Thanks to our friends

This issue marks the first anniversary of the Progressive Populist. It has been an exciting year for which we owe many thanks. Thanks go first to the contributing writers and artists whose work makes the Progressive Populist possible each month. They include the charter crew: cartoonists Kirk Anderson, Clay Bennett and the team of Carol*Simpson, and writers Todd Basch, Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon, Carol Countryman, Hal Crowther, Ronnie Dugger, Jim Hightower, Molly Ivins, Jesse Jackson, A.V. Krebs, Charles Levendosky, Eugene McCarthy, Laura McClure, Peter Montague, Ralph Nader, Richard Rothstein, Walt C. Sheasby, James McC. Yeager, Dan Yurman and Senator Tom Harkin, our premiere essayist, now thankfully re-elected.

Many were called but they signed on.

Thanks also to the staff: Associate Editor Carmen Alarcon, who helps line up and edit stories; Illustrator Dolores Cullen, whose art has distinguished each of the covers; Managing Editor Art Cullen, who puts the paper together in Storm Lake, Iowa; Ric Casson, who prints the paper; and Grace Casson, who manages the mailing list. We appreciate Martha Cavin and Gerald Jolin, who generously advised us on developing our marketing strategies, John Cullen, who has provided The Progressive Populist offices at the twice-weekly Storm Lake, Iowa, Times, and the staff of The Times.

Thanks go most of all to the nearly 1,500 people who put up $18 each to subscribe to a fledgling newspaper that believes people are more important than corporations.

The Progressive Populist originally was envisioned as a newspaper that would appeal to readers mainly in the Midwest. However, when we started advertising in national publications, the appeal across the country was evident. Every state is now represented on our subscriber list and the response from readers generally has been enthusiastic.

The slow but steady growth of circulation over the past year has been better than we thought, although our business manager grouses that this dispersal of subscribers does not help us qualify for postal discounts.

When we started the Progressive Populist last fall Jim Hightower commented, "Like the successful Populist Movement of the late 1800s, modern-day Populists can't wait for the Establishment Media Combines to cover our issues fairly and seriously, which is why the launching of the Progressive Populist newspaper is so timely and exciting."

Since then Hightower has been dumped by ABC for criticizing its merger with Disney and the new federal telecommunications act has opened the door for further monopolization of the airwaves by corporate conglomerates such as Disney, General Electric, Westinghouse, Time Warner and Fox.

We are convinced that there has never been more need for an independent newspaper like the Progressive Populist. And, truth to tell, it's not all that difficult to start such a publication. The trick is to keep it going.

We need another 1,500 subscribers in the next few months to get on stable financial ground. We are confident we can reach that level, and you can help by renewing your subscription and buying a gift subscription for a friend who would appreciate our progressive populist news and views.

You also can take advantage of a special discount: If you renew your subscription at the regular rate of $18 per year, you can get a second year for yourself for only $12. You also can buy a gift subscription for someone else at that special, low rate. So for $30 you can get yourself two more years of the Progressive Populist or you can get another year for yourself and a year for a friend or family. And we'll let them know who is responsible for the gift.

If you can't afford to send gift subscription to your friends, call toll-free 1-800-205-7067 and give us their addresses. We'll be glad to send them a sample copy. Of course, it would help if you also would put in a good word for us.

Also, ask your library to carry the Progressive Populist. If necessary, buy the library a subscription.

On the mechanics of putting out a monthly newspaper, you may have noticed that you have been getting the newspaper later in the month. Part of that is due to a newsman's urge to bend deadlines for breaking news. We hope to adjust our publication schedule over the next few months so that you are back to receiving the paper by the first week of the month.

In the spirit of the season, I offer this Irish blessing:

May those who love us, love us well.
And those who don't love us, may God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts, may He turn their ankles,
So we'll know them by their limping.

-- Jim Cullen, Editor

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