Blue America Welcomes Tarryl Clark in Her Race Against Michele Bachmann

Hard to say who the worst member of Congress is. But there are few short lists that would exclude narrow-minded and extremist Minnesota religious fanatic Michele Bachmann. However, today isn't about Bachmann. You want Bachmann, you go to DumpBachmann; no one does it better. At the time of the 2008 election, Bachmann was just as odious as she is today. Blue America didn't get involved in that race though because her opponent simply seemed... "better than Bachmann." That standard is too low for us.

And today we're going to meet state Senator Tarryl Clark (below in the comments section), a hard working leader with a proven track record who would be a great candidate whether she were running against Michele Bachmann, or just some garden variety Republican.

People say this suburban/exurban district mostly north of the Twin Cities is too red for a Democrat. But that isn't true. Bush won it in 2004 with 57% and 4 years later McCain took 53% but, the district has also voted to elect Amy Klobuchar to the Senate-- and against Mark Kennedy, the kook who represented the district before Bachmann. And in the 15th senatorial district near St Cloud, the part Tarryl represents-- and which was a GOP bastion before she came along-- the vote totals in that 2006 race were very interesting. Because she knows what it means to work hard and work smart, and with a very committed Wellstone-style of campaigning, Tarryl outpolled everyone on the ballot:

Clark 15581 (56.30%)
Klobuchar 14980 (53.45%)
Pawlenty 14307 (51.1%)
Wetterling 13082 (46.81%)
Bachmann 12542 (44.88%)

MN-06 has the most devastating unemployment rate in Minnesota and the worst foreclosure crisis in the state. But Bachmann has neither understood nor been sympathetic to her constituents finding themselves in a jam because of the vicissitudes of an economy buffeted by disastrous conservative ideological experimentation. She has not only not contributed to finding solutions to these very real problems, she has tried to capitalize of politicizing them.

Tarryl's reaction, as a state legislator, has been the exact opposite. Instead of running around the country and ranting and raving at tea parties, she proven herself an effective leader for the people she represents, working to secure the funds to upgrade the facilities at Saint Cloud State University, working to ensure Central Minnesota’s nursing homes are paid fairly, working to establish a special law enforcement unit to fight gang activities in Central Minnesota.

Tarryl’s been a champion for issues including early childhood and higher education, health care, serving veterans, protecting Minnesotans from predatory lenders, and investing in the local communities that make America strong. Because of that her colleagues elected her to serve as the Senate’s Assistant Majority Leader. Bachmann's colleagues have recognized her as a clown and have tasked her with going on Fox to stir up divisiveness and animosities.

Tarryl’s record of results on reducing unemployment:

• Created 22,000 jobs with last session’s bonding bill

• Helped small businesses add new jobs with Angel Investor Tax Credits

• Authored the Central Minnesota Bioscience Initiative to bring jobs in the biotech industry into the 6th district

• Authored economic development bill that improved workforce development (job training) and expanded the Small Business Growth Acceleration Program, and entrepreneur and small business development grants.

Tarryl’s record of results on reducing foreclosure:

• Authored legislation to protect seniors from predatory lenders and reverse mortgages

• Helped families in keep their homes with the MN Subprime Borrowers Relief Act

• Authored legislation to reduce the burden of property taxes on middle class families

Tarryl is the newest member of the Blue America family. If you can volunteer for her campaign, there's a sign up form here and if you can help the campaign financially, she's on the Blue America endorsed candidates list.



Heart and Soul: Marcy Winograd!

I'm in Marcy's district and many of you know that I was asked to run against Jane Harman, but I knew it was Marcy's time and I'm so happy for her.

So far I've been contacted on the phone and at my door by Marcy's campaign and they were very nice and very thorough, but I haven't heard a word from any of Harman's people. Not even a mailer. I guess voters in her district aren't that important unless they give big donations.

The LA Times ran a great article on her campaign.

The candidate, trailed by a volunteer, is knocking on doors in Mar Vista — down Beethoven Street, across Lucille Avenue, along Greenwood Avenue and on. The June 8 election is just weeks away. There is much ground to cover.

"I'm Marcy Winograd, and I'm running for Congress," she says, over and over again. Her blue jacket is spotted with rain. "I'm a grass-roots Democrat who believes in jobs and bringing our troops home."

Winograd is challenging Rep. Jane Harman, a wealthy eight-term incumbent, in the Democratic primary for the 36th Congressional District. Her Marina del Rey campaign headquarters buzzes with activity. Volunteers man phones. Tables are stacked with slick mailers exhorting voters to "imagine sending a teacher, anti-war leader, and healthcare champion to Washington to be your voice in Congress."

Though it is unusual for a sitting member of Congress to face a robust primary challenge, Winograd has taken on Harman before; she ran against her on an antiwar platform in 2006 and won nearly 38% of the vote.

Allan Hoffenblum, whose California Target Book handicaps races in the Golden State, calls the contest "an ideological battle for the soul of the Democratic Party" — a liberal challenger taking on a more conservative incumbent.

"If it was an open seat, she very well could be a real contender," Hoffenblum said. "But against a well-known, well-funded incumbent, it would be a real shocker" if Winograd won. "It's not the suburbs of San Francisco." Still, Winograd is forcing Harman to work "a bit more than she might like to be working on her reelection," said political scientist Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a senior fellow at USC. "It would be nice if [Harman] could just hang out in Washington….But she's been around. If someone can move an incumbent to do that, that's OK."

The election is June 8th, so if you're in our district please make the right choice. On January 16, Blue America formally endorsed her, and she joined us for a live chat on C&L. We produced this ad for her too:

And what Digby says:

Blue America endorsed Winograd months ago because we are all about waging an ideological battle for the soul of the Democratic Party. (It's a war that never ends, by the way.) And Winograd in Congress would be a true leader in that cause.

If you'd like to help Marcy you can donate here or volunteer for her grassroots campaign.

Howie Klein gives a good rundown on all the props that are on the ballot too if you're interested and praises our Marcy.

If you live in the 36th congressional district-- a stretch along the coast that starts up in Venice and heads south to San Pedro, taking in Mar Vista, El Segundo, Torrance, Manhattan Beach, Hawthorne, West Carson, Redondo Beach, Marina Del Ray and Hermosa Beach-- you have an opportunity to vote in one of the most iconic elections of the year, pitting a conservative longtime incumbent serving corporate interests (the odious Blue Dog Jane Harman) against a scrappy and highly principled progressive tribune of ordinary working families, Marcy Winograd. Marcy was Blue America's first endorsement of 2010.



Good Ole Glenn Beck Comes Through Again

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Well... not exactly. You see, Blue America joined the Color of Change advertising boycott of the crazed and demented Glenn Beck Show on Fox. Every time we run an ad campaign, we instruct all the networks to not run any Blue America spots on Beck's programs. But they sometimes run them anyway. "Oh, no," you think? Actually, it's wonderful. Although he has a big-- albeit stupid-- audience, there are some people watching for the sheer hysteria and trainwreck quality of it all. So why wonderful? Well, every time they run a Blue America spot on his show, they refund the money. So we have his cake and eat it too.

Example, Blue America has spent nearly $100,000 this year making sure that voters in the 8 counties that make up the Arkansas' Democratic heartland were aware of Blanche Lincoln's voting record. More often than not, the vast majority of voters, anywhere, don't really know much about their candidates. They knew Blanche was a "Democrat," like FDR and JFK and Clinton and Obama... but not much more. And they have a pretty good idea about where Republicans stand when it comes to their attitudes towards working people. So Blanche benefited while she played footsie with the Chamber of Commerce and other right wing front organizations. Well, $100,000 in targeted advertising in just a few counties and go a very far way and we watched excitedly as Blanche's re-elect ratings went down and down and down, not in Republican counties, but in traditional Democratic areas along the Mississippi. She's unelectable now.

And last week we got another nice check back from our agency for $1,037 worth of ads that ran on Glenn Beck's shows in Arkansas. Usually we just turn the checks around and buy more ads on MSNBC or BET, the Food Channel, USA Network, HGTV or CNN. But Blanche is toast; no need to waste any more money on that one. And besides, the labor unions and other groups have come to the party with 4 or 5 million dollars. No one will miss our $1,037. So... what should we do with it? How about using it to help defeat a couple particularly noxious Blue Dogs?

You have noticed that five of our 8 endorsed candidates so far this year are running in primaries against especially egregiously conservative Democrats. Regina Thomas is running against anti-healthcare Blue Dog John Barrow in Georgia. Connie Saltonstall is taking on anti-choice and C-Street cultist Bart Stupak in northern Michigan. Doug Tudor (D-FL) is up against the only non-incumbent Blue Dog to have been officially endorsed by the Blue Dog Caucus, reactionary Lori Edwards. State Senator Craig Pridemore is being challenged by a stealth establishment candidate and multimillionaire, Denny Heck, in southern Washington. And Marcy Winograd is battling it out with Blue Dog and notorious warmonger Jane Harman in Los Angeles.

Hopefully by now you've seen this ad our friends at Donkey on the Edge, Steve Foster and Sean Hanish:

We're trying to get a 30 second version of this up on TV in eastern Georgia. It costs just $25 to run the ad on Anderson Cooper's CNN show in Vidalia or in Statesboro. It costs $175 for Augusta. Of course in Augusta we can use a secret weapon to reach people-- HGTV's "Property Virgins," which only costs $60. And I think the Colbert Nation will love the ad in Savannah where it costs $45 to run. CNN's "Situation Room" is a good deal in Statesboro and in Vidalia ($25) and will work in Savannah ($65) and Augusta ($70) too. We'd really appreciate it if you'd help us by contributing whatever you can to the Blue America PAC itself. And, let us know who else you'd like us to do a similar ad for by giving them a contribution with one cent added on. That one cent will count as a vote. So...vote here. And in the comments section can you let us know what you think are the best places to advertise our candidates on TV. We're not allowed to ask them-- it's the law-- so we're asking you.



Blue America Proudly Welcomes Back An Old Friend--Give It Up For Alan Grayson

Alan Grayson is one of Blue America's oldest friends, and someone we are always so proud to be able to say we had even a small part in electing. The Orlando area freshman is unquestionably the most inspiring and beloved Democrat in the entire House. I'm not exaggerating. He's a courageous straight shooter willing to laugh in the face of clownish bullies like Michele Bachmann and Eric Cantor. Freshmen don't have much power but there is no Democrat anywhere who the GOP would like to take out more than Grayson. He's the one who always holds up the mirror and makes them-- and their corporate paymasters-- stare directly into their own vapid, lifeless eyes.

John and Digby and I couldn't be happier to bring Alan back for another Blue America round here at Crooks and Liars. When we polled our PAC's donors for who our first incumbent endorsee for 2010 should be, it wasn't even close. In fact, Alan is the only incumbent on the Blue America endorsement list so far this year. Tomorrow is Alan's money bomb day. Let's make sure part of the money that propels him to a second term is money that comes from his oldest and most loyal friends in the blogosphere and not just from Johnny-come-latelies like Howard Dean (above) and Dennis Kucinich (below).

Now let's repair to the comments section below and find out why anyone would want to have someone as entertaining as Eric Cantor removed from the public forum and, more important, what progressives can do about Afghanistan and about turning Obama's first step in healthcare reform into the long distance run it needs to be. And, please, let's make Alan's money bomb something that old line pols like Steny Hoyer and Rahm Emanuel take notice of. Contribute here.

His 'money bomb' info is here.



Blue America is set to run the Blanche Lincoln-Public Option ads on Wednesday

Start your engines and....we're off. Awww, some corporate Democrats must be feeling the heat and running to daddy for help. I feel so bad about it.

Howie makes a great point: Did Obama Give Us The Nod To Go After Blanche Lincoln?

The Blue America PAC blogs asked our readers to take a look at the 3 TV spots we made for the Campaign for Heath Care Choice. So far we've raised around $23,000 and this is the ad that the contributors picked for us to run in all of Arkansas' media markets:

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Is it OK with Obama that we go after one of the worst of the conservative Democrats-- and one of only two (the other being quasi-Democrat Arlen Specter) facing re-election next year-- who is opposing his plan to reform the American health care system fundamentally? Well... we think so. According to today's Washington Post Obama urged groups like Blue America to lay off bad Democrats-- but if you notice Blanche Lincoln was specifically left off the list. Obama complained about groups that are going directly to the voters to expose corrupt Democrats Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Arlen Specter, Ron Wyden (I don't understand why he stuck himself in this detestable camp) and Dianne Feinstein. But the silence over Blanche Lincoln was deafening. Obama must really hate her-- as he should, since she has opposed everything he's tried to accomplish, even after Joe Biden helped her raise a fortune from loyal Democrats for her re-election campaign.

The good thing is that we don't need permission to run our ads from anybody. You've helped make that possible. We're interested in trying to reform health care and Blanche Lincoln is up for re-election and she's a member of the Finance Committee with Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley that is looking to cut out the public option. Here's a little info on what you've helped us create with our Campaign For Health Care Choice action.

It is a two week flight, starting Wednesday July 8. almost 700 (680) spots running in Little Rock, Jonesboro and Ft. Smith DMAs. These spots are not on the weather channel, either, they are running on well-watched cable channels, like USA, TNT, CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, ESPN, Food, History, Lifetime - big (for cable) stations.

This is the first wave - second wave will be bigger and cover the Memphis DMA as well.

Thanks once again for helping us out and America thanks you too.



Republicans target Alan Grayson (D-FL) for his strong progressive voice

It's no coincidence that Republicans are going all out to target first term Orlando Democrat Alan Grayson. Grayson's defeat of entrenched rubber stamp incumbent Ric Keller last year was one of Blue America's most important victories ever. Since entering the House in January Rep. Grayson has made a name for himself standing up for working families and flying right in the face of the powerful banksters who have financed the deregulatory mania Grayson aims to fix.

He's fearless and his tough, aggressive questioning of banksters at the House Financial Services Committee, frightens bribe-besotted Republicans and their crooked patrons. He didn't seen intimidated by Republican efforts to recruit a top tier candidate to run against him. Doesn't this sound exactly like Grayson?

"Any Republican in my district who wants to see what it's like to run for Congress and lose is welcome to do so. But whoever it is, the DCCC will leave welts on his back."

More about Grayson and about how much bluer this district has become at DownWithTyranny. And if you'd like to help us get Grayson's back -- here's the place.




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