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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Friday, April 01, 2005
GF Area DFA Meetup 2nd Anniversary Invitation! (and more)
Hello Everyone;

In this update:

1. Second Anniversary Meetup!
2. A Very Special Guest
3. Special Video
4. DFA National Action Agenda on Social Security April 14th
5. Town Meeting in Saratoga Springs on April 25th
6. Voting Machine issue moves forward
7. Trade, the Next Big Issue? And Bill Bradley

1. Second Anniversary Meetup!

It seems hard to believe we have been at this two years, but our upcoming DFA Meetup next Wednesday in Glens Falls will be our Second Anniversary. While at moments it seems like yesterday, thanks to all you and your support for Governor Dean's leadership, the Democratic Party has covered more ground in those two years than it had in the previous 20 or even 25 years. What we have done has been echoed across the nation; we have embarked on the long job of Taking America Back from extremists, building a new American community and redeeming our nation's high moral traditions and ideals. We need to be honest that 2004 did not turn out the way we desired; but what the radical right spent 30 years building probably could not be undone in a mere 20 odd months. When we consider the despair we all felt after the disastrous 2002 elections we know we have accomplished greatly. WIth Dean now leading the DNC there is real reason for hope.

Accordingly, next Wednesday, April 6th, we are having a special 2nd Anniversary DFA Meetup at the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe in downtown Glens Falls. This will be a joint meetup! We will be joined for this special event by my colleague, the Saratoga Meetup Coordinator Pat Friesen and members of the Saratoga Springs DFA Meetup. This will give everyone a chance to meet meetup members from around the area, make connections and see our growing strength.

2. A Very Special Guest

We will also have a special program: First, a surprise guest who is considering running against Rep. John Sweeney. A few of us have had a chance to meet her already, and I can tell you that the reaction by those who have met her has been enthusiasm. We are honored that she will be making her first public appearance here as she explores the possibility of running. We will all hear from her, and importantly, she wants to hear from you and meet you.

Because of the level of interest this visit will produce, we are asking that if you want to attend, to please RSVP to either myself (Larry Dudley ) or Pat Friesen ( ) to let us know you are coming. We want to make sure there is room for all our many regular members.

3. Special Video

We will also be viewing a new DVD from DFA National Headquarters in Burlington. We saw these regularly during the Dean campaign phase of our movement, but we haven't had one in at least a year, so that is pretty special, too! It's about DFA and the DFA agenda.

4. DFA National Action Agenda on Social Security April 14th

Part of the video will cover DFA's major national agenda item for April. Over the last few weeks we've been collecting Social Security stories; accounts of how Social Security has affected our lives and the lives of people in our community for the better. To fight Bush's attack on Social Security, we are being asked to request meetings with our congressional representatives to present these narratives. We'll be talking about that and getting organized.

5. Town Meeting in Saratoga Springs on April 25th

DFA groups across New York State are also joining with the In This Together Coalition, which is comprised of the Working Families Party, Democrats , labor unions and loal DFA groups. A Town Hall meeting has been scheduled for April 25th at the Saratoga Springs Library. Rep. Sweeney has been invited to attend. An "empty chair" debate will be held if he refuses. We need a crowd and we will do our part!

6. Voting Machine issue moves forward

Progress is being made on getting optically scanned paper ballots here in New York State. We are still asking for people to contact their State Senators and Assembly members to tell them we want verified voting, not the expensive, highly "hackable" touch screen machines that many are blaming for fraud across the country. This issue may have to be fought out county by county. For more information on verified voting go to: NYVV

Personally, although Democrats nationally are pushing the Social Security issue hard, and should, I think this issue is not getting anywhere near the attention it merits. The stakes are so huge; check out this just released report by the US Counts Votes Election Data Archives Project, a group of professional academic statisticians. They have now determined something hugely important for the future of American Democracy; after the November Election, it was claimed that the exit polls predicting a big Democratic victory were wrong because somehow, for some mysterious reason, Kerry voters responded more to exit pollers than Bush voters.

This myth has been smashed. The exit poll response is no different for districts that went for Bush as opposed to districts that went for Kerry. If Bush voters were somehow less responsive, that would show up as differences between districts, but it does not. The odds that the election could have come out the way it did grow longer and longer and ever smellier. For details go to: NZ Scoop

The PDF report is at: Votes

We've simply got to get paper ballot machines! And then make sure they are locally counted.

7. Trade, the Next Big Issue?

The next big issue coming down the road is probably trade: let's hope we don't get clobbered again on this one. Coming up is the Central America Free Trade Area agreement and the appointment of Rep. Rob Portman to be the next US Trade Representative. Neither would be good for anyone who works for a living or cares about the future of this country.

Lou Dobbs has been hammering this issue; I've been hearing from surprising numbers of you about him and a what is becoming something of a one man crusade to save American industry and jobs:

Also: Dobbs II

andDobbs III

A clear view from the Washington Post's Meyerson on what this means and why it is so wrong; some aspects of this are just plain evil, like keeping affordable generic medications from poor people:

Our Democratic Senators are finally getting on board with the idea that so-called neoliberal economics, the "Washington Consensus" has been a disaster for almost everyone. For something surprising check out:

Considering who is involved, this is a watershed piece of legislation. Clearly, the idea that there is any such thing as a "free market" has died. As Lakoff points out, the right wing wants us to believe markets are a force of nature that we cannot tame, but this is just a frame. People and their governments all create markets and they need laws to work, too.

And Bill Bradley
Finally former Senator Bill Bradley wrote a great op-ed piece for the NY Times on rebuilding the Democratic Party that backs up virtually everything the Governor has been saying on how we can Take Back America.

See you all next week!

Many thanks,

Larry Dudley

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