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

Friday, April 10, 2020

Extraordinary times: Lisa turns in ballot access signatures

US Senate Candidate Savage Delivers Signatures To Qualify for Maine’s November Ballot

Yesterday, Maine independent Green candidate for U.S. Senate Lisa Savage delivered petitions with 5,581 notarized and certified signatures, collected from Maine voters in 45 cities and towns to the Secretary of State’s office in Augusta. The Secretary’s office must now review and verify the petitions as the last step before Savage is placed on the ballot in November as an independent. She needed a minimum of 4,000 signatures from registered Maine voters and could deliver no more than 6,000.

“Thanks everyone for working so hard,” said Savage on the steps of the Burton Cross Building, wearing a mask and with just her husband and press coordinator in attendance. “I’m very gratified that so many people have confidence that I would make a good senator and that we can win this ranked choice voting race. This isn’t the big celebration we had hoped for in turning in our petitions, but the important thing is we’ll be on the ballot.”

While the campaign in fact gathered more than 9,000 signatures, thousands of them are still being processed by city and town clerks throughout the state, many of them overwhelmed with duties related to the COVID-19 outbreak. With the Secretary of State’s office already looking to move to a skeleton staff, and likely to be occupied with tough decisions about moving June’s primary election and other matters, the Savage campaign felt it was prudent to get qualifying signatures in as soon as possible, giving the Secretary’s office plenty of time to process and certify the signatures safely before the June 1 deadline.

Due to this quirk, as well, the 5,581 signatures included zero from Portland. To qualify for the ballot without signatures collected from Maine’s largest city demonstrates the breadth and depth of the campaign’s support.

“We want to thank the Secretary of State’s office and Deputy Secretary Flynn,” said Savage, “for working with us to safely hand over the petitions during the pandemic.” The campaign left the box of petitions outside the fourth floor office of the elections department while Secretary Flynn watched from inside the doors, to maintain chain of custody. Then, keeping six feet apart, Flynn took the petitions inside the office, where they will be quarantined for two days. The Secretary’s office estimates it may take weeks to work through the signatures and officially place Savage on the ballot, with current staff and workload.

Responsible social distancing precluded an event to submit the signatures, but many campaign volunteers expressed their enthusiasm for the momentum Savage will carry as the first official name on the November ballot, considering the parties will have to wait until July to name their nominees.

“Our leadership in the years leading up to this particular pandemic has just been completely inadequate,” said Austin Witham, of Portland. Politicians have “been so busy getting at each other's throats and turning the American people against each other that we have absolutely no current response that's going to save an adequate amount of lives. We need people like Lisa to actually get in there and focus on supporting the American people."

Steven “October” Paul, also of Portland, is excited about the prospect of supporting Savage in a ranked choice environment. “It eliminates any kind of temptation for people to think there’s a spoiler candidate,” he said.

Unity College student Cody Pajic said Savage is his candidate for ensuring that government response to the pandemic doesn’t leave people like him out in the cold. The recent stimulus package is a good example, he said. If a parent claims a college student as a dependent, it could be a double whammy where the student has lost income from working at school, and is financially independent, but isn’t eligible for a stimulus check. “So you’re just not getting any payments from this $2 trillion stimulus payout, that the corporations are going to be benefiting from massively. And that really pisses me off,” he said.

Find information about Lisa Savage, her policy positions, background, and how to support her people-powered campaign at


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