Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blue America Welcomes Ken Aden (D-AR)


At 11am (PT)-- 1pm in Arkansas-- Blue America will be hosting a live blogging session at Crooks and Liars with Ken Aden, our newest endorsee for Congress. Ken Aden is the only progressive candidate for Congress Blue America has endorsed this year in a deep red district. Arkansas' third CD, in the northwest corner of the state, has always been Republican as far as anyone can remember. The last Democrat who almost won was Bill Clinton... in 1974. And Ken is undaunted. As Digby hopes to explore with him at the live chat today is Ken's startling grassroots campaign. In fact, his effort should be a model for working class candidates-- who the DCCC refuses to support (they exclusively pick rich candidates or candidates with access to big money; i.e., not school teachers or truck drivers or almost anyone who's undergoing the same financial straits as the rest of us). Ken sees all the classic negatives, of course... and turns them into strengths and opportunities:
There is no question that our campaign will likely be outspent significantly. However, of all the races in the country today, few offer the kind of opportunity this race does. Our district offers the opportunity to run a true grassroots campaign that will engage voters, inform voters, and make headlines in a district that hasn’t seen a credible Democrat run for Congress in decades. Plus, the fact that it has been so long since voters have had a real choice combined with the fact that we will run visible field and media operations mean that this will not be just an ordinary Congressional campaign, but one that gains significant attention not just from local media but national media as well.

In the post-Citizens United environment, there are not a lot of candidates willing to face the kind of odds we face in this district. There are even fewer who do elect to run in races like this who even plan to mount a legitimate campaign-- much less run an aggressive field operation.

I’m running not just because I believe this race can be won, but because I believe voters deserve a choice between a Congressman in the pocket of every special interst from the Koch Brothers to the poultry industry and a person who will, when elected, actually look out for the people and not his corporate cronies.

One of the first times I spoke with Ken he was busy helping organize Occupy Northern Arkansas. "I am a staunch and proud supporter of the Occupy Wall Street Movement," he told me... This is a true grassroots movement made up of young people, veterans, students, and folks from across the middle class just like me who are sick and tired of irresponsible corporations buying politicians of both parties while many in the government stand idly by and give corporate America the keys to the proverbial candy store. It's truly nauseating to know that so many politicians can be so easily bought, and not even loose an ounce of sleep over the fact that they are destroying everything which we hold dear. I  firmly believe that more people need to become involved, and stand up for what is right! Corporate greed is the new pandemic in this country. The ratio of CEO pay to that of the average worker is a prime example of the kind of reckless behavior that corporations in this country are exercising on a daily basis. Just look at how many politicians Koch Industries has bought over the last ten years alone. As the next congressman from Arkansas I would support an amendment to destroy the destructive influence of Citizens United. The last time I checked, corporations are NOT and will never be real people.

If you can, please drop by today and meet Ken for yourself. Yesterday he formally filed to be on the ballot. Please take a look at the video of that above. If he's your kind of candidate and if you can help, you can do it at the Blue America page. As Digby wrote to our members Sunday: "Blue America endorsed Ken with great enthusiasm and we are spreading the good word about his grassroots strategic vision to progressive challengers across the country.  We believe that this kind of creativity and energy can pay off.  But he needs all the help we can give him to keep the campaign funded. He won't be able to match a corrupt Republican incumbent, not even close.  But he has a good chance to win if he can put this plan into practice and defeat him with sharp grassroots tactics and hard work. Please donate here if you can."

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