Monday, November 11, 2013

Who Will Protect Us From The NSA If Not Congress?


The new letter to Blue America members earlier today is all about electing a progressive U.S. Senator in Maine, Shenna Bellows. If you contribute to Shenna, or any Blue America candidate-- any amount-- you'll be a member too… and you'll get the e-mail blasts long before they're up on our blogs. Overall, we see Shenna as a fearless and proven fighter, someone of the calibre of Elizabeth Warren. Her big issues can be summarized into 5 easy categories that she has consistently brought up to us as we've gotten to know her:
Restoration of our constitutional freedoms, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, LGBT rights, privacy, and reproductive freedom
Poverty reduction, a fairer tax system, protection and strengthening of the social safety net, and corporate accountability
Democracy building, including campaign finance reform and voting rights
Public education and reduction of our student debt
Environmental protection and addressing climate change
This blast we sent out is titled:

Maine Senate: Bellows Messages How Loud? Amplifying Early Contributions

Most or all of the following messages can be delivered by Maine U.S. Senate candidate Shenna Bellows with our urgent support:

1. ...that a low-income public-interest-salaried carpenter’s (and nurse’s) daughter, who achieved a $50,000 fundraising target before recently declaring her candidacy against a “millionaire incumbent” with more than $2 million in cash on hand, can quickly raise enough small contributions from Progressive donors to prove her viability.

2. …that incumbent Susan Collins’ quickly discredited public assertion, that the NSA’s phone data collection program "has defeated and thwarted dozens and dozens of terror plots both here and overseas," has created a new crack in the armor of Collins’ “carefully crafted reputation as a moderate conservative.”

3. …that Shenna Bellows’ experience spending the past 8 years protecting civil liberties and building coalitions as executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine has equipped her with the credibility and skills for campaigning and legislating “to repeal the Patriot Act, to stop NSA surveillance on ordinary Americans and to halt indefinite detention[s]” and the “war on drugs”, reminiscent of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s credibility and skills in addressing banks’ fraud, impunity and consumer victimization.

4. …that a coalition of Independents, Libertarians, Democrats and many Republicans in the fishing ports, forests and mountains of America’s Northeast frontier can join together to defend privacy and liberty from abusive security-intelligence bureaucracies, especially in support of a candidate like Shenna Bellows, to whom “Many libertarians have warmed up”, because of “issues such as the drone legislation,” against what one “Libertarian-leaning Republican” describes as “the totalitarian stances of a woman [Collins] who has refused to take a courageous stand against a number of tyrannical pieces of legislation.”

5. …that the 99% can and will use their votes to demand and achieve not only corporate accountability, fairer taxes and economic safety nets, but also a protected and preserved natural environment, especially in this very rural state were everybody can see the deepening impact of climate change.

6. …that, when national media attention is drawn to a small state, to cover the story of Maine’s likely first-ever election of an openly Gay candidate for Governor of any state in the U.S., this attention can benefit other local candidates -- especially one like Shenna Bellows, who was a leader of Maine’s successful effort to pass 2009 legislation, and then to pass a 2012 state referendum, recognizing same-sex marriages.  (This recognition is still opposed by incumbent Senator Collins, who is evolving too little and too late to catch up with Maine’s voters on LGBT rights.)

7. …that Maine’s electorate will continue trending more Democratic, populist and potentially Progressive after its overwhelming vote to restore same-day voter registration by overturning recent Republican legislation, at the end of a campaign co-chaired by Shenna Bellows.

8. …that Maine’s expanded pool of registered voters will reward energetic personal campaigning, like Shenna Bellows’ campaign activities in each of Maine’s 16 counties within her first week of campaigning, and her intention to continue an intense pace, which will be hard to match for Collins, whose appetite for the campaign trail could be reduced by her age (61 next month) and her recent (first) marriage.

9. …that voters appreciate candidates who remain close to the state they represent, more than Senators who become primarily residents of Washington DC, like Collins, who recently married a long-time DC-resident consultant-lobbyist and former advisor/employee of Republican politicians Lisa Murkowski, Fred Thompson, and-- as national manager of presidential campaign-- Elizabeth Dole, in contrast with Shenna Bellows, whose husband works as Schools and Curriculum Coordinator of the Civil Rights Team Project of the Office of the Maine Attorney General.

10. …that 18 years is long enough and 24 years is too long in the Senate, especially for a candidate like Susan Collins who previously promised to serve no more than 12 years.

  11. …that "Phony Moderate Insider" incumbents need to worry about the risk of being defeated by challengers from their Left, especially in alliances with outsiders, in the same way they already worry about challengers from their Right.

12. …that Maine voters’ 2012 replacement of Snowe with Democratic-caucusing Independent Angus King has not prevented continuing emergence of a trend towards Democratic policy preferences, which must eventually result in mainly electing Democratic candidates.

  13. …that young Progressive challengers to entrenched Republican incumbents (who have beaten or deterred challenges from older established Democratic and Independent politicians) can accelerate generational turnover, and can acquire the campaigning and governing experience needed to become future national leaders.

Impressed? Shenna's the real thing. Please contribute what you can, here, through ActBlue.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home