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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 5/22/2003 5:22:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2003 5:23:34 AM EDT by Airwolf]
Like they really give a damn about them beyond getting their vote. God, I hope the people can see beyond the Dems "bullshit for votes" ploy. [url]http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/05/21/national0213EDT0432.DTL[/url] Livestock, farming: Democrats reach out to rural voters MIKE GLOVER, Associated Press Writer Wednesday, May 21, 2003 (05-21) 23:13 PDT NEVADA, Iowa (AP) -- The Democratic presidential hopefuls are talking about livestock, rural access to high-speed Internet service and incentives for farmers -- part of their appeal to rural voters in a determined effort to reverse the party's slide in the countryside. Eight months out, the nine candidates are trying to distinguish themselves in a crowded field and they've set their sights on the first election tests of the primary, rural states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Democrats see a troublesome pattern for the general election, and their hopes of ousting President Bush. Exit polls in the 1996 election showed President Clinton getting about 44 percent of the rural vote, a share that dropped to 37 percent for Al Gore in 2000. Democratic strategists argue that Gore's support for issues such as gun control hurt him in rural areas and possibly cost him key states such as Tennessee and West Virginia. That trend continued last year, when centrist Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes of Georgia carried just 43 percent of the rural vote, down from the 60 percent he garnered in winning a first term. The Democratic nominee will have to carry at least some rural or border Southern states in hopes of beating the popular GOP president. "It's mathematically possible to win without those states, but it just doesn't happen," said Jennifer Palmieri, a spokeswoman for Democratic candidate John Edwards. So on Wednesday, there was Edwards in Nevada, Iowa, proposing a $1 billion plan to boost small-town businesses, create rural development zones and push affordable high-speed Internet access in the countryside. The North Carolina senator, a trial lawyer worth millions, also argued that he is the ideal messenger among the Democratic candidates to discuss the concerns of rural voters. Edwards was born in South Carolina and grew up in the small town of Robbins, N.C., population of about 1,200. "I'm from there," Edwards said. "I understand their problems. I feel a natural connection." Edwards' rivals question his claim, and try to make the case against him based on a major issue in Iowa: whether meatpackers can own livestock. Proponents of a ban argue that it would prevent major companies from controlling the supply as well as keep them from setting the prices. Last year's Senate version of the farm bill would have banned meatpackers from owning livestock within 14 days of slaughter, but the final version of the bill did not contain the provision, much to the dismay of many Midwesterners. Edwards' rivals, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, voted for the ban; Edwards opposed it. "Small farmers told me that (the ban) would put them out of business," the North Carolina senator said. The wooing of rural America has obvious roots for Democrats focused on the early states, but small-town voters can play a major role elsewhere. "Even in big industrial states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio that are closely contested, the swing vote for us can be in the small towns and rural areas," said Chicago media consultant David Axelrod, who is advising Edwards. "We've written these voters off in many cases." Other Democratic candidates are tailoring their campaign pitch for rural voters. Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri, in a recent appearance at an eastern Iowa farm, sat perched on a hayrack and talked about how his health care plan would work for farmers. His plan calls for the government to pick up 60 percent of the cost of providing health coverage, and since most farmers are self-employed, it would amount to a direct subsidy. "We'd simply cut you a check," Gephardt said. Howard Dean has argued that he has an almost spiritual tie to small rural states such as Iowa because he spent 12 years as governor of Vermont. And Sen. Bob Graham of Florida has pointed out that his family runs a farm in South Florida.
Link Posted: 5/22/2003 5:27:26 AM EDT
Do they realize how many of those farmers have a gun in the closet?
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