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Sarbanes urges Dems to vote

April 15, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION

Saying he is "dealing with radical people on the other side of the aisle," U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes pleaded with Washington County Democrats Friday night for their help in getting the Democratic vote out on Nov. 7 to gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Sarbanes said the fall election is one of the most critical in recent history for several reasons.

Sarbanes praised President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore for their work to bring the federal budget out of a deficit situation and into a surplus.

But Republicans want to commit the surplus to a sweeping tax cut, 80 percent of which would benefit the most wealthy people in the country, Sarbanes, D-Md., told more than 100 people at the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner at the Venice Inn.

Such tax breaks always have the same results, Sarbanes said. While they benefit the wealthy, "people in the middle and on down always take it in the neck," he said.

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Sarbanes prefers a Democratic plan that would put the money toward strengthening the Medicare system, reducing class sizes in public schools and improving the quality of school buildings.

Sarbanes was campaigning for Don DeArmon, who will face U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Md., in the general election.

Sarbanes said it is critical for DeArmon to win because just six Democratic victories are needed to return the House to Democratic control.

Sarbanes said Democratic control in the House is vital because Republicans want to return to a Newt Gingrich-style agenda which will "shock people."

It is typically assumed that most voters make their decisions about whom to vote for through television and other media, Sarbanes said. But the senator said he believes most of those decisions are made through conversations voters have with friends and family members.

He urged Democrats at Friday's dinner to impress on their friends and family members the importance of voting for Democratic candidates like DeArmon in the election.

"We need to register people. We need to work on that now," Sarbanes said.

Sarbanes also emphasized to people the importance of filling out U.S. Census forms. During the last Census count, Maryland had an "undercount" of about 3 percent.

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