Allard K. Lowenstein, former Democratic congressman from Long Island and founder of the 'Dump Johnson' movement in 1968, urged students yesterday to "make a decision soon to be Republicans or Democrats and work very hard through the primaries," warning that "you're ineffectual in the nominating procedure if you don't work through a party."
Lowenstein, along with Rep. Donald Riegle (R-Mich.) and Harvey Burg, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union in Boston, spoke to about 80 students in the Winthrop House JCR to help publicize a 'Register for Peace and New Priorities' voter registration rally scheduled for October 8, from noon to 7 p.m. in Boston's City Hall Plaza.
Lowenstein urged students to look beyond voting records when choosing to support candidates. "It can sometimes be harder to vote against than with the ADA. We're talking about something much more profound than a voting record. We tend to make it sound immoral to vote for reasons other than ideology," Lowenstein said.
Riegle, who is actively supporting a drive by Rep. Paul N. McCloskey (R-Calif.) to deny President Nixon The Republican Presidential nomination, said, "It is important now to make a hard fight in both parties to come up with two decent candidates."
Pros and Cons
Riegle urged students who have the option of registering to vote in Massachusetts instead of their home states to "weigh the pros and cons seriously. The New Hampshire primary, for instance, is the most important single political event before the election itself. If we beat Nixon there, he's done."
Riegle, when asked if he would support the Democratic nominee in the event McCloskey's effort failed, said that "it won't be difficult for me to take that step if the Democrats offer a legitimate candidate."
Lowenstein is not yet actively supporting any one presidential candidate. About Democratic front-runner Sen. Edmund Muskie (D-Maine), he said. "I'm not committed to the notion that he will or won't be an acceptable candidate. He's a potentially acceptable candidate, but a lot depends on the next six months."
Speakers at the October 8 rally will include five candidates for President; Senators George McGovern (D-S.D.), Birch Bayh (D-Ind.), and Muskie, and McCloskey and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich)