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Sanford D. Horwitt
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Sanford D. Horwitt is the author, most recently, of Feingold: A New Democratic Party (Simon & Schuster). He also wrote the biography, Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky, His Life and Legacy (Knopf), a New York Times Notable Book. A former senior congressional aide in Washington, his book reviews and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and other publications.

Entries by Sanford D. Horwitt

Mr. President, "Stop Whining" about Gun Violence

(9) Comments | Posted October 9, 2015 | 5:15 PM

With the sun-drenched White House behind him, a prominent Baptist pastor spoke at a news conference that I attended in Lafayette Park yesterday. In a deep, no-nonsense voice, he delivered a stern message to President Obama: "Mr. President, we urge you to stop whining and begin acting."

If President Obama...

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No Slam Dunk for Billionaires

(6) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 5:18 PM

Early in his second term, President Obama briefly put income and wealth inequality on his political agenda. But when the issue didn't poll well, he dropped it. As a former community organizer, he might be interested in how an Alinsky-style, community organization in Milwaukee is changing the political conversation in...

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Paul Ryan: Obama's Ticket to a Second Term

(2) Comments | Posted August 11, 2012 | 9:34 AM

Barack Obama has been without an overarching, persuasive narrative since Inauguration Day but now, thanks to Mitt Romney's pick of Paul Ryan as his running mate, he's finally got one: the defender of the middle class and the great Democratic progressive tradition from FDR to LBJ.

The right-wing, big-money forces,...

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Health Care Reform: Co-Ops Could Change Small Business Insurance

(7) Comments | Posted June 25, 2012 | 1:00 PM

When it comes to the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, apparently there is no end to partisan political sniping in Washington even when the casualties include one's own voters beyond the Beltway.

Last month, five senior Senate and House Republicans fired a broadside at a heretofore relatively noncontroversial provision of...

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Alinsky, Foreclosures and Holding Banks Accountable

(89) Comments | Posted January 31, 2012 | 9:46 PM

Memo to the Obama Administration: if you want to see the makings of a national model to hold big banks accountable for fixing foreclosure-devastated neighborhoods, go to Milwaukee and talk to citizen leaders of a community organization who are practicing what Saul Alinsky preached.

"You broke it, you fix it,"...

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Packers Upset the Jets; Can Feingold Score an Upset, Too?

(2) Comments | Posted November 1, 2010 | 1:13 AM

The football prognosticators didn't give the banged up Green Bay Packers much of a chance on Sunday of defeating the high-flying New York Jets, but the Wisconsin team surprised the nonbelivers, squeezing out a 9 to 0 win. In less than 48 hours, will Wisconsin's junior senator defy the national...

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When a Bank Is too Big to Hide

(2) Comments | Posted May 26, 2010 | 11:41 AM

After months of trying, David confronts Goliath tomorrow in Frankfurt, Germany, at the annual shareholders meeting of the world's second largest bank.

David is otherwise known as Common Ground, an upstart, feisty, two-year old community organizing endeavor spanning four counties in southeast Wisconsin, including Milwaukee.

Goliath is Deutsche Bank (Assets:...

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Saul Alinsky's Centennial and His Advice to Obama: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

(4) Comments | Posted January 29, 2009 | 9:51 AM

Saul Alinsky, the father of community organizing, had a big year in 2008, even though he had been dead for 36 years.

And 2009, Alinsky's centennial, is off to a terrific start. Just ten days before Alinsky's 100th birthday, his community organizing disciple was sworn in as president. Barack Obama's...

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In Battleground Ohio, Community Organizing Trumps Cynicism: Lesson for 2012?

(4) Comments | Posted October 28, 2008 | 4:56 PM

I left my inside-the-Beltway home in suburban Washington on Friday and spent the penultimate weekend before the 2008 election in Columbus, Ohio to get a first-hand look at one of the most intriguing, hopeful and yet, in some circles, controversial voter participation experiments of 2008.

More than two years in...

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Advice for Obama: Listen to Mark Twain

(3) Comments | Posted September 12, 2008 | 11:11 AM

The main reason for John McCain's post-convention surge can be summed up in one word: reform. As the Washington Post's Dan Balz said this week: "McCain has, for now, been able to redefine his candidacy -- more reform, less Bush 3. Can that last?"

In his acceptance speech, McCain said...

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Obama's Most Important Speech Was Not About Race

(4) Comments | Posted June 23, 2008 | 10:15 AM

One year ago, on June 22 in Manchester, New Hampshire, Barack Obama told an audience that "we cannot settle for a second Gilded Age in America." Those were meant to be fighting words; they were preceded by Obama's paean to Teddy Roosevelt who, along with Wisconsin's Senator, Fighting Bob LaFollette,...

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Common Ground in the Heartland and Echoes of Obama

(2) Comments | Posted April 18, 2008 | 2:40 PM

If Barack Obama had continued on a career path as a community organizer, he might have been in Milwaukee last Sunday savoring the successful kickoff of one of the most ambitious, potentially significant, large-scale community organizations in recent years. In fact, before Obama left the South Side streets of Chicago...

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Jake LaMotta in a Pantsuit, and Other Presidential Contenders

(8) Comments | Posted April 8, 2008 | 6:27 PM

Campaigning in Philadelphia last week, Hillary Clinton threw a bucket of cold water on the growing chorus calling for her to concede the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama. Evoking the image of Philadelphia's fictional fighting hero, Rocky Balboa, Hillary said: "Let me tell you something. When it comes to finishing...

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Friendly Advice for Hillary: The Best Way to Play a Losing Hand

(523) Comments | Posted February 19, 2008 | 10:00 PM

When stuck with a losing hand, even good professional poker players often don't know when to drop out, because they've thrown so much of their ego along with their chips into the pot. But the greatest players don't fool themselves. They swallow their pride, conserve their capital, and fold their...

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