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Moore to slackers: Arise for Kerry (Filmmaker battles hecklers for two hours-Tucson)
Filmmaker Michael Moore brought his "Slacker Uprising" tour to a sold-out McKale Center on Monday, urging young people who usually avoid voting to cast a ballot for John Kerry this year.
Moore proposed a new slacker creed: "Sleep till noon, drink beer and vote for John Kerry."
As he did in 21 other venues across the nation during this tour, Moore promised to reward slacker women with a week's supply of Ramen noodles and clean underwear for the men.
Moore battled hecklers throughout his two-hour speech and a number of them were escorted from McKale by University of Arizona police.
In addition to urging the election of Kerry and the defeat of President Bush, Moore also urged defeat of Proposition 200, saying that unless you are an American Indian or a descendant of slaves, you're here because your ancestors came to America "by hook or by crook."
Prop. 200 will be voted on in Arizona on Nov. 2. If passed, it would require residents to provide proof of citizenship in order to vote and to be legal residents to receive certain types of government services.
Moore addressed the controversy over his appearance on campus and the call by college Republicans to balance his pre-election visit with a popular conservative speaker.
"They tried to find a Republican who could bring out 15,000 people and they couldn't find one," he said. "It's not my fault."
Moore said the McKale crowd set a record for the tour and thanked the boisterous Republicans for showing up, saying otherwise Gainesville, Fla., would still be No. 1.
During his presentation, Moore read letters from troops stationed in Iraq that echoed his view that the war was unnecessary. He also took on the "mantras" that Republicans repeat about Kerry, saying they only know three things to say: That he flip-flops, that he's the biggest liberal in the U.S. Senate and that if he's elected "we will all die."
Moore questioned how Kerry could flip-flop and still preserve his record as America's most liberal senator.
He was joined on stage briefly by Tucson singer Linda Ronstadt, who had received criticism for dedicating the song "Desperado" to Moore during her recent concert tour. (insert...I'm surprised the stage didn't collapse with 3-tons of fat sh!t on it).
At a press conference before the event, Ronstadt defended the right of artists to speak their minds in the political arena. "We didn't turn in our citizenship when we became singers or dancers or actors or writers," she said.
She told the McKale crowd to talk to their relatives and friends about the upcoming election, saying she has a Republican and a Democratic brother and the Republican is voting for Kerry this time.
Moore's appearances have been met with counterdemonstrations, cancellations and even calls for his arrest.
In Michigan, the state Republican Party asked prosecutors to indict Moore for illegally buying votes, citing the "gag" gifts of clean underwear and packages of Ramen noodles that Moore gives out at appearances.
On his Web site, Moore said he responded by filing a report with the Lansing, Mich., Police Department that said "someone has stolen both the brains and the sense of humor from the Michigan Republican Party."
No state money was used for Moore's UA appearance, but the UA College Republicans charged imbalance in the speaker series sponsored by the Associated Students of the University of Arizona.
On a petition signed by more than 1,000 students and local Republicans, they demanded a visit by a "name" speaker who supported the president before the election.
ASUA President Alistair J. Chapman said the UA was trying to book a conservative personality when the College Republicans beat them to it, arranging a visit by conservative columnist and author Ann Coulter on Oct. 21 at Centennial Hall.
The UA College Republicans rallied for President Bush outside McKale on Monday chant-ing "four more years."
Brian Tukey, 18 and a freshman business major, said he was there "to show support for the president, and because I think Michael Moore uses his illegitimately earned position really terribly."
"He just says half-truths to the people," Tukey said. He also accused Moore of hypocrisy for being a rich person who pretends he's a common man.
Inside, the Young Republicans joined with other anti-Moore voices to chant "Four more years" and other slogans.
Moore responded: "Some of our Republican brothers and sisters are here tonight. Here's the difference. At our rallies, you don't have to sign a loyalty oath to get in. You're welcome," he told the protesters. (Yeh...wait till the Protest Warrior movie of your march is released on Sunday...then fatass we'll see how "welcome" we were made to feel in NYC on 8/29!
But some of those protesters were ejected. Wes Meeker, 21, a junior studying business economics and a member of the UA College Republicans, said he was told to leave simply for expressing his views. "People were throwing ice at us, calling us Nazis," he said. (So much for free speech, huh fatass?)
But the crowd of 14,500 was overwhelmingly supportive of Moore.
One woman said his is a necessary voice in these times.
Betsy Dokken, 44 and a nurse practitioner at University Medical Center, was outside McKale hoping to snag a couple of tickets. "Michael Moore is one of my heroes these days," Dokken said. "He speaks out and I know he is radical and he's over the top, but he's getting a lot of people's attention."
Dokken said the Bush administration and the religious right have brainwashed America.
"It's this hypnotic spell, I'll do whatever my government tells me to," she said.
Love him or hate him, Moore has unarguably found an audience for his message this election year.
"Fahrenheit 9/11," which details the Oscar-winning director's case against Bush for wrongly leading the country to war, made more money than any other documentary - $119 million in box-office sales. The DVD version, released last week, sold 2 million copies in the first day, 1.4 million of them bought by video rental chains. On Monday, it was second on Amazon.com's list of DVD best-sellers.
Moore also has two books and two music collections aimed at "regime change."
$119 million has been earned in box-office sales, more than any other documentary. 2 million copies of the DVD were sold the first day of release, and Monday it hit No. 2 on Amazon.com's best-seller list.