Blue America '14

2014 Is going to be a tough year for Democrats to win back the House, especially with Steve Israel once again running the DCCC. But that doesn't mean we can't elect more progressives in both primaries and in the general election. That's our goal.

Blue America '14 has raised $142710.11 from 2057 donors.
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One Last 2014 Ask From Blue America

A week from tomorrow is election day. The Blue America strategy has been to see if we could elect some solid progressives to Congress. This is our list of House candidates still in the running and this is our list of Senate candidates.

All of the candidates on both pages have been carefully vetted and will, first and foremost, represent the interests of regular working families in Congress, not corporate special interests and not their own careerism.

If you've been waiting for the last minute to see where end-of-the-cyle money would do the most good, I'd recommend Paul Clements (MI-06), Mike Obermueller (MN-02), and Pat Murphy (IA-01) in hotly contested House races and Rick Weiland (SD) and Shenna Bellows (ME) for Senate seats. At this point, all money coming in to those campaigns at the links above go for Get-Out-The-Vote operations.

The other ActBlue page we want to ask you to consider is for the Blue America I.E. committee, which is running ads in South Dakota, Maine, CA-33 and MN-06, hoping to bolster our candidates, respectively Rick Weiland, Shenna Bellows, Ted Lieu, and Paul Clements.

This is the last time we're expecting to ask our members to contribute for the 2014 midterms..

So if you've been waiting... now's the time. The DCCC hasn't lifted a finger to help any of the Blue America-endorsed candidates with the exception, eventually, of Pat Murphy. DCCC chairman Steve Israel has worked to protect GOP committee chairs Fred Upton (MI-06) and John Kline (MN-02) and both are vulnerable to effective grassroots action.

This week we have a full page ad in the L.A. Times talking about Ted Lieu's record of accomplishment, vision and leadership in the state legislature because of the hundreds of thousands of dollars Vegas mobster Sheldon Adeleson and his circle have thrown into the race at the last minute, much of it not just ugly and divisive but extremely racist. We feel these races are progressives' best shots to win between now and the 2016 general elections.

Thanks for all you've done this cycle. Stay abreast of any late developments between now and Election Day at Digby's blog, at Crooks and Liars and at DownWithTyranny. We'll have another report after the election.



Pushing Back Against Sheldon Adelson Flood Of Slime

Vegas-Macau gambling kingpin Sheldon Adelson, who fronts for organized crime and launders money from China into American politics, has decided to try to win Henry Waxman’s congressional seat on Los Angeles’ west side— from Malibu down through Santa Monica, Venice, El Segundo and Manhattan Beach to Redondo Beach, Torrance, Rancho Palos Verdes and Harbor City— for a Republican stooge he can easily control, Elan Carr.

First the good news: the last publicly-available polling— by Democratic firm, GarinHartYang Research-- showed Ted Lieu, the state senator from most of the district, leading Carr 55-36%, nearly 20 points. Party registration in the district is 44% Democrat, 33% Republican and Obama beat Romney 61-37%. The PVI is D+11.

“Ted Lieu,” writes Garin, “maintains a healthy lead over Elan Carr in the initial trial heat and Senator Lieu’s support expands slightly, even after we assume attacks from our opponent. Senator Lieu’s strong position in the race is due to his legislative experience, better alignment with the values and priorities in this district, AND the tarnished GOP brand.”

They no longer have to “assume” attacks. Carr’s biggest supporter, the Sheldon Adelson family and his crooked circle, came roaring into the district Friday with 4 mailers, one of which is an ugly racist piece trying to paint Lieu as not sufficiently pro-Israel— and appeal to the district’s huge Jewish population. And now the Adelson front has reserved several hundred thousand dollars on broadcast TV to saturate the airwaves with anti-Lieu smears.

Blue America is the only group coming to Ted’s aid— and we need help.

Our independent expenditure committee is running ads in South Dakota’s Senate race, Maine’s Senate race, the Michigan congressional race pitting Paul Clements against Fred Upton... and now Ted Lieu’s race. This is Digby’s and John’s home district and we’re finishing up a full page ad for the Los Angeles Times that emphasizes 4 examples of national leadership by Ted:

the first successful bill to protect consumers from predatory mortgage bankers

  • the first successful legislation to end conversion therapy for LGBT minors
  • the first successful bill to take serious statewide action against Global Warming
  • the first successful bill to end state cooperation with the CIA, NSA and any other federal agencies engaging in unconstitutional domestic spying

Ted Lieu isn’t just another politician making sweet-sounding promises. He’s running on a solid platform of accomplishments and leadership. And, on these issues, the 3 other candidates our I.E. Committee is trying to boost— Paul Clements, Shenna Bellows and Rick Weiland— all agree 100%.

Every cent contributed on our Independent Expenditure Committee page between now and election day will go right into these 4 campaigns.

Please help us make Congress more progressive, more productive and more responsive to the needs of ordinary working families. Every dollar counts.



Why We "Are Voting For the Other" ...Susan Collins Hasn't Earned 6 More Years

Olympia Snowe was a moderate Republican working for all Mainers. Susan Collins isn’t Olympia Snowe and she does more for her own party’s Beltway Establishment than she does for Maine’s working families.

We have a choice on November 4th— another 6 years in Washington for a Mitch McConnell surrogate or a chance for a fresh start with Shenna Bellows who differs with Collins by advocating equal pay for equal work, working against government encroachment on our constitutional rights and working for an increase to $10.10 for the minimum wage. Time to say goodbye to Paul LePage and Susan Collins!

Fired up? Help Shenna get her message out to Mainers, here.



Steve Israel's Ignored WA-08, so Jason Richie Will Use Own Strategy to Beat Loathsome Dave Reichert

Blue America’s last endorsement of the 2014 cycle is Jason Ritchie, the candidate running for the seat currently held by conservative Republican Dave Reichert in a swing district that stretches from the suburbs south and east of Seattle all the way out to Wenatchee and Ellensburg.

Obama won the district both times, by almost 15,000 against McCain and by close to 5,000 against Romney. Both of Washington’s Democratic senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, also won WA-08.

It’s one of the likeliest districts for a Democratic take-over in the country, but Steve Israel has taken it off the table and the DCCC is not contesting it or helping Jason in any way. There hasn’t been a single poll other than the one above, Reichert refuses to debate and he’s raised $906,389 to Jason’s $133,323.

We’re asking you to consider chipping in whatever you can to help Jason, a stalwart progressive, with his field operation and Get Out The Vote efforts.

Reichert is a GOP hack and votes like a zombie— backing the Tea Party in their demands to shut down the government, suing President Obama and 54 votes cast for wiping out the Affordable Care Act. Reichert, who wants to eventually run for governor, has a clear record as a cog in the Republican Party obstructionist machine. We feel that once Steve Israel is gone from the DCCC, WA-08 will be a natural battleground for the Democrats and we are impressed that Jason has talked about the need to mount a two-cycle strategy for taking back the district.

“We're running a strong field operation with over 260,000 voter contacts to date,” he told us this week. “Win or lose, I'll be back in 2016 and we're building the infrastructure, identifying the voters, and organizing to win now and in the future. This is a purple district. This is a winnable district— but I need your help in order to make that potential a reality.”

One of the most important planks in his platform has been his advocacy on behalf of students and their families who have become mired in debt while seeking an education. While Germany has just passed legislation to guarantee free university education for all qualified students, in America college is becoming more and more out of reach for the children of the working class.

“40 million U.S. citizens currently owe more than $1.2 trillion in student debt,” says Jason. “7 out of 10 college students graduate with a student loan debt that averages $29,000. These debts often prohibit young people from buying their own homes or investing back into our economy.” He wants to go to Congress to do something about it.

If we are serious about generating an economic stimulus, we can get money back into the hands of millions of Americans by simply allowing them to refinance their student loans. I would support the House version of Elizabeth Warren’s Bank on Student Loan Refinancing Act (Senate Bill 2292), which would have allowed people with student loans taken out prior to 2010 to refinance at 3.86%. This is dramatically lower than the 7.5% that most student loan recipients currently pay.
 
Partisan Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked this legislation from a vote in the Senate. When it does pass, I'll co-sponsor the House version and I'll fight for its passage into law.

People shouldn't have to go bankrupt to afford a college education. Republicans refuse to stand up for the millions of people with student loans paying outrageous interest rates. I'll make fighting for student debt relief a priority.

There will be no more new Blue America candidates this cycle. Let’s give Jason a strong welcome on our ActBlue list.



Alan Grayson-- Progressives' Cosmic Thing

Alan Grayson was 30 when the B-52’s were recording “Love Shack,” “Channel Z,” “Roam” and the other classic songs that were released on their most beloved and successful album, Cosmic Thing. He had graduated from Harvard, where he had written his masters thesis on gerontology, done some law clerking for both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia and founded the non-profit Alliance for Aging Research.

While the rest of us were trying to figure out which voice was Cindy’s and which voice was Kate’s, Grayson was trying to figure out how to improve the human experience of aging for all American seniors and working with Members of Congress to accelerate the development of treatments and a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. 

Now, of course, Grayson is a Member of Congress himself, arguably the single best member and certainly the best member when it comes to the issues facing the non-rich elderly. This week, Blue America is asking one last time this cycle for our members and supporters to chip in to make sure the Koch brothers don’t succeed in November doing to Grayson what they did in 2010, when he didn’t have the resources to respond to a $5.5 million barrage of vicious, false attack ads they financed.

So… anytime all week— until Friday, October 10 at noon (PT)— everyone who contributes, any amount, to Grayson’s campaign on this Blue America page will get a chance to walk off with an RIAA-certified quadruple platinum award for Cosmic Thing.

This isn’t something you can buy in a store. The band and record company awarded it to a small handful of people who helped make Cosmic Thing such a gigantic success. And there’s more. If you want to and you’re the lucky random winner, we’ll fly you and a guest to Orlando where Alan Grayson and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will personally present you with the plaque. Yes, photos allowed!

Alan has been gracious and generous with his time and efforts to help elect progressives to Congress. Here in Los Angeles, he jumped right into Ted Lieu’s battle to win a House seat against Sheldon Adelson protégé Elan Carr. Why is Grayson helping raise money for a California state senator running for Congress when he needs to protect his own seat in central Florida? Here’s why— in his own words:

The American Psychiatric Association has unequivocally condemned any psychiatric “treatment” based on the assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder. The Attorney General has written that “a growing scientific consensus accepts that sexual orientation is a characteristic that is immutable.” The World Health Organization has said that “sexual orientation by itself is not to be regarded as a disorder.” And yet in the United States, gay teenagers have been held in isolation for months, and forced to attend this “conversion therapy.”

Except in California. Thanks to Ted Lieu.

In 2012, State Senator Ted Lieu wrote a bill to prohibit conversation therapy for minors in California. That bill passed in the California Legislature, and was signed into law. Ted Lieu made California the first state to ban conversion therapy for minors, but hopefully not the last. That was a very important accomplishment.

Now Ted Lieu is running for Congress, and he needs your help. He is seeking the seat of Rep. Henry Waxman. Henry has served for 40 years in Congress, and yet he kept his seat last time with only 54% of the vote. It’s a difficult district, it’s a close race, and we need Ted Lieu in Congress.

…I’m asking you to click below, and show your support for Ted Lieu. He had the guts to take on the Religious Right when it was the Religious Wrong, and he rescued countless children from the bigoted lie that their sexual identity was a “disease” that demanded a quack “cure.” Ted Lieu deserves our support.

Blue America also supports Ted Lieu— but today is Alan Grayson day day for us. Please contribute what you can here— and good luck with the B-52’s Cosmic Thing platinum award and the trip for two to meet Grayson and Pelosi in Orlando.




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