PA Progressive takes 55% of the vote in a 4-way race for May Primary

PA's Liberal Lion gets 55% of the vote
Yesterday two more important progressive groups, MoveOn and the Philadelphia Chapter of DFA (Philly for Change), joined Blue America and the PCCC in backing state Senator Daylin Leach in his bid for the open congressional seat (PA-13). In the May 20th primary Daylin will face a crowded field of garden variety Democrats who are endorsed by Big Money interests. Republicans have no shot in this deep blue seat, so the bad players are backing conservative Democrats who will play ball with them. It would be a very bad day if one of these guys take the seat.

It's a dynamic not unlike the one in the Silicon Valley high profile primary (CA-17) where Big Business interests are backing ConservaDem Ro Khanna against progressive champion Mike Honda because they know a Republican has no shot there either. Creeps like Wall Street predators Marc Leder (Romney's 47% host) and Peter Thiel appreciate Khanna's vow to cut Social Security-- which is very much like Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky's similar pledge. The most unsavory elements of the corrupt Philly Machine are backing her. This was the MoveOn vote:

• Daylin Leach - 55%
• Marjorie Margolies - 17%
• Valerie Arkoosh - 15%
• Brendan Boyle - 13%

The Matea Gold piece in yesterday's Washington Post, exposing how the Koch brothers are trying to buy elections all over the country-- with millions of dollars in poisonous, inaccurate ads targeting Democrats, isn't about Democratic primaries, but the dynamic is similar. Big Business is playing against progressives and working to elect their own crooked conservative candidates like Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky in Pennsylvania and Ro Khanna in California.

This week Blue America is attempting to help raise some grassroots campaign funds to help Daylin fight back against this influx of corrupt money. The Hooters have customized and autographed a hooter for one lucky contributor on this page. Everyone who contributes to Daylin's campaign-- any amount-- is eligible to "win." In fact, if you want the hooter and find yourself strapped for cash, send a post card to Blue America at P.O. Box 27201, Los Angeles, CA 90027 and you'll have a chance to win too! We'll do a random drawing next week. One of Daylin's colleagues in the state legislature, Brian Sims, the first openly gay elected state legislator in Pennsylvania history, endorsed him in with as much enthusiasm as Blue America, the PCCC, MoveOn and DFA: "Daylin," he told us, "introduced Pennsylvania's first marriage equality bill (back waaaay before it was cool); Daylin co-chairs the LGBT caucus in the Pennsylvania legislature; and just last month stood with a Pennsylvania teacher who was fired just because he married his partner. That's why I'm supporting Daylin on his run for Congress. We NEED Daylin in Washington where issues (like ENDA) are currently being debated and will effect the lives of millions of Americans."

We agree, you can contribute here on the regular Blue America House candidates page or here on the special page that registers you to win the hooter.

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



HOOTERS Stand Up for the "Liberal Lion" and you could win this HOOTER!


A few days ago our pals at the PCCC endorsed Pennsylvania "Liberal Lion," state Senator Daylin Leach for the open blue seat in Montgomery County and Northeast Philly (PA-13). "Alan Grayson and Elizabeth Warren have proven that bold progressives in Congress can change the national conversation. Daylin is one of those game changers," said Adam Green of PCCC. "When Wall Street front group Third Way attacked Elizabeth Warren and Social Security, Daylin could have remained silent-- especially since his outgoing Congresswoman, Allyson Schwartz, was a Third Way Chair. Instead he denounced Third Way and demonstrated the kind of clarity and bold leadership we need in Congress."

Daylin has an astounding record in the Pennsylvania state legislature and helping get him into Congress is one of Blue America's most important goals this cycle. And it isn't just the folks at PCCC and Blue America who have noticed. Favorite sons, The Hooters, are big Daylin fans too. Lead singer Eric Bazillian, a neighbor, told us "Daylin Leach has never, to my knowledge, used an untested combination of drugs in an Execution By Lethal Injection. Pretty cool! In all seriousness, I couldn’t ask for a better friend or political leader. He embodies these qualities every day in his work as a public servant, which is why I want him to be our next Congressman." Kids these days! These particular kids, though, have contributed their band's name-sake, the hooter pictured above-- customized and autographed-- to Blue America to help us raise some campaign funds for Daylin.

This is how it works: just go to this page and contribute to Daylin's campaign-- any amount-- and you'll be eligible to "win." In fact, if you want the hooter and find yourself strapped for cash, send a post card to Blue America at P.O. Box 27201, Los Angeles, CA 90027 and you'll have a chance to win too! We'll do a random drawing next week.

By the way, Daylin is also a Hooters fan. He explained that he "was struck by how much energy and sense of melody they had. They quickly became one of my favorite bands. It’s a real thrill to now have a personal friendship with Eric Bazillian and his wonderful family." But whether you're as big a fan of the Hooters' music as Daylin or not, this is the kind of congressman he will make-- and why The Hooters are so enthusiastic about him:

"I've been a member of the ACLU since I was 18 years old. I taught and practiced Constitutional Law and named my daughter Brennan after my favorite Supreme Court Justice. Civil Liberties mean a great deal to me. I have seen no evidence that the results of the NSA spying program in any way justify the intrusion inherent in such a program. Our Constitution guarantees individualized suspicion that we have done something wrong before we are investigated. The NSA data collection program flies in the face of that basic right. It's time we rebalance our approach to place more emphasis on respecting basic liberties."

So whether or not you like music, the fact that you're reading this here probably means you're CRAZY about having more candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Alan Grayson in Congress. That's exactly what having Daylin Leach in Congress means. So, we ask that you give what you can today to help get him elected. Who knows? Maybe you'll win the hooter too! Thanks so much for all you do.

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



House Republicans Defeat Elizabeth Warren's Bill In Committee--

 Give the $tudents the same deal as the banks

Senator Warren Needs More Allies In Congress Who Want To Help Students, Not Prey On Them

By now you've probably heard about Elizabeth Warren's fantastic first piece of legislation, the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act. Her goal is to lower student loan interest rates for next year from 3.4% to 0.75% -- the same rate the government loans money to the banks through the Federal Reserve discount window. As of now, unless Congress takes action-- other than drumming up faux scandals to deny President Obama a third term-- student loan interest rates will double to 6.8% on July 1st.

Boehner and Cantor, the Republicans as a party, and the Wall Street bankers who fund them, have declared Senator Warren's proposal a non-starter and have vowed to kill it. Last week Boehner shuffled it into John Kline's Education and Workforce Committee, and Kline did exactly what he was told. The proposal was defeated 23-14, all the Republicans voting NO and all but one Democrat voting YES.

All the Blue America-endorsed candidates support Elizabeth Warren's way of dealing with this problem and all of them would like to get into Congress and make sure her proposal eventually passes.

State Rep. Carl Sciortino is one of Senator Warren's Massachusetts constituents and he's running for the  House seat being vacated by Ed Markey, a seat that includes towns like Cambridge, Waltham, Medford, and Framingham, all filled with college students. Carl is 34 and has been an enthusiastic proponent of Senator Warren's approach. He knows that the future of the country lies with people going through school today.

"Our country has always taught its young people that hard work and education are keys to achieving the American dream," he told us. "But for too many families the cost of higher education has become the subject of their nightmares. While Republicans in Washington try to weaken Wall Street regulations, progressive Democrats are working to give our students the same low interest rates as our banks. We have to get serious as a nation about ensuring that our younger generation has the same opportunities to succeed as our parents and grandparents. Senator Warren has put forward a smart and creative solution, and I look forward to supporting her efforts in Congress later this year."

That's right... later this year. There will be a special election in the fall to fill Ed Markey's seat. So, like Nick Ruiz, Daylin Leach, Andy Hounshell and, of course, Alan Grayson, Carl can use some support to make sure a progressive agenda has the strongest possible allies.

We are all in this together,
Howie, for Digby, Amato and the Blue America Team



Blue America Welcomes Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach

Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district, Northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery County-- is one of the most liberal districts in the state. Obama beat McCain 65.4-33.7% in 2008 and did even better last year-- 66.2-32.9%. The current congressmember, Allyson Schwartz, is giving up the seat to run for governor. She was reelected in November with 69% of the vote. She's always been extremely cautious to not get out ahead on any contentious issues and tends to vote very conservatively for a Democrat in a safe seat, especially on issues of economic justice. This is the perfect time to replace her with a real leader and a courageous fighting progressive. State Senator Daylin Leach fits the bill perfectly. Take a look at the video up top. You have to admire a politician who brags about an "F" from the NRA and who launches a congressional campaign talking about introducing the first same sex marriage bill in the Pennsylvania legislature.

With his record of achievement, Daylin is a natural for Blue America and he'll be joining us in the comments section, below, for a live chat at 11am (2pm ET). He's been taking on tough issues that most politicians are afraid to get anywhere near-- from legalizing marijuana to labeling genetically engineered food. He's been a major opponent in the state legislature of Republican efforts to privatize and voucherize public education and has been one of the leading voices against GOP efforts at voter suppression. He supports the Grayson Takano No Cuts approach to dealing with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. "At a time when corporate profits, executive compensation, the stock market and wealth disparity are at near record highs, it is obscene to even consider balancing our budget on the backs of seniors and veterans," he told us. "I fully supported President Obama's election, but I can't support any drift towards corporatism to appease tea-party extremists... Republicans are, on a daily basis, showing their complete indifference to the poor, kids, the elderly and public safety as they not only perpetuate sequestration, but gloat about it. The clock ticks as America waits for some actual human beings with a soul to emerge from the Republican caucus."

The gun lobby is very strong in Pennsylvania and the NRA is a very potent force there. That doesn't seem to deter Daylin one iota. This is what he told us about the battle over gun safety yesterday:

Lets wrap our mind around this. Congress said that it is our national policy that we don't want to know if someone is a violent felon before we allow them to buy a mass-killing machine. This is what it looks like when a country loses its mind.

Further, the idea that any restriction with the word "gun" in it somehow violates the 2nd Amendment is based on ignorance of how the Constitution works. No constitutional right is absolute. We have a right to free speech which is far more unambiguous than the "right to keep and bear arms." Yet there are all kinds of speech which we can Constitutionally restrict. You can't libel someone or lie in advertising, or yell "fire" in a crowded theater. You can say you are against the war in Iraq, but you can't do it through a megaphone in a residential neighborhood at 3:00 AM.

Ironically, most of these restrictions are based on the state's interest in preserving public safety. Similarly, limits on violent people, or juveniles, or spouse-beaters having guns, or the number of guns you can buy per month, or how many bullets you can have in a clip at a time are perfectly reasonable, and more to the point, Constitutional restrictions that in no way impact anyone's 2nd Amendment rights.

State Rep. Brian Sims is the first out LGBT member to be elected to the Pennsylvania legislature. He's from a neighboring district and he's enthusiastically supporting Daylin's congressional run. Sims gained a lot of notoriety when, in fighting GOP attempts to prohibit state-run insurance from covering abortions, he reminded his colleagues that "Each of us put our hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution; we did not place our hands on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible." This weekend he told us that "Daylin Leach has been a leader on LGBT civil rights in the Pennsylvania legislature for the last decade which is why I have endorsed him. This is a pivotal time in Washington for issues of equality, and we need proven leaders like Daylin who have a record of fighting for our rights. I know that Daylin will be our champion in DC."

Daylin doesn't mince words when it comes to protecting the civil rights of any groups of people. Speaking about his fight for LGBT equality, he reminded us that, "Martin Luther King said 'the arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.' So what is it bending away from? It bends away from bigotry, and discrimination and social acceptance of the idea that its OK to treat people as lesser human beings because they are different from us. In the long run, those attitudes make history sick."

He's been a stalwart fighter against the Republicans in their crackpot war against women. "It is beyond my comprehension how anyone with a mother, wife or daughter could accept anything less than full equality for women. Equality of income, of access to health care, of opportunities to succeed, these are the basic demands that anyone who has a woman he cares about should have." You want the best in Congress-- not someone who the best you can say is that he's better than a Republican? Daylin's your man. We're very proud to endorse him. Please consider contributing to his campaign on the Blue America ActBlue page.



"VOTE EARLY, Vote Often" Our Chained CPI "Contest" Is Over Tomorrow Morning

Tomorrow at 6AM (PT) we'll do two things: award the congressional candidate who had the most donations-- not the most money, the most people donating-- a $1,000 Blue America PAC check; and we'll randomly chose one donor to get the RIAA-certified 311 platinum award pictured above. So, there's still plenty of time for you to "vote." You do it here.

Although it's close enough so that it could go any way, the two leaders right now are Nick Ruiz, who's running in central Florida against Republican anti-Social Security reactionary John Mica, and Pennsylvania state Senator Daylin Leach, who's running for the open congressional seat being abandoned by New Dem Allyson Schwartz in northeast Philadelphia. All the statements are on the page but here are the two that have the most votes so far. Daylin:

"At a time when corporate profits, executive compensation, the stock market and wealth disparity are at near record highs, it is obscene to even consider balancing our budget on the backs of seniors and veterans. I fully supported President Obama's election, but I can't support any drift towards corporatism to appease tea-party extremists. If we are really serious about ensuring the solvency of Social Security while preserving benefits well into the future, there is a simple solution. We should raise the cap on income subject to the payroll tax from $110,000 per year to $200,000 per year. This is fair, reasonable, and keeps faith with those who rely on Social Security to survive."

And Nick:

"I would never vote to diminish Social Security benefits. These benefits cover retirees, widows, children, disabled persons and veterans-- none of whom receive enough as it is by current economic standards of reasonable cost, inflation and common decency. In fact, it's part of my platform to actually increase Social Security benefits, financed by lifting the FICA cap, and Wall Street cost-sharing. My GOP opponent, John Mica wants to CUT Social Security benefits and make seniors retire even later in life, at 70 years of age. It's unacceptable. Help me stop him."

Just a handful of "votes" separate these two-- and separate them from the other candidates. So, please don't forget to vote before 6AM tomorrow. Again, here's where you can do it-- a place where one dollar counts as much as $100.




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