American Idol and politics mix in New Hampshire

ONE is hitting the campaign trail to find out where candidates in New Hampshire, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Florida stand on extreme poverty. Stay tuned for more updates like these from our field team and organizers on the road.

On Friday night in Manchester, former American Idol contestant Ayla Brown performed at a downtown bar and restaurant for New Hampshire Senate candidate Jim Bender. I went to speak with Jim about ONE, see some good friends, and check out the Ayla concert, too!
As soon as I got there, I was greeted by none other than ONE’s marine, Michael Castaldo, who was there with his whole family — including Louis, who was sporting an old but hard-earned ONE shirt.
I spoke with Manchester GOP Chairman Cliff Hurst, who has been very supportive of ONE Sabbath and attended our ONE event in Manchester earlier this year. I also ran into ONE member Jason Bloxham, who was fresh off of his last engagement with Bender earlier this week.
Right before the event began, I was introduced to Jim and we spoke about ONE and our efforts to urge continued brave, bold, and bipartisan leadership in the fight against hunger and extreme poverty in Africa. Jim told me that he sees ONE members and volunteers all over New Hampshire and said that he was passed a ONE band the other day while he was campaigning. We had a brief and good conversation, and I hope that he gets even more ONE bands as things continue to heat up on the campaign trail here in New Hampshire.

I had a moment to talk with Ayla about ONE and mentioned how ONE has been featured on Idol Gives Back – this year it was Bill Gates who gave ONE a big shout out. Ayla instantly recognized ONE and even mentioned our sister group, (RED). I spoke with her about ONE’s recent victory in helping to fight corruption in Africa and asked her to thank Sen. Scott Brown for his support in this big victory that will help ensure transparency and good governance in the poorest countries in Africa.
Even though the dog days of August are ahead of us, ONE members everywhere are on the campaign trail to make sure that the United States’ efforts to fight global AIDS and malaria and extreme poverty are celebrated and accelerated.
In the past few years, conservative Republicans and progressive Democrats have come to together, and worked to help save over 5 million lives in Africa – showing to the world just how great American values and actions are. We hope that the next generation of US leaders makes sure that our US efforts are continued to help fight global disease and extreme poverty, and help stand with those who struggle each day to overcome extreme poverty and beat back corruption.
Be sure to connect with other ONE Vote 2010 New Hampshire members on Facebook and Twitter.