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Thank You For Supporting Coffee Party USA!

tpp-why_so_secret.jpgWe are Grateful For Your Participation at All Levels!

Coffee Party is a grassroots, people powered movement. We appreciate your support. Our success is dependent on our members. We encourage you to ask questions and continue to be active citizens in our democracy.

We invite all of our supporters to join in the fun of helping our movement grow through

Again, you are the heart of Coffee Party USA! 

Thank you,
Debilyn Molineaux

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Our Seniors Are a Finite Resource, Let's Appreciate Them

by Eric Byler

Sometimes we forget that old people were not always old people. We see them as living on the other side of a wall, rather than of as part of continuum of which we are all participants at different stages.

When I first met Wendy's father-in-law at Thanksgiving 1994, he seemed like an old person to me, and, because he doesn't speak English and I don't speak Japanese, I didn't think much more about of him for the next 18 years. Wendy, my mother's cousin, is a Chinese American woman married a Japanese American man named Ken Hayakawa. This past Thanksgiving, after dinner, we were putting Harry Potter on for the kids when Wendy handed me a new book: Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence by Linda Tamura. It was opened to chapter 8. "Read this, it's about Ji-Chan (grandpa)," she said.

Kenjiro Hayakawawas born in Hood River, Oregon in 1919, then educated in Japan. At the end of his studies, he returned to America to avoid being drafted into the Japanese Imperial Army which was invading and occupying neighboring countries in Asia. He was then drafted by the United States Army and reported for duty in November 1941. Better to fight for America than for Japan, he had thought.

By the time I got to the page 113, which featured a photograph of Ji-Chan at Camp Robinson, Arkansas in 1942, I was sitting at the dinner table almost next to him. I looked at him and pointed to the picture. His unassuming but effulgent smile, which I returned, was the most significant communication we had ever had up to that point. I went on reading.

Next to Kenjiro sat Yoshiko, known to me as Ba-Chan and as Grandma Hayakawa. Yoshiko is fluent in English so I've gotten to know her quite well over the years. Along with 120 thousand other American citizens, she was ripped from her home as a result of Executive Order 9066, issued by President Franklin Roosevelt on February 19, 1942. She was 13.Yoshiko and her family were held captive at Santa Anita Park, a thoroughbred racetrack near Los Angeles, where 17,000 people were held, many of them in horse stables. "We were not in horse stable, but near them" and "There was a street named Seabiscuit," she told me quietly. Yoshiko and her family where then loaded on to trains and shipped to Rohwer War Relocation Center in Desha County, Arkansas. "They were very old rail cars that had not been in service for a long time," she told me. "And, they didn't bother to dust them off."

As it happened, Rohwerwas nearCamp Robinson, where Kenjirowas stationed. On their days off, the Japanese American soldiers would cram themselves into motor cars to go and visit the internment camp. They wanted to be with other Japanese Americans, "and mostly to eat Japanese food."Yoshiko added. It was during these visits that Grandma and Grandpa Hayakawa fell in love.

But I didn't just learn about the camps. I also learned about how our soldiers were treated in the WWII era. I'm speaking of Japanese American soldiers, but let me make this plain: they were OUR soldiers. And, whatever reverence and whatever regard we afford to members of our military today, we should afford the same to all members of our military. They are ALL our soldiers.

While their families were in prison on account of their heritage, Japanese American soldiers were subjected to a pattern of demeaning and disrespectful treatment crystallized in Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silenceby an April 1943 incident at Ft. Riley in Kansas. During a visit by President Roosevelt, 120 soldiers of Japanese heritage were marched into an aircraft hanger and held at gunpoint for nearly four hours until the president had departed. Many of these same soldiers were then involved in March 1944 incident at Ft. McClellan, also in Arkansas, where about 100 men congregated outside battalion headquarters to protest their treatment.

Kenjiro was among them, and he was also among the 21 who persisted in their struggle even though the threatened response was court martial. I won't go into detail aboutKenjiro'scourt martial, a compelling story of civic and personal courage, followed by imprisonment (during which,Yoshikosaid, she wrote him letters from the internment camp). Forty years later, 11 of theseheroes, includingKenjiro, had their dishonorable discharges reversed (the other 10 had declined to participate in the appeal process).

Learning of all this, I was reminded of Capt. Bruce Yamashita who fought for equality in the 1980's and 90's, and Lt. Dan Choi in recent years. I was reminded of my grandfather's brother, Tommy Amer, who, after serving in WWII, was instrumental in ending segregation in California when he and an another Asian American veteran challenged a neighborhood covenant banning the sale of homes to non-whites, leading to a landmark decision in the California Supreme Court. And, of course I was reminded of the fact that Kenjiro's son, Ken, fought in the first Gulf War and his grandson, Colin, fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, continuing the family's tradition of service to our country.

As my sister snapped the photos you see here, it occurred to me that this family, like many Japanese American families today, would not have to come to be if not for an historic injustice. And, I thought about how I might never have known about Kenjiro'sheroism if not for a book providing me the opportunity to ask about it.

Political strategists in recent weeks have marveled at the fact that minority communities tend to shun candidates and political parties that seek to rob minorities of equal protection under the law. Perhaps they assume we don't know our history. And, perhaps we don't know it as well as we should. But the experts overlook an important truth that really sunk in for me this Thanksgiving day: Our families are products of American history, and, whether or not we know all the details, we know intuitively that continuing the fight against institutionalized racismis our duty to our parents and our grandparents.

We will be more effective in modern day struggles if we better understand the triumphs, defeats, compromises, and ever-present echoes of days gone by. These lessons are waiting to be learned from members of our family and our community if we remember to ask them in time.



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GOP progressives, the "Fiscal Cliff," and charting a path to compromise

With the election behind us and a cliff before us, it's time to compromise. Already the GOP is showing signs of flexibility in areas of immigration and taxation. Could it be possible that both parties might become "progressive" in their own way?


with MichaelCharney& Eric Byler

Tuesdays at8 pm ET(5 pm PT)
Click here
to listen to archived recording

Our guests for this show are Amanda Werner, student at the UCLA School of Law and Stephen Erickson ofRebuild Democracy. Amanda will discuss the movements towards greater progressiveness as described inher recent HuffPost article, and Stephen will help us figure out what kinds of compromises each party may need to make to get there....

Remember, Coffee Party media relies onsmall contributionsand membership dues, not hyper-partisan donors with deep pockets.That's why we are free to follow the truth where ever it leads us. Please become a member, and/or make a donationif you can.


After the Social Issue Smoke Screen Fades, Who Will the GOP Be?

"Fiscal Cliff" May Show Us

Patriotic Millionaire Ron Garret joins
The Middle Ground|
Clickherefor podcast

In the wake of the 2012 election defeat, there is a critical mass within the Republican party that is ready to acknowledge that the 21st century has begun. That's why callers into last night's Coffee Party Radio show did not feel it was premature tosketch out the framework of a 21st century GOP platform. Here's what we came up with:

1) No more anti-immigrant nonsense.Admit that anti-immigrant policies hurt public safety and hurt state and local economies. Admit that anti-immigrant electioneering hurts Republicans at the polls. And admit thatanti-immigrant obstructionism has hurt our country by preventing us from modernizing our immigration system to meet the needs of a growing economy, and, by preventing millions of hard-working people from maximizing their potential contributions to our economy and our society.

2) Adopt a libertarian stance on all other social issues. Gay marriage, for instance, becomes a freedom and equality issue, not a impose-my-religion-on-others issue.

3) Remain the pro-life party, but broaden the definition of "pro-life"to include human life both before and after the delivery process. Stand against the death penalty, and stand in favor of policies that have positive impacts on human life (one of those impacts being less abortions). Broaden the definition of "pro-life" to include people who understand that the abortion issue is about more than religion or ideology; that it is also about policy. Welcome people in the party who want to reduce the number of abortions in America, and feel they would never have an abortion or encourage one, but also feel it is not the government's role to legislate the reproductive organs of its citizens.

What is the GOP without a hard-line stance on those issues? It would be a party that wants lower taxes and less government. A party that focuses on economic issues, with a slant towards the needs of industrialists, bankers, and millionaires (all of whom have failed us of late, but have a rightful claim, after all, to the "We Built It" mantra and crucial role in our country's economic resurgence).

And that brings us to the subject of tonight's presentation of The Middle Ground on Coffee Party Radio. Moderate Republican Michael Charney and I will welcome Patriotic Millionaire Ron Garret to talk about tax policy, specifically about the central question before our federal government today: the fate of the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy.

Mr. Charney wrote in his today's essay,Taxes: The Final Problem:

I do not believe taxes should go up on anyone right now, and by that I mean on any personsat least not until weve detected all the potential sitting in corporate coffers. Consider that aCato Institute studyfrom earlier this year suggests that we will spend upwards of $100 billion on corporate welfare this year. This compares to the $45-80 billion expected to come in should the top tier Bush rates expire. There arenumerous other revenue-generating optionsthat should be on the table as well, including the idea of a financial transaction tax (estimated to raise about $35 billion per year), and the closing of loopholes related to shifting jobs and profits overseas (perhaps raising nearly $300 billion).

These were all things we were talking about not that long ago, and yet, somehow, now were spending most of our energy talking about taxing people. I wonder how that narrative shiftedI suspect our debates are not fully organic, that there are many constituencies out there bent on manipulation because they are perfectly happy to have us judging other people and not paying attention to entities that pay, often, even less.

Mr. Garret, who began his career with NASA and now innovates for Google, and now lobbies Congressfor an end to tax cuts for the wealthy, haswritten:

...We've done this experiment (of lowering taxes on the rich) twice now, once in the 1920's and again in the 1980's (and doubled-down in 2000). We have also done the control experiment. Between 1945 and 1980 top marginal tax rates in the U.S. ranged from 70 to 90%.

The results are clear: high marginal rates correlate with broad-based economic prosperity and an expanding middle class. Low marginal rates correlate with extreme income inequality, reduced prosperity overall, and ultimately, economic catastrophe.

For long-time Coffee Party members, you might also enjoy this passage from Garret's essay, The Lottery Economy, which recalls Annabel Park's coinage, The Cycle of Corruption:

In the absence of a mechanism to keep people from gaming the system, small disparities in economic power tend to be amplified through positive-feedback effects. If I have enough money I can buymedia outletsthrough which I can influence your thinking. I cangive money to government officialsso that they will pass laws that unfairly benefit me. I canrun my businesses in a way that makes it all but impossible for you to acquire any resources beyond what you need to subsist. The result is the creation of anoligarchy.

"We don't need two Democratic parties," Gov. Bobby Jindal and others have said of late on television. But modernizing on social issues is not becoming the Democratic party lite. It's time for the GOP to let go of the social issue smoke screens they have used for decades to obscure the real impact and the intent of their economic polices. If they do this, of course, they will have to refashion their economic polices toward the best interests of We the People, but in a way that stays true to Republican ideals such as free enterprise, cheap labor, less regulation, and a tax code that encourages the super-wealthy (a.k.a. "job creators") to make more money and help drive our economy.

But it is Mr. Charney, not I, who will be representing the future of the Republican party tonight (I'm just an independent who is pulling for them to come through for our country). Michael, who is himself an entrepreneur, may well agree with Mr. Garret's recounting of recent American history, and he may well agree with his characterization of oligarchy. Will they agree on the path forward when it comes to tax rates for the wealthy? Tune in at 8 pm ET to find out.

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Deadline Dec. 7 — Call for Nominations for 2013 Coffee Party Board of Directors

DEADLINE December 7!
Coffee Party USA Board of Directors

Call for Nomination & Application Instructions

Answer the call to leadershipand help guide the fiscal, creative, and political direction of the Coffee Party in 2013. We are the early adopters of an emerging 21st century democracy model, where We the People are not just consumers of media content; we are active and effective producers of content. No longer will social movements begin on cable "news." In the future, civic engagement will begin with the People, facilitated by the Internet, where more and more of us are finding our voices.

By stepping up to lead the Coffee Party in 2013, you will feel the reward of increasing your imprint and your impact on the American democracy. For young people, serving with the Coffee Party will introduce you to cutting-edge web tools and nation-wide networking at the launch of your career. For seniors, it is a great way to lend your wisdom, provide historical context for current events, and give something back to the country. For anyone in between, you will experience the friendships and camaraderie that only grow when a room full of deep patriots puts their heads together to make tough calls with big consequences. You will be empowering thousands of fellow Americans, and inspiring millions more. You will help the Coffee Party accelerate and exemplify the democratization of media, and move our country toward the realization of a government of, by, and for the People.

In January, Coffee Party USA will hold its second annual election by which our official members vote on who will comprise our Board of Directors.

Coffee Party USA is now accepting for nominations/applications for four (4) positions on the Board of Directors:

Click HERE for the full list of all Coffee Party board positions and job descriptions.

The Coffee Party seeks a board that represents the broad spectrum of Americas diversity geographically, politically, economically, and with regard to age, gender and sexual orientation. All official members of the Coffee Party are encouraged to nominate themselves or other official members.

Who Can Run for the Board of Directors

Minimum eligibility requirements for ALL board nominees:

  1. Must be a dues-paying member of Coffee Party USA

  2. Must be 18 years of age or older

  3. May not be currently serving in or running for a partisan elected office (non-partisan office is exempt)

  4. Must have signed and abide by the Coffee Party Civility Pledge

  5. Must have two (2) letters of support from dues-paying members of Coffee Party USA

  6. Must not have engaged in pattern of conduct that is unprofessional, inflammatory, or detrimental to the interests of or reflects discreditably on the Coffee Party

Other Important Qualifications:

  1. Commitment to the Coffee Party mission and goals

  2. Effective knowledge of the current political environment and important issues

  3. Leadership experience and attributes

  4. Strong communication and organizational skills

  5. Good computer skills and willingness to adapt to and learn as the Coffee Party technology platform evolves

  6. See the Board Job Descriptions for specific qualifications for each position.

Nomination Instructions

  1. Nominee should read this call for nominations, board job descriptions and the nominee application form carefully.

  2. Nominee should complete the nominee application form, and submit a signed form with his/her resume and the requisite essay no later than December 7, 2012(postmark date).All documents can be e-mailed as attachments to: or mailed to: Coffee Party USA, PO Box 866, Corvallis, OR 97339-0866.

  3. Nominee must request a letter of support from two (2) dues-paying members of Coffee Party USA. The letters of support should be postmarked or emailed no later than December 10, 2012 directly either as e-mail attachments tocoffeepartyelection@gmail.comor mailed to:Coffee Party USA, PO Box 866, Corvallis, OR 97339-0866.

Board Structure and List of Positions and Descriptions

Election Process and Timeline Info

Nominee Application Form
[This is agoogledoc. Go to File > Download As Word doc or RTF to complete the form.]

Letter of Support Form

[This is a google doc. Go to File > Download As Word doc or RTF to complete the form.]

If you are interested in running for the Board, please send us a short e-mail indicating for which position you may be interested in running to:

Any questions or inquiries - e-mail

Only Official Members of the Coffee Party will be able to vote in the Board Elections. Please become a member.

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Coffee Party Radio: Politics Done Right w/Egberto Willies–Let’s Go Over The Cliff? Sat 12–2PM Central

Click to listen to PODCAST

Politics Done Right with Egberto Willies

Saturday 12:00 Noon Central/ 1:00 PM Eastern

Call In, talk and/or Listen: (646) 929-2495

Another week has gone by. This week I want to continue the discussion with some of our conservative friends. Last week we had very productive exchanges with several conservatives that called in. I hope more of you will call in so we can discuss issues and policies factually.

Today I also want to cover the fiscal cliff and whether we should go over it. I also want to talk about the Twinkie story.

Following are a list of my blogs that will be probative.

  • Support The Fiscally Responsible Plan By Knowing The Facts

  • Corporate CEOs Show Looking Out For The American People Is Someone Elses Job

  • Time For Wealthy & CEOs To Thank The Middle Class For 30+ Years Of Sacrifice

  • An Open Letter to President Obama from Michael Moore

  • The Twinkie Story Is Yet Another Class Warfare Story That The Middle Class Lost

  • Republican Faux Soul-Searching

  • Guested on HuffPost Live Discussing Grover Norquists Anti-Tax Pledge

  • Please call me at (646)929-2495 let us discuss these issues. I want to hear and discuss ALL points of views.

    Listen And Chat Here at your computer or smartphone

    Join My Coffee Party Group
    Americans for Racial Equality and Economic Justice

    LIKE My Facebook Page

    NOTE: If you enjoy this show, our Facebook pages, and our online newsletters, we want you to know that we invite YOU to join the Coffee Party Team that puts it all together. The Coffee Party is actively seeking volunteers, and offering meaningful ways to get involved, to be heard, and to make a difference. We are looking for collaborators, writers, Facebook addicts, tweeters, news junkies, show topics, guests, graphic artists, shameless promoters, critics, data entry support, filmmakers, radio hosts, etc. Join one of our two weekly volunteer calls to learn more. Simply go to , click on the Get Involved tab and fill out the volunteer form, today.

    Add your reaction Share

    Is Romney's Attitude the GOP's Problem, or the Nation's?

    by Jessica English

    Tonight at 8 pm ET, I'm bringingThe Bottom Lineto Coffee Party Radio's Monday night line-up. We're opening upthe phone lines to get your thoughts on the various and curious ways in which the GOP is reacting to their election loss, and what it means for our country's political and economic future.

    What's your take on Mitt Romney's explanation, that President Obama bribed women, minorities, and young people who otherwise would gravitate to the GOP platform into voting for him. Did he really mean to say that these three communities think only about their own selfish interests and not about their love of country when they vote? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to say that about Romney's Super-PAC donors instead?

    Please call646-929-2495 between 8 pm & 10 pm Pacific time tonight and give us your take on this attitude, and whether it serves the GOP, the USA, or neither one.

    T he Bottom Line with Jessica English (Eric Byler assisting tonight)

    Mondays 8 to 10 pm Pacific (11 pm to 1 am Eastern)

    C all in and listen and/or talk: (646) 929-2495

    CLICK HEREto listen and chat online

    Remember, Coffee Party Radio isn't something we create FOR you. We create it with you. Please call in tonight and let us know how all the post-election soap opera is rubbing you.

    Most Sincere,


    PS: You the People are our only source of funding for Coffee Party media. Please support the voice of the People by becoming an Official Member or making a small contribution .

    Click to listen to PODCAST

    Politics Done Right with Egberto Willies

    Saturday 12:00 Noon Central/ 1:00 PM Eastern

    Call In, talk and/or Listen: (646) 929-2495

    We did not have a show the week after the election. I had a convergence in Denver Colorado as a member of the Executive Committee representing Coffee Party USA with Move To Amend.

    Well there is no shortage of presidential election analysis to discuss. The short hiatus provided much time to analyze the outcome of the election.

    On Wednesday Romney stated that President Obama won because he provided gifts to minorities, women, and the young. We must discuss that metastasizing thought that is harboring within the psyche of many on the Right who double down in their alternate state of reality even as the country moves on.

    Jonathan Greenberg, founder of Be Your Government, will be my special guest. He will discuss his blog piece at Huffington Post titled Ten Grassroots Lessons From Monsanto's Swift-Boating of the Prop37/Label GMO Campaign about the failed proposition in California. We will discuss grassroots organizing and how we can ensure that it is more impactful than corporate driven multi-million dollar advertising.

    Following are a list of my blogs that will be probative.

  • Warren Buffett On Fiscal Cliff: GOP Needs To Put Country Over Party

  • (VIDEO) GOP Lee Atwater Detailing Southern Strategy By 1968 You Cant Say Nigger But?

  • Romneys Economic Adviser Calls For Higher Taxes On The RichCampaign Hypocrisy At Work

  • (VIDEO) Staunch Conservative Bill Kristol Says Election Has Consequences & Republicans Will Cave On Taxes

  • Multiple CRS Reports Show Return to Clinton-Era Tax Rates for Rich Will Not Harm Economic Growth | OMB Watch

  • White People Not Latinos Will Be The Real Swing Vote For The Foreseeable Future

  • Bobby Jindals Hope That GOP Would Stop Being the Stupid Party Requires New Conservative Party

  • Romney the Great Manager? Not Nearly as Good as Obama, the Election Proved Forbes

  • Democrats won Presidency, Senate+2, House +~6, Total House popular vote. IT IS A MANDATE

  • Please call me at (646)929-2495 let us discuss these issues. I want to hear and discuss ALL points of views.

    Listen And Chat Here at your computer or smartphone

    Join My Coffee Party Group
    Americans for Racial Equality and Economic Justice

    LIKE My Facebook Page

    NOTE: If you enjoy this show, our Facebook pages, and our online newsletters, we want you to know that we invite YOU to join the Coffee Party Team that puts it all together. The Coffee Party is actively seeking volunteers, and offering meaningful ways to get involved, to be heard, and to make a difference. We are looking for collaborators, writers, Facebook addicts, tweeters, news junkies, show topics, guests, graphic artists, shameless promoters, critics, data entry support, filmmakers, radio hosts, etc. Join one of our two weekly volunteer calls to learn more. Simply go to, click on the Get Involved tab and fill out the volunteer form, today.

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    Send a Message, and an Invoice to Karl Rove and His Super-PAC

    by Michael Charney

    Coffee Party USA is a grassroots, non-partisan movement aimed at restoring the democratic process. Our path includes:

    • Identifying and advocating for legislative fixes to reform campaign finance laws, Wall Street regulations, and the tax code

    • Promoting cultural changes to address political disengagement, polarization and widespread misinformation

    Probably nothing has done greater harm to our political process than the Citizens United decision, which allowed unlimited funds to funnel through Super PACs and into your living room and gave us Mitt Romneys famous quote: Corporations are people, my friend!

    Well, these Super PACs are many things, but they are NOT your friend. Theres no accountability, no transparency and, ultimately, very little in the way of truth that comes from these organizations.

    ClickHERElink to download the file to print.

    As an Active Citizen, you can now participate in the protest against these Super PACs.

    All you need to do is:

    • print out the invoice (download here),

    • complete the From field,

    • pop it into an envelope,

    • address it to our target Super PAC, Karl Roves infamous Crossroads GPS,

    • stick a stamp on it,

    • and put it in the mail.


    Its our way of making sure that Crossroads GPS knows that we are NOT grateful for their efforts



    Dear Crossroads GPS:

    Throughout this years election season, your organization has repeatedly relied upon the American Voter to respond to your messages and your surveys, and to provide you with our time, attention, and opinions.

    Given that the purpose of these services was to assist you in selling a specific message to other voters, we now believe it appropriate that we Invoice the Super PAC for the time and expertise we have provided. To that end, the following is a request for a contribution in the amount of $538.00, $1.00 for each of the Electoral College votes you have been trying to buy with your campaign.

    While we recognize you are in no way obligated to pay us back for our time and efforts, we would appreciate your consideration, and look forward to your voluntary contribution.





    American Voter

    Choosing Leadership

    Due on receipt

    November 6, 2012






    Electoral College Vote





    Please tear off stub and return with any remittance you deem appropriate to the name and address above.

    This is not an invoice. All payments are completely voluntary.

    ClickHERElink to download the file to print.

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    Hal Ziegler 1932-2012 —Former MI State Senator Dies at 80

    Above is Hal Ziegler's parting advicefor We the People

    the country he loved, recorded on the day he died. And click here for our

    Monday Nov. 12 radio show, in which we remember him.

    WEBHal Zeigler_0001.jpg Hal Ziegler in 1983

    Hal Ziegler, 80, died Sunday night from a massive coronary heart attack, shortly after completing a masterful appearance on Coffee Party Radio.

    byLisa Satayut, M Live

    JACKSON, MI Anyone who crossed paths with Hal Ziegler knew he had an endless love for politics.

    It happened so fast. He was on top of the world yesterday, Hals wife, Sue Ziegler, said Monday morning.

    The former Republican senator and state representative was excited about a new weekly radio segment he was to be featured on forCoffee Party Radio. Sunday was his first segment. After getting home from the radio show the two sat down for dinner, but Sue said Hal was too excited to eat.

    He was so excited about the show when we sat down for dinner. He had a pain in his side, gave a gasp and he was gone, she said.

    Sue said both of Hals parents died the same way.

    Hal and Sue were married for 53 years and in that time Sue said she was just along for the ride.

    It was a crazy life of a politician, but thats what he lived for. He always joked about running again, she said.

    Besides working as an attorney, Hal served in the Michigan Legislature from 1967 to 1978. He was elected as a state representative in 1966 and served from 1967 to 1974. He worked as a state senator from 1975 to 1978.

    His inspiration and energy went into politics, Sue said.

    Former State Rep. and Sen. Bill Ballenger worked with Hal and remembers when he started to get frustrated with the Republican Party.

    The important thing to remember about Hal is that he was kind of a Milliken moderate Young Turk Republican when he was in the Legislature, Ballenger said.

    In his later years, when he thought the Republican Party was swaying too much to the right, Hal stuck to his beliefs.

    He was a Republican, who in his later years got disenchanted with the drift of the Republican Party to the right and thought it became too conservative. He went out and campaigned for Barack Obama this year, Ballenger said. [MORE] | Recent essay by Hal Ziegler

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    Virginia 2012: Polling place ordeal at the most African American precinct in Prince William County

    River Oaks Precinct is the most African American precinct, in the most diverse district, of the only majority minority county in Northern Virginia: Prince William County. On Nov. 6, 2012, the polling place at Potomac Middle School did not register its last vote until 10:45 pm, nearly four hours after polls officially close.

    According to Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi, Virginia law requires that one voting machine be assigned per 750 registered voters. By contrast, Maryland law requires one voting machine per 200 registered voters. This polling place did not appear to adhere to Virginia's law, with only six voting machines and over 5,000 registered voters. Occoquan District Supervisor Michael May included in his post-election newsletter an official statement from the Prince William County Electoral Board. It reads in part, "We would like to make clear that The Office of Voter Registration and Elections has been fully funded by the Board of County Supervisors. No budget requests have been denied by the Board of County Supervisors."

    Election officials told us that the lines had been long all day, and, many people were forced to brave the cold and for as many as five hours. As the sun fell and temperatures dropped, the entire line was moved inside by snaking it through the hallways of the middle school. We arrived shortly before the polls closed at 7 pm. We documented the events that took place between 7 pm and 11 pm.

    The Romney campaign had a poll watcher there (he is the man in the three piece suit) at the end of the line. He made sure that no one got in line after 7 pm, which, was also the job of the Greg Jackson, the election officer who decided to go to the back of the line and go through the same ordeal as his neighbors. The Romney poll watcher was polite and professional, as was Mr. Jackson. By the end they seemed to have become friends.

    By far the most memorable part of the night was the deep patriotism and civic heroism of the thousands of people who stood in line, some for more than four hours, to cast their vote. According to an Obama volunteer who was there from before the polls opened until after they closed, only 5 people gave up the entire day. Many voters had to come back more than two times because they could not find 3 or more hours in their day when they could be away from their jobs and families. The ordeal became a bonding experience for this community. Several African Americans mentioned the Civil Rights Movement, and the fact that many had fought and died for their right to vote. Although they were exhausted by the ordeal, they were not willing to give up that right. We asked one woman, who was an immigrant voting in her 4th presidential election whether this experience would deter her. She said absolutely not.

    There was a 17-year-old African American man, who said he was a Republican, who spent the entire four hours looking after his mother, a Democrat, who would be casting her vote for President Obama. Each time the line moves, the young man carried the chair that his mother had been sitting upon a little bit closer to the polling place.

    At River Oaks precinct, 2,826 votes were cast, 84% for President Obama. On his way to re-election, Obama won the commonwealth of Virginia by 100,499 votes, by a 50.57% to 47.85%.


    Video by Eric Byler, Bobby Wagnerman, Michael Levin, Annabel Park

    Music by Javier Suarez (jahzzar)

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    Coffee Party Radio

    by Don Manning

    Tomorrow is the big day. I'm tired of hearing media empires and their employees tell me what they think. I want to hear what you think. Please call in to Speaking of America tonight starting at 8 pm Pacific (11 pm ET) for the Coffee Party's last conversation before we turn the page on history.

    Coffee Party founder Annabel Park will pay her first appearance to Coffee Party Radio in many months. We'll ask her about her new documentary about political division and election fraud in Virginia (hint: Karl Rove is under investigation) and we'll ask her who earned her vote tomorrow in Maryland.

    Also, tonight you'll be the first to hear Michael Charney's highly-anticipated announcement of who will get his crucial, moderate-Republican vote in New Hampshire. Michael's Tuesday night show, The Middle Ground will air on Wednesday this week for obvious reasons.

    Speaking of America with Don Manning

    LISTENto archived show

    Mondays, 8 pm to 10 pm Pacific Time

    (11 pm to 1 am Eastern)

    Please call 646-929-2495 and join us for Speaking of Americaat 8 pm Pacific (11 pm Eastern) tonight.

    Yours truly,


    PS: You the People are the only source of funding for Coffee Party media.Please support us byBecoming an Official Memberormaking a small contribution.

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