Dick Cheney- Corporate Criminal

Kerry assails Cheney, corporate influence

By Mary Dalrymple, Associated Press.
Tribune news services contributed to this report
Published August 4, 2004

BELOIT, Wis. -- Democrat John Kerry, in a veiled swipe at Vice President Dick Cheney, said Tuesday that he won't dole out special favors to corporations if elected president."My vice president of the United States will never meet secretly with polluters who want to rewrite the environmental laws," the presidential nominee told a cheering crowd packed into a hockey arena.

The barb referred to Cheney, who met with industry officials while drafting proposals for new energy laws. Democrats want more information about those meetings and have argued that Cheney, the former head of the Halliburton Co., had allowed the loosening of clean air and water rules at the behest of corporations.The meeting was billed as an opportunity for Kerry to talk about the economy and his plan to balance the budget.

Kerry wants to roll back President Bush's tax cuts for families earning more than $200,000 annually and rid the tax code of what Kerry calls narrow tax breaks that help powerful corporations that contribute to political campaigns.

Kerry said he counts $65 billion that goes to corporations "for no really good reason at all.""You go through those pages, ladies and gentlemen, and there's gobbledygook that is hard to interpret," he said. "The only people who can interpret it are the people who paid for it with the campaign finance system."

Responding to Kerry's remarks, the Bush-Cheney campaign said the comments on corporations was a personal attack on Cheney. "This is part of his bizarre, personal diatribe that he issued at the convention during his acceptance speech," spokesman Terry Holt said."

John Kerry's economic plan would derail this economic recovery by raising taxes on those who create jobs in this country," he said.Kerry also promised to cut the federal deficit in half over four years.

To do that, he said, he wants the power to veto individual spending decisions made by Congress and to enforce budget caps with automatic spending cuts.

The White House last week said it expected this year's federal deficit to reach $445 billion. That's less than the White House budget office previously estimated, but it would still be a record in dollars.

At a Monday night rally in Milwaukee, Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, introduced her husband. At times their speeches were interrupted by chants from Bush supporters using a megaphone on a nearby street to shout, "Four more years."Heinz Kerry responded, "They want four more years of hell." The candidate threw back his head with a laugh, and the partisan, pro-Kerry crowd roared its approval, chanting, "Three more months, three more months," referring to the time remaining before the Nov. 2 election, with Heinz Kerry joining in.

When it was his turn to speak, Kerry said of his wife, "She speaks her mind, and she speaks the truth--and she's pretty quick on her feet too."

Kerry's two-week campaign trip through battleground states takes him from Wisconsin to Iowa. His bus caravan may cross paths with Bush on Wednesday as both candidates are scheduled to appear in Davenport, Iowa, around the same time.

Bush lost Iowa to Al Gore by fewer than 5,000 votes in 2000.

The Kerry tour left Boston on a bus, crossed Lake Michigan on a high-speed ferry, and planned to take a train west from St. Louis later this week after Kerry reunites with his running mate, John Edwards, who has been campaigning in Southern states.

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