Political opinions clashed and emotions ran high on the Lory
Student Center Plaza Wednesday afternoon as Chris Heinz,
presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry’s stepson, and actor Scott
Wolf spoke to encourage students to vote.
The duo stopped by CSU as part of the Get Out the Vote bus tour.
More stops in Colorado include the University of Northern Colorado,
the University of Colorado-Boulder and the Auraria campus in
Heinz, 31, took the stage wearing a CSU T-shirt and spoke about
the importance of college students’ votes in the upcoming
“The basic message (in my speech) is to vote,” Heinz said.
“Vote, if you would, for John Kerry. Obviously, I never would tell
someone what to do. I encourage students to be involved and help
make your own choice.”
An audience of about 100 gathered to hear the speakers.
Observers waved signs for the candidate they supported as political
energy filled the Plaza.
Scott Wolf, an actor in the TV show “Party of Five,” introduced
Heinz and said he is also a strong Kerry supporter. He said he
appreciates how involved, curious and passionate students are
across the country.
“I urge students to keep being involved so you know after the
election you did everything you could,” Wolfe said.
Heinz agreed it is important for college students to get
“I am all for participation in (the) process,” Heinz said.
In the 2000 election, Heinz said President George W. Bush won by
only 537 votes in Florida.
“That’s about the size of one of the (residence halls),” Heinz
said. “Every vote counts.”
Heinz said the student voter turnout in the 2000 election might
have been small because of the issues being addressed at the
“Saving Social Security, health care reform and taxation reform
don’t mean a lot to people in college,” Heinz said.
However, the main issues being addressed in this year’s election
– the war in Iraq, possibility of a draft, tuition costs, the job
market and the environment – could be more of a concern for college
students, Heinz said.
College tuition costs rose 35 percent nationally over the last
four years, Heinz said, leaving many young people without
opportunities to go to college.
Heinz said Kerry’s plan offers a College Opportunity Tax Credit
on up to $4,000 of tuition for four years of college. Kerry’s plan
also includes a college-for-service plan. If a perspective student
works two years in a school, a health center or promoting national
security, he or she will receive four years of tuition-free
“It’s like the GI Bill, but you don’t get shot at,” Heinz
Heinz said the last four years have been bad for the United
“The president sees the country like a parent sees a 10-year-old
child. The president doesn’t play well with others (countries),”
Heinz said. “I agree, (Bush) treated half our country and the rest
of our world like children.”
Ashleigh McBeth, president of the CSU Young Democrats and senior
political science major, said she had short notice to prepare for
the visitation, but she feels the turnout was good.
“I think Heinz did a phenomenal job,” McBeth said. “He broke
down his respect for Kerry as a person, father and senator. I think
this is a personal view that may not be shown on TV.”
Other students were not as happy with Heinz’s speech.
J.T. Davis, vice president of the College Republicans and senior
sociology major, said that Kerry has no viable record in his 20
years in the Senate, so the campaign is trying to put up a smoke
“I think it’s a good (turnout), bringing out an act of
desperation to bring people to campus such as Scott Wolfe and Chris
Heinz,” Davis said.
Chuck Fogland, president of the College Republicans and junior
political science major, said there were so many inaccuracies in
Heinz’s speech that it is hard to pin down what him or his
stepfather stand for.
“He talks about building alliances, but we already have over 30
countries involved in the war in Iraq; that’s an inaccuracy,”
Alison Lathrop, a senior management major, said she enjoyed the
“What (Heinz) had to say was really cool,” Lathrop said. “I
think he directed his speech towards college students and it hit
home for them.”
Heinz ended his speech by saying Democrats are winning in all
the early voting states, and he hopes students help persuade others
to exercise their right to vote.
“The point is this, winning is great, but I prefer we win by
more than one vote, but win with conviction,” Heinz said. “I had a
dream that the president was leaving the White House with his
shoulders slumped, back to Texas, and he never comes back. This is
my dream. Join me in making it a reality.”