2008 elections

Noam Chomsky on Mumia, Elections, Capitalism & Democracy

Check out these two new pieces from Noam Chomsky, in his first major response to the elections. Just to give this diary a personal touch, Chomsky is a long-time Mumia supporter (featured in the new British film on Mumia), and when he visited Philly in 2002 he told me what he thought is the significance of Mumia's case:

Pennsylvania Morning Rush Wrap-Up

This morning I was asked to monitor my old home state of Pennsylvania for the Common Cause Protect the Vote project. Our operations in PA are aided by more than 80 poll monitors across the state and by the operations of our colleagues in the Election Projecting coalition. Here is what we learned:

Perhaps the biggest news maybe that Philadelphia Election Authorities may not count emergency ballots cast by voters because of broken machines until Friday. John Bonifaz of Voter Action is challenging the decision but if the vote is close tonight it might be that we won’t have the results in Pennsylvania until Friday. Under the law, these ballots are to be treated the same as regular ballots.

IVAW Protest Update: Shocking New Video Released as Nick Morgan Undergoes Surgery and First Court Date Set

This is the new I-Witness video. WARNING: it is very graphic:

I-Witness Video is a group dedicated to using video to protect protestors’ civil liberties. In an email message to the Indypendent, Forman writes, “The video is extremely disturbing and clearly shows Iraq War Veteran Nick Morgan at the moment when his head was crushed to the sidewalk under a police horse. This story has been completely ignored in the media. He was legally, peacefully … standing on the sidewalk when the event occurred.”

Meeting Myself in Bucks County: Pennsylvania in the Political (and Personal) Crucible

http://phillyimc.org/en/node/77001

This is a very good essay that was posted at phillyimc today, that I thought YPP folks would appreciate and find interesting. Go to the above link for the full article. Below are a few excerpts:

In 1991, at age 17, I fled Bucks County, an overwhelmingly white, working-class region in southeast Pennsylvania where I grew up. I left because the life of the working class was brutal and I wanted no part of it. I cringed at the racism and xenophobia that seemed to rise out of the anxieties of precarious labor. I desperately hoped there was some alternative to coming home each day looking as battered as did so many grown-ups I would catch staring blankly into TV screens or half-empty glasses of beer.

and,

AFL Insider Addresses Election Strategy, TOMORROW!

On Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 5:30 pm Jonathan Hiatt, the General Council for the AFL-CIO will address a small group of labor lawyers, unionists and law students about this critical election and what comes after November 4. Mr Hiatt will discuss topics such as the Employee Free Choice Act, the election, immigration and the Wall Street credit problems.

This event is a great place to mingle with leaders in the field of law, politics and labor. The event which is hosted by Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez will be in the City Hall Caucus Room, Room #400. Snacks and refreshments will be served. Tickets are $50 but call for low-income and student tickets that as affordable as $20. Space is extremely limited so be sure to reserve your ticket today by calling Fabricio at Jobs with Justice at 215-670-5855. A portion of the proceeds from this event will go to support Jobs with Justice.

Another good one from Philly: Sarah Palin's racism

Check out this new one David Love:

http://blackcommentator.com/293/293_col_palin_native_alaskans_blacks.htm...

The extent of Gov. Palin’s record on diversity seems to amount to ignoring Native Alaskans’ basic rights, telling Black folks she doesn’t have to hire them, and snubbing Juneteenth. So, where does all of this lead us? What is the punchline to this cruel joke known as the vice-presidential candidacy of Sarah Palin? Well, in the end, Palin’s record represents an indictment of the GOP narrative of small town America. As the new poster child for the conservative cause, Palin gives small town people a bad name. To be sure, many people in small towns are just as clueless, narrow-minded and averse to cultural diversity and civil rights as the governor of Alaska. But many more are not, and these people must decide very soon if they will allow Sarah Palin to speak for them.

KWRU and the Poor People's March at the RNC

Watch Democracy Now!'s interview with Cheri Honkala, National Organizer with the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign and Executive Director of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, and footage of their march organized outside the Xcel Energy Center. Also see the IMC video report.

RELATED: Al Jazeera video on KWRU II Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign and their updated blog II DN!'s Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC

RNC and DNC should unite 4 Gustav!

Once again, America finds itself in the middle of another major hurricane --Hurricane Gustav, or G-Stav if your from the streets. The GOP was forced to face the inconvenient truth that Gustav has now essentially sidelined any opportunity to bask in the shine of their national convention, this week. However, some may feel that Gustav is a welcomed distraction from the disaster that is McCain's pick for VP, Sarah Palin (I'm not so sure I share in this view). Or the disaster that would have been Bush or Cheyney headlining major speeches at the RNC. Now, partisan rancor aside, I do feel that McCain is right when he says that we should come together as "Americans" to deal with this natural disaster.

Assassination Talk Shows Hillary's True Colors

This is a good one from local writer David A. Love, who wrote this for the national news website BlackCommentator.com. Check out David's blog at davidalove.blogspot.com

Assassination Talk Shows Hillary's True Colors

By David A. Love
BlackCommentator.com Cover Story
May 29, 2008

When Hillary Clinton invoked the 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy as a justification for staying in the 2008 Democratic presidential race, she revealed how desperate she has become.

"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it," she said in an interview with the editorial board of the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D. Although some would chalk up her comment to fatigue or a lack of sleep, Clinton had similarly invoked the slain senator several times in recent months.

The Radical Alternative (Cynthia McKinney)

photo (by Joe Piette, Workers World): Cynthia McKinney in Philadelphia at a reception hosted by The Friends Center, with other supporters of Abu-Jamal. McKinney was in town for the May 17, 2007 oral arguments before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals--a decision is expected any time.

Listen to the audio here.

The Radical Alternative

[col. writ. 12808]

(c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

In this age of political discontent, it seems clear that many Americans who plan to vote are voting for "change".

Just what kind of change is an open question. Will that change bring the first woman to the Oval Office? Or will it bring a Black man (or ,to some, a 1/2 Black man?)

As the ballot turns...

Well, the wait is almost over. The Bureau of Elections is posting and updating the list of candidates as the petitions come in. Check it out here.

No huge surprises so far, though Doc is officially on the ballot in the 1st (some doubted it would actually happen). Thomas Blackwell, Bill Keller, Angel Cruz, Jewell Williams, and Curtis Thomas are all being challenged, and there are 2 Dem challengers to Harold James in the 186th. And there is a second challenger to Rosita Youngblood--other than Byron Davis--in the 198th.

Most interesting to me was the filing of a Richard Costello as a Democrat against John Perzel in the 172nd. Did I miss this--is this THE Rich Costello former head of the Fraternal Order of Police?

Let the games begin!

What big Ed said

Who doesn't love Ed Rendell? I used to cook him bacon cheeseburgers at the Lombard Swim Club where I worked in high school, and as I told Jennifer at the fundraiser last night, I don't know a native Philadelphian who doesn't have some weird, personal memory of him from the Mayoral years (again, mostly involving food).

Which is why his words, in Philadelphia, count.

So listen up ward leaders in the 179th state leg district--Rendell thinks you made a mistake. In fact his exact words from last night's fundraiser for Tony Payton Jr. were:

If we let them beat back Tony, it's a huge blow to independent politics in the Democratic party and the city of Philadelphia...and to young people.

He said a lot more, but I only got so much. Click here to see a terrible cell phone vid I took (the sound is the part that counts).

For those of you who don't know, Rep. Tony Payton Jr. is the youngest member of the PA House. He was first elected in 2006, and has since proved a valuable member of the unnamed, but growing, progressive caucus of the Democratic party in Harrisburg.

Tony ran without the blessing of the party in 2006, and beat a well-organized write-in candidate. Now, purely out of spite, City Commissioner Marge Tartaglione and former City Council-person Dannny Savage have prevented Tony from getting the Democratic party endorsement again.

Again according to Rendell:

Tony is a tremendous breath of fresh air in Harrisburg...if he'd gotten the endorsement, it would have been an easy reelection, but now it will be a tough battle and he needs every dime...which is why I gave him $5,000.

Hear that ward leaders? Hear that Congressman Brady?

Ed Rendell thinks you made a mistake, and not matter what your differences with the Guv may be, he is a Democratic governor in his last two years of power. This is the time big stuff is gonna be able to happen, and if the Guv wants Tony, you'd better deliver him.

I don't know Democratic City Committee rules real well, but maybe you could undo last Saturday's endorsement?

A house divided: how the party screwed Tony Payton Jr. (again)

This just in...a caucus of ward leaders was held today in the 179th legislative districts to decide who to endorse in the 179th state house legislative district. The way a party endorsement works in a state leg district is that the ward leaders vote, and the candidate who ends up with the most divisions wins.

Challenger Guy Lewis has received the party endorsement over incumbent State Representative Tony Payton Jr. There are 55 divisions in the 179th and Lewis won the endorsement, receiving 33 divisions.

How you ask?

  • Marge Tartaglione, 62nd ward leader, controls 14 divisons.
  • Danny Savage, 23rd ward leader, controls 16 divisions.
  • Bill Dolbow, 35th ward leader, controls 3 divisons.

Total = insanity.

No matter how Tony came to be in power, I thought that as an incumbent, he'd be guaranteed a spot. After all, do you remember what Congressman Brady did when some folks organized to run against incumbent committee people in the 30th ward?

He sent this letter to ward leader, Terry Gillen:

March 8, 2006

Dear Terry,
It has come to my attention that there is an organized effort to file petitions to become a Democratic committee person in many wards in the city. It is clear that this effort has been started by forces that seek to polarize and destroy this party. I strongly urge you to oppose their efforts. I suggest that you immediately notify me at City Committee of the divisions where this has occurred. I will have the petition reviewed to determine if it is defective. If it is, I will assist you in filing a petition with the Common Pleas Court to have the person stricken from the ballot on behalf of your designated candidate in that division.

We are a family united. As your leader and friend, I will fight to make sure we remain united.

I will also prepare withdrawal slips for these individuals that filed and I will try to have them withdrawn.

Very truly yours,
signed
ROBERT A. BRADY, CHAIRMAN
Democratic County Executive
Committee of Philadelphia

"We are a family united," eh?

Tony has brought over $5 million to his district, offers housing counseling and job services from his office, has made a commitment to improving schools and has been an amazing progressive ally and leader, most notably his bill to make college more affordable for Pennsylvania students.

Tony went to Harrisburg two years ago, without the endorsement of the party, and apparently now he'll have to do it again.

Barack the Vote: PA 2007

This weekend marked the beginning of Philadelphia for Obama's Get Out the Vote project for this year's State and Local election on November 6th. Even though Barack Obama is not on that ballot, and won't be until April 22nd we believe that we need to be spending our time and energy helping get Democrats to the polls for this Fall's elections. To that end, the grassroots team for Barack Obama here in Pennsylvania has decided to push getting our volunteers to participate in Get Out the Vote activities statewide and help out with local candidates they like in the run up to this coming general election.

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