Help Blue America Award A $5,000 Check-- And Join Us For Lunch With Darcy Burner On Tuesday

We've had tremendous interest in our little Blue America contest that Crooks & Liars and our blogging partners at Firedoglake, Digby and DownWithTyranny started last Saturday. So far our $5,000 seed money has brought in close to $20,000 spread out between our 9 candidates. It's been a see saw battle between Annette Taddeo (D-FL), Russ Warner (D-CA) and Debbie Cook (D-CA), although both Dennis Shulman (D-NJ) and Sam Bennett (D-PA) have been moving up and are in striking distance. In terms of cash, Debbie Cook's campaign alone went over the $5,000 mark this morning! You can "vote" and follow the competition on our special Blue America Contest page.

A new twist, though: a generous donor has offered Blue America PAC another $1,250 for a second check-- kind of a runner up prize-- if we can raise enough money in the PAC to match it. So... please think about donating to the PAC as well. That way on Saturday we'll be awarding a $5,000 check to whomever gets the most votes and a $2,500 to whomever comes in second.

And for Crooks & Liars readers in southern California, we're having an intimate lunch with Darcy Burner (D-WA) this coming Tuesday at noon in Silverlake. If you'd like to join John Amato, Digby and myself in welcoming Darcy to Los Angeles, all the info is at DownWithTyranny.



Please Vote In Our Blue America "Red to Blue" Contest

Saturday morning Crooks & Liars joined with our partners at FDL, Digby's Hullabaloo and DownWithTyranny to announce a week-long competition among some of our Blue America House candidates. We're offering $5,000 to candidate who gets the most votes from the readers of the four blogs. These are all candidates who are not on the DCCC's Red to Blue list.

All you have to do to vote is to stick at least one dollar (no more than $2,300) in the pot of the candidate you like best. A dollar counts as one vote; $2,300 counts as one vote. If you give one dollar a hundred times it counts as one vote. But, yes, you are welcome to vote for more than one candidate and that does count.

Since Saturday morning there have been 293 donors and Russ Warner, who's running against L.A. area Bush rubber-stamp David Dreier is way out in front. Russ' supporters have tossed in over $3,000. Altogether over $7,500 has been raised for the 9 candidates so far, aside from Russ, Debbie Cook (CA), Annette Taddeo (FL), Dennis Shulman (NJ), Larry Joe Doherty (TX), Alan Grayson (FL), Barry Walsh (IN), Sam Bennett (PA) and Jared Polis (CO).

We asked Democratic Party bosses Rahm Emanuel, Steny Hoyer, Chris Van Hollen, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz to each match our $5,000 check to the winner. None of them have... responded yet. Don't forget to vote! Winner will be announced next Saturday.



Blue America's Alan Grayson Wins Florida Primary

Congratulations, Alan! Great news from a great progressive candidate.

Down With Tyranny:

(Tuesday) Florida had its congressional primaries and with about 93% of the vote counted it's looking like Donna Edwards may soon have a strong progressive with a reform-minded agenda working with her in Congress. (Oh, there's still the general election in November... but Keller barely managed to hold onto his party's nomination against Todd Long who's getting 47% of the Republican vote.) AP has called the race for Grayson but says it's too close to call on the GOP side. [..]

Which ad do you think will be most effective in the general election?

or this?

Both of them are hard to resist. Please consider donating to our Blue America ActBlue page so he can keep running the ads.



Jean Schmidt Is A Lying B****!

Well, duh. But this time, it's one of her fellow Republicans talking her down.

TPM:

Every now and then we like to check in on the latest antics surrounding GOP Rep. Jean Schmidt -- the Ohio Republican who called Jack Murtha a coward on the House floor. And boy oh boy, her latest doesn't disappoint.

Schmidt is now enmeshed in a bitter feud with another Ohio Republican, who's so furious with her that he called her a "lying b----" and a "despicable person" who would "sell her mother" -- and expressly told us we could print that!

The issue? GOP State Rep. Tom Brinkman, who founded an anti-tax government watchdog group, is charging that Schmidt's House staffers frequently work on her campaign for re-election.

"You can quote me anywhere you like. Jean Schmidt is a lying b----," said Brinkman, who lost his primary challenge to her this year by a 58%-40% margin, in an interview with Election Central. "She would sell her mother to promote herself. She is a despicable person. She will go any length possible to win, to get what she wants."

Yikes!

Schmidt is running against Blue America's Victoria Wulsin. Please help if you can in her campaign against the ethically-challenged Mean Jean.



Feingold & Dodd Amendment fails on FISA

Their amendment went down. I believe the final vote was 32-66...

Specter's was rejected too.

Here's some voting information. It's just coming out now.

Please Donate here to help fight back against these actions. Blue America has been leading the way to fight for our rights and to elect new candidates that will uphold

UPDATE: (Logan) The only two Senators not to vote on FISA today? One with a brain tumor and McCain. Priorities.



Turn Up The Heat On Congress Over FISA

Run, don't walk...

Christy at FDL has all the pertinent numbers.

There has always been a tension between individual liberty and governmental power. National security issues are a natural fault line, given the difficulty of protecting the nation while simultaneously upholding the values of freedom and liberty. And politicians, bless their hearts, always try to find ways to consolidate their power while pretending to do so in the public interest -- and not their own and that of their cronies who benefit in some way from their decisions.

They miscalculated this time regarding how many people in America are paying attention to civil liberties concerns these days. And it is our job to make certain that they learn just how badly they have misjudged this.

It is one of the many reasons we are working so hard to build incentive through our Blue America FISA actions. (You can donate here.)

UPDATE: Sen. Russ Feingold has a factsheet on FISA and why it's a bad deal for Americans.



Congressional Races Update

Mark Kirk (R-IL10): "if we see Obama, there's a shoot-on-sight order". He meant to say Osama, but how many times will we see this mistake from a Republican?

Darcy Burner (WA-08): Darcy is catching up big time on Republican incumbent Dave Reichert. The latest poll has her within 6 points. Reichert knows he's in trouble and has called in the "heavyweights" of the Republican Party to help raise funds, including Gingrich and Boehner. You can fight by donating to Darcy's Blue America account here.

Nancy Boyda (KS-02): The latest polls show Boyda comfortably leading both challengers Ryun and Jenkins.

And finally, in NM-01 and 02, Robert Novak of all people, recognizes that the Republicans are going to have a tough time of it:

New Mexico-1: "This could be a very bad year for Republicans in New Mexico"Together with the likely loss of the U.S. Senate seat, both GOP-held house seats are in danger.

In the Albuquerque seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Heather Wilson (R), Republicans have the benefit of a strong candidate in Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White (R), but they have the disadvantage of demography and a bad political environment. Democrats have nominated Albuquerque City Councilman Martin Heinrich (D).[..]

Considering only the candidates, White has the edge, but the political landscape seriously favors Heinrich. Bush's name and the GOP brand are dirt in New Mexico.[...]

Because we expect a strong Democratic tide, White's strengths look likely to be wiped out by a Democratic surge. Leaning Democratic Takeover.

New Mexico-2: This is the "Republican district" in New Mexico, but it could be represented by a Democrat next year. In 2004, Bush took 58 percent of this district, which covers the Southern half of the state, but the GOP might have nominated the wrong candidate.

I think we may have cause to celebrate much come November.



Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Naturally) Jokes About The Death Of Hillary Clinton

NW Progressive:

Not only is Dave Reichert an ineffective congressman, but he has a twisted sense of humor, as the Tacoma News Tribune's Niki Sullivan reports:

Right now, U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert is up. He repeated a joke I first heard him tell at the Pierce County Republicans' Lincoln Day breakfast earlier this year. It involves an airplane that's going to crash, one fewer parachute than passengers and, ultimately, Hillary Clinton dying.

It sounds, as David Goldstein observes, like an unoriginal, crass schoolyard joke I used to hear all the time from classmates when I was younger and attending elementary school. [..] The punch line relies on the assumption that the adult in question is stupid.

Now, Reichert or anybody else can argue that Hillary Clinton is ambitious, or stubborn, or shameless, but she is certainly not dumb.

To her credit, she's exceptionally sharp and calculating in addition to being determined... and that has carried her a very long way.

Joking about the death of one of the two Democrats seeking the presidency, if not inappropriate, is certainly not classy, and is further evidence that Dave Reichert himself does not have good judgment.

Perhaps this is because he isn't truly invested in his job.

He doesn't work hard on Capitol Hill, his campaign is ambling or meandering along at a lazy pace, and he's frequently careless with his choice of words. Last cycle his campaign finished with a condescending, sexist TV ad.

Reichert is running against Blue America candidate Darcy Burner. Please considering helping Darcy's campaign so we can show Reichert out the door.



Blue America Welcomes Judy Feder (VA-10)

Our Blue America candidate today is Judy Feder from northern Virginia in the 'burbs outside Washington, an area that used to be dependably Republican but... well no more. Judy joins us at Firedoglake today at 2pm (EST) for a two-hour discussion of the issues in her campaign, particularly health care policy, her field of expertise. But just because she is the dean of Georgetown's Policy Institute and has spent an entire career trying to figure out how to make universal health care work for all Americans, that doesn't mean she isn't paying attention to the other issues important to us all. This morning Judy sent me two things, the video intro she shot for us last night and the answer to a question about FISA and if she would be any different from the rubber stamp incumbent, Frank Wolf, who has been a big backer of warrantless wiretapping and retroactive immunity. Judy's response:

No one in this country should be above the law and saying Alberto Gonzales told me it was okay is hardly an excuse. I oppose retroactive immunity for the telecoms who engaged in illegal surveillance. Unfortunately, Frank Wolf has again sided with the President on this issue voting in favor of immunity for those who circumvented the FISA courts and our legal process.

If you decide to donate to Judy's campaign today-- or to any Blue America candidate you want to see elected-- don't forget that this is the end of our Air America contest and if you add in a penny it goes as a vote towards that candidate. Donate here at our Blue America page.



Blue America Welcomes Sen. Regina Thomas

Today's Blue America candidate is Georgia state Senator Regina Thomas. She's taking on one of the very worst and most reactionary of all the congressional Blue Dogs, John Barrow, in a district that encompasses much of Savannah and Augusta. Barrow votes more frequently for the Bush agenda and with the GOP than any other Democrats, although he's sometimes tied with Nick Lampson and Jim Marshall. Regina will be blogging live at Firedoglake today at 2pm (Georgia Peach Time). Blue America worked with singer-songwriter Jason Joseph to put together a little music clip for Regina. If you'd like to help us get this spread around, please consider donating to Regina's campaign at our Blue America ActBlue page today.




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