LV voters support Kerry and school bonds

Campus Times
March 5, 2004

by Bailey Porter
Managing Editor
Adrian Medrano
Staff Writer
Valerie Rojas
Arts Editor

Despite chilly temperatures and threatening gray clouds overhead, La Verne voters turned out in large numbers for Super Tuesday.

Voters focused on both local and national issues, with a majority supporting measures affecting the state budget, public school funding and Democratic nominee John Kerry, despite distractions from both outside and inside local polling places.

“This is not a nice place to be, but the turnout has been steady,” said volunteer Millie Bocic about Veteran’s Hall, one of three polling locations in La Verne, which shared space with a ballet class and a nursery school.

La Verne residents seem particularly close to local issues including Proposition C, a bond to improve public school facilities and educational programs.

“I believe in our little city,” said resident Carole Lemonnier. “Our kids should get the best we can afford and I am ready to pay for it.”

Lemonnier’s opinion did not stand alone. Voters like David Kendall were also concerned with conditions of public schools and supported Proposition 55, an education bond that has passed by a small margin.

“Schools are in bad shape. The government is trying to fix the budget, so I support them,” Kendall said.

Other La Verne residents disagreed.

Mona DePartee said it was not an issue of schools having enough money; it was an issue of them spending it wisely.

Larry Castorena said that his vote for measures 57 and 58, which have passed, came from the bipartisan support the measures received.

Although concerns for local and state government took precedent, some voters also wanted the opportunity to voice their opinions in the presidential race.

La Verne’s support of John Kerry focused on his ability to go up against President Bush in the November election. Kerry, who entered the March 2 primaries with a significant lead over John Edwards, received a sweeping 64.5 percent of Californians’ votes Tuesday.

“It can’t be any worse than what we have right now,” said Frank Brito.

Jannie Brito has expectations that Kerry will resolve the issue of troops remaining in Iraq.

“This war is just not too good,” she said. “I want our boys and girls back home.”

“Anything is better (than Bush),” said Lisa Christensen, who also voted for Kerry.

“Bush is dangerous,” she said.

Kerry even received verbal support from Republicans like Lynward Johnson.

“I am backing Kerry, but since I’m a Republican, I had the Republican ballot,” he said.

A number of voters back Kerry because of his stance on national issues such as the death penalty and war.

“I voted for Kerry to bring security to our country,” said Herbert Arce.

He said Kerry can work toward security by not alienating other countries and casting them off on the sidelines. He said communicating is the key.

Kerry’s position on the death penalty separated him from other candidates, Colleen Bennett said.

Julian Rodriguez voted for Edwards, who received 19.8 percent of the votes, based on the candidate’s position on issues.

“I like his stance towards poverty in America. We have tons of money; we are the richest country in the world, and we can’t help get houses for people.

Everyone should have a house or somewhere to go until they get on their own two feet,” he said.