WISCONSINREPORT.COM (02/28/08) - A student at the University of Hawaii is the official one-millionth person to donate to the Barack Obama for President campaign. The campaign had been hoping to reach that magic number during the primary season, and have now proved that hope does become reality. An Obama campaign spokesperson indicates that no other campaign has ever reached one million donors while still in a competitive primary. The total number of donors is on its way to an even larger number. At this writing, more than one-million-14-thousand people have contributed to Obama's campaign treasury.
Zachary Ellison was on BarackObama.com at about 11:50 PM Hawaii time when he decided to donate to the campaign.
"I don't have much money, but I decided I wanted to be a part of this," Zackary Ellison said. He works at a grocery store to help pay the bills while attending college.
After the 2004 elections, Zach says he was deeply disappointed by the state of our politics. "But I discovered Obama and thought he was a really straight shooter, someone who was honest and realistic," Zach said.
"After the DNC speech, I started following him. I read The Audacity of Hope and was really impressed with his intellect and substance," the one-millionth contributor to the Barack Obama for President campaign explained.
Zach says he is most impressed by the fact that Obama stood against the war in Iraq from the beginning, before it was popular. He's also deeply concerned with student debt, and appreciates Obama's strong efforts to make college affordable.
The young man attended a private college before U of Hawaii, and says he is now nearly $90,000 in debt. "My parents are both retired and my family is not particularly well to do," says Zach, "and I'm drowning in debt."
"While other politicians have been dismissive of my generation," says Zach. "I feel like Obama speaks directly to my generation."
Zach says he's proud to be a part of this historic achievement: "This campaign showed me that you can run a campaign in a completely different way than campaigns are tradionally run. Small donations matter. People can really get together, get organized, and get it done."
Senator Barack Obama was excited about the news that the campaign had reached one million donors.
"When I announced my candidacy a little over a year ago, I knew we wouldn't be able to compete unless hundreds of thousands of ordinary people got involved and took a personal stake in this campaign. As of today, over one million people have donated -- an extraordinary outpouring that has exceeded everybody's expectations," Obama pointed out.
"There is a palpable hunger for something new in this country -- a politics that isn't accountable to K Street, but to Main Street, a politics that prioritizes the concerns of ordinary people over the clout of corporate lobbyists," Obama said.
"One million people with one voice have registered their desire for change -- and that's a voice that can no longer be ignored," the Democratic presidential hopeful said.
According to Obama campaign accounting, 90 percent of the contributions have come in amounts of $100 or less, and, Obama says "we haven't taken a dime from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs."
"What I'm humbled by most is that in this campaign, we're seeing that with each new day, someone else cares. With each new day, somebody else believes in the possibility of change," Obama explained.
"With each new day, someone who never thought they'd ever get active in the political process participates," he said.
"Because so many ordinary people are participating this time, each day our improbable goal becomes more and more probable," Obama noted.