For Immediate Release
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Thursday, August 12, 2004—Dr. David Sanders, Democratic candidate for the office of U.S. Representative for the 4th Congressional District of the State of Indiana, appeared at a press conference at 10:00 AM, Thursday, August 12, 2004 at the Tippecanoe County Democratic Headquarters, 320 Main Street in Lafayette.
Dr. Sanders discussed his positions on defending the rights of minorities and other Americans in the criminal justice system.
"The implementation of the so-called "war on drugs" is discriminatory in practice if not in intent. I believe that the focus should be on education, economic development, strengthening communities and families, and treatment rather than on incarceration. Rebuilding lives rather than locking people up is right not only for minorities. It is right for America."
"The Republicans have consistently cut funding for legal assistance for poor defendants. This tactic disproportionately affects the ability of minorities to defend themselves in court. This policy is discriminatory in practice if not in intent. Assuring access to qualified legal assistance is right not only for minorities. It is right for America."
"Congressman Buyer has supported a series of Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and other laws infringing upon citizens’ rights. I will oppose them."
David Sanders also presented proposals on protecting the right to vote of minority and other American citizens.
"The District of Columbia has a large number of African-American residents. Do you know what the license plates say in the District of Columbia? "No Taxation without Representation." They are right. The citizens of the District of Columbia have no voting representatives in Congress. This policy is discriminatory in practice if not in intent. Giving the citizens of the District of Columbia representation in Congress is right not only for minorities. It is right for America.
"The assault on voting rights that occurs in some states in our Union should be a major concern for everyone. The laws that lead to the disenfranchisement of large segments of the male African-American population are discriminatory in practice if not in intent. I assert that these laws violate the 15th Amendment to the Constitution. Restoring the vote to all free citizens is right not only for minorities. It is right for America."
"Congressman Buyer has demonstrated great insensitivity to the rights of minorities. He has taken money intended for Republican minority candidates. He recently ridiculed the justified concerns of minorities about the fairness of the American voting system. I am not sure that United Nations monitors would be the key to ensuring fair balloting; I support other American legislative efforts to achieve that goal. Nevertheless, Congressman Buyer’s lack of concern contrasts vividly with that of President Bush on this issue. According to the Washington Times, the Bush administration has invited a team of international monitors to observe the U.S. presidential election in November—nearly exactly the opposite approach from that pushed by Congressman Buyer. "Look, I can understand why African Americans, in particular, are worried about being able to vote, since the vote had been denied for so long in the South, in particular," said President Bush. The appeal of Congressman Buyer to people’s prejudices concerning "blue helmeted foreigners" and comparisons of the United States with countries with large numbers of black inhabitants are out of touch with the 21st century and the attitudes of the vast majority of Americans."