Apr 132004
 
Authors: Jamie Way

The eyes of Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign have

turned their gaze towards the college vote.

Kerry is in the midst of his four-day, four-campus “Change

Starts with U: Kerry Campus Tour 2004.” He will discuss issues on

college affordability as well as youth’s role in the 2004

election.

“I think young people need to re-emerge as a political force in

America,” Kerry said in a conference call to members of the student

press Tuesday afternoon. “Young people have this enormous power and

they really have to understand it, and embrace it and go out and

use it.”

“But if everybody just walks away and says ‘Oh, it doesn’t make

a difference,’ then you empower people who have money and who spend

it in the political system without opposition,” Kerry said.

Kerry proposes to give each student a $4,000 tax credit for each

of the first four years of college. He said that while he may cut

back on service and state-aid programs due to budget reality, he

would remain strong on this proposal.

“But I will keep the tuition tax credit for students and I will

not cut back on that,” he said.

When asked about the proposal, Mayor Ray Martinez responded with

skepticism.

“I would say there’s a lot of hidden details he’s not telling

us,” Martinez said.

The issue of tuition increase is a concern, according to

Martinez.

“We’re always worried about tuition, because when you raise

tuition those who have less money are less likely to be able to go

to school,” Martinez said.

The effort to mobilize the college vote is not exclusive to the

Democratic Party, according to Martinez, but he said that even if

it were, the important fact would be that people would vote.

“The fact is we’re getting people out there to vote,” Martinez

said.

While Chuck Fogland, chairman of the College Republicans was

concerned with where the funding for a tuition credit would come

from, he agreed that it was important that the college vote be

mobilized.

“I think it’s important that the college vote get out there,”

Fogland said.

He said the biggest concern for his organization is fighting

voter apathy.

“I think that’s what (The College Republicans are) here for, to

mobilize the vote,” Fogland said.

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