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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Tricounty DFA Update: Next Meetup, Special Guest, Denise King, also petition season and more
Hello Everyone;

In this update:

1. Next Glens Falls Link-Up: Special Guest Denise King!
2. Petitions & More
3. Vigil Saturday
4. Film: Bowling For Columbine
5. Kirsten & Capital Gains
6. Juan Cole: National Treasure
7. Dean On Hayden and Indiana Chair on Dean

1. Next Glens Falls Link-Up: Special Guest Denise King!

Our next DFA Link-up at the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe will be coming up two weeks from today on June 7th and I am very pleased to announce a very special guest: Denise King, the Chair of the Executive Committee of New York State Democratic Party, a member of the Democratic National Committee, Chair of the DNC's Rural Council, one of the founders and leaders of the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee and former Columbia County Chair. She was a Gore Convention Delegate in 2000 and an Electoral College member for Clinton-Gore. As some of us old Dean people may also know, Denise has been a close personal friend and top supporter of Governor Dean for many years.

Denise will talk about the DNC's recent annual convention in New Orleans, what Governor Dean has been up to since arriving at the DNC, what's going on nationally in the Democratic Party and answer questions.

Having top ranking party official like Denise King agree to come and talk to a group like ours is very unusual, Denise is one of the Democratic Party's "big guns." We expect a lot of interest! I am therefore a bit concerned about space, so if everyone could please click on this link for DFA-Link and RSVP, that would be greatly appreciated.

If we need to move to a bigger room, we need to know soon!

2. Petitions & More

Also, petition season is coming up! Petitions to get candidates on the ballot have to be carried and filled out between June 6th and July 13th. We'll be doing a little tutorial and circulating petitions for those who want to help with this essential effort.

So Please RSVP with DFA-Link for this meeting!

Finally, Tim Merrick of Plattsburg has stepped forward to run for the State Senate against Betty Little and wants to make an appearance to talk about his campaign. I am sure we will be hearing more about him in the future.

3. Vigil Saturday

There will be another vigil to bring our troops home and for peace this Saturday at 11am at the Five Corners in downtown Glens Falls. It's amazing how well these vigils have held up. Please come and bring a friend. With this great weather, there's no excuse! For more info or to RSVP go to:

4. Film: Bowling For Columbine

The Frirday Progressive Film Fest is up again at the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe in downtown Glens Falls. This Friday at 8pm the Cafe is showing:

Acclaimed filmmaker Michael Moore (Roger and Me) takes aim at America’s love affair with guns and violence in this Oscar-winning film that mixes riveting footage, hilarious animation and candid interviews with everyone from the NRA’s Charlton Heston to shock-rocker Marilyn Manson. Brilliant (pre-"Fahrenheit 9/11") Michael Moore!
Running time: 119 Minutes

5. Kirsten & Capital Gains

I was at a 20TrueBlue meeting this weekend and the question was raised as to what Kirsten Gillibrabnd's position is on the Capital Gains tax. Contrary to some reports, Kirsten is NOT in favor of eliminating the Capital Gains tax. Claims to this effect are disinformation and should be ignored. She is in fact baffled why anyone would want to eliminate this tax.

Also, a number of people have asked me about immigration issues and the Democrats. Kirsten says she is opposed to blanket amnesties and is in favor of defending American workers.

6. Juan Cole: National Treasure

Professor Juan Cole is a national treasure. A professor at the University of Michigan, Cole is a long term student of Middle Eastern affairs, an expert on Arab culture and politics, a fluent Arab linguist, and unerringly right on Iraq. If you aren't reading Prof. Cole's blog, Informed Comment , you just aren't informed on what is going on in places like Iraq or Iran. Did you know a US contractor was hired to import weapons into Iraq, got them in Bosnia, and that many of the weapons have now wound up in the hands of the Iraqi resistance? Or that Salafi Jihadis have established a Taliban-like mini-state in West Baghdad, and are assassinating young men who walk around clean-shaven? That's the "new Iraq" and that's the kind of thing you learn from reading Juan Cole.

He has recently put up a review of the total situation in Iraq that is this week's "must read."

There is also an earlier post that is equally salient on who are the thugs presently running Iraq: Hezbollah linked terrorists, basically the same people we are excoriating in Palestine.

Who are the "freedom fighters?" That is no longer clear. The Iranian linked Shiite Islamists, former terrorists, who now control the government? Or the people fighting them? Which side would any of us be on if we were there? Islamists who send death squads out to murder barbers for shaving men or women for not wearing a headscarf? Or former Baath insurgents who want a secular state? It's as confusing as that Abbot and Costello comedy sketch, Who's On First, only not the slightest bit funny.

7. Dean On Hayden and Indiana Chair on Dean

Governor Dean has asked everyone to sign a statement protesting Gen. Hayden's appointment to run the CIA:

"As the director of the National Security Agency, Michael Hayden oversaw the creation of the massive domestic spying program revealed last week. Now George Bush wants him to run the CIA.

"After yesterday's hearings, it's obvious that Hayden's involvement in the NSA's domestic spying program disqualifies him from heading the CIA. "

For more info and to sign go to:

Also, there's a Daily Kos poll on Governor Dean's performance as head of the DNC: dKos poll

Finally, Daniel Parker, the Indiania State Chair responded to Paul Begala's unprovoked attack on Dean and the 50-State campaign. I'll paste it below, it's worth a read, too! (Thanks to Denise King for sending this.)

Thanks everyone, and please make sure to RSVP at DFA-Link! That's


Dear Mr. Begala:

I write to express my extreme dismay at the comments you recently made concerning Gov. Howard Dean’s leadership of the Democratic National Committee and his implementation of a national vision that includes a funding component for every state.

You clearly aren’t aware of the political landscape in the Midwest and have spent too much time in Washington, D.C. You’ve done a great disservice to our Party and to those of us working at the grassroots level to win back Congressional seats, as well as statewide and local offices.

Indiana could have easily been lumped in with Utah and Mississippi as Republican bastions. I know we look like a red state to folks on the East Coast. As Presidential races go, we turn crimson on CNN an hour after our polls close.

But we had Democratic Governors at the Statehouse for 16 years prior to 2004. A majority of our mayors are Democrats. We are poised to win back a Democratic majority in the Indiana House of Representatives which we have held for 14 of the last 18 years.

If that history doesn’t impress you, here’s a fact that’s made other ears inside the Beltway perk up: This year, Indiana has three – one, two, three – nationally targeted Congressional races. That means we could send a trifecta of Democrats to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, potentially delivering 20 percent of the seats Democrats need to win back a majority in that chamber.

We couldn’t be doing the work we’re doing without the support of the DNC and Howard Dean.

Indiana has always been one of those passed-over states when it comes to federal funding because we don’t look useful to the “Presidential-only” pundits. Howard Dean doesn’t see it that way. He sees a country where every state – even those oozing Republican red – is home for at least a few good Democrats.

The 50-state funding we received from the DNC last year has allowed us to employ a full-time communications director and two field staffers who are organizing party support at the grassroots level in two of our nationally targeted congressional districts.

They’re hardly walking around “picking their noses.”

They’re helping Democrats win.

In our primary election two weeks ago, the two Congressional candidates with DNC-funded field staff members outpolled their GOP opponents by thousands of votes. Did I mention those results came in Republican-leaning districts in which John Kerry received 38 and 40 percent of the vote in 2004?

Without the DNC employees, we only have five full-time employees at our state party. The addition of a full-time communications director has allowed the rest of our staff to focus on fundraising while she deals with the media and disseminates our statewide message. This addition also has been partly responsible for the dramatic slide of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ approval ratings.

As an aside, I also want you to know that the DNC is committed to helping Indiana fight a strict GOP-backed voter identification law that passed our General Assembly last year. After we lost at the district court level, the DNC pledged both financial and legal resources for our appeal. We never would have received that kind of assistance before.

At the heart of my frustration with your comments is the notion that we should all be in this together. We’re all Democrats. And you should be building the party up, not slinging mud at someone who’s helping the cause both financially and psychologically.

I think you owe a personal apology to Howard Dean, to the state chairs across America who have benefited from his leadership and to the DNC-funded staff members who are working hard to elect Democrats at every level of government.

On a personal note, I want you to know that I’ve issued an edict to my staff that if they pick their noses, scratch their derrieres or pop their pimples on work time, they have to move to Washington to work for you.

Democratically yours,

Daniel J. Parker
Indiana Democratic Party

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