August 24, 2009

Obama aide rallies Racine for health care debate

Is Racine Ground Zero for Obama's health plan?

Maybe that's over-stating things a bit -- but at the same time, one of the President's top organizers was here last week to meet with ten local volunteers at the Cup of Hope coffee shop on Sixth Street. He left them pumped up and optimistic, just in time for this week's "listening sessions" with U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, 1st District, one of the Obama proposal's chief opponents in the House.

The man who was here last week was Jeremy Bird, deputy director of Organizing for America, a national network of Obama supporters. The local volunteers he met with are members of Community for Change, the volunteers here who worked hardest for Obama's election last fall.

Accompanying Bird was a reporter from the Washington Post, Eli Saslow, who wrote about the Racine visit in Sunday's newspaper.

Kelly Gallaher of Community for Change tells us how last week's meeting took place:

"In early August, I received an invitation to meet with Jeremy Bird... Jeremy wanted to sit down with us and talk about what we had been doing since the November elections, gather our thoughts and ideas about the future.

"Community for Change is one of hundreds of Obama Presidential Campaign organizations across the country that formed their own groups outside of traditional partisan or political organizations. After the inauguration, Organizing for America (OFA) began to take shape in Washington and worked to keep the connection between individual groups through an OFA website and eventually hiring a state director in Wisconsin. At the national level, OFA is a special project of the Democratic National Committee and OFA accepts no PAC or lobbyist money."

Gallaher says Obama is the first president who has attempted to adapt their campaign operation into an ongoing organization after the election. "I believe Barack Obama’s experience as a community organizer has highly influenced his choice to do so. It is also important to note that these groups all over the country direct their ideas and thoughts up the food chain rather than from the top down," she said.

At the same time, she says Community for Change "remains its own organization with events and agenda determined and funded by local organizers. Though largely comprised of a progressive membership we aim to be post-partisan and C4C will not endorse candidates for office. We feel our work is to translate national issues into a local conversation and our efforts are best used to bring people into that process."

Still, their work is cut out for them in the health care debate. Two weeks ago we had a story here about threats made against congressional listening sessions like the 17 Rep. Ryan has scheduled in the district, including three in the county this Thursday. Racine's is at 1:30 p.m. in the Great Lakes Room at Gateway Technical College (Complete district schedule here.) We took some heat for the story -- its main source at the time was the Huffington Post -- but it proved accurate regarding angry listening sessions all across the country.

As Sunday's Washington Post story points out, "OFA has responded by asking its volunteers to visit congressional offices and flood town hall meetings in a massive show of support." As Bird told Ryan Gleason of C4C at the Cup of Hope meeting, according to Saslow, "If you stick with this, I'll promise you: We will get health care passed this year."


  1. From the Washington Post article:

    "There was Racine's newly elected mayor, John Dickert, who had been inspired to run for office after volunteering for Obama."

    Yep, John. Tell them what they want to hear when they want to hear it!

  2. At some point, John will have to stop running for office and realize he is actually IN office.

  3. Dickert had no comment like that - I think that is what the Obama people told the reporter.

  4. Fight the power fight Obama!

  5. Bird told Ryan Gleason of C4C at the Cup of Hope meeting, according to Saslow, "If you stick with this, I'll promise you: We will get health care passed this year."

    Not going to happen. Obama care is dead dead dead. From across the country we are fighting the power fighting obama.

  6. Damage control Anon 7:34???

  7. OFA accepts no PAC or lobbyist money."

    Because it is both. Thinking if I check the list of lobbing groups I will find it. Does the Post think we are that stupid?
    Right they back Obama of course they do.

  8. I can understand where the anger and threats are coming from. They are trying to force us to pay for more corrupt and wasteful programs.

    We already pay for health care for the poor.

    Yes they will provide for abortions in this health care. that article in Sundays paper what a joke. This is why I cannot believe a word they say.

  9. It is amazing to me that these nuns continue support Obama and his intentions of subsidizing abortions. What is it about the Popes position on abortion you do not understand.You are a disgrace to all Catholics.

  10. "Social Justice" has trumped all other Catholic thought to many Catholics. Yes, under penalty of fines or imprisonment, give money to Ceasar so he can pay his minions to give a bit back to the poor (so they will continue to vote for Ceasar). This is from some gospel that I am not aware of, maybe Readers' Digest.

  11. Thanks for the unbiased reporting! Glad the see The Post becoming just a mouthpiece for the fringe left.
    Maybe next Pete can write a story on how Hamas is just misunderstood.

  12. It's funny how the sisters' cries for "social justice" never include the victims of clergy sex abuse. The Dominicans have been mired in filth for decades while they constantly point to others as being dirty.

  13. Pete - your readers may be interested in the real story and an actual e-mail from Democrat operative, Kelly Gallagher Democrats Organizing to Actively Disrupt Rep. Paul Ryan's Townhalls

    Interesting that C4C is planning to hold the room until 5 p.m., though Ryan will be gone at 2:30?

    Guess when it's the socialists organizing it's good - when regular citizens, it's bad?

  14. 12:35 - Thanks for the information. I agree those that oppose ObamaCare just show up and express their displeasure and the Democrats call them Nazi's (Madam Pelosi), but it is ok to organize a group to try and disrupt any opposition to the plan.

  15. Its for our own good we can not be trusted:
    to read the right news
    watch the right news
    vote the right way

    Thank God we have Obama he will lead us. Thank God we have the Post they will tell us how to think

  16. Pete,

    I'd like to add a response to this discussion. The Red State website which printed the email of the listening session times and dates stated in their own headline that opponents planned to "actively disrupt" Congressman Ryan's Town Halls which of course the email does not. Now I can only speak for myself and the ladies attending with me, but we wanted to hear what the Congressman had to say and of course let him know we support a reform plan. We are constituents and have every right to do that.

    When I got to the first listening session today, some large men asked me very loudly if I was Kelly Gallaher, I said "yes" and then they said some derogatory remarks to me. They also wanted to know who paid me, odd question from a stranger, but for the record no one. I am not paid by any organization...the DNC, OFA, C4C, I'm just a volunteer. I thought it was odd, but I've never been to Eagle before.

    Then inside some people called police officers over and were pointing at me. Then a woman came up and demanded to know my name. I told her and she started yelling "Kelly Gallaher is a liar" I asked to please go away and she followed me closely through the building yelling it over and over again.

    After the second session, I learned about the website and how it had also been mentioned on the radio. Which was about the time I started to receive prank and threatening phone calls on my cell was listed in the email Red State published and I found a note left on my car.

    After I returned home, I got a call from a reporter in Waukesha who had seen the website, she wanted to know why we didn't show up. I laughed and told her we did, and even asked questions. Some disruption huh?

    I understand that people are very concerned about all the issues we are dealing with as a city and as a country. Health Care is right up there at the top of the list. I want to have all the facts, as I'm sure most people do. The events of today just show how easy it is to be mislead, just because it's on the internet or in the newspaper.

    I don't and never said I had any intention of disrupting anything, but clearly others had different plans. They upset me quite a bit, and for what purpose?

    I'll be at the next town halls, and I invite others to do the same. It's a great exercise in democracy. If you want to send a group use our email, it's detailed, organized and has all the locations. However, if you do, please remember to be respectful and considerate to all other attendees.

  17. Kelly Gallaher thank you for clarifying the misinformation we were given.

  18. Paul Ryan was clearly out argued today. I thought he would be more prepared. Maybe he should bring a gun next time to help his argument.

  19. Wow. OrbsCorbs attacking the Nuns. What a hero. Your family must be real proud of you.

  20. The Dominican's continue to support Obama's plan for abortion. I wish one of them would respond as to how they can justify this position. They have no problem writing letters to the editor with their liberal agenda - I dare them to respond and expalin their support for abortions. Come on lady's bring it on.

  21. left wing astroturf

  22. The Kelly show is getting boring. Why do you people keep talking about her? Ignore her and she will go away. Gviing her attention just encourages her to do more.

  23. Someone should moon Kelly at the next meeting.

  24. I attended the Eagle event as well and While I didn't see Kelly in the hallway before hand, nor did I see anyone yelling at her. I did point out to a few of the folks I was chatting with but not to any cops. I had also heard the discussion about C4C e-mail sent out to rally Obama-ites to the rallys. The reason for the point was the inability to locate hardly anyone besides Kelly and her 2-3 side friends. Also a Public school teacher who spoke up. My estimate of the attendance was 350 people in attendance and MAYBE 12-15 people who might have agreed with with Ms. Gallagher. I found her question to be respectful and on topic..she asked why Cong. Ryan wanted to focus on his own Plan..and would he work with the Majority to accomplish something.
    Now Ms. G and I disagree almost entirely, She was a very small minority in a very positive friendly, atmosphere. I arrived at 11:15 and left at the end. I didn't stay behind to be interviewed. I did notice that Fox 6 had no problem zeroing in on the opposition..I also thought 6 and 58 did a decent job covering the event. I actually expected to see a less favorable coverage.

    The most important point I took away from the that while the "Left" tried to rally people to the cause they failed MISERABLY. 3-12 people?? No Goons, no thugs, no Pre-mde signs..and the people who did come WERE not organized..WERE passionate..And ARE winning the argument..I hear the votes are being delayed to DECEMBER..By then no one will recognize this sausage!!

  25. The Dominican's continue to support Obama's plan for abortion. I wish one of them would respond as to how they can justify this position. They have no problem writing letters to the editor with their liberal agenda - I dare them to respond and expalin their support for abortions. Come on lady's bring it on.

  26. This does not surprise me with the laws. I know of a state where a couple wanted to have IVF treatments to have a child due to a previous tubal ligation and the physicians would not do it because the couple was not married. Which the woman ended up having tubal reversal surgery performed at mubabydoc Tubal Reversal Center which was outside of the couples home state. Not only was it cheaper but the pregnancy success is much better.
    There are people that change their minds but they should be the ones to make the decisions and not the government.
    I would start by asking the physician if there is anyone else he/she can suggest to contact. If this does not work then I would be searching quite a bit. The answer is out there somewhere.
    The suggestion are highly appreciated

  27. Tubal surgery to overcome infertility caused by tubal disease is becoming popular due to the success rates (livebirths), advances in surgical techniques. including microsurgery, and because of the adverse outcomes and costs related to in vitro fertilisation (IVF), which is another option for overcoming tubal infertility. Tubal surgery, however, is also expensive; it requires additional specialist training for gynaecologists, experience to perform, and can have adverse effects (including ectopic pregnancies), and operative risks. Waiting to become pregnant without treatment (expectant management) is another option for women with tubal infertility. This review could not identify any clinical trials that compared tubal surgery with either IVF or expectant management. The authors conclude that at present the available research is not adequate to determine the effectiveness, or otherwise, of tubal surgery compared to either IVF or expectant management. More research is needed, including information about adverse outcomes and costs.