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By now most of you know the horrifying story of Gato, the cat who belonged to Jake Burris, campaign manager for the Ken Aden for Congress campaign in Arkansas.  Sunday night, Jake and his young children found Gato brutally slaughtered on their front porch, the word "LIBERAL" written across her body.  Well, since we broke the story on Blue Arkansas yesterday it has attracted national attention, and now as a friend of Ken's and Jake's I'm asking all of you to help us send a message loud and clear that this kind of terrorism and intimidation will not be tolerated, in Arkansas or anywhere else in the country.

Today, we starteda money bomb for Ken's campaign.  Neither Ken nor his staff have any idea that we're doing this, and we're hoping to give them a nice little surprise over the next few days by showing them a groundswell of support in the face of this terrible act.  We want to send a message to the person who did this and anyone else who would do such a gruesome thing-acts of violence will not intimidate us and will not defeat us.  It will only band us together and strengthen our resolve.

This is about something more than politics than usual.  Imagine if we let this go unanswered.  Imagine if we respond with timidity.  All that does is send the message that this is how you get results and will only embolden people who may do this sort of thing or worse in the future.  But if we show today that this kind of evil will not go unanswered and that it will be counterproductive, then we can show that compassion and hope will always triumph over hatred and fear.

Ken Aden is someone I'm sure a lot of you had never heard of before yesterday.  Well he's become a good friend of mine since I met him before he launched this campaign, back when he was a community organizor returned from fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, running his own nonprofit and fighting hunger in some of the poorest places in Arkansas.  When he called me and told me he was going to do this in a really tough district my exact words were "Ken, let me sit down...Now you're doing what?"  Since then I've seen him do a campaign to get toys to kids in the district who wouldn't have had a Christmas otherwise.  I saw him organize a resume building workshop for a community suffering job losses.  (Jake Burris, who has handled job interviews for three different companies, played the role of mock interviewer in those.)  I've seen him working tirelessy, knocking on every door and shaking every hand he could, and I've seen it starting to pay off.

There was a house party for Ken in Bentonville, one of the most conservative areas of Arkansas...and that's saying something.  There was a man there, a Republican who according to his neighbor always listened to Limbaugh and Hannity.  He heckled Ken endlessly, and Ken couldn't have been more polite and charming.  He didn't pander to this man.  He didn't argue with him or try to dodge his questions.  He treated him with respect and kindness.  "Do you at least agree with me that too many politicans are bought by corporations?" he asked him.  The man agreed.  "Then you should vote for me."  And he's right.  Ken went to Washington when he first announced his campaign to scope out the scene and attended a function where lobbyists were running around making deals with people who hadn't even been elected yet.  Ken sat there with his back against the wall drinking their booze and kind of sneering at what was going on.  Whenever one of those lobbyists would come up to him and offer their card, he'd hand it right back to them and tell them thanks but no thanks.  After he told that story, that conservative Republican walked right up to him and handed him five dollars, told him he was the "right man in the wrong party" and promised to vote for him...this after having already argued with Ken about unions, gay rights, you name it with Ken not budging an inch on his principles.

What was done to Ken's campaign manager and his family was inexcusable.  We as Americans can't let this kind of thing go unanswered anymore.  Enough is enough.  Let's send the damn message.

Contribute.

Originally posted to ARDem on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 08:09 AM PST.

Also republished by Erase the Hate.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Since this is clearly political terrorism... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, Oh Mary Oh

    I hope the FBI is on the case. Would you happen to know about that, and local police response?

    Needless to say, the incident got a lot of attention yesterday in a Triciawyse animal lovers' diary...and it wasn't just cutesie pootie porn...

    Moondai Furries

    Numerous readers there pledged to the ActBlue campaign for Aden.

    Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle.

    by Radical def on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:39:31 AM PST

  •  How do you know who did this? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    subtropolis

    Given that both right-leaning and left-leaning folks have attacked their own causes or even themselves, isn't it kind of early to assign blame for this?

    When a Democrat office was vandalized in 2009, the party blamed anti-Obamacare zealots for the crime, but it turned out it was a confused person who worked for SEIU.

    When Congresswoman Giffords was shot, everyone fell all over themselves pronouncing it a political hit based on right-wing invective. Sadly, it was just a crazy kid with a lot of problems.

    I don't have any reason to believe that there's anything fishy about the story except for its completely over the top nature. Why would anyone kill some campaign worker's cat to make some political point, especially one that is likely to energize the campaign?

    Isn't it possible that there's something else going on? Is it impossible that the cat got hit by a car and someone took advantage of that misfortune to create a big story?

    When outrageous events occur, we want to take decide who's to blame and to confront the outrage immediately. Unfortunately, experience has taught us that things are often not what they seem.

    My main point is that you shouldn't paint yourself into a corner. You probably don't want to find yourself having to apologize to those whom you assumed to be "rightwing terrorists" because you jumped to a conclusion without applying any degree of skepticism.

    •  the message on the cat seems a giveaway (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The BigotBasher, Oh Mary Oh

      and even if it was put there after a car accident, I'd say it's still political terrorism. That, however, seems far-fetched. You are reaching, and I can understand why ("the Democrat office" is sort of a giveaway). Waiting for facts is usually the best course, and people get burned when they don't. (Remember when Okla City Fed. Bldg. was obviously the work of Middle East terrorists? Or that girl with the backwards B carved on her face?)
        It seems pretty clear here, though you are correct that people like Karl Rove have a reputation for making false attacks on their own people to make the other candidate look bad. Not aware of this behavior being documented on the left, other than people on the right wanting it to be true.

       I assume it was probably just one person, and that person is apparently disturbed. that person also committed an act of terrorism (i.e., the dead cat is not liberal or conservative; the threat is to the campaign manager and his family, and to a lesser extent, presumably other perceived liberals). I don't know whether that person listens to toxic talk radio or not.

      As for why someone would do it, I can only comment on your innocent passage through the world.

      48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one. - Mother Teresa

      by wasatch on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:49:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Like "FED" on Bill Sparkman was a dead giveaway? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The BigotBasher, subtropolis

        If the conclusion to which everyone is jumping is true, that some right-wing terrorist killed this man's cat in an effort to intimidate anyone, it's certainly not having the intended effect. I salute anyone who stands up to perceived or actual intimidation. However, the response that's actually occurring is foreseeable to even the most dim among us. Who thinks killing a cat is actually going to intimidate anyone?

        People fake crimes against themselves for all kind of stupid reasons, and it is wise to express at least a degree of skepticism about outrageously ostentatious crime scenes. Bill Sparkman's death, originally deemed to be some sort of anti-census hate crime, has been ruled a suicide. The Memphis-area coroner found wrapped in barbed wire likely staged his own kidnapping. Tawana Brawley likely fabricated the story in which she was raped by police officers. A California college professor, Keri Dunn, staged hate crimes against herself. In the case to which you referred, Ashley Todd carved a "B" on her face and claimed a black guy did it.

        It's very sad that people feel the need to do such things to themselves.

        It doesn't help left/right folks get along if we automatically assume that assuming the worst about those with whom we disagree. It's impossible to know who killed the cat or why at this point, so why immediately blame your political opponents? The humble pie you have to eat if you're wrong doesn't taste so good.

        •  sure, but … (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Oh Mary Oh

          Who thinks killing a cat is actually going to intimidate anyone?

          The people who kill other peoples' cats in order to intimidate them, that's who. That's not to say that it will, of course. Keep in mind that we're talking about disturbed individuals.

          Note that i'm not claiming that that's what happened, just pointing out the flaw in your argument. It's entirely possible that someone did this with the intent to intimidate. Whether that's a realistic presumption on their part in no way precludes the possibility that it could happen.

          All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

          by subtropolis on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:06:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sorry, but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Oh Mary Oh

          how many more Jim Adkissons, Byron Williamses, Richard Poplawskis, Scott Roeders, Kevin Harphams, Thomas Gleasons, Jared Loughners, etc., do we have to experience before we can call it a pattern on the right?

          "People fake crimes against themselves for all kind of stupid reasons..."

          Excellent blame-the-victim logic. "Huurrr, these people faked crimes against themselves, so I'm gonna downplay the real and pervasive violence directed at liberals!"

          Right on.

          "On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation." William Lloyd Garrison

          by HoratioGalt on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:27:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  tips for good judgment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Arkieboy, Oh Mary Oh

      This is the first i've heard of this, so i shouldn't weigh in. However, if it's true about the "liberal" message, then i think that speaks volumes. But that wouldn't necessarily mean this was an organised plot. I'd bet that, instead, it was perpetrated by one of his neighbours who happens to know for whom he's working. Also, someone who apparently harbours psychopathic tendencies.

      That said, i don't see any reason not to take advantage of this horrible event to garner more cash for Aden.

      All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

      by subtropolis on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:58:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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