News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
SUNDAY, JULY 24, 2005

Famous Kerry supporter back to quiet life

By Clyde L. Stancil
DAILY Staff Writer 340-2443

MOULTON — In a span of three months, Lynne Gobbell went from relative obscurity to campaigning with presidential candidate John Kerry and an appearance on "The Larry Elder Show."

"It was all a blur, it all happened so fast," Gobbell said Tuesday.

Gobbell is a former production plant worker whose employer allegedly fired her in September for sporting a John Kerry bumper sticker on her windshield.

The ensuing outcry made her a popular subject on Internet blogs and radio talk shows. News agencies from as far away as Paris, London, Italy and Scotland called her for interviews.

Today, all but a few calls have stopped.

"Part of it was me, too, not wanting to answer the phone," the Moulton woman said.

Gobbell, however, would have gladly answered a phone call from the Democratic National Committee and Kerry after the election, but she said it never came.

After he learned about how she refused to remove the sticker bearing his name, Kerry secured a job for Gobbell answering phones and distributing literature in the Morgan County Democratic office in Decatur.

"After he lost, I couldn't get back in contact with him or any of them," she said. "I was sort of disappointed in him. I felt like I had been used, which I kind of felt like from the beginning. But I really felt like it then."

Leslie Dach, a senior adviser with the DNC, said in a Sept. 16 DAILY article that Gobbell's job would last throughout Kerry's campaign.

Back to normal

Things today are back to normal for Gobbell.

She is working again, but not for Enviromate owner Philip Geddes, the man whom she said fired her. She said her brother and sister-in-law, both of whom worked for Geddes when he fired her, no longer work for him either. Her brother worked at Enviromate and his wife worked for Geddes at his law office in Decatur.

Geddes also is a bankruptcy court trustee.

Gobbell said he inserted a flier in his employee's envelopes to remind them of the positive impact that President Bush's policies had on them.

The flier included the sentence, "I was able to give you a job."

Initially, Gobbell wanted to sue Geddes for wrongful termination. Her attorney said Alabama law allows an employer to fire an employer for any reason, so she abandoned the idea and found another job.

Her Internet, radio and TV celebrity was enough to earn her $2,000 from well-wishers, but she said, "I never felt like a celebrity."

"The money came in handy," she said. "It helped me pay bills."

Despite not being able to contact DNC members, Gobbell said she remains loyal to the Democratic Party and does not regret her refusal to remove the sticker.

"I won't be a Republican," she said. "I've always said if he (Geddes) could put that letter in my check envelope, I had the right to have that sticker on my windshield."

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