DCCC Still Refusing To Back Progressive Primary Winners

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Credit: The Jimmy Dore Show on YouTube

Last Tuesday, one of the most promising candidates running for governor, Abdul El-Sayed of Michigan, lost his race. I tweeted that he ran a great campaign but that it was now time to get behind Gretchen Whitmer and help her defeat Trump's hand-picked extremist candidate Bill Schuette. One of the first people to "like" my tweet was Abdul. Whitmer might not be my kind of candidate-- nor his-- but she's the legitimately nominated Democrat-- and the only way to stop Schuette.

After the congressional races on the same day, the DCCC added some of the winners to their Red-to-Blue page... but not the progressives who won. This is outrageous.

On Tuesday, James Thompson won an astounding 65.3% in his Wichita-based district, a nearly two-to-one victory. He congratulated his opponent on a well-run campaign and she did likewise and now Democrats in the 4th district are united and working towards defeating Ron Estes. Although not with the DCCC, who is, once again, refusing to recognize Thompson as a candidate.

Likewise in southwest Michigan, the progressive in the race, Matt Longjohn, came in a strong first in a 4-way race. He beat the establishment fave, wealthy lobbyist George Franklin, 37% to 29% with the other progressive in the race, Dave Benac, taking 21%. Democrats in MI-06 are unified now in their determination to defeat Fred Upton-- but not the DCCC. Longjohn was recognized by President Obama as one of America's best physicians calling him one of the "top healthcare innovators in America." Not good enough for the DCCC, which is still pouting that a wealthy conservative lobbyist like Franklin didn't win.

This isn't new to the DCCC. Rahm Emanuel inserted it into their DNA when he was chairman and he was infamous for undercutting progressives who won primaries and refusing to back them in the general election. Many of them would go on to win without his help, making them independent of the corrupt Democratic establishment, a boon to them and to their constituents and to all of America.

As you probably know, Blue America has a page for progressive primary winners who the DCCC refuses to back.

I just want to point out that one of the candidates on it is J.D. Scholten, who is going up against America's most vile bigot, Steve King in Iowa's 4th congressional district. J.D. was in a tough 3-way primary over two months ago. And he won over 50% of the vote! But the DCCC has still refused to get behind his campaign.
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One pundit in Iowa told me there was more to it than just how much the DCCC hates progressives. "They make money off King," she told me. "Every time he says something racist or insane, they send out a fundraising letter. They'd rather see him stay in Congress as a cash-cow for themselves than see someone actually defeat him."

She told me that staffers at the DCCC were disappointed that small donors were contributing to J.D. so heavily and that as of the June 30 reporting deadline he has outraised King significantly-- $755,973 to $505,775. (Awwww. Here's your tiny violin,



Should Republican Billionaires Be Picking Democratic Candidates?

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Let's start with some news: Last week, Fox News' James Rupert Murdoch, a British billionaire, put half a million dollars into one of Nancy Jacobson's shady No Labels SuperPACs that aims to fill Congress with candidates from the Republican Wing of the Democratic Party.

Their current goal is a smear campaign against Alan Grayson.

Most recently, Jacobson pulled off the same filth against Marie Newman in Illinois’ 3rd District House primary, spending $931,600 to spread absolute lies against Newman while bolstering anti-Choice Blue Dog Dan Lipinski.

Jacobson, widely considered one of the most vicious and destructive players in American politics, runs a dark web of 8 of the most pernicious and sleazy SuperPACs in the country, United for Progress, United Together, Forward Not Back, Progress Tomorrow, Patriotic Americans PAC, Citizens for a Strong America, etc, entirely funded by contributions from 5 and 6-figure right wing donors, such as Rupert Murdoch, his son James Murdoch, Chicago White Sox and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, hedge fund manager Louis Bacon, former Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan Selig and Wheels Inc. executive Jim Frank.

By Friday they had spent $138,401 on mail and digital ads trying to bolster Grayson's worthless right-of-center New Dem opponent, Darren Soto, and attacking Grayson.

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This cycle, Jacobson has also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars from Republican contributors trying to win Democratic nominations for far right candidates running against progressives. Recently she failed in Pennsylvania, where Susan Wild beat No Labels DINO John Morganelli and she failed in Albuquerque, where Debra Haaland beat the No Labels DINO, Damon Martinez.

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Darren Soto is exactly the kind of easily corruptible, fake Democrat Jacobson, the Murdochs and other GOP billionaires want to see beat progressives like Grayson. Soto voted to prosecute all abortions as murder and voted to force women who want an abortion to undergo a humiliating procedure called "transvaginal ultrasound." Since being primaried by Grayson he's been apologizing for those votes, saying he "made a mistake."

He hasn't apologized for the votes that earned him "A" ratings from the NRA-- twice. And because of those hair-raising votes, the NRA endorsed him. He voted for Trump-sponsored laws 40 times in Congress and both times impeaching Trump came up in Congress, Soto voted NO. The reason No Labels is so enthusiastic about him is because he has said that he is "open-minded" about phasing out Social Security benefits or eliminating them altogether, No Labels top issue.

Meanwhile, Soto is one of Congress' most corrupt Democrats, well known for partying with lobbyists, spending taxpayer money and campaign money illegally on personal items for himself and his wife. He has even accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign support from Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her charter school allies. Generally speaking he's been a big waste of a solidly blue seat in Congress, accomplishing nothing for anyone... but himself. That compares badly with Grayson's record:

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During a debate with Grayson last week, Soto claimed "to be a great champion of women’s rights," a lie Grayson directly challenged, bringing up the specifics of Soto's shameful voting record. Soto had no answer... except to say he regrets those votes. He doesn't regret them enough to turn down the help he's getting now from the anti-Choice extremists who are flooding central Florida with lies against Grayson and nonsensical assertions of Soto's grandeur.

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Blue America members have been helping Grayson with his election campaigns since 2006. And he's never let us down-- always one of the 2 or 3 best members of Congress and living up to his promises.

He needs us again now.The primary is August 28 and he really needs to get on the air and respond to the lies Jacobson and Murdock are flooding TV and radio with. Please consider contributing what you can by clicking on the Blue America 2018 congressional elections thermometer on the right.

As of yesterday another dark money PAC had bought ads on one of the big Spanish language radio stations-- one ad every hour until election day! That's called brain-washing. It's what fascists do; it's what Republicans do.

Republican billionaires know their party is going to lose control of Congress in November. So they are working to defeat progressives and make certain friendly conservative DINOs become the nominees of the Democratic Party.

We can't let this happen. It's our party, not theirs.

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Another Texas District Not As Safe As The GOP Thought

Blue America has endorsed Mike Siegel for the congressional seat that stretches from Tomball and Cypress in the exurbs northwest of Houston, through Prairie View, Brenham and Weimar into northern Austin and its suburbs. Mike beat his TX-10 primary opponent with over 70% of the vote. Now he'll face entrenched incumbent Michael McCaul, one of the richest members of Congress. The DCCC has refused to offer him any assistance, as they have with many progressives running this cycle. Mike's been raising decent grassroots money in this extremely gerrymandered district and as of the June 30 FEC reporting deadline he had brought in $175,279. That's already more than anyone has raised against McCaul in a decade. 

Friday, the Austin water utility reported that McCaul's sprawling West Austin home used more city-supplied water than any other single-family residence in 2017-- more than a million gallons, something McCaul is desperate to cover up.

Coincidentally, the same week that McCaul’s water waste came to light, Mike received the national endorsement of the Sierra Club. "McCaul’s water-hogging is consistent with his worldview," Mike told us. "He believes this world is a playground for the rich, never mind the needs of the rest of us. Take his vote for the 2017 tax cuts: over $40 million went into the pockets of his family, and then he voted to cut our healthcare and retirement... We need to move past this latest gilded age and get to a place where everyone has a fair shot."

This week, Mike made the point that there are many societal functions that should not be for-profit. He reminded his supporters that

"the GOP family separation policy is not just a cynical show to motivate hateful Republican voters, it is also a profit-center. A growth industry. A wellspring of extravagant fortunes for well-connected entrepreneurs. And a source of political contributions. Private prison operators donate tens of millions of dollars to political candidates. My general election opponent, Rep. Michael McCaul, has received at least $15,000 from jailers profiting from immigrant detention, including Corrections Corporation of America (now "CoreCivic") and the Geo Group. In his capacity as Chairman of Homeland Security, McCaul advocates to fill more beds in immigrant detention centers. There is a direct line between the money he receives and the policies he creates."

Yes, what he's talking about is America's prison industrial complex and warns us that "the influence of companies like Geo Corp and CoreCivic threatens to take immigration policy out of the hands of the American people and into the hands of those who profit for suffering... In a functioning democratic system, our elected representatives would not allow for so much suffering to be conducted in our name."

WATCH Mike Siegel's first video, "You Can't Buy People".

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He went on to contrast McCaul's record with what he's promising to do in Congress:

"Two-thirds of the American people oppose family separation. In November we have a chance to hold some of the key perpetrators accountable, including Michael McCaul. I will make sure that every Texas 10th voter knows that McCaul supported separating mothers from their children from the first day the policy was announced. As the Democratic nominee, I have promised to reject all corporate PAC donations, and I am committed to undoing the privatization of our immigration detention system and fighting for a larger overhaul of how we treat migrant families, asylum seekers, guest workers, students, and other visitors to this country.

This summer, my campaign successfully petitioned the Texas Democratic Party to add opposition to private detention centers to its statewide platform. The next step is to change our representative."

Voters across the country are ready to throw out corrupt and self-dealing politicians. McCaul is one of the worst, using his chairmanship to advance a pernicious industry that in return, fills his campaign coffers. Removing him from office will be a victory for human rights and common decency.

We hope Blue America members will help by contributing to Mike Siegel's campaign at a special ActBlue page. This page assists progressives who won their primaries by have been abandoned by the DCCC. Small contributions add up and help beat even the wealthiest GOP plutocrats and oligarchs like Michael McCaul.

Thanks for always doing what you can to make a better world,

Howie, for the entire Blue America team



A District To Win Back In Maine

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Maine's second congressional district isn't white collar Portland or ritzy Kennebunkport. ME-02 is an all-American blue collar district. It's a swing district that Obama won by about 10 points both times he ran but that Hillary lost by about 10 points to Trump. The Democratic establishment was looking for a Blue Dog to run, a Republican-lite character who would sound like a less extreme version of the current congressman, Trump enabler Bruce Poliquin. Instead, Mainers chose one of their own, Jared Golden, a populist leader who doesn't act like anything... he's an authentic working class guy and Marine veteran. Golden has a great record of accomplishment as one of the leaders in the state House. He has a well-rounded platform, but his top issue is healthcare.

Blue America asked him to write  a guest post explaining why:

Mainers Want To Talk About Healthcare
by Jared Golden

As I travel across Maine's 2nd Congressional District-- the largest district geographically east of the Mississippi River-- the one issue voters want to talk about most is healthcare. When speaking with small business owners, private building contractors, those working in Maine's fishing industry, the best shipbuilders in the world at Bath Iron Works, and Mainers of every stripe, more often than not, the discussion turns quickly to healthcare. And it's no wonder. For years, the hard-working people of Maine-- and America-- have struggled under the ever-increasing challenges associated with ensuring they and their loved ones have access to affordable, quality care.

Hearing their stories has given me both hope and determination. Hope because the folks I meet remind me of how ruggedly independent the people of Maine are; determination because these same people need a representative who has their back in Congress. Unfortunately, the current office-holder, Republican Bruce Poliquin, has turned a deaf ear to these stories. In fact, Poliquin refused to even meet with the people he is elected to represent about the issue when, last year, the Congress was debating the repeal of the ACA. Ultimately, Poliquin voted to pull the rug from under his constituents that would have left more than 100,000 without healthcare. Fortunately, this partisan effort failed due to three courageous Republican Senators but, if Poliquin had been successful, devastating consequences would have soon followed.

The American Health Care Act of 2017 passed the House of Representatives in May of 2017 with the help of my opponent. The AHCA would have made dramatic changes to Medicaid, a program, that for 50-plus years, has served the needs of the poor and disabled, including low-income seniors, and children living in low-income homes. Despite the fact that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected 23 million additional Americans would become uninsured, Poliquin still voted for this flawed legislation. And the bad news didn't stop there. 

Maine is a rural state but, in the 2nd District we take rural to another level. Mainers living far from the urban centers of the state rely heavily on rural healthcare clincs and hospitals located throughout the district. Poliquin's vote would have devastated that network leading to a large percentage-- if not all-- of  these facilities closing their doors. That would have left many of his constituents without care, plus led to the elimination many good-paying jobs thus causing a double-whammy to local economies. And you don't need to take my word for it. “We’re all worried,” Jeffrey Austin, vice president of government affairs at the Maine Hospital Association said in an article published by the Portland Press Herald. “The average operating margins in Maine hospitals are about 1 percent. There just isn’t room for dramatic negative impacts.”

The Maine Hospital Association opposed the repeal Poliquin voted for. And then there is the looming opioid crisis that Maine is facing. Poliquin's repeal would make a terrible situation even more unbearable. In a March 2017 piece published in Perspective Magazine, doctors Peter Friedman, Christina M. Andrews and Keith Humphreys laid out the need to preserve the healthcare tools provided by the ACA in fighting the scourge of the opioid crisis-- a crisis that has led to more than a death per day in my home state. The doctors wrote "Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was not designed with the opioid epidemic in mind, it provides valuable tools for expanding access to medication treatment." They went on to point out "...inclusion of addiction treatment as an essential health benefit that existing insurance plans must cover, and requirements that benefits for treatment of opioid use disorder be provided at parity with coverage of medical and surgical procedures" were among the reasons the ACA should not be repealed. Despite the impact on his constituents, despite the real damage repeal would have wrought upon local communities, and despite the heartbreak of the on-going opioid crisis, my opponent still broke from the rest of our state's Congressional delegation in voting to repeal the ACA. 

I've served my country as a U.S. Marine; I've served as a staffer to a U.S. Senator; I've served as an elected office-holder in the Maine Legislature; and I've served in a leadership role in my caucus. In each and every one of those roles I was told to remember the people I was serving and, to the best of my ability, I have. If elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, I will take the lessons I've learned in my previous roles with me-- most important among them, to remember the people I'm serving.

But I need your help.

This race has recently been moved from 'leans Republican' to  'toss-up' by the non-partisan Cook Report. That's encouraging-- and serious. We can win this seat and return the voice of Maine's 2nd Congressional District back to the hard-working people who call it home.

(Howie) A 'toss up' means that with a little extra help with campaign funds Jared has a EVEN SHOT to Flip this District from Red to BLUE. Please consider sending some "BlueWave" love to Jared Golden on our #BlueAmericaBetterHouse2018" page.

Thanks for always doing what you can to make a better world,

Howie, for the entire Blue America team



I've Been A Miner For A Heart Of Gold

The Blue America contest for Alan Grayson is still going strong. It ends Saturday. We're giving away a very rare gorgeous RIAA-certified double platinum award for Neil Young's HARVEST, his 4th studio album (1972). Just contribute any amount to Alan Grayson's congressional campaign on this ActBlue page. That makes you eligible to win, regardless of how much you give. All the arcane FEC rules are here, if you have the mind of a lawyer.

Alan is a big Neil Young fan but Alan's wife, Dena, is the real Neil aficionado, even singing his songs to Alan. She's the one who can tell you anything you want to know about every song on HARVEST. Alan's the one who can't stop talking about "Let's Impeach The President" from Neil's Living With War album. This is what he told his own supporters a few days ago:

At a slightly earlier moment in the space-time continuum, Neil Young wrote a song that seems very apt at this moment. The song is called "Let’s Impeach the President." He wrote it regarding an earlier awful President, not the current awful President. But most people whom I know think that this one is more awful than that one-- by a wide margin. Read the lyrics, listen to the case that Neil Young made for impeachment, and ask yourself: Doesn’t Donald Trump deserve it even more?

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Let's impeach the President for lying
And misleading our country into war
Abusing all the power that we gave him
And shipping all our money out the door

Who's the man who hired all the criminals
The White House shadows who hide behind closed doors
They bend the facts to fit with their new stories
Of why we have to send our men to war

Let's impeach the President for spying
On citizens inside their own homes
Breaking every law in the country
By tapping our computers and telephones

What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees
Would New Orleans have been safer that way
Sheltered by our government's protection
Or was someone just not home that day?

Flip - Flop
Flip - Flop
Flip - Flop
Flip - Flop

Let's impeach the president for hijacking
Our religion and using it to get elected
Dividing our country into colors
And still leaving black people neglected.

Yes, let’s impeach the President. Please contribute to our Dump Trump campaign fund, and earn a chance to win a platinum record award from Neil Young, the singer who said it first

This one's from HARVEST:

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The contest ends Saturday. And, like Neil, Alan is a real superstar. Contest or no contest, we need this guy back in Congress. While other candidates hide under their beds when someone asks them if they back impeaching Trump, Grayson has his district covered in the billboards you see up top.

One more thing, if you've become used to click on a fundraising thermometer to make your contributions, we have a Blue America Harvest thermometer for you too. Goal Thermometer

Please think for a second about how this isn't just about a contest... it's also electing someone to Congress who's shown us what he can do.

Remember Alan in the well of the House, Republicans going absolutely nuts on the floor: The Republican healthcare plan: "Don't Get Sick... If You Get Sick... Die Quickly!" They yelled and screamed he should retract that and apologize.

There were even establishment Democrats who asked him to do what the Republicans asked for. You know, he never did, right? That's not Alan Grayson. He'll apologize when he makes a mistake; that was no mistake!

Thanks for always doing what you can to make this a better world,

Howie, for the entire Blue America team



CONTEST! Neil Young, Alan Grayson, Harvest!

'Harvest' Double Platinum RIAA Award

Florida has a late primary, August 28-- a couple weeks before this year's harvest moon (September 14).

If you win this contest you'll have your own harvest moon in time to celebrate. Blue America is doing a contest/give-away to benefit Alan Grayson's campaign for Congress in Orlando.

The winner gets a very rare and very beautiful RIAA-certified double platinum award for Neil Young's release of Harvest.​ You can't buy one of these in a store, no matter how rich you are. A limited number were produced for Neil and his band, his staff and a few people who helped promote the album. If you're a Neil fan-- or if you know a Neil fan... this is completely primo.

And for Grayson, Neil's music is very personal. Alan:

"Every once in a while, Neil Young makes a special appearance in my bedroom. Not personally; just his music. My wife is a huge Neil Young fan, she has a spectacular voice, and every once in a while, she treats me to a Neil Young lullaby. "The Needle and the Damage Done," "Ohio," "Down by the River," "Rockin’ in the Free World"... whatever it is, she makes it sound magical. Thank you, Neil Young, for inspiring her to inspire me."

Meanwhile, helping Grayson-- a lifelong fan of Neil's music, by the way-- get back into the House is something that will be good for our country and for working families everywhere. I can't think of anyone-- and I mean anyone-- who will be a more effective bulwark against Trump and Trumpism than Grayson.


So this is how it works: This is the page.

And like we wrote there, there is no minimum to be eligible to be entered into the random drawing to win the plaque. A $20.18 contribution has just as much chance to be selected as a $1,000 contribution.

The contest ends at 9 in the evening (PT) on Saturday, July 21. if you don't have the cash to give and you want the award, you can enter too-- just send a note to us at Blue America, P.O. Box 27201. Los Angeles, CA 90027 and you'll have the same chance as everyone else. There's an excruciating FEC rules diatribe here which I doubt anyone has ever read besides a couple of lawyers.

Goal ThermometerEasiest way of all to get to the page: the Act Blue Neil/Alan thermometer on the right. This is a win-win for everybody-- except Trump and except Putin.

Thanks for always doing what you can to help make this a better world,

Howie, for the entire Blue America team



Progressive Primary Winners Abandoned By The DCCC

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Normally, I don't buy into "lesser-of-two-evils" politics. If Democrats nominate a corrupt reactionary Blue Dog I'm at least as incensed as I am over a Republican. That's not going to change either. And, I'm still saying that "normally" no longer applies, not with Trump and his Congressful of enablers and rubber stamps. I'm telling friends and relatives-- my sister lives in Jeff Van Drew's district-- to just hold their noses and vote for anyone with a "D" next to their name.

As Digby has been saying since he moved into the White House, we're in existential territory here. Boxing in Trump is more important than anything.

That said, there's no need to stop reminding the establishment Democratic Party that we need them to stop turning off the base with their Blue Dog/New Dem agenda and their uncontrollable hatred for the Democratic grassroots, for progressives and for the kind of reform that will cut off the spigots of money and power that motivates the careerism of the Hoyers, Wasserman Schultzes, Crowleys (buh bye) and the mirror images the DCCC keeps recruiting as candidates.

The DCCC is now whining how progressives have to get on board the unity train and pull together to elect a Democratic Congress to stop the boogie man in the White House. They're correct. What they're not correct about is that that's a one-way street.

Let me give you an example. The DCCC drew up a list of the most crucial districts that they absolutely had to prioritize to flip in November. They call it their "Red to Blue" list. One is the Omaha swing district, NE-02. The DCCC went out and recruited a Blue Dog, Ben Ashford, who the voters in the district had rejected in 2016 after he served a term in Congress and voted pretty consistently with the GOP. Democrats refused to reelect him and now there's a Republican, Don Bacon, in the seat.

The DCCC's strategy, which is regularly proven wrong, is that if a conservative Democrat votes with the GOP, "moderate" Republicans will eschew their own candidate and vote for the conservative Democrat. When will the DCCC learn that just doesn't work and all they do is turn off base Democratic voters?

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In Omaha, a progressive Democrat, Kara Eastman, ran a grassroots campaign on issues that voters wanted to hear about. And she won, despite massive DCCC fingers-on-the-scale help for Ashford. The voters picked her-- 20,239 (51.43%) to 19,113 (43.57%). So how did the DCCC respond? They wrote NE-02-- their "must win" district-- out of their 2018 strategy and refused to back Kara. No institutional money is flowing in her direction. They flat out refused to add her to their Red-to-Blue page.

The same thing is happening with progressive primary winners all over the country-- including in must-win swing districts! Blue America has a page for that: Abandoned By The DCCC.

There are men and women-- mostly women-- on this list who won their primary races and who the DCCC is refusing to recognize while they're asking progressives to support wretched Blue Dogs and New Dems because... "TRUMP!"

I spoke to one of those candidates this morning, J.D. Scholten. He was in a 3-way primary race to see which Democrat would take on the odious Steve King. J.D. out-raised King in each of the last two FEC reporting quarters. Each time, he called the DCCC to tell them and urge them to work with him to beat King. And each time, the DCCC refused to take his call or to call him back.

Then came the primary. Scholten beat the establishment fave, an ex-lobbyist with a Blue Dog agenda, Leann Jacobsen, and another candidate, John Paschen-- and it wasn't close.

• J.D. Scholten- 14,514 (51.27%)
• Leann Jacobsen- 9,055 (31.99%)
• John Paschen- 4,741 (16.75%)

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So, J.D. called the DCCC to tell them and ask for their help. Do you want to guess what happened? That's right... no return call.

J.D. is campaigning full-time, not by sitting and calling donors and PACs and corporations, although he's still raising enough grassroots money to be ahead of King-- $195,348 cash on hand for J.D. and $87,250 cash on hand for King-- but by driving his RV into every town and hamlet in the sprawling 4th district and meeting the voters. The DCCC doesn't recognize that as valuable.

Please consider contributing to the candidates who have won their primaries -- up against Republicans while the DCCC ignores them. These are important races, not the "easy" ones the DCCC regularly screws up. Maybe these candidates are lucky not to have DCCC interference in their campaigns. But they do need some money to compete effectively.

Thanks for always doing what you can to make this a better world,

Howie, for the entire Blue America team



A Contrast In Oklahoma

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There's been so much buzz about Alexandria Ocasio's massive win over Joe Crowley-- and rightfully so-- that we haven't talked much about Tom Guild's success in making it into the August 28 primary runoff in Oklahoma City. There were 6 Democrats in the primary last week and the top two now move on to the runoff-- a garden variety Republican-lite Democrat who stands for nothing at all, the type who loses every single time they face the Republican in November-- and Tom, a dedicated Berniecrat in a district Bernie won in 2016.

Tom's very grassroots campaign-- largely based on door knocking-- set a goal of garnering 14,000 votes, which in both 2014 and 2016 would have been a majority of the primary vote. There was a total of 27,504 votes cast in the Democratic primary in 2014 and 27,203 votes in the 2016 primary. In both years 14,000 votes would have secured Tom’s nomination without a runoff primary between the top two candidates.

In 2018, State Question 788 appeared on the primary ballot-- a ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana. It passed by a large margin and drew huge numbers of people to the polls, people who wouldn't even have considered voting in a normal Democratic primary. Republicans were afraid to place the measure on the November general election ballot, because of the swell of progressives and non-Republican voters they expected would come out to vote, so they put it on the primary ballot. That anticipated increase in voter turnout became a virtual tsunami. Last week the CD-05 Democratic primary turnout was an eye-popping 79,505 votes! That's more than 3 times the turnout in 2014 or 2016. State Question 788 brought tens of thousands of additional voters to the Democratic congressional primary-- especially independent voters who are allowed to vote in the Democratic primary but not in the Republican primary.The medical marijuana measure clearly did green the vote. 

Guild’s campaign beat its stated goal and received 14,424 votes in a six-candidate contest, a bit more than their 14,000-vote goal. Although Tom didn’t win without a runoff, 14,424 votes were enough to knock 4 candidates out of the running and put him in in the runoff where, in August, Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents will choose the Democratic nominee to run against incumbent Republican, Steve Russell, a Trump rubber stamp.

So... there are 2 candidates left standing-- a darling of the Democratic Party and corporate establishment, who is a self-described "No Labels moderate" and progressive Democrat Tom Guild, who was elected as a 2016 national convention delegate supporting Bernie and who has the Blue America endorsement.

Guild was outspent by more than 5 to 1. We should step up for him now; he has a strong progressive populist message-- like Alexandria's-- and helped Bernie win the Oklahoma presidential primary two years ago by a 10.4% margin. Tom is one of our progressive champions who needs our support to put together the financial resources to effectively compete with his corporate opponent in the runoff. (Think of it like this: Tom is Alexandria Ocasio and his opponent is Joe Crowley.)

Tom supports Medicare for All, a living wage for all Americans, programs to lessen the burden of debt weighing heavily on the shoulders of college students and he has been very clear that he will fight to reverse the curse of the Citizens United decision that makes the corrupt campaign finance system even worse. Tom has fought for immigrant rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, worker’s rights, transitioning to green energy, and a host of issues on the progressive agenda, including support for the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana.

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If you want to help Tom win the runoff and the Democratic nomination so he can present an actual contrast and strong progressive challenge to Steve Russell and the Oklahoma Republican Party, he needs that help now. That's what that thermometer on the right is for.

Thanks for always doing what you can to make this a better world.

Howie, for the entire Blue America team



Big Win In Maine-- And 7 Contests Tuesday

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We had some great news a few days ago. Finally— 8 days after the polls closed, Maine's Secretary of State verified that Jared Golden, a full-blown progressive champion, beat his opponents in the first instance of ranked-choice voting for a federal election in the country. That means Jared will be taking on Trump enabler and Wall Street puppet Bruce Poliquin in November. The final score--after all the votes for Craig Olson were eliminated-- between the top two were:

Jared 23,516 (54%)
Lucas St. Clair 19,741 (46%)

Jared is the majority whip in the state House and said his message of economic fairness and political reform resonated in the sprawling, rural and poor 2nd District which Trump won 51-41% in 2016. The pathetic one-note NRCC immediately dubbed him "the Nancy Pelosi of Maine." The DCCC immediately added him to their Red to Blue list, something they are still refusing to do for another progressive primary winner, Kara Eastman in Omaha.

Both Jared and Kara will need some serious support to overcome Republican incumbents in November. Please step up and give what you can. We promise if elected, our country will be much better off with these 2 progressives are in Congress!

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Tuesday there are 7 Blue America-endorsed congressional candidates in primaries, they are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Michael DeVito and DuWayne Gregory in New York; Levi Tillemann and Saira Rao in Colorado; and Tom Guild in Oklahoma, as well as gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous in Maryland.

After that, a break. There are no primaries in July. The next big date for progressives comes on August 7 when Ellen Lipton and Rashida Tlaib have primaries in Michigan; Lisa Brown has hers in Washington and James Thompson is up to bat in Kansas. A few days later-- Hawaii is progressive enough to hold elections on weekends to make it convenient for voters-- Kaniela Ing faces off with a gaggle of awful fake Democrats from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party.

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All of these candidates can use some help, but I want to especially urge you to help out the candidates who have already won their primaries and are facing off against Republicans-- Kara Eastman (NE), Jared Golden (ME), Katie Porter (CA), and Jess King (PA). Just tap the ActBlue Thermometer or this link to give whatever you can spare. It really does add up!

Thanks for always doing what you can to help make a better world,

Howie, for the entire Blue America team



Michigan To The Rescue

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Blue America has endorsed 2 women running for Congress in Michigan with proven records for leadership in the state legislature, Rashida Tlaib and Ellen Lipton. We endorsed them both because they are progressives with progressive records of accomplishment. Identity politics played no role in either endorsement.

That said, take a look at this tweet from Dave Wasserman last week:

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Ellen is the only woman in the August 7th primary for an open seat up against two men, one of whom, Andy Levin, is the retiring Congressman’s son. He’s got the family name recognition; Ellen's got the legislative experience and proven record fighting for progressive values, having served 6 years in Michigan’s State House and worked as a healthcare activist and public education advocate.

The polling and focus groups that have been dome in MI-09 show that when voters-- particularly women voters-- see and hear her story, her record and progressive vision trump Levin's name recognition-- and she wins. 2018 so far is an extraordinary year for women candidates, and women in Democratic primaries are voting in record numbers. She promised her supporters that

"We’re going to win this primary by hosting events all over the district, knocking on thousands and thousands of doors, and making sure every single voter in the 9th knows my name, who I am, and what I stand for... I’m so proud and inspired to be a part of the wave of Democratic women standing up to run for Congress this year. It’s time to change the fact that only 20% of Congress is female-- because we all deserve better. We need strong women leaders in Congress now more than ever."

Republicans don't do well in her district-- McCain only pulled 40.1%. Romney, a hometown boy, did a little better at 41.9% and Trump pulled 43.7%. The PVI is D+4 and it's more than very likely that whoever wins the primary will be the next congress member.

That's even more so in MI-13, where the Republicans aren't even running a candidate and which Rashida represented in the state legislature and where she's running now. The PVI is a jaw-dropping D+33 and Obama won with around 85% both times he ran and where Trump only drew 18% of the vote. MI-13-- a big chunk of Detroit plus Highland Park, Dearborn Heights, Inkster and Romulus out beyond the airport-- is a blue powerhouse, the kind of district that should be sending cutting edge leaders to Congress. And that's exactly who Rashida is.

Again, two relatives of the last congressman, John Conyers, decided to run, a son (who was disqualified) and a nephew. If Rashida wins this one, everything in her record points to one thing: she's not going to be some backbencher voting like a good little Democrat; she'll be helping form a new progressive consensus among House Democrats and leading the way on tough issues others are afraid to touch, just the way she did in the Michigan legislature.

Both Ellen and Rashida are guided by the belief that everyone, not just the wealthy and privileged, deserves access to opportunity and a better quality of life. They have both dedicated their professional lives to amplifying and addressing the concerns of working families. They don't just talk about it... they both have records to show they've been doing it.

Rashida:

"I’m running because I get results. I brought home $5.6 million in funding for before-and-after school programs and $7.8 million for bilingual education and literacy. I brought home $1 million for free health care clinics and $2 million to remove toxic lead paint from older homes. And I did it with Republicans in control of the Legislature, because I don’t make excuses, I get it done."

Neither of these dynamic women is an establishment candidate. The DCCC is ignoring both, while backing a Blue Dog and a New Dem in Michigan. That may be because neither Ellen nor Rashida sits still and gets told what to do by representatives of the status quo.

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They are exactly what Congress needs, what the Democratic Party needs... what our country needs. Please consider contributing to their campaigns by clicking on the 2018 congressional thermometer on the right.

Thanks for always doing what you can to make this a better world,

Howie, for the entire Blue America team




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