Blue America Contest: It's 'May Senate Primaries' Time

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Blue America just started a new, fun contest. We're trying to make the Senate a more progressive place to live in. So, it's time for The May Senate Primaries and we need your help.

Digby:

Although Blue America does occasionally work on the Senate (hi Blanche!), we mostly concentrate on electing better Democrats to the House. However, that doesn't mean that when an opportune moment arises we aren't in there trying to help, especially when it comes to sending a message to the Party that it needs to be philosophically coherent and stop supporting any right wing conservative who deigns to put a "D" after his or her name.

One of those moments is upon us, or I should say a whole month is upon us. There are five crucial Senate primaries in May-- North Carolina, Ohio, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Kentucky. Each pits a more progressive grassroots candidate against a more conservative Establishment candidate, respectively Elaine Marshall vs Cal Cunningham, Jennifer Brunner vs Lee Fisher, Bill Halter vs Blanche Lincoln, Joe Sestak vs Arlen Specter and Jack Conway vs Daniel Mongiardo. If any of them, much less all of them, happened to win it would be a seminal moment for the Democratic Party. And we'd like to pitch in a little bit and do our part.

Howie Klein sent me an email:

So... what could these candidates-- in the words of Barenaked Ladies-- do with a million dollars? Well, they could start to match the huge influx of corporate cash the Supreme Court has guaranteed would flow into the campaigns of corrupt Wall Street shills like Richard Burr (NC), Rob Portman (OH) and other conservative corporate suck-ups for starters. So Blue America has an idea for a little contest. We don't have a million dollars to deploy yet but we do have something no Wall Street banksters have. We have a genuine RIAA-certified Barenaked Ladies multi-platinum award for STUNT.

We're going to give it to the campaign that gets the most votes at the Blue America May Senate Primaries page. A vote is a donation to your favorite candidate-- whether one dollar of one-hundred dollars. The candidate with the most votes gets the award disc to auction or to give away to one of their donors.

So, please take a look at the page and make a contribution-- no matter how small-- to either Jennifer Brunner (OH), Jack Conway (KY), Bill Halter AR), Elaine Marshall (NC) or Joe Sestak (PA). It'll be too late in November if, for example, Kentucky voters are forced to choose between Rand Paul and Daniel Mongiardo, two conservatives or between Arlen Specter and Pat Toomey, two Republicans indebted to Big Business.

Do we want the Ben Nelson's of the world controlling the direction of the country?



Blue America Welcomes North Carolina Secretary Of State Elaine Marshall

Blue America tends not to endorse in primary races between Democrats unless one is really excellent and one is clearly abysmal. This year we've taken stands against Blue Dogs Jane Harman, John Barrow and Lori Edwards and against anti-Choice fanatic Bart Stupak by endorsing, respectively, Marcy Winograd, Regina Thomas, Doug Tudor and Connie Saltonstall. But when it came to the North Carolina Senate race we were in a quandary. We really like the current Secretary of State, Elaine Marshall, but one of her primary opponents, Kenneth Lewis, is also an excellent choice. The conservative in the race, Cal Cunningham, currently trying to appeal to Democrats with a laughable and inauthentic feint to the left, is being pushed by Inside-the-Beltway powerbrokers, particularly Robert Menendez and the DSCC. We'd rather not interfere and just leave it up to North Carolina voters. But because of unfair DSCC campaign practices against Elaine we invited her over for a Blue America blogging session today at 6:30pm, EST/3:30, PT.

It's important to keep in mind that there's no incumbent in the country more in peril than Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina. Burr prides himself on being part of the lunatic right fringe-promising voters earlier this year:

“…it is impossible for any candidate to get to the right of me.”

Yesterday, with Burr pouting and playing games that jeopardize the well being-- and the security-- of every American, including conservative ones, Elaine Marshall suggested he grow up and do his job, when he walked out on an Armed Services Committee meeting just out of spite, using a foolish procedural measure to delay testimony from Adm. Robert Willard, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command; Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton, Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command; and Gen. Walter Sharpe, Army Commander of U.S. forces in Korea. These men have more on their minds than partisan petulance from half-wits like Richard Burr.

“Senator Burr and his Republican colleagues need to grow up,” said Marshall. “The health care vote is over, they lost and it’s time to move on to other business. This is one more example of how Washington needs people who will get things done, not people who will stand in the way.”

Burr is the alarmist idiot Senator who has taken millions from Wall Street banks only to proudly tell his wife to take all their money out when the stock market plummeted last year. Hence the nickname, “Bank Run” Burr. He’s up for re-election in November and finds himself with an approval rating of 35% in an anti-incumbent year and leading Elaine by a mere 41-36%, a number that can easily be evened out once the May 4th primary is settled.

I've spent some time following the race and talking with Elaine on the phone. She's feisty, progressive, and refreshing rather like the standard boxed Southern Conservadems we’re used too. Elaine is a populist and not only does she talk a good game, she’s spent a career taking on Wall Street fraud and risky business in the state legislature and as Secretary of State. In fact, her office released figures that she helped return over $130 million from Wall Street scams to the people of North Carolina just last year. "I don't have to promise you what I think can do. I can show you black and white, book and page, my accomplishments. I think that is going to be crucial in this election…”

America voted for change in 2008, and… a lot of people are unhappy because they aren’t seeing it. They look at Washington and they see a lot of politicians and business interests standing in the way of the change they voted for." Richard Burr is clearly one of those politicians.

North Carolina is a prime pick-up for both Democrats and progressives in 2010 and an opportunity we cannot pass up. The state has been trending blue, going for Obama and ousting their Republican Senator Liddy Dole last year; this is a winnable race. The Senate has been where good legislation goes to die this session and we need to elect more bold progressives to the chamber. Elaine is the candidate and she’ll be taking your questions in the comments section below.

Please consider contributing directly to her campaign here.




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