In states around the country, leaders are establishing Fix the Debt chapters to work directly with citizens and their local representatives, businesses and organizations to push our elected officials in Washington to find a solution to our country’s crippling federal debt.
We’ve gathered highlights from each of the recent chapter launches — in Wisconsin, South Carolina, Tennessee, Maine, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, Georgia, Florida, Colorado, and Washington — and at the end we have a couple ideas for ways you can get involved!
In the Badger State …
Former Congressman and Fix the Debt-Wisconsin’s Co-Chair Scott Klug discussed the campaign on Wisconsin Radio Network. Klug noted that both Republicans and Democrats agree that something has to be done to get the national debt under control.
WisPolitics and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covered the campaign launch in the media (in screenshot above), with the MJS stressing that as politicians in Washington continue to bicker about solutions to the debt, the Fix the Debt-Wisconsin steering committee includes “a bipartisan group of prominent state leaders [who have pledged] to work together to force action on the issue.”
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abel issued a press release regarding his role on the state steering committee. Abel highlighted his own work controlling spending in Milwaukee, before referring to this “bipartisan movement that is looking to do the same on a national level.”
Abel also held a call with grassroots supporters to discuss ways in which they could become engaged in the Fix the Debt campaign in Wisconsin.
In the Palmetto State …
The State News, the largest newspaper in South Carolina, ran a story about the launch and the involvement of our bipartisan co-chairs, former South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster (in photo at left) and State Representative Leon Stavrinakis (in photo at right).
Photo credit: Erick Ferris
The West Ashley Patch quoted McMaster who during the launch conveyed that the campaign would “provide everyone with the facts and figures so that they can make the case to their elected representatives that this is something that needs to be done.”
Fits News, the most widely read blog in South Carolina, published a blog post about our launch event, and the post received over 500 Facebook ‘Likes’ (in screenshot above)!
In the Volunteer State …
Photo caption: Former US Representative to Tennessee, Lincoln Davis.
The Nashville Post’s Ken Whitehouse covered the Fix the Debt launch, calling the state steering committee “a bipartisan "Who's Who" of state politics.’”
The Chattanoogan referred to the bipartisan nature of the state chapter and its business leadership led by Franklin CEO Tim Pagliara, and how it represented “growing efforts to bring concerned individuals together all across the state to encourage federal lawmakers to address the ballooning national debt.”
The Tennessean’s Chas Sisk also covered the Fix the Debt launch, particularly the roles being played by former Governors Winfield Dunn and Phil Bredesen, as well as former Congressman Lincoln Davis, who “are backing an effort to pressure Washington lawmakers to reduce the federal debt.”
In the Pine Tree State …
Matthew Stone, a reporter with the Bangor Daily News, reported on the Fix the Debt launch in Portland highlighting the roles being played by Bennett and Baldacci and how in the short term, the campaign will “form a steering committee of business and community leaders and host town hall meetings across the state to raise awareness about the debt, and hear from residents about their debt-related concerns.”
John Richardson of the Kennebec Journal, noted how state steering committee co-chairs, former Governor John Baldacci and former State Senate President Rick Bennett, may have “battled each other in a race for Congress in 1994,” but are now working together to “avoid automatic spending cuts and tax increases that could send the economy back into a recession.”
Patty B. Wright covered the launch for Maine Public Radio and stressed the bipartisan nature of the campaign, particularly how both Bennett and Baldacci, two former rivals, had joined the campaign “to bring the U.S. debt to sustainable levels.”
Photo caption: Former Gov. John Baldacci, left, and Rick Bennett, right, at a Fix the Debt news conference in Portland on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Credit: John Richardson.
In the Keystone State …
PAMatters.com noted that with the presidential election still in full flow, at “least one campaign is bringing together both Democrats and Republicans this election season.” The news item highlighted the prominence of individuals from Pennsylvania on the Fix the Debt campaign: “former Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA) is a co-chair of the national campaign and former Governor Mark Schweiker (R-PA) is a member of the Pennsylvania Steering Committee.”
In its ‘Morning Buzz’ e-newsletter that is sent to thousands of readers, PoliticsPA referred to the state chapter launch: “Business leaders, pols rally for debt-reduction plan.”
Pennsylvania Independent, Watchdog.org, The Doylestown, Buckingham and New Britain Patch all ran a story by Melissa Daniels about the state chapter launch. Daniels highlighted how Pennsylvania’s “13-person steering committee includes business leaders, party chairs from both sides of the aisle and county commissioners.”
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review referred to “the well-known Pennsylvania politicos and businessmen” who have formed part of the “new “Fix the Debt” campaign” to urge “policymakers to address the impending ‘fiscal cliff’ and steer the national debt toward long-term sustainability.”
And stay tuned: in the next few days we’ll announce details for a conference call just for Fix the Debt citizens petition signers to get up to speed on the campaign here in Pennsylvania.
In the Buckeye State ...
Former Ohio Governor and Senator George Voinovich agreed to become a co-chair of our state steering committee. During his time in Washington, former Senator Voinovich was a steadfast advocate for fiscal discipline and provided testimony before the Senate Budget Committee in November 2009 on this very issue.
The Dayton Daily News covered the launch, particularly the key role being played by former Senator Voinovich. During the launch former Senator Voinovich was critical of both President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney for “not having a plan” to bring federal “debt on a downward path.”
The Columbus Dispatch also focused on former Senator Voinovich’s participation. Voinovich noted that any solution “is going to take some courageous people. But we’re going to have to do some tough things for the benefit of our children and grandchildren.”
In the Granite State …
The New Hampshire field team held a lively Fix the Debt state launch press conference in the New Hampshire State House Complex. Media in attendance included the Associated Press, the Union Leader, New Hampshire Public Radio, WBIN-TV, the Telegraph, the Concord Monitor, and WMUR.com.
Photo caption: Tyler Peaton, left, and state Rep. Don LeBrun are seen as a bipartisan group launches a campaign in New Hampshire calling on policymakers to address the looming and growing national debt Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
On the morning of the event, AP sent out an electronic media “summary” of the day’s events, and eight radio stations reported on the press conference. In addition, 22 articles and publications that covered the story.
The New Hampshire launch event was very well attended and included the following notable attendees: Mayor Donnalee Lozeau (R) of Nashua; State Senator Lou D’Allesandro (D) of Manchester (in photo, middle); Dawn Wivell, former director of International Trade Resource Council (in photo); and former Congressman and former Ambassador to Denmark Dick Swett (D) (in photo, left). (Photo credit: Emily Corwin / NHPR)
In the Peach State …
GeorgiaReport.com ran an article by Tom Crawford titled “’Fix the Debt’ Group Launches Drive to Fix the Debt”.
Atlanta Business Chronicle (in screenshot above) covered the Georgia event as well as the issue of the debt and noted that the Georgia co-chairs are calling on “Republicans and Democrats in Washington to put aside their political differences and address a growing problem.”
Campaign co-chairs Martha Zoller (in photo above), national media personality and author, and Rick Allen, a business owner, were featured in Georgia Tipsheet’s coverage of the launch. Zoller noted that the debt is America’s “number one national security issue, fiscal issue and economic issue.”
In the Sunshine State …
The Miami Herald’s political blog covered the campaign launch, with Tampa city councilwoman and Florida Steering Committee member Mary Mulhern saying, "I think citizens of all parties are concerned about our huge national debt and I welcome this opportunity to contribute to non-partisan solutions.”
The Tampa Bay Times’ Buzz blog published a story and noted that the campaign is made up of elected officials, business leaders and academics, among others, including "attorney Justin Sayfie, a Republican political operative, former gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, a Tampa Democrat, Republican Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe, and Rebeca Sosa, a Republican Miami-Dade County Commissioner.”
In the Centennial State …
Senator Udall and Senator Bennet sent the news release to their Colorado press lists and Co-Chair Governor Dick Lamm recorded an audio news release to be distributed throughout the state.
Two of state’s steering committee members – County Commissioner Sean Conway and State Rep. Lois Court – held a grassroots conference call. Over 4,000 Coloradans who had signed the petition were invited to the call via email.
Following the state launch, Colorado Public Radio published a news story about the fiscal cliff and Colorado’s state budget.
Before the first presidential debate in Colorado, the Denver Post published a piece on Fix the Debt and mentioned that the campaign would be coming to Colorado.
You can check out this video of Fix the Debt at the Colorado debate:
In the Evergreen State …
The Tacoma News Tribune noted that the coalition is hoping to revive ideas is seeking bipartisan solutions to the debt crisis and its local chapter is being led by Co-Chairs State Senator Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, and Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt.
State Senator and Fix the Debt-Washinton’s Co-Chair Steve Hobbs was quoted in the Seattle Times. “We need bipartisan solutions that put every option on the table to stem the debt tide,” Hobbs said.
The Daily Olympian covered the launch event and noted that the bi-partisan coalition is focused on “avoiding the fiscal cliff” and “making debt reduction a primary issue.”
You Too ...
Here are a couple things you can do right away to help keep the momentum going:
- Print off a page of Fix the Debt letterhead, write the reason you care about the debt on it, take a picture of you (or your kids, family, or neighbors) holding the sign, and submit the photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Grow our petition numbers by sharing the petition with 5 people.
- Download the activist toolkit and get started building a Fix the Debt group in your community.
- Share our latest greatest interesting posts with your networks on Twitter and Facebook.