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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - February 25, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania JVltmma Ultrror Copyright 2001 SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2001 newsstand IN LIFE Private eye tells you how to find someone IN BUSINESS Restaurants, groups to cash in on Lent 9TH DISTRICT CONGRESS PROFILE One door at a time Energetic Conklin fights uphill battle, house by house EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a series of profiles on the candidates for the 9th District seat in the U.S. Congress. BY WILLIAM KIBLER Staff Writer It's the Scott Conklin campaign and the candidate is ON. He's hustling. He's with a reporter in the West Chestnut Avenue area of Altoona, and it's hard to keep up. The pace is forced. He's walking briskly house-to-house, peering at the voter registration list he car- ries, veering back and forth across the street to save time, knocking on doors, turning resi- dents' blank looks of inquiry and even outright mistrust into recog- nition, approval and promises to vote for him. They offer a glad hand, a smile, even once an "OK, dear one, you're persuading from an older woman. There's no talk of lunch. It's just 80 days to the May 15 special elec- tion, and this is the opportunity of a lifetime for Conklin. Bud Shuster's retirement took nearly everyone by surprise. If his son Bill, the Republican candi- date, wins, the power of the incumbency in this 58 percent Republican district is so strong it would make no sense for Conklin even to run again, he says. So he's going door-to-door. Door-to-door campaigning may be ideal for township supervisor races and fine for county commis- sioner races, but experts say it's a marginal tactic for something as big as a congressional race with a district of people, especial- ly when it's compressed into 80 days. But door-to-doqr is a staple of Conklin's campaign style. He's already in his fourth coun- ty of the campaign so far. Before it's all over, he'll be door-to-door not only in all 11 counties, but in all of them repeatedly, especially Blair, Bill Shuster's home and one of tile keys to victory, Conklin believes. As a congressman, Conklin says he'd concentrate on education, cre- ating jobs, strengthening Social Security and bringing money for projects back home. When asked why he wants to become a congressman, he cites the octopus theory of government and says he wants to go where the brain federal government, where lots of the control originates. Please see A6 Mirror photo by Jason Sipes Scott Conklin gets campaign material from his Volkswagen Beetle during a recent stumping session in Altoona.. Campaign finance answers due thisweek BY WILLIAM KIBLER StaffWriter Scott Conklin will find out this week if high-powered Democrats are willing to put their money where his mouth is in the race for the 9th District congressional seat. Conklin will meet with official from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Wednesday to discuss his campaign budget and how the committee could support him. Published reports have speculated that the committee won't be willing to invest much in the heavily Republican area, but Conklin isn't buying that theory. "It would be a total shock if they're not supporting he said. Conklin expects it might cost a total of to run the kind of campaign he'd like. But he can't say now what he'll ask the Democratic Committee to contribute. "We look forward to talking with him and wjll do whatever we can to help said Erik Smith, a committee spokesman. Smith wouldn't discuss how much the organization could afford or would be willing to give or what factors would come into play in the decision including the question of whether it's a winnable seat for a Democrat. "It's not my place to say if it's Smith said. The committee probably will contribute to the campaign but won't target it as a primary objective, predicted Terry Madonna, political science professor at Millersville University. "If they don't think they can win, they're not going to put in a lot of Madonna said. Smith wouldn't comment on reports the committee is short of funds. Conklin is pro-life, pro-gun and pro-business, which doesn't endear him to some mainstream Democratic groups. But he doesn't plan to modify any of those positions as a condition of getting money from the committee. "Money won't buy how I feel about Conklin said. Please see A6 DEMOCRATIC DEBATE Texans weary of gun stance BY EUNICE Moscoso Cox News Service WASHINGTON Some conservative Democrats have three words of advice for their party leaders: drop gun control. "This is not an issue that helps-the Democratic Party, particularly in rural said Rep. Jim Turner, D-Texas. "Those of us who believe in the Second Amendment and the right of gun ownership have been pretty outspoken in telling our friends [that] this is an issue they need to leave alone." Turner and other House Democrats, includ- ing Texans Max Sandlin and Ralph Hall, are concerned about renewed efforts to push gun control in Congress. Two powerful Liebernian, D-Conn., and John McCain, R-Ariz. are working on a bill that would increase back- ground checks at gun shows and provide SdQi- tional money to enforce existing laws. In addition, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., is plan- ning to introduce a measure that would inan- date background checks for all buyers at gun shows and expand the definition of a gun show to include events such'-as'flea markets and swap meets where firearms are not the main product sold. The Texas lawmakers said gun control efforts have hurt Democrats, including former Vice President Al Gore. "If the Democrats and the Gore campaign had not been so strident in opposition to gun rights there's absolutely no doubt that Vice President Gore would be Sandlin said. Please see A4 STARTING NEXT SUNDAY A six-month Mirror investigation finds that many area police departments, schools and municipali- ties routinely stretch, bend or flat out ignore the state's public records laws. No suitors in sight for car shop facility BY CRAIG WILLIAMS StaffWriter Despite the potential that 155 acres of industrial property offers, Norfolk Southern Corp. said Friday that no suitors have been found to move into the car shop in Hollidaysburg. "We have provided tours to sev- eral rail car repair and manufac- said Rudy Husband, Norfolk Southern spokesman. "We are not going to release the names, but since Nov. 2 we have had rib proposals whatsoever." The shop offers a complete and trained labor force of more than 300 skilled workers. As late as Monday, the Altoona Blair County Develop-ment Corp. said it was preparing to help the railroad find buyers or at least tenants by helping to create an industrial tax-free zone covering Please see A9 SONG AND DANCE Sandy Duncan performs in the musical "Together: A Celebration of Broadway's Best" Saturday at the Roosevelt Junior High School Auditorium in Altoona. Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec Bus firm stresses safety, amenities BY WILLIAM KIBLER Staff Writer The owner of a Duncansville trucking firm has revived the phone number and the careers of a few former Blue and White Lines executives. The new company, which has set its sights on high standards for safety and luxury, will get rolling in April. Baxter Caldwell, owner of truck- ing company Blair America, doesn't want his Fantasy Land Cruises tainted with Blue-and White's now black-and-blue image. But he bought the old phone number because agents and cus- tomers all over the country had it in then- Rolodexes, he said. He sought out Dwayne Bordell and Dennis Long of the old Blue and White management team Please see A9 Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 8 0 HI 7 I Lottery numbers, A2 Rain likely, Forecast, B2 Altnona Mirror [THE GREAT COMBINATION Call us today...Make money today. Ask for THE GREAT COMBINATION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and HOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422 or fax us at (814) 946-7547 Accidents Hospitals Obituaries Opinion Scoreboard A7 Al 1 _A11[ AS I Astrograph Movies Newsmakers .85 i Puzzles Strange Brew 83 j travel 7____ C9 C8 04 D3 D4 D6 Stocks CDs, Mutuals E4 Qcusunra Couples Q2 Yesteryear Q3
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