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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Monday, September 10, 2007
Tricounty DFA Update: Debates, Iraq, Gore and more
Hello Everyone!

In this update:

1. Debates Monday: Saratoga Mayor, Warren County Sheriff
2. Meeting Report -- Iran Snap Demo Alert
3. DFA Calls For Funding Withdrawal
4. New Gore book (and article) Nobel Peace Prize October 12
5. 200,003 Precinct Strategy & DFA Night School Training Find Dukakis piece
6. Pell Grants Restored
7. DCCC Fought To Run Rich Conservatives
8. Friday Night FIlm Fest

1. Debates Monday: Saratoga Mayor, Warren County Sheriff

Tomorrow, Monday night, at 7pm, there will be a pair of candidate debates in primary elections.
In Saratoga Springs, DFA and Working Families Party endorsed mayoral candidate, incumbent Valerie Keehn, will debate Democratic and Conservative Party challenger Gordon Boyd in the Community Room of the Saratoga Springs Library.
In Glens Falls, there will be a debate for the Republican Party line for Warren County Sheriff between incumbent Larry Cleveland and challenger "Bud" York in Wood Theater in downtown Glens Falls.

2. Meeting Report -- Iran Snap Demo Alert

At our Wednesday meeting there was discussion about our agenda for the Fall. There was concern that there is a danger Bush might attack Iran in the next few weeks, so we agreed to hold a "snap" demonstration if it looks like something like that might happen. Watch for an alert with times and places if it appears an escalation of the war is imminent.

3. DFA Calls For Funding Withdrawal

DFA National has an online petition calling on Congress to only fund withdrawal from Iraq:

"Bush recently demanded another $50 billion to fund his war. That's in addition to the $147 billion he has already requested. He's counting on the White House-written Patraeus report this month to convince Congress to play along, but Americans already know that we must end this catastrophe now."

This is a position GGFDFA took in late winter when it advocated Rep. Gillibrand support Rep. Nadler's Hr. 455, which did just that-- only funded withdrawal.

4. New Gore Book Coming: Nobel Peace Prize October 12?

Thursday it was announced the Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded on October 12th. Al Gore is widely regarded as the leading contender. That status might be enhanced further if the Nobel Committee knew he has a new book coming out in April entitled The Path to Survival. It will be published next spring to coincide with Earth Day on April 22.

"According to the publisher, Rodale Books, Gore will spell out a blueprint for the changes that individuals and governments need to make to avoid catastrophic climate change.",,2163550,00.html

There is also a very interesting article on Gore in the latest New York Review of Books:

5. 200,003 Precinct Strategy & DFA Night School Training

DFA Night School is starting again for the Autumn, and these look to be as excellent as the ones in the past.

"There are over 203,000 precincts in America and the vast majority of them have never been organized. Neighborhoods that have active precinct programs consistently perform better than unorganized ones. This is something that anyone, anywhere can do. Not only will you increase Democratic voter registration and turnout in every election, but you'll also help build and shape your local Democratic party. If you want to improve the performance of your local party, this Night School Semester is for you:

Precinct Organizing: Getting Started
Tuesday, September 11 -- 8:30pm Eastern

This stuff really matters and the failure to do it is why Democrats have been losing for years! Even former Presidential candidate Mike Dukakis now attributes his failure in 1988 to a lack of precinct level grassroots organizing. It's worth a close read:

“We have to organize every damn precinct in the United States of America—all 185,000,” Mr. Dukakis said. “I’m serious. I’m deadly serious. I didn’t do it after the primary [in 1988]. Don’t ask me why, because that’s the way I got myself elected from the time I was running for town meeting in Brookline to the time I ran for governor.” Dukakis is worried Dems in 2008 are headed for the same letdown he suffered in 1988 because they're not focusing enough on grassroots organizing.

6. Pell Grants Restored

From --

In the most overlooked story of the last few days, Congress is about to increase the all-important Pell grant program, the historic cornerstone of Democrat's efforts to help kids from working families go to college. Pell Grants are to increase to $5,400 a year with interest rates cut in half by squeezing corporate lenders. Bush tried to take some credit, but...

"Democratic Congressional aides and some college lobbyists scoffed at the idea that President Bush deserved kudos, instead crediting the legislation’s chief sponsors, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), for what the Democratic leaders have heralded as the biggest infusion of federal student aid since the G.I. Bill."

“This is not a bill that would have taken place if it was left up to the administration,” said Maureen Hoyler, executive vice president of the Council for Opportunity in Education, which lobbies on behalf of low-income students and especially the TRIO programs, which would gain in the budget legislation. “The people who deserve credit for this are Senator Kennedy and Congressman Miller.”

The last Republican Congress slashed Pell Grants. Republicans have always favored tax breaks for college students, which, of course, favors those who make a lot and pay a lot of income tax. Considering that the median income in the City of Glens Falls is something like $34,000 a year, if you're married and have two or three dependents, you're probably paying more FICA than income tax, so a tax break won't do much for you.

For more on this huge issue:

7. DCCC Fought To Run Rich Conservatives

Drew sends this along-- Democratic House officials recruited rich conservatives to run as Democrats and blocked grassroots candidates. It's a familiar story confirmed by last month's showing of Taking The Hill, which portrayed the struggle of veterans turned candidates, particularly Eric Massa, who were spurned by insider types like Rham Emmanuel.

8. Friday Night FIlm Fest

The Rockhil Bakehouse Cafe's Friday Night Film Festival continues at 7pm in downtown Glens Falls with:

Sep 14 THE FALL OF FUJIMORI (2006) Ellen Perry 84 min.
In a nation besieged by bloody insurgents and appalling poverty appears a humble candidate who vows to fight for the poor and disenfranchised. Riding a crest of popular support, this political unknown storms into the elections and wins the Presidency. After being sworn in, the new President declares an all out War On Terror, which soon culminates in the capture of public enemy number one. The country is Peru. The President is Alberto Fujimori. The year is 1992. The Fall of Fujimori is a character-driven, political thriller exploring the volatile events that defined Fujimori’s decade-long reign: His meteoric rise from son of poor Japanese immigrants to the presidency; his fateful relationship with the shadowy and Machiavellian Vladimiro Montesinos; his "self-coup" that dissolved overnight both Congress and the Judiciary; and the bloody and dramatic Japanese Em

Thanks Everyone!


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