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Kerry Stepson Heinz Stumps in the Northwest

by Erik Robinson, Columbian staff writer
The Columbian, October 9, 2004

Andre Heinz, the 34-year-old stepson of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, stumped for Kerry's election during a swing through the Northwest on Friday.

Heinz, in a telephone interview with The Columbian from Seattle on Friday, said he planned to watch Friday night's debate after a get-out-the-vote rally at the University of Washington. Speaking Friday afternoon before the debate, Heinz predicted President Bush would make a better impression with undecided voters than he did in the first presidential debate last week in Florida.

"He will leave his attitude and mistakes and scowls at the door," said Heinz, whose father is the late Republican Sen. John Heinz. "You'll see a much more likeable Bush."

Even so, Heinz expected Kerry to be successful by focusing on continuing violence in Iraq, the burden on middle-class taxpayers and health care.

"It will be painfully obvious that Bush and Cheney have a record of protecting the very few and the powerful," he said.

Heinz, who previously worked in Europe for a company advising government and industry about environmental sustainability, espoused a "carrot-and-stick" approach for improving the environment.

"A smart approach for any government is a carrot-and-stick approach, with more emphasis on the carrot, actually," he said. Heinz suggested tax credits for companies engaged in environmentally friendly practices.

James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, contended in a visit to Southwest Washington earlier this year that the millions of dollars spent in Columbia basin salmon recovery can be afforded because of a flourishing economy. He dismissed the idea of breaching four federal dams on the lower Snake River.

"It's through continuing economic growth that we can afford to pay for these conservation efforts," Connaughton told The Columbian. "In the absence of economic growth or greater revenues, we lose our ability to provide money for salmon recovery."

Heinz has a different view.

"For a long time, it was assumed that when you industrialized and attained higher standards of living, then society started to demand the luxuries wide-screen TVs and environmental protection," he said. "Now, we understand it's not quite so simple. You can make environmental improvements today, and continue to improve and make money on it."

Heinz said sound environmental practices such as recycling and using energy-efficient equipment can save money while conserving the environment. Although Heinz identified himself as a Republican while growing up, he said he's disappointed in Bush's leadership.

"There is absolutely nothing conservative about a $422 billion budget deficit, or a $4.4 trillion national debt, both of which see no end in sight," he said. "There is nothing conservative about invading another country. There is nothing conservative about nation-building. And there is nothing conservative about letting polluters rewrite environmental laws."

Erik Robinson, Columbian staff writer
Kerry Stepson Heinz Stumps in the Northwest
The Columbian, October 9, 2004

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