Live Blog: $10,000 Crooks And Liars Matching Fund For Debbie Cook

cook_tan_304_r1_0d71a_0.jpg Gus Ayer was the Mayor of Fountain Valley in Orange County when he first became a good friend of Blue America's. Today he's a senior advisor to Debbie Cook's congressional campaign. The other day we were talking about the difficulties a progressive challenger faces in a red district, especially with a DCCC seemingly so dedicated to electing lots and lots and lots of dull, go-along-to-get-along Blue Dogs. Debbie's neither a Blue Dog nor someone who goes along with anything she hasn't gone over thoroughly from every angle. As of September 30th, her opponent, Dana Rohrabacher, had $497,388 left to spend on a blitz of negative media. Debbie, who is getting zero help from the DCCC, is left with $30,284. Several Orange County Democrats pooled their money and came up with a $10,000 package that they are challenging DWT and Crooks & Liars readers to match today. Gus is joining us in the comments section here from 3-4pm PT to discuss the campaign. Here's his take on what's happening right now:

Dana Rohrabacher’s handlers have been keeping him out of the public eye because they know he’s really crazier than Michelle Bachman. He might talk about the Iraq war going badly because Bush picked the really handsome generals instead of the smart ones, rant about the threat from asteroids and the need for a “Death Star” in space, or start shouting about feminists, environmentalists, Mexicans and Chinese ruining America, or terrorists killing your family at Disneyland.

By contrast, Debbie Cook really represents the values of the district, an athlete who married her college sweetheart, and followed a progression of small business owner, PTA President, environmental activist, environmental attorney, then eight years on the City Council and as Mayor of Huntington Beach. She’s smart, driven, decent, and surprisingly modest, and for the last three years, she’s been working to educate local and regional leaders on Peak Oil and renewable energy.

Debbie doesn’t mince words about women’s issues, marriage equality, getting out of Iraq, or the need for single payer health. But her passion is energy and the need to act now to leave fossil fuels before they leave us.

We’re riding a wave of change here in Surf City, and Republicans panicked when they finally did internal polling and showed the race within the margin of error. We’ve gotten great response to our ads on cable, and we can still increase our buy for the last week. We’re on track to knock on almost every door in the district before the election more than once, and we’re getting tremendous support for GOTV from every environmental group, the unions, the nurses, PDA, and DFA.

We have targeted mail ready to go to hit the low-propensity voters and remind younger voters, women, seniors, veterans, Latinos, and Vietnamese that Rohrabacher is a ZERO while Debbie is a HERO. Every dollar you give today goes out the door to communicate to voters.

A series of donors have made a $10,000 matching dollar for dollar pledge.

And donating will allow them to keep this ad up on TV:

So please join me in welcoming Gus Ayers to C&L.

Debbie Cook and Crooks & Liars Offer Jackson Browne Tickets

We didn't make a big fuss about raising money "at the end of the quarter" like everybody else did. You were probably inundated with requests from every politician you ever pass on the street talking about yesterday's midnight deadline. We just tend to not get into the hysteria. Happily, though, more than a few generous donors decided to make their contributions through our Blue America page and our total for the year is over $405,000.

Today's the first day of the new "quarter" and Crooks & Liars has a gorgeous pair of tickets (4th row, center) for a Jackson Browne concert this Saturday, October 4, at L.A.'s historic and intimate Orpheum Theater. Jackson gave the tickets to Debbie Cook's campaign when he endorsed her and she passed them along to us so that a Blue America donor would get an opportunity to be able to go to the sold out show– other than by going on eBay and paying $500 to a scalper... When you donate to our ActBlue page-- any amount-- and your name gets put in a hat and, if luck is with you, you'll win the pair of tickets. If we were a Republican PAC we'd just say the pair goes to the highest bidder-- or maybe we'd scalp 'em on eBay ourselves-- but we like this idea more because even people who can only afford to donate $1 get a chance to win the tickets. The contest ends tomorrow at 2pm, PT. One rule: one chance to get into the drawing per screen name.

Debbie is one of Blue America's priority candidates for November, not just because she is running against one of the worst rubber stamp Republican goons in Congress, the execrable Dana Rohrabacher, but because from the first day she gets there she will be the best informed voice on Capitol Hill on progressive public energy policy. Whether you win the Jackson Browne tickets or not, a donation for Debbie Cook is a win for a better vision of our country.

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.

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