GO TIME: Primaries This Tuesday And Beyond

GO TIME: On Tuesday there are primaries in California, Iowa, New Jersey, South Dakota, Alabama, Mississippi, Montana and New Mexico. Three weeks later-- on June 26--there are congressional primaries in Colorado, New York, Oklahoma (and Utah).

When we show up at the polls -- DEMOCRATS WIN. If you live in any of the states that vote Tuesday, please be sure to get to the polls-- and drag a friend-- or two friends-- with you. Blue America has a special page for California congressional candidates we've endorsed.

Kevin de León is the progressive running for the U.S. Senate. And these are 7 House candidates who will ensure California will be Leading the effort to pass a progressive agenda-- and put a check on Trump.

But let's focus on the most important June 26 campaigns in Colorado, New York and Oklahoma, where our candidates are Levi Tillemann in the Denver suburbs and Saira Rao in Denver itself, DuWayne Gregory on Long Island and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a district in Queens and the Bronx and Tom Guild in the metro Oklahoma City district.

What does it mean to be a progressive candidate in these races? Let's look at how Alexandria defined it in her just released video. Besides helping save the country and NY-14 from Trump and the Democratic Party from Joe Crowley, Alexandria emphasizes that

"It's time we acknowledge that not all Democrats are the same. That a Democrat who takes corporate money, profits off foreclosure, doesn't live here, doesn't send his kids to our schools, doesn't drink our water or breathe our air cannot possibly represent us. What the Bronx and Queens needs is Medicare-for-all, tuition-free public college, a federal jobs guarantee, and criminal justice reform. We can do it now."

Does "late money" for the June 26 campaigns do any good? I asked two of our candidates. DuWayne has been elected and reelected over and over to be Chief Executive of the Suffolk County legislature. He told us that

"During this phase of the campaign voter contact is critical. We have over one hundred volunteers going out speaking with voters. We can use these funds to pay for supplies our canvassers need like pens, clip boards, campaign leaflets, or to buy a tank of gas. Also, with additional funds the campaign can purchase a last minute cable spot to get our message costs $50,000. To send an additional mailing costs $14,850. It is expensive to finance a political campaign and your contribution will help us meet the critical tasks that have to get done in order to win."

"We have knocked nearly 13,000 doors," said Tom Guild. "We have participated in 16 parades. We have spoken at numerous events. We have put up hundreds of yard signs. We have done a mailer to the district. We have billboards up throughout Oklahoma's 5th CD. We have started display advertising in key publications. We have done online advertising. We need financial support to do one final mailing, buy crucial paid media on TV and radio, and to support our GOTV efforts. Your support can make a crucial difference and put us over the top to win the June 26 primary. That will put me in a position to make a YUUUUGE difference for you, our state, and our nation and to pursue and implement our shared progressive agenda to move our country forward by providing quality affordable health care, repairing our crumbling infrastructure, fixing our corrupt campaign finance system, protecting our environment, providing quality public education for our children, expanding Social Security, and adopting Medicare for All. I’m all in! Are you?"

It's now or never. If possible, please contribute to our candidates to ensure they'll have everything they need to win.

Thanks for always doing what you can to make this a better world.

Howie, for the entire Blue America team



Blue America has decided to lend a hand to the grassroots campaign going on in Utah's second congressional district on behalf of intrepid progressive Claudia Wright. Claudia will face Blue Dog Jim Matheson June 22. We need to move forward and get this ad on TV immediately. If you don't have time to read the rest of this post but want to help, you can do it by clicking on this link-- and for as little as $5 get the ad up on CNN.

Yesterday I was shocked that one of the Inside-the-Beltway publications, The Hill, actually took note of Claudia's challenge to Matheson. They rarely do that and kind of function as a part of the company town incumbent protection program, just like the shills at the DCCC, who are, of course, fully backing Matheson despite his penchant for habitually crossing the aisle to vote with Republicans.

Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) had never been challenged in a primary before this year, in which he’s fighting off a political newcomer who could make him the latest incumbent casualty.

Retired schoolteacher Claudia Wright gained traction in Utah’s 2nd district on a strongly progressive platform, while trying to paint the five-term Blue Dog Democrat as inaccessible and out of touch with constituents.

She had never sought elected office and got on the ballot by capturing 45 percent of the delegates’ votes at the state party convention last month. She needed 40 percent to qualify.

Matheson got 55 percent of the delegates’ votes but needed 60 percent to avoid the June 22 primary.

University of Utah political scientist Matthew Burbank said the convention outcome shows this election will be, more than anything, a referendum on Matheson, who may have alienated his base with his “no” vote on healthcare reform.

...Matheson holds a hefty fundraising advantage, with well over $1 million raised compared to Wright’s roughly $25,000.

But Wright argues her lower fundraising numbers belie her campaign’s appeal, given her performance at the state party convention. She said her campaign is refusing to take corporate political action committee (PAC) money, and is instead relying on the media and volunteers going door to door to get out the word.

“Old-style politics, shoe leather and person-to-person, trying to get them to come our way: That’s what we’ve been doing since day one,” Wright said. “We’ve got volunteers across the state who have been doing all of that ... It’s the only way to do this.” ... Matheson’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

The average Blue America contribution is $45.00 and it's how we raised all the money we've been able to put into campaigns to help elect progressives like Alan Grayson, Donna Edwards, Carol Shea-Porter, Jeff Merkley, John Hall, Hilda Solis, Steve Cohen, Gary Peters, and many others-- as well as to help progressive champions who haven't gone all the way (yet), like Marcy Winograd, Ned Lamont, Doug Tudor, Darcy Burner and Coleen Rowley. But I tried something new this time-- basically because we had no time. I went to every wealthy gay person I know and begged for the money. It was an exercise in humility. But I'm bad at it and I came up blank. Either they're already donating directly to her campaign or they didn't want to take a chance on a longshot candidate. It doesn't matter how good she is, how gay she is, how bad he is... just that she's not a likely winner. Of course her primary challenge has already gotten Matheson-- who voted with the GOP to table the Hate Crimes Bill-- to vote to repeal DADT (and to even show up at a Gay Pride event-- first time ever-- in Salt Lake City last week). So... I'm putting in the full legal amount I can donate personally and, anyone got $45 they wanna chip in?

Actually, Jacquie's put together a whole menu of spots you can buy with the prices on a special ActBlue page. So that ad up top is what you get to put on the cable TV programs you pick for that price shown next to it. It's kind of fun. Take a look-- and do what you can. Oh, and here's a link to the live chat we did with Claudia last month at Crooks and Liars.



Live Chat: Blue America is Proud To Welcome Utah Democrat Claudia Wright

Political punditry will never be the same if Claudia Wright is elected to Congress from Utah's sprawling second congressional district. The district encompasses the whole southern part of the state, the whole eastern part of the state and a nice chunk of Salt Lake City and its southern metro area, from Millcreek and Murray down to Sandy. Almost 60% of the district's population lives in the Salt Lake City area; the rest of the huge district is mostly beautiful park land. It's also Utah's relatively "progressive" district with a PVI of R +17-- which sounds pretty dismal until you look at the first CD (PVI of R +22) and the third district (PVI of R +26). McCain "only" won 57% of the vote in the 2nd (64% in the first and 67% in the 3rd). But the second has been sending a Democrat to the House since 2000-- sort of.

The congressman from the second is reactionary Blue Dog Jim Matheson, son of two-term Governor Scott Matheson, and he pretty much always votes with the Republicans on important issues. He first got elected by attacking Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore for his health-care reform proposals. Needless to say, Matheson was an eager aisle crosser when it came to the recent votes on health-care reform. And three weeks ago Democratic activists in his district -- despite a parachute jump in by wheeler/dealer Steny Hoyer-- were eager to deny Matheson the Democratic Party endorsement. They forced him into an open primary with today's Blue America endorsee, Claudia Wright.

Inside-the-Beltway pundits and political "pros" insist that Democrats only win in red areas like UT-02 by running on Republican talking points. Ignoring the outstanding campaigns run by working family champions -- from Alan Grayson (D-FL) and Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) to Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH), each of whom ousted an entrenched Republican incumbent in a "red" district -- the conventional wisdom is that only corporate shills like Jim Matheson can win in places like Utah. We know conventional wisdom is wrong and ignores the reality of the district. And so does Claudia:

Mr. Matheson and the party wasn't prepared for the reception he got at the mass meetings we had last March. He had no idea how angry he made his constituents. He was booed and jeered... The party has misread its membership and misread the fact that we are witnessing a political realignment, not just here in Utah, but across the country. The alignment is shifting right to left and top to bottom. A Large number of delegates at our convention were actually moderate Republicans who are now more at home with our party than they are with the extremist right of the Republican Party. Grassroots candidates like myself agree with tea partiers in that we need to get corporate money and special interests out of politics so that our representatives are accountable to their constituents and only their constituents.

Claudia is running as a full on champion of working families and her campaign platform is about the issues that most concern real people, not the nonsense manufactured by Republican propaganda puppets like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and Sean Hannity to persuade voters that hating each other is more important than electing people who will help protect them from powerful predatory special interests and the politicians (and media outlets) they own.

While the banking bailout may have been necessary, handing over billions of dollars of taxpayer money with no strings attached doesn't serve the interests of working families. We gave all this money to big banks so they could give enough credit to small businesses to jump-start employment but the banks used that money for their own purposes rather than what it was meant for. That's what I mean by "no-strings-attached;" it should have been a requirement that that money be used to loosen up credit for small businesses. There needs to be much more oversight of Wall Street than what is being proposed in the new legislation Congress is working on.

I'd like to ask you to consider two things now. Surf over to our comments section below to meet Claudia and also please consider making a contribution to her campaign through Blue America's ActBlue page. In fact everyone who donates to Claudia's campaign this weekend (offer ends Sunday at midnight, PT) will have their name entered in a contest to win an autographed copy of Al Franken's book The Truth AND an autographed copy of the Al Franken DVD God Spoke; the winner gets both.




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