Friday, August 31, 2007

John Edwards Está en Fuego!

That's right folks, the tide is turning rather dramatically and John Edwards has officially become the candidate with "Big Mo" on his side. There's almost "too much good stuff" to share with you in one message, but like AM/PM, I'll give it my best shot:

1) Edwards Earns Endorsement from the national Carpenters' Union
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, representing more than 520,000 workers, announced their support for Sen. Edwards on Thursday. It's the first time in several Presidential election cycles that the Carpenters' Union has felt strongly enough about any candidate to make a primary endorsement. You can read the entire story here:

2) At Least One Surge is Working -- Edwards' Support Rising Rapidly in Both National & Early State Polls
Although each and every aspect of the Bush-Cheney policy in Iraq have been tragically disastrous, there is one surge that appears to be working quite well: John Edwards' dramatic surge in the recent polls, which represent a potpourri of good news for progressives. Nationally, Edwards has erased Obama's seventeen point lead in less than three weeks and has pulled into a virtual dead heat with the Illinois Senator in Rasmussen's daily tracking poll. Edwards has also gained 13 points on Hillary Clinton over the same period. In addition, Edwards has increased his lead over each of the GOP contenders in head-to-head polls and has strengthened his position as the most electable Democratic candidate. A new Time magazine poll shows that Edwards has also solidified his frontrunner status in Iowa, and in South Carolina Edwards has overcome a 15-point deficit since last month to surge past Obama and into second place in that important early primary state.

3) Progressive Media Begins to Rally Behind Edwards' Populist Message
Perhaps most important of all, both the corporate media and the alternative media have now come to realize that John Edwards is the only genuine progressive among the 2008 Presidential contenders. The mainstream media figured this out several months ago and have been viciously attacking Sen. Edwards ever since, while simultaneously giving the warm and fuzzy treatment to the his more centrist challengers. Fortunately the progressive media has to started to catch, and recently they have begun to rally around Edwards' populist message. In this excellent AlterNet piece Joshua Holland analyzes the recent speech in New Hampshire where Edwards called out "corporate Democrats" and Republicans alike, and pledged to use his Presidency to end the corporate domination of our society once and for all. This is the kind of aggressive, populist campaign that many of us have been waiting decades for, and progressives are beginning to respond. Corporate elites and your lackeys in Congress, beware! We've suffered for decades under the rule of Republicans and "centrist" Democrats, but we the people may be on the verge of taking our country back.

Edwards Goes After the 'Corporate Democrats' -- Is This a Turning Point for His Campaign?
By Joshua Holland, AlterNetPosted on August 26, 2007

Last week, John Edwards fired a broadside against corporate America and, more significantly, "corporate Democrats," the likes of which hasn't been heard from a viable candidate with national appeal in decades.

Edwards is en fuego right now, and if he keeps up the heat, his candidacy will either be widely embraced by the emerging progressive movement or utterly annihilated by an entrenched establishment that fears few things more than a telegenic populist with enough money to mount a credible campaign.

"It's time to end the game," Edwards told a crowd in Hanover, New Hampshire. "It's time to tell the big corporations and the lobbyists who have been running things for too long that their time is over." He exhorted Washington law-makers to "look the lobbyists in the eye and just say no."
Real change starts with being honest -- the system in Washington is rigged and our government is broken. It's rigged by greedy corporate powers to protect corporate profits. It's rigged by the very wealthy to ensure they become even wealthier. At the end of the day, it's rigged by all those who benefit from the established order of things. For them, more of the same means more money and more power. They'll do anything they can to keep things just the way they are -- not for the country, but for themselves.

[The system is] controlled by big corporations, the lobbyists they hire to protect their bottom line and the politicians who curry their favor and carry their water. And it's perpetuated by a media that too often fawns over the establishment, but fails to seriously cover the challenges we face or the solutions being proposed. This is the game of American politics and in this game, the interests of regular Americans don't stand a chance.

It's a structural argument, and Edwards didn't pull punches in calling out his fellow Democrats, saying: "We cannot replace a group of corporate Republicans with a group of corporate Democrats, just swapping the Washington insiders of one party for the Washington insiders of the other." The rhetoric was a clear signal that Edwards is going to beat the drums of reform as a contrast to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the primaries.

About a third of the speech focused on the trade deals that Bill Clinton championed, and his argument that those "wedded to the past" can't provide the answers was a barely-veiled rebuke of the Clintonian arm of the party, and the media's chosen "front-runner" for the nomination.
If Democrats are engaged in an existential struggle between the party's establishment and its grassroots, Edwards is obviously betting that the grassroots' passion and energy will trump the Machine Democrats message' apparatus -- this was a speech that was not written by the usual coterie of Beltway consultants.

The most striking aspect of Edwards' speech was his implicit argument that class still exists. For years, both parties have obscured the divisions that are so prominent in modern American society, painting a picture of a country in which we're all part of an entrepreneurial class with more or less similar interests -- a key ingredient in the false "center" to which politicians and Beltway pundits kow-tow. "Let me tell you one thing I have learned from my experience," Edwards said last week. "You cannot deal with them on their terms. You cannot play by their rules, sit at their table, or give them a seat at yours. They will not give up their power -- you have to take it from them."

It was an explicit rebuke of Obama's "new politics" -- Obama recently told the Washington Post that "the insurance and drug companies can have a seat at the table in our health-care debate; they just can't buy all the chairs." Obama's approach to "cleaning up Washington" is not bad, but ultimately tinkers around the edges of a corrupted legislative system.
Edwards is not so conciliatory on the subject. "For more than 20 years, Democrats have talked about universal health care," he said. "And for more than 20 years, we've gotten nowhere, because lobbyists for the big insurance companies, drug companies and HMOs spent millions to block real reform."

Contrast that naked confrontation of corporate power with the tepid appeals to working Americans that were a trademark of John Kerry's 2004 campaign. In announcing his candidacy, Kerry offered a bit of demagoguery about CEOs -- he segued from bashing Cheney and Halliburton --and boldly promised to end tax breaks "that help companies move American jobs overseas." Also in his plan for corporate accountability: "No more contracts for companies, no matter how well-connected they are, until they decide to do what's right."

Hillary Clinton's economic proposals track with the thinking popular among the ostensible "progressives" at the DLC and the Third Way -- policies that give Americans the "opportunity" to save for retirement, a decidedly centrist approach to spiraling college costs and other familiar policies from the 1990s. She's not a fair trader nor a free trader, she says -- she's for "smart trade," "pro-American" trade.

Edward's speech about the economy isn't the only time that he's strayed from the bounds of "respectable" discourse in Washington. In May, he said that the "war on terror" was a political "bumper sticker" that the administration used to "justify everything [Bush] does: the ongoing war in Iraq, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, spying on Americans, torture."

Edwards isn't the only candidate in the race making such bold statements, of course. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has long spoken of economic issues in the kinds of terms Edwards used last week. But John Edwards was the vice presidential nominee on a presidential ticket that won 59 million votes and he's raised $23 million in the current cycle (20 times what Kucinich has raised), and that means that corporate media is forced to cover him. So far, they've mocked him, written stories about his haircuts, pushed shadowy innuendo about his personal business dealings and suggested his focus on poverty is disingenuous or hypocritical, but they simply can't write him off as a member of the fringe. Unlike Kucinich, they can't ignore him.

John Edwards is becoming a very different kind of candidate, and his growing message of empowerment and attack on the corporate class may prove to be the most interesting story of campaign 2008.

Joshua Holland is an AlterNet staff writer.
© 2007 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.View this story online at:

Tomorrow Begins Today

Carpenter's Union endorses Edwards

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters, a union that has not endorsed a candidate in the primaries in several election cycles, will formally announce their endorsement of John Edwards for President at a rally of union members on September 8th in New Hampshire.

After carefully considering all the candidates from both parties, the Carpenters Union chose Edwards as the candidate with the best chance of winning the White House and the person who will best represent hard-working families.

"Our endorsement is based on the Senator's outspoken support for all of organized labor and his focus on America's working families," said Carpenters President Douglas J. McCarron. "In addition to his support for labor, our leadership was particularly impressed with the Senator's strong stand on trade."

"We also believe that Senator Edwards will have a great appeal in a general election," McCarron continued. "He has the ability to reach out to moderate voters, including the members of our union, and to address their very real concerns about jobs, health care and the economy."

Senator Edwards believes that in order to strengthen the middle class and build One America, we need to strengthen the union movement in our country. He has traveled across the country to walk picket lines and has helped organize thousands of workers into unions. Edwards is a strong supporter of workers' rights and has laid out a comprehensive agenda to help working families, which includes raising the minimum wage, guaranteeing universal health care, enacting smart and safe trade policies and protecting a worker's right to organize.

"More than ever, America needs a president who will stand up for working families and the middle class," Edwards said. "I have walked picket lines and helped organize thousands of workers, and I've seen firsthand what unions go through every single day trying to protect the right to organize, trying to bargain collectively, and trying to get a decent wage and health care. If we're going to grow the middle class and ensure fairness, we need to strengthen workers' rights. I have always stood on the side of working Americans and I always will."

The full press release is available here.

Tomorrow Begins Today

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Voter registration canvas in Oak Park

Please mark Saturday, October 6, 2007 on your calendars. On that day the "Sacramento for Edwards Coalition with Assemblymember Dave Jones" will be holding a voter registration canvas in the Oak Park area.

The specific location will be announced shortly, but the time will be 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a "basic" BBQ afterward for volunteers (hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, non-alcoholic beverages).

Please contact Zak Ford, (916)-813-6658, or follow the link below to volunteer for this effort.

Please join our John Edwards One Corps chapter at

For more information, and to RSVP for this event, please click here:

Donate to John Edwards for President

A special moment. John Edwards on health care

John Edwards answers a question about Health Care in Portsmouth, N.H. on August 26, 2007. This stop came as part of his "Fighting for One America" New Hampshire bus tour.

Take four short minutes to view this must see video.

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Edwards still the best bet to beat any republican

by Randy Bayne
The Bayne of Blog

A new report from Global Strategy Group shows that John Edwards continues to be the most electable Democratic candidate for President.
Edwards is the only Democrat with a significant lead in a head-to-head match-up against Republican frontrunner Giuliani. Against the other three major Republican candidates, Edwards’ average margin of victory is virtually identical to that of Barack Obama, and significantly higher than Hillary Clinton’s average margin.
The report also says that Edwards "outperforms the other Democratic candidates in match-ups with Republican candidates in key battleground states," and brings new state into the mix so that he doesn't have to "run the table" in other Democratic states.

Even though Edwards has been shown to be the only candidate that solidly defeats every GOP candidate, and he is the only candidate that consistently voices strong support for American workers, two unions have endorsed other candidates.

This morning it was reported that the United Transportation Union endorsed Senator Hillary Clinton. It is the first endorsement by a major union in this election. Clinton's endorsement comes in spite of the repeated reports showing "Clinton as the weakest major Democrat in the general election."

In another, more surprising endorsement, the International Association of Firefighters has thrown its support to Senator Chris Dodd. Dodd is currently polling at less than 2 percent.

So there you have it. The good news, Edwards is the candidate with the strongest chance at beating the Republicans — any and all of them; and the bad news, because the press has annointed Clinton and Barack Obama the Democrats may end up missing their best opportunity at capturing the White House.

To call it disappointing that these two unions did not endorse Edwards would be a massive understatement. Edwards is clearly the best choice for labor, for working America, and for the Democrat's ability to regain the White House. That isn't to say the other can't, but it will be much harder for Clinton or Obama.

The Republicans, and even moderate Democrats, fear Edwards. They know he can and will beat them, and they will stop at nothing to keep his name out of the news — in positive stories. They will also work overtime to attack Clinton and Obama without mentioning Edwards with the hope that Democrats will come to Clinton's and Obama's rescue by nominating one of them.

It is the same tactic they used in 2004 when it seemed Edwards might defeat John Kerry for the nomination. It worked then...

Edwards stands for working Americans, for the poor and middle class, for increasing opportunity, for real universal health care, for decent jobs at a decent wage, for unions. He has the best chance of winning in November, and the power brokers are scared.

Give what you can to help John Edwards for President

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Karl Rove's worst nightmare

You may have seen Karl Rove's recent attacks on Hillary Clinton in the news.

This is a page straight out of his tired old playbook—Rove is attacking Hillary Clinton because he doesn't want John Edwards to win the Democratic nomination.

Rove knows that Democrats will rally around whomever he attacks—so he attacks the candidate he thinks Republicans can most easily defeat.

It may seem backwards, but Rove and his cronies did the same thing last time around. In 2004, they were scared of John Edwards, so they attacked John Kerry.

Don't take it from me—take it from Rove's own lieutenant on the Bush-Cheney 2004 reelection campaign, Matthew Dowd:

"Whomever we attacked was going to be emboldened in Democratic primary voters' minds. So we started attacking John Kerry a lot in the end of January because we were very worried about John Edwards." [Los Angeles Times, 8/19/07]

Rove and the Republicans want our opponents to win—because they know John will be the strongest candidate in the general election.

We may not be the richest campaign—but John is the strongest candidate. This time around, the candidate with the boldest ideas for changing America—the candidate who can take on the special interests in Washington, D.C. and win—is also the most electable. We know it—and the Republicans know it, too. But they won't be able to stop us if we have the support of people like you.

Can you make a contribution today—and send Karl Rove the message that his efforts to influence the Democratic primary won't work this time?

It is no secret that John is the only Democratic candidate who can beat any of the Republican candidates hands down. Just look at the polls conducted by Rasmussen Reports—a major national polling firm—over the past few months. They show that John is the Democratic candidate who consistently beats all of the Republicans candidates in head-to-head match-ups in battleground states—and by the widest margins.

Rove and the Republicans are seeing the same numbers we are—and drawing the same conclusions. So Rove is using his sneaky, underhanded tactics to try and trick Democrats into rallying around a candidate who won't be as strong as John in the general election.

But with your support, we can make sure that Rove's plan doesn't work this time. We are building a strong grassroots organization in the key early states and across the country. John has the best and boldest ideas for bringing big change to America, he can take on the special interests and win, and of all the Democratic candidates he will be the strongest in the general election—in other words, John Edwards is Karl Rove's worst nightmare.

All we need is your support to drive right past Karl Rove's see-through tactics—and keep our campaign on the road to victory.

Thank you for all you do to support this campaign.


-Joe Trippi
Senior Advisor, John Edwards for President
August 22, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

John Edwards blast Bush on children's health care - SCHIP

Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Senator John Edwards issued the following statement in response to the Bush Administration's new order directing states to cut back on enrolling kids in the state children's health insurance program (SCHIP).

"In a stunning late-evening order, the Bush Administration made it abundantly clear that the health and welfare of uninsured children is of little concern to President Bush. The Bush order continues an ideological crusade against the SCHIP that will only benefit private insurance companies, while further punishing countless numbers of uninsured families in America. Sadly, this is a new low -- even for this president.

"The practical effect of this order is clear: States like New Hampshire, Missouri and Minnesota will have to take away insurance from tens of thousands of children from moderate-income families. Roughly 20 states will be forced to impose a 12-month waiting period before any children without health insurance can enroll. That's a death sentence for uninsured kids with leukemia and other diseases -- chemotherapy isn't available in the emergency room. Apparently 18,000 Americans already dying each year because they don't have health insurance just isn't enough for the Bush Administration.

"When Congress returns from recess, Democrats and responsible Republicans must come together to override this disastrous order and expand the children's health insurance program to serve millions more children. More importantly, it is clearer now than ever that the time has come for bold and transformational health care reform. As president, I will never allow the private insurance industry or its lobbyists to get in the way of providing health care to children or having true universal health care reform."

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Do Democrats really want to win the White House in November 2008?

by Paul Burke, 08/13/07
Co-Chair, Sacramento for Edwards Grassroots

Dear Friends,

Do Democrats really want to win the White House in November 2008?

This sounds like a stupid question, doesn't it? Of course Democratic voters want to win... don't we? After six long years of suffering under the humanitarian disaster know as the Bush/Cheney Administration, one would think that Democrats would be willing to do just about anything to put a Democrat in the White House... wouldn't we?

Well, you might think so, but the national polling data suggests a different story. It's been clear for several months now that the most electable Democrats are John Edwards and Barack Obama, in that order (see Rasmussen Reports or the blog entry below for details). Hillary Clinton is running a distant third in the crucial electabilty contest. She also has the lowest favorable ratings and highest unfavorable ratings among the leading Democratic contenders. What makes matters worse for Sen. Clinton, and for Democrats if we choose to nominate her, is that Sen. Clinton has been a national figure for more than fifteen years and is far and away the best known candidate in either party. The chances of her l owering her unfavorable ratings -- currently an eye-popping 48% -- are somewhere between slim and none... and no one has seen slim around for a while.

Among Democratic primary voters, however, Clinton is ahead in all the national polls and her lead over Sen. Edwards and Sen. Obama is growing. In addition, Hillary is ahead in four of the five early primary states (New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, and Florida) and has pulled into a virtual tie with Edwards in the fifth, Iowa (see Real Clear Politics for details). In other words, the corporate media and the pollsters have already annointed our least electable candidate as the "inevitable" nominee, and not a single Democrat will cast a vote for another five months! How's that for democracy?

Worse still from a progressive perspective, Sen. Clinton is not only the least competitive of the first tier Democratic candidates, she's also the most conservative. In fact, Clinton is arguably the most conservative of any of the eight Democratic presidential hopefuls (with the possible exception of the ultra-hawkish Joe Biden). Yes, it will be a great historical moment for our nation when we elect the first woman Presdent, and as a proud feminist I look forward to celebrating that moment with tens of millions of American women and enlightened men. But is throwing our support behind a centrist, pro-war, corporate Democrat with poor general election prospects the best way for progressives to demonstrate our commitment to women's rights? Certainly Republican strategists and corporate elites are hoping that we make that choice. In fact, the nomination of a candidate as polarizing as Hillary Clinton is probably the GOP's only chance to wage a competitive presidential campaign in the immediate aftermath of the disastrous Bush/Cheney debacle and the virtual implosion of the Republican party. Besides, corporate elites are well aware that if they can't have their first choice in the White House (i.e., any Republican), they know that anyone named Clinton is a perfectly accecptable alternative to serve their corporate interests. If that sounds like a controversial statement, then you may not have been paying close enough attention during the 1990's.

On the other hand, as Democratic voters we do have another option. We can choose to nominate the Democratic contender who is both the most electable and the most progressive... Sen. John Edwards. As you can see from the polling data below, Edwards has consistently outperformed both Clinton and Obama against every Republican candidate in the field, and his favorable/unfavorable ratings among American voters are the best of any Democrat (including Al Gore). Better still, he's running by far the most progressive campaign of any major Democratic candidate (yes, I love Dennis Kucinich, but those of us on the left must accept the reality that, although his campaign serves an important ideological and educational role, Kucinich is not a contender). This sounds like a pretty easy choice, and it certainly is for me. In fact, I haven't been inspired to work for any Presidential candidate since serving as a student leader for Rev. Jesse Jackson's historic "rainbow coalition" campaign back in 1988. But John Edwards represents our best chance to elect a progressive populist President in my lifetime, which is why I volunteered to serve as a Co-Chair of Sacramento for Edwards. Win or lose, we're incredibly proud to serve on behalf of the only candidate in American history who has pledged to end poverty in a generation.

We'd rather win. Regardless of what the spin doctors and corporate media pundits try to tell us, it is far from inevitable that the Democrats are going to nominate our most conservative, least electable candidate. Do you remember a couple years ago when it seemed live everyone you knew supported George Bush and everyone you knew supported the war? Do you remember feeling like an alien in your own home town because all of a sudden it seem liked many of your neighbors, co-workers, and classmates had lost their collective minds and turned into xenophobic, blindly "patriotic" warmongers and Bush clones? Those folks are whistling a very different tune these days, huh? Isn't it amazing how quickly things can turn around?

It can happen again. Not a single primary vote will be cast until next year, and it's still summer. John Edwards can win the Democratic nomination, and we can put a progressive in the White House in 2008. But in all honesty, we need your help to make it happen. The other candidates, both Democrat and Republican alike, are the darlings of the corporate elite. John Edwards is campaigning on a platform of economic justice platform, which makes the folks at Walmart and Exxon very uncomfortable. Like Rev. Jackson a generation ago (who came much closer to winning the nomination that most people today remember), Sen. Edwards is counting on the good will of regular folks like us to get involved and take back our democracy from the corporate CEO's. We can win, but only with an inspired, grassroots effort.

If you'd like to end poverty in our nation, bring our troops home from Iraq, and guarantee quality, affordable health care to every American, you have the power to do so. If you'd like to get inolved, or just learn more about our progressive grassroots campaign, please sign up for our new Sacramento for Edwards Google Group and check out our new Sacramento for Edwards blog.

Tomorrow Begins Today!
Paul B
Co-Chair, Sacramento for Edwards

Rasmussen Reports Show Consistent Pattern
rmcveigh in Diaries 8/10/2007 at 11:41 PM EST

The most recent Rasmussen Report shows a consistent pattern in presidential match ups between Democrats and Republicans.

Back at the beginning of April I looked at favorables/unfavorables and match-ups between candidates.

The most recent Rasmussen Report shows little has changed since then. John Edwards currently has the highest favorable ratings at 54% among all the presidential candidates both Democrat and Republican. John also has among the lowest unfavorable ratings. [lowest of the first tier Democrats]. Conversely Senator Clinton has the highest unfavorable rating at 48%.
John does well in match-ups against Republican presidential candidates. He beats all of them.

Let's look at match-ups with Giuliani:
Edwards 49%Giuliani 42%
Clinton 45%Giuliani 46%
Obama 44%Giuliani 43%

Since April, Clinton has closed the gap with Giuliani, but Edwards has went from seven points down to being seven points up.

Another name often mentioned is Fred Thompson. How do Clinton, Obama, and Edwards do against Thompson?
Edwards 50%Thompson 39%
Clinton 45%Thompson 46%
Obama 46%Thompson 39%

Edwards beats Thompson by the greatest margin, while Clinton loses to Thompson.
How about match-ups with McCain?
Edwards 45%McCain 38%
Clinton 45%McCain 43%
Obama 46%McCain 40%

Edwards beats McCain by the largest margin, while Clinton bets McCain by a mere two percentage points.

Lastly, let's look at match-ups against Romney:
Edwards 52%Romney 36%
Clinton 46%Romney 42%
Obama 47%Romney 38%

Again, Edwards beats Romney by the biggest margin, while Clinton wins by only four percentage points.

To compare current match-ups with the percentages in April, go to /4/04240/87008.

So the question for Democrats is simple. Do we make our nominee a person who is now in tight races with the Republican presidential candidates, or do we nominee a person who has the biggest margin of victory against Republican presidential candidates? Do we roll the dice, or do we nominee a winner that will beat the Republican presidential candidate in November 2008?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

John Edwards clearly the most electable Democratic candidate

By Zak Ford

Two of the biggest things that stand out about John Edwards are his substance and electability.

The Edwards campaign recently forwarded me the below NY Times op-ed and attached memorandum regarding Edwards' polling in the general election. The PDF file includes a lot of detailed polling information from battleground states. Please review this information and forward it to your friends.

For the month of August and into September, The Sacramento for Edwards Coalition with Assemblymember Dave Jones will focus its attention on helping local supporters organize house parties to promote Edwards. In late September/early October we are planning a voter registration drive. Please contact me if you would like to get involved.

I look forward to working with you in the months ahead.

Please join our One Corps chapter at

Zak Ford
Office of Assemblymember Dave Jones

Donate to John Edwards for President