AMP It Up: Art – Music – Politics

Be part of a spectacular evening in the beautiful Paradise Valley home of Veva and Steve Eickelberg.

WHAT: AMP It Up: Art, Music and Politics
Showcasing for purchase, gallery art by renowned contemporary artists.
Feasting on culinary creations and presentation by an extraordinary chef.
Grammy award winning musicians.
Arizona’s Independent Choice for United States Congress

WHO: Annie Loyd, Independent, Candidate US Congress district 3.
Contemporary Artists; John Battenberg, Mimi Esser, Rudy Fernandez, Ricardo Mazal, Gunnar Plake, Shahrokh Rezvani, Gustavo Ramos Rivera, Fritz Scholder, Arthur Secunda, Beth Ames Swartz, Mark Spencer and Bob “Daddy-O” Wade!
Grammy award winning musicians; Dominic Amato, Michael Broening, Mel Brown and a special guest . . .

WHEN: Sunday, November 18, 2007
5 – 9 p.m.

WHERE: 6316 E. Arabian Way
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

COST: Exclusive seating limited to 100, $500 per person.

RSVP via email to:
or 480-703-7117

Additional information available on

Joanna and Victor Chernauskas invite you to meet Annie Loyd

Sunday, October 28 2007, 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Dear Friends,

A few months ago my husband, Victor, and myself were invited to our friends’ home to meet and hear Annie Loyd speak. We were so moved and motivated by her personality and message that we wanted to create an opportunity for the individuals we know to have a similar experience. We’ve met her, we’ve shared a meal with her, we’ve heard her speak and have come to consider her a friend. So, no matter what your politics may or may not be….don’t miss this opportunity to meet Annie Loyd. We promise that you will be inspired by her story and her vision, which you truly must hear for yourself. She’s a perfect example of someone who is putting her heart and soul into being the change she wants to see in this world. We look forward to sharing this time together and introducing you to Annie.
Best regards,
Joanna & Victor Chernauskas
COST: Open to the public
Location: Phoenix Friends Meeting, 1702 E. Glendale Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85020 Contact: RSVP: by October 25th via e-mail

or phone at 602.368.8970

Phoenix Friends Meeting, 1702 E. Glendale Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85020 Two streets west of Glendale Ave. exit off H-51. Turn right onto 17th St. and take next right onto Cactus Wren.
Mapquest Directions Here.

Time Magazine’s profile on Al Gore

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Al Gore’s political consultants counseled him to quit talking about the issue that, since his college days, had stirred his passions more than any other. Voters didn’t care about global warming, his political brain trust told the then Vice President, and going on about it would make him look like the kind of fuzzy-headed extremist that George Herbert Walker Bush had once mocked as “Ozone Man.”

Gore took that advice, which may help explain why he came up short in that race. It also may account for the zeal that the man who describes himself as a “recovering politician” has displayed in his second act. Rather than retire to the sidelines of public life, Gore has stayed in the game by continuing to fight for the environment and other causes close to his heart—whether as a teacher, an investor whose fund puts its money in socially responsible ventures or an entrepreneur who founded a youth-oriented television network.

Gore, 58, now finds himself in his unlikeliest role yet: movie star. The lecture on global warming that he has been giving for decades to any audience that would let him set up his flip charts has been turned into the indie documentary An Inconvenient Truth. The movie got raves at the Sundance Film Festival in January and will begin rolling out in theaters across the country in late May. In Los Angeles theaters, the trailers have been getting ovations.

There could hardly be a more opportune time for the country to be giving Gore another look, given that the man who edged past him in Florida is at his all-time low in the polls. But while Gore has not entirely shut the door on another run for President, he insists that he is “not planning” to be a candidate again. After all, 2008 is still a long way away. And in the meantime, Gore has decided, there’s a planet to save.

Gore goes to #1 in latest DFA pulse poll

Despite not being included as a candidate in the latest DFA (Democracy for America) poll, Al Gore has taken first place over all the declared candidates. DFA provided a space for a write-in vote, allowing people to cast their vote for Al Gore.

Here are the current standings:

Candidate %

Al Gore 25.02%
John Edwards 24.41%
Barack Obama 1 8.46%
Dennis Kucinich 15%
Hillary Clinton 6.82%
Bill Richardson 4.1%
Other 1166 2.66%
Joe Biden 1.44%
Mike Gravel 1.21%
Christopher Dodd .88%

You can vote in the poll here (one vote only per e-mail address):

I support the draft Al initiative

I took on the role of committee chairman of the Sun City West Draft Al Gore for President Initiative yesterday. So far the committee is comprised of one member, me. I guess we’ll see what I can do to muster up support out here in what is widely known to be Republicanville. My opening statement was:

The time has come to elect a man of intelligence, integrity, and moral fortitude, social and global responsibility to lead our nation and represent us in the domestic and international communities. Al Gore is quite simply the most logical choice in 2008. He has both the political experience and moral conscience to effectively bring this nation out from the recent period of smug indifference we have shown the international community.

We are a group of Sun City West residents who say enough is enough! It’s time for America to be a leader in what is the right thing to do for our parents, our children, our nation and our planet. To do that we need a leader in the oval office!

Draft Al Gore in 2008!

Steve Barr

DEVELOPING DEMOCRACY- The monthly newsletter of CUIP

October Issue: County Fairs, Corridor Fights and Cold Calls
Independents around the country are using every opportunity, from county fairs, to the Texas toll road fight and good old fashion cold calling to build the network of independents. Read their inspiring stories below.

Mitch Campbell, founder of the American Independent Movement, spoke with hundreds of fair-goers at the Idaho Twin County Fair over Labor Day weekend. “The responses I received have been positive, overwhelming and humbling,” said Mitch.

Robert Sullentrop of St. Louis, MO founded an organization called Rock The Debates which has posted video clips of nine presidential candidates on its website responding to the question of whether they would be willing to debate an independent in the 2008 general election. The candidate responses range from straight to downright squirmy.

Linda Curtis, founder and chair of Independent Texans reports, “I recently met with Presidential candidate and Congressman Dennis Kucinich. We had a one-on-one 90 minute discussion that focused on the growing corruption story in Texas surrounding the Trans-Texas Corridor and freeway-to-tollway schemes of Governor Rich Perry’s administration.”

New Hampshire Independents Make Their Voices Heard. Activists with the NH Committee for an Independent Voice (“NH-CIV”) hosted a forum for independents on Sunday, October 14, 2007 at Alpine Groves in Hollis, NH. CUIP President Jackie Salit – a leading strategist for the independent political movement – was the featured speaker. Presidential candidates Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former Senator Mike Gravel also addressed the gathering. Read coverage in the Nashua Telegraph.

Nancy Ross, CUIP Speacial Projects Coordinator, attended the Democracy in America conference and reports, “The conference–and the larger process of which it’s a part–are about finding ways to break down barriers that divide the American people from one another. That concern is something independent voters feel very close to, since so many of us feel the partisan divide is making it impossible for the country to move forward.”
NYC Activists Call for Clinton/Obama Debate at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. At a press conference and at the annual African American Day parade, NCY activists with The Committee for a Harlem Debate Between Clinton and Obama took their message out to the community calling for an opportunity to more seriously consider their ’08 choices. The group polled over 750 parade goers about their desire to see Clinton/Obama Harlem debate.

Facing America’s Independents, a short documentary featuring independent voters from around the country, is now viewable online. In the film, independents express their views on the following: Are independents gaining more political recognition? Why did you become an independent voter? What does the independent movement stand for?

CUIP also produces a free weekly political commentary called Talk/Talk – a fun, feisty and philosophical review of the Sunday morning political talk shows – click here to receive it.

Nobel Prize money benefits Palo Alto nonprofit Gore founded

Jonathan Curiel, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, October 13, 2007

The group that founder Al Gore once praised as the planet’s “PR agent” became $750,000 richer after the former vice president announced Friday that his Nobel Prize winnings would be given to the Alliance for Climate Protection.

The money is a financial boost that could help the year-old organization assume an even larger role in the campaign to fight global warming and its potentially catastrophic impacts.
The alliance is a kind of think tank-in-action whose major goals include publicizing the effects of global warming and turning citizens into climate change activists. Through this summer’s Live Earth concerts and a follow-up campaign, the alliance has persuaded tens of thousands of Americans to pledge to lobby Washington on global warming.
The alliance is distinguished by its pop-culture approach (one of its campaigns features the voice of actor Tommy Lee Jones), connections to big names from the corporate world, and a staunch bipartisanship. The board of directors is led by Gore but also includes prominent Republicans such as Theodore Roosevelt IV, the managing director of the Lehman Brothers investment bank, and Brent Scowcroft, the businessman who was once national security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush.
The alliance also works with environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, pushing to educate the public about the effects of global warming.
Working with Gore’s Current TV and such actors as George Clooney and Orlando Bloom, the alliance created a “60 Seconds to Save the Earth” contest in which people were invited to submit short videos on taking environmental action. In the coming months, the organization will unveil a multimillion-dollar TV campaign created by the Martin Agency, the advertising agency behind Geico’s successful Cavemen commercials.
“What sets them apart is that it’s not just about getting a bunch of environmental groups together, but they’re also looking at business partners. And they certainly have access to some pretty big channels for communications and they’re reaching out to people in the corporate world who are ready to start talking about solutions to global warming,” said David Willett, the Sierra Club’s national press secretary.
The alliance’s bipartisanship gives it credibility that counts on Capitol Hill, said Karen Florini, a Washington, D.C., attorney for Environmental Defense who’s on the alliance’s advisory committee.
“Ultimately, what’s going to matter is whether we get across the line on enactment of federal legislation,” Florini said. “Part of the process of doing that is bringing the message into mainstream mass media to an ever-increasing degree, and the alliance is aiming specifically to do that.”
The Alliance for Climate Protection has been a major beneficiary of Gore’s recent success, getting millions of dollars from the Live Earth concerts and Gore’s hit documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Until Friday, the alliance has been a behind-the-scenes player in the debate over climate change. Now, the alliance name may get more recognition.
“Given that our mission is to create a shift on opinion about the importance of climate change and solving the climate crisis, (Gore’s Nobel Prize) galvanizes the movement,” said alliance CEO Cathy Zoi. She worked as chief of staff in the Clinton administration’s White House Office on Environmental Policy. “I feel like we’ve turned a corner.”
On Friday, after briefly celebrating the news of Gore’s prize, the staff at the Alliance for Climate Protection met as usual in Palo Alto, a headquarters chosen for its proximity to Silicon Valley’s thriving academic and entrepreneurial atmosphere.
“Both symbolically and practically,” Zoi said, “to be down the road from the brightest minds inventing sustainable energy solutions makes sense to us.”
The alliance is not the only Bay Area connection to the Nobel Prize awarded to Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Hundreds of California scientists have contributed to research prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The U.N. panel of 2,000 scientists has released four major assessments since 1990 that synthesize the known science on global warming. Nearly every major academic and governmental scientific institution in California has added its research.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory issued a statement saying that more than 40 of its researchers are key contributors to the reports. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory lists a dozen who have contributed.
All the campuses in the UC system, Stanford University and the California State University system, among others, have scientists who have been lead authors or contributing researchers to the reports.
Online resources
Alliance for Climate Protection:

Sign the petition
Our friends at began a petition drive demonstrating the broad support for a Gore campaign. If you haven’t signed yet, please do so below!
Dear Vice President Gore:Americans from every corner of our nation are calling on you. Please listen to our plea and run for the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States in 2008.Never before has America needed a leader of your stature, vision and experience more than now. The next presidential election will be the most crucial one in our history, and you are the only Democrat who can unite the country and lead us to victory. And this country — indeed, the entire world — cannot afford anything less.Our nation and the planet itself are entering “a period of consequences,” as you so well stated in “An Inconvenient Truth,” but in more ways than one. We are ruled by a government of the powerful and for the powerful — a government that tramples our Constitution, wages unjust war in our name, sacrifices our economic future, and puts our very planet on the endangered species list.America and the world need you now more than ever. Be our candidate. Run for president. And we pledge that we’ll be there for you every day until the last vote is counted.

Wikipedia for politics?

New politics-and-government wiki hopes to draw readers by offering neutral information and the opportunity to add to entries.

A political Web site set to launch on Tuesday plans to become a kind of Wikipedia-like destination specializing in elections, governments, and political candidates. The idea behind is to provide a neutral, one-stop source of information about politics (and politicians) to which anyone can contribute. Changes must be approved by a staff editor before they take effect.

Shelby Bonnie, who served as chief executive of CNET Networks from March 2000 to October 2006, is funding and has moved it into offices in Sausalito, Calif. Four former CNET employees, including Mike Tatum of, have joined him.

Bonnie says his new advertising-supported venture benefitted from his experience with technology reviews built atop a database of product names, specifications and user opinions. “We’ve made a database of people. We’ve made a database of issues. We’ve made a database of advocacy groups. We’ve used the (Federal Election Commission) data,” he said.

Most wikis and wiki platforms–including the general-interest Wikipedia; EmacsWiki, a text-editor resource popular among computer programmers; and PBWiki, for business collaboration–tend to be free-form and allow users to veer in any direction. Even Campaigns Wikia, which Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales launched last year, takes that approach.

In addition, bloggers can embed live charts showing political candidates’ fund-raising on their own blog sites by copying and pasting a small chunk of Flash code into their Web page.

“This is a category where people tend to be passionate,” said Bonnie, who hopes to tap into political candidates’ 2008 advertising budgets.

Bonnie said that some upcoming features–such as pages listing politicians’ votes on the No Child Left Behind Act or the federal Assault Weapons Ban–would be added in the next six months.
The domain name was purchased for $10,220 in August, according to a report in DN Journal.

Close Tally on CAFTA by Costa Rica

Close Tally on CAFTA by Costa Rica in First-Ever Public Vote on a NAFTA Expansion Shows That Bush Administration’s Continual Push for These Deals Hurts U.S. Foreign Policy in Latin America

Even After U.S. Threats Aimed at Stimulating Public Fear of Reprisal and Big-Dollar Campaign Pushing ‘Sí’ Vote, Result Is Marked by Razor-Thin Margin

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The depth of public opposition to North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)-style pacts was demonstrated Sunday by Costa Rica’s massive “no” vote to CAFTA despite a intensive campaign led by the country’s president, months of deceptive radio and television advertising in favor of the pact, and a threatening statement issued Saturday by the White House, Public Citizen said today.

The strong vote against CAFTA likely will fuel growing opposition to another Bush proposal now before Congress to expand NAFTA to Peru. The Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA) contains the same foreign investor privileges, service sector privatization, agriculture and other provisions that fueled Costa Rican public opposition.

“That nearly half the public in Latin America’s richest free-market democracy opposed CAFTA despite the intensive campaign in favor of it should end the repeated claims that pushing more NAFTA-style free trade deals is critical to U.S. foreign policy interests in the region or helps the U.S. image,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division. “This vote also debunks the claim that these pacts are motivated out of U.S. altruism to help poor people in trade partner countries, given that many of the people in question just announced that they themselves don’t want this kind of trade policy. This policy, supported by the elite, will help foreign investors seize control of their natural resources, undermine access to essential services, displace peasant farmers and jack up medicines prices.”

Preliminary results showed that those opposing CAFTA garnered just over 48 percent of the vote and those for it garnered under 52 percent. The anti-CAFTA vote received the majority in most rural regions, where fears about campesino displacement drove opposition to the pact. The pro-CAFTA vote won narrow majorities in most urban, populous regions, where Bush administration’s threats made Thursday and Saturday were widely covered by the media despite a legally mandated black-out on advocacy for or against CAFTA in the press. As of Monday morning, the “no” campaign had not conceded and was awaiting a partial recount on Tuesday and an investigation into polling station irregularities.

Citizens of El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic had no opportunity to voice their own views of CAFTA. Despite massive, long-running public demonstrations against CAFTA in those countries – which resulted in protestors being killed by the police in Guatemala and a legislature fleeing its own building to hold the vote in a downtown hotel in Honduras – legislatures in those countries ultimately ratified and implemented CAFTA by mid-2006.

In Costa Rica, the CAFTA debate coincided with that nation’s presidential election. With fair trade presidential candidate Ottón Solís running against CAFTA-supporter and Nobel-Prize winner Oscar Árias on a campaign focusing on the widely unpopular NAFTA expansion, CAFTA never came to a vote in Costa Rica. Early in 2007, after Árias narrowly won, Costa Rica’s legislature passed a measure establishing a national referendum on whether Costa Rica should enter CAFTA.

That Sunday’s referendum resulted in narrow passage is not surprising given considerable intervention by the Bush administration and a massive, well-funded campaign for the pact led by Costa Rica’s president and pushed heavily by the corporate sector and much of Costa Rica’s media. The Bush administration repeatedly threatened to remove Costa Rica’s existing Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) trade preferences if the public rejected CAFTA, even though the program was made permanent in 1990 and only an act of Congress could terminate it. (A tiny percentage of Costa Rica’s U.S. exports enjoys duty-free benefits under a CBI add-on program that was approved in 2000. The tremendously popular program, which covers nearly two dozen countries and cannot be removed for rejection of an FTA, is set for renewal next year.)

“Right now, we see the same duplicity with the proposed NAFTA expansion to Peru, where proponents claim that implementing the Peru agreement is critical to building a positive U.S. image in the region,” Wallach said. “Yet if these agreements are good foreign policy, why did the Bush administration also threaten to remove existing Andean trade preferences to force the deal over the opposition of the Peruvian public as well as its religious, indigenous and labor leaders?”

The U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica, Mark Langdale, was slammed with a rare formal denunciation before Costa Rica’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal in August after he waged a lengthy campaign to influence the vote on CAFTA. As part of that, Langdale employed misleading threats and suggested there would be economic reprisals if CAFTA were rejected. In response, Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, wrote a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in late September demanding the cessation of Langdale’s interventions. “Even the perception of such interference harms the U.S. image in a region already suspicious of our intentions,” Sánchez wrote. “If we are to be seen as respecting democracy, sovereignty, and economic development, we must not interfere in any way with the historic popular referendum on CAFTA in Costa Rica, the region’s oldest and strongest democracy.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in late September sent a letter to Costa Rica’s ambassador to the United States correcting Langdale’s false threats that Costa Rica would lose its CBI trade preferences if the public rejected CAFTA. “Participation in CBI is not conditioned on a country’s decision to approve or reject a free trade agreement with the United States, and we do not support such a linkage,” Pelosi and Reid wrote. Despite this, Bush’s U.S. Trade Representative renewed the threats on Thursday, and the White House issued a statement repeating the threats on Saturday – just hours before the vote.

“Only two years after CAFTA squeezed through Congress on a one-vote margin, the narrowest margin ever for a trade deal, nearly half of Costa Rica’s public took a strong stand, in the face of campaign trickery and lies, against the damaging agreement,” said Todd Tucker, research director for Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division and author of the CAFTA Damage Report. “No more countries should be subjected to the damaging policies imposed by overreaching ‘trade’ agreements.”

For more about CAFTA and pending NAFTA expansions to Peru and other countries, visit