Howard Dean, Chairman of the DNC , is in Portland for a couple of days. He just concluded a conference call with 22 Democratic County Chairs across Oregon. A quick summary of his call below:
Governor Dean told us we need to crank up voter turnout dramatically and by doing so, bring Jeff Merkley over the finish line. With only one month to go to register voters, (the last day to register to vote is October 14th) we need to register everyone we can find. We need make certain all Democrats vote instead of sitting out another election. Up in the metro area a county chair remarked about the lethargy of activists who usually are the folks we count on to knock on as many doors as possible. If you can imagine Howard Dean becoming even more animated than he usually is, he had a clear answer to the comment on lethargy.
"Give the activists a kick in the butt," Dean declared. "We lost in 2004 because the Republicans out worked us. We have to work harder and take nothing for granted. We have to elect Jeff Merkley as Oregon's next State Senator."
Before moving down to Medford a couple of years ago I lived in the Portland Metro area for many years and in several counties, Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas and Columbia. While living in the blue bubble I took it for granted that there were so many other people out working for Democratic candidates I could sit on my butt in front of endless football games stuffing myself with chips. I was wrong. I should have been walking in the neighborhood after work for an hour or two knocking on doors or volunteering to phone bank or entering data. Full disclosure, I did throw many a house party for Democratic candidates over the years.
Imagine you or your family are facing a catastrophic medical emergency that will eventually cost you the shirt off your back. That will happen to many of us, especially if McCain is elected or Gordon Smith returns to the Senate. Imagine affordable health care, the rebuilding of our economy, the end to presumptive wars with Obama and Jeff Merkley in office. Did you help them cross the finish line to victory?
I got off my butt two years ago. We all have to get off our butts or we will be in the same mess we are in now for four more years. It doesn't count if you're just pounding the keyboard with pithy, cynical, sarcastic observations about candidates or issues. The only thing that counts in winning elections is hard work.
See you on the streets!