Senator focuses on student vote

By Mark Mazzone

Sen. Paul Simon encouraged NIU students to get out and vote for candidates at all levels of government at an address Sunday held in the Holmes Student Center.

Simon was the highlight of a Young Democrats-sponsored rally for local candidates that was forced indoors by rain.

Simon told the nearly 60 people in attendance that “it is important what you do for the other candidates. When you help them you are helping Carol Mosley Braun and Bill Clinton.”

Simon warned against complacency in the upcoming Nov. 3 elections on the part of Democratic supporters, saying that historically elections featuring an African-American candidate tend to be closer on election day than polls predict.

“Don’t take anything for granted in the case of Carol Mosley Braun,” Simon said. “You have some people who don’t want to admit their prejudices over the phone in polling, but will vote their prejudices.”

“Illinois has played a role in at least two recent presidential elections,” Simon said. “Right now, the polls look great, but don’t believe them.”

Simon also threw his support behind Bill Clinton’s proposed education package, which includes an item allowing college graduates to have student loans waived by doing community service.

“It is a way to encourage community service and at the same time reduce the burden that you face when you graduate,” Simon said.

“As a nation we just have to do a great deal more in education—period,” he said. “At the federal level, in fiscal year 1949 we spent 9 percent of our federal budget on education. Today it is 3 percent,” Simon said.

When asked, Simon said the deficit is to blame for the recent exodus of manufacturing out of the country.

“What we clearly have to do is re-industrialize. Economists all agree on this,” Simon said. “We’re going to compete with the rest of the world either through lower wages or higher skills.”

In the last 10 years, the deficit has resulted in the loss of nearly three million jobs, Simon said.

“I like George Bush personally. I’d love to have him as a neighbor. But what we’re talking about is leadership,” Simon said.

John Nelson, local Democratic candidate for state senate, also addressed the gathering.

Nelson said unlike his opponent Rep. Brad Burzynski, R-Sycamore, he is in favor the Illinois Education Amendment. The amendment would require by law that the legislature fund education at certain minimal levels.

“I am facing a very conservative Republican, what I call a Dan Quayle Republican,” he said.