Take Action Saturday
The following article will need action to be taken on Monday. We need to flood the Governor’s office with phone calls.
We can send emails today. But lets drive them nuts on Monday with phone calls. For that matter ALL week, because the Governors office is SILENT and refuses to comment!
This is a pass it on, post it everywhere, send it to everyone in your email list.
What kind of article is this? I have several questions like who are the attorney’s that kept the secret while an innocent man sat in prison for 26 years. Who was this Andrew Wilson?
Who was the prosecutor that convicted Alton Logon when he had evidence that the gun that killed the guard was found where Miller lived? Was that ever presented in court or did the prosecutor cover that up? The prosecutor knew he convicted an innocent man but all he cared about was putting any man behind bars. Another notch in his win category. Did he party that night with his colleagues after the wrongful conviction of an innocent man?
Our justice system really sucks and needs reforms. This is an outrage that for 26 years they were bound by this attorney-client privilege. We must find a way for attorney’s to tell if they know a man is innocent without violating this privilege.
As for Alton Logan why should he be put through another trial for a crime we know he did not do. Wasn’t 26 years behind bars enough for the peoples revenge?
Should the people of Illinois have to pay for another trial of an innocent man? Why doesn’t Governor Rod Blagojevich intervene and free Alton Logan and clear his name.
I know why. This Governor is only thinking how much will it cost the state in reparations to Logan and I say plenty Governor write the damn check.
Shame on the state of Illinois for convicting an innocent man. I wonder what the jurors think of their work now?
Contact the Governor
Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-0244 or 312-814-2121
Governor's Online Contact Form
direct link http://www.illinois.gov/helpdesk/contact.cfm
Contact the Lt. Governor
Office of Lt. Governor
214 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Man who claims innocence freed after 26 years
Attorneys say their client, now dead, committed murder
CHICAGO - A man who spent 26 years in prison was freed on bond Friday while he awaits a new trial for a murder another inmate confessed to his lawyers.
Alton Logan’s family said they took up a collection in the lobby of the Cook County Criminal Courthouse and quickly came up with the $1,000 needed for his release.
A tearful Logan said he felt great leaving the courthouse surrounded by friends and family.
Two attorneys recently revealed that their former client, Andrew Wilson, admitted to committing the crime that Logan was convicted of but that attorney-client privilege kept them from coming forward.
Logan did not kill a security guard in a McDonald's restaurant in January 1982, the two lawyers said.
For nearly 26 years, they said, they kept a sealed affidavit of their client's confession to the crime in a locked box.
The attorneys came forward in January after Wilson died.
A killer's 26-year-old secret Lawyers hope dead man's confession will clear prisoner serving life
CHICAGO - For nearly 26 years, the affidavit was sealed in an envelope and stored in a locked box, tucked away with the lawyer's passport and will. Sometimes he stashed the box in his bedroom closet, other times under his bed.
It stayed there — year after year, decade after decade.
Then, about two years ago, Dale Coventry, the box's owner, got a call from his former colleague, W. Jamie Kunz. Both were once public defenders. They hadn't talked in a decade.
"We're both getting on in years," Kunz said. "We ought to do something with that affidavit to make sure it's not wasted in case we both leave this good Earth."
Coventry assured him it was in a safe place. He found it in the fireproof metal box, but didn't read it. He didn't need to. He was reminded of the case every time he heard that a wronged prisoner had been freed.
In January, Kunz called again. This time, he had news: A man both lawyers had represented long ago in the murder of two police officers, Andrew Wilson, had died in prison.
Kunz asked Coventry to get the affidavit.
"It's in a sealed envelope," Coventry said.
"Open it," Kunz said, impatiently.
And so, Coventry began reading aloud the five-line declaration the lawyers had written more than a quarter-century before:
An innocent man was behind bars. His name was Alton Logan. He did not kill a security guard in a McDonald's restaurant in January 1982.
"In fact, another person was responsible," the document said.
The secret's out
They knew, because Andrew Wilson told them: He did it.
But that was the catch.
Lawyer-client privilege is not complete; most states allow attorneys to reveal confidences to prevent a death, serious bodily harm or criminal fraud. But this case didn't offer that kind of exception.
So when Wilson told his lawyers that he, and not Logan, had killed the guard, they felt powerless — aware of information that could free a man they believed to be innocent, but unable to do anything with that knowledge. And for decades, they said nothing.
As they recall, Wilson — who was facing charges in the February 1982 murders of police officers William Fahey and Richard O'Brien — was even a bit gleeful about the McDonald's shooting. To Kunz, he seemed like a child who had been caught doing something naughty.
"I was surprised at how unabashed he was in telling us," he says. "There was no sense of unease or embarrassment. ... He smiled and kind of giggled. He hugged himself, and said, 'Yeah, it was me.'"
Logan already had been charged with the McDonald's shooting, which left one guard dead and another injured. Another man, Edgar Hope, also was arrested, and assigned a public defender, Marc Miller.
Miller says he was stunned when his client announced he didn't know Logan and had never seen him before their arrests. According to Miller, Hope was persistent: "You need to tell his attorney he represents an innocent man."
Hope went a step further, Miller says: He told him Wilson was his right-hand man — "the guy who guards my back" — and urged the lawyer to confirm that with his street friends. He did.
An unapologetic confession
Miller says he eventually did tell Logan's lawyer his client was innocent, but offered no details.
First, though, he approached Kunz, his fellow public defender and former partner.
"You think your life's difficult now?" Miller recalls telling Kunz. "My understanding is that your client Andrew Wilson is the shooter in the McDonald's murder."
Coventry and Kunz brought Wilson to the jail law library and this, they say, was when they confronted him and he made his unapologetic confession. They didn't press for details. "None of us had any doubt," Coventry says.
And, he adds, it wasn't just Wilson's word. Firearms tests, according to court records, linked a shotgun shell found at McDonald's with a weapon that police found at the beauty parlor where Andrew Wilson lived. The slain police officers' guns also were discovered there.
Now the lawyers had two big worries: Another killing might be tied to their client, and "an innocent man had been charged with his murder and was very likely ... to get the death penalty," Kunz says.
But bound by legal ethics, they kept quiet.
Instead, they wrote down what they'd been told. If the situation ever arose where when they could help Logan, there would be a record — no one could say they had just made it up. They say they didn't name Wilson, fearing someone would hear about the document and subpoena it. They didn't even make a copy.
Signed and sealed
But on March 17, 1982, Kunz, Coventry and Miller signed the notarized affidavit: "I have obtained information through privileged sources that a man named Alton Logan ... who was charged with the fatal shooting of Lloyd Wickliffe ... is in fact not responsible for that shooting ... "
Knowing the affidavit had to be secret, Wilson's lawyers looked for ways to help Logan without hurting their client. They consulted with legal scholars, ethics commissions, the bar association.
Kunz says he mentioned the case dozens of times over the years to lawyers, never divulging names but explaining that he knew a guy serving a life sentence for a crime committed by one of his clients.
There's nothing you can do, he was told.
Coventry had another idea. He figured Wilson probably would be executed for the police killings, so he visited him in prison and posed a question: Can I reveal what you told me, the lawyer asked, after your death?
"I managed to say it without being obnoxious," Coventry says. "He wasn't stupid. He understood exactly what I was asking. He knew he was going to get the death penalty and he agreed."
Coventry says he asked Wilson the same question years later — and got the same answer.
But ultimately, Wilson was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
His death penalty was reversed after he claimed Chicago police had electrically shocked, beaten and burned him with a radiator to secure his confession. Decades later, a special prosecutor's report concluded police had tortured dozens of suspects over two decades.
Representing an innocent man
Logan's case was working its way through the courts, too. During the first of two trials in which he was convicted, Coventry walked in to hear part of the death penalty phase. "It's pretty creepy watching people deciding if they're going to kill an innocent man," he says.
The lawyers had a plan if it came to that: They would appeal to the governor to stop the execution. But with a life sentence, they remained silent.
Still, there were whispers. When Logan changed lawyers before his second trial, Miller says the new lawyer approached him. He had heard that Miller knew something more.
Please, he asked, can you help?
Miller says he told him he could do nothing for him. But he says he repeated the words he had uttered to Logan's first lawyer, more than a decade earlier:
"You represent an innocent man."
In prison, Logan heard the news: First, Wilson had died. Second, there was an affidavit in his case.
"I said finally, somebody has come (forward) and told the truth," Logan says. "I've been saying this for the past 26 years: It wasn't me."
In January, the two lawyers, with a judge's permission, revealed their secret in court.
Two months later, Marc Miller testified about his client's declaration of Logan's innocence.
But an affidavit and sworn testimony do not guarantee freedom — or prove innocence.
And Logan knows that. After spending almost half his 54 years as an inmate, this slight man with a fringe of gray beard, stooped shoulders and weary eyes seems resigned to the reality that his fate is beyond his control.
"I have to accept whatever comes down," he says, sitting in a visitor's room at the Statesville Correctional Center in Joliet.
He insists he's not angry with Hope — the man who first said he was innocent — or even Wilson. He says he once approached Wilson in prison and asked him to "come clean. Tell the truth." Wilson just smiled and kept walking.
Nor is Logan angry with the lawyers who kept the secret. But he wonders if there wasn't some way they could have done more.
"What I can't understand is you know the truth, you held the truth and you know the consequences of that not coming forward?" he says of the lawyers. "Is (a) job more important than an individual's life?"
Defending their client
The lawyers say it was about their client — Wilson — not about their jobs, and they maintain that the prosecutors and police are at fault.
Kunz says he knows some people might find his actions outrageous. His obligation, though, was to Wilson.
"If I had ratted him out ... then I could feel guilty, then I could not live with myself," he says. "I'm anguished and always have been over the sad injustice of Alton Logan's conviction. Should I do the right thing by Alton Logan and put my client's neck in the noose or not? It's clear where my responsibility lies and my responsibility lies with my client."
On April 18, Logan will be in court as his lawyer, Harold Winston, pushes for a new trial. Along with the affidavit, Winston has accumulated new evidence, including an eyewitness who says Logan wasn't at McDonald's and a letter from an inmate who claims Wilson signed a statement while in prison implicating himself in the murder — and clearing Logan.
But obstacles remain
Logan can't depend on Hope. According to his attorney, Hope probably will exercise his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
And he'll have to deal with eyewitnesses. His lawyer says one person changed her story in the two trials, but a second, the security guard injured in the shooting, did not. A third, who has since died, had acknowledged that Wilson and Logan looked alike.
Logan prefers not to look too far ahead or think too far back. He refuses to dwell on missed opportunities — marriage, children, job. "You cannot live with the situation I'm in and say, 'What if?'"
He says if he is released, he'll move to Oregon to be with his brother. "After spending 26 years in this hellhole, I want to get as far away from here as I possibly can," he says.
Last month, the Chicago Sun-Times, in an editorial, urged the attorney general or governor to release Logan, noting his claims of innocence "ring achingly true." The state has declined comment on the case.
No looking back
Logan keeps a copy of the 26-year-old affidavit in his cell. Every now and then, he reads the single paragraph, trying to divine what the lawyers were thinking and if this piece of paper will help unlock the prison doors.
He's not banking on it.
"I'm not sold on it," he says. "The only time I'll be sold is when they tell me I can go."
For now, though, Logan waits. The heavy prison doors clank behind him as he walks down the corridor to his cell. He does not look back.
Email from Public Campaign Action Fund Clean Money Clean Elections
Just Call Us Pony Express
There’s one way to make sure a letter doesn’t get lost in the mail: deliver it in person. That’s what we did with the letter we asked you to sign last week asking Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to take a position on reforming our campaign finance system, and to pledge his support for full public financing of congressional campaigns and the Presidential race. McCain has long supported Clean Elections at the state level, including in his home state of Arizona, but his support for a similar system at the federal level has faltered as he’s pursued the White House.
We decided to deliver the letter with more than 9,000 signatures to McCain at a Washington, DC fundraiser for the Senator by 35 high-powered lobbyists. The $1,000 a plate fundraiser was held at the exclusive Willard Hotel, just steps from the White House. We thought this was the perfect place and time to try and deliver the letter to McCain. We were successful in placing the letter and stack of signatures in the hands of a staff member on McCain’s campaign. See pictures from the event here, and video of the letter delivery here. You can even take a survey on where you think the letter and signatures eventually ended up.
We are still awaiting a response from Sen. McCain.
We called it!
Nine in 10 Americans give the economy a negative rating. From the halls of Congress to board rooms on Wall Street, people have been trying to place the blame for the downturn in the economy. The late 1990s was a boom for the financial industry, with legislation passing left and right deregulating the industry. As Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) told the New York Times, “we thought we didn’t need regulation.”
Well, back in 1999, Public Campaign staffers Nancy Watzman and Micah Sifry knew what was happening. In an issue of the former Public Campaign newsletter, “Ouch,” Watzman and Sifry highlighted the $175 million the industry had donated to members of Congress as they gutted financial industry regulation. They said, “Now, despite promises otherwise, the U.S. Treasury and the taxpayers will be in the position of bailing out speculators in the event that their risky plays in the securities business threaten the solvency of the soon-to-be-formed mega-banks.”
A decade later, the financial industry, members of Congress, and American consumers are feeling the consequences of deregulation and the influence of campaign contributions.
Action Week in Review
Clean Elections supporters from Michigan to California came out strong this past week to get the word out about the Fair Elections Now Act in the Senate. The second annual Fair Elections Action Week involved hundreds of activists from around the country. Actions included student rallies, lectures and film screenings at the University of San Diego, Colgate College, University of Virginia, Hamilton College and many others (hats off to Democracy Matters for their hard work!).
The Michigan Campaign Finance Network submitted op-eds to papers around the state. Clean Elections supporters in West Virginia got the word out to the press about the lobbying efforts of their members, who called and wrote to legislators calling for support of the Fair Elections Now Act.
The week is wrapping up, and we’re pleased by its success and reach. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep up efforts to get the word out about the Fair Elections Now Act. Call your legislators, write a letter to your paper, or ask your friends to sign on as citizen co-sponsors of the bill!
Hold Up in Hawaii
Years of organizing by Voter-Owned Hawaii yielded exciting developments earlier this year when the county council on the Big Island of Hawaii moved to consider a pilot full public financing program for their elections. Unfortunately, recent maneuvers on behalf of state Senators, including an attempt to tie the adoption of a program to an increase in contribution limits, spelled trouble for passing the program into law.
Opponents of Clean Elections are busy parroting the usual talking points, but Clean Elections advocates are firing back. Take a look at this letter from Todd Lange in Arizona on the merits of Clean Elections programs. Hawaii activists have faced setback before and lived to fight another day.
Goin’ To The Chapel...Hill
This week the town council of Chapel Hill, North Carolina begins discussions about the possible full public financing of elections program they will implement for town council elections. A longtime project of Council Member Mark Kleinschmidt, the program was given the go-ahead from the North Carolina Assembly this year and may pave the way for other towns and municipalities in the state to pursue similar systems.
Thanks to the ongoing work of Democracy North Carolina, the state pioneered a Clean Elections modeled program for judicial races. And in 2007, they helped pass a pilot program that will give candidates for three of the nine Council of State seats the opportunity to run with a public grant as well.
In the Paid for By...Blog
Signed, Sealed, Delivered: What do you get for the lobbyist who has everything?
Big Waste: My company donated to Congress and all I got was this nuclear waste.
Big Money Still, Well, Big: Small donors still, well, small.
In the Blog
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Senate Majority Harry Reid needs to hear from you now.
Republican senators and conservative activists are applying intense pressure on Senator Reid to move the president's appellate-level judicial nominees who havenâ€™t been confirmed. Senator Reid needs to resist that pressure. Under the long-standing tradition known as the "Thurmond Rule," controversial judicial nominees should not be brought up for consideration this close to a presidential election.
Call Senator Reid now and tell him to do everything he can to block the most dangerous Bush judicial nominees.
Senator Reid: (202) 244-3542
The Republicans are ratcheting up the pressure on judicial nominations by threatening to hold the majority's legislative agenda hostage. But controversial appeals court nominations should not be used as bargaining chips to pass legislation. If confirmed, nominees would receive lifetime appointments, and in many cases, would be in positions to do harm to the law and Americans' constitutional rights for decades.
Here are some of the nominees of most concern:
Peter Keisler, a co-founder of the Federalist Society and former clerk to rejected Reagan Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, who has been nominated to fill a seat on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals -- arguably the second most powerful court in the land behind the Supreme Court. When President Clinton tried to fill this very seat, Republicans blocked his nominee saying the court's caseload was too small to fill the vacancy. Well its caseload is even smaller now!
Robert Conrad (nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit), who has a disturbing record on reproductive freedom, the environment and workers' rights, and has criticized the notion of safe sex as a way to avoid contracting AIDS.
Steve Matthews (also nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit), who served for years on the board of the Landmark Legal Foundation, a group which in 2007 nominated Rush Limbaugh for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Tell Senator Reid to keep Americans' fundamental rights off the bargaining table.
Senator Reid: (202) 244-3542
You can report back on your call using our online call report form at http://pfaw.kintera.org/CallReport.
After you take action by calling, if you have not already, please make sure you sign our petition to the Democratic leadership urging them to halt consideration of all controversial nominees. And pass the petition on to your friends. More than 20,000 activists have already signed and this is very useful in lobbying meetings as evidence that there is grassroots support for invoking the Thurmond Rule.
-- Your Allies at People For the American Way
Towards Shared Recovery
People and Communities are Hurting.
How Helping Them is Not Only Right --
It's the Best Way to Boost the Economy
Please join us to learn about proposals before Congress to respond to the recession, and about a growing effort by advocates to support the most effective forms of aid: extending unemployment benefits, help with the high cost of food and home energy, funds to prevent cuts to Medicaid, child support, and other services, and school repair. (For more information, see Towards Shared Recovery at http://www.chn.org/pdf/2008/stimulus4142008.pdf)
This 60-minute webinar will feature a Member of Congress (details coming soon), Jared Bernstein, Director of the Living Standards program at the Economic Policy Institute, a prominent, engaging, jargon-free economist, and Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director of the Coalition on Human Needs, to explain how putting more money in the hands of people and communities who need it is the best way to reverse the recession, as well as one of the best prospects this year for federal help to those in need. Ellen Teller of the Food Research and Action Center will moderate. It's a great way to get answers to your questions about the recession and to learn about easy steps to take to make sure Congress knows this assistance is urgently needed.
Sign up today - and forward this message to let others know. It's free, thanks to the generous support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The webinar and related materials will be available on the Coalition on Human Needs' website after the live presentation. Please sign up to be sure you get the links to all the information we will make available.
This webinar is sponsored by the Coalition on Human Needs in partnership with: ACORN; AFSCME; American Friends Service Committee; Center for Law and Social Policy; Community Action Partnership; Emergency Campaign for America's Priorities; Food Research and Action Center; Jewish Council for Public Affairs; National Association for State Community Services Program; National Association of Social Workers; National Head Start Association; National Research Center for Women & Families; National WIC Association; National Women's Law Center; NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby; OMB Watch; Public Education Network; RESULTS; SEIU; USAction; Voices for America's Children; Wider Opportunities for Women; YWCA USA.
Also from NWLC
18 percent of women in the United States are without health insurance.
Nearly 70 percent of adult Medicaid beneficiaries are women.
One in four women say that they are unable to pay their medical bills.
When you look at the facts about women and health care, it's clear - there is work to be done. Women must be active and vocal advocates in this fight. To that end, the National Women's Law Center has launched Reform Matters: Making Real Progress for Women and Health Care to give women's advocates the information, tools, and resources they need to make a difference.
Let’s make affordable, high quality health care a reality for women:
Learn the basics of comprehensive, affordable health reform through our Reform Matters Toolkit.
Connect with health policy experts and activists in a monthly conference call series to discuss health reform at the local, state, and national levels.
Collaborate with NWLC for technical support and general assistance on policy proposals and research questions.
Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights
National Women's Law Center
From Code Pink
We are in love with our planet. One of the reasons we work for peace is to nurture our entire planet; we want our beautiful Mother Earth to flourish. CODEPINK is one of the few groups that connect war and the environment. Pink and green are gorgeous together, don't you think? As natural as a stem and a flower.
War is definitely not green. It is, in fact, quite the opposite. The U.S. military is the single largest consumer of oil in the world and the world's larger polluter, generating 750,000 tons of toxic waste annually. If we stop funding the war for oil in Iraq, our tax dollars can go toward developing clean, green sources of energy that will help us build a healthy, peaceful planet.
We like to think of CODEPINK as a perennial garden; we plant seeds of love and peace that flower throughout the year--often in surprising places (did you see the parody of CODEPINK on Saturday Night Live this weekend?) Help the CODEPINK garden grow. You can spread seeds of peace by signing our War is Not Green petition and sending it along to five friends. The more people who join us, the more we can work for the Earth.
It is deeply inspiring to see what we can create when we come together. We witnessed a glorious blossoming in New Orleans, where we just planted a beautiful community garden in the still devastated Lower Ninth Ward. Click here to see pictures of the garden and photos from the phenomenal tribute to the women of New Orleans organized by V-Day--the campaign to end violence against women and girls. It was a true honor to bring love and beauty and hope to a community so desperately in need of healing.
You can plant seeds of peace in your own community by downloading our War is Not Green petition and flyer and bringing them to your local Earth Day celebrations; you can also put our War is Not Green sign in your window. We need to remind our friends and neighbors how war hurts the Earth as well as her citizens. We need to remind them that we can all stand up and nurture both peace and the environment.
Thank you for helping us spread seeds of peace throughout the world!
With love (and love for our amazing Mother Earth),
Alicia, Dana, Desiree, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Jodie, Liz, Medea, Nancy, Rae, and Tighe
Gather even more seeds of peace at our Summer of Hope in DC! We will be hosting weekly activist training camps in June and July at the CODEPINK house; you and other passionate, engaged women will learn powerful and creative activism tools, and will then bring your new knowledge straight to the halls of Congress! To join us, click here.
Thanks to those who resisted as the filed their taxes this week and did not BUY BUSH'S WAR.
Plant seeds of peace in your own community by downloading our War is Not Green petition & flyer and bringing them to your local Earth Day celebrations
You can also put our War is Not Green sign in your window
I watched this debate and will continue my boycott of ABC and all their sponsors. I don’t if they didn’t sponsor this debate they advertise on ABC that’s all I need to know.
ABC Sponsor List. These sponsors need to know we mean busiess when it comes to our vote and we will vote with our dollars!
If you know of other sponsors please add it to the comment section, Thank You.
1 800 Lunesta
1 888 Lipitor
1 877 Vytorin
Good Neighbor Phamacy
1 888 gnpstor
The Lending Tree
1 800 555 tree
800 588 2300
A few sponsors with websites
Aloha Airlines Customer Relations
P.O. Box 30028
Honolulu, Hawaii 96820
Telephone support: 888-771-2855 (or) 808-539-5994
Fax support: 808-539-5999
Sears National Customer Relations
3333 Beverly Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 60179
Customer Service #: 1-800-349-4358
Mr. Clean and Swiffer
Divisions of Home Made Simple
Charles Schwab Bank, N.A.
5190 Neil Road, Suite 100
Reno, NV 89502-8532
Consumer Affairs Number: 800-962-1413
Chase Rewards Card
Go to http://www.aaa.com and enter your zipcode to find your state/local numbers
A division of Proctor & Gamble
World HQ (Cupertino, CA) #: 1-408-517-8000
Subway Franchise Headquarters
325 Bic Drive
Milford, CT 06460 USA
Tel.(203) 877-4281 / (800) 888-4848
Customer Service Form
399 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10043
Product of Kraft Foods
Choose your age and "General Comment about Kraft" as the "subject"
5900 Lake Ellenor Drive
Orlando, FL 32809
Hyundai Motor America
A Division of First Bank & Trust
Customer Service: 1-877-525-2274
Media Relations: 1-706-243-8004
Customer Service: 1-800-992-3522
Admin Service: 1-877-353-9487
Dear MoveOn member,
If you missed the Democratic presidential debate on ABC last night, Editor & Publisher called it "perhaps the most embarrassing performance by the media in a major presidential debate in years."1 (Click below to see video excerpts.)
Moderators George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson spent the first 50 minutes obsessed with distractions that only political insiders care about—verbal gaffes, polling numbers, the stale Rev. Wright story, and the old-news Bosnia story. And, channeling Karl Rove, they directed a video question to Barack Obama asking if he loves the American flag or not. Seriously.
Enough is enough. The public needs the media to stop hurting the national dialogue in this important election year. Can you sign the petition to ABC and other media outlets and pass it on to friends who are also fed up? Click here for our must-see video with excerpts from last night—and to sign the petition:
The petition says: "Debate moderators abuse the public trust every time they ask trivial questions about gaffes and 'gotchas' that only political insiders care about. Enough with the distractions—ABC and other networks must focus on issues that affect people's daily lives."
We'll deliver petition signatures to ABC and the networks hosting future debates. And if we reach 100,000 signatures, we'll reprint the petition in an ad campaign targeting the networks on this issue.
ABC's natural inclination will be to ignore their critics, so we need to go above and beyond to show them that the public is truly outraged. So, please, think about some friends who may be fed up with 2008 media coverage and forward them this email. If thousands of us do that, it'll make a huge difference.
The reaction to last night's debate has been very consistent:
"A stinker, an absolute car crash—thanks to the host network ABC...[It] ran the gamut from banal to inane. At the end of the debate members of the crowd appeared to be booing moderator Charlie Gibson."—The Guardian's Richard Adams2
"Halfway through the debate, not a single question on any policy issue had been asked."—OpenLeft.com's Chris Bowers3
"For the first 52 minutes...Gibson and Stephanopoulos dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed, in the hope of getting the candidates to claw at one another over disputes that are no longer news. Some were barely news to begin with."—Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales.4
"We've revisited bitter. We've gone back to Bosnia. We've dragged Rev. Wright back up onto the podium. We've mis-spent this debate by allowing Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos to ask questions that skirt what in my mind is what we need to know now."—Philadelphia Inquirer's Daniel Rubin5
Shame on ABC for letting voters down with last night's abysmal debate. Bad debates aren't just painful to watch—they actually hurt the country by distracting voters and politicians away from big issues of the day.
Please send a message to ABC and other media outlets that we need our national dialogue to focus on the real issues facing Americans. Click here to sign the petition:
Thanks for all you do.
–Adam G., Patrick, Anna, Peter, Justin, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Thursday, April 17th, 2008
1. "Clinton-Obama Debate: ABC Decides Top Issues Facing Americans Are Gaffes, Flag Pins and '60s Radicals," Editor & Publisher, April 16, 2008
2. "Worst. Debate. Ever." The Guardian blog, April 16, 2008
4. "In Pa. Debate, The Clear Loser Is ABC," Washington Post, April 17, 2008
5. "The Debate Debacle," The Philadelphia Inquirer blog, April 16, 2008
Support our member-driven organization: MoveOn.org Political Action is entirely funded by our 3.2 million members. We have no corporate contributors, no foundation grants, no money from unions. Our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. If you'd like to support our work, you can give now at:
Now I’m going out and planting my free trees I received from the Arbor Day Foundation for my $15.00 membership. I got the flowering trees so maybe I can save a few bees.
Membership direct link http://www.arborday.org/shopping/memberships/memberships.cfm?trackingid=528
Oh one last action alert for you. As many of you know Randi Rhodes has left Air America and is now with NovaM.
Well I’m on dial up and NovaM’s founders club doesn’t really have anything I can use and I’m sure some of you are like me. But we can show our support of progressive radio by making purchases from their sponsors.
Well Mother’s Day people is just 3 weeks away sooo might I suggest a gift for mom or the mother of your children?
I bought the 6 pack bar soap for my Mom it was 48. bucks but WAIT if you use the NovaM in the coupon code section you save 20% thats almost 10 buck savings and shipping was 4 bucks so all together it was only 42 dollars!
Mom will love it and Granny too cuz we all know old people smell funny. That inclueds me.
Direct link to the 6 bar gift set.