40 days from today - on May 18 - we will see two HUGE primaries for U.S. Senate. Even though these races aren't in Texas, they impact Democrats across the country and, well, the entire country as a whole.
In Pennsylvania, Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak will try to upset Republican-for-decades Arlen Specter.
In Arkansas, Democratic Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter will try to upset corporate lackey Blanche Lincoln.
These two races are tremendously important to defining who and what the Democratic Party is and what we will be fighting for.
If you can volunteer for these candidates (or encourage friends and family in Pennsylvania and Arkansas to do so), that would be amazing.
Polling shows that both Specter and Lincoln are at risk of - if not likely to - hand these Senate seats over to far-right-wing Republicans. (And, even if these two retain the seats, that's not much better on many key issues.)
Congressman Sestak and Lieutenant Governor Halter winning these primaries are critical to keeping these seats in truly Democratic hands. Your support can help make that happen! Please hop over to the Expand the Map! ActBlue page right away to make a contribution - an investment in the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party to pull out an old expression - and show your support.
Thanks SO much for any support you can provide. 40 Days.
As we await the historic vote on health care reform, it's important to remember that we're just ten days away from the end of the first fundraising quarter of 2010. The fundraising totals reported in this quarter will be pivotal to determining the tenor of many races for the rest of the year. If there is any time to contribute, now is the time!
Remember, the contribution you can make isn't just a donation to a single candidate or political campaign. It's an investment against Republican obstruction (and conservaDem enabling) and an investment toward achieving that more perfect union.
While 2010 will be chock-full of exciting races at all levels of government. In 2009, though, there will be two marquee races across the country: the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey. Republicans are favored in both races, but both races should come down to the wire, and Democrats can hold both seats - with your help.
In Virginia, Democratic State Senator Creigh Deeds won an impressive, come-from-behind victory for the nomination this past Tuesday, demonstrating a strong ground game. The Republican nominee will be far-right-winger Bob McDonnell. The best description for McDonnell's brand of Republicanism is that he is a Pat Robertson disciple. You can learn more about McDonnell at TheRealBobMcDonnell.com. Deeds and McDonnell have tangled before, in the 2005 Virginia Attorney General race, where McDonnell barely edged Deeds by 323 votes (yes, just 323 votes - that's not a typo with zeroes missing) out of over 1.94 million votes counted. This race will be exceptionally close, so every single dollar contributed and every single hour spent volunteering will make a real difference. A bit of good news is that the first poll taken after Tuesday's primary, by Rasmussen Reports, shows Deeds with a 47-41 lead over McDonnell, but this could just be due to a primary bump. Rasmussen's last poll showed McDonnell leading Deeds 45-30. Your support will help Deeds sustain his new lead.
In New Jersey, Democratic incumbent Governor Jon Corzine will square off against Republican former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie. Christie is very much at home in the Republican Culture of Corruption. Republican Christie has faced scandals involving no-bid contracts, abuse of the state pension system, pay-to-play, and even allegedly cutting a deal to get his younger brother's sentence reduced after being implicated for fraudulent trading practices on Wall Street. Despite Christie's mountain of scandal, New Jersey's lagging economy has hurt Governor Corzine's poll numbers. Recent polling gives Christie a 7 to 13 point lead over Corzine. Research 2000, May 25-27: Christie 46, Corzine 39; Rasmussen Reports, June 4: Christie 51, Corzine 38; and, Quinnipiac, June 10: Christie 50, Corzine 40. In other words, Christie has an edge, but the fundamentals of the race moving forward favor Governor Corzine. As the economy gradually picks up over the coming months and voters learn more about Christie's corrupt background, New Jersey's blue state status will shine through and Governor Corzine should tighten the race back up. Your support will help Governor Corzine tighten the race up even faster.
Below are the links to how you can connect with the gubernatorial campaigns (and - please - contribute anything you can to these campaigns, and spread the word!). Republicans are expecting (and expected) to win both of these races. However, after being upset in the NY-20 special U.S. House election and losing a U.S. Senator to a Party switch, the GOP is reeling. Losing either (or both!) VA-Gov or/and NJ-Gov would be a major body blow and simply crush Republicans heading into the 2010 calendar year. If Democrats across the country are able to support these Democratic campaigns, we can flush the conventional wisdom down the toilet and deliver two more embarrassments to the Rush-Newt-Cheney Republican Party and two more losses to the Michael Steele RNC.
As many of you know, over the last five days, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, in partnership with a number of progressive organizations and blogs including Senate Guru, asked those in the netroots, "Should a Draft Sestak movement be created to take on Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary?"
The results are in and they are overwhelming. 85% of Pennsylvanian respondents and 86% of respondents nationally want Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak to challenge Arlen Specter in the 2010 Democratic Senate primary. The poll has even gotten the attention of Congressman Sestak, as the PCCC points out:
"I am honored that so many of you took the time to vote in the recent grassroots Straw Poll. Let me tell you, I and many others were paying attention. If I decide to run it will be in large measure because of the grassroots energy of so many people like you. Until I and my family make that decision, please accept my thanks and my best wishes as you continue be active participants in our people-powered democracy. Thank you so very much!"
Due to such an overwhelming response, a Draft Sestak Fund has been created on ActBlue. To contribute and further encourage Congressman Sestak to enter the race, click on the image below:
If you need any additional motivation to contribute to this effort to draft a real Democrat to oppose Specter in the primary, consider Specter's actions since announcing his Party switch:
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, working with a number of progressive organizations and blogs including Senate Guru, has put out a poll to gauge netroots interest - in Texas and all across the country - in supporting an effort to draft Congressman Joe Sestak to challenge recently-Republican Arlen Specter in the PA-Sen Democratic primary next year. The poll will be open for the next four days, and provided are both pro and con arguments regarding a draft effort. To read the arguments and vote in the poll, click the below link:
Some Republicans also said a liberal nominee would pose risks for Senate Democrats representing conservative states.
"It puts a lot of pressure on Democrats in red states, particularly those running for re-election in 2010, if it is someone who is dramatically outside of the mainstream," said Mr. Cornyn, who, as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has a deep interest in the politics of the nomination.
Cornyn's sentiment is predicated on the notion that the Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee is deeply concerned with making sure that Democratic Senators get re-elected. Since any extremely competent, intelligent, accomplished, not-crazy-radical-drooling-over-their-gavel Supreme Court nominee that President Obama would see fit to pick should be confirmed - with only the most partisan of Republicans opposing any nominee no matter what ($100 says Hookerlover David Vitter votes nay - and I'm giving odds!) - Cornyn's trying reverse psychology to frighten President Obama into choosing a more centrist jurist than needbe. Because President Obama is sooooo frightened of Big, Bad John Cornyn.
Before Arlen Specter's Party switch announcement yesterday, the Senate's Democratic caucus stood at 58 members. Senator-elect Al Franken represented Democrats' 59th vote toward cloture, still short of reliably ending Republican filibusters. But now, with Specter joining the Democratic caucus, Senator-elect Franken represents the big 6-0, which is why Republicans will redouble their efforts to delay Senator-elect Franken's seating - and why we in the netroots must redouble our efforts to send obstructionist Republicans a message and also provide them with adequate disincentive from delaying Senator-elect Franken's seating any further.
Since the "One Dollar a Day to Make Norm Coleman Go Away" effort started just a couple weeks ago, about $40,000 has been raised to remind the Republicans funding Norm Coleman's endless appeals that, for every single day that they delay the implementation of the will of Minnesota voters, progressive voters will raise money to use against these Republicans on Election Day 2010.
Your support will strengthen that message!
Norm Coleman and his fellow Republicans recently scored a success in further delaying Senator-elect Franken's seating, as the trial schedule adopted by the state Supreme Court for Coleman's appeal is such that oral arguments before the Court won't begin until June 1st, over a month from now. Further, although Minnesota election policy dictates that Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty must prepare and sign Senator-elect Franken's election certificate once the state Supreme Court hands down its decision, Pawlenty has hemmed and hawed as to whether he would follow state election policy accordingly.
With a D next to Arlen Specter's name, Republicans will go full force to block Senator-elect Franken's seating. Please join us in eliminating Republicans' incentive to delay Senator-elect Franken's seating any further by taking part in the "One Dollar a Day to Make Norm Coleman Go Away" effort. At right is video of the segment on MSNBC's Hardball highlighting the effort.
Even in Texas, I'm sure you've heard plenty about what's going on with the still-unsettled Senate race in Minnesota.
While Republican Norm Coleman prolongs his endless and pointless appeals, cementing his admission into the Sore Losers Hall of Fame, progressive organizations Democracy for America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee have introduced a new effort: NormDollar.com, "A Dollar a Day to Make Norm Go Away." Very simply put, commit to contributing just one dollar per day for every day that sore loser Norm Coleman refuses to concede.
This is exactly the correct approach to take in order to provide Republican leadership in Washington with adequate disincentive from continuing to fund Coleman's endless appeals. The GOP bigwigs funding Coleman's appeals see value in putting their money toward keeping progressive Senator-elect Al Franken from being seated. This grassroots-powered effort will make them think twice by generating many thousands of dollars for progressive candidates for every single day that they fund the Coleman circus.
If you feel so inclined, you can certainly chip in a bit of change directly to the Franken Recount Fund, as well.
While I typically focus on Senate races, the special election in New York's 20th Congressional district is an excellent opportunity to stick it to the Republican Party.
NY-20 is a Republican leaning district in voter registration, but has been recently represented by now-Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and even narrowly supported now-President Barack Obama over John McCain.
The Democratic nominee, Scott Murphy, has turned a deficit in the polls into a narrow four-point lead over Republican Jim Tedisco. Momentum is on our side! A victory in this special election wouldn't just be a nice Democratic hold, but, since it is a Republican-leaning district, it would also be a major embarrassment for Republicans, particularly new RNC Chair Michael Steele.
How desperate are Republicans in this race? Well, they're very literally reduced to going with a noun, a verb, and 9-11 in flailingly attacking Murphy. And how loathsome is the Republican nominee? Even the Libertarian candidate, who was booted from the race after - it would appear - Republicans made a concerted effort to get enough Libertarian ballot signatures overturned, has endorsed Scott Murphy. (And it's one hell of an endorsement.)
The special election is this Tuesday! So what can you do to help?
This is a special election, so GOTV is everything. On Monday or Tuesday, if you can spend literally one single hour making calls, that could be the difference in a Republican pick-up versus a Republican embarrassment.
The Senate had a major procedural vote on President Obama's economic stimulus bill late this afternoon. A bipartisan supermajority overcame a Republican filibuster by a vote of 61-36. What may have been most interesting in the vote, however, was this:
Not Voting - 2 Cornyn (R-TX) Gregg (R-NH)
We know that Judd Gregg abstained from voting as he awaits confirmation as Commerce Secretary. But where was John Cornyn? Why would Cornyn skip out on arguably the most critical vote of the year thus far? For the prospect of cold, hard cash:
Glenn Thrush says the question from the Senate floor this evening was "where was Cornyn," as the Texas Republican was the only senator to miss the crucial cloture vote on the stimulus package.
The answer: He was at a New York gathering of prominent media conservatives and Wall Street Republican donors called the Monday Meeting, held at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Midtown Manhattan.
Though not a fundraiser, the meeting is a hub of conservative money and buzz, a good place for Cornyn to tap into resources in his role as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
John Cornyn blew off the most important vote of the year to rub elbows with rich New Yorkers who might cut him a check. Those are the priorities of NRSC Chair John Cornyn. So when the NRSC baselessly attacks Democrats for anything they do, any positions they take, any public comments they make, note that NRSC Chair Cornyn doesn't even have the professional courtesy to show up to vote for something as hugely critical as the economic stimulus.