CONTEST! Neil Young, Alan Grayson, Harvest!

'Harvest' Double Platinum RIAA Award

Florida has a late primary, August 28-- a couple weeks before this year's harvest moon (September 14).

If you win this contest you'll have your own harvest moon in time to celebrate. Blue America is doing a contest/give-away to benefit Alan Grayson's campaign for Congress in Orlando.

The winner gets a very rare and very beautiful RIAA-certified double platinum award for Neil Young's release of Harvest.​ You can't buy one of these in a store, no matter how rich you are. A limited number were produced for Neil and his band, his staff and a few people who helped promote the album. If you're a Neil fan-- or if you know a Neil fan... this is completely primo.

And for Grayson, Neil's music is very personal. Alan:

"Every once in a while, Neil Young makes a special appearance in my bedroom. Not personally; just his music. My wife is a huge Neil Young fan, she has a spectacular voice, and every once in a while, she treats me to a Neil Young lullaby. "The Needle and the Damage Done," "Ohio," "Down by the River," "Rockin’ in the Free World"... whatever it is, she makes it sound magical. Thank you, Neil Young, for inspiring her to inspire me."

Meanwhile, helping Grayson-- a lifelong fan of Neil's music, by the way-- get back into the House is something that will be good for our country and for working families everywhere. I can't think of anyone-- and I mean anyone-- who will be a more effective bulwark against Trump and Trumpism than Grayson.


So this is how it works: This is the page.

And like we wrote there, there is no minimum to be eligible to be entered into the random drawing to win the plaque. A $20.18 contribution has just as much chance to be selected as a $1,000 contribution.

The contest ends at 9 in the evening (PT) on Saturday, July 21. if you don't have the cash to give and you want the award, you can enter too-- just send a note to us at Blue America, P.O. Box 27201. Los Angeles, CA 90027 and you'll have the same chance as everyone else. There's an excruciating FEC rules diatribe here which I doubt anyone has ever read besides a couple of lawyers.

Goal ThermometerEasiest way of all to get to the page: the Act Blue Neil/Alan thermometer on the right. This is a win-win for everybody-- except Trump and except Putin.

Thanks for always doing what you can to help make this a better world,

Howie, for the entire Blue America team



Progressive Primary Winners Abandoned By The DCCC

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Normally, I don't buy into "lesser-of-two-evils" politics. If Democrats nominate a corrupt reactionary Blue Dog I'm at least as incensed as I am over a Republican. That's not going to change either. And, I'm still saying that "normally" no longer applies, not with Trump and his Congressful of enablers and rubber stamps. I'm telling friends and relatives-- my sister lives in Jeff Van Drew's district-- to just hold their noses and vote for anyone with a "D" next to their name.

As Digby has been saying since he moved into the White House, we're in existential territory here. Boxing in Trump is more important than anything.

That said, there's no need to stop reminding the establishment Democratic Party that we need them to stop turning off the base with their Blue Dog/New Dem agenda and their uncontrollable hatred for the Democratic grassroots, for progressives and for the kind of reform that will cut off the spigots of money and power that motivates the careerism of the Hoyers, Wasserman Schultzes, Crowleys (buh bye) and the mirror images the DCCC keeps recruiting as candidates.

The DCCC is now whining how progressives have to get on board the unity train and pull together to elect a Democratic Congress to stop the boogie man in the White House. They're correct. What they're not correct about is that that's a one-way street.

Let me give you an example. The DCCC drew up a list of the most crucial districts that they absolutely had to prioritize to flip in November. They call it their "Red to Blue" list. One is the Omaha swing district, NE-02. The DCCC went out and recruited a Blue Dog, Ben Ashford, who the voters in the district had rejected in 2016 after he served a term in Congress and voted pretty consistently with the GOP. Democrats refused to reelect him and now there's a Republican, Don Bacon, in the seat.

The DCCC's strategy, which is regularly proven wrong, is that if a conservative Democrat votes with the GOP, "moderate" Republicans will eschew their own candidate and vote for the conservative Democrat. When will the DCCC learn that just doesn't work and all they do is turn off base Democratic voters?

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In Omaha, a progressive Democrat, Kara Eastman, ran a grassroots campaign on issues that voters wanted to hear about. And she won, despite massive DCCC fingers-on-the-scale help for Ashford. The voters picked her-- 20,239 (51.43%) to 19,113 (43.57%). So how did the DCCC respond? They wrote NE-02-- their "must win" district-- out of their 2018 strategy and refused to back Kara. No institutional money is flowing in her direction. They flat out refused to add her to their Red-to-Blue page.

The same thing is happening with progressive primary winners all over the country-- including in must-win swing districts! Blue America has a page for that: Abandoned By The DCCC.

There are men and women-- mostly women-- on this list who won their primary races and who the DCCC is refusing to recognize while they're asking progressives to support wretched Blue Dogs and New Dems because... "TRUMP!"

I spoke to one of those candidates this morning, J.D. Scholten. He was in a 3-way primary race to see which Democrat would take on the odious Steve King. J.D. out-raised King in each of the last two FEC reporting quarters. Each time, he called the DCCC to tell them and urge them to work with him to beat King. And each time, the DCCC refused to take his call or to call him back.

Then came the primary. Scholten beat the establishment fave, an ex-lobbyist with a Blue Dog agenda, Leann Jacobsen, and another candidate, John Paschen-- and it wasn't close.

• J.D. Scholten- 14,514 (51.27%)
• Leann Jacobsen- 9,055 (31.99%)
• John Paschen- 4,741 (16.75%)

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So, J.D. called the DCCC to tell them and ask for their help. Do you want to guess what happened? That's right... no return call.

J.D. is campaigning full-time, not by sitting and calling donors and PACs and corporations, although he's still raising enough grassroots money to be ahead of King-- $195,348 cash on hand for J.D. and $87,250 cash on hand for King-- but by driving his RV into every town and hamlet in the sprawling 4th district and meeting the voters. The DCCC doesn't recognize that as valuable.

Please consider contributing to the candidates who have won their primaries -- up against Republicans while the DCCC ignores them. These are important races, not the "easy" ones the DCCC regularly screws up. Maybe these candidates are lucky not to have DCCC interference in their campaigns. But they do need some money to compete effectively.

Thanks for always doing what you can to make this a better world,

Howie, for the entire Blue America team



A Contrast In Oklahoma

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There's been so much buzz about Alexandria Ocasio's massive win over Joe Crowley-- and rightfully so-- that we haven't talked much about Tom Guild's success in making it into the August 28 primary runoff in Oklahoma City. There were 6 Democrats in the primary last week and the top two now move on to the runoff-- a garden variety Republican-lite Democrat who stands for nothing at all, the type who loses every single time they face the Republican in November-- and Tom, a dedicated Berniecrat in a district Bernie won in 2016.

Tom's very grassroots campaign-- largely based on door knocking-- set a goal of garnering 14,000 votes, which in both 2014 and 2016 would have been a majority of the primary vote. There was a total of 27,504 votes cast in the Democratic primary in 2014 and 27,203 votes in the 2016 primary. In both years 14,000 votes would have secured Tom’s nomination without a runoff primary between the top two candidates.

In 2018, State Question 788 appeared on the primary ballot-- a ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana. It passed by a large margin and drew huge numbers of people to the polls, people who wouldn't even have considered voting in a normal Democratic primary. Republicans were afraid to place the measure on the November general election ballot, because of the swell of progressives and non-Republican voters they expected would come out to vote, so they put it on the primary ballot. That anticipated increase in voter turnout became a virtual tsunami. Last week the CD-05 Democratic primary turnout was an eye-popping 79,505 votes! That's more than 3 times the turnout in 2014 or 2016. State Question 788 brought tens of thousands of additional voters to the Democratic congressional primary-- especially independent voters who are allowed to vote in the Democratic primary but not in the Republican primary.The medical marijuana measure clearly did green the vote. 

Guild’s campaign beat its stated goal and received 14,424 votes in a six-candidate contest, a bit more than their 14,000-vote goal. Although Tom didn’t win without a runoff, 14,424 votes were enough to knock 4 candidates out of the running and put him in in the runoff where, in August, Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents will choose the Democratic nominee to run against incumbent Republican, Steve Russell, a Trump rubber stamp.

So... there are 2 candidates left standing-- a darling of the Democratic Party and corporate establishment, who is a self-described "No Labels moderate" and progressive Democrat Tom Guild, who was elected as a 2016 national convention delegate supporting Bernie and who has the Blue America endorsement.

Guild was outspent by more than 5 to 1. We should step up for him now; he has a strong progressive populist message-- like Alexandria's-- and helped Bernie win the Oklahoma presidential primary two years ago by a 10.4% margin. Tom is one of our progressive champions who needs our support to put together the financial resources to effectively compete with his corporate opponent in the runoff. (Think of it like this: Tom is Alexandria Ocasio and his opponent is Joe Crowley.)

Tom supports Medicare for All, a living wage for all Americans, programs to lessen the burden of debt weighing heavily on the shoulders of college students and he has been very clear that he will fight to reverse the curse of the Citizens United decision that makes the corrupt campaign finance system even worse. Tom has fought for immigrant rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, worker’s rights, transitioning to green energy, and a host of issues on the progressive agenda, including support for the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana.

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If you want to help Tom win the runoff and the Democratic nomination so he can present an actual contrast and strong progressive challenge to Steve Russell and the Oklahoma Republican Party, he needs that help now. That's what that thermometer on the right is for.

Thanks for always doing what you can to make this a better world.

Howie, for the entire Blue America team



Michigan To The Rescue

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Blue America has endorsed 2 women running for Congress in Michigan with proven records for leadership in the state legislature, Rashida Tlaib and Ellen Lipton. We endorsed them both because they are progressives with progressive records of accomplishment. Identity politics played no role in either endorsement.

That said, take a look at this tweet from Dave Wasserman last week:

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Ellen is the only woman in the August 7th primary for an open seat up against two men, one of whom, Andy Levin, is the retiring Congressman’s son. He’s got the family name recognition; Ellen's got the legislative experience and proven record fighting for progressive values, having served 6 years in Michigan’s State House and worked as a healthcare activist and public education advocate.

The polling and focus groups that have been dome in MI-09 show that when voters-- particularly women voters-- see and hear her story, her record and progressive vision trump Levin's name recognition-- and she wins. 2018 so far is an extraordinary year for women candidates, and women in Democratic primaries are voting in record numbers. She promised her supporters that

"We’re going to win this primary by hosting events all over the district, knocking on thousands and thousands of doors, and making sure every single voter in the 9th knows my name, who I am, and what I stand for... I’m so proud and inspired to be a part of the wave of Democratic women standing up to run for Congress this year. It’s time to change the fact that only 20% of Congress is female-- because we all deserve better. We need strong women leaders in Congress now more than ever."

Republicans don't do well in her district-- McCain only pulled 40.1%. Romney, a hometown boy, did a little better at 41.9% and Trump pulled 43.7%. The PVI is D+4 and it's more than very likely that whoever wins the primary will be the next congress member.

That's even more so in MI-13, where the Republicans aren't even running a candidate and which Rashida represented in the state legislature and where she's running now. The PVI is a jaw-dropping D+33 and Obama won with around 85% both times he ran and where Trump only drew 18% of the vote. MI-13-- a big chunk of Detroit plus Highland Park, Dearborn Heights, Inkster and Romulus out beyond the airport-- is a blue powerhouse, the kind of district that should be sending cutting edge leaders to Congress. And that's exactly who Rashida is.

Again, two relatives of the last congressman, John Conyers, decided to run, a son (who was disqualified) and a nephew. If Rashida wins this one, everything in her record points to one thing: she's not going to be some backbencher voting like a good little Democrat; she'll be helping form a new progressive consensus among House Democrats and leading the way on tough issues others are afraid to touch, just the way she did in the Michigan legislature.

Both Ellen and Rashida are guided by the belief that everyone, not just the wealthy and privileged, deserves access to opportunity and a better quality of life. They have both dedicated their professional lives to amplifying and addressing the concerns of working families. They don't just talk about it... they both have records to show they've been doing it.

Rashida:

"I’m running because I get results. I brought home $5.6 million in funding for before-and-after school programs and $7.8 million for bilingual education and literacy. I brought home $1 million for free health care clinics and $2 million to remove toxic lead paint from older homes. And I did it with Republicans in control of the Legislature, because I don’t make excuses, I get it done."

Neither of these dynamic women is an establishment candidate. The DCCC is ignoring both, while backing a Blue Dog and a New Dem in Michigan. That may be because neither Ellen nor Rashida sits still and gets told what to do by representatives of the status quo.

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They are exactly what Congress needs, what the Democratic Party needs... what our country needs. Please consider contributing to their campaigns by clicking on the 2018 congressional thermometer on the right.

Thanks for always doing what you can to make this a better world,

Howie, for the entire Blue America team



Let's Help Dayna Steele Make History

If Dayna Steele was just another garden variety Democrat, there would be little reason to talk about her November contest against far right incumbent, Brian Babin. But she isn't. Dayna is an icon in the district, once the music director for KLOL, Houston's top rock station. Everyone knows her as the person who introduced them to their favorite artists. She starts with a bigger name recognition, at least in the Houston part of the district, than the backbencher incumbent. Oh, and she won her primary 72% to 28%.

TX-36 has a prohibitive R+26 PVI, a district Trump won with 72%. But because they already know-- and like-- Dayna, voters in the sprawling east Texas district are willing to hear her out. When she talks to the voters about Medicare-For-All, making community college and career training free, a $15-an-hour minimum wage, fighting for sensible gun reform, the right to choice, equal pay, protection from sexual harassment, and equal opportunity, passing the DREAM Act and rejecting Trump's Wall, progressive issues start making sense to people who have listened to too much Fox News for their own good. She told me that following the March primary, an election judge in her district reached out to say, "I've never seen so many Republicans walk into our polling place and ask how to vote for a Democrat, specifically Dayna Steele."

Dayna sees hope where other Democrats have been too scared to try. In 2016 the Democrats didn't even run a candidate against Babin. "Not only are we seeing a growing Blue Wave in Texas," she told us, "we are also seeing a growing concern for our very Democracy among honest, hard-working Americans. So much so, that independents, undecideds, and even many Republicans are coming to our campaign to say 'I will vote for you. I will work for you. I will donate to you.' Why are these unlikely groups reaching out specifically to our campaign? Because we all agree that this administration is being careless with our security, careless with our money, careless with our healthcare, careless with our education, and careless with our people. And, you shouldn’t be in government if you don't care about the people."


We need to be a nation that invests in healthcare, education, jobs, and people - not corporate insurance and big pharma, low wages, and division. The United States is risking its prosperity AND its Democracy by leaving so many Americans behind.

Many now see that Medicare For All would cost us less and create a stronger workforce. Internet access as a part of the public infrastructure would create countless opportunities for everyone. More emphasis on jobs that will carry us into the future such as wind and solar power, computer programming and even medical marijuana would grow the economy.

At the same time, there is so much more that ALL Americans are concerned about including immigrant children being held in detention centers, rampant racism, for profit prisons, foreign intervention in our elections, and the untruths we all know must be called out.

These are the reasons many people, not just Democrats, are coming to and supporting our campaign. Then, there is the really big reason at the top. My husband aka Wonder Husband has always told our kids, "No one is totally worthless. They can always serve as a bad example." That's Trump everyday and this week he sent even more voters our way with his "I can pardon myself" tweet.

As a motivational speaker and author, I’ve spent years teaching audiences and readers that “the more you do to make someone else successful, the more successful you will become.”  A lot of that comes from the way I was brought up by my pee wee league football coach father. He always taught me that you are “only as strong as your weakest team member” and to “do what it takes to bring that weakest member up.”


"I plan to set a good example for and serve ALL Americans." --Dayna Steele for #TX36

Dayna's campaign is in the reddest district Blue America has ever been involved in. If she wins in November it will be an indication that Americans are coming together everywhere to "just say no" to Trumpism and to congressional Republican enablers who are aiding and abetting. Please consider helping her here.

Thanks for always doing what you can to make a better world,

Howie, for the entire Blue America team



KARA!

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Last Tuesday, one of the biggest, most exciting and meaningful victories for progressives was Kara Eastman's win in the Nebraska Democratic primary. She beat Blue Dog and DCCC endorsee Brad Ashford 20,239 (51.43%) to 19,113 (48.57%). ​

It was another case of local Democrats slapping down the DCCC for their pig-headed interference in a local primary. The DCCC attempted to gaslight the district-- that voted overwhelmingly for Bernie in 2016-- telling them they needed to nominate a proven reactionary, "ex"-Republican instead of a woman who ran on many of the same issues that made Bernie so attractive to local, 2nd District Democrats.

With the help of the DCCC, Ashford raised $558,946 and spent $397,194, while Kara raised $355,887 and spent $284,880. Ashford was endorsed by anyone from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party​ the DCCC could round up-- not just the Blue Dogs but the New Dems, Gabby Giffords, the labor unions that do whatever the DCCC tells them and, of course ambitious Blue Dog/New Dem Adam Schiff, who has been traveling around the country using his new-found celebrity to help right-of-center candidates like himself undermine progressive candidates like Kara.

Kara had the support of Blue America and of other progressive forces independent of the Democratic Party establishment, from the Nebraska Unity PAC and Nebraska Grassroots Progressives and the Working Families Party to Climate Hawks Vote, the PCCC, VoteProChoice, local independent-minded unions like the Plasterers and Cement Masons, the Insulators and the Sheet Metal Air Rail and Transportation union, as well as local political leaders like state Senators Tony Vargas and Justin Wayne and Omaha City Council president Ben Gray.

As soon as Kara's victory over Ashford was official, the DCCC removed him from their Red-to-Blue page. But instead of replacing him with Kara, they took NE-02 entirely off their radar.

One of the country's most flippable districts suddenly no longer existed! What happened to Pelosi's spiel about unity? Is it only the unity of progressives backing successful conservative Democrats but not unity when progressives win? Is that unity? And what happened to Pelosi's spiel about how 'we all win when women win?' Instead we hear Pelosi thundering about how 'the DCCC won’t help party nominees unless the conservative establishment backed them.'

When we endorsed her campaign last February, she told us that

over the last decade, Nebraska’s second Congressional district is one of the two most competitive in the nation. So why can’t Democrats consistently win here? They don’t ignite the base, and they don’t go out and talk to voters.

I'm the first serious progressive candidate to run in Nebraska’s second district. I’m pro-choice, I support common-sense gun safety regulation, I’m passionate about health and environmental protection, and I’ve opposed the Keystone XL pipeline. I will fight for a Medicare for All system because healthcare is a right. I also will fight for debt-free education, because I’m tired of seeing students, even at Metro Community College where I serve on the Board of Governors, drowning in student loans. The U.S. has to compete in a global market by investing in green and healthy housing. Climate change is the number one moral and national security threat to our children, and we need to address it now.”

Now Kara needs our help to beat a tougher candidate in November, Republican incumbent Don Bacon, a Trump rubber stamp very much out of touch with voters in the Omaha Metro.

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With the DCCC already signaling they'd rather let Bacon stay in his seat then help a progressive win it, Kara is going to need our help more than ever.

She's a fighter and winner. Please contribute what you can by clicking on the Blue America 2018 congressional thermometer above.

Thanks for always doing what you can to make this a better world,

Howie, for the entire Blue America team



A New And Better Day In Denver?

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Denver is not a swing district. Obama won it by double digit margins both times he ran and in 2016 Hillary beat Trump there 69–23%. The PVI is a healthy D+21. And in the 2016 caucus Bernie won 14,624 (54.4%) to 12,097 (45.0%). This is exactly the kind of district that should be sending someone to Congress who is pushing the envelope for progressive ideas — for someone on the cutting edge like Alan Grayson, Ted Lieu, Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, Jamie Raskin or Mark Pocan.

Instead Denver has a ho-hum, garden variety Democrat who has a “B” rating from ProgressivePunch and is basically, a waste of a seat, Diana DeGette, who takes money from the corporate PACs that pollute the political environment and isn’t a single-payer enthusiast or anything that will overturn the status quo…or motivate Democratic voters to come to the polls.

Denver deserves better than Representative Diana DeGette — and this year, on June 26, Denver has a golden opportunity to elect someone Much Better: Saira Rao.

I asked Saira about a specific issue that differentiates the status quo Democrats from the cutting edge Democrats: student debt cancellation, a key progressive position.

Saira:
“It’s time to end the insanity of the cost of college tuition in our country and how we are handling the student-debt problem. Although there doesn’t seem to be an easy or quick fix, The College for All Act gets us closer to that place — to the American Dream of attending college and being able to afford it. The bill creates a federal-state partnership where the federal and state government team up to provide families earning up to $125k per year, cover their tuition for public community colleges. It would also cut student-loan interest rates in half for new borrowers.”

But there’s even more that needs to be done and Saira is right on top of it. She told us with great enthusiasm:

A new study just came out published by the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College that shows us a path to digging out of the $1.4 trillion dollar hole we face in Colorado and across the country. The report states that if we eliminate the debt, “44 million Americans who carry it could boost GDP by between $86 billion and $108 billion per year, on average for the 10 years following the cancellation. It would also lower the average unemployment rate by 0.22 to 0.36 percentage points over 10 years and could add between 1.2 million and 1.5 million jobs per year.

In Colorado this legislative session, a bill was introduced to regulate student education loan services. The bill would have forced loan servicers to give students accurate information about their loans. There are over 761,000 Coloradans who owe over $24 billion in student debt. That is outrageous and we need to work with the state government to find a solution so the future generation across the country can get access to quality education, not live in fear of how they plan on paying that will help boost our job force and economy in the process.

That really is an American game-changer. And we all know that the only way to even consider getting this done is by having leaders in Washington who will fight for us rather than for their big corporate donors.

Colorado Democrats voted overwhelmingly for Bernie — not for Hillary and not for Trump. That wasn’t random. But despite what her constituents wanted DeGette, a Super-delegate went to the convention and voted for Hillary anyway.

When next generation legislation is introduced in Congress by people like Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, Ted Lieu or Mark Pocan, DeGette is always MIA.

The reason Blue America has endorsed Saira Rao is because she’ll be part of that team, not avoiding it.

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Clicking on the 2018 ActBlue congressional thermometer on the left will take you to the Blue America page where you can contribute to Saira Rao’s grassroots campaign.

Helping her win this race is a very worthwhile endeavor and I hope you’ll join us in supporting her.



Joe Crowley Must Be Stopped-- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Can Do It

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Earlier this week Bernie sent his supporters an e-mail explaining what he hopes to accomplish by barnstorming in Pennsylvania with congressional candidates Jess King and Greg Edwards. He wrote that “if we are going to defeat right-wing Republicans in 2018 and 2020, we need to win in states that Trump won, like Pennsylvania. And, in my view, the only way we win in those states is by supporting progressive candidates who have the guts to defend working-class families — white, black, Latino, Asian American, Native American — and take on the power and greed of the billionaire class.”

And not just in Pennsylvania, of course. He wrote that “Trump represents something we have never seen before in the history of the United States. It is not just that he represents the interests of the wealthy and powerful. It’s that we have never had a president with more authoritarian tendencies than him… The 2018 midterm elections will be long remembered as a pivotal moment in American history because, if we are successful, we can put an end to the disastrous Trump agenda. If we are not, we will have at least two more years of a rapid shift toward authoritarianism, the further normalization of corruption and the continued rise of oligarchy.”

Perhaps his most crucial lines were how “we cannot defeat Trump and the Republican Party with the same playbook, or by supporting the same kind of candidates long favored by the political establishment and financial elite. That is how we got to where we are today.”

The media doesn’t give much coverage to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Bernie campaign organizer from the Bronx who’s running for Congress herself now on a very Bernie-like platform — including Medicare-for-all, free public higher education and a federal jobs guarantee that would promise jobs with a $15 minimum wage as well as paid family leave and campaign finance reform.

And maybe that lack of mainstream coverage could be at least partially explained because she’s running for a seat occupied by an “untouchable” political power-monger, Wall Street’s owned-and-operated ‘Queens County machine boss’ Joe Crowley.

29417607_2034866200129523_9204676868849008640_n.jpg“They’ll tell you you’re too loud, that you need to wait your turn and ask the right people for permission. Do It Anyway.” — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Blue America endorsee for #NY14. Help her win: https://goo.gl/KE3kp9

Crowley isn’t just the most corrupt Democrat in Congress, he’s Nancy Pelosi’s and Stenchy Hoyer’s hand-picked next Democratic House Leader, when Pelosi retires halfway through the next term (as is widely rumored on Capitol Hill).

Alexandria, a Blue America-endorsed candidate, is the first person to challenge Rep. Joseph Crowley in a primary race in 14 years. She’s also the first woman of color to ever run in New York’s District 14, which covers parts of southern Bronx and northern Queens.

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Crowley has a corporate/lobbyist financed campaign war chest of $1,592,362, having raised $2,777,489.

Alexandria has raised $115,653, entirely from grassroots contributions. Please consider helping her stand up to him by clicking on the ActBlue 2018 congressional thermometer.

“I don’t think we win by backing down. I don’t think we win by fading into the background,” said Ocasio-Cortez, rejecting the idea that moderate Democrats have a better chance against Republicans in the midterm elections.

…Born into a working-class Puerto Rican family, Ocasio-Cortez says she understands the challenges working New Yorkers face. Her mother was a housekeeper, and her father owned a small business. The family moved upstate while she was growing up, but she returned to the Bronx after going to school at Boston University, and she now lives in Parkchester.

She is a harsh critic of Crowley, a Woodside native who has represented Queens and the Bronx in Congress since 1998, and denounces his influence on area politics because of his role as chair of the Queens County Democratic Party… “This Tammany Hall system of political machines actually disenfranchises communities because this old-school system of politics exists to prop up the already powerful,” she said.

Crowley has undermined and opposed progressive ideas and positions for years in Congress, when he headed the New Dems, basically, the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Once he visited his district from his home in Virginia and realized over 70% of the district was made up of people of color, he quickly quit the New Dems and started “changing” his long-held anti-working family positions.

Alexandria is authentic; Crowley will never be.

We are encouraged about what she’s already been able to accomplish — with basically ‘one arm tied behind her back’. Imagine what it would feel like to wake up June 27 to find that the first woman of color candidate ever had taken down a powerful, 14-Year ‘Establishment’ Incumbent who was poised for leadership.

Please consider giving whatever you can to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ campaign today.

Thanks for always doing what you can to make this a better world,
Howie, for the entire Blue America team



The Next Speaker Should Be A Real Progressive

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One electoral contest no one discusses outside of DC is the one for the next Democratic House leader, likely to be Speaker. No one discusses it because only Democratic members of Congress get to vote and Pelosi has already handpicked her successor. Who, you wonder? Well, the former head of the Wall Street owned and operated New Dems, the machine boss of Queens and the single most corrupt Democrat in the House.

Yes, the next Speaker, if Pelosi gets her way, will be someone not even fit to be in Congress, let alone lead it, Joe Crowley.

In 2010, while Crowley was on the House Ways and Means Committee, he was dragged in front of the House Ethics Committee for taking bribes from Wall Street banksters and teaching newly elected Democrats how to do the same thing (voting, for example, to end Glass-Steagall and for the reactionary Bush bankruptcy bill to please Wall Street lobbyists, as he did). He was never punished because Pelosi and Boehner came to an agreement that Crowley would be excused in return for 4 Republicans being let off the hook as well, on similar charges. 

She saved his ass... now he demands her throne. 

Since Crowley was first handed his House seat and occupied it in 1999 he's taken in $6,891,051 from the Finance Sector, more than any other House Democrat more than Hoyer, more than Pelosi... more than most senators and more than most Republicans. He's never had a serious election challenge and he's used that money to buy influence and power inside the Democratic Party.

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Blue America is working to persuade an honorable member who is both honest and progressive to run for Leader (likely to be the next Speaker). After talking to many members of Congress, we've come to the conclusion that Ted Lieu (D-CA) is just the person. If you've never heard of Ted Lieu, we have a great video you should watch. (CAUTION: make sure you're sitting down. You may not be used to a Democrat standing up and pushing back at the Trump Regime like Ted does every day.)
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This election is just too important to let a character like Joe Crowley seize it by default.
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Next Stop For The Blue Wave-- North Carolina And Indiana

The next primaries for House seats are on May 8 in Indiana and North Carolina, where we have two outstanding candidates, Dan Canon (IN-09) and Jenny Marshall (NC-05).

Both are running strong, issues-oriented grassroots campaigns and both need our help with the final 5-week lap.

I asked Jenny and Dan what good could some extra campaign contributions do this late in the game. Here's what they told me:

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Jenny first:

Our campaign has been running a strong field program, but with 263 precincts spread out over 3200 square miles we need to ensure that we reach as many voters as possible. We have been out knocking doors for a month and calling voters for the past 12 weeks, but we have many more people to reach. We need to send out 20,000 mailers to those people who live in more remote and rural areas, hire 10 additional field canvassers for those areas we can walk so we can talk to people at their homes, and purchase campaign materials including 10,000 more door hangers, 20,000 4x6 handouts highlighting our campaign, 700 yard signs and to support our digital advertising in the district. We expect to have 41,000 people turn out and vote in the primary. We estimate it will take $30,000 to secure the Democratic nomination on May 8th.

Jenny and her team have been running a bold progressive campaign to unseat arch-villain Rep. Virginia Foxx, who has turned herself into a virtual rubber stamp for Trump and a terrible representative of North Carolinans. Jenny told us that while out on the campaign trail, she's "talked to thousands of people who tell me that they are struggling to make ends meet and are afraid they are going to lose their health insurance. This, coupled with those who just can't afford to use the insurance they pay for is just unconscionable! Rep. Foxx has ignored the needs of the people for far too long. She voted no on raising the minimum wage back in 2007 when it was just $5.85 an hour. She voted to strip healthcare away from millions of people with her vote to repeal the ACA. She just doesn't care about the daily grind the vast majority of us are going through. Our campaign speaks up for those who have been ignored and dismissed. We are here to fight for them."

Jenny is eager to take on Foxx but she's got to win the primary against a centrist primary opponent first-- that's the election coming up May 8th. Jenny's opponent is an 'Establishment Dem' who:

  • doesn't believe in raising the minimum wage beyond $10 per hour
  • doesn't support tuition-free public colleges and universities
  • stated that our public education system is broken and would use her knowledge of the business world to "fix it."
  • In other words, she is all about doing just enough to look like she is on our side, but not enough to actually help our families and our communities.

Jenny is committed to raising the wage to $15 an hour and tying it to inflation and fighting for healthcare for all.

Dan's turn:

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"There’s an old adage in politics that 'field wins campaigns.' That is why this campaign has invested in a robust field program that has been up and running since mid-September. We have three offices open across the 9th District and have made over 125,000 (and counting) contacts thanks to a dedicated base of supporters who have been calling voters, pounding the pavement, and attending countless events since last summer. In the final month of the primary, the money you donate will be spent heavily on our field efforts to mobilize supporters and G(et) O(ut) T(he) V(ote)! By helping us keep our offices running full steam ahead through May 8th, as well as funding direct mail and digital advertising targeted to likely voters, a donation to this campaign is an investment that will help us build a movement here in the heartland."

Throughout this campaign, Dan has been a strong proponent of a guaranteed public jobs program, a national UBI pilot program, and the abolition of ICE. "I am proud to say I am the only candidate in my race discussing these ideas that are crucial to creating jobs, investing in our workforce, and ensuring the dignity of all people. Hoosiers (those of us from Indiana) are tired of the duck-and-cover rhetoric that other campaigns use, and with your help we are going to prove that progressive candidates can take bold stances that offer real solutions for real people."

Dan and Jenny are two of the most intelligent, independent-minded and passionate leaders we've come across in our many years of vetting progressive candidates. All of us at Blue America believe any support you can give them is richly deserved and will be wisely used-- a real step towards getting more members in the vein of Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee, Mark Pocan, Ted Lieu and Pramila Jayapal into Congress. Please consider giving what you can to their campaigns today.

Thanks for always doing what you can to make a better world,

Howie, for the entire Blue America team




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