2008.12.01: December 1, 2008: Headlines: COS - Honduras: Election2008 - Obama: Politics: Westby Times: Honduras RPCV Jon Carson was national field director for President-elect Barack Obamas campaign

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Honduras: Special Report: Organizer and Honduras RPCV Jon Carson: 2008.12.01: December 1, 2008: Headlines: COS - Honduras: Election2008 - Obama: Politics: Westby Times: Honduras RPCV Jon Carson was national field director for President-elect Barack Obamas campaign

By Admin1 (admin) (151.196.52.91) on Tuesday, December 02, 2008 - 9:14 am: Edit Post

Honduras RPCV Jon Carson was national field director for President-elect Barack Obama's campaign

Honduras RPCV Jon Carson was national field director for President-elect Barack Obama's campaign

As field director, Carson presided over thousands of workers in 770 offices across the country. No campaign ever had amassed such a staff, nor the volunteer corps they organized. Carson had 15 to 20 campaign staffers in Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional district. Even small communities such as Viroqua had offices. When hiring, Carson said he avoided people with political science degrees. His own scientific background helped him crunch the numbers in his daily reports. “It's good to be able to understand the math,” he said. Carson said the biggest challenge -- and surprise -- was the volume of volunteer help, including more than 15,000 so-called “super volunteers,” who donated 30 or more hours a week. Always finding work for those volunteers was part of what made Obama's campaign so successful, said Jocelyn Shadforth, who teaches political science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and specializes in elections and voting behavior. “It's very significant in getting people to feel like they have an investment,” she said. Carson said he often would hear stories about a campaign staffers doing extraordinary work and would look them up only to discover they actually were volunteers. He didn't get much of a break after Obama's victory. He had to report the following Monday to begin work on the transition. A veteran campaign worker herself, Rebecca Carson said they were thankful to have a job after this election. Carson doesn't know what he will be doing next year but anticipates moving to Washington, D.C., for a job in the new administration.

Honduras RPCV Jon Carson was national field director for President-elect Barack Obama's campaign

Chaseburg native played pivotal role for Obama

by Chris Hubbuch

CHASEBURG--Jon Carson never planned for a career in politics.

His father, Glen, served on the Westby School Board for 15 years, but that was the extent of his family's involvement in politics.

He studied everything but political science and even spent two years in the Peace Corps. Yet in the past dozen years, the 33-year-old Chaseburg native has built an impressive resume of political campaigns. It culminated this year when he served as the national field director for President-elect Barack Obama's campaign.

This week, Carson took a well-earned vacation, relaxing and deer hunting on his family's farm as he took a break from his work on Obama's transition team.

In 1996, while a student at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Carson volunteered for Democrat Mark Kastel in his bid to unseat Assembly Rep. DuWayne Johnsrud (he lost badly) and for Ron Kind in his first race for Congress.

At Platteville, Carson majored in civil engineering, got involved with tuition issues and eventually was elected president of the student Senate.

He was accepted to a graduate program in geography at the University of California-Los Angeles but delayed his studies to work as a field organizer for Sen. Russ Feingold's 1998 re-election campaign.

He took time off to work on Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign in Iowa.

“Just about every campaign I thought would be my last,” he said.

Carson eventually finished his master's degree in fluvial geomorphology ?he studied sedimentation in a section of the Mississippi River off Goose Island -- and he and his wife, Rebecca, whom he met on the Gore campaign, left for Honduras, where Carson built water systems and taught surveying as a Peace Corps volunteer.

When they returned in 2006, Carson worked for Illinois congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth, a wounded Iraq war veteran who now is director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and considered a likely contender to fill Obama's seat in the Senate.

Duckworth lost, but Carson met people such as David Axelrod, one of Obama's top political advisors. In February 2007, Carson joined the Obama campaign as it began the marathon Democratic primary race.

As field director, Carson presided over thousands of workers in 770 offices across the country. No campaign ever had amassed such a staff, nor the volunteer corps they organized.

Carson had 15 to 20 campaign staffers in Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional district. Even small communities such as Viroqua had offices.

When hiring, Carson said he avoided people with political science degrees. His own scientific background helped him crunch the numbers in his daily reports.

“It's good to be able to understand the math,” he said.

Carson said the biggest challenge -- and surprise -- was the volume of volunteer help, including more than 15,000 so-called “super volunteers,” who donated 30 or more hours a week.

Always finding work for those volunteers was part of what made Obama's campaign so successful, said Jocelyn Shadforth, who teaches political science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and specializes in elections and voting behavior.

“It's very significant in getting people to feel like they have an investment,” she said.

Carson said he often would hear stories about a campaign staffers doing extraordinary work and would look them up only to discover they actually were volunteers.

He didn't get much of a break after Obama's victory. He had to report the following Monday to begin work on the transition. A veteran campaign worker herself, Rebecca Carson said they were thankful to have a job after this election.

Carson doesn't know what he will be doing next year but anticipates moving to Washington, D.C., for a job in the new administration.

In June, just as Obama wrapped up the hard-fought Democratic nomination, Rebecca gave birth to the couple's first child, Noah.

“It's been a very intense two years,” she said.




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Headlines: December, 2008; Peace Corps Honduras; Directory of Honduras RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Honduras RPCVs; Election2008 - Obama; Politics





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Story Source: Westby Times

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Honduras; Election2008 - Obama; Politics

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