Tuesday, April 19, 2005

''Dean goes to heart of GOP''

"NAPLES - You seldom see big name Democrats campaigning in Collier County. Why bother, many politicians reason, when Republicans always win big in this conservative stronghold, where fewer than one-in-four voters are Democrats? It's time to change that, Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean told nearly 500 southwest Florida Democrats on Monday night. "The first rule in winning is to show up - show up, say who you are, say what you stand for," he declared. Remember Howard Dean, the Internet-fueled presidential campaign phenomenon? The Iowa screamer? If it seems the blunt-talking doctor and former Vermont governor hasn't had much to say lately, that's because he has been keeping his head low and spending a lot of time in Republican strongholds like Kansas, Mississippi and Collier County. Two months after his election as national party boss, he is starting to speak up. He was back in the national news again this weekend after vowing to make sure voters in 2006 and 2008 won't forget how Republican leaders intervened in the case of Terri Schiavo. "It's a character issue and a values issue. The Republicans are willing to reach into our personal lives at any moment," Dean told the St. Petersburg Times , dismissing the notion that the controversy would fade with time. "There is a deep scar on the American psyche," he said. "This is a great tragedy for the American people and I think the behavior of the governor (Jeb Bush) and the president and the senator (Mel Martinez) is something that will long be remembered."-from the story today in the St. Petersburg Times (FLA).

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