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Preaching to the Converted

Since March, HARVEY DOSIK has been manning the Committee to Defeat GEORGE BUSH table several times a week, often outside Bookshop Santa Cruz and the Nickelodeon. And during that time, people have asked if he isn't just preaching to the choir by doing what he's doing in the Cruz of all places, which as we all know is one of the world's Top 10 anti-Bush energy vortexes.

"Yes, and that's exactly what I want to do," says Dosik of the preaching-to-the-choir charge. "I see my job not as convincing Republicans or Independents to change their vote, but as energizing the Democratic base, because if all the Democrats vote, we win."

With the Nov. 2 election only two months away, Dosik now plans to bus some of this anti-Bush energy to Nevada, Arizona and Oregon--the three swing states that border California--to register swing voters and thus get Bush out of his commander-in-chief playsuit.

"If you're thinking about doing something in this election, then this is the thing to do," says Dosik, who believes that the greatest danger to the United States is the "hubris" the Bush administration "is expressing in its relationship to its allies and the Muslim world."

With the first swing-state bus leaving for Nevada on Aug. 27, Dosik notes that he's a firm believer in mixing business with pleasure.

"We've rented rooms in a small motel in Kyburz on the Truckee River," he says. "We're gonna do a barbecue Friday night, and we'll spend Saturday in Reno, all for $100. If you can't make that trip, consider the September trip to Arizona, or the October trip to Oregon, or sponsor someone else." For details, call 831.420.1469 or email [email protected]


As it happens, the Kerry campaign also plans to send Californians to swing states, but not until the last three weeks of the presidential campaign. Until then, local efforts to dislodge the Bushistas will focus on phone banks to swing states and a letter-writing campaign to single women in South Carolina. This is according to CASSADY MONSEN, media spokesman for the United Democratic Campaigns HQ, which has set up a local shop on the ground floor of the Galleria at 140 Front St., and has info on Dem policies and candidates, including John Kerry for prez, BARBARA BOXER for Senate, ANNA ESHOO and SAM FARR for Congress, JOE SIMITIAN and PEG PINARD for state Senate, JOHN LAIRD and SIMON SALINAS for state Assembly and MARK STONE for county supe.

Monsen is possibly the single most Kerry-savvy person Nüz has met so far in the Cruz, a town that's still in danger of being renamed Kucinichstan, even though the Democratic National Convention has made sure that Dennis isn't a real menace to Kerry, at least not during this all-important presidential race.

As it happens, Monsen started off as an Al Sharpton fan, while still at UCSC, and admits that he originally thought Kerry too centrist.

"Then I realized that a president has to be able to reach a soccer mom from Florida as well as a steel mill worker from Pennsylvania. And since listening to Kerry debating and researching his positions in depth, I'm definitely a Kerry fan, not just anti-Bush," says Monsen, who heard his current political hero talk at San Jose State.

"Kerry--he had in-depth policies, not just sound bites," Monsen recalls, sounding for all the world like a member of Generation Bush‚ those poor kids who came of age to the shocking realization that their prez knows less about everything than even they do.

"Much has been made of the supposed liberal elitism surrounding a Massachusetts senator, but the real question is, 'How is your job, your bills, your credit cards and your health insurance?' Bush has to rely on the politics of fear and the great U.S. cultural divide, because he has nothing else to offer," says Monsen.

He hopes MICHAEL MOORE's Fahrenheit 9/11 will get out the vote.

"If you're in politics, the information wasn't new, but the footage was, particularly the scenes from Iraq," he says. "We need to see that footage to understand why the world is so upset at our foreign policy."

You can contact the UDC HQ at 831.423.8123.

More Moore

Speaking of the baseball-cap-wearing icon, The Santa Cruz Michael Moore Fest plays at the Rio Theatre, 7pm, Aug. 26, and features The Big One and excerpts from Moore's TV series The Awful Truth, plus a raffle of Michael Moore DVDs and books; a $5 donation is requested. [email protected] for more Moore details.

Fall Out

Aug. 6 being the anniversary of Hiroshima Day, local activist GRANT WILSON decided to participate in a visit by a local "Weapons of Mass Destruction inspector's team" to Lockheed Martin's Bonny Doon facility--a visit Wilson says went "well," with CHP officers and sheriff's deputies giving rides to elderly activists who were having difficulty walking up the steep approach to the site.

"It was cool. Some cops had a positive take on what we were doing," says Wilson.

He then headed to a member's-only preview at the Museum of Art and History, still wearing face makeup and his weapons inspector costume, which he describes as "a business suit, half of which was regular, the other shredded and burned, because as an American I feel half victim and half perpetrator."

All of which sounds artsy in a historic kinda way but apparently didn't sit well with MAH executive director PAUL FIGUEROA, who asked Wilson to leave because his costume was making members uncomfortable.

"As an art and culture advocate and activist, it felt like a bit of a slap in the face," says Wilson, who is both a MAH member and volunteer, and founded the political street theater group, Art & Revolution.

Asked if he could have simply cordoned off Wilson as a live exhibit, Figueroa admitted that he was "probably just a little heavy-handed" with Wilson, but maintained that the activist's outfit was "inappropriate at a reception, which was a very positive celebration of what is good and great about the show and about contemporary art. Protest is protest, and maybe we need to make an opportunity for that kind of visual expression, when it would be beneficial--and when the members would know what to expect."

Nüz just loves juicy tips: Drop a line to 115 Cooper St, Santa Cruz, 95060, email us at , or call our hotline at 457.9000, ext 214.

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From the August 25-September 1, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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