Saturday, October 02, 2004

Over 200 i4k Travelers Head Out to Wisconsin (Sat. 10/2)

Over 200 eagar and determined Illinois for Kerry Volunteers set out for the Badger State from both Chicago and Evanston. At the assembly point in Chicago (Kerry Campaign HQ--57 W. Grand) both a photographer and a reporter from the Suntimes were there to document the trip.

The reporter basically wanted to know how we felt about going to Wisconin and what the Wisconites felt about us. "Do they mind that you're from Illinois," the reporter asked me.

"If the tables were turned," I replied, "and we were in their place, I'd hope they'd do the same thing for us."

The Suntimes reporter seemed to get the point. [LEO 10/3: See Suntimes article].

Volunteers fanned out in Waukesha and Milwaukee. By now, it's a happy and necessary weekly ritual for many of us. In both towns we were doing "voter ID" or in other words finding out who was likely to vote for John Kerry. This vital information will go into lists that the local Dems will then use come election day to "knock and drag" people to the polls.

As far as reaction from the locals was concerned, it's obvious that we are in a post-debate period. One woman in Milwaukee who said she had been leaning toward Bush was now thinking about voting for Kerry. Why? Because of the debate and how well Kerry did in it.

The woman, a mother of two boys, joked about her kids who went to private school. They had warned her not to come out and talk with us Kerry Volunteers. Kerry was bad, the two young boys had told her because he was "going to do away with their recess!"

Doing away with recess! That's a big issue when you're eight or nine years old. I told the mother that one of the reasons to vote for Kerry was that we didn't want a country where elections were being fought out by scaring little boys about their recess. I added that she could reassure the boys that Kerry was a far better sportsman than Dubya ever was and that recess would be a whole lot funner in the coming Kerry Administration. As we walked away, I gave her a couple of Kerry-Edward badges and urged her to vote for our candidate -- we just can't go through another four years, I told her, like the last four years.

These are the kind of encounters we're having throughout the State of Wisconsin -- as well as in Iowa, Missouri and soon, Michigan and Ohio. Coming back again and again on the weekend is how we're going to win all these states for the Big Blue!

There are a number of ways to participate. First, is to come along with us. Visit the Events Page for times, places and contact information for our trips. Second, come to the Campaign Office in Chicago and now in Evanston for phonebanking (evenings, Mon-Thu, Sat-Sun) and call the Battleground States from here. And third make a contribution using the contribution form available online.

Go to Photo Gallery.


Blogger JJ said...

On a trip to Wisconsin to encourage people to vote absentee, I walked through an affluent area. Most of the residents were not home (perhaps in their second homes?), but there were a few that I was able to talk to. One fellow, an attorney, invited me in and we sat talking about the election and people's political beliefs. He was talking about how a few of his friends (of different political persuasions) emailed each other regularly.

It was his conclusion that many of these folks had "made it" economically and were now trying to "pull the ladder" up behind them. They attributed their success to themselves, and forgot the help they received along the way. In their votes, they sought most of all to preserve and extend what they had. To this attorney, this was against his fundamental belief that we should keep doors of opportunity open.

I was surprised when he spoke of the growing gap between those benefitting from the economy and those losing ground in the economy. Sooner or later, he predicted, those losing out would react angrily. I was surprised by his take, because I think populist anger is diffused by so many other distractions today, but he didn't think it was so unlikely.

Armed with moral arguments AND this self-preservation argument, he said that he was going to invite his well-to-do email buddies out on his sailboat and throw the anchor over. He and another friend would spend the afternoon cutting to the chase, talking about basic values and what they REALLY believed in. It was his contention that after a few hours, they would believe in the same things - opportunity, health care, education, and tolerance, strong and environmentally forward-looking business, among others. What they were doing, he knew, was just voting pocketbook preservation.

He wanted to test whether these furthering these core values he knew they had would be more important than defending an economic position they ALREADY had. Was it more important to gain more ground on middle America than to help support some of these values the Democrats more routinely lived out in their legislation? He thought not. Let's hope some of his buddies agree with him.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I didn't run into the Sun-Times reporter. I ran into the Reader reporter, Ted, who will be doing a story on the bus to Milwaukee Wisconsin that he rode (I think he got on it). I drove people to Waukesha. I believe story will be out today or tomorrow (7th or 8th). The contacted me to get correct id info and did some fact checking via my blog and online resume.

Just found this email, so sorry I didn't respond sooner.

-- Cynthia at Fresh Paint (

3:00 PM  

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