Malik Rahim campaign volunteer conference call includes drop-in from David Cobb

Earlier tonight, I joined in on a conference call of fellow volunteers for the Malik Rahim for Congress campaign across the nation. I live in Pennsylvania, but a new technology has been designed to allow people to participate in a phone bank from their house. As long as you have email and internet and a phone, you can do it (and you can sign up at Green Change). About 90 people joined in and passionately called New Orleans voters afterward. They spanned from Los Angeles residents to citizens of Maine.

2004 Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb started the call off. He was very excited about the campaign and said that in this race “conditions have never been more ripe” to get a Green Party member into Congress. If this happened, he continued, “this would be bigger than anything we’ve ever done.”

Next up was Robert Caldwell, Malik Rahim’s campaign manager. He started off by saying the campaign “is in high gear,” with over one thousand yard signs being placed, radio ads running on four stations (one black talk radio station and three music stations), and over 20,000 pieces of literature having been distributed already. He did say, though, that he would have liked to distribute ten times that amount. He also complained about the coverage that the Times-Picayaune has given Rahim, calling it “shoddy” and meant to “marginalize” the candidate.

The final speaker was Hugh Esco, who designed the program used to guide volunteers through making the calls. He mentioned that this was the first time it was being used in the US and that the first time it was ever used was for Elizabeth May in Canada, who ran a very close race as the Canadian Green Party’s masthead. He was hopeful that by Saturday – when the election is being held – volunteers could place at least 2,000 additional calls. He added that “live human conversations…with human beings can make a difference” and called the campaign “winnable.”

Before questions were taken, two aspects of the campaign were reviewed. First, the targeting of the phone calls. Various zip codes were targeted that include precincts which Rahim hopes to win. They are heavily African American and Malik has been a presence in them for at least part of his life, whether it is through growing up there or organizing Common Ground, which brought over 13,000 volunteers to New Orleans after Katrina. Secondly, the organizer of the call pointed out that donations can still be made to the campaign. “Every dollar counts,” she said, and “22 dollars buys a TV ad.” She also concluded that, “We will report to you on Saturday night via email how the election returns are going.”

23 thoughts on “Malik Rahim campaign volunteer conference call includes drop-in from David Cobb

  1. Catholic Trotskyist

    God bless Malik Rahim, along with David Cobb, the greatest candidate the greens ever had.
    Read Job Chapter 19, the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Isaiah.

    Worthy is the lamb that is slain, my soul sanctifies the lord, in the presence of God my savior, amen.

  2. G.E.

    Malik Rahim was on the latest John Stossel special sounding like a libertarian.

    Then I just viewed his platform.


  3. paulie cannoli

    I don’t think they are allowed to delay the presidential election. Also, not all the Louisiana congressional district elections were delayed, only two. I’m guessing there were particular storm-related concerns in those districts.

    They did also have a primary, which was delayed by the storm, which pushed back the general election as well.

  4. Trent Hill

    Its too bad Rahim’s race was seperated from the Presidential election. With massive black turnout in New Orleans for Barack Obama, Rahim would’ve done far better,especially if he really hammered away at the notion of CHANGE.

  5. Ross Levin Post author

    They’re actually hoping the predicted low turnout could work to their advantage (as much as I’m sure they would like to see as many people vote as possible). A big part of Rahim’s campaign is just simply telling people when the election is, because a lot of people have no idea. If they can get a lot of people out to vote that wouldn’t have done so otherwise, they’ll do well.

  6. G.E.

    Yeah, I think your analysis is off here, Trent. Low turnout is going to help Rahim. I wish him all the best. I also wish there were a legitimate libertarian party that could try to court him. If you watch the Stossel thing, he has libertarian leanings. The Black Panthers did, which is why Murray Rothbard supported them.

  7. paulie cannoli

    I had lunch with Rahim at the Green Party convention. He asked about my t-shirt – he said he is on the board of United for Peace and Justice and had never heard of, but would check it out.

  8. Trent Hill

    Im not so sure Malik Rahim has libertarian leanings, all he said was that him and other volunteers were out there while the government wasnt. He likely just believes that “bad” governments dont help people.

  9. Trent Hill

    As for turnout, Rahim is black and would’ve benefitted from a large black turnout in my estimation. Most of that turnout would’ve been people voting for Obama under the mantra of change, they could have been easily reached (at polling locations) and the pitch would’ve been simple, “Rahim supports Obama’s programs for change,wants to end the war, wants to help the lower class. He represents change, so your options are to vote for Rahim, a volunteer coordinator here in New Orleans, or Jefferson, a convicted politician.”

  10. Deran

    YThere is always that series of points where the non-Marxist-Leninist Left intersects with the LP/libertarian capitalism; privacy, anti-imperialism, anti-domestic Big Brother, ending the “war on drugs”, etc. But, then, there are core issues on both sides where the capitalist and socialist parts are going to be insurmountable obstacles to any sort of joint operations by the LP and, say, the Greens or the Peace and Freedom Party, beyond specific issues/campaigns.

    I’d really like to see Malik Rahim’s campaign, and Cindy Sheehan’s campaign, etc, to lead to a new political formation that returns liberty and privacy back to the heart of the American Left, like it was to Debs, Goldman, the Wobblies and Debs-era SP. Though, even the later Norman Thomas years, found the SP strongly involved in many civil liberty and rights issues.

    I personally think the 60s originating “New Left” has left a Leninist taint to socialist politics in the US. Not the whole scope of the broadest possibly defined “New Left” – Panthers and Brown Berets to SDS to the Yippies. But, much of what took over SDS by the early 70s was anti-libertarian and ant-democratic Leninist “vanguardism”. That there are wise and all seeing leaders that have the magic abilities to provide the “correct line” that will save the “proletariat”.

    Really, over the last 50 years liberty has been denigrated as a “petit bourgeois” affectation by much of the US Left. It’s well past time US socialists reassert freedom as a core value of the society we are hoping/working for. If not, we’ll always be just a few hundred thousand votes in the United States.

  11. Ross Levin Post author

    Marxist? Leninist? We’re talking about the Green Party, not the World Workers Party.

    Trent – Jefferson is black as well, and a Democrat, so heavy black turnout could have gone his way. The district is heavily black either way, so turnout is turnout.

  12. Trent Hill

    “Trent – Jefferson is black as well, and a Democrat, so heavy black turnout could have gone his way. The district is heavily black either way, so turnout is turnout.”

    I live near the district, I know Jefferson is black and I know the district is. I also know that new voters tend to be more open towards third party voting and that the mantra of change fits in perfectly with throwing out a corrupt politician for a new one. Furthermore, New Orleans’ gay community came out in full force on November 4th…they wont do it again. This would’ve benefitted Rahim too, as Jefferson is against gay marriage and quite-hated by the gay community in New Orleans.

  13. G.E.

    Im not so sure Malik Rahim has libertarian leanings, all he said was that him and other volunteers were out there while the government wasnt.

    He credited rich celebrities for chipping in. He was portrayed as an anti-statist. Too bad it isn’t true.

  14. Trent Hill

    I dont think he was portrayed as an anti-statist. He was simply portrayed telling the truth…that government didnt get their until later and that volunteers did. His was a condemnation of that PARTICULAR response of government…not all governmental actions, or even most.

  15. Ross Levin Post author

    Sorry, Trent, you made it sound like you didn’t know that Jefferson is black.

    I wonder if Rahim is doing anything to get gay people out to vote.

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