Amy Klobuchar makes a campaign stop at the U

Kristin Franta

Hennepin County attorney candidate Amy Klobuchar walked the campus Monday, addressing student concerns and questions about crime.
“We need to make the office more accountable; that means bringing the office to the students,” Klobuchar said. “As we could see from the spirit at the Homecoming parade, there’s a strong community of students at the U.”
Klobuchar feels she can directly relate to students, since she is committed to new ways of doing things. One new idea she preached to students was employing community prosecutors: lawyers who would work with police departments on a neighborhood basis, a measure she believes would bring community policing up a notch in order to target the most violent offenders.
“The key to combat crime is having the police, prosecutors, and people in the community working together,” Klobuchar said.
She also hopes to concentrate on getting guns out of the hands of criminals and kids. She said she hopes to accomplish this by making tougher laws on criminals caught using a gun to commit crimes. In addition, she wants to make juveniles more responsible for their actions.
“It makes me feel good to know that there is a person behind all of the talk,” said physics graduate student Steve Giron. “Just from our small conversation, I found she is a caring person, which is more important to me than just having a good political platform.”
He said he also discovered that Klobuchar lives in his neighborhood, which is not too far from campus. “If she has influence on things around me, I would want her in office doing good for my neighborhood and community,” Giron said.
Hennepin County has seven different commissioners from all different districts representing 45 cities, explained Klobuchar, which she will be the head of if elected. Thus, she believes she has the power to pick certain issues and push them, providing a common agenda for the public, she said.
Polls show Klobuchar with a 9-point lead on opponent Sheryl Ramstad Hvass, but it also showed approximately half of the public was still undecided.
“I suppose I’ll be voting now and I wasn’t before,” said College of Liberal Arts senior Neil Arnold. “It makes it easier to put a name to a face.”
Klobuchar said she feels that getting into the community and meeting people is helping her stay ahead. Likewise, she feels that her 33-page leadership plan makes her more accountable to prospective voters.
Third-year CLA student Rebecca Iacono said Klobuchar’s appearance didn’t sway her vote. “I do research, talk to people and read press releases,” she said. “I vote for whomever I find most qualified, not whomever talks to me.”