O’Malley Grassroots Effort Chugging Along, Holding 30 House Parties Wednesday

While Hillary Clinton faces email questions, Bernie Sanders draws large crowds but also protests and Donald Trump dominates every headline, Martin O’Malley has been diligently working the Iowa campaign trail. Since his announcement at the end of May, he’s been in Iowa more than any other Democrat. This week his campaign looks to show off some of the organizational strength they’ve built in that time by holding 30 house parties on Wednesday in all parts of Iowa.

This will be the O’Malley Iowa campaign’s first official “Day of Action,” a tactic many campaigns use to activate supporters throughout the state. O’Malley will call into the house parties, and the campaign says they’re excited to have supporters welcome friends and neighbors into their home to learn more about the former Maryland Governor.

“I think there are a lot of people who are keeping their powder dry on this one and the story of this caucus has yet to be written,” says George Appleby, who’s looking forward to hosting the Des Moines event to tell more potential caucus-goers about O’Malley’s experience. “He’s the new guy on the block … When people see him, people like him. People recognize that this is a serious contender, this guy could be President.”

Appleby first met O’Malley over thirty years ago when O’Malley worked for Gary Hart’s presidential campaign in Iowa. Since then, Appleby has been involved in organizing for candidates in every Iowa Caucus.

“We’re getting a lot of opportunities to talk to people and show them the campaign is listening, that Governor O’Malley is listening,” says Kennedy Green, a volunteer for the campaign in Des Moines. “They also want policy, they want something to chew on … I’ve really been lucky to give people policy papers to show them the 15 goals.”

The house parties look to spread the word about O’Malley’s recently-released “15 Goals to Rebuild the American Dream,” the details of which can be found here. They include some issues that don’t always get top billing in presidential campaigns, including reducing drug overdose deaths, ending childhood hunger and restrictions on speculative banking. The house party setting should serve as a more useful outlet for discussing the large policy agenda; 15-point plans aren’t the easiest thing to work into applause lines in speeches. And Iowa caucus-goers (particularly the activist type that O’Malley has been attracting) typically enjoy getting into the policy minutia.

“We’re building relationships, hitting the phones, driving around, walking around and going to events,” says Brendan McGuire, who has also been volunteering for O’Malley in Des Moines. “Every time we talk to someone we get a new supporter. Every time they see Governor O’Malley speak, they get really stoked up.”

“I’m looking for someone who not only shares my values, but also actually gets stuff done and Martin O’Malley is that man,” adds McGuire of why he’s been supporting O’Malley.

“The way the Iowa Caucus works is person-to-person and the candidate who’s building that ground network, and we’re definitely doing that,” says Kristin Sosanie, a spokesperson for the Iowa campaign.

Here’s some of the events sent out to the media. You can check the O’Malley website for ones that might be closer to you if these aren’t:

Des Moines House Party, hosted by George Appleby
When: Wednesday, August 26th at 7pm CDT
Where: O’Malley for President Field Office; 405 SW 8th Street, Des Moines, IA

Ottumwa House Party, hosted by Bob Beisch
Guest speaker: Melinda Jones, current Wapello County Chair
When: Wednesday, August 26th at 7pm CDT
Where: Home of Bob Beisch; 2062 Great Oak Drive, Ottumwa, IA

Sioux City House Party, hosted by Brad and Wendy Lego
When: Wednesday, August 26th at 7pm CDT
Where: Home of Brad and Wendy Lego; 1213 46th St., Sioux City, IA

Manchester House Party, hosted by Julie Hooker
When: Wednesday, August 26th at 7pm CDT
Where: Home of Julie Hooker; 137 East Prospect, Manchester, IA

Grinnell House Party, hosted by Joel Baumann, Greg Margida, and Kevin Anderson
Guest Speaker: William O’Malley
When: Wednesday, August 26th at 7pm CDT
Where: TBA

Iowa State University Party, hosted by Evan Abramsky
When: Wednesday, August 26th at 7pm CDT
Where: Stomping Grounds Coffee; 303 Welch Ave #101, Ames, IA

Mount Pleasant House Party, hosted by Bob Petrzelka
Guest Speaker: Henry County Chair Mary Hoyer
When: Wednesday, August 26th at 7pm CDT
Where: Home of Bob Petrzelka; 609 E Monroe St., Mount Pleasant, IA

Council Bluffs Party
When: Wednesday, August 26th at 7pm CDT
Where: Council Bluffs Public Library; 400 Willow Ave, Council Bluffs, IA


by Pat Rynard
Posted 8/25/15

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