BETTY CASTOR WINS PRIMARY- AND RALLIES FOR VETERANS RIGHTS-Andrew Stelzer

09/01/04

Betty Castor, now officially the democratic party’s nominee for senate, spent her entire election day yesterday in Tampa, going from one neighborhood to another trying to drum up voters support. After winning an overwhelming victory yesterday over Peter Deutsch, Castor appeared this morning surrounded by democratic senators, who are now on board the castor campaign. The event took place at The American Legion Hall number 5 on west Kennedy Boulevard.

ACT “Bob graham is a wonderful senator,

Former state attorney general Bob Butterworth was one of several speakers at the event to begin the next phase of Betty Castors campaign.

ACT “But we had to choose someone�

Retiring Florida senator Bob Graham said that Mel Martinez, Castors republican opponent, is out of touch with Floridians and is unwilling to break with the views of his old boss, President Bush.

ACT “Betty is going to run against a person that we’ve worked with, Mel Martinez. but is his view of what the right thing is right for Floridians?…he said he couldn’t think of a single issue that I differ from the pres…I will hand my vote over to the president…or we can elect somebody who will vote for him hen the time is right…the people of Florida those are the people she has to cast her vote for �

The focus of the event was on veterans, and the need for the government to adequately fund healthcare for vets

ACT “We are not treating our vets the way they are supposed to be treated, I ill vote for appropriations to make sure that you received increased benefits.�

. Betty Castor, along with senators Bill Nelson, Bob Graham, and Delaware senator Tom Carver, signed a giant copy of her Contract with Florida’s Veterans, a series of 6 promises to veterans which has been a part of her campaign. It includes full benefits and disability, quick appointments, information, respectful service, and a promise that no veteran will ever be homeless. There were several veterans attending the event, and they spoke of waiting months for doctors appointments.

ACT ‘My doctor at the VA and i'm a service connected veteran and I have to wait 3 months…do you have some ID?�

Senator Bill Nelson said that Castor has to educate voters in the next two months about the difference between her and Mel Martinez.

ACT “..the job of this campaign is to get her positions contrasted with her opponents..�

Mel Martinez has been criticized in the last week for running ads attacking his republican competitor Bill McCollum for being too supportive of gay rights. Martinez stopped running the ads after Governor Jeb Bush asked him to. WMNF asked outgoing senator Bob graham if he expected a dirty campaign over the next two months.

ACT “ I hope that Mel will run a nice campaign and defend the positions of the admin on veterans benefits.�

Delaware senator Tom Carver, who flew don to Florida for today’s event, said Castor is just hat is needed for a ideologically divided senate.

ACT “If you are a centrist you are in on every play, we need people who aren’t partisan…�

WMNF also asked some of the senators about the Bush campaigns latest attacks against John Kerry for speaking out against the Vietnam war after Kerry returned from fighting in the war. Senator Tom Carver served in Vietnam himself

ACT “So when you got back, were you upset at people who ere speaking out against the war. The idea that people weren’t upset about the war shouldn’t be surprised…�

Senator Bill Nelson is also a veteran of war.

ACT “Is it all right for a soldier to speak out against the war…you have to put it in context of the times..when john Kerry …you had many elected officials speaking out, he as articulating the majority feel of the country..Nixon said he was going to end the war..what about today..you have people on the streets, against the war, NYC..well that’s our constitutional right.�

Election day is November 2nd, the deadline for voters to register is October 4th. TO register to vote, log on to www.election.dos.state.fl.us, or call 850-245-6200

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