Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The sweet taste of victory

On election night I was at the headquarters of Gabrielle Giffords. Gabby executed a flawless campaign and handily won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives at the age of 36.

I was the creator and have been the watchdog for her biographical entry in Wikipedia which you can read at

Wikipedia: Giffords biographical article.

I remain the principal author of this, though anyone can edit it. It's been an interesting experience for me. I created the article in June. In mid-July a young Australian and avid Wikipedian nominated it for deletion. After ten days of debate, the administrators at Wikipedia chose to keep it.

Since then a few things have happened that I found noteworthy.

Somebody thought it was important to note Giffords religion. This was interesting to me because I didn't know what her religion was, and I don't see how it is relevant for us to know the religion of our politicians. I recognize many don't share this view.

Another Wiki/Giffords issue: since her election this week, various people have called her Congressman, Senator, Junior Senator, and U.S. Representative. I keep editing these away. She is Congresswoman-elect, or U.S. Representative-elect. Only I would get stuck on such things. Well, apparently others get hung up on them too.

; )

Finally, there is an edit war going on regarding her positions on immigration reform. Nativists (most of whom strongly supported her Republican opponent) insist on calling Giffords's and Bush's idea on immigration reform "amnesty." The rest of us like to think of it as "immigration reform." I've stayed out of this one, but people keep changing the terms, back and forth, and back and . . .

I had the honor of speaking with Gabby briefly on election night. It takes an amazing person to do what she has done and to do it with such dignity and grace.

In addition to the Wiki article I raised somewhere between $1,500 and about $2,300 for her. This is not much in the broader scheme of things, but everything helps. Thanks to mis amigos that helped! We have to do this if we want to send our people to Washington. Like it or not, it takes money to run a campaign.

It's been a priveledge to have had the chance to get to know Gabby this year, to support her, and to help see her off to Washington!

I give Gabby a large amount of credit for my conversion to becoming a Democrat. Somehow it felt safe. It's strange how deeply rooted our politics can be. My Republican roots stopped feeding me by 1996 or so, I realized it and considered myself primarily an independent from that point on. My vote for Kerry in 2004 was difficult, I didn't like him but thought he was the best choice. People like Gabby and other friends in Arizona have allowed me to feel good about becoming a Democrat.

Thanks, and go Gabby!

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