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Local chairs discuss platforms

Oct. 27, 2000

Men focused on election issues

By Brandi Dean

Lariat reporter

County chairmen of both major parties spoke to Baylor students on the Republican and Democrat platforms in hopes of educating students on the differences between the two.

Twenty-one students attended 'Democrat or Republican' at 7 p.m. Tuesday to hear McLennan County Republican chairman M.A. Taylor and Democratic chairman John Culler go over their respective parties' views on issues that will be important in the upcoming presidential election. Josh Tetens, president of the Young Conservatives of Texas, which co-sponsored the event with the Baylor Democrats, said that the purpose of the event was to get people thinking.

'We were hoping that the chairmen would not necessarily convince the audience,' Tetens, an Arlington junior, said, 'but encourage them to research the platforms and issues. It's more important to consider the issues and philosophies of the candidates over a name and a face.'

To accomplish this, each chairman gave brief overviews of the platforms and the floor was opened to questions from the audience. Issues discussed included education, social security and proposed tax cuts, among others. Adam McKee, a Plano sophomore, said he believed that neither speaker went deep enough into the issues to be helpful.

'I was expecting more focus on specifics rather than broad generalities,' McKee said. 'It seemed more like they were throwing the same arguments around - the same candidate stereotypes that have been tossed around in the media.'

Chris Allen, former YCT chairman and Baylor graduate from Mineral Wells, said that he thought the chairmen did just the opposite.

'I enjoyed it,' Allen said. 'One of the problems we have is that the media tells us what the two parties believe in, so it's always interesting to hear the two parties actually tell us what they believe. It's not always the same thing.'

Jeanie Tate, the vice-president of the Baylor Democrats said that while she thought most of the crowd had already decided she was glad that students had been able to find out more about the Democrat platform.

'It was informative,' Kaufman senior Tate said. 'It seemed as if the crowd was predominately YCT who had already made up their minds about the issues. But even if we reached a few people, our mission was accomplished.'