President Joe Biden has competition for his ‘meaningless’ write-in campaign.
Former Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky is asking his fellow Granite State Democrats to skip writing Biden’s name on their ballots and instead take part in his anti-Israel write-in campaign called “Ceasefire.”
Announced Wednesday with a Zoom press conference, Ceasefire is Volinsky’s campaign pushing New Hampshire voters to write in the word “Ceasefire” on their ballots in Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primary. The plan, which may cause headaches for town clerks and election moderators across the state, is meant to protest Biden’s support for Israel in the war with Hamas.
“Vote Ceasefire aims to get N.H. voters to voice their anger and pain at the polls. Politicians listen to votes, and the people want a ceasefire,” the group said in a statement.
Leading Granite State Democrats like former state party chair Kathy Sullivan, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster are supporting a write-in effort on behalf of Biden. The effort, funded largely with out-of-state money, is necessary because Biden tried to kill the Granite State’s long-standing First in the Nation presidential primary and refused to allow his name to appear on the ballot.
Biden said moving New Hampshire from its place at the front of the line is necessary in the name of diversity, and prominent progressives have long argued New Hampshire Democrats are “too White” to be entrusted with this important primary.
Critics of the state Democrats’ write-in effort say it’s a mistake to reward Biden for his insult to his party’s primary voters by helping him win an election he tried to cancel.
Volinsky and fellow progressive peace activists Bill Maddocks and Morgan Brown focused their criticism on Biden and his Israel policy.
“I think about this in terms of ending the regional conflict and stopping the annihilation of the people of Gaza,” Volinsky said.
Brown, a self-described community activist, was more blunt: “The United States has been funding genocide in Gaza.”
Brown also claimed without evidence that Israel has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Gaza, a figure that far outpaces even the numbers reported by the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.
For Brown, writing in Ceasefire is not an empty gesture but a way to pressure Biden to stop standing with Israel.
“I want Democratic leaders to see the American people are taking a stand against the bombing of civilians,” Brown said. “The bombs being used in their genocide are coming from the Democratic Party.”
Notable by its absence: Any mention of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack by Volinsky or the other press conference speakers. Hamas terrorists killed more than 1,200 people, including women, the elderly, and children. They also took some 240 hostages. As of Jan. 13, Hamas was holding 132 hostages in its network of tunnels beneath Gaza. Six of them are U.S. citizens.
Maddocks, a peace activist and UNH professor, said the write-in campaign is a last resort after elected officials ignored calls to abandon Israel.
“Our words, our letters, our texts, our calls are not being heard,” Maddocks said.
NHJournal participated in the Zoom press conference, though its question asking why no one in the Ceasefire conference publicly condemned the Oct. 7 atrocities was ignored by the organizers. Reached later in the day via Facebook, Volinsky again declined to answer, instead responding with a heart emoji.
Volinsky claims he came up with the idea for the campaign after getting positive feedback on a letter to the editor he sent to the Concord Monitor. Volinsky sought the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor in 2020, losing the primary to then-state Sen. Dan Feltes (D-Concord).
“Vote Ceasefire New Hampshire is an informal group of concerned citizens encouraging New Hampshire Voters to register to vote and write-in ‘ceasefire’ on the Presidential Primary ballot on Tuesday, Jan. 23,” the group’s disclaimer reads. “The movement aims to get the attention of President Joseph R. Biden and other political leaders and demand they redirect their care for their campaign efforts towards an immediate ceasefire.”
Meanwhile, Shaheen is one of a dozen or so Senate Democrats pushing an amendment to make it harder for the Biden administration to send military aid to Israel. It would prevent the White House from skipping congressional review of arms transfers to Israel.
“The administration has utilized waivers allowing it to bypass congressional review for recent arms sales to Israel, prompting outrage from progressives,” Jewish Insider reports.