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Howard Dean Rallies Local Democrats

Former presidential candidate highlights grassroots workshop.

Former Presidential candidate and Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Howard Dean urged a group of local Democrats to hone their organizational skills at a grassroots training session this weekend.

“We’re going to win the seat this time,” Dean said to the group of over 150 that hope to for the first time in decades. The is considered friendlier to the Democrats.

The sessions, held Saturday and Sunday at the United Autoworkers facility in Lincolnshire, were organized by theand Democracy for America (DFA), an outgrowth of Dean’s 2004 Presidential campaign.

The former Vermont governor was introduced by , a Dean-endorsed Democratic primary candidate vying for the nomination to unseat in 2012.

Another candidate, Deerfield business consultant , made an appearance earlier in the day, according to Tenth Congressional District Democrats Chair and 10th District Committeewoman . The third candidate so far is Wheeling attorney . 

Campaign workers for Schneider and Sheyman also attended the event. 

“It’s an opportunity to focus in an academic environment on ways for activists to hone their skills,” Gash said. 

'More doors than Dold'

During his speech, Dean encouraged the group to disregard the attacks coming from right wing media and conservative activist groups. 

“Despite what Fox wants you to believe and the crackpot Tea Party folks want you to believe, you actually do actually have the power in yourself to change this country,” Dean said. 

Community organizing, according to Dean, will help Democrats combat an opposition he described as as well-financed and fine-tuned in propaganda techniques. 

“There is no substitute for personal contact,” Dean said. “When we win in this district it’s not because we’re going to have a lot of money and go on TV in Chicago. We’re going to win in this district because you knocked on more doors than Dold.” 

Creating personal relationships with voters will outweigh the efforts to discredit Democrats, Dean said. 

“We need you to knock on the same door four times,” Dean said. “Once you establish a relationship with someone, you have more credibility than all the negative ads.”

Democracy in 'serious trouble'

Northbrook resident Sharon Sanders, whose home lies in the newly reconfigured 9th Congressional District represented by said she understood Dean's message.

“We have to be the foot soldiers, knocking on doors, talking to people, and getting the message out,” Sanders said. “I’m not sure enough Democrats really understand what’s at stake, what serious trouble our democracy is really in." 

When he wasn't discussing campaign strategy, Dean outlined a grim reality facing the country's middle class. The average chief executive officer today makes 534 times more than their average wage earners, according to Dean, who said that Henry Ford earned only 50 times more than his assembly line workers when he ran Ford Motor Company. 

“I call that the continuing war on the Middle Class and the working people of America being waged by the Republican Party,” Dean said. “[Working people] ought to be able to make a decent living and hope their kids can do better than they did. That’s the American dream.”

Ellen Beth Gill June 13, 2011 at 08:59 PM
I disagree with Dr. Dean when he says that Democrats should disregard attacks from the right. Each and every attack should be addressed clearly and frequently. If they are not answered, they go viral and remain hanging out there forever. I'm only interested in candidates willing to stay on top of what's being said and brave enough to answer attacks.
Will Stokes June 14, 2011 at 12:52 AM
Did this nitwit perform his trademark scream? Who are the Leftists going to bring in next --- McGovern, Dukakis, Mondale and LBJ? Or maybe the Reverands Sharpton, Jackson and Jeremaiah Wright?
Sullivan June 14, 2011 at 09:43 PM
Usually there are valid reasons for these attacks, like the liberals saying and doing whatever they want despite what the voters have told them they want. And for Dean to blame the Republicans for putting out Democracy in danger is a huge joke. Last I checked it was the Republicans that want major spending cuts across the board, yet the Dems want to spend us further into debt than the current 14 trillion. All is see the liberals doing, as usual, is pointing fingers. How about actually offering ideas to do something? No, that would mean they'd have to do their jobs.
Sully June 14, 2011 at 10:22 PM
Andrea, you have no clue. Your hatred for the democrats, for whatever reason, has blinded you so much you wouldn't believe the sky is up if a dem. said it. Hatred Andrea? On the dems side? Take a look in the mirror if you really want to see hatred.
Jack June 15, 2011 at 05:50 AM
It seems like he's lost weight since 2004.

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