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Election

Kucinich meet-ups draw diversity
He’s dead last in most polls. And the U.S. congressman from Ohio is becoming best known for using a visual aid (holding up a pie chart) during the taping of a radio show. But some Reno supporters of Dennis Kucinich for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination predict their candidate will surprise.

“He’s the only candidate with a plan for universal health care, the only candidate with a 90-day exit strategy for Iraq that involves bringing in the U.N., and the only one with a plan to provide free education from preschool to college for everyone,” says Jeff Knutsen, 49, state coordinator of Northern Nevada for Kucinich. “I don’t think [Howard] Dean could win because he’s promoting the same policies [as the Bush Administration]. He’ll keep us in Iraq. He’ll continue our for-profit health care system, and he has corporate backing, the same as Bush. How will he inspire anyone if he’s the same?”

Last Thursday, two groups of Kucinich supporters met—one at a private residence in Sparks, where 30 people watched, This is the Moment. The campaign video outlines the history of and issues in Kucinich’s campaign. The show sparked spirited discussion about honesty and trustworthiness in politics.

The second meeting took place at Dreamers Café, on the bottom floor of the Riverside Artists Lofts. As 20 or so supporters of Howard Dean met on one side of the café, a smaller group sat together on some couches and talked about the upcoming elections. Supporters were a diverse bunch: Greens, Libertarians, Democrats, Independents, even one former Republican.

“Dennis Kucinich has a chance, if everyone who agreed with his plans were to vote for him,” said Steven Gifford of Reno. “The general population needs to hear Dennis’ views.”

Patty Knudsen respects Kucinich for his high ideals regarding every aspect of public life, including campaign finances.

“All the front runners except for Dennis are accepting private funds,” Knudsen said. “They’re all beholden. Kucinich is strictly public funds and matching funds.”

In fact, she said Kucinich is the only candidate to inspire her own political activism. “I was never interested in politics until I saw Dennis speak. He filled me with hope that there is another way.”

Said Amy Cordick of Sparks: “Dennis won’t sell out. He didn’t vote for the Iraq War or the PATRIOT Act. These are facts, not rhetoric.”

Local meet-ups are held for four Democratic candidates: Kucinich, Howard Dean, John Kerry and Wesley Clark. For more info, call Washoe County Democratic Party headquarters at 348-8691.

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Posted inDennis Myers Memorial

Election

Kerry gains post-debate lead in Nevada
A Wall Street Journal poll has John Kerry in the lead in Nevada, helping give Kerry a national electoral-vote lead.

Ever since George W. Bush was appointed president by party electors instead of elected by voters, pollsters have paid more attention to where votes are distributed in the nation. Zogby International has done regular polls for the Journal, and the newspaper has weighted them for electoral votes. To the votes for Bush and Kerry in the safe states, the Journal reports, “we add the electoral votes from the latest poll, regardless of the margins of error or the spread between the candidates. Mr. Kerry’s 13 states have 150 electoral votes, while Mr. Bush’s three have 27 votes. The bottom line: Mr. Kerry would have 322 electoral votes and the president would have 216. …”

This represents a net gain for Kerry of Nevada and Ohio.

The Journal notes that because of the razor-thin numbers, differing polls can find different results: “[W]hile Zogby finds Mr. Kerry up by one point in Nevada, a SurveyUSA poll has Mr. Bush ahead by four points.”

The Zogby poll in Nevada was taken after the first debate but before the vice presidential or the second presidential debate.

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Dennis Myers

Dennis Myers was the news editor of the Reno News & Review. He was a journalist for more than four decades. In 1987-88 he was chief deputy secretary of state of Nevada. He was coauthor of Uniquely...