McCain Campaign Brings Star Power to Fresno

September 26, 2008 12:58:18 AM PDT
The Wall Street bailout plan is not being well received by folks on Main Street, or at the corner of Blackstone and Shaw in Fresno.Protestors gathered there Thursday, while just two hundred feet away at Fresno County GOP Headquarters, the McCain campaign got a movie stars endorsement.

While John McCain said he'd put his campaign on hold, in Fresno the campaign was on, with vocal support from legendary actor Jon Voight. Who brought the conservative crowd to laughter when he proclaimed, "I'm angry, and I won't take it anymore ... "

Voight came to local Republican Party Headquarters to show his support for John McCain's effort to work on the bailout. His anger was just for laughs. But just outside on the street, there were folks expressing some real frustration at the bailout.

About twenty protestors holding signs chanted; "Main street before Wall Street. No Bail Out!"

The protestors were taking part in a nationwide call to speak out against Washington's efforts to come to the rescue of Wall Street investment banks.

Community Activist Bill Simon lead the protest. He said, "This whole buyout is absolutely crazy. It's not going to help anybody who bought a house for 250 thousand dollars that's now worth 180 thousand."

While the bailout is aimed at covering losses from bad mortgages, the money, some 700 billion dollars would go to the banks which already lost money on foreclosures.

But the foreclosures are continuing at a record clip. Shannon Martin of Mid State Realty in Fresno has 400 foreclosed homes listed, and says another wave is coming.

"We are getting an influx of more properties now, we expect it to be a fairly large influx by the end of the year." He said.

What's uncertain is if any of the bailout money will help slow the surge in local foreclosures.

"It's just a bailout for the financial institutions and for Wall Street. The governments trying to prevent a financial collapse of our country. Whether that trickles down to the individual homeowner or not, we don't know that yet."

That's why the protestors are angry about the bailout." He said.

Protestor Bill Simon put it this way:"It's only welfare for corporations and for CEO's. It's not going to do any good an people are mad about it."

On Capitol Hill, critics are accusing John McCain of gumming up the rescue effort with presidentical campaign politics.

But in Fresno, his supporter, actor John Voight says McCain doesn't deserve the criticism.

"So, I say stop it guys, get to work. John McCain going to Washington is the right idea. Let's go to work." Voight said.

While Republicans may see McCain's trip to Washington as an example of his leadership. Democrats involved in the negotiations have said his presence has done nothing to resolve the deadlock over approving the plan.

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