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Obama’s ground game in El Dorado Hills nets votes in swing states

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From page A15 | November 16, 2012 | 81 Comments

In the days following last week’s election, pundits on both sides, including the respective campaign managers, cited the Obama campaign’s ground game strategy as a huge reason the president did so well in critical battleground states.

The business end of that strategy was executed by a couple of hundred enthusiastic volunteers in an El Dorado Hills call center who relentlessly badgered voters in swing states to get out and vote.

The result was a record turnout among the president’s key demographics.

“Yea, it looks like we made a difference,” said Joni Remer, the El Dorado Hills mom who famously stood up to the hate-spewing anti-gay “truth trucks” in 2005, was a veteran of the 2008 Obama campaign and wanted to extend her reach in 2012.

Remer and her friend Christine Berry became field generals in a get-out-the vote ground game that the Atlantic’s Molly Ball described thusly in October: “Four years ago Barack Obama built the largest grassroots organization in the history of American politics. After the election, he never stopped building, and the current operation, six years in the making, makes 2008 look like ‘amateur ball.”

The Obama campaign’s treasure trove of data was fed into a web-based Dashboard tool that allowed a massive, well-organized field operation, including Foothills Moving Forward in El Dorado Hills, to put it to good use.

“The campaign provided the names and numbers, and we showed them what we could do,” said Remer.

They did a lot. On election day, calls to eastern swing states began at 6 a.m., with some volunteers working until the polls closed in Nevada at 7 p.m. All told, 67 volunteers logged time on Nov. 6, placing an estimated 10,000 calls, according to office statistician Sue Escobar.

Remer boasted that Foothills Moving Forward was one of the most effective phone bank operations in Northern California, earning her and Berry a meet-and-greet with the president in San Francisco, and a spot in front for their key FMF lieutenants at his speech that evening.

Operating from the former Marble Valley School site on Windplay Drive in the El Dorado Hills Business Park — the school moved to bigger digs in 2011 — FMF signed up 340 volunteers, with up to 40 working the phones at any one time.

The campaign provided phone lists and real-time call scripts tailored to specific call strategies. Volunteers used their own laptops and cell phones, and could work from the call center, a coffee shop or from home.

Others used the campaign’s new predictive dialing system, which “esssentially guaranteed a conversation rather than just hoping that someone picks up the phone,” said phone bank manager Sam Phelan on Tuesday night.

“It might take a normal person 20 calls to get that one conversation with a swing voter,” he added. “This campaign made investments in technology and is working smarter than ever.”

At 7:45 p.m. Tuesday night the banquet tables in the phone rooms were littered with cell phone chargers and empty coffee cups. A clutch of volunteers gathered in the common room to watch one after another battleground states they’d been calling fall Obama’s way.

Ohio was still in play when Escobar reflected on the 3,600 calls they’d made to haggard Ohio Democrats that day. Many got on the last-minute call list because the campaign had labeled them as occasional voters.

The resulting 322 conversations were all gentle reminders to get out and vote, with street-level instructions on how to get to the local polling place.

The group came together in June and July in a grass-roots effort to counter the big money being spent by conservative super PACs, said Escobar, who credited a quote from Margret Mead as her inspiration.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Besides Ohio, the callers targeted Nevada, Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin in the days leading up to the election.

Shortly after 8 p.m., an excited volunteer burst into the phone room and exclaimed “21 votes left, put a fork in it.”

The TV screen showed scenes of a growing celebration at Chicago’s McCormick Place. The energy level at FMF grew accordingly.

It became increasingly clear that Mitt Romney would fail to overrun the so-called “Midwest firewall.”

When Ohio fell the energy level ratcheted even higher. Daniel Stephenson, known for having energy to burn, became a human pogo. His fists pumped so hard that his Asian Americans for Obama button threatened to vacate his Yes We Can T-shirt.

CNN called the election for Obama a few minutes later. All the hard work and anticipation created an adrenalin/endorphin cocktail that knocked the celebration into complete bedlam. The exhausted volunteers laughed, cried, hugged and screamed.

Robin Carter closed her eyes, looked to the ceiling and squealed “OH-BAH-MA,” then gave Rehmer a bone-crushing hug.

Lynn Hadjian, mouth was agape in shock, looked like she’d just taken a couple hundred volts.

Each of the key FMF volunteers worked over a hundred hours, said Rehmer, who couldn’t recall a single day off since opening the office.

One volunteer got her tire spiked. Signs were routinely stolen and verbal abuse was common in El Dorado Hills,

But none of that mattered on Tuesday night. While the world waited for Romney to write his concession speech, the smart phones came out and the social network celebration began in El Dorado Hills.

Team leader Jill Keith of Placerville sat down with a sigh and explained why she got involved in politics for the first time in her life at 55.

“I was terrified that our human rights, the stuff we worked so hard for, would be stripped away,” she said. “Not just women, but minorities, gays, lesbians, you name it. I was very concerned about what it would mean to my daughter and granddaughter.”

Like Escobar, Keith had a poem that she said inspired her to get involved, written after WW II by a pastor who initially supported the Nazis, but later renounced them, and ended up in a concentration camp.

Keith couldn’t recall it all, but knew the first and last lines: “First they came for my neighbor, and I said nothing.” It concludes “Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out.”

Keith is a freelance graphic designer. She said she understands why some people won’t speak out about their political beliefs, especially in the current divided ideological climate, and also understands that she could lose clients by airing her politics.

“But at this point I can’t not stand up for what I believe in,” she said. “Barack Obama gave me hope, but I have to stand up and do my part.”

“Foothills Moving Forward will continue,” she promised. “There’s too much to do and we have great momentum … great volunteers.”

To learn more or volunteer, visit the website: foothillsmovingforward.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 81 comments

  • Phil VeerkampNovember 15, 2012 - 1:21 pm

    Joni Remer, consider giving us a "happiness update" in three or so years, OK? May the “tingle” be with you(and us).

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  • James E.November 15, 2012 - 2:02 pm

    Mr. Veerkamp, here's a "happiness update" in three or so years: Mitt appears to explain his defeat and claims it's because women, Blacks, Latinos, and young people voted for President Obama because he gives them things (free stuff). Those groups believe there was more to this election than free stuff. In three or so years, there will be MORE women, Blacks, Latinos, and young people who will remember the Tea/Republican party platform that all they want is stuff and they will vote for Hillary/VP TBD. Not smart, you might want to dump Mitt and get a new philosophy or you will be out of business indefinitely.

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 15, 2012 - 2:19 pm

    Colonel - My prediction – Tepublicans will not have to dump Mr. Romney. I Believe him when he says this is it, done, finito, kaput, adios. There’s much grist for the mill. It’s wish time. My wish is NM Governor - LINK - Susana Martinez

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 15, 2012 - 2:22 pm

    25% chance Hildabeast will be destroyed in Benghazi - I'm an optimist!

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 15, 2012 - 2:31 pm

    BTW, Colonel, curiously I voted for Dianne Feinstein. Of course which is less likely, a Mormon or . . . . AIPAC? not likely

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  • James E.November 15, 2012 - 2:41 pm

    Mr. Veerkamp, I didn't mean that I thought Mitt would run again in 2016. He is, indeed, finished. I was referring to his philosophy of free stuff -- that has to change or Tea/Republicans will lose again, as there will be even more women, etc., etc., who will vote in 2014 and 2016. If you and others on this site think that free stuff is something you want to run on in the future, then have at it as it makes me happy. Very happy.

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  • James E.November 15, 2012 - 2:55 pm

    Mr. Veerkamp, I'm guessing Hillary will not be destroyed. She wasn't onsite and relied on reports from the field and intelligence organizations. I remember once being on the 7th floor of the CIA listening to radio traffic in real time during an operation. Was this the case for Hillary -- hearing in real time calls for help? Calls for help she poo pooed? Might be good for all of us to wait until we are informed exactly what happened before, during, and after. Until then its all speculation hoping to tar Hillary and the president before the fact.

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  • James E.November 15, 2012 - 3:02 pm

    *** it's

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  • EvelynNovember 15, 2012 - 3:05 pm

    Is it true that Susan Rice may replace "Hildabeast"? (Careful what you wish for!)

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 15, 2012 - 4:00 pm

    my guess re Rice - a distraction from other "stuff"

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  • EvelynNovember 15, 2012 - 4:08 pm

    I'll second that notion.

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  • Ken SteersNovember 16, 2012 - 8:35 am

    FORWARD! Human rights stripped away by those evil people who want less government in their lives. That doesn't make sense to me. Tea Party protesters who decry that not only does the government do NOTHING for them but instead demonizes a whole race and class of people for political expediency. The President of the United States saying on late night comedy shows that millionaires/people who earn over $200,000.00 a year, don't pay their fair share in taxes. Creating a rift and culture that might never be bridged again in my lifetime. Our short lives are being devalued to a point where one realizes that all you can do is never look the socialist machine in the eye to avoid notice, because we fear reprisal from a vindictive punitive government. The socialist completely control our lives now. I must say bravo socialist democrats. It's a great day for you. It is clear that the war didn't end with the election. From what I am seeing you are still not satisfied until everyone is as ugly and miserable as you. Good luck with that. A little advice, SELF INTROSPECTION. Conservatives are not in control YOU ARE. All we can do is watch and brace for what comes next.

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  • R.J. CarterNovember 16, 2012 - 8:50 am

    Well Hostess is out of biz...Obama's increased taxes, plus liberal union greed has now took my Twinkies??? .....That's it!!!...My Twinkies, my Ding Dongs, my Wonder Bread???..#^$@!#$%&^*#%!!!..You tell'em I'm coming, and hell's coming with me......Seriously though, Hostess is just the first large company to "fold up" many more will follow in the next 4 years......

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  • James E.November 16, 2012 - 9:34 am

    R.J., say it's not so. Hostess out of business? Or, could it be a management ploy? Hope so.

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  • CatherineNovember 16, 2012 - 10:12 am

    The demise of Twinkies is clearly Obama's fault. Damn that Kenya overlord!

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  • DB SmithNovember 16, 2012 - 10:15 am

    Well by golly! It appears we have finally moved on from it being Bush's fault.

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 16, 2012 - 10:18 am

    Catherine - WHAT?! - No twinkies??? Not even for SS, medicare, calpers, fdic, unemployed, pelgrant, food stamp former EID good guys like me??? $hit!!!

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  • Ken SteersNovember 16, 2012 - 10:55 am

    Why doesn't our Supreme Leader Obama copy what he did for Chrysler and GM and seize Hostess. Fire it's CEO and give the majority of the stock to the Union or make it a government entity like our Post Office? Everyone knows that Union leadership and government control is far more efficient than private enterprise. Obama can easily save the 15000 workers by mandating all US citizens purchase $100.00 a month of Hostess products. They can also start a government ad campaign demonizing skinny people and ATKINS.

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  • James E.November 16, 2012 - 11:16 am

    At this very moment, I'm having a Hostess powdered sugar donut. It may well be the last one I'm ever going to get to have. A moment of silence please.

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  • James E.November 16, 2012 - 11:21 am

    So good, and thank you for that moment of silence.

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  • CatherineNovember 16, 2012 - 11:41 am

    Mr. Veerkamp, you will have to content yourself with a tub of Crisco mixed with sugar, eaten with a spoon as in the movie Idiocracy. Yummy. Unfortunately, there's just not the market they hoped for, and in their 2004 bankruptcy effort no one wanted to buy them. So they brought in a "restructuring expert," who, with his cronies, will be well compensated. Wait, that reminds me of someone who ran for President recently... What was his name? Looks like those pesky union workers wanted more than $35K a year. Greedy pigs.

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 16, 2012 - 12:21 pm

    Catherine, thank you for giving the Bush/Cheney/neocon cabal a little time off. But seriously, do you have a link to analysis confirming that restructuring was the cause of failure? Hostess failed because of Romney Raiders? Really?

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  • Ken SteersNovember 16, 2012 - 1:17 pm

    OH-BAH-MA!!!!!!!!!! Please save all those cup cakes at Hostess. 15000 union workers need you right now! They paid good money to get you elected. At least walk the picket lines with them as they try to saves their jobs! Where are all those caring socialist democrats? Why is the polluting, global warming, internal combustion engine more important than tiger tails?

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  • CatherineNovember 16, 2012 - 1:30 pm

    This is one http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/01/13/hostess-has-a-lot-of-debt-but-few-in-finance/. My interest in Hostess is nearly nonexistent, but I get sick of unions being blamed for businesses failing. They make crap, so they can't find a buyer, and a restructuring team "restructures," which is the code word for asking employees to work for less, or having big layoffs. You and the Col. will be better off without their yummy concoctions.

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 16, 2012 - 1:52 pm

    OOPS! - I accidentally gave this to Mike Raff. instead of to Catherine - - - LINK - Golden State turns to lead, now leads poverty rankings The Golden State has reached a poverty rate that is now twice as bad as West Virginia’s and substantially worse than the rates of poverty in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas, according to a new measure of poverty developed by the federal Census Bureau. Democrat-run California earned its last-place rank under the federal government’s new measure of poverty, which incorporates more detailed analyses of welfare payments and the local costs of food, gasoline and housing. (View the new census data report) The state’s costs are boosted by its environmental and workplace regulations, and by 38 million residents’ competition for housing close to the sea. The new measure, however, also incorporates a controversial calculation of relative equality that demotes states, including California, that have wide gaps between wealthy people and people with less than one-third of state residents’ average income. California snatched the last-place prize from Mississippi, which had the highest poverty rate under the older and simpler measure, which gauged people’s ability to buy basic services and goods. Democratic California Gov. Gerry Brown’s office did not release a comment Nov. 15 about the new ranking, but did note that he would be attending a housing conference, the “Greenbuild International Conference and Expo,” in San Francisco Nov. 16. The new measure, dubbed the “Supplemental Poverty Measure,” revised the California’s poverty rate from 16.3 percent up to 23.5 percent.

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  • DeeNovember 16, 2012 - 1:58 pm

    Hostess trivia- The Bakers Union represents 30% or 5500 of the terminated 18,500 employees. Teamsters also represented some of Hostesses employees. They petitioned the Bakers Union to withdraw the strike. They knew this would mean the end of the company. Bakers refused. Democrats jump with joy that another large company is dead and children will be forced to eat carrot sticks for a treat.

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 16, 2012 - 2:07 pm

    correction, Dee - non GMO carrot sticks

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  • DeeNovember 16, 2012 - 2:18 pm

    Phil-Sorry, you are so right!

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  • Ken SteersNovember 16, 2012 - 2:32 pm

    I am so confused and saddened for the 18000 union workers who our great savior Obama seems to be turning his back on. Is a baker not as important as a teamster? Where does this Catherine fella get off criticizing hard working Americans? There are over 300 Hostess workers who were notified they were losing their jobs with no fault on their own. Great timi9ng Obama and DNC! Right before the holidays! I want the Eldorado County Democrat Party to do something for these people. They were why Obama got elected. Just read the story. So they are now in charge. Do something for these people NOW other than laugh, snicker, ridicule and criticize. And if you're going to keep that up? Keep a look over your shoulder because one probably is your neighbor.

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  • RichardNovember 16, 2012 - 3:09 pm

    Steers, you just get crazier and crazier. In 2004 during the Bush Administration Hostess made a decision not to up-grade its equipment in their factors which was needed to remain competitive, choosing to put the money in their stockholder pockets and ride the company to the ground. What’s that got to do with unions and the Obama Administration?

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  • bucolic plagueNovember 16, 2012 - 3:14 pm

    ebay has lots of hostess twinkies for those christmas stockings waiting to be filled. One seller advertises a box of 10 for . . . drum roll . . . $250,000. Probably vintage.

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  • bucolic plagueNovember 16, 2012 - 3:21 pm

    take heart. China soon will be sending us melamine filled twinkies.

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  • Ken SteersNovember 16, 2012 - 3:58 pm

    Richard, Obama is our supreme leader. You personally, almost single handily got him elected for situations such as this. 18000, 300 in our area alone union workers are in need of the same assistance that Obama did for the ACLU. So now our government is choosing winners and losers regarding unions? Why is the Eldorado County Democrat Party not only helping the Union workers but making fun of their plight? I don't think they should take this laying down. In fact they should sue the government. Now let me warn you one time. Personally insult me again and I'll stuff twinkies and cup cakes in places on you that only your boy friend has ever thought to look. Get with your party and help your union workers.

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  • Ken SteersNovember 16, 2012 - 4:26 pm

    ACLU? Gawd, Freudian slip. AFL/CIO

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  • RichardNovember 16, 2012 - 5:46 pm

    Steers,let me think about your twinkie offer! Additionally, your beloved El Dorado County Republican Party Central Committees new slogan right off their web page today is;” Moving Forward". How could this be? I can’t imagine the once great Republican Party that you claim to have donated 30k to is using a slogan that has ties to Marxism and a socialist/communist agenda. Historically, those who supported Karl Marx used the word "Forward" as propaganda to garner support for socialism. Also, in 1905, Vladimir Lenin started the publication "Vpered," which is Russian for "Forward." You’re once proud Party which is now spiraling downward into oblivion and seems to be willing to grasp at anything, even socialism, to stay upright and keep the family fortunes in tack. Real Change within the Republican Party will come with new leadership, and a good place to start is right here in El Dorado County………….List of Republican Central Committee members of EDC; (I couldn’t help but notice that many of these family names have been feeding at the public trough for two and three generations.) Tom McClintock, Ted Gaines , Jack Sieglock, Joy Knight, Roseann Livingston, Bernard Carlson, Leedy D'Agostini, David Dornbier, Charles Robertson, George Turnboo , John Bailey (Briggs), Leigh Kolb, Cathy Nerwinski, Dallas Sweeney, Alex Briggs, Art Marinaccio, Todd White

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  • CatherineNovember 16, 2012 - 5:58 pm

    Phil, thank you for the information on Supplemental Poverty Measures. I don't know if you read the original report, but it appears to me to boil down to it costing more to live in California because lots of people want to live here. Read it again, and let me know what you think. Some geographic adjustment is made, but it's still largely a look at Federal baselines.

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  • Ken SteersNovember 16, 2012 - 6:00 pm

    Richard, I know you are not that bright but the slogan "Forward" is Supreme Socialist Leader Obama's. Did you not already know that? I must agree that being a member of that California Republican Party is almost as pathetic as your sorry ass. But what's your point? You Won! Yea you! Go lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. Again 18000 union workers are now out of a job. Fix it

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  • bucolic plagueNovember 16, 2012 - 6:06 pm

    Finding the EDC Republican Central Committee is easy, but Dem names are MIA. There must be a reason.

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  • DB SmithNovember 16, 2012 - 6:08 pm

    Yeah lots of people want to live here because of the freebies. Consequently it costs the rests of us. Some of the freebie folks are telling others to come on over to California and get your free stuff. The bleeding heart can only last so long until it implodes!

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  • Ken SteersNovember 16, 2012 - 6:15 pm

    DB, it's everyone's right to ask what the government is going to do for them not what they are going to do for the country.

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  • James E.November 16, 2012 - 6:23 pm

    Mitt on his recent telephone conversation explaining why he lost said Democrats should add dental coverage to Obamacare to get votes in the future. Hey, Mitt, not a bad idea, but too late for me -- in three weeks I get my ninth dental implant. I recommend them. Just like new teeth, and no future cavities.

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  • DB SmithNovember 16, 2012 - 6:34 pm

    Mitt who? Wow ~ you're gonna eventually have 9 teeth. I can see why you will miss the Twinkies.

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  • EvelynNovember 16, 2012 - 6:34 pm

    James, why do I think you made that up?!!!!!!!

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  • EvelynNovember 16, 2012 - 6:35 pm

    (Connection lost) I meant about Mitt and the Obamacare dental plan.

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  • James E.November 16, 2012 - 6:43 pm

    Evelyn, I know it's something that sounds like it was made up -- but, it wasn't. You know Mitt, he just cannot stop justifying his loss. General Smith, nine teeth are better than no teeth. I would love to continue these conversations, but I have to go get ready to watch Bill Maher. Be good.

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  • CatherineNovember 16, 2012 - 8:35 pm

    "People spittin' their toenails back at the TV." Perfect imagery.

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  • RichardNovember 17, 2012 - 10:11 am

    Steers, I’ve decided to accept your offer to stuff Twinkies where only my boy friend would look if you answer just one question honestly. Does your wife bully you when she comes home from work? I ask this because you seem to crave respect for being competent and professional despite lacking in competence and professionalism. Also, couldn’t help but notice on your business portfolio below that your wife is founder and CEO of the Company you so proudly claim. The great company described below doesn’t compute with your statements and bulling of others. Your compulsive need to criticize, your efforts to undermine anyone perceived to be an adversary. Your willingness to quickly belittle, arrogates and mean spirited comments which are systematic of some thing that in my opinion needs to be dealt with. And Ken , there’s nothing wrong with being a stay at home dad…………… Freight Solution Providers, Mission: Shipping company, Employees: 78 local, about 230 nationwide, Perks: Full employer-paid health benefits; flexible work hours; annual company-paid three-day trip to Tahoe; frequent catered lunches; bosses take employees out to lunch one-on-one……

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  • eldoradoNovember 17, 2012 - 8:13 pm

    An elementary school class had a mock election. They selected two candidates and had them each present their platform. The first talked about what could be done to make the school better. The second offered a free ice cream cone to everyone who voted in his or her favor. Guess who won.....

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  • James E.November 17, 2012 - 9:04 pm

    I'm guessing the one who proposed making the school better. Like President Obama. Kids are smart, they aren't going to fall for the Romney promise to cut taxes for the one percent. Mitt's ice cream cone just melted all over him.

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  • Ken SteersNovember 17, 2012 - 9:57 pm

    Richard, I'm a bully because you say so? OK. Where to you want to meet to get stuffed you spineless wuss?

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  • EvelynNovember 18, 2012 - 7:45 am

    Scattered around these pages over the past couple of days have been a number of Twinkies comments. Herewith: FORMER HOSTESS TWINKIES CEO TRIPLED SALARY TO $2.5M WHILE PREPARING TO FILE BANKRUPTCY @ http://americablog.com/2012/11/hostess-twinkie-ceo-salary.html

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 18, 2012 - 8:41 am

    . . . . today's twinkie trivia . . . Rayburn announced that the pay of the four top executives would go down to $1 for the year, but that their full salaries would be reinstated no later than Jan. 1. Hostess pays Rayburn $125,000 a month, according to court filings. At the same time Rayburn became CEO, LINK - Gephardt's son Matthew, 41, the COO of the Gephardt Group, was put on the Hostess board as a $100,000-a-year independent director.

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 18, 2012 - 8:43 am

    . . . . today's twinkie trivia . . . Rayburn announced that the pay of the four top executives would go down to $1 for the year, but that their full salaries would be reinstated no later than Jan. 1. Hostess pays Rayburn $125,000 a month, according to court filings. At the same time Rayburn became CEO, LINK - Gephardt's son Matthew, 41, the COO of the Gephardt Group, was put on the Hostess board as a $100,000-a-year independent director.

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  • R.J. CarterNovember 18, 2012 - 9:12 am

    Here's another Twinkie update...Good news for all you Twinkie addicts...No need to riot in the streets or buy Twinkies off ebay for $100.00 a box...During a trip to Walmart yesterday I noticed that while the snack shelf has now been striped bare of all Hostess snacks, there was still a generic Walmart brand of cream filled cakes available that seems to be identical to Twinkies...

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 18, 2012 - 9:20 am

    R.J. - further investigation reveals . . . LINK - Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo . . .could be on the short list for acquiring . . . Hostess’ foodstuffs, according to Forbes. Grupo Bimbo already owns parts of Sara Lee, Entenmann’s and Thomas English Muffins.

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  • R.J. CarterNovember 18, 2012 - 9:35 am

    Phil...Thanks...Yes, went to the link...Now I have even more reason for hope... Plus..I didn't know there was Chocolate cream filled Twinkies???.... Awesome!!!

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  • James E.November 18, 2012 - 10:51 am

    R.J., does this mean powered donuts may come back from the grave? Hope springs eternal.

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  • R.J. CarterNovember 18, 2012 - 11:07 am

    James...Funny you would ask...Walmart also carries delicious little bite-size powdered donuts....They come wrapped 4 to a pack, 12 packs to a box..Just finished a pack as I was reading your post.....

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  • DeeNovember 18, 2012 - 11:15 am

    Phil-Thank you for mentionong Greg Gutfield. I hadn't heard his name in awhile so I surfed the net to discover he has written a book, "The Joy of Hate". It is laugh out loud funny and I have only finished the introduction. So thank you for the laughs. I also have learnt two new words which will come in handy: TOLERATICS---is a person who claims to tolerate anything until he,she, or it meets a conservative; and TOLERATI---describes agroup of toleratics grouped in a social setting. I am having so much fun with this book that I bought copies for Christmas gifts and that finishes by Christmas shopping. So thanks again for mentioning Greg Gutfield.

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  • DeeNovember 18, 2012 - 11:22 am

    Ken-You may not refer to Richard as a wuss. That term is reserved to JHC. However, I believe that wimp hasn't been taken. But remenber, when you call people names you've lost, unless it is accurate description.

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  • Our friends?November 18, 2012 - 12:55 pm

    Anthony, . China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia are our friends and we must continue our progress forward to eliminate as many differences as possible.Canada, Germany, Australia, United Kingdom with the United States has caused all poverty, hate and violence in the world. We must continue to distance ourselves from them. We cannot adopt anymore of their laws or attitude. We can only speak of Israel in soft whispers behind closed doors because they are the most evil of all countries.

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  • James E.November 18, 2012 - 1:26 pm

    I don't miss Twinkies because I eat them -- last one was probably in the 60s. They will be missed because Twinkies and Spam are the only two products that will survive a nuclear war. However, I do hear that the Bimbo company in Mexico may buy the brand and again produce a similar product. Just hope they don't call it the Bimbo.

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  • R.J. CarterNovember 18, 2012 - 1:33 pm

    Oh God how I love Spam & eggs.....

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  • bon appetitNovember 18, 2012 - 1:36 pm

    Twinkies frankenstein ingredients include melamine, creamed styrofoam & high fructose corn syrup.

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  • James E.November 18, 2012 - 1:38 pm

    R.J., Spam. Born in 1937 -- said to be ham that flunked its physical. Fed our GIs in WWII. Many cans went to Russia where the Russians hated it, but fed it to German POWs who loved it. Big market in Hawaii and Japan. I eat it once every 10 years because I was Spam abused as a child. As noted earlier, capable of surviving nuclear attack and will still be fresh in 2475. SPAM!!!!!

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  • bon appetitNovember 18, 2012 - 1:39 pm

    . . . and real creamed sheet-rock.

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  • EvelynNovember 18, 2012 - 2:00 pm

    B.A. (above) is not too far off the mark. According to Steve Ettlinger, author of “Twinkie Deconstructed”, five of the ingredients come from rocks, from Idaho phosphate mines, Oklahoma Gypsum mines and the oil fields in China. And the sorbic acid is derived from natural gas. Other ingredients – Polysorbate 60 and calcium sulfate – also are to be found in shampoo and rocket fuel. Let’s not make light of Twinkies!

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 18, 2012 - 2:03 pm

    Butt out, evelyn. Spam counters ANY twinkie toxic ingredients . . .

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  • EvelynNovember 18, 2012 - 2:07 pm

    That's why I have on hand a couple cases of SPAM!

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 18, 2012 - 2:09 pm

    . . . off to RedHawk with asafetida bag stuffed with twinkies and spam - can't lose . . .

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  • EvelynNovember 18, 2012 - 2:11 pm

    Mike Roberts, apologies for what we've done to your column. Times are hard. We must laugh! And, speaking of which, TODAY I received a notice from the Mt. Dem. - responding to my email of August 24th. Apparently the Mr. Ibarra will be out of the office until November 30th.

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  • RichardNovember 18, 2012 - 7:43 pm

    Dee, bless your heart ma'am for sending apologies to Mike Roberts for what we've done to his column, how thoughtful of you. As for Mr. Ibarra I would guess his extended vacation is being put to good use given the financial condition of his employer. Additionally, I think it’s so brave of you to come forward and help Mr. Steers with his terminology, and did I detect a little flirting? Your advice that the word wimp is available, according to you, was not doubt useful to Mr. Steers, again so thoughtful. One more thing, I found the following on another thread (Briggs Progress Death Penalty, by Dee), I assume you’re the author. Following is an excerpt from that thread, “China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia are our friends and we must continue our progress forward to eliminate as many differences as possible. Canada, Germany, Australia, United Kingdom with the United States has caused all poverty, hate and violence in the world.” If indeed you are the author, which I’m certain you are, kindly except my offer of a free plane ticket to anyone of the five countries you mentioned, and if you would take some kindly advice from an old Marine, don’t ever come back.

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  • RichardNovember 18, 2012 - 7:50 pm

    **** I’m assuming Evelyn and Dee are the same person****

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  • EvelynNovember 18, 2012 - 7:54 pm

    Hi Richard. I'm desperately hoping Dee isn't feeling insulted!!!!

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 18, 2012 - 7:56 pm

    Dee = Evelyn? - OMG!!! - - - Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha . . . cough . . . choke . . . ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha . . . OMG! thanks

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  • EvelynNovember 18, 2012 - 7:57 pm

    Cannot for the life of me work out how such confusion (Dee/Evelyn) could arise. Our styles differ quite radically. But, lest I be charged with protesting too much . . . .

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 18, 2012 - 8:02 pm

    Richard, how is I can feel drawn to Dee but repulsed by Evelyn? . . . some quantum mystery?

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  • EvelynNovember 18, 2012 - 8:05 pm

    Now you're getting cranky!

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 18, 2012 - 8:07 pm

    Catherine = Evelyn?

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  • RichardNovember 18, 2012 - 8:40 pm

    Evelyn, please except my apology, when I reviewed several of your post to Dees the timing of the posts were similar, but after reviewing then again, I’m obviously wrong.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynNovember 18, 2012 - 8:51 pm

    Richard: In the greater scheme of things it's nothing. Don't worry. But I'm glad the confusion has lifted!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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