emocratic candidates debate at University

For the most part, the eight candidates agreed on the main issues, including changing the U.S. health care system.[fm]
Eight prospective Democratic senators debate their platforms at the Universitys Law School.
[bold on]Erin Ghere[bold off][fm][bold on][bold off][bold on][bold off]
Staff Reporter[fm]
Eight of the nine democrats running for Sen. Rod Grams, R-Minn., seat argued the small differences in their platforms Tuesday at the Universitys Law School.
The debate came just days before state Democrats will meet Saturday to endorse just one candidate. For four candidates, Saturday could be their last day of the campaign.
State Sen. Jerry Janezich of Chisholm, Sen. Steve Kelley of Hopkins, former U.S. attorney David Lillehaug and University physician Steve Miles have said they will drop out of the race if not endorsed. The other five candidates: trial lawyer Mike Ciresi, construction executive Rebecca Yanisch, former State Auditor Mark Dayton, painter Ole Savior and former Minneapolis City Council member Dick Franson, have said they will run in the September primary no matter what.
Franson did not participate in the debate, sponsored by the College Democrats of Minnesota.
For the most part, the eight candidates agreed on the main issues, including changing the U.S. health care system.
The candidates described reforms they would enact if given the opportunity, including universal health care and getting health insurance for people who are in between jobs. The candidates even joked about their platforms being similar. Im reading from Ciresis crib notes, Savior said.
Agreeing on their opposition to Grams, they also opposed Clinton administration policies on health care, campaign finance and national defense.
Miles issued the biggest slam to Grams of the debate, saying, Rod Grams proposal to hand Social Security over to stockbrokers is like letting the Jesse James gang ride back into Northfield and make money off foreclosing the bank they robbed.
Grams plan would allow contributions to the program to be invested in the stock market. Grams has held his seat as Minnesotas senator since 1994. He is the only Republican contender for the seat in the November 2000 election.
[italic on]Erin Ghere welcomes comments at [italic off][italic on][email protected] She can also [italic off][italic on]be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3218.[italic off]