Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Let's Hear From Two Florida Progressives-- Doug Tudor And Alan Grayson



First Doug, a progressive, a Naval veteran and former congressional candidate twice stabbed in the back by the DCCC which made certain that his part of Florida would remain a Republican stronghold. This is the message he sent this morning:

Friends, I am writing this note because I just read DWT’s big money blog. Each and every voter should be sickened by the uber-rich dominance of our supposed democracy.

Please read this missive, as it will help to explain how DWT’s current post is important. It will also explain how supporting DWT and Blue America help to counter mega-frigging-money in our electoral politics.

DWT played a great role in 2008 in publicizing a meeting I had with Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, then chair of the DCCC's Red-to-Blue program. After traveling to the Denver convention on supporter-contributed airline miles and hotel points, I nudged my way into the DCCC signature event.

By the way, I was the Democratic nominee in Florida's 12th Congressional District, running against the GOP's 3rd-ranking member, Representative Adam Putnam. As a recent military retiree … a USN Master Chief who had worked for four Commanders of U.S. Central Command ... banned from participating in party politics during my active duty ... I didn't have deep political connections (Hell, I didn't have cut-and-scratch political connections).

As I tried to introduce myself to DCCC Red to Blue Chairwoman DWS, she quickly informed me she wasn't going to be able to help me. I reminded her that some of her targeted races-- it was primary day in Florida-- had lost their races.

Surprised because she hadn’t heard of these primary results, DWS asked me how much money we had raised. I told her that we had just passed the $100K mark. She responded that "they"-- the DCCC, I assumed-- couldn't look at my race until I raised $250K.

When I reminded the DCCC Vice-Chairwoman, “Ma’am, I am one of those working-class folks our party claims to represent,” DWS responded, “Don’t pull that populist BS on me.” I thanked her and went on my way.

That interaction was one of my proudest political moments, and it was one of my dumbest. I relayed the story to Down With Tyranny, and I received a few thousand dollars of contributions. Due to Google alerts, DWS knew of my new fame with anti-DWS forces.

Here’s the rub. On election night 2008, newly elected Representative Adam Putnam resigned his leadership post in the GOP-- it was the second election where he was in the leadership while the GOP lost a great number of seats. Two months later, on Super Sunday 2009, he announced he would not run for reelection.

I, of course, ran again believing that my earlier race-- 42.5% of the vote, 135,000 votes (2nd best vote-getter of any challenger in Florida who didn’t win; after being outspent 18-1-- being the best money-to-vote in Florida) would elicit party support.

Due to my DWT-publicized discussion with now-DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the party supported a former pol who hadn’t ran as a Democrat in 12 years. With buttloads of money, she beat me in the primary and eventually gained only 32% in a three-way race for an open seat. I have no doubt that if I had broader support from the $5 and $20 supporters, I would have won my primary, and I would now be a member of Congress.

Readers of “Down With Tyranny” can have friends in Congress. They can have friends in Congress by negating the uber-rich politicians by supporting citizen-candidates with monthly contributions.

Please do so now. Really! You can make a difference by contributing a small amount monthly. Please support Down With Tyranny and Blue America. We small-contributor candidates are looking for your input, and we’re counting on your support.

PART II: Congressman-elect Alan Grayson

Everyone's happy when their favorite candidate wins-- even if their favorite is just the lesser of two evils, a garden variety Democrat for example, who's probably better than a Republican but not much more. But when the winner is someone you really believe in, the way voters across Florida's 9th CD-- and across America-- believed in Alan Grayson... well, then it's time to break out the fireworks. Obama won FL-09 with 62.16% of the vote, a great result. Grayson won the district with a fractionally better result: 62.52%. Here's part of an e-mail Grayson sent his supporters yesterday. Something tells me Democratic leaders like Steve Israel, Steny Hoyer, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Joe Crowley and the rest of the gang plotting with the Republicans to sell out working families in the Lame Duck session, don't get responses like these. Grayson:
I have always said that we have the best supporters. After Election Day, you proved it. Literally thousands of supporters have reached out to us, to offer congratulations and best wishes. I wish that I could share with you what everyone said, but this is an e-mail, not a Vulcan mind-meld. So here are a beautiful few:


    This is some of the best news in the entire 2012 election -- Mr. Grayson, you're a man of grit, humor, intelligence and above all, integrity. - Betsy

    You are the only one telling truth to power. - Barry

    No one is always right. But you sure sock it to 'em. Stay well and safe. We need your voice. - John

    May you be one of the few who go to Washington, and continue speaking your mind (like that's ever going to stop). Remember the people who are counting on you. - Bonnie

    You have sensitivity, a stiff back, intelligence, guts and grit. You’re my kind of Congressman. - Bill

    You did more than kick ass ... you obliterated your opponent. Maybe you should check on him to see if he's OK .... - Tom

  I do not live in your district but you are my favorite Representative. I may have to move!! – Ron

  Congratulations on your win. That was the best $25 bucks I have ever spent. - Charlie

    I was walking on clouds today. I sincerely hope this is the start of your forty-year tenure in American politics!!! GO ALAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dude, you're a god, what can I say? - George

    Great win for us, the working class! - Rick

    My heart skipped a beat when I saw your name in the "win" column last night. - Barbara

    Congratulations, Alan. I am so happy for you and us. I live in Oregon and contributed to your campaign, because we are all connected. - Georgia

    Much of the momentum that got so many Democrats elected this time around is due in a very large part to your tireless efforts. My prayers are with you tonight. So are my thanks. – Clay

    My hard work making phone calls and knocking on doors has paid off in your re-election to Congress. - Donald

    Congratulations Alan! You were the only congressman we could afford to spend our very limited funds supporting, but [we] truly believed the House needed you back! - Harriet & John

    I am an 88-year-old man living on retirement. I was not able to donate to many contests – I had to choose carefully. So I chose two with the meager funds I could spare. One was Alan Grayson. The other was Elizabeth Warren. The United States has won again, on both counts. - Russell

    I have lost everything and am on Social Security so I am not able to give as much as I could before, but I will watch your career and support you. My very best to you, and your future in Congress. Our country is so fortunate to again have you back as one of the crew members of the "Ship of State". - Kathy

    Even though, at age 87 and living on a widow's SS stipend, I was unable to contribute money to your campaign, I contacted everyone I knew in your district to tell them what an outstanding citizen they had running for Congress. I waited up much after President Obama's victory to see if you had won, and I think I woke up my nearest senior living apartment neighbors with my "Whoopees”! I am so proud that you are representing our state as one of the few in Congress who is fearless, intelligent and dedicated to doing what is necessary to take our nation properly into the 21st Century. The Creator has blessed us with you. – Emily 
Let me close this by tying the two statements, one from Doug and one from Alan, togther, with another quote from Alan, an important one when you consider the House Democratic Caucus leadership votes coming up this week: “Let’s not fall into the trap of thinking that one Democrat is as good as any other, that we’re all interchangeable parts. We’re not. Some of us have a head, and a heart, and a spine, and some of us don’t. Blue America concentrates on helping the Democrats who deserve our help, the Democrats who can make a difference. Blue America’s encyclopedic knowledge of every Congressional race means that they do your homework for you. When you support Blue America, you’re supporting the best of the best, in the most important races in the country. It sure made a difference in our election.”

Labels: , , , , ,