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the Body Politic
Vol. 8, No. 5 - Sep/Oct 1998, Page 16
Copyright © 1998, 1999 by the Body Politic Inc.
Eyes Right

Randall Terry Is A Great Guy

by Anne Bower

OK, now. I know some of you might disagree with me, but I've been watching Randall Terry's election commercials since last Fall and maybe I mis-judged him. I mean, he's got a nice family. They were on TV with him at Christmas and this week his adopted son, Jamiel, was right on my set telling me what a great guy his Dad is and how it's mean that all these people are beating up on him, comparing him to David Duke and saying he is "intolerant."

Randall Terry

Who's attacking his Dad? Is it that nasty old liberal incumbent Democrat, Maurice Hinchey, who Randy is going to beat in November? Why no, it's Randy's own party, the nasty old Republicans in the form of an independent expenditure campaign financed by the Foundation for Responsible Government, a group of apparently pro-choice Republicans (yes, Virginia, there are pro-choice Republicans) who are appalled that Randy is running in their party.

And well they should be. When I found out last year that Mr. Terry was planning on being my representative to Congress my first response was a side-splitting laugh. In 1996, while Bob Dole was desperately trying to be my President, Randy was trashing him AND the Republicans every day on his radio show, Randall Terry Live! His continuing mantra to anyone that called was, "there's not a dime's worth of difference between either of them."

Well, there certainly is at least a quarter's worth of difference between Randy and the New York State Republicans. I've lived in this district for 33 years. My county is very Republican and during the past half dozen year, those reps have become anti-choice, but even though they don't support abortion rights, they also don't support Randall Terry and worry that he will draw off votes from their candidate, Bud Walker. If Walker had been the candidate in the 1996 election, it's possible that Hinchey might have lost. Walker didn't run because some right-wing elements of the party foisted off their candidate, Sue Wittig, who did worse against Hinchey than any of the previous candidates.

This election, the moderate republicans have a rogue campaign financed by contributions from all over the country to contend with and they can't be very happy. Terry has raised gobs of money -- over $700,000 at last count. He has been doing telephone polling, solicitations by phone and mail and TV commercials. He has a dedicated and hard working campaign staff and will be in the fight to the end.

My prediction (and I seldom predict) is that he will lose the primary on September, 15th, run on the Right-to-Life line, and will NOT win in November. (Who will, I won't predict.) But one thing I am sure, Terry will be back in there pitching in the next election. And why shouldn't he be -- according to his commercials, he's a great guy!


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