‘KerryVan’ coming to Carson | NevadaAppeal.com

‘KerryVan’ coming to Carson

PETER THOMPSON

Which has more potential political swing in the 2004 presidential election: a Vietnam-era swift boat or a rented 2005 Pontiac Montana?

Adam Bresson, a 29-year-old IT manager from Santa Monica, Calif., and three friends are putting their money on the minivan.

The “KerryVan,” as it has been dubbed, a 185-horsepower gas-powered grassroots vote-swinging machine, will be sweeping through the Northern Nevada desert in late September, making stops in Carson City and Fallon on its 3,000 mile, 21-city voter registration drive through Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico.

With only about 35 percent of registered voters ages 30 and under participating in the 2000 election and every vote turning out to be more significant than anyone could’ve ever imagined, the four friends were literally driven to find some way of making a difference. In the beginning of August the group came up with the idea for the KerryVan, a highly visible, support vehicle covered in Kerry-Edwards campaign signage.

In Carson City, the KerryVan and its crew plan to host a “Kerry Carnival,” a free community-oriented event with games and magic shows for the kids, and voter registration forms and a friendly, inclusive political “conversation” for the adults.

The place and time have not yet been determined.

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But KerryVan isn’t about proselytizing an already polarized electorate.

“We’re not here to hit anybody over the head with our positions,” says Bresson.

“We see ourselves as a rolling snowball – collecting people who might not normally be made part of the national debate and giving them a chance to speak their mind.”

In addition to Bresson, the KerryVan crew consists of fellow Southern Californians, 24-year-old Nancy Olson, 25-year-old Eric Steineger and 32-year-old Reggie Ige.

Nancy and Eric voted for George W. Bush in 2000.

“I won’t make that choice again,” promises Nancy. “He’s damaged our country and spoiled our foreign relations.”

While both candidates have mostly ignored Carson City, or written off the relatively small pool of voters (compared to the likes of Clark County) as inconsequential in the grand scheme of all things electoral, Bresson and his team are making it a point to stop in places that are sometimes overlooked, taken for granted and essentially left marooned in the modern political landscape.

Instead of relying on any national or local group to finance the mission, the team decided to do everything themselves, including their own fund raising.

“That way, we aren’t just driving around, stuck to someone else’s agenda,” said Bresson.

To finance the drive, the four will be selling KerryVan T-shirts and soliciting private donations from their Web site, http://www.kerryvan.org.

Contact Peter Thompson at pthompson@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1215.