Sep 232004
 
Authors: Sara Bahnson

Andre Heinz, presidential candidate John Kerry’s stepson,

encouraged students to vote and discussed Kerry’s campaign platform

on the Lory Student Center Plaza Thursday afternoon.

Heinz stopped by the Plaza as part of his Next Generation Tour.

The bus tour included stops at colleges and universities around

Colorado including University of Denver and University of Northern

Colorado.

Heinz, 34, who previously worked as a consultant for The Natural

Step, an international environmental organization that works toward

global sustainability, is now the leading spokesperson on

environmental issues for Kerry’s campaign.

Heinz spoke for approximately 15 minutes about jobs, college

tuition, education, health care and the war in Iraq. Specifically,

Heinz encouraged students to vote, citing the close margin of votes

in Florida during the 2000 election.

“That’s one of your dorms,” Heinz said.

Heinz promoted Kerry’s support for more straightforward college

loans and the Service for Education program that would provide full

tuition to students who participate in two years of community

service during college. Also, students who work part-time while

attending college would receive $2,000 per year to fund their

education.

“Today, the quality of your education is determined by your

parents’ income level,” Heinz said. “(Kerry/Edwards) wants to fix

that.”

Heinz criticized President Bush’s tax cuts, saying that the

biggest breaks go to the top income bracket.

“People who make over $200,000, like me, would be more than

happy to give a little bit more to you and to our men and women in

Iraq so that they can have something worth living for and fighting

for,” he said.

Heinz also criticized the war in Iraq, calling it a “horrendous

mistake.” He discussed America’s dependence on oil and its possible

connection to the war.

“Are the men and women dying in Iraq because of oil?” Heinz

said. “That shouldn’t even be a question.”

The environment was another issue that Heinz discussed, naming

hybrid cars and wind power as environmentally friendly technologies

the Kerry/Edwards campaign supports.

The CSU Young Democrats coordinated Heinz’s stop at CSU, and he

took questions from audience members following his speech.

“(The Kerry/Edwards campaign) came to me with the idea,” said

Ashleigh McBeth, president of the CSU Young Democrats and vice

president of Colorado College Democrats. “I thought that the

student body would be excited and welcoming.”

Security at the event was tight, as security personnel were

present and the CSU Police Department was notified, McBeth

said.

Many students who attended Heinz’s speech felt he brought a new

point of view to the campaign issues.

“It gives a different perspective to have someone this close to

the candidate talk about the issues,” said Doug Knight, treasurer

for the CSU Young Democrats and a senior political science

major.

Others were impressed by his proactive approach to Bush.

“I thought it was a positive, upbeat message for America,” said

Ryan Bailey, a freshman German major. “It focused more on what

Kerry/Edwards wants to do, rather than what Bush has done

wrong.”

While the Plaza was crawling with Kerry/Edwards supporters, a

small group of Republicans gathered at the back of the crowd during

Heinz’s speech.

“I think this is an interesting opportunity for students to be

informed on one side of the issues,” said Chuck Fogland, president

of the College Republicans and a junior political science

major.

However, some Republicans were dissatisfied with Heinz’s

speech.

“I was unimpressed,” said Jesse Mallory, state chairman for the

College Republicans and a senior political science major. “He

didn’t bring anything new to the table. It was a sub-par stump

speech.”

Regardless of who was listening, Heinz wanted to get one

non-partisan point across.

“I can only hope that during the next four years, regardless of

who is president, that the American people will continue to be

involved by letting their voices be heard,” Heinz said.

 

Teresa Heinz Kerry, Heinz’s mother and John Kerry’s wife, will

be speaking at the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom at 5 p.m.

today.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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