Morgan Carroll's Volunteer Rally Notes
(Photo: Marc A. Piscotty © Rocky Mountain News)
Morgan Carroll has ambitions.
The majority of the voters in her district are Republicans, and her message is quite progressive, yet last time she walked across it she was able to coax out 55% of the vote.
She is walking State House District 36 again this summer, and she doesn't just want to take it again, she wants to win by a large enough margin to keep challengers away from Aurora for years.
How large a margin? Campaign Director Bill Wolf is shooting for 60%. Staffer John Beckman is aiming even higher, quoting numbers in the stratosphere of 80%.
As for me, I think that given enough time she could get them all, but with the fast ticking clock of the election year, who knows?
Morgan herself isn't spending a lot of time talking about the numbers. If she has her eyes on a number, I am sure it is one from a different November. Sometime down the road there will be other elections where all 25,000 votes cast in Aurora will just be a fraction of the ones she needs.
For now, she is having fun reaching out to her neighbors, and finding the common ground that extends beyond the labels of party affiliation.
The people of her District all want more affordable health care. They all want their children to be educated. They all want a less wasteful government. She can speak sincerely to those issues, and she can listen. As it turns out, she lives in a fairly sensible community that would rather listen to her positions than look at her voter registration card.
She even gains a few converts by telling them what she believes rather than what they want to hear. She is for reproductive choice. Many of her constituents are against it. But they appreciate her being forthright, willing to explain her positions and willing to listen to theirs.
Montana Gov. Schweitzer once said that "issues divide, values unite." You can see how that is playing out in HD-36. She doesn't always match up to the voters on every issue, but she stands firmly with them in their shared values.
She was speaking in a church and someone asked a litmus test question about a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. She knew what position they wanted her to take, but she said what she felt in her heart. She spoke of how the Constitution should protect our rights, not restrict them. She spoke of how it was a matter of equal protection under the law. She spoke of how marriage was not a threat to marriage, but that things like infidelity were. By the time she was done speaking the congregation was on their feet. She got a standing ovation in a church for speaking in favor of gay marriage.
Tonight Morgan, her key staffers, and a number of volunteers, met at the Arapahoe Democratic Party HQ to discuss the coming election and what they will need to do to make sure they get some number above 50% + 1.
Joe Miklosi of Progressive Majority came and spoke to a room of about thirty people and gave them a quick background on field work, and how to be effective knocking on doors.
I won't talk too much about specific strategies. Republican infiltrators will just have to do their own research.
I will share a tangental, but interesting fact I learned: the backers of the immigration ballot initiative have been getting funding from the Michigan Millitia.
Miklosi was informative, and did a good job of speaking to a mixed crowd of novices and pros. The meeting lasted a short while, and then it was a flurry of sign up sheets, postcards, and mailing labels.
I wandered around the room, checked in with Lyn Mayo and her bodygaurd Colin, spoke to Pam Bennet and her mysterious friend Alexis, speculated with Rep. Carroll about the fate of the Lobby Reform Bill (HB-1149), and saw a press clipping that featured the fantastic photo you see on this page.
I also snuck a peek at one of the postcards.
They announce the Campaign Kick-Off Party on June 10th from 2-4 PM.
The party will be at the Lighthouse Clubhouse, 1011 S. Valentia St, Denver
If you would like to join the ice cream social and pool party, drop a RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
I'll make sure to get all the details into the Soapblox Calendar.
Until then, everybody chant with me:
OWENS! SIGN! ELEVEN FOURTY NINE!
OWENS! SIGN! ELEVEN FOURTY NINE!