve as Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee from 1981 to 1987. He was elected Chairman of the House Republican Conference in 1987 and elected House Minority Whip in 1988. During his tenure in the House, Mr. Cheney earned a reputation as a man of knowledge, character, and accessibility.
Mr. Cheney also served a crucial role when America needed him most. As Secretary of Defense from March 1989 to January 1993, Mr. Cheney directed two of the largest military campaigns in recent history - Operation Just Cause in Panama and Operation Desert Storm in the Middle East. He was responsible for shaping the future of the U.S. military in an age of profound and rapid change as the Cold War ended. For his leadership in the Gulf War, Secretary Cheney was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George Bush on July 3, 1991.
Mr. Cheney married his high school sweetheart, Lynne Ann Vincent, in 1964, and they have grown daughters, Elizabeth and Mary, three granddaughters and one grandson