Benny's World

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Canvassing for Dems in Central Illinois

This morning I went to our local Farmer's Market to work at the Democratic Party booth. I had our local volunteer coordinator pencil me in last month, and I'm very glad I went. I only regret that I wish I had brought a camera in which the battery needed to be recharged, so I have no pictures to offer.

For BW readers who are not familiar with the folks in Central Illinois, and in particular, the IL-15 Congressional District, it is very similar to parts of Iowa. The major towns in the district, Bloomington-Normal, Champaign-Urbana, and Charleston are split between Dems and Repugs. But as most of it is rural, it is pretty conservative. Tim Johnson-R has won this seat 3 times and won handily in 2006 over our Dem challenger, David Gill (a very fine candidate who was for universal health care). In 2004, the presidential vote was very close, in which Kerry-Edwards edged out Bush-Cheney by less than 2% in my county, and in my particular precinct, Democratic candidate Carrie Melin won only by %1. That's how divided we are.

This morning was a beautiful day to get out and help out our fellow Democratic candidates as the sun had come out and the skies cleared, so I had to wear sunglasses. I worked between 9:30 and 11:30. The tent had two tables out, one for all of the locals who are running for primaries and voter registration forms, the other table was for all 9 Presidential candidates information on issues as well as buttons, bumper stickers, and a donation can. I brought a homemade sign to tape on the front that had John Edwards stickers and brought some lapel stickers, as well as a few CD's that I was able to take home from volunteering at John Edwards' booth at Yearly Kos.

In front of the "locals" table was a folded poster board in which water bottles (and slots on the screw caps) were under each candidate's name and picture. We had pennies for anyone who wanted to voice their support for any given candidate, and one could use pennies for all if undecided, which I thought was great. What I liked most though was visitors could also donate change or dollar bills to put inside the bottles for the candidate(s) they favored, and some did. It's a variation of a corn kernel poll in Iowa or a straw poll of sorts, except this will be done each week for the next couple of weeks as the booth continues to be there as long as the market is open.

One fellow who is the VP of the Dem County party had 4 or 5 petitions for state and local candidates to be on ballots. He had to be neutral in his stance since his job was to solicit signatures for the petitions, and he did ask for donations occasionally if the visitors wanted to take a bumper sticker or a button for a presidential candidate, in order to have materials pay for themselves. We got more donations than I expected, considering a few weeks ago, hardly anyone was picking up materials when I visited the booth briefly. And that was great because he explained how much it cost to keep the booth open during the year, and we were doing better than break-even.

Not planned at all, three volunteers happened to be Edwards supporters. One of them gave $20 to his campaign last week, knowing it was towards the end of the third quarter, and that's all she had to give, and I said, he appreciates anything we can do for him. Another fellow came by to collect signatures for petition for 4 folks to be DNC delegates for Edwards. He was successful in obtaining the signatures, in which his name was among them. He also mentioned he had seen Edwards recently at a private function in St. Louis last week. I asked why he liked Edwards and he said it was it was Edwards' advocacy for the working poor and poverty. What a surprise to me, as most the corporate media and the mainstream bloggers keep saying poverty is not an issue voters consider. Somehow the conversation turned to Rudy Guiliani and his fundraising and I said something about his going overseas to do it. He informed me that Michelle Obama had done the same in London recently. My jaw dropped.

I also commented to our group that Edwards was the only one with a Rural Recovery agenda, and that he understood our needs best since he was originally from a rural area. The group concurred.

One fellow, who said he voted Bush last time and would vote for a Dem this time, dropped by the booth to get more information on the candidates, and asked us about their positions, especially Edwards. Luckily, because of the blog sphere, I had no trouble answering any questions. He said he liked Edwards the most, but was looking at Dodd and Biden as well and would contact them for additional information.

Another woman dropped by to say that she liked Edwards because he was the most progressive who was electable (otherwise, she liked Kucinich too, but didn't think he could get elected). I asked her what else appealed his candidacy to her. She said he is honest. While she wished he would support gay marriage, he was honest in saying he wasn't ready to go there yet, but he was for civil unions and equal benefits for all same-sex couples. She wanted a woman president, but Clinton was not electable to her, and the election is more about getting our country back on track.

In fairness to the other front runners, one woman said she wanted a woman president no matter what, so she supported Clinton She also said Elizabeth Edwards should shut her mouth to the media. I responded that I was sorry to hear she didn't support Elizabeth speaking her mind, but I did. However, her mind was made up.

Oh, so I bet you are wondering who was faring the best in the "Penny drop" poll. Barack Obama led, but only so slightly, followed by Edwards, then Kucinich, then Richardson. Clinton was 5th, and you can guess the others. But FWIW, quite a few dropped pennies for more than one candidate. There were many undecideds, just as the race is tight in Iowa at the moment. That's cool, I thought. We have a strong slate of candidates, the best ever in my life time.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

BW Salutes Online Friend, Predictor

This is my friend, Predictor, whom I met over at the Daily Kos. He and his partner are photography buffs, but they could be professionals. Their photographs have brought joy to many of us in the past year on the Cheers & Jeers diary at the Kos.

To give you an idea of his photos, look at this below:

The details are breathtaking as well as artistic.

Predictor has to take some time off from the Daily Kos for health reasons. From our correspondence, I do understand he does have to watch his health very carefully. We at BW wish him well as he works to improve his health. His partner is the best to be at his assistance, and Predictor will return to us because of that extra love and support.

Hugs, dear friend, and to your partner. Y'all mean a lot to me.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Remember September Again

And Taylor Marsh finally admitted JRE won the debate tonight, from her blog:
Edwards was *brilliant* tonight, Benny. You must be so thrilled.

Clinton stumbled today, starting with her Iran vote. Edwards beat her tonight.

Debate goes to Edwards
And she's right.

Highlight of the night:

FWIW, I heard him say this in February.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Elizabeth and John Edwards Stand Tall with the UAW Strikers

This afternoon, I learned that Elizabeth Edwards went over to the Wyoming plant in Grand Rapids, MI, to show her support of the UAW strike. Here's the video:

Phil from Michigan for Edwards, who helped with a fundraiser EE attended last evening, reported the following as he was with Mrs. Edwards when she jumped out of the car to greet the workers:

Elizabeth gave a brief statement:
"The labor motto is, 'injury to one of us is injury to all of us." When people have to come to the streets in order to provide for job security, to make sure that when they retire they'll have the health benefits they deserve, that's an injury to all of us. And all of us ought to be indicating our support."
Morrison asked Elizabeth about the concern that unions might be hindering Michigan's efforts to bring more companies to the state, Edwards said:

"Companies must provide decent jobs and reliable benefits no matter where the business is located. Americans, she said, must demand American workers be treated fairly."
John Edwards will be joining the UAW picket line near Buffalo, NY at noon tomorrow. Then of course, he's off to Dartmouth to participate in another DNC debate.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards on UP News

This interview took place a couple of months ago but I was very impressed with Wade Norris and he was very relaxed around EE. Today I saw a post by Norris on the Daily Kos that brought my attention to this video.


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Madame Clinton Pimps Her Campaign on Fixed Noise Sunday

I just watched Fixed Noise Sunday to see the "taped" interview of Hillary Clinton. I was not surprised by what I saw. She said the president had no plan in starting to bring our troops home, so she was likely not to vote for a supplemental bill coming up without it. Yet, I've haven't heard her plan. I don't think she has one.

Her health insurance plan was not much different from John Edwards'.

Then she criticizes Bush for not reigning in the Iranian regime. Sounds like saber rattling to me.

Why aren't the blogs critical of Clinton going on FNS, which is the extension of the Press Room of the Bush WH?

Well, I guess I will be the first one to say, I'm proud Edwards doesn't consider Fox News a legit news outlet, and he won't go on Murdoch's show.

Sell out of progressives. And she will take money from big lobbyists, as well as the check Rupert Murdoch gave her in June. It's too bad poor people do not know she is not an agent of change.

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