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October 23, 2008
How Obama and McCain stand on the arts....

Ever wonder how 2008 presidential nominees Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain stack up on arts issues?

If you've been looking for it on the nightly news-good luck.

Some organizations, like the pro-public funding Americans for the Arts Action Fund, sees the arts as a crucial election year issue. The nonprofit has been keeping tabs on where each candidate stands on arts issues. To that end, it recently released its "Summary of 2008 Presidential Candidates Arts Positions."

The summary involves six criteria which are listed below.

1. Campaign has met with Americans for the Arts Action Fund to discuss policy issues.

Obama - Yes (on 4/1/08)

McCain - Yes (on 4/1/08)

2. Campaign has published policy proposals on the arts and/or arts education.

Obama -- Yes (policy proposal on 2/28/08)

McCain -- No

3. Candidate has made statement on federal support of the arts.

Obama -- Yes (during a Pennsylvania speech, 4/2/08)

McCain -- No

4. Candidate has made statement on federal support of arts education.

Obama -- Yes (Texas speech given on 2/28/08)

McCain -- Yes (statement released on 10/3/08)

5. National party platform includes statement on the arts and/or arts education.

Obama -- Yes

McCain -- No

6. Candidate has pro-arts Congressional record.

Obama -- Yes (Co-sponsored S. 548, Artist-Museum Partnership Act)

McCain -- No (voted to cut funding or terminate the National Endowment for the Arts*)

*Roll call votes on 7/12/00, 8/5/99, 9/15/98, 9/18/97, 9/17/97, 7/25/94, 9/15/93, 9/15/93, and 9/14/93

Source: Americans for the Arts Action Fund As of 10/03/08

The Arts Action Fund is a 4-year-old, nonprofit membership organization created by Americans for the Arts.

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