Oct 202004
 
Authors: Erin Skarda

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

Denver.

Heinz, 31, took the stage wearing a CSU T-shirt and spoke about

the importance of college students’ votes in the upcoming

election.

“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

involved.

“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

time.

“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

college.

“It’s like the GI Bill, but you don’t get shot at,” Heinz

said.

Heinz said the last four years have been bad for the United

States.

“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

screen.

“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,”

Fogland said.

Alison Lathrop, a senior management major, said she enjoyed the

Heinz’s speech.

“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.”

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