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Three days, four flights, two Democracy Bond rallies, a Baptist Church, the next steps in reclaiming our government for the American people, and one heckuva time. In case you missed it, I have been on the road with Governor Dean this week, attending events in Kansas City, Missouri and Columbus Ohio.

You won't find this diary anywhere, this is a Kos-only entry detailing some of the highlights during my experiences of the past week.

Monday Night: Kansas City - St. Stephens Baptist Church
I'd never been before and had absolutely zero idea of what to expect from my first ever visit to a Baptist Church.  As my cab pulled up, I figured would probably be the only white person in the congregation celebrating the Martin Luther King holiday at St. Stephen's Baptist Church in Kansas City.  I suppose that's what you get for making assumptions, because by the time I left, I did so having witnessed a diverse crowd come together in prayer, song, and celebration without regard for the color of eachother's skin, but because of the content of their character and a message of unity.

It took, eh, maybe three minutes before I was on my feet clapping and singing, something else I didn't expect. I blame the man pictured below.  He stepped right up to the microphone, thanked his mother and grandmother, and began signing. And when I say sing, I mean sing ... a sound you can tell was produced with the help of every last bone in his body.

Video: Opening Song of Service (.wmv)

I couldn't stop clapping.  I arrived as a "reporter," and left feeling completely uplifted. I have probably watched that clip about 10 times since I uploaded it, and actually just did again.

A number of politicians and pastors gave speeches during the event, all of them talking about what Dr. Martin Luther King meant to them personally.  The sermon, given by Dr. Myron McCoy lated about 45 minutes; by that time I made my way into the pews and took very few photos, and the entire time, barely a soul stood and made a move towards the exit.  The theme of the evening was, "Unity in the Community."

Video: Governor Dean Talks About Dr. King

You can see more photos and video from the evening, including a tremendous introduction of Governor Dean by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri at this link.  But don't go too fast, that was only one night...still two days to go.

Tuesday Morning: Democracy Bond Event in Kansas City
I woke up late that morning, at exactly 7:13 for an event that was twenty minutes away and started at 8:00 AM.  I took one of those 3 minute showers I learned how to do while in the Marine Corps and was in my cab by 7:35.  

About seventy-five Democrats gathered at the Uptown Theater for coffee, doughnuts, and a side of inspiration from Governor Dean at the first ever Democracy Bond-Holder meeting in Kansas City. The event lasted about an hour and a half, starting with local activists never connected before meeting and exchanging thoughts on national and community concerns. Governor Dean spoke for about 10 minutes, and then mingled personally with crowd before taking off.

Video: Governor Dean Addresses Democracy Bond Holders

It was at that event that I had an opportunity to meet ETinKC, a Daily Kos user and Katie, whose userID painfully escapes me at this time.  I also had a chance to sit down and talk to two Democracy Bond holders, Justin and Chere.

Video: Democracy Bond Holder Justin - Dem Bonds & Red States

After the event, it was on to the Kansas City aiport for a trip to Columbus, with a layover in Milwaukee.  If you want to read more about the Kansas City Democracy Bond meeting, click here -- or to meet another bond-holder, Chere, click here.

Tuesday Afternoon: A Small World
Who knew that an hour flight from Kansas City to Milwaukee before moving on to Columbus could be so interesting?  I met a terrific young lady named Joan from Boston, who happened to volunteer for the 2004 Democratic Convention in her hometown. If I am not mistaken, she is fluent in Spanish and offered her services before and during the convention as a liaison to the delegates from Puerto Rico.

Which goes to show you, it's more than just phone banking and wearing out the shoe leather walking blocks dropping lit and meeting voters -- There are many ways to get involved and if you have a specific skill-set, that's something we need to be working to make the most of.

After I arrived in Columbus, I got to the hotel, made a few phone calls to bloggers I had invited to attend the next day's festivities, watched Countdown with Keith Olberman, and fell asleep.

Wednesday Morning: Honesty in Government
For me, it was my first trip back to Ohio since leaving my work with Sherrod Brown & Paul Hackett (awkward!).  It felt good to be home, and I suspect before my time on earth is done, I'll be back for an extended stay again.

I arrived at the Ohio Capitol building a few minutes late (Thanks Pounder!), and was actually denied access through a side entrance into the Rotunda -- there were just entirely too many people and reporters crammed into the long, but narrow, hallway leading up to a stage erected earlier this morning. It would seem that a Columbus television news crew had the same problem, and we hustled around together, working our way to the front of the crowd just in time to hear Governor Dean discussing Democratic unity, both nationally and locally, when it comes to clearing corruption from capitol buildings across the country.

Video: Governor Dean on national Unity in the Democratic Party

This was also the first time I got to meet Chris Redfern, freshly minted Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party.  After brief speeches, Governor Dean and Chairman Redfern took questions from the press.  One of the more entertaining portions of the Q&A was a reporter from Fox News asserting that Democrats in Ohio were tossed out of office years ago because of rampant corruption -- Chairman Redfern did a terrific job setting the reporter straight, while explaining that reapportionment took what is essentially a 50/50 state and gave it a dramatic red hue in the legislature. You can actually hear the reporter attempting to shout Chairman Redfern down in the clip:

Video: Chairman Redfern Answers Reporter's Question

As this event was taking place, thousands of Americans signed on to a petition demanding honest leadership in Ohio.  Many Ohio legislators and statewide candidates did the same.  Below is a high resolution photo (and I mean high res) of one such page of the petition individuals were signing in the Ohio State House.

Photo: Honest Government Petition (click to enlarge)

You can read more about the event here.

Wednesday Afternoon: Democracy Bond Event #2
After the event at the State House, myself and five Ohio bloggers (OH-2 Blog, Live From Dayton, Howard Empowered People, Buckeye Senate Blog, and Seven Cent Nickel) headed over to the Plumbers and Pipefitters Hall.  

About 100 people packed into the Plumbers and Pipefitters Hall in Columbus, Ohio yesterday to hear from the two chairmen during the second ever Democracy Bondholders meeting. Regular Americans, bloggers, candidates, and elected officials came together fresh off a successful event at the Ohio State House.

Photo: A Packed House

Governor Howard Dean and freshly minted Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern have a whole lot in common. Both were recently elected to serve as chairman for their respective party organizations, and both believe in building the Democratic party, nationally and statewide, from the grassroots up.  Chairman Redfern took the stage first and talked about the necessity to take the fight to each of Ohio's 88 counties.

After Chairman Redfern spoke, Governor Dean addressed the eager crowd and discussed the importance of the Democracy Bond program and how the DNC has placed organizers in each of the fifty states (the flip-side to the Democracy Bonds Program), along with a bit of information about those organizers.

Video: Governor Dean on Democracy Bonds & Organization

Once again, I had an opportunity to sit down and talk with several Democracy Bond holders.  

Video: Jack Talks About Why He Invested in a Bond

You can read much more (and more video) about the Democracy Bond event here, and meet another bond-holder, Carol, by clicking here.

The trip was fantastic, and I can't wait to do it again! Thanks to everyone who has commented on their enjoyment of the coverage, both here and on other blogs.  If you haven't already, please consider investing in a Democracy Bond yourself.  It's what makes the fifty state strategy, and trips like these where I can give you reports from the road, possible.

Tim

Originally posted to ttagaris on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 01:42 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Flower Pot (3.96)
    Leave a pedal, but preferably a comment.

    Tim

    P.S. Sorry for the extended link at the end, I updated it and didn't close the tag, now when I click to update it takes me to the Democracy Bond page.  Oh well, worse things in life -- maybe you should get one?

    •  OK, here ya go... (4.00)
      ... but I have no idea why you'd want one.

      Tilting at windmills, with the proper armor and enough firepower, can be a productive effort. http://www.43rdstateblues.com

      by Serephin on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 01:59:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the yield on my bond just went through the roof (4.00)
      It was a real leap of faith for me to become a Democracy Bond holder. After years of earning my mistrust, I gave to the party only because of Howard Dean and only because of my belief in the 50-state strategy. Reading your report was a huge dividend for my donations.

      -----
      "Those who would give up essential liberty for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

      by SLJ on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 02:45:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  my partner and i... (4.00)
        are giving monthly as much as we can possibly afford.  I trust Howard to use our pennies to save our country in a way that, individually, we just can't.  

        My partner says that Howard is the first politician who has given her a reason to believe in politicians since Watergate.

        Go, go, go, go!

        -8.75;-5.28. But it don't mean nuttin if you don't put your money where your mouth is

        by ultrageek on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 04:23:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Democracy Bonds (none)
        Are such a fabulous idea, and I'm incredibly pleased that Dean and the DNC are actively promoting them, as I said in a comment to a diary promoting the DNC's (aka Tim's) blog yesterday .

        I hope you all appreciate how incredibly significant a commitment of $5 or $10 a month from every Democrat can be to the Democratic Party.  I'm sure I don't need to do the math for you.  And this would be recurring revenue, something the party could count on month after month.

        If you trust what Governer Dean is doing as chair of the DNC, then get a Democracy Bond.  I dare say it will be the best investment you've ever made.

        (No, I'm not in any way affiliated with the DNC --other than being a bond holder--nor Howard Dean nor Tim nor any of the powers that be.  I'm just a HUGE supporter of this idea.)

    •  Why did this deserve a 3? (none)
      A slip of the mouse wheel?

      "Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by sgilman on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 03:57:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am POSITIVE (4.00)
    That this trip is totally different than any trip Terry Mac ever took.
    •  Exactly! (4.00)
      I'm glad Terry McAwful is gone & we have a great leader like Gov. Dean in his place.

      -Gov. Dean is the reason I come to this blog & other blogs to stay informed.

      -Gov. Dean is the reason I've written letters & sent emails & made phone calls on behalf of The Truth*.

      -Gov. Dean is the reason I ran a voter registration drive in 2004.

      -Gov. Dean was the 1st candidate I ever gave money to.

      The list could go on, but you get the point. And I know many others here feel the same way.

      No matter how far Bush tries to drag our country down, I know Gov. Dean will always be there...at the head of the line, doing his best to keep us going!

      False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.--Socrates

      by Ranting Roland on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 02:46:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, Tim, and a question (none)
    These are great stories and photos.  Howard Dean and today's DNC are so different from what we had before his tenure, we're going to get spoiled.

    My question is about the post State of the Union speech conference call parties - for those of us in the East, it is so late to have these get-togethers!!  I'd love to hear Gov. Dean and Harry Reid and others on a conference call, but I can't see asking others to suffer through Bush for 60+ or however many minutes starting at 9 pm, then hanging around afterwards for a conference call.  I am the first one in line for the DNC but I think you all should know this schedule and setup doesn't work for some of us with kids, jobs, etc.  It may be great for anyone not on Eastern Standard Time.

  •  Hey Tim... ask Gov Dean (4.00)
    to come see us in upstate New York. We can set him up with a campaign event with Kirsten Gillibrand and he can help us "shut down" John Sweeney the "reformer" that called for sweeping changes in House leadership due to the Abramoff scandal and then spent the weekend on a "Skiing with Sweeney" fund raising weekend featuring dinner with a big pharma lobbyist friend of his.

    All 6 DFA groups in the district recently endorsed Kirsten Gillibrand.

  •  Recommended but... (none)
    ...as Dr. Earnest Partridge wrote so eloquently here

    Dr. Dean...Why Bother?

    "Wonderful things can happen ... when you plant the seeds of distrust in a garden of Assholes" -- Elmore Leonard

    by Blue Shark on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 02:08:28 PM PST

    •  You tell Earnest P. we have to bother. (4.00)
      Dean must bother and so must all of us.  I read that, and I like his work.  But we have to bother.  

      "I'm willing to say things that are not popular but ordinary people know are right." Howard Dean

      by floridagal on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 08:58:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great job! (none)
    Updates are awesome!

    Keep up the good work Tim!!!

    "I got a letter from the Republican Party the other day. I wrote back, 'Go fuck yourself.'" - Bette Midler (Rolling Stone, 9/18/2005)

    by GregNYC on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 02:28:36 PM PST

  •  Thanks (none)
    Tim, thanks for the great post. I hope that we will get to see Chairman Dean, and you, here in the Atlanta area. These are exactly the kind of events that keep the grassroots fired up.
  •  I can relate to that letter (none)
    I feel frustrated and angry at the dem party too.

    I'm trying to find out if the Washington state Democratic Party will actively support one of their own running for congress in 06.

    The guys's name is Richard Wright (dem).  He'll face Doc Hastings (repug), rep for the 4th district, and current chairman of the House ethics committee.

    Sent e-mails to 8 or more Wa state democratic web sites asking what is the deal with Richard Wright. Including one to Mr. Wright.

    I think Dean is going to visit Wa state in Februray.
    Maybe he can get the Wa state dems inspired into putting up a fight to unseat Hastings.

    •  You should be in contact with (none)
      DemocracyforWashington.com and Washblog.com, not to mention WA-Democrats.org.

      Also, try and locate a local chapter of Democracy for America.com for the 4th district.

      Here in SW Washington, we have the Democracy for Vancouver.org group, you might try our site for a referral link to get you started.

      Last I heard Ray Minchew was the WA state contact for DFA, you can probably locate him through the Democracy for Washington blog.

      Good luck!

      "A great democracy must be progressive or it will soon cease to be a great democracy." Theodore Roosevelt

      by Angie in WA State on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 06:23:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the help (none)
        I sent an e-mail to the Washington state Democratic    web site. Haven't received a reply yet. I noticed the lead article on their web site today is about Doc Hastings.

        The election is 10 months away and I haven't heard anything in the Yakima media about Mr. Wright taking on Hastings.

        This is a golden opportunity to kick Doc out of  Congress, and I don't see the dems doing anything to make that happen!

  •  You Lucky Bastard (none)
    Getting to travel with Chairman Dean.

    I for one am green with envy.

    Sam Alito doesn't just think Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided: he thinks the Revolutionary War was wrongly decided.

    by Malacandra on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 02:53:12 PM PST

  •  It was great to meet you too Tim (4.00)
    and the Katie was katiebird, a long lime deaniac and now kossack.

    Folks, if we can get 1 million Democracy bond holders at $20 average each (deans goal) that will give us 20 million a month of ongoing funds.  Just imagine what the party under Deans leadership could do with that money.  Please consider joining today, and then you too can meet dean when he comes to your town!

    Another positive thing about the bonds is it is a quick out when you get those weekly fund-raising calls from democratic party orgs.  I got 3 yesterday and told then I was giving 20 a month to Dean, but I am sure he will be willing to share :)

    Midwest Center for American Values - Progressive ideas in an easy to swallow pill.

    by ETinKC on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 03:08:35 PM PST

    •  I got mine! (none)
      I could only afford 10 bucks a month, but every quarter I give a chunk of my gainshare to a campaign somewhere. My only pet peeve of late is not enough candidates have schwag! My Nick Lampson tshirt is getting lonely.

      If you can't laugh at yourself, I sure as hell will - me -7.88, -5.95

      by blueyedace2 on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 03:44:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Question (none)
      Eric, I would sign up for a Democracy Bond, but I don't have a credit card and don't intend to get one (I absolutely refuse to support the credit card industry).

      I've emailed on the Dem Party website to ask if they can set up some sort of similar auto-deduct function from a bank account, if the proper security is obtained for the routing number, account number, transaction number, and so forth.  I've not heard anything back.

      Is there any, ANY possibility of that becoming an viable option?  If there is, I'll definitely be at the next Democracy Bonds function in KC.  (The inability to donate in this manner is what kept me from being there on Tuesday.)

      •  I don't know Ann (none)
        I don't work for the DNC, yet ;) (nudge nudge wink wink know what I mean, offer me a job already!)

        I would drop Tim an email - in his profile I am sure.  On the other hand, what about a visa debit card from your bank?  This is how I did it.  Comes right out of my acount like a check, doesn't cost me anything and is just as secure.

        Midwest Center for American Values - Progressive ideas in an easy to swallow pill.

        by ETinKC on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 05:43:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Long time deaniac -- longer time kossack! (none)
      I actually first hooked up with the Dean campaign through a link at this site (pre-scoop). Although in recent days, I'm more of a lurker than commentor, I've been a trusted user & I've never really left.

      Eat 4 Today: Just today I'm not going to take seconds & not eating between meals

      by katiebird on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 05:31:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've had a $20 a month Bond (none)
      since before the DNC started calling them bonds!

      "A great democracy must be progressive or it will soon cease to be a great democracy." Theodore Roosevelt

      by Angie in WA State on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 06:15:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  ET & Tim (none)
      Why no bat or equivalent on DNC page?   It is such a great motivator, as Dr. Dean well knows from DFA.   When its close to goal, no one can resist.  

      If it talks like an R, VOTES like an R, it is an R even if it has a D after its name.

      by dkmich on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 02:59:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well...this was a nice read!! (none)
    Thanks for the great update!
  •  The faces of America (none)
    that you show in these pictures are black, brown, white, all sorts of other colors. And not a blonde pageboy or string of nice-lady pearls in the bunch.

    There is strength in diversity.

    The degree to which you resist injustice is the degree to which you are free. -- Utah Phillips

    by Mnemosyne on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 03:34:18 PM PST

  •  Tim (none)
    Stop by some time- we'll loan you our Mahalia Jackson box CD set.

    Today in Ohio, our churches, synagogues and temples are widely diverse-- and deeply polarized.

    In our inner city African-American and Latino communities, evangelical and Catholic churches are still one of the strongest most cohesive forces. We should embrace them-- there's a lot to gain, as you discovered.

    But the stinking GOP has been making UNDESERVED inroads into those communities.

    We cannot afford to enable them in that evil enterprise.

    Ben Konop for Lucas County Commissioner

    by Earl from Ohio on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 04:00:08 PM PST

    •  not undeserved (4.00)
      unlike Democrats, who can't be bothered to talk to white evangelicals (evangelicals as opposed to fundamentalists) and instead like to sneer at them and call them all fundie bigots pat Robertson lovers, the GOP has been making inroads into our base through their understanding and respect for (and yes, exploitation of) faith. and the Democrats are now  being seen as more and more culturally tone deaf as their secular base screams about abortion, gay marriage, church/state and other issues which are at distinct odds with minority churches. i know because it has infected my mother's own immigrant church. i blame the Democratic party for 1. taking for granted these voters and thinking they woudl be theirs forever 2. the GOP for being politically smart and saavy.

      i think there are lots of white evangelicals who are ripe for the picking if we speak to them respectfully and TALK TO THEM, instead of simply writing them all off. we can't afford to do that. Evangelicals believe in more foreign aid, fighting poverty, taking care of the earth/stewardship over creation, a living wage, health care for all. but the Dems simply haven't bothered to even talk to them. you won't get most of them but you can cut into the GOP's advantage like they are cutting into ours.

  •  Thank you! (4.00)
    We were scheduled to attend yesterday and then woke up to a Snow Day for our kids.  I moped around the whole day so I greatly appreciate the details.  Glad to hear there was a good crowd and Dr. Dean had a warm Ohio reception.

    Thanks, Tim, it's really wonderful news.

  •  Wonderful, Wonderful diary! (4.00)
    Thank you so much for this.  You did a beautiful job, open tags and all.  Please, everyone, please buy your bond.  We need to take back our country!

    I am not your beast of burden: I will not be forced to carry your baggage.....Humanistic Property Manifesto (-5.13, -4.77)

    by panicbean on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 05:31:27 PM PST

  •  Great event (4.00)
    It was a great event in Ohio. Glad I was able to make it, and really appreciate you inviting me, Tim.

    Getting to hear Howard Dean speak, I am always struck by how much he "gets it"--talking about the importance of having conversations with people who didn't vote the way we did, and finding our common values.

    During one of his speeches, Howard joked "This is not winter weather--I'm from Vermont!" Sure, by comparison, Ohio winters can seem like child's play to a Vermonter. But even those temperatures, combined with day after day of bleak gray skies can feel pretty oppressive sometimes. And then combine that with the shenanigans of the likes of J. Kenneth Blackwell--winters in Ohio can feel pretty grim.

    Against the backdrop I just described, a visit from Howard Dean was a wonderful "pick me up".

    Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
    and I say it's all right

    Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
    Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
    Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
    and I say it's all right

    Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
    Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
    Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
    and I say it's all right

  •  great diary, and (none)
    perhaps the start of a new trend? instead of saying "crossposted at..." you're quick to say it's a Kos exclusive! funny how that stands out now.

    i'm glad i signed up for the democracy bond many months ago--dean is doing a great job, and i appreciate your updates here.

  •  Your story reminds me of Iowa (none)
    ttagaris,

    I love this post because it reminds me of the "good ole days" in Iowa, when we were on top of the polls and getting endorsements left and right from the best and the brightest in the Democratic party.  

    It reminds me of one event in particular out of several that I was required to organize for the Governor.  It was in Van Buren county.  Its a very small, rural county and conservative.  They told me to gather as many people as I could to meet the Governor at 10 AM on a WEDNESDAY.  I thought I was done for.

    When I woke up on the morning of the event, I knew that I had done all that I could.  I sent out postcards and made a ton of phone calls, however, I only had a few people confirmed for the event.  I didn't want to go because I was worried about the attendance.

    We ended up having over 40 people attend and it was a huge success.  When the Governor gave his spiel about how the average donation was about 40 something dollars, a farmer wrote a check and handed it to him on the spot.

    I swore that when Iowa was said and done that we hadn't failed, but we were just ahead of our time.   I knew that it would really take everyone a long time to catch up to us.

    Reading your post reminds me of that feeling and I appreciate it a lot.  Thanks for sharing!!

    •  Ahead of time. (none)
      Dean was ahead of his time, most weren't ready for all that truth.  Those who got it, got it...and still do.

      Those who didn't get it think we're crazy or something.  But, hey, as Trippi said at the end of his book...there were hundreds of thousands still out there somewhere.

      "I'm willing to say things that are not popular but ordinary people know are right." Howard Dean

      by floridagal on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 09:02:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (none)
    for this update. It goes a long way towards dispelling the talking point that Dems, and particularly Dean, aren't doing anything.

    Nobody likes big government until they need something. -5.88, -6.82

    by Debby on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 10:31:02 PM PST

  •  The "problem" with Dean in general (none)
    is that he tells the truth.

    And, well, the media and too much of the electorate "can't handle the truth."

  •  Democracy Bonds...best kept secret (none)
    I'm here in Montgomery County PA. I'm on the steering commitee of the Mntgomery County DFA group and active in local Dem politics. We had a local Dems meeting and one of our DFA members stood up to promote Democracy Bonds; it appears that at lot of the people in attendance didn't know about the bonds....
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