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Putting Children on Campaign Radar in FL

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Monday, July 9, 2012   

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - With just four months to go until the November election, there is one thing missing from the campaigns, some people say, and that is children. A recently released study by the Child and Family Policy Center and Voices for America's Children found that children's issues often are absent from the discussion in the presidential campaign. In the past 20 Republican presidential debates, according to the report, children's issues were only brought up two percent of the time.

Roy Miller, president of the Children's Campaign in Tallahassee, says ignoring children's issues will spark problems in other areas such as poverty and unemployment.

"Problems aren't going to go away; they're just going to get worse. We're going to invest in failure instead of success. These are the children that during campaign cycles are kind of out of sight, out of mind. "

Miller adds that while there are no Democratic presidential debates to analyze, his organization is not seeing children's policy brought up by President Obama either. Authors of the study say that after watching the debates, they had no information on how candidates propose handling the needs of the half-million children in foster care or the 15 million who drop out of school.

Miller says children's issues often are ignored because they're hard to whittle down to simple "buzz words" for campaign speeches.

"The children don't seem to get on that cookie-cutter list. The issues are more complex. They require a lot of understanding and some real vision and some thought. "

In the study, the top issues brought up in past debates this election cycle were foreign policy, defense and national security.

In Florida there are more than 500 candidates running for state House and Senate seats, with the top issues being jobs and the fight over the Affordable Care Act.



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