On this day in history>>
First Black Elected to Head Harvard’s Law Review
By FOX BUTTERFIELD, Special to The New York Times
Published: February 6, 1990
The Harvard Law Review, generally considered the most prestigious in the country, elected the first black president in its 104-year history today. The job is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School.
The new president of the Review is Barack Obama, a 28-year-old graduate of Columbia University who spent four years heading a community development program for poor blacks on Chicago’s South Side before enrolling in law school. His late father, Barack Obama, was a finance minister in Kenya and his mother, Ann Dunham, is an American anthropologist now doing fieldwork in Indonesia. Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii.
”The fact that I’ve been elected shows a lot of progress,” Mr. Obama said today in an interview. ”It’s encouraging.
”But it’s important that stories like mine aren’t used to say that everything is O.K. for blacks. You have to remember that for every one of me, there are hundreds or thousands of black students with at least equal talent who don’t get a chance,” he said, alluding to poverty or growing up in a drug environment.
What a Law Review Does
Law reviews, which are edited by students, play a double role at law schools, providing a chance for students to improve their legal research and writing, and at the same time offering judges and scholars a forum for new legal arguments. The Harvard Law Review is generally considered the most widely cited of the student law reviews.
On his goals in his new post, Mr. Obama said: ”I personally am interested in pushing a strong minority perspective. I’m fairly opinionated about this. But as president of the law review, I have a limited role as only first among equals.”
Therefore, Mr. Obama said, he would concentrate on making the review a ”forum for debate,” bringing in new writers and pushing for livelier, more accessible writing.
A President’s Future
The president of the law review usually goes on to serve as a clerk for a judge on the Federal Court of Appeals for a year, and then as a clerk for an associate justice of the Supreme Court. Mr. Obama said he planned to spend two or three years in private law practice and then return to Chicago to re-enter community work, either in politics or in local organizing.
Professors and students at the law school reacted cautiously to Mr. Obama’s selection. ”For better or for worse, people will view it as historically significant,” said Prof. Randall Kennedy, who teaches contracts and race relations law. ”But I hope it won’t overwhelm this individual student’s achievement.”
Change in Selection System
Mr. Obama was elected after a meeting of the review’s 80 editors that convened Sunday and lasted until early this morning, a participant said.
Until the 1970’s the editors were picked on the basis of grades, and the president of the Law Review was the student with the highest academic rank. Among these were Elliot L. Richardson, the former Attorney General, and Irwin Griswold, a dean of the Harvard Law School and Solicitor General under Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon.
That system came under attack in the 1970’s and was replaced by a program in which about half the editors are chosen for their grades and the other half are chosen by fellow students after a special writing competition. The new system, disputed when it began, was meant to help ensure that minority students became editors of The Law Review.
Harvard, like a number of other top law schools, no longer ranks its law students for any purpose including a guide to recruiters.
Blacks at Harvard: New High
Black enrollment at Harvard Law School, after a dip in the mid-1980’s, has reached a record high this year, said Joyce Curll, the director of admissions. Of the 1,620 students in the three-year school, 12.5 percent this year are blacks, she said, and 14 percent of the first-year class are black. Nationwide enrollment by blacks in undergraduate colleges has dropped in recent years.
Mr. Obama succeeds Peter Yu, a first-generation Chinese-American, as president of The Law Review. After graduation, Mr. Yu plans to serve as a clerk for Chief Judge Patricia Wald on the of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Mr. Yu said Mr. Obama’s election ”was a choice on the merits, but others may read something into it.”
The first female editor of The Harvard Law Review was Susan Estrich, in 1977, who recently resigned as a professor at Harvard Law School to take a similar post at the University of Southern California. Ms. Estrich was campaign manager for Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts in his campaign for the Presidency in 1988.
photo: Barack Obama was elected yesterday as president of the Harvard Law Review. He is the first black to hold the position. (The New York Times/Jim Bourg)
**Article from Archives of The New York Times**
This topic comes UP alot these days..It came up recently while I was chatting with a friend; I decided then I was going to bring it to my blog to dialogue. A taboo topic that need not be taboo IF folks could/would..speak openly & honestly about IT. Very hopeful to make that happen here as I do what only I can do; the way I do it..Sincerely & with finesse, somewhat?>
>WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Arizona, a state that has clashed repeatedly with the federal government on the issue of immigration, will be back at the Supreme Court on Monday defending a state law that requires proof of citizenship in order to register to vote in elections.
< I want to be clear before I dig into this topic. I’ve had issues with Arizona’s proposed citizenship law; since its very inception. Living in California at the time & quite in-the-know-about-politics(I once ran for office long ago..) ; I understood the law for what it was/IS. Voter suppression. Point blank. For the record there are already laws/statues in place for voter identity. (to ensure folks that vote are indeed American citizens) The proposed Arizona law desires measures in ADDITION to what the Federal law already requires(according to the National Voter Registration Act) Take into account Arizona didn’t introduce the idea for this law; until a very eligible Black American ran for President. Also take into account Arizona was one of the very last states(they held out, with New Hampshire, until they received a litany of heavy criticism) to make MLK, Jr birthday a paid state holiday. Coincidental? I don’t think so…Lets dig a bit deeper>
We have a fear about talking about RACE ISSUES in America..Its like a dirty little secret that the ENTIRE world knows about(that our country was built, including majority of D.C., on the backs of slaves…) and yet; it’s not talked about openly in public. Because of this being factual is my belief that racism can still exist in our country. Or least that is one of the reasons . Can’t work to erase something that “allegedly” is already dealt with…But even a blind, deaf-mute knows that the days of racism/racist attitudes/racist beliefs/racist tendencies are far from over>
*I could keep my head buried in the sand..Act as if racism is truly dead in a country I love..On a daily basis living as a Black American woman I’m not physically touched by racism..But our Black men, America’s Black MEN, are catching HELL..As a mother of 3 grown Black beautiful Black men I simply can’t pretend racism is dead. As an American I can’t turn a deaf ear & blind eye either. How many more Martin Trayvons, Chavis Carters, & Oscar Grants have to die for us to openly discuss race issues in our country? Very well could’ve been one of MY sons..two of whom are fond of wearing hoodies from time2time. To think the unthinkable could happen to them or ANY law-abiding citizen in our country; is more than I can bear to think. And more than enough to motivate me to use my freedom of speech to speak on IT..yet another thing I love about my country@freedom of speech & thought. I think therefore I blog>
I wonder everyonceinagreatwhile IF I weren’t Black if I’d care so much that racism still exists..IF I were privy to White privilege would I feel racist beliefs/treatment were unjust? IF I were White would I turn a blind eye to people’s freedom & lives being taken away without justified reason? I’d like to think I’d still feel the same as I do now. Matter of fact I’m almost willing to bet I would; because I’ve got an enormous heart. Wrong is wrong no matter the color of a person’s skin/ethnic background/cultural foundation/personal belief system.
If you start a sentence with, I’m not racist because…More than likely you probably are or have racist tendencies. And for the love of God; I wish folks would stop saying I’ve got Black/White friends so I’m not racist. As IF! I’ve said it before & I’ll say it one ‘mo time; that only means you’ve got Black or White friends. I don’t try to dis-prove or UNprove anything; or least I try not to. What I attempt to do is love & accept everyone..That inofitself has been something that is an on-going process. As I’ve evolved as I’ve learned more about different cultures and life styles; my level of acceptance has broadened. I really can’t express it any other way..So read between the lines. I believe that IGNORANCE is what lies as the foundation of racism & prejudice. What folks don’t understand or know about; they often form negative opinions about. What can also feed a person’s belief system is = what they’re taught as children. Thankfully I was taught self-pride/cultural pride/LOVE. But what about children that were taught to hate from birth? I wasn’t one who thought racism would die overnight because we’d elected a Black POTUS. Rome wasn’t built in a day; and something it took many moons to create will take more than a minute to change…What I do think is that as a country WE can do better. The next 4 years will be a time of great positive change for our country..Or so its my belief based on many factors. That is another topic for another time. However having said all of that; there is NO time like the present to do what is right. I’m hoping we can do it together. *One love*
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**This is one of my fave topics in the entire world. In this life time. LOVE..So kick back, get comfy, grab a snack because I’m on ONE this morning! And I’m ready to talk about love; the way I see IT. Sorry folks but I can’t think like a MAN. Though I’ve got the “Act Like A Lady” part well practiced & lived for years. Why can’t I think like a MAN? Quite simply because I’m not one! And though I can “appreciate” my bro Steve Harvey’s “opinion” on love matters…I’ve got my own. Comes quite naturally for me 2 think with my heart & its mandatory that my future man be capable of doing the same. Here I go! I’m diving IN head first…
**For the YOUTH I hope, and pray! ya’ll don’t let the mass “failure” , yep! I said it, of love relationships scare you from falling IN love. I hope you find a good example out there, somewhere, of a solid, true love relationship to have some guidelines @what a loving relationship even looks like. As I’ve matured & trying to age oh! so gracefully I’ve come to learn alot of folks don’t have that..I’ve met far few people who are from homes that weren’t broken; than not. I’m blessed in many, many ways..took me so long to come to realize that. Might sound like bragging but it is simply the truth. Fighting the urge to digress ….Simply said as a child of life long parents IN love/still married/life partners; I had no excuse to fail at marriage. Right? Mayhaps…so instead of beating self UP(done enough of that over the years..) I’ve decided to look back on my love relationships, briefly, to discern what the lesson was/IS. My sum UP(a Berna’ism) from experiencing being “in love” 3 times; is that I’m pretty dang fortunate. Only married one of them and friends still with all 3 of them…Let love begin with friendship. Why? Because love that is allowed to grow from a friendship; never ends. You’ll no longer desire to be in a union with them; but you’ll always care for them as people. Lovers lesson #1=Choose good people with good hearts…It matters!
^There is NO substitute on this planet, in my humble opinion, than being IN love. A close runner UP to giving birth/life! to being the number 1 type of love one can experience on earth. Letting go of one’s heart strings is worth risking possibly being hurt…It has taken me years to truly believe that and to be ready once again. Being ready to love means trusting someone with your prized possession..Your HEART. For some of us that are so used to being control freaks; letting go to BE loved is not an easy task. Especially when one has been hurt before…If you’re young and have already been hurt you must first forgive whoever hurt you. And then let that hurt and pain GO. There is no chance for new love if you’ve not done that first…Exclamation mark. Period!
Love IS how you feel when in the company of the object of your affections! That is how one falls IN love..When someone else’s heart links UP with yours. Sometimes very quickly. Yep, I’m a believer in love at first sight. Not just from a visual perspective but when 2 hearts and 2 souls link UP from the onset…Has happened to me once and it was as real as real can BE. With love even the impossible is quite possible…
I think women and men are as different as any two things on this planet…I feel GOD made us soooo different to always keep things exciting/fresh; and far from boring. Just trying to link UP 2 such different ways of thinking takes alot of effort/time/patience/trust/RESPECT/understanding/COMMUNICATION..and when alll of that syncs UP it is something that NO one(no man, no woman!, nor creature) can break apart. Solid as a rock; Ashford & Simpson wrote a song about that once. But! thatsbackwhentheymadeREALsongswithREAL lyrics…
Think with your heart and trust the feelings that come about because of it…Try hard to remember IF it is meant to be; it will BE. So don’t attempt to force love. Don’t settle for ANYTHING less…if you think with your heart it is easy to discern real love from lust. For the younger woman out there never forget this=ANY man can lay down with you and have SEX…Takes “the man” your “the ONE” to make love 2 you; he will take you 2 heaven mentally! He’ll fill your thoughts ALL throughout the day and every single one of your dreams at night…I wish for ya’ll the same thing I’ve prayed for & know will enter my world this year. I can feeeeeel IT coming…Instead of just saying I’m waiting on my “the ONE” I’ve got a new name for it. I’m waiting on *MY BARACK OBAMA * to find me! Not Michelle’s(she better be glad she snagged him first cause there is a longggg line of us who wanted to be #1 ) but a different one with the same qualities(ohhh he loooooks at her with such LOVE) ; one that was created/born! just to love ME. And on that note I’m signing off….Until I read ya’ll/write ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed! 4 ever sincere, Berna(the 1 n only)
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>Common Alpha(Type A personality) Male Traits: Natural born leader. Self-confident. Demonstrate strength. VERY comfortable in their own skin. Extreme competitiveness. Always composed. Physical fitness is priority. Dominant; not aggressive. Superior social skills. Witty. Driven. Problem solver. Optimistic! Exaggerated sense of urgency=time is important/precious. (love that; NEVER a dull moment…) Good communicators. Values efficiency.
THE FOUR ALPHA TYPES:
All alpha males are aggressive, competitive, and driven to achieve. They think big, aim high, and attack their goals with courage, confidence, and tenacity. But each of the four types expresses these common qualities in different ways. Think of them as spices that add flavor to the basic alpha male recipe. Understanding their nuances will give you deeper insight into yourself and the alpha males around you, enabling you to pinpoint strengths you can build upon and risks you need to address. With this more granulated view, you can home in on a specific course of action, just as a doctor can devise a better treatment plan if she knows the exact type of infection a patient has rather than only the broad category.
Here is a brief summary of each type’s primary behavior traits:
Commanders: Intense, magnetic leaders who set the tone, mobilize the troops and energize action with authoritative strength and passionate motivation without necessarily digging into the details.
Visionaries: Curious, expansive, intuitive, proactive and future-oriented, they see possibilities and opportunities that others sometimes dismiss as impractical or unlikely and inspire others with their vision.
Strategists: Methodical, systematic, often brilliant thinkers who are oriented toward data and facts, they have excellent analytic judgment and a sharp eye for patterns and problems.
Executors: Tireless, goal-oriented doers who push plans forward with an eye for detail, relentless discipline and keen oversight, surmounting all obstacles and holding everyone accountable for their commitments.
**Alpha, the 1st Greek letter of the alphabet, has become known to “signify”..the first of anything. Animal researchers use the word to denote dominance, applying it to the Leader of the Pack, who is 1st in power & importance. With people(humans) Alpha is defined as , A person tending to assume dominance in whatever they’re involved in. They also possess the qualities /attributes /social skills/confidence for leadership. Naturally, they’re strong, result-driven achievers who insist on TOP performance from themselves & others. They’re usually turned on by bold , innovative & creative ambitious goals. At their BEST , Alpha males inspire awe and their noble leaderships skills are revered by others. I had the opportunity to partake in an upclose and personal interview of a certain very special Alpha brother who still resides in California. Though always drawn to Alpha males it was the first time I’d ever taken time to actually ask one a few questions.(and not just based on my life long observations) It yielded really great answers! that I’m going to use in my wrap UP of what I feel an Alpha male is and why they rule the/MY world..And yep, President Barack Obama is an Alpha male!
**There is a long standing myth that Alpha males can’t co-exist in a committed monogamous relationship....And while that certainly is probably the case with many Alpha males; I’ve experienced quite the opposite. In fact with someone who was/is a self-proclaimed(and lived up to this proclamation in every way) Alpha of all Alpha’s ; I experienced the best love /mature/honest /committed relationship of my entire life. I’m sure 1st Lady Michelle Obama can attest to the same as well. Real talk indeed..
**Over the course of time I asked said Alpha an array of questions @Alpha”dom”.. This was the sum of his answers, pretty much verbatim , of what living life as an Alpha has meant in his world: >He is used to getting what he wants(always) ; even if that means remaining patient to get it.< **
>>Mayhaps a combination of height & nature he was quite accustomed to being given service FIRST..even if there was a line before he walked in the door. Any and everywhere! And I witnessed this myself over the course of time. Given any group of male friends HE was , without spoken words, the leader. This I also witnessed myself. He felt his aggressiveness also meant his was abrasive; I found this to be totally untrue.(except when football was on the boob tube! OMG..but that is another story for another time) VERY protective and outstanding Father/Daddy and significant other. He made it clear to all that “I” was to be looked out for(including the many times I got lost driving! yet another story for another time..) And while the “myth” about Alpha’s is that they have to be served..I can personally attest to being absolutely spoiled(well, truth IS, I was already spoiled but even more so…) by said Alpha’s cooking/superb host skills/excellent social skills/high form of communication skills. An Alpha man has a strong desire to be #1 in every way; and works effortlessly to attain that. From A – Z …
P.S. If there just happens to be an Alpha reading that has anything 2 add or dispute(I know of at least 1 reader out there…) then by ALL means please add your 2 cents..You know you want to! Including female type A personalities. Which would actually make for an interesting addition to this piece. So hit it if you like…
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>In my heart of hearts I think it means WE didn’t get half as much as WE deserved..Why? Because a bunch of grown men are acting like children and can’t play well together in the sand box..There was cursing! that went on and more than likely emotional ‘Boner probably broke down into tears at some point. I wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall during these sessions. Lest WE forget these folks are “civil servants” which means they work for US and are only in their LOFTY positions because of the moolah! that “common working folks” pay in taxes..which funds their salaries and LIFElong health benefits. (yep, not bad for as little as a 4 yr gig, huh? ) Well, I think at this point we all know what should’ve happened or been gained; from the deals that were on the table. And should’ve happened LONG before time wound down 2 the very last minute..Question is. Does anyone out there really think IT was something that was UNdecided till the last minute as it was reported? (and highly advertised..) I do NOT think so. My opinion? I’ll save that for the follow UP after posting what the fiscal cliff deal results mean to us:
Here is the breakdown:
>I think this is about as good as it was going to get..given the circumstances President Obama is having to work with. This is hardly as good as it could’ve been or should’ve been. I think , however, this was hammered out and deals dealt between the parties, LONG before it was announced. I, for one, am truly sick N tyeeeeed of the Hollywood staged smoke N mirrors dance that comes from D.C. Do they think we’re all that gullible? I don’t want entertainment coming out of D.C. I want positive results. I want the people I voted for , whose jobs depend on MY and your vote!, to do their dang JOB. I don’t feel fighting should be allowed during these sessions. And certainly not cursing each other out. WTH? is that about??? That isn’t professional nor does it show self discipline. I personally feeeeel if one can’t maintain professional conduct they should toss them OUT..they lose their say/vote..and then move forward. Too much time is wasted with all the in-fighting. DON’T THEY REALIZE WE ARE ALL WATCHING THEM? DON’T THEY CARE THAT THEIR CHILDREN ARE WATCHING? HOW ABOUT THE FACT THAT A COUNTRY FULL OF PEOPLE DEPEND ON THEM TO GET THINGS DONE IN A TIMELY MANNER? *exhaling* I feeeeel so much better now that I got that off my chest. Am I content with this deal? I guess so…because I know it could’ve been a whole lot LESS gained. However, the fight is far from over. Yep! In a couple months it will be more of the same ..BUT hopefully next round we’ll get a little bit more out of the deal.
>Update: I’m still working on this…2day is Dec. 15th and I anticipate completing this prior to President Obama’s Inauguration date so stay tuned <
44th N 45th soon to BE
So personal its become to me
This entire political process
I sincerely have to confess
I’ve grown tyeeeed of this mess!
My feelings are difficult to compress
With sincerity and conviction I will try to express…
Who knew that even with 4 years of slow but steady progress
(And) endured every single ploy, stall tactics, N Republican tests
Having given Americans his all N his very best
That President Obama would still have to impress
Not only the fickle masses but some of his very OWN
Certainly the latter couldn’t have even possibly known
The irreversible damage done by their blatant treason
*Lord, why must some of us need more of a reason…
2 stand united other than having been born BLACK?*
I must apologize for I digress
My mental still trying to digest…
The 3 ring circus that has become our political process
Whats going to happen from day 2 day is anyone’s guess
Bear with me as I break this down N take it apart
Feeeeeling every keystroke written word in my heart**
May author of ‘Dreams of My Father’ hear my prayer
N please know for some of us this is a personal affair
Your ‘Audacity of Hope’ motivated me to keep reaching
To always dare to dream/share what I’ve learned/ N to
You’ve inspired Black children they can BE anything they aspire to be
That message also resounded ever so loudly to ME
When a little boy asked to touch your hair * a request so rare
You understood why N let him * because you truly care…
I pray for YOU each and every single day when I rise
Daily silently hoping your values you won’t compromise
Many of us know this race shouldn’t rightfully be close
Unless Americans sincerely want yet another ‘Bush dose
WE stand behind you millions mighty and forever strong
Wanting you to stay in the White House where YOU belong!
Today I felt as if I’d explode if I went a day longer without voting. I just wanted N neeeeded to get it done N over
with. I’d awakened at O’dark thirty, was already showered N dressed for Mass N alll amped UP..Plus the 2 cups of
coffee I had made me feel like I could literally run to the library to vote..but..instead I tried to patiently wait for
my Mom to get ready. We were going to head to Mass after I voted. Now I don’t know why things happen to me that
are ripe for recanting in a story but I swear anything you read from my fingertips..truly happened. So anywayz I
was standing in line outside of the library. As I said I was all amped UP and kept trying to peek over the heads in
front of me to see if the line was moving. It wasn’t. I kept mentally attempting to will the line to move cause I
didn’t want my Mom to have to wait on me. But I reallly reallly wanted to vote N get my “I voted” sticker. Done
deal-cast my vote-cause I am sure the line will be even longer during the week after I get off work. So as I was
standing there all of a sudden behind me I keep hearing the name of the “other guy that I’d NOT vote for if he was
the only one on the ballot” Over and over this woman kept saying his name. And LOUD. People started rubber
necking trying to see exactly who this was. I could hear her saying”I am going to buy a so & so shirt just like
Susie’s!” “I can’t wait till so & so wins this election!” and etc etc yada yada. Well I began to feel as if I was hearing
“the other guy’s name moreeee than I’d heard it on the boob tube” And I was sick N tired of hearing it. It took
every ounce of my Christian bearing & physical being not to turn around and say would you shut UP pleaseeeee.
But a. I didn’t want to lose my temper on my way to church! b. I didn’t want to get booted out of the line for
causing a disturbance(as IF her mouth wasn’t one) c. I don’t know how to fight N I didn’t know how sane she
was..So I just started humming to over ride her big mouth. I can’t tell you right now what the heck I was
humming. But I was secretly wishing I had my Iphone headset and I’d have plugged in to my tunes. And then the
line began to move..faster and faster and faster. I could finally see the door of the library. I began to feel
butterflies in my tummy. I could no longer hear the loud woman’s voice behind me. My entire focus was on the
library door. And a guy kept coming out saying 4 more can come in..etc..I was next in line! I was praying for the
minutes to hurry up so my Mom wasn’t waiting forever. I began to get prepared and took out my license and my
voter card. I was ready! 2nd time in my life I’d get to VOTE for President Barack Obama. 2nd time in my lifetime
I’d voted early for a brother. 2nd time in my life I felt as if my life depended on this single VOTE. I could see a
woman coming out of the library. A Sista. And she had Obama buttons allll across the front of her shirt . I didn’t
think that was allowed at a polling place. But boy was I glad to see her! I almost ran up to her & hugged her. She
nodded and smiled. And I nodded and shot her a big koooolaid grin. I had my sample ballot gripped in one hand. I
had my purse slung over my shoulder . I had my license and voter card in my other hand. I was ready. And
then..the woman who was behind me said something. Was like a mosquito buzzing around my ear that I just
wanted to SWAT. I was tired of her yapping. And she said LOUDLY I can’t believeeeee they let her in the building
with allll those Obama buttons on. I mean she was LOUD. The entire line of people froze. The Sista froze. I froze. For
a split second I think that Sista thought about clocking that woman. But we locked eyes and I shook my head.
Wasn’t worth it. And this was no little Sista either she’d have probably laid that woman out flat! She smiled at me
again and rolled her eyes at the woman & left. It was my turn to go in..yeaaaaaaaa. I was feeling all flushed and
eager. I wanted to sprint to my voting booth but there were other people in front of me. Slowwww people. Fast
forward..I walked towards the exit doors after voting and got my **I made freeeedom count I voted sticker!* How
such a small piece of paper could bring me such JOY. My vote was cast. My vote would be counted. There was a
record amount of early voters yesterday(even higher than 2008) and I’m sure there was today also. I was ONE of
them. Made me feel like I’d done something for my sons future, my parents future, my future and YOURS. And
even if your voting experience isn’t as “storytellable”(a Bernaism…a word created by Berna) I do hope you enjoy
voting even half as much as I did..Save yourself some time N have your sample ballot filled out prior to heading to
the polls. Takes 2 mins to fill the form out from your sample ballot. Takes far longer N holds the line up with people
who haven’t even read the ballot. We can’t afford to lose this one. Lets make our guy the 45th President!