we have risen

By Jim Stanford on November 7, 2012

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Mets win World Series! No, unlikely candidate wins election. This was primary night in August, but a similar scene played out last night at Betty Rock.

On a visit to Dublin in 1994, I was struck by one of the monuments along O’Connell Street, a statue of an Irish labor leader named Jim Larkin. His words on the inscription have resonated with me ever since:

“The great appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise.”

Jim Larkin on O’Connell Street.

When I started this blog six years ago, one of my goals was to help citizens stay informed so they could empower themselves and take part in their government. I did not imagine they one day would elect me.

Over the past few weeks, I was impressed by the numbers of particularly younger people paying attention to the races down the ballot and doing their homework on the issues. Yesterday’s massive turnout attests to that. Win or lose, I felt good about the effort and citizens’ participation.

I tip my cap to Hailey Morton, Phil Cameron and Jim Genzer for running a great race. It’s going to be difficult to reconcile all the conflicting opinions in town, but I promise to keep an open mind and welcome the dialogue, as always.

After a wonderful and surreal night, my most sincere thanks go out to all of you for your support, encouragement and your votes.

(Top photo by David Stubbs; Larkin statue by Phil Douglis)

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Posted under From the Publisher, Politics, Town Government

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First Lady touts opportunity

By Jim Stanford on August 11, 2012

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First Lady Michelle Obama addresses a Jackson audience today during a fund-raising visit to Snow King Resort. Photo via Elizabeth Storer.

The upcoming election offers a clear choice in values, and President Obama is best suited to preserve opportunity for all Americans because of his upbringing, First Lady Michelle Obama said during a campaign stop in Jackson today.

“He knows the American dream because he’s lived it,” Obama told a standing crowd of nearly 500 people in the Snow King ballroom.

The first lady recounted her own story of growing up the daughter of a pump operator in Chicago. Neither of her parents had a college degree.

“He saved for us and sacrificed for us,” she said of her father. “Education was everything for us.”

Barack Obama was the son of a single mother who struggled to put herself through college, and his grandmother hit glass ceilings in the workplace because she was a woman, Obama said. When it comes time to make tough decisions in the White House, the president relies on his life experiences, she said.

And once you have walked through the door of opportunity, “You do not slam it shut behind you,” Obama said, in a pointed rebuke of Mitt Romney.

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Posted under Democratic Party, Politics, Wyoming

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Michelle Obama coming to Teton County

By Jim Stanford on July 27, 2012

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The first lady will attend a fund-raiser and perhaps other events.

Republicans burned stacks of money earlier this month to attend a fund-raiser in Jackson Hole featuring the frightful combination of Dick Cheney and Mitt Romney.

Well, Teton County Democrats will see that and raise you, with an even bigger political luminary: Michelle Obama.

That’s right, the first lady. Tender of the White House vegetable garden. Champion of healthier kids. Pipes.

And this event won’t just be for the 1 Percent.

The Obama campaign has released details for the fund-raising luncheon Aug. 11 at Snow King Resort. The public can attend a reception for as little as $25 per person. Space is limited, so make reservations now.

County Democratic Party leaders have known about the event for two weeks, but campaign staff in D.C. gave few details, other than a date. A buzz already has been spreading around the community.

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Posted under Democratic Party, Politics

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grow up to be a rock star

By Jim Stanford on June 12, 2012

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Leo Nocentelli at Jazz Fest.

At a recent New Orleans Musicians for Obama benefit, I was leaning against the bar, uploading a photo from my phone, when I heard someone sidle up next to me and order a coke. I turned to see one of the performers, Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli.

“Hey, Leo,” I said. “I’m from Wyoming. I hear you’re coming our way this summer for a music camp.”

“Jackson Hole,” he said in the most cool-cat voice imaginable. “Check it out.”

The funk master behind such classics as “Cissy Strut” is indeed part of the staff for the Jackson Hole Rock Camp on July 9-13. Also lending their talents are DJ Logic and hip-hop artist Brother Ali, among other distinguished players.

The camp is for kids 12 and older, and instruction will cover a variety of instruments. Given the teachers, don’t be surprised if some “big kids” hang around the classroom, too. Scholarships ($650) are available.

In 2008, Nocentelli played one of the most impressive gigs ever held at Center for the Arts, a show that unfortunately too few got to see.

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Fat Tuesday at the White House

By Jim Stanford on February 22, 2012

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It’s good to be the president, especially when the house band on Mardi Gras features B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Mick Jagger, backed by Jeff Beck, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Trombone Shorty and Gary Clark Jr., among others. And, of course, the ever-smooth Barry O. on vocals.

The celebration of the blues was the latest in a series of concerts First Lady Michelle Obama has organized honoring American music.

From the Washington Post review:

‘This music speaks to something universal,’ the president said before introducing King. ‘No one goes through life without both joy and pain, triumph and sorrow. The blues gets all of that.’

PBS will broadcast the show Feb. 27. “Previous performances in the series have saluted the music of the civil rights era, Motown and Broadway, as well as jazz, country (twice), classical and Latin music,” the Post reported.

(Via Teton Dems)

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