H Clinton calls criminalizing homelessness "wrong" - campaign

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Mon, 6 Dec 1999 15:15:35 -0800 (PST)


HILLARY contra RUDY for US Senator from New York:

If "opposing street sweeps" were "political hay", which "horses"
(candidates) would stand to gain the most votes?  How do you know?

Will politicians protect homeless people from abusive police & providers?
Why or why not?

See below for a related article, containing this quote:

``Breaking up families that are homeless is wrong. Criminalizing
the homeless with mass arrests for those whose only offense is that
they have no home is wrong,'' -- Hillary Rodham Clinton

http://newsfinder.arinet.com/fpweb/fp.dll/$stargeneral/htm/x_dv.htm/_ibyx/cg0302
6/_itox/starnet/_svc/news/_Id/627402960/_k/BLJ5LcgmAqB8b0mm
Associated Press - AP Wire Service - Dec 05 13:18

FIRST LADY STOPS LISTENING, STARTS TALKING - AN AP NEWS ANALYSIS

By MARC HUMBERT
AP Political Writer

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ A week after telling supporters it was
``time to get moving and get started'' on the campaign for next
year's Senate race, Hillary Rodham Clinton returned to New York to
launch a direct attack on Rudolph Giuliani.

The Tuesday appearance before black ministers in New York City
appeared to mark the end of the ``listening tour'' phase of Mrs.
Clinton's campaign and the launch of her ``talking tour.'' It was a
shift many of her New York supporters, and even some within her
close circle of advisers, said was too long in coming.

For months, the first lady had sidestepped attempts by reporters
to have her directly contrast her views with those of the mayor. On
Tuesday, she did.

Without mentioning Giuliani by name, she attacked his
administration's policy of locking up homeless people who refuse to
go into shelters and she lashed out at his plan to take children
away from parents on welfare who refuse to work in return for their
benefits.

``Breaking up families that are homeless is wrong. Criminalizing
the homeless with mass arrests for those whose only offense is that
they have no home is wrong,'' she said.

Mrs. Clinton noted that Christmas is a season that celebrates
``the birth of a homeless child.''

While Giuliani, in Texas raising campaign cash, quickly said
Mrs. Clinton misunderstood his policies and that he was really
trying to help the poor and homeless, as well as make the streets
safer, she dominated the news coverage.

``Hillary Clinton Attacks Arrests of Homeless,'' The New York
Times front-page headline read.

``Hill Turns Up The Heat,'' the New York Post's front page said.

``Hillary Paints Rudy as Scrooge,'' Newsday's headline read.

Later Tuesday, during a campaign stop in Buffalo, Mrs. Clinton
was asked if she had, in fact, decided to give up the listening
tour part of her campaign that she had launched in July when she
created her Senate exploratory committee. It had been designed to
familiarize her with New York issues, and introduce her to a state
in which she had never lived or worked.

``I keep listening and will continue to listen, but I'm also
going to speak out more, as I have today,'' she said.

A day earlier, in a move designed to underscore her new status
as ``candidate'' Hillary Clinton, aides to the first lady had the
word ``exploratory'' removed from the name of her campaign
committee. It is now simply the ``Hillary Rodham Clinton for U.S.
Senate Committee.''

In the wake of Mrs. Clinton's direct attack on Giuliani, her
advisers were boasting about the new aggressiveness of the
campaign. She was ready to take the fight to the mayor, they said.

In fact, for weeks, the Clinton campaign had been plagued by
reports that she had a ``tin ear'' when it came to campaigning and
was making missteps that could doom her in the high-pressure world
of New York politics. New York supporters, including state party
Chairwoman Judith Hope, were openly beseeching Mrs. Clinton to drop
her first lady duties and concentrate on the campaign.

If nothing else, the Tuesday attack served to demonstrate that
the Clinton team was trying to bring some focus to the effort. It
sought to reinforce campaign themes that she is a caring person
while her likely opponent is mean-spirited. The Clinton camp said
polling information showed Giuliani was vulnerable on the issues.

Independent polling had also demonstrated that Mrs. Clinton, as
a candidate, had been languishing for months. While her support,
according to the Quinnipiac College Polling Institute, had stood at
54 percent in February, it had slipped to 45 percent by July and
was at 42 percent last month.

Meanwhile, Giuliani's support, as measured by the Hamden,
Conn.-based institute, had risen from 36 percent in February to 45
percent in July and 47 percent last month.

That alone was a clear message to the Clinton team that it might
be time to get something going. Of course, the same could be said
of the Giuliani numbers. In reality, the polls have shown little
real movement in the past five months.
___
Marc Humbert has covered New York politics for The Associated
Press for more than 20 years.

AP-ES-12-05-99 1418EST
Received  Id AP993393C4483B7 on Dec 05 1999 13:18

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