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Erik Ose
Erik Ose is a writer and political activist. His columns have appeared in North Carolina newspapers such as The News & Observer, and elsewhere including The Hill and He authors The Latest Outrage blog and is one of the curators of, a site about the life of the first openly gay elected official in the former Confederacy. He lives in Chapel Hill, NC and can be reached at

He is a long time grassroots community organizer, and veteran of several large scale voter registration and get-out-the-vote campaigns. In 1990, Erik co-founded Musicians Organized for Voter Education (MOVE), a NC-based youth voter outreach project that became one of the inspirations for Rock The Vote. Subsequent voter registration drives he coordinated for the 1992 and 1996 elections added over 25,000 young voters to the rolls in North Carolina.

In 1996 he served as Director of the NC Participatory Democracy Project, an independent PAC dedicated to increasing progressive voter turnout for the Gantt-Helms U.S. Senate race. In 2004, he ran a record-breaking voter registration campaign that resulted in more than one-quarter of all the new voters registered statewide by the NC Democratic Party. From 2004-06 he was Campaign Mobilizer for the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina, organizing citizens in economic justice advocacy campaigns against predatory lenders, incompetent national bank regulators, and corporations peddling tax refund loans.

In 2008, he co-founded Voters for Obama, a grassroots group whose website launched on President's Day (Feb. 19) and helped voters from around the country generate an estimated several thousand e-mails and phone calls to Democratic superdelegates urging them to support Barack Obama. Volunteers gathered thousands more signatures on petitions to superdelegates in seven states and registered new voters for the primary and general elections in North Carolina.

Entries by Erik Ose

Why the Chapel Hill Shooting Was More Hate Crime Than 'Parking Dispute'

(6) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 6:06 AM

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- When word of the execution-style killings of three Muslim students here leaked onto social media on the evening of Feb. 10, the internet exploded with outrage. Frustration with the lack of any major media coverage gave birth to the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter, and within hours,...

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Phony Anti-Vaccine Propaganda Is Killing U.S. Children

(436) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 1:10 PM

When the nation turned our eyes to watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Year's Eve, we saw actress and former Playboy Playmate Jenny McCarthy urging viewers to kiss her on our TV screens. Thousands of people did, and sent her pictures to prove it. That's the nature...

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Congress Secretly Voted Themselves a Cromnibus Luxury Car Perk

(61) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 6:09 PM

Over the weekend, the Cromnibus budget deal passed the Senate by a 56-40 margin after narrow approval by the House. The outcome is a win for big corporations and wealthy campaign donors, and a huge letdown for 99 percent of Americans, who once again have been shafted by back room...

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Tell Congress to Reject Deal Allowing Rich to Buy More Elections

(37) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 8:26 AM

Not content with the loosened campaign finance rules made possible by Citizens United, the GOP is attempting to pass a stealth provision that would open the big money floodgates even further. Republican leaders added the measure at the last minute to the so-called "CRomnibus" spending bill now under consideration in...

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Rick Santorum Wishes Obama Was More Like Jesse Helms

(6) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 2:26 PM

This week, former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum announced he'd make a decision next year about running for the White House again in 2016. Last week, while guest hosting a right-wing talk radio show in Iowa, the ultra-conservative former Pennsylvania Senator gave the country...

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Why Kay Hagan Lost In North Carolina

(196) Comments | Posted November 13, 2014 | 4:57 PM

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- When the smoke cleared, the most expensive contest of 2014 had become the costliest Senate race in U.S. history. More than $111 million was spent by both sides in the North Carolina battle for incumbent Democratic Senator Kay Hagan's seat.

Hagan ultimately came up...

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GOP Voter Intimidation Efforts Are in Full Swing

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 5:06 PM

In the final days before the Nov. 4 elections, last minute voter intimidation tactics intended to benefit Republican candidates are being reported nationwide.

In Kentucky, Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign has sent out official-looking mailers that scream, "ELECTION VIOLATION NOTICE." The mailers claim to contain "facts...

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How The Koch Brothers Are Bait and Switching Voters

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 2:16 PM

With the midterm elections almost here, the volume of attack ads is deafening. Spending on broadcast TV and national cable ads for U.S. Senate, House, and gubernatorial races has now topped $1 billion for the 2014 election cycle, according to a report released Oct. 29 by the Wesleyan...

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How You Can Help Save the Senate

(5) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 1:56 PM

The battle for the Senate has been a cliffhanger for months. Races in at least ten states that will decide the balance of power have remained too close to call, despite corporate pundits' haste to forecast a GOP victory. Now, on the eve of Election Day,...

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12 Reasons Why Joni Ernst Is 2014's Most Extreme GOP Senate Candidate

(11) Comments | Posted October 24, 2014 | 9:27 AM


As a female Republican candidate with extreme, far right-wing views and a love for guns, Iowa's U.S. Senate hopeful Joni Ernst is a lot like Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann. In fact, Ernst's top campaign strategist, David Polyansky, was...

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Top Joni Ernst Donor Sued Over How He Treats His Help

(12) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 4:16 PM

The race for Iowa's open U.S. Senate seat is among the closest in the nation, and one of a handful that could determine control of the Senate this fall. In her final debate with four-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst recently

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The GOP's Dangerous Demagoguery on Ebola

(194) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 10:34 AM

How would President Mitt Romney have responded to the global Ebola threat? Or President Ted Cruz? Dropping the hypotheticals, what about House Speaker John Boehner, who is not just the current highest-ranking Republican in the U.S. government, but second in the line of presidential succession?

All three GOP...

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Absentee Senator Pat Roberts Survives Bruising Kansas Primary

(4) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 9:08 AM

On Tuesday night, the Tea Party lost its last, best chance to knock off an incumbent Republican U.S. Senator this year. By a margin of 48-41 percent, Kansas Senator Pat Roberts prevailed over Milton Wolf, a radiologist and first-time candidate who was mostly known for being Barack Obama's...

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War Weary Public Rejects Attacking Syria

(2) Comments | Posted September 12, 2013 | 2:55 PM

Twelve years after 9/11, Americans are sick of war. In poll after poll, majorities say the war in Iraq was a mistake and our troops should come home as soon as possible from Afghanistan. According to a CNN poll released Sept. 10,...

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Why Won't Borders Donate Their Soon-To-Be-Trashed Books?

(28) Comments | Posted December 11, 2009 | 1:48 PM

Last month, corporate parent Borders announced they will soon be closing 200 Waldenbooks book stores in communities nationwide. Current Waldenbooks employees have come forward to alert the public that the company plans to dispose of many unsold books in the cheapest, easiest, least responsible way possible - by...

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The Secret Superdelegate War Revealed

(3) Comments | Posted June 4, 2009 | 4:24 PM

Now that President Obama has settled into the job enough to give Brian Williams a backstage pass to the West Wing, the heat of last year's campaign has faded. Especially with Secretary of State Clinton at his side as they tour Egypt to help repair U.S.-Arab relations, the significance...

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Why Did the BBC Censor a Cry to Help Gaza Victims?

(12) Comments | Posted January 28, 2009 | 3:57 PM

Gaza is recovering from Israel's latest assault, which ended in a cease-fire earlier this month. In the UK, the British Broadcasting Corporation has let down its worldwide viewership by refusing to broadcast this charity appeal to help Palestinian victims of the violence:

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An Entirely Different Inauguration Day

(3) Comments | Posted January 20, 2009 | 1:48 PM

Earlier today, as President Obama was sworn in, everything about the event heralded change. From Aretha Franklin singing "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," to the Rev. Joseph Lowery using his benediction to invoke a coming day when "black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick...

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Ten Chumps Who Helped Elect Barack Obama

(245) Comments | Posted November 14, 2008 | 4:26 PM

Barack Obama ran a great campaign. While shattering all fundraising records, he created a movement backed by small donors, not big lobbyists. Using community organizing techniques derided by his GOP opponents, he mobilized millions of supporters and gave them an ownership stake in his historic candidacy.


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Supposedly Safe GOP House Seat in CA Too Close To Call

(3) Comments | Posted November 6, 2008 | 3:42 PM

Prop 8 Hangs In Balance as GOP Lawyers Try To Influence Vote Count

Two days after the Nov. 4 elections, a congressional race in conservative Orange County, California that was dismissed by most observers as a lock for the GOP remains unresolved. Democratic challenger...

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