Moore tells crowd to vote

Kari Petrie

Filmmaker Michael Moore preached to his liberal choir Friday night in an event to incite students to vote.

“This is the only time we’ll ask you (to vote),” he said. “Just try it.”

Moore, director of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” brought his “Slacker Uprising Tour” to Williams Arena, where he spoke to a crowd of 7,000. The Minnesota Alliance for Progressive Action sponsored and paid for the event.

During the rally, Moore played the presidential debate on four large screens and commentated. He also made a deal with the audience that every time President George W. Bush lied, Moore would put $100 in a hat and donate it to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry’s campaign.

He gave $50 for every misleading statement Bush made, and $10 for every “dumbass comment.”

“Let’s get ready to rumble,” Moore said as the debate began.

The crowd cheered for Kerry and booed at Bush. Energy swirled around the arena in riotous applause as Kerry said he would not legislate his religious beliefs.

At one point, Bush fumbled over his words and asked moderator Charles Gibson of ABC if his time was up yet.

“Fifty ’cause he’s stupid,” Moore replied.

By the end of the night, Moore had $2,000, which is the legal limit individuals are allowed to give to a presidential candidate.

Moore said he had never donated to a candidate before.

Although Moore spent most of his time praising Kerry, he promised to criticize the Massachusetts senator twice as much if he is wrong to think Kerry can make the United States better.

“But I don’t think I’m wrong,” he said.

Some said that Moore’s strong support of Kerry surprised some of the event’s attendees.

Boomer Anderson, a University first-year finance student, said he didn’t expect the program to be “such a liberal rally.”

Anderson, a Republican, said he plans on voting for Kerry, because he does not think Bush is smart enough to lead the country.

“It’s the lesser of two evils,” he said. “If Kerry screws up, it can’t be as much as Bush.”

University English sophomore Steve Johnson said he thought Moore’s performance was a little overdone but relevant in this election season.

He said he also found the debate “hilarious” because Bush had nothing to say.

The event created controversy with the Minnesota College Republicans last week. Group members had voiced concerns over whether the University was paying for the event.

Before the rally, Moore reiterated to reporters that the Minnesota Alliance for Progressive Action was paying all costs through ticket sales. Moore said he did not charge a speaker’s fee and would pay for any costs the action group could not cover.