Thursday, January 17, 2008

Obama drops in on Van Nuys nurse

The deck is stacked in favor of big banks and against workers, he tells voters at a Van Nuys home.
By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
January 17, 2008
Barack Obama sat in registered nurse Mimi Vitello's sunny backyard in Van Nuys and listened as she and three other local voters talked about their worries over home loans and credit card debt. The presidential hopeful listened intently and said the mortgage and credit card industries were skewed against working Americans.

"The deck has been stacked in favor of the big banks and the big financial companies and not for the consumers and homeowners," he told the residents.

They sat around a table outside Vitello's modest home, which she bought with an interest-only loan. Now that loan worries her. "My income is not going to jump ahead, and here comes my interest-only [payment hikes] in a couple years," Vitello said.

Obama noted that foreclosures could cost California's economy $23 billion, and he blamed the federal government for not regulating lenders.

"It's an example of how when the federal government falls down on the job and is listening more to the special interests than it is to ordinary working families that we end up getting into these kinds of crises," he said.

Obama has proposed creating a $10-billion fund to help prevent foreclosures, eliminate some taxes and fees for families who must sell, and offer counseling to homeowners.

He also proposed changes in the consumer credit card industry. "People are getting caught in a credit card system that is unfair," he said, faulting "teaser rates" that skyrocket, interest charged on late fees and hidden fees.

His words resonated with Gustavo Lizarde, an auto repair shop owner who has tapped his credit cards to keep the business running. He said teaser rates that went from 0% to 29.9% forced him into a spiral of debt that made him unable to afford health insurance. "Now what I have to do is refinance my home, so I can get out of debt, so I can breathe," he said.

Obama told the gathering that he no longer had credit card debt, but that was not always the case. "Five years ago, before I had spoken at the convention, before my book sales took off, etc., we were in same situation," he said.

"My wife and I borrowed to go to college and law school because we don't come from wealthy families. When I got out of law school and we got married, our combined student loan debt was higher than our mortgage," Obama said. "And so it took us 10 years to pay that off, which meant that we couldn't save."

Obama proposed creating a credit card rating system so that consumers could make more informed choices, and banning companies from raising interest rates without new agreements with borrowers.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

KERRY Endorses Obama

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) -- Barack Obama is being endorsed by fellow Sen. John Kerry, the Democrats' 2004 presidential nominee who lost to George W. Bush that year and gave up his own plans for a 2008 run a year ago.

Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts, planned to announce his support Thursday at 11 a.m. EST at a rally at the College of Charleston, said a Democrat familiar with Kerry's decision. The 2004 nominee was to argue that Obama can best unite the country and has the potential to create transformational change, the person said.

Kerry lost the South Carolina Democratic primary in 2004 to John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator who now is running third in the 2008 campaign behind Hillary Rodham Clinton and Obama.

Besides any potential help for Obama, Thursday's endorsement was a slap at Edwards, who was Kerry's running mate in the last election. The two had their differences during the campaign over strategy and spending. In post-mortem interviews, Edwards said he would have been more aggressive in challenging the unsubstantiated allegations of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the Vietnam War veterans who questioned Kerry's military record.

Kerry's endorsement also was a jab at Clinton, the New York Democrat who won the New Hampshire primary after a loss to Obama in the Iowa caucuses.

Kerry had withheld his endorsement, hoping to have an impact on the race and avoid the fate of fellow Democrat Al Gore, the 2000 nominee who endorsed Howard Dean in 2004 shortly before the former Vermont governor's campaign imploded. Gore has made no endorsement so far this year.

While Kerry has been close to Clinton's husband, the former president, he was incensed in 2006 when she chided him after Kerry suggested that people who don't go to school ``get stuck in Iraq.'' Aides said Kerry meant to jab at Bush and say ``get us stuck in Iraq,'' and that he didn't appreciate Clinton piling onto the criticism he was already getting for the remark.

Kerry himself had considered running for president in 2008, but that plan fizzled with the botched remark. For many Democrats, his words revived bitter memories of his missteps in 2004, when he lost to Bush.

As for Obama, Kerry gave the young Illinois state senator his first turn in the national spotlight when he chose him to deliver the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Later that year, Obama won election as a U.S. senator.

Since announcing a year ago he would not make the run, Kerry has prodded Democrats to take a stronger anti-war stance, pushing for troop withdrawal deadlines. In another area, he has backed environmental causes, writing a book with his wife on the issue.

Kerry should be able to provide some organizational muscle to Obama.

Since losing the 2004 race, Kerry has kept a national network of supporters intact. He has an e-mail network of 3 million supporters, according to aides. He also has traveled extensively raising millions of dollars for Democratic candidates nationwide.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


We need you to build on the momentum we've got in Iowa and New Hampshire and keep it going through the primary season.

We're building a rock-solid organization in Nevada, the third state in the nominating process, and we're looking for our best volunteers to get right in the middle of the action. Can you commit to spending a few days or up to one week in Nevada this January?

Sign up to join us in Nevada:

The entire nation will be focused on the January 19th Nevada Caucus, and you can make a huge difference in this historic event. This is the first time that a Western state has played such a critical role in the nominating process, and we need all hands on deck to prepare potential caucus-goers and let them know about Barack Obama.

We've got great supporters here in Nevada and many of them have offered space in their homes for out-of-state volunteers who are willing to help. We've also identified affordable housing throughout Nevada that we can share with you for those who want to stay long term.

Sign up to help out our Nevada team and someone from our staff will call you to discuss your availability and possible housing options:

We're looking for people to help out during the following time frames, but we're happy to accommodate your schedule.

Day Trip #1: January 5
Day Trip #2: January 12
1 Week to Change: January 12 - January 19
48 Hours to Change: January 17 - January 19

Come join us and be a part of history:



David Cohen
Nevada State Director
Obama for America

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Video: Barack Obama appears in Newton Iowa this morning

After Knoxville this morning, Barack's next stop was Newton, IA - former home of Maytag until the company was bought by Whirlpool and left in 2006. Senator Obama was greeted by a crowd of 500 at this stop.

Newton has been hit hard by recent job losses and stands to benefit from Senator Obama's plans to strengthen the economy:

See Obama's Plans

Here's some video from the event:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Fellow Obama Supporters,

Time is really flying and the primaries will be upon us before we know it. We need your continued support and stepped up involvement. To find out how you can get further involved, attend an Obama volunteer meeting in your area or contact me directly.

Can't attend a meeting this week? Become an online phone banker. Its time to step up our voter contact and we need your help. Supporter identification is crucial to the success of our Get Out The Vote (GOTV) operation that we will have in January. The purpose of GOTV is to turn out all of our identified supporters. This process is made much more challenging if we don't make the necessary calls now to identify those voters. We have great online tools so you can phone bank from anywhere. Contact me for directions and a login. Already have a login? Calendar time this week to make calls!

The Obama campaign is unique in that it is allowing every one of us to own a small piece of this campaign. By forming district, city and neighborhood groups we can all become involved in a capacity that is right for us. If we each dedicate three hours this week to phone banking we can make significant progress in achieving our goal to identify every Barack Obama supporter in our district. If we devote a weekend to the Nevada campaign, the ripple effect on California will be tremendous. Separately we can make a difference, but collectively our time will make a huge impact!

Here are the details of the events we have this week. RSVPs are preferred, but drop ins are always welcome.

Please take a moment right now and calendar some time for Obama!

Thursday, November 29th - 7pm Simi Valley Volunteer Meeting
Karen's House
Contact: Deborah Dent 805 520 3118
659 Azure Hills Drive
Simi Valley, CA 93065

Friday, November 30th - 6pm Oak Park Volunteer Meeting
Erin and Putnam Fairbanks Home
Contact: Erin Fairbanks 805 907 6928
507 Bath Court
Oak Park, CA 91377

Sunday, December 2nd - 10 to 4 Ventura
Tabling at the Holiday Street Festival
Contact: Craig Christensen 805 652 1494

Sunday, December 2nd - 3pm Ventura Volunteer Meeting
Contact: Jim Mangis 805 207 4234
Rick and Katherine’s house
1522 Santa Barbara Street
Ventura, CA 93001

Monday, December 3rd - 7pm Ojai Volunteer Meeting
Contact: Robert Salas 805 640 7101
300 N. La Luna Ave
Ojai, CA 93023

Weekend of December 14th, 15th, 16th
Ventura County to Vegas
4 volunteers (one carload) from CD24 are needed in Vegas to help with campaign activities there.
Contact me asap if you can go!

Deborah Dent
CD24 Coordinator
Obama for America Volunteer

Friday, October 5, 2007

IOWA: new ad

IN case you haven't heard the latest Newsweek poll shows Obama LEADING AMONG LIKELY CAUCUS GOERS in IOWA

Here's the latest Obama commercial running in Iowa:

Sunday, September 23, 2007


We are hosting a grass roots organizing training session on Saturday, September 27th in Santa Barbara -- apply and we will contact you with more information.