Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Vote Early!

Early voting is underway-- I voted yesterday (contact us if you have questions about how you can vote, early or otherwise). And let me tell you, voting for Gretchen felt better than any vote I think I've ever cast. I voted for Gretchen because I know that she would be a true Representative of her constituents: someone who puts the interests of the people of the 9th district first. Someone who will vote to end the war in Iraq. Someone who will vote to keep us out of another disastrous war in Iran. Someone who will vote for universal health care. And workers' rights. And women's rights. And human rights. Someone who will stand up for her values and not be silent in the face of injustice.

On another note: be listening to your favorite radio station for Gretchen's radio ad (also available on this blog; see earlier post). It starts airing today on some stations (including in Bloomington) and tomorrow on some others.

And one last time: please consider writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, explaining why you're voting for Gretchen!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the letter I submitted to several newspapers in the 9th District:

Dear Editor,

I am writing in support of Gretchen Clearwater's Democratic campaign for Congress. As a Hoosier living abroad, it is so clear to see that Americans need some drastic changes to improve their quality of life. Ending the war immediately and bringing the troops home is the first step, and Gretchen opposes the war. I daresay Baron Hill's initial support of President Bush's war didn't help Baron when he lost.

New Zealand has nationalized health care and has regularly been rated higher than the U.S. system (#2 behind Germany). We can cover everyone and make it cost less, just like they do over here.

Similarly, New Zealand just instituted no-interest student loans for university students, which is a huge advantage for someone just starting out in life or trying to make a new start. Americans should have the same chance.

In short, there is a lot of work the federal government could be doing to make life easier for Americans. I believe Gretchen will be more responsive to these issues than Baron would be, and that's why I support her.

Andrew Straw
Dunedin, New Zealand

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I submitted a letter to the Herald Times in response to Pedro Roman's letter that appears in the April 26 Herald Times. His letter was obviously motivated by my letter published on April 14. My response is unlikely to be published, due to the "30 wait period between letters from the same person policy" at the HT. So I'll post it here, for anyone interested:

Pedro Roman’s assertion that “electability” is the main factor during a primary should deeply offend anyone who takes democracy and citizenship seriously. Am I to vote based on what I think other people are likely to think? Please explain to me, Mr. Roman, how we’ll ever get quality leadership if that is how we approach our role as citizens? A strategy of “electability” means we necessarily vote our fears and this ethic gives us mediocre, unprincipled leaders focused on their image, not their constituents. As I recall, this strategy didn’t work for John Kerry, and didn’t work in 2004 for Baron Hill, who lost even after outspending Sodrel by $348,000! Sodrel beat Hill by effectively dividing us along cultural wedge issues such as flag desecration and abortion, and unfortunately, enough people are impassioned by these issues to vote against their own economic interests. The person to beat Sodrel is the candidate who will give people a reason to get out and vote. I prefer to vote my hopes, not my fears. I prefer to vote “for” someone, not “against” someone I think would be worse. Gretchen Clearwater takes democracy and citizenship seriously, and so do I.

Keith Vogelsang

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Christopher R. Morris said...

I voted for Gretchen on Fri. And it truly was a great feeling. It was great to have confidence that I knew her and I know where she stands. She is a true American and that means so much in times like these. Thanks Gretchen!!!

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also voted for Gretchen last week. It felt great.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to continue exploring the sentiment expressed so nicely by Pedro Roman’s letter to the HT—this idea of electability—and invite other thoughts on this issue. But first, I’ll emphasize that the opinions I express are mine alone—I do not speak for the Clearwater campaign.

Baron Hill’s support continues to erode with each election. Consider these facts: In the general elections of 2000, 2002, and 2004, he received 54%, 51%, and then 49% of the vote, respectively. Meanwhile, the amount of money Hill spent continued to increase over this same period, and as we learned from the 2004 election, Hill’s spending advantage was not enough to beat Sodrel. In short, Hill’s “electability” is not guaranteed, and the trend is definitely not encouraging! Perhaps we are long overdue for a new perspective, and a better candidate.

Is it possible that Democrats have failed to make their case effectively throughout the district? I believe the answer is “yes” and it would certainly make it easy for charlatan politicians to manipulate people into voting solely on the “wedge” issues. Most modern campaigns at the congressional level rely almost exclusively on mass mailings, TV, radio and other expensive forms of voter outreach, and many of these messages simply attack the opposition. I recall receiving numerous mailings from the Sodrel campaign in 2004, and I have continued to receive surveys from Congressman Sodrel that are clearly designed to “push” me into accepting Sodrel’s morally bankrupt economic agenda, even though these “push polls” are disguised as voter outreach. Unfortunately, I have received many of these same kinds of polls from the national Democratic Party, where the questions and responses are constrained to arrive at a predetermined conclusion. In my view, this is not voter outreach, and probably does more to turn people away from the electoral process than it does to bring them in.

Gretchen Clearwater has departed dramatically from this model of campaigning, and has spent an inordinate amount of time campaigning outside of Bloomington into the rural areas. She is knocking on doors and introducing herself. Hers is a campaign of shoe leather and grassroots activism, something I still have faith in. Gretchen then does something extraordinary—she asks about the concerns of the person she just met. She is not “pushing them” to a predetermined conclusion, she is listening as a way to genuinely learn about other people’s lives and what values they hold dear. Gretchen makes her views clear, while also being open to new perspectives. It seems to me this is exactly what we should expect in our leaders. Apparently, the elites in charge of the Democratic Party have forgotten what it means to have genuine concern for people, and don’t understand the power of grassroots activism. This is what it will take to win, and Clearwater is the only candidate capable of motivating rural and urban voters alike to rally for a common cause. Unfortunately, the establishment Democrats have become so focused on “not losing” that they forgot what it takes to win. If you want a real chance at winning in November, then vote Gretchen Clearwater.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

I'm posting this comment because Mr. Roman has told me (on a different online forum) that he has tried to post it and it has not come through:

"I did not mention you in my LTTE published today in the HT.
I have the right to reply to you now due to your direct mention of me.

I would assume someone as educated in the principles of citizenship as yourself will agree with me that it is your right to support any candidate for congress and mine to support a candidate who can actually go to congress.


Pedro Roman"

7:35 PM  

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