Blue America '18

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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



Let's Help Dayna Steele Make History

If Dayna Steele was just another garden variety Democrat, there would be little reason to talk about her November contest against far right incumbent, Brian Babin. But she isn't. Dayna is an icon in the district, once the music director for KLOL, Houston's top rock station. Everyone knows her as the person who introduced them to their favorite artists. She starts with a bigger name recognition, at least in the Houston part of the district, than the backbencher incumbent. Oh, and she won her primary 72% to 28%.

TX-36 has a prohibitive R+26 PVI, a district Trump won with 72%. But because they already know-- and like-- Dayna, voters in the sprawling east Texas district are willing to hear her out. When she talks to the voters about Medicare-For-All, making community college and career training free, a $15-an-hour minimum wage, fighting for sensible gun reform, the right to choice, equal pay, protection from sexual harassment, and equal opportunity, passing the DREAM Act and rejecting Trump's Wall, progressive issues start making sense to people who have listened to too much Fox News for their own good. She told me that following the March primary, an election judge in her district reached out to say, "I've never seen so many Republicans walk into our polling place and ask how to vote for a Democrat, specifically Dayna Steele."

Dayna sees hope where other Democrats have been too scared to try. In 2016 the Democrats didn't even run a candidate against Babin. "Not only are we seeing a growing Blue Wave in Texas," she told us, "we are also seeing a growing concern for our very Democracy among honest, hard-working Americans. So much so, that independents, undecideds, and even many Republicans are coming to our campaign to say 'I will vote for you. I will work for you. I will donate to you.' Why are these unlikely groups reaching out specifically to our campaign? Because we all agree that this administration is being careless with our security, careless with our money, careless with our healthcare, careless with our education, and careless with our people. And, you shouldn’t be in government if you don't care about the people."


We need to be a nation that invests in healthcare, education, jobs, and people - not corporate insurance and big pharma, low wages, and division. The United States is risking its prosperity AND its Democracy by leaving so many Americans behind.

Many now see that Medicare For All would cost us less and create a stronger workforce. Internet access as a part of the public infrastructure would create countless opportunities for everyone. More emphasis on jobs that will carry us into the future such as wind and solar power, computer programming and even medical marijuana would grow the economy.

At the same time, there is so much more that ALL Americans are concerned about including immigrant children being held in detention centers, rampant racism, for profit prisons, foreign intervention in our elections, and the untruths we all know must be called out.

These are the reasons many people, not just Democrats, are coming to and supporting our campaign. Then, there is the really big reason at the top. My husband aka Wonder Husband has always told our kids, "No one is totally worthless. They can always serve as a bad example." That's Trump everyday and this week he sent even more voters our way with his "I can pardon myself" tweet.

As a motivational speaker and author, I’ve spent years teaching audiences and readers that “the more you do to make someone else successful, the more successful you will become.”  A lot of that comes from the way I was brought up by my pee wee league football coach father. He always taught me that you are “only as strong as your weakest team member” and to “do what it takes to bring that weakest member up.”


"I plan to set a good example for and serve ALL Americans." --Dayna Steele for #TX36

Dayna's campaign is in the reddest district Blue America has ever been involved in. If she wins in November it will be an indication that Americans are coming together everywhere to "just say no" to Trumpism and to congressional Republican enablers who are aiding and abetting. Please consider helping her here.

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

Howie, for the entire Blue America team



GO TIME: Primaries This Tuesday And Beyond

GO TIME: On Tuesday there are primaries in California, Iowa, New Jersey, South Dakota, Alabama, Mississippi, Montana and New Mexico. Three weeks later-- on June 26--there are congressional primaries in Colorado, New York, Oklahoma (and Utah).

When we show up at the polls -- DEMOCRATS WIN. If you live in any of the states that vote Tuesday, please be sure to get to the polls-- and drag a friend-- or two friends-- with you. Blue America has a special page for California congressional candidates we've endorsed.

Kevin de León is the progressive running for the U.S. Senate. And these are 7 House candidates who will ensure California will be Leading the effort to pass a progressive agenda-- and put a check on Trump.

But let's focus on the most important June 26 campaigns in Colorado, New York and Oklahoma, where our candidates are Levi Tillemann in the Denver suburbs and Saira Rao in Denver itself, DuWayne Gregory on Long Island and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a district in Queens and the Bronx and Tom Guild in the metro Oklahoma City district.

What does it mean to be a progressive candidate in these races? Let's look at how Alexandria defined it in her just released video. Besides helping save the country and NY-14 from Trump and the Democratic Party from Joe Crowley, Alexandria emphasizes that

"It's time we acknowledge that not all Democrats are the same. That a Democrat who takes corporate money, profits off foreclosure, doesn't live here, doesn't send his kids to our schools, doesn't drink our water or breathe our air cannot possibly represent us. What the Bronx and Queens needs is Medicare-for-all, tuition-free public college, a federal jobs guarantee, and criminal justice reform. We can do it now."

Does "late money" for the June 26 campaigns do any good? I asked two of our candidates. DuWayne has been elected and reelected over and over to be Chief Executive of the Suffolk County legislature. He told us that

"During this phase of the campaign voter contact is critical. We have over one hundred volunteers going out speaking with voters. We can use these funds to pay for supplies our canvassers need like pens, clip boards, campaign leaflets, or to buy a tank of gas. Also, with additional funds the campaign can purchase a last minute cable spot to get our message costs $50,000. To send an additional mailing costs $14,850. It is expensive to finance a political campaign and your contribution will help us meet the critical tasks that have to get done in order to win."

"We have knocked nearly 13,000 doors," said Tom Guild. "We have participated in 16 parades. We have spoken at numerous events. We have put up hundreds of yard signs. We have done a mailer to the district. We have billboards up throughout Oklahoma's 5th CD. We have started display advertising in key publications. We have done online advertising. We need financial support to do one final mailing, buy crucial paid media on TV and radio, and to support our GOTV efforts. Your support can make a crucial difference and put us over the top to win the June 26 primary. That will put me in a position to make a YUUUUGE difference for you, our state, and our nation and to pursue and implement our shared progressive agenda to move our country forward by providing quality affordable health care, repairing our crumbling infrastructure, fixing our corrupt campaign finance system, protecting our environment, providing quality public education for our children, expanding Social Security, and adopting Medicare for All. I’m all in! Are you?"

It's now or never. If possible, please contribute to our candidates to ensure they'll have everything they need to win.

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

Howie, for the entire Blue America team



KARA!

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Last Tuesday, one of the biggest, most exciting and meaningful victories for progressives was Kara Eastman's win in the Nebraska Democratic primary. She beat Blue Dog and DCCC endorsee Brad Ashford 20,239 (51.43%) to 19,113 (48.57%). ​

It was another case of local Democrats slapping down the DCCC for their pig-headed interference in a local primary. The DCCC attempted to gaslight the district-- that voted overwhelmingly for Bernie in 2016-- telling them they needed to nominate a proven reactionary, "ex"-Republican instead of a woman who ran on many of the same issues that made Bernie so attractive to local, 2nd District Democrats.

With the help of the DCCC, Ashford raised $558,946 and spent $397,194, while Kara raised $355,887 and spent $284,880. Ashford was endorsed by anyone from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party​ the DCCC could round up-- not just the Blue Dogs but the New Dems, Gabby Giffords, the labor unions that do whatever the DCCC tells them and, of course ambitious Blue Dog/New Dem Adam Schiff, who has been traveling around the country using his new-found celebrity to help right-of-center candidates like himself undermine progressive candidates like Kara.

Kara had the support of Blue America and of other progressive forces independent of the Democratic Party establishment, from the Nebraska Unity PAC and Nebraska Grassroots Progressives and the Working Families Party to Climate Hawks Vote, the PCCC, VoteProChoice, local independent-minded unions like the Plasterers and Cement Masons, the Insulators and the Sheet Metal Air Rail and Transportation union, as well as local political leaders like state Senators Tony Vargas and Justin Wayne and Omaha City Council president Ben Gray.

As soon as Kara's victory over Ashford was official, the DCCC removed him from their Red-to-Blue page. But instead of replacing him with Kara, they took NE-02 entirely off their radar.

One of the country's most flippable districts suddenly no longer existed! What happened to Pelosi's spiel about unity? Is it only the unity of progressives backing successful conservative Democrats but not unity when progressives win? Is that unity? And what happened to Pelosi's spiel about how 'we all win when women win?' Instead we hear Pelosi thundering about how 'the DCCC won’t help party nominees unless the conservative establishment backed them.'

When we endorsed her campaign last February, she told us that

over the last decade, Nebraska’s second Congressional district is one of the two most competitive in the nation. So why can’t Democrats consistently win here? They don’t ignite the base, and they don’t go out and talk to voters.

I'm the first serious progressive candidate to run in Nebraska’s second district. I’m pro-choice, I support common-sense gun safety regulation, I’m passionate about health and environmental protection, and I’ve opposed the Keystone XL pipeline. I will fight for a Medicare for All system because healthcare is a right. I also will fight for debt-free education, because I’m tired of seeing students, even at Metro Community College where I serve on the Board of Governors, drowning in student loans. The U.S. has to compete in a global market by investing in green and healthy housing. Climate change is the number one moral and national security threat to our children, and we need to address it now.”

Now Kara needs our help to beat a tougher candidate in November, Republican incumbent Don Bacon, a Trump rubber stamp very much out of touch with voters in the Omaha Metro.

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With the DCCC already signaling they'd rather let Bacon stay in his seat then help a progressive win it, Kara is going to need our help more than ever.

She's a fighter and winner. Please contribute what you can by clicking on the Blue America 2018 congressional thermometer above.

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

Howie, for the entire Blue America team




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