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February 18, 2000 - Image 12

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-18

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laking i

their

stands

By Yael Kohen and Hanna LoPatin * Daily Staff Reporters

Presidential candidates agree that the low
political participation rate among young peo-
ple is startling, but each one is looking for his
own way of con-
necting with a,
d e m o g r a p h i c
many analysts
have described as
alienated.
Higher educa-
tion, affirmative
action and abor-
tion are issues
important to the
18 to 25-year-old4
age group that
politicians have
attempted to tack-
le. As Republicans
and Democrats
battle it out in state
primaries and cau-
cuses to secure
their party's nomi-
nation, reinstitut-
ing civic engagement has been widely discussed.
Although low student participation has been
portrayed as a relatively new phenomenon, it
has been a problem for well over a decade.
When asked why students today tend to be
apathetic towards politics, University assistant
political science Prof. Margaret Howard said,
"Right now? How about forever?
"It's a transition period of your life," Howard
said. "If you're a full-time student, you put on
blinders to everything else."
Voters between the ages of 18 and 25 have
lower turnout at the polls than any other demo-
graphic, Howard said. Usually not until set-
tling down with a job and a family does
someone take an interest in participating in the
"story of America."
With Tuesday's Michigan Republican prima-
ry in a position to determine the fate of White
House hopefuls George W Bush, John McCain
and Alan Keyes and the March 11 Democratic
caucus approaching, some candidates are
bringing the issues of higher education, affir-
mative action and abortion to the table.
The high prices of higher education makes
attending college an unreachable dream for
many lower-income families and their children.
Higher education
Although the GOP candidates have rarely
focused their discussions on higher education,
each has mildly addressed the issue by tagging
it to their broader fiscal policies.
Last year the Clinton administration
announced a $3 trillion surplus in the federal
budget, leaving the candidates to battle out the
best way to spend - or save - the surplus.
But Republicans and Democrats have bumped
heads over where to funnel the surplus funds espe-
cially in terms of
education.
Howard said
she attributes this
to the fact that
while Republicans
push for the local-
ization of school
control, Democ-
rats tend to push
for more federal
regulations.
Vice President
Al Gore recently
endorsed Clin-
ton's $31 billion
proposal to
increase accessi-
bility to higher
education. The
plan includes a
$30 billion Col-
lege Opportunity Tax Cut that would give families
up to $2,800 in tax cuts or credit on up to $10,000
in tuition payments. The plan also includes $1 bil-
lion to provide funds to increase Pell Grants, Work

Study and other grant programs.
Former New Jersey senator Bill Bradley has not
announced his stance on Clinton's proposal,

McCain's proposed tax cut is not nearly as
large as that supported by Bush. The Arizona

Arizona Senator
Republican
Abortion: Pro-life except in
cases of rape, incest and
when the life of the mother
is in danger.
Affirmative Action:
Believes racial and ethnic
diversity is important.
Higher ed: Supports equal

Bradley cam-
paign spokes-
woman Kristen
Ludecke said.
Bradley has
made student
loans his main
focus for higher
e d u c a t i o n
access, she said.
In addition to
the College
Opportunity
Tax Cut, Gore
proposed a

senator has made it
paying off the
$5.6 trillion
national debt.
McCain has not
developed a formal
higher education
plan, but he does
support increasing
access to colleges
and universities,
McCain's Michi-
gan Campaign
Chair John
Schwarz said.
McCain who
supports an
increase in the Pell
Grant, wants to
make a policy that
offers "as open
access as possible
to higher educa-

his fiscal priority to begin
Texas Governor
Republican
Abortion: Pro-life except in
cases of rape, incest and
when the life of the mother
is in danger.
Affirmative action:
Opposes the uses of
quotas and racial
preferences. Supports
"affirmative access"
Higher ed: Tax cuts and
increase in Education
Savings Accounts for more
tuition money to be put aside.
Taxes: $486 billion cut.
AP PHOTO

access for all Americans. national tuition
Has backed the Pell Grant savings plan
and other education during a cam-
financial incentives. paign swing
Taxes: $86 billion cut. through south-
eastern Michi-
AP PHOTOg an last w eek . f
Gore's plan expands upon current programs
to allow parents to invest in their child's higher
education free of state taxes for in-state schools.
He would like to see these investments free
from federal taxes as well, Gore spokesman
Douglas Hattaway said.
The proposal would per-
mit students to choose The M
schools from all partici- Republica
pating states, Hattaway
said. Gore also proposed When: Tuesday,?7
creating a special sav-
ings account for higher Where: MihiganJ
education and job train- Alice Uoyd
ing, Hattaway said. Bursley Res
Meanwhile, Bradley's East Quadi
proposal would allow stu- Mary Marki
dents to pay back loans at South Quad
a percentage based on
their future income. Who: Texas Gov.
"It's a very important Arizona Set
step that would allow FOrmeramt
students to choose a
career according to
desire," Ludecke said. The M
Bradley's "Teach to Democrat
Reach" program would
give scholarship money When: March
and loan forgiveness to
people teaching in "high- Where:Michigan U
need areas" - specifical-
ly rural and inner-city t :VicePrsd
schools - and who have set
expertise in subjects for r
which teachers are scarce.
Republicans have focused on differing priori-
ties that would in turn affect higher education.
Bush has made cutting taxes his top priority.
The Texas governor has proposed a $483 billion
tax cut, claiming that with such a surplus it is time

tion," said Schwarz, a Republican state senator
from Battle Creek.
McCain has backed the establishment of var-
ious other programs, such as the lifetime
tuition tax credit and the HOPE scholarship
which allows students to
claim a tax credit on
higan ~ educational expenses.
PrryAffirmative
.m. to p.m. action
ln Affirmative action is
esid nce Haanother higher educa-
dence Hall tion policy in the
Bsldence Hall national and local spot-
y Residence Hall lights, as some universi-
tesidence Hall ties across the country,
including the University
eorge W. Bush of Michigan, have had
,John McCain their admissions poli-
ssador Alan Keyes- cies challenged.
Bush announced his
support for a Texas plan
8hia to eliminate affirmative
C Uaction from colleges
and universities and
Lam. implement the Texas 10
Percent Plan, which he
onhas termed "affirmative
access."
A i r M This plan admits high
school students in the
top 10 percent of their
graduating class into
the school of their choice.
"Every single person has a fair shot," Bush's
national campaign spokesman Scott McClel-

,.
iba.

America great."
Bush's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, is trying
to rid the state of affirmative action through his
One Florida Ini-
tiative.
Both Bradley
}y, and Gore have
come out to pub-
licly decry the
Florida gover-
nor's efforts.
Bradley "must
cast a net as wide
as possible,"
Ludecke said.
Gore is com-
mitted "to con-
tinuing to
expand opportu-
nities for every-
body, and
a ff i r m at i v e
action is a way
to do it," Hatt-
away said.
Abortion
Although many debate whether abortion should
be a political issue at all, it has grabbed the atten-
tion of many voters and caused much heated
debate among the candidates themselves.
Ludecke said she believes that a Republican in
office could potentially.change the status quo with.
the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
"There are a lot of things at stake in this elec-
tion," Ludecke said. The next president must be "a
Democrat with a commitment to pro-choice con-
sistently through the years."
Both McCain and Bush have come out as pro-
life supporters who have declared exceptions in
cases of rape, incest and danger for life of the
mother, but they have not discussed their inclina-
tions to name pro-life judges to the Supreme Court.
Although McCain has declared himself to be
pro-life, Schwarz said McCain "would not propose
or support to repeal Roe v. Wade." McCain "oppos-
es abortion personally," Schwarz said.
Bush was forced to come out on his anti-abor-
tion stand by magazine editor Steve Forbes in last
month's GOP Presidential Debate at Calvin Col-
lege in Grand Rapids.
Forbes, who dropped out of the race last week,
challenged Bush to affirm that he would only
appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices and choose
a pro-life running mate. Bush announced that he is
in fact pro-life but declined to commit himself to a
pro-life running mate and anti-abortion justices.
Tension among Democrats has heated up as
well, with the two candidates sparring over their
past abortion policies.
Last month Bradley attacked Gore, claiming that
the vice president's past stances have not always
been pro-choice.
Of Bradley, Ludecke said, "He is the only
Democratic can-
didate who has
been pro-choice
his entire candida-
cy."
But Hattaway
said despite the
attacks, there is
no difference
between the two
Democrats on the
abortion issue.
Bradley is creat-
ing distinctions
that don't exist,"
Hattaway said,
adding that the
National Abortion
Reproduction
Rights Action
League, a premier
pro-choice organization, endorsed Gore on Tuesday.
"Women are quite aware that this is the most
pro-choice administration," Hattaway said, refer-
ring to the Clinton White House.

Vice President
Democrat
Abortion: Pro-choice in
all cases.
Alt ..l MM7+ 1. AI A....

to return the money
to the taxpayers,
Bush's Michigan
campaign spokes-
woman Geralyn
Lasher said.
By lowering
income taxes,

Al

irmiveAction: Bush's proposed
Firmly believes it cut would allow
expands opportunities. taxpayers to put
Higher ed: Supports aside more money
and expands Clinton's for college tuition
college opportunity and paying off stu-
tax-cut program dent loans, Lasher
said.
Taxes: Targets tax relief In an effort to
to lower classes and make higher educa-
intends to spend budget tion more afford-
surpluson debt and able, Bush has
saving social security. proposed an
increase the Educa-
tion Savings Accounts from $500 to $5,000. This
increase would allow families earning up to
$150,000 to withdraw $5,000 tax-free for educa-
tional purposes.

Ian said.
McClellan said1
mative action
because he does
not believe in
quotas, saying
they accentuate
differences and
cause hostilities
among all races
and ethnic back-
grounds.
But not all
Republicans are
opposed to affir-
mative action.
McCain would
not repeal the
use of affirma-
tive action poli-
cies at public
universities,
Schwarz said.
"He looks at
affirmative action

Bush is opposed to affir-
Bill Bradley
Former N.J. senator
Democrat
Abortion: Pro-choice and
claims to be the only can-
didate to be
consistently so.
Affirmative action:
Decries anti-affirmative
action measures.
Higher ed: Proposes to
make participating
colleges free from
federal taxes.
Taxes: Aims to lower
taxes for the lower and
middle classes.
AP PHOTO
as a good policy and fait

0

0

accompli in the fate of this country," Schwarz
said. "This is the most diverse society in the
world and its one of the things that makes

Students critical to

0

0

winning race

By Jeremy W. Peters
Daily Staff Reporter
Political leaders on campus will admit that motivating students
is not always easy. Even at a school as politically active as the Uni-
versity, students can be fairly apathetic to the electoral process.
In an attempt to rally students for their cause, campus leaders
for the presidential campaigns have made their presence visible
through activities including a candidate fair and a debate among
representatives from the candidates' student organizations.
But do groups like these actually have an effect on student
voter turnout?
Traditionally, the number of students who "n
actually vote is very low. Any cam
Political science emeritus Prof. Samuel would be
Eldersveld, a former Ann Arbor mayor, con-
ducted research in the early 1980s that turn away
revealed only about 6 percent of undergradu-
ate students vote. af pnthusi

enthusiasm a student can bring to a campaign," he said. "The per-
son who mobilizes the student population will win because 90
percent of them don't vote."
This is something of which campus political leaders are well
aware.
Students for Gore co-Chairman Michael Masters said it is dif-
ficult to recruit students but maintains he is committed to the
cause.
"It is difficult in general to get people interested, but because of
the caliber of the candidates people have been interested. I have
run across actions ranging from 'how many hours a day can I
work' to 'no thanks, I'm late for class,"' he

didate
foolish to
K the kind
Jasm a

said.
Masters said more than 150 people are on
the Students for Gore e-mail list.
Students for McCain co-Chairman Trent
Thompson said he is pleased with the num-
ber of students who have come to him asking
to join the Arizona senator's campaign.

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