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« October 2004 | Main

November 22, 2004

A Winning Southern Model

Mike Signer is well-known among Virginia Democrats as an eloquent writer and dedicated activist. He has worked for Governor Mark R. Warner and in the 2004 presidential campaign led Virginia's voter protection initiative.

On Sunday, Mike wrote an expansive op-ed for the Washington Post about the results of the 2004 presidential election. Here is what he had to say about the piece:

I decided to write this piece for the Washington Post after I heard many of my close Virginia Democrat friends refuse to accept that John Kerry had simply been beaten on his message. Instead, these folks -- all fine, hard-working, and passionate Democrats -- were blaming malfunctioning voting machines, or conspiracies in Ohio or Florida, or Fox TV, for our loss.

But the problem had a different, more national, genesis. Here in Virginia, we all know that Susan Swecker, Larry Framme, Lindsey Reynolds, John Winston, Eric Payne, Joe Easton, Jay Myerson, and many others assembled a fantastic campaign. Virginia Victory '04's momentum and its many material accomplishments (thousands of new voter ID's, robust fundraising lists, committed new volunteers) will carry us through Tim Kaine's victory next year.

The problem, I believe, rested instead with the national campaign's failure seriously to fight for the trust of red America.

The point of the article was to try to highlight for the Post's national audience the fact that while many Democrats seem right now to be flailing about for a new direction, Virginia Democrats, under the leadership of Governor Warner, have already figured out how to reach out to red America, and win. In this difficult time -- because no matter how you slice it, November 2 was painful for all of us -- Virginia Democrats should take intense pride in what we've accomplished in the Old Dominion. We're at the forefront of a coming evolution for the Party. I truly believe that while November 2 was certainly an end in some ways, it can be a beginning, too.

As my old boss Creigh Deeds has been saying for years, there are more of us than there are of them. We've got better values, better policies, and better leaders. We just need to get red Americans to listen. If we do that, we'll win, and we'll be the majority party again.

Posted by laura at 03:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 21, 2004

Why the religious right doesn't truly reflect "moral values"

Early indications were that the religious right may indeed have been the decisive voting bloc in the presidential election. Many people have noted, though, that "moral values," the phrase used in exit polling, can certainly be understood in ways outside the grasp of the followers of Falwell, Robertson, et al. There are lessons here for Democrats. The first one is: don't pander to the religious right. (By Rick Howell)

Whether the religious right elected Bush or not, the leaders of this bloc are acting as though they made the difference. We've seen an expansion in the typically smug and pompous attitude of the Rev. Jerry Falwell. As discussed here by Barnie Day, Falwell is now filled with new fire, and will start something he calls "the Faith and Values Coalition." Well, that's what America needs, huh? Another right-wing "religious" group.

As Democrats we know that our party is filled with the faithful. We have Jews, Catholics and Protestants of every variety. We also have party members who have no religious beliefs, and they're as welcome as anyone else. We know, too, that moral values includes the morality of helping families make it economically in America. It means doing what Jesus recommended in the New Testament, helping to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and uplift the poor. Somehow, when the religious right talks about "morals," it's always connected to sex.

The greatest moral issue of my life was the civil rights movement. Where was the religious right then? Mr. Falwell was presiding over an all-white congregation at Thomas Road Baptist Church, and telling people that he thought ministers should stay out of politics. Obviously, he did not respect the actions of ministers named Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Hosea Williams and others. Today, those men are legends.

So, what are Democrats to do? We need to stress the more expansive view of moral values, and not pander to those who just voted for Bush because they thought it was what God wanted. Personally, I won't have much patience for any Democratic officer seeker next year who feels the need to frequently pontificate about "faith and family." That's not to say we should not, on occasion, express our religious beliefs if we're so inclined. But we must not cave in to the social agenda of those who see only gays and abortion when they discuss "moral values."

Look what happened in Colorado. While Republicans were squawking about the Pledge of Allegiance and gay marriage, Democrats focused on responsible fiscal and budget matters and elected a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate, and put Democrat Ken Salazar in the U.S. Senate. In the GOP, the religious right, with enough rope, will eventually hang itself. We may have seen the beginning of this when it failed to stop Sen. Arlen Specter, a pro-choice Republican, from being favored for the chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee.

If you're in favor of a more active approach against this voting bloc, fine, join the ACLU or Americans United for Separation of Church and State. There's more than one way to clarify what moral values really mean. Democrats don't need a lecture on morals.


(Rick Howell is chairman of the Amherst County Democratic Committee. He can be reached at NewCenHowell@aol.com)

Posted by rickhowell at 09:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 17, 2004

Getting It Right, Right Here In Virginia

It's been two weeks, and the post mortems and conspiracy theories seem to have no end. Earlier today someone forwarded me an email from Elizabeth Edwards and the new One America Committee, perhaps a signal that it is time to move on.

So many people have said, "What is going to happen in the next four years, it is so long until the next election."

Those people couldn't be more wrong.

We'll have an election here in Virginia on Dec. 14 to fill the vacancy left by Republican Thelma Drake's ascension to Congress. Our focus as a party between now and the next 28 days will be to help Democrat Paula Miller win that seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

We'll have an election here in Virginia in June to decide in a primary who will represent our party as nominees for lieutenant governor and attorney general. Seven candidates are running for these two places on the ticket--a sign that our Democratic Party bench here in Virginia is full of excellent, qualified future leaders.

And we'll have an election here in Virginia on November 8th that will determine the future direction of our Commonwealth for many years to come. Not only will we be deciding on a new Governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, but we will also be electing 100 members to the House of Delegates. Virginia is rare in the nation in terms of holding off year elections, so 2005 offers everyone a real chance to get involved and make a difference, right here in our state. Help Tim Kaine, and get to know the other candidates in the field. Keep participating. It matters.

It's easy to feel despondent and look for conspiracies in the outcome of the 2004 election. But in Virginia, there is much to celebrate as Democrats. In 2003, we gained three seats in the House of Delegates--a sincere victory, since redistricting was intended to make such gains impossible and pundits said we couldn't do it. But we did. Sixty percent of all locally elected officials--sheriffs, members of boards of supervisors and city councils, commissioners of revenue--are Democrats. We remain committed to building that farm team. In 2001, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine carried our party to victory, at a time when, again, the pundits said, "It can't be done." But they did it.

We're getting it right because our party leaders, Warner and Kaine, are approaching the issues right. Just today, the Wall Street Journal carries a column by Gerald Seib (requires registration) about the Governor's potential as a national Democratic Party leader--similar to other stories that have run in newspapers across the country. In Seib's story, he describes Warner as "a moderate Southern governor who knows how to win in those red states, who is able to win over Republicans and who can speak to the middle on social issues." We couldn't agree more.

When the door closed on November 2nd, it meant the beginning of the 2005 election cycle here in Virginia. For us, there is no time to ponder the results of yesterday; we'll leave that to the chattering classes. There is no waiting around for four years from now. The time is now, and the future of our Virginia depends on us.

Laura

Posted by laura at 04:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 16, 2004

Faith And Values

By Barnie Day

TO: Rev. Jerry Falwell

FROM: B. Day

RE: Your new scam

I've been mulling over your 'Faith and Values' idea and think it is a splendid one--especially if it helps us forget war and poverty and unemployment and lack of health insurance, and two-dollar-a-gallon gasoline, and such. It's just what the country needs: another smokescreen.

You want to register 10 million Republican voters and 'Faith and Values' is okay, but for it to take 'holt'--as we say out here in the western part of the state--you're going to need a catchier name.

Jim and Tammy had PTL (Pass The Loot) and your buddy Pat's got the '700 Club.' So we're going to have to come up with something else.

And I've been giving some thought to that. (No, don't thank me. It's what I do.) And I've got it!

'Rev-J's 105,000!'

Can you dig it? Is that hip, or what?

'Rev-J's 105,000!'

I'm telling you, bro,' this one will lay 'Moral Majority' in the shade. This one will become iconic. And it came to me in an inspiration! No foolin'!

All I did was Google the words 'indicted Republican.'

That's right. 'Indicted Republican.' Got 105,000 hits on it. The good Lord does work in mysterious ways, doesn't He?

I know you will have to have a board of directors. But you don't have to do all of this by yourself! Don't you see? I'm helping! I've been working on this part, too!

No, Jim and Tammy can't be on the board. We'll put them in charge of reservations. And maybe accounting. And no, Jimmy Swaggert's got talent that would be wasted on the board. He can run the procurement arm of the operation. And, no, not Rush Limbaugh. But he'll be perfect for the faith and values prescription drug program.

I'm thinking more of folks like Ollie North for the board. All he did was hold his hand up to God and swear a lie to Congress.

And Newt Gingrich would be a good one on any faith and values board. His extramarital involvement with that congressional aide may have cost him his Speakership, but that's the kind of faith and values leadership we want and this country needs.

Same with Republican Bob Livingston, who followed him to the Speakership--and out the same door--for nearly the same reason.

And how 'bout former Republican Congressman Bob Barr, from Georgia? Yeah, the one who went after Clinton so hard.

Let's see. What was it? I remember now. Infidelity and lying under oath about an abortion. Your buddy Larry Flynt outed him. He'd be perfect.

And how about Jack Ryan, the Illinois Republican who dropped out of the Senate race after his ex-wife made such a stink out of that sex club thing? He'd be good. He likes performing in public.

And think about Republican Senate Majority Leader Tom Delay. He might not quite measure up. He hasn't been indicted himself, but three of his tops aides were. Just recently, too.

And you might want George Ryan on. He'd poke his lip out if you didn't remember him. You remember two years ago when his Illinois campaign for governor was indicted--only the third campaign in U. S. history to face federal charges. Nixon's re-election committee (Republican) was the first. A presidential bid by Lyndon LaRouche (thinks like one) was the second.

And let's not forget the homegrown, local talent. Virginia's a regular Republican garden in that regard.

Vance Wilkins would be a lock for any 'faith and values' board. He's got time to do it, too.

And former Virginia Republican Party Chairman Gary Thompson's got some time on his hands. I'd say he'd be good. And he's got the right credentials. He's been indicted.

And I would recommend Ed Matricardi, the former executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia. Sure, he was indicted. But you're going to need somebody with his communications skills, better just let him do that. And, hey, he's a good listener, too.

Rev, I think you're on to something. Rounding up ten million folks for your faith and values outfit will take some doing, but hey! You've got your base! It's ready made! Indicted Republicans! Who could possibly know more about another 'faith and values' scam that the folks who wrote the book on it?

Posted by laura at 03:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 05, 2004

Zell Nation: The Church As State

By Barnie K. Day

The issue was not a pre-emptive war in which Americans continue to die--more than 1,100 now, and counting--not a war without strategy, exit or otherwise. The issue was the Ten Commandments.

The issue was not a wobble-wheeled economy, an economy based largely on debt, consumer and government, an economy that spends today what we must pay back tomorrow. The issue was prayer in schools.

The issue was not a foreign policy that seems truly foreign to anyone who knows anything about policy, a foreign policy void of coherence. The issue was men marrying men.

Used to be, when America looked into a mirror, she saw Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, King, Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Shirley Chisholm. Used to be, she saw statesmen, and thinkers and artists. Used to be, she saw Buckley and Cronkite and Sevaried. Now when she looks, the visages of the Christian jihadists, the Zell Millers and Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells glare back at her, as does that of Limbaugh, the porcine, thrice-divorced, drug addicted, puff-faced, self-appointed, un-elected arbiter now of our family values, and Anne Coulter, a crane-necked shrew with the intellect of a ferret, and not your average ferret, but one of those runt of the litter ones, who said on MSNBC last night in what appeared to be a vein-popping moment of glassy-eyed sexual release that Democrats don't believe in God. In Zell Nation, the church has become state--not just state, but martial state. (Let us sing now, "Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war...")

Not so long ago, what has happened to the price of gasoline would have been enough to topple a presidency. Not anymore. Not in Zell Nation. In Zell Nation an energy policy written by the gas and oil industry doesn't blip the radar screen. It takes homophobia to do that now. Homophobia lights it up.

Not so long ago, the wholesale strip-mining of our manufacturing base and the export of millions of our jobs would have been enough to topple a presidency. Not in Zell Nation. In Zell Nation we can get right with the Lord and make the world flat again and put Druids in charge of that flatness and not have to worry about stuff like that.

Not so long ago, a record--and reckless--deficit would have been enough to topple a president. Not anymore. In Zell Nation the future doesn't matter in that regard. In Zell Nation we're all huddled on a mountain peak somewhere, waiting for the spaceship to come.

Not so long ago, the Haliburton scandal, and Dick Cheney's proximity to it, would have been enough to do in a presidency. No more. In Zell Nation graft may not be good, but, hey, it's just graft. What's a little graft when resurrection is just around the corner? THE resurrection!

Not so long ago, a health care system that leaves 44 million Americans to the mercy of the Tooth Fairy could have ginned up serious debate. Not in Zell Nation. In Zell Nation, sh-t happens. Hey, it says so in the Bible!

Not so long ago, America was a member of the community of nations. Not anymore. Not in Zell Nation. In Zell Nation, we are the landlord and the world must bow and scrape before us. In Zell Nation, yer either fer us, or agin us.

Not so long ago, Americans believed that right makes might. No more. Not in Zell Nation. In Zell Nation, might makes righteousness.

This is Zell Nation, buster! Love it, or leave it!

Posted by laura at 10:33 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 03, 2004

You need to get out of bed

I'm gonna ask you to do something I know is hard, I'm gonna ask you to stand up, dust yourself off and forgive those that voted for Bush. I'm not asking you to forget them - just forgive them.

Now what do we do? That's what you asked yourself this morning in the shower - I know you did, I did. I stood there thinking why? I don't understand how ..... how a person makes an educated decision to vote for Bush. Don't they read the papers; don't they watch the news; don't they see what has happened to our country? They do all of those things, and the bottom line is - they vote for him anyway.

We need to understand we can't change their minds - we can't even argue with them, because there is no explaining reality to those that live in a fantasy world.

What we need to ask ourselves is why we are Democrats. We need to have real answers. We need to be passionate again about why our Party is our Party. We need to educate people about what we stand for and why.

I know many Republicans, I do, and you do too. The funny thing is I know pro-choice Republicans and yet they voted for Bush. The reason is simple, no one really thinks that their right of individual choice will be taken away. To that I say, meet Chief Justice Rehnquist of the Supreme Court. Here is a man that will not be serving on the high bench very much longer, GW Bush will be picking his replacement...and we know that he believes you don't "read into the Constitution." Now, I'm a betting girl and I don't think he has even read the document, but that being what it is, what I can't understand for the life of me is why, knowing that pro-choice people supported this President baffles me.

There are reasons why first time voters in Ohio waited in line for 9 hours to cast their vote for John Kerry, and thousands of reasons we as Democrats nominated him. He was and continues to be better able to lead this country, but we must play with the cards dealt us yesterday - and for the next four years.

You all in Virginia did the unthinkable - you helped put Virginia in play - for that I thank you. I also ask that you continue to work in this Party. Our Party is the Party of Franklin Roosevelt, of Harry Truman of John Kennedy. Our Party created the middle class in 100 days, we created a safety net for Americans in transition, we balanced the budget and created surpluses -- this is our Party, the Democratic Party.

We are going to be called on again real soon to elect a Democrat to the House of Delegates this December. After that victory we will be called on to elect Tim Kaine Governor and a Democratic Lt. Governor and Attorney General. So rest today, but don't agonize over making sense of an election that makes none. We simply have to be better and stronger in the next round.

In politics there are battles, and we have won our fair share, but there are more to come. So work harder to make a difference, work harder to elect Democrats and remember that what you did this year is historic - Virginia usually a Republican strong-hold, felt some cracks in it's foundation yesterday - a state that is usually colored red when the clock turns 7:01pm on election day held off - for the first time in a very long time Virginia was for a brief time, Too Close to Call.

Thank you all,

Lindsey Reynolds

Posted by lindsey at 10:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 02, 2004

Virginia Democrats: First Update From The Boiler Room

The staff here at Democratic Party of Virginia headquarters has been here since 5 a.m. Krispy Kremes have been devoured. Coffee percolated and consumed. And every phone line we have is in use as we speak.

My phone rang at 5:05 a.m.--my friend Dan Drummond, the Fairfax city chairman, called to tell me he had finished putting up signs at his precincts. "I'm like a kid at Christmas," he said, reporting that no Bush/Cheney signs were in sight.

As I write this, polls have been open now for three hours and 21 minutes. By all accounts, it looks like Virginia will have a voter turnout of historic proportions. My boss's brother, who lives in Caroline County, reports a 40-minute wait in line to vote. There have been some spotty glitches, but otherwise things seem to be going smoothly across the state. Our phone has been ringing off the hook with people calling in requesting a ride to the polls, and our rides coordinator, Abbi Easter, and three of her volunteers have been on the phone nonstop for the last two hours. No voter will be left at home without a ride, from what it sounds like.

If you haven't voted, please remember to do that ... expect long lines, and be patient. I'll be heading back home in a little while to vote and pick up my mother, who will spend her second Election Day here helping out at party HQ.

A real excitement is building. Dan Redwood, our amazing volunteer coordinator from Virginia Beach, emailed us last night to say that someone passed on to him that some internal polling in D.C. showed Kerry beating Bush in Virginia by 1 percentage point. My last phone call last night was from a reporter at the Virginian-Pilot, who asked if we had photos of our Democratic electors. Everyone, everywhere seems to be preparing for victory.

On a personal level, I'm feeling good. Really good. Yesterday I started thinking about this long, long journey. I staffed my first event related to the primary in June of 2003, when Joe Lieberman visited Richmond. Sixteen months. The fight for an early primary...our Sign4Nine petition drive...our most successful Jefferson-Jackson dinner with four of the presidential candidates...our Feb. 10 primary, with a record-setting 400,000 voters who participated in that election...our visits from John Kerry and John Edwards, which started way, way back in 2002...our state being targeted as a battleground for the first time ever...incredible state and national conventions (thank you, Aaron Mahler, for your amazing photography work)...our amazing local committees and their efforts (especially Lynchburg, which will always be near and dear to my heart, thank you, Rob Daniel and Sara Parker!)...our grassroots groups (thank you, Eric Graves and Heather Bridge), the Deaniacs, the progressives (thank you, Robin Crane), the people who stood on boiling sidewalks registering voters standing in line for "Farenheit 9/11,"...my wonderful MeetUp group in Richmond and elsewhere (thank you Mike O'Neill, Lee Williams, Morgan O'Leary, Bob and Nita Jones, Dan Redwood, and Kurt Navratil in Roanoke, Rick Howell in Amherst, Jan May in Staunton, and so many others across the state who made MeetUp the phenomenon that it was and is)...the Virginia veterans, those amazing veterans, Rick O'Dell and Paul Sullivan and others, whose ongoing sacrifice for John Kerry in this election's ground war made me weep with gratitude and helped inspire me...an amazing coordinated campaign effort.

From Day One of this campaign, we've been determined as a staff, as a party, led by our Governor, Mark Warner, to make Virginia competitive for John Kerry and John Edwards. As Lindsey Reynolds, our executive director, is fond of saying, "Don't tell Virginia Democrats it can't be done." With few exceptions, the Virginia media has spent much of this campaign comfortably perched behind its collective desk, talking to the pundits, watching the polls and reporting that absolutely nothing has been happening in Virginia. All the while, we have been working. And working. And working. You can't tell the 64,000 people who signed up to volunteer in Virginia that nothing is happening, that there is no campaign. You can't tell our grassroots activists who stood on street corners to register voters that nothing is happening. You can't tell our phone bankers and door-to-door canvassers that nothing is happening. You can't tell the 330,000 new registered voters that nothing is happening. We know what "no campaign presence" means here in a presidential year. In 2000, we had one paid staff person in Virginia. This year, there were as many as 33 and currently about 15. Six regional headquarters. Hundreds of thousands of phone calls made...thousands of signs distributed...50,000 bumper stickers handed out in the first two weeks our coordinated office was open in Richmond. Blink and you miss it? I don't think so. We haven't missed anything. We've been here all along, working our collective asses off.

Regardless of who wins--and I feel good about Kerry's chances today--Virginia Democrats can hold our heads high. "No retreat...no surrender," goes the Bruce Springsteen song. We never retreated...never surrendered...we did not cede Virginia to George Bush and the Republicans. We have victory within our grasp today.

Go, Kerry, go!

Posted by laura at 08:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 01, 2004

It All Comes Down To You

Many, many emails hit my inbox, but recently I started receiving messages from Eric Bauman, chairman, of all things, of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. I couldn't have written something more profound on the eve of the most important election of our lifetimes--I'm too brain dead for that, at this point--so I thought I would share this. Laura

By Eric C. Bauman

After many months of speeches, attacks and counter-attacks, annoying thirty-second TV ads, news stories, editorials, predictions and postulations, the end is finally near. In just a matter of hours the ballots will be in the ballot box (or hard drive, for those voting electronically).

Those who can be convinced have been, those who haven't been, won't be. What remains is turning out our voters, and on that score, it all comes down to you.

Any potential voter who doesn't know that Bush will be the first president in 72 years to end his term with fewer people working than at the start, will never know it.

Any potential voter who remains unaware that more than five million people have lost their health insurance in the past four years will forever remain blissfully ignorant, or indifferent.

Any potential voter who hasn't heard that the child poverty rate has soared from 14 percent to nearly 18 percent, and that 39 million working Americans now earn below the poverty rate, must live in another land.

Any potential voter who hasn't read that Bush took Clinton's six-trillion dollar surplus and turned it into a 3.5-trillion dollar deficit has not read a newspaper or watched the evening news.

Any potential voter who has not acknowledged that we were led into war based on deceptions, distortions and lies, will also never acknowledge that more than 1,100 young American men and women will not have the opportunity to vote on November 2nd, or ever again. And despite those lives lost, our nation remains awash in fear of terrorist plots and the growing nuclear threat from countries like North Korea and Iran.

Any potential voter who has not figured out that with John Kerry there is hope and optimism for our future, and with George Bush there is just more of the same ... lies, distortions and deception, with the rich getting richer, the powerful gaining more power, and the rest of us getting virtually nothing, will never get it.

Any potential voter who has not yet comprehended these things, is not in touch with reality.

For us, the focus must now be on mobilizing those voters who understand the differences and know what's at stake; on energizing those voters and ensuring they cast their ballots.

All these many months of speeches and stories, of cajoling and threatening, of point and counter-point, end now. Today begins the end game that will define the course of our nation for the next four years and well beyond.

This is not a job John Kerry can do. This is not a job Bill Clinton can do. This is not a job the Democratic Party can do. This is a job only you can do.

I've heard all the excuses. I've heard the whining and braying. I've heard the frustration. But despite the excuses, in spite of the whining and braying and regardless of the frustration, each and every one of us must take responsibility to do our part for the future of our collective and individual benefit.

Please do not allow yourself to wake up on November 3rd to a headline that says, "Bush wins four more years," and then ask yourself, "Could I have done more?" or "Could I have made the difference?"

It has often been said that the difference between the candidates is that Bush sees things in black-and-white and Kerry sees things in shades of gray. For once, Bush may be right. This election IS black-and-white. It is a stark choice our nation faces, between optimism and hope or arrogance and insularity.

As I said at the beginning, it all comes down to you. To use a contemporary metaphor, you are the final precision armament in our arsenal. You are the Special Forces in our army. You are the key to the success of our strategy, our version of "shock and awe."

I know each of you cares deeply about the future of our nation and our world. I know each of you believes our best days lie ahead. I know each of you is committed to positive change. And it is those deeply held values to which I am appealing today.

Imagine if we are victorious in November, if we regain control of the reins of our government and reorient our nation's direction on a positive, intelligent and well-constructed path, the future will be bright and hope will return.

It has often been said that "this may be the most important election of our lifetimes," this year that is only half-true. This is not only the most important election in our lifetimes, but in the lifetimes of our children, our grandchildren, and our parents. America deserves better, you can and must help bring about that change.

Today the talk must cease, the chatter must end, and all the griping and whining must be stifled. Instead, you should direct your energy toward changing the course of our nation and helping build an America that is stronger at home and more respected in the world, an America in which each person has a chance at the American dream.

Despite all the darkness and distraction of the past four years, hope IS on the way. Remember, tomorrow can be better than today, but now it all comes down to you!

Posted by laura at 03:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Votemaster Unmasked

Many of us have been fans of electoral-vote.com throughout this campaign. The site compiles polling information and does constant projections of the winner. Your opinions of polling aside, the site has had a fascinating effect if for no other reason than the consistant, non-partisan honesty and wisdom expressed by the guy behind it.

Who is this guy? Well, nobody knew until today. He purposely kept his name and location out of the picture along with refusing to take donations or paid advertising of any sort. He paid for the entire site expenditure out of his own pocket and has created quite a following - about 650,000 hits a day - across the campaign spectrum.

His name is Andrew Tanenbaum and he's a God in the Computer Science world. He's written operating systems, software, numerous books and is a respected professor. He also is an American living in Amsterdam.

His story, and his political views are eloquently revealed here:

http://www.electoral-vote.com/info/votemaster-faq.html

And, yes, he's extremely pro-Kerry and even went so far as pursuing being one of the DNC's Delegates Abroad to our convention this year.

His pro-Kerry stance has not, however, appeared to skew his project in any way since he is a true scientist and he lets the numbers speak. His predictions of a Kerry victory, though, don't hurt one bit. :) Granted, we're all a bit fed up with polls and nothing will happen without follow-through, so the only thing that matters right now is voting. And making sure your family members vote. And your friends. And your neighbors. And people you've never met. You get the idea...

A relevant excerpt from his FAQ:

Let me tell you a short story. When I was in elementary school, the school was plagued by a bully. He was the biggest, strongest kid around and would beat up anyone he didn't like. We were all exceedingly polite to his face, but hated his guts behind his back. One day he was chasing some poor kid and he tripped and skidded a considerable distance, scraping his face on the rough asphalt of the playground. He was bleeding and in pain, screaming for help. But nobody came to help him. We all just walked away. George Bush is the world's playground bully. The world sees him--and by inference, America--as arrogant, self-centered, and mean. I spoke to Americans from dozens of countries at the DA caucus. Everyone told the same story--the world hates America. When talking to foreigners, I can tell them about the Bill of Rights or freedom or World War II, or whatever I want, but all they see is this big, stupid, arrogant, playground bully and a stolen election in Florida last time. I think America deserves better. I want America to be respected in the world again, and John Kerry can restore the respect America deserves.

DocDem is alive and breathing, but we've all been pretty swamped of late and our hardcore readers are all knee-deep in GOTV activities. I spent just about every waking hour of this weekend on a 16-minute photo and music video montage to be used at three election parties tomorrow night. I'll be turning attention back to some late day posting as the evening rolls around. Tomorrow I'm working at various precincts (one in particular) in my Amherst voting district and am then on the road to Richmond for the festivities with DPVA staff and guests.

Things are looking sweet. Don't slow down, do everything you can tomorrow to get people to the polls, and let's keep turning Virginia blue in these last 24 hours. All of our work for months has come down to the single most crucial factor to make it worthwhile: VOTE.

Posted by amahler at 01:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack