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UA Dems unite for primary

By Natasha Bhuyan
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, February 3, 2004
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As polls open for the Democratic primary today, the UA Young Democrats are divided on which candidate to support, but united in beating President Bush.

Despite endorsing different candidates, members said they would fully support the nominated Democrat after the primaries.

The husband and wife team of Jeff and Kathleen Hale, a business graduate student and law student respectively, chair the UA branch of the John Kerry campaign. They support Kerry because they say he is electable and they like his stance on issues that affect young people. But they both say the primary will not divide the Democratic Party during the November election.

"The Democratic Party benefits from having a variety of perspectives in the primary, and many Democrats realize that," said Kathleen Hale, a UA law student and member of the UA Young Democrats.

Josh Silverstein, political science senior and director of campus affairs for the Young Democrats, said the essential goal of the primary is to elect the best candidate to beat Bush.

"Even though we support different people now, in the end, it's ABB: anybody But Bush," he said.

Nonetheless, club unity hasn't prevented the UA Young Democrats from putting determined energy into their individual candidates' campaigns.

Rachel Pakulis, a history senior, spent hours on the UA Mall encouraging students to attend Howard Dean's rally on Saturday at Reid Park.

"I really like what he stands for," she said. "I hope students who go to the rally will agree with me."

After months of sponsoring tables on the Mall, registering voters, making phone calls, sending e-mails, working with student media groups and hosting rallies, members of Young Democrats hope their efforts will at least draw UA students to the polls.

Jonna Lopez, a women's studies senior and UA coordinator for the Howard Dean campaign, urges students to get involved and know the candidates.

"One of the biggest things we've done is bus students to Reid Park for Dean's rally," she said. "We are also giving people rides to polling places on Election Day, including UA students," she said.

Alicia Cybulski, a political science senior and president of the UA Young Democrats, said many students are voting via mail-in ballot, but she has witnessed an increase in interest as the primary gets closer.

"We've registered voters and tried to increase awareness, so we hope the turnout is decent," she said.

Since UA students may find it difficult to get to a polling place, many have already voted through an early mail-in ballot.

Chris Roads, Pima County registrar of voters, doesn't know the expected voter turnout among UA students but has received a number of early-ballot requests.

"We've had about 500 requests with the e-mail address, which is a sizeable amount among registered Democrats," he said.

Regardless of the voter turnout and election results, the UA Young Democrats will be holding a mini-social at Applebee's tomorrow in honor of their efforts.

"Sure, many of us are supporting different candidates," said Cybulski. "But, in the backs of our heads, the major goal is defeating Bush in November and getting the real thing back in the White House."

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. The First Assembly of God Church, 1749 E. Broadway Blvd., and the Northwest Neighborhood Center, 2160 N. Sixth Ave., are the closest voting locations to campus. To determine where to go to vote, visit

ASUA will not be providing a shuttle to polling places today, as Alistair Chapman, director of ASA task force, said the organization is nonpartisan.

"However, we still strongly encourage students who are registered as Democrats to vote," he said.

Candidate Profiles

Wesley Clark

Wesley Clark

Bachelor's degree from West Point Military Academy; Rhodes Scholar; master's degree from Oxford University.

Retired as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO forces in Europe in 2000.

Disagrees with war in Iraq, would rather turn the "American mission into a NATO operation."

Wants to reduce taxes for families of four making under $50,000 and all families who have children and make under $100,000. Will close corporate tax loopholes and increase tax rate on income over $1 million by five percentage points.

Wants to make the first two years of college free for most students while simultaneously restricting many tuition increases; would provide $20 billion to a "State and Local Rebate" fund for vocational skills and workplace training for students who choose not to go to college.

Howard Dean

Howard Dean

Bachelor's degree from Yale University; medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Practiced internal medicine in Shelburne, Vt.; served in Vermont House of Representatives; lieutenant governor; governor.

Vocally opposed war in Iraq.

Wants to repeal Bush's tax cuts in order to pay for health care, expanded college tuition assistance, homeland security.

Would significantly increase federal aid for higher education and pay for it by repealing recent federal tax cuts; said No Child Left Behind Act an "unfunded mandate."

John Edwards

John Edwards

Bachelor's degree from North Carolina State University; law degree from University of North Carolina.

Practiced law in Raleigh, N.C; U.S. senator.

Voted for 2002 resolution to allow use of military force in Iraq; voted against $87 billion for reconstruction, saying he would not give Bush administration a "blank check" in Iraq.

Voted to increase the tax deduction for college tuition costs from $5,000 to $12,000 and increase the tax credit on student loan interest from $500 to $1,000.

Emphasizes college access/teacher training; would provide one year of free tuition to public universities and community colleges to any qualified student, requiring the student to serve the community for an average of 10 hours each week.

Dennis Kucinich

Dennis Kucinich

Bachelor's degree, master's degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Former Cleveland city councilman; Cleveland mayor; Ohio state senator; 2003 recipient of the Gandhi Peace Award; U.S. congressman.

Opposed war in Iraq; wants to create a Department of Peace to avoid wars.

Wants to repeal Bush tax cuts and increase corporate taxes; $300 billion for infrastructure, tech jobs.

Would expand public education benefits to include tuition-free college for millions of students.

John Kerry

John Kerry

Bachelor's degree from Yale University; law degree from Boston College Law School.

Served in the Navy; assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, Mass.; lieutenant governor of Massachusetts; U.S. senator.

Voted for 2002 resolution to allow use of military force in Iraq; voted against $87 billion for reconstruction efforts, saying Bush must be forced to develop a "real plan that secures the safety of our troops and stabilizes Iraq."

Wants to make college more affordable for middle-class families; would provide a tax credit for each year of college on the first $4,000 paid in tuition. Would fully fund federal education mandates at the state and local level.

Joe Lieberman

Joe Lieberman

Bachelor's degree from Yale; law degree from Yale Law School.

Former Connecticut state senator; Connecticut attorney general; U.S. senator. Nominated for vice president in 2000.

Voted for the 2002 resolution to allow President Bush to use military force in Iraq and voted for the $87 billion request for reconstruction. Criticized Bush's plans to install an American administration in Iraq and favors an international administration.

Calls for a lower income tax rates for people earning less than $70,000 per year and families earning under $115,000 per year.

Wants to increase financial aid for higher education by nearly doubling the average Pell Grant; would require colleges and universities receiving federal funds to report their enrollment and graduation rates, particularly for low-income and minority students.

Al Sharpton

Al Sharpton

Attended Brooklyn College.

Ordained as minister; founded the civil rights group National Action Network; ran for U.S. Senate; ran for New York mayor.

Opposed war in Iraq.

Wants to reduce deficit by repealing Bush tax cuts; proposes $250 billion infrastructure improvement plan.

Would fully fund No Child Left Behind Act; supports amending the U.S. Constitution to make equal education a right.

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