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General: What are your thoughts on the Iowa Republican Caucus results, and which issues would you like the Republican candidates to address as this nominating process continues?

Comments: 86

It has now become common knowledge that we have an economic gap "problem" between the "haves" and "have-nots" here in the US. Why aren't any of the Republican candidates addressing this important issue? It's obvious to me that all the Republican candidates want to continue with the current status quo where this economic gap situation continuous to increase. Doesn't anybody realize that this is just going to cause the US to become another Third World country?

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Abel P. Ochoa
AFT #4632
McAllen, TX

It has become alarmingly obvious that the Republican agenda is focused on cutting costs, instantly and dramatically, with little or no regard for the impact in the lives of working families. These candidates aren't listening to economic experts, and they accuse one recent leader for the missteps of many over decades. We can be better, broader thinkers for our families and communities. Good spin does not make good leadership.

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Elizabeth Weight
AFT Granite 4429
West Valley City, UT

1. Why would we follow the examples of Great Britain, Greece, and other countries who have used the austerity model to throw tens of thousands out of work and are now facing further downturns in their economies? 2. How can you have energy security by pumping finite energy resources as fast as possible? Aren't we more dependent on external energy sources if we deplete ours? 3. What are your goals regarding energy conservation and renewable energy? Why not use these to create American jobs? 4. What are we doing to create truly "fair" international trade to help our workers?

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Dale N. Kindred
KCFT & SRP 691
Kansas City, KS

The results show just how deeply the social conservatives control Republican messages. I would hope that the candidates would have to respond to, "What is the role of government in providing for the common good of the American people?"

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David Sanger
Denver Federation of Teachers - 858
Denver, CO

Like Ebenezer Scrooge awoke to find the Ghost of Christmas Past looking down at him, will the GOP ever see the light? Can they ever really know what it is like living from paycheck to paycheck and without health insurance if they are not lacking those things? It is very cavalier of them to dismantle soc. security, medicare, etc. for everyone else...they don't NEED it, they won't miss it, they have enough money coming in to live their charmed lives w/o these things. In short, it doesn't affect them. Our voices must be the vision, the one we must make them see, to help them do what is right. God bless us EVERYONE--not just the top 1%!

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Joanne Schryver
FFT
Shirley, NY

Not to worry. I stand with AFT. I work in education and health and do not trust the future of our country to those who fight only for the 1%. This upcoming election is a no-brainer. We need to elect a Congress who will work and not block efforts for the middle class. The President is only one person but we also need a leader who will lead without hesitation.

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Francine Prezioso
Lake Worth
Lake Worth, FL

Statements made for purposes of attracting primary voter bases are not very meaningful to me. I am more interested in a candidate's overall past record of votes taken, bills introduced or legislation signed. Positions of interest to me: strict limits on financial institutions; government job creation; national healthcare for all; social security; collective bargaining freedom; free and equal public education including college for all; more equitable system of taxes on ALL income; elimination of all govt subsidies on agricultural and natural resources. subsidies.

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Peter Meyer
Boston Local 66
Brookline, MA

I'm deeply disappointed that none of the GOP candidates value the life of a woman who is pregnant. As a woman who faced a life-threatening pregnancy and have known others who went through this, I am dismayed that I can't vote for a single Republican running, since all of them would support policies to risk lives of mothers or force victims of rape and incest to bear an unwanted child forced on them by violence. They are no better than the Taliban or other cultures that allow the brutalization and victimization of women. "pro-life" is a farce if it ignores the lives of women, rape and incest victims.

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Meg Jensen
La Mesa, CA

The only halfway-sensible Republican, my former governor back home John Huntsman, doesn't even make a showing. He's just too right in the head to win the nomination. Get ready to become villainized as teachers with the audacity to stand up for fair treatment by joining a union. It's going to be a bad year to be a teacher.

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N Speth
Louisiana F.T.
Baton Rouge, LA

The Iowa Caucus isn't indicative of anything regarding who the Republican candidate will be. Republican candidates should address: 1) do you favor increasing taxes on the top 1%? 2) why shouldn't billionaires pay proportionately more than middle class tax payers? 3) are corporations people? if so are you willing to jail them for the crimes against others they have committed? (robbery, fraud, negligence, labor violations, tax evasion, etc) 4) do you favor universal health coverage? 5) are you willing to give up the government pension plan and health coverage that you receive as an elected official? 6)what's your stand on unions?

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C weiss
PTFA
Santa Maria, CA

The GOP is claiming that they are doing what is right and is what they were elected to do. If that was the case there would not be the protests, recalls and actually the strengthening of the Democratic party. Their total agenda has been to strip the supporters of President Obama and to fight against every initiative that would make him look good. What they have done is to make the GOP look very bad. No matter who they nominate, they will lose unless they begin to do the will of the people. Work with the Democrats to build up the economy and create jobs.

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Charles McHenry
Milwaukee, WI

The Republicans have the only solution on getting this country back to fiscal responsibility and curb the uncontrolled spending. Under Obama we have high unemployment, record deficit spending, Obomacare which has already caused premiums to rise needs to be repealed. We need real change and organize and defeat Obama!

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Bruce Durham
St Tammany Federation of School Employees
Carriere, MS

I love the AFT even with its many warts and flaws but you are dead wrong to support Obama. I thought the AFT had more class than that. That's bad news for everybody. My candidate is ANYBODY BUT OBAMA.

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William Van Dusen
Local 3391
Williamstown, NJ

Would a Republican president endorse the firing of AFT Teachers like Obama did in 2010? In March of 2010 Obama and Arne Duncan endorsed the firing of 90 AFT members from Central Falls High School, Rhode Island. This is in spite of the fat that neither had ever visited Central Falls. His support for the firings led to a loss of credibility at the bargining table and a general lack of respect for teachers from that district.

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Robert Scappini
AFT/Central Falls RI
Central Fall, RI

Are we all so brainwashed that we can't imagine the only real solution to this election dilemma....a Democratic Primary? None of the candidates are fit to be president including our current president. It is not too late. Calling for the impeachment of Obama would open up a whole new dialogue about a future where young people have real work to do building up our country instead of becoming a lost generation. How can the AFT even consider endorsing Obama, after he has continued NCLB and insisted on teacher evaluations being tied to student tests as well as rewarding states that increase the number of charter schools with Race to the Top funds?

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Dawn Hoagland
Highland Mills, NY

There is no relevant discussion in these debates. In fact, right now is not a time for "issues," it's a time for a program for survival. We need to cancel the debt with Glass-Steagall, so we can fund projects to drive the real economy, like NAWAPA, (North American Water and Power Alliance) to create productive jobs and drive scientific advancement. The impeachment of Obama, or threatened impeachment, as required by his long list of Constitutional violations, would allow us to adopt the policies needed.

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Rachel Brown
Quincy, MA

I cannot support a government that grows the national debt to the size of the universe, that shrinks the public sector, affecting the size of the tax base. Nor can I support a government that attempts to assume responsibility for everyone's health care OR denies it to the working or unemployed. There cannot be a free ride for everyone, BUT there must be a safety net for those who are contributing, or who are attempting to contribute to the tax base. Government cannot be responsible for everyone's well-being. Whatever takes away your responsibility can also take away your freedom.

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Sheila Robinson
AFT
Fairfax, VA

The Republicans/TP have shown themselves to be concerned only with winning at any cost--even if their unpatriotic, unconstitutional,immoral behavior destroys the country. They have completely forgotten the common good and the social contract. In the end,however,they are cutting off their own noses to spite their sneering faces. No jobs = no customers = no taxes to pave roads that their vehicles need too, or to fix collapsing bridges, etc. The greedy oligarchical 1% cannot see why they need to contribute in any way. They are small-minded and without much honor. Ron Paul is a phony libertarian when it comes to women being free of govt control.

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A. Zide
CCCTU
Chicago, IL

There is no issue that is as important as the recent votes by congress and signatures by Obama to end our civil liberties and trash our constitution, renewal of the Patriot Act and NDAA. We need to demand that our civil liberties be restored immediately. For the first time, I will not vote for any presidential candidate from either major party. They do not represent us.

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Sue Addison
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA

As I read through the majority of the comments from my union brethren regarding the upcoming election, I noticed that they are decidedly in Obama's camp. It does provoke some thoughts on my part. Why does the union(s) consistently (and blindly) support the Democratic agenda? Does not the union desire "job creation?" (Who among us can forget the "summer of recovery" and other similar Obama axioms regarding ending the recession?) Just a thought!

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Karl Reger
Marlborough, MA

the republicans are allways saying that president obama is taking away americas liberty and freedom.the republicans even want to make contraception illegal,these people are to be feared and stopped.

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david chaffee
support staff
collinsville, IL

Anyone who would replace the inept, incompetent, wasteful, un-American current president would have my vote. So you are afraid that the powerful unions won't have enough money to fill the coffers of greedy, hypocritical Democratic politicians. Seems like that is your only line of criticism towards the Republicans. Never mind, that we are trillions of dollars in debt. Never mind that the unemployment hovers at 9.1%. Never mind that our prestige, and standing in the world have tanked. All you are concerned about is that your money is safe. Well, I want my country to be safe, my family and friends to be safe, and yes, my money to be safe.

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Viviane Franco
East Northport, NY

Iwould like to see these candidates work for a non union wages & benefits. they should revise their salaries as government employees. I do not want to pay their salaries or benefits for the poor job that they do. What about a failing legislature that represents less than 25% of the population Have they been unemployed, without benefits or had to utilize government food programs? I or my family have experienced all of these. Show me a canditate who has had these experiences.Also I have only been a union employee for 8 years. I am a widow, My pension plan began at age 52. I could no longer have survived on a non union wage & benefits.

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Michele Ventura
Pgh. Public Schools
Gibsonia , PA

I can not imagine voting for any Republican because they have always stood for the Rich and big business. Most of the people in Iowa are middle class and they want to let the Rich continue to add wealth on the backs of the middle class. Wake up! Republicans are only for themselves because there are no poor ones. Lets cut spending on congress with pensions for only the years worked in congress and health care that teachers receive.

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Gayle Schneider
St. Tammany Federation of Teachers
Covinton, LA

Like them or not, the Tea Party is a force within the Republican Party because its members joined the GOP and pushed an agenda. We in the AFT should do likewise. We should encourage our conservative members to become active within the GOP in order to shape the Republican agenda. Simply siding with the Democrats has not been a successful strategy.

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Michael Maguire
Boston Teachers Union
West Roxbury, MA

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