Ed Potosnak Comes Out For k.d. lang... A New Blue America Contest

I was the general manager of Sire Records when k.d. lang released her platinum smash album, Ingénue in 1992. I worked on the amazing video for "Constant Craving," which I wanted to use in this post. But Warner Bros Records, a company long since pillaged by Mitt Romney's Bain Capital and sold off for spare parts to the Russian Mafia, doesn't allow embedding for the clip on YouTube. So... below, the song that inspired the Rolling Stones' "Anybody Seen My Baby" 5 years later-- yes, k.d. gets writing credit on it-- is the live Grammy Awards performance. In fact, the song won the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Aside for my love for k.d. and for her music, why am I bringing this up now? Glad you asked. k.d. is also one of Ed Potosnak's favorite all-time artists and, as you probably know, Blue America has endorsed Ed for the New Jersey congressional seat currently held by anti-health care reactionary Leonard Lance. See that platinum award disc up top? k.d. gave that to me after her album sold a million copies. This week she agreed to personally autograph it, not to me, but to whomever wins our Ed Potosnak contest. She's playing at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, NJ on September 22. So... we'll pick a lucky random winner on September 20 and Ed will personally take the plaque backstage so k.d. can sign it to the winner. So, the obvious question: how do you enter?

That's easy: just donate to Ed's campaign here-- any amount; after all, we're not Republicans-- and one winner will be chosen at random to get this very special Thank You from Blue America. We did a similar kind of contest for a signed Green Day guitar and raised over $5,000 although the winner just gave $10. Make sure you contribute between now and September 20th, either on the linked ActBlue page or by check to Blue America PAC, PO Box 27201, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

But, apart from wanting a memento of k.d.'s incredible career, why donate to Ed's campaign? We've written about him many times before but you can get to know more about him from this guest post he wrote in July. Ed's a science teacher and yesterday he told me that "our future is in today's classrooms. All across our nation great disparities exist between the educational experiences of some students and others. Not only is it not fair, these inequities hurt our future. Republicans have shown their disregard for our future time again by slashing aid to schools, teacher bashing, and cutting support for our colleges. For America to remain economically competitive in the global economy, Congress needs educators like myself to make sure every child is treated fairly and has access to a high quality education." Equality of all kinds is a hallmark of Ed's campaign. He also said that "our nation's diversity is one of our greatest strengths and in Congress I will work every day to ensure every American is treated equally. It is not acceptable to allow discriminatory policies to be on the books. As an openly gay man, I have experienced institutional discrimination and am committed to making sure it ends for all our communities."

Again, you can contribute to a stalwart and dedicated New Jersey progressive, Ed Potosnak, here at the Blue America page, and we'll enter you in the running for the k.d. lang RIAA platinum award for Ingénue. While you think about it, see if you can resist this:

Live Chat: Blue America Welcomes Ed Potosnak, D-New Jersey

No signs of any rapture in New Jersey this morning yet. In fact, at 11am (PT; 2pm in NJ) Ed Potosnak -- the Blue America-endorsed candidate for the Congressional seat currently being held by health-care hypocrite Leonard Lance -- will be talking to us live from north-central Jersey. Ed will be joining us in the comments section (below) to accept the Blue America 2012 endorsement, live-blogging about his campaign and how New Jersey voters are reacting to the right-wing jihad against the middle class, seniors and the whole social compact. Meanwhile, contributions for Ed's campaign are gratefully being accepted at our Blue America page.

We endorsed Ed last September for the 2010 race against Lance primarily because of his emphasis on education policy and its role in innovation and moving the country forward. Ed himself is a chemistry teacher and small business owner and several years ago he was selected as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow.

"In my first year as an Einstein Fellow I helped craft legislation to improve science and mathematics education. This bill was introduced by then-Senator Obama; it passed, and is being implemented. In the second year of my fellowship I worked on legislation to ensure every student has access to a high quality education, establishing a 9-11 like commission to address the urgent crisis in our schools. This also passed and the Equity Commission is currently underway... There is so much more to do and I am running for Congress to once again get the job done."

The incumbent he's running against is a garden variety career politician whose decades in office has been more about self-service than public service-- something you may have noticed if you were tuned into the fracas between Lance and Blue America over his health-care hypocrisy, which led to this ad:

Ed performed extremely well in a devastating year for Democrats. Not one Democratic challenger unseated a Republican incumbent but, with a feisty yet under-funded grassroots campaign, Ed managed to hold his own against the red tidal wave. This year looks far more promising nationally -- especially in NJ's 7th, where Obama beat McCain 51-48% in 2008 and will probably do a lot better next year against Bachmann or Palin or Romney or Gingrich or Pawlenty or whichever sociopath they come up with on the right.

"The issues we care about today are as important as they were this past November," he told us, "creating jobs, growing the economy, improving education, promoting innovation, and protecting the American dream... Things need to get done in Washington. The GOP has done nothing to address jobs and the economy... According to Congress' Joint Economic Committee if the Ryan plan to turn Medicare into an inadequate voucher program, for which Congressman Lance voted, were to be signed into law, seniors across America would face bleak economic prospects.

"But with the exception of Florida, there is no state more disastrously impacted than right here in New Jersey. Congressman Lance has seen these numbers and well knows that by 2022, out-of-pocket expenses for the typical 65-year-old enrollee in New Jersey would jump from $6,832.43 to $13,892.47, the second biggest increase in America ($7,060.03). I'll fight against that ever being enacted every day I'm in office."

An openly gay candidate, Ed takes equality and social justice very seriously. "We need better representation in Washington to ensure that America's policies are fair and just for all. The future of America depends on the education we provide today and we need to act with urgency to improve our schools and foster innovation. We must ensure that every single child in America is prepared to help our nation overcome the challenges of the modern world, innovate, and lead the global economy."

If you'd like to help Ed's campaign, you can do so at the Blue America ActBlue page

New Jersey's Biggest Hypocrite-- The New Blue America Ad Leonard Lance Forced Us To Make

Last night Forbes Magazine summed up our dilemma: because technically our first ad was inaccurate-- we didn't mention that Lance was still taking government-subsidized healthcare paid for by New Jersey taxpayers through the state plan instead of the far less costly federal congressional plan-- we had to stop running it on WCTC, 1450AM in Somerset. "[T]he reason Rep. Lance turned down the federal benefits," explains Forbes "is because he’s already getting a better policy at a much better deal from the State of New Jersey. As a retiree from the state senate, he qualified for a free Cadillac style health care plan the state provides for retirees and their families (he does have to pay co-pays but no premiums) for life."

That would be one of the programs that have come under attack by conservative Governor Chris Christie in his battle with public employee unions over the unusually lucrative benefits paid to retiring public servants.

Oops. So much for sacrificing to make a point.

...What is important here is that Rep. Lance and his family are in great shape when it comes to their own health care thanks to the generosity of the taxpayers of New Jersey. As for the Americans who would be denied health coverage by Lance’s repeal vote-- coverage that does not even begin to approach the quality of what the good Congressman is receiving for free-- well, I guess that’s a personal problem for Americans that Rep. Lance cannot be bothered about.

So... our new ad (above) is ready to go and we're getting it up on WCTC this week. And we'd like to get it on some other stations as well. Can you help us do that through our ActBlue page?

Ed Potosnak, the Blue America-endorsed candidate from 2010, who is looking like Lance's likely challenger in 2012 as well, is demanding that Lance "come clean with New Jerseyans and admit the radio ads run on WCTC were essentially correct." We agree.

Lance claimed ads educating listeners to the fact that he voted to deny everyday Americans the benefits, protections, and security he gets through Government provided healthcare for him and his family were false. After Congressman Lance requested the ad be pulled because he forwent federal insurance, what Mr. Lance was attempting to conceal was then uncovered. Congressman Lance’s family health insurance is being paid for by New Jersey taxpayers, to the tune of $1,906.42 per month, or $22,877.04 per year, more than twice the cost of the federal plan.


“If we are going to get our edge back in America we need to change the people in Washington because our families are taxed enough and deserve some honesty,” Potosnak added. “I am committed to creating jobs for unemployed Americans by simulating innovation, research and development and improving education,” he concluded.

When Lance's clueless bully of a Chief of Staff, Todd Mitchell, insisted WCTC stop running the ad because of the technicality, he stepped in it big time. "I should've kept my mouth shut," he moaned to the Cherry Hill Post-Courier when Lance was exposed trying to mislead his own constituents by making them believe he was paying for his own healthcare without any government subsidies, the way he insists they do.

We'll look forward to helping Democrats win back this seat, one that President Obama won in 2010, next year and replacing a hypocritical and dishonest career politician with a forward-thinking progressive, hopefully Ed Potosnak. Somehow I have a feeling New Jersey residents are sick and tired of being represented by Snooki and Leonard Lance. Again, give us a hand if you can with the ad here and... listen to it again:

John Amato: Here's my quote from Blue America's press release:

"Governor Christie," said Amato, "claims he's opposed to these Cadillac style plans for state retirees. Well Lance's plan is a Rolls Royce, not a Caddy and he didn't need to be burdening New Jersey taxpayers with his family healthcare. He could have done what almost every other member of Congress did-- including all the other Republicans in the New Jersey delegation-- and accepted the federal plan. Or is Christie's opposition just for public employee unions-- teachers, firefighters and policemen-- and not for career politicians like Lance?"

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