Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) urged Monroe County voters, as well as voters across New York State, to support Democratic Party candidates’ bids in next Tuesday’s elections during a speech given at Monroe Community College on Wednesday. She urged the audience to also take time to encourage others to vote for the Democratic party as well, because failing to bring the Democratic Party back to power in Washington, she said, would hurt upstate New York and the nation’s prospects for the future.

‘We have had eight years of failed policy on every front and we know that people are feeling the effects of this misguided leadership,” Clinton said. ‘We have six days left until the election, six days to convince the unconvinced and persuade those who might otherwise not vote how much is at stake for them.”

The event was sponsored by the Monroe Doctrine, the student newspaper, and MCC’s Rock the Vote Committee and was organized to build support for upstate New York’s Congressional candidates Dan Maffei, Alice Kryzan and Eric Massa, billed as the Rochester Triple Threat. Also appearing at the rally were Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy and New York State Senate candidate Rick Dollinger.

Clinton said that electing Senator Barack Obama whose experience as an Illinois senator gives him a grasp on urban, rural and suburban issues and the New York Democrats to Congress are integral to the state’s future. This would ensure New York a more receptive partner in the White House, which is especially important now because of the current financial situation in New York.

‘It took a democratic president to clean up after the first President Bush, and it’s going to take another democratic president to clean up after the second President Bush,” Clinton said.

The upcoming election has received noticeable interest among young voters, Clinton noted, because of the key issues, such as job creation, college affordability and the environment, resonate with them more than other groups.

‘The problems that we confront today will have a greater effect on the young people of New York and America than they will on Alice and Eric and me,” Clinton said. ‘We need young people to vote for their futures.”

When asked about the economic situation’s impact on college affordability, Clinton responded that, while she has worked to expand Pell grants and secure low-interest loans for students, the scarcity of low-interest credit has limited what can be done by the government.

‘Once we get the economy back on track, we will once again open the pipeline to loans for young people,” Clinton said. ‘Investing in a young person’s education is not just good for the individual, it’s good for the country.”

Clinton added that while young people’s excitement about the election was positive, they still have to go to the polls on Tuesday if they really want to make a difference.

‘If you come to a rally, great, if you make phone calls, terrific, but if you don’t vote you haven’t really done your part,” she said.

Though New York is not a presidential swing state, it does have a large Congressional delegation that represents its residents’ interests. Clinton implored the rally’s attendees to elect Maffei, Kryzan and Massa to ensure that upstate New Yorkers’ needs, such as affordable health care and a revival of the manufacturing sector through green collar jobs, are represented in the next administration.

‘When our new president moves in, he’s going to need help, help from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue,” Clinton said. ‘The president proposes but the Congress disposes.”

Maffei served as a Congressional staffer for years, working for former Senators Bill Bradley and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Representative Charles Rangel and Representative nominee Alice Kryzan.

Massa was a Navy officer for 24 years and, after retiring, joined the House Armed Services Committee as a staff member. He resigned due to his opposition to plans for the Iraq War and left the Republican Party as well.

The Democrat and Chronicle has endorsed Maffei’s bid for the 25th district’s seat and Kryzan’s bid for the 26th district’s seat, but has endorsed incumbent republican Randy Kuhl over Massa for the 29th district’s seat.

Maffei and Massa lost to incumbent republicans by narrow margins in the 2006 midterm elections.

Recent polling data has showed Massa leading Kuhl by five to seven percent, which might have contributed to Clinton’s sense of optimism going into Tuesday’s election.

‘I’m very hopeful about the outcome for our state on Tuesday,” Clinton said.

Fleming is a member of the class of 2010.

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