A healthy debate
Thu, Aug 20, 2009 (midnight)
Judging by the fired-up crowd at an informal town-hall meeting at Stoney’s Rockin’ Country Friday evening, hosted by conservative KDWN 720-AM, supporters of Barack Obama’s health-care reform agenda have their work cut out for them. The crowd of nearly 1,000 came to express opposition to reform legislation working its way through Congress. “They’re trying to make this a socialist state!” cried one attendee. “I want to die in a democratic republic.” Thankfully, no talk of death panels. On the other side, Organizing for America, the offshoot of Obama’s vaunted campaign machine, has been busy. “We’re not going to lie down and let this go,” says local canvasser Sue Brooks. “We’re going to fight for it. [Health-care reform] is what we need. It’s what the country needs.” Sharing office space with the Nevada Democratic Party, OFA has had staff in Nevada since June; volunteers are targeting high-traffic sites such as DMV offices and supermarkets. The group is also running phone banks and last month organized a listening tour through rural Nevada. The response, they say, has been good. It’s nothing flashy, says Red Rock Democratic Club head Steve Fernlund, “but it’s perfect grassroots organizing.” The kind that won their boss his job.