Blue America '14

Blue America '14 has raised $146130.59 from 2070 donors.
Donate: $(amount distributed equally among all candidates)

Where Is
Blue America '14

Latest From
The Blog

Blue America Endorses Russ Feingold


If there was one race that indicated that the 2010 midterm GOP sweep was a sign of the end times, it was the fact that Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold had been unseated by a Tea Partying cretin by the name of Ron Johnson. The plastics manufacturer bought himself the seat with nearly 9 million dollars of his own fortune and many millions in outside PAC money. One would have thought that a grown man building a statue of Ayn Rand and running on the “Atlas Shrugged” platform would have put them off, but like all the winning Tea Partyers that year, his dishonest claim that Feingold’s vote for Obamacare would result in everyone over 65 being thrown into Lake Michigan (or something just as bad) meant that he got a shot.

Five years later the state is drowning in regret, with Johnson mired in less than 40% approval , his constituents embarrassed and ashamed.

And they want Russ Feingold back! He is leading Johnson in every poll that’s been done this year, the most recent a PPP Poll that puts him up 9 points. He’s up 14 points among Independents and even manages to get Republicans in the double digits. Let’s just say that Wisconsin knows they made a mistake.

Luckily, Feingold is rested and ready to take his seat back. He announced this week and Blue America is enthusiastically endorsing him as we have in every race he’s been in since we first started. Nothing would be more thrilling to us than to see both Wisconsin progressive stalwarts, Russ Feingold and Tammy Baldwin, in the US Senate together.

If you’re wondering if Feingold has trimmed his sails in the last five years, wonder no more. The first thing he did after he announced was come out swinging without hesitation against the Trans Pacific partnership trade deal:

"The economy has definitely been improving, and things like the stock market are doing better. But the economy has to be good for working-class and middle-class families who work every day, send their kids to a school like is in front of my house, and they have to be able to enjoy their lives. That's why you don't pass a trade agreement that ships even more jobs overseas."

In case you still think he might not be the kind of Senator who will join that growing bloc of progressives in the Senate, perhaps this endorsement will put your mind at ease:

Elizabeth Warren said "Just the idea of having Russ by my side in the Senate makes me happy. But I don’t kid myself: We’ve got a really, really big fight in front of us for that to happen."

She’s asking her supporters to get behind Feingold early to help him offset the gusher of cash the right wing money boyz are preparing to throw at Ron Johnson.

We’re asking you to help too.

Russ Feingold was a great Senator and we know he will be a great Senator again. Blue America is proud to endorse him. We hope you’ll join us and give what you can to help put this man of conscience and integrity back in the Senate where he belongs.



Stop Tom Cotton From Extending the "Patriot" Act

Cotton:Bates.png

You have surely heard of a new Senator from Arkansas by the name of Tom Cotton. He was a 37 year old congressman who won the Senate seat formerly held by the conservative Democrat Mark Pryor in 2014. Cotton took the Senate by storm penning one of the most embarrassing documents ever written by a sitting Senator and then getting the entire GOP Senate caucus to co-sign it --- the infamous Iran Letter.  

Undaunted by this humiliation, the Republican party has decided that Cotton is the man to lead them into the future on national security issues. And unfortunately, he's decided that his next mission will be to lead the Republican charge to extend certain provisions of the Patriot Act which are set to expire this June. They've even added some new powers for the NSA just to make things interesting, 

There was a lot of talk at one time about a new coalition of civil libertarian Republicans and civil libertarian Democrats coming together to reform these programs now that the nation is aware of what they're actually doing. Sadly, the number of civil libertarians in the Republican Party can fit in a small Smart Car and the civil libertarians in the Democratic Party are not a majority. And with uber-hawk Tom Cotton waving the “national security” banner we can be sure the Republicans are intent upon squelching any thoughts of reform.

This is why it's so important for Democrats to elect more real progressive civil libertarians to congress. We cannot count on this tiny faction of libertarian Republicans, led by their hypocritical grandstanding leader Rand Paul, to ever provide the numbers required to roll back the surveillance state. Hawkish national security and authoritarian police policies are in the modern GOP's DNA.

This is going to require a majority progressive Democratic Party led by people like Congresswoman Donna Edwards who is now running for the Maryland Senate seat currently held by retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski.

Edwards has been consistent on these issues throughout her career in congress. For instance, in 2014 she voted against the USA Freedom Act, originally conceived as a reform measure which was later gutted by the Republicans in committee. She issued this statement at the time:

“After much deliberation I opposed the USA Freedom Act because I continue to believe it doesn’t strike the necessary balance between protecting our national security and protecting our 4th Amendment rights. Without question, national security issues are critically important, and I applaud all those who work at the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, and others for their dedication to duty and professionalism. We must provide them with the means to gather the information necessary to keep America safe. However, we cannot allow the pursuit of that goal to infringe on the civil liberties that we, as Americans, hold sacred and fought so hard to defend.”

She will bring that same principled clarity to the Senate.

Last week the House passed yet another Republican surveillance bill. Blue America's slate of progressive civil libertarians voted against while all the usual suspects supported it. Blue America primary candidate Alex Law, who is challenging New Jersey congressman Donald Norcross gave this statement:

Yet again we have a clear difference between myself and my opponent in the Democratic primary in NJ-01. Today, Donald Norcross voted in support of the Protecting Cyber Networks Act, a bill that is a surveillance bill disguising itself as a cyber-security bill. This bill gives companies a significant expansion in their ability to monitor customers' online activities. It allows them to share vaguely defined 'cyber threat indicators,' which then automatically go to the NSA. The NSA is then authorized broad law enforcement rights that could stretch beyond cyber-security.This chain of events is a slippery slope. I totally disagree with the structure of this bill. We must stand up for individual privacy. What we have in this bill is a wolf in sheep's clothing, and if I were in Congress, I would have voted against it like other progressives such as Alan Grayson and Judy Chu.

The provisions of the Patriot Act which are set to expire in June should not be extended. We don't know for sure if they will. The USA Freedom Act ultimately died in the Senate when the Democrats who were in the majority at the time added a few safeguards and then couldn't overcome a filibuster. (Yes, the GOP ultimately filibustered the bill for being too weak ...) The Republicans are now in charge and Tom Cotton is working overtime to give the NSA every last item on their wishlist. Perhaps we'll get lucky and gridlock will work in favor of freedom once again. But I wouldn't count on it. 

There are simply not enough principled, progressive civil libertarians in congress to stop these abuses. We must elect more of them.

Please give what you can to stalwart civil libertarians like Donna Edwards and Alex Law.  And then, give your current representatives a call and tell them you want them to vote against any extension of the Patriot Act. 



Alan Grayson-- A Congressman With Spine, Nerve, Backbone and *Cojones*

Last Monday we offered to give away a rare, collectible platinum record award for Enya's  Paint the Sky with Stars. Tomorrow (Monday) is your last chance to "win" this contest. At noon (PT/3pm on the East Coast), we'll randomly select one person from this who contributed to Alan Grayson's campaign on this page.

I worked with Enya while I was at Warner Bros and I found her to be one of the most fascinating artists on the roster-- just as Grayson is the most fascinating Member of Congress. Blue America has been part of the team working to persuade Grayson to give up his Orlando-based House seat to run for the U.S. Senate seat being abandoned by Marco Rubio. Your contribution goes to Grayson's federal account, which can be used interchangeably for a House reelection campaign or for a Senate run.

So far over 320 people have contributed on the Draft Alan Grayson ActBlue page. Keeping another conservative enemy of working families out of the Senate-- whether a Republican or New Dem and Wall Street shill Patrick Murphy (the corrupt Establishment pick)-- is a worthy endeavor and worth the investment... even if you don't win the Enya award!

Grayson considers his supporters as people "with both a head and a heart. You’re something of an idealist," he wrote, "like I am. You want to live in a world of justice, equality, compassion and peace. And you’re willing to lift a finger or two to make that happen.”

It’s people like that-- people like you— who make our campaigns successful. In fact, it’s people like you who make our campaigns possible. If not for you and your support, I’d just have to be another scum-sucking, bottom-dwelling pol on the make, like everyone else. 

A couple of years ago, when I was out of Congress and fighting to get back in, nine days before the election, people like you made more than 60,000 volunteer phone calls in a single day – yes, in a single day – to Democratic voters in my district, urging them to vote. And I returned to the House in the greatest comeback in the history of the House-- a 43-point swing in just two years. Thanks to people like you. 

So here we are, just five months after the last election, and 19 months before the next one. It’s too early to make phone calls. It’s too early to put out yard signs. It’s too early to knock on doors. 

But it’s not too early to give. 

Q. What is the best way to support our campaign for justice, equality and peace?

A. Make a commitment-- give every month.

We have had more than 116,000 people give to this campaign. I’m grateful to them all. But the ones who have given us the biggest boost are the ones-- several thousand-- who have signed up to contribute to our campaign every month. 

Some give as little as a dollar. Most give between $20 and $25 each month. A certain number contribute $50 each month. And a few give $100 each month, knowing that over the course of the whole campaign, that means that they “max out,” reaching the legal limit. 

The numbers build up, and they build up fast. During several months last year, monthly contributions comprised around half of our online donations. That’s what made it possible for me to be the only Member of the House who raised most of his campaign funds from small donors. Again. You and I, together, we are establishing a new paradigm for campaign finance. 

It just depends on what you can afford, and how much you care. But as everyone knows, it’s a lot easier to give $100 for 24 months than it is to write a check for $2400. Unless you happen to be a Koch Brother. 

(I know that you’re not a Koch Brother. They don’t read stuff. They hire people to read stuff for them.) 

So here is my “ask”: if you can afford it, please sign up for monthly contributions to our campaign. And please do it today, not next October

And in return, you get a Congressman with temerity. A Congressman with audacity. A Congressman with spine, nerve, backbone and cojones

A Congressman with Guts.

Here's where Blue America team members can give-- once, monthly, a lot or a little... whatever works for you.



Let's Paint The Senate With Stars-- Starting With Alan Grayson

Late in 1997, Enya, one of the most enigmatic-- and successful-- artists on the record label I ran, delivered a new album, Paint The Sky With Stars, a greatest hits compilation with two previously unreleased songs. It was a Christmas smash that year, with over 12 million album sales worldwide, 4 million in the U.S. alone. Enya isn't exactly a household name-- but she's sold far more albums than many artists who "seem" to be better known-- 75 million worldwide and close to 27 million in the U.S. Four of her albums won Grammy awards and one of her songs was nominated for an Oscar. So how did you miss her? Her music is often compartmentalized by the "mainstream" as "New Age" or "women's music" or even "healing music." They play her songs in spas more often than on radio stations. All that said, Enya has built a unique and powerful musical and spiritual bond with her audience. All those millions of record buyers are grateful she is offering something other artists aren't.

This week, in Blue America's first giveaway of 2015, we're offering a rare and collectible RIAA-certified platinum award for Paint The Sky With Stars to launch a Draft Alan Grayson effort.

Alan is the brilliant, sharp-tongued congressman from Orlando and Blue America wants him to run for the Florida Senate seat currently held by shiny, witless Republican Marco Rubio. The Democratic Establishment in Florida-- and to some extent inside the Beltway-- has been pushing lifelong Republican Patrick Murphy, a pathetic Wall Street shill with the 4th worst voting record of any Democrat in Congress. Murphy backs much of the toxic Republican agenda and has consistently voted with the Republicans against core Democratic values.

Elizabeth Warren doesn't look like she'll be taking on Hillary Clinton in 2016. But elevating energetic, innovative men and women like Donna Edwards, Russ Feingold and Alan Grayson into the Senate to serve with Warren will accomplish a great deal towards helping America achieve its lofty ideals. 

Grayson will decide in the next several weeks whether to run or not. It isn't a decision he's taking lightly. And it's likely to be a race that costs as much as $30 million! Murphy will have Wall Street fully behind him. Please let's show Alan Grayson that we appreciate what he's done in the House and want to see him doing even more in the Senate.

Anyone who contributes to his campaign this week on this Draft Alan Grayson page will be eligible to receive the rare, beautiful platinum Enya award-- something that cannot be bought in a store for any amount of money. And, for the sake of the prize, it doesn't matter if you contribute $10 or $1,000; everyone has an equal chance to walk off with the Enya plaque. One random winner will be chosen Monday, April 20th.

One thing the Senate does not need is more values-free, cowardly careerists like Murphy. Alan Grayson in the U.S. Senate... imagine how the evening news broadcasts will change!



Philly deserves a progressive mayor-- meet Jim Kenney

Tuesday, having forced Wall Street faux-Democrat Rahm Emanuel into a runoff, progressives came up short-- although doing far better than pundits had predicted. Chuy raised $5.2 million, a substantial amount... but Rahm had over $30 million to spend, most of it from just a few super-wealthy families benefiting financially from his administration. That Chuy did as well as he did is a testament to local field organizers and an ability to combine small contributions from a wide audience.

The next great American city struggling to get out from under the grip of corrupt governance is Philadelphia, where the primary is just over a month away, May 19. Blue America's candidate is Jim Kenny and Susie Madrak spoke with him and his staffers and has this report:

The first thing you need to know about Philadelphia is that it’s Ground Zero for the charter schools agenda. It’s the first city where charter schools took over, and it’s been “a miserable failure,” according to Democratic mayoral candidate and former City Councilman Jim Kenney.
 
The second thing you need to know is, Jim Kenney is the only Democrat running in the May 19th Democratic primary who is not a charter school supporter.
 
The third thing you need to know is, his closest competition is Anthony Hardy Williams, a fervently pro-charter state legislator who is funded by a trio of hedge fund billionaires from Susquehanna International Group (the primary benefactors of the generous tax credits Williams supplied via his school voucher legislation) and have pledged to spend a million dollars on last-minute ads.
 
So this race is important. Really important. The low-turnout Democratic primary is the de facto mayoral election, and it will be all about who gets the vote out. Money makes a huge difference.
 
Jim Kenney isn’t only against things; he has a great progressive track record. Kenney is the reason Philadelphia was the first major city to offer same-sex partner benefits to employees. Last year, thanks to Kenney’s tireless work on City Council, Philadelphia decriminalized marijuana.
 
He also successfully pushed Mayor Michael Nutter to drop the city’s cooperation with so-called “ICE holds”-- turning immigrants over to the feds on minor infractions.
 
And you should see the enthusiasm the famously-hyperkinetic Kenney displays when he talks about immigrants as “the future of Philadelphia.”
 
“My family were Irish immigrants. No Irish need apply, right? We need these people, we want them,” he said.
 
The Jesuit-trained Kenney is a firm believer in public service and social justice. That’s one reason why he also has a plan to bring universal pre-K into the city.
 
He’s also authored a plan to pair each community school with onsite social services – job training, counseling, literacy training.
 
Kenney was just endorsed by a broad coalition of African-American leaders (the same ones who supported the then-unknown Gov. Tom Wolf), and has sparked broad support from the millennium transplants, who love his in-your-face style. Philadelphia Magazine said:
 
“Kenney has found a potent political identity in that liminal space between old Philly and new. Nobody on the political stage today better blends the characters of those two great, colliding halves of the city. At his best, Kenney is like a walking hybrid of Two Street and a pop-up beer garden. It’s a combination that makes him a formidable candidate, with the potential to appeal to a broad swath of voters.” 
PA Working Families and NOW have endorsed him, as well as local LGBT leaders. He has deep support from almost all local unions-- including the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and their more activist offshoot, Caucus of Working Educators.
 
The support he needs now is yours. Fight back about wealthy special interests and send a message: Once again, we’ve rejected the elite interests for a proud progressive agenda-- just like we did in New York and Chicago.

 
Let’s put another urban center in the progressive “win” column.




Paid for by Blue America PAC, blueamerica.crooksandliars.com, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.