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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Friday, August 31, 2007
Tricounty DFA Update: September Meeting Next Week, DNC Rolls Out Voter Contact Tools, August News and More
Hello Everyone!

It's been a wild and busy few weeks: I'm sure you're all aware of the "trifecta" or worse facing the right wing: Rove quits, Gonzales falls, the "surge" collapses, Republican Senators don't know enough not to troll for sex in restrooms, the second anniversary of Katrina raises bad memories, and more. Let's hope it's an even better Autumn!

In This Update:

1. DFA-Linkup or "Meetup" Next Week
2. August News: Jim Dean In Saratoga
3. Video Revolution
4. DNC Unveils Tools For 50 State Strategy
5. DFA and Gonzales
6. Friday Night Film Fest
7. Republicans Losing Entire Younger Generation

1. DFA-Linkup or "Meetup" Next Week

Next week, on Wednesday September 5th, we'll have our usual Glens Falls DFA link-up or "meetup" at 7pm at the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe in downtown Glens Falls.

On the agenda will be our calendar of activities for the fall-- people are writing me saying the want to start protests again and DFA National is asking is to counter Republican attempts to spin the upcoming September report on Iraq.

2. August News: Jim Dean In Saratoga

DFA Chairman Jim Dean was in the Spa City two weeks ago for a fundraiser-- "Keehn and Dean"-- to help reelect Saratoga Springs Mayor Valerie Keehn. It was terrific seeing Jim here in our area and hearing him speak, and see him show support for Val Keehn. You can read all about it on Blog For America:

Special thanks to Jim and DFA National staffers Julia Marden and Illya Sheyman for coming down from Burlington and to Democracy For The Hudson Mohawk Region officers Hy Dubowsky, Carol Olszewski, Richard Jones, Tom Golden for their generous support.

On Blog For America there are also video links of Jim with yours truly introducing him thanks to Saratoga DFA member and videographer Roger Wyatt. Wyatt has also put video of Keehn speaking on her website at and at

3. Video Revolution

Roger's video work is turing into a fascinating phenomena, and is getting real attention. He's gotten out ahead of the curve-- to get a sense of this, consider this recent quote from NY Times columnist Paul Krugman:

"The rise of YouTube certifies the passing of Mr. Rove's era, a cultural
changing of the guard in the digital age. Mr. Rove made his name in
direct-mail fund-raising and with fierce top-down message management. As the
Internet erodes snail mail, so it upends direct mail. As YouTube threatens a
politician's ability to rigidly control a message, so it threatens the Rove
ethos that led Mr. Bush to campaign at "town hall" meetings attended only by
hand-picked supporters."

"It's no coincidence that this new culture is also threatening the Beltway
journalistic establishment that celebrated Mr. Rove's invincibility well
past its expiration date (much as it did James Carville's before him),
extolling what Joshua Green, in his superb new Rove article in The Atlantic,
calls the Cult of the Consultant. The YouTube video of Mr. Rove
impersonating a rapper at one of those black-tie correspondents' dinners
makes the Washington press corps look even more antediluvian than he is."

4. DNC Unveils Tools For 50 State Strategy

A big story that was missed this month was the DNC's rollout of its new voter database tools. This is the culmination of several years of work since Governor Dean began the long job of rebuilding the DNC. One of the big advantages that Republicans have had over Democrats is a superior national voter file. No more. A new national voter file, which-- unlike the past, especially here in New York State-- will be open and free to ALL candidates, will put first rate voter data at the hands of campaigns everywhere. It will also have an innovative, interactive web based interface. This is how campaigns will run in the future-- up to date information for direct voter contact.

This story is so major I am pasting the whole piece in at the bottom. Here is the link:

5. DFA and Gonzales

DFA and its activism clearly played a role in taking down former Attorney General Gonzales. Jim Dean issued this statement this week:

“The resignation of Alberto Gonzales is just the first step to restoring integrity to the Justice Department. The next step is removing the person most responsible for the mess in Washington – George W. Bush.”

During the past 5 months, Democracy for America members:

Signed over 100,000 petitions calling for Gonzales to go
Ran three hard hitting media generating ads
Ran newspaper ads in five major media markets
Contacted Members of Congress by phone, through email and in-person calling for the unseating of Gonzales
6. Friday Night Film Fest

The Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe continues its Friday Night Progressive Film Festival at 7:30 with:

Aug 31 JESUS CAMP (2006) Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady &
A growing number of Evangelical Christians believe there is a revival underway in America whereby Christian youth must take up the leadership of the conservative Christian movement. JESUS CAMP, directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (The Boys of Baraka), follows Levi, Rachael, Tory and a number of other young children to Pastor Becky Fischer's Kids on Fire summer camp in Devil's Lake, North Dakota, where kids as young as 6 years-old are taught to become dedicated Christian soldiers in God's army. The film follows these children at camp as they hone their prophetic gifts and are schooled in how to take back America for Christ. The film is a first-ever look into an intense training ground that recruit

Sep 7 AMERICA: FREEDOM TO FASCISM (2006) Aaron Russo 105 min.
Paying taxes ranks pretty highly On most people's "Least Favorite Things To Do" lists, but according to filmmaker Aaron Russo, U.S. citizens aren't actually legally obliged to pay federal income tax at all. This is the premise on which Russo's Libertarian documentary is based, and he speaks at length with various former IRS employees and people from financial institutions to back up his point. Russo contends that the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allows Congress to levy and collect taxes on incomes, was never properly ratified. He then proceeds to explain how this is the case, presenting all his facts and theories in a fun, easy-to-understand manner that will be familiar to fans of Michael Moore's movies. But after setting out his stall, Russo really goes for the jugular, making claims that America is becoming a police state in which citizens are gradually having their freedoms eroded.
(Note from LD-- this has been litigated quite a bit and the feds have always won. As they say on TV, don't try this at home!)

7. Republicans Losing Entire Younger Generation

Finally, I like to end on a really bright note: thanks to Bush, Rove, the neocons and all the rest, it now appears the Republicans have lost the entire upcoming younger generation. Also a must read.

Today, "on every single issue, Democrats are doing better with young people - no matter what the issue is," said pollster Stan Greenberg.

Thanks everyone!

Larry Dudley


DNC Holds National Training as It Rolls Out New Voter File
By Aaron Blake
The Hill

Wednesday 15 August 2007

In what is billed as the next stage of the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) 50 State Strategy, national and state Democratic staffers are convening in Cleveland this week to train on the party's new multimillion-dollar nationwide voter file.

About 200 Democratic staffers from all 50 states are meeting at Cleveland State University for a three-day intensive training session on the new VoteBuilder program and interface. The goal is to "train the trainer," allowing attendees to pass knowledge along to Democrats at all levels once they return to their states.

The training represents a final piece of the DNC's $8 million investment in building up its technology to improve its ground game.

The DNC announced in February that it had signed on with the Voter Activation Network (VAN) to build a nationwide interface for the new voter file, providing greater cohesion from the local level up. The new voter file will be free to all state parties and Democratic candidates.

While the DNC has held regional meetings and training since Chairman Howard Dean announced his 50 State Strategy, the national training is unprecedented.

"For the first time, we're bringing all of these people together - our entire national and state party partnership staff - and doing a major training that is about really flexing the muscle of the 50 State Strategy," said DNC spokesman Luis Miranda.

The DNC is focused early on preparing its field program and ground game for the 2008 election while Democratic candidates continue to do battle in the party's presidential nominating contests.

Democrats feel the new voter file will give them a leg up on the GOP, which is renowned for its vaunted 72-hour get-out-the-vote program and micro-targeting successes.

The nationwide uniformity of the VoteBuilder interface will allow the party to track voters who move and continue updating their information so operatives in their new area will be able to target and understand them more efficiently.

While the DNC credited some of the party's successes in 2006 - including in states like Ohio - to the controversial 50 State Strategy, Miranda said this week's training is where the investment really begins to pay off nationally.

Many in the Democratic Party, most notably former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), have differed vehemently with Dean over the strategy, which allocates resource to states and areas where Democrats have not typically been competitive.

"This is really where we start to see the dividends pay off in terms of a really coordinated ground game for '08," Miranda said. "Our goal is to hand a turn-key solution to whoever the nominee comes out to be.

"No voter contact will go untracked."

The training has included presentations by Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) and state party Chairman Chris Redfern, who talked about their victories in 2006. After years of struggles in the state, Ohio Democrats captured the governorship, a Senate seat and a House seat in 2006.

Dean will make an appearance as well.

The DNC made a major commitment to rebuilding its voter file after the 2004 election, in which the GOP cited its superior VoterVault program as a main reason for victory.

After focusing on cleaning up their data, the Democrats signed VAN and reached agreements with all 50 states to share all voter data.

The voter file has been rolled out in 46 states since April.

"We believe that VoteBuilder, coupled with trained staff on the ground, goes far beyond anything anyone has ever done, and far beyond where the GOP was in 2004," said DNC technology director Ben Self.

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