Salazar joins volunteers to help ‘America Move Forward’

Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar returned to his old stomping ground Tuesday night — his 2004 campaign headquarters at 1100 Bannock St. in Denver — but this time he was pitching for the President.

Adeli Amaro, 3, seems to be enjoying herself with her grandmother Maria Amaro, who is a regular at this Democratic HQ.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman
Get Out the Vote volunteer Joy Harrison shares a moment with Secretary Ken Salazar and retired Judge John Pacheco.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman
The town hall meeting goes national as Denver’s group of activists watches President Obama on screen, fielding questions from his audience at George Washington University.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar praises retired journalist Bob Ewegen to the town hall visitors.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman
Congressman Ed Perlmutter explains the importance of this election.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman
Colorado Democratic Party Chair Pat Waak converses with supporters early on during the town hall meeting on Tuesday night.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman
Demoratic National Committee regional press secretary Ricardo A. Ramirez chats with Get Out the Vote staffers Alfredo Fletes and Jen Cheyne in Denver.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman

Salazar joined Organizing for America volunteers at the coordinated campaign headquarters in Denver for a “Moving America Forward” party to watch President Obama’s webcast town hall in Washington, D.C.

The live-streamed event was the third in a series aimed at reigniting his supporters, especially those of college-age who were so important in his election two years ago.

“Watch parties” around the country were set up by OFA so that the webcast from George Washington University could be viewed. Similar events are scheduled for Ohio on Oct. 17 and Las Vegas, NV on Oct. 22.

OFA is a grassroots project of the Democratic National Committee. Its network of volunteers and staff is actively working in all 50 states to promote the President’s agenda for improving the country. Since 2009, OFA supporters say they have helped play a key role in efforts to create jobs, pass health insurance, build a clean energy economy, improve education and rein in the excesses of Wall Street.

Salazar’s appearance at the OFA event was in conjunction with participation from other high level Democratic leaders across the country. DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, as well as cabinet secretaries from the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health & Human Services, and Energy attended watch parties.

Democrats have reportedly invested $50 million in grassroots efforts for the midterm elections, about three times the amount they spent in 2006.

As supporters watched from Denver, President Obama answered questions from the hand-picked audience as well as from inquiries made from e-mail, blog posts, Facebook and Twitter.

The President warned that Democrats must become more active in the waning few weeks before the mid-term elections, especially with the threat of a Republican tide expected on Nov. 2.

Obama was especially mindful of the spending by third-party groups, which has been so rampant in Colorado this year.

“Eighty-six percent of ads being run by these so-called third-party organizations are negative,” the President said. He encouraged supporters to counter their efforts to run negative ads “at levels that are out spending the candidates themselves or their parties.”

The Republican National Committee called Obama’s event a “charade.”

“The White House owes an apology to anyone who turned into tonight’s town hall expecting a serious dialogue on criticial issues facing our country, including a 9.6 percent unemployment and record-breaking budget deficits,” said Katie Wright, spokesperson for the RNC in an e-mail to journalists.