Monday, September 08, 2008

Blue America Firing On All Cylinders Tomorrow-- And Don't Worry, Karl, Jane Won't Bite You


Dennis Shulman & Darcy Burner, focus of Blue America attention Tuesday

This past week was a banner one for Blue America. Over 1,880 Blue America donors-- many contributing $1.00-- put $42,573.62 into the campaign chests of the 9 House candidates on our list who aren't on the DCCC's Red to Blue program yet. DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen matched Blue America's $5,000 prize, won by Annette Taddeo (D-FL) who walked away with over $16,000. Runners-up did pretty well too, Russ Warner (D-CA) with nearly $12,000, Debbie Cook (D-CA) with over $10,000, Sam Bennett (D-PA) with over $5,000 and Dennis Shulman (D-NJ) with almost $4,000. On top of that several of the Democratic congressional leaders have taken out their checkbooks and substantially donated to our candidates. We expect to have a game-changing announcement in a few days.

Meanwhile, unless you can borrow one of the McCain family private jets it's unlikely you'll be able to make both Blue America live events tomorrow. Digby, John Amato and I, along with Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, will be hosting an intimate lunch for Darcy Burner in Silverlake (which is part of Eric's district) and far from the political fundraiser circuit on the Westside. If you'd like to come, hit that link back in the last sentence.

A couple hours later Jane is hosting a reception at her new DC digs for Dennis Shulman, the progressive who is taking on New Jersey's only far right extremist in Congress, Scott Garrett. Jane always has the best parties in Washington-- best (least insider) guest list-- and this time she's been doing her darndest to invite her new neighbor, Karl Rove. Meanwhile it's amazing to me that Dennis has the energy to schlepp all the way down to Washington tomorrow. He's in the midst of an intense Listening Tour of northern New Jersey which has had him in every part of the large district all weekend-- Ringwood, Phillipsburg, Wantage, Tenafly. Discussing the issues families in NJ-05 want to talk about Dennis is strengthening his understanding of voter dissatisfaction in New Jersey. "The residents of New Jersey's Fifth District are fed up with the special interest culture that pervades Washington and prevents the government from doing the job it should be doing-- standing up for taxpayers.  Career politician Scott Garrett, and the corrupt special interests for which he works, have raked in the cash while Americans struggle to put food on their tables, fill their gas tanks, and pay their bills.  When I'm in Congress, I pledge to never become a career politician who puts Big Oil and Countrywide Financial above the citizens I'm supposed to represent."

I suspect Rove isn't nearly as neighborly as Jane and probably will skip the festivities, primarily because Rove and Garrett see eye-to-eye on everything and he's not all that likely to want to donate to Dennis' campaign fund. If you'd like to, you can find ActBlue pages for Dennis and, of course, for Darcy, at Blue America. These are two of our most winnable races though both are going to take a lot of effort and money. But neither is just about being winnable. I mean Bobby Bright (D-AL), Paul Carmouche (D-LA), Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA) and Don Cravins (D-LA) are all winnable races too... but those are hardly the kinds of progressive leaders Blue America gets behind. That batch of four, for example, are all anti-choice reactionaries who are bound to be problems for progressives if they get into Congress. When we talk about helping candidates like Darcy Burner (D-WA) and Dennis Shulman (D-NJ) we are talking about candidates who will fight-- and fight hard-- to protect choice, to protect working families, to protect our country's interests in a complex world. We don't have a monopoly of good candidates-- aside from the duds, the DCCC is also supporting some good ones Blue America hasn't gotten to, like Linda Stender (D-NJ), Bob Lord (D-AZ), Gary Trauner (D-WY), Judy Baker (D-MO), Ashwin Madia (D-MN) and John Adler (D-NJ)-- but we can tell you with confidence that our endorsed candidates aren't just Democrats; they stand strongly for Democratic principles and values.

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