Saturday, September 06, 2008

Blue America Contest-- Winner At 1pm Today


Last weekend when we launched this contest, who would have suspected we would take in over $35,000 for our 9 congressional candidates! Blue America decided to offer $5,000 to the candidate who got the most votes (in the form of online contributions) this week. The campaigns that worked their e-mail lists and their local blogs wound up bringing in thousands of dollars. In total over 1,500 donations came pouring in.

What all of these candidates have in common is that each is a solid progressive and that none are in the DCCC Red to Blue program yet. That program is a signal to wealthy and to institutional Democratic donors that the party bosses are taking the race seriously and it makes it much easier for the campaigns to raise money. We figured that candidates not on the list were the ones who need our help the most right now. Peterr from FDL, with some assistance from Jacquie, outlined what just the $5,000 would buy, media-wise, for a campaign struggling to get a message out.

All but one of our 9 candidates-- the exception being Jared Polis, who's running for an open seat in Colorado-- are up against entrenched incumbents. But each of the entrenched incumbents has been a dependable Bush rubber stamp and each is vulnerable on explosive issues like high gasoline prices, the war in Iraq, and substandard health care. Many of them-- like Dennis Shulman's, Annette Taddeo's and Barry Welsh's opponents, respectively Scott Garrett, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mike Pence-- are extreme right-wing ideologues, far beyond the mainstream and completely out of sync with the voters in their own districts. But none of our candidates' opponents are moderates and, although some try to portray themselves otherwise, each has a disgraceful voting record at great variance with their constituent's best interests. And each is massively well-financed, primarily by the corporate special interests whose business has been as well attended to as the district's has been all but ignored.

As of June 30 this is what each of our candidates and their opponents had on hand:

Sam Bennett (D-PA- $353,774) v Charlie Dent (R- $686,686)
Debbie Cook (D-CA- $97,392) v Dana Rohrabacher (R- $387,950)
Larry Joe Doherty (D-TX- $259,792) v Michael McCaul (R- $489,054)
Alan Grayson (D-FL- $344,793) v Ric Keller (R- $935,186)
Jared Polis (D-CO- $866,865) v Scott Starin (R- $5,775)
Dennis Shulman (D-NJ- $258,381) v Scott Garrett (R- $649,003)
Annette Taddeo (D-FL- $457,105) v Ileanna Ros-Lehtinen (R- $1,893,392)
Russ Warner (D-CA- $124,896) v David Dreier (R- $1,903,654)
Barry Welsh (D-IN- $7,533) v Mike Pence (R- $739,104)

You can see what each of our candidates has managed to bring in since last Saturday on our special contest page. Many overly enthusiastic donors gave more than once-- some more than a dozen times-- to the candidates of their choice. To determine the winner of our prize, only one donation per candidate is counted for any one screen name. The contest remains open until 12 noon (PT), so, by all means, please donate to the candidate, or candidates, of your choice. We have also gotten a generous donation of $1,250 to the Blue America PAC from an anonymous donor who has asked that we match it and donate $2,500 to the runner-up. So... if you'd like to support that proposition, by all means drop some cash into the Blue America PAC slot as well.

Chris Van Hollen's GOP counterpart, Tom Reynolds, wasn't just sweating; he decided to retire

Meanwhile at 9AM this morning, we got this awesomely generous letter from Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Chairman of the DCCC. Before I share it with you, just let me remind everyone that when Rahm Emanuel and Steny Hoyer beat up on a buncch of Democrats and led enough across the aisle to help the Republicans pass Bush's continuing occupation of Iraq and, a week later, his hideous FISA legislation, Van Hollen, was one of the few in the Democratic leadership who refused to join them on either. Like a majority of Democrats, Chris voted to end the war and voted against the FISA bill. His letter:
Please offer my thanks to the Blue American community for their continued help to our Democratic candidates. Mobilizing grassroots supporters is crucial in our campaign to strengthen and secure the Democratic Majority. The outpouring of support that the Blue America community has shown this week for our Democratic candidates for change has been particularly exciting. I am pleased to match Blue America's $5,000 contribution to the winner of your "Vote For A Blue America Candidate" contest. I thank you for your continuing support in securing a New Direction for America.

Warm Regards,

Chris Van Hollen

Translation: today's winner gets $10,000, not $5,000. And... futhermore there's a bonus for our donors today too! Anybody who contributes at least $25.00 before noon will be entered in a drawing to win two (2) fourth row center tickets to the Jackson Browne concert at the historic Orpheum theatre in Los Angeles on October 5th.


Annette Taddeo, from Miami-Dade, who is running to win a seat from a far right extremist, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. It makes no sense to elect an agent of change like Obama and then saddle him with reactionaries who will sabotage every change he tries to make-- and no one fits that description better than Ros-Lehtinen.

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At 1:15 PM, Blogger slag said...

What gives? Are you talking 1pm Hawaii time?

At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you read the article, Howie posted the winner at

Annette Taddeo won, getting over 160 more votes than all other candidates.


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