Tuesday, August 23, 2005



Howard Dean's strategy of fighting the Right's power structure in every district and every state has been making waves, big ones, in places which the professional losers who have been in control of the Democratic Party inside the Beltway have long written off. In the past couple of months I've had articles of Dean-inspired Democratic shake-ups in North Carolina, Ohio and Montana. And now... Mississippi.

by Rose Aguilar, AlterNet
August 23, 2005

Mississippi Democrats are showing the potential power of Howard Dean's '50-state strategy' to take back national politics.

It's been six months since Howard Dean visited Jackson, Mississippi, but locals are still talking about his fiery speech in which he criticized President Bush's plan for social security and said Republicans are doing nothing to help the people of Mississippi.
"Every seat was filled. There were people standing around the room and people outside who couldn't get in," says Joanne Morris, an editor and writer living in Jackson. "He got an absolutely fantastic reception. I'm sure he must have been surprised. I was surprised myself. People were just jubilant."
Dean's speech revitalized scores of Mississippi Democrats who are sick of being ignored by the national party. "We're also written off in the media; they either skip over us or stereotype us," says Dorothy Triplett, secretary of the Mississippi Democratic Club, a group of progressive Mississippians. "We're finally saying, 'Hey, wait a minute, we're here and we're not going anywhere.' I think we can be a real asset to the national party and I'm delighted that they're finally giving us some attention."
As part of Dean's 50-state strategy, the Democratic National Committee is hiring staffers to join state party offices that typically run on shoestring budgets with few employees, including in Mississippi, North Carolina and Oklahoma.
"Because of his commitment, we'll be able to increase our staff by 300 percent, so to speak," says Keelan Sanders, executive director of the Mississippi Democratic Party. Before the new hires showed up, Sanders was the party's only staffer. "It is definitely helping the state party with needed resources so we can begin organizing and getting the message out."
Constructing that message won't be easy. It's been 28 years since Mississippi gave its six electoral votes to a Democrat; Bush got 60 percent of the vote in Mississippi. Democrats hold more county elected positions and legislative seats than Republicans, but the governor, lieutenant governor and the state's two senators are members of the GOP.
"Mississippi is ripe for the picking. They're either 49th or 50th in every statistical category. Per capita income is low. Poverty levels are high. Medicaid is a huge issue here," says Jay Parmley, former chair of Oklahoma's Democratic Party.
Parmley is spending a few months in Jackson helping the Mississippi Democratic Party. "What I'm finding here is that the message of our party, if delivered right, is what people want to hear. Can it be done quickly? No, but at least I can try to get people talking to each other again. So much of our party is that we all think we're important and we all have our own issues."
Parmley was one of the first state Democratic chairs to endorse Howard Dean. The announcement drew criticism from all sides of the political spectrum in Oklahoma, a state where John Kerry failed to win one county. "I started out thinking Dean was not what we needed. But the more I kept talking to him, the more I realized that this guy gets it. He understands that it's a 50-state strategy. He understands that those of us in Oklahoma and Mississippi aren't getting any help," says Parmley. "We need to build stronger state parties. He found out that most state parties only have one or two staffers, they're in dilapidated buildings and they're not raising any money. How are you supposed to communicate with people? Yahoo may be free, but you've got to build an infrastructure."
Sam Hall, a newly hired communications director for the Mississippi Democratic Party, is working with the state legislature on crafting policy messages. "Neither the House nor the Senate has a large communications apparatus," says Hall, a former journalist and political columnist. "After years of being a one-party state, we are now a two-party state and we need to start organizing."
In many Southern states, Democrats rarely take a strong stance on issues like abortion and gay rights, and end up delivering muddled messages that fail to distinguish them from Republicans. "My personal frustration with Democratic candidates is that they're always afraid they're going to offend someone. In the South, we run from pro-choice positions," says Parmley. "What we're doing is basically telling the electorate that we don't believe in anything and they don't vote for us. I'm not discouraged, but I get real upset with candidates. If you're a Democrat, I expect you to be able to say why you're a Democrat."
"One of the problems with Mississippi is so many of the state's Democrats aren't really Democrats," says Robert Hooks, President of Mississippi's Young Democrats. "Democrats in Mississippi need to take Howard Dean's lead and stand up for what they believe in."
Three years ago, Mississippi's Young Democrat group only existed on paper. Today it has 64 organized chapters in high schools, colleges and counties across the state. The state's young voters led the South, and much of the nation, in the percentage that voted for Kerry (63 percent) over Bush (37 percent). "We're a new generation of young voters that identifies ourselves as national Democrats, not southern Democrats," says Hooks.
Hooks says Dean's visit in March struck a nerve with college students. "The Democratic Party went from being stagnant for 10 years to finally moving forward," he says. "The DNC's financial effort is the last chance we have. If the state party can modernize, we have a tremendous chance of drop-kicking the Republicans. If it chooses to hold on with a death grip and is not willing to change, this movement will be for nothing."
Jay Parmley agrees. "I see this as a one shot deal. Does it mean if we miss the shot, it'll be over? I don't know, but I do know it'll be a long, long time before we win if that happens. Now is the perfect time to recreate the party."


At 10:09 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

AND UTAH??????

This is a report from KUTV in Salt Lake City yesterday

Thousands Protest Bush, Iraq War In Salt Lake City

With the message that people can protest a war while supporting troops and veterans, a handful of speakers -including a Gold Star mom - addressed an anti-war rally in Salt Lake City Monday, the same day President Bush was in town.

Bush spoke to more than 6,000 people at the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, while three blocks away about 2,000 people gathered to protest Bush administration policies and the war in Iraq.

Barbara Wright, 56, drove five hours from her home in St. George to attend the rally at Pioneer Park.

``There's a lot of reasons I'm unhappy. Predominantly due to the war, but also about the economy, Social Security,'' Wright said.

Her father, a World War II veteran, was unable to come with her, but she said he would have come along for the same reasons.

``So I'm here for him too,'' she said.

Several people attending the protest boasted that they were from military families or had served in the armed forces.

Salt Lake resident Hugh Musser, 74, said he was a Korean War veteran who came to the protest because of ``the lies about this war and the reasons we went into it.''

``I'm so opposed to our administration. I'm not politically motivated, I'm an independent. I think we have really lost our democracy,'' Musser said.

The featured speaker was Celeste Zappala, a co-founder of Gold Star Mothers for Peace with Cindy Sheehan, who made news camping outside Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch in hopes of meeting with the president.

Zappala's son, Spc. Sherwood Baker, 30, was killed in Baghdad on April 26, 2004. He was a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard which was deployed to help provide security for a survey group looking for evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, she said.

Zappala said she was overwhelmed by the number of people who showed up at Pioneer Park.

``I expected and hoped that 100 people would come out. This place is overflowing with patriotic Americans,'' she said.

She said she has traveled over the past 16 months speaking out about the war because of a promise she made at her son's funeral.

``My sweet and noble son was the 720th American soldier to die in the hideous miscalculation called the war in Iraq,'' Zappala said. ``I vowed to him I will not be quiet.''

Zappala and members of her family have spent the last week in Crawford, she said, hoping the president would take time to answer one question from families who have lost loved ones in the war.

``What noble cause is it? What noble cause is it that has taken the lives of our best Americans? What noble cause is it this month?'' Zappala said. ``Why do the architects of this war not risk the lives of their children?''

One of the event's organizers, Aaron Davis with a group called Veterans for Peace, said he filed a permit for a gathering of 1,000 people. Thirty minutes into the three-hour event Monday, he said he knew there would be that many and more.

``Not only is our message today support our troops and bring them home now, but treat them right when you bring them home,'' said Davis, who said he served as a Marine from 1972 to 1976.

Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, who called for a strong showing from Utahns at the protest in an e-mail he sent last week to local activists, addressed both the VFW convention and the protest.

Anderson was booed in his speech to the veterans at the Salt Palace Convention Center about two hours before Bush's speech. After, he said challenging political leaders is being supportive of the troops.

``The message we want to send is that we are behind our troops, we care very much about our troops. That if their lives are going to be put on the line, they are going to be put in harm's way, that we're told the truth and our nation hasn't been told the truth,'' Anderson said.

Chants of ``Rocky!'' followed Anderson as he took the podium at the anti-war rally.

``Those who take a stand ... who stand up to deceit by our government. Those are true patriots. You are true patriots,'' Anderson said.

At 9:03 AM, Anonymous anti-witch said...


All The Way: Thank you for taking the time. We were interested in
hearing about your views and prospects, since you are seeking office
as a Democrat in the Third Congressional District in Mississippi.

Joel Gill: I have visited your website and find that our views are
quite different. I cannot agree with them.

All The Way: We have looked at your website, as well, and find some
disturbing things. But, since this appears to be a "Democratic Year,"
we thought that your views might be interesting, especially if you
could be elected.

Gill: I am from a town, Pickens, Mississippi, which is eighty-percent
black. I was elected as an Alderman, there, so I have to go in that

All The Way: Actually, in the Second Congressional District, Jesse
Jackson sued because he claimed that the "Uncle Toms" would vote for
the white candidate, who did, by the way, receive some Negro votes.
Every district in Mississippi has had Negroes, but, also, elected
conservative Democrats, at some point.

Gill: But, I am having my fund-raiser, my first one, coming up, and
all of those present will be Obama-supporters.

All The Way: Travis Childers' mother remarked that she would "take"
their votes, but her son has made no concessions to them. What about
that approach? There need to be more conservative Democrats to get in.

Gill: I could not afford to get close to Richard Barrett. It would
hurt my chances.

All The Way: LBJ once told Lister Hill that he'd like to help him get
elected and Hill responded by saying, "Good, then come out against
me." So, maybe you have something like that in mind?

Gill: Ah, well, maybe. You see, I am right there at Holmes County and
it is mostly black.

All The Way: You were invited to speak to a group of conservative
Democrats in Rankin County, but I guess you will not be attending,

Gill: That's right. If my opponent found out and there were pictures
taken, it could hurt me.

All The Way: It would be public, I'm sure, in the first place.

Gill: Still, I'd better stay away.

All The Way: Have you considered making a statement, on your own, not
through any party-apparatus, stating that you are "uncommitted" in
the Democratic presidential-contest? Both Gene Taylor and Travis
Childers have taken that approach and it is mindful of the views of
their constituents. John Bell Williams refused to endorse LBJ and it
catapulted him into the Governor's chair.

Gill: I can't go too far.

All The Way: You have a picture of you with Bennie Thompson on your
website. How about putting one up of you with Travis Childers, at
least? He won as a conservative Democrat.

Gill: I have been chasing Childers around, at various events. I
haven't been to Washington. I haven't caught up to him.

All The Way: It's a thought. The voters do not want a
white-counterpart to Thompson.

Gill: I wanted to show that I am a lobbyist. I am trying to get some
support for my area. Did you, also, notice my picture with Trent

All The Way: Lott is regarded as having "sold out" his constituents.
Voters are looking for a good, common working-man's candidate, not
somebody who is for the bankers and lobbyists. This could be that

Gill: Did you see my position on Social Security? I believe that
there should be a single-rate, so that it would be fair across the

All The Way: But, shouldn't you take into account the 488,000, who
voted for the Confederate flag? Now, that is a bloc to be reckoned

Gill: Well, I am for our heritage.

All The Way: That is encouraging. That young man at the Democratic
State Convention, the one who said that he was for integration, was
reminded that his own parents were segregationists, otherwise he
would look like Obama. Heritage should mean honoring one's parents
and traditions.

Gill: All of my own grandchildren are mixed, however.

All The Way: Mixed, how?

Gill: My children had offspring by way of blacks. They live in
Chicago, now.

All The Way: That, surely, would not have been by your choice.

Gill: It just came about, first, by my first son. They were not

All The Way: Sorry. Your website spoke approvingly of your "blended"
family, but it was not apparent that you were speaking of
racially-mixed. People use that term for step-children, usually.

Gill: Did you notice my plank on my website about the Constitution?

All The Way: Yes, but the part you had that said you favored "greater
cooperation between people of diverse racial backgrounds." That is
contrary to the will of the people. Not only have you made
misstatements, but missspellings. For example, copyright is spelled
"copyright," not "copyrite."

Gill: I made the page myself. I do not even have a campaign-manager.

All The Way: Also, you need to place your e-mail address on your
front-page, so that people could find you.

Gill: I will take your advice and make those corrections.

All The Way: There are young people, who had talked about coming to
Mississippi and helping in your campaign. We were going to ask you,
if you were interested and might have room to put them up. However,
they are very cause-driven and would not want to get anyone other
than a conservative-Democrat seated.

Gill: My opponent, Gregg Harper, is very flaccid. I am downloading
some of his ads, now. He is not appealing.

All The Way: There are conservatives, who could give you advice, on
getting publicity, presenting yourself, framing issues and getting
votes, without being intrusive. It is, after all, your campaign. You
call the shots. But, politics sometimes makes for some "strange

Gill: I did not want to avoid your call and messages. I, at least,
wanted to get back to you and let you know how I feel. I just could
not accept any support, of that kind. I would like to have people
send me money, though.

All The Way: The move to take back the Democratic Party goes on, in
full force. If you have any changes in heart, let us know. People
would like to know.

Gill: I have to go now. I have some people waiting for me.

All The Way: Thanks for taking this time from your busy schedule.

Gill: Thanks for the spelling correction.

Copyright 2008 The Nationalist Movement

At 5:25 AM, Blogger Joel Gill said...

Please visit my website to see where I stand for yourself. You will find it is four square in support for the rights and opportunities of all people in Mississippi and the US. This is the year to reclaim Mississippi from the Republicans.

Joel Gill www.gillforcongress.org

At 5:26 AM, Blogger Joel Gill said...

Please visit my website to see where I stand for yourself. You will find it is four square in support for the rights and opportunities of all the people.
This is a year to take back Mississippi from the Republicans.

Joel Gill www.gillforcongress.org


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