Friday, January 24, 2003
Dean a hit at north Texas fundraiser
Wednesday night I attended a Dean fundraiser in Dallas, Texas, hosted by Dr Adam Starr and his wife Heidi. First I'd like to say a big thank you to the Starrs for opening their home to us, and for being incredibly gracious and enthusiastic Dean supporters. Now onward with the update...
The fundraiser was a small but successful event. Everyone who attended ended up writing checks, and some were so charged up after hearing Dean speak that they have promised to help organise future fundraisers. Dr Starr created a very informative handout which explained how the federal matching funds work. Essentially, Dean must raise $5000 in twenty states (these contributions must be made in increments of $250 or less) in order to be eligible for federal matching funds. This is why it's so important to raise this money now: the sooner Dean gets the funding, the better chance he has to become the Democratic nominee. We fell slightly short of reaching the $5000 goal, so I'd strongly encourage my fellow Texans to please contribute to the campaign. Every dollar counts! If you make a donation, please notify me so I can notify Dr Starr and the Dean headquarters. I'd love to report that we reached our goal here in Texas!
The hilight of the evening was a phone call from our candidate, which Dr Starr kindly took the time to arrange. Dr Dean called us from his son's hockey game ("I'm on a cellphone and it's fifteen degrees here, so if I get cut off I'll call you right back!") and spoke for about fifteen minutes before taking questions. While he was speaking, you could hear the passion in his voice. Clearly this is a man who believes in what he's saying. He'll also talk your ear off if you give him the chance (::smile::). He was articulate and honest, and didn't dance around any questions (how refreshing!). He radiated enthusiasm, and by the end of the night I had no doubt in my mind that Howard is the candidate I'll be supporting.
Here is a brief summary of the questions which were asked:
Dr Adam Starr: "When are you coming to Dallas?"
Dean: "February or March."
Dr Starr: "How are you going to convince an oil rich state like Texas to move to renewable sources of energy?"
Dean: "I'm not going to do anything to hurt Texas. What I'd like to see is better standards for fuel efficiency, to cut emissions and to lower fuel consumption by cars and SUVs".
Me: "Hello Howard! It's so nice to finally speak to you. My name is Anna and I help run the Dean blog..."
Dean: (interrupting me) "Oh, are you one of the people from the site that's been sending people our way to make donations?"
Me: "Yes sir, that's us."
Dean: "I love you guys! You're great!" (serious enthusiasm in his voice here)
Me: "You just made my day, sir! Now seeing as I'm on the internet, I've had the opportunity to get a list of questions from some friends, and most of them focus on privacy. First I'd like to ask you about the Total Information Awareness Office. Do you feel the intelligence community has all the information it needs to keep Americans safe, and if so how do you feel about the TIA?"
Dean: "Well, since I'm not privy to the information the intelligence community has, I'm not sure whether they have what they need. However, I am troubled by the privacy issues raised by the creation of the TIA. And if I am elected, I'll be more informed and better able to make this judgement."
Me: "Okay, let's keep talking about privacy. Would you support repealing the PATRIOT Act?"
Dean: "I would support repealing parts of the PATRIOT Act."
Me: "Well for example, the PATRIOT Act lets law enforcement come into our homes and conduct searches without a warrant, and they don't even have to tell us they were there. How do you feel about that?"
Dean: "That is completely unconstitutional! I would repeal that part and any other part of the PATRIOT Act that violates our Constitution."
Me: "Excellent. With this being the thirtieth anniversary of Roe V Wade, I have one more question. Would you support a litmus test (meaning a pro-choice stance) for Supreme Court judges?"
Dean: "Now I hope you all know my stance on abortion. I am pro-choice. However, I would not support a litmus test because I think it's unfair. Just as it is unfair for Republicans to support litmus tests for the Supreme Court, it would be unfair for me to do that. But I would take that issue into consideration when picking a nominee. I would nominate judges who are balanced, but in all fairness I couldn't support a litmus test."
Paul: "How do feel about Bush's faith-based initiatives?" At this point I'm going to paraphrase because I can't recall -exactly- how he said this. Regardless, the gist of his response was that he supports some faith-based initiatives because he believes that charities do very good work. However, he does not support giving tax money to organisations who do not abide by federal anti-discrimination laws. He stated that if elected, he would try and ensure that organisations that discriminate would not receive federal funding.
As you can see, Dr Dean doesn't dodge the hard issues, and he doesn't say something he doesn't believe just because his audience wants to hear it. He speaks his mind and believes passionately that the country is "going in the wrong direction." He is a compelling figure... a real idea man who doesn't seem to have a problem with the "vision thing". It seems to me that once Dean is given an opportunity to present his message, he converts people on the spot.
It's not hard to support a candidate who is willing to fight for the good of the country instead of on behalf of corporate interests and campaign contributors. And it's obvious that Dean is not going to be your typical scripted, poll-chasing candidate. He is a true man of honor, and he deserves your support.
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Obama 2008 - I want my country back
Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.