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AOPA builds important relationships at Democratic conventionAOPA builds important relationships at Democratic convention

AOPA builds important relationships at Democratic convention

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Sen. Hollings and Bill Deere
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Bill Deere and Rep. Oberstar

Calling himself "his own man," Vice President Al Gore brought the Democratic National Convention to a close on Thursday evening. Drawing on the traditional Democratic themes of education and social security, Gore sought to energize the Democratic base by outlining a long list of policy proposals he hopes will draw a distinction between himself and Texas Governor George W. Bush. In contrast, the Republicans, who have already solidified their base, used their convention in Philadelphia to reach out to independent voters who have yet to make up their minds.

AOPA Legislative Affairs was on hand for the convention this week, once again attempting to battle the strong presence of the major airlines. As the only GA presence in Los Angeles, AOPA Legislative Affairs spent the week avoiding protestors to attend fundraisers and briefings with key Democratic legislators and their staffs. AOPA Legislative Affairs Executive Vice President Bill Deere and PAC Director John Williams were able to capture valuable "face time" with a range of Democratic lawmakers, including House Transportation Committee Ranking Minority Member Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Minority Member Ernest "Fritz" Hollings (D-S.C), both of whom have jurisdiction over aviation.

"You don't get much 'lobbying' done during a convention, but the personal relationships that you build with these lawmakers are extraordinarily important when the time comes to talk to them about aviation issues back in Washington," said Deere.

Having received their party's nominations, Gore and Bush will step up their campaigning and begin to prepare for the fall debates. The next major hurdle in the race for the presidency.

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August 18, 2000

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