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Election 2008

First Time Politicos

Millie Jefferson

Shirley Shin

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Ready for Take-off
(Courtesy Elizabeth Blane)
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Letter from Listener Elizabeth Blane

Dear Weekend America,

My local station is KPBS. You had a great idea for a story . . . and here is my story. I am a 56-year-old business consultant and mother of two sons. I have never been involved in politics before now. I barely used to vote, and seldom in the primaries. In fact, I never realized how cynical, hopeless and resigned I was about our country, until I heard about Ron Paul. A friend told me about Ron Paul, and I went to his website and almost instantly I was sold on him! I even changed my party affiliation from Democrat to Republican to be able to vote for him in the primary. He speaks the truth, and some of it is painful to hear. He is a great educator; he educated me on the disastrous condition of our dollar, the robbery committed by the Federal Reserve, our dangerous foreign policy, our bloated budget, the astronomical national debt, etc. I could go on and on. Dr. Paul is humble, brilliant, accomplished and has amazing staying power. He has been saying the same thing for the last 30 years and has a voting record to prove it.

Some of the things I do to support Ron Paul are going door to door in my precinct, talking to anyone I meet on the phone, in emails, or in stores, attending Meetup Group meetings, making and hanging signs, donating to his campaign, sign waving on street corners, attending GOP events, sending emails to the media.

But here is the project I am really proud of: Our own Ron Paul San Diego Blimp!
When I saw a video of the 200-ft Ron Paul blimp which is flying on the east coast, I decided we needed a miniature version here in San Diego. So within the short span of four days, I collected $2,000 we needed for the blimp, ordered it from the blimp company, had it manufactured and delivered, filled with helium and had it flying proudly proclaiming its message: "Who is Ron Paul? Google Ron Paul." As I write this, it is floating next to Interstate 5 in San Diego, very close to the airport, seen by tens of thousands every day!

I never imagined I would EVER be doing anything like this in my lifetime. But here I am, supporting the presidential candidate I believe represents the last hope for America. And I am happy to do it, for the benefit of my children and my unborn grandchildren. Please contact me if you would like to have more information to turn this into a bigger story.


Elizabeth Blane
San Diego, Calif.

Letter from Listener Barbara Petrocelli

Besides learning about the candidates and voting, I never activitely participated in the political process until this presidential election. I got involved because Bush lied. Maybe not out of malice, but at least as a result of his lack of intellectual rigor and ability. He lied to the American public about weapons of mass destruction. He lied to bring us into a pre-emptive war, to protect our interests in oil. And then he and his administration did a lot of other things that are highly offensive to our democracy (insert list here). So in October, I decided I wanted to do everything I could to make sure a Democrat won. I visited the Web sites of leading Democratic candidates and was knocked off my feet by Barack Obama. He was a fresh voice, he transcended party politics and he was a person of vision, character and reason. I gave money via his Web site. I attended a rally and heard him speak, and I went to New Hampshire (conveniently next to my home state, Massachusetts) to canvas door-to-door for his candidacy. I'm going back again tomorrow and probably again after that. I am essentially a middle-aged suburban housewife. There are a lot of people who want my time - my husband, daughter, dog, boss, etc...but this election matters, and I have decided to be part of the solution.

Barbara Petrocelli
Douglas, Mass.

Letter from Listener Eric Olson

I am 47 and have always been extremely interested in politics. (What married couple do you know who had a series of serious spats because the husband was watching too much C-SPAN late at night?) My presidential voting record is split fairly evenly between D and R. While engaged in the issues, I had never participated beyond voting until this year when I sponsored a fundraiser at a local cafe for Barack Obama. I placed ads in the paper, ordered merchandise, hooked up via the Internet for a live Town Hall Meeting. We had a pretty good turnout considering there was an ice storm that day. I have participated in neighborhood leafletting events for Sen. Obama as well.

This may not seem like much, but it is a first for me. I am doing this because I perceive optimism in Sen. Obama. No other candidate seems optimistic about our future. I don't think Sen. Obama's optimistic in an unrealistic way, but in a "let's roll up our sleeves and become a better society" kind of way. Also, I think he has life experience that extends beyond our borders so that he better understands the points of view of other people. I know he will hire competent people to fill his cabinet and have no doubt that he will energize our nation and our allies.

Eric Olson
Hermantown, Minn.

Letter from Listener Mark Masson

I registered to vote for the first time this year because the girl I've been trying to convince to date me is really into politics!

Mark Masson
San Diego, Calif.

  • Music Bridge:
    My Name is Johnny Hawk
    Artist: Global Goon
    CD: Family Glue ((Audio Dregs))
More stories from our Election 2008 series


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