The Times - Democratic Candidates Visit Frankfort
Jill Long Thompson, the Democratic candidate for Indiana governor, and running mate Dennie Oxley distanced themselves from Gov. Mitch Daniels and his policies at a political rally Wednesday morning in Frankfort.
The duo stopped at Flavors with This & That Coffee House & Deli, 63 E. Clinton St., for an approximately 45-minute discussion with about 40 citizens and county leaders.
While positioning herself as a "partner in change" with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, Long Thompson and Oxley pepped up the crowd.
"It's clear to me we cannot afford four more years of (President) Bush-Daniels policies here or anywhere," Long Thompson said.
She said the state has its highest unemployment rate in 21 years and almost one-third of Indiana's students drop out of high school.
Long Thompson's "One Indiana Plan" to fix the state's economy will reorganize the tax structure to assist working families, she said.
Gov. Daniels seems to believe the economy remains in good shape, Oxley positioned.
"We have a governor in office who is out of touch with working men and women and we need to send him packing," he said.
From the first day of their administration, he and Long Thompson would work to fix the economy, Oxley added.
Long Thompson asked audience members how many first-time voters were in attendance, and when a few raised their hands, she urged them to vote.
"I believe that the young people of the country really are going to make a difference," she said.
While speaking with The Times following the rally, Long Thompson promoted job creation as an important part of her plan. With Daniels in charge, she said, jobs in which people make $70,000 a year have been lost and replaced with those paying $43,000.
When questioned about Obama's controversial "spread the wealth around" comment stated to an Ohio plumber, she provided a simple interpretation of what he meant.
"People of all income levels," Long Thompson said, "their taxes should be fair."
Timothy Moss, 23, an expected first-time voter and student of the Frankfort Adult Learning Center, never possessed an interest in politics until this election, he said.
After discussing the key issues with a friend, Moss said, his thoughts were altered.
Although he initially was an undecided voter, he now plans to add one vote to Long Thompson's total because of her opinions on a couple topics.
"Basically about her unemployment (concerns) and also her schools," Moss said, "her education."
Moss only recently began receiving a sufficient amount of education for himself, he said, which caused his concern about the issue to sprout.
Clinton County Democratic Chairman John Bonecutter left impressed with the size of the crowd. He urged everyone to vote.
Bonecutter reminds those desiring to cast an absentee ballot they may do so until noon Monday.