Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Barbara Selfridge

Dear fellow victims of election-thievery,

I thought you might be interested in what I'm doing to try to fix the November election. I'm looking for future fertile grounds for impeachment, big-time.

1) I went to Act Blue, a web-site that lets Democrats craft their own little PACs. I gave money to a bunch of Democrats and progressives who each have a shot at flipping some Republican seat. I started with a list of recommendations from Barbara Boxer -- Jim Webb, VA; Claire McCaskill, MO; Bob Casey, PA; Jon Tester, MT; Sherrod Brown, OH; Sheldon Whitehouse, RI; Jack Carter, NV -- and then added Ned Lamont in Connecticut, Jerry McNerney in Stockton (the big show-down race in northern CA), and a bunch of other progressives I read about on the Act Blue web-site.

It was awfully easy and I suspect that the $5 I gave each of those candidates will put them in my pocket for the rest of their political lives.

2) I'm going to do my crib sheet early, disseminate it wide, and also widely disseminate the crib sheets of my friends (Nathan!). I really believe in this and wish that the pre-election period could be full of us sharing personal knowledge and debating political issues -- that's not the campaigning that needs to be reformed: it's what the big-ticket campaign financiers are drowning out. People have confused voting booths with closets -- we should all be OUT.

3) I'll sport an election bumper-sticker/yard sign. When I was a kid, my parents pointed at any car that had bumper stickers from rival candidates: "the battle of the sexes," they laughed, and maybe now couples don't share bumpers any more, but I think it's sad that people don't share their predilections Is this a democracy or a police state? (yeah, yeah, yeah)

4) I'll work on a campaign. My friends Melody and Stan are spearheading an "election sesshin" in which Buddhists and non-Buddhists (like me) move in together and use meditation and mutual support to sustain each other during the intensive get-out-the-vote work of the last two weeks before the election. Last year I joined them for a few days as they campaigned for Darlene Hooley in Oregon. This year they're closer to home, campaigning for Jerry McNerney against Bush-lackey Richard Pombo in Stockton, and I plan to join them for a couple of short stretches within that last stretch.

If you're interested in joining us, let me know. I'll send you a copy of the invite with all the contact info.

5) I'll vote. I signed up for absentee voting, which I don't really like because I like going to the polling place with Wendy and her dog and seeing other neighbors and inciting riots when I ask people if they expect a paper ballot, etc. But election day phone banking is really useful, especially for people who put off thinking about the election/reading the voter guide and then feel like they don't deserve to vote. YOU DON'T HAVE TO VOTE IN EVERY RACE, I tell them. (I'm so politically savvy!)

I humbly invite you to join me in all these activities. It's possible that as my friend Mike says, fascism has already arrived and we'll feel stupid looking back at all the work we did for an election we couldn't have won anyway. But that's like believing Richard Nixon when he said he was watching the superbowl and couldn't be bothered paying attention to the protesters and then twenty years later you find out that those protests stopped a planned nuclear assault. The Republicans are campaigning with a "Stay home -- Don't vote!" strategy and I think it behooves us not to agree.

----xxoo yr electioneering Bárbara

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