Barack Obama-Organization, Idaho
updated April 23, 2009

Headquarters:  4346 W. Rose Hill, Boise, ID 83705   208-345-6210
State Director Katie Ingebretson
Regional field director on Obama's Iowa Caucus campaign, based in Waterloo.  Worked on Virginia Victory 2005, helping to elect Tim Kaine governor.
Communications Director Chani Wiggins
Wiggins has almost a decade of Capitol Hill experience.  She is on leave from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)'s office, where she started as legislative director in March 2007.  Deputy chief of staff of legislation and communications for Sen. Mark Dayton (D-MI); legislative and communications director for Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI), and a senior aide to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA).  Wiggins also covered local government as a reporter for the Tampa Tribune.  Florida native.

Field Offices
Pocatello - 1509 N. Arthur Ave., Pocatello, ID 83204  208-608-4236

Idaho Falls - 300 Shoup St., Ste. 203, Idaho Falls, ID 83402  208-608-4237

Coeur d'Alene - 413 Sherman Ave., Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814   208-608-4234

Note: Joey Bristol helped build up the field organzation for about six weeks in the latter part of 2007 before returning to Iowa.

Field Organizer - Katie Whittier
(Nov. 2007) Worked for the American Cancer Society in Idaho as director of government relations and earlier as grassroots relationship manager, 2006-07.  Assistant secretary in the Idaho State Senate for three months.  B.S. double major in sociology and applied music from University of Idaho, 2005; A.A. in music performance from BYU-Idaho.

Field Organizer - Kassie Cerami
(Jan. 2008)  Full-time volunteer starting in Aug. 2007; a leader of the grassroots Idaho for Obama organization from May 2007.  Worked in marketing/advertising and events/concert promotion in Boise.  Lived in Oregon for ten years and returned to Boise in 1998.  Graduate of Boise High School, 1983.

I had NO political experience AT ALL and had never even volunteered on a campaign prior to this experience.  I saw Senator Obama speak at the 2004 DNC and decided then and there that if he ever ran for President, I would quit my job to work on his campaign.  And that’s what I did!  I figured I’d be stuffing envelopes or something but turned out to be one of the two original grassroots organizers, became a paid Organizer, travelled with the campaign to Texas and Oregon for their primaries, returned to Idaho to run the State Convention for the Obama campaign, became a national delegate to Denver for Obama, then returned to Idaho as the State Director for the campaign!  Wild ride.  My background is in advertising, promotions and marketing so I guess this was a natural fit!

TJ and I had never met prior to the campaign.  I wanted to get involved in Idaho’s effort with the Obama campaign but could not find an effort that was organized yet so I contacted the national campaign in Chicago and they said they thought there was a little website of Idahoans for Obama.  I finally was able to get in touch with TJ and immediately became his “partner” as the two original grassroots organizers for Idaho for Obama.  He and I travelled to Elko, NV on August 4th of 2007 and I decided then and there that I was returning and opening an Obama office in Idaho.  (I didn’t realize you were supposed to wait for the “official” campaign!)  We asked Chicago to send us “official” training, known as Camp Obama…which they did in mid August.  (12 folks were in that original training…I’ll never forget feeling like I had failed somehow because only 12 of us were there…it’s amazing what can start from 12 dedicated people!)  My husband Tim then took over the website ( and made it into the only “unofficial” website that was allowed by the national campaign to use in a state other than their own.  At one point, there was talk of them purchasing it because of the hits it was receiving.  I was talked about and shown on all news stations and became an integral part of our operations in the field!  I asked for donations and they came pouring in and we opened a grassroots office in late August of 2007…which I operated daily.  (I had quit my career to volunteer on Obama’s campaign so I devoted every waking hour to the operation, office, campaign and candidate! :o)  I loved that time.)  TJ and I traveled to other parts of the state to begin organizing there and held training sessions.  We began identifying voters through calling lists of known strong and leaning democrats.  We were not officially working with the campaign yet.

Senator Obama had plans to do a rally in SLC, UT about the same time but a prominent and key leader of the LDS church passed away and so the campaign team deemed it inappropriate to hold a rally that coincided with his funeral so they chose Idaho because of our incredible support and energized operation.  We found out on Jan. 31st and had two days to distribute “tickets” to the free rally.  I remember Katie Ingebretson saying to me, “Kass…what’s the biggest high school gymnasium in the area for the rally?”  I laughed…”Um Katie, you’re kidding right??  We’re going to need the biggest VENUE we have and that will not even hold all of the people who will attend!”  She thought I was crazy until she saw the results.  Over 14k people filled the Taco Bell Arena at BSU and an estimated 2k-3k were not able to get in but listened on speakers that were placed outside to play his speech.  It was also streamed live on all 3 local television stations in the treasure valley…it was an unbelievable day for Idaho.  TJ and I got the crowd rallied-up and then former Governor Cecil Andrus introduced Senator Obama.  3 days later, the energy carried across to the caucus and it resulted in the largest caucus attendance in the history of Idaho, (44k) the largest caucus in the nation in Ada County (over 6500) which resulted in Obama taking ALL of the delegates in that county, and provided the highest margin of victory in the nation during the caucus, for the campaign.

State Senator Mike Burkett (District 19, Boise)

State Senator Edgar J. Malepeai (District 30, Pocatello)

House Minority Leader Wendy Jaquet (District 25A, Ketchum)

Asst. Minority Leader George C. Sayler (District 4B, Coeur d'Alene)

State Representative Nicole LeFavour (District 19B, Boise)

State Representative Les Bock (District 16B, Boise)

State Representative James D. Ruchti (District 29B, Pocatello)

State Representative Shirley G. Ringo (District 6B, Moscow)

Boise City Mayor Dave Bieter

Ada County Commissioner Paul Woods

former Governor and Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus

Jerry and Rickie Brady, 2002 & 2006 Democratic gubernatorial nominee

Jim Hansen (Former State Representative, Executive Director - United Vision for Idaho)

Gail Bray (Idaho's National Committeewoman - Super Delegate, Former State Senator)

Grant Burgoyne (Idaho's National Committeeman - Super Delegate, Private Attorney)

Steve Scanlin (Former State Representative, Private Attorney)

Brian Cronin, Ada County Democrats Chair, 2004-2007

Idaho for Obama is an Idaho grassroots organization dedicated to helping Barack Obama win the United States presidency.
Ada County Communications & Constituency Lead Coordinator, District 15 Lead - TJ Thomson 
Director of Operations, District 14 Lead - Kassie Cerami 
District 17 Lead, Webmaster - Jeran Dahlquist 
Data Manager. District 19 Lead - Brett Adler 
District 16 Lead - Gail Bray
District 18 Lead - Gary Allen 
District 20 Lead - Ryndy Williams 
District 21 Lead - Dave Beck 
Students for Obama Lead, Intern - Stacy Falkner 
Kootenai County Lead - Justin StormoGipson 
Bannock County Lead - Spencer Gilbert 
Twin Falls County Lead - Dixie Siegel 
Nez Perce County Lead - Tom Fellows
Volunteer Coordinator (ADA County) - Susan Breaux 
Webmaster - Tim Cerami



Copyright © 2007, 2008  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action