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Hillary Clinton Draws Hundreds to Salinas Rally; Endorses Jimmy Panetta

As hundreds of Hillary Clinton supporters waited in line for hours outside the gym at Hartnell Community College, a few dozen protesters lined the sidewalk.  They held signs that read things like “Hillary for Prison” and “Vieja Mentirosa” (Old Liar).

Community Organizer Jaqui Gallardo came out to protest Hillary Clinton’s Salinas visit.  She accused the candidate for the democratic presidential nomination of trying to pander to Hispanic voters and questioned how Bernie Sanders lost the Nevada Caucus.

“I’m starting to wonder if my vote even counts,” said Gallardo, “I would like to believe in the process, and that’s what we are here fighting for.”

Nearby Jeff Nadler of Salinas said he doesn’t like any of his choices for President this year, but doesn’t trust Clinton, and said he would vote for anyone but her.  “I want to eliminate the worst of the worst,” says Nadler

But the protestors’ voices were far outnumbered by the long line of Hillary Clinton supporters.

“I am of the age where I know all the things that Hillary has done, especially for women, over the years. And I wish that the young would spend a little time learning about that.  So I’m happy to have as many young people here as possible,” said Suzanne Russin of Santa Cruz.

Inside a crowd of about 500 greeted the candidate as she walked on stage alongside Jimmy Panetta, the Democratic Candidate for California’s 20th Congressional District.

She quickly got down to businesses in endorsing Panetta for Congress.  "I know this family. You know this family," she told the crowd.  "Now Jimmy is running on his own.  He is his own man.  He has his own ideas.  He is going to fight for you, but I think it does tell you what kind of Congressman he will be because the apple doesn't fall far from the tree," said Clinton

And then she started to lay out her plans.  With each talking point, from equal pay for women to comprehensive immigration reform, she followed with an attack on Donald Trump.

“When Donald Trump talks about deporting, forcibly deporting 11-million immigrants, he’s not only talking about ripping families apart. Is he?  He is talking about deporting more than one half of the 2.4-million farm workers who help feed our country,” said Clinton.  She called the apparent Republican nominee for President not just offensive, but dangerous.   

Laurie Stranberg of Prunedale came to the rally undecided, but left ready to support Clinton. "I thought she was great on rebutting the nonsense of the Trumpisms.  It was great," she said.  "I feel desperate that people are going to vote for Trump."

Clinton said she needs a big win in California, and her schedule backs that up. Before Salinas she held a rally in Southern California and Thursday moves on to San Jose. 

Krista joined KAZU in 2007. She is an award winning journalist with more than a decade of broadcast experience. Her stories have won regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and honors from the Northern California Radio and Television News Directors Association. Prior to working at KAZU, Krista reported in Sacramento for Capital Public Radio and at television stations in Iowa. Like KAZU listeners, Krista appreciates the in-depth, long form stories that are unique to public radio. She's pleased to continue that tradition in the Monterey Bay Area.
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