2008-02-01 / Community

Dem Surrogates Speak At Simon Shop

Democratic club members and other local Democrats heard from representatives of the Democratic candidates at a forum at the Good Government Regular Democratic Club last Thursday.

Mark Weissman, a young political scientist, who said he was an aspiring novelist, represented Senator Barack Obama. He called for eliminating income taxes for seniors earning less than $50,000 a year and welcomed all Americans into the health care system. Weissman said that Obama, a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law, would bring hope to Americans who would cross party lines to vote for him.

Councilman Joseph Addabbo represented Senator Hillary Clinton. He reminded the audience that Clinton was the only candidate to visit Rockaway and Broad Channel, that she helped his office to assist residents with immigration issues and fought for health care for all Americans. She also led the fight for health care for First Responders at Ground Zero, but the bill was vetoed by President Bush. District Leader Lew M. Simon added that Hillary had obtained funds for construction of a new fire house for the Broad Channel Volunteers.

Frank Stoppenbach, a former IBM strategist and Congressional candidate came down from Dutchess County to speak for Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Although rumors of Kucinich's withdrawal from the race were being broadcast, Stoppenbach brought Kucinich's message of free public education from pre-K through college, repeal of NAFTA and other trade agreements that are destroying American industry and against the abuse of visas for high tech foreign workers who take jobs from Americans.

Norman Silverman read a statement from the John Edwards campaign, which did not send a speaker. They stated that Edwards led the other candidates by proposing an economic stimulus package including aid to unemployed workers, cash strapped state and local governments and public investment in alternate energy.

Registered Democrats will be able to vote on Super Tuesday February 5 when voters in 22 states will elect delegates. Five delegates will be elected in each of the two Rockaway Congressional districts.

Candidates getting at least 15 percent of the vote may win a delegate.

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