Organizers of California Draft Gore, a grassroots statewide campaign to put Al Gore’s name on the California presidential primary ballot, announced today that they’re shutting down.
“We have recently received a communication from a member of Al Gore’s staff discouraging any efforts to put Al Gore’s name on the primary ballot,” stated Roy Gayhart, organizer for the statewide campaign. “Accordingly, effectively immediately, we have ceased our signature collection and related fund raising activities.”
Draft Gore leader Monica Friedlander of Berkeley said the California Draft Gore group was gathering signatures to place Gore’s name on the ballot, while her group’s only goal is to influence his decision to get into the race. “We will continue to do that as long as we think theres a reasonable chance to accomplish that,” she told me today. “We have not received any communications indicating our efforts are anything but appreciated… and we have the freedom to continue as long as we think it can make a difference.”
Read more of California Draft Gore’s news release after the jump…
Here’s the rest of the release:
More than 1,000 Californians had volunteered to collect signatures ballot across the state to qualify Al Gore’s name to be placed on the February 5, 2008 presidential primary. The California Election Code allows for a candidate’s name to be placed on the ballot if at least 500 registered Democrats’ signatures are obtained from each of the state’s congressional districts during the period from October 8th until December 4th.
“We were doing well collecting signatures in the urban districts and were behind in some of the rural districts,” said Gayhart. “We had raised money to hire professional petition circulators to help us close out the rural districts when we received the communication. With three weeks to go, we were confident of succeeding.”
Many of the Gore volunteers spoke of the experience of finding so much support for Al Gore throughout California. “It was remarkable to watch hundreds of people smile and without saying a word sign a nomination paper to place Al Gore’s name on our state’s primary ballot,” stated Suzanne Harris, a campaign coordinator from Los Angeles. “They got it.”
Others shared the significance of what the California campaign has meant. Susan Rowe, a coordinator from Coarsegold perhaps said it best, “Over the past several months California Draft Gore and the national draft Gore movement has become a force to be reckoned with. The other presidential candidates need to shift their message on climate protection. None of them has yet come close to embracing the position that must be adopted in order slow down global warming. We must preserve and protect our nation and our planet for the future generations to come.” Marta Jorgensen, a coordinator from Solvang added, “We have created the foundation for a new political movement, one that is not based on the old ideology of yesterday, but on how the world is today.”