September 19, 1992
By Yolanda Reynolds
Presidential candidate, Bill Clinton, arrived in San Jose to find a large and enthusiastic crowd awaiting him at San Jose State University on Tuesday afternoon.
His appearance at San Jose was originally scheduled for 10 a.m., but Mr. Clinton took a detour to speak before the American Legion in Utah and his visit to San Jose was postponed to 1:30 pm.
It was a very hot afternoon, but even so, most people waited the extra thirty minutes that it took for Mr. Clinton to arrive. Before he arrived the crowd, that swelled to at least 10,000, was entertained by a band.
It was very warm day. Though many people, expecting a very large crowd, had been standing around since before 12 p.m., they were in a good mood. Some were holding signs with messages that read “Future teachers for Clinton,” “Take Back America,” “Seniors for Clinton,” “Hispanics for Clinton,” “Pro Choice – Pro Clinton.”
Clinton arrived around 2 p.m. and ﬁrst greeted the people standing far from the main platform. As he was ushered around the fringes of the crowd, a swell of sound could be heard as he worked his way to the speakers platform. He appeared relaxed and very cheerful, qualities that he will need in greater quantities as the campaign wears on.
Before Mr. Clinton addressed the crowd, the President of the University, J. Handel Evans, presented him with a San Jose State University sweat shirt. That brought a roar of approval from the large crowd of students and many others who apparently were alumni of the University.
When Mr. Clinton was introduced, the quad was ﬁlled with a sea of red, white and blue Clinton/Gore placards waving back at him. Clinton reminded the students that San Jose State University has graduated more engineering students than MIT, Berkeley and Stanford combined. An achievement made possible, he said, because of a commitment of support by Californians and their leaders to education in the past years.
He said that our challenge (besides providing the best education possible) was, “whether we could move America forward” – that the United States, which just twelve years ago was number one in the world, had fallen to 13th in economic prowess and is “still dropping.”
His interest in education and the high technology industry was woven throughout his talk. The gathering in San Jose, said by some to be his last in California before November, was unlike other national campaign gatherings. There were no current political ofﬁce holders on the podium to either introduce Clinton or to share the podium.
Tom McEnery, a former San Jose mayor, appeared brieﬂy. He was greeted with sparse applause and some loud boos. The tepid greeting seemed to take him by surprise.
Though the crowd was pleased to see Mr. Clinton, many people were disturbed by the manner in which local Democratic party operatives treated the crowd.
Maria Ortiz, a San Josean and student advocate said “l did not like it that we were not allowed to take in our signs blasting University fees and to protest the lack of housing for the homeless.”
Ortiz and others had hoped that they could draw attention to some very real needs in San Jose that could be lost to the casual San Jose visitor.
Juan Haro, a university student and spokesperson for Student for Accessible Education, was told by Steve Preminger last Sunday that he and his group could have VIP passes to the event if he returned later that evening at 8:30p.m. Juan left, only to find that another student leader and spoke person for the Student Homeless Alliance, Scott Wagers, had been given 20 VIP passes without any problem, some two hours after Juan had left Preminger’s headquarters. (Preminger did not return a call from La Oferta to discuss these complaints).
The local media, particularly the print media was also shoved aside to make room for the national media – even some local television stations had a hard time convincing the monitors that they were, in fact, legitimate media people.
The local Democratic party leaders who arranged Mr. Clinton’s visit seemed more interested in using San Jose as a backdrop, somewhat like a stage setting for at movie, than for a forum to appeal to San Jose voters via the local media.
The local Democratic party leadership (which is not necessarily headed up by the locally elected officials) was short on foresight and sophistication. Another instance that created controversy was someone named Amy who spoke front the podium. Not only was the crowd seemingly dismayed by her foul language but reacted as did a graduate Physics major named Mark, who said he was thoroughly “turned off by her” and that her “tasteless jokes were out of line.”
A number of Latinos, who are fluent in-written Spanish,-were astonished at a flyer in “Spanish” announcing the rally in which there were seven errors (either a missing accent mark or misspelled word) in its 15 short lines of text.
Over-all, however the crowd was happy to see Bill Clinton. Later, Clinton and his entourage visited the Technology Center in downtown San Jose. According to reports, that visit was to announce a program designed to assist Silicon Valley Technology businesses in their struggle to keep ahead and aﬂoat during these very hard and competitive days.
At that meeting a number of the most important Silicon industry Valley leaders, that previously were Republicans, endorsed Governor Clinton for President.
According to reports in the local daily, Mr. Clinton said that, as President, he would support capital gains tax cuts for companies who make investments that will result in job creation and make long term investments of ﬁve or more years. Across the board capital gains tax cuts have been a major goal of Mr. Bush since he came into office.
Some Valley industrialists, namely David Packard (partner of the Hewlett-Packard Co.) have pushed very hard for this revision. He is one of the wealthiest men in the world and, according to a recent West article, has control of much of the nation’s publicly owned (BLM) land.
Packard, and a number of other high tech company owners, have been adamant that the government favor their industry in reduced or eliminated capital gains taxes – even with the budget deficit and the enormous need for tax money to pay for education and health services in the United States.
Even when meeting with the owners and CEO’s of some of the world’s wealthiest people, Clinton is reported to have reaffirmed his belief that the very wealthy should pay a higher tax rate than middle and low income people. According to Bartless and Steele in their book, “What Went Wrong with America,” it has been the tax policies of the Reagan and Bush republican administrations that have almost destroyed the middle class in the United States and greatly added to the enormous national debt that is largely to blame for the current very deep recession the nation is experiencing.
According to Bob Arnold, an economist from the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, California has lost 700,000 out of 14 million jobs; Santa Clara County lost 16,000 to 20,000 in that same time period (1990 to the present). He says that although the Valley has been seriously affected, it is doing better than the rest of the country.
Among several other problems, Mr. Anold says that education is “the key,” not only for the individual, but for the economic health of the Valley (and the nation). He said that the attitude toward education must end.”
Arnold urges that government and industry must “combine their efforts“ in order to reduce the real interest rates by ﬁrst reducing the enormous national debt and encouraging national/state policies that reduce competition between states and regions.
Arnold says that what is needed in this Valley is the ability to change and to adapt in order to retain a vital local economy. This Valley has had an enormous impact on the nation to do so, providing that there is attention to so the key areas like education, the containment of health care costs and the national debt.
The importance of education and its value seemed paramount to the large student population in attendance on the Clinton appearance. They loudly cheered Governor Clinton when he suggested that more help was needed to help students make it through college. They also cheered when he recommended that one way for student loan recipients to repay their debt, would be by having them work, “one or two years,” in law enforcement, nursing homes, as teachers or special programs in the inner cities.
In approximately 45 more days, the nation’s voters will decide who will be the next President of the United States. In California, there are numerous ballot measures – some that serious evaluation, such as, Proposition 165, which would give Governor Wilson absolute control of the California general fund (the budget that determines the amount of money for welfare, education and other statewide programs).
San Joseans in District 2. (Pat Shcrum vs. Charlotte Powers); District 4 (Carl Lindstrom vs. Margie Fernandez) and District 8 (Patricia Martinez-Rocha vs. Cathy Cole) will be selecting new persons to represent those districts.
Remember to register to vote – volunteer for your candidates and become properly informed on the propositions on the ballot (they can cost us needless expense, reflect the wrong priorities, take important powers away front the control of the electorate or worse and some are beneﬁcial to the residents of the State).
For information on voters registration and translation in Spanish or Vietnamese of the November 3 ballot, contact the Register of Voters at 298-7400. © La Oferta Newspaper.