Blue America, Onward And Upward: Good Guys Always Win In The End

Media error

The first time he ran for Congress, Alan Grayson lost the primary. Two years later Blue America encouraged him to run again and he did. Derided by the political Establishment in Florida and in DC, he beat their favorite in the primary and went on to beat the incumbent Republican congressman in the November general. He then went on to inspire millions of Americans desperate for political leaders who could and would stand up to the conservative consensus that dominates Beltway politics. And when Grayson lost in 2010, he started working on the 2012 race. Blue America was with him every step of the way.

And on Tuesday we celebrated when he won the biggest congressional comeback in American history-- a 62.5% victory that saw him win the vote in every municipality in Florida's 9th district. He won among men and he won among women; he won the youth vote and he won the senior vote and he won the votes of people in between. He won among white people, among black people, among Hispanics and among Asians. He won the urban vote, the suburban vote and the rural vote and he won over 60% of the vote in Orange County, in Osceola County and even in red-leaning Polk County! 3,205 individual contributions from Blue America donors added up to $57,190 for Alan this year.

Yesterday, Grayson said in a statement that speaks volumes about his dedication to the ideals embodied in the men and women who put him back in office:

"Let’s not fall into the trap of thinking that one Democrat is as good as any other, that we’re all interchangeable parts. We’re not. Some of us have a head, and a heart, and a spine, and some of us don’t. Blue America concentrates on helping the Democrats who deserve our help, the Democrats who can make a difference. Blue America’s encyclopedic knowledge of every Congressional race means that they do your homework for you. When you support Blue America, you’re supporting the best of the best, in the most important races in the country. It sure made a difference in our election.”

And Alan wasn't our only big win this cycle. After we helped a young reform-minded El Paso City Councilman, Beto O'Rourke, oust longtime corrupt incumbent Silvestre Reyes in a primary that sent shock waves through the DC Establishment, Beto went on this past Tuesday to roll up an awe-inspiring two-to-one landslide, beating his Tea Party opponent 65.5 to 32.8%. Aside for raising money for Beto, we also introduced him to Alan Grayson and Jared Polis so that he would have a base among other reform-minded Democrats in Washington and not just the corrupt, corporate-oriented glad-handing party leaders.

As you know by now, all three of the people Blue America backed for Senate -- Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin -- won incredible victories. Bernie was reelected with over 70% of the vote. Elizabeth was the only Democrat to dislodge a sitting Republican senator -- Wall Street's favorite member of the Senate, no less -- and Tammy Baldwin beat back a four-term governor to become Wisconsin's first woman senator, and the first openly gay person to even win a Senate seat in America.

In 2010, Annie Kuster and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter were both victims of the Tea Party wave that swept over New Hampshire. Tuesday that wave reversed itself, and both outstanding grassroots progressives won congressional seats and helped turn New Hampshire dark blue again-- with a new Democratic governor and an overwhelming victory in the state legislature. And across the country in California, state Senator Alan Lowenthal, a principled and determined progressive, who got no help from the DCCC, won a powerful 10-point victory over Climate Change-denier Gary Delong.

Blue America is very proud of all our winners, of course -- and very proud of our members who gave and gave and gave and gave so generously and so consistently. We're also incredibly proud of the candidates who didn't win their races but who fought hard, usually against overwhelming odds and with no help from the DCCC or the Beltway Establishment or the state parties that take their cues from Washington. Rob Zerban gave Paul Ryan the biggest fight of his career and came closer to ending it than anyone who's ever challenged him before. Rob will be back.

And Rob isn't the only one we will be working with again. Some of our youngest first-time candidates -- Aryanna Strader, Lee Rogers, Nate Shinagawa, Nick Ruiz -- have assured me that what we've worked so hard to build won't be wasted. Lee took on the powerful and entrenched chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and gave him the first close call of his long, corrupt career. Will McKeon even run again? None of these candidates had any help from the DCCC; all of them outperformed expectations and made a mark. The morning after his near victory over Tea Party debt collector Tom Reed, the DCCC asked Nate Shinagawa to suit up for 2014, which indicates that might actually support him next cycle. I'm certain, with your help, Blue America will.

Let me share with you a note I got on Wednesday morning from Aryanna Strader our candidate in PA-16, who waged a lonely battle against entrenched incumbent Joe Pitts:

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Blue America Welcomes Back Alan Grayson

Today, January 21, is the two-year anniversary of the absolute worst and most dangerous Supreme Court decision of our lifetimes, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. We decided it would be the perfect time to reiterate Blue America's enthusiastic support and endorsement of Orlando Democrat Alan Grayson and to invite him here to Crooks and Liars for a question-and-answer session.

Why Alan? He was one of the first victims of an unrestricted opening of the spigots of corporate money in a congressional race. According to a Politico article late in the campaign in 2010, almost 20% of all of the independent expenditures in House races in the entire country were deployed against Alan. His district was flooded with an unrelenting radio and television smear campaign by the corporations who didn't appreciate his hard work on behalf of consumers and workers. The average person in Orlando saw 70 negative ads against Grayson-- $2 million of which was paid for by the Koch Brothers, $2 million by the health insurance industry and another million from the NRCC. The cash that flowed into the district from the Chamber of Commerce and Rove's band of cutthroats was a direct response to Alan's reform efforts on the House Financial Services Committee and because he was the most effective national Democratic spokesperson in Congress. The DCCC, of course, offered him no help whatsoever in defending his seat.

Two years ago there were only two Members of Congress at the Supreme Court when the narrow 5-4 decision striking down the provisions of the McCain–Feingold Act that prohibited all corporations' and unions' unrestricted election spending on advertising was read out: Alan and Mitch McConnell. I can imagine McConnell squealing with delight. Grayson had quite a different reaction. He warned later that evening on Countdown that "if we do nothing, you can kiss this country goodbye." (See video above.) I don't think he actually meant the physical country itself-- just democracy, so loathed by the plutocratic elites, and all the benefits democracy brings with it.

Alan had gotten over 100,000 people to sign a petition to the Justices at SaveDemocracy.net, and he personally delivered the signatures to the Supreme Court. This was a new experience for the Supreme Court.

"Seeing it coming," he told me when discussing the ruling, "and assuming the worst, I had introduced four anti-Citizens United bills the week before, and introduced four more afterward. We called this our Save Democracy Platform. The core of three of these bills made it into the DISCLOSE Act." These were the bills Alan introduced:

The Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act (H.R. 4431): Implements a 500% excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees, and on corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns.

The Public Company Responsibility Act (H.R. 4435): Prevents companies making political contributions and expenditures from trading their stock on national exchanges.

The End Political Kickbacks Act (H.R. 4434): Prevents for-profit corporations that receive government money from making political contributions, and limits the amount that employees of those companies can contribute.

The Corporate Propaganda Sunshine Act (H.R. 4432): Requires publicly traded companies to disclose in SEC filings money used for the purpose of influencing public opinion, rather than for promoting their products and services.

The Ending Corporate Collusion Act (H.R. 4433): Applies antitrust law to industry PACs.

The End the Hijacking of Shareholder Funds Act (H.R. 4487): This bill requires the approval of a majority of a public company's shareholders for any expenditure by that company to influence public opinion on matters not related to the company's products or services.

Blue America was urging Alan to run again even as the votes were being counted in 2010. And we are determined that this year he's going to be back in Congress-- and this time in a solid Democratic district (the new 27th based in Orlando). Please help us raise him the money he needs to beat back the Kochs and the Roves and the corporate special interests.

He recorded this for us last night:



Today We're Thankful For... Alan Grayson

We're going to do something a little different today here at DownWithTyranny. In honor of Thanksgiving we're going to dedicate the entire day to explaining why we're thankful to one candidate for Congress, Alan Grayson. Last week, Blue America sponsored an intimate, free-ranging chat with Alan and we've cut it up into bite-sized pieces. All during the day we'll be posting short clips from that chat. Hopefully, at least one will encourage and animate you to contribute to Alan's campaign on our Blue America ActBlue page. Last time Allen ran Blue America raised over $100,000 for him, and the average contribution was around $43. There were lots of $5 and $10 contributions as well. They all add up. Right-wing front groups-- many funded by the Koch brothers-- poured more cash into attack ads against Allen than any other Member of Congress. They hate him; and he doesn't run from their hatred.

I'd like to start with a short clip where Alan neatly defines his politics and explains in 3 words why he's running for Congress and what his governing philosophy is. I found this very powerful when he said it. What do you think?



Alan Grayson's In-- Are You?

Late yesterday Alan Grayson announced that he'd be running for Congress again, in one of the still not fully defined Orlando area districts. Alan was one of the most aggressively courageous and honest Members of Congress any of us has ever come across and Blue America wants to welcome him back to the fold. Will you help by giving what you can do his election campaign today?

Yesterday he told me that "under no circumstances would he ever support a cut in Social Security. "I don't just say 'no'; I say HELL NO-- Under. No. Circumstances... Last year I said we can't let the choice in 2010 be between the lazies and the crazies. Now its coming down to a choice between the heartless and the spineless. Ask them 'am I my brother's keeper' and they just say 'no'."

The Chamber of Commerce types in central Florida would like a less independent-minded congressman and they're trying to draft quasi-Democratic opponents for Alan. He's been there for us-- don't you think-- let's be there for him again. Please give what you can, so he can win the primary and then beat whatever the GOP throws up against him.

See that tie Alan is wearing? He took it off and autographed it and sent it to Howie to give away to a Blue America donor. We'll give it to the donor who makes the biggest contribution today.



Alan Grayson's Got Your Back on Foreclosure Fraud. Won't you get his on November 2nd? UPDATED

You know, when America's worst columnist devotes an entire piece to his eliminationist right-wing wish for the voters to "purge" you from the American scene, you have to figure you're scoring, and against some sensitive targets. Why else target you?

Well, Alan Grayson has been fighting the good fight for the people of Florida 08 since he hit the halls of Congress in 2009. And he's been out in front of every other politician in the country in demanding accountability for the greatest banking fraud scandal in American history. When he heard reports of banks foreclosing on homes they didn't own, he didn't consult pollsters or political strategists, Grayson took action and requested that the Florida Supreme Court step in. That public request got the ball rolling and Attorney's General and state officials across the nation looked at the evidence of similar fraudulent behavior and called for moratoriums on foreclosures.

As this foreclosure fraud scandal unfolds, Grayson remains at the forefront of those demanding accountability, speaking plainly and assertively of the need for this criminal behavior to come to and end so the country can finally start to rebuild from the rubble. And like Republicans running for national office all over America, his opponent has breathed nary a word about it, fearing, as they all do, the wrath of the big banks and wealthy financial interests who want to sweep this under the rug to protect their profits.

If you want someone who isn't afraid to take on the big corporate interests, someone who isn't afraid to take on entrenched political power, who isn't afraid, period, you'll vote for Alan Grayson. He's got your back -- won't you get his?

You can donate to his campaign to help him keep fighting the good fight, here.

UPDATE:

VP Joe Biden and the White House stepped up their support for him even after the DCCC snubbed Alan Grayson and are hosting a fundraiser for him. This is great news, but remember that Grayson is the #1 enemy of Republicans and Tea Partiers.

Please help him out if you can especially after George Will unleashed a vicious attack on him. This only proves how effective Grayson has been at fighting back against the Republicans every day he's spent in Congress.

You can donate to his campaign to help him keep fighting the good fight, here.



What Do Republicans Read To... Well, To Make Them The Way They Are?

Crossposted from DownWithTyranny


Yesterday's widely read, though Murdoch owned, NY Post ran a story by Stephen Meister about how the big bad Democrats are bullying the poor banksters. If only!

If Democrats get their way, we'll soon have a nationwide freeze on home foreclosures -- imposing vast new losses on mortgage lenders and taxpayers, sidelining panicked homebuyers and pushing off a housing-market recovery for years. You can thank bullying politicians, from President Obama on down to most state attorneys general.

I have yet to see news of a single borrower coming forward to say the bank foreclosed on his home when he wasn't in default on his mortgage. On average, one of every three homes being foreclosed on is vacant, and the borrowers haven't made a single payment for a year and a half.

Yet millions of pending foreclosures will now be halted. This is a massive overreaction to technical faults in affidavits.

Sure, banks cut corners in dealing with a never-before-seen flood of millions of foreclosures. That's not right-- but it's also not right that 18.9 million homes are vacant and millions of homeowners aren't paying their mortgages.

The lending industry should fight back-- but it's too fearful of being demonized by opportunistic pols.

This doesn't only fit in with the wall of sound from Murdoch's vast broadcast empire-- thanks for that, Bill Clinton-- it also fits in with an e-mail chain letter reaching millions of deluded right-wing voters from coast to coast. It's all about the old children's story-- that goes back to the time of the Ancient Greeks-- of the hardworking ant and the profligate grasshopper.

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE OLD STORY:

Be responsible for yourself!

MODERN VERSION

The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, MSNBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, It's Not Easy Being Green...

ACORN stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, We Shall Overcome.

Then Rev. Jeremiah Wright has the group kneel down to pray for the grasshopper's sake.

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Will Taliban Dan Protect Florida Families From Illegal Foreclosures? Does He Even Know What They Are?

Crossposted from DownWithTyranny

Last week we learned that, under intense pressure from Congressman Alan Grayson and other determined congressional and executive watchdogs, Bank of America decided to join banksters JPMorgan Chase and GMAC in suspending foreclosure processes in 23 states that "weren't reviewed properly." How many illegal foreclosures have already forced families out of their homes? It's why Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), early in 2009, told her constituents to stay put in their homes if some crooked bankster tried to force them out.

In the video above, Rep. Grayson explains, in layman's terms-- and with horrifying details-- what kind of unconscionable fraud the banks have been up to. Even the staid old NY Times has taken note of the scandal this week.

The foreclosure machinery that has forced millions of Americans out of their homes is beginning to seize up as some lenders and their lawyers are accused of cutting corners in their pursuit of rapid home repossessions.

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Blue America Welcomes Our Old Friend Alan Grayson Back For A Live Chat

Congressman Grayson's clip above is positively existential. It's hard to believe it's coming from a Member of Congress. Of course, it's hard to believe there's a Member of Congress of Alan Grayson's calibre. And I get the feeling there are an awful lot of people in the Orlando area who know just how lucky they are. On the other hand, Alan has drawn a veritable circus sideshow of opponents, each one fringier and more insane than the other. Tomorrow is primary day in Florida and we'll be watching with interest as a small number of disheartened and disillusioned Republicans pick over the 4th and 5th tier candidates hoping for the nomination-- from Patricia Sullivan who (publicly) claims Sarah Palin as a role model, Dan Fanelli who proudly (and publicly) flies his racist flag for everyone to see, to the kook, Ross Bieling, whose platform is impeaching President Obama and the hate talk radio guy, Todd Long, who was found passed out drunk one morning in front of a local elementary school to a state legislator, Kurt Kelly, who disgraced himself last month by interpreting Rep. Grayson's efforts to bring the troops home to safety as wanting them to die and then to the feeble fave of the Establishment, Dan Webster, who's best known for pushing a radical religious agenda that has included ending the right of divorce and introducing the legislation that started the whole tragic Terri Schiavo debacle. And on top of that the Florida TEA Party has nominated Peg Dunmire, someone even nuttier than that crew -- well, not nuttier than Fanelli -- running as well.

Goal ThermometerAnd then there's Alan Grayson, probably the most beloved and effective champion of ordinary working families of any Member of the House. Today's the climax of a moneybomb his campaign launched a few days ago. Blue America has our own goal for Alan's campaign, an even $50,000. As you can see from the thermometer on the right, we're more than two-thirds there. I hope you watched the video up top. It knocked me out. Here's some of what Orlando's greatest gift to America had to say:

There are two groups in this country right now. I call those groups Us, and Them.

We want more jobs, better schools, better health, better pensions, and we want to keep our homes. We want not just jobs but jobs that mean something, jobs that pay a decent wage. We want to live a good life.

And then there's them. They simply have one goal and one goal only. And that is to destroy the government. They're not conservatives. They're anarchists.

I don't know why they want anarchy. In fact, they don’t know, either. Even they don't know what kind of inner darkness causes them to seek wars without end, to burn the planet, to welcome poverty for so many, to leave the old and the sick helpless, to cheer oil in the Gulf. I've spoken to enough of them to be able to tell you that they themselves don’t know why.

But that's what they want. So, now we have to decide who is going to run this country. Is it Us, or is it Them? And what's at stake is the future. The future in a country that my five children will live in, that your children will live in, that you'll live in for the rest of your life.

Are we going to have a country with a decent middle class life for everyone-- jobs, health care, roads, schools? Or, are we going to have poverty, cheap labor, helplessness and hopelessness? The choice is yours.

I think President Obama feels much the same way. I wish he had the guts to say it the way Alan Grayson does. Please, if you only contribute to one campaign this year, it's Alan Grayson who has earned that honor. Please join us below in the comments section to participate in a love blogging session with Congressman Alan Grayson.



Blue America Special: Alan Grayson joins C&L for a Live Chat! "Peace Party"

If any of you have been over the Daily Kos or many other progressive blogs recently you know that today is the day of Alan Grayson's Peace Party --- a fundraiser to help Grayson keep his seat in this fall's election:

On JUNE 28, 1919, the United States put an end to a world war, after less than two years of fighting. In 1945, the United States ended another world war, after less than four years of fighting. But in 2010, we are embroiled in two wars, after almost nine years of fighting.

When will it end? When Blackwater and Halliburton say so? When we’re all broke?

It’s time that someone spoke out for peace.

Indeed. And it's not surprising that the person speaking out for peace today is none other than the progressive congressman from Florida. I don't know about you, but I am convinced that it takes political fighters to keep us out of war, and there's no smarter or more effective fighter in the Democratic Party than Alan Grayson.

Who else says things like this?

"Imagine if we had decided after 9/11 to wean ourselves off oil and other carbon-based fuels. We'd be almost ten years into that project by now.

"Imagine if George W. Bush had somehow been able to summon the moral strength of Mahatma Gandhi, Helen Keller, or Martin Luther King Jr, and committed the American people to the pursuit of a common goal of a transformed society, a society which meets our own human needs rather than declaring "war" on an emotion, or, as John Quincy Adams put it, going "abroad, in search of monsters to destroy".

"Imagine.

"Imagine that we chose not to enslave ourselves to a massive military state whose stated goal is "stability" in countries that never have been "stable", and never will be."

Blue America was the first Netroots PAC to endorse Grayson when he decided to run. None of the Very Serious People in politics thought he could win in what was a Republican district but we don't base our endorsements solely on electability, so that wasn't relevant. We felt he had a good chance and we knew that if he won, he would be an articulate and passionate advocate for our values. He has exceeded our expectations, to say the least.

One of the reasons Grayson can be so outspoken is that he takes no special interest money from businesses his committees oversee and so depends on small donations more than other politicians. So far, the netroots have come through for him, giving him an independent funding base and allowing him to operate with much more freedom than the average representative. Today, he's asking for your help again. If you can spare a few bucks, now's the time.

The world is full of supposedly indispensable men and women, virtually none of whom are actually indispensable. Grayson, in my view, is the exception. The progressive movement needs this man in congress, serving as an example of intelligent, aggressive, principled progressivism and hopefully building up a paradigm for others to follow.

Please donate to Grayson's campaign and help keep the progressive movement's most powerful spokesman in office for another term.



Alan Grayson to join C&L at 4:30 PDT/7:30 EDT PM for a Special Live Chat UPDATED: Now 5 pm PDT

Media error

Alan Grayson is joining Blue America on C&L today at 4:30 PST/7:30 EST [UPDATED] 5 PM for a Special Live Chat to help with his fundraising effort. Because the Congressman is so popular and willing to fight for American families like other Democrats refuse to do, he's become a major target for the GOP and their tea party off shoot. He'll be here talking about his new bill, "The War is Making You Poor Act, HR 5353," as well as his new speech which he premiered here Friday based on Eisenhower's "Chance for Freedom' Speech. Please join us later today.

Send Democrats and Tea Partiers a message in the process.




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