The delegates responded to these other questions:
What inspired you to become a delegate?
Taxes and growth: real ideas, or just more political rhetoric?
Is the "Party of Bill Clinton" the party of all Democrats?
A question from Kay Guilleroy, Ashville, NC:
The role of big money in the party aparatus
The nomination has been decided, and the Democrats have the administration's record to run on; they don't even have to create a platform. It seems this is just one big party. Two especially disturb me.
- 1. Delegate's are being wined and dined, obviously in an effort by big business to pedal influence.
- 2. Aren't many of these the same companies that just courted the Republicans two weeks ago? It seems to me that democracy is the loser here.
Enid Goubeaux, Greenville, Ohio
It's true that our party has a record of solid achievement by President Clinton and Vice President Gore to take to the American people. However, we must discuss the future. We must discuss what kind of nation we want to create for the new millennium. This convention is really about the American future and President Clinton's fundamental belief in opportunity, responsibility, and community.
I agree with your concern about the influence of big money in politics. Because of this, many Americans are losing faith in our political system. I hope that the first step President Clinton takes after his re-election is to fight for meaningful campaign finance reform. I also hope that our Supreme Court will revisit and reverse its wrongheaded position on this issue.
Susan Swift, Palestine, Texas
As for influence peddling, as you probably know, Kay, that the tobacco industry was a sponsor of both political party's conventions. Compare the President's conduct and Senator Dole's conduct on this issue last week.
Most of our platform will stand the same as the 1992 platform, but we will make some changes. These changes start at the local level and are discussed at the county and state levels before getting here. And, unlike Republicans, we don't hide from our platform. The National conventions offer an opportunity for us to get to meet other politically interested folks all across the country. It also helps re-energize the delegates after some hard-fought primaries.
Art Noonan, Butte, Montana
How can democracy ever be the loser when people (or American companies and businesses) participate in the election process? To much political energy is a small problem compared to the lack of it. I have found in my travels that some folks consider themselves independent and subsequently think that the political party system is somehow sinister. Democracy is the governance of the people and it only works when people of like philosophy join together to elect candidates. Politics is the showing of favor to folks who support your issues -- this is not a bad thing, this is the only way democracy works. I personally believe that our democracy does not require enough political citizenship.
I also disagree with the notion that there is nothing to be done at the Convention. This is an observation that could only be made by an independent that does not have a political connection. I f you support a political party you would realize that there is more to the gathering than just "the party." The celebration of politics and mutual goals is a good thing in and of itself, and it also takes a great deal of networking to see that those mutual goals are not lost to the process.
Kathryn G. Mausolf, Glenwood Springs, CO
At this point, the first day, my first convention, I have not yet been approached by these business people. There are many get togethers that seem to foster mutual good will and networking among delegates, press people and many others.
Jim Burg, Pierre, South Dakota
I really don't disagree with you. I don't feel we should accept influence from big businesses either, and I agree that they don't pour this kind of money in without expecting influence or favors in return. I definitely feel campaign finance reform is essential to preserve our democratic process. However, unless people are willing to support campaign financing it's difficult to change the system we now have.