Friday, May 18, 2007
James Dobson, the prominent Christian conservative who leads Focus on the Family, said yesterday that he could not vote for former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.
Writing in an online column, Dobson said "my conscience and my moral convictions" convinced him that he cannot support Giuliani, whom he described as an "unapologetic" supporter of abortion rights.
"Many liberal Americans will agree with the social positions espoused by Giuliani. However, I don't believe conservative voters whose support he seeks will be impressed," Dobson wrote on the conservative news site WorldNetDaily. "I will either cast my ballot for an also-ran -- or if worse comes to worst -- not vote in a presidential election for the first time in my adult life."
Dobson wrote that he was also troubled by Giuliani's marital history. Giuliani has been married three times.
The remarks came after Giuliani sought, in a debate and appearance in Houston, to put to rest controversy about where he stands on abortion by saying he personally opposes abortion but believes it is a woman's right to have one, a position that puts him at odds with many conservatives in the Republican Party.
Dobson said earlier this year that he would not support Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) because McCain has opposed a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.
-- Zachary A. Goldfarb
Candidates Take Stock of Portfolios
Giuliani raised the specter of genocide in Darfur earlier this year at a fundraiser, telling guests that U.S. intervention could prove "we can do positive things and good things."
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards told an Iowa audience in January that U.S. action in Sudan was a way to take the lead on moral issues that may not necessarily be grounded in economic or political self-interest.
Both candidates' personal financial disclosures, however, reveal that they are invested in mutual funds that hold stock in companies doing business in Sudan. Giuliani's holdings in these firms total at least $500,000, while Edwards has at least $47,000 similarly invested.
A Giuliani campaign official said last night, "The Mayor was unaware of this connection, but takes it very seriously. He will take a closer look at this and ultimately take the appropriate action."
Edwards campaign spokesman Eric Schultz said, "We did not know about it, and Edwards is now taking action to divest."
Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) have also been outspoken on the subject of genocide in Darfur. They, too, discovered that their holdings included companies doing business in the African nation. But both coupled the release of their disclosure statements with announcements that they had already divested.
Brownback said he took the step because it "sends a tangible signal to Khartoum that the American people will not tolerate genocide."
Obama's campaign released a statement saying that he discovered $180,000 in holdings in the Vanguard Wellington Fund while compiling his presidential disclosure forms and immediately transferred the money.
Sam Bell, director of advocacy at the Genocide Intervention Network, said the candidates should not feel SU:bad -- most Americans who make this discovery "are shocked to find out that they are holding investments that are connected to this genocide."
"No one is trying to point the finger and say, 'How could you have invested?' " Bell said. "We're saying, 'You now have an opportunity to send a clear message.' We think to demonstrate commitment they should put their money where their mouths are."
Also disclosed in the reports was that Edwards was not the only candidate to have invested in Fortress Investment Group, a New York hedge fund. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) invested at least $50,000 in the firm.
-- Matthew Mosk and Derek Willis