Democrats rally for votes

By Amanda Finnegan
November 10, 2006

Dan Squire

The Democrats gave it one last big push before Election Day at Cabrini College. The Nerney Field House hosted former Vice President Al Gore, on Saturday, Nov. 4, as he and the Democratic candidates encouraged a crowd of more than 500 supporters to get out and vote.

Gore was joined by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is to be elected speaker of the house, to endorse fellow Democrats Governor Ed Rendell, Bob Casey, senatorial candidate, and Joe Sestak, who is to replace Rep. Curt Weldon in the House of Representatives.

Also on hand were local representatives including Connie Williams, Pennsylvania state senator, Daylin Leach of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives; and Bill George, the president of the AFL-CIO.

The push was successful as the Democratic candidates swept the state on Nov. 7. Tuesday brought wins for Rendell, Casey and Sestak. Congressional candidate Jim Gerlach was the only local Republican to win a national seat. Democrats also took control of the House of Representatives but as of Tuesday afternoon, the Senate was too close to call.

“I thought the rally was great because it was nice to see something that had to do with the Democratic Party. This area seems to be very Republican, so I was glad Cabrini let them use our campus as a site. I had never been to a rally, so it was a great opportunity for me,” Nora Marchetto-Ryan, a senior psychology major, said.

“Cabrini is happy to make its facilities available to candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties, as long as the event doesn’t negatively impact student life. Cabrini had offered the campus for an earlier event hosted by Republican Senator Rick Santorum with Rudolph Giuliani, and also extended an invitation to Republican Congressman Curt Weldon. Cabrini’s involvement in any of these political events is only to provide space,” Dan DiPrinzio, media relations manager, said.

The majority of the rally was dedicated to promoting the qualifications of Casey and Sestak. And, even though he is running for re-election as well, Rendell devoted his speaking time to supporting the two candidates.

Kristine Schmid, a senior history and political science major, thought the rally was a big success.

“I thought it was pretty cool it was held here. I didn’t expect to see Casey and really cool to see Gore,” Schmid said. Having the rally held here is a great thing for the college.definitely a big accomplishment for the Cabrini.” Schmid is interning for Williams this semester.

George said that 47 million Americans are uninsured, 34 million of whom are working Americans. Both Rendell and Casey stressed that 8.3 million children do not have health insurance.

The majority of the rally was spent as a platform to urge voters to vote Democrat. Pelosi did however focus on the Democrats plan of “Six for ’06.” In the first 100 hours of gaining control of Congress, Democrats promised that they will, in the first 100 hours, pass the 9/11 Commission recommendations, increase the minimum wage, remove incentives for businesses to send American jobs overseas, to cut in half interest rates for student loans and to legalize stem cell research. The sixth promise is a long-term dedication to environmental awareness.

“Pennsylvania is the number one state for renewable energy,” Gore said. Gore has been traveling the world promoting his film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” to educate people on the problem of global warming. Gore has been campaigning for the environment for almost 20 years and is responsible for making the Clinton administration “green.”

Gore, along with the other speakers, commented on what a “beautiful institution” Cabrini was. He also touched on student loan interest rates and the importance of science education, both of which are issues that affect Cabrini students.

In recent meetings with students, Dr. Antionette Iadarola, president of Cabrini College, strongly encouraged students to vote and urged them to know which issues the candidates stood for. “It is critical that students realize the importance of voting,” Iadarola said. “Voting is a precious right, and if we don’t exercise it, we’ll lose it. I cannot overemphasize the importance of voting.”

Loquitur welcomes your comments and questions on this story. Please send your comments to: The editors will review your comments each week and make corrections if warranted.

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Amanda Finnegan

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