Lieberman uses layover in Twin Cities to rally support

by Peter Johnson

Democratic vice-presidential hopeful Joseph Lieberman appeared in the Twin Cities Tuesday morning as part of a campaign stop to rally support for both his presidential ticket and some local key races.
Many prominent party members appeared at the rally — including U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone, former Attorney General Skip Humphrey, Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles-Belton and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Dayton.
The rally, held in a hangar at the airport, was attended by more than 200 supporters who gathered to support the Gore-Lieberman ticket. Lieberman stopped on an airline layover on his way to Seattle.
“Minnesota is a battleground state, but this is a state I’m confident in,” Lieberman said. “Our positions are so much better for the people of this country.”
Fourth District U.S. Congressional candidate Betty McCollum also encouraged the crowd to look at the issues.
“This election is about our family security, about Social Security and about health care,” she said. “When it comes to our children and our future, we’re going to vote Democratic.”
Wellstone encouraged the crowd to become more civically involved.
“There is so much cynicism. When you live in a representative democracy, politics is what you create,” he said. “Let’s get everyone engaged and out to vote, and come November we’re going to have a great victory in Minnesota.”
Lieberman greeted the crowd, speaking words of endorsement for local candidates like Dayton and McCollum. He also chided Republican vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney for dirty campaign tactics, and for attacking presidential candidate Al Gore.
“I hope the American public will reject that kind of campaigning; that is not what this campaign is about,” he said.
Lieberman then spoke about issues like health care, energy conservation and environmentalism — using Texas as the worst example in the nation for each topic.
“The record in Texas is a bad record from a human point of view,” Lieberman said. “The contrast is very dramatic between our records and our future.”
Lieberman also voiced praise for Gore, saying that if elected, Gore would use his presidency “to stand up and fight for the American people — against big interests who aren’t treating us fairly.
“I don’t think there has been a better vice president in the history of the United States than Al Gore,” Lieberman said.
Many of the people who gathered to support the ticket did so for other reasons.
Jim Gulles, a member of the St. Paul Painters Union local 61, supports Gore-Lieberman because they back the trade union movement.
“The International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades stands behind Joe Lieberman and Al Gore. We figure there’s no other choice,” Gulles explained.
Others found the issue of reproductive rights more compelling.
Apple Valley resident Stacy Kaye said, “(Gore-Lieberman) are a lot better on women’s rights and abortion than (Republican candidate George W.) Bush.”
Visiting from Maine, Emily Pighetti agreed.
“I am supporting Gore- Lieberman because I am aware of the position the Supreme Court is in,” she said, referring to the high court seats that will most likely become available during the next presidency.
Lieberman will continue campaigning for the ticket in Seattle.
“America’s future and the future of your family will be very different depending on which ticket is elected,” Lieberman said.