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.



Hold? Let’s Upgrade the Senate.

It's almost the end of the quarter-- and you know what that means-- hundreds of e-mails from the DCCC and DSCC and their careerist candidates begging for money. Please tell them you already gave-- through Blue America.-- to individual candidates whose agendas you believe in and values you share.

As you probably know, we’ve supported Shenna Bellows' entirely grassroots campaign for Senate in Maine this cycle more than any other candidate, and now we’re asking you to step up again. She’s running as an outspoken, unapologetic progressive in a blue state that voted for President Obama twice.

Her opponent, Susan Collins, is out of step with Maine’s economic needs and won’t tell voters where she stands on the big issues. It’s time for Shenna to join progressive champions like Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders in the U.S. Senate and give Maine a big upgrade in representation.

Shenna is running the kind of campaign that makes progressives stand up and cheer. She’s outraising Collins more than three to one in small-dollar donations, according to OpenSecrets, and she hasn’t taken a nickel of corporate PAC money.

She walked 350 miles across the state this summer to hear from real Mainers and bring their stories to Washington where they need to be heard. She’s running full steam ahead on universal health care, investing in our economy, a higher minimum wage, student loan reform, and a national Human Rights Act that extends Maine’s strong LGBT protections to every American man, woman and child.

In other words, as a first-time candidate, Shenna Bellows is setting a standard a lot of incumbents should be trying to meet.

Shenna’s a strong candidate because of her values and her background-- she’s the working class daughter of a carpenter and a home health care nurse-- but also because of her experience fighting for privacy and civil rights.

Those fights are hardly over in Washington, and we need her there fighting to restore our liberties. As the head of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine for eight years, Shenna worked hard to protect the people of her state from law enforcement overreach. Her own website tells you everything you need to know:

Abuses of power like the Patriot Act, REAL ID, the NDAA, NSA spying, and domestic drone surveillance threaten our democracy. When the government spies on its own people, we, the people, lose trust in our government. We can restore trust and a sense of community by restoring our constitutional freedoms.

In Maine, I led a coalition to pass groundbreaking privacy laws to require warrants before law enforcement accesses email or phone communications. As United States Senator, I will work with Republicans and Democrats alike to repeal the Patriot Act and restore checks and balances on government spying. I’m proud to have been called “the Elizabeth Warren of civil liberties,” and that’s exactly the kind of senator I intend to be.

Needless to say, you don’t find a record like that every day. We need Shenna Bellows in the Senate, standing with our most dependable leaders and bringing her passion and principles to a legislative body that’s short on both right now.

One last thing about this race you need to know: Susan Collins is nervous. When she started running a recent television ad trying to claim credit for ending the government shutdown, Shenna didn’t let it pass. She put out a web video telling voters the other half of the story-- the half where Susan Collins voted with the tea party to hold the government hostage and hurt businesses in her own state.

Now Susan Collins is backpedaling and trying to convince reporters her votes meant the opposite of what they meant. She can’t defend her record, so she’s trying to ignore it. Voters aren’t buying it, and we need to help Shenna hold her accountable for voting against her own state.

Shenna Bellows is the future of the U.S. Senate. She’s the future of progressive politics. There’s no one we’re more excited to support this year, and we hope you’ll join us-- right here and right now..



People's Climate March. Because, Fred Upton.

As the UN prepares for a Climate Change summit hosted by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Tuesday, this morning New York saw a massive People's Climate March down the west side of Manhattan, one of dozens of climate change events around the globe.

Ban Ki-moon: "Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth... these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women's empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all."

All Blue America- endorsed candidates are "good on Climate." Our candidates are all enthusiastic about the march and about the summit.  And no one is better on this than Michigan congressional candidate Paul Clements.

He may be a progressive across all the important issues that Americans face but I always get the feeling that Climate Change is what motivated Paul to run for Congress. And he's running for the seat occupied by the #1 biggest enemy of the environment in the entire country, House Energy Committee Chairman Fred Upton. Yep-- the man who bottles up all the environmental and climate proposals and never lets them see the light of day.

This morning Paul told us that "Climate change is the greatest threat facing Michigan and our world in the 21st century. We need bold leadership on combatting climate change, both domestically and internationally. America needs to lead this charge and create the economy of the future while doing so."

"Congressman Upton isn't just a part of the problem on climate change," he continued, "he is the problem. The L.A. Times named him "One of the biggest threats to Planet Earth.” That’s not hyperbole. Upton has led the effort to deny science and prevent any action on climate change. He hasn’t just worked to stop proactive legislation, but has consistently sided with polluters and worked to fast track devastating projects like the Keystone pipeline. He has voted to protect the tax breaks for oil and gas companies as their profits have increased to record levels."

After another pipeline explosion and more pollution this week, progressive organizations have joined with western Michigan residents in calling for Upton to give back the gigantic campaign contributions he's scooped up from Big Oil and Gas. Adam Green from PCCC: "Republican House Energy Chair Fred Upton has taken $2,091,236 from big oil, gas, and other energy interests-- and voted with them against his constituents. PCCC members are calling on Upton to give his money from big polluters to local cleanup efforts-- and to stop voting with his big-money donors." And May Boeve, executive director of 350 Action made a similar suggestion: "Companies like TransCanada couldn’t care less about our health or or climate. Greed is what drives them, and their campaign dollars are driving climate denial in Congress. Activists fighting TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline have known this for years: Members of Congress who take the most fossil fuel money are the ones most eager to help fossil fuel companies wreck our climate by building risky pipelines like Keystone XL. Voters need to know that Fred Upton is beholden to fossil fuel companies who don’t have their best interest at heart. We are proud to join PCCC in calling him out."

It's an issue that's effective in a part of Michigan that prides itself on its natural beauty and clean environment. More and more voters are starting to worry about what Upton's role has actually been in these matters. Clements pointed out that "At the same time he protected their tax breaks, Upton personally had at least $238,000 in oil and gas company stock and he has received over $644,000 dollars in contributions from the industry. Upton directly received contributions and profited from supporting tax breaks for oil and gas companies while middle class families pay the price. My passion for the environment, specifically climate change, is one of the main reasons I decided to challenge Congressman Upton and run for Congress. For years, I have studied the politics of climate change and how to make our economy stronger while combatting it. I'm proud of my friends marching in New York to change the status quo and save our planet. Activists like Bill Mckibben have been leading the charge while Congress has been absent, and it's time to change that."

 Blue America would like all of our members to consider supporting this week's Climate activities by helping Paul Clements replace Fred Upton in Congress.

The Democrats may not win the House back but the message of Clements beating Upton would resound decisively across the country. Please consider contributing to Clements' campaign here.



We Cannot Afford to Lose Jeff Merkley

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



Tom Guild Came in First in his Primary

Liberals don't always expect much from Republican bastions like Oklahoma. But Blue America endorsed an across-the-board progressive, Tom Guild, to run for the congressional seat based in Oklahoma City and thanks in part, to our members generosity, he came in first. And a couple of weeks ago Tom came out on top in a tough 3-way primary against a very conservative state Senator who is the polar opposite of a progressive. Tom walked away with 42.1% of the vote while that state senator drew 30.9% and a third candidate took 27%. Oklahoma law requires a runoff, which has been set for August 26.

To build on his momentum from the primary, Tom needs to raise $45,000 for his modest TV and radio advertising and his get-out-the-vote/field operation. Blue America is the only group helping Tom raise money and we're turning to you again for that assistance.

"We will continue to knock doors, make phone calls, put up signs, and visit with voters in the congressional district," Tom told us Friday. "We are the only progressive in the race, and have an outstanding chance to take on and beat the survivor of the Republican nominating process, which also plays out with a runoff August 26. First, we need to secure the Democratic nomination on August 26. We will continue to speak out about increasing Social Security benefits, protecting Medicare, lowering college student loan rates to the same low rate afforded to big banks, protecting civil rights, restoring voting rights, and fighting for human rights. We have momentum and history on our side. Please contribute what you can today, so that we will have the resources needed to win the runoff, and go into the general election with momentum and confidence.

Tom's 97,504 votes from the 2012 election-- the most votes for any Democratic nominee in 22 years-- is primed to turn out and vote in 2014. He isn't another mealy-mouthed red state Democrat. Like fellow Oklahoman, Elizabeth Warren, he is proud of their state's populist traditions and he is clearly from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party. Tom has the best chance to be elected as the first Democratic U.S. House Member from Oklahoma City in decades.

Tom:

"Expanding Social Security by implementing the plan put forward by Oklahoma native Senator Elizabeth Warren would give peace of mind and a semblance of economic security to tens of millions of American seniors. Her plan to provide an additional supplement to the income of Americans when they reached the age of 75 and again at the age of 85 would help account for the additional cost of living seniors have in providing for added medical needs. Her plan would also make the program completely self-sustaining for additional decades. Expanding benefits will make a great program even better… The federal government currently lends to banks at very low interest rates. I support a plan to extend those low rates to student loans. Making big profits on student loans is unseemly and adds to the tremendous burden that many students graduating from American colleges and their families currently bear. Students should be treated at least as well as banks, who benefit by extremely low interest rates."

This race is well within reach, but we need to get on board to make sure Tom has the resources to win. Please click here to join us and stand with Tom Guild for Congress.



The unprincipled insiders did it again

AmatoShenna800x1067.jpg
Credit: John Amato
John Amato meets Shenna Bellows. Look at her smile! He's still Got It!

They say that no good deed goes unpunished and nothing illustrates the truth of that old trope more vividly that the Human Rights Campaign endorsing Maine Senator Susan Collins over her Democratic opponent, the stalwart defender of human rights and civil liberties, Shenna Bellows. It wasn't the first time Republicans have been unjustly rewarded with endorsements from national liberal organizations, unfortunately. But there are few Republicans who have been more lauded by people for whom she has consistently done so little than the bucket of lukewarm water known as Susan Collins.

This endorsement was particularly galling. Shenna Bellows is not just another Democrat who supports marriage equality. She has devoted her life to expanding civil rights and civil liberties. In her capacity as the Director of the Maine ACLU she helped lead the way for marriage equality in Maine and was instrumental in getting the Maine Human Rights Act passed. It's a truly bold piece of legislation, one of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country, which Bellows promises to bring to the national level. She has said:

The important thing we learned in Maine was to aim big and be persistent. Frankly, Congress could benefit from our example. The debate in Congress has focused for too long on weak versions of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which only covers employment decisions and now has such a big religious-exemption loophole that many activists no longer support the bill. As Ian Thompson wrote for Slate in April, the loophole "opens the door for religiously affiliated organizations to engage in employment discrimination against LGBT people -- for any reason." That's not the stuff big civil-rights advances are made of.

I'm proud to say we've done better in Maine, and I'll do better in Washington. We need a national Human Rights Act along the lines of the Maine Human Rights Act. We need to outlaw discrimination in employment, housing, credit, public accommodations and educational opportunity on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation -- once and for all, nationwide, no exceptions. Sen. Al Franken has done good work on this issue, and I can't wait to join him. The LGBT community isn't alone in worrying that its Washington allies are aiming too low.

Many immigration-reform groups rightly wonder not only why Republicans won't support them but why too many Democrats supported a weaker House bill in this Congress than the one they introduced when they were in the majority. We can't fall victim to lower expectations or lesser ambitions, no matter who controls what branch of government. Good policy is good policy, and fighting the wrong legislative fights won't get us where we need to be.

That's the kind of leadership we need so desperately in Washington --- leadership that understands that we are all in this together. If you agree, you can donate to Shenna Bellows' campaign here.

You will not be surprised to learn that Senator Collins is all for that "religious exemption." And her definition of courage is to wait until the nation has largely moved forward before she reluctantly leads from behind: it was only last week that she could summon the nerve to support marriage equality even in principle, much less to act to make it a reality.

As you can see from Shenna Bellows' comments, her approach to basic human rights and liberties stems from her clear, strong set of principles. She doesn't put her finger in the wind, she kicks up a storm and makes things happen. Maine would not have the strong protections and rights available to LGBT citizens that it has today if not for Shenna Bellows. Yet the thanks she gets from the National Human Rights Campaign is an endorsement for her opponent. With friends like these...

Shenna does have real friends, however. Shenna Bellows has been endorsed by all the national progressive netroots groups (with Blue America leading the way by being the very first to do so) and she raised more than Collins in the first quarter, which says something about her incumbent's lack of support from anyone but beltway insiders and establishment courtiers. She is getting favorable press wherever she goes. In fact, Blue America has a donor who has offered a matching donation up to $1,000 on the basis of Bellows' outstanding record on civil liberties. (Click here to help us match it!)

Shenna came out to Los Angeles last week to meet with some supporters and John, Howie and I were privileged to help host the event. It was a truly inspiring evening, and not just for us. Everyone there was terrifically impressed by her knowledge of the issues, her grasp of the politics and more than anything, her obvious passion and commitment to the principles we all share --- and which are so often poorly articulated by our Democratic establishment politicians. Howie had the privilege of introducing her to the crowd and he said it best: "we believe Shenna Bellows is another Elizabeth Warren, a gifted, intelligent communicator with an uncanny ability to explain complicated issues to the American people."

We committed that night to raise $2,000 more dollars for Shenna Bellows' campaign. Our anonymous civil libertarian donor has already met half that goal for us if you will meet him halfway.

Please give what you can. Shenna is the progressive future and we desperately need such principled, passionate and committed leaders to start taking their place in the Democratic Party.

Thank you for all you do to make this world a better place.



A Fighting Chance

We're all enjoying Elizabeth Warren's new book, A Fighting Chance and hope you're either reading it too or will soon. It makes it so clear why we're progressives and not garden variety partisans on either side of the aisle. We thought we'd share a couple of paragraphs from the book today. We pick it up just at the time we first met her, when she was deciding whether or not to run for the Massachusetts Senate seat then occupied by Wall Street's favorite-- and best funded-- senator, Scott Brown. She describes a scene on a Boston subway platform late one night:

A thin young man-- really just a kid-- in a loose-fitting suit, with a backpack slung over his shoulder, looked at me and smiled. A minute later, he came over. "Are you Elizabeth Warren?"

He was from central Massachusetts, the first in his family to go to college. He was attending school in Boston and he loved it, but he said he worried about money all the time. He worked a full-time job during the school year and took two jobs during the summer to try to cover as much as he could. As we waited for the subway, we talked about student loans, declining government investment in universities, and rising tuition. Finally, he asked me if he could take a picture. Bruce [her husband] snapped the shot on the young man's phone. The kid smiled and started to walk away, then turned around.

"I give you money every month, and I'm taking on hours so I can give you more."

I felt as if he'd hit me with a spear right between the ribs. Good Lord-- this kind was working until nearly eleven o'clock on a Saturday night and he was sending me money? I smiled weakly and said something along the lines of, "Uh, I'm doing okay in the campaign. Maybe you should keep your money. I'll be fine. Really."

He looked back at me. "No, I'm part of this campaign. This is my fight, too."

And that really was the answer. It wasn't just my campaign. My name was on the ticket, but these folks weren't volunteering and donating for me. They were supporting something a lot bigger. When I said that we were better off if we invested in the future together, they already knew it was true-- and they lived it. They thought America could do better, and they wanted it every bit as much as I did. And they would do everything possible to try to make that better future a reality.

This is my fight, too It gives me goose bumps.

Last cycle right-wing special interests, particularly Wall Street, made it possible for Scott Brown to spend $35,058,354 on his campaign. Blue America was one of the first groups outside of Massachusetts to endorse and start raising small contributions for Elizabeth Warren. She kept up with Brown and she beat him and in the end she won 56% of the votes. She's a beacon of inspiration for us today. And she very much reminds me of another woman from New England, Maine's Shenna Bellows, taking on a popular Republican incumbent.

I wanted to cry when I read Elizabeth's story about the young man on the subway platform. I want to cry tears of joy in November when Shenna beats Susan Collins and goes to Washington to work with Elizabeth for our people and our values.

Shenna can’t do that without our help. Can you see your way towards making a regular monthly contribution to her campaign between now and November?




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