Monday, August 31, 2009

Live updates from HD90

Fairness Fund Organizer Andrea Jansa will be sending live updates from house district 90 throughout the day. Please stay tuned for the latest information

12:00 pm update
Gathering with the large group of volunteers who are all here to help out the Curt Hanson campaign for Iowa house district 90. As soon as the auditor finishes updating the list of returned absentee ballots, we'll begin ballot chasing for the day. Ballot chasing includes talking to voters who requested absentee ballots, and offering to take their ballot to the auditor's office. Voters have until 4:30 today to either postmark their ballot or turn it in. After that they'll need to take absentee ballots to their polling location and return them before voting at the polls. The energy is high and everyone is excited to get out there and let voters know tomorrow is election day!

2:15 p.m. update
The volunteers have been sent out in pairs and triplets to "chase" outstanding ballots.  Matt, Craig, and I are working on our assinged lists of ballots.  All the volunteers are being utilized and we have until 4:30 to get our ballots picked up. 
Word is we'll be putting door-hangers on the doors of Fairfield residents this evening, so we'll all be getting our exercise in!
Driving around Fairfield has been a treat.  The homes are beautiful and you can tell the residents take pride in their properties and their community.  It's refreshing to see such a diverse area in what may be considered rural Iowa.  Everyone is very welcoming. 

9 p.m. update
The residents of Fairfield have definitely gotten a chance to get to know Curt Hanson volunteers! After we finished ballot chasing this afternoon, we took out a round of door hangers as reminders to voters who vote at the polls. The hangers also had information with each household's voting location.

I had a great conversation with a woman who completely supports Hanson and was really disturbed by the money coming in for Burgmeier from out-of-state organizations, such as the National Organization for Marriage.

Another great story comes from organizer Ryan Crane: During his stay in Fairfield, Ryan helped 94-year-old Lee Gobble write a letter encouraging his neighbors to vote for Curt Hanson. Since Lee wasn't able to get a letter to the editor into the newspaper in time, he paid for an ad to show his support.

Everyone is gearing up for a big day tomorrow. Stay tuned for stories throughout election day!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Five Days and Counting! We're coming down the final stretch!

By Ryan Crane, Fairness Fund Organizer

Just five days until the election! The tension and excitement is palpable as we learned more about how hard the opposition has been working. Burgmeier's campaign has been running TV ads and mailers, and the other two candidates are doing their part to engage as well.
Today we were preparing door hangers that will tell voters what precinct they can vote in on election day. And even though it rained virtually all day, we still had numerous volunteers step up and collect absentee ballots from folks who were procrastinating.
Dedication and hard-work seem to be the theme on the ground here, and it is inspiring to see how many Iowans are working for Mr. Hanson. I feel good to be part of what I'm sure will be the winning team.
But, like I said at the top, the opposition has seemed to come alive and is now finally working as hard as we are. And as many folks know, Republicans are known for turning out at the polls in large numbers. While we are excited and poised to do well, the next five days are probably the most important of the entire election. So please stay plugged in and help us win this!

PS - We're almost to $7,000 and the thermometer keeps moving up! Help us reach our goal of $10,000 by midnight tonight! Just click on the thermometer on the right!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

24 hours left! NOM in Iowa raises the stakes!

The National Organization for Marriage's "Reclaim Iowa" project has raised the stakes. On the ground in Iowa, NOM ads are blanketing the airwaves and newspapers across the country are reporting on NOM's scheme to overturn marriage equality in Iowa.

Your generous support has brought us halfway to our $10,000 goal.
We now have 24 hours to make up the difference. Please give today!

If Stephen Burgmeier wins this election, it will be spun as a victory for anti-gay marriage opponents in Iowa and across the country. We can't let this happen! Send a strong message to extremists who seek to buy elections in Iowa and across the country: Your anti-gay rhetoric has no place in the civil discussion!

Help us reach our goal by midnight Friday!
Goal Thermometer

With only days to go our organizers on the ground say the next 24 hours are crucial. We're being outgunned on the airwaves and we're scrambling to see that we have the funds needed to respond. Your support today could make all the difference between a win and a loss.

Whether it's $5, $10, or $100, every single donation counts! This is one election we cannot afford to lose. Help us reach our $10,000 goal by Friday at midnight!


Carolyn Jenison,
Chair, Fairness Fund

PS - Our organizers on the ground report we're beating our goals for absentee ballots returned. That's a good sign, but NOM's ads have fired up the right-wing base. We expect them to turn out in droves next Tuesday. Contribute now to make sure our supporters know what's at stake!

Hello from rainy Fairfield!

by Fairness Fund Organizer Ryan Crane

There were a number of state representatives and state senators who offered their help today-- not to mention the volunteers who have dutifully continued to knock doors (in ponchos!) and fill out postcards to constituents.
The absentee ballot chase I mentioned yesterday was a huge success, even beating the adjusted goals that were set on Monday. This, of course, raised morale and reminded us just how important and fruitful the work we are doing is.
As for me, I delivered yard signs, made volunteer recruitment calls, chased absentee ballots, and even attended a poll-watching training run by Mr. Hanson's campaign director, where I met some of the active community members who are determined to make sure that the opposition plays fair at the polls!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another day closer to the election!

by Fairness Fund Regional Field Organizer Ryan Crane

The office buzzed with passers-by and volunteers today. A police officer, a community activist and some college students stopped by to see what they could do to help. Lots of postcards were filled out and lots of phone calls were made. Plus, the collection of absentee ballots is beating expectations!
Curt Hanson spent all afternoon patiently reaching out to to constituents over the phone, and was the most articulate and sharp candidate at a well-attended public debate in Fairfield this evening.
Tomorrow promises to be a little more fast-paced. Starting after lunch, an aggressive campaign to collect outstanding absentee ballots should bring in a huge number of votes that folks may have had just sitting on their counters. And as we continue working to beat expectations, the enthusiasm is building. You can really feel the sense of dedication rising!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

On the Ground in HD90!

by Fairness Fund Regional Field Organizer Ryan Crane

Greetings from Fairfield, IA!

On my first full day of assisting Democratic candidate Curt Hanson's campaign, the mood is good and the efforts are well-managed. Help is coming in from all corners -- AFSCME, community activists, state representatives, state senators, and unions -- and nearly every voter in the district has been contacted. Some more than once!

Just today, we beat the goal set for absentee ballots, requested and collected, ONE WEEK before the election.

I created some flyers to urge people to vote early at the courthouse, collected ballot requests and chased some absentee ballots door-to-door. I'm part of a team working hard to get every vote for Curt Hanson!

But there is a lot of urgency under the surface. Last night, when I expressed confidence in Hanson's prospects, almost all the staffers warned me the race would come down to the wire and be very close. Having worked on and volunteered for several campaigns in the past, I know this to be true. There is no winner until every vote is counted.

Stay tuned to the Fairness Fund blog. I'll be with you along the way to share my thoughts on the race and my perspective from the ground!

Counteract NOM's Ad buy in HD90!Goal Thermometer

Monday, August 24, 2009

Extremist group tries to buy Iowa election

Here they go again.

Only months after the unanimous decision in favor of the freedom to marry in Iowa, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has come to Iowa to take away this freedom with what they call a "targeted intervention" into Iowa politics.

Don't let them.

Yesterday, NOM, a front group for Mormon-funded anti-gay campaigns across the country, launched their "Reclaim Iowa Project," investing tens of thousands of out-of-state dollars to influence an Iowa House special election in rural southeast Iowa.

Goal ThermometerWith the special election a week away, we cannot afford to let these ads go unopposed. We need your help and we need it NOW. To combat these negative messages, we must raise $10,000 by midnight on Friday, August 29.

The secretive New Jersey-based group, known for its multi-million dollar investment to pass California's Proposition 8, reported making an $86,080 ad buy on behalf of candidate Steven Burgmeier, a vocal opponent of civil marriage equality.

The Mormon Church and NOM have invested millions of dollars to spread lies and fear in California and now they have their sights set on rural Iowa. This raises the question: Has Burgmeier been bought and paid for by out-of-state religious extremists? If not, he should reject this divisive advertisment.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A vote for Burgmeier is a vote against equality

The political arm of the Iowa Family Policy Center has released a letter written by former state Rep. Danny Carroll urging voters to elect anti-gay candidate Steve Burgmeier in HD90. The rambling and inflammatory four-page letter by Carroll blamed his electoral defeat on "radical, out-of-state homosexual activists" who supported his opponent. In reality, Carroll was defeated because his constituents were put off by his narrow focus on mean-spirited, divisive politics.

Carroll draws comparisons between his defeat and Democrat Curt Hanson's campaign against Burgmeier. He claims outsiders are funding Hanson in an effort to "buy his anti-family vote in Des Moines." Carroll praises Burgmeier for his divisive and purely symbolic measure asking legislators to push an anti-gay marriage amendment. As Jefferson County Board of Supervisors president, this resolution was meaningless and his bluster a waste of county time.

As representative for HD 90, Caroll claims Burgmeier's would make undermining the freedom to marry his top priority. Instead of focusing issues affecting the majority of Iowans, Burgmeier would apparently push a divisive and mean-spirited measure that would mire the state of Iowa in 2-3 year battle to write discrimination into the Iowa Constitution.

In a severe case of misplaced victimization, Carroll claims the "homosexual agenda" wants to "criminalize all pro-family expression as 'hate speech,' and give homosexuals special rights and privileges as a protected class of citizens." Carroll fails to mention which rights gays and lesbians want that are not already afforded to other Iowans.

In contrast, Hanson's priorities are balancing the state budget, creating good-paying jobs, and education -- issues affecting all Iowans.

Read Carroll's full letter here

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Support Fairness Fund's work in HD90

by Fairness Fund PAC Field Organizer Joe Nydle

In fewer than two weeks, voters will go to the polls in southeast Iowa's house district 90. This crucial special election will set the tone for the 2010 elections and next year's legislative session. I'm volunteering my time on behalf of the Fairness Fund PAC to see that our endorsed candidate, Curt Hanson, is elected.

Curt's anti-gay opponent was recently endorsed by Everyday America, an organization that has spearheaded efforts to overturn the recent Iowa Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality. Already, we've seen our opponent go on the air with negative TV ads, designed to spark anger among his base. Please donate today to make sure we have the resources and support on the ground to counter these negative ads!

Support our work to elect a pro-equality candidate in this crucial district!

I'm on the ground, working with Hanson's campaign to ensure his strong finish. Early voting may be the key in this district, so we've deployed teams of door-to-door canvassers to collect and return absentee ballots. Every single vote is important in this neck-and-neck race.

In what may be the opening salvo of the 2010 elections, the Fairness Fund PAC is mobilized to support Curt's candidacy. By defeating his anti-gay candidate, we make clear discrimination is not a winning issue.

In the final week, we will be sending additional volunteers and resources to ensure Curt's victory. Please support our work today!

Fairness Fund working to elect Curt Hanson

A special election in fewer than 30 days will set the tone for the 2010 Legislative Session and next fall’s election. Opponents of equality are mobilizing to elect an anti-gay candidate to replace Rep. John Whitaker in Iowa House District 90 in SE Iowa. Whitaker, a fair-minded legislator who opposed attempts to undermine the Supreme Court's historic ruling, has been appointed to a position at the USDA. Governor Culver has set the special election for September 1.

We must see that Iowa’s fair-minded majority is protected! We only have weeks to go! Donate now to the Fairness Fund PAC to help elect fair-minded legislators!

For September's special election, Democrats have nominated Curt Hanson, a candidate committed to focusing on issues affecting all Iowans: jobs, the economy and education. Republicans have nominated a vocal opponent of equality: Jefferson County supervisor Steve Burgmeier, who helped pass a divisive resolution earlier this year asking legislators to undermine the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision.

The choice is clear! Please contribute to the Fairness Fund PAC today.
With your help, we will keep the seat for proponents of equality.

Make no mistake, a Burgmeier victory would be a boost for opponents of equality.They would use his victory to push for a constitutional amendment next legislative session and overthrow pro-equality candidates in 2010. The Fairness Fund PAC is standing up for our fair-minded legislators who have stood with us. We are mobilizing supporters of equality across the state to see that equality is protected in Iowa, now and in the future. Your support is vital to our efforts. Please give what you can today!

"My priorities are simple: balance the state budget, create good-paying jobs in key industries like renewable energy, make health care more affordable for middle class families, and ensure our kids have the education and skills they need to get a job in these tough economic times."

- Curt Hanson