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October 1, 2023

About 20 RFK Jr. supporters rally at Ashland Plaza

Kelly Marcotulli, Ashland (right) waves to drivers as they pass the Plaza during the RFK Jr. rally in Ashland Tuesday. Bob Palermini photo
August 1, 2023

Maverick positions draw support for bid for 2024 Democratic presidential nomination

By Art Van Kraft for Ashland.news

A group of about 20 Robert F. Kennedy Jr. supporters gathered at Ashland Plaza at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday to show support for their candidate in the 2024 presidential campaign. Despite road construction, heavy traffic, an occasional bus and searing heat, the group cheerfully greeted drivers along East Main Street. 

While holding up one end of a banner and waving at honkers, Connie Sahlin said she came to Ashland today from Grants Pass to support hope. 

“I see somebody who’s not afraid to stand up to the corporations,” she said. “I see somebody who sees the problem and who’s more than aware about what he’s going up against and being willing to sacrifice whatever it is, to better America. I have hope and, gosh, if he doesn’t win, I’m moving out of the country. 

“If people are really going to turn a blind eye to what’s going on and turn their back on somebody that can actually make a difference, I don’t want to be here anymore.” 

Sahlin says she hasn’t voted in decades. “This is the first time I feel I have somebody to vote for,” she said. 

Connie Sahlin, Grants Pass (right) held the largest banner at the RFK Jr. rally on the Ashland Plaza Tuesday. Bob Palermini photo

Katherine Green is a former educator who lives outside of Ashland. She says she values education over political rhetoric. 

“I think we need an educated population,” she said. “I’ve watched the education level in this country drop since I was in education in the ‘seventies’70s. I think if people listened to Bobby Kennedy (Jr.) instead of listening to what is said about him, they would have a better understanding of what he stands for.

“I don’t think he holds any controversial opinions. I think powerful corporate forces who control our media are trying their very darndest to make him a horrifyingly scary candidate to people who don’t think for themselves. 

“It’s easier to read a tag line than to read a document to find out if there’s any truth there or not. I believe corporate media in this country is almost 100% captured. The biggest problem in our government is we’re having legislatures that are built to (satisfy) powerful corporate influences …. I think Bobby spent his life fighting against those.”

Green expressed respect for Kennedy’s track record, something she says is dismissed in the media. 

“I think Bobby has spent his life fighting against those powerful forces and they’ve managed to tar and feather him,” she said. 

The demonstration attracted people with political views across the spectrum. Larry Graves is a lifelong Republican with libertarian leanings. He says he would vote for the Democratic party “over my dead body.

A group of about 20 Robert F. Kennedy Jr. supporters held signs Tuesday, Aug. 1, as traffic went by the Ashland Plaza. Bob Palermini photo

“That makes me kind of an anomaly here in Ashland. I’m more comfortable with the classical liberal, the way liberals used to be 100 years ago.

“The Democratic Party is doing the same thing to Kennedy they did to Ron Paul, but Kennedy is more of a firebrand, I think,” Graves said.  

“I’m excited about RFK Jr.’s candidacy because he’s a very coherent, non-corrupt leader in our society and virtually no mainstream media are covering him. He’s being censored and I’m very much against censorship and corruption in government.  He represents to me the antidote to that.” he added. 

Kelly Marcotulli is a retired teacher from Los Angeles who moved to Ashland six years ago. Sporting a visored cap and large sunglasses, she tried to beat the midday heat. While she decried the need for more educated voters, she also is concerned about corruption that she says is purposefully overlooked.   

“He’s shining a light on topics that other candidates aren’t talking about,” she said. “There are a lot of political issues I’m on the same page with him on. If this guy makes me think, that’s what I want. We need critical thinking again in politics.

“I like his stance on examining the science, whether you’re talking about vaccines or talking about Wi-Fi. I’m wary because of the harm that’s done through the metabolic changes that happen within the brain. I support him because he’s the only one who is challenging the power of the pharmaceutical and telecom companies.”

Art Van Kraft is an artist living in Ashland and a former broadcast journalist and news director of a Los Angeles-area National Public Radio affiliate. Email him at artukraft@msn.com.

Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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