There are a lot of Democratic politicians asking for money these days, some of them worthy and many of them not so much. We appreciate all the support you've already shown this cycle for our Blue America slate and we hope you'll continue to do so. But we wanted to give a special shout-out to one of the nation's most exceptional Senators: Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon. We knew he was a great candidate back in 2008 and we went all out for him. And he has more than lived up to the commitment and passion he showed in that campaign. He has become one of the Democratic Party's most stalwart progressive leaders.
Not only has he stood tall on all the important social issues, from health care to LGBT rights to the war on women, he's taken strong stands against Wall Street and the Big Banks and fought hard to preserve the signature Democratic achievements of Social Security and Medicare. You can't say that about all of our Democratic Senators unfortunately. He's been a leader on the environment and worked hard for legislation to fight climate change. And Senator Merkley is one of a very few independent-minded progressives who have taken the gutsy position of publicly siding with civil liberties advocates Mark Udall and fellow Oregonian Ron Wyden in their criticism of the Obama administration's surveillance policies. Down the line he has delivered on the progressive agenda.
Needless to say, a record like that has caught the attention of the plutocrat wrecking crew known as the Koch brothers and they are going after him hard.
They are backing an odd duck named Monica Wehby a fairly typical tool of the GOP money machine. (She even made the fatuous claim that she wouldn't have voted for the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms --- because they would have lulled the nation into a false sense of security!) Oregon may be blue but it's got plenty of red and pretty soon it's going to be flooded with green. Suffice to say that Merkley needs all the progressive support we can muster. He only won by 6,000 votes the last time and this is a mid-term where turn out is going to be key.
His campaign is running a money bomb today and Blue America has promised to help out. If you can give something to support a real progressive who thinks independently and stands up for our principles even when it's hard, today is the day to do it.
The bottom line is this: we cannot afford to lose Jeff Merkley. He stands at the center of the progressive Senate coalition we've been trying to build for the last decade --- with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin.
It's one thing for the Koch Brothers to take out moderate Republicans and replace them with Tea Partiers. We cannot let them defeat progressive icons like Senator Merkley.
Unlike so many others, Jeff Merkley has had our back for the past six years. Now we need to have his.
Thank you for all you do to make this world a better place.
--Digby, for the whole Blue America Crew