Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Big day at polls for Lisa in Maine

Lisa Savage with Portland volunteer Jess Falero at a polling station where ballot access signatures were gathered to put Lisa on the ballot in November.  Well over 7,000 signatures were gathered for Lisa across Maine on Super Tuesday - only 4,000 were needed.  Next step is Lisa will be on the ballot in November for the most watched US Senate race in the nation against Susan Collins.

Through most of the winter, volunteers for Lisa Savage spent hours at a time driving miles and miles to try to get one Green Party member signature.  Often when we found the house no one was there or the person had long ago moved.  One signature per hour was the average and we gathered just over 900 signatures before we accepted the fact that it was going to be impossible for us to make our deadline.

The decision was made by Lisa to switch, to become an Independent, which meant we had to gather 4,000 signatures by June 1.  In just one day, on March 3, we had volunteers at more than 50 voting stations across the state and as of late last night it was determined that we had swept past the goal by getting over 7,000 signatures. 

When gathering Green signatures a collector could only get registered Green Party members to sign.  By registering as an Independent Lisa could have any registered voter sign her ballot access petition - no matter their party.  It just goes to show how this state's ballot access laws are heavily weighed against third parties.  Very unfair.

People signing Lisa's petition in Brunswick - they had to be outside the entire day.  Some polling stations forced the gatherers to be outside - fortunately the weather was decent. Note the use of an ironing board rather than a table by the Lisa team.

Yesterday was also the Democrat Party Super Tuesday primary election for president.  In Maine Sen. Bernie Sanders had been leading until the Dems forced several of their candidates out of the race in order to clear the path for former V-P Joe Biden.  As I write this Biden is leading Sanders in Maine by 35% to 34% with 85% of polling stations reporting their vote totals.  The ones still out could be primarily from the Portland area where Sanders is strongest.  But in the end the corporate machine that runs the Democrat Party has proven they still intend to drown the growing progressive rebellion going on inside that party.

I worked the polls in Bath for 11 hours yesterday (with a one hour break when Barbara West came to relieve me).  I gathered 450 signatures and while there had a brief chat with two of the leading Bernie campaign volunteers in that community.  They were both furious with the Biden maneuver to get several candidates to drop out of the race so that their supporters would turn toward Biden and save his wayward campaign.  The strategy seems to have worked on Super Tuesday.

Biden increasingly stumbles as he delivers his lines.  He talks about the 'middle class being clobbered' but says little about poor people who have largely been abandoned by his corporate party.  (It's shocking that blacks are voting for Biden as he and Obama did virtually nothing for their communities during their eight years in office.)

So there are more than 60,000 Bernie supporters in Maine (and millions across the nation) that are not going to be happy about the corporate plan to squash Bernie's progressive agenda and deny him the nomination.  Here in Maine I'd figure that many of those disenchanted Bernie supporters will support Lisa Savage's campaign as we head toward the November election.  Lisa's Senate race against Republican Susan Collins will surely be the most watched Senate election in the nation.  Now that we've gathered the signatures to get her on the ballot we can expect to see new energy coming her way.

Elections are not the solution to our problems - we need grassroots movements.  But when we combine the grassroots energy behind a candidate like Sanders or Lisa Savage then things can get quite exciting as they connect the dots between the important issues.

Lisa is a great grassroots peace, climate change, and social justice activist.  Onward this campaign for people, planet and peace will go.



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