Monday, April 09, 2007



My friend Carla is the co-founder of my favorite Oregon blog, Loaded Orygun, the place I always turn to when I want to know what's going on beyond Doolittle country. She's also an effective progressive activist who is working with other progressive activists to draft Congressman Pete DeFazio to run against ribber stamp Senator Gordon Smith. I asked her to write something up about the Draft DeFazio movement that is sweeping Oregon and I asked her if there is any way DWT readers could help.

Last week, a group of local activists in Oregon founded DeFazio For Senate, the movement to put a top-tier candidate into the race against one of the Democrats' top-three Senate targets for 2008.

It's been a bit of a whirlwind since then. The blog response in our great state has been tremendous; it's a real delight to see everyone pitching in a common cause. Apologies if I've missed somebody, but here's who's caught the buzz since Loaded Orygun blog broke the news:

• Blue Oregon of course led the way, with Launched! Draft DeFazio Blog & Fundraising Drive

• There's Middle Earth Journal--Draft DeFazio
• Persuasion, Perseverance and Patience chimed in with DeFazio. Senate. 2008.
• Journalist Randy Stapilus at Ridenbaugh Press gave us Feeling a Draft
• Metroblogging Portland set the imperative: Run, DeFazio, Run
• There have also been blog updates in the state press. The Oregonian's Politics Blog ran a piece yesterday called Bloggers hot for Defazio to take on Smith
• Not to be outdone, Pulitzer-winning alt-weekly Willamette Week's managing editor Hank Stern ran a blurb called A "Loaded" Question: Does Peter DeFazio Feel a Draft?
• And in national blog news (besides Kos), SenateGuru2008 marked the occasion with Draft DeFazio Effort Underway, and the news has broken blue at MyDD as well..
• So the news is spreading. But we need RESULTS. Happily, we're off to a great start there, too. As of Sunday night, the tote board reads 57 donors and $1173.

But we're not satisfied. It's going to take more than that--a lot more--to get Peter off the schneid and convince him we can do this. And I emphasize the word WE; it's got to come from us or it will not come from anywhere.
So we're going to keep pushing. By Monday night, April 9th, we'd like to see either 100 donors, $2,000, or both. I know we can do it, especially if we get a little help from the netroots.
The great thing about this is that the amount of money doesn't need to be substantial at all. We're not trying to raise enough to get him through a primary; we're telling him with our actions that we're ready to REALLY work if he'll only join us and take the sceptre of leadership. So even if all you can give is $5, that's OK. It's the effort that really counts.
Here's how we're doing it: as an undeclared candidate, we can't literally contribute to a Senate fund. However, his House fund is open, and any monies in that fund can be transferred to a Senate campaign when necessary. To track donations, we're using our old friends at ActBlue.

There's been some question as to why we've decided to use the House account instead of a separate one set up for the eventual Democratic nominee. Although it's true that his seat is likely safe if he doesn't run, and then that money might be better used elsewhere, there's no general if there's no primary, and Peter likely won't enter the primary unless he sees the committment from us. By contributing to the House account, he can't help but see what's happening.
We hope you'll do your best to join us and create a REAL "surge" from the netroots. Its been done before, for Ned Lamont and Jim Webb and Larry Grant and Gary Trauner, et's time to go to the mattresses again!

To donate: Draft DeFazio at ActBlue
To read about DeFazio and Gordon Smith: DeFazio for Senate from Oregon
To sign the petition: Sign the petition!

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