[singlepic id=468 w=320 h=240 float=right]James Niedzinski
In-between the sporadic bursts of rainstorms on Thursday, Sept. 29, former Louisiana Governor and presidential candidate Charles Elson “Buddy” Roemer III campaigned at Keene State College.
Roemer is one of many presidential candidates who are sure to pass through KSC, due to the fact that N.H. holds the first primary elections.
This marks Roemer’s fourth visit to KSC. He was brought here with the help of the Keene Sentinel and the American Democracy Project at KSC.
“Keene State is student-rich, which is what I need. The students here have no limits in their minds. Older generations limit what they see. Younger generations can bring more to the table,” Roemer said.
Shortly after dining on his personal pepperoni pizza purchased in the L.P. Young Student Center, Roemer answered a few questions presented by journalism students in the Lantern Room.
“This is a nation in trouble. The root of the problem is money, special interest money, and nobody is striking at the root of the problem,” Roemer said.
Roemer passionately voiced his hatred for special interest money, special interest groups, and the dishonesty in our political system.
“There is corruption of our political system that depends on money. Checks cut by big business that are written for the special interest groups and lobbyists,” Roemer said.
He also outlined his other political platforms. Roemer stated he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, and the right for gays to marry should be a state right, not a national right.
Shallyne Baez, a junior studying sociology, just began eating her food and chatting with friends when Roemer began to speak.
“I was just sitting here, I didn’t even know a presidential candidate was coming. I didn’t care for his opinion on welfare, but it was worth coming to. I gained knowledge from it,” Baez said.
William Pierce, Roemer’s press secretary, and Michael Trufant, his deputy director of communications, accompanied him on his visit.
Trufant won the Young Executive of the Year award in 1999 when he was the president of Cellular One of Baton Rouge. Former Gov. Roemer presented him with the award, and they have remained close since. Trufant has previously worked as a news photographer, cameraman, and as an insurance consultant. Currently, he is the owner and creator of N.H. Holdings, his consulting company.
“His message is that government is bought and paid for, therefore we have no real voice. This is a movement, he has gained a cult following, and his track record is solid,” Trufant said.
“I’ve taken 120 days off, with no pay. We have no money, no fundraising. Nobody knows who we are yet. I love the underdog, and I’m committed to his campaign as far as he’ll go,” Trufant said.
The Federal Election Commission currently allows one individual to contribute $2,500 to one candidate per election cycle.
Despite this, Roemer has declared the maximum donation amount he will allow is $100.
Following his address to students in the Lantern Room, Roemer then addressed approximately two dozen students and residents of Keene at 7 p.m. in the Mabel Brown Room.
“I’d like to thank all of you for coming. I’ve been around your campus quite a bit today. I’ve met students of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and philosophies. I think this country is in great trouble,” Roemer said.
He stated he is unlike any other candidate. He has no need for special interest money and will refuse to partner up with lobbyists.
“It’s not that I’m the smartest guy running. I may be the dumbest, I don’t know. But I do know I will be the most free candidate,” Roemer said.
Roemer also shared his opinions on the No Child Left Behind Act. He stated that former President Bush’s intentions were good, but the end result was more bureaucratic red tape.
“My foreign policy is nuclear non-proliferation. Iran is one of our biggest threats; however I would not attack them with the might of our armed forces. If I were president I would cease the importing of Iranian oil, and ask our allies to do the same,” Roemer said.
James Niedzinski can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.