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By virtue of his experience, leadership, fiscal responsibility and concern for the welfare of the American people, we encourage you to vote for Al Gore as president of the United States on November 7. Over the last eight years, Gore has proven himself a capable deputy to President Clinton, redefining the role of the vice president in the process. For all his flaws, he has ably emerged from Clinton's shadow and outlined a plan for the American people that will best perpetuate this period of prosperity and provide for those left behind by the currents of the new economy. Votes for Gore are particularly crucial in Pennsylvania, a swing state where Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush are running neck-and-neck in the polls. Its 23 electoral votes may determine who inherits the Oval Office. Green Party candidate Ralph Nader is popular in Pennsylvania and on college campuses nationwide, but if you're thinking about voting for Nader, don't. Consider if you want to jeopardize the environment, consumer safety and abortion rights by tipping the electoral vote to Governor Bush. Voters may respect Nader's integrity and be wooed by Bush's charm, but Gore is the only candidate to bring to the table a socially and fiscally responsible vision for America in the 21st century. Economists are predicting budget surpluses above $4 trillion over the next decade, and each candidate has promised a combination of tax relief, increased spending and entitlement support. But while Bush would spend a hefty $1.3 trillion on a tax cut favoring the wealthiest Americans, Gore intends to put our fiscal house in order -- to see that this bounty benefits future generations -- by retiring the $3.6 trillion national debt. Eight years ago, our staggering debt threatened to overwhelm the national treasury as interest payments came to consume one out of every 10 federal budget dollars. Today, we have the chance to relieve ourselves and future generations of this burden, and it is an opportunity we must not squander. Gore also presents the more responsible stance on social policy. He would continue the fight to keep guns off the street. He stands in opposition to school prayer and in support of affirmative action and a woman's right to choose. And with his emphasis on ecologically friendly development, Gore may successfully bridge the competing imperatives of economic growth and environmental protection. Bush does deserve credit for his recognition that in our nation's deteriorating public schools, desperate times call for desperate measures. While the government's emphasis on local control may only exacerbate the inequality between rich and poor, his willingness to experiment with bold and innovative solutions should be embraced by the next administration. But in the realm of foreign affairs, Bush has not proven himself worthy of the highest elected office in the land. He plans to compensate for his utter lack of knowledge by taking on wise advisers, but we need a commander-in-chief who leads, not follows. Gore, who has taken the lead on national security issues over the last eight years and represented our interests abroad, has the necessary experience and judgment to handle the uncertainties and opportunities of this era of globalization. Al Gore is not a perfect man, nor a perfect candidate. His tendency to stretch the truth and his involvement in recent fundraising scandals are troubling. But Gore has demonstrated a willingness to transcend the mistakes of the past; what is important is not that he improperly raised funds in 1996, but that campaign finance reform would be his top legislative priority in 2001. Bush, on the other hand, has a history of glibly neglecting the details of his own proposals and deferring to the judgment of his subordinates. In his six years as governor of Texas, health care and the environment have suffered terribly. What's worse, Bush's idea of governance is to focus on a handful of issues to the detriment of other concerns; the president does not have that luxury. History will judge this period by how well we capitalize on unprecedented prosperity at home and confront an increasingly interdependent but volatile world. In this campaign, Gore has most clearly and articulately defined a vision of how America will face these twin challenges. For that, he deserves your vote.

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