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LABJ FORUM – Divided Electorate

LABJ FORUM – Divided Electorate

With the Democratic National Convention finishing up last week, several recent polls have given Sen. John Kerry a slight edge over President Bush but the race remains too close to call. What’s especially striking this year is the large percentage of Americans who say they have already made up their mind, limiting the potential “swing” vote. So the Business Journal asks:

Have you decided who will get your vote yet?

Dan Pulos

Chief Executive

S2K Graphics Inc.

Yes, my mind has been made based on who is going to create the more solid business environment for our company and the economy in general. I just look at the voting records and apply the basic laws of Economics 101 and it becomes real obvious who understands how things get done in this country. The news usually just reinforces what is already known. I’m going to watch the debates, but I can’t foresee anything new that either candidate will say. Actions speak a lot louder than words and their voting records speak volumes.

I. Donald Weissman

Of Counsel, Wasserman Comden Casselman & Pearson LLP

I’ve already made my mind up. The party I’ve selected could only dissuade me if they said something I would find offensive to my personal politics or my ideas about the economy. That has happened. A few elections back, it wasn’t the party per se, but one of the candidates said something offensive to me and it did change my vote. It was a congressional candidate. I believe the policies of that individual had changed and were in conflict with what I thought was appropriate, and it turned out the other candidate was more in line with my personal beliefs.

Jeffrey Henderson

Executive Director

Bixby Knolls BID

I do know who I’m voting for. My decision is putting my spin on it too. I wish the election process wasn’t so long, though. It’s a lot of wasted money that could be used elsewhere.

Merv Watkins

Owner, President

Convaid Inc.

Yes, I have. I’m probably unique to the extent that I don’t take my personal business fortunes into account. I vote strictly on the basis of morality. It’s not necessarily religious, but my own basic sense of right and wrong. You have to look mostly at the candidates’ actions, because words are cheap. I look at policies primarily; their private lives wouldn’t influence my vote, unless it’s someone like Kenneth Lay. If he ran for office I certainly wouldn’t vote for him.

Donald Lee

Sales Manager

Young Systems Corp.

I’m Korean, so I’m concerned with U.S. policy dealing with North Korea and how to finish up our involvement with Iraq. Hopefully the next presidency, either Bush or Kerry, will put more effort to get more participation internationally, instead of going it alone. I’m pretty much 95 percent decided, but there’s so much new information, and one piece could change everything. I try to look at both sides objectively instead of stubbornly adhering to one side.

Sara Campbell

Senior Curator

Norton Simon Museum of Art

Yes, based upon the issues and what I’ve read and heard the candidates say in the news for the last four years. I’m not waiting to hear the speeches at the conventions. I depend mainly on what I see from the news. I look at the L.A. Times, The New York Times, public television, CNN, and network television last. I’ve done it this way for the last 40 years.

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