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As a delegate to the Massachusetts Democratic convention in June, one of my political tasks was to collect signatures to get candidates on the ballot, which involved making face-to-face contact with people from all walks of life -- including students. I was amazed at how many people didn't want to be bothered or distracted from their errands by me. Especially college students -- many of whom actually said "why should I bother?"

I live in a college town and while there are many politically and socially engaged students here, there are many more that have tuned out.

It's not that they are not distressed by what is happening in the country and the world, or that they don't want to see progressive changes. They just don't see the point of becoming involved in what they see as a pointless effort. They cannot see how they can effect change.

Just last night at a discussion following a video about 9/11 First Responders, one fellow said that he thought that it would take a major catastrophe with 50,000 casualties to occur before our country would rise up in protest.

There is a pervasive sense of hopelessness that overwhelms many, many people in America these days.

I believe part of that sentiment is a reflection of the distrust that has come about because of the various controversies regarding the last two elections. If there is a possibility that our votes will be lost or invalidated, then one would be less apt to feel motivated to vote. Does that makes sense?

The power of the Secretary of State to influence elections is something most of the public is oblivious to. Recent voter outrage in Ohio has caused state officials to delay the destruction of 2004 ballots -- a sign that people are getting wise to Blackwell's dark deeds and at the same time, making the importance and power of the Secretary's office known.

Electing honest, transparent and highly ethical candidates to the office of the Secretary of State is in my opinion a big part of the remedy to a great deal of voter apathy and cynicism. Electing John Bonifaz to office in Massachusetts would go a long way toward sending a clear message to government that we voters demand to be counted. Efforts to rebuild that trust in our election system would receive a tremendous boost because of his reputation as a defender of clean elections law, in tangible as well as in emotional terms. That is what I think will begin to turn apathy around and get people and especially students to tune back in.

Originally posted to railer on Sat Sep 02, 2006 at 01:50 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cos, Ryepower12

    I am in New York so I cannot vote for Bonifaz.  But I will never forget his brilliant performance as prosecutor at the John Conyers panel to impeach Bush, based mainly on the revelations of the Downing Street Memos.  Bonifaz, a young, seemingly idealistic counselor was so impressive, sitting there alongside Cindy Sheehan and Joe Wilson,and others, reading his methodical case for the impeachment of George Bush, was the picture of passion and conviction of the worthiness of his cause.  My mind was sparked, and my heart...well, my heart was filled with pride in how this young man spoke truth to power.

    •  supporting Bonifaz from afar... (0+ / 0-)

      I've heard a lot of people say similar things about Bonifaz at the Conyers hearing.  I wish I had video of it that I could post to YouTube (we do have a few videos of Bonifaz up there).

      You may not be able to vote for him, but this is a race of national importance, and there are ways you can help...

      • Brainstorm - who do you know in Massachusetts?  Call or write each of them individually.  Every vote counts!
      • Visit John Bonifaz's campaign blog and comment on some entries.  It only takes a minute to comment.  Do this every few days, and your comments will help us draw and keep more readers.  It may seem like a little thing, but it makes a difference!
      • Contribute, even if you can only afford a little.  If we can get enough money to produce and air one good TV ad before the election, it could make all the difference - because right now, our biggest problem is the large number of voters who will go to the polls on September 12th unaware that there's a contest for secretary of state (there's a very exciting primary for Governor that will draw voters).  Galvin's name is familiar - heck, it's at the top of every voter registration form - so a lot of people will just recognize it and vote for him just for that.

      P.S.

      -- Cos, John Bonifaz's campaign blogger -- don't galvinize the voters, galvanize them.

    •  The Passion of Bonifaz (0+ / 0-)

      Yes! This is exactly how I felt when I went to hear him speak the first time -- and every time thereafter, as well. I know he feels the same indignation I do regarding the stolen elections of 2000 and 2004. And Katherine Harris and Kenneth Blackwell both played key roles in disenfranchising the voters in those elections -- especially those of color -- by making it as difficult as it could be for them to actually cast their vote. Thanks for your comment, and the same to everyone else below! Way to go!

  •  Bonifaz is engaged in voters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cos

    He's always reading my little, tiny local blog and I was even invited to interview him. He cares about individual voters and thus I think, if elected, a lot of what you say could come true. He really could be a force of inspiration instead of cynicism.

    Just compare him to the incumbent, Bill Galvin. Galvin's doing his best to keep turnout down by saying - loudly and on the Boston Globe - that he thinks no one's gonna vote in the primary. He could have said "it's an exciting campaign," he could have said, "I'm on the ballot this time and will do everything to make sure voter turnout is high."

    Nope. He essentially told everyone not to vote because no one's going to vote anyway. I'm thoroughly disgusted with that guy. Bonifaz needs to win and he needs the support of Kossacks.

    •  Get out the vote (0+ / 0-)

      When Galvin said that he expected a low voter turnout at the primary, it really confirmed what a poor job he has done -- or not done -- as Secretary of State for me.

      That's his responsibility! To increase voter turnout.

  •  Ohio, 2004 (0+ / 0-)

    Don't forget that Bonifaz flew right to Ohio the day after the 2004 election, to lead the fight for a full count of the votes.  Unfortunately, Ken Blackwell succeeded in preventing that from happening, though Bonifaz kept the case in court until earlier this year.

    Someone happened to come across him in Ohio shortly after the election and posted a video of Bonifaz talking impromptu about elections and democracy on YouTube.

  •  As a delegate, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cos

    I voted for Bonifaz at the Convention mainly because I can't stand Galvin's arrogance--and that was before he started this bullshit about not showing up for debates.  In fact, our entire delegation, save one, seven out of eight delegates, voted for Bonifaz because we wanted to send Galvin a message.  Well, I can tell you, I will be supporting Bonifaz in the primary, no question.  They don't call Galvin the Prince of Darkness for nothing.  

    It's all fun and games until the Vice President shoots someone in the face.

    by lightiris on Sat Sep 02, 2006 at 05:35:32 PM PDT

    •  One more point.... (0+ / 0-)

      John Bonifaz will be a refreshing change for the Commonwealth.  Look at this lineup, will ya:  Deval Patrick,Tim Murray, Jon Bonifaz.

      New leadership is a good thing.  

      It's all fun and games until the Vice President shoots someone in the face.

      by lightiris on Sat Sep 02, 2006 at 05:39:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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