ARCHIVE: Blue America welcomes the original Netroots candidate, Darcy Burner

Help us fix what's wrong with our country by helping Darcy fix Congress. 

Back in 2006, when Blue America was just a young PAC, one congressional candidate seemed to emerge from out of our own ranks, so conversant with the way the new technology had merged with progressive politics that she was, in many ways, the first Netroots candidate. It was Darcy Burner of Washington state, a brilliant former Microsoft executive who famously declared that she knew she had to step into the arena when she realized that she needed to leave a better world for her young son. 

We endorsed her enthusiastically in both of her heartbreakingly close losses in 2006 and 2008 and followed her subsequent work in Washington DC with the Progressive Caucus Foundation with interest.While there she learned the inside workings of the congress, built relationships and alliances with other progressives and deepened her policy knowledge to truly impressive heights. Yet throughout it all, Darcy has closely maintained her connections to the Netroots and commitment to the Progressive Movement we've been trying to build from the beginning. She was one of those rare people with the integrity and backbone to be in Washington without being of Washington

Still, we couldn't be more thrilled that she is back home in the Pacific Northwest and ready to give it another go --- we are proud to endorse her for the congressional seat in the new WA-01 district.

We need people like Darcy in the congress more than ever because, as she says:

We can’t fix what’s broken with our country if we don’t fix Congress. Our Congress is full of crooks who trade on insider knowledge, of people who have sold their souls to the very people who have broken our country. Even the good ones, the members who want the right things, too often give up too easily on important fights, or can’t figure out how to fix the deep structural problems that undermine us.

We need people there who are tenacious and who won’t give up when things get hard.

Indeed we do. And Darcy is nothing if not tenacious.

It's not going to be a cakewalk. She's facing a primary with several dismal Dems, one of whom may very well get tacit backing from the Party. (Darcy wasn't afraid to speak her mind when she was in Washington. They know she will not be compliant.) And once she gets through that gauntlet, she will be facing a probable GOP opponent who will be very well financed.(Aren't they all?)

She's got great name recognition, even though this is a new district, and is she very popular in the populated Democratic part of it. We understand that the progressives are rallying around her in the more Republican rural area. So she's got an excellent chance.

But she's going to need our help. Big business isn't going to support a real progressive. Super-PAC gambling billionaires aren't going to support a real progressive. The Party is terrified of Big Business and Super PAC billionaires so it isn't going to support a real progressive. That's going to be our job.

Please read the archived comments back at the original post when we welcomed Darcy back for her first chat of the election season. She took questions for an hour, and they are amazing.

And please donate what you can to her campaign here. If you want to begin the real hard work of hope and change, this is the place to start.

Blue America and the Netroots thanks Democrats for backing the "Public Option" and you can too!

Goal Thermometer

Blue America wants to thank all the Progressives and Democrats for standing up for the "public option." We've already raised over 30K. They need to be made aware that we also appreciate the good things that they do too.

Darcy Burner made this point at Netroots Nation on a great panel discussion about what we've been doing on the health care front regarding our organizing efforts (and in her keynote speech as well). I heard from several members of Congress at NN how hard it's been in their freaked out town halls, but they believe in the "public option" and will not buckle from misinformation and people intent on killing health care reform. Progressives in Congress fired back at the White House and the Senate standing up and saying it's the public option, baby!

Please thank progressives for holding the line and donate to Standing Up for the Public Option.

The Netroots has been stepping up and pushing back hard against the ConservaDems plan to support the health care industry over American families. It's a sad choice they are making, but looking at the campaign donations they receive from the Health Care Industrial Complex, it's not surprising. It should be and the media has finally started to highlight all the money the Baucus Dogs have been taking from them.

Digby writes:

I was on a panel at Netroots Nation with Congressman Eric Massa. He was adamant about the public plan. There was no need to cajole him into supporting it, he had been there all along. He is also in a very tough swing district and his town halls have been horrific. It didn't move him, he stood and fought with his own constituents and came out even more committed because he realized just how important it was going to be to the very people who were so sadly misinformed.

That's called leadership and it deserves our support and thanks. So, Blue America thought it would be a good idea to do a little positive reinforcement and thank those who have gone out on a limb on this and are standing fast. 65 members of congress have pledged that they will not vote for a bill that does not contain a public plan and we would like to reward them.

If you have a couple of bucks to spare to thank the Progressive Caucus members who have drawn this line in the sand, please click here and give them your support.

Howie Klein put together the Act Blue page and writes:

You may remember that a few days ago I included all the names and phone numbers in a post and I want to encourage all DWT readers to call up congressmembers on the list and thank them. Thereisnospoon at Daily Kos explained the thinking behind whole campaign this morning. And Blue America is hosting an ActBlue page for people who would like to give any of the congressmembers who are standing up for the public option a dollar or two.

Is your congressmember on the list? Is your favorite member of Congress? Take a look -- and make your voice heard -- with a dollar.

Washington is paying attention. The top story at Politico today is headlined "Liberals Revolt Over Public Option":

Jane Hamsher:

The battle is not won, not by a long shot. Howie Klein and the Blue America team put together an Act Blue donation page that includes the 60 members who signed the letter, plus five more that our whip count effort have secured promises from that they will not vote for any bill that does not have a robust public plan. Thereisnospoon and Hekebolos over at Daily Kos are also on board.

Democracy for America is letting these members know that they have the support of their constituents, and Howard Dean -- well, he's been on fire. Eat it, Rahm.

Meanwhile, HCAN is going to spend $650,000 -- attacking Republicans. If grassroots efforts weren't under way to fight the real battle here, and we had to rely on the big moneyed interests, the public plan would have been lost a long time ago.


As everyone knows, we've been pretty upset at the Obama administration and some members of Congress over the health insurance reform debate. On Sunday, it looked like the Obama administration was going to drop the public option -- a provision that Obama has repeatedly told us is critical to reining in the insurance industry. That's proven to be unacceptable to many members of Congress. Since Sunday, a number of progressive members of Congress have stood up and basically said, ENOUGH!

Those members need to hear a big thank you from the progressive community. We need to strengthen their resolve. And, while we're quick to call out bad actions, we need to reward good behavior.


Piggybacking and expanding on that idea is an ActBlue page created by Howie Klein called Take the Pledge to financially reward those 64 representatives who are doing the right on

Darcy Burner: Still in the media's Twilight Zone

Media error

I went to Darcy Burner's post-election party in Bellevue last night, and chatted with her as we watched the results come trickling in.

At the time, Darcy had a nice early lead, thanks to the early ballots. But we knew even then it wouldn't last, and sure enough, by the time I went home, the race was essentially tied.

We won't know the outcome of her race for a few days: Right now, Republican Rep. Dave Reichert has a a 900-vote lead, but only 41 percent of the vote has been counted.

Gauging from count trends we've seen so far, if Darcy is within shouting distance going into the final laps of counting, she has a very good shot at pulling out the win, since early-cast ballots went strongly for her.

Darcy was badly hurt in the last week or so of the campaign by the GOP's smear machine in claiming Burner "lied" about her Harvard degree, and especially by the disgraceful credulousness of the local press in picking up the story.

The leading disgrace was the Seattle Times, which managed even last night to smear Burner at the tail end. As we were hanging out in the comm room, HorsesAss blogger David Goldstein noticed that the Times was reporting that Darcy had gone home for the night and left her supporters behind. As it happened, Darcy was sitting next to us at the time. Here's Goldy's post, and a folo by McJoan.

You can see it all on the video.

And there's a special message to C&L readers from Darcy at the end.

UPDATE: Goldy find even more Times stupidity.

Darcy Burner fights the Republican smear machine

Darcy Burner is fighting back against Dave Reichert's last-minute smear campaign accusing Darcy of fluffing her academic record -- even though Reichert is guilty of exactly that himself.

The video above is a powerful response to Reichert's own smear ads, but that hasn't stopped the right-wing Wurlitzer cogs. On KOMO-AM today, the right-wing talkers were once again smearing Burner as a liar.

You know what to do. Go help Darcy now.

Dave Reichert: Another lying Republican hypocrite exposed -- no thanks to the media

Darcy Burner_11e08.jpg

It stands to reason that Darcy Burner's opponent, Republican Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington's 8th District, would be getting desperate about now. After all, the most recent polling consistently shows him trailing Burner by about four points.

So of course, he's been trying to smear her with a cheap falsehood about her Harvard degree. And in the process, he appears to have really stepped in it. From Goldy at HA:

Let’s see if this, Rep. Dave Reichert’s official Congressional biography, makes the front page of the Seattle Times:

REICHERT, David G., .a Representative from Washington; born in Detroit Lakes, Becker County, Minn., August 29, 1950; graduated, Kent Meridian High School, Renton, Wash., 1968; B.A., Concordia Lutheran College, Portland, Oreg., 1970; U.S. Air Force Reserve, 1971-1976; U.S. Air Force, 1976; police officer, King County, Wash., 1972-1977; sheriff, King County, Wash., 1997- 2004; elected as a Republican to the One Hundred Ninth Congress and to the succeeding Congress (January 3, 2005-present).

Problem is, Reichert never earned a B.A. from Concordia in 1970, because they didn’t even grant their first bachelors degree until 1980. In fact, the year Reichert started was Concordia’s first year as a Junior College; before then, it was merely a Lutheran high school.

What Reichert has is a two-year Associates degree from a small, Christian, Junior College. (And possibly, not even that; has Heffter bothered to ask Concordia’s registrar for Reichert’s records?) Thus Reichert’s official bio, which he has allowed to go uncorrected for four years, and which has been picked up by numerous news organizations and other web sites, is an undisputed lie.

You see, Reichert has been spreading the story that Burner fluffed up her resume by claiming to have a degree in economics from Harvard. And sure enough, the Seattle Times -- which has a long track record of explicit animus toward Burner -- bit on the story.

Continue reading »

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.

Helping Darcy Burner

Darcy Burner You may remember Darcy Burner, the Blue America candidate for Congress in Washington State's Eighth District. She lost her house to fire earlier this summer.

She stands AGAINST telecom immunity, the Iraq war, and pharmacist interference in birth control prescriptions. You can read more about her here.

Darcy is within two poll points of her incumbent opponent, who has had fundraisers with Newt Gingrich, John Boehner, and yeah, George Bush himself. That last one might kinda backfire, we're thinking.

Help a Blue America candidate out if you can...

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.

Take Back America with a Responsible Plan For Iraq

Our current Congress isn't doing it. But progressive activists aren't taking that lying down. At the Take Back America conference currently going on in Washington DC, we have asked an initial 10 progressive congressional challengers to sign on to our Responsible Plan for Iraq. The plan, which calls for no residual troops and a diplomatic "surge", will be announced formally here at the Take Back America conference in DC at 5:30 Eastern today. Brig. Gen. John Johns has also made a video supporting a Responsible Plan.

Darcy Burner (WA-08) (you can watch the streaming video of the announcement at 5:30 pm Eastern on her site)

Jared Polis (CO-02)

Donna Edwards (MD-04)

Eric Massa (NY-29)

Chellie Pingree (ME-01)

Tom Perriello (VA-05)

George Fearing (WA-04)

Larry Byrnes (FL-14)

Steve Harrison (NY-13)

Sam Bennett (PA-15)

We'll be adding more as we near the election. These are candidates that have promised us that they WILL work to end our occupation of Iraq and to support a progressive agenda.

Please reward these challengers at our Blue America page for support. This is our chance to create our "Contract For America" but this time, actually make things better here.

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