It's Caucus Time!

Tonight Americans in cities and small towns across the nation will gather at libraries, church basements, schools and private homes to discuss and deliberate the important issues surrounding the election of our next President.

Bravo!

Tonight is the National Presidential Caucus.

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Comments

 POSTED BY: adamelijah ON December 7, 2007 - 9:04pm

It was an extremely fun event, even though few showed up here in Boise. Fred Thompson was the winner 3-0 with 1 uncommitted, which actually wasn't the way it looked going in. We talked about issues, we considered what people had to say. It's a lot more fun than standing in line to vote in a primary. Nice idea. My one suggestion is to have a week where people can go and caucus next time you do this. Friday was hard for us here, because our event slightly conflicted with a pro-life group's annual fundraiser and the Republican Christmas Party.

 POSTED BY: NEIU Concerned Students-1 ON December 7, 2007 - 9:51pm

It was a very informative experience. Only a few people showed up and the results came in with 3 for Cynthia McKinney, Green Party, 1 for Frank Moore, Independent, 1 for Jared Ball, Green Party, and 1 for Representative Ron Paul, Republican. Our school is more green than we thought! Some of the issues we talked about were; the economy, immigration, education, the war in Iraq, and the environment. Some key ideas we came up with on these issues are: the economy: Share the wealth at the local level; bring jobs back to US; education: reduce external expenditures to increase funding for higher Ed; environment: mis use of resources; immigration: Whether or not to change the immigration law, treatment of current immigrants; war in Iraq: not isolation, but non- intervention.

 POSTED BY: A_the_W ON December 7, 2007 - 10:26pm

Tonight Ron Paul was the clear winner, with 15 votes. Tom Tancredo received 1 vote, and 2 left undecided. A return to more constituional government, immigration and education were the most commented on issues.

Even though this was an Open caucus, and the presentation was made to both the Democrat and the Republican clubs in the area, and the leader of the democrats was expected to attend, only Republican voters participated.

The local media was there, and took several photos. We'll see if it makes the news.

 POSTED BY: Joe ON December 7, 2007 - 11:46pm

Reporting from Kansas City here. The room in the community center where we had our caucus was packed.

79 votes for Ron Paul. 0 votes for all other republican candidates.

 POSTED BY: Anonymous ON December 8, 2007 - 1:34am

In the NJ Democratic Caucus, after 3 rounds, Edwards jumped to first place with 70+ votes after most of Clinton's supporters went to him. Obama ended up with 60+ votes and Kucinich with 30+ votes. It was a fun night with close to 200 people participating in this exercise.

 POSTED BY: MHHSstudent ON December 8, 2007 - 2:12am

I consider our caucus extremely successful! It was great to hear the thoughts of my fellow classmates; discussion topics included drug legalization, illegal immigration, and (of course) the Iraq War. The results show:

5 Votes for McCain
3 Votes for Obama
2 Votes for Clinton
2 Votes for Huckabee
1 Vote for Edwards
1 Vote for Romney
1 Vote for Paul

Other, votes include:
1 Vote for Reagan
1 Vote for "Not Obama"
1 Vote for Nader
1 Vote Undecided

'Twas awesome...

Thanks to everyone who participated!

 POSTED BY: scshute ON December 8, 2007 - 2:49am

Wow, what a great evening it was in Kansas City! The interesting aspect of our gathering was that even though we contacted all of the Republican candidates' offices directly (we contacted the campaigns of Giuliani, Romney, Huckabee, Thompson, and McCain by phone, and sent E-mails to the Tancredo, Paul, and Hunter campaigns; we also sent follow-up information and fact sheets via E-mail to all of the campaigns), the only response we received was from grassroots supporters of the Ron Paul campaign. We had 84 people check in to the caucus this evening (80 capacity), and we had 79 votes for Paul, and 5 did not vote.

I think that this is a powerful testament to the effectiveness of Internet-based grassroots organizations - and that candidates that continue to discount or ignore the new medium do so at their peril. Obviously, the Ron Paul grassroots turned out their supporters, whereas other candidate organizations either didn't care or didn't take seriously this caucus. We gave the other campaigns many opportunities to turn out their supporters, and the proof was in the caucus results.

As for issues that the caucus participants thought were important, the top 5 came out as follows:

1) Interventionalist foreign policy - preemptive war (Iraq), foreign military bases, extravagant foreign aid

2) Erosion of civil liberties (USA PATRIOT Act, suspension of habeas corpus, violation of 1st, 2nd, and 4th Amendment rights)

3) Violations of national sovereignty (NAFTA, CAFTA, UN, World Court, WTO, illegal immigration, globalization)

4) Fiat currency (Federal Reserve) and debasement of the dollar through manipulation of the money supply (printing money)

5) Confiscatory taxation (IRS) to finance runaway spending

In any case, I want to thank the National Caucus people for giving all of us an opportunity to participate in the political process in a national forum. The organizers of this are to be commended!

 POSTED BY: docrobot ON December 8, 2007 - 11:40am

We had a lively discussion on a snowy day in Massachusetts. With babysitters watching the 9 children (all under 6 years old!), we noshed on wine/cheese or margaritas/chips and then dove into the issues.

Of the issues we discussed, NONE was "least important"--though, interestingly, we noted that neither 'TERRORISM' nor 'IMMIGRATION' were deemed hot issues by this group.

What concerns us as voter citizens are the staggering burdens of health care and seeking a UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE system, serious address of CLIMATE CHANGE/ENERGY POLICY to engage with the looming crises that will be caused by climate change, finding ethical resolution to the war in IRAQ, and CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM.

*HEALTH CARE*
There was near universal agreement that health care is a top priority that needs to be addressed by the next administration. Specifically, we are looking for universal access to health care, including mental, special, and late-life care. We noted that the notion of a PROFIT DRIVEN health care system, operating under market principles, was at odds with any kind of “healthy” health care system—at odds with the idea of wellness.

*CLIMATE CHANGE/ENERGY POLICY*
Again, there was universal agreement that this is one of the most important topics facing our nation (and the world). We noted that the changes in environments caused by climate change will be responsible for future strife, as populations fight for increasingly limited resources. We were in agreement that Energy Policy and Conservation were key to efforts to combat the speed of climate change, and that the next president must be a leader in global treaties/action on the environment. We noted that a notion that humans are somehow distinct from, apart from, above, nature was a hubristic stance that blinded us to the interconnectedness of the world—and the severe long (and short) term impacts our actions have on us. We noted that consumer culture, drive to acquire material goods and Hummer-ize our homes and cars, is a major contributor to our energy/environment problems. We also wish to see the next President incentivize the development of new technologies and energy sources which are sustainable. The important role in conservation of energy resources in solving the larger problem was noted.

*IRAQ*
While no one felt they had an idea as to what the best solution for Iraq is, we agreed that our decision to war was a mistake from the start, and that we are in a difficult mess that seems to have few good solutions, and that we need to seek international collaboration (and elect a good President) to help us in whatever next phase for Iraq. We expressed dismay and outrage at the current Administration’s plans to establish permanent military bases in Iraq. We agreed that our current action in Iraq is not serving the nation’s greater interests, and expressed anger at the failure of the government to serve the wounded servicemen/women with life-long, long term care upon their return. We noted the role of the military in the economy, and how this and other economic pressures are contributing to a (problematic) national war stance. We also noted that the $300+ billion that has flowed to Iraq might have been better placed fixing health care and addressing climate change.

*CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM*
Campaign Finance Reform is an amorphous, large, important topic, which we think deserves special emphasis. While it is not one single event or topic, the system of political patronage and the tremendous power of corporate lobbies MEANS that we can NEVER get anywhere with health care, energy policy, etc., so long as we have corporate special interests putting money in politicians' pockets.

We believe that this is an issue that needs to emphasized again and again until we have real reform.

One solution floated was that candidates have equal and free airtime on the PUBLIC AIRWAVES (which led to a discussion of media ownership).

*OTHER TOPICS*
We also discussed Media Consolidation and the FCC deregulation of the PUBLIC airwaves (we find this problematic), the state of Education (including the cost of higher education)and Iran. We spoke about the economy and the need to move toward more sustainable business practices, which might include greater regulation of corporations. We also noted that the taboo subject of Raising Taxes was something that needs to be addressed (as we are in an increasing deficit, running a war with slashed taxes, not contributing to the sustenance of social welfare…). We are cynical about any mainstream candidate’s ability to speak candidly about the economy and especially about taxes. Concern for social security’s future was raised, and in the course of discussion, one of us noted that there is convincing evidence that the “Crisis” in social security is a manufactured one, designed to push an agenda towards privatization (which is not called for by the data). We briefly discussed reproductive rights and abortions, and noted that the Religious Right forces the issue of criminalizing abortion every campaign.

We had plenty more to discuss but we ran out of time.

*CANDIDATES*
Our spirited discussion left little time for in-depth discussion of the Candidates proper. However, it was clear that most of us present are still undecided and weighing the Democratic candidates’ strengths and weaknesses. While there was some admiration/support for *KUCINICH*, the stronger preference, as far as it was, was for *OBAMA*. *EDWARDS* was liked, and there was some concern about *CLINTON*. We did note that the major candidates were remarkable in their similarities (with the exception of Kucinich) in policy agendas.

*THE CAUCUS EXPERIENCE*
We had an "observer" (non-US citizen) participant, a biologist from Norway doing research in the US for a year. We asked him many questions about his system of health care and taxes.

One of our participants was not able to be here due to her child’s illness, and conference-called in her input and reactions to the group’s discussion.

The group seemed to be enthusiastic and supportive of the caucus, and we are energized to continue grass-roots/local communication about these political issues, as well as re-convene after the primaries and the establishment of a Party candidate.

In all, it was a positive, energizing experience, met with gratefulness by citizens who are unhappy with the state of politics and our nation, and want to have an active voice in changing direction in the future.

 POSTED BY: docrobot ON December 8, 2007 - 11:48am

I forgot to mention--

We had NINE Democrats at our caucus

 POSTED BY: Anonymous ON December 8, 2007 - 11:12pm

When will the results be reported?

 POSTED BY: Myles Weissleder ON December 8, 2007 - 11:15pm

Hi all -

We're awaiting a few more reports to come in... Once we get them, we'll review and release the results of the National Presidential Caucus. We definitely hope to announce them by Monday, December 10th.

Stay tuned!

Best,

Myles Weissleder
NPC

 POSTED BY: Anonymous ON December 10, 2007 - 2:51pm

how long can it take to count the ballets? i mean seriously, no wonder you guys got no media coverage. i was planning on writing a blog entry for my blog an daily kos, but the lack of results and the lack of information and i no longer will be doing so.

 POSTED BY: Bruce ON December 11, 2007 - 1:10am

We submitted our results on Friday and we are waiting patiently. We will continue to stay involved and are continuing to spread the word. Colleagues continue to ask about the Caucus (even though they did not show), thats OK constant positive talk keeps the idea growing.

Our twenty one votes were: Thompson 6; Huckabee 3 Guiliani 2; McCain 1; Romney 1 Clinton 2;Obama 2; Richardson 2; and Edwards 1.

We had one vote for Gore if he would run with a couple others that would switch and go with him. We also had real interest and a discussion on the desire for someone besides ths sixteen current candidates from the two dinosaur parties. Lou Dobbs and Colin Powell were names discussed at length along with Gore.

 POSTED BY: Sam Marsh ON December 11, 2007 - 6:48pm

It's been 5 days now, and no results, other than these comments. Can you tell us what the problem is?

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