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In the Spotlight

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News & Features
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)
Links and Resources
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Candidate Pages

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.

Kerry creates stir in Wisconsin small town
Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry is in Spring Green, Wisconsin, preparing for Thursday's debate with President George W. Bush. Kerry's decision to do his debate prep at the House on the Rock resort is creating quite a stir in the small Wisconsin town. One of the people most excited about the arrival of the Kerry camp is Todd Miller, a Democrat running for the Wisconsin State Assembly, and the co-owner of the Spring Green General Store.
MPR poll: Minnesotans think war will worsen U.S. standing in the world
A new poll sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio and the St. Paul Pioneer Press suggests that most Minnesotans have misgivings about certain aspects of the war or its aftermath, but a majority still says the president is better prepared to manage the situation.
President George W. Bush at the United Nations
President George W. Bush addresses the United Nations on Tuesday. In his weekly radio address, Bush promised to "talk about the great possibilities of our time to improve health, expand prosperity and extend freedom in the world." He said the United States is determined "to spread hope and economic progress and freedom as the alternatives to hatreds, resentments and terrorist violence."
More campaign finance changes?
A federal district court opinion appears to throw out 15 Federal Elections Commission regulations on campaign finance. Those regulations were contested by the authors of the campaign finance reform laws. But what happens to such a ruling issued in the middle of a campaign is under debate.
John Kerry's four-point plan for Iraq
Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry outlined his four-point plan for dealing with the War in Iraq at New York University, Monday. Kerry proposed to increase international contributions to the effort, expand the training of Iraqi police and security forces, provide jobs and tangible benefits to the Iraqi people and ensure that the country can hold democratic elections next year.
Bush defends Iraq policy amid bipartisan criticism
President Bush, buffeted by criticism from Democratic Sen. John Kerry and even some in his own party on Iraq, is urging U.S. voters to stick with him on the war in the face of surging violence.
Kerry says Bush handling of war threatens unending fight; he offers four-point plan
Sen. John Kerry said Monday that mistakes by President Bush in invading Iraq could lead to unending war and that no responsible commander in chief would have begun the war knowing Saddam Hussein didn't possess weapons of mass destruction and wasn't an imminent threat to the United States.
Beyond the God gap
The theory of the "God gap"--which suggests that, in general, religious Americans are Republicans and non-religious Americans are Democrats--has played prominently in press reporting on the 2004 presidential race. At their recent conventions, both parties seemed to grapple with faith and respond to the perceived God gap in interesting and unexpected ways. This special program from American Public Media's "Speaking of Faith" asks whether there actually is such a clear cut rift in American society.
Sagging in some polls, Nader hunts for votes in Minnesota
The gloves were off for independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader Thursday night during two Twin Cities appearances. Nader spoke to hundreds of supporters, first at Macalester College in St. Paul and then at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus. He took direct aim at Democrats, Republicans, and corporate interests. Recent polls show Nader struggling to find support in Minnesota -- but he and his supporters say the campaign is about more than winning the race.
Bush seeks to turn up the pressure in Minnesota
President Bush staged a fast and furious tour of Minnesota on Thursday, rallying in two cities and holding a health care forum in a third as two new polls showed him even with Democrat John Kerry.
MPR poll: Bush momentum builds over Kerry in Minnesota
As President Bush makes a three-city campaign swing through Minnesota, a new poll shows him with a narrow lead over Democrat John Kerry in the state. It's the first time Bush has led Kerry in the Minnesota Public Radio-St. Paul Pioneer Press poll. The slim two-point lead is within the poll's margin of sampling error, and pollsters say the race is still a toss-up.
Bush spending little time in Washington
If you're looking for President Bush, don't bother searching the White House. Bush has not spent a full day in Washington since Aug. 2 - roaming the country rather than staying in the Oval Office as he seeks a second term. He'll be in Washington Wednesday to host a concert and reception at the White House. Then Bush hits the road again Thursday for a campaign swing through Minnesota.
Gov. Howard Dean
Former Democratic presidential contender and Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has said his failed presidential campaign threw the first punch in what could be "a real fight for the soul of the Democratic Party." In his new book, "You Have the Power," Dean advises his party to move to the left, and he claims that Americans are disenchanted with politics because they believe they can't make a difference. As you might guess from the title of his book, Gov. Dean disagrees.
Nader supporters file petitions to put him on Minnesota ballot
Supporters of Ralph Nader's independent run for president on Monday filed petitions to get his name on the Minnesota ballot in November. The campaign needed 2,000 signatures from eligible voters and said it turned in 4,781. The secretary of state's office will need to confirm that the signatures are valid and that the voters are eligible. That's expected to take a couple of days.
Kerry campaigns in Rochester
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry campaigned in Rochester on Wednesday. He met with a group of approximately 150 local folks in the back yard of a Rochester residence. The meeting was advertised as about health care, but Kerry took questions and talked about topics such as immigration, the draft, and environmental protection.

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