The campaign has stepped up the tempo in Vermont. With a deadline next week for our filing documents, the local team is ramped up and their hard work has already earned over 500 of the required 1,000 signatures to get Rocky on the ballot. Rocky will be addressing supporters in Burlington at the Discover Jazz Festival, live via Skype at the Church Street Marketplace where they intend to finish off this petition drive.
One of our local heroes, Ben Eastwood, writes:
"We will be gathering signatures for Rocky Anderson for President on the Church Street Marketplace tomorrow from 11am-9pm. Throughout the day there will be opportunities to meet and talk with Rocky live via Skype. By making the best use of available technology, we are able to offer this unprecedented opportunity to meet and talk with a candidate for President, while reducing our impact on the environment and insuring that we use our resources wisely. Come out and meet Rocky, and find out why we are working so hard to get him on the ballot here in Vermont this fall. We'll be located on the Church Street Marketplace, in beautiful Downtown Burlington Vermont, right next to city hall."
Let's show Ben, along with the rest of our canvassing team -- Nancy, Charles, Becky, Paul, Sara, Matt, Michael, Eboney, Jesse, Jill, and Blair -- that we support their valuable efforts.
Please join their event if you are able. Contact Walter Mason at email@example.com if you have any questions or if you would be interested in joining the canvassing team as they move on to New Hampshire. If you are unable to become directly involved, please know that your financial contribution makes their continued work possible. Please donate to our ballot access fund here.
Sally Soriano -- our new Campaign Coordinator, with a long history of political activity, including working as Ralph Nader's 2008 Campaign Manager -- explains, "Ballot access laws in states around the country are arcane, but Vermonters are taking on the challenge in stride, helping open doors, exemplifying a fair process for third-parties to have their voices heard." Join our fight today.
Scott Walker just made history. He became the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall attempt. What does Scott Walker have that no one before him had?
Endless charisma? He was just recently described at bagnewsnotes.com as "not a charismatic figure by a long shot." We can rule that out.
A sharp wit, perhaps? Most of us remember this event a few months back when Scott was fooled by a journalist into believing he was speaking to David Koch, conceding his subversive plans to bust Wisconsin's unions. Nope - moving on.
Maybe it's his cunning anti-democratic tactics? Politico, on day of the the recall election published "reports of a robo-call that says anyone who signed a petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker doesn’t have to vote in Tuesday’s election." We're getting warmer.
What could it be? What advantage does Scott Walker have? How is he the exception to what we previously knew of our democracy?
One word: Money.
Walker effectively outspent his challenger 10-1. Walker raised over $30 million for the recall campaign while Barrett only brought in under $4 million. That's right -- American "democracy" is a numbers game. No -- not of population; rather, of private interests whose contributions have now, more than ever, overwhelmed even the pretense of democracy.
Just how deeply does the private-interest corruption run in America's political environment?
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, 94% of winning candidates had more money than their opponents in 2008. It doesn't take a professional analyst to see the correlation. The electoral process in the United States has devolved into a series of auctions, masquerading as elections. Wisconsin's recall election serves as a cold reminder to working families: Our elected representatives no longer serve us in a government of, by, and for the people. Rather, elected officials are servants for their corporate overlords.
We're not helpless in this. We can fight back. We can ensure a greater American future that works for everyone. But it won't happen without everyone's involvement and support.
It starts with you. Join us today at voterocky.org and contribute so that Rocky can continue to fight for you.
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Please support Rocky in the primary on Tuesday as the candidate who will best represent the interests of the people against the two-party tyranny. Together, our voice will be heard.
Dear Governor Roemer:
You have led an inspiring campaign over the last 17 months, for which the American people should be grateful. During our recent joint appearance at UCLA, it was obvious to me that you and I share a common urgent concern about the state of our nation's democracy. I applaud you for your tenacity in raising awareness about the transformation of our government into a plutocracy. Instead of a government of, by, and for the people, ours is now a government of, by, and for the corporations and individuals with concentrated wealth who buy and pay for those in Congress and the White House, whose sole loyalty should be, but obviously is not, to the public interest.
While you and I have some different political perspectives, we agree it is essential to remove the corrupting influence of money from our government. It is a source of national disgrace and tragedy that the duopoly of the Republican and Democratic parties has succeeded in depriving American voters of real choices in our elections by making it virtually impossible for anyone who is not a multimillionaire to get on state ballots. Likewise, both dominant parties have excluded vital, alternative viewpoints and candidates from the debates. The candidates being excluded are those who seek to restore democracy and the rule of law to our nation.
Thank you for leading by example and running a campaign of integrity. I hope we can work together in the coming years on our common cause of fundamental campaign finance reform and restoring a truly representative government as contemplated by the Founders.
Today Ben Eastwood will walk the streets of Montpelier, stopping those he meets and asking for one more signature, "Because I don't think there is another choice to represent me in the White House," he says. Ben is on a mission to get 150 signatures today, and each day after that until Vermont's June 14 deadline to get Rocky on the ballot. "If we can get the independent voters out, and get some support from our Progressive and Independent friends in Vermont," Ben explains, "I think we have a good shot at making a noticeable ding".We all have our reasons to take action, to decide when enough is enough. Ben Eastwood describes his motivation:"I am concerned by the deliberate erosion of our civil liberties. Benjamin Franklin warned us about the dangers of giving up liberty for temporary security; I feel that if we don't heed the words of our founding fathers, and change the course we've been steering these last twelve years, our Union is in real trouble."Please help Ben in this important work. Let's show him that he is not alone in wanting another candidate on the ballot in Vermont. He is ready to hear from you, to work together to complete this signature drive.Our goal is to collect 2,000 signatures in the next thirteen days. Don't make Ben do it alone! If you can help--we need you to contact us today. Message Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org or Walter at email@example.com. To get the fastest updates on our drive follow Ben on Twitter @beneastwood4.If you are unable to help petition in Vermont then your contribution can support his efforts. From Vermont our attention will be shifting to a team of enthusiastic supporters on a road trip to New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help in this road trip for Rocky. We are looking to pay four or five people to have a great adventure canvassing for Rocky across the country.
Truthdig salutes Rocky Anderson, the Salt Lake City mayor who spoke out against the war and reminded the world that “blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism.” Anderson welcomed Bush to his city with a fiery protest speech and these searing lines: “A patriot does not tell people who are intensely concerned about their country to just sit down and be quiet; to refrain from speaking out in the name of politeness or for the sake of being a good host; to show slavish, blind obedience and deference to a dishonest, war-mongering, human-rights-violating president.”
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the two-term mayor has been outspoken on a wide range of topics, including genocide in Sudan, nuclear-waste storage, marijuana laws, the Iraq war, President Bush, HIV testing, healthcare, abstinence-only education, gay marriage, living wages and sprawl. He has also been an outspoken gay rights advocate and has signed executive orders on behalf of the gay community.
Anderson recently announced that he will not seek a third term as mayor of Salt Lake City. Rather, he will pursue grass-roots organizing on human rights issues and climate change.
(Picture: Salt Lake City Mayor Ross “Rocky” Anderson at an anti-Bush rally Wednesday, Aug. 30, in Salt Lake City. Anderson, a Democrat in a city that is considered liberal by heavily Republican Utah’s standards, has accused the Bush administration of lying about the rationale for war.)