Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Update on Michigan Draft Gore Activities, Monday, October 29

We are finishing off our very positive Nominating Petition drive. We are pleased that over 100 petitioners contributed to our effort, more than 10 new leaders stepped up to help us organize, and we talked about Al Gore to tens of thousands of Michigan voters while the other candidates had most of their staff and activists in other states collecting petitions.

As we said in mid-September at the start of our Nominating Petition drive our volunteers did gather more than 3,500 signatures. However, we did not raise sufficient funds for professional petition circulators to help us place Al Gore on the Jan. 15 primary ballot.

However, our shortfall may not be a problem as the Jan. 15 primary may not take place for Democrats. A law suit wants to cancel the primary. Also, many Dems prefer to have a chance to vote for all the Democratic candidates, including Gore, in the February caucuses ( Feb. 9 or sooner, date not yet firm). There might be a decision about caucuses or a primary at a Michigan Dems Executive Committee on Wednesday, Nov. 7. We will notify you immediately when there is news.

Meanwhile, we need Michigan Gore supporters to help us transfer the names and addresses off of our Nominating petitions, so we can send our new names of supporters to Al Gore to help convince him to run. Please email Bob Alexander if you can help on this crucial task at, and title your email Volunteer to help with data entry.

We will have more information about our next steps to help build support in Michigan for Al Gore for president in ten days or so. Onward.

Bob Alexander and Doug Kelley,

Co-Chairs, Michigan Draft Gore

Michigan Caucus Information


For Immediate Release: October 23, 2007

Contacts: Bob Alexander, 517-351-0965
Douglas Kelley, 734-662-1731

"Nearly 100 active volunteer petition circulators have enabled us to reach our initial goal of 3,000 nominating petition signatures secured by volunteer circulators, by the October 23 deadline," stated Bob Alexander, Manager of the Petition Drive and Co-Chair of Michigan Draft Gore. "Signatures were gathered in Democratic meetings, outside cultural and sports events, and on the streets of cities and villages throughout Michigan."

"However, despite having received over $2,500 in contributions for the petition drive, we needed an additional $10,000 to hire full-time petition circulators whose work has been essential in successful state-wide petition drives in the past. Thus we did not obtain the 12,396 valid signatures that would have required Al Gore's written approval to place his name on the January 15 primary ballot," concluded Alexander.

"We now urge all Michigan Democrats and Independents to vote in Democratic Party caucuses," said Douglas Kelley, of Ann Arbor, Co-Chair of Michigan Draft Gore. "It is grossly unfair and undemocratic that Michigan Democratic voters who favor Obama, Gore, Edwards, Richardson or Biden won't see their candidate's name on the January 15 primary ballot." Kelley is also a member of the Michigan Democratic Party's state central committee.

"Michigan leaders and supporters of the Draft Al Gore movement are joining with many other Dems to urge the Michigan Democratic Party to bow out of the January 15 presidential primary election and instead hold caucuses throughout the state, as Democrats did in 2004. Caucus Resolutions have been approved by the Kent County, Washtenaw County, and an informal vote of the 12th congressional district, and several county Democratic Chairs voiced their support at the 1st congressional district dinner last Saturday in Grayling," continued Kelley.

"We are doing this out of our conviction that Gore is the best qualified candidate for President," stated Alexander. "We are confident Gore could win either the January 15 Michigan primary or the Michigan Democratic caucuses, in view of the Detroit News statewide poll of 400 likely Democratic voters (August 14): Gore, 36%; H. Clinton, 32%; Obama, 16%; Edwards, 8%." Alexander is also Vice Chair of the 8th congressional district committee and the Democratic candidate for Congress in 2004.

Draft Gore groups in Michigan have been active since June of 2006. They are represented in two national Draft Gore organizations, and and on the website: .

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A New Media Conversation Takes Form...

Transcript of the Gore statements in his 3 Videos
Edited by Bob Alexander,, October 16, 2007

Al Gore released his three videos on Monday, October, 15. We are very thankful for the narrative provided by Farrell Seiler, State Coordinator, Draft Gore New Hampshire. The URLs for the statements and the related article were added by Bob Alexander, Co-Chair of Michigan Draft Gore. Farrell Seiler’s comments and Gore’s statements are on the Draft Gore New Hampshire, web site: Draft Gore NH

Please visit Al Gore’s new communications web site that emphasizes personally created videos at You can access all three videos at: The title for each video is followed by its URL.

After viewing the videos add your comments for each one. In a bit more than 24 hours already 7,767 have viewed the Health Care view and added 119 responses; Get Our Troops Home, 5,194 views and 102 responses; and Constitutional Rights, 4,569 views and 88 responses.

Also, here's an analysis: the three videos indicate that Gore is now running for President at

Get Our Troops Home statement by AL Gore
Everybody’s talking about the war in Iraq, and most everybody agrees now that it was a big mistake to invade Iraq cause they didn’t have anything to do with attacking us on 911.

But the question of how we get out of Iraq and under what circumstances is significantly more difficult.

My own view is that we ought to withdraw as quickly as possible, while keeping an eye on the obligation we have not to make an already terrible situation even worse in the manner of our leaving.

But the longer we stay the more we appear to be a magnent for the kind of violence that is feeding the civil war that has emerged inside Iraq.

So I do think out that our primary goal should be to get our troops home as quickly as possible.

Health Care is a Right statement by Al Gore
I strongly support universal, single payer, government provided or government funded, health care. Doesn’t mean that the government runs it. It can have competition among the different providers.

But I just think that we have long since reached the stage that it is immoral to put people in a situation where they cannot get the medical care they need because their incomes are not high enough.
I think it ought to be a matter of right.

Our current system just doesn’t work. It is way too expensive. The quality of health care is excellent for those who have enough money to buy the very best.

But lower income and low middle income Americans are not getting good health care, and so many now cannot afford private health insurance that they are going without insurance, milllions and millions of people.
And I think that to eliminate the incredibly ridiculous cost of all this unnecessary paperwork, different standards from different insurance companies, it is time to have universal health insurance.

On Constitutional Rights statement by Al Gore
I think that we as Americans deserve more protection against the government being able to eavesdrop on our telephone conversations, on our email conversations and private conversations.

And the Constitution has a requirement that the government get a warrant before it invades the private communications of people.

And because of so much fear, especially since 911 and since the invasion of Iraq, the Congress has failed to exercise its responsibility to make sure that the executive branch is living up to what it is supposed to do under the Constitution.

And I think that we need stricter laws to require that the government follow the requirements of the Constitution.

Response to Gore’s Health Care statement by Bob Alexander, Michigan

• Thank you Al Gore for speaking out on these serious political issues. I hope these are your first steps to putting your name on the South Carolina and Georgia primary ballots, due Nov 1!

Your views on national health care for all are great!

Suggestion: please speak of reforming and expanding Medicare for all. Even moderate Republicans agree with that approach. A majority of Americans love a reformed and expanded Medicare.

For the same $2.1 trillion we pay in the US for our broken for-profit health system with no coverage to 46.6 million, Medicare coverage can expand health care, mental health, substance abuse prevention, long term care, dental and vision services to all.

Expanded Medicare could pay for all the services because our for-profit system wastes about 40% of the $2.1 trillion for expenses that provide no medical care. The following are estimates that demonstrate the advantages of Expanding Medicare to cover all. Expanded Medicare would not waste these expenses:
~$50 billion/year on TV, radio and magazine ads.
~ $300 billion for the 1,000 or more health insurance companies.
~ $200 billion for the excessively high salaries, expense accounts, and other
unneeded administrative costs.
~ $150 billion in the recent Pharmacy Part D for unneeded participation incentives
to pharmacy companies and HMOs through no-bid contracts.
~ $100 billion for the unnecessary incentives for HMOs and other health agencies
that were setup by Congress Republicans in the 1970s and 80s.

To prove the effectiveness of Expanded Medicare to All, and the savings for our auto companies so they can survive, Congress should enact a four year pilot program that would provide Medicare coverage to all auto workers and retirees. The success of this pilot programs would cause all corporations, small businesses and all families and individuals to want to participate

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Michigan Draft Gore Locations & Times to Sign or Turn in Gore Petitions

Michigan voters who want to show their support for Al Gore for President can sign a petition and pick up Gore materials at many locations listed below. Circulators of the recent Gore Nomination petition are urged to turn in their petitions at one of these locations or to mail the petitions, even if only a few signatures, to:
Draft Gore 2008
P O Box 1300
East Lansing, MI 48826

The Michigan Draft Gore campaign is very heartened by the enthusiasm generated by our Gore Nomination Petition Drive to place his name on the Jan. 15 Presidential Primary ballot. In the last month our volunteer petitioners increased from 30 to 150!

We will be expanding our efforts to build support for Al Gore and turn out the votes for either the Jan. 15 Primary or the Feb. 9 Caucuses. The Michigan Democratic Party leadership must notify the Sec. of State by November 14 that Michigan Democrats will use either the Primary or the Caucuses to select their delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August 2008.

Local Draft Gore leaders will be at each location for supporters to sign petitions and to discuss petitioner questions and suggestions, and collect completed petitions.

The days, locations and times to sign the petition or turn in petitions are:

Ann Arbor, Oct. 13 & 20, Sat. 10am-2pm
Farmers Market, 5th & Catherine

Clarkston, only Thurs, Oct. 18. 8:00-8:30pm
Caribou Coffee, 6315 Sashabaw Rd, south of I-75

Dearborn, date & time to be announced
Famous Hamburger, 5808 Schaefer Rd. north of Ford Rd

Flint, Tues. Oct. 16 & 23 5:30-6pm
Valley Family Restaurant, Miller & Linden Roads.

Grand Rapids, Sun. Oct. 14 & 21, 5:00-5:30
Bagel Beanery, 455 E Michigan NE at College

Jackson, Mon. Oct. 15 5:30-7:30pm
Dem Headquarters, 218 S. Mechanic

Kalamazoo, Mon. Oct. 17, 7:45-9:00pm
Dem Headquarters, 3254 Westnedge Road

Lansing, Tues. Oct. 16 & 23, 5:30-6pm
Gone Wired Café, 2021 E. Michigan Ave

Livonia, Tues. Oct. 16 & 23, 12:30-1pm
Panera Bread, 37085 6 Mile Road at Newburgh, se corner

Mt. Pleasant, time & date TBA
Grand Traverse Pie Company, 1218 S. Mission

Royal Oak, Fri. Oct. 12 & 19 7:00-7:30pm
Caribou Coffee, 401 S Main St

Traverse City, Sun. Oct. 14 & 21, 1-1:40
Horizon Book Store on Front Street

For further information please contact Bob Alexander, Manager, Michigan Draft Gore petition drive at or 517-351-0965

Here's some great links with a poll...

AOL.Com Gore Poll

Go to this URL ASAP and vote in each of 2 polls.

today's article in the New York Times on our Draft Gore efforts-

and the San Francisco Chronicle article-
Nobel rumors energize groups hoping to draft Gore
by Carla Marinucci, San Francisco Chronicle Political Writer, October 11, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Anecdotes from the Field

Activity seems to be picking up. I've had two phone calls today from people who want to know where they can go to sign Gore petitions. Each was interesting in its own way.

Caller #1:
This morning I got a call from a young woman wanting to know where she could go to sign a petition. I gave her information about a 12th District/Macomb County Dems event tomorrow night, where Mark Brewer will be speaking about the primary/caucus situation. I also told her I'd be in Royal Oak on Friday and that she could check out this blog for a full schedule. She's going to try to come tomorrow night if she can get a sitter for her son.

I asked her where she got my phone number, and she said from and that she reads DailyKos and MichLib. I told her I post there as well and asked her if she reads DemocraticUndergound. She said she's a lurker. She then asked me if I was SharonRB. When I told her yes, she laughed and she said she reads us every night. By "us" she means the group I belong to at DU called the KOEB (Keith Olbermann Estrogen Brigade), where we watch KO together every night and post about the show and other things. I told her she should post and stop just lurking. Then came the really funny part: She said she felt like she was talking to a celebrity. Hardly! I'm certainly no celebrity. Just a politically active woman who enjoys the Toobz and has a lot of friends living in her computer.

Caller #2:
A short while ago a woman called me saying she heard we were trying to draft Gore. She wanted to know where she can sign a Gore petition. I told her she could meet me in Royal Oak on Friday and I gave her the info on getting to this blog.

The funny part of this conversation was that she heard about us from her daughter who lives in Wisconsin! She had no idea this movement was going on, but she was very happy that it was and thinks Gore is so much better than everyone else in the field.

She asked if she could bring her whole church circle with her to sign. I told her of course she could. And it sounds like she's going to take some petitions with her as well when she meets me on Friday.

In less than 48 hours we'll know whether or not Al has won the Nobel and then we can sit and wait to see what he does. Let's keep everything crossed we can keep crossed!

An update from Bob Alexander

Dear Michigan Draft Gore Petitioner,

Thank you again for all your vigorous work to Draft Al Gore.

Yesterday, Obama, Edwards, Richardson and Biden withdrew their names from the Jan. 15 Michigan Primary Ballot. Over the next few days the effect of this major unexpected move will become more evident.

Yes, this Primary/Caucus situation is a mess. However, at the same time it continues an excellent opportunity for each of us to reach out to voters and ask them to sign a petition showing their support for Al Gore to be on the Michigan Primary and/or Caucus ballots. Since this new Primary was established on September 4th, we have had a major increase in Michigan Draft Gore activities- our number of active petitioners exploded from about 30 to almost 150!

For the next few days it is ok to circulate the Nomination petitions, and if you are asked about the withdrawal by some of the presidential candidates, reply that we are not sure what is going to happen but we want to do all we can to get Al Gore on the Primary or Caucus ballot.

Our statewide leaders will be meeting in Ann Arbor at 2pm on Sunday to discuss this situation and decide how we are going to move forward in a unified and effective manner. As our petitioning over the last year has been our best outreach effort to build local Draft Gore groups and our statewide organization, I expect we will continue to petition in some manner. By Sunday evening I will email you the decisions and recommended future actions.

Again, thank you for your questions, efforts and fine petitioning.

Bob Alexander, Co-Chair, Michigan Draft Gore

Top 3 rules of Presidential politics: Adapt! Adapt! Adapt!

Dear MI Volunteers & supporters:

Michigan Draft Gore leaders will be meeting in Ann Arbor this Sunday at 2pm to discuss the withdrawal by 4 or 5 of the Dem presidential candidates from the Jan. 15 Michigan primary, what opportunities this presents for Draft Gore supporters, and how our state wide organization will move forward. We will communicate our decisions to our email and blog networks promptly after that meeting.

Thanks, Bob Alexander

Monday, October 8, 2007

Bob Alexander Drives Around MI update

Bob Alexander Weekly Schedule to Drive Around Michigan to meet with petitioners and supporters who want to sign the Gore Nomination Petition...

Each of the remaining three weeks Bob Alexander will Drive Around Michigan to meet with petitioners and those who just want to sign a Nomination Petition to place Al Gore on the Jan. 15 Presidential Primary ballot. Alexander is the Manager of the Michigan Nominate Al Gore Petition drive.

Detailed locations & times are at the bottom of the page, grouped geographically.
Sunday is the North Drive Around to Mt. Pleasant, Grayling, Traverse City, Cadillac, Big Rapids and Grand Rapids.

Monday is an evening South Drive to Jackson, Battle Creek and Kalamazoo.

Tuesday during the day is the SE and East Drive to Livonia, Dearborn, Detroit (WSU), Royal Oak, Clarkston, Flint and Perry.

Wednesday during the day is the West Michigan Drive thru South Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon, and North Grand Rapids due to importance of West Michigan.

Friday afternoon and evening is the same SE and East Michigan Drive.

On Saturday morning petitioners staff a Draft Gore table at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market at 5th Ave. and Catherine Street.

If you are a registered MI voter & you signed the informal online petition or the paper Run, Al, Run petition over the past year, you need to seek out & sign this new legal length, formal Nominating Petition. The informal petition does not put Gore on the Jan 15 Primary ballot.

Update from Bob!

Your prompt donations to our new Michigan Draft Gore PayPal account at have generated over $1,000 to help us cover our costs for printing, many phone calls, and mileage for travel around Michigan to meet with our volunteer petitioners. (Instructions for making paypal donations are found on the right.) Additional donations are needed as our volunteer petition drive costs will be about $3,000 before we finish our drive on October 23.

Coordinators of similar nomination petition drives in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, Washington, California and other states might get some helpful ideas from my Drive Around Michigan schedule below. (Scroll down to bottom of blog for updated schedule) By publicizing locations across Michigan where I will be at specific times on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, I am able to meet with our petitioners to see how well and accurately they are filling out the petitions, give them ideas for better locations to collect signatures, as well as pass out new petitions, buttons, bumperstickers, and give them a pep talk and answer their concerns.

Also, supporters who just want to sign our petition are able to do so, as well as bring their friends along to sign. Importantly, about 40% of these folks are willing to take 1-3 petitions with them along with a one page sheet of instructions and circulate the petition among their friends.

Again, thank you for your help.

Bob Alexander,
Manager, Michigan Nomination Petition Drive
Co-Chair, Michigan Draft Gore

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Strategy update from the field...

From Kimberly Weldon in MI
In roughly ~7 hours total last weekend, in red/conservative Northwest Michigan, I (working alone in front of a downtown bookstore...) managed to collect 105 signatures, from people who are from all over the state (from at least 20-30+ different MI counties), and even including a couple of signatures from Republicans (who at first told me that they did not want to sign, since they were Repubs (single issue anti-abortion voters in this case) I said, "oh, I guess this means that Michigan will end up with Hillary as our nominee - after I said this, they immediately told me "well, when you put it that way...where do I have to sign?? (and yes, they signed !)

We are starting to get some more volunteers to help, and I hope that this will increase exponentially (as friends of friends join up to help, etc.)...

However, we STILL need A LOT more help, and time is running out very quickly - PLEASE help (by making a financial contribution by check, or via the paypal link in the Diary, or by volunteering to help collect signatures in MI (you must be registed to vote in MI, to collect signatures...)

We estimate that we actually need to collect AT LEAST 16,000 signatures by 4PM October 23rd, in order to have the 12,396 that will later actually prove to be considered valid...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The brave and hopeful of MI...

Petition drives aren't glamorous, they aren't for the easily discouraged. But they are a bedrock tenet of our democracy. A small cadre of dedicated Michiganders are standing tall on that rock this month, taking the words of Al Gore to heart: "In this country, political will is a renewable resource." Join them by signing the petition to add Vice President Al Gore to the MI Democratic Primary. The deadline to collect over 12,000 signatures is October 23rd.