Want To Help Patsy Keever Get An Ad Up On TV?

Tomorrow North Carolina state Rep. Patsy Keever will be back here for a live chat at Crooks and Liars. That video above is a TV ad-- except it's not on TV. Patsy, one of the most consistently independent and progressive voices in the North Carolina legislature, is running for Congress in the newly redrawn 10th district. Her opponent is Wall Street shill Patrick McHenry and he's taken in well over a million dollars. Of that money, 54% was from PACs, 44% was from large donors and only 2% came from small grassroots contributions. He sits on the House Financial Services Committee, so it may offend you, but shouldn't surprise you to know that he gets most of his money from special interests with business before his committee.

His half dozen single biggest contributors were Wells Fargo, sleazy payday lenders Advance America Cash Advance Centers, American Bankers Association, Goldman Sachs, Koch Industries, and Moneytree, Inc. These are all interests who count on McHenry to screw over his own constituents on behalf on predator banksters. They have financed his career and he has stabbed his own neighbors in the backs on their account. Up against his million dollars-plus, Patsy's grassroots campaign has raised $482,279.15. She doesn't have the money she needs to put that ad up on TV and she's going to be pushing it online. Blue America wants her to get it up on television in the 10th district.

Although cable TV is a lot less expensive and we can probably help her get the ad on Anderson Cooper's show in Gastonia, Rachel Maddow's in Asheville and Real Housewives of Atlanta in Hickory, broadcast TV in Patsy's part of North Carolina costs $322 per point. You have to buy 100 points at a time, and 100 points will guarantee that your ad will be seen once by your target audience in the space of a week. So we can say we want to target high-information voters... then 100 points will get us one ad seen by high information voters (during the news) in the space of a week. Would you like to help us try?

Like I said, tomorrow afternoon (2pm, EST), Patsy, who we haven't talked with since she beat her ConservaDem opponent in the primary, will be joining us for a live chat. She's been focused like a laser on making sure folks in western North Carolina know just who Patrick McHenry is and that "he voted to allow taxpayer money to be spent on companies that have outsourced our jobs to China, India and Mexico. I will vote," she told voters, "to support companies that keep our jobs right here in America."

Here's the page where you can watch the ad and contribute to Patsy's campaign at the same time. Do you have any friends you could send the link to?



One Week From Today: Super Tuesday... For Progressives

Next Tuesday, June 5th, is primary day in several states, including three where we have critical contests pitting progressive, dynamic leaders against, at best, garden variety Democrats. In California, two races stand out above and beyond all others: the CA-2 primary to replace retiring Lynn Woolsey and the first shot in twenty years for the Democrats to replace corrupt reactionary curmudgeon Buck McKeon. Our candidates, respectively, are Norman Solomon and Lee Rogers. Also here in the West, there is a primary for Montana's one at-large House seat and there is one outstanding candidate, state Rep. Franke Wilmer. Similar story in New Mexico, where the Albuquerque district has a corrupt conservative and a well-funded careerist being challenged by one of the most important progressive leaders running anywhere in America, state Sen. Eric Griego. These are 4 of the most outstanding candidates for office running anywhere and it's crucial to elect each of them-- and polling in all 4 races looks good.

Blue America would like to appeal to you to help us hit the ground running for these candidates for the general election. We want to get right into action against House Armed Services Committee chairman/bigot Buck McKeon in northeastern L.A. County and against extremist crackpots Janice Arnold-Jones in New Mexico and Steve Daines in Montana. And, because California's strange new "jungle primary" is likely to force Norman Solomon to face off against a corporate garden variety type Democrat, Jared Huffman, we need to help explain to voters why Norman is the exceptional candidate worth their trust and support. A lot of work. And we're asking for your help again.

Here on our Blue America ActBlue page, it's easy to contribute to all of our candidates or any one or two or more of them. And we love you for doing it. We'd also like to ask you to think about contributing to the Blue America PAC this week as well, a fund we use for one thing: communicating to targeted voters. We've been using TV, Internet and radio spots, mailers and billboards. There is no such thing as a contribution being too small. So whatever you can do, we'd be really grateful.

Last week Dennis Kucinich sent a note out to his own northern California supporters-- as did Alan Grayson and Raúl Grijalva. (By the way, Raúl has also endorsed Lee Rogers, Franke Wilmer and Eric Griego.) This is what Dennis told his folks why he's so enthusiastic about Norman, who he referred to as "one of the top peace candidates for Congress anywhere in the country":

Norman and I have been friends for almost 15 years. He is a powerful intellectual, a gifted writer and an activist who is willing to put himself on the line for the principled causes of peace, justice and the environment.

He will be one unique member of Congress...

Norman is a true progressive. He is an independent thinker. Too many Democrats go along with outrageous military spending, deadly wars and Wall Street greed, all of which demoralize our nation, drain our federal treasury and cause resentment around the world. Norm Solomon is unafraid to stand up and speak out when others are silent.

Norman will stand up to the Wall Streeters who continue their high-stakes gambling at public expense. He refuses to take corporate PAC money or lobbyist donations. That puts him at a disadvantage in this primary battle.

As you know, I will not be returning to Congress next year. We need Norman in Congress so that he can share his insight with all members. Because of his fierce dedication to the public interest, Norman will be an instant leader in Congress-- on war, on bloated military spending, on Wall Street, on threats to Social Security and Medicare (from either party).

Norman Solomon was an advocate for the 99%-- challenging the 1%-- before there was an Occupy Wall Street movement. Every supporter of mine should be a natural supporter of Norman. Help him carry on the legacy of strong peace and justice advocacy in the U.S. Congress.

And that is what Blue America has sought out in all of our candidates and it's what these four candidates all have in common-- proven leaders who will be advocates for the 99% and will not buy into the abysmal bipartisan corrupt ways of Washington. Unless you live in Montana you've probably never heard of Timm Twardowski. He runs AFSCME in that state and knows Rep. Wilmer well. "There is no doubt that Franke is the only candidate that understands what it means to do the 'work' for Montana in Washington, he told us. Which is why AFSCME endorsed Franke. "Franke's Montana experiences have shaped her deep commitment to the issues that affect us here at home and I know she will bring that message and hard work to Washington. Franke understands the unique nature and challenges of America's working families and will work to protect the middle class and restore the American Dream. It’s not about politics; it’s about doing the 'right thing' and putting our trust into someone who has walked in our shoes. Franke understands the work that needs to be accomplished in Washington and will always defend our beliefs."

This year Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is working harder than I've ever seen progressives work to help elect more progressive candidates to Congress. Raúl has endorsed all 4 of these candidates. Here's what he had to say about Eric Griego in the state next door, New Mexico:

Eric Griego believes that "the last thing we need to send to Washington is a Democrat who's a kinder, gentler version of the Republicans." I agree. Democrats must fight for a government that works for all people, not just those with deep pockets and fancy titles.

Eric fought to get corporate money out of politics as an Albuquerque City Councilor, where he passed one of the strongest local campaign finance reforms in the nation. As State Senator, he took on the Big Oil companies and put middle-class workers first by passing a green jobs bill into law.

Eric is supported by leading progressive groups and major labor unions-- and he is the only candidate in the race to have a lifetime 100% rating from Conservation Voters New Mexico.

I need Eric Griego fighting by my side in Congress.

Alan Grayson also wants one of our candidates fighting on his side when he's back in Congress next year. Last year Alan sat down with Lee Rogers at a medical convention in Orlando and got to know him and to give him some of the helpful advice that is helping Lee beat the Buck McKeon machine. Here's the endorsement of Lee Rogers that Alan Grayson sent us yesterday:

I'm happy that Dr. Lee Rogers, candidate in CA-25, is a solid progressive. I'm happy that a Rogers victory means the defeat of Buck McKeon, who has been called the most corrupt Member of Congress. But I'm especially happy that Dr. Rogers knows something about something-- a
quality that Congress sorely needs.

When I was a lawyer, I had a client with a severe case of diabetes. I watched his health deteriorate over the years. The circulation in his legs weakened to the point where a foot was amputated.

It was terrible.

Dr. Rogers is a podiatrist and medical researcher. He pioneered a new protocol for such cases that reduced amputations by 72%.

Dr. Rogers runs the Amputation Prevention Center in Los Angeles. He teaches medicine. He has received awards for his research.

Healthcare is now one-sixth of the US economy. Imagine how good it would be to have someone in Congress who knows it so well.

Let's face it; many Members of Congress are good at only two things: getting elected, and getting re-elected. Whether Dr. Rogers is good at either of those things remains to be seen. But for the good of
Congress, and our health, I'd like to see it happen.

All the Blue America candidates are on the same page. And they all will need the help to go all the way in November. And the race to keep an eye on for today? Progressive insurgent Beto O'Rourke is challenging corrupt El Paso incumbent Silvestre Reyes in Texas' 16th CD. This could be another blow against the DC Establishment Machine and polls show Beto winning handily among early voters.



Blue America Welcomes Dr. Lee Rogers (D-CA)

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Credit: Dr. Lee Rogers

In the last few weeks Dr. Lee Rogers has been talking a lot with us about ending the occupation of Afghanistan, ending the use of bodyscanners by the TSA and about ending the occupation of American politics by the 1%. But what first drew our attention to his race was his approach, as a renowned surgeon and author, to health care reform.

The incumbent in this newly redrawn Los Angeles district, CA-25 (Santa Clarita, Porter Ranch, Simi Valley and the Antelope Valley), is Buck McKeon. McKeon, notorious as one of the Mormon financiers of the hateful, homophobic Prop 8 jihad, is now drowning in several scandals and under investigation by the House Ethics Committee. A devout and dedicated warmonger and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, McKeon may be one of the worst Members of Congress-- and one of the most strategic targets to defeat in November. But it wasn't McKeon that has caused Blue America to endorse Dr. Rogers. It was Dr. Rogers; let's call him Lee from now on.

When Digby, John and I first met him in person we were intrigued by his opposition to healthcare bill. He was one of the Democrats-- and a doctor no less-- who felt it should be better, much better. "The current version of health reform," he told us at our first meeting, "while an improvement in some areas, leaves much to be desired in the way of affordability and accessibility. We need caps on insurance rate hikes. We need protections for women's health. We need aggressive comprehensive coverage of preventative medicine for expensive avoidable diseases."

Later, he did a guest post for DWT on the societal problem of prescription drugs, urging the idea of replacing the failed "War on Drugs" with a more rational "War on Addiction." His own prescription sounds very much like a commonsense solution: "Drug addiction is seen as a legal problem and not a medical problem. Addicts have a disease that needs to be treated my health professionals, not corrections officers. Keeping addicts out of prison will save money that can be used for treatment programs. Without criminal histories, addicts can be employable and get back to a productive life. Plus, if we can treat the addiction and reduce the number of customers for drug dealers, we prevent money from going into criminal organizations."

A fellow podiatrist he knows-- albeit a Republican-- just defeated Mean Jean Schmidt in Ohio. That doctor and Lee agree on almost nothing politically but they do see the need for a single payer system, even if the Ohio doctor will never admit it to Republican audiences. Lee talks eloquently and realistically about it:

There are many fears of a single-payer system, from insurers, doctors, some patients, and certainly many Republicans. A single-payer system will drastically reduce the amount of profit going to big insurers, who are big campaign donors. But the single-payer system will increase the number of covered patients seeking care from doctors and hospitals which will be reimbursed. It will reduce the numerous insurance middlemen who impede the productivity of health providers and syphon off large profits that should be going into actual care. Patients will have seamless coverage. Employers will eliminate their second largest expense, health insurance. No system is perfect, but when one truly evaluates all the benefits of a single-payer healthcare, it is a desirable system where most come out winning.

That's not a polemic; that's a motivation for Lee getting into the race against an incumbent with more money from war contractors and armaments manufacturers than anyone else in the House. Lee knows it's a tough race but he's an energetic and idealistic young father-- he and his wife, Susan, just had his second daughter last week-- who is determined to try to make this country and this world a better place. He's joining us in the comments section (below) today at (11AM, PT) for a live blogging session. Please click on "comments" and come over and meet him. And if you'd like to help his grassroots campaign, please consider a contribution here at the Blue America ActBlue page.



Let's Have A Great Blue America 2012

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Credit: Adam Fox

I bet you're getting inundated with letters from candidates begging you to meet their phony, basically meaningless deadlines. Blue America is going to ramp up soon with new progressive candidates-- some who we already know, like Darcy Burner (WA), and new ones we've met over the last few months like Franke Wilmer (MT) and Patsy Keever (NC). Meanwhile, we're not going to hustle you for contributions to meet these "deadlines."

We've had a good 2011 but, as you know, 2012 is an election year and in November we'll be electing not just a president but also the entire House and a third of the Senate. As always, we'll leave the presidential race alone and concentrate on Congress, mostly the House-- although we have endorsed outstanding progressives Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin.

Right now we want to send our best wishes for 2012 and say thanks for the help in 2011. If you can handle it today, two of our best House candidates, Ken Aden, who's running in northwest Arkansas, and Joe Miklosi, who's running in suburban Denver, can really use some contributions. As you can see we haven't really been able to make any kind of difference for these two yet. It would be great if we could bring their totals up over $1,000 each.

UPDATE FROM HOWIE:
This letter was sent out yesterday afternoon to our donor email list. We had 20 people who responded to the letter before midnight and and we want to thank them very much. Now--

We're very close to some goals I set for the end of the year for our candidates:

Blue America has met several of it's end of year goals already (Chris Donovan, Nick Ruiz, Ilya Sheyman) and we're tantalizing close to most of the others. We're $199 away from what we hoped to raise for John Waltz, $193 away from Norman Solomon's, $109 for Alan Grayson, only $39 away from Joe Miklosi's, $61 from Mary Jo Kilroy's, only $18 for Eric Griego, $220 for Ken Aden & a slightly more daunting $490 for Ed Potosnak. Can you help with anyone? Here's the link: http://is.gd/dbWDHu

Again, thanks to everyone who contributed and to those who make the phone calls, use Twitter and Facebook to get the word out about these fantastic Progressives and help get more of them elected to Congress.

We are all in this together,

Howie, for Digby, John, and the Blue America team



SpongeBob Square Pants Blue America Contest

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Credit: Sponge Bob
Sponge Bob

Today Blue America wants to give away a thank you gift to one lucky, random donor-- a rare autographed promo picture of SpongeBob SquarePants-- the one up top-- signed by Tom Kenny, the voice of the superstar TV character. As you probably know by now, it's another end-of-the-quarter mad dash for contributions in DC. You've probably gotten e-mails from candidates and the DCCC and the DSCC and DNC and lots of others telling you how important it is that you donate-- and donate NOW. Go for it. Blue America will be introducing our newest candidate this Saturday here at 2pm (ET/11 am, PT) and that's the only e-mail we're planning on sending out this week.

Now this contest... it's just a fun thing. Contribute to any Blue America candidate on our House page over the next 24 hours and you'll be eligible for the thank you gift. Any donation to any candidate or any combination of candidates between now and 2pm (PT) tomorrow will make you eligible to be the random winner of something any kid (or stoner) you know would totally kvell to have. It's a win-win-- especially with Christmas coming up.

Please contribute to any Blue America candidate on our House page
to be eligible.



Dems Desperate to Hold Senate Majority-- Let's Build A PROGRESSIVE Majority! Support Sanders & Warren

Bernie and Elizabeth depend on Grassroots (that's us!) not Wall Street. Every penny goes directly to their campaigns. Please give what you can.

Blue America doesn't usually send e-mails asking for contributions because of some phony Inside the Beltway "deadline"-- as if a $20 contribution is any more or any less crucial today or tomorrow. But we just got a wretched plea from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, begging for money for the dreadful and unpopular incumbents whose voting records make it impossible for them to raise money from grassroots Democrats. I mean who in their right mind is going to donate to conservative shills like Ben Nelson, Joe Manchin or Claire McCaskill? They've alienated Democratic voters and the lobbyists and Big Business interests they have normally counted on would rather replace them with Republicans. Good riddance!

On the other hand, Blue America would like to ask you to help us send a message to the DSCC today (or tomorrow-- we don't care) by helping us support Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), two people who have fought long and hard for ordinary American families, not for the banksters and not for the corporate elites.

You already know Bernie. This is what Elizabeth Warren told the Boston Globe yesterday: “It’s about being willing to take a good idea and fight for it. It’s being willing to throw your body in front of a bus to block bad ideas... There are some things worth fighting for and right now it’s about fighting for the middle class."

She's running for Ted Kennedy's old seat, which is currently occupied by Wall Street's favorite senator, Scott Brown-- and that's what business-friendly Forbes called him... admiringly. One day Elizabeth may be the tellers' favorite senator, but she'll never be the banksters' or hedge fund managers'!

"I came out of a hard-working middle class family. I lived in an America that created opportunities for kids like me... I now see an America in which our government works for those who already have money and already have power... I would walk out of a senator’s office and the office would be completely jammed with lobbyists who were there to explain why the consumer agency was bad. There was not enough room for them to sit down.’’

Blue America has only endorsed 2 people for the Senate so far this cycle. It's hard to imagine any other incumbents and so far the only other challenger who looks worthwhile is Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, although she hasn't declared yet. So we're asking you to take a look at our Senate page and see if you can give us a hand with Bernie and Elizabeth... either before or after the DSCC's midnight "deadline."

We are all in this together,
Digby, John, Howie and the Blue America team

Check out this video of Elizabeth Warren, who is worthy of our support.



Blue America's Donation Contest: Win an autographed Green Day Guitar for supporting Ilya Sheyman

We've always felt that supporting progressive candidates is the way to go in any election and if you're experiencing any debt ceiling blues, Blue America is auctioning off a stratocaster guitar signed by the entire Green Day band.

Howie explains:

We’ve written about Ilya before, because he’s a serious progressive with a real chance to kick out Rep. Robert Dold, a Republican freshman who has shown he’s more than willing to put anything, including Grandma’s Medicare, on the chopping block, if his Tea Party so dictates.
--

In the midst of the House debate around this fabricated debt ceiling "crisis," Ilya was one of only a few Democratic candidates around the country willing to take the potentially risky position against the debt deal, saying, very clearly, he would have voted “no” if he was able.

So here’s our point of optimism. We can seize this moment and reject the Tea Party politicians who hijacked this process (and the Blue Dogs who proved their willingness to sell out working families once again). Let’s support Ilya and other candidates who actually took the right position, even when it meant standing up to powerful forces within their own party.

Here’s the Act Blue page we set up for him and the other progressives who are standing up for working families against the corporatocracy. Now’s our chance.

Off the topic, we'd like to raise $2,000 for Ilya's campaign in the next 24 hours. I don't expect any one person to contribute that much, of course, but if enough people give $10 and $20 contributions, it's going to mount up fast-- and that will set off the trigger. Trigger? A different kind of trigger from the one in the SatanSandwich bill. You see, I used to run Reprise Records, Green Day's record company, and Ilya mentioned to me that he's a huge Green Day fan. So, when we hit the trigger, someone will be eligible to win an autographed-- like in signed by Billie Joe Armstrong, Trey Cool and Mike Dirnt-- Fender strat that the band gave me around the time they were recording Warning. So who gets the guitar? If we were Republicans, we'd give it to whoever gave the most money. But we're not. So everyone has an equal chance. As soon as we reach $2,000 we start a random drawing. We'll pick one name out of a bowl on Thursday at 6pm (PT). and I'll send you the guitar. Enter here.

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Credit: Crooksandliars
Ilya Sheyman

Digby was on the Nicole Sandler show and said this:

We have the patience and the commitment to go beyond these various ups and downs and we keep our eyes on the prize from election cycle to election cycle. 2010 was brutal. But we're in a period of political disequilibrium and there's good reason to believe that we can come back from that.
And anyway, what choice do we have, aside from moving to another country? (And right now, there aren't a whole lot of safe havens --- the whole world is in turmoil.)
So, Blue America continues its long and arduous quest to elect more progressives to congress and help them form an independent bloc, answerable to their supporters. It's not easy changing a Party's political culture but we believe it's essential that we try.

I told Howie that I'd take the guitar myself, but that would be selfish of me so please donate to Ilya Sheyman and get a chance to win this very cool guitar. Enter here



Live Chat: Blue America PAC Welcomes Norman Solomon (D-CA)

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It's not very often that I get to know the person that Blue America PAC is endorsing for Congress years before they actually decide to run, but that's the case here as I now welcome Norman Solomon to the Blue America and Progressive communities and wholeheartedly put my support behind his campaign. I'm really pleased that he's coming here to help launch his fight to represent the true left when it comes to matters like the vast war machine and the many unnecessary nuclear energy power plants that our country's elites has embraced.

We meet in 2007 for coffee after he released his book entitled Made Love Got War, which is an autobiographical look at his life's work and that's when I found out that he's a very serious and principled man who has a history of standing up to the military industrial complex along with the nuclear power juggernaut and who stands strong with all working class Americans.

(Please donate to his campaign here.)

Unfortunately we are witnessing in real time the agonies that Japan is facing after suffering an 9.0 earthquake followed by a massive tsunami followed by severe aftershocks and power losses which has wreaked havoc to their Fukushima nuclear plant to the point where it's now at least on par with the great disaster in Chernobyl. There's an outcry from Japan now because many people feel that the government has been hiding the facts from them, while media elites in our country try to tell Americans that nuclear power is so nice and cozy and safe and we shouldn't worry. Even as we speak, Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant Seeks 20-Year Extension in California.

No shock there, right?

He's also been outspoken against needless and endless wars, supports a woman's right to choose and equal rights's for the LGBT community so what's not to like?. Norman has all the qualities that make up a great progressive candidate from Marin/Sonoma county. The right kind of Progressive candidate. The candidate that will buck the party system and fight for real progressive values and will be an outspoken leader on these issues. He's not just a cookie cutter politician that bows down to the party leadership. He's independent minded in a good way, but will not compromise his values.

Here's some of his accomplishments from his About Norman Solomon page on his website:

*Co-Chair of the Commission on a Green New Deal for North Bay

*Organized and went on three missions to Baghdad prior to the invasion of Iraq seeking alternatives to war.

*Health-care Not Warfare National Co-Chair (with Congressman John Conyers and Donna Smith of the California Nurses Association

*Recipient of numerous awards including the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language, and the Annual Ruben Salazar Journalism Award

*From 1997 to 2010, as founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, oversaw policy research and liaison with thousands of experts on global warming, foreign policy, labor rights, “welfare reform,” economic equity, lax enforcement of federal regulations, civil liberties and a wide range of other topics related to federal, state and local government policies nationwide

*One of the lone voices on national television against invading Iraq before the start of the Iraq war in early 2003, appearing on CNN and other major TV networks more than a dozen times to argue for diplomacy instead of a U.S. attack

*Co-chair of the state Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus foreign policy committee

*Organized and went on fact-finding trip to Afghanistan in 2009

*The New York Times Magazine has called him “a leading progressive activist.” The Los Angeles Times has called him “a formidable thinker and activist.”

That's a tremendous record of achievements so please join us in welcoming to C&L and Blue America PAC, Norman Solomon.

Please don't forget donate to his campaign at our Blue America act blue page here. He'll need your help to win this race.




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