Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Gore scrambles to visit state




By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Under pressure to make a campaign appearance in Kentucky, Democratic presidential hopeful Al Gore is trying to schedule a Labor Day visit to Louisville.

        Jonathan Beeton, the Kentucky spokesman for the Gore/Lieberman ticket, said Tuesdaythat Mr. Gore's Nashville campaign has not made an official announcement “but is working to make this happen Monday.”

        Mr. Gore is considering coming to Kentucky as part of a trip to the campaign “battleground” states, said Mr. Beeton, who works in the state Democratic Party headquarters in Frankfort.

        “No decision has been made, but it's very likely this is going to happen,” he said.

        Mr. Gore is facing new criticism from Republicans and mounting pressure from leaders of his own party in Kentucky. Mr. Gore has made one campaign visit to Kentucky this year, a June 20 event in Lexington that he cut short to return to Washington.

        By contrast, Republican candidate George W. Bush is scheduled to make his ninth visit Thursday, stopping in Louisville to visit a school and officially open his state campaign headquarters.

        Gov. Paul Patton, Lexington Mayor Pam Miller and Louisville businessman Charlie Owen, chairman of Mr. Gore's Kentucky campaign, are among the Democrats who have asked Mr. Gore to Kentucky.

        To further goad Mr. Gore's campaign, the Republican Party of Kentucky sent out a press release Tuesday with a picture of Mr. Gore headlined, “Have you seen this man?”

        The press release said: “Interested Kentuckians are eager to hear first-hand the vice president's views on tobacco, coal and the internal combustion engine. Unfortunately, though, Gore continues to duck Kentuckians and their questions about the issues that are important to them.”

        Kentucky Republican Party Chairwoman Ellen Williams called Mr. Gore's absence in Kentucky “a slap in the face” to tobacco farmers, auto workers and coal miners.

       



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