Car dealer Peter Lanzavecchia says he's no match for fellow New Jersey resident Bruce Springsteen. Other politically active businesspeople say Lanzavecchia is being too humble.
Springsteen and other popular musicians on the "Vote for Change" concert tour are openly partisan. They favor the election of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry over incumbent Republican George Bush.
Lanzavecchia is part of "Drive the Vote," a voter registration and education campaign of the American International Automobile Dealers Association. It is formally nonpartisan, although AIADA officials concede that newly registered voters who are concerned about small-business issues are likely to vote Republican.
Business-backed election efforts seek to counter more highly publicized, often celebrity-focused, campaigns by liberal and labor groups. Dealers, automakers and suppliers are participating in aggressive programs to energize pro-business voters.
Both sides say the photo finish of the 2000 presidential election taught them that a few ballots in a key state can alter the national outcome. Voters appear just as evenly divided this year.