Obama's old Senate seat must remain with the Democrats
by Reading on Walden Bookstore, Thu Mar 11, 2010 at 11:08:45 AM EST
This diary is not only an appeal for money on behalf of my friend, Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who is running for United States Senator from Illinois, it is also a plea on behalf of the Obama agenda in Congress. We can ill afford to lose even one seat in either chamber of Congress. And symbolically, we need to retain the seat once held by President Barack Obama.
And what is my role in the campaign? I am an unpaid volunteer for Alexi Giannoulias. I plan on making phone calls on behalf of Alexi, knocking on doors, planting yard signs, writing and advocating on his behalf.
I first met Alexi in late 2005. On November 22, 2005, I received a phone call from Alexi. He was starting his campaign for Illinois State Treasurer then and I was the first grassroots group he called to enlist support.
Here is a quote from my book, Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers Did It, concerning the phone call.
And along comes Alexi GiannouliasOn November 22nd I received a telephone call from Alexi Giannoulias. He said, “My name is Alexi Giannoulias and Barack Obama gave me your telephone number. I’m running for Illinois State Treasurer and Barack thought you might be willing to help.” I was taken aback. If true, I was honored that Obama thought so highly of Michelle and me. I had to find out. I was not sure about the Obama connection, so I had to check Giannoulias out with Shomon. I told him I would get back to him. He left his phone number.
It was true. As I detail in the book, the next couple of months were a struggle for us and for Giannoulias. His petitions were challenged by the regular Democratic Party, and an attempt was made to knock him off the ballot. Many of the petitions my grassroots group had collected were challenged. That was because an assumption was made that there must be something wrong with them. What could a small, grassroots group know about collecting petitions to place candidates on the ballot. But we had learned long ago to dot all the i's and cross all the t's and not take short cuts. It reminded me of the title of one of my favorite book titles, If You Haven't Got the Time To Do It Right, When Will You Find the Time To Do It by Jeffrey J. Mayer. But we found the time to do things right and did things the right way.
Alexi remained on the ballot.
I have watched Alexi grow as a politician during these years and more importantly, I have watched him grow into a generous, caring, and passionate human being. He cares deeply about the plight of the poor and down-trodden. And I will point out, he is a true progressive.
And what I truly love about him is his fighting spirit. He is a fighter and I want him in my corner every time. And he will answer all the questions about the bank. Just ask him.
But I will tell you that these questions are raised by his political enemies who view it as an opportunity to bring him down and divert attention away from the real issues facing this nation.
Republicans would rather discuss these things, because they have nothing to discuss when it ccomes to the burning issues. After all, the republicans have decide to beome the "Party of No."
But as I told you, he is a born fighter and won't go down. And it is in that spirit he will fight for you too. Again, to donate. Click here at the campaign web site or here at Act Blue. Help Alexi fight so he can fight for you.
John is the author of a book pulished by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon.