Contact: Mike Garofalo
Phone: (603) 553-6006

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Mike Garofalo Endorses Presidential Candidate
Long-time Democratic Activist and Former County and Town Chairman Endorses Candidate

Salem, NH- Mike Garofalo, a long-time Democratic activist, has endorsed a candidate in the 2008 New Hampshire Presidential Primary. Garofalo, 54, was the Salem Democratic Town Committee Chair for 12 years. He also served as Rockingham County Democratic Chair and Vice Chair. He has been active in every presidential campaign since 1968 and previously served on the NH campaign staff of Governor Mike Dukakis in 1988, as Senator Paul Tsongas' NH Campaign Co-Chair in 1992. Garofalo also served as NH State Director for the Concord Coalition and as NH Chair of Economic Security 2000.

"When I analyzed all of the candidates running for President, only one candidate rose to the top," said Garofalo. "I wanted a candidate who would not owe his loyalty to lobbyists or large corporate contributors. I sought a candidate who never had to apologize for any of his votes against this immoral war in Iraq. I was seeking a candidate who understood how important the global warming crisis is and who had a realistic plan to wean America off of our dependence on foreign fossil fuels. Finally, I wanted a candidate who understood that healthcare is a right, and not a privilege, and one who supports a national, not-for-profit healthcare plan that offers universal coverage. That is why I am very proud to endorse and enthusiastically support Congressman Dennis Kucinich for President of the United States.

In 1992, former Senator Paul Tsongas ran a quixotic campaign for President. He was undaunted by early low poll numbers because he knew that his message of economic honesty would appeal to the people of NH. The voters of NH proved the pundits wrong and strongly responded to Tsongas' economic message and his vision. I truly believe that the voters of NH will hear and will welcome Congressman Kucinich's message of 'Strength through Peace' as our pathway to leaving Iraq and they will embrace his national, not-for-profit healthcare plan. I was very proud to endorse Senator Tsongas in 1991, and I am very proud to endorse Congressman Kucinich in 2007. I urge my fellow NH voters to join Congressman Kucinich in working for peace, for an end to the war, for a strong economy, and for healthcare for everyone, not just the wealthy," Garofalo concluded.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich is a 6 term Congressman representing Ohio's 10th Congressional District.

For more information on the Kucinich campaign, please visit:

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION asked for some elaboration on how a one-time Joe Lieberman and Evan Bayh supporter (letter) came to support Dennis Kucinich.  He responded in a Dec. 6 e-mail:

Its a bit unusual, I agree, going from Paul Tsongas to Joe Lieberman to Evan Bayh to Dennis Kucinich. But what you may not know about me is that while I supported Joe Lieberman in 2004, I organized the "Liberals for Lieberman" group. I am, unapologetically, left of center. But I will support a candidate, moderate or liberal, if I am impressed with his/her integrity and honesty. Those are my primary concerns. Once someone has passed that litmus test for me, I then look at their political positions. Tsongas passed that test; as did Lieberman and Bayh. In August I interviewed Kucinich for our blog. After the tape stopped rolling I asked him his philosophy and beliefs. I was more impressed with him than with any others I had met.
As NH State Director for a national non-profit that promotes clean energy, I have had the opportunity to speak with all the the candidates on both sides, except Fred Thompson, who was a late entry. Its been great asking every one of them about energy independence and clean energy issues. But I keep my personal political endorsement separate from my occupation.
But since I had an opportunity to to meet with every candidate, I looked closely at them. Up here, 7 out of 8 Dem campaigns asked for my support - not that my support means a great deal, but having served as Rockingham County Dem Chair for 2 years and as Salem Democratic Town Chair for 12 years, I guess they think it means something. In any event, I looked closely at all of the Dems.
All have some great points and attributes. And I do believe that all of the Dems are on the right track on most issues. But Kucinich was right all along about Iraq - he was against us going there back in 2002, when it was very unpopular to not support that position. He is right on healthcare - we DO need a single-payer not-for-profit system. He is right on the economy and how to rebuild it, and right on energy and environmental issues, which I like to think I know something about. He was right on a host of issues that are important to me. And, unlike some candidates, he hasn't had to apologize for this view or that one. He knows where he stands. He is NOT poll-driven, unlike some.
I was close to supporting Hillary and had some important NH Democrats courting me for her. The same is true for Obama. I liked them both but felt that they had minor flaws (integrity issues or experience) that kept me from supporting them. Believe me, it is EASY to pick one of the top tier candidates and say "yes, me too!" Its harder to support someone that not everyone likes or knows. Or whom the conventional wisdom says "no chance."
I met several times with Dodd and Richardson and got their views repeatedly, and likes aspects about them both. I was unimpressed with Edwards throughout this whole campaign. Mike Gravel is a wonderful guy but I needed a candidate running a more aggressive campaign. To be honest, I wasn't giving Kucinich a great deal of thought. But I committed to him after speaking with him. But, I am not deluding myself - he is the longest of long shots and his refusal to take PAC money and lobbyists/corporate contributions hurts his ability to get his message out. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy - no money = no media coverage - no media coverage = no money.
BUT, in 1991, in November, Paul Tsongas was at 3% in the polls.He had virtually no money. Yet I was the 1st Dem in NH to support him; his 1st NH event was held in my living room. I knew him because I had lived in MA and he was my Congressman and then my Senator. Although like most Dems I was waiting for Mario Cuomo to enter the race, I couldn't help but be impressed with his honesty and integrity. So I became his campaign CoChair. When February 18, 1992 rolled around, he won with 32% of the vote. I have great belief in the people of NH and their ability to listen to the candidates and to pick the best one.
I truly believe that Kucinich's message will resonate with the people of NH. But for that to happen, he has to do a really good job in getting his message out. Its a daunting task with little money against a team of strong competitors, but its worth the try.