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THE BLADE

news


Metzenbaum blasts Cheney in talk with Ohio delegates

August 16, 2000

LOS ANGELES - Coffee wasn't the only jolt that Ohio Democrats got when they gathered for breakfast yesterday morning.

Fresh from talking to Iowa Democrats, former U.S. Sen. Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio walked slowly into the ballroom at the Westin Century Plaza, where the Ohio Democrats are staying.

He lashed into Dick Cheney, the former Wyoming congressman and Defense Secretary who is Republican George W. Bush's running mate.

"Bush has made only one decision. Who would be his vice president? Bush is from the oil industry. So who did he pick? Dick Cheney, from the oil industry," Mr. Metzenbaum said.

Mr. Metzenbaum then went on to criticize Mr. Cheney's voting record on gun control, abortion rights, equal rights for women, and Nelson Mandela.

But the former U.S. senator was not overconfident about Democrat Al Gore's campaign to maintain control of the White House.

He said it is important to talk about someone that Democrats are trying to avoid: Ralph Nader, the Green Party candidate running for president.

Environmental questions

As supporters of Mr. Gore tout his environmental record, Terri Swearingen tried to get her message through to the press - not an easy task when you need special credentials to get to the media center.

"All of these young people, especially if they have not been in the grass-roots movement, think Al Gore is an environmentalist because he wrote a book," said Ms. Swearingen, the leading foe of the Waste Technologies Industries incinerator in East Liverpool, O.

In 1992, Mr. Gore released a statement about WTI, which is 300 feet from the closest homes and 1,100 feet from an elementary school.

Mr. Gore said "serious questions concerning the safety of an East Liverpool, O., hazardous-waste incinerator must be answered before the plant may begin operation. The new Clinton-Gore administration will not issue the plant a test-burn permit until these questions are answered."

Four months later, the Clinton administration issued a temporary test burn to WTI, and backers of the incinerator said "sound science" had prevailed.

Ohio Citizen Action, the statewide consumer and environmental group, has produced a 30-second ad and is trying to raise at least $20,000 to air it in battleground states where Mr. Gore campaigns.

The ad's narrator says: "Vice President Al Gore, this is your conscience speaking. Where have you been the past eight years?... Because you broke your promise, schoolchildren are breathing lead, mercury, and dioxin every day. You're going to keep hearing from me until you make things right."




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