With the presidential election only days away, even solidly
Democratic Ann Arbor received attention from a wide array of famous
Kerry supporters and family members at rallies over the
weekend.

Shortly before the football game Saturday afternoon, Gov.
Jennifer Granholm joined Democratic presidential candidate John
Kerry’s brother Cameron and several Michigan Democratic
politicians at an event on Elbel Field.

Granholm cited Kerry’s proposals for higher education
— a $4,000 tax credit for college tuition and a national
service program that would pay for four years of college in
exchange for two years of service — as an important
reason for students to vote for Kerry. She described Kerry’s
election as vital to Michigan’s future.

“There is nothing more important to me as governor of this
state than having a partner in the White House,” Granholm
said.

Other Michigan Democrats at the rally spoke in harsh terms
against President Bush. Former U.S. Sen. Donald Riegle, recalling
his positive impressions of Kerry from the years they spent working
together in the Senate, drew a sharp contrast when he compared
Kerry with Bush.

“Number one, (Kerry) has a brain,” Riegle said.
“And number two, he has a heart.”

Riegle, who was born in Flint, was first elected to the U.S.
House of Representatives in 1967 and retired from the Senate in
1995. At the event, he called Bush the worst president in the
history of the United States.

“He’s careless, he’s reckless and he needs to
be removed next Tuesday,” Riegle said.

Rep. John Dingell (D–Dearborn) attacked Republicans for
allowing jobs to be outsourced and accused them of spreading wrong
information in order to disenfranchise Democratic voters.

“Those miserable Republicans are saying,
‘Let’s vote for Kerry on November the
third’,” said Dingell, who is up for re-election.
“They’ll do anything to win.” Dingell was
referring to messages chalked on University sidewalks telling Kerry
supporters to vote on the wrong day; the correct election date is
Nov. 2.

At a rally Friday in the Michigan Union, Kerry’s stepson
Chris Heinz joined actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Allison Munn to stump
for Kerry. While Heinz praised Kerry’s character and higher
education plans, Gyllenhaal and Munn emphasized the importance of
the student vote in this election.

Asked about the perception that Kerry is an elitist who does not
understand average Americans, Heinz said his stepfather is
dedicated to helping those who are in need.

“John every day fights for people who have less than
him,” Heinz said.

Despite repeated denials from Bush and his administration that a
military draft is under consideration, speakers at both events
raised the chance of a draft as a reason for college students to
vote against Bush.

“I don’t care what George Bush is telling
you,” said Munn, an actress best known for her role in
“That 70’s Show.” “With the way that
he’s running this country, the draft is a very, very real
possibility.”

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), in an interview after the Saturday
rally, said tomorrow’s election is especially important to
college students because Bush has led the country into “a
dangerous situation that could involve, at least potentially, a
draft.”

Joan Penner-Hahn, a Business professor at Wayne State University
who attended the event at Elbel Field, said she enjoyed the
speakers.

“I thought it was really neat that all these people showed
up here,” Penner-Hahn said.

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