Politics: August 2006 Archives

If a people have never spoken, the first words they utter are poetry.

-- Ferdinando Camon in La Stampa, December 16, 1989

He was referring to Czechoslovakia's "Velvet Revolution." I just read this quote in Tony Judt's amazing Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945. Vaclav Havel will be artist in residence for eight weeks at Columbia University this fall.

From Jonathan Tasini's campain blog:

To get on the ballot in New York, you need 15,000 signatures of registered Democrats. We blew past that number with ease, gathering 40,000 signatures from people throughout the state who, by putting their name to our petitions, said they want the opportunity to vote for another candidate, or, at least, hear what I have to say. Unlike most petitioning campaigns in New York that rely on paid workers, the overwhelming majority of our signatures were gathered by volunteers-a grassroots network of people spread across the state who braved the heat and rain to corral voters at fairs, festivals, markets, stairwells of apartment buildings or at the doors of voters' homes.

The first poll published in the race affirmed their hard work. Marist found that 13 percent of the voters would vote for me on Election Day-really an amazing number given that we spent very little money and that, to put it mildly, I was not a household name when I entered the race. Compare that to the Quinnipiac University poll released on February 16 that showed Joe Lieberman leading Ned Lamont by 55 points: 68 to 13. In other words, early in that race, Ned Lamont was polling at exactly the same number I am polling at now

More important, the poll found that 70 percent of registered Democrats believe that the Iraq War should be a major campaign issue; 62 percent of the voters say they will vote for a candidate who is against the war and only 9 percent said they will vote for someone who supports the war. In other words, my position is embraced by a majority of the Democratic primary voters, while the position of my opponent has very little support.

Yet, NY1's position is that the people should not hear me. The network’s political director tells us that NY1 has set a criteria for participation in the debate that it is sponsoring on August 22nd: a candidate has to poll at least 5 percent and s/he has to have spent or raised at least $500,000.

That's right, in our democratic system, half a million bucks is the ante to get your voice heard. We have raised about $150,000 since the beginning of the campaignóbut, though weíve done An excellent job reaching out to voters given our resources, we are being penalized for not having raised enough money.

I won't hold my breath waiting for Atrios or Daily Kos to mention this, since they've never even mentioned his campaign. They seem to have plenty of time for every freakin' detail of Ned Lamont's campaign. The former is more like a Gawker-esque link blog than ever. I wish I could get away with that and charge $3000/month for an ad.

I can understand why Billmon feels so disillusioned. I hear people tell me all of the time that things will be so much better if Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer and the like are in charge. Did you notice the statements they made condemning the deaths at Qana? Of course not. There weren't any.

This page is an archive of entries in the Politics category from August 2006.

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