CHICAGO MONEY BOMB-- REPLACING RAHM EMANUEL WITH CHUY GARCIA STARTS TODAY!

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Chicago's mayoral race is two weeks from Tuesday-- April 7. Today, Monday, is the first day of early voting. The race pits the pay-for-play politics and endemic corruption embraced by careerist and Wall Street shill Rahm Emanuel against the communities and neighborhoods of one of America's great cities trying to reclaim its dignity and its independence. The race is a neck and neck contest between Emanuel and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia. Today Blue America has joined with our friends and allies at DFA, PCCC, MoveOn, Daily Kos, SEIU and Illinois Working Families to launch a money bomb on behalf of Chuy's campaign.

Does it seem to late in the cycle to make an effective contribution? It isn't-- thanks to electronic contributions delivered directly to campaigns by ActBlue. Netroots donors can still have a significant impact on the outcome of the race. No one ever thought Chuy would have the ability to raise as much money as Emanuel, who had already spent $30 million in the first round to Chuy's $1.2 million. But no one thought Chuy needed to match Emanuel either. Emanuel's record as mayor has devastated Chicago's neighborhoods and most voters have soured on him. Chuy's campaign was designed from the beginning to be a person-to-person operation-- street politics, door-to-door, friend-to-friend, neighbor-to-neighbor.

Money contributed today isn't going to be wasted on expensive network TV ads-- which Rahm is spending $10 million on-- but will be spent on real community outreach efforts.

If you're thinking about donating, remember that it costs the campaign $6 to provide a box lunch for a volunteer out in the field. This campaign is going to be won because of a get-out-the-vote effort. That's what Chuy's operation is all about right now. Providing 50 buttons for distribution at an event is $25. It costs $100 to print 1000 copies of an 8½x11 piece to pass out on street corners, outside grocery stores, on subway platforms, in front of churches and synagogues and community centers, outside high school basketball games, at parades and rallies. Money contributed today--even small amounts-- combine with others’ to make a real difference.

If Rahm loses, it will shake up Democratic politics to its core; a shake-up that is long overdue. Please consider contributing what you can-- today, 2 weeks out-- via ActBlue. There is no such thing as a contribution being too small to make a difference.

Last week, looking back at his presidential run in 2004, Howard Dean explained that he had

“represented the 'Democratic wing of the Democratic Party'-- a line inspired by Paul Wellstone that captured the spirit of my grassroots campaign. Jesús 'Chuy' García is running a similar people-powered campaign in Chicago and that's why I am proud to announce that I am endorsing him as the progressive choice to be Chicago's next mayor. Chuy García brings years of experience standing up for the people of Chicago. He worked with Harold Washington, Chicago’s reform mayor, to clean up Chicago in the 1980s. He also served alongside a then-unknown Illinois State Senator, Barack Obama, in the 1990s. In that time Chuy García fought for better schools and neighborhood services while developing the leadership skills required to lead Chicago in the 21st century. As mayor, Chuy García will focus on the needs of Chicago's working and middle class. He'll work to improve public schools and take a community-oriented approach to ending the violence in Chicago's neighborhoods. Chuy García will put the people first, not the 1%.”

Like Chuy says in the video (that I highly recommend you see) at the donate link, "Chicago doesn't belong to '$omebody.' Chicago belongs to Everybody!" Let's see how far a progressive Money Bomb for Chuy Garcia can go to start the ball rolling towards a progressive tidal wave sweeping the Country.

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

--Howie, for the entire Blue America team



Live Chat: Blue America Welcomes Back Marcy Winograd, CA-36

Marcy Winograd was Blue America's first endorsed challenger for 2010. That's because we were looking for a progressive leader, not someone who leans in a progressive direction. Marcy's not a leaner. She's a leader -- and not the kind of corrupt ward healer à la Steny Hoyer, Rahm Emanuel or Chuck Schumer that sadly passes for a "leader" among Democrats -- because of what's in her heart, her soul and her brain. She doesn't command respect and admiration because of an ability to bundle cash from special interests but because of her intellect, her character and her passion.

We asked her back today because she was the first Democrat to stand up beside Raul Grijalva and denounce the xenophobes and bigots in Arizona. Monday is the first day of absentee voting in California. More and more frequently, elections are being won and lost based on absentee and early voting. In CA-36 approximately a third of the voters will vote by mail. And among older voters that number skyrockets to close to 40%.

Last week Marcy asked Jane Harman, the Blue Dog who currently holds the seat, to join her in calling on businesses and residents of the 36th District to boycott Arizona convention facilities and hotels in an effort to reverse anti-immigrant legislation. Harman ignored her and Marcy pressed on on her own.

"If Arizona is allowed to enact laws that promote racial profiling, other states may pass discriminatory laws, as well. That would be a travesty of justice, not only for immigrants summarily stopped and searched for citizenship papers, but for all of us who value civil rights and equality under the law... Rather than passing discriminatory state laws that scapegoat immigrants, we should support federal legislation for comprehensive immigration reform."

Winograd's immigration platform calls for the following:

• a path to earn citizenship for an estimated 10-12 million undocumented immigrants

• an end to brutal immigration raids and detentions in secret jails

• passage of the Dream Act to award citizenship to immigrants who graduate college

• no national ID cards

• no guest workers' programs

• repeal of unfair trade agreements that worsen unemployment in home countries

Like mine and like so many of ours, Marcy's family came to the U.S. from Eastern Europe to escape discrimination and seek a better life. "America," she points out, "is a land of immigrants and we must never forget our rich cultural heritage or the contributions of immigrants who pay sales taxes and often wage taxes while performing much-needed labor."

That video up top is the one-minute version of what will be a 30-second spot Blue America plans to run. When you donate to the Blue America PAC, it will help us get it on television. If you donate to the Winograd campaign, it will help them run their grassroots-oriented campaign, like the phone-banking Marcy talks about below. You can do either-- or both-- at the Blue America '10 page.



We Already Know We Can Win Elections. Now How Do We Keep The Democrats' Attention After They Win?

All I know is months ago it was conventional wisdom in D.C. that the Democrats couldn't take the House, that candidates shouldn't talk about the war, and that the best way to try to win 15 seats was to throw all your money into about 18 of them, and hope for the best. In the end, that's not how it played out.

- Duncan Black, better known as Atrios, in November 2006.

Who boosted Howard Dean into the chairman's spot at the DNC, bringing his successful 50-state policy to fruition in last year's presidential race? The netroots did. And in 2006, who showed Rahm Emanuel that yes, we really could take control of Congress? We did.

Whose fundraising pushed the Democrats over the top in the 2008 Senate races? Ours did. Whose activist base drove the publicity, turnout and dollars in last year's presidential primaries and general election?

Duh.

So what have we accomplished? The war goes on and we've even expanded our presence in Afghanistan. The Bush-era encroachments on civil liberties have not only been embraced by a Democratic president, the Democratic Congress gives him their blessing. And with the goal of universal healthcare within tantalizing reach, we have Blue Dog Democrats - Democrats! trying to obstruct it.

Enough of kicking the Blue Dogs. What can we do to be more effective? Where did we go wrong?

Continue reading »



Please Vote In Our Blue America "Red to Blue" Contest

Saturday morning Crooks & Liars joined with our partners at FDL, Digby's Hullabaloo and DownWithTyranny to announce a week-long competition among some of our Blue America House candidates. We're offering $5,000 to candidate who gets the most votes from the readers of the four blogs. These are all candidates who are not on the DCCC's Red to Blue list.

All you have to do to vote is to stick at least one dollar (no more than $2,300) in the pot of the candidate you like best. A dollar counts as one vote; $2,300 counts as one vote. If you give one dollar a hundred times it counts as one vote. But, yes, you are welcome to vote for more than one candidate and that does count.

Since Saturday morning there have been 293 donors and Russ Warner, who's running against L.A. area Bush rubber-stamp David Dreier is way out in front. Russ' supporters have tossed in over $3,000. Altogether over $7,500 has been raised for the 9 candidates so far, aside from Russ, Debbie Cook (CA), Annette Taddeo (FL), Dennis Shulman (NJ), Larry Joe Doherty (TX), Alan Grayson (FL), Barry Walsh (IN), Sam Bennett (PA) and Jared Polis (CO).

We asked Democratic Party bosses Rahm Emanuel, Steny Hoyer, Chris Van Hollen, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz to each match our $5,000 check to the winner. None of them have... responded yet. Don't forget to vote! Winner will be announced next Saturday.



Blue America: Holding Rahm Emanuel Accountable: UPDATED

(The Accountability Moment) Updated: Here's some pics from ICIRR folks that have joined Blue America. And here is an audio report from Chicago Public radio on Joshua Hoyt's reaction...Many of you have probably heard that Rahm is backing the extreme right wing Tom Tancredo and his hateful stance on immigration. C&Lers have made their voices heard loud and clear on this issue and understand the need for good border security, but with a comprehensive---humane plan in mind. We're human beings after all. The Republicans need a wedge issue to run on like they did in the '04 election with "gay marriage" and now they've picked--Immigration. Because as you know they're stealing all our jobs, plan to blow up our malls and will be illegally voting...<snark> I've been following the Voter ID bills (Indiana is coming up and Kevin Drum has some important graphs) and immigration will be the major reason the Republicans give to try and scrub the voter rolls to steal as many elections as they can. Have they produced any illegals that have actually voted? It's all a straw man story, but you know that already.

After the blowback from the base around comprehensive immigration reform (and the loss of any hope of splitting the powerful growing Latino voting bloc) they are going back to the tried and true. Vote suppression and bogus accusation of voter fraud. They've been doing it for years and now that they've had access to the DOJ and trained a whole new generation of Monica Goodlings, I have no doubt they've devised some great new techniques.

Rahm's play feeds into the Voter ID/fraud meme and it is truly disheartening to see so we at Blue America have decided to send Emanuel a message.

We've joined with the ICIRR (Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights)

PROGRESSIVE BLOG PAC JOINS WITH IMMIGRANT’S RIGHTS GRASSROOTS TO DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY FROM RAHM

Blue America PAC supports Chicago immigrant grassroots in Cong. Emanuel’s home district, in a fight for the soul of the Democratic Party on immigration issue

PAC launches ads in Spanish, Polish, and Korean press in Congressman Rahm Emanuel’s district

Chicago November 15, 2007 — The Blue America PAC is joining today with ICIRR (Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights) and Chicago grassroots immigrant groups to demand accountability from Congressman Rahm Emanuel. The PAC is funding ads and robocalls calling on Emanuel to:

“Stop being afraid to fight for immigrants, and start acting like a real leader.”

And no matter where you’re located, you can join the Accountability for Rahm campaign with a donation at Blue America’s Accountability Moment.

Digby has a wonderful post explaining it all

So why in the world do Democrats believe that they'll benefit from a new enforcement only bill so harsh that it even calls for legal family members who help an undocumented worker to get a year in jail for doing it? This isn't like welfare reform at all. There's no "taking it off the table." This is an issue that hits directly at the largest and fastest growing new voting bloc in America.

The report documents how Hispanics have gone from a group trending Republican to a group overwhelmingly Democratic; one whose percentage of the American electorate has increased by 33 percent in the last 4 years; and one poised, because of the structure of the Electoral College, to determine who the next President will be in 2008.

Telling these people to suck it up, as Carville and Greenberg, in their ever more desperate quest to recover the aging "Reagan Democrat" are doing by urging Democrats to pass legislation virtually designed to suppress their vote, is nothing short of political malpractice. It is the equivalent of the Republicans telling the Christian right to stay the hell out of politics back in the 1980's....please read on




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