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Thursday, September 22, 2005

ActBlue Expanding to State Races

Posted by Bob Brigham

Having front-row tickets to Ginny Schrader in 2004 and Paul Hackett in 2005, I am a huge fan of ActBlue. In fact, Matt from ActBlue flew into OH-02 to help move your contributions in nearly real time. Ben from Actblue also kicks ass. This is one of the most important organizations in the new progressive movement.

So when they post a diary at MyDD, I not only read it and recommend it and follow the instructions, but I'm reposting it in the extended entry. Thanks Actblue!

Background brief: ActBlue helps you fundraise online for the Democrats of your choice. We helped hundreds of bloggers and grassroots activists including Daily Kos, Atrios, Swing State Project bring in over $850,000 for Dems last year, and already just shy of $1 million this year, including $500,000 for Paul Hackett. See http://actblue.com for more about us and how to ActBlue.

Up until now we've only been legally set up to fundraise for candidates for U.S. House and Senate — but that's about to change in a big way. One of our biggest 2005-06 projects is to expand our fundraising capacity to candidates for state offices across the country. When we've activated ActBlue in a state:

  • Every Democratic candidate for every state legislative and executive office can immediately accept contributions online.

  • Every supporter can immediately fundraise online for the Democratic candidates and party committees of their choice.

We're shooting for all 50 states by the end of the 2005-06 cycle, and we've just taken our first step by launching in Virginia; now you can fundraise for (and contribute to) Tim Kaine, Leslie Byrne, and Creigh Deeds (Democratic candidates for Gov, Lt. Gov, and AG respectively), and any of the Democratic candidates for the Virginia State House.

The question now: where next? To be clear, we want to do all of the states, but navigating fifty states' worth of campaign finance laws is a big job — so this question is about priorities.

Please comment on this thread to let us know where we should focus first. What's strategically important? Where are the races that matter most? And see below the fold for more about how we're going to do it...

We're starting to navigate the campaign finance landscape in each state, and we've got a fantastic group of volunteers helping us gather information on candidates across the country. (We could always use more, by the way — check out our directory of state candidates and let us know who we're missing.)

The most challenging part is the legal side of getting our fundraising operations going -- the staff time and lawyers, Lawyers, LAWYERS, LAWYERS required to do this right are going to cost on average $10,000 per state, at least for the first set of states we take on.

So we're asking: can you help make it happen?

We're going to take an approach just like Howard Dean's 50-state strategy: with the help of this discussion we'll choose a small set of states to start with. If the fundraising there goes well, we'll add more!

Please chime in below with your thoughts on priority states, and thanks for all you do to make the Democratic difference.

I'd be remiss not to mention this: just like we have a directory of candidates, we also have a directory of our fundraising drives for all the states. So if you're hankering to support a state RIGHT NOW, you can do so here.

Posted at 05:27 PM in Netroots | Technorati