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Campaign 2004

Candidate Bio
Al Sharpton
Political affiliation:
Democratic Party
October 3, 1954
Brooklyn, NY
Married to singer Kathy Jordan. Two children. Pentecostal.
Attended Brooklyn College, 1973-75
Candidate for State Senate, 1978; Candidate for US Senate, 1992 & 1994; Candidate for New York City Mayor, 1997. Licensed and ordained a Minister at age 10 ; appointed Junior Pastor of the Washington Temple congregation. Founder & President, National Action Network, 1991-present. Founder, National Youth Movement, 1971. Road Manager for singer James Brown, 1973-80.
On the Issues


Sharpton's speech to the Democratic National Convention (6/28/03)
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Al Sharpton

Al Sharpton was one of only two candidates not named Kerry still in the race by the time Democrats held their national convention in Boston in July 2004. But he pulled out of the race, and was given a prime-time speaking role. Taking 20 minutes to speak, when he was given only 6, Sharpton electrified the delegates with a spirited rebuke of President George W. Bush, in what was a carefully scripted convention that sought to avoid direct attacks on Bush.

Hardly a word about Al Sharpton has been written in the mainstream media without "controversial" being placed before his name. Critics say he's little more than a publicity seeker who straddles the line of right and wrong. Time magazine says Sharpton views the campaign as his chance to displace Rev. Jesse Jackson as the icon of black leadership in America. He's a liberal Democrat who thinks the party's move to the center has come at the expense of the poor and minorities. He first gained national attention in the 1980s for defending Tawanna Brawley, who claimed to the victim of a racial attack. It turned out to be a hoax. Past political aspirations were muted by the 2002 HBO airing of a film showing Sharpton allegedly aggreeing to participate in money laundering for illegal, Mafia-connected cocaine deals; a tape which Sharpton said was an FBI set-up.

It's a fresh-faced delegation for Minnesota at national Dem fest
More than 5,000 Democrats are assembling in Boston for the Democratic National Convention. Among their number are 98 Minnesota delegates and alternates, who are counting down to the nomination of Sen. John Kerry for president. The road to Boston began, for Minnesotans, during the March precinct caucuses that drew a record number of attendees. Out of that surprise turnout has comes a new crop of activists. They're younger and perhaps less seasoned, but, as they tell it, every bit as determined as the old guard to take the White House in November.
Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer
If the polls and the pundits are any indication, the 2004 presidential election is shaping up to be every bit as close as the one in 2000 was. Bush and Kerry are even neck and neck in Minnesota. That means it's possible that the way votes are counted--and possibly re-counted--may make all the difference once again. The responsibility for overseeing that process generally falls to the secretaries of state, who have just wrapped up their annual conference. Among other things they discussed the implementation of the Help America Vote Act, which was designed to streamline the voting process following the month-long period in which the last presidential election went unresolved.
MPR Poll: Minnesota voters divided about Iraq
A new poll shows Minnesotans continue to be divided about the war in Iraq and its aftermath. The Minnesota Public Radio-St. Paul Pioneer Press poll finds no overwhelming consensus on whether the U.S. intervention will make things better in Iraq, and whether it will improve the United States' standing in the world.
MPR Poll: Presidential race a dead heat
A new poll suggests Minnesota voters are evenly divided between re-electing President George Bush or replacing him with Democratic rival John Kerry. The survey, commissioned by Minnesota Public Radio and the St. Paul Pioneer Press, shows 45 percent of likely voters favor Sen. Kerry and 44 percent support Bush. Ralph Nader attracted 2 percent support. Those results haven't changed much in the last few months.
Cheney fires up Republicans in Minneapolis
Vice President Dick Cheney rallied the Republican Party faithful Saturday at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The visit was part of Cheney's Midwest campaign swing through Michigan, Iowa and Nebraska. It follows just days after President George W. Bush's rally in Duluth.
Bush courts voters in Democratic territory -- Duluth
Thousands of people turned out to hear President Bush at a campaign rally in Duluth Tuesday evening. The president's visit comes on the heels of a northeastern Minnesota campaign stop by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry earlier this month. In Duluth, Bush told supporters he -- not Kerry -- represents the values of the nation's heartland.
President Bush mining votes on traditional DFL turf
President Bush is making a stop in northern Minnesota for an evening rally at the Duluth Convention Center. The Bush campaign visit comes a little more than a week after Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry appeared at a rally just outside of Duluth in Cloquet. DFLers say northeastern Minnesota is solidly Democratic and that the president is wasting his time trying to pick up votes there. But Republicans say many residents of northern Minnesota agree with the president on key issues and they're not giving up on any part of the state.
Nader supporters ponder their options
Consumer advocate and presidential candidate Ralph Nader debates former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean Friday afternoon, over the role and influence of third parties in politics. In 2000, Minnesota voters gave Nader one of his strongest showings, enough to propel the Greens to major party status here. His supporters say they'll continue that fight this year -- but other progressive voters say Nader's candidacy could undermine Democrat John Kerry, and ultimately benefit the Republican ticket.
Minnesota DFLers cheer Edwards selection, but effect is harder to gauge
Many Minnesota Democrats are cheering Tuesday's selection of North Carolina Sen. John Edwards as presidential candidate John Kerry's running mate. They say Edwards brings energy to the ticket, and will appeal to undecided and moderate voters. But political analysts say vice presidential picks haven't made much difference in the outcome of recent elections.
Kerry picks Edwards
John Kerry has announced that John Edwards, the freshman Senator from North Carolina, will run alongside him in his bid for the U.S. Presidency. We talk about why he chose Edwards what effect the choice might have on the presidential election.
Kerry makes his choice
Democratic front runner John Kerry has chosen South Carolina Sen. John Edwards as his running mate. The choice was announced first to subscribers of Kerry's Web site, followed by an official announcement before a crowd in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Kerry picks Edwards for Democratic ticket
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry on Tuesday selected former rival John Edwards to be his running mate, calling the wealthy former trial lawyer and rookie senator a man who showed "guts and determination and political skills" in his unsuccessful race against Kerry for the party's nomination.
Thousands gather for Kerry appearance in Cloquet
John Kerry kicked off a three-day bus tour of Middle America on friendly turf Friday, in traditionally Democratic territory that has also felt the sting of the war in Iraq.
John Kerry in Cloquet
Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry is kicking off a three-day bus tour of Minn., Wis. and Iowa in Cloquet, Minn. MPR has live coverage and analysis.
Let's talk politics
With the Green Party meeting in Milwaukee for its national convention, it's time to talk politics. Independent candidate Ralph Nader, who ran as a Green in 2000 and is credited with taking enough votes from Al Gore to win the race for George W. Bush, named Green party member Peter Camejo as his running mate on Monday. A poll from Quinnipiac University out today showed Nader pulling seven percent in Pennsylvania--a key battleground state. The poll showed President Bush and John Kerry in a statistical dead heat in the state that Gore won by 4.2 percentage points in the last election--perhaps an indication of just how close this year's race is likely to be. Even Minnesota, which has historically been a Democratic stronghold in presidential elections, is considered up for grabs this time around.

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