What you need to know: Kerrey supports the Kissinger-Schulz-Nunn-Perry vision of moving toward a world free of nuclear weapons.
Democrat - Open Seat
Endorsed for U.S. Senate by Council for a Livable World
In 2000, Senator Robert Kerrey stunned the Pentagon, the Senate and the Clinton Administration when he offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have permitted a unilateral reduction of 3,500 U.S. strategic nuclear weapons without waiting for Russian ratification of the START II nuclear reductions agreement. Even more surprising was his ability to win 47 votes for his amendment.
This action was typical of Bob Kerrey: bold, creative, independent, iconoclastic. And a fine Senator who represented Nebraska vigorously and recognized that he owed his constituents his best judgments.
When he served in the Senate, Kerrey repeatedly offered dramatic initiatives to break the stalemate between Russia and the U.S. on reducing their oversized and dangerous nuclear arsenals. Kerrey proposed that all nuclear warheads to be eliminated should be taken off “hair-trigger alert status” that would allow the weapons to be fired in only a few minutes.
When he served in the Senate, Kerrey repeatedly offered dramatic initiatives to break the stalemate between Russia and the U.S. on reducing their oversized and dangerous nuclear arsenals.
Now Kerrey, who retired after 2000, has launched a comeback following the retirement of Sen. Ben Nelson (D). A re-elected Bob Kerrey can once again claim the mantle as the leader on arms control issues.
During his previous tenure in the Senate, Kerrey was highly respected for his originality, humor and modesty. He was called “the most interesting Senator,” partly for his original thinking, partly for his political independence.
A native of Nebraska, Kerrey graduated from the state university with a pharmacy degree in 1966 and volunteered for the Navy Seals. In Vietnam, he lost his right leg below the knee in a brutal skirmish for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism. Returning to the U.S., he became an avid and active opponent of the war.
Kerrey started a successful chain of restaurants and health clubs, and then ran for governor in 1982 as a Democrat, upsetting the Republican incumbent. In 1986, this unique individual shocked the political world by not seeking reelection despite job approval ratings of over 70 percent. But in 1988, he returned to the political arena by winning the Senate seat held by a Republican.
In 1992, Kerrey ran for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. His principal issue was national health insurance, offering a publicly financed system with the minimum level of benefits and total cost determined by the federal government.
After Kerrey retired from the Senate, he became president of The New School in New York City, where he served for 10 years. He also served on the committee that investigated the attacks on 9/11.
Kerrey’s race will not be easy. He faces Debra Fischer, who just won a three-way primary for the Republican nomination. Nebraska is a predominantly Repubican state, so Kerrey has to win many votes of independents and moderate Republicans. Early polls show he has some ground to make up.
But conservatives know that with his outstanding record, Kerrey will be a tough opponent. Karl Rove’s American Crossroads launched early ads reminding voters that Kerrey spent a decade in New York.
Kerrey is running a bold campaign; he may be the only candidate in the country placing television ads opposing war with Iran, arguing that the misbegotten wars in Iraq and Afghanistan “would look like a cakewalk” in comparison.
He strongly supports the Kissinger-Schulz-Nunn-Perry vision of moving toward a world free of nuclear weapons and would again vote to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Council for a Livable World endorses Senator Robert Kerrey because his leadership on arms control is absolutely essential in the U.S. Senate. He is a rare and highly capable individual.
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Nebraskans for Kerrey
Council for a Livable World
322 4th St. NE
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