U.S. Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-26th) and New York State Assemblyman Marty Luster (D-125th) spoke yesterday at a rally on Ho Plaza in a last attempt to encourage students to vote for Democratic candidates running in today’s local, state and national elections. The rally was sponsored by Cornell Democrats.
President of Cornell Democrats Mike Moschella ’02 opened the rally with remarks concerning the importance of the election.
“Tomorrow is the most important election you can be part of,” Moschella said, addressing the crowd of approximately 50 people.
“One issue which hits closest to home is student loans. Lazio wants to cut student loans while Hillary Clinton and Gore [recommend] programs that would double or triple the number of grants and create new student loans,” Moschella said. “Many of us would not be here if it were not for student loans.”
Ryan Horn ’03, chairman of Cornell Republicans, said Lazio’s plan is an attempt to put a cap on college tuition. “Government financial aid jacks up the price of college tuition,” Horn said.
Democratic Representative for Ithaca Irene Stein followed Moschella speaking for the Democratic ticket. Ithaca City Judge John Rowley, running for Tompkins County judge, was also present.
The speakers showed their support for all Democratic candidates on the ballot including local, New York State and national Democrats.
“Hillary has the issues and has shown her commitment by coming to Ithaca. Lazio said he was going to come and never showed up,” Stein said, referring to a scheduled visit for Saturday.
Luster praised Rowley for his efforts to create a court specifically designed for drug related issues.
Hinchey tapped into the crowd’s energy with his high spirits, jokes and overall optimism. “One indicator that we are ahead is that I know of one more vote [against the Republican side]. When Bush read that a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush, he filled out an absentee ballot for Nader,” Hinchey joked.
At the conclusion of his speech, Hinchey reminded the crowd “that [what] was at stake was not particular candidates, but the next four years and the future.”
Most of the students gathered at the rally showed their support for the re-election of Hinchey, and the elections of Rowley, Hillary Clinton for U.S. Senate and Vice President Al Gore for President.
“I have faith that the rally will offer visibility for students and that they will be reminded to think and then make a formal decision,” said Alexandra Sanches ’03, secretary of treasury for Cornell Democrats.
Not all the members of the crowd shared such optimism.
“I am worried about the presidential election,” said Mark Greenbaum ’02, Student Assembly executive vice president. “I think that the Republican base is more energized than the Democratic base to vote tomorrow.”
Horn also attended today’s rally. “I think that today’s rally was a last hoorah for the local Democratic candidates,” said Horn. “I am confident that there will be a Bush-Lazio win.”
However, not all of the members of the rally were Democrats. Meghan Murphy ’03, a member of the Working Families’ Party, showed her support for Hillary Clinton, who she believed would best deal with the problems of the working class.
As for the presidential election, Murphy stated that she would vote for Nader. “I am pretty sure that Gore will win New York, and I think that if Nader can get 5% of the vote, a third party would be a good watchdog,” she said.
Archived article by Jamie Yonks