Netroots Archive:

Friday, October 27, 2006

Final Netroots Push: The $100,000 Challenge

Posted by DavidNYC

LATE UPDATE: Well, as I'm sure you've seen, we've blown way past $100,000 raised today. In fact, we've hauled in $275,000! We're also incredibly close to $1.5 million raised on the page, total. Who will help put us over the top?

Today, Friday, is the last best day to donate to your favorite candidates. Here's why: Over the weekend, campaigns will make their final choices about where to spend money - ad buys, mailers, get-out-the-vote efforts, etc. After that point, almost all major spending decisions will be complete. That makes it hard to effectively spend money received during the last week of the campaign. Final-week contributions are appreciated, sure, but cash received by today is a lot more valuable.

That's why Swing State, Daily Kos and MyDD are doing one final fundraising push for the netroots page. The goal is as simple as can be: We want to raise $100,000 for the entire page today. And this time, we're gonna ask everyone to dig as deep as possible. At earlier points in the cycle, campaigns can use small-dollar donations to help build their lists so that they can seek more donations in the future. Right now, though, what Democrats across the country need is just cold cash. After today, you should volunteer your time. But today is the day to part with your hard-earned bucks.

All week long, we've been flogging incumbent Democrats, begging them to give as part the Use It Or Lose It campaign. But we have to put our money where our mouths are, too. And that's exactly what I'm going to do.

I just gave $500 to the Paul Hodes campaign. My student loans ran out in May, and while I've recently started work, I haven't been paid yet. I've been living off a combination of credit cards and wedding gifts for months now. But I can't afford not to give - who among us can? You don't need me to tell you that what's at stake right now is just so unbelievably important.

But there are more concrete, immediate reasons: The NRCC just announced that it would drop $366,000 worth of negative ads into this race. To put that into perspective, this is roughly a third of what Paul Hodes has raised throughout the campaign, all getting dumped into the district overnight. My $500 is a proverbial drop in the bucket compared to that, but if enough of us declare "Fuck it! We've had enough! We're going to give whatever we can!" then we'll be able to fight back. I know it.

And it's not just Hodes under assault. For all the GOP's alleged money woes, they've always outraised us and always will. Democrats all across the country are now on the receiving end of the Republican Party's malignant Wurlitzer, and it won't let up until the polls close. Every member of our party needs our help. Whether you give to the netroots candidates or someone else today, just please give.

Are you with me? Can we raise $100,000 today? Yeah? Well, then, let's do this thing!!!

UPDATE (James L.): Whoa, it looks like $100,000 in one day is not much of a challenge for the netroots community. You guys have raised over $210,000 so far, and the day's not nearly done yet. Markos is right: let's blow the roof off of Actblue. Let's bring our total haul to $1.5 million. It's only a matter of raising $100k more tonight. I know our community can do this. Let's send our netroots candidates off into their final week in style--with enough resources to compete.

And if you've already donated, please take the next logical step: help get out the vote! Do More Than Vote is a great resource full of links to many different ways you can help from all corners of the country. You can also host or attend a pre-Halloween phone party coordinated by, or sign up for Moveon's Call for Change program targeting Democratic-leaning voters. Remember: this is going to be a base turnout election. There's no need to waste time trying to convince reluctant fence-sitters to switch to the Democratic column--all we have to do is light a fire under the asses of Democrats and Democratic-leaners who haven't given the election much thought this year. is making it easy to help, from anywhere in the country. Like David says, let's do this thing.

Posted at 04:45 PM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, September 29, 2006

Netroots End-of-Quarter Fundraising Push Day 5

Posted by DavidNYC

The end of the quarter is not officially until tomorrow, Saturday. But as of this writing, we are so close to our goal I can taste it: 9,868 donors on the netroots page. I'm heartened to see that our fundraising pace has picked up each day. I'm betting we can blast through our goal (10,000 total donors) by the end of the day, and that Trauner, Grant and Walz will all clear a thousand contributions as well.

Today, though, we'd like to specially focus on a guy right at the middle of the list: Larry Kissell, running for Congress in North Carolina's 8th Congressional District. This race might well be unique this year: It's the only seat I know of which the DCCC decided to contest, then dropped (after another candidate quit the race), then picked up again. Indeed, around ten days ago, Kissell was added to the DCCC's "Emerging Races" list. What transpired to make this happen?

From my far-off vantage point, I see two major things as being as responsible. First, Kissell had a huge and energetic grassroots (and netroots) base that always believed in him, even when this race looked as uphill as can be. Indeed, this continual show of strength was the principal reason Kissell was added to the netroots page. And when the DCCC ran a contest to see who could sign up the greatest number of volunteers in just a brief period of time, the Kissell team raked in an astounding 900 new names. That earned the campaign a major fundraising e-mail from the D-Trip, which you may have even received today.

The other thing I've seen is a very creative and aggressive underdog attitude. Kissell & Co. didn't wait around for big money to fund a paid media campaign. Rather, they sought other ways to break through to voters. This was best exemplified by my favorite single political stunt of the year: Cheap gas. For two hours one day this summer, the Kissell campaign sponsored an event where gas was just $1.22 at a local filling station - the price when the incumbent, Robin Hayes, took office. It was a brilliant move that garnered tons of free media and community goodwill. It even inspired copycat moves by other Democrats. (You know what they say about imitation & flattery.)

And in terms of what we've been trying to accomplish with the netroots page, Larry Kissell is almost a picture-perfect example. All along we've looked to add races which were not getting tons of attention, which you might describe as "second tier." Our fervent hope was that by giving these campaigns a boost, we might help propel them on to the big players' short lists. We're certainly not claiming credit for putting Kissell on the DCCC's radar, but we'd like to think the blogosphere's support played a role in doing so.

So if you want to help out the quintessential grassroots campaign, please give to Larry Kissell. Right now he's at about 1,350 total donations. Surely we can get him to at least 1,400 by the end of the push, if not more. Of course, it goes without saying that all the netroots candidates are extremely worthy, and, if you can, the time to give is now.

As always, please tell us whom you've been giving to in the comments below. Thanks!

P.S. I'd also like to make a quick mention of another effort that's also using ActBlue. The Secretary of State Project is supporting Democratic candidates for Secretary of State in key swing states around the nation. Though these state-level campaigns tend to get over-looked, they shouldn't be: As you may know, SoSes are responsible for overseeing elections. After the debacles we experienced with Katherine Harris and Ken Blackwell, it's extremely important than we support good, honest candidates for these positions. The SoS project has helpfully assembled a list of candidates who need our help. Go check it out.

Posted at 02:02 PM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Netroots End-of-Quarter Fundraising Push Day 4

Posted by DavidNYC

Yee haw! We're almost at 9,500 total donors on the netroots page. Just 500 more donors to go to hit our goal of 10,000 donors. We're also getting very close to 1,000 contributions for Trauner (815), Grant (815) and Walz (760). Jim Webb, by the way, went over 3,000 donations and Joe Sestak is within shooting distance of 2,000. We have two-and-a-half days left: Surely out there in the blogosphere there are more than enough people who can help put us over the top by Saturday night.

And you know things are really heating up in the political world - there have been multiple newsworthy items on the netroots candidates every day this week. Below, James has a roundup of three polls (MN-01, NH-02 and WA-08), all of which are good news. The latest Quinnipiac poll still has Ned Lamont trailing, but the trendlines are favorable, which I think is what really matters. A SUSA poll on VA-Sen also shows a tight race - and a big shift toward Webb after Felix Allen's racist past was corroborated by more people.

As always, if you have anything to share - new stories on any of the candidates, who you've been donating to, etc. - please share in the comments.

Posted at 02:46 PM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Netroots End-of-Quarter Fundraising Push Day 3

Posted by DavidNYC

It goes without saying that I am incredibly pleased to see that Dan Seals has pushed past the 1,000 contributions mark on the netroots page. Now we just have to get Trauner, Grant and Walz to 1K. We need only around 900 total contributions to hit that goal. That's just 300 people giving to each of these three candidates. Meanwhile, Ned Lamont just went over 4,000 and Jim Webb is closing in on 3,000.

In terms of our overall goal, we're now fewer than 800 donors away from 10,000 total. With only four days left in the quarter (three-and-a-half, really), that means we still need over 200 new donors a day. Given the combined readership of MyDD, Swing State and DailyKos, we should be able to do that without breaking a sweat.

And some great stuff on the netroots candidates today, including CO-05 (Jay Fawcett) and ID-01 (Larry Grant).

As always, please tell us about any contributions you make in the comments. Thanks!

Posted at 02:35 PM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Netroots End-of-Quarter Fundraising Push Day 2

Posted by DavidNYC

So, by now you probably already know the goal: 10,000 total contributors by the end of the quarter (ie, Saturday night) on the netroots page. Yesterday we had about 120 new donors, which is good, but is below what we need in order to hit the 10K mark. Fortunately, we've picked up the pace today, with about 100 new donors so far, so I'm confident we'll get there.

In the meantime, we have an intermediate goal: We want to see every candidate on the list get to 1,000 individual contributions. John Courage just passed that mark today, and Dan Seals is less than 50 away. So that leaves Larry Grant, Gary Trauner and Tim Walz, who combined need around 1,200 contributions to make it to the 1K plateau. (Remember, contributions are different from donors. If you donate to five candidates at once, that counts as one donor and five donations.)

To whet your appetite, Markos has some good posts today on several of the netroots candidates: Tim Walz's new bio ad, Jim Webb's new Iraq ad, and the formation of a "Republicans for Trauner" group out in WY. If you have anything more to share on these or any of the other netroots candidates, please let us know.

And as always, please tell us who you've been giving to in the comments.

P.S. ActBlue is expecting a major traffic spike this week. If you run into any problems, please e-mail with your last name, ZIP code, and card type (Visa/MC/Amex/Discover) so that they can diagnose your issue.

Posted at 01:55 PM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, September 25, 2006

Netroots End-of-Quarter Fundraising Push

Posted by DavidNYC

I know it was just last month that we had a big fundraising drive, and I hate to have to start begging for contributions so soon after. But this Saturday, September 30th, is the final day of the fundraising quarter for all federal campaigns. And, most importantly, it's the last benchmark reporting period for this entire election cycle. Yes, of course campaigns will still raise money after 9/30. But this is their last chance to issue a public report and show good numbers for the quarter. It goes without saying that it's our job to help every Democratic campaign as best we can.

And in August, we did a ferociously good job of it over at the MyDD/DailyKos/SSP Netroots page. We raked in over 7,700 contributions totalling more than $167,000 in just a week. In fact, we wound up exceeding our own expectations so dramatically that we outstripped our goals multiple times. That push was one time where I didn't mind moving the goalposts!

This time, though, the goal is really, really simple. Go over to the Netroots page and scroll down a bit. Look for the blue line that reads "Total." Right now, under the "Donors" column, it reads 8,713. That's the total number of individuals who have given via this page, since its inception. The total number of contributions is much higher (24,630 to active candidates as of this writing), because many people give to multiple candidates. (The average is a little over three per donor.)

So what we want to do is hit an even 10,000 donors by midnight on Saturday. I know we can make this goal. Whether you give $10 or $1000, to one candidate or to ten, you'll get counted. And every dollar really does matter. That's not empty talk. The money donated via ActBlue is the "cheapest" cash a campaign can find. Apart from credit card processing fees (which are minimal), there are no expenses associated with raising this money - no postage to pay, no caterers to hire, no time spent on the phone by the candidate.

As always, there are tons of great Democrats out there who need our help. If you want to support the Netroots list, that's fantastic. And if you prefer to give your hard-earned cash to other Dems, terrific. If you are able to give, what matters most is that you do give, and give now. When the big boys - the party committees (like the DCCC), labor unions, 527s, interest groups - decide where to make a final push in October, they are going to look at the end-of-quarter fundraising reports. If you want your favorite candidates to rocket to the top of those short lists, it's crucial that they show good fundraising numbers.

The ten thousand donor mark is in reach. Let's make it happen!

P.S. Please tell us which campaigns you've given to in the comments below.

Posted at 02:59 PM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, September 18, 2006

9/18 Netroots Fundraising Push

Posted by James L.

Alright, rest assured, I'm not going to turn over Swing State Project into a week-long fundraiser again, but I am going to have to ask you to cough up a few bucks for the Netroots candidates on the DailyKos/MyDD/Swing State Project Actblue page today. In particular, Montana Democratic Senate candidate Jon Tester could use your help today. Montana is neither rich nor heavily populated, which means that the national netroots has to do some of the heavy lifting donor-wise to make sure that Jon Tester, a straight-talking populist progressive, can compete with Conrad Burns' big-dollar donations from corporate interests ($1.7m from business PACs alone). We don't have to raise that kind of money, but anything we can help raise for Jon will go a long way in a small media market state like Montana. And I wouldn't be making this suggestion if Jon didn't need the money--trust me, he does. To help, contribute here. Jon started the day at 2,911 donations, and he's closing in on 3,100 right now. Can we get him over the top by midnight?

And if you have a few extra bucks to spare, please consider helping out the other netroots candidates today, as well. We'd like to see Larry Grant, Gary Trauner and Tim Walz break 500 contributions (although my preferred benchmark would be 508--Ciro Rodriguez's total). And, while we're at it, can we get Paul Hodes above 1000? He's tantalyzingly close right now at 997...

Contribute today.

Posted at 06:30 PM in Fundraising, Netroots | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Netroots August Fundraising Push Round-up Charts

Posted by James L.

No hyperbole here: I was quite astounded by the total amount raised by the readers of DailyKos, MyDD, and Swing State Project over the past week. I want to thank you for your patience as SSP was pretty much dominated by this drive over the past 8 days. Thanks for sticking in there, and thanks for donating to the netroots candidates. From 12:00am EDT on Monday, August 21 to 12:00am EDT on Tuesday, August 29, we raised a jaw-dropping $167,137 for 17 strong Democratic challengers nationwide (plus about $4k for BlogPAC) from 7734 contributions. Your generosity yesterday simply amazed me, with nearly $70k coming in on Tuesday alone. Believe me, you've given a good boost to these candidates, especially those in low-dollar districts like ID-01's Larry Grant and Wyoming's Gary Trauner. Excellent stuff.

As promised, below are the fundraising round-up charts for yesterday and the week for each candidate. Even more impressive is the fact that an additional $8,000 trickled in since 12am EDT last night--a figure not reflected in the following totals. Very cool.

Candidate District Starting Donations 8/29 Donations New Donations in Last 24hrs. New Donations From 8/21 to 8/29
Ned Lamont CT-Sen 3064 3,553 189 489
Jon Tester MT-Sen 2056 2,646 230 590
Jim Webb VA-Sen 1270 2,060 310 790
Eric Massa NY-29 905 1,283 136 378
Joe Sestak PA-07 876 1,350 197 474
Patrick Murphy PA-08 687 1,094 167 407
Jerry McNerney CA-11 681 1,177 216 496
Darcy Burner WA-08 679 1,194 226 515
Linda Stender NJ-07 508 902 165 394
Paul Hodes NH-02 465 899 174 434
Larry Kissell NC-08 427 891 199 464
John Courage TX-21 415 823 173 408
Dan Seals IL-10 375 756 162 381
Jay Fawcett CO-05 375 850 227 475
Tim Walz MN-01 0 354 200 354
Larry Grant ID-01 0 344 264 344
Gary Trauner WY-AL 0 341 341 341
Total 12,783 20,517 3,576 7,734

Continue reading below the fold for hard dollar figures. Thanks again for an amazing week!

Candidate District Raised at Start 8/29 Raised Raised in Last 24hrs. Raised From 8/21 to 8/29
Ned Lamont CT-Sen $110,042.51 $121,067.07 $3,751.97 $11,024.56
Jon Tester MT-Sen $59,730.84 $74,307.98 $5,386.94 $14,577.14
Jim Webb VA-Sen $40,452.38 $63,042.61 $6,952.53 $22,590.23
Eric Massa NY-29 $21,042.29 $28,830.34 $2,471.94 $7,788.05
Joe Sestak PA-07 $26,574.49 $38,535.92 $3,412.43 $11,961.43
Patrick Murphy PA-08 $13,895.16 $22,072.64 $3,218.95 $8,177.48
Jerry McNerney CA-11 $17,873.76 $29,671.25 $4,613.51 $11,797.49
Darcy Burner WA-08 $13,209.06 $24,165.95 $3,585.78 $10,956.89
Linda Stender NJ-07 $8,877.30 $15,964.54 $2,831.38 $7,087.24
Paul Hodes NH-02 $8,817.34 $17,335.22 $3,025.76 $8,517.88
Larry Kissell NC-08 $6,855.92 $14,716.64 $2,795.87 $7,860.72
John Courage TX-21 $6,868.53 $13,968.26 $2,625.78 $7,099.73
Dan Seals IL-10 $6,314.74 $13,863.27 $3,124.95 $7,548.53
Jay Fawcett CO-05 $5,856.33 $14,136.34 $3,379.95 $8,280.01
Tim Walz MN-01 $0.00 $8,033.32 $3,610.38 $8,033.32
Larry Grant ID-01 $0.00 $6,764.77 $4,396.12 $6,764.77
Gary Trauner WY-AL $0.00 $7,072.16 $7,072.16 $7,072.16
Total $346,410.65 $513,548.28 $66,256.40 $167,137.63

Posted at 01:49 PM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Final Netroots Push Post!

Posted by DavidNYC

I don't have much more to say at this point except: WOW. We started today with 4,158 total donations. I was honestly kinda worried that we'd fall short of 5,000, our stated goal. After all, we've been doing this fundraising drive for a week, it's almost Labor Day, etc. etc.

Well, we completely obliterated it. As of this writing, we have a whopping 5,753 total contributions. Chris Bowers wants us to shoot for 6,000 by the end of the day - and you know what? He's not crazy. Not at all. It's totally doable.

Can we get Grant & Trauner to 200? Seals to 700? Kissell to 800? If we can get to 6,000 overall, we can definitely clear all those benchmarks. And I promise, promise, promise that this will be the last time we up our goal. When we hit 6,000, we can definitely declare victory, pat ourselves on the back, and enjoy what we've done here

And then, tomorrow, though this push will be over, we get right back to work supporting all of our great Democratic candidates across the nation!

Posted at 06:40 PM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Netroots Push Final Day Afternoon Update

Posted by DavidNYC

At midnight last night, we had amassed 4,158 donations since the start of our push. As of this writing, we've chalked up another 356 gifts and are now at 4,514 donations total. We are definitely shooting the moon today - our goal, as you know, is to hit 5,000 donations by midnight.

Here are a few milestones we should pass today in reaching that goal: Larry Grant just cruised by 100 donations, so that means Gary Trauner should pass that mark soon, too. Meanwhile, Patrick Murphy, Jerry McNerny and Darcy Burner are within shouting distance of 1,000 contributions apiece. And certainly everyone above and below should keep moving upward.

As you saw from James' post below, we've already cruised past $100,000 total raised since Monday the 21st. So this 5,000 donation goal is our last. I know we can make it. Let's do this thing!

P.S. As always, please tell us who you've contributed to in the comments. And a special request: If you're volunteering for any campaigns, tell us about that, too!

Posted at 03:24 PM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Final Bleepin' Netroots August Fundraising Push Update!

Posted by James L.

This is it! I swear! The stretch run! By midnight tonight, we will finally be done nagging you to donate to the netroots-endorsed candidates (well, at least until the end of the cycle). I really appreciate your patience over the last week, and if you've given, we all thank you very much for your efforts to break the corrosive Republican grip on Congress this November. But we're not done yet! We have one final goal to reach: 5000 new donations by the end of the day. As you can see from the chart below, we've amassed over 4100 new donations over the past week. We'd like to make one last, all-out, balls-to-the-wall push today to bring that number up to 5000. We can do it, but that means that for everyone who's been sitting on their hands and can afford to contribute, now's the time to step up.

And we've already made major progress this week--raising in an astounding $100,000 in the dead of August. Believe me, you guys have turned heads by allowing key netroots candidates additional resources to compete this November. Please keep our momentum going and help us reach 5000 donations by the end of the day. Whether it's $5 to one candidate, or $100 to each candidate, your donation makes a difference.

I'm also really excited to share that our next (last?) netroots candidate has been added to the list today. If you've got Western pride, like me, you'll love this addition. Keep your eyes peeled for a DailyKos introduction soon.

Candidate District Starting Donations 8/28 Donors New Donations in Last 24hrs. New Donations Since Launch
Ned Lamont CT-Sen 3064 3,364 18 300
Jon Tester MT-Sen 2056 2,416 28 360
Jim Webb VA-Sen 1270 1,750 36 480
Eric Massa NY-29 905 1,147 11 242
Joe Sestak PA-07 876 1,153 23 277
Patrick Murphy PA-08 687 927 18 240
Jerry McNerney CA-11 681 961 21 280
Darcy Burner WA-08 679 968 20 289
Linda Stender NJ-07 508 737 19 229
Paul Hodes NH-02 465 725 24 260
Larry Kissell NC-08 427 692 26 265
John Courage TX-21 415 650 19 235
Dan Seals IL-10 375 594 15 219
Jay Fawcett CO-05 375 623 20 248
Tim Walz MN-01 0 154 20 154
Larry Grant ID-01 0 80 80 80
Total 12,783 16,941 398 4,158

Keep up the great work, people. As always, continue reading below the fold for the hard dollar numbers (which are really impressive).

Candidate District Raised at Start 8/28 Raised Raised in Last 24hrs. Raised Since Launch
Ned Lamont CT-Sen $110,042.51 $117,315.10 $471.59 $7,272.59
Jon Tester MT-Sen $59,730.84 $68,921.04 $762.60 $9,190.20
Jim Webb VA-Sen $40,452.38 $56,090.08 $1,553.63 $15,637.70
Eric Massa NY-29 $21,042.29 $26,358.40 $260.57 $5,316.11
Joe Sestak PA-07 $26,574.49 $35,123.49 $845.61 $8,549.00
Patrick Murphy PA-08 $13,895.16 $18,853.69 $366.59 $4,958.53
Jerry McNerney CA-11 $17,873.76 $25,057.74 $660.63 $7,183.98
Darcy Burner WA-08 $13,209.06 $20,580.17 $325.62 $7,371.11
Linda Stender NJ-07 $8,877.30 $13,133.16 $388.61 $4,255.86
Paul Hodes NH-02 $8,817.34 $14,309.46 $552.62 $5,492.12
Larry Kissell NC-08 $6,855.92 $11,920.77 $433.99 $5,064.85
John Courage TX-21 $6,868.53 $11,342.48 $318.62 $4,473.95
Dan Seals IL-10 $6,314.74 $10,738.32 $410.59 $4,423.58
Jay Fawcett CO-05 $5,856.33 $10,756.39 $352.62 $4,900.06
Tim Walz MN-01 $0.00 $4,422.94 $361.60 $4,422.94
Larry Grant ID-01 $0.00 $2,368.65 $2,368.65 $2,368.65
Total $346,410.65 $447,291.88 $10,434.14 $100,881.23

Posted at 01:17 AM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, August 28, 2006

Netroots August Fundraising Push Update #6 (The Weekender)

Posted by James L.

Boy, do I ever feel as giddy as a schoolboy today. If you want to know why, just read mcjoan's diary over on DailyKos highlighting the next Netroots candidate, Larry Grant of Idaho! Idaho! How crazy is that?! You may remember a post I wrote way back in May entitled ID-01: Wingnut of the Year where I made the case that the Republican nominee for this open seat, Club for Growth nutcase Bill Sali, is, perhaps, a bit TOO out there for the good people of bright red--no, no, make that crimson red Idaho. Seriously, how often do you see quotes like this--from top state Republican leaders?

The Speaker, Bruce Newcomb, told The Idaho Statesman, “That idiot is just an absolute idiot. He doesn’t have one ounce of empathy in his whole fricking body. And you can put that in the paper.”

So, needless to say, I'm pretty psyched that this race has entered our radar screens. I'll stop now, because I'm sure I'll write up another pro-Grant post later in the day. But in the meantime, please give Larry Grant a very warm welcome to the netroots Actblue page. Can we get 50 donors for Larry today? That would be phenomenal.

Before I forget, as promised, here's the weekend roundup chart detailing all the movement on the netroots candidates Actblue page. Thanks to your generous contributions, we amassed 460 donations and $10,000 over the past two days for strong progressives nationwide. You're making a real impact, so I would encourage anyone who has been sitting on their hands to open up your wallets if you can afford to. Whatever you can give, $5, $10, $50, or more, will really be appreciated by the campaigns involved (especially in a low-dollar district like Idaho, hint, hint).

Candidate District Starting Donations 8/27 Donors New Donations in Last 48hrs. New Donations Since Launch
Ned Lamont CT-Sen 3064 3,346 29 282
Jon Tester MT-Sen 2056 2,388 32 332
Jim Webb VA-Sen 1270 1,714 44 444
Eric Massa NY-29 905 1,136 18 231
Joe Sestak PA-07 876 1,130 30 254
Patrick Murphy PA-08 687 909 28 222
Jerry McNerney CA-11 681 940 39 259
Darcy Burner WA-08 679 948 31 269
Linda Stender NJ-07 508 718 27 210
Paul Hodes NH-02 465 701 23 236
Larry Kissell NC-08 427 666 38 239
John Courage TX-21 415 631 23 216
Dan Seals IL-10 375 579 23 204
Jay Fawcett CO-05 375 603 26 228
Tim Walz MN-01 0 134 49 134
Total 12,783 16,543 460 3,760

Thanks again to SSP reader KCinDC for helping out with last night's data grab. You rock!

Candidate District Raised at Start 8/27 Raised Raised in Last 48hrs. Raised Since Launch
Ned Lamont CT-Sen $110,042.51 $116,843.51 $569.78 $6,801.00
Jon Tester MT-Sen $59,730.84 $68,158.44 $720.02 $8,427.60
Jim Webb VA-Sen $40,452.38 $54,536.45 $1,173.87 $14,084.07
Eric Massa NY-29 $21,042.29 $26,097.83 $190.02 $5,055.54
Joe Sestak PA-07 $26,574.49 $34,277.88 $995.03 $7,703.39
Patrick Murphy PA-08 $13,895.16 $18,487.10 $540.04 $4,591.94
Jerry McNerney CA-11 $17,873.76 $24,397.11 $851.04 $6,523.35
Darcy Burner WA-08 $13,209.06 $20,254.55 $630.02 $7,045.49
Linda Stender NJ-07 $8,877.30 $12,744.55 $505.02 $3,867.25
Paul Hodes NH-02 $8,817.34 $13,756.84 $525.03 $4,939.50
Larry Kissell NC-08 $6,855.92 $11,486.78 $1,065.05 $4,630.86
John Courage TX-21 $6,868.53 $11,023.86 $365.04 $4,155.33
Dan Seals IL-10 $6,314.74 $10,327.73 $372.03 $4,012.99
Jay Fawcett CO-05 $5,856.33 $10,403.77 $450.04 $4,547.44
Tim Walz MN-01 $0.00 $4,061.34 $1,225.09 $4,061.34
Total $346,410.65 $436,857.74 $10,177.12 $90,447.09

Posted at 11:30 AM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Netroots August Fundraising Push Update #5

Posted by James L.

Yesterday was another great day for the Netroots candidates during our August fundraising push. Our newest addition to the page, MN-01's Tim Walz, got off to a great start with 75 donations in his first full day on the page. As I'm writing this, Tim is only two donations shy of joining the 100 club. Can we push him over the edge this afternoon?

In even better news, Netroots all-star Larry Kissell received a major boost when the DCCC's vice-chair, Rep. Artur Davis, moved to support his campaign. This is exactly what we wanted to happen with our fundraising push: give candidates an extra boost so that groups like the DCCC, labor, and PACs would take notice. Of course, Kissell will still need all the extra help that we can give him, so please consider his campaign when you decide which Netroots candidates to support in the next several days.

Yesterday was another good day for the Netroots candidates, with the readers of DailyKos, MyDD, and SSP bringing in over 350 new donations and $10,000 for strong progressive Democrats across the country. Like I said yesterday, the campaigns involved are noticing your support and are extremely grateful for it. Here's the latest chart detailing the action over the first five days of our push. All in all, we've raised over $80,000 from 3,300 donations over the past few days. Wow!

Candidate District 8/20 Donors 8/25 Donors New Donors in Past 24hrs. New Donors Since 8/20
Ned Lamont CT-Sen 3064 3,317 25 253
Jon Tester MT-Sen 2056 2,356 30 300
Jim Webb VA-Sen 1270 1,670 39 400
Eric Massa NY-29 905 1,118 17 213
Joe Sestak PA-07 876 1,100 26 224
Patrick Murphy PA-08 687 881 16 194
Jerry McNerney CA-11 681 901 21 220
Darcy Burner WA-08 679 917 16 238
Linda Stender NJ-07 508 691 16 183
Paul Hodes NH-02 465 678 13 213
Larry Kissell NC-08 427 628 16 201
John Courage TX-21 415 608 15 193
Dan Seals IL-10 375 556 15 181
Jay Fawcett CO-05 375 577 17 202
Tim Walz MN-01 10 75 85
Total 12,783 16,083 357 3,300

Before I forget, I'd like to once again say thanks to Swing State Project readers KCinDC and Predictor for helping me with today's chart. I really appreciate your help, guys! Continue reading below the fold for a detailed breakdown of the amount raised for each candidate. And, if you have the means to do so, please help us keep our momentum going.

Candidate District 8/20 Raised 8/25 Raised Raised in Past 24hrs. Raised Since 8/20
Ned Lamont CT-Sen $110,042.51 $116,273.73 $477.53 $6,231.22
Jon Tester MT-Sen $59,730.84 $67,438.42 $692.52 $7,707.58
Jim Webb VA-Sen $40,452.38 $53,362.58 $982.53 $12,910.20
Eric Massa NY-29 $21,042.29 $25,907.81 $293.95 $4,865.52
Joe Sestak PA-07 $26,574.49 $33,282.85 $2,257.51 $6,708.36
Patrick Murphy PA-08 $13,895.16 $17,947.06 $302.51 $4,051.90
Jerry McNerney CA-11 $17,873.76 $23,546.07 $737.52 $5,672.31
Darcy Burner WA-08 $13,209.06 $19,624.53 $197.52 $6,415.47
Linda Stender NJ-07 $8,877.30 $12,239.53 $242.52 $3,362.23
Paul Hodes NH-02 $8,817.34 $13,231.81 $112.52 $4,414.47
Larry Kissell NC-08 $6,855.92 $10,421.73 $187.52 $3,565.81
John Courage TX-21 $6,868.53 $10,658.82 $327.52 $3,790.29
Dan Seals IL-10 $6,314.74 $9,955.70 $327.51 $3,640.96
Jay Fawcett CO-05 $5,856.33 $9,953.73 $397.51 $4,097.40
Tim Walz MN-01 $2,836.25 $2,543.11 $2,836.25
Total $346,410.65 $426,680.62 $10,079.80 $80,269.97

Posted at 04:19 PM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

NC-08: DCCC Changes Its Mind, Moves to Back Kissell!

Posted by James L.

Phenomenal news, people. As you know, we began the August Netroots fundraising push with the goal of lifting up our netroots-endorsed candidates with a strong surge of online fundraising at a traditionally weak time of the summer for such activities. The goal was not so much to give campaigns the necessary funds to push them over the top, but to give them a fundraising "push" that would make larger donors and the DCCC take notice.

Well, guess what? The DCCC just noticed, and they're moving to back Netroots candidate Larry Kissell. (For more on Kissell's compelling story, see our earlier write-up about this race.) From the Charlotte Observer:

A Democratic Party official said Friday that the party's congressional campaign arm made a mistake in throwing its support to an 8th District candidate who later quit the race.

In directing more than $30,000 to Fayetteville lawyer Tim Dunn last year, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee bypassed Larry Kissell, a Montgomery County teacher. Dunn, an Iraq war veteran, was seen as a favorite before dropping out of the race in March.

Kissell went on to win the 8th District's May primary. He faces Republican U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes in November.

"The DCCC made a mistake in assessing this race," U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., and a vice chair of the committee. "But the voters are smarter than we are."

Davis appeared with Kissell at an evening rally Friday at Charlotte's Veterans Park.

He said party interest in Kissell's race represented "a huge shift." He said he plans to ask the committee to make the race one of its national priorities. That could translate into money and other aid from the party as well as trade unions and other groups traditionally aligned with Democrats.

Amazing. This is exactly what we wanted to happen for our Netroots candidates. With minimal resources based on small dollar donations like yours, Kissell made waves in the district, earning headlines for his low-budget campaign tactics. Now, the "big boys" are promising to pile on in a meaningful way.

Who else can we help push into the DCCC's sights? Jay Fawcett? Dan Seals? Jerry McNerney? Let's see how far we can take this thing. Great work, people!

Posted at 01:16 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Fundraising, Netroots, North Carolina | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, August 25, 2006

I Need Some Help Tonight

Posted by James L.

As you know, I've been keeping close track of all the action on the combined SSP/DailyKos/MyDD Actblue page this week during our last major fundraising push of the summer. Every night at midnight Eastern, I've been taking a snapshot of the page and inputting the data into a spreadsheet file. Tonight, however, there's a very good chance that I won't be online at midnight eastern (10pm local), so I'm throwing this out there to any of our readers who are able to lend a hand. I would appreciate it very much if someone could take a screenshot of the page at exactly 12:00am EDT and e-mail it to me, or post the numbers in the comments. I'll be sure to give you a shout-out during my next update.

On a related note, the Swing State Project has raised over $6200 for progressive Democrats during the past four days. That's some serious mojo for the little blog that could. Can we make it to $7000? And while we're on the subject, who have you donated to this week?

UPDATE (David): Check out this great introduction of the newest netroots candidate, MN-01's Tim Walz.

Posted at 03:04 PM in Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Netroots August Fundraising Push Update #4

Posted by James L.

Well, so we had an "off" day yesterday for the Netroots August Fundraising Push. But if you think about it, it wasn't "off" by any means. We had set a goal of 100 new donors for House challengers, and 250 for Senate challengers over a seven day period. And, with the exception of one candidate (Ned Lamont), we've already smashed apart those fundraising goals--in just four days. Moreover, as you can see from the chart below (which captures the numbers at midnight EDT every night), many of the House challengers are threatening to break through the new goal of 200 donations, and we haven't got too far to go to get Ned Lamont and Jon Tester to 300 donations this week (Jim Webb has been the undisputed netroots fundraising heavyweight this week).

All in all, from the great readers of MyDD, DailyKos, and Swing State, we've brought in over $70,000 for Netroots-endorsed candidates in the past four days. That's some pretty impressive action! And believe me, the campaigns involved have noticed, and are very grateful for the support in this traditionally sleepy time of the summer. Also, I have no doubt that when the newest Netroots candidate is introduced on DailyKos soon, we'll see some renewed buzz on the page.

Candidate District 8/20 Donors 8/24 Donors New Donors in Past 24hrs. New Donors Since 8/20
Ned Lamont CT-Sen 3064 3292 38 228
Jon Tester MT-Sen 2056 2326 41 270
Jim Webb VA-Sen 1270 1631 57 361
Eric Massa NY-29 905 1101 21 196
Joe Sestak PA-07 876 1074 24 198
Patrick Murphy PA-08 687 865 20 178
Jerry McNerney CA-11 681 880 31 199
Darcy Burner WA-08 679 901 34 222
Linda Stender NJ-07 508 675 17 167
Paul Hodes NH-02 465 665 22 200
Larry Kissell NC-08 427 612 36 185
John Courage TX-21 415 593 27 178
Dan Seals IL-10 375 541 22 166
Jay Fawcett CO-05 375 560 34 185
Tim Walz MN-01 10 10 10
Total 12,783 15,726 434 2,943

We had a bit of a break yesterday, but let's see if we can ramp it up over the next few days. If you haven't done so, and you have the means to contribute, please consider supporting one of the netroots candidates today. If all this number crunching isn't your thing, David and I have been running a few blurbs about some of the candidates to give you a better sense of some of the races. So far, we've done Larry Kissell, Joe Sestak, and Jerry McNerney. Hopefully we'll write up a few more as time permits.

As always, read below the fold to see the hard dollar figures that we've raised over the past few days.

Candidate District 8/20 Raised 8/24 Raised Raised in Past 24hrs. Raised Since 8/20
Ned Lamont CT-Sen $110,042.51 $115,796.20 $943.16 $5,753.69
Jon Tester MT-Sen $59,730.84 $66,745.90 $1,003.13 $7,015.06
Jim Webb VA-Sen $40,452.38 $52,380.05 $2,068.21 $11,927.67
Eric Massa NY-29 $21,042.29 $25,613.86 $553.15 $4,571.57
Joe Sestak PA-07 $26,574.49 $31,025.34 $408.17 $4,450.85
Patrick Murphy PA-08 $13,895.16 $17,644.55 $368.13 $3,749.39
Jerry McNerney CA-11 $17,873.76 $22,808.55 $538.20 $4,934.79
Darcy Burner WA-08 $13,209.06 $19,427.01 $743.18 $6,217.95
Linda Stender NJ-07 $8,877.30 $11,997.01 $233.15 $3,119.71
Paul Hodes NH-02 $8,817.34 $13,119.29 $338.16 $4,301.95
Larry Kissell NC-08 $6,855.92 $10,234.21 $623.15 $3,378.29
John Courage TX-21 $6,868.53 $10,331.30 $493.17 $3,462.77
Dan Seals IL-10 $6,314.74 $9,628.19 $328.11 $3,313.45
Jay Fawcett CO-05 $5,856.33 $9,556.22 $743.17 $3,699.89
Tim Walz MN-01 $293.14 $293.14 $293.14
Total $346,410.65 $416,600.82 $9,677.38 $70,190.17

Posted at 10:59 AM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Netroots August Fundraising Push: Support Larry Kissell

Posted by James L.

If there's one candidate who actually tugs at your heartstrings this cycle, it's Larry Kissell. Larry's story is all too familiar to the voters of North Carolina's 8th Congressional District. After graduating from University, Larry climbed through the ranks of the local textile industry for 27 years before free trade agreements and corporate consolidation finally took its toll and he was forced to pursue a new career as a social studies teacher. Many of his 800 coworkers were not as fortunate. Now Larry is running for Congress on an economically progressive platform in a district that's been coping with increasingly leaner times under their Republican congressman, Robin Hayes.

Hayes, mindful of his constituent's extreme distaste for the economic effects of globalization and corporate trade pacts, initially said that that he was "flat-out, completely, horizontally opposed to CAFTA," and insisted that "it's not in the best interests of the core constituency I represent," and that "there is no way I could vote for CAFTA." (Source) However, it didn't take long before the Republican strong-arms bullied and bribed Hayes into voting for the Central American Free Trade Agreement, much to the locals' disgust.

This race was originally a DCCC target, but their preferred candidate, Iraq War vet Tim Dunn, dropped out (and so did they). However, with limited resources but an endless supply of great ideas, Kissell's campaign has converted a low budget into a buzz-generating, free media-earning campaign. His best move yet was to sell gas for $1.22/gallon--its price when Hayes was first elected in 1998, as a way to tie the incumbent and his big oil supporters with high gas prices. The move was a stroke of genius for the Kissell campaign, and the event gobbled up lots of local newspaper headlines and radio buzz. The Hotline praised the move as an example that all attention-starved second-tier Democratic campaigns should follow this fall. Even national media sources like CNN were jolted, too:

How much do you want to bet that those 500 voters--Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike--became dyed in the wool Kissell supporters? Chances are, nearly all of them became Kissell converts. After all, Larry did more for them with one cheap tank of gas than Hayes has done for them in 8 years in Congress.

Recent polling shows that Kissell is well within striking distance of Hayes, but he needs your help to keep his momentum going. Based on his campaign's performance so far, Larry knows how to make your small-dollar donations go far!

Contribute to Larry Kissell and the Netroots candidates today.

Posted at 12:03 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Fundraising, Netroots, North Carolina | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Netroots August Fundraising Push Update #3

Posted by James L.

Day 3 of our week-long August Netroots fundraising push has come and gone, and I'm already running out of synonyms for "wow." In 72 hours, we have smashed apart our original fundraising goal of 100 donations for each of our Netroots-endorsed House challengers by a margin of 50% or more. Our Senate endorsements have done extremely well, too. Jim Webb has already amassed over 300 new donations, and Jon Tester and Ned Lamont are on the precipice of meeting our goal of raising 250 new donations for Senate challengers this week on the combined MyDD/DailyKos/Swing State Project Actblue page. And, best of all, the momentum has not stalled--we've brought in 889 new donations yesterday, and pushed the total donations on the Netroots page over $500,000. That means we've raised over $60,000 in 72 hours for strong progressive candidates all across the country. Below is the latest chart detailing the action:

Candidate District 8/20 Donors 8/23 Donors New Donors in Past 24hrs. New Donors Since 8/20
Ned Lamont CT-Sen 3064 3254 67 190
Jon Tester MT-Sen 2056 2285 80 229
Jim Webb VA-Sen 1270 1574 100 304
Eric Massa NY-29 905 1080 73 175
Joe Sestak PA-07 876 1050 61 174
Patrick Murphy PA-08 687 845 51 158
Jerry McNerney CA-11 681 849 57 168
Darcy Burner WA-08 679 867 71 188
Linda Stender NJ-07 508 658 49 150
Paul Hodes NH-02 465 643 61 178
Larry Kissell NC-08 427 576 53 149
John Courage TX-21 415 566 55 151
Dan Seals IL-10 375 519 55 144
Jay Fawcett CO-05 375 526 56 151
Total 12,783 15,292 889 2,509

If anyone's keeping score, that means that the readers of DailyKos, Swing State, and MyDD, in just 72 hours, have raised about 33% more than the conservative blogosphere's Rightroots project has for the entire cycle. Way to go, team! If you haven't had the chance to join in on our August fundraising push, and have the means, please do so here. Keep the momentum going!

Click "Continue Reading" for another chart detailing the actual hard dollars raised over the first 72 hours of the push.

Candidate District 8/20 Raised 8/23 Raised Raised in Past 24hrs. Raised Since 8/20
Ned Lamont CT-Sen $110,042.51 $114,853.04 $1,447.15 $4,810.53
Jon Tester MT-Sen $59,730.84 $65,742.77 $1,896.18 $6,011.93
Jim Webb VA-Sen $40,452.38 $50,311.84 $2,728.29 $9,859.46
Eric Massa NY-29 $21,042.29 $25,060.71 $1,763.20 $4,018.42
Joe Sestak PA-07 $26,574.49 $30,617.17 $1,078.21 $4,042.68
Patrick Murphy PA-08 $13,895.16 $17,276.42 $1,025.08 $3,381.26
Jerry McNerney CA-11 $17,873.76 $22,270.35 $1,287.15 $4,396.59
Darcy Burner WA-08 $13,209.06 $18,683.83 $2,031.27 $5,474.77
Linda Stender NJ-07 $8,877.30 $11,763.86 $808.15 $2,886.56
Paul Hodes NH-02 $8,817.34 $12,781.13 $1,175.28 $3,963.79
Larry Kissell NC-08 $6,855.92 $9,611.06 $852.19 $2,755.14
John Courage TX-21 $6,868.53 $9,838.13 $878.18 $2,969.60
Dan Seals IL-10 $6,314.74 $9,300.08 $1,017.16 $2,985.34
Jay Fawcett CO-05 $5,856.33 $8,813.05 $933.20 $2,956.72
Total $346,410.65 $406,923.44 $18,920.69 $60,512.79

Posted at 11:11 AM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Netroots August Fundraising Push: Support Joe Sestak

Posted by DavidNYC

Joe Sestak, a recently retired Vice Admiral, took everyone by surprise with his impressive entrance into the race for Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district. A political unknown, he raised over $400,000 less than two months after declaring his candidacy. Needless to say, people - the netroots included - took notice.

We quickly learned that Sestak was running in a district that had moved markedly to the left over the years - from R+4.4 in the 90s to D+3.6 - something the local bloggers had, in fact, been pointing out for some time. Sestak's entrace crystallized this fact for the rest of us. Yet despite this shift, incumbent Curt Weldon hadn't received a serious challenge in years.

But then it got better: Those of us not familiar with Weldon soon realized he was a totally unhinged conservative extremist. While Curt Weldon was off selling access to the highest bidder, Joe Sestak was honorably serving his country.

It was hard to believe that Weldon had gone unchallenged for so long, but with a strong Fighting Dem clearly well-positioned to put up a tough fight, we realized Joe Sestak was a perfect fit for the netroots page - and, it turns out, vice-versa. From the Washington Post, just a few days ago:

Sestak is getting support from traditional sources such as labor unions and newer ones such as the "Net roots" -- online activists who are channeling significant sums to anti[-Iraq ]war Democrats. He has raised $230,000 online this cycle, including thousands through blogs.

"We really hit a vein," he said.

Indeed he has. Around a month after the netroots endorsement, Sestak was added to the first wave of the DCCC's Red to Blue list. This fit perfectly into our strategy of helping to get the ball rolling so that the big boys take notice and come in later. Of course, it's our privilege to stick with Joe until he crosses the finish line in November. So please consider contributing or volunteering today.

Posted at 04:30 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Fundraising, Netroots, Pennsylvania | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Netroots August Fundraising Push Update #2

Posted by James L.

The Netroots August fundraising push continues to amaze. As you know, our goal is to amass 100 new contributions for each House candidate and 250 for each Senate candidate on the combined MyDD/DailyKos/Swing State Project Actblue page. After a few minutes of crunching the numbers, it amazes me to say that we've smashed the fundraising goals for 7 of the 11 House challengers, and are well on our way towards meeting our Senate goals as well--and all this after only 48 hours into our week-long fundraising push. You guys, from all across the netroots, have really delivered for the netroots-endorsed candidates at a traditionally tough time for fundraising (the dead of August). Below is a chart breaking down the action over the past 48 hours--I've removed, of course, the static totals for past candidates (Ciro Rodriguez and Francine Busby) as well as for BlogPAC, which is not the focus of this fundraising push.

Candidate District 8/20 Donors 8/22 Donors New Donors in Past 24hrs. New Donors Since 8/20
Ned Lamont CT-Sen 3064 3,187 62 123
Jon Tester MT-Sen 2056 2,205 73 149
Jim Webb VA-Sen 1270 1,474 86 204
Eric Massa NY-29 905 1,007 50 102
Joe Sestak PA-07 876 989 53 113
Patrick Murphy PA-08 687 794 48 107
Jerry McNerney CA-11 681 792 53 111
Darcy Burner WA-08 679 796 59 117
Linda Stender NJ-07 508 609 45 101
Paul Hodes NH-02 465 582 64 117
Larry Kissell NC-08 427 523 46 96
John Courage TX-21 415 511 42 96
Dan Seals IL-10 375 464 43 89
Jay Fawcett CO-05 375 470 45 95
Total 12,783 13,634 769 1,620

This is fantastic momentum, and if you haven't had the chance yet to make a contribution, and you have the means, please consider doing so. This is especially vital for three House challengers (Darcy Burner, Eric Massa, and Paul Hodes) who have to submit early fundraising reports for the period ending at midnight tonight. For more numbers, click on "Extended Entry" and see exactly how much each Netroots candidate has raised over the first 48 hours of this push.

Candidate District 8/20 Raised 8/22 Raised Raised in Past 24hrs. Raised Since 8/20
Ned Lamont CT-Sen $110,042.51 $113,405.89 $1,496.12 $3,363.38
Jon Tester MT-Sen $59,730.84 $63,846.59 $1,584.47 $4,115.75
Jim Webb VA-Sen $40,452.38 $47,583.55 $2,100.98 $7,131.17
Eric Massa NY-29 $21,042.29 $23,297.51 $1,163.96 $2,255.22
Joe Sestak PA-07 $26,574.49 $29,538.96 $1,028.06 $2,964.47
Patrick Murphy PA-08 $13,895.16 $16,251.34 $1,034.92 $2,356.18
Jerry McNerney CA-11 $17,873.76 $20,983.20 $1,373.06 $3,109.44
Darcy Burner WA-08 $13,209.06 $16,652.56 $1,727.09 $3,443.50
Linda Stender NJ-07 $8,877.30 $10,955.71 $892.04 $2,078.41
Paul Hodes NH-02 $8,817.34 $11,605.85 $1,647.10 $2,788.51
Larry Kissell NC-08 $6,855.92 $8,758.87 $841.54 $1,902.95
John Courage TX-21 $6,868.53 $8,959.95 $840.03 $2,091.42
Dan Seals IL-10 $6,314.74 $8,282.92 $946.92 $1,968.18
Jay Fawcett CO-05 $5,856.33 $7,879.85 $922.10 $2,023.52
Total $346,410.65 $388,002.75 $17,598.39 $41,592.10

Posted at 11:41 AM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Netroots August Fundraising Push: Support Jerry McNerney

Posted by James L.

As the August combined Netroots fundraising push kicks into gear, it's time that we look back upon each of the Netroots-endorsed challengers and remind ourselves why their fight is worthy of our resources and attention this fall. Let's start with CA-11 challenger, Jerry McNerney.

McNerney is in the unique position of being endorsed by BOTH of his opponent's Republican primary challengers (including former Rep. Pete McCloskey, author of the Endangered Species Act), and being on the receiving end of major assistance from local and national environmental groups who are scrambling to defeat the incumbent, Richard Pombo. Pombo was made infamous for using taxpayer's money to go on a family vacation to various national parks--and then turning around and proposing the sale of these national parks to the same developers who supported his campaigns.

McNerney, on the other hand, is a true progressive champion, and as a former CEO of a wind power company, he would be an invaluable voice in the next Congress for renewable and alternative energy policies. If McNerney could catch the eye of the DCCC with the help of a strong netroots and grassroots push, Pombo would be facing a perfect storm against him this November.

Please support Jerry McNerney and the Netroots candidates today.

Posted at 02:00 PM in 2006 Elections - House, California, Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Netroots August Fundraising Push Update #1

Posted by James L.

All I have to say is: wow. Earlier today, Swing State Project, MyDD, and Dailykos kicked off a week-long campaign to promote the combined Netroots Actblue page. Using 12:00AM EDT, August 21 as our benchmark, the goal was to "see each House candidate on the list get 100 new contributions over the next week, and each Senate candidate 250." I've been tracking the numbers as they've come in over the first 24 hours of the promotion, and based on this, we are well on our way to meeting and exceeding these goals.

Below is a chart detailing the movement in terms of each candidate's total number of donors over the day:

Candidate District 8/20 Donors 8/21 Donors New Donors
Ned Lamont CT-Sen 3064 3125 61
Jon Tester MT-Sen 2056 2132 76
Jim Webb VA-Sen 1270 1388 118
Eric Massa NY-29 905 957 52
Joe Sestak PA-07 876 936 60
Patrick Murphy PA-08 687 746 59
Jerry McNerney CA-11 681 739 58
Darcy Burner WA-08 679 737 58
Linda Stender NJ-07 508 564 56
Paul Hodes NH-02 465 518 53
Larry Kissell NC-08 427 477 50
John Courage TX-21 415 469 54
Dan Seals IL-10 375 421 46
Jay Fawcett CO-05 375 425 50

As you can see, almost every House challenger received at least 50 new contributions over the first 24 hours alone. You guys are kicking some serious ass. In terms of hard dollars, below is a chart detailing the overall movement of the day for each candidate. In total, the Netroots page raised nearly $25,000 today for great progressive candidates across the country.

Candidate District 8/20 Raised 8/21 Raised New Contributions
Ned Lamont CT-Sen $110,042.51 $111,909.77 $1,867.26
Jon Tester MT-Sen $59,730.84 $62,262.12 $2,531.28
Jim Webb VA-Sen $40,452.38 $45,482.57 $5,030.19
Eric Massa NY-29 $21,042.29 $22,133.55 $1,091.26
Joe Sestak PA-07 $26,574.49 $28,510.90 $1,936.41
Patrick Murphy PA-08 $13,895.16 $15,216.42 $1,321.26
Jerry McNerney CA-11 $17,873.76 $19,610.14 $1,736.38
Darcy Burner WA-08 $13,209.06 $14,925.47 $1,716.41
Linda Stender NJ-07 $8,877.30 $10,063.67 $1,186.37
Paul Hodes NH-02 $8,817.34 $9,958.75 $1,141.41
Larry Kissell NC-08 $6,855.92 $7,917.33 $1,061.41
John Courage TX-21 $6,868.53 $8,119.92 $1,251.39
Dan Seals IL-10 $6,314.74 $7,336.00 $1,021.26
Jay Fawcett CO-05 $5,856.33 $6,957.75 $1,101.42
$440,278.92 $464,879.98 $24,601.06

I will continue to track the page's progress throughout the week. I expect that we'll see some more serious action in the days ahead as we continue to promote the page, its candidates, and the soon-to-be-announced final endorsements.

Donate today.

Posted at 10:00 AM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, August 21, 2006

Help Support the Netroots Candidates

Posted by DavidNYC

Alright, folks: It's time to fork over some hard-earned cash to help our never-ending quest to elect more Democrats. This week, DailyKos, MyDD and Swing State Project, as promised, will be pushing all the candidates on our combined Netroots ActBlue page:

Darcy Burner (WA-08) - 679
John Courage (TX-21) - 415
Jay Fawcett (CO-05) - 375
Paul Hodes (NH-02) - 465
Larry Kissell (NC-08) - 427
Ned Lamont (CT-Sen) - 3,064
Eric Massa (NY-29) - 905
Jerry McNerney (CA-11) - 681
Patrick Murphy (PA-08) - 687
Dan Seals (IL-10) - 375
Joseph Sestak (PA-07) - 876
Linda Stender (NJ-07) - 508
Jon Tester (MT-Sen) - 2,056
James Webb (VA-Sen) - 1,270

If you've been following the progress of the netroots page, you've gotten to know each of these candidates over the last few months, some of them quite well. But if you are new to this project, or if some of the names on this list are unfamiliar to you, I strongly encourage you to check out the ActBlue page. Each candidate's listing includes a number of local blogs devoted to covering that particular race. Those sites will give you some of the best perspectives possible on each race.

But more importantly, it really is time to throw down. We picked each of these races in large part because, at least at the time they were added, they were all non-top-tier races. In other words, we - the netroots community - identified races where netroots dollars could go the furthest. When you give to any of these candidates, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that, collectively, our money is not a mere drop in the bucket, but is actually making a difference.

In that vein, we'd like to announce our goals for this fundraising push: We'd like to see each House candidate on the list get 100 new contributions over the next week, and each Senate candidate 250. The numbers following each candidate's name above indicate the total number of donations made as of midnight Eastern time last night, so that's what we're using as our benchmark. We'll be posting progress updates daily - though of course, you can always check out the ActBlue page yourself.

Because most donations to this page are small-dollar gifts, the number of contributors is almost more important than the amount we give. When a big-time donor maxes out, he's given all he can give. But a smart campaign, with the right kind of outreach, can turn a one-time $25 donation into several repeat donations, and may even turn that donor into a volunteer as well.

So no matter what, any amount you can give is fantastic. Whether you can give $100 to ten candidates, or $10 to one candidate, you will be counted in this fundraising drive - and, I assure you, every campaign will be grateful whatever the size of your donation. This is really our chance to stand up, at a time (the dead of summer) when little fundraising activity is taking place, and show these campaigns that we've got their backs.

I also want to add that campaigns in several states have to file special "pre-primary" reports with the FEC soon. (Full list here, fourth para.) Three netroots candidates are affected by this: Paul Hodes in NH and Eric Massa in NY close their fundraising books this Wednesday (the 23rd), while Darcy Burner in WA does so next Wednesday (the 30th). So if you're looking to help someone finish out a reporting period strong, these three candidates are excellent choices. But of course, we want people to give to all the netroots candidates.

And lastly, if your favorite candidates are not on this list, we strongly encourage you to give to whomever you like. We're fast approaching Labor Day, after which most establishment players will make final decisions on where to place their last-minute support. So now is the time to help all Democrats, so that they can enter the proverbial crunch-time strong.

P.S. We'll be making announcements about the new netroots candidates within the next few days, so stay tuned! And feel free to use this thread to talk about all of your favorite candidates.

UPDATE: A brand-new SUSA poll shows Jim Webb trailing George "Macaca" Allen by just three points, 48-45! This represents an amazing 16-point jump for Webb since the end of June. We can definitely say we got in on the ground floor of this race. Go help Jim Webb out and put him over the top!

Posted at 02:22 PM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Reminder: Netroots Fundraising Push Begins Tomorrow!

Posted by DavidNYC

Tomorrow - Monday, August 21st - we begin a weeklong fundraising push for all the candidates on the Daily Kos/MyDD/Swing State Project netroots page. We'll also soon be announcing the final additions to the list. As always, if your favorite candidates aren't on the list, we strongly encourage you to donate to any and all Democrats you do like. And remember, campaigns in AZ, DE, MD, MN, NH, NY, RI, VT & WI all close their books on Wednesday the 23rd, so this is a crucial time to help candidates show good fundraising numbers for their FEC reports.

If you're wondering what this is all about, check here and here. And if you haven't yet nominated your preferred candidates, this is your final chance to do so. (One request: Please submit nominations via comments, not via e-mail. Thanks!)

Posted at 12:24 PM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, August 14, 2006

Netroots Candidates: Call for Nominations

Posted by DavidNYC

This week, we're opening up the MyDD/DailyKos/Swing State Project Netroots Candidates list for what will probably be this year's final round of nominations. You can find a complete run-down on both the selection process and the candidate criteria we use in this earlier post. If you aren't yet familiar with the Netroots ActBlue page, I'd summarize it like this: It's a list of strong - but not quite top-tier - candidates who either already have broad support in the netroots or who ought to have such support. Our goal, in other words, is to identify campaigns where our ability to impact the race will be greatest. We don't want to pile on after the big boys - we want to get the ball rolling so that the big boys will come in and pile on after us.

We'll be announcing the new selections (probably two to three names) next week. That announcement will also kick off a mid-summer fundraising push for the entire roster of candidates. Conventional wisdom says that summertime is one of the worst times of year to raise money. We want to see if we can push back a bit against that CW and rake in some bucks when most other people probably aren't even trying.

It's also important to note that candidates in several states with late primaries have to file "pre-primary" reports with the FEC soon: FL on 8/16; AZ, DE, MD, MN, NH, NY, RI, VT & WI on 8/23; MA & WA on 8/30; and HI on 9/3. So if you want to see your favorite federal candidates put out a good fundraising report, now is the time to give - especially for Florida campaigns, which close the books in just two days.

One final note: As always, we want to stress that the Netroots page is just one ActBlue page created by three like-minded blogs. The beauty of the Internets is that you can start your own blog, your own ActBlue page, or both, in under five minutes, all for free. If our selection process or actual picks don't suit you, or even if you just feel like starting your own fundraising page, we wholeheartedly encourage you to do so. In fact, ActBlue is offering a special promotion this month:

[W]e'll be sending copies of An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore's phenomenal new book (and companion to his phenomenal movie) to everyone who raises a total of $600 from at least 6 donors by September 6th!

So, without further ado, please fire away in the comments with your nominations. And if you can offer some reasons why you think your favorite candidate(s) should be included, that's even better.

Posted at 01:00 PM in 2006 Elections, Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (104) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, August 07, 2006

CO, CT, GA, MI, MO: Tuesday Primary Election Preview

Posted by RBH

Here's the rundown of the elections which will likely produce news tomorrow.

Starting off first in Colorado where the biggest races are the Republican Primary in the 5th District and the Democratic Primary in the 7th District.

In the 5th district race, the winning Republican will likely face Jay Fawcett (who is the frontrunner in his primary). From a short combing though Google News, we find that Doug Lamborn has the Club for Growth supporters with him, Hefley supporters are apparently supporting Crank. Basically the entire primary could end with the winner recieving a very low percentage of the vote, under 40%, maybe under 35%. But right now, the winner is anybody's guess. I should note that Anderson (who is running as pro-choice, which means "pro-choice compared to other Republicans), Bremer (Paul Bremer's brother), and Rayburn (retired Air Force General) are all wildcards and they could get a surprising number of votes.

In the 7th district, the favorite to face Rick O'Donnell appears to be Ed Perlmutter. Ed has had a pretty solid lead in SurveyUSA polls over Peggy Lamm. But then again in an election like this, surprises will occur.

Moving on to Connecticut.

The big race is between Joe Lieberman and Ned Lamont. It appears to be a pretty big deal. Basically the results could go either way, although Lamont is going into the election with a 6 point lead in the latest Quinnipac poll. I'm pretty sure that this race will be the top attraction, and also the one race which does not require a long explanation.

In Georgia, the big election is between Cynthia McKinney and Hank Johnson in the 4th district. McKinney had a plurality last time, but for this election, it could go either way.

In Michigan, the biggest race will be in MI-07 between Congressman Joe Schwarz and Tim Walberg. Schwarz is under fire from the right in this campaign and could be on the way out of Congress. The likely Democratic nominee is Sharon Renier. In other races, I'm expecting Keith Mike Bouchard to win the Republican Senate primary and I wouldn't be stunned if Patricia Godchaux got around 1/3rd of the vote in her primary against Congressman Joe Knollenberg.

In Missouri, no major races will occur in the primaries. The closest primary race will probably be in MO-02 between Akin and Sherman Parker, and that's probably not due to be close at all. Claire McCaskill and Jim Talent are expected to cruise over their unknown opponents.

So, on this election day, there's one more question: What Races Are You Interested In?

Posted at 11:48 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Colorado, Connecticut, Democrats, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Netroots, Republicans | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Help the Netroots Candidates

Posted by DavidNYC

I know that no one likes these nags, including me. But there are only three days left in the fundraising quarter (including today). All of the netroots candidates could use your help. I've been talking up Paul Hodes aplenty, but the other new additions to the list are also very worthy: Linda Stender, Jerry McNerny and Jim Webb.

Don't forget, too, all the other great candidates on the list. I personally have a special fondness for Jon Tester, a guy whom this site took notice of long ago. Indeed, we started fundraising for him before the combined netroots page even came into existence. But Joe Sestak, Darcy Burner, Patrick Murphy, Eric Massa and Ned Lamont need our assistance no less. So please consider giving to one or more of these candidates by the end of the day on Friday. Any amount is appreciated.

P.S. As James notes in the comments, if you have candidates in mind other than the ones on the netroots list, you should give to them now as well. The importance of the quarterly numbers for all campaigns can't be underestimated. So please, give to any Democrat you think worthy.

Posted at 06:03 PM in Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Opening Up the Netroots Page for Nominations

Posted by DavidNYC

By now you've probably encountered the Netroots Candidates ActBlue page at least once or twice. I want to talk a little bit about the idea behind the page, and our plans for the future.

This page is the brainchild of Matt Stoller of MyDD. It's currently administered by Matt, Chris Bowers (also of MyDD), Markos (of DailyKos) and myself. The goal of the page is to provide a central hub for netroots-backed candidates. What do we mean by that? Our aim is to identify strong candidates who either already have broad support in the netroots or who ought to have such support. And our hope is that other blogs will link to the Netroots Candidates page, or create their own pages backing these candidates.

(Note: If you are interested in linking to the Netroots Candidates ActBlue page and would like to get credit, you can do so using ActBlue's referral codes. Click here for more info on how those work - they're very simple to use.)

While the four of us have plenty of ideas about which candidates are worthy of our support, we want to open up the selection process and ask for suggestions from the entire netroots. After all, this kind of distributed task is one of the blogosphere's strong suits. With so many races, it would be impossible for any one person to be knowledgeable about all of them. But throw together a few thousand bloggers and blog-readers, and you've got yourself a pretty smart group mind.

So we'd like to hear whom you think the netroots should be supporting. And I should add that while the ActBlue page serves as a focal point, fundraising is only one part of this. Whenever possible, we plan to spread the word about other ways to get involved with the campaigns on the list.

Now, we've spent a lot of time thinking about what criteria can help inform the decision-making process. Here's the list we've come up with so far. A handful of these criteria are pretty much mandatory, but most are only advisory. Without further ado:


• The candidate must be running against a Republican incumbent or running for a GOP-held open seat.

• Primaries: There must be no Dem primary; an already-concluded Dem primary; or only token primary opposition. (It's too late in the cycle to get involved in primary races. We'll focus on that more in 2007-8.)

• It can't be a top-tier race. We can have a bigger impact in races which, so far, have received less attention and institutional backing. Simply put, the netroots isn't capable of raising millions of dollars, so the less money a campaign has raised so far, the further our dollars will go. And what's more, we can help bring attention to worthy races and inspire the big-dollar players to follow our lead. In any event, there's no hard-and-fast definition for this, but one rule of thumb is that if a challenger has raised over $1 million, it's probably already a top-tier race.

Positives (things which are pluses but not requirements, listed in no particular order):

• The candidate has a strong record as a Democrat.

• The Republican opponent is an easy target. (Think Tom DeLay or Curt Weldon.)

• The candidate is running in a blue-leaning district or state.

• There's a strong netroots presence in the area. (Example: DumpMike and the Blue 7th PAC in New Jersey.) Our ability to make a difference is strongly impacted by the quality of our information flow.

• The campaign itself has shown an interest in grassroots & netroots outreach.

• The race fits into a larger strategy or theme (eg, Northeast Strategy, Culture of Corruption, etc.), or can in some way be "nationalized."

• The candidate passes the "partisanship litmus test."

• House races are strongly preferred. Again, as per the above, we can have a bigger impact in smaller races.

So go ahead and make the case for any candidates you believe in. (If you want some guidance, here's a good example of how to make a strong case.) If you can detail how they do or don't fit in with these criteria, that would be excellent. And if you think there are other criteria we should be looking at, please let us know as well.

Posted at 02:39 PM in Fundraising, Netroots | Comments (57) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, April 24, 2006

Save the Internet

Posted by DavidNYC

Just do it. This is too important not to. McJoan has everything you need here.

Posted at 08:40 PM in Netroots | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, April 03, 2006

Congrats to Mark Nickolas & the BluegrassReport

Posted by DavidNYC

Congratulations to Mark Nickolas for winning the 2005 Koufax Award for Best State/Local Blog. Mark, author of the Kentucky-oriented BluegrassReport, shares the award with next-door neighbors Tennessee Guerilla Women. Great work, Mark!

Posted at 09:25 PM in Netroots | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Mark His Words

Posted by DavidNYC

Longtime commenter Mark has recently re-fired up his own blog, called "Mark My Words." Go check him out.

Posted at 01:58 PM in Netroots | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Tim Starts at the DNC on Monday

Posted by DavidNYC

Tim Tagaris, whom every reader of this blog knows well, will be starting his blogging gig over at the DNC's Kicking Ass on Monday. Be sure to check him out tomorrow and every day.

Posted at 08:40 PM in Netroots | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 27, 2005

VA-Gov: Tim Kaine Ad Controversy

Posted by Bob Brigham

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Tim Kaine has found himself at the center of a scandal for bowing to right-wing racists and cancelling ads on an African American blog:

So now the Kaine campaign is in the silly position of responding to a racist while withdrawing support from an African-American. Which could have been avoided if they had talked before running scared. [...]

But what really and truly bothers me is not the ad pull. You play football, you wake up sore. But the responsiveness to the opposition.

The Kaine campaign has never been responsible for the content on this site. They just buy space. They have probably disagreed with my stands. But they respond to people who will not vote for them, want them to lose and uses anything to pressure them.

And in the end, hurts them more than if they blew it off. The campaign didn't need me to go after them, but I am, because they are cowards. [...]

Cowardice should not be rewarded.

Tim Kaine is running a cowardly campaign, from the get-go he has been running scared, trying to offend as few people as possible.

But this scandal highlights a larger misconception about blogs, blogads, and netroots support.

It is important for people to realize that advertising on a blog doesn't mean the advertiser endorses the content of the site, all it means is that a decision has been made that the advertiser is interested in individuals who may read a particular blog.

Likewise, a blog running an ad doesn't mean that the blogger(s) endorse the product being advertised.

This shouldn't be a hard concept to grasp.

For example, Tim Kaine is advertising on the Swing State Project right now, yet here I am calling him a coward. Earlier in the year, Tim Tagaris didn't hold back his thoughts on Bob Casey, Jr. when Casey advertised here. In fact, if memory serves me right, both Tim and I wrote some hard hitting posts while the ad was running.

Look at the other two ads running. One is for Steve Westly, who is running against Phil Angelides in California's Democratic gubernatorial primary. As the lone SSP writer who votes in California, I'll still be voting for Angelides and plan on devoting a good deal of posts next year to why Angelides inspires me with his campaign. As for the final ad, you all know it is a long story but we still approved the ad and it hasn't changed any of our thoughts on the issue.

When you see an ad in a newspaper, you don't assume that the editorial board supports the advertiser so don't make the same mistake with blogs. Likewise, you don't assume that advertisers support the view of the editorial page.

Politicians who think they can buy support by running ads are just as misguided as politicians who pull ads for what the blog posts.

UPDATE: (Bob) Now this is on the front page of Daily Kos. Kaine is going to lose a great deal of support and volunteers because of this fuckup. Even more, now he won't have blogosphere support for rapid response during the home stretch of the campaign. Tim Kaine's cowardice may have just cost him the election.

Posted at 01:56 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Scandals, Virginia | Comments (10) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Indictments of White House Staff

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Swing State Project has devoted a good deal of time to the Karl Rove Scandal. As the indictments come down, we will be looking for information on how this is influencing specific races, please feel free to use the contact info to keep us in the loop.

This is a story that the netroots have been all over from day one and I'm sure there will be plenty of electoral fallout for SSP to cover.

Strategically, I prefer to devote my time blogging to issues at their beginning or end. I have said that I don't believe blogs are the best vehicle for sustained engagement. However, I am questioning that after viewing the coverage to date from Talk Left:

October 26, 2005 - Fitzgerald Meets With Judge, No Announcement Today
October 26, 2005 - Report: Indictments May be Announced Today
October 26, 2005 - Indictment Watch
October 26, 2005 - Hutchison's Spokesman Deflects Criticism With a Lie
October 26, 2005 - How Karl Rove Could Walk
October 25, 2005 - Reviewing Cheney
October 25, 2005 - Report: Fitzgerald Visited Rove's Lawyer Today
October 25, 2005 - Report: Fitz Talked to Wilsons' Neighbors Today
October 25, 2005 - Clemons: Other Shoe Drops Tomorrow
October 25, 2005 - The Crime in Outing a CIA Agent
October 24, 2005 - NYT: Tenet Told Cheney Who Told Libby
October 24, 2005 - Report: Wurmser Told Libby and Hadley
October 24, 2005 - Pre-Indictment Spin Planning
October 24, 2005 - The Cover Up Statutes
October 23, 2005 - Report: Novak Cooperated
October 23, 2005 - Fitzgerald to Decide and Tell Lawyers Monday
October 23, 2005 - Hannah's Lawyer Denies Target Status
October 22, 2005 - A Kinder, Gentler Libby
October 21, 2005 - Plame Grand Jury Met With Prosecutors Today
October 21, 2005 - Launchdate for Campaign to Discredit Wilson
October 21, 2005 - Pow-Wow at Camp David This Weekend
October 21, 2005 - Fitzgerald Launches Website
October 21, 2005 - Libby: As the Worms Turn
October 21, 2005 - PlameGate and Bush's Pardon Power
October 20, 2005 - Report: White House Charges Will Relate to Cover-up
October 20, 2005 - The Valerie Flame Name Game
October 20, 2005 - Miller Asked About June Meeting During First Grand Jury Visit
October 20, 2005 - Stalking Russert in PlameGate
October 20, 2005 - RoveGate Update
October 19, 2005 - Ex-Intel Officers: Miller a Charter Member of White House Iraq Group
October 19, 2005 - Report on Fitzgerald and A Final Report Is Misleading
October 19, 2005 - Is Rove Cooperating?
October 19, 2005 - Raw Story: Wurmser Cooperating
October 19, 2005 - PlameGate: Powell and Flesicher
October 19, 2005 - Myths About PlameGate
October 18, 2005 - Murray Waas: It's Libby vs. Miller Time
October 18, 2005 - Plame Grand Jury Still Meeting
October 18, 2005 - No Passes for Judy Miller
October 18, 2005 - The Latest Rumor: Cheney Might Resign
October 18, 2005 - Raw Story: John Hannah Is Cooperating
October 18, 2005 - Let's Make a Deal : The Legalese of PlameGate
October 17, 2005 - Report: White House Official May Have Flipped
October 17, 2005 - Fitzgerald Speaks: Decision to be Announced in D.C.
October 17, 2005 - Was the AP Snookered on WINPAC story?
October 17, 2005 - List of Reporter Contacts Subpoenaed by Fitzgerald
October 17, 2005 - Conyers and Skelton Demand Info on Miller's Security Clearance
October 17, 2005 - The Leaks Probe: Andrea Mitchell, Cheney and Ari
October 17, 2005 - On Cheney's Role in Leaks Probe
October 17, 2005 - Bennett's Role in Judith's Tell-All
October 17, 2005 - Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney
October 16, 2005 - Judith Miller Talks on Belatedly Discovered Notes
October 16, 2005 - Federal Grand Jury Witnesses & Secrecy Laws
October 16, 2005 - Was Novak's Source in the CIA or White House?
October 16, 2005 - Time: Rove, Libby Will Resign if Indicted
October 16, 2005 - Miller's Lawyer Turns on Libby
October 15, 2005 - NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller
October 14, 2005 - Rove Testifies for FourthTime
October 14, 2005 - Questions About Miller and The Times
October 13, 2005 - Cheney, The White House and Wilson: Part One
October 12, 2005 - Report: Fitzgerald Examining Cheney's Role
October 12, 2005 - Judith Miller Released From Contempt Order
October 12, 2005 - Miller's Source(s)
October 12, 2005 - Fitzgerald Widening His Probe
October 11, 2005 - Miller to Testify Again Before Grand Jury
October 11, 2005 - Bushies: Special Prosecutor "a Bully"
October 11, 2005 - New From Waas: Libby in Cross-Hairs Over Miller
October 9, 2005 - Judy Miller and Her June Notes
October 8, 2005 - Weekend RoveGate Reading
October 7, 2005 - Waas: Rove, Novak and Bush
October 7, 2005 - Judith Miller Finds Earlier Notes on Libby
October 6, 2005 - Karl Rove Will Testify Friday Morning
October 6, 2005 - More on Target Notices and Rove
October 6, 2005 - AP: Rove to Testify Again in Leaks Probe
October 6, 2005 - Target Letters: Terminology
October 5, 2005 - Rumor: 22 Plame Indictments Imminent
October 5, 2005 - Judith Miller Talks to Lou Dobbs
October 4, 2005 - Fitzgerald's Letter to Scooter Libby's Lawyer
October 2, 2005 - Newsweek: Libby Did Not Talk to Novak
October 2, 2005 - Stephanopoulos: Source Says Bush, Cheney Directly Involved
October 2, 2005 - Judith Miller and Fitzgerald's Agreement
October 1, 2005 - A Crucial Time Period in PlameGate
October 1, 2005 - Cheney, Libby and Miller Leads Where?
September 30, 2005 - Judith Miller Grand Jury Day
September 29, 2005 - Judith Miller Released, Will Testify Tomorrow
September 20, 2005 - PlameGate: Moving Towards John Bolton?
September 15, 2005 - Justice Department Balks at Turning Over Plame Records
September 14, 2005 - House Committees Reject Plame Resolution of Inquiry
September 9, 2005 - Is Judith Miller Getting Ready to Fold?
September 7, 2005 - RoveGate: What Statute Would Fitzgerald Use?
August 25, 2005 - New Plame Leak Analysis
August 20, 2005 - RoveGate Tidbit: Look for Fitzgerald to Go for the Top Dog
August 18, 2005 - RoveGate, Watergate and Lessons for the White House
August 18, 2005 - Miller, Sulzberger and Kovac
August 17, 2005 - Is Rove Facing an Obstruction of Justice Charge?
August 16, 2005 - New Murray Waas Exclusive: Dems to Demand Investigation of Ashcroft in Plame Leak
August 16, 2005 - Is a Criminal Contempt Charge Looming for Judith Miller?
August 15, 2005 - Report: Bolton Visits Judy Miller in Jail
August 15, 2005 - Ashcroft, Fitzgerald and Rove: New From Murray Waas
August 12, 2005 - Fitzgerald Gets New Boss in Leaks Probe
August 12, 2005 - A Who's Who in RoveGate
August 10, 2005 - Pincus on Plame: Who Really Sent Joseph Wilson to Niger?
August 8, 2005 - Judy, Jehl and the New York Times
August 8, 2005 - Dems Demand Libby Give Personalized Waiver to Judith Miller
August 7, 2005 - Newsweek: Fitzgerald Could Thwarted by Comey's Replacement
August 7, 2005 - Sunday RoveGate Roundup
August 7, 2005 - Judith Miller and Lewis Libby
August 4, 2005 - Waas and Wilson Discuss Fitzgerald
August 4, 2005 - Fitzgerald, Cooper, Sauber, Rove , Luskin and Ginsberg
August 3, 2005 - Beware Immunity for Rove and Company
August 2, 2005 - Rove Aides Queried About Matt Cooper Testimony
August 2, 2005 - Was Tenet a Source for Novak?
August 2, 2005 - RoveGate Debates
August 2, 2005 - Rove Pals Called to Grand Jury
August 2, 2005 - Novak and the Plame Name
August 1, 2005 - Novak Breaks His Silence
July 31, 2005 - Time: Rove May Have Learned of Plame From White House
July 29, 2005 - RoveGate: Where Does Condi Rice Fit In
July 29, 2005 - Back to Connecting Judith Miller Dots
July 29, 2005 - Fitzgerald Knew It Was Rove All Along
July 28, 2005 - NYT Late to the Pincus Party
July 27, 2005 - Was Judith Miller the Leaker or Leakee?
July 27, 2005 - Karen Hughes Declines to Answer Plame Questions At Confirmation Hearing
July 27, 2005 - Judith Miller's Husband Goes on Cruise
July 27, 2005 - Beware Congressional Immunity for Rove and Others
July 27, 2005 - House Judiciary Documents
July 27, 2005 - Who Was Novak's Second Source?
July 26, 2005 - Judiciary Dems Seek 12-Hour Gap Investigation
July 26, 2005 - Rove-Plame-Miller Primer
July 25, 2005 - Will Fitzgerald Extend the Grand Jury?
July 25, 2005 - Senators Call for Congressional Plame Investigation
July 24, 2005 - Alberto Gonzales Told Card Immediately About Preservation Order
July 23, 2005 - Who Was On Air Force One?
July 22, 2005 - Statements of Witnesses at CIA Leak Hearing
July 22, 2005 - Report: Bolton Was a Frequent Source for Judy Miller
July 22, 2005 - Testimony: Bush Jeopardizes National Security
July 22, 2005 - O'Donnell's Latest on Luskin
July 22, 2005 - Who is Leaking the Grand Jury Testimony
July 22, 2005 - Bloomberg's Latest: Back to Ari Fleischer
July 22, 2005 - Karl Rove's Newest Version: George Tenet
July 21, 2005 - Bloomberg Scoops New Rove Story
July 21, 2005 - Memo Marked Plame's Identity as Secret
July 20, 2005 - Sports Book Odds on Karl Rove's Departure : 1-6
July 20, 2005 - Hearing Set on Disclosure of Covert Officers' Identities
July 19, 2005 - New Damaging Information About Karl Rove
July 19, 2005 - Ex-CIA Agents Send Letter on Valerie Plame
July 18, 2005 - Judith Miller's Life Behind Bars
July 18, 2005 - News Report: Ari Saw the Memo on Air Force One
July 18, 2005 - Bush Speaks: Will Fire Anyone 'Who Committed a Crime'
July 18, 2005 - Open Thread on Judith Miller
July 17, 2005 - Question About Cheney and Wilson
July 17, 2005 - From the Vanity Fair Article on Joseph Wilson
July 17, 2005 - Is Rove Now Implicating Judith Miller?
July 17, 2005 - Cooper and Libby Old News: Miller and Libby is the Question
July 17, 2005 - Matthew Cooper: Rove Said, ' I' ve Already Said Too Much'
July 17, 2005 - Who Really Sent Wilson to Africa?
July 16, 2005 - Judith Miller: Why is She Protecting Lewis Libby
July 16, 2005 - Frank Rich: Rove Resignation Is a Certainty
July 16, 2005 - The Mechanics of the Rove-Cooper Waiver
July 16, 2005 - Criminal vs. Civil Contempt
July 16, 2005 - John Hannah and Lewis Libby: Still Key in Plame Probe
July 15, 2005 - Classified Memo Naming Wilson's Wife Was on Air Force One
July 15, 2005 - Rove Didn't Go to Africa, Not On Air Force One
July 15, 2005 - Rove E-Mailed Hadley About Conversation With Cooper
July 15, 2005 - Keeping an Eye on Fitzgerald's Big Picture
July 15, 2005 - Dean on Rove
July 15, 2005 - Fact Sheet on Karl Rove's Non-Disclosure Agreement
July 15, 2005 - Karl Rove's Latest Version: Reporters Told Me
July 14, 2005 - What Fitzgerald's Indictment Might Look Like
July 14, 2005 - Bloomberg: Joseph Wilson's Accusations Hold Up
July 14, 2005 - What Novak Said Then About Import of Disclosure
July 14, 2005 - Where Does Ari Fleischer Fit In?
July 13, 2005 - House Dems to Call for Karl Rove Inquiry Tomorrow
July 13, 2005 - Text of Karl Rove's Waiver to Cooper
July 13, 2005 - Cooper Testifies, Names Karl Rove as Source
July 13, 2005 - Bush Answers (Not) Questions on Rove
July 13, 2005 - Midnight Plame Gate Roundup
July 12, 2005 - Walter Pincus' Source: Was it Karl Rove?
July 12, 2005 - Murray Waas Exclusive: Novak Cooperated
July 12, 2005 - Luskin Speaks on Rove and Cooper
July 12, 2005 - Where Did Karl Rove Get the Information on Valerie Plame?
July 12, 2005 - White House Breaks Silence: Has Confidence In Rove
July 12, 2005 - Say Hello: Fire Him Now
July 12, 2005 - Update on Judith Miller: How Did They Know
July 12, 2005 - Judith Miller: How Did They Know?
July 12, 2005 - Will Karl Rove Resign?
July 12, 2005 - Watergate Deja Vu
July 11, 2005 - President Bush Called Leak 'A Criminal Action'
July 11, 2005 - Don't call Rove at the Congressional Hearings
July 11, 2005 - Calls for Rove's Resignation
July 11, 2005 - Ethics Group Asks Bush to Revoke Rove's Security Clearance
July 11, 2005 - Former President Bush's Comments on Leakers
July 11, 2005 - Cat and Mouse With McClellan
July 11, 2005 - The Name Game : Rove and Plame
July 11, 2005 - Rove's Lawyer's Admission: Nothing New Here
July 10, 2005 - Reactions to Newsweek's Latest on Karl Rove
July 10, 2005 - Robert Novak's Version Of the Plame Leak
July 10, 2005 - Newsweek to Name Rove as Cooper Source
July 9, 2005 - Lewis Libby and the Valerie Plame Investigation
July 7, 2005 - Rove-Plame Speculation Update
July 7, 2005 - O'Donnell Says 'Good Reason' Rove Might Be Indicted
July 7, 2005 - Wapo and NYT Differ on Karl Rove as Source
July 6, 2005 - White House Press Corps Blackout on Rove
July 6, 2005 - Judith Miller Placed in Alexandria Detention Center
July 6, 2005 - Who is Judith Miller Protecting?
July 6, 2005 - Judith Miller Jailed, Cooper Agrees to Testify
July 5, 2005 - Joe Wilson on What Rove Didn't Know
July 5, 2005 - Joe Wilson on Leakers: Elliot Abrams, Libby & Rove
July 5, 2005 - Prosecutor Addresses Jail Requests for Judith Miller
July 5, 2005 - O'Donnell Has Questions Re: Rove
July 5, 2005 - Cooper and Miller: The Subpoenas
July 5, 2005 - Fitzgerald Plays Hardball in Leaks Probe
July 5, 2005 - When Can DOJ Subpoena Reporters?
July 4, 2005 - Valerie Plame Returns to Work at CIA
July 3, 2005 - O'Donnell Snaps Back at Rove's Lawyer
July 3, 2005 - Rove's Lawyer Denies Rove Leaked to Cooper
July 3, 2005 - The Bush Administration's War Against Open Government
July 3, 2005 - Time's Decision: The Rule of Law Trumps Confidentiality
July 2, 2005 - The Plame Leak InvestigationTime Line
July 2, 2005 - Rove Update
July 2, 2005 - Could the Perjury Investigation Evolve Into Obstruction of Justice?
July 2, 2005 - O'Donnell Says Rove as Leak Source is Confirmed
July 2, 2005 - What Does the Government Really Want from Miller and Cooper?
July 2, 2005 - Miller and Cooper Submit Jail Preferences
July 2, 2005 - Was Karl Rove The Leaker?
June 30, 2005 - Time Magazine to Turn Over Matthew Cooper's Notes
June 28, 2005 - Hearing Weds. for Reporters Miller and Cooper
June 27, 2005 - Why the Support for Only One Reporter?
June 27, 2005 - Reporters Lose in Leaks Case
May 26, 2005 - Judge Rules Against DeLay Pac Member
April 28, 2005 - Reporter Switches Lawyers in Plame Appeal
April 17, 2005 - Gonzales Speaks to Plame Investigation
April 7, 2005 - Valerie Plame Investigation May Be Over
February 16, 2005 - A Shield Law For Reporters
February 15, 2005 - Appeals Court Rules Against Reporters in Plame Case
December 31, 2004 - Valerie Plame Investigation Review
October 15, 2004 - Karl Rove Testifies Before Grand Jury Re: Plame
October 7, 2004 - NYT Reporter Judith Miller Ordered Jailed, Stayed
September 16, 2004 - Court Orders NYTimes Reporter to Testify in PlameGate
August 13, 2004 - NY Times Reporter Judith Miller Subpoenaed in Plame Investigation
August 9, 2004 - Reporter Held in Contempt in CIA-Plame Leak Probe
June 24, 2004 - Bush Interviewed in Plame Leak Probe
June 5, 2004 - Cheney Interviewed in Plame Investigation
June 4, 2004 - Cheney May Have Consulted Outside Counsel Over Plame Investigation
June 3, 2004 - Report: Bush Knew of Leak of Valerie Plame's Identity
June 3, 2004 - CIA Director George Tenet Resigns
June 2, 2004 - Bush Seeks Legal Advice over Plame Leak
May 22, 2004 - Reporters Subpoenaed in Plame Investigation
May 3, 2004 - Joseph Wilson Names Possible Plame Leakers
April 29, 2004 - Wilson's Book Points to Cheney
April 2, 2004 - Plame Leak Investigation Widened
March 9, 2004 - Details of Karl Rove's Plame Testimony Revealed
March 9, 2004 - Karl Rove Profile
March 5, 2004 - Subpoenas Issued in Plame Investigation
February 9, 2004 - Bush's Press Secretary Testfies in Leaks Probe
February 5, 2004 - Cheney Employees Implicated in Valerie Plame Scandal
January 22, 2004 - Grand Jury Begins Hearing Valerie Plame Case
January 6, 2004 - 'I Got a Witness': Plame Investigation
January 2, 2004 - Plame: It's Still Bush Investigating Bush
January 2, 2004 - Will Reporters Talk in the Plame Case?
January 1, 2004 - Plame Leak Not a Crime?
December 30, 2003 - Joseph Wilson Interview
December 30, 2003 - Ashcroft Recuses Himself from Valerie Plame Investigation
December 25, 2003 - Movement in the Valerie Plame Investigation
December 10, 2003 - Whatever Happened to the Valerie Plame Investigation?
October 27, 2003 - CIA Leak May Violate Patriot Act
October 23, 2003 - FBI Interviews Rove and McClellan in Leaks Probe
October 16, 2003 - Alterman on Abrams, Novak and Plame
October 16, 2003 - Ashcroft Takes Heat from Within in Leaks Probe
October 12, 2003 - Leaks Probe: FBI Focusing on Month Before the Leak
October 11, 2003 - White House E-Mails Mention Wilson and Plame
October 10, 2003 - More Agents Added to CIA Leaks Probe
October 9, 2003 - Executive Privilege in the CIA-Plame Affair
October 8, 2003 - Bush is Downplaying Leaks Investigation
October 7, 2003 - Bush Now Uncertain Leaker of CIA Information Will Be Found
October 7, 2003 - Bush Calls CIA Leak a 'Criminal Action'
October 4, 2003 - What the Wilson-Plame Affair Reveals About Bush
October 3, 2003 - David Corn Interview on 'Treason Gate'
October 1, 2003 - News Descriptions of Plame and Wilson
October 1, 2003 - What the Meaning of CIA Operative Is
September 30, 2003 - Can Novak Be Ordered to Divulge Source?
September 30, 2003 - Guardian's Borger Names Rove
September 30, 2003 - New: On the CIA's Request for Justice Department Investigation of Plame Leak
September 30, 2003 - Petition for Independent Investigation of Plame Leak
September 30, 2003 - Justice Opens Full-Blown Investigation in Valerie Plame Affair
September 30, 2003 - Robert Novak's Column on Valerie Plame
September 29, 2003 - White House: No Independent Counsel For CIA Leak
September 29, 2003 - CIA Leak Investigation: Who Goes Down First
September 29, 2003 - Reaction to Report of Justice Dept. Intelligence Probe
September 28, 2003 - Schumer's FBI Request for Investigation of Plame Leak
September 28, 2003 - White House Leaks in Plame Affair
September 27, 2003 - CIA Asks for Probe of Valerie Plame Leaks
July 25, 2003 - Valerie Plame Update
July 22, 2003 - Valerie Plame: Some Call it Treason

Posted at 05:42 PM in Culture of Corruption, Netroots, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sad Day for the Blogosphere

Posted by Bob Brigham

Tim Russo has been on the warpath against Blogfather Jerome Armstrong in a nasty campaig that even made the papers. While the attacks are unnecessary and divorced from reality, they have had made it so that Jerome will not be blogging.

This is a sad day for the blogosphere. I consider myself one of the many people who have looked to Jerome as a friend and mentor.

For those who would see this as a cause for celebration, I would suggest that the Champagne remain corked. I keep thinking about one line, "If you strike me down I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."

Thank you Jerome for the inspiration, friendship, and all you have done for the blogosphere.

Posted at 11:44 AM in Netroots | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Washington Democrats and Iraq

Posted by Bob Brigham

David Sirota has been leading a charge against Washington DC Democrats who refuse to acknowledge Iraq as an issue. Now the Democrats' most credible and trustworthy voice on Iraq is stepping-up to lead the charge. From Blog for America:

Every day, more American soldiers are killed and wounded in Iraq. The violence and attacks on innocent Iraqi citizens continues to go unchecked. Billions of dollars have been spent, yet, we have no coherent exit plan.

As a Marine, I witnessed first-hand the devastation and destruction of this war. The mistruths and deception of the Bush administration have created a quagmire. That's why I signed the pledge to only send responsible leaders to Washington. And I'm asking you to do the same.
I pledge to only support candidates who:

1. Acknowledge that the U.S. was misled into the war in Iraq
2. Advocate for a responsible exit plan with a timeline
3. Support our troops both at home and abroad

It's time for leaders to step up to the plate and face the Iraq mess head-on because the situation only keeps getting worse. But, before we can fix it, Washington must first acknowledge the crisis we are in. You can help. Take a stand and sign the pledge to hold candidates accountable on the Iraq war.

I served my country on the front lines in Iraq and saw the consequences of failed leadership up close. We need new leadership in Washington that will face this crisis with courage.

Join me and tens of thousands of Americans by standing up and telling Washington to start planning our exit now. Sign the pledge today:

Thank you,

Paul Hackett

P.S. When you view the pledge map, you can learn about other patriotic Americans who've signed the pledge in every corner of the country. Take a look, and then sign the pledge:

It will be interesting to watch the dots fill up on the pledge map. I'm guessing it won't take long for there to be even more dots than the overwhelming number of dots on the Hackett Donor Map.

Posted at 12:58 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Democrats, Netroots | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

OH-02: SSP in Mother Jones' Hackett Stories

Posted by Bob Brigham

Mother Jones posted their cover story on the OH-02 Special Election:

The Ohio Insurgency: The Democrat who Fought
Major Paul Hackett came home from Iraq to launch an assault on a GOP stronghold. Can Democrats follow his lead?
By David Goodman

They have now also posted a companion piece that provides a timeline of blog support for Paul Hackett:

The Digital Insurgency
How liberal bloggers and their readers fueled Paul Hackett's rise
By Jonathan Stein

On Election Night, I mentioned this was coming. Thoughts?

Posted at 02:13 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Site News, Special Elections | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Help ActBlue Pick Its Next Four States

Posted by DavidNYC

As we've mentioned before, the indispensible ActBlue is moving into state races. ActBlue already covers all federal races, but that's comparatively easy - you're talking about one legal regime for all 535 House & Senate candidates. For the states, of course, you've got to deal with fifty different sets of campaign finance laws. It's a major hassle, and ActBlue expects, at least in the early going, that it will cost around $10,000 to set up each state.

What that means, though, is that every candidate for state office - Governor, Attorney General, state legislatures - will be able to raise money through ActBlue. One state has already been launched, Virginia, which holds all of its state races this year, so you can see why it was made a priority. ActBlue needs your help now to decide which four states it should expand into next.

To do that, they are conducting a poll, which you can find here.

IMPORTANT: Please do NOT simply vote for your home state! This is NOT a popularity contest. You should vote for the state or states where you think an improved fundraising infrastructure will make the most meaningful difference in the near term. Some possible factors to consider: Does the state have a legislative body or bodies which the Democrats have a reasonable shot at taking control of - or have a very tenuous hold on right now? And are there important, competitive statewide races - and not just Governor, but Attorney General (think Spitzer in NY) and, importantly, Secretary of State (think - ugh - Blackwell in Ohio)?

In New York, for example, Eliot Spitzer is going to win the governorship with or without an assist from ActBlue. But the Dems are very close to taking back the State Senate here, and candidates in close races could definitely benefit from the increased exposure (and, obviously, increased fundraising ability) that ActBlue would provide. So I think I might vote for NY. But if you've concluded your home state is hopeless, you can do a little research on other good states before casting your vote. Here's one site that can help you out a bit.

So go ahead, vote - and vote wisely. I'm told the balloting ends Friday, so we should know the results right then (though ActBlue may not consider them binding).

UPDATE: New York ain't even on the list. Oh well. Back to the drawing board!

Posted at 08:21 PM in Activism, Netroots | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 06, 2005

OH-Sen: The Story So Far

Posted by DavidNYC

Way, way back at the start of the year, President Bush followed all second-term presidents in performing a time-honored rite: the cabinet reshuffle. We saw some dear old friends depart, like John Ashcroft and Colin Powell. We were introduced to some wonderful new faces, like Alberto Gonzalez. And some of our long-time buddies just couldn't bear to leave, like Condi Rice and Donald Rumsfeld.

Almost lost in this misty-eyed pastoral is the tremendously important post of US Trade Representative. Whoever holds this job is responsible for travelling around the world on the government's tab to convince foreign countries to buy our goods. What an awesome job. The lucky fellow who held this job in Bush's first term was one Robert Zoellick, who became a Deputy Secretary of State at the start of Bush's second term. Ah, Bob, we hardly knew ye.

To fill this crucial gap in our nation's governing apparatus, George Bush tapped Robert Portman to fill Zoellick's big shoes. Portman, you see, was a Congressman from southwest Ohio, roughly in the neighborhood of Cincinnati. His district - Ohio's second - was one of the most conservative in Ohio, if not the nation. It had reliably sent a Republican to Congress for decades, and Democrats hadn't poked their heads above a feeble 30% or so for a long, long time.

Smart play by Mr. Bush: Tap a solid insider for your cabinet, and ensure that you don't lose any ground in the House. And the plan worked, too - but you couldn't ask for a better illustration of "be careful what you wish for." So what happened along the way?

A certain blogger - me, as it happens - noticed the Portman nomination and espied the inevitable open seat and special election that would of necessity ensue. So I wrote about it over at the seminal Democratic blog DailyKos. I didn't view the race as winnable (not at the time, at least), but I did think it would give our side a great opportunity to do some political R&D - to experiment, be bold, hold nothing back. When you've got nothing to lose, you can be as aggressive as you want.

Meanwhile, things began to unfold on the ground in Ohio. The fateful primary election took place on June 14th. The Dems emerged with a man that almost no one had heard of - but he did have an interesting resume. Major Paul Hackett had just returned from serving a tour of duty with the Marines in Iraq - a war, believe it or not, he opposed. Who could speak with more authority - both intellectual and moral - on such an important subject, than someone with a background like that?

It turns out that Paul Hackett was also the sort of blunt, plain-spoken non-politician that so many Democrats had craved for so long. He was Howard Dean in fatigues. To many, Hackett's individual positions weren't nearly as important as his willingness to speak his mind. He definitely didn't vote for anything before he voted against it.

The blogosphere began to take serious interest in the race at this point - and a huge reason was Tim Tagaris, one of the editors of this humble magazine. Tim, on the ground with Grow Ohio, served as a crucial conduit between the online world and OH-02. Reports flowed in fast and furious from southwest Ohio. The Swing State Project (along with the OH-02 Blog) quickly became a hub for anyone who wanted to know more about the race or get involved.

As online activists started tuning in, volunteers began to flood the district as well. Hackett started getting real media coverage. He also had a lot of things going for him: Distrust and anger toward Republicans in the state of Ohio had been mounting since the Coingate revelations; Bush's popularity amongst Buckeyes had been steadily dropping; and he drew an opponent, Jean Schmidt, who was as corrupt (she took piles of cash from the now-indicted Tom DeLay) as she was feckless (she was reduced to defensively declaring she wouldn't be a "rubber stamp" during debates).

In the middle of the hubbub, Tim's fellow SSP editor, Bob Brigham, also decamped for the battleground of OH-02. Traffic exploded here as Bob and Tim tag-teamed the final days of the race. Back home, I kept the front page of DailyKos updated as often as I could. A certain energy crackled and infused everything about the whole campaign.

And people began to realize that this was no long just an opportunity to do some R&D - something much more was happening here. Hackett got scads of scrilla from online donations. The GOP got spooked and poured in big money of its own - in a district that Portman had won by 40 points the last time out. The establishment Dems took notice and fired back with a further cash infusion. The race was getting seriously, seriously hot.

It looked like Hackett could conceivably, possibly, just maybe win. No one knew for sure, of course - no one had done any independent, verifiable polling. But even if Hackett didn't win, lots of people - on the ground, in the professional commentariat, across the blogosphere - realized that a strong performance would send a message.

And boy did Paul Hackett send a message. Yeah, he lost - but by a margin much narrower than anyone would have dreamed. Republicans enjoyed scoffing about Hackett's loss, but there was jubilation on the Democratic side. Hackett lost by four points. The prior Dem who ran for this seat lost by ten times that margin. Anyone who refused to believe this showing didn't mean something truly had their head in the proverbial sand.

But the race did more than just send a message. A new star was born - and it wasn't Jean Schmidt. While she limped into her seat in Congress, Paul Hackett became a new Democratic Party star. His fearlessness and ability to connect with normal people (ie, everyone in America who doesn't suffer from D.C. Beltway Brain-rot) ensured that he wouldn't soon be forgotten. Just about everyone agreed he had a bright future in politics.

It turns out that his future was now. The Ohio GOP was reeling. Incumbent Republican Senator Mike DeWine, suffering atrocious approval ratings, was up for re-election in 2006. The Dems were looking for someone to take him on. A lot of people thought Paul Hackett would be the perfect guy to do that.

After some months of convincing, it appeared that Paul Hackett finally thought so as well, and rumors of his candidacy spread like wildfire across the Internet during the month of September. The way was clear for Hackett: Ohio Congressmen Tim Ryan and Sherrod Brown both indicated that they weren't going to run against DeWine.

As October rolled around (and the third quarter ended), an official announcement from Hackett was widely expected. (No candidate for office was going to announce right in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, in any event.) Yet a funny thing happened on the way to the election: Sherrod Brown, previously thought to be uninterested in the Senate race, started making noises that he would, in fact, throw his hat into the ring.

At that point, almost instantly, battle lines were drawn. Now, brother is pit against brother, more or less. Alright, so I'm making it sound like a melodramatic Civil War miniseries, only with fewer guns. But the dynamics are pretty fascinating.

Jerome Armstrong, the liberal blogfather and creator of the ur-blog MyDD, jumped on board Brown's ship. (Jerome is, in fact, working for Brown.) Jerome's greatest protege, Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos, has sided with Hackett.

And over here at the Swing State Project, the situation is no less jumbled. Tim, as I mentioned above, works for Grow Ohio, which means, like Jerome, he works for Sherrod Brown. Bob, on the other hand, has just started volunteering for Hackett and, as you can see from his posts here, supports him vociferously.

Today, however, Markos seems to weigh in on Brown's side, though the bulk of his readers support Hackett. Meanwhile, Tim (rightfully) wants to focus on RON, not an internecine battle. The Hotline's Blogometer has already noted a "split" in left-blogistan, but as all this indicates, the fault lines are far from clear. Indeed, Chris Bowers, the lead author at MyDD and Jerome's fellow blogger-in-arms, hasn't yet decided whom to support.

So where does this leave me? I count myself in the Hackett camp. But I definitely don't want to see a real blogspheric civil war emerge. We just don't need another huge round of infighting, like we saw during the Democratic Presidential primaries throughout all of 2003. The tide this year is turning strongly against the Republicans. Their corruption is catching up with them. Many will lose next year - both at the ballot box and in the courtroom. It's more important than ever that we stay united to capitalize on this perfect storm.

And the Swing State Project remains committed to bringing you the best coverage possible of the race - and that means reporting on the strengths and foibles of both the guys we support and the guys we don't.

I'll be honest: I wish Brown had chosen a different course of action. But since he's apparently committed at this point, all I'm hoping for is a good clean fight. So let's do this thing!

Posted at 08:30 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Democrats, Netroots, Ohio, Site News, Special Elections | Comments (33) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

OH-Sen: Sherrod Brown Runs Against Major Paul Hackett in Ohio Senate Primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

Unfortunately, Congressman Sherrod Brown has decided to challenge Paul Hackett for the Democratic nomination in 2006. If Sherrod Brown wanted to run for Senate, the nomination was his. We urged him to run. But he chickened out. So Paul Hackett did what he has done time and time again: stepped up when duty called. Ted Strickland wouldn't run against Senate Mike DeWine, Sherrod Brown wouldn't run against DeWine, Tim Ryan wouldn't run against DeWine -- so Major Hackett offered to serve his country once more, this time in the U.S. Senate.

And now, on the eve of Hackett's kickoff, Sherrod Brown goes back on his word and says he is going to run against Hackett? A flip-flop? WTF?

Congressman Brown is going to waste a great deal of Democratic resources, but I can't comprehend the math necessary for Brown to win the primary. It looks like the Democratic Party is going to lose one of our best leaders in congress for no reason.

But it doesn't matter, Paul Hackett will be the Democratic Party nominee. After all of the scandals in Ohio, the last thing the voters want is another politician who can't be trusted.

The Top 10 Reasons Why Paul Hackett Will Be the Democratic Party Nominee

10. Sherrod Brown is already being mocked by the press for his waffle (or Decision Consistency Agility as you glass is half full types would say)

9. Paul Hackett's straight talk is loved by the press

8. Congressman Tim Ryan encouraged Hackett to run

7. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee urged Hackett to run

6. Hackett positioned himself behind the other Democrats, but has a nation-wide base

5. The Democratic Blogosphere delivered for Hackett -- even winning the Political Play of the Week

4. Hackett has a 70% pt. lead in the netroots

3. Unlike Brown, Hackett has great timing

2. Hackett can win in rural Ohio

1. In a nation at war, a Marine Major outranks a Washington Politician -- Congress needs an Iraq War Veteran

Sherrod Brown is a waffle, Mike DeWine is toast, and Major Hackett is hungry.

Posted at 08:15 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Democrats, Netroots, Ohio | Comments (12) | TrackBack (2) | Technorati

VA-Sen: Ben Affleck Should Challenge George Allen

Posted by Bob Brigham

As blogosphere junkies know, Swing State Project has a very special relationship with MyDD. We're all friends and see eye-to-eye on most issues. But, I have to disagree with Chris Bowers when it comes to the 2006 Virginia Senate Race.

When rumors first surfaced that Ben Affleck was considering mounting a challenge to Republican Senator George Allen, Chris Bowers wrote:

Someone like Affleck would be a horrible, media sucking distraction from the 2006 campaign. This would be the equivalent media circus of the 2003 California recall election. It would destroy the generic advantage Democrats are poised to hold in 2006, and from which they will reap huge benefits if Bush's approval rating stays low.

So, please God, no, don't let Affleck run.

While I appreciate where Bowers is coming from, I disagree and think Affleck should seriously consider running for a number of reasons...

First, the (subscription only) National Journal had a great column by Chuck Todd today, via Daily Kos:

Democrats could have nine or 10 races in their crosshairs instead of just seven (one over the bare minimum to win back control).

The reality is that if one were to handicap the current Senate battle race-by-race, a 0-2 Democratic pickup would be very realistic. But as Charlie Cook has pointed out, Senate races never break evenly for both parties.

The key for the party that's got that little breeze at the end is putting enough races in play to win all those toss-ups. In a neutral climate, the 0-2 Democratic pickup prediction would make sense. But it's hard to foresee a neutral 2006 environment.

The makings for a Democratic advantage are brewing. There's no difference between netting three Senate seats and netting six or seven. Once the Democrats are in a position to net a third, it probably means all those slightly-leaning GOP seats are going their way and the gain will be closer to six than to two.

The amount Affleck makes on a single movie is enough for a serious ante and his name recognition, good looks, wife, future baby, and access to political support would instantly make the race competitive. According to Todd's analysis, this race could then easily become a pick-up, helping Democrats win the Senate and ending George Allen's 2008 presidential ambitions.

As for Bowers concerns that Affleck would hurt the Democratic message, I think the following indicates Affleck understands the dynamics, but wants to participate in democracy:

"I seem lately to bring to with me, whether I want to or not, a certain amount of media attention," the 31-year-old actor told reporters Tuesday before a Democratic National Committee fund-raiser at a bar outside Fenway.

"But I think you have to be smart and you have to be judicious and you have to be tasteful and you have to be respectful and you have to know your place," he added later. "I am not an elected official. I am not a political expert. I perceive my capacity here mostly in terms of being somebody who grew up here and wanting to be an ambassador for this city."

When a television reporter suggested that being good-looking, articulate and famous would make him a natural candidate for office, Affleck responded: "Uh, you know, that's a nice idea and I'm very flattered that you say it, but it's a tough fight, you know? I mean, if I think that the entertainment press is tough on me now, I can't imagine what it would be like to have a political agenda, as well."

It's not as if this talk comes out of nowhere. In an interview for the May 2001 issue of GQ magazine, Affleck said: "My fantasy is that someday I'm independently wealthy enough that I'm not beholden to anybody, so I can run for Congress on the grounds that everyday people - be they singers or poets or bankers or lawyers or teachers - should be in government."

While Affleck received a great ton of ink for his work to help John Kerry during last year's senate race, Affleck also stumped hard for Al Gore:

In the final hectic weeks of Campaign 2000, Affleck spent his time passionately campaigning for the Democratic ticket, supporting Al Gore, repeatedly delivering a get-out-the-vote plea: "It's very important to vote. The president will appoint three or four Supreme Court justices."

During the final week of the race, Affleck stumped for Gore in California, Florida, and Pennsylvania. During a stop in Pittsburgh, the star--along with Helen Hunt, Martin Sheen, Rob Reiner and other actors--spent an hour at a phone bank calling registered Democrats. "People in my generation have a low voter turnout. One of the reasons that I'm here is to demonstrate that no matter who you are going to vote for... I think it's important to get involved and get out and vote," Affleck told reporters. "But I'm going to tell people to vote for Gore."

On October 28, 2000, Affleck flew with the First Lady (Hillary Clinton) to Ithaca, New York, where he introduced her at a Cornell University rally. Affleck told the college crowd that Clinton had been advocating for women and working families since "Rick Lazio was running around the frat house in his underwear." Lazio, then a Long Island congressman, was Clinton's Republican opponent.

On Monday, November 6, the final day of the campaign, Affleck was one of several A-list celebrities summoned to Miami Beach by Miramax Films boss Harvey Weinstein for a late-night Gore rally, just hours before polls opened nationwide. The Gore campaign's last event, a final effort to energize South Beach voters, didn't end until about 1 AM, but Affleck flew back to New York that morning and made a surprise live appearance on The Rosie O'Donnell Show. It was 10:15 when he made his final public pitch from a Rockefeller Center studio, noting that he was "a little bit tired...I've been out getting involved, doing stuff and trying to get people to vote. And that's why I came by here." Also, "Today is the get-out-the-vote day and...I think this is the time to get involved, especially the young folks who are here ... I'm about to go vote," Affleck then said, adding later, "I am personally gonna vote for Al Gore."

Affleck has some political experience, I healthy respect for democracy, strong Democratic beliefs, and the ability to instantly make the race competitive. While Virginia Governor Mark Warner was my first choice to challenge Senator Allen, I think it is important that we put the seat in play. If Ben Affleck is interested, I think he should file.

UPDATE: Bowers joins the bandwagon, meaning Affleck could have the makings of some blogosphere backing if he decides to run:

I now think Ben Affleck should run for Senate in Virginia. Here is why.

The Jack Carter announcement today increased the number of competitive Democratic challenges to Republican-held Senate seats to eight (Arizona, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Tennessee). Over the past week, with Hoeven bowing out in North Dakota and Capito bowing out in West Virginia, the number of potentially competitive Republican challenges to Democratic-held Senate seats has been reduced to seven (Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey and Washington). Thus, for the first time, in the 2005-2006 cycle, Democrats have actually pulled ahead in the number of potentially competitive seats they are challenging in the Senate. [...]

Apart from a decided monetary advantage, one key for Republicans in 2002 and 2004 in the Senate was to create more competitive challenges to Democratic-held seats than Democrats created to Republican held seats. In the final weeks of the campaign, this stretched Democratic resources very thin, and allowed Republicans to pick up almost all of the close Senate races in both years. For example, ion 2004, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania never emerged as highly competitive Democratic challenges to Republican held seats, while Washington and Wisconsin become, if not truly competitive, a lot closer than most people expected. The DSCC was forced to help defend Murray and Feingold, while the NRSC wasn't forced to do much of anything to help Bond, Specter and Voinovich. Democrats managed to do this to Republicans in 2000 as well, when they scored a net gain of five seats.

This is a strategy that should have been obvious to me from day one, since it is exactly the sort of strategy I have been advocating in the House for quite some time. Challenge every seat, aim for the leadership, and reduce the number of minimal challenges as much as possible, thus draining Republican resources away from the swing seats during the campaign as much as possible. It makes sense for the Senate as well.

Thus, no matter how much of a media circus an Affleck candidacy might become, it seems to me that he would be an excellent bonus to Democratic chances in the Senate in 2006. He is already very well known, has good looks and good politics, is a strong speaker, and could easily self-finance his run against Allen, who pretty close the the under-50 incumbent tipping point. Thus, Affleck would instantly increase the number of competitive Democratic challenges to nine seats, further stretching the Democratic advantage in this area. If Lott retires, that could potentially make ten serious challenges to Republican-held seats. And who knows, maybe we will continue to experience good news in places like Maryland, Nebraska and New Jersey, pushing Democrats out to a huge edge in seats we are seriously challenging. [...]

Humble and tasteful, well-spoken and smart, liberal and instantly competitive--Affleck suddenly looks very good to me. With the way things are going, over the past three months 2006 has looked better than better for Democrats all the time. Let's keep that roll going. Run Ben, run.

MyDD also has a poll, go vote.

Posted at 03:11 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, 2008 President - Republicans, Democrats, Netroots, Virginia | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

OH-Sen: Harriet Miers, the Blogs, and Mike DeWine's Re-Election Campaign

Posted by Bob Brigham

Following Paul Hackett's astonishing showing in the OH-02 Special Election, there was a great deal of ink used by pundits trying to understand how Hackett's blogosphere support allowed him to outspend Jean Schmidt in a congressional district Democrats had written off for the longest time.

In fact, Campaigns and Elections Magazine currently has a cover story: Blogging Down the Money Trail on the subject. The netroots scored CNN's Political Play of the Week. The press and establishment hacks on both sides of the aisle began paying attention to the potential of online small dollar donations being deployed to crucial districts. You would think more people would have been thinking this way after Howard Dean, but then again, most of the people now paying attention are the ones who said Dean was making a mistake by not accepting matching funds. Yet Dean raised more money with his distributed model, Hackett outspent Schmidt, and now a helluva lot of serious people are wondering how this will play out in 2006.

I think we can get an idea of this dynamic by looking a Senator Mike DeWine's re-election campaign in Ohio.

The Ohio Senate race is destined to be one of the most closely watched in the nation. Ohio is a crucial swing state, and Ohio Republicans are engulfed in major corruption scandals. As Democrats move to embrace the "Culture of Corruption" meme against Republicans, polls in Ohio will give us an early glimpse of how such a message could move voters.

Ohio is also home to very expensive media markets and the winning campaign will be the one most successful at capturing the attention of voters. As a tight swing state, the potential for a close race is very real and the impact of the blogs could be enormous.

Republican Blogs and Mike DeWine

Mike DeWine is in a tricky situation as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kos says:

One last key point -- DeWine sits on the judicial committee, which will become a flash point as social conservatives gear up to oppose the Miers nomination to the Supreme Court. DeWine can't afford to lose the diehard social conservatives, already made difficult when he joined the Gang of 14 that prevented Frist from executing his "nuclear option" on judicial filibusters.

After the Gang of 14 move by Senator DeWine, conservative bloggers mounted a Not. One. Dime. boycott of the National Republican Senatorial Committee:

Not. One. Dime. The next time Ken Mehlman sends you a request for money, that's the message he needs to get back. We ponied up in 2004, and in 2002, and in 2000. The GOP not only has not delivered, its current leadership won't even try. Frist and Rick Santorum claim they don't have the votes. Balderdash -- they don't have the leadership to get the votes. I'm not going to fund or support people who won't try to win, especially when the issue is so important.

Not. One. Dime. We're not in an election year, so this makes it easy for the Republicans to get this message to party leaders. No balls, no Blue Chips, boys. I don't mean just for the Senate, either. I mean for the entire Republican party. Feeding a fever may be good medicine, but feeding a failure only makes it last longer. Perhaps hunger will work where courage has so obviously failed.

Not. One. Dime. And when a vote does come, those Republicans who wind up supporting the minority's extortion over the majority in defiance of the Constitution will never see another dime from me -- but their opponents will, at every level of contest. Honestly, with Republicans like these in the Senate, we may as well have Democrats.

Now, convervative bloggers a livid over the Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court. The GOP is fracturing and his now on the defense in 2006 and 2008. The Harriet Miers' paper trail is on the verge of making conservative heads explode.

The smart move for DeWine would be to use his position on the Judiciary Committee to blast Miers and then vote against her, saving his conservative credentials and patching up his strained relationship with the right-wing bloggers. But it doesn't look like that is his intention:

DeWine's ability to defend his seat against suddenly competitive Democrats might depend on his position on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which puts him at the center of the latest Supreme Court nomination process.

DeWine and his 17 committee mates will hold confirmation hearings for White House counsel Harriet Miers, announced Monday by President Bush as his nominee to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. [...]

In an interview Monday after the nomination was announced, DeWine gave Miers a strong endorsement.

That is not what the conservative bloggers want to hear. Even worse, it looks like DeWine's situation will both hurt him with his base while not yielding any position with independents:

White isn't so sure that voters will focus on the nomination process because of the investment and ethics scandals involving Ohio's Republican-controlled state government.

"At this time, (the Supreme Court) is not driving the political arena here," White said, adding DeWine could have to deal with fallout from decisions Miers and recently confirmed Chief Justice John Roberts make.

To recap, DeWine is in a situation where the voters are focusing on the "Culture of Corruption" in the Ohio Republican Party and the conservative blogs have zero interest in helping him. This was the same position (now) Congresswoman Jean Schmidt found herself in when the conservative bloggers sat out this year's Special Election.

Democratic Blogs and the Ohio Senate Race

Even with a (slim) prospect of Congressman Sherrod Brown challenging Paul Hackett for the Democratic Party nomination, the Democratic blogs are remarkably focused upon the race.

Sure, there is some internal tension with the Blogfather pushing Sherrod Brown and Paul Hackett enjoying a 70 percentage point advantage in a new straw poll.

Yet either way, the Democratic Blogosphere is going to be pumped to support the Democratic nominee against Senator DeWine.

Since Hackett is the only announced candidate, let's see what he brings to the table.

The above is a map of Hackett contributors during the Special Election. Yes, that is a 50 state base that came together in two weeks. With Hackett running, we can expect a campaign of straight talk and bold action that cuts through the clutter and connects with voters of all political leanings.

When I was embedded with the Hackett campaign, I kept hearing, "I don't agree with you, but I appreciate where you're coming from." These were voters who disagreed with, but respected, Major Hackett. They voted for Hackett, because they knew he was something special.

Democratic activists also have a lot of respect for Congressman Sherrod Brown since he is the exact personification of a Representative who will makes the grassroots feel a sense of pride in supporting.


So going into 2006, it appears that Senator Mike DeWine will be lacking the newest force in politics for his re-election campaign. At the same time, the Democratic blogosphere and netroots are united to throw DeWine out of office.

The only out for DeWine is to vote against his President and vote against Harriet Miers nomination for the Supreme Court. But DeWine is too chicken and that is part of the reason the conservative base won't raise a finger for his campaign.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are embracing cutting edge campaign tactics. Paul Hackett ran the most efficient blogosphere campaign ever and Rep. Brown started Grow Ohio. No matter what happens, it is looking like the netroots are going to kick Mike DeWine's ass out of the U.S. Senate.

Posted at 08:18 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Netroots, Ohio, Scandals, Supreme Court | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

OH-Sen: Hackett Crushing Brown in Straw Poll

Posted by Bob Brigham

There has been a great deal of discussion about yesterday's surprise hint of a decision change by Representative Sherrod Brown. As has been widely noted, Congressman Brown had near universal support for a potential senate bid, but decided not to run so as to clear the way for another candidate. Enter Paul Hackett, who has been working behind the scenes to put the pieces in place for a statewide run against Senator Mike DeWine (for example, yesterday Hackett was meeting with Senator Harry Reid). But also yesterday, Congressman Sherrod Brown decided to have his flack call the Hotline and hint he might flip and run after all.

We now have a DailyKos Straw Poll on the matter. While not scientific, I think there is more than enough participation to suggest where netroots support will be if there is a primary campaign between Brown and Hackett.

UPDATED: With 1328 1666 Total Votes

Congressman Sherrod Brown - 14% 13%
Major Paul Hackett - 85% 86%

A seventy point advantage?

Kos says:

And with all apologies to Brown, who is one of the greats in the House, but this isn't cool. He bows out, waits for Hackett to gear up, and then floats a trial balloon about getting back in? Brown must've known about Hackett's decision to run, hence this trial balloon is sabotage.

I'm not even sure who is the best candidate, the bullshit "who's most electable" question. That Zogby poll earlier today had Hackett kicking DeWine's ass. I assume Brown would do roughly as well. But in a primary, Brown has the instiutional state party apparatus (no matter how pathetic Ohio Dems might be). Hackett is an outsider.

Me, give me an Iraq vet over a career politician, even one with Brown's excellent pedigree.


Posted at 11:39 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Democrats, Netroots, Ohio | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, October 03, 2005

Bush Chickens Out; Conservative Heads Explode

Posted by Bob Brigham

The consensus is established: Bush is a lame duck and the reaction to Harriet Miers is nothing but angst from the Republican base. Because President George Bush is a "Lame Duck" who fears the Democrats more than the loss of his base. Here is the raw political analysis...

The New York Times:

By instead settling on a loyalist with no experience as a judge and little substantive record on abortion, affirmative action, religion and other socially divisive issues, Mr. Bush shied away from a direct confrontation with liberals and in effect asked his base on the right to trust him on this one.

The question is why.

On one level, his reasons for trying to sidestep a partisan showdown are obvious, and come down to his reluctance to invest his diminished supply of political capital in a battle over the court.

The White House is still struggling to recover from its faltering response to Hurricane Katrina. The Republican Party is busily trying to wave away a scent of second-term scandal. The relentlessly bloody insurgency in Iraq continues to weigh heavily on his presidency. And no president can retain his political authority for long if he loses his claim to the center.

"The swagger is gone from this White House," said Charles E. Cook Jr., editor of The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan newsletter, citing a litany of other difficulties afflicting the administration, including high gasoline prices and the failure of Mr. Bush's push to overhaul Social Security. "They know they have horrible problems and they came up with the least risky move they could make."

The Bush Administration and the Republican Party have been gripped by the Fear. They are playing defense. One might even say the GOP is behaving like the Democratic Party (ouch).

The Washington Post:

If President Bush's goal is to shift the Supreme Court in a more conservative direction, his nomination of White House counsel Harriet Miers yesterday signaled a desire to do so as quietly as possible. The nomination appeared designed primarily to avoid a major fight in the Senate and, said skeptics on the left and right, was made out of a position of political weakness, not strength.

Bush's decision confounded both right and left, as perhaps the president's advisers had hoped. In nominating someone who caused dismay among conservative activists but who provoked little strong opposition among Democrats -- and words of praise from Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) -- the White House may have calculated that Bush can more easily afford some early heat from the right than a titanic struggle with Democrats that could tie up the Senate and leave him in an even weaker position three months from now.

Reaction to Harriet Miers from the Republican Party

The Republican Establishment is pissed, just ask Richard Viguerie:

“Congratulations are due to Ralph Neas, Nan Aron, and Chuck Schumer for going toe-to-toe with President Bush and forcing him to blink,” said conservative activist Richard A. Viguerie. “Liberals have successfully cowed President Bush by scaring him off from nominating a known conservative, strict constructionist to the Court, leaving conservatives fearful of which direction the Court will go.”

“President Bush desperately needed to have an ideological fight with the Left to redefine himself and re-energize his political base, which is in shock and dismay over his big government policies,” Viguerie added.

“With their lack of strong, identifiable records, President Bush’s choices for Supreme Court nominees seem designed more to avoid a fight with the extreme Left than to appeal to his conservative base,” lamented Viguerie.

Many conservatives worry that without verifiable records, President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees will be more like the liberal Justice Souter than the conservative, strict constructionists Scalia and Thomas.

Remembering and still dismayed about how his father, President George H. W. Bush (the 41st), lied to conservatives and American voters by saying he was a conservative and expressly stating he would not raise taxes, conservatives fear President George W. Bush (the 43rd) has done the same by failing to nominate well-known conservative, strict constructionists to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“President Bush has presided over the largest growth in government since Lyndon Johnson, and now he appears willing to lose all credibility with conservative voters by failing to fulfill his campaign vow to nominate an openly Scalia- or Thomas-like justice,” Viguerie concluded.

Conservatives are also exceedingly disappointed in the Republican Leadership in Congress as well. Conservatives will now begin to seriously consider why they should continue to give their support –money, labor, and votes – to Republican politicians who take their conservative base for granted by continually lying to them.

The Emerging Republican Base is pissed, as the National Journal's Beltway Blogroll reports:

Then came Miers' nomination to the Supreme Court today. The current White House counsel has never served as a judge; she apparently has no substantial paper trail that would enable conservatives to vet her record; and perhaps worst of all, she contributed money to Bush's 2000 nemesis, Democrat Al Gore, when Gore sought the presidency in 1988.

The rhetorical dam burst wide open after Bush announced her nomination, and the flood of criticism is thick with conservative voices.

Once again, Malkin is at the forefront. Numerous blogs are quoting her refrain: "What Julie Myers is to the Department of Homeland Security, Harriet Miers is to the Supreme Court." And Mike Krempasky of RedState said bluntly: "Mr. President, you've got some explaining to do. And please remember -- we've been defending you these five years because of this moment."

Right Thinking from the Left Coast eloquently connected the cronyism dots from Brown to Miers. "I'd like to take a moment to coin a new phrase: Brownie moment. A Brownie moment can be defined simply as the moment when a supporter of President Bush is smacked in the head by reality and loses any and all faith in the president from that moment forward. ... This was my Brownie moment," Lee wrote of the Miers nomination.

Bush made the type of cowardly move you would expect from a Lame Duck Chickenhawk. We'll see whether the GOP base sticks to their beliefs or is forced to stand by their failed President. Either way, the political entertainment value of Harriet Miers is significant.


WASHINGTON — President Bush's decision to nominate White House counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court shows that he isn't afraid to disappoint conservatives, prefers to promote trusted advisers and listens to his wife.

Not a good night to be a conservative.

Posted at 11:51 PM in Netroots, Republicans, Scandals | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Harriet Miers Fractures GOP in Real-Time

Posted by Bob Brigham

An important function of the blogosphere is a peek into real-time politics. Bloggers show and create what is going on in politics right now. The announcement of Harriet Miers gives us a short window to peer into the GOP.

First, look at the National Review's David Frum. Last week, Frum blasted Harriet Meirs:

In the White House that hero worshipped the president, Miers was distinguished by the intensity of her zeal: She once told me that the president was the most brilliant man she had ever met.

Today, not only did he blast her again, but he then deleted the middle paragraph in the following:

Harriet Miers is a taut, nervous, anxious personality. It is impossible to me to imagine that she can endure the anger and abuse - or resist the blandishments - that transformed, say, Anthony Kennedy into the judge he is today.

She rose to her present position by her absolute devotion to George Bush. I mentioned last week that she told me that the president was the most brilliant man she had ever met. To flatter on such a scale a person must either be an unscrupulous dissembler, which Miers most certainly is not, or a natural follower. And natural followers do not belong on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Nor is it safe for the president's conservative supporters to defer to the president's judgment and say, "Well, he must know best." The record shows I fear that the president's judgment has always been at its worst on personnel matters.

Right now, the White House is spinning like a top in GOP circles. Ankle Biting Pundits is "highly disappointed" and points out, "politically it's not good because it just opens the President up to charges of "cronyism"" while offering the following roundup of conservative bloggers reaction to the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court:

John Hawkins of RightWingNews goes further than me and calls Miers a "disaster"
Michelle Malkin is "utterly underwhelmed"
Powerline is also disappointed.
Confirm Them is underwhelmed.
John Podhoretz calls it dumb.
Mike Krepasky at Red State rightly says the President has some explaining to do.
Polipundit isn't exactly thrilled but is willing to give her a chance.
Andrew Sullivan is going the "Crony" route. But can we say he's wrong?
Mark Levin says that the President "flinched"
Betsy Newmark has a hard time putting an adjective on just how disappointed she is and says the President bowed to pressure.
Gerry Daly is in the "Anger" stage (#2 of the 5 stages)
Captain Ed is "mystified", and not in a good way.

The timing couldn't be worse for the GOP as today's newsstands are graced with a new Newsweek cover-story titled, Troubled Waters: War, storms, leak probes—and a growing array of ethics clouds. Dark days for the Republican Party:

Bush and his fellow Republicans have little margin for error. Three forces—sky-high gasoline prices, the massive costs of rebuilding the Gulf Coast and ever-gloomier public assessments of the war in Iraq—have combined to weaken Bush's reputation as a strong leader, and leave him vulnerable to the kind of second-term fiascoes that tend to befall all presidents: think Ronald Reagan and Iran-contra, or Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Indeed, polltaker Frank Luntz, who helped develop the "Contract With America" message that swept Republicans to power in 1994, was on the Hill last week warning the party faithful that they could lose both the House and the Senate in next year's congressional elections.

The Republicans' power outage is real—and the historical irony is as vast as Texas. Beginning in the 1950s, the Democratic Party of Texans Lyndon Johnson and Sam Rayburn built a congressional machine of unrivaled power. But starting in the '80s, led by a firebrand named Newt Gingrich, Republicans led a revolt from below in the name of smaller government and an ethically cleansed Congress. In 1989 Newt & Co. forced out Democratic Speaker Jim Wright—a Texan, too, who resigned over charges that he profited improperly from book sales—and five years later the GOP took control of the House after a Biblical 40 years in the wilderness. But it took the Republicans only 10 years to become yet another ruling party beset by charges of profligate spending, bloated government and corruption—a party led by two Texans, Bush and DeLay, who don't particularly care whether they are beloved outside their inner circle. To paraphrase David Mamet, the Republicans became what they beheld.

And there is much to behold. Michael Brown, the hapless yet arrogant former head of FEMA, managed to anger even putative Republican allies in an appearance before a House committee.

Michael Brown is a name that should come up a great deal during the Miers' confirmation process. Harriet Miers is a Michael Brown quality pick. Even right-wing bloggers are using the word 'cronyism' and are worried because they know Bush can't afford this.

The storyline of Bush giving key jobs to completely unqualified political hacks is connecting with the American people. By picking people on the basis of loyalty, rather than effectiveness, Bush has set the stage for the Culture of Corruption that engulfs the entire Republican Party.

When these are the rules (or lack thereof), you have multi-million bagmen like Jack Abramoff. You have conspiring congressmen like Tom DeLay. You have national security traitors like Scooter Libby and Karl Rove.

Today's Republican Party puts allegiance to Party above duty to country. But individual Republicans are growing increasingly disgusted, because like so many members of the National Guard, they aren't getting what they signed up for.

The stakes are high, this is the swing vote, as evidenced by the following 5-4 decisions:

Sandra Day O'Connor has been the deciding fifth vote in many important Supreme Court decisions affecting civil rights, environmental protection, personal privacy, reproductive freedom and reproductive health, religious liberty, consumer protection and much more. If she is replaced by someone who doesn't share her fair and impartial perspective -- someone in the mold of Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia -- the constitutional consequences will be devastating. These are among the key 5-4 decisions in danger of being overturned:

Environmental protection

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation v. EPA (2004) said the Environmental Protection Agency could step in and take action to reduce air pollution under the Clean Air Act when a state conservation agency fails to act.

Reproductive rights and privacy

Stenberg v. Carhart (2000) overturned a state law that would have had the effect of banning abortion as early as the 12th week of pregnancy and that lacked any exception to protect a woman’s health.

Consumer protection and corporate power

Rush Prudential HMO, Inc. v. Moran (2002) upheld state laws giving people the right to a second doctor's opinion if their HMOs tried to deny them treatment.

Civil rights: affirmative action and discrimination based on sex, race, and disability

Jackson v. Birmingham Bd. Of Educ. (2005) ruled that federal law protects against retaliation against someone for complaining about illegal sex discrimination in federally assisted education programs.

Tennessee v. Lane (2004) upheld the constitutionality of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and required that courtrooms be physically accessible to the disabled.

Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) affirmed the right of state colleges and universities to use affirmative action in their admissions policies to increase educational opportunities for minorities and promote racial diversity on campus.

Davis v. Monroe County Bd. of Educ. (1999) ruled that it is a violation of federal law for school districts to be deliberately indifferent towards severe and pervasive student-on-student sexual harassment.

Brentwood Academy v. Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (2001) affirmed that civil rights laws apply to associations regulating interscholastic sports.

Morse v. Republican Party of Virginia (1996) said key anti-discrimination provisions of the Voting Rights Act apply to political conventions that choose party candidates.

Hunt v. Cromartie (2001) affirmed the right of state legislators to take race into account to secure minority voting rights in redistricting.

Access to justice

Zadvydas v. Davis (2001) told the government it could not indefinitely detain an immigrant who was under final order of removal even if no other country would accept that person and that access to federal courts is available to combat improper, indefinite detention.

Brown v. Legal Foundation of Washington (2003) maintained a key source of funding for legal assistance for the poor.

Hibbs v. Winn (2004) subjected discriminatory and unconstitutional state tax laws to review by the federal judiciary.

Religious liberty and church-state separation

McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky (2005) upheld the principle of government neutrality towards religion and ruled unconstitutional Ten Commandments displays in several courthouses

Lee v. Weisman (1992) continued the tradition of government neutrality toward religion, finding that government-sponsored prayer is unacceptable at graduations and other public school events.

Money, politics and government accountability

McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003) upheld most of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, including its ban on political parties’ use of unlimited soft money contributions.

Federal Election Commission v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (2001) upheld laws that limit political party expenditures that are coordinated with a candidate and seek to evade campaign contribution limits.

UPDATE: From Atrios:

Wingnuttia is rather angry at the choice. I don't think this is because they're really concerned that she's not conservative enough for their tastes, although that's part of it. They're angry because this was supposed to be their nomination. This is was their moment. They didn't just want a stealth victory, they wanted parades and fireworks. They wanted Bush to find the wingnuttiest wingnut on the planet, fully clothed and accessorized in all the latest wingnut fashions, not just to give them their desired Court rulings, but also to publicly validate their influence and power. They didn't just want substantive results, what they wanted even more were symbolic ones. They wanted Bush to extend a giant middle finger to everyone to the left of John Ashcroft. They wanted to watch Democrats howl and scream and then ultimately lose a nasty confirmation battle. They wanted this to be their "WE RUN THE COUNTRY AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT" moment.

Whatever kind of judge she would be, she doesn't provide them with that.



Wikipedia on Harriet Miers

Posted at 11:20 AM in 2006 Elections, Culture of Corruption, General, Netroots, Republicans, Scandals, Supreme Court | TrackBack (7) | Technorati

Sunday, October 02, 2005

2008: HRC Missed Bridge to 21st Century

Posted by Bob Brigham

I've written about this before (here and here), but now that Matt Bai has a major story in the Sunday NYT Magazine, I think the issue of HRC's political positioning needs revisiting. The article is aptly titled, "Mrs. Triangulation"

You can hardly pry up a floorboard in the basement of Democratic politics without finding some sign of the Clinton operation churning underneath.

The chief benefit of this network is that it spans the ideological divide in the party, from far left to far center. The problem is that labels like "left" and "center" seem to have lost much of their meaning in the party, and the divisions in Democratic politics no longer seem to run along traditional lines. Gone are the days when Hubert Humphrey waged war against Strom Thurmond on civil rights, when George McGovern's protesters clashed with Scoop Jackson's hard-liners. In the era after Bill Clinton, the vast majority of Democrats, whether they once considered themselves liberals or centrists, mouth allegiance to the same set of often tepid principles on issues like trade, terrorism and gun control - positions that they will often cite as evidence of hard-won unity but which in truth represent the absence of the real intellectual discussion that once defined (and sometimes doomed) the party. As a result, aside from a few subtle disputes - whether troops should be withdrawn from Iraq now, for instance, or next year - the philosophical differences between liberals and centrists have never been more obscure. Nothing better illustrated the passing of the party's long ideological debate better than the explosive presidential campaign of Howard Dean (now the party's chairman), whose record as a pro-gun, pro-Democratic Leadership Council governor did nothing to prevent him from seamlessly assuming the role of chief spokesman for those liberal voters who had always embodied the so-called Democratic left.

What Dean's candidacy brought into the open, however, was another kind of growing and powerful tension in Democratic politics that had little to do with ideology. Activists often describe this divide as being between "insiders" and "outsiders," but the best description I've heard came from Simon Rosenberg, a Democratic operative who runs the advocacy group N.D.N. (formerly New Democrat Network), which sprang from Clintonian centrism of the early 1990's. As Rosenberg explained it, the party is currently riven between its "governing class" and its "activist class." The former includes the establishment types who populate Washington - politicians, interest groups, consultants and policy makers. The second comprises "Net roots" Democrats on the local level; that is, grass-roots Democrats, many of whom were inspired by Dean and who connect to politics primarily online, through blogs or Web-based activist groups like The argument between the camps isn't about policy so much as about tactics, and a lot of Democrats in Washington don't even seem to know it's happening.

The activist class believes, essentially, that Democrats in Washington have damaged the party by trying to negotiate and compromise with Republicans - in short, by trying to govern. The "Net roots" believe that an effective minority party should disengage from the governing process and eschew new proposals or big ideas. Instead, the party should dedicate itself to winning local elections and killing each new Republican proposal that comes down the track. To the activist class, trying to cut deals with Republicans is tantamount to appeasement. In fact, Rosenberg, an emerging champion of the activist class, told me, pointing to my notebook: "You have to use the word 'appease.' You have to use it. Because this is like Neville Chamberlain."

This is an ominous development for Hillary Clinton, because the activists' attack on the party hierarchy is a direct and long-simmering reaction to the Clintonism of the 90's and the "third way" instinct of the D.L.C.

My thoughts after the jump.

This article seems to back up those of us who have questioned Hillary's political instincts. As far as internal Democratic Party politics go, it appears Hillary is trying to bridge old divides that no longer exist and in the way she is going about doing so, has put herself on what will inevitably be the losing side of the current debate going on in the Democratic Party.

I firmly believe the new divide is between the establishment and the base; the bosses and the netroots; the past and the future.

Under these conditions, is the following helpful?

The pollster Mark Penn and the ad-maker Mandy Grunwald, both of whom worked for Bill Clinton and are among Hillary's closest advisers, have longstanding ties to the centrist, pro-business Democratic Leadership Council, while two other Clinton confidants, the operatives Ann Lewis and Harold Ickes, remain close to women's groups and Big Labor, respectively. The trusted aides Howard Wolfson and Patti Solis Doyle have been associated with the Glover Park Group, one of the most influential consulting firms among Democratic interest groups.

Hillary's attempt to staff up to bridge the old divides only cement her position on the side of the tired old Democratic establishment that is currently in a tug-of-war with the base.

By failing to understand the current realities in the Democratic Party, Hillary has embraced a misdiagnosis that has compromised her political standing and exposed the out-of-touch advice that she is receiving. The fact that HRC appears unable to grasp the current dynamics within the Democratic Party actually lends credibility to the activists in the netroots and grassroots who think that many Washington DC Democrats have lost touch.

Additionally, Clinton's ties to Al From's DLC could tether her presidential ambitions:

"I think people are looking for leadership from Hillary Clinton, and she's not showing any leadership on anything," says Markos Moulitsas of, one of the new movement's leading blogs. Even in Hollywood, where the Clintons have been royalty for more than a decade, patience for bipartisanship is running low. Last month in Beverly Hills, I talked about Clinton with Norman Lear, the television and film producer who founded the liberal organization People for the American Way. "I love her," he told me. "But as terrific as I think she is, my concern is that we need someone who will tell the truth as they see it all of the time. She, like all of them, is not somebody who does that."

That Clinton doesn't fully understand the depth of this resentment seemed painfully apparent in July, when, at the D.L.C.'s annual gathering in Columbus, she accepted the assignment of fashioning a new agenda for the group and publicly called for a truce between factions on the left and center. Her aides thought she was actually delivering a mild rebuke to the D.L.C. for criticizing Dean and the bloggers; what they didn't understand was that her presence at the D.L.C. event itself was enough to infuriate the "Net roots," and the suggestion that the two sides should work together made it only worse. The response from the blogosphere was swift and bilious. "It's truly disappointing" that this is the garbage "Hillary has signed on to," Moulitsas wrote on, provoking the blog's devotees to write hundreds of passionate and often profane diatribes in agreement. In a strikingly blunt appraisal, John Podesta told The Washington Post that Clinton had "walked into a cross-fire maybe she should have realized was out there." ("I didn't get any carnations for that one," Podesta told me later, laughing.)

In fact, Clinton's advisers disagreed about whether a bunch of 20-something bloggers really mattered. In a conversation last month, Mark Penn scoffed at my suggestion that there might be a strong backlash in the party against the ethos of Clintonism. "Strong backlash?" Penn said. "Former President Clinton is at a 70 percent approval rating, stronger than even during his presidency. More people would like to see him president than President Bush. In this environment, that is a notion I would have to laugh at." It's true that most Democratic voters are probably too busy working and raising kids to spend a lot of time debating political tactics online, and the importance of the "Net roots" can be overstated. And yet, the blogosphere is bound to be an important organizing force in 2008, and some other candidate will almost certainly rise to fill the space that Dean once occupied. If nothing else, this would make it harder for Hillary Clinton, the heir to her husband's legacy, to run the unity campaign her advisers envision.

After I spoke with Penn, I repeated his assessment of the backlash to Podesta, whose reach into all aspects of the progressive world - from bloggers to members of Congress - makes him as knowledgeable about the party's crosscurrents as anyone in Washington. "The D.L.C. incident is over, and it isn't particularly meaningful," Podesta told me. "But in the long run, if you believe what Mark believes, it will get you in trouble."

Clinton is chair of the DLC's "American Dream Initiative, which has already been marked DOA. If Clinton wanted her DLC membership to be good for more than negative articles in major newspapers, she would immediately call for Al From to be fired. But for that to happen, she would have to understand the where the Democratic Party is headed, which she doesn't. In part, because she hangs out in DC with the likes of Al From and the other dinosaurs who have failed to cross the bridge into the 21st century. In fact, every single move the DLC has made this millennium has been a disaster. Every single move.

The Clintons may have allowed us to go to where we are, but they didn't join us. And we aren't waiting for them to catch up, because we are too busy following their example and pushing on.

Posted at 02:01 PM in 2008 President - Democrats, Democrats, Netroots, Scandals | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Senate 2006: Give 'em Hell Harry!

Posted by Bob Brigham

Senator Harry Reid has done something that every single Democrat in congress needs to do, he started his own actblue page. Additionally, he has a new website, Give 'em Hell Harry.

Washington- Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid today unveiled a new online campaign headquarters - - to provide Americans with the tools to make an impact on the fight for control of the U.S. Senate.

“There is a great deal at stake. While Democrats fight for better health care, energy independence, restoring America's global strength and rebuilding our economy through innovation and reform, Republicans continue to ignore their failures and resist progress,” This website is a place where people can take action. Together, we can change the future.”

Today on, Reid called on Americans to join him in sending a clear, unambiguous message to the nation’s largest oil companies who refused to testify at a Democratic Policy Committee last week on rising gas prices. Reid also is leading efforts with his caucus on an Energy Independence 2020 effort to reduce gas prices and America's dependence on Middle East oil.

“In the face of national tragedy, our nation?s oil companies are recording record profits while Americans are paying 50% more at the pump than they did just one year ago,” Reid said. “Democrats in the Senate have set a national priority to make America safer and more secure by reducing our dependence on foreign oil by 2020. If Republicans can't lead on this issue, we will.”'s formal launch will be supported by paid advertising including billboards in three key western states -- Albuquerque, New Mexico; Phoenix, Arizona; and Helena, Montana -- reaffirming his commitment to winning in the American west.

The name of the site was inspired by an event that occurred during Harry Truman?s successful 1948 presidential campaign. While delivering a speech on a whistle stop tour in Seattle, a supporter yelled to Truman, “Give 'em hell, Harry!” Truman responded, “I don?t give them hell, I just tell the truth and they think it's hell.”

Go check it out.

Posted at 12:03 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Arizona, Montana, Netroots, New Mexico | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

TX-21: John Courage is an All-Star

Posted by Bob Brigham

Having worked with two congressional campaigns endorsed by DFA, I realize that their support is like winning the lottery. So too will John Courage, who is the first "grassroots all-star" DFA candidate for 2006.

From Blog for America

We have the power to elect new leadership in this country.

We've proven over and over again that when we make a race competitive—no matter the district—we can win. But the only way to make every race and every district competitive is with your support.

Two weeks ago, we asked DFA supporters to help kick-off the campaign to take back Congress by voting in our Grassroots All-Star competition. Tens of thousands of DFA members voted for candidates in every corner of the country. After tallying the votes, we're excited to announce the DFA Grassroots All Star: John Courage, from San Antonio, Texas.

Courage says:

I am so proud to have won the support of DFA and the first Grassroots All-Star Endorsement for the 2006 Election Season. My campaign has very strong grassroots, and they were essential in winning this endorsement. This endorsement in TX-21 is sending a strong national message to the GOP congressional "leadership" that in 2006 they can run, but they can't hide - even in Texas.

All of us should be proud of the way the poll was run, the way the candidates were all presented and the way Democrats around the country were given the opportunity to let their voices be heard. It was great to know that 60 Congressional candidates applied for DFA's endorsement! It is through participation like this, that we will win back the House of Representatives.

This endorsement has special meaning for me because my wife and I have been DFA meetup hosts and activists for the past 2 years. I know that receiving the support of DFA is important because I've seen the grassroots strength first-hand.

There's been an overwhelming response in Central Texas to my call for reining in the budget deficit, developing an exit-strategy for Iraq, restoring ethics to Congress and supporting policies that meet the needs of mainstream working families, not just millionaires and Tom DeLay. The local excitement about a change in Congress helped produce a DFA victory this week and will carry me to victory next November.

Visit John Courage's website.

Posted at 05:20 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Activism, Netroots, Texas | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

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 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

IL-06: Evolution

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Props to Christine Cegelis.

As we speak, Democracy for America is conducting a poll among the grassroots: Which of the first 50 candidates nominated by its members is worthy of the initial "Dean Dozen" endorsement. This is pretty serious because most of the campaigns vying for the endorsement could really use the national fundraising appeal from Jim Dean probably netting around $80,000 - $100,000, the volunteer support, and netroots-wide noteriety that will eventually come from the honor of finishing first.

It's been amazing to watch the campaigns jockey for position online. Once upon a time, diaries by candidates/campaigns on Daily Kos would rocket up to the top of the "recommended" list and visitors would heap praise upon the campaign for their interaction with the netroots--even if it was a only a nonsense appeal for funds. The last week has showed me that times they are a changing.

Since the first round of voting began, I have seen diaries from the Patrick Murphy campaign, Francine Busby, Richard Morrisson, Bryan Kennedy, and a few others drop like rocks when posted on Daily Kos, with little commentary and even fewer recommendations. Unless I am mistaken, only one has risen to the coveted recommended list, and that was a diary by Christine Cegelis. I believe all campaigns can take a lesson from this.

Chrstine was online in 2004, and when she lost, she never stopped communicating with the netroots. This was not some bogus one way appeal for funds, but she would talk about important issues without asking for anything in return...but discussion. And she would stick around in the comments and interact with the people that responded to her entries. She was actually having a DIALOGUE. Novel idea, eh? Christine's district is about five minutes outside of my hometown in Illinois, and I have had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with her several times. Her online outreach doesn't shock me at all, because it is an extension of the kind of traditional campaign work that brought her so close to the biggest upset of 2004 against Henry Hyde. Every vote the campaign receieved was earned through a message of progress and organization on the ground. She didn't have Republican money, but she had Democratic heart and determination. At the end of the day, she received 44+ percent of the vote, and Henry Hyde retired, not wanting another dog fight.

It's now an open seat.

Even still, national organizations have threatened the campaign by attempting to recruit the same old tired, self-financing, candidates in the district that will blur the distinction between themselves and the Republican opposition--in this case ex-DeLay staffer, Peter Roskam. Christine's campaign is met with constant demands about meeting this or than fundraising total or face the prospect of receiving no aid in a very winnable race, or worse, face establishment recruitment of the kind of candidate described above.

Chrstine has already raised more money than she had in all of the 2004 cycle, and winning this vote would end the discussion of further recruitment. A few weeks ago I was on a conference call with the DCCC and Rahm Emanuel, and they talked about polling all sorts of prospective candidates in the district rather than using those resources to help the candidate that has been running for two year already...and never stopped. Every step of the way, her campaign has met the establishment challenges with an uprising from her own network of grassroots supporters inside IL-6 and from within the netroots. Winning this vote would be the final nail in the coffin and ensure us a great candidate with a message of progress in a very winnable district.

I cast my ballot for Christine Cegelis today, and I guess this is my appeal to ask you to do the same.

UPDATE: (Bob) I cast my ballot for Christine Cegelis. Join us!

Posted at 12:40 PM in Netroots | Comments (3) | Technorati

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

MT-Sen: Max Baucus Runs from Democratic Party

Posted by Bob Brigham

Montana Senator Max Baucus is a skittish senator known for bolting and running. In fact, Senator Baucus has quite a reputation for running. On November 22 of last year Baucus was running from something for 50 miles when he hit his head on a rock and needed urgent brain surgery. I'm no big city doctor, but I think Baucus lost his fucking mind:

WASHINGTON -- Montana Sen. Max Baucus, a Democrat, said Tuesday he will vote for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. [...]

Baucus is breaking with his party's top senator in deciding to vote for the 50-year-old appeals court judge and former Reagan administration lawyer.

Why is Max Baucus running from the Democratic Party? Instead of running away, why can't Max Baucus play with the team? Call each number below and ask.

Washington D.C.(202) 224-2651
Billings (406) 657-6790
Bozeman (406) 586-6104
Butte (406) 782-8700
Great Falls (406) 761-1574
Helena (406) 449-5480
Kalispell (406) 756-1150
Missoula (406) 329-3123
Washington DC Fax (202) 224-0515

Thanks for taking 10 minutes to make those quick 8 calls. If you have 2 more minutes, use the email form.

I am totally fuckin' pissed at Baucus. Senator Reid is from a redder state, but he isn't running from what he cares about. Why is Baucus chicken?

Baucus isn't even up until 2008 and (hopefully) won't be running for re-election. Senator Baucus doesn't need to go around acting like a dipshit coward, but this isn't the first time. Matthew Yglesias explains (2.1.04):

As a result, literally none of the president's signature initiatives -- from tax cuts to the resolution authorizing war in Iraq to the Medicare bill -- garnered sufficient GOP support to pass without cooperation from some Democrats, cooperation that the White House has largely succeeded in obtaining.

Among the defectors, Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.) has tended to attract the lion's share of media attention for his florid denunciations of his ostensible party. But the practical effects of Miller's histrionics have been rather limited compared with the betrayals of his more low-key colleague Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). As the ranking member (and, for a period, chairman) of the Finance Committee, arguably the Senate's most powerful, Baucus, who underwent successful brain surgery on Jan. 9, has not only voted for many pieces of Republican-backed legislation but actually taken the lead in authoring much of the president's domestic-policy agenda. During the 2001 tax-cut debate, Baucus cut a deal with committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and the White House to co-sponsor a slightly watered-down version of the president's proposal. In doing so, he not only gave the GOP his vote but, more importantly, his support for the tax cut effectively handed the White House the staff and other committee resources under his control.

Fellow Democrats were even more aggrieved, however, by Baucus' behavior during the Medicare battle with which Congress closed last year's session. The Senate initially passed a compromise bill with support from Republicans and some liberal Democrats like Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), while the House put forward a much more partisan piece of legislation on a narrow vote. A conference committee composed of members of both chambers was convened, but the Republican leadership, in a sharp break from precedent, said that though Democrats could be officially appointed to the committee, none would be invited to the meetings where the substantive negotiations would take place and the actual bill be written. None, that is, except for Baucus and the similarly cooperative John Breaux of Louisiana, who will retire at the end of the year.

By lending this farce a veneer of bipartisan credibility, Baucus and Breaux essentially denied the Democrats what was not only their best chance of defeating the bill in question but the party's last hope of putting a stop to a long string of Republican provocations aimed at reducing the minority party to window-dressing status. (emphasis mine)

WTF? Call each phone number and let your rage be heard. This is totally fuckin' unacceptable and you can quote me on that.

Posted at 09:30 PM in Activism, Montana, Netroots, Scandals, Supreme Court | Comments (5) | Technorati

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Blog Search

Posted by Bob Brigham

I'm sitting in Washington, DC with Chris Bowers and he just pointed me to

'bout time.

Posted at 03:06 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Thursday, September 15, 2005

NOLA: Boots on the ground - we need more bloggers

Posted by Bob Brigham

Having a crack team of bloggers on the ground has allowed us to do more than provide coverage, it has provided real-time communication ability and scalable models.

As many of you know, we've been working with Dr. Ernest Johnson, President of the Lousiana NAACP. In addition to all of the direct aid relief, we have also been working closely with local political leaders.

The following case study is just one example of why we need you to get down to Louisiana and help the NAACP scale up efforts.

Americablog Coorespondent Kyle Shank documented how this started out.

It began with a simple idea, as old as democracy itself. That we need to organize structures of the evacuees, by the evacuees, and for the evacuees.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comDue to the team we had on ground, we were able immediately cut PSAs, shoot a video release and blast a press release:


Ernest L. Johnson, President of the Louisiana NAACP called today for Katrina evacuees in shelters to take control of their own destinies by forming SHELTER COMMITTEES.

"Each SHELTER COMMITTEE should elect a Chairperson and a Secretary and begin holding meetings, organizing, and working as a team for better treatment," Johnson said. "In unity there is strength." [...]

The Louisiana NAACP is airing public service announcements on radio stations that explain the process for bringing participatory democracy to the shelter system.

"The Louisiana NAACP is with you in solidarity," Johnson said. "The NAACP will stand with all displaced people until each and every one return to a brand-new New Orleans."

It worked

The PSA's began running and the press began calling. We began reaching out to other groups and other groups began reaching out to us. We began building a coalition and providing the tools to the evacuees to organize themselves.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThen it hit the front page (above the fold) of the Baton Rouge paper (that all of the national press read).

NAACP seeks to organize evacuees

The NAACP is trying to organize occupants of evacuation shelters so they can take some control of their lives and, for black New Orleans residents, so they can have a voice in their city's 2006 elections.

Louisiana NAACP President Ernest Johnson said he wants evacuees to pick leaders who can speak for the groups on common issues, such as, lack of supplies, getting their children educated and moving into temporary housing.

Such efforts are natural for any community and echo the efforts that founded the United States, Johnson said. Banding together is especially important for people thrown into a new environment with few resources, he said.

The head of the state's chapter of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said he especially wants to be sure that black New Orleans residents -- a majority of shelter occupants, he said -- can return to the Crescent City, if they wish. Thousands were taken, without their input, to states as far away as Montana, Johnson said.

There are problems in the shelters and there will be problems in the camps. Some with the Red Cross, some with FEMA, some with Guard, some with the evacuees. By organizing, we can put a model in place that can deal with whatever problem comes up. The evacuees will be able to collectively negotiate and take control over their own destiny.

We Need Your Help

Organizing takes boots on the ground and we need yours.

We need organizers, activists, media specialists, bloggers and people who can document the stories of the victims so we are ready when it comes time for accountability.

We need you. And your friends. This is a General Call to Action, join us. We have tents in the lawn of the NAACP for you to have shelter, we have wifi at the command center. This is the most important civil rights battle of these times, you are needed.

Please help spread the word and come to:

Lousiana NAACP Command Center
1755 Nicholson Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA

You might go days without showing, New Orleans smells like hell and Lake George is a toxic waste dump. But when all is said and done, you will have played any important role in history. Join us. Spread the word. In solidarity, do what you can.

Posted at 11:21 AM in Louisiana, Netroots, Site News | Technorati

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Netroots: Blogger Code of Conduct

Posted by Bob Brigham

As regular readers know, I spend a great deal of time in offline conversations with other bloggers. Lots of emails, lots of calls. During the year I've been doing this, I have never once had a blogger suggest we need a code of ethics. Not once. The bloggers realize the blogosphere is self-correcting which makes such conversations mute. It did not suprise me in the least to see the following in today's Washington Post:

On Saturday, more than 50 of the state's bloggers -- on the right and the left, the young and the old -- spent a day meeting each other and debating whether there is a need for a common moral compass for this new form of political communication.

The conclusion among many of them was that there is not.

Several said they view their blogs as extensions of their very personal voices. No one, they insisted, has any business telling them what they should say or how they should say it.

Those who held that view expressed exasperation at the idea that government would try to regulate blogs. "Have you ever heard of 'Congress shall make no law?' " one asked, referring to the first few words of the First Amendment and the constitutional protection of freedom of speech.

Pretty much settles it, eh? Nope...

If Virginia's political bloggers want more influence and credibility, they should begin by earning reputations for telling the truth, being upfront about who they are, and treating their audiences with intelligence and decency.

That doesn't mean they need to dumb down or even lose the edgy and sometimes acerbic style that often keeps people coming back.

It does mean they need to learn how to balance those traits with ones that traditional reporters strive to uphold every day.

A code of conduct won't ensure that every blogger strikes the right balance. But it's a start.

Ironically, this was printed the same day that the Washington Post Editorial Board LIED. I think STFU is the appropriate response. As for Michael Shear, who wrote the piece and decided to disregard the views of bloggers and the First Amendment, I don't see any reason he should have influence or credibility.

Posted at 12:06 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Swing State Project News

Posted by Bob Brigham

Thanks for making August a great month. Thanks for reading, helping and sending us tips. In terms of traffic, August was our best month since SSP launched in 2003. Swing State Project also received a great deal of press in August, including the Atlantic Monthly, CNN's Political Play of the Week, Daily Standard, MSNBC, The New Republic, Philadelphia Enquirer, and the Washington Post. Thanks everyone.

Posted at 11:59 PM in Democrats, Netroots, Site News | Technorati

Netroots: Kos Changes

Posted by Bob Brigham

This made my day. Earlier I looked at the contrast been John Morrison and Jon Tester in Montana. You'll recall, each sent an email asking for money yesterday: Tester asked for Red Cross donations and Morrison asked for $2,100 campaign checks.

This afternoon, that theme was picked up to show the contrast between Us and Them. You see, Dean was also using the Democratic online infrastucture to help out the Katrina victims, while it was business as usual for Bush's GOP. So Kos ripped on Within an hour and a half it was changed...


Image hosted by


Image hosted by

Go help out:, even Bush is starting to pay attention.

More here.

UPDATE: (Bob) Speaking of the difference between Us and Them, I decided I'd check out the DLC website.

Image hosted by

And alas, nothing from the Bull Moose either. The Democratic way is to help your neighbors. The Republican way is to help out when people notice you aren't doing anything. The third way, seems to be to do things the GOP way, only slower.

Posted at 07:46 PM in Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

MT-Sen: Tester's Email Fundraising

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I got another one today. An email from a candidate asking for money. It's common knowledge that the more a campaign uses its email list to ask for money, people will open less of their emails down the road, and their list will become burned.

But the email I received today was different, and frankly I have never seen it before. I sign up for all kinds of campaign emails, and I am not sure I can remember a time a candidate, in the middle of a campaign, asked people to give their money to something else. Something of a more immediate concern. Something more important than one campaign.

As I write this, waters continue to rise in New Orleans, where entire neighborhoods have been flooded. Biloxi, Mississippi has been hit hard. More than 37,000 Americans are already seeking shelter in American Red Cross centers all along the Gulf Coast. And the director of FEMA says tens of thousands more will likely require shelter for weeks, if not months.

So why is a U.S. Senate candidate from Montana asking you to help out?

Because it’s the right thing to do. Because this campaign isn’t just about politics—it’s about all of us pulling together to bring Montana values to Washington, D.C. and to the rest of the nation.

And in Montana, we help a neighbor in need. And sometimes that neighbor is very far away.

So please do what you can by supporting the efforts of the American Red Cross to help those affected by this disaster:

Thank you for helping out.

Jon Tester
Montanans for Tester

P.S. Please forward this on to your families and friends. Lives really are at stake, and your efforts can make a difference.

What really amazes me with this appeal is that for many, this is the first email they received from Jon Tester. Given his recently online publicity on the front page of Kos and MyDD, he made decision to make his first contact with many an attempt solicit contributions for a greater good than his campaign.

It makes me even more proud that my second ever contribution to a political campaign was John Testers, and it speaks volumes about the man.

UPDATE: (Bob) I was blown away when I opened the Tester email -- Tester is the real deal. I also got an email from Jon Corzine asking for help. As we come together online, our networks have value far beyond any election. Together, we can make a difference regardless of the challenge. The internet allows us all to act neighborly.

UPDATE: (Bob) I just received an email from a source close to the Chris Bell gubernatorial campaign in Texas. It appears that Bell's campaign was in the middle of an online fundraising drive to mark the launch of his campaign earlier this month. Bell suspended it earlier today and will be sending an email solicitation for the Red Cross tomorrow in place of the fundraising email that was scheduled. The website says:

I read the news today, oh boy. The Chris Bell for Governor campaign is calling off our online fundraising drive out of respect for the hurricane victims. Please do what you can for those who can't do for themselves. Please do as much as you can, and then please do more. We're taking down our fundraising thermometer and putting up the link to the Red Cross...

UPDATE: (Bob) And Howard Dean, full email after the jump...

This week millions of Americans fled Hurricane Katrina. Across the South families abandoned their homes and businesses, not knowing what would be there when they returned.

Many stayed behind and suffered devastating loss and injuries -- nearly a hundred have died that we know of, and hundreds of thousands need our help.

America is at its best when we realize that we are one community -- that we're all in this together. That means that each one of us has the responsibility to do what we can to help the relief effort.

The Red Cross is a great place to start:

They are already moving people and resources into the region to help. Donations will provide clean water, food, and shelter for disaster victims. The Red Cross web site also has important information for victims and their relatives across the country.

Many local Red Cross chapters are organizing volunteers to travel to affected areas -- doctors and nurses to provide medical care, workers to build shelters, first responders to assist in rescue operations.

You can find your local chapter here to learn what you can do:

We are still learning the full story of the devastation, but there is no time to wait. Please do something now.

Thank you.
Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

Posted at 07:00 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Activism, Montana, Netroots, New Jersey, Texas | Comments (2) | Technorati

CA-48: Steve Young Launches Campaign Website

Posted by Bob Brigham

From a press release:

Campaign website features groundbreaking video technology that allows candidate to speak directly to site visitor from page; Will play important role in voter outreach

Steve Young, candidate for Congress from California’s 48th district, launched his new campaign website this morning. The website,, outlines Young’s positions on the major issues affecting the 48th district as well as his detailed plan for reenergizing working families and small businesses.

Young’s website features Rovion’s proprietary BlueStream™, cutting-edge video technology that actually allows a lifelike video overlay of the candidate to automatically open and speak at the bottom of most pages. These videos can also be sent via webmail and will be used to contact voters throughout the campaign. Young’s campaign marks the most extensive use of this technology in a political campaign in the United States. Young’s campaign will explore new ways in which BlueStream™ can energize and motivate voters online.

“I am so excited about the new technology we are using on the site and I can’t wait to get feedback from the website’s visitors,” Young said.

I signed up at the Blogger's Corner. The calendar lists the Kickoff on Friday.

Posted at 03:31 PM in California, California, Democrats, General, Netroots, Open Seats, Special Elections | Technorati

AmericaBlog: Mr. President, Come Home

Posted by Bob Brigham

A letter to President George Bush from John Aravosis:

Mr. President,

Hurricane Katrina is now being called one of the worst, if not the worst, disaster in US history. Instead of focusing on this growing tragedy in the southeast, you are at this moment giving a speech in California about World War II and Iraq. Yes, you devoted one minute of that speech to the hurricane, but now it's been 20 minutes and you are still talking about WWII and Iraq.

Mr. President, the entire nation is focused on one issue today, and it is not WWII. We are fixated by the images we're seeing on TV. The images of uncontrollable fires blazing across New Orleans. The images of people stranded on their rooftops waving white t-shirts for help. And as I write this, the water levels are still rising in New Orleans and the situation is getting desperate.

In the face of this tragedy, rather than call off your vacation and head back home to coordinate the relief, but even more importantly, to show the American people that you care and are in charge, you did not fly east to Washington. You flow west to Arizona and to California. While New Orleans and the south was in the process of being destroyed yesterday, you flew west and devoted the day to Medicare. While the death toll for the hurricane increases by the hour, and even FOX News has just now cut away from your live WWII speech in order to return their coverage to New Orleans, you continue to babble on about WWII and Iraq.

Mr. President, you should consider yourself lucky. By ignoring this hurricane and remaining on vacation all weekend, and by continuing to ignore this hurricane and travel out west doing stump speeches instead of focusing on the growing tragedy, you handed the Democrats in Congress a golden opportunity to paint you as out of touch, uncaring, and embattled. The Democrats chose to ignore this opportunity and have remained silent about your complacency in the face of disaster. That is unfortunately what Democrats do, they miss opportunities and sit back quietly while Republicans stumble over themselves with their incompetence.

But we're not your typical Democrats, and we see that you're hiding from the hurricane, and we can't understand why. Canceling your vacation this weekend, canceling your trips to Arizona and California the past two days, were not only the right thing to do, they were the politically smart thing to do. Your approval ratings are at 40% and falling. Mourning mom Cindy Sheehan's ongoing protest at your ranch has made you look a fool. You need whatever you can to get the media and public attention off of the disaster in Iraq. The hurricane was that opportunity. So what did you do when faced with this impending doom? You called off your vacation and went to California to talk about Iraq.

Mr. President, go to Washington and show the country you're in charge. Go to New Orleans and show the country that you care. While you ramble on in California about Iraq, FOX News anchor Shepard Smith is flying over New Orleans in a helicopter to survey the damage and report to the nation. Have things gotten that bad in our nation that a reporter for a biased news outlet is acting more presidential than the president himself?

Mr. President, you should have canceled your vacation and your political stump speeches days ago. Cancel your galavanting now and come home to Washington today.




Posted at 01:05 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Saturday, August 27, 2005

MT-Sen: National Bloggers Trek to MT for Jon Tester

Posted by Bob Brigham

Following up on the netroots success in OH-02, national bloggers are descending upon Missoula, MT to support Jon Tester.

Both Jerome Armstrong and Markos are in Montana right now. Markos has the most widely read political blog and Jerome is affectionately known as The Blogfather. As Markos notes, they are following the lead of Montana bloggers:

You know, I expect to take the lead of the local bloggers on most of these Senate races. It's why I've learned so much about Tester and this race. Local progressive bloggers, who know the two (serious) primary candidates best, have cast their lot with Tester.

Tester is loved by Montana Democrats, has real time political capability, and the national support of top bloggers will help provide the support he needs to beat Conrad Burns.

At this point, anyone who contributes to the DLC's John Morrison (who is running against Tester) is wasting their money. It will be interesting to read (and blog on) the campaign finance reports to see who is too dumb to read the writing on the wall.

Posted at 01:37 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Montana, Netroots | Technorati

Attention College Students

Posted by Bob Brigham

Judging by our traffic logs, we have people from universities across the country who stop by Swing State Project for their political fix. Thanks for reading, now it is time to mobilize. I just received an urgent communique from General J.C. Christrian that included my orders. If you are a college student, your mission can be found here. Godspeed.

Posted at 11:58 AM in Activism, Netroots | Technorati

Thursday, August 25, 2005

We All Have a Stake in Midterm Elections

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the DCCC's Stakeholder:

This post is actually the kick-off for a string of guest posts from regional bloggers on opportunities in their geographical areas of expertise.

The guest poster who kicked things of was Stirling Newberry. Stirling seems to write everywhere, but he is the type of guy you must read whenever you come across him. While Stirling is a tough act to follow, I look forward to reading the other authors who contribute in this series.

While The Stakeholder can't afford to give Jesse Lee a staff member in every state, there are strong bloggers in every state willing to step up and do whatever Lee needs. This is a scalable model. Props to the Stakeholder, now go read Mr. Newberry.

Posted at 06:55 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Supporting Bloggers

Posted by DavidNYC

You might notice a new ad to the left from Markos of DailyKos, asking readers to support their favorite bloggers. It's a very generous gesture and definitely an unusual sort of blogad. We very much appreciate it.

Yet despite my close working relationship with Markos (most of you probably know that I'm a front page contributing editor at DailyKos), the ad comes totally unsolicited - and proof of that is the fact that the SSP doesn't ask for or take donations. We're fortunate enough that we don't have to. (Though hey, we may one day need to put out a tip jar, so we reserve all rights to come a-beggin' at some point in the future.)

But if you would like to support us financially, the best way to do so is to take out a blogad. That way, we get some cash, Blogads (the company) gets some support, and you get to promote a worthy site, product or cause. It's win-win-win.

And as always, thank you to our readers.

UPDATE (Bob): Markos deserves a great deal of credit for all he has done and is doing to support individual bloggers. And thanks to all of the readers and activists who make what we do possible. One other thing you can do to support the blogs is to encourage your friends to read your favorite blogs. Our power is not just in our writing, but in our numbers. For those of you who haven't yet started a blog to focus on politics in your area, the time to do so is now. Thanks again to Markos and everyone reading this.

Posted at 04:39 PM in Netroots, Site News | Technorati

San Francisco: Michela Alioto-Pier vs. Jonny Moseley

Posted by Bob Brigham

As a civic minded blogger, from time-to-time I feel it necessary to intervene in local affairs. Today's announcement that San Francisco Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier was successful in her bid to hold-up Jonny Moseley's 30th birthday gift to The City provides an opportunity for me to adjudicate a compromise.


Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley has spent more than a year organizing "Icer Air 2005" as a birthday gift to San Francisco on the day Moseley turns 30. Moseley envisioned using his name to draw dozens of world class names to San Francisco for a televised event featuring trucked-in snow creating a ski jump on one of San Francisco's legendary hills.

As is often the case in San Francisco, an opportunistic, third-rate politician stepped in at the very last minute to...cancel Jonny Mosely's birthday. From the San Francisco Examiner:

Entertainment Commissioner Terrance Allan was disappointed, saying these type of quirky events give San Francisco its reputation and draw tourists and visitors. He also said it was unfair to cancel the contest after organizers had spent more than a year applying for three separate event permits.

"Every neighborhood contributes to the vitality of the international persona by hosting street fairs like the Castro Fair or the Folsom Street Fair," Allan said. "All of that contributes to the mystique and allure that draws visitors to San Francisco. I find it disingenuous that one neighborhood would feel aloof and detached from making our city great."

That neighborhood is represented by Sup. Michela Alioto-Pier. The San Francisco Chronicle asked her about her push to cancel Jonny Moseley's birthday:

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, who represents Pacific Heights, was also pleased that the competition had been called off.

"This is the only responsible thing to do,'' she said.

That Michela would pull a hold-up maneuver is not surprising in the least bit, she is known as the champion of fluff issues. There seems to be no bounds to the lengths Alitio-Pier will go to in her quest to score cheap political points, which makes sense considering she lost and kept losing as a candidate until she was appointed to her seat on the Board of Supervisors.

Michela Alioto-Pier is best known for her opposition to smoking outdoors and her tear-drenched tantrums that result whenever somebody says a bad word that is overheard by her socialite ears.

While Alioto-Pier lacks the ability to get anything done on the real issues, she excels at making a big deal out of fluff-issues. And she was successful in her battle against Jonny Moseley. But Michela only won the first round. Which wasn't exactly a win when you consider the extreme financial backlash that could result from Michela's hold-up job.


If Jonny Moseley isn't sick of politicians like Michela Pier-Alioto, he should be given all available help to reschedule the event at the earliest possible date. In return, there should be no swearing or smoking by any of the fans or participants. If, for example, an athlete were to crash after flying 70 feet in the air and accidentally mutter the word "crap" – the perpetrator would need to immediately recite 5 Hail Marys. Ten for the word 'shit' and the f-bomb should result in 20 Hail Marys. Unless the F-bomb precedes "Michela Alioto-Pier" –- in that case it is justified.

Posted at 12:44 PM in Activism, California, Culture of Corruption, Economy, General, Netroots, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Supreme Court: Netroots Watching Democratic Senators

Posted by Bob Brigham

From Armando:

The Democratic Senators on the Judiciary Committee must compel answers from Roberts and the White House. Senators Leahy, Kennedy, Schumer, Feingold, Feinstein, Biden, Kohl and Durbin - we will be watching. Please do your duty as we all know you can and as you have in the past.


Posted at 01:44 PM in Democrats, Netroots, Supreme Court | Technorati

Karl Rove "Official Investigation" Drinking Game

Posted by Bob Brigham

From Amanda Congdon's rocketboom. Must see.

Posted at 01:17 PM in Netroots, Plamegate | Technorati

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Democrats 2006: SSP in the News

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Swing State Project in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Bob Brigham, who runs, said: "We as a party can't run from this issue any longer. Some people need to admit being wrong about the war. And we all need to show some political courage. That's what voters respect. If you have core convictions, and aggressively demonstrate that, voters will respect you, regardless of whether they agree with you on individual issues."

Brigham and Sirota, among others, cite the results of an Ohio congressional race on Aug. 2. In a die-hard Republican district where Democrats routinely lose by 40 points, Democrat Paul Hackett, an Iraq veteran who contended that Bush has been "incredibly stupid" on the war, lost by only two. Yet the Washington Democrats seemed not to notice; when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee analyzed Hackett's strong showing in a memo, it never cited the war as a factor.

Bill Burton, the campaign committee's spokesman, was asked about this the other day. He said that although the war will be important in the 2006 elections, he didn't foresee "one set of talking points" for everybody, because while "inflammatory language" against the war might work in one district, it might be preferable somewhere else to talk about "waging the best possible fight that we can for our troops and our soldiers and our interests."

A Democratic strategist working with 2006 Senate candidates argued privately that an openly antiwar stance is too risky: "The theme should be, 'We're in Iraq, so we gotta win.' Let's not refight the origins of the war, who was right or wrong. That discussion has run its course. Let's talk about how we can strengthen the troops, accelerate the Iraqi training, and let's keep hitting Bush when he's not being straight with the people."

Ed Kilgore, policy maven at the centrist Democratic Leadership Council (which recently accused war critics of "anti-American bias"), urged caution: "At this sensitive moment in Iraq, there's no position unifying Democrats about what to do next. We need to give it a little bit more time. Troop withdrawal doesn't represent the full range of our party. It doesn't make any political sense."

The headline was, A split over war, the wimp thing, and how to win. I was shocked -- SHOCKED -- to see Kilgore's name under a headline with the word 'wimp'. While the DCCC has no clue and Kilgore waits, our soldiers and marines and airmen and seamen are dying.

Listening to these DC Losers is what got us in this mess in the first place. In 2002, they said to hide from the war and Democrats lost. In 2004, they told us to hide from the war and Democrats lost. In 2006, tell them to STFU. They were wrong then, they are wrong now and even the press realizes they are wimps. Enough talk about talking tougher. It is time to act tough and lead!

But prominent liberal activists such as David Sirota aren't going to knock it off. Sirota looks at the latest Gallup poll and finds that 33 percent of Americans now favor full withdrawal from Iraq - which beats partial withdrawal (23 percent), status quo (28 percent), and sending more troops (13 percent). And he notes that a majority now believes the war has made Americans less safe at home.

"This sentiment gives Democrats an opening," he said recently. "We can now make the case that an exit strategy from Iraq will actually strengthen our national security. We have to stand up for our principles. There is strength in national-security prudence. There is weakness in national-security impulsiveness, as Bush has demonstrated. People will believe us. They have the evidence in front of their eyes every night on the evening news."

I don't know if the DC losers are illiterate or blind, but they can't seem to read the writing on the fucking wall.

Posted at 12:46 PM in 2006 Elections, Democrats, Netroots, Site News | Technorati

Saturday, August 20, 2005

NV-Sen: Recruitment Time

Posted by Bob Brigham

Bowers has the plan.

Posted at 05:21 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Netroots, Nevada | Technorati

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

PLAN: Bob On-The-Ground in Seattle

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Bob just shot me a phone call and asked me to drop a tease on Swing State Project readers about the Progressive Legislative Action Network kickoff event that took place tonight in Seattle.

He said it was one of the most amazing experiences of his life, and he would blog about it right now but he is out to dinner with Governor Brian Schweitzer and Jon Podesta (he loves name-dropping). He will have all kinds of information and answers to people's questions tomorrow morning.

Posted at 11:20 PM in Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, August 15, 2005

Posted by Tim Tagaris

A few days ago I got an email about a new site,, that "scans over 600 local progressive blogs and looks for new stuff. Then, on the website, it indexes it all - state by state." I had been meaning to write about it, and unfortunately put it off until today.

With the importance of localization online increasing, this site has the potential to be a very valuable resource. To read more, check out Kari's diary on MyDD.

Most importantly, visit Exciting stuff.

Posted at 02:00 PM in Netroots | Comments (3) | Technorati

Friday, August 12, 2005

Huffington Post

Posted by Bob Brigham

Thanks you everyone at the Huffington Post for going all Cindy Sheehan.

Posted at 12:49 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Rock On 2006

Posted by Bob Brigham

I normally leave music to our buddies at MFA, but I've been thinking a lot about music. One of the highlights of election night was learning that Paul Hackett burned a CD with the soundtrack for his concession speech.

The Rolling Stones sing that the neocons are full of shit. And now Green Day steps up and the DCCC should pay attention.

I admit I didn't click through when I saw it on Eschaton, but when it ended up on Crooks & Liars I had no choice but to watch.

This is a story that needs to be told. Green Day told it with both music and video, at the record store and on Crooks and Liars. That is how you do it.

In the 2006 mid-terms, we are going to see communication localization collide with the online video revolution in every district. Which is good, because we need to have a discussion at every dinner table. Did you see the look on the face of the young woman in the video? I want that same response from all young women if they find out their guy is even thinking about voting Republican.

Young people traditionally lower our share of the vote in midterm elections. This means we have a lot of room for improvement in 2006. We were Democrats' best demographic in 2004, but young people don't just live in swing districts. And last year we went to the polls because we needed to vote against Bush.

Young people need a reason to vote for Democrats this time. I think everyone would agree that Green Day is doing a better job than the DCCC when comes to message distribution. Democrats need to follow this trend and learn from our past mistakes. Think how many people didn't go to class after Kent State but voted for Reagan a decade later. Think how many more voted to re-elect Reagan.

The rule of three says that if you can get somebody to vote with you for 3 elections in a row, then you have them for life. So let's give every young person the ability to vote for a Democratic congressional nominee in 2006. This is how we lock in the youth vote in the districts the DCCC focuses upon, by making it about something bigger than any individual race.

We need to be thinking about congressional races on a cultural level.

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Posted at 10:14 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Democrats, Netroots | Technorati

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

ATM PIN Number II: Post-Hackett Revalations

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I'll be honest, since the end of the Hackett campaign I too (and Bob as well) have received a number of emails from candidates asking me to help them raise money and detailing why their race is the most important out there.  I can't remember which post Markos said it in, but I think the worst thing about OH-2 is that it immediately makes campaigns re-focus their efforts on fundraising when it comes to online outreach.

That is such a shame. As a community (or multiple communities), we accomplished so much more than just dropping some dollars in a bucket.  Sure, that was huge, but what we accomplished "under the radar" was probably of equal, if not more, importance.

Rapid Response/Research

You all remember the morning that Jean Schmidt had a press conference at 9:30 AM where she claimed she had no idea what Tom Noe (think coingate) looked like and had never met him?  Well within three hours Paul Hackett was on the courthouse steps holding a press conference of his own.  He waved documents in the air for all reporters to see, detailing an existing relationship between Jean Schmidt and Tom Noe.

Schmidt's assertion probably would have gone unchallenged in the waning days of the election were it not for that research.  She got called on it, and was embarassed even further.

And you know where that research came from?  The netroots.

Promoting Memes Into the Mainstream Media

By the end of the campaign, the swift-boating of Paul Hackett was operating at full throttle.  But do you remember where that all started?  It started online with an inocuous blog posting by some idiot who ran against Jean Schmidt in the primary and claimed to advise her on some message board on matters pertaining to Iraq.

OH-2 blog picked it up, and it was still probably destined to remain in the bowels of the blogosphere until it found its way into this community.  Atrios picked it up from there, MyDD, Swing State Project (where I cross-posted it) and the rest is history.

The next night Jean Schmidt was on the 5 PM news obligated to distance herself from the allegations.  

What might even be more impressive is that multiple Republican outlets (including Rush) took the bait we laid out for them and started to question Paul Hackett's service.  Now I was in OH-2, and there was nightly discussion about Hackett's service with valor.  I can also tell you from the call-in shows I heard, it really shined a poor light on the Republican party for attacking his service.  The media saw it again, and are beginning to learn that attacking service is par for the course in the Republican Party--and that bodes very well for us in the future.


When Bob and I started putting out the call for volunteers, the email boxes and phone lines at the Hackett campaign was basically too much for them to handle.  It got so crazy that I am certain the staff wasn't large enough for people to handle the requests and didn't have the experience they probably should have when in Ohio.  I don't think that says so much about the campaign, as it does our ability to mobilize in large numbers on the turn of a dime.  Online success translating into offline results.

Getting It

I want to share this story in conclusion.  The whole time I was in OH-2 working hard online to build a narrative and support for the campaign, I was very very very detached from the "senior level" effort.  I sat in the corner and blogged, wrote from the bar down the street, or stayed in my hotel room scribbling away for much of the day.

As time went by, the staff started to come around and recognize that something unbelievable was happening here.  I had to go home the weekend before the election for some family stuff, and Bob Brigham flew out to pick up the ball.  I implored the staff to give Bob a seat at the table.  Next thing you know he was blogging from Paul Hackett's home.

But the real moment of recognition came on election night.  While Bob, Matt (from actblue), and I set up shop in our own little Internet "war room" down the road from the senior staff war room, we wondered why none of us were asked to join--had we not shown enough?  We all believed there was a role for net, especially in a close election.

Then the results started coming in and the phone call came.  Bob and I were asked to join the senior staff along with DCCC and DNC representatives in the war room.  There was a stark recognition that if there was a recount, or the election was too close to call for any reason, they wanted to rapid response capabilities on their side.

In the blogs, you might have seen calls for research about Clermont County voting machines and irregularities go out online--they were responded to with great information in a matter of minutes.  That was all based on coordination between Bob and I with bloggers across the country putting out the word.  When the chips started getting down, the people in that room counted on the bloggers to pick them up if necessary/possible.

As it stands, the election was over and Paul lost, but had he not, the first media cycle would have been owned by the blogosphere.  I can promise you that.


A few months ago I wrote a piece called, "My ATM Pin Number or On-Line Fundraising."  After working Jeff Seemann's (OH-16) communications shop last cycle, I thought it was a fun piece to write about Internet fundraising.  Specifically, campaigns I had spoken with after the election that only wanted to know how to raise money but really didn't want to listen to the importance of becoming active participants in communities like Kos.  I cringe everytime I see a candidate come on here, and in their first posts, keep asking for money (sorry Nick Lampson).  I don't know about anyone else, but it is a complete turn-off for me.  

This community deserves nothing less than candidates and causes that are willing to engage us.  And if they don't, so be it.  But I know that I personally cannot wait for candidates to come here and watch their diaries fall into obscurity because they are using the space like it's a billboard, instead of an opportunity to open up a dialogue.

I hope and pray that we are all able to sort out the candidates who are really willing to engage us vs. use us for the $20 contributions in the future.  But that is one of the greatest things about this community, or ability to filter out the junk from the good stuff (I think).

If I were to make one final point, it would be that we shouldn't necessarily jump up and down for joy because some junior staffer posts something on Kos or MyDD in the name of their boss.  We deserve more than half-assed outreach, and with a few notable exceptions, we have already seen too much of it.

Posted at 08:59 PM in Netroots | Comments (4) | Technorati

Report: "The Emergence of the Progressive Blogosphere"

Posted by DavidNYC

Two guys well-known in the blogging world, Chris Bowers and Matt Stoller, have authored a report for the New Politics Insitute about the progressive blogosphere - sort of like a primer for establishment-types not wholly familiar with the warp and woof of blogistan, but also packed with a lot of information that even experienced bloggers will find interesting.

One part I liked a lot is the first appendix, which offers advice to local campaigns seeking to engage bloggers and the netroots in general:

• Hire a "Netroots Coordinator" and be prepared to work with him or her on money, messaging and organizing. Most organizations hire one and relegate them to a position where they are asked simply to raise money. If you follow this model it is not worth engaging the blogs. A good Netroots Coordinator can deliver messaging, media, and money.

• Put up a link on your web site that says "Got a blog?" Ask for bloggers to give you their name, email, IM, and blog address. This list is valuable – it is the list of bloggers who are interested in your issue.

• Take your list of bloggers and add them to your press release list. Call through to introduce yourself, and invite them to cover events, and if possible give them press passes and access.

• Read the blogs who sign up. If you use an "aggregator" such as, you can read many more blogs much more quickly. Get a sense of who is on your side and who is not. Go into the comment section of various blogs and add comments when relevant.

• Hold conference calls with your strategists/candidate. Treat bloggers like friends and allies, but also realize you are on the record.

• Periodically do a "blog round-up" where you email interesting blog posts on your issue to all the bloggers as well as internally.
Link to interesting blog posts from your web site/blog; make sure you link to a few posts that disagree with you. This will lend your online presence more credibility.

• Listen and respond to criticism. These are your friends and often not that experienced in politics – treat them like they are here to learn, not like they are cynical, hard-boiled reporters.

Good suggestions, all of them.

Posted at 04:59 PM in Netroots | Comments (4) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Charlie Cook Waits by his TV for The Revolution

Posted by Bob Brigham

Charlie Cook looks at the OH-02 discussion at the (subscription only) National Journal. Mr. Cook ignores both the force of scale and the reality of post-broadcast politics.

Democrats would be wise to keep their own counsel in examining the implications because Cook's way we will lose one Tivo set at a time.

Democrats need to stop judging success on Election Day. We need to start judging success each and every day. This simple mindset change is critical in a post-broadcast environment. Out west, one question you hear in HQ is, "We winning?" Democrats need some West Coast Offense because the right investments now can catapult a tidal cycle. We need to stop The Fear from influencing decision making and start focusing on winning every single day in every district in every state. If we can make this simple mindset change before it is forced upon us, then we will win more elections. Stop compromising, play hard and start winning.

We need scalable message and finance structures. This will be the end of War Chest campaigning. If you have a scalable model, money sitting in the bank is money wasted. Cash flow campaigning, investment in the model. The force of scale will actually grow the TV budget and it will be up earlier.

Voters have free evening cell phone minutes, email, IM. Geographical barriers have been circumvented by technology. I don't want people to vote Democratic because of a 30 second ad, I want them to because somebody they respect talked with them. If we don't talk to everyone, how can we be sure we are connecting?

Here's what Cook says:

It's one thing for liberals and Democrats to tout a '50-state strategy' and aim to field candidates in every Republican-held district, but to expend limited resources on long-shot candidates only means that more-competitive candidates get less. Resources are finite and choices have to be made.

Cook's entire premise is based on outdated fundraising systems. Candidate call time is a not a scalable model. When the DCCC tells new candidates to go raise $100K if they want to talk, they are breeding fundraisers, not political leaders. We need candidates who are willing to get out of the call room and move every day with bold action and straight talk. We need candidates will who let their story be told and are focused on winning every day.

If you are the Democratic nominee for the United States Congress, you deserve to have a campaign. It isn't about buying TV in every race, it is about leaving no district behind. If you are the Democratic nominee, I think you should have a Campaign Manager. If you are the Democratic nominee, I think you need a Finance Director who can build a scalable fundraising movement. If you are the Democratic nominee, I think you need a Communications Director who can earn media and use technology to force message everywhere. If you are the Democratic nominee, I think you need a Field Director skilled in micro-targeting. If you are the Democratic Nominee, I think you need a Scheduler who will aggressively manage the most valuable resource in the campaign. Straight talk, bold action, fight every day and leave no district behind.

Cook goes on:

While many liberal bloggers have been critical of this DCCC regime as well as the House Committee under previous chairmen, the reality is that, had the DCCC gone on the air with advertising a week or two earlier, the NRCC would have double or tripled that spending and more importantly, kicked the Schmidt campaign into gear. Democrats' only hope was to come onto the radar screen late, and hope to sneak by. A full frontal attack would not have done nearly as well. Plus, Democrats, and Hackett, have certainly gotten themselves a great deal of positive press attention given that they came up short.

Again, Cook assumes that it is all about the 30 second ad, Cook assumes that is the only arrow in the DCCC's quiver. If we focus on winning every day, then we will never have to worry about coming in late. If we stop worrying about the 30 second ad, we can build scalable models that will result in more ads. If we build a nationwide, post-broadcast congressional communications network, then we can do more than talk at people on TV, we could connect.

We are going to need to do this sooner or later, I would prefer sooner.

Posted at 11:46 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Democrats, Netroots | Comments (3) | Technorati

Blogging in Pajamas! Hahahahaha!

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I have read a lot of bad articles/editorials about the blogosphere in the past two years or so, but this has got to be one of the worst attempts to "explain" the medium while trying to be funny, all wrapped in attempt to paint the war waged against Karl Rove as being led by a bunch of self-important pajama clad bloggers.

Posted at 10:38 AM in Netroots | Technorati

Monday, August 08, 2005

MoveOn: Loose Lips, Pink Slips -- FIRE KARL ROVE

Posted by Bob Brigham

Karl Rove Personally, I'm a big fan of Open Source message creation. If we care more about the content than the source, then collectively we can usually find a better message than a handful of political consultants. If not, Open Source will allow the political consultants' message to prove it is the best by rising to the top.

At Swing State Project, we often write about onling campaigning in the post-broadcast era and open source message creation is a big part of the puzzle. Take the Ohio 2 race for example. Tim Tagaris nailed the message in a blog post. It turned into a viral video ad and then ended up in an email from the DNC to 4 million Democrats (see paragraph 4). Political message has turned into a discussion and the days of talking at people are over.

Democracy for America Open Sourced Tom DeLay a few months ago for a successful billboard campaign.

Now, MoveOn has done it to Karl Rove. Bonus points for the pic component. Full email after the break...

Dear MoveOn member,

It has been a busy week in the Karl Rove CIA Leak scandal. Columnist Robert Novak was suspended by CNN after he swore profanely and then walked out of the CNN studio rather than answer questions about his role in the CIA leak.1 The American Prospect reports that jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller met with Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Scooter Libby, and discussed Valerie Plame six days before Plame's undercover status with the CIA was revealed.2

Finally, after a week and 17,740 entries from MoveOn members we have a winner in the Fire Karl Rove Slogan Contest. And the winner is...

"Loose Lips Deserve Pink Slips. Fire Karl Rove."

Now that we have the slogan we need to get it out there. We've designed a downloadable poster from the winning slogan. You can print it easily on a desktop printer and it's perfect to place in your window, hang on your refrigerator, and tack on a bulletin board at home, work or in your community, in a gym locker or anywhere else that makes sense. Take a minute right now to click on the link below to download and print the poster (you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader).

After you've prominently hung up your photo send us a digital photo of where you've displayed it or a photo of you or your friends holding the poster. Just e-mail it as an attachment to:

Use the subject line to give your photo a title, and the body of the email to give it a description. Please include the location (venue, city, state) in the description.

The author of the winning slogan is Mary Thornquist, a MoveOn member from Catonsville, Maryland. Mary has been a MoveOn member since 1998. We asked her to write about the slogan and the Karl Rove CIA Leak scandal. Here is what she wrote.


Thanks for letting me know my slogan was chosen. As I said, I was really impressed with many of the entries. It's clear that a lot people are disappointed with the current administration's lack of integrity on this and other issues.

My entry, obviously, derives from the World War II slogan, "Loose Lips Sink Ships". The patriotic message then was clear: divulging information, intentionally or not, aided the enemy and put our armed forces at risk. The President's promise to fire anyone in his administration found to be involved in leaking the identity of Valerie Plame was consistent with the spirit of this message. Now we see this was mere patriotic posturing.

The Right's real message about patriotism keeps re-emerging: that disagreeing with the administration's policies, actions, and decisions—especially decisions to go to war regardless of the evidence—is what is unpatriotic and what harms our troops and our nation. No matter that one of the closest advisers to the President divulged the identity of an undercover CIA operative to the press, likely putting American lives at risk and undoing years of intelligence gathering. No matter that he did so with the ugly purposes of retaliation and to undermine the operative's husband, who had the audacity to publicly question the President's weak justification for war.

What Karl Rove did was wrong, dangerous, and tantamount to treason. It was unpatriotic. Calling on the president to fulfill his promise to do something about it is not. The special prosecutor's ultimate findings about whether Mr. Rove's behavior was intentional or criminal are irrelevant. The American people deserve more than the President "flip-flopping" over whether or not he will hold his people accountable. They deserve to know that consequences follow when mistakes are made. They deserve to see this country be secure, peaceful, and well respected once again.

Mary Thornquist
Catonsville, Maryland
MoveOn member since 1998

Thank you Mary and thanks to everybody who participated. The winning slogan won 16,826 votes. The next favorite earned 14,135 votes.

The Top Five Slogans from the contest were:

Loose Lips Deserve Pink Slips. Fire Karl Rove (Our winner!)
Karl Rove: The Voice of Treason
Treason is Not a Family Value
Support Homeland Security—Fire Karl Rove
Firing Rove: A REAL Patriot Act

Some other top slogans we thought were good include:

It's not Left or Right—it's WRONG. Fire Karl Rove
Bush Knew: Fire Him Too
Keep Your Promise—Fire Rove!
Fire Rove. It's not just a good idea, it's the law.

And one favorite plays off of Karl Rove's defense that he didn't use Valerie Plame's name—he only called her "Joe Wilson's wife." That slogan is: "Fire Mrs. Rove's Husband." That one made folks laugh.

There were some great slogan suggestions from MoveOn members. One theme that ran through a lot of them was America's security. Clearly millions of Americans don't see this as just another Washington scandal but as a serious issue about accountability, lies and real security for our families and our country. Thanks to everybody who participated as a slogan author or voter. Don't forget to download your poster.

Thanks for all you do.

–Tom, Eli, Justin, Carrie and the Political Action Team
Monday, August 8th, 2005


1. CNN suspends Robert Novak for on-air outburst, Reuters August, 5, 2005

2. The Meeting, The American Prospect online. August, 6, 2005

Good stuff, thanks Moveon!

Posted at 02:31 PM in Activism, Democrats, Netroots, Plamegate, Plamegate | Comments (1) | Technorati

MT-Sen: Big News from Big Sky Country

Posted by Bob Brigham

Get your tickets now, Montana is hosting the #1 U.S. Senate race in the nation. As regular Swing State Project readers know, I'm a Montanan (I happen to live else-where, but that doesn't really matter). I have very strong feelings on Conrad Burns.

His re-election is the #1 race right now. A couple of major developments:

1. Tester's Catapult As the internet favorite, Jon Tester had a first round draft pick he used on Matt Singer. Old timers remember Singer at Not Geniuses during the last cycle. After the election, he started Left in the West and he also writes for Campus Progress when he's not filling in for Sirota. Matt Singer can pay his own way and he is amazing at rapid response. Tester's campaign now has a real-time political capability. Add to that a notice from Kos:

Heads up -- while there's a contested primary for this Senate race on the Democratic side, the Montana progressive blogosphere has lined up behind Jon Tester. I've already spoken well of Tester, currently the president of the Montana Senate and a working organic farmer, and will start laying out the case for helping his candidacy in the week's ahead.

2. Party Passion The Montana Democratic Party is fired up. Democrats nationwide use the term, "Montana Miracle" to describe last year's sweep of both chambers and the Governor's mansion. In a ground came spread out over almost 150,000 square miles, passion is worth a couple of points. The MDP has just launched the air war and is ready to keep the streak alive.

3. Party Politics The final update is that I just bought a Pearl Jam ticket. As always, if you can't make it in person, Swing State Project will try to keep you in the loop.

Posted at 12:01 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Montana, Netroots | Technorati

Friday, August 05, 2005

Netroots Win Political Play of the Week

Posted by Bob Brigham

Image hosted by Photobucket.comCNN:

Netroots activism. Ever hear of it?

You will. Because this week marks its arrival as a force in American politics. [...]

Like Bob Brigham. He and his partner Tim Tagaris run a Democratic blog called Brigham is in San Francisco. Tagaris is in Ohio.

They never met until this year when they discovered a cause, or more precisely, a candidate -- Democrat Paul Hackett, running in a special election for an Ohio congressional seat that most national Democrats wrote off as hopeless.

But Hackett, a Marine who served in Iraq, showed fight.

"We have to say it loud that we are proud to fight for what this great country stands for," he said.

Damn straight. Voters respect straight talk and bold action.

The liberal blogs got organized.

"A hundred to 150 bloggers helped raise money, turned out volunteers, got people down to the district and emailed their friends in Ohio," said Bob Brigham of

Ever hear of a blogswarm?

According to CNN blog reporter Jacki Schechner, "This was a pretty decent example of a lot of people getting behind one thing at exactly the same time." A blogswarm.

There is a slight typo in the transcript. There should be a space between 'blog' and 'swarm' when referring to the action. As a single word, it refers to an individual. But back to the award:

On the final day of the campaign they needed $30,000. "So Bob from Swing State sent out an email, made phone calls, said, 'Here is what we need, we need $30,000 in a very short period of time.'" Schechner said. "And the next day, ActBlue delivered a check for $60,000."

ActBlue is a Web site that raises money for Democrats.

ActBlue rocks on every day, use it.

"This was a success," Hackett said in his concession speech. "We should all be proud, so let's rock on."

People often compare the Internet to the Wild West. Here's an update.

"The lone gunslingers of the blogosphere could work as a posse, and that's what let us raise an army," Brigham said. And carry off the political Play of the Week.

The bloggers made their point -- on their Web site, of course: "The Republican Party is on notice. For that matter, the Democratic Party establishment is on notice; get with the program or we will leave you behind.''


Posted at 08:45 PM in Activism, Netroots, Ohio, Site News | Comments (7) | Technorati

Thursday, August 04, 2005

DCCC: The Irrelevance of Rahm Emanuel

Posted by Bob Brigham

Since I've been getting some ink today, I thought I would expand upon the soundbites so people know where I'm coming from when I say that the DCCC is currently irrelevant.

In this morning's Washington Post, Dan Balz and Thomas B. Edsall quote me as saying:

[Hackett's] words against Bush and the war produced strong grass-roots support, and yesterday liberal bloggers said they helped raise $500,000 for Hackett, the bulk of his $750,000 campaign funds.

"We raised a ton of money for Hackett," said Bob Brigham of the Swing State Project site ( ), who served as "coordinator of the liberal blogosphere" for the Hackett campaign.

Brigham criticized the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) for not giving Hackett early financial support. "They came in late, and it makes them look irrelevant in everyone's eyes," he said.

DCCC Executive Director John Lapp issued a statement defending the committee. Saying the DCCC would like to fund every House race, he said: "Resources are not infinite. That is why MyDD, the Daily Kos, and the larger blogosphere are so important. You are critical in the effort to expand the playing field well above and beyond the 30 or 40 districts typically in play."

First of all, I was misquoted and I'd like a correction. What I actually said was, "we raised a fuckton of money for Hackett" -- and we did (I'll be checking to see if this is corrected). Second, Tim Tagaris was the first on the ground and did as much if not more than me. Third, MyDD and the Daily Kos and the larger blogosphere are so important because we get post-broadcast politics – which the DCCC certainly does not.

Next up, The New Republic where Michael Crowley says:

This sort of thing made Hackett a rock star in the world of liberal blogs--a figure who combined the defiant rhetoric of Howard Dean with the military credentials of Max Cleland. Schmidt's campaign sniffed at Hackett's Web following. ("The second congressional district doesn't fully involve themselves in the blogosphere," a spokeswoman told me at Schmidt headquarters, as Rush Limbaugh trashed Hackett on a radio playing in the background.) But one need only look at the astounding numbers. Whereas the dccc spent $200,000 on ads for Hackett, the campaign raised more than twice that much from online contributions. Most of that was thanks to the intense advocacy of a handful of liberal bloggers, several of whom traveled to southern Ohio from around the country and became a sort of informal arm of the campaign.

On Election Day, the bloggers' "war room" consisted of a dark corner of the Goldminers Inn, a dank dive bar in Batavia, Ohio, where four twentysomethings quaffed cans of Miller Lite and ruminated about their growing role in Democratic politics. The leader of the group was Bob Brigham, who blogs for a site called Swing State Project. After raising a six-figure sum for Hackett, Brigham had flown in from San Fancisco and "embedded" himself in the campaign, riding in Hackett's small convoy from event to event in baggy blue jeans and faded red canvas sneakers. "We're three times as relevant as the dccc. And you can quote that!" he told me between sips of beer. "It's a sea change in Democratic politics. I see Al From and I see a hearse. This is the future. We're way ahead of the curve." Brigham proceeded to tell a strange tale, wherein Donnie Fowler, a onetime candidate for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, allegedly threw a punch at him. Did it land? "Hell, no! I'm virtual!" The spirit of the Dean campaign was alive and well.

Again, Tim and I are a team. Crowley conludes:

At his after-party on Tuesday night, Hackett's supporters were already looking ahead to next year, when Schmidt's new seat will be up again, and chanting, "'06! '06!" Hackett sounded open to it. And, if he runs, he may prevail. But that doesn't mean the Democrats will.

Spot on. I never thought I'd say this, but I agree 100% with The New Republic on this one. Because the spirit of the Dean campaign is not alive and well in the DCCC. Last year the DCCC did the Ohio second congressional district their way, the Democratic nominee had $16,000 for the entire race, so the incumbent was able to spend all year traveling the country and raising money for embattled Republicans. This year, we did OH-02 the Howard Dean 50 State Strategy way of fighting in every precinct, in every district, in every state -- every single day. It forced a lot of Republican money from Washington to be wasted and we did 40 percentage points better.

Democrats need to stop judging success on Election Day. We need to start evaluating ourselves every day. Did we win today? Thats what needs to be asked in every race, every day. If we can make this simple mindset change, we'll win more races in the long run and stop compromising.

Yesterday, DCCC Chair Rahm Emanuel said:

Every Republican in Congress should consider himself put on notice."

That is total bullshit and the vast majority of Republicans in Congress know that the DCCC is going to give them the same treatment in 2006 that they gave OH-02 in 2004.

Why? Because the DCCC acts cowardly by targeting and it is clear they still don't get it. Look at the discussion on MyDD yesterday. DCCC Executive Director John Lapp uses the word "competitive" in reference to districts twice. If Emanuel were serious about gaining relevance, he'd dedicate a staffer to walking around the DCCC and slapping backside the head anyone who uses that term.

Right now, Emanuel is trying to use the same playbook, just do it better. Emanuel's DCCC is trying to be the fastest pony express rider, but the post-broadcast train is leaving the station and the DCCC will be left in the dust if Emanuel doesn't get on board.

It isn't tough, blogfather Jerome Armstrong lays out how to do it here and here. If Emanuel wants to be relevant, he can join the netroots in fighting everywhere, everyday. If not, who cares, we'll do it ourselves.

UPDATE: (Bob) Tom Edsall checked his notes and said I didn't use the word fuckton. He does this sort of thing all day everyday, so I'll trust his notes. But if I didn't use it, I should have.

Posted at 01:18 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Activism, Democrats, General, Netroots, Site News | Comments (8) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Swing State Project Candidate

Posted by Bob Brigham

A lot of people have commented that we need more great candidates like Paul Hackett. Indeed.

Swing State Project has already added one candidate to our actblue page. His name is Jon Tester. I first met him in 1998, I was doing legislative races for the Party in Montana. Tester decided to run in a district the size of a New England state -- red as can be and rural as you can find. He took on an incumbent and he won.

In 2004, Tester lead the Democratic sweep of both state houses and became state Senate President.

He gets post-broadcast politics and he's going to win. Instead of wasting his time making fundraising calls, Tester rented one of the biggest venues in the state and is going to fill it at $50 a head, raising a little money from a whole lot of people and having a great night with Pearl Jam.

I gave Tester $50. Watch this race, it is going to rock.

Please use the comments to recommend which candidates are kick ass enough to join Jon Tester on the Swing State Project Official Candidate List.

Posted at 12:15 PM in Netroots | Comments (17) | Technorati

Sunday, July 31, 2005

OH-02: Come Clean Jean!

Posted by Bob Brigham

Image hosted by
Ohio is appalled that Jean doesn't know Schmidt about Noe

Official state documents prove candidate covered-up ties to corruption

Jean Schmidt is well known for never forgetting a face or a name. Conventional wisdom recognizes her renowned memory to the point where the Cincinnati Enquirer noted (July 31, 2005):

Schmidt knows the district very well, having almost a "file-card" memory to recall details about people, places and issues she's had experience with on the local level.

Yet on this morning's CBS 12 "Newsmakers" program, Jean Schmidt lied to the voters on – only two days before the election. In an effort to cover up Jean Schmidt's involvement in the scandalous culture of corruption, Schmidt said she didn't know Tom Noe. Schmidt said she'd never met Tom Noe. Schmidt said she had never even heard of Tom Noe. The woman with the "file-card memory" lied.

You see, Jean Schmidt was Vice Chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. During the same period, Tom Noe was a member of the Board of Regents.

In fact, on March 21, 2002, official state documents prove Jean Schmidt testified before Tom Noe's committee. Tom Noe seconded and approved the minutes for this meeting, which read:

There are a number of areas where we are totally lined up with [Jean Schmidt's] thinking. In any event, the conclusion is that we need more contact, more often.

And , additional official state documents establish that Tom Noe testified before Jean Schmidt's committee on March 18, 2003.

These official State of Ohio documents confirm ties between Jean Schmidt and Tom Noe.

And this isn't an isolated incident, there is a pattern of the woman with the "file-card memory" not recalling her ties to corruption.

When it came to lobbying Bob Taft for online casino gambling, she suddenly forgot everything. The Toledo Blade reported (July 29, 2005):

Jean Schmidt, a former Republican state representative from the Cincinnati area, also appealed to the governor's office on behalf of a Web-based lottery. [...]

In a November, 2001, e-mail, Jon Allison, a staff member for Governor Taft, complained that Ms. Schmidt "continues to bug me on Internet lottery."

One year later, her state representative re-election campaign garnered a $1,000 donation from Mr. Ach.

Ms. Schmidt said through a spokesman that she does not remember any conversations with the governor's office about an online lottery, although she does remember that this was a significant issue at the time.

The next day, the woman with the "file-card memory" was the focus of a Cincinnati Enquirer article headlined, Schmidt can't recall Ach favor.

It is time for Jean Schmidt to come clean about her relationship with Tom Noe, Bob Taft, Roger Ach and online gambling. The culture of corruption will continue until reporters demand that career politicians tell voters the truth.

Voters deserve straight talk, Come Clean Jean.

UPDATE: (Bob) Paul Hackett and former Senator Max Clelland are on the Courthouse Steps doing a press conference right now. The big three stations, channels 5, 9, and 12 are here. More to come...

UPDATE: (Bob) Paul Hackett just referred to Jean Schmidt as the, "Poster Child for the Culture of Corruption" as he held up the documents that busted her. During the press conference, it was clear why Hackett is such a successful attorney, he did a great job of telling the story.

UPDATE: (Bob) Max Clelland remarked, "The odor of corruption not only comes out of Tom DeLay's office, it also comes out of Columbus."

UPDATE: (Bob) Channel 19 was also there, along with the Cincinnati Enquirer. There is no way that the press can ignore this, you can't let politicians lie about their involvement in corruption.

UPDATE: (Bob) It is not too late to donate to Paul Hackett, help him FINISH THE JOB!

Posted at 12:59 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, General, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Scandals, Site News, Special Elections | Comments (7) | Technorati

Friday, July 29, 2005

OH-02: Paul Hackett Receiving Support to Compete

Posted by Bob Brigham

The lede in today's Hotline (subscription only):

What's The Matter With Ohio

Believe it or not, it seems that many folks on vacation next week may actually finding themselves wondering about the OH 02 special Tuesday night between GOPer Jean Schmidt and Dem Paul Hackett.
-- As of deadline, both the NRCC and DCCC are now in with last minute six figure mail and TV buys. It's hard to imagine that a CD which voted for Bush over Kerry 64-36 is really in play. But there are a number of factors. First, the OH GOP is in shambles as we've highlighted for months with GOP Gov. Bob Taft sporting the worst approval ratings of any GOV in the country.
-- Second, Hackett's a unique candidate who has used his Iraq war veteran status to raise a decent amount of blogosphere money. The NRCC didn't want to see Schmidt caught off guard (apparently the campaign's been slow to respond to Hackett's negatives). The DCCC didn't want to go in too soon prompting an earlier entry by the NRCC. It's hard to fathom how the GOP loses. Still, it's a special in August and crazy things can happen.

NETROOT$ 96 Hours Ago 72 Hours Ago 48 Hours Ago24 Hours Ago RIGHT NOW
Investors 2,960 3,525 4,347 5,200 6,332
TOTAL $147,350.59 $175,669.59 $228,231.58 $274,688.22 $335,075.27

And Eschaton is at $21751.55 from 558 people (up from $16,451.51 from 420 people yesterday).

Posted at 12:33 PM in Netroots, Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Blogosphere Surge Forces GOP Splurge

Posted by Bob Brigham

Be part of history, contribute today!

From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

In a sign that the 2nd Congressional District race might be tight, the National Republican Congressional Committee has dumped more than $500,000 into a TV ad campaign attacking Democrat Paul Hackett.

The ad buy was estimated at $265,000 in the Cincinnati media market, along with another $250,000 on Huntington, W.Va., stations that cover the eastern end of the seven-county district.

Jean Schmidt's campaign is being dragged down by the Culture of Corruption in the Republican Party. Schmidt was Governor Taft's rubber stamp and is campaigning to be Tom DeLay's rubber stamp.

Democrats, though, believe the TV ad blitz is the result of Hackett's success in raising his own campaign funds through online contributions.

Hackett has benefited from a surge of online support in the last week that has brought in, as of Thursday, an estimated $303,000 from more than 5,000 small campaign contributors through a Democratic group called

The online buzz for Hackett started last week when Democracy for America, the group founded by Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean endorsed Hackett's campaign in an e-mail to supporters, calling on them to contribute.

Several other liberal-leaning political Web logs, called blogs, urged their readers to contribute to Hackett on July 19, in honor or Blogosphere Day. On that date in 2004, online campaign contributions for Ginny Schrader, a Democratic congressional candidate in Pennsylvania, raised $25,000.

Hackett's online contributions, which increase each minute, surpassed the money raised for Schrader in the first day and continue to grow.

"This has never been done for a congressional candidate before at this level," said Tim Tagaris, a blogger who writes for Ohio Rep. Sherrod Brown's blog and, separately,, one of the Web sites that urged online readers to support Hackett.

Hackett's on-line contributions have enabled him to spend far more money than any Democratic candidate in the historically Republican district.

Here is the worst. spin. ever.

But Braun said the help is significant. In the Huntington media market, Braun said, the $250,000 TV ad buy "is incredible. It's like one out of every three commercials that air."

Braun said the committee campaign is not an indication that Schmidt is in trouble, but "the first shot in the 2008 (presidential) battle."

No Joe, the Washington Republicans aren't buying one out of every three ads to fire people up for 2008. They're doing this because Schmidt's campaign blew a huge lead in an easy district. This buy was motivated by nothing other than The Fear.

Posted at 07:48 AM in Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Site News, Special Elections | Technorati

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

OH-02: Netroots Investment Yielding Momentum

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project Paul Hackett Tim Tagaris and Swing State Project made CNN's Inside the Blogs yesterday. Of course, Crooks and Liars has the video.

The segment focused on the overwhelming momentum Paul Hackett is receiving from the netroots. Here at Swing State Project we've followed his success -- and it has been startling. Netroot Democrats want to see Hackett have the recources to compete in the face of the Swift Boat smears coming from the Schmidt campaign. Here is a netroots investment update:

$$$48 Hours Ago24 Hours AgoRIGHT NOW

And Eschaton is at $12,294.44 from 308 people. That is a quick $55K in the last 24 hours...the beat goes on!

Go contribute!

Posted at 12:33 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Site News, Special Elections | Technorati

Dems 2008: DLC Scandal Dogs HRC in WaPo

Posted by Bob Brigham

Hillary clinton al from dlc democratic leadership council Right now, there is amazing organizing going on in OH-02, preparation for Tuesday's Special Election. But the Democratic Leadership Council has been suspiciously absent. They met just 2 hours away and people asked and asked for DLC'ers to come and help -- but they were to busy with their cocktail coronations.

This is an important lesson for politicians. The DLC is fundamentally unable to deliver in a post McCain-Feingold world -- they are too lazy to walk and too few create a scalable fundraising system. Yet look what you can do by staying true and raising money $50 a head online. And choosing the DLC over the netroots comes with a price, like this Washington Post story:

The most pointed critique of Clinton came in one of the most influential blogs on the left, Daily Kos out of Berkeley, Calif., which called Clinton's speech "truly disappointing" and said she should not provide cover for an organization that often has instigated conflict within the party.

"If she wanted to give a speech to a centrist organization truly interested in bringing the various factions of the party together, she could've worked with NDN," the blog said in a reference to the New Democrat Network, with which Daily Kos's Markos Moulitsas is associated. "Instead, she plans on working with the DLC to come up with some common party message yadda yadda yadda. Well, that effort is dead on arrival. The DLC is not a credible vehicle for such an effort. Period."

Anyone who supports the DLC is fair game, even Hillary. And Hillary fucked up big time with Democrats:

Roger Hickey, co-director of the liberal Campaign for America's Future, said Clinton had badly miscalculated the current politics inside the Democratic Party and argued that she could pay a price for her DLC association if she runs for president in 2008.

"There has been an activist resurgence in the Democratic Party in recent years, and Hillary risks ensuring that there's a candidate to her left appealing to those activists who don't much like the DLC," he said.

Not only is Hillary losing netroots and grassroots support by aligning herself with Al From and the DLC, but she is failing to change the dynamics.

If there were a text-book, Hillary Clinton would be breaking every rule.

Oh wait, there is a text-book. By cognitive scientist George Lakoff, and yes, Hillary is doing everything wrong. Total FUBAR.

Don't think of Al From:

Fallacy: Progressives can gain more voters by moving to the Right.

There is a myth that voters are lined up in a left-to-right line, and that to gain the support of swing voters, you must move to the center. When progressives move to the right, they lose in two ways, setting up a self-defeating double-whammy:

1. Moving to the right alienates your progressive base.

2. It actually helps conservatives because it activates their model in swing voters.

Notice that conservatives do not gain more voters by moving to the Left. What they do is stick to their strict ideology to activate their model in swing voters by being clear and consistent in policies and messages framed in terms of conservative values.

Moral: Voters are not on a left-to-right line. Stick with your ideals, frame what you believe effectively, and say what you believe. Say it well, strongly, and with moral conviction.

Did you get that, the DLC model is what cognitive scientists call a fallacy.

Clinton is getting really bad advice from Al From and her handlers. One week ago she was a Senator and the beloved former First Lady. Now she is just another member of the Democratic Losers Club trying desperately not to offend anyone on the right.

Clinton's DLC membership is sinking her potential. It is sad to watch.

Steve Gilliard has more on the Hillary's political insticts failing her.

Posted at 10:57 AM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, 2008 President - Democrats, Democrats, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

OH-2: Hackett Earns Cincinnati Post Endorsement

Posted by Tim Tagaris

The beat goes on. From the Cincinnati Post ENDORSEMENT of Paul Hackett:

If elected, he notes, he would be the only member of Congress with direct military experience in Iraq - which, he says, is a fight we should end as soon as possible. He wants to finish the job and get out, and he wants the United States to stop holding hands with Pakistan and to get serious about tracking down those responsible for the 9-11 attacks.

We like Hackett's candor. We're impressed with the freshness of his ideas. We believe his experience shows him to be someone who is action-oriented.

We endorse Hackett for the 2nd District seat.

Big Mo'

UPDATE (Bob) 12:33 PM Exactly 24 hours ago I reported Paul Hackett's ActBlue page stood at $147,350.59 from 2960 people. Since then, Markos chipped in $100 and he was not alone.

The current total: $175,669.59 from 3,525 members of the netroots. And Eschaton's ActBlue is at $9,244.39 from 230 members of the netroots. And Hackett's on Majority Report's ActBlue page. And the beat goes on...

UPDATE: (Bob) Tim is live-blogging with Hackett RIGHT NOW!

UPDATE (Tim): I got video of Paul Hackett thanking the netroots for "blogosphere day."

Posted at 12:05 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, Democrats, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Technorati

Friday, July 22, 2005

We Write Letters

Posted by Bob Brigham

Dear Friend,

I'm supporting Chris Bowers for Committeeperson, Ward 27, Division 2 because I think Chris has the right stance on issues affecting our community. That's why I think Chris should receive Democracy for America's endorsement. Democracy for America (DFA) supports fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates all over the country. One of DFA's main criteria is grassroots support. You can help Chris Bowers receive DFA's endorsement by recommending Chris on Democracy for America's website:


Bob Brigham

More here after starting here.

Posted at 10:07 PM in Netroots | Technorati

PA-06: Atrios Endorses Lois Murphy

Posted by Bob Brigham

NOTE: Swing State Project will report on bloggers' ActBlue lists. Here is the Swing State Project Candidate List


It feels like November 2006 is a long time from now, but it's amazing how time flies. I'm certainly not going to do the hard sell on fundraising for candidates any time soon (the Paul Hackett special election on August 2 was of course an exception). And, my default position is to stay out of any seriously contested primaries, though that isn't necessarily an unbreakable rule. On the other hand helping to finance candidates early gives them more free time to press the flesh and as they have to spend less time in the coldcall fundraising dungeon.

I've added Lois Murphy to my list of candidates, which you can find in the link to the left. Murphy's running in PA 6 against the odious Jim Gerlach. Gerlach just had a fundraiser with Karl Rove so you know he puts his personal political concerns over the national security of this country. Murphy only lost by about 7,000 votes in '04, with at least one local network affiliate calling the race (incorrectly) for her.

Last year, Atrios moved so much coin people called him Mr. Noe. This is good news for Murphy. Since we love SEPA and competitive races, Swing State Project will be closely following the race.

Posted at 06:35 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Activism, Democrats, Netroots, Pennsylvania | Technorati

MoveOn: Tell the media: Don't forget Karl Rove

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Karl Rove scandal that has engulfed the entire past and present Senior Staff at the Bush White House is "bigger than Watergate" and demands attention.

MoveOn has been very disciplined in focusing attention on the scandal. Now, they have a campaign to organize netroots activists to write letters-to-the-editor. I would suggest that you take 5 minutes to let your community and local press know more about the importance of the scandal by writing a letter.

We are still waiting to see who history will remember as the Woodward and Beinstein in the leak scandal. Encourage the press to get to the bottom of the scandal -- we deserve it. Full email in extended entry.

Like a roller coaster, the news out of Washington this week has been an up and down ride. On Monday, the entire country was focused on Karl Rove's leak of the identity of an undercover CIA operative to the media. Then President Bush announced his nominee for the Supreme Court on primetime TV—nearly pushing the Rove story out of the news. The timing was intentional, a top Republican told Reuters: "It helps take Rove off the front pages for a week.”1 Monday, there were 1,043 news stories mentioning "Karl Rove" on top TV stations—yesterday there were 128.2

But last night, Bloomberg broke a major new part of the story: Rove’s explanation to the grand jury of how he learned Valerie Plame’s identity differs sharply from the explanations journalists gave.3 That could mean Rove lied to the grand jury—a felony. We need to make sure the media get back on the case. One easy way to do that is on the Letters-to-the-Editor page of newspapers. We've set up an online tool that makes submitting a letter easy. You write your letter, choose where you want it to go, and click to send. Will you write a letter to the editor? Click below to get started.

An effective letter-to-the-editor is short, just a couple of paragraphs. The goal is to show your local media, your neighbors, and even our elected leaders that people are upset about the Rove leak scandal.

Your letter will be very timely. Now, there are new revelations about a memo that made it clear to White House officials that CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity was a secret. The memo is evidence that there are probably multiple people involved in this CIA leak scandal.4

The Rove leak is scandalous because everybody agrees White House officials shouldn't blow the cover of our undercover CIA agents. An ABC News poll shows that a solid majority of Americans—some 75 percent—support firing Rove for what he did. This is true even among 71 percent of Republicans.5 But, so far, Republicans in Washington are ignoring the facts. It is important that the media hears that people are angry about the Rove leak so they keep reporting on developments in the case.

The outing of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame is more outrageous because Karl Rove and the other White House leakers clearly had a political, not a patriotic, agenda. Ambassador Joe Wilson was refuting the bogus claims by the Bush administration about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Revealing the undercover identity of Wilson’s CIA agent wife was an attempt to discredit Ambassador Wilson and silence critics of the Iraq war. The lies that Wilson exposed were central to the rationale for war the Bush administration sold the American people.

Your letter can send a signal to the media that people don't want officials in important government positions who put their political agenda ahead of their patriotism. We can insist on media coverage of the White House leak. Please write a letter today.

There is also good news from Congress—the Democrats are standing up and working hard to make sure there is accountability. Today, Senate and House Democrats will hold their own hearings on the national security implications of the leak. They’ll hear from former CIA agents including a former classmate of Valerie Plame. The hearings will be chaired by Senator Byron Dorgan and Congressman Henry Waxman.

Together, we pushed stories like the Downing Street Memos into the news. Let's jumpstart the Karl Rove story.

Thanks for all you do.

–Tom, Carrie, Wes, James and the Political Action Team
Friday, July 22nd, 2005

P.S. Our TV ad exposes the White House cover-up of Karl Rove's CIA leak. We beat our goal of $100,000—will you help us meet our new goal of $150,000 and keep the ads on another week?


1. Bush believed to be close to Supreme Court decision, Reuters. July 19, 2005

2. Analysis by Political Action staff of monitoring from

3. Rove, Libby Accounts in CIA Case Differ With Those of Reporters. Bloomberg. July 22, 2005

4. Plame’s Identity Marked as Secret. The Washington Post, July 21, 2005

5. ABC News Poll, July 18, 2005.

Posted at 02:23 PM in Netroots | Technorati

DLC and the Political 11th Commandment

Posted by Bob Brigham

Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment was, "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican." Reagan understood that it was counter-productive to triangulate against members of one's own Party.

This cap is lifted when a Democrat triangulates against fellow Democrats. Associating with the DLC, lifts the cap. The DLC is only relevant to the extent they attack Democrats, water-down message, and break solidarity. Smart politicians are fleeing the DLC but those who remain are fair game.

Kos says:

Three presidential contenders are trekking to the DLC's annual conference in Ohio, giving the organization a boost of legitimacy at a time when it faces increasing irrelevance in the political scene.

Evan Bayh, Hillary Clinton, and Tom Vilsack are all dutifully trecking to Ohio to worship at the altar of the "vital center" -- that elusive moving target that has conspired to rob Democrats of all conviction. Every time you hear a Democrat talk about how Democrats don't stand for anything? That's the DLC, as they urge Democrats to chase after a "center" that gets constantly redefined rightward by an ideologically principled Republican party.

As we strive to find our core convictions, and define who we are and what we stand for as a party, the DLC is one of the roadblocks -- a divisive, fundamentalist organization willing to sell any and all progressive ideals to the altar of big business. And anything that threatens their dominance has met with their ire -- be it Howard Dean, the netroots, or regular people suddenly interested in transforming and reforming the Democratic Party.

Democrats have a choice to make -- stand with the DLC, or stand with the grassroots and netroots of the party.
(emphasis mine)

Remember what wrote last month...

The DLC is in debt for the hatchet job against (now DNC Chairman) Howard Dean and in 2007 the bill will come due. Under the turnabout is fair play rule this is certainly valid and the score will not only be settled, but settled with interest. Bayh, Vilsack, doesn't really matter who, for the result is the same when one lies down with dogs.

As Kos continues:

It's interesting that Democrats with a strong sense of self -- those who truly know what they stand for and are unafraid to say so -- are those least interested in the DLC's snake oil. Obama twice had to demand the DLC take him off their list. California's Phil Angelides -- the next governor of the Golden State given Ahnold's spectacular collapse -- also demanded to be taken off their list. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who's anti-war floor speech made the internet rounds last year, also demanded to be taken off their list. Western Democrats in Montana -- blood red territory -- have shown no interest in cozying up with the DLC.

The choice seems clear.

Posted at 01:48 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Democrats, Netroots | Comments (3) | Technorati

How to Talk to Bloggers

Posted by Bob Brigham

Following yesterday's Washington Post article on the Democratic Blogger Swarm, it appears that it is time once again to visit the ongoing discussion on politics and the blogosphere.

Last week, Tim Tagaris looked at candidates joining the discussion which picked up where he left off with the famous ATM post. Today, John Aravosis posted Online Etiquette 2.0. It is a great post -- read it (Atrios says, "Good Advice"). I would like to add one item:

10. Format appropriately.

As we saw with yesterday's posting of GOP internal memo on John Roberts, bloggers like to get good stuff and many of us will liberally dump content in extended entries. So don't send bloggers PDF's of text documents. If you're really smart, you can send it as a text email with simple HTML formatting (bold, links, italic). Next best is send an HTML email. Remember that many bloggers won't open attached documents. So if you have a pic, the best way is to send a link.

Posted at 12:46 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Sen. Democratic Policy Committee and House Gov. Reform Committee Hearing on Leak

Posted by Bob Brigham

Watch live on C-SPAN 3. I'll use this thread for updates. Here is the background on today's committee investigation

UPDATE: (Bob) Check out the c-span live blog at Mahablog and Republic of T.

UPDATE: (Bob) DC Media Girl has Larry Johnson's prepared opening testimony (full remarks posted in extended entry)

UPDATE: (Bob) Good Americans are talking about the hearings over at AmericaBlog.

UPDATE: (Bob) Great moments in mainstream media asking great questions and getting proportional responses:

Carl, and then I'll go to Bob.

Q Scott, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, lead by Byron Dorgan, along with the Democrats of the House Government Reform Committee, are going to hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the leaking of classified information and the damage that it could cause. Do you think that that investigation that they're conducting on -- just Democrats is helpful?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think that it's helpful for all of us to make sure we're doing our part to allow the people overseeing the investigation to do their job. And that's what we've been doing from this White House. And I really don't have anything to add beyond that.

UPDATE: (Bob) Building is NOT being evacuated.

UPDATE: (Bob) Daily Kos has Live Open Thread.

UPDATE: (Bob) If you have surround sound, put your settings to "Hall" (or equivalent)...if you're looking for something to read, browse our backfiles on the Karl Rove Scandal.

Via DC Media Girl, Larry Johnson's prepared opening testimony:

Copy of my testimony to be presented on Friday, 22 July 2005 before a joint session of Congressional Democrats.


by Larry C. Johnson I submit this statement to the Congress in an effort to correct a malicious and disingenuous smear campaign that has been executed against a friend and former colleague, Valerie (Plame) Wilson. Neither Valerie, nor her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson has asked me to do anything on their behalf. I am speaking up because I was raised to stop bullies. In the case of Valerie Plame she is facing a gang of bullies that is being directed by the Republican National Committee.

I entered on duty at the CIA in September 1985 as a member of the Career Trainee Program. Senator Orin Hatch had written a letter of recommendation on my behalf and I believe that helped open the doors to me at the CIA. From the first day all members of my training class were undercover. In other words, we had to lie to our family and friends about where we worked. We could only tell those who had an absolute need to know where we worked. In my case, I told my wife. Most of us were given official cover, which means that on paper we worked for some other U.S. Government Agency. People with official cover enjoy the benefits of an official passport, usually a black passport--i.e., a diplomatic passport. If we were caught overseas engaged in espionage activity the black passport was a get out of jail free card. It accords the bearer the protections of the Geneva Convention.

Valerie Plame was a classmate of mine from the day she started with the CIA. At the time I only knew her as Valerie P. Even though all of us in the training class held Top Secret Clearances, we were asked to limit our knowledge of our other classmates to the first initial of their last name. So, Larry J. knew Val P. rather than Valerie Plame. Her name did not become a part of my consciousness until her cover was betrayed by the Government officials who gave columnist Robert Novak her true name.

Although Val started off with official cover, she later joined a select group of intelligence officers a few years later when she became a NOC, i.e. a Non-Official Cover officer. That meant she agreed to operate overseas without the protection of a diplomatic passport. She was using cover, which we now know because of the leak to Robert Novak, of the consulting firm Brewster-Jennings. When she traveled overseas she did not use or have an official passport. If she had been caught engaged in espionage activities while traveling overseas without the black passport she could have been executed.

We must put to bed the lie that she was not undercover. For starters, if she had not been undercover then the CIA would not have referred the matter to the Justice Department. Some reports, such as one in the Washington Times that Valerie Plame’s supervisor at the CIA, Fred Rustman, said she told friends and family she worked at the CIA and that her cover was light. These claims are not true. Rustman, who supervised Val in one of her earliest assignments, left the CIA in 1990 and did not stay in social contact with Valerie. His knowledge of Val’s cover is dated. He does not know what she has done during the past 15 years.

Val only told those with a need to know about her status in order to safeguard her cover, not compromise it. Val has never been a flamboyant, insecure person who felt the need to tell people what her “real” job was. She was content with being known as an energy consultant married to Joe Wilson and the mother of twins. Despite the repeated claims of representatives for the Republican National Committee, the Wilson’s neighbors did not know where Valerie really worked until Novak’s op-ed appeared.

I would note that not a single member of our training class has come forward to denounce Valerie or question her bona fides. To the contrary, those we have talked to have endorsed what those of us who have left the CIA are doing to defend her reputation and honor.

As noted in the joint letter submitted to Congressional leaders earlier this week, the RNC is repeating the lie that Valerie was nothing more than a glorified desk jockey and could not possibly have any cover worth protecting. To those such as Victoria Toensing, Representative Peter King, P. J. O’Rourke, and Representative Roy Blunt I can only say one thing—you are wrong. I am stunned that some political leaders have such ignorance about a matter so basic to the national security structure of this nation.

Robert Novak’s compromise of Valerie caused even more damage. It subsequently led to scrutiny of her cover company. This not only compromised her “cover” company but potentially every individual overseas who had been in contact with that company or with her.

Another false claim is that Valerie sent her husband on the mission to Niger. According to the Senate Intelligence Committee Report issued in July 2004, it is clear that the Vice President himself requested that the CIA provide its views on a Defense Intelligence Agency report that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium from Niger. The Vice President’s request was relayed through the CIA bureaucracy to the Director of the Counter Proliferation Division at the CIA. Valerie worked for a branch in that Division.

The Senate Intelligence Report is frequently cited by Republican partisans as “proof” that Valerie sent her husband to Niger because she sent a memo describing her husband’s qualifications to the Deputy Division Chief. Several news personalities, such as Chris Matthews and Bill O’Reilly continue to repeat this nonsense as proof. What the Senate Intelligence Committee does not include in the report is the fact that Valerie’s boss had asked her to write a memo outlining her husband’s qualifications for the job. She did what any good employee does; she gave her boss what he asked for.

The decision to send Joe Wilson on the mission to Niger was made by Valerie’s bosses. She did not have the authority to sign travel vouchers, issue travel orders, or expend one dime of U.S. taxpayer dollars on her own. Yet, she has been singled out by the Republican National Committee and its partisans as a legitimate target of attack. It was Karl Rove who told Chris Matthews, “Wilson’s wife is fair game”.

What makes the unjustified and inappropriate attacks on Valerie Plame and her reputation so unfair is that there was no Administration policy position stipulating that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium in February 2002. That issue was still up in the air and, as noted by SSCI, Vice President Cheney himself asked for more information.

At the end of the day we are left with these facts. We went to war in Iraq on the premise that Saddam was reacquiring weapons of mass destruction. Joe Wilson was sent on a mission to Niger in response to a request initiated by the Vice President. Joe Wilson supplied information to the CIA that supported other reports debunking the claim that Saddam was trying to buy yellow cake uranium from Niger. When Joe went public with his information, which had been corroborated by the CIA in April 2003, the response from the White House was to call him a liar and spread the name of his wife around.

We sit here more than two years later and the storm of invective and smear against Ambassador Wilson and his wife, Valerie, continues. I voted for George Bush in November of 2000 because I wanted a President who knew what the meaning of “is” was. I was tired of political operatives who spent endless hours on cable news channels parsing words. I was promised a President who would bring a new tone and new ethical standards to Washington.

So where are we? The President has flip flopped and backed away from his promise to fire anyone at the White House implicated in a leak. We now know from press reports that at least Karl Rove and Scooter Libby are implicated in these leaks. Instead of a President concerned first and foremost with protecting this country and the intelligence officers who serve it, we are confronted with a President who is willing to sit by while political operatives savage the reputations of good Americans like Valerie and Joe Wilson. This is wrong.

Without firm action by President Bush to return to those principles he promised to follow when he came to Washington, I fear our political debate in this country will degenerate into an argument about what the meaning of “leak” is. We deserve people who work in the White House who are committed to protecting classified information, telling the truth to the American people, and living by example the idea that a country at war with Islamic extremists cannot expend its efforts attacking other American citizens who simply tried to tell the truth.

You can find more in our backfiles on the Karl Rove Scandal.

Posted at 10:00 AM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Democrats, Netroots, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Maryscott O'Connor's My Left Wing Blog

Posted by Bob Brigham

From a MyDD Diary:

Did you know that Maryscott OConnor has a new blog? It's called "My Left Wing", not to be confused with My  Left Foot, which was a movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis. I only mention this because Maryscott O'Connor was recently lamenting the fact that My  Left Wing is not showing up in her searches yet. Bummer, huh? Maryscott O'Connor puts all sorts of time, energy, and animated gifs into rolling out her new blog, My Left Wing, and My Left Wing doesn't even show up on search engines yet. Oh, the humanity!

Posted at 05:45 PM in Netroots | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Happy Blogosphere Day

Posted by Bob Brigham

[EDITOR's NOTE] This will remain at the top till midnight. Scroll down for the latest on "John Roberts"

A long time ago, even though it happened one year ago today, there was an event that proved to the whole world the united blogosphere's ability to deploy resources immediately into a single congressional district. July 19th is Blogosphere Day.

As was announced in October of 2004 and covered by the National Journal last week.

Today is Blogosphere Day and it needs to happen again.

Two weeks from today, there is a special election in Ohio's second congressional district. The Republican is caught in a late-breaking scandal that has made irrelevant all assumptions about the race.

The election will be a big day for Paul Hackett. If he wins, he goes to Washington. If he loses, he goes back to Iraq.

Understandly, Hackett is campaigning as if his life depended upon it...with only two weeks to go.

Just like last year, we need the one-two punch of the blogs, email, and ActBlue. Go make a contribution and then come back and read some of the history behind blogosphere day. Then post and email and let's see how much we can raise.

I gave $50, special elections are important. All day, we'll be rolling out posts on the race.

------ Go Donate


Thanks for donating. Now let me tell you a story about Blogosphere Day -- a national holiday and show of unity by the liberal blogosphere.

It was one year ago today that it all began. I'll let Salon set the moment:

On Monday afternoon, July 19, Stephen Yellin, a 16-year-old politics junkie and frequent contributor to the lefty blog Daily Kos, noticed an intriguing development in Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District, an area to the north of Philadelphia. The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call was reporting that Jim Greenwood, the district's popular, moderate Republican congressman, had unexpectedly decided not to seek reelection, meaning that his House seat was now up for grabs. This is the sort of news that sets partisans like Yellin jumping for joy, and so, of course, he blogged about it.

"I would suggest that we get involved ASAP," Yellin, who goes by the handle MrLiberal on Daily Kos, wrote. Virginia "Ginny" Schrader, the Democrat running for the open seat, "supports civil unions and is against Bush's positions on Iraq and the Patriot Act," he noted approvingly. But she was woefully low on cash -- as of June 30, Schrader had only $7,000 in the bank. Yellin implored Daily Kos' politically obsessed readers to change that situation: "This is completely out of left field, folks, and it gives us another opportunity for a pickup," he wrote. "Ginny Schrader is the luckiest candidate in the nation today, but can her luck hold?"

What happened next was beyond anything that Yellin had expected. Hundreds of people began pitching in, documenting their small donations in the comments threads of Daily Kos and other blogs: "$25.01 coming from me." "$30.01 from me too." "Yeah, this liberal kicked in $20.01." (Daily Kos readers add in the extra penny as a kind of signature for the site, letting a campaign know where the money's coming from.) The tide came in for at least two full days, and when it was over, Ginny Schrader, a candidate who was recently unknown to even the most obsessive campaign watchers, found herself flush with more than $30,000. She was suddenly a political force to contend with. (emphasis mine)

Yes, it was a very magical day. Here at Swing State Project, DavidNYC wrote:

We can make a huge difference overnight if we chip in to help her out - and we can also scare off any Republicans who might consider entering this race now. Imagine the headlines tomorrow or the next day if the blogosphere rapid-response network can toss Ginny some serious coin.

Kos noted, " I just spoke with Virginia "Ginny" Schrader, and the news is spectacular. Between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET, her campaign has raised $14K online. Some from Daily Kos, some from other sources. This is a blogosphere-wide phenomenon."

Once again, we need to leverage our numbers and quickly deploy resources – people and money – to a single congressional district. Here's what Stephen Yellin says:

Paul Hackett's a genuinely good and decent human being, and one that can make a big difference if elected. Jean Schmidt's another GOP hack in a long line of such politicians, and would be just another face in the crowd if elected. No to mention that electing a Democrat in this district would send a clarion message to the Republicans in Washington: Your days in power are numbered. This threat would not be ignored, especially if Congressman Paul Hackett is there to give it to them. The Republicans will be shell-shocked (we saw how concerned they were when Ben Chandler and Stephanie Herseth won specials in 2004), and we will have scored a major victory for our party, for our ideology, for America.

So, how do we make the most of our moment? Go to Paul's website, and help them out, first off. If the Hackett campaign is going to take advantage of this GOP donnybrook, they'll need to have enough money to run a few TV ads so people know who they ought to vote for instead of "same-old, same-old." They need volunteers-if you live near the district or if you want to fly over there to help, Cincinnati is not far away at all from Hackett's HQ.

Go Donate -- a little money from a whole lot of people can make a huge difference in a low-turnout special election with a late breaking scandal. Thank you for your solidarity and...

Happy Blogosphere Day!

You can follow the success here.

UPDATE (Bob): Wow. At the end of the night: $100504.47 from 1842 netroots Democrats.

Posted at 11:59 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Site News | Comments (4) | Technorati

SCOTUS: Ethically Challenged John Roberts (Another Partisan Hack)

Posted by Tim Tagaris

An ethically challenged lawyer appointed by an ethically challenged "win-at-all-cost" administration.

U.S. v. Smithfield Foods - Roberts representing a pork processing company against Clean Water Act violations. This is what the court had to say about Roberts the litigator:

"The mischaracterization and distortion of this Memorandum is frustrating to the court. Quotes are being taken out of context, and it appears that words are being conveniently deleted or added for purposes of argument." "A totally misleading argument presented to this court."

I am not sure the amount of cases he has argued is very compelling if that is the way that he argues them.

UPDATE: Roberts on Roe v. Wade -- Brief field in Rust v. Sullivan

"We continue to believe that Roe was wrongfully decided and should be overturned." "[T]he Court's conclusions i Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion and that government has no compelling interest in protecting prenatal human life throughout pregnancy find no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution."

UPDATE (Bob) John Aravosis has info from NARAL Pro-Choice America on John Roberts and the huge oppo file from Alliance for Justice on John Roberts.

UPDATE (Tim) Aravosis has more, including Roberts' weak resume, and militant crusade to erode a woman's right to privacy, choice, and apparently right to live free from violence.

UPDATE (Tim) Jeralyn already debunks the Right's first talking point, that he was approved by the Senate to the Appeals Court overhwlemingly.

UPDATE (Bob) Here is PFAW on John Roberts (PDF)

UPDATE (Bob) Update the dkosopedia page on John Roberts and the Wikipedia page on John Roberts.

UPDATE (Bob) The John G. Robert's 2003 Confirmation Hearings

UPDATE (Bob Chris Bowers is right, John Roberts is a Partisan Hack:

The Bush administration has clearly stepped up the nomination of John Roberts in order to deflect attention from Karl Rove. Really, it makes sense. One partisan hack is deflecting attention from another.

Karl Rove is a lifetime Republican operative. John Roberts has been filing briefs and providing legal support for recounts (Roberts worked for Bush-Cheney 2000 in Florida) on behalf of Republicans for two decades. John Roberts is a partisan hack taking the heat for another partisan hack. He has only been a judge for two years. He has been a partisan Republican hack for twenty years.

The Bush administration was elected by the Supreme Court, and now it is electing a member of its campaign team to the Supreme Court in order to deflect attention away from ethics violations by the head of its campaign team, Karl Rove. The is partisan hackery at its best. The Bush administration has decided to treat the Supreme Court as an ambassadorship.

And so the fight is enjoined--the Bush administration wants to nominate a partisan hack who helped elect Bush to the Supreme Court, which elected Bush, in order to deflect attention from possible the possibly treasonous activates of another partisan hack who led the Bush campaign in 2000 and 2004. And so this is our fight--the Supreme Court is not the Northern Mariana Islands. The Supreme Court is not a way to reward those who helped get you elected. The Supreme Court is not a way to help deflect attention from the ethics violations of those who helped elect you. The Supreme Court is not a place for partisan hacks, but the Bush administration thinks it is. And so this is our fight--country over partisanship. And so it begins.

Howard Dean (from a press release):

Washington - Faced with a growing scandal surrounding the involvement of Deputy White House chief of Staff Karl Rove and Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis Libby in the leaking the identity of a covert CIA operative, President Bush announced his nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court late this evening. Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean today issued the following statement on the nomination:

"It is disappointing that when President Bush had the chance to bring the country together, he instead turned to a nominee who may have impressive legal credentials, but also has sharp partisan credentials that cannot be ignored.

"Democrats take very seriously the responsibility to protect the individual rights of all Americans and are committed to ensuring that ideological judicial activists are not appointed to the Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary Committee will now have the opportunity to see if Judge Roberts can put his partisanship aside, and live up to a Supreme Court Justice's duty to uphold the rights and freedoms of every American and the promise of equal justice for all."

Posted at 08:02 PM in Activism, DNC Chair, General, Netroots, Nuclear Option, Plamegate, Scandals, Supreme Court | Technorati

OH-02: Hackett Update

Posted by Bob Brigham

Happy Blogosphere Day!


UPDATESupportersTotal Raised
10:20 Central321$33,967.96
12:20 Central475$41,367.96
1:20 Central638$47,813.22
2:20 Central897$61,819.29
3:20 Central1106$70,698.14
4:20 Central1317$78,764.55
5:20 Central1397$85,244.59
6:20 Central11484$89,310.60

UPDATE (Tim): Of course, if you are from Ohio, you can volunteer for the campaign by going to Paul Hackett's volunteer page.

You can also view the grassroots produced video that draws a nice distinction between the two candidates running at Grow Ohio.

UPDATE (Bob & Tim): Atrios has a page for the Eschaton community ($740.00, $1055.01 $1651.80 $2,201.81) and Democracy for America is driving mad people to the main actblue page.

Posted at 01:33 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (5) | Technorati

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Welcome to the Netroots, Senator Biden

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Senator Joe Biden jumped in with both feet over at MyDD earlier today, and was greated with a good mix of hostility and acceptance. This gives me a good opportunity to get a few things off my chest about candidates and electeds entering the blogosphere with increasing frequency.

1.) Your star power is dwindling. At first, diaries at Kos, MyDD, and guest columns at places like Swing State Project were great opportunities to be seen by thousands in the grassroots and greeted with thankfulness for what was almost always a fundraising attempt. They almost always shot up to the top of the recommended list in record time. That doesn't happen any longer. I have seen diaries by Nick Lampson (TX-22) drift away into obscurity. There is a higher standard in the netroots now-a-days.

2.) Recognize that the the Internet an opportunity to have a discussion with the grassroots, and yes, ask things of us, but it is quickly becoming a vehicle to hold our representatives to account, as witnessed on Senator Biden's MyDD thread. So, if you have recently pulled some B.S. on the campaign trail or in the House or Senate--people remember and will call you on it.

3.) If you are going to post, then post. Don't have your communications staff posting under your name, pretending your effort at outreach is anything more than some screed that you approved (maybe) over a cup of coffee earlier in the morning. Now I'm not saying that Senator Biden's post on MyDD wasn't written and posted by him, but I know that we aren't always talking to the candidates when we think we are.

Most people understand you have work to do, so if you want to write something up yourself, and have it posted under your name by a staffer, cool. At the end of the entry, just be upfront with us was placed on Kos or MyDD by a staffer. We understand. But if you have a staffer that is running around and perpetrating like they are the Congressman/Woman/Senator/Presidential candidate, your "brand" and credibility online will be shot when it is uncovered.

3.) Stick around and reply to comments. Set aside a good half-hour or so after your entry. Come back later in the night and reply. Check in early the next morning. Just make sure you reply.

It may be "socially" acceptable now to drop a "flaming bag of dog poop" (aka post-and-run), but the ones who in the future will receive the rewards candidates are looking are the ones that actually engage the netroots in the comments section in their own diaries. Or hell, even diaries that aren't your own. Set aside an hour or two a week just like you would for fundraising calls.

4.) Do more than just ask us for money. I cringe when I see "candidates" running for Congress on places like DailyKos who do nothing but write diaries with the sole purpose being the fundraising link at the bottom of the entry. It drives me crazy, and I suspect that many others are starting to see right through it as well. We are not solely an ATM Machine.

5.) Do not just copy and paste press releases. We know it when we see them.

This is not to pick on Senator Biden, because a lot of the points I listed above did not happen in his entry. In fact, during the filibuster battle, I called his office for a copy of a floor speech he gave, and had one emailed to me within 5 minutes. For that I was grateful, for sure. This is for the increasing number of candidates who have decided they want to "reach-out" to the netroots. What worked in 2004 might work a bit in 2006, but I can promise you, it won't work nearly as well in 2006 to 2008.

Posted at 01:27 AM in Netroots | Comments (6) | Technorati

Friday, July 15, 2005

PLAN: Sirota Leads the Charge

Posted by Tim Tagaris

A major weakness in the progressive movement is our inability to rapidly and effectively deploy best practices laterally. If Oregon Democrats have a great idea, we need to give Florida Democrats the tools to turn the idea into reality. There's a new think tank created to do just that, with blogger David Sirota serving as a co-chair and lots of big names a joining the effort. Press release and kickoff agenda after the jump.

PLAN Announces Co-Sponsors & Details of Seattle Kickoff Event

Conference to be supported by, among others,, SEIU, and the United Steelworkers of America

Helena, MT – The Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) today released the full details of its upcoming kickoff event in Seattle on August 16th entitled Planning Progress 2005: Defining a Positive Progressive Agenda for the States. The event is being co-sponsored by, among others,, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Steelworkers, and progressive philanthropists Andy and Deborah Rappaport. The event will feature, among others, Former Vice Presidential nominee and North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, former California House Speaker Willie Brown, Center for American Progress President John Podesta, and state legislators from across America. For more on the event, see the attached detailed agenda and go to

"The response to PLAN's creation has been nothing short of tremendous," said PLAN co-chairperson Steve Doherty, the former Montana State Senate Minority Leader. "The strong support of grassroots organizations, philanthropists and the progressive community as a whole shows that our side is ready to take the fight to every state legislature in America." founder Wes Boyd, who has agreed to be a founding member of PLAN's governing board, said the time is now for progressives to focus not only on Washington, D.C., but also on what's happening outside the Beltway in America's heartland.

"The opportunities to create real and lasting change at the state level are endless," Boyd said. "That's why is proud to be partnering with PLAN: because we understand how important it is to start supporting state legislators who want to aggressively push a progressive agenda that starts making government stand up for individual freedom and America's working families."

In recent weeks, PLAN's co-chairpersons, Sen. Doherty and David Sirota, have been meeting with potential funders, board members and supporters from all over the country, and all different parts of the progressive community.

"The goal is to bring as diverse a coalition together as possible so that our side has a cohesive agenda in the states," Sirota said. "For too long, conservatives have been able to use huge sums of money to push the most radical right-wing policies through state legislatures. PLAN is committed to putting together the necessary resources and necessary coalitions to help progressive legislators stop this unchecked extremism, and start passing legislation that makes state governments work for ordinary citizens, not just monied special interests."

The Progressive Legislative Action Network will have a 501c(3) and 501c(4) component. PLAN's mission is to support progressives at the state level and pass progressive legislation in all 50 of America's state legislatures. By providing coordinated research and strategic advocacy tools to state lawmakers, PLAN will advance policies that protect individual freedom and strengthen America's working families.


Planning Progress 2005:

A conference to launch the Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) and to define a positive progressive agenda for the states

Tuesday, August 16

Bell Harbor Conference Center

Pier 66

Seattle, Washington

12 Noon - Kickoff Luncheon

Welcome by Master of Ceremonies Willie L. Brown, Jr.

former Speaker of the California Assembly and Mayor of San Francisco

What is the PLAN? David Sirota and Steve Doherty, Co-Chairmen

- Introduction of the Progressive Legislative Action Network and its founding members

Speaker: Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer

Keynote Speaker: Senator John Edwards

1:30 - Strategy Session I

Jobs, Wages & Growth: A Progressive Legislative Agenda

- Moderator: John Podesta, Center for American Progress

- Panelist: Andy Grossman, Exec. Dir., Walmart Watch

- Panelist: Maryland Del. Adrienne Jones

- Panelist: Joel Rogers, U. of Wisconsin/Apollo Project

3:00 - Break

3:15 - Strategy Session II

Strategies to Increase Voter Participation

- Moderator: Bernie Horn, Center for Policy Alternatives

- Panelist: New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat

- Panelist: Anthony Thigpenn, SCOPE

- Panelist: TBD

4:45 - Wrap Up

5:00 - Cocktail Reception

Posted at 04:00 PM in Netroots | Technorati

New Rock the Vote Flash Video

Posted by Bob Brigham


From a Rock the Vote press release:

WASHINGTON – One million young people will receive a new flash video from Rock the Vote in their email inboxes this morning urging them to “get the facts and don’t get played” when it comes to Social Security. Rock the Vote, the non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to building political power for young people, emailed an internet-based issue ad out to its one million members and supporters, designed to educate young people about the future of Social Security.

The ad, called “DON’T GET PLAYED”, is available at Rock the Vote’s website. It was designed as part of Rock the Vote’s member-supported campaign to speak out against the massive up-front government debt, cuts in Social Security benefits, and increases in risk that accompany most private accounts proposals.

Rock the Vote’s campaign is presently focused on reaching outside the beltway and educating young people directly, seeking an impact more in the polls than in the halls of Congress. Already polls are showing that young people who are paying more attention to the Social Security debate are most opposed to privatization.

“Millions of young people think Social Security won’t be there for them,” said Rock the Vote’s Washington Director, Hans Riemer. “In fact, even with no changes, Social Security can pay larger benefits to young people than seniors get today. Changes are needed to strengthen the fund, but if you think Social Security is going to disappear you are getting played.”

Posted at 02:43 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

As regular readers know, Swing State Project Senior Elections Analyst Tim Tagaris also has a day job working for Grow Ohio. Today, he's putting on a demonstration on how to turn some breaking news into a shitstorm of a scandal online.

First, he wrote a great post and then spread the word. Over at DailyKos, DavidNYC put it on the front page. At MyDD, Chris Bower put it on the front page. It's on the Stateholder. And OH-02.

This is a huge day in the Special Election for Ohio's second congressional district. Go check out the Jean Schmidt scandal.

Posted at 03:57 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Scandals, Special Elections | Technorati

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Carol Darr Should be Shitcanned

Posted by Bob Brigham

Carol Darr is a disgrace to the Politics, Democracy and the Internet at George Washington University. She needs to go.

Call GWU President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg at 202-994-6500, for the good of IPDI, Carol Darr should move on.

Posted at 12:36 AM in Netroots | Technorati

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hotline's Blogometer

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via Political Wire, we learn that the Hotline Blogometer has moved outside the subscription wall (beta version). This comes soon after the launch of the Beltway Blogroll. Props to the National Journal for the direction they have chosen. They've always been the smartest kid in the class, now that they are joining the conversation, I'm sure we'll all benefit.

Posted at 10:32 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Blogs and Supreme Court Nomination Process

Posted by Bob Brigham

Jeralyn Merritt was on MSNBC yesterday, you can (of course) find something at Talk Left and the video at Dem Bloggers, here's a rough transcript:

JERALYN MERRITT: I think the way it is stacking up on the blogs is we feel like the ball is in President Bush's court right now. He can choose to provide us with us consensus nominee, he can choose to discuss it with the Senate, or he can go with the Radical Right and present a Radical Right nominee. If he does the latter, we're going to gear up, we're going into battle. If he does the former, then we're going to be OK with it.

Also how are the blogs going to help revolution the process of publicly vetting a nominee?

RON REAGAN: How are all of these new media outlets and elements going to play into this process, do you suppose?

JERALYN MERRITT: I think it's going to play in in a big way Ron, now we have citizen journalists, now everybody wants to have a voice. And when you have the three cable news networks and you have everyone tuned into the internet, what happens is we, the bloggers, have become like the internet on speed. We're like the difference between skiing and snowboarding. We bring information to people – as it's happening – 24/7 and we don't have editors so we don't have to wait to get things approved. Plus, because we let people comment, everybody gets a voice. It's like a community and there are millions of us.

Millions. And when a choice is made, millions will make their voices heard online. Additionally, quite a few people will be offering new information in the comments, and the Open Source research will thrive as the blogosphere shifts through an overwhelming amount of new information, raising the best info to a wide audience – in real time.

Posted at 01:45 PM in Netroots, Supreme Court | Technorati

Friday, July 01, 2005

Why Doesn't Your Politician Blog

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the new National Journal (but outside the subscription wall) blog, Beltway Blogroll:

Democratic Reps. John Conyers of Michigan and Louise Slaughter of New York, each of whom also has a personal blog, are the most prolific participants. Conyers has posted comments fairly regularly at Daily Kos and The Huffington Post, while Slaughter has engaged readers at Daily Kos, The Huffington Post and MyDD.

Sen. Jon Corzine of New Jersey also has posted once each at Daily Kos and The Huffington Post, and Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin has addressed campaign-finance rules for the Internet at Daily Kos and MyDD. Corzine's gubernatorial campaign also has a blog called Corzine Connection.

Other Democratic lawmakers who have contributed to blogs at least once this year include: Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana and Barbara Boxer of California; and Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois and Ed Markey of Massachusetts. In addition, former Sen. John Edwards, the North Carolinian who ran for president and vice president last year, was a guest blogger at TPMCafe a few weeks ago.

...the water's fine.

Posted at 08:35 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Carol Darr Embarrasses IPDI in Press

Posted by Bob Brigham

Yesterday, I wrote about Carol Darr. Really, how could I not with Darr being the guest of honor at the first ever online magazine celebration (now a blogosphere magosphere holiday). Now the George Washington University scandal has hit the newspapers with it looking like the head of the GWU's Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet knows abso-fockin-lutely nothing about the Internet and democracy:

Carol Darr, director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet, says that if the FEC considers every blogger a journalist, wealthy individuals and organizations will exploit that definition to evade the campaign-finance law.

In an interview, Darr sketched out this scenario of how such a move could destroy the fabric of McCain-Feingold:

Suppose Halliburton, a corporation with close ties to the Bush-Cheney ticket, set up a blog to help their ticket win. If the blogger had journalistic status, there would be no limit on what the corporation could pay the blogger or spend bankrolling the blog's activities. There would be no restriction on coordination between the blog and the Bush-Cheney campaign.

The blog could solicit campaign contributions, steer traffic to the Bush-Cheney campaign website, amplify an attack strategy against their opponents, and directly advocate a vote for or against. The blog also would not have to disclose where it was getting its funding and would not have to publish any disclaimer alerting readers that it was a virtual extension of the Bush-Cheney campaign.

As technology evolved, maybe the Halliburton-sponsored Bush blog would make and circulate videos that could be posted on the blog, and e-mailed to millions of voters, with all the costs paid by the corporation and with no restrictions as to content, disclosure or disclaimers, Darr said. But in their testimony, bloggers said one sure way the FEC could undermine the democratizing potential of the Internet is to imagine abuses that have not occurred and to impose regulations that would require every blogger to hire a lawyer and an accountant for fear of violations.

Under the headline, Halliblog, Atrios notes:

Look, the basic issue is that no one has figured out the grand "if only I had 10 million bucks to spend I could have the most trafficked site on the internet" issue. If that were true, it would happen. It doesn't. Who the hell would read a Halliburton blog or website? If they had 10 million to spend on it, what would they spend it on?

Many of the most popular websites are low tech and require little money or bandwidth (aside from the bandwidth which inevitably results from having a lot of traffic). Think Drudge. Aside from the proliferation of intrusive pop-ups, that dude's site hasn't changed in 8 years. As I told the FEC, aside from maintaining a computer, paying for my basic broadband connection, etc... I've probably had about $150 in direct expenses to keep this site running.

Call GWU President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg at 202-994-6500, for the good of IPDI, Carol Darr should move on.

Posted at 10:42 AM in Netroots | Technorati

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Blogging Dies to Save Blogging

Posted by Bob Brigham

I kind of feel like I won the lottery today, for socially I am living a rags to riches fairytale. Yesterday, I was friends with a bunch of "bloggers" but today I'm friends with honest to goodness "members of the press" -- living the high life like a member of the Gang of 500. You too can improve your social standing with a single post, just ask The Talent Show, Atrios, Americablog, and Crooks and Liars.

Posted at 10:38 AM in Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Carol Darr Scandal at George Washington

Posted by Bob Brigham

Carol Darr, Director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet at George Washington University is under fire:

That GWU suffers this fool is extraordinary. Given that IPDI is supposed to promote a space where democratic values may thrive, it's shocking that Darr is more concerned with protecting the special priviliges and privileged status of the old media than in promoting the explosion of grassroots media.

Given her inability to embrace the blogging revolution, and the transformative effects it is having on our democracy, it's time GWU transfers her to a more appropriate setting.

Carol Darr has damaged the reputation of IPDI. She has been abusing her position at IPDI, her focus on journalism instead of democracy suggest a solution that could save IPDI from this scandal.

Call GWU President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg at 202-994-6500, for the good of IPDI, Carol Darr should move on.

Posted at 10:13 AM in Netroots | Comments (3) | Technorati

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Bloggers Converge on D.C. Part II

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Kos hits it out of the park:

COMMISSIONER SMITH: All right, Mr. Moulitsas, you've got this guy Armando who posts on your site with some regularity. I don't know who he is; he's just Armando.

KOS: Yes.

COMMISSIONER SMITH: Armando [correcting pronunciation. First, he pronounced "Armando" with the second syllable with the "a" sounding like in the word "at."] He's been publishing some stuff saying that the Republican Commissioners all want to regulate the Internet. It's part of a Bush administration plot to silence the left. Now, it's hard for me to imagine reporting that would be more counterfactual and incorrect and goofy, all right? Why on earth--most of your comments are devoted to the press exemption, your written comments--why should you get the press exemption when you're publishing something so irresponsible as that and so factually inaccurate?

KOS: You know, I'd say the same thing about Bob Novak and Charles Krauthammer and Tucker Carlson and--I mean, I could go down the list. We don't deem--we don't give the press exemption based on the content, the political leanings or whether it't 100 percent factual or not. Armando, you know, in addition to that, also led the charge against Alberto Gonzalez being confirmed as Attorney General and actually moved a lot of people to actively oppose Alberto Gonzalez. So he was right. That was true. Gonzalez is a torturer.

Much more later, I am sure. I can't wait to read the reactions from Kos, Atrios, and Matt Stoller. As an aside, the AP wrote an article already about the exchange between the FEC and bloggers.

Posted at 04:28 PM in Netroots | Technorati

FEC Hearing Against Blogs

Posted by Bob Brigham

Jerome Armstrong is live-blogging the FEC hearings.

Also, the A.P. has a story.

Remember, Armando was right about Gonzalez...

Posted at 12:17 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Friday, June 24, 2005

GOTC: Get Out The Crab

Posted by Bob Brigham

In San Francisco the past-time is politics, world-class league…enjoyed by spectators, players, fans, and crowds. San Franciscans also like baseball and the intersection of politics and baseball is blossoming online in campaign that shows the breadth to which the netroots can extend influence beyond campaigns and elections, media and legislation. From (the Giants Sports Leader) KNBR’s Morning Show:

(Host) BRIAN MURPHY: I was one of those guys who hated the crab, I just was like, “the crab’s stupid”

(Host) TIM LIOTTA: That’s a nice way to introduce our next guest.

BRIAN MURPHY: But now I see the crab for the genius it was and this guy is ahead of the curve.

The guest then began talking about the Giants "nuclear option" and his website, which has been written about by McCovey Chronicles (twice), and the SFist.

(Guest) CHRIS STACEAN: There was nothing about the Crab on the internet, so I decided I must fill that void.

MURPHY: It’s a good looking website. Rehab the Crab dot com. Our guest comes under the pseudonym Chris Stacean – which is good for you marine biologists out there. My man, what would be the mission statement of

STACEAN: Oh. No, this is a totally purposeless cause. But I think it would be fair if the Giants, you know maybe, trotted him out once game until we have a team that’s over 500 again…

LIOTTA: Chris, is this what’s we’ve come to? Is this what the Giant’s season is? We’re looking for voodoo and internet and pulling ghosts out of a closet?

STACEAN: Pretty much.

What is this about a grassroots internet voodoo campaign involving the San Francisco Giants and Crazy Crab? From the

The website dedicated to the return of baseball's greatest & worst mascot ever.

The Crab is DUE! He's ready to break out. […] Its time for the call up.

Back to the KNBR interview (audio available on - click on KNBR logo to download):

MURPHY: You can sign a petition to get this grassroots movement going so we can see him one day back at Pac Bell/SBC.

GUEST: That’s right, absolutely grassroots. [...]

LIOTTA: In the spirit of Rehab the Crab, we can’t thank you enough. We’ll check in with you down the road because we want to see how this is going along.

MURPH: If you guys get any kind of movement on the petition, let us know, cause we’ll help out.

GUEST: Well let me do one quick plug, if I may. Also on the website you’ll see that there’s an actual event coming up on July 9th called, "Crustacion Commotion" where we’re going to get a bunch of idiots together at one of my favorite watering holes near Pac Bell Park called The Park Bar and Grill and sometime before first pitch we’ll do a couple laps around the ballpark with protest signs and all, raising essentially the injustice of keeping the Crazy Crab locked up.

Judging from the pics on the "Crustacion Commotion" event page, I'm sure this will be quite a party protest. With support from KNBR's Morning Show and Giants blog McCovey Chronicles, I'm sure this will stay in the limelight and is due for more attention from the local press.

The internet is a great tool for savvy individuals to leverage support and influence control over the things they care about. Sometimes that's politics, sometimes it's baseball, and only in San Francisco would you see a large grassroots campaign supporting a mascot meant to be hated. Loving to hate is a powerful emotion and Giants fans deserve an outlet for the disappointing season. It's time to bring back the crab:

  1. Sign the Petition
  2. Attend the Rally
  3. Learn Crazy Crab History

Posted at 02:16 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Signatures Missing From Anti-Lynching Bill

Posted by Tim Tagaris

John Aravosis starts the ball rolling (again), in what is a "ready to go campaign for Tuesday."

By a voice vote last night, the U.S. Senate finally passed "S.Res. 39, Official Title: A resolution apologizing to the victims of lynching and the descendants of those victims for the failure of the Senate to enact anti-lynching legislation."

Nevermind the fact that even Senator George Allen (R-VA) a co-sponsor of the bill is man who proudly hung a noose in his law office and confederate flag in his home. The problem is that 20 Senators did not co-sponsor the bill and it gets worse. Twelve Senators would not support the bill, that's why there was a voice vote as opposed to an actual roll-call vote where Senators would be forced on the record. We must find those 12.

80 Senators co-sponsored the bill in total. Right now, Thomas has 60 of the names up, and will add the rest within a day or two. From those 80, leaves 20 who did not sponsor (a sad statement in itself), 12 of which were spared from going on the record because no Senator stood up and called for a roll-call vote.

F comity at this point. There should have been a roll-call. Who were the 12? Democrat or Republican--re-election or not--These names should be uncovered.

The names of the 100 U.S. Senators and their office phone numbers are in the extended entry. co-sponsors are crossed off. John's advice, call your Senators:

Don't let them get away with telling you it passed the Senate tonight, we know that. We want to know if your two Senators were cosponsors or not of the resolution - yes or not. And if they weasel and can't give you an answer, tell them you're reporting back to the blogs, we're making a list, and we want an answer. I'm serious. We can report back as the day goes on.

List is in the extended entry

Akaka, Daniel- (D - HI) Class I
(202) 224-6361

Alexander, Lamar- (R - TN) Class II
(202) 224-4944
Web Form:

Allard, Wayne- (R - CO) Class II
(202) 224-5941
Web Form:

Allen, George- (R - VA) Class I
(202) 224-4024
Web Form:

Baucus, Max- (D - MT) Class II
(202) 224-2651
Web Form:

Bayh, Evan- (D - IN) Class III
(202) 224-5623
Web Form:

Bennett, Robert- (R - UT) Class III
(202) 224-5444
Web Form:

Biden, Joseph- (D - DE) Class II
(202) 224-5042

Bingaman, Jeff- (D - NM) Class I
(202) 224-5521

Bond, Christopher- (R - MO) Class III
(202) 224-5721
Web Form:

Boxer, Barbara- (D - CA) Class III
(202) 224-3553
Web Form:

Brownback, Sam- (R - KS) Class III
(202) 224-6521
Web Form:

Bunning, Jim- (R - KY) Class III
(202) 224-4343
Web Form:

Burns, Conrad- (R - MT) Class I
(202) 224-2644
Web Form:

Burr, Richard- (R - NC) Class III
(202) 224-3154
Web Form:

Byrd, Robert- (D - WV) Class I
(202) 224-3954
Web Form:

Cantwell, Maria- (D - WA) Class I
(202) 224-3441
Web Form:

Carper, Thomas- (D - DE) Class I
(202) 224-2441
Web Form:

Chafee, Lincoln- (R - RI) Class I
(202) 224-2921
Web Form:

Chambliss, Saxby- (R - GA) Class II
(202) 224-3521
Web Form:

Clinton, Hillary- (D - NY) Class I
(202) 224-4451
Web Form:

Coburn, Tom- (R - OK) Class III
(202) 224-5754
Web Form:

Cochran, Thad- (R - MS) Class II
(202) 224-5054
Web Form:

Coleman, Norm- (R - MN) Class II
(202) 224-5641
Web Form:

Collins, Susan- (R - ME) Class II
(202) 224-2523
Web Form:

Conrad, Kent- (D - ND) Class I
(202) 224-2043
Web Form:

Cornyn, John- (R - TX) Class II
(202) 224-2934
Web Form:

Corzine, Jon- (D - NJ) Class I
(202) 224-4744
Web Form:

Craig, Larry- (R - ID) Class II
(202) 224-2752
Web Form:

Crapo, Michael- (R - ID) Class III
(202) 224-6142
Web Form:

Dayton, Mark- (D - MN) Class I
(202) 224-3244
Web Form:

DeMint, Jim- (R - SC) Class III
(202) 224-6121
Web Form:

DeWine, Mike- (R - OH) Class I
(202) 224-2315
Web Form:

Dodd, Christopher- (D - CT) Class III
(202) 224-2823
Web Form:

Dole, Elizabeth- (R - NC) Class II
(202) 224-6342
Web Form:

Domenici, Pete- (R - NM) Class II
(202) 224-6621
Web Form:

Dorgan, Byron- (D - ND) Class III
(202) 224-2551

Durbin, Richard- (D - IL) Class II
(202) 224-2152
Web Form:

Ensign, John- (R - NV) Class I
(202) 224-6244
Web Form:

Enzi, Michael- (R - WY) Class II
(202) 224-3424
Web Form:

Feingold, Russell- (D - WI) Class III
(202) 224-5323

Feinstein, Dianne- (D - CA) Class I
(202) 224-3841
Web Form:

Frist, Bill- (R - TN) Class I
(202) 224-3344
Web Form:

Graham, Lindsey- (R - SC) Class II
(202) 224-5972
Web Form:

Grassley, Chuck- (R - IA) Class III
(202) 224-3744
Web Form:

Gregg, Judd- (R - NH) Class III
(202) 224-3324

Hagel, Chuck- (R - NE) Class II
(202) 224-4224
Web Form:

Harkin, Tom- (D - IA) Class II
(202) 224-3254
Web Form:

Hatch, Orrin- (R - UT) Class I
(202) 224-5251
Web Form:

Hutchison, Kay- (R - TX) Class I
(202) 224-5922
Web Form:

Inhofe, James- (R - OK) Class II
(202) 224-4721
Web Form:

Inouye, Daniel- (D - HI) Class III
(202) 224-3934
Web Form:

Isakson, Johnny- (R - GA) Class III
(202) 224-3643
Web Form:

Jeffords, James- (I - VT) Class I
(202) 224-5141
Web Form:

Johnson, Tim- (D - SD) Class II
(202) 224-5842
Web Form:

Kennedy, Edward- (D - MA) Class I
(202) 224-4543
Web Form:

Kerry, John- (D - MA) Class II
(202) 224-2742
Web Form:

Kohl, Herb- (D - WI) Class I
(202) 224-5653
Web Form:

Kyl, Jon- (R - AZ) Class I
(202) 224-4521
Web Form:

Landrieu, Mary- (D - LA) Class II
(202) 224-5824
Web Form:

Lautenberg, Frank- (D - NJ) Class II
(202) 224-3224
Web Form:

Leahy, Patrick- (D - VT) Class III
(202) 224-4242

Levin, Carl- (D - MI) Class II
(202) 224-6221
Web Form:

Lieberman, Joseph- (D - CT) Class I
(202) 224-4041
Web Form:

Lincoln, Blanche- (D - AR) Class III
(202) 224-4843
Web Form:

Lott, Trent- (R - MS) Class I
(202) 224-6253

Lugar, Richard- (R - IN) Class I
(202) 224-4814

Martinez, Mel- (R - FL) Class III
(202) 224-3041
Web Form:

McCain, John- (R - AZ) Class III
(202) 224-2235
Web Form:

McConnell, Mitch- (R - KY) Class II
(202) 224-2541
Web Form:

Mikulski, Barbara- (D - MD) Class III
(202) 224-4654
Web Form:

Murkowski, Lisa- (R - AK) Class III
(202) 224-6665
Web Form:

Murray, Patty- (D - WA) Class III
(202) 224-2621
Web Form:

Nelson, Bill- (D - FL) Class I
(202) 224-5274
Web Form:

Nelson, Ben- (D - NE) Class I
(202) 224-6551
Web Form:

Obama, Barack- (D - IL) Class III
(202) 224-2854
Web Form:

Pryor, Mark- (D - AR) Class II
(202) 224-2353
Web Form:

Reed, Jack- (D - RI) Class II
(202) 224-4642
Web Form:

Reid, Harry- (D - NV) Class III
(202) 224-3542
Web Form:

Roberts, Pat- (R - KS) Class II
(202) 224-4774
Web Form:

Rockefeller, John- (D - WV) Class II
(202) 224-6472
Web Form:

Salazar, Ken- (D - CO) Class III
(202) 224-5852
Web Form:

Santorum, Rick- (R - PA) Class I
(202) 224-6324
Web Form:

Sarbanes, Paul- (D - MD) Class I
(202) 224-4524
Web Form:

Schumer, Charles- (D - NY) Class III
(202) 224-6542
Web Form:

Sessions, Jeff- (R - AL) Class II
(202) 224-4124
Web Form:

Shelby, Richard- (R - AL) Class III
(202) 224-5744

Smith, Gordon- (R - OR) Class II
(202) 224-3753
Web Form:

Snowe, Olympia- (R - ME) Class I
(202) 224-5344

Specter, Arlen- (R - PA) Class III
(202) 224-4254
Web Form:

Stabenow, Debbie- (D - MI) Class I
(202) 224-4822
Web Form:

Stevens, Ted- (R - AK) Class II
(202) 224-3004
Web Form:

Sununu, John- (R - NH) Class II
(202) 224-2841
Web Form:

Talent, James- (R - MO) Class I
(202) 224-6154
Web Form:

Thomas, Craig- (R - WY) Class I
(202) 224-6441
Web Form:

Thune, John- (R - SD) Class III
(202) 224-2321
Web Form:

Vitter, David- (R - LA) Class III
(202) 224-4623
Web Form:

Voinovich, George- (R - OH) Class III
(202) 224-3353
Web Form:

Warner, John- (R - VA) Class II
(202) 224-2023
Web Form:

Wyden, Ron- (D - OR) Class III
(202) 224-5244
Web Form:

Posted at 01:18 AM in Netroots | Comments (7) | Technorati

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Are Athletes Hockey Players?

Posted by Bob Brigham

I'm serious, are athletes hockey players? Some of you might wonder how how a subset could equal the full set. By definition, it is a logically challenged question. Sure some athletes are hockey players, but if you ask someboy, "Are athletes hockey players?" the person being quizzed is going to wonder if there is a language barrier or if you're just a complete idiot.

Here's similar question: Are Bloggers Journalists?

The correct answer is: Are you fucking stupid or do you just have a poor command of the English language?

Considering that most of the people who have posed this question are accomplished writers, the former tends to be the reason why such a question would be considered.

The reason this keeps coming up is because self-obsessed journalists pose it in act of wankery when wondering whether bloggers should have First Amendment protection, like journalists.

My logic professor would have lost his temper by now if he was following this examination of sets and subsets. You see, the First Amendment never mentions the word "journalist" or "journalism" -- not once. What it does mention is the word "press" -- of which journalism is a subset, but again by definition, not the entire set.

The First Amendment protects journalists, not because they are journalists, but because they work for publications that enjoy freedom from Congress "abridging" their rights as press.

The idea that Freedom of the Press would only apply to "journalists" would certainly entertain the Founding Fathers at least as much as the premise of the discussion over bloggers as journalists would enrage a logic professor.

The "press" of that era were not journalists, actually far from it. MIAMI HERALD PUBLISHING CO. v. TORNILLO, 418 U.S. 241 (1974) reminds us of the "press" in 1791:

While many of the newspapers were intensely partisan and narrow in their views, the press collectively presented a broad range of opinions to readers. Entry into publishing was inexpensive; pamphlets and books provided meaningful alternatives to the organized press for the expression of unpopular ideas and often treated events and expressed views not covered by conventional newspapers. A true marketplace of ideas existed in which there was relatively easy access to the channels of communication.

That sounds a helluva a lot more like the blogosphere than modern journalism. In fact, it is important to remember that without something very similar to a blog, we probably wouldn't have our Constitution or the Bill of Rights in the first place.

Four years earlier, in 1787, three guys started what we would now call a "group blog" and wrote under the handle or screen name, "Publius". This guys weren't journalists, they were political thinkers who were pushing quite a political agenda. Their blog was called the Federalist or Federalist Papers and it was printed as a pamphlet and picked up by some of the New York newspapers. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote under a group pen name to push a political agenda. They were successful in the mission of their blog and our Constitution was ratified.

If you go to our government's website, you'll find this:

In lobbying for adoption of the Constitution over the existing Articles of Confederation, the essays explain particular provisions of the Constitution in detail. For this reason, and because Hamilton and Madison were each members of the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist Papers are often used today to help interpret the intentions of those drafting the Constitution.

Back to the timeline, the Federalist began four years before the 1st Amendment. When the First Amendment was written and ratified, the "press" of the day consisted of pre-computer bloggers like Publius, partisan newspapers, pamphlets and books. This is what our Founding Fathers wanted the First Amendment to protect -- not just journalists.

Unfortunately, there was a trend during most of the last century that hurt the marketplace of ideas protected by the First Amendment. Again from MIAMI HERALD PUBLISHING CO. v. TORNILLO, 418 U.S. 241 (1974):

Access advocates submit that although newspapers of the present are superficially similar to those of 1791 the press of today is in reality very different from that known in the early years of our national existence. In the past half century a communications revolution has seen the introduction of radio and television into our lives, the promise of a global community through the [418 U.S. 241, 249] use of communications satellites, and the specter of a "wired" nation by means of an expanding cable television network with two-way capabilities. The printed press, it is said, has not escaped the effects of this revolution. Newspapers have become big business and there are far fewer of them to serve a larger literate population. Chains of newspapers, national newspapers, national wire and news services, and one-newspaper towns, are the dominant features of a press that has become noncompetitive and enormously powerful and influential in its capacity to manipulate popular opinion and change the course of events. Major metropolitan newspapers have collaborated to establish news services national in scope. Such national news organizations provide syndicated "interpretive reporting" as well as syndicated features and commentary, all of which can serve as part of the new school of "advocacy journalism."

The elimination of competing newspapers in most of our large cities, and the concentration of control of media that results from the only newspaper's being owned by the same interests which own a television station and a radio station, are important components of this trend toward [418 U.S. 241, 250] concentration of control of outlets to inform the public.

The result of these vast changes has been to place in a few hands the power to inform the American people and shape public opinion.

A lot has changed since the Supreme Court used this 1974 ruling to uphold that the First Amendment mandates freedom, not journalistic responsibility. There is once again ease of access into the marketplace of ideas, fresh voices, and few barriers.

Freedom of the Press isn't about journalism, as Publius showed in using a blogger-styled campaign to ratify our Constitution. It is important to note that such freedom was not taken lightly by these men. It had only been 50 years since John Peter Zenger was aquited in a important case that set forth truth as a defense to libel.

And within a decade of the First Amendment, politicians used the Alien and Sedition Acts to jail those criticizing politicians. Thomas Jefferson pardoned those convicted under the acts and preserved our Freedom of the Press.

In the two centuries since then, there have been countless attempts to curtail Freedom of the Press. The attempts to regulate bloggers are only the latest chapter.

I thought about this on the way home from a blogger event held by KRON 4 News. The handout said:

We're beginning to understand the importance of the blogosphere, and that's why you're here. We want to listen. You're the innovators in the personal media revolution, and we want to join in the conversation.

I needed to take some pics while the sun was at a certain angle, so I wasn't able to stay long. As I walked to get my shots, I thought about the effort the journalists at KRON were making and was pleasantly surprised that instead of acting defensively, they invited us over.

But my pleasant mindset didn't last long as I grabbed a copy of the Bay Guardian as I hopped on a bus and read the following announcement:

Are bloggers journalists?
Tuesday, June 14, discuss the impact blogging has on journalism, at an event put on by the Society of Professional Journalists. Panelists include bloggers Jean Chen of Pop and Politics, Chris Nolan of Politics from Left to Right, and David Pescovitz of BoingBoing. 6-8 p.m., London Wine Bar, 415 Sansome

I visited the Society of Professional Journalists website for more information:

The advent of blogs as disseminators of news has led many to question if it is wise and appropriate to treat bloggers as journalists and accord them the rights and privileges accorded to journalists in more established media.

First of all, blogs do a helluva a lot more than disseminate news (again, back to the whole set vs. subset issue).

Next, "many" people aren't questioning the bloggers as journalists. Some defensive journalists, but that is about it.

Finally, the rights accorded journalists are granted as members of the press, not as journalists. The "privileges" accorded journalists would be better left to a panel on journalism and conflicts of interest.

Publius had far more in common with today's bloggers than with today's journalists, but the First Amendment sought to protect both by providing Freedom of the Press.

Next time the Society of Professional Journalists needs a panel discussion, I recommend: Are Journalists Journalists? I would actually show up for such a discussion on the likes of Brit Hume, Judith Miller, Jeff Gannon, Daniel Okrent, Jayson Blair, Chris Nolan, Bob Novak, Charlie Hurt, Daryn Kagan, the Christian Broadcasting Network and of course, anyone who has ever worked for the Washington Times or Fox News.

I know some journalists are nervous about the changing marketplace. But good journalists have far more to fear from their peers than from bloggers.

Posted at 04:52 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Nebraska Growing the Grassroots

Posted by Bob Brigham

From an email:

The media likes to paint Nebraska with a broad brush -- they like to paint us red. They don’t leave room for the Democrats in our state who stand for values that every American can embrace.

We don’t need political pundits to tell us what we Nebraskans already know. It’s time for us to stand together as proud Democrats.

We have work to do, for sure. We’ve got to strengthen our party by organizing the Democrats that live in every community across our state. By building this network, we will stand up for our values and win elections -- and show those so-called experts that Nebraska shouldn’t be stereotyped – that we are the home of Morrison, Exon, Zorinsky, Kerrey, and Nelson.

We cannot do this without your help. The first step is joining thousands of your fellow Democrats in our growing grassroots network. Visit your new website and be part of the action now:

Last year, we won two-thirds of our targeted state and local races. Thanks to the hard work of Democrats across Nebraska, we have more state Senators, county officials, mayors and city council people, Natural Resources District members, state School Board members, College Board members, and Public Power Board members.

But we’re not stopping here. We can’t wait for 2006 -- we’ve got to get ready now not just for the next election, but for the next decade. We can and will build a top-notch organization that will connect Democrats in every county and every community – and with your help, we will recruit great candidates at every ballot level and provide them the tools they need to compete and succeed.

We're rebuilding the NDP from the ground up, training local activists through Camp Connealy -- our top-notch political training program -- and working to develop a lasting Democratic community from Scottsbluff to Omaha.

Get on board now:

The work ahead will be tough -- but with a strong organization and the involvement of every Democrat, we can make it happen.

Thank you, and welcome to the new Nebraska Democratic Party.

With Warm Wishes,

Barry Rubin, Executive Director

An email that asks for involvement, not money. When people click-through to the new website, they're greeted with a pic of Memorial Stadium. The website looks timeless and it has a blog.

There's lots of good stuff going on in Nebraska...proud Democrats who get it.

Posted at 05:01 PM in Nebraska, Netroots | Technorati

OH-02: Blogging the Special Election

Posted by Bob Brigham

I missed the A.P. story, but the Washington Post coverage couldn't be avoided (via Bring Ohio Home):

As the Associated Press reported, some politicians are experimenting with Weblogs to shake up districts known for predictable party-line votes.

The AP story takes place in Ohio, where liberal activist Chris Baker is trying to use blogs and other word-of-mouth techniques to muster support for a progressive candidate. The 2nd District, where Baker is working, provides the rare off-cycle opportunity to try something new after seven-term Republican Rep. Rob Portman joined the Bush administration as U.S. trade representative.

Eleven Republicans and five Democrats are jostling to fill Portman's shoes, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported, creating a pool of voters who could be receptive to messages delivered in original ways that set them apart from the competition.

Baker and his Republican counterparts said they believe the GOP will hold the 2nd District, though the Cincinnati Post reported that most of those candidates will have to struggle to distinguish themselves: "Of the 11 Republican candidates, four ... are widely viewed as the presumptive frontrunners. ... The other seven, most of them first-time candidates, offer a diversity of backgrounds and life experiences. Drawn from both the district's urban centers and remote rural outposts, they include several teachers, a part-time letter carrier, a former government worker, a lawyer, a financial analyst and a professional magician. ... Their best hope -- perhaps their only hope -- is for the better-known candidates to so seriously splinter the vote that a dark horse could perhaps slip through."

The AP said that in a field like this, liberal activist Baker will use the race "as spring training for the 2006 midterm elections and 2008 presidential contest. Baker posts reports and commentary on the campaign along with appeals from the candidates for volunteers and money. In one recent post, Baker referred to Republicans' efforts to court religious conservatives as a 'truly pathetic display,' and he continually refers to some Republicans as serving the Sith lord villains of 'Star Wars' movies."

Two of the 2nd District candidates, Bob McEwen (R) and Victoria Wulsin (D) started their own campaign blogs.

Posted at 02:53 PM in Netroots, Ohio, Special Elections | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Netroots: The Internet is for Politics, Not Just Fundraising

Posted by Bob Brigham

Some really, really misguided people think that the internet should be used to raise money to buy ads to communicate. Others think that the internet can cut out the middleman and simply communicate -- even interact -- with the people.

Simple-minded people prefer to focus on dollars because they can quantify the results. So here's my quantification for all of the those people who insist on spam-fundraising: Bush Won:

SAN FRANCISCO--MICHAEL CORNFELD KNOWS WHY George W. Bush won last year's presidential election. Bush's camp, said Cornfeld, used the Internet to find volunteers and then gave them information to spread--via any medium at hand--to friends and neighbors. "The Bush campaign married software to Tupperware," Cornfeld, a senior consultant with the Pew Internet & American Life Project, said Monday at OMMA West. That Tupperware-software model, also known as word-of-mouth, isn't just used by politicians, said OMMA panelists. Established marketers Procter & Gamble also have been turning to word-of-mouth campaigns where consumers, in effect, become the salespeople.

In 2006, many campaigns could be run over by the cluetrain if they refuse to learn the lessons from past campaigns. The internet is part of the overall strategy, not a fundraising crutch. If the people at the top of a campaign flowchart aren't directing the online plan, then the campaign will probably fail as a post-broadcast strategy needs to be the focus of senior staff meetings, not something the youngest staffer is assigned to do following the meeting. Some people get it, some don't, and the online community will be watching as the contrast emerges.

Posted at 03:03 PM in Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

TPM: Getting the Band Back Together

Posted by Bob Brigham

Joshua Micah Marshall is one of America's leading defenders of Social Security. Marshall has used Talking Points Memo as an node for open source action, first on the Republican Leadership's closed-door vote to exempt Tom DeLay from ethics rules, and next to pin down individual members on privatization of Social Security.

Rock the Vote has also been a true leader in defending Social Security and it has driven the privateers crazy that young people realize privatization sucks.

The same people waging war on Social Security are now attacking Rock the Vote, so Josh is getting his open-source research band back together for a renuion tour:

In any case, this is the long march phase of the battle to end Social Security. They'll dig in and tear away at the defenders of the program, figuring they can outlast them.

Now, politics is a contact sport, as they say. So I don't think anyone's complaining. But, to my eyes, this group has all the earmarks of a classic 'astroturf' outfit. And I suspect we'd find all the usual suspects involved -- of course, along with a gaggle of twenty-something ne'er-do-wells ready to make a couple bucks in rent-a-crowds and probably more than a few operatives looking to get their ticket stamped in the DC machine so they can move up a couple rungs on the ladder.

So let's find out.

A few thousand eyes are a whole lot better for finding out what these folks are up to than just these two. So, if you're game, take a few moments and try to find out more about these groups. What they're up to? Who's behind them? What have they been planning and so forth? And let us know what you find out. Send emails to We'll be giving out TPM Privatize This! T-Shirts for folks who come up with particularly choice details.

The phase-out crowd didn't get knocked on its heels out of the blue. A lot of folks worked awfully hard to do it. So let's find out who's trying to get revenge and recover lost ground.

The target?

The chop-shop du jour is an outfit called Social Security for All. SSA is "run" by Americans for Prosperity. And Americans for Prosperity also has a new project called Rock the Hypocrisy, which actually sounds a bit more like a project of SSA, seeing as it's run as a subdirectory off the SSA website.

But I digress.

Back to our aforementioned project: Who or what is Americans for Prosperity?

According to this page at the Center for Media and Democracy's Source Watch website, it was essentially set up as a pet 501c3 of Koch Industries and then 'colocated' with the Independent Women's Forum, with which it also seems to share a rather substantial number of staffers. (They share a president and a COO, for starters.

You really aren't an online political warrior until you've won a TPM Private This! T-Shirt. So send Josh anything and everything you can find:

Posted at 01:01 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Senator Ted Kennedy on Downing Street Memo

Posted by Bob Brigham

Senator Ted Kennedy is up for re-election this cycle, but he hasn't been using his website -- -- for normal campaign organizing.

Instead, the Senator is beginning to lead with an online voice as powerful as his broadcast voice.

The Senator is a Kos diarist -- people were complaining about the Downing Street Memo not receiving enough attention so the Senator stepped-up big time to push the message every way possible.

Posted at 10:33 AM in Democrats, Netroots | Technorati

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Brigham Walks Into a Flaming Bag of Dog Poop

Posted by Tim Tagaris

UPDATE 10:32 P.M: (Tim): Bob just called me to say Donnie Fowler Jr. just threw a punch at him--and missed. I'm sure he'll have more when he returns.
Long-time Swing State Project readers and bloggers at Kos & MyDD remember the contentious race for DNC chair that took place online. Of course, Howard Dean had his legion of supporters evetually propelling the Governor to Chairmanship. Simon Rosenberg put up a great fight with the help of people like Matt Stoller. Tim Roemer's chances went up in smoke after Chris Bowers laid the smack-down on the ultra-conservative Democrat from Indiana. And then there was Donnie Fowler "reaching out" directly to the blogosphere on places like Kos & MyDD.

Unfortunately for Donnie, he ran into a buzzsaw with the last name of Brigham, first name Bob, co-author at Swing State Project that had his own favorite candidate in the race for chair. Donnie failed to gain any serious traction in the netroots because he had to spend much of his time deflecting criticism for posting and running without sticking around to read or comment. A phrase was coined -- "The flaming bag of dog poop."

For the first time since the race, Brigham ran into Fowler Jr. at a Democratic event in San Francisco earlier this evening. I just got off the phone with Bob, who told me he walked up to Jr. to extend a hand of "no hard feelings," and to say that "we were all pros"--that he was just working in the primaries for his choice. When Jr. asked Brigham what his handle was, the dog poop hit the fan. Bob responded, and after that, Fowler used the word "asshole" a minimum of 6 times during the brief exchange.

What's amazing to me is, here is a guy that headed up the Michigan field operation for Kerry in 2004, boasts of himself as a lifelong organizer, ran for DNC Chair, and still doesn't recognize the necessity of talking with people, not at them. He used the blogs as a billboard for his brouchereware, got called on it, and has the audacity to get pissed.

UPDATE 10:44 P.M.: (Bob): Yup, Fowler threw a punch at me. Of course, he missed...and looked like a complete ass (keynote speaker throwing punches at members of the audience). Thank God we have a democracy instead of a monarchy.

UPDATE 10:12 A.M.: (Bob): This probably won't come as a surprise, but if you fashion yourself a "Democratic Strategist" and then come unhinged and try to hit a blogger, other bloggers will link to it. Like Atrios, Talk Left, Crooks & Liars, The Agonist, Matt Stoller, DC Media Girl, Political Dog Fight, Ezra Klein. And Steve Gilliard wrote an piece that I begs a response:

Ok, here's the deal: Donnie Fowler is a coward and an asshole. To throw a punch at Bob Brigham because he got nailed is a chickenshit move at best and now he's gonna look like a total asshole for it. Lucky this wasn't in New York, because his ass would have been in the Tombs recovering from the bottle lodged up his ass.

I know I might receive a hard time for not giving Junior what he was asking for, but to be perfectly honest, I was too busy laughing...

Maybe he was just a brawling drunk, maybe not, but if it was me, the cops would have dragged him out of there. In my earlier days, I would have just hit his ass with a chair, a bottle, whatever was handy according to NY street rules, but as an adult, I think anyone using violence should have to deal with the police.

Hitting Donnie with a bottle wasn't necessary, Don's kid is perfectly harmless.

And this little punk wanted to run the DNC?

I think we can say that's never gonna happen.

Thank God we live in a democracy instead of a monarchy.

Let's make this clear: there are no free shots. Like that idiot lawyer lying about Kos for spite, Fowler throwing a punch at Brigham is gonna be one costly fucking mistake. See, when people toss shots at my nominal employees, I take offense. I think other people will too. Fowler think he had problems? Now he's made a bunch of enemies he didn't have to make. Anyone stupid enought to hire him for a campaign is gonna have one rough fucking time.

Hiring Donnie Fowler would not be a wise move.

If Donnie Fowler is a man, he'd offer a full written apology to Bob. Because he had no cause to act like a drunken fratboy. And he was wrong. But if wants to act like nothing happened, I can promise this: any campaign which hires this guy won't get a dime from me, and that won't be a passive act, either. I'll say openly: do not give money to these people until they fire Donnie Fowler or he offers up an apology.

Lets say you happen to employ somebody mentally unstable, maybe you shouldn't. If you freak out on people because you are mentally unstable, maybe you should apologize.

There was no reason for him acting so stupidly

No shit.

One final update: From the comments at BOPNews (Tinheart):

This is just another of Donnie Fowler's failed attempts to connect with other Democrats.

Posted at 09:42 PM in DNC Chair, Democrats, Netroots | Comments (6) | Technorati

Friday, June 03, 2005

DNC E.D. Reaches Out at DailyKos

Posted by Bob Brigham

New Kos diarist Tom McMahon...

Posted at 07:17 PM in Democrats, Netroots | Technorati

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Dems-2008: John Edwards Netroots Outreach

Posted by Bob Brigham

Over at the The American Prospect, Garance Franke-Ruta lands an important scoop:

John Edwards isn't just taking to blogging like a fish to water over at TPMCafe, he's also doing some pretty serious outreach to those who occupy the new media space more generally. Last night the former vice-presidential candidate had a bunch of the political bloggers over for dinner at his D.C. house, I'm told, to meet with him, his internet team, and his wife. Attendees included: Taegan Goddard, Matt Stoller, Stirling Newberry, Ezra Klein, and Oliver Willis, among others.

Focusing on the blogosphere is a pretty smart way for Edwards to keep his name in print and before the eyes of the mainstream media over the next few years. And with Howard Dean declining an '08 run, there's room for a new player in the blogosphere/new media space that used to be exclusively his. Gaining the loyalty of bloggers -- which is not that hard to do if you just talk to them -- could have implications for Edwards' future fundraising and media strategies, should he decide to run for office again, either nationally or in North Carolina. And it will certainly give him a higher media profile on an ongoing basis if his goal is to be a Democratic Party and issue leader rather than a candidate.

I just finished watching John Edward's first videocast.

Swing State Project focuses a good deal of post-inches looking at the evolving nature of online politics. Tagaris and I both do this professionally and DavidNYC is an old-school leader online, so our passion for cutting-edge tactics ties in perfectly with our focus on the evolving nature of political campaigns.

First on the videocast, I like Edward's podcast efforts more because I think they offer more content, but with a candidate like him, I fully understand why his team is blazing some new ground to get his face attached to his message.

While Edwards fielded a question about online communication and immediately started thinking about the ATM, he recovered nicely by bringing it back to message distribution and interaction. I think he gets it. He realizes that the middleman isn't needed, that instead of pestering the netroots to raise money to pay to distribute message, post-modern campaigns have more latitude to simply distribute message -- focusing on the content rather than paying for the cost of the container.

Now back to the dinner. That is a helluva a group of people to share a table with. Goddard provides an answer before many know the question, Stoller is a fucking genius, Sterling a sage, Klein is a glimpse of what is to come, and Willis is one of the most detail-oriented people to ever keep people focused on the big picture -- some of the best of the best. But as Garance pointed out, it would have been nice for some of the great female voices to be included.

At the end of the day, I don't find it very interesting who Edwards had or didn't have at dinner. I don't find it interesting that he was reaching out to bloggers -- both of the grassroots presidential candidates have figured this out. What I find interesting is that this might get enough play with the inside-the-beltway crowd that politicians who are running for something other than president will follow Edwards leadership and cut out the middleman when it comes to communication.

No matter where you are running, if there are bloggers who write about your district, you should have them over for dinner. While this makes complete sense for the presidential candidates (even their consultants figured this one out), it has been slow to catch on locally.

Looking at the 2008 Democratic Primary, two candidates have really focused on reaching out to the netroots. Democrats running for statewide or federal offices would be wise to rip off the best ideas these two candidates are using. Don't worry, both gentleman want Democrats to succeed and I think would be proud to have you steal their ideas.

The one thing both candidates have realized is that more people will visit other websites than will visit their campaign websites. Tagaris calls this "thinking outside the website" and is a test that quickly shows who gets post-modern communication and who is waiting for fossilization.

The problem is, there aren't enough of us who specialize in this. The smart candidates will have grabbed all of the blog-consulting talent with experience -- by the end of the summer.

So the problem that will face candidates is how to make it without reinventing the wheel -- without being able to hire the people who built the wheel the first time around.

My advice to every Democrat I won't work for is to follow the lead of the grassroots presidential candidates and the bad-ass senate candidate. Hire young people with sound political instincts and reverse engineer the best practices at the national level.

Congressional candidates are building message structures like they are running state-wide, senate candidates are running like they're running for president, and already people are campaigning for 2008. Some know what is going on, some are complete wankers, follow the best of the pack and local campaigns will shine.

But go locally. Plan realizing that Matt Stoller isn't going to have dinner with you. Localization is the key in 2006. Yes, Edwards can nationalize and Jon Tester will nationalize, but for 99% of the candidates the key is localization.

Posted at 11:51 PM in 2008 President - Democrats, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Scandal: Institute for Politics, Democracy, and the Internet

Posted by Bob Brigham

Does this sound familiar?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Where the fuck does the word "journalist" show up? It doesn't say anything about "fair and balanced" journalism (which is a good thing for Fox) -- instead it says "press". The founding fathers had in mind press including forms such as the Federalist Papers (written under the screen-name 'Publius') which have far more in common with blogs than with the New York Times.

This is but one of the many, many reasons why Carol Darr and the Institute for Politics, Democracy, and the Internet at George Washington University have zero credibility in the battle to attack independent voices on the blogosphere. None. Zip. Students should ask for their money back as they're being taught by idiots.

Posted at 05:52 PM in Netroots, Scandals | Technorati

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

TMP Cafe

Posted by Bob Brigham

Where else can you tell Marshall Wittman to go fetch you a cup of coffee.

Talking Points Memo's TPMCafe

Posted at 10:38 AM in Netroots | Technorati

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Swing State Project's Official Candidate List

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project writes on the most important races in the country. Following all of the races lets SSP identify the best candidates in races where your support can make a crucial difference.

Our first candidate is Jon Tester, who is running for Senate in Montana. This is THE BEST pick-up opportunity for Democrats—anywhere in the country.

Last year, the revitalized Montana Democrats sweep the Governor’s mansion and both chambers of the legislature. This year, they are going to send their best and brightest to Washington.

Since this is Montana, your contribution practically doubles in value as soon as it crosses the stateline.

Montana -- the Last Best Place -- has this year’s best Senate candidate. Join us in supporting Jon Tester, he’ll make us proud.

Contribution amount: $

The U.S. Senate needs Jon Tester, send him $25 dollars today to help get his campaign up and running. When you send an email to your friends asking them to join you in helping to win this race, include a link to:

UPDATE (David): I'm incredibly excited that we've launched our new candidate list. Longtime readers will remember the tremendous success we had in supporting Ginny Schrader, who ran for Congress in Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district. We wound up raising nearly $7,000 for her, far exceeding our initial goal of $1,000. Based on our past success, I know we can do a bang-up job for Tester. Let's get to it!

Posted at 10:45 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Montana, Netroots, Site News | Technorati

Oregon: House Democrats Get to Blogging

Posted by Tim Tagaris

This is nice:

In today’s hot political climate, information is everything. But it’s not enough simply to read newspapers, magazines and websites, or to watch cable news. Legislators need a way to participate in a no-holds-barred exchange of ideas, opinions and views on a 24/7 basis. And the people need a way to make their voices heard. That’s what this blog provides, and it’s open to everyone who has a view to express.
Three posts so far, all informational, and I didn't even see anyone asking for money. Imagine that. If you are in Oregon, consider yourself lucky. If you aren't, maybe it's time to contact your state party and let them know what's going on in Oregon.

Posted at 12:38 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Monday, May 23, 2005

Blogosphere Slumber Party Tonight

Posted by Bob Brigham

OK everyone, here's the story: We're going all night tonight. If you live on the West Coast, your duty lasts until 3 AM. If you live on the East Coast, your shift begins at 5 AM (all times local).


WASHINGTON - Cots were brought into the Capitol Monday as Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist scheduled an all-night session stretching into Tuesday to dramatize the debate over President Bush’s judicial nominees and the filibusters that Democrats have used to block votes on 10 of them.

UPDATE: Key links:
All Hands On Deck - Action Items
"Nuclear Option" Survival Guide - Netroots Tips
"Nuclear Option" Resource Center - (The Next Hurrah)

UPDATE: Tonight is the night, stop the Republican ABUSE OF POWER.

Swing State Project have have round-the-clock coverage.

Posted at 04:02 PM in Activism, Netroots, Nuclear Option | Technorati

Ruthless, Relentless, and Right

Posted by Bob Brigham

Note to Christopher Chantrill, the relevant fact isn't the that "Kos and his chums" are ruthless, it is the fact we are right. Anyone who has passed a high school civics class knows that the Senate wasn't meant to be another House and that the GOP breaking the Senate rules to end the filibuster undermines the institution of the Senate. Yes, bloggers are going to be ruthless over the next 36 hours, but we are going to be relentless in explaining the larger story of the GOP power-grab -- up until Election Day. And judging by the polls, Senators who vote against the institution of the Senate are going to have a tough time explaining to voters why they broke the rules to end the rules.

Posted at 12:50 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Netroots: Philly-DA Semi Wrap-Up

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Readers of Swing State Project are well aware of Seth Williams and his race to unseat incumbent Lynn Abraham in Philadelphia's Democratic Primary for District Attorney. The race was important because around 15 Philadelphia bloggers, from large to small, united around Williams message of reform. I'll have a bit of a wrap-up as well, but until then, Daniel at Young Philly Politics is a great place to start.

Of course, the [first] day [of action] ended. That is when things got a lot more interesting. There were no real plans for anything in the future, and no real idea how to turn that day into something more. So, as a few people asked whether we had any planned in the future, we decided the best case was to simply strike again. This time, a coordinated day with a set goal for attracting volunteers, but, once again, to keep shouting at the windmills that in Seth, we had a candidate that Democrats had to pay attention to.
If you followed the Williams race at all, read the rest.

Posted at 01:49 PM in Netroots | Technorati

The Brad Show

Posted by Bob Brigham

Last week was a big week for The Raw Story. And now: Raw Radio!

Check out the The Brad Show, with Brad of The Brad Blog -- here's tonight's show. LIVE! Saturday Night 7p - 11p ET (4p - 8p PT)

Posted at 01:47 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Friday, May 20, 2005

PA-Sen: Update on Santorum Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

Two major updates on the Santorum Scandal.

Chuck Pennacchio, Democrat challenging Santorum in 2006, has posted a startling video on his blog of Santorum using a Nazi slander against the New York Times.

The Anti-Defamation League is outraged

Dear Senator Santorum:

We write to object in the strongest terms to your reference to Adolf Hitler in the context of a political debate on judicial nominations on the floor of the Senate today.

Whatever your views on the Senate rules relating to the use of the filibuster and judicial nominations, it is utterly inappropriate and insensitive to suggest that Democratic Party tactics in any way resemble actions taken by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Suggesting some kind of "equivalence" between these tactics and statements and actions of Adolf Hitler demonstrates a profound lack of understanding as to who Hitler was and what he and his regime represented.

We urge you to repudiate your remarks and apologize to the American people for distorting an important issue with such an inappropriate comparison to Hitler and the Holocaust.

Ricky Santorum should step down from his leadership position to avoid being censured by the full Senate.

Posted at 04:50 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Netroots, Nuclear Option, Pennsylvania, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Bloggers' Parlimentarian

Posted by Bob Brigham

Yes, the bloggers have a Parlimentarian. His name is Kagro X. When he writes at The Next Hurrah, you should read:

Nuclear Option Proliferation
Notes on the Nuclear Option -- Part II
Notes on the Nuclear Option -- Part III
Notes on the Nuclear Option -- Part IV
Notes on the Nuclear Option -- Part V
Notes on the Nuclear Option -- Part VI
Notes on the Nuclear Option -- Part VII
Notes on the Nuclear Option -- Part VIII
Notes on the Nuclear Option -- Part IX
Notes on the Nuclear Option -- Part X
Notes on the Nuclear Option -- Part XI
Notes on the Nuclear Option -- Part XII
Notes on the Nuclear Option -- Part XIII
Notes on the Nuclear Option -- Part XIV
Notes on the Nuclear Option -- Part XV
Notes on the Nuclear Option -- Part XVI
Notes on the Nuclear Option -- Part XVII

Footnotes on the Nuclear Option
Footnotes on the Nuclear Option -- Part II
Footnotes on the Nuclear Option -- Part III
Footnotes on the Nuclear Option -- Part IV
Footnotes on the Nuclear Option -- Part V
Footnotes on the Nuclear Option -- Part VI
Footnotes on the Nuclear Option -- Part VII
Footnotes on the Nuclear Option -- Part VIII
Footnotes on the Nuclear Option -- Part IX

Posted at 02:07 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Netroots, Nuclear Option | Technorati

Thursday, May 19, 2005

PA-Sen: Senator Rick Santorum Out of Line

Posted by Bob Brigham

This post made CNN.

NOTE: This is a long post with lots of links that should be explored. This is completely outrageous, Santorum should step down from his leadership position.

Another Raw Story Exclusive:

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) compared Democrats' attempts to keep the filibuster to Hitler's moves in 1942 in a floor speech in the Senate Thursday afternoon, RAW STORY has learned.

Atrios asks:

The "Move On" Standard

Once upon a time an organziation called Move On (or probably Move On Pac, forget which) ran a little ad creation contest. The initial submissions, of which there were many, weren't really screened by the organization, and a couple of them admittedly crossed the line by making Bush/Nazi comparisons. Those ads were yanked immediately by the organization, but are nonetheless used to this day by the liberal media to smear Move On as an irresponsible "extremist" organization.

Now we have the junior Senator from Pennsylvania comparing the entire Senate Dem caucus to Adolf Hitler. Will the "Move On" standard of the liberal media still apply?

Good question. My guess is that the blogosphere will be making a list of every reporter who wrote about the MoveOn non-story. If reporters will enable right-wing attacks by repeating non-stories about something posted online, but won't give more attention to a real story about this happening on the Senate floor, then I believe that these reporters deserve the wrath of the blogosphere.

We're watching, if you're a reporter, you had better be filing.


UPDATE: : Sean-Paul Kelley piles on at The Agonist. And Atrios busts Santorum for flip-flopping.
UPDATE: Dave Johnson piles on at Seeing the Forest.
UPDATE: David piles on at The Supreme Irony of Life (how fitting).
UPDATE: David Sirota piles on and escalates -- great stuff!
UPDATE: Oliver Willis has audio.
UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has video.
UPDATE: Jeffrey Dubner at American Prospect tells Santorum to go to hell
UPDATE: In Santorum's home state Pennsylvania, Jeff's Little Blog Blue piles on.
UPDATE: Think Progress throws down.
UPDATE: Talking Points Memo seemed to be in a state of disbelief
UPDATE: The blogswarm is turning into a shitstorm, Armando has it on the front page of Daily Kos.
UPDATE: DC Media Girl asks readers to call Santorum's office at 202-224-6324
UPDATE: Balloon Juice is in favor of bitch-slapping
UPDATE: ArchPundit calls Senator Santorum a jackass.
UPDATE: Chris Bowers of MyDD piles on
UPDATE: The Carpetbagger joins
UPDATE: Spin Dry suggests a spanking may be in order
UPDATE: The "view from above" is at the Rooftop Report
UPDATE: 2 Political Junkies: "Un-fucking-believable"
UPDATE: Left in the West call's Rick Santorum an asshole and has more here
UPDATE: And Random Ravings

UPDATE: This is now an issue in Pennyslvania's 2006 Senate race, Chuck Pennacchio's statement (also on Politics PA):

“As an historian of Holocaust-era Germany, I find Rick Santorum’s comment to be offensive, divisive, and destructive. Rick Santorum should immediately issue a public apology, and then retreat with conscience to consider the lasting damage he has done to the United States Senate and to the memory of 12 million Holocaust victims.”

“How ironic is it that he would make such an extremist comment, comparing Senate Democrats to Adolph Hitler, while his own political party seeks to consolidate all governmental party in its own hands?”

Pennacchio continued, “This is embarrassing to all Pennsylvanians. Unfortunately, Rick Santorum’s hate-filled and heated rhetoric is completely consistent with the junior Senator’s past behavior.”

UPDATE: Damn Liberals piles on
UPDATE: Talk Left piles on.
UPDATE: Rob at Laughing at the Pieces: Holy Fucking Shit
UPDATE: Political Strategy: Scum of the Earth (and at Semidi
UPDATE: Yudel Line piles on
UPDATE: Charging Rino: the nuclear option's "Major Kong."
UPDATE: In Pennsylvania, Young Philly Politics piles on
UPDATE: The scandal made "BUZZ" on Salon's Dauo Report
UPDATE: Think Progress has the rebuttal from Senator Max Baucus: “This is the Way Democracy Ends”
UPDATE: David Sirota has his second post
UPDATE: Steve Gilliard of News Blog: this is like shitting on the WWII memorial
UPDATE: Stirlying Newberry of Blogging of the President calls for CENSURE
UPDATE: Brad of Brad Blog: Fillibuster Blitzkreig!
UPDATE: AmericaBlog piles on and on.
UPDATE: With way too much time to prepare before morning drive time, here comes Eric Hananoki with the Air America Al Franken Show Blog
UPDATE Over at Hullabaloo Digby writes: Santorum is full of shit and everybody but the theocrats and the press knows it. Even Ricky.
UPDATE Steve Soto at The Left Coaster: In fact, a good old liberal lynching of Frist and Santorum is just what this country needs right about now, if you ask me.
UPDATE DNC's Kicking Ass: truly sickening


Washington, D.C. Office:
511 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Main: 202-224-6324
Allentown Office:
Counties: Monroe, Carbon, Schuylkill, Northampton, Lehigh, Berks
3802 Federal Office Building
504 West Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18101
Main: 610-770-0142
Fax: 610-770-0911
Altoona Office:
Counties: Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Clearfield, Fulton, Huntingdon, Somerset
Route 220 North
Regency Square, Suite 220
Altoona, PA 16601
Main: 814-946-7023
Fax: 814-946-7025
Coudersport Office:
Counties: Cameron, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Tioga
1705 West 26th Street
Erie, PA 16508
Main: 814-454-7114
Fax: 814-459-2096
Erie Office:
Counties: Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Warren
1705 West 26th Street
Erie, PA 16508
Main: 814-454-7114
Fax: 814-459-2096
Harrisburg Office:
Counties: Adams, Centre, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lycoming, Mifflin, Northumberland, Perry, Union Snyder, York
555 Walnut Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Main: 717-231-7540
Fax: 717-231-7542
Philadelphia Office:
Counties: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia
1 South Penn Square
Widener Building, Suite 960
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Main: 215-864-6900
Fax: 215-864-6910
Pittsburgh Office:
Counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Westmoreland, Washington
100 West Station Square Drive
Landmarks Building, Suite 250
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Main: 412-562-0533
Fax: 412-562-4313
Scranton Office:
Counties: Bradford, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Montour, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming
527 Linden Street
Scranton, PA 18503
Main: 570-344-8799
Fax: 570-344-8906

Posted at 05:45 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Netroots, Nuclear Option, Pennsylvania, Scandals | Comments (3) | Technorati

Frist's New Problem

Posted by Bob Brigham

The thing about postmodern politics is that you need to be just as worried about certain people as you are about many of the organizations. John Aravosis for instance...

He – personally – is the biggest argument against the military's anti-gay discrimination. Aravosis is an Army of One. The guy fought Microsoft...and won. He is the embodiment of postmodern politics, and he wins more times than you do, so pay attention.

I know this must drive the Republicans crazy, but when John calls you out, you're going to getting a beating. So when he calls on Frist to resign, pay attention. From

Frist is a pig. The GOP is out of control. He should step down and the voters should slap that party hard. Their over-the-top comments and reactions and whines and complaints and outright lies have gone on long enough. Shut up and leave the country if you're so unhappy living in America the way the Framers set things up. Just spare us the blatant lies and the downright dangerous language.

Frist's words are particularly ironic when its GOP senators who have condoned the murder of judges and when it's their radical right hate group allies who have used language that could easily inspire violence against judges, or so says Sandra Day O'Connor and Judge Lefkow (the judge whose mother and husband were recently murdered in Chicago). The GOP has become the party of un-American, anti-American, far-right nutjobs who have no respect for the truth, the Constitution, the separation of powers, or the rule of law. They are beholdened to absolute power and their bigoted pseudo-religious patrons.

Aravosis doesn't just write a post, he runs campaigns that begin with a post. This is the call-out, next comes the fury, followed by the takedown. Republicans can only hope to survive a battle with Aravosis, there is no way to win. That's why I am so proud he's a General in our army.

Posted at 12:23 AM in Netroots, Nuclear Option | Comments (2) | Technorati

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Send a Telegram

Posted by Bob Brigham

Harkening back to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, send a telegram. You can do it online, using the internet to pile-on with the oldest form of wired lobbying. Go to Western Union, click on Send Now -> Telegram, and send one, especially if you are represented by a Republican Senator. In addition to email, phone and fax, invest $15 in sending a telegram. Here's a sample to Leader Harry Reid:


Time to escalate, time to go old school.

Posted at 01:10 PM in Activism, Netroots, Nuclear Option | Technorati

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Philly-DA: VOTE!

Posted by Tim Tagaris

That's it. The time for talking is done. Campaign staffers and volunteers for Seth Williams are manning phone banks, walking blocks, and working GOTV in a race that should be important to all of us bloggers across the country.

And while traditional campaign staffers are burning the shoe-leather, Williams' "band of bloggers" are opening their lap-tops, logging on to their PCs and MACs, and attempting to virtually GOTV. To the best of my knowledge, this has never been done before in such a local race. The scope of what these bloggers have accomplished has been tremendous, and we'll have a full run-down as soon as the ballots are cast. But for now, the time to talk is done, it's time to GOTV.

If you know anyone in Philadelphia, get them to the polls. If you blog, write about Seth's race. If you have time, log on to Seth's website and get involved in their nationwide phone bank. When Seth Williams preforms better than any expected, this will be our victory as well.

For more information on why the "Philadelphia Phenomenon" is so important, CLICK HERE. Polling Place Locator HERE.

UPDATE: From Bob

I know that people will read this who know people in Philly. Drop them an email, tell them about Seth Williams, and remind them of the importance of voting in the primary today. Take a quick moment RIGHT NOW and see if you can move a couple of votes. Others will join you. Thanks everyone!

Posted at 09:09 AM in Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, May 16, 2005

Philly-DA: "Philly Phenomenon" at it Again

Posted by Tim Tagaris

With one day to go before Philadelphians cast their primary ballots for District Attorney, the Philly bloggers are at it again in support of Seth Williams--this time asking a growing grassroots network to help GOTV. The regionalized effort, led by Daniel Urevick-Ackelsberg of Young Philly Politics, is providing a template for bloggers across the country on how to organize locally, online, and have an impact on "down ballot" races.

So far, they have raised money, recruited volunteers, tallied vote pledges, and earned a bunch of free media, including a piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer just last week. Today, they are asking people across the country to make phone calls, tonight, for Seth. You can find out more information on how to get involved HERE.


Disclaimer: I am helping with the online organizing for U.S. Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, Chuck Pennacchio.

Posted at 02:43 PM in Netroots | Comments (2) | Technorati

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Brigham on the Road at PDF Conference

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Bob just called me from New York City where he will be attending the Personal Democracy Conference all day tomorrow. While I wish I could be there, many of us will have to settle for Bob's reporting when he gets back to California on Tuesday.

He just got done telling me about how insightful it was sitting at the bar listening to a conversation between Arianna Huffington and Mike Krempasky, who he described as a genuinely good guy. Many big names, a lot to be learned, and apparently a bit of bi-partisan bar hopping going on the night before the conference. Earlier today, he attended a "less formal" gathering of committed Democratic netroots activists in Washington, D.C. before hopping a train to NYC.

I am sure he will have more when he gets back, and possibly during the day tomorrow.

Posted at 09:20 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Friday, May 13, 2005

Online Union Organizing

Posted by Bob Brigham

Union bloggers are organizing and proudly displaying union bugs:

Union Label is a group whose purpose is to promote trade unionism by displaying a union label on its members' weblogs.

Via Dave Johnson.

Posted at 02:26 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Rapid Response: The Hurt

Posted by Bob Brigham

I just want to clarify a few things so that everyone is on the same page. The year is 2005 and Tom Daschle is not leading Democrats in the Senate. The days of walking all over Democrats are over. People who do not appreciate these facts will feel The Hurt.

Today's total bullshit that Charlie Hurt let Manuel Miranda run in the Washington Times should serve as a wake-up call to the out-of-control conservatives who think they can do whatever they want, whenever they want. The year is 2005 and Harry Reid is the Senate Leader.

While the Gang of 500 was sleeping, the blogosphere gave a late-night wake up call to everyone that the year is 2005. Bloggers have a nationwide post-modern message system. And netroots activists are ready for rapid response to bullshit. If the GOP is foolish enough to "go nuclear" they will find a backlash so thorough, so fast, and so widespread that it will make last night look quaint.

In preperation for the GOP's nuclear attack on the Senate, netroots activists are signing up to get a text-message alert on their cell phones. Immediately, an army of Democrats will be rushing to computers to wage politics online. The backlash will be the largest rapid response ever. Bloggers and those with email lists will lead as Generals on the post-modern battlefield as our message spreads every state. Before Americans see what happens on the news, they are going to learn about it from their family and friends and neighbors. Unfiltered message real-time.


It was fun flexing our muscles last night.

Once upon a time, Republicans could run their smear campaigns with impugnity. Now, we will go after those who plan those smears, those who abet them, and those who disseminate them.

We will be quick, ruthless, and diligent. We won't show mercy, because we haven't gotten any. We will play their game, and play it better. And we will prevail.


UPDATE Chris Bowers has much, much more...must read.

Posted at 12:18 PM in Netroots, Nuclear Option | Technorati

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Inq on "Philadelphia Phenomenon" - Seth Williams

Posted by Bob Brigham

Philadelphia Inquirer:

While blog power has been well-celebrated in national politics - consider bloggers' role in former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's brief reign as a front-running Democratic presidential candidate last year - the Williams effort is considered one of the few attempts ever to unite electronic activists around a candidate for local office. [...]

Though it seems modest, a national Democratic political consultant who specializes in Internet organizing sees the Philadelphia effort as a beginning. Bloggers in Pittsburgh have been talking up a candidate in the mayoral primary there.

"A lot of national campaigns see the Internet as a glorified ATM machine," said Tim Tagaris, the consultant working to set up Chuck Pennacchio's 2006 U.S. Senate campaign in Pennsylvania. "Regionalization is going to be the next wave," Tagaris said.

He also has written extensively about the Philadelphia phenomenon on his national blog, Swing State Project. Tagaris said that local blogs, with their small audiences, have the same organizing potential in cyberspace as the neighborhood networks that President Bush's reelection campaign put together to win support in small towns and rural areas.

"It's that same peer-to-peer strategy, but online," Tagaris said. "Millions of people have blogs, but they are read for the most part by neighbors, friends, coworkers and family. You are able to influence a few people at a time." (emphasis mine)

Tim had an important post on Philly's localization yesterday, and right now I have front-paged diaries on Daily Kos and MyDD about regionalization.

More from the Inq:

Williams strategists say they believe the bloggers provide at least a modest counterweight to District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham's power. She is a 14-year veteran who has plenty of campaign cash - but so far no bloggers - and the support of Democratic Party ward leaders.

"The bloggers tend to be leaders," said Ray Murphy, who runs Williams' Internet operation. "I think of them as carrier pigeons spreading the word." [...]

Blogs can have more power locally because those who write them tend to be influential, active and have extensive social networks in their communities, said Julie Barko Germany, deputy director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet at George Washington University. "People are just starting to discover the possibilities," Barko Germany said. [...]

In coming days, the Williams campaign plans to include canvassing lists on its Web site for supporters to download, Murphy said. Campaign literature and window signs already are available there.

"We want to get Seth's name and ideas out to as many households as possible," Murphy said.

For more on Seth William, check out Swing State Project on April 21, April 28, May 2, and May 9.

If you live within driving distance of Philly, join them next Tuesday for GOTV.

Posted at 09:51 AM in Netroots, Pennsylvania, Site News | Technorati

Out With the Old

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Interesting article this morning about some of the heavyweights from outside the grassroots, combined with people like Kos from within the netroots, teaming up on a "think tank" type project aimed at "politics, not policy."

Silicon Valley progressives, a major labor union and a centrist Democratic organization have joined forces to fund a startup think tank that focuses on politics, not policy.

The New Politics Institute (NPI), unlike conventional think tanks that churn out white papers and policy briefs, will work to counter “[White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl] Rove and [RNC Chairman Ken] Mehlman on the other side,” said Simon Rosenberg, president of NDN, formerly the New Democrat Network but now known just by its initials. [...]

Rosenberg said NPI would focus on three specific themes: the ascendancy of the conservative movement, demographic trends and the demise of the traditional broadcast media.

Good stuff. Simon Rosenberg, Joe Trippi, Markos, SEIU, and Deborah Rappaport--that's a starting five I would put on the floor any day of the week.

Posted at 09:20 AM in Netroots | Technorati

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

BlogPAC: Regionalization Project Begins

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Taking it to the next level. Bloggers talking to bloggers. A coordinated effort acting as a "force multiplier" within individual states. After much anticipation, BlogPAC has officially taken their national success and started the process of drilling down to the statewide level. So, before you read another word, sign your blog up right now in the appropriate state, familiarize yourself with other bloggers from your area, and start getting excited about the future.

(Back from signing up your blog, and seeing who is writing from your area?)

Then there is the group of bloggers in Philadelphia (and now Pittsburgh--more later) who are taking the concept of regionalization to the next level in local races. It's been a big week for Seth Williams, and he certainly has the Big Mo' heading into next weeks primary. The regionalization efforts of a handful of Philly bloggers have resulted in several press pieces for Seth Williams; that's priceless publicity with ballots being cast one week from today.

Now Seth has the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police and Pennsylvania's largest newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer. Despite being outspent 26 to 1 by incumbent Lynne Abraham, CBS in Philadelphia is now saying, "one of the most high-profile contests [in next weeks primary] is the Democratic nomination for Philadelphia District Attorney." And tomorrow, Seth has another article slated for the Inquirer about the bloggers who are helping carry Seth's campaign to victory.

Not to be outdone, a band of Pittsburgh bloggers have rallied behind underdog Mayoral candidate, Bill Peduto. More on this later. But is it any wonder that Pennsylvania's page on BlogPAC is already chuck full o' bloggers?

Posted at 08:18 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Monday, May 09, 2005

Political Blog Consultants: Blogmaster Update

Posted by Bob Brigham

In 2006, it will be hard to be relevant if you don't have a Netroots Organizer. To-date, some of the best talent has already been scooped up. But since my last post on the industry, a number of signings have been announced by those hiring from within the blogosphere.

David Sirota has launched a Working for Change blog and Mical Shifry mentions another big hire:

And now I see that Aldon Hynes, one of the hardest working veterans of the Dean grassroots, who blogs at Orient Lodge and Greater Democracy, has been hired as Blogmaster for Mayor John DeStefano of New Haven who is running for Governor of Connecticut. It's a trend!

Aldon has an interesting post on his personal blog describing how he came to take his new job.

And Talk Left notices that Air America has announced a great score:

Liberal bloggers all know The Hamster. Eric Hananoki started the Hamster as a freshman at George Washington. We were early linkers to each other and got to know each other through e-mails. Now, Eric is graduating (already!) from GW and moving Air America Radio and Al Franken's blog.

If you are a blogger who was hired because of your blogging portfolio, drop me a note.

Posted at 02:13 PM in Netroots | Technorati

The Huffington Post

Posted by Bob Brigham

Check it out:

Posted at 09:13 AM in Netroots | Technorati

VA-Gov: Kaine Supporters' Misguided Agenda

Posted by Bob Brigham

I was reading a misguided praise for the DLC because Blair didn't do that much worse than expected, when I stumbled across something that told me my gut was right in rejecting Tim Kaine. Don't get me wrong, I understand you campaign for the state you're running in, but there is an important difference between that and running a triangulation campaign against Democrats as part of a scheme to let the extreme right-wing take over the Democratic Party as they have the GOP. From Raising Kaine:

First we create a New Centrist Democrat success model in Virginia, then we extend it to the rest of America in 2008.

Now I don't feel bad at all about checking Kaine when he's been out of line. Like here, here, and here. Who says blogs don't influence who people support in elections, this blog post has convinced me that the Kaine supporters are more concerned about the long-term message implications of running a rightwinger for the Democrats -- so I shall be equally concerned.

Posted at 12:40 AM in 2005 Elections, 2008 Election - President, Democrats, Netroots, Virginia | Technorati

Sunday, May 08, 2005

FU-NYT: Adam Cohen Fact Checked

Posted by Bob Brigham

I wrote about Adam Cohen earlier today. Big day for Adam, seldom is one person discredited by so many people so thoroughly. Here is my letter to the editor:

Dear Editor,

Does the New York Times keep Adam Cohen on staff for the sole purpose of ensuring that Judith Miller isn't the most discredited journalist?

While the left and the right often take far different approaches to blogging, it appears everyone agrees that Adam Cohen is a complete dipshit.

Yours Always (just not when it comes to actually subscribing),

-Bob Brigham

You can read more on Cohen's column by going here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Posted at 06:04 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Blog Ethics?

Posted by Bob Brigham

Adam Cohen wants bloggers to pursue ethics? In the NYT:

But more bloggers, and blog readers, are starting to ask whether at least the most prominent blogs with the highest traffic shouldn't hold themselves to the same high standards to which they hold other media.

I spend all day talking to bloggers, reading blogs, following the medium and somehow this escaped me. Maybe because it is a total fucking lie. Some journalists are trying to impose ethics on bloggers, but this is not coming from the blogosphere. I spend hours a day in off-line conversations with bloggers and never once has anyone talked about ethics other than to make fun of journalists who try to impose journalistic standards on a field that is not journalism.

Every mainstream news organization has its own sets of ethics rules, but all of them agree broadly on what constitutes ethical journalism. Information should be verified before it is printed, and people who are involved in a story should be given a chance to air their viewpoints, especially if they are under attack. Reporters should avoid conflicts of interest, even significant appearances of conflicts, and disclose any significant ones. Often, a conflict means being disqualified to cover a story or a subject. When errors are discovered or pointed out by internal or external sources, they must be corrected. And there should be a clear wall between editorial content and advertising.

That is the type of ethical list that would only come from a ink-on-dead-tree writer. Every single point is totally irrelevant to the blogosphere. And it doesn't mention any of the ethical points that are discussed online, such as linking, quoting, traffic disclosure, etc.

Let's look at Cohen's list point by point:

Information should be verified before it is printed

That is an important thing for the PRINTED PRESS. The reason it is an ethical rule for newspapers is that you can't undo something once the press starts running. That is not true online, with instant corrections and no stranded newspapers, there is really no reason why this rule needs to exist.

people who are involved in a story should be given a chance to air their viewpoints, especially if they are under attack

Yes, people under attack should be able to air their viewpoint -- on their own fucking blog. That is why link ethics would have been something that should have been discussed. If I say Adam Cohen is a hopeless hack struggling for a relevance beyond what his writing bestoys, then Adam should be able to respond on his blog and send a track-back or post in the comments or link to me for the Technorati so that he can air his views in a way that is part of the conversation. But trying to get bloggers to give equal time to their prey has got to be one of the dumbest suggestions I have ever heard.

Reporters should avoid conflicts of interest, even significant appearances of conflicts, and disclose any significant ones. Often, a conflict means being disqualified to cover a story or a subject. When errors are discovered or pointed out by internal or external sources, they must be corrected.

I agree. BUT BLOGGERS AREN'T REPORTERS! Bloggers can be reporters, but the only thing they are by definition is a blogger. I think people should be disqualified to cover a story only if they know abso-fucking-lutely nothing about it (as we a discovering with Adam Cohen and blogs). I think that should be disclosed. I think Cohen's editor should have used big letters at the top of the column to disclose: Adam Cohen has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to blogger ethics, so he wrote a column talking about imposing journalistic ethics (even though bloggers aren't journalists).

And there should be a clear wall between editorial content and advertising.

The vast majority of bloggers are one person shops. If Cohen had done any research before writing this he could have quickly learned this. Firewall? With one person? Is Cohen trying to make himself look like an idiot?

In the future, if reporters want to write on this without making themselves look like an idiot, here is a handy reference:


  • Trying to apply journalism ethics to blogging is like trying to use football rules for a baseball game. Any reporter who does this is going to suffer the same response as one would receive for yelling that a baserunner stealing second should be penalized for a false start and the battle should move back five yards.
  • If you are going to write about imposing ethics from another field upon blogging, I suggest you turn to the legal profession. Instead of asking bloggers to disclose income, bloggers should be expected not to disclose unless it is in the best interests of the client. Since most blogging has more to do with advocacy than with journalism, this would be a far more realistic expectation.
  • If you want to talk about obeying journalist ethics, why don't you focus on journalists first. I'd like to see a column asking why Judith Miller hasn't been fired and black-listed for life. I'd like to see some columns on Fox News, on the Administration's fake news, on publicist interaction with journalists, on media adoption of Frank Luntz talking points.
  • Trying to impose rules on bloggers that don't exist for other medium's will make any reporter look like an idiot.

One final point, feel free to quote bloggers for a story on blogging. I don't know if Cohen talked to any bloggers for this, but if he did it is clear that they were not quoted because it would have undermined the narrow agenda Adam Cohen was pushing. Not surprising to see this from one of Judith Miller's co-workers.

Posted at 01:53 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Friday, May 06, 2005

Netroots: AmericaBlog Beats Microsoft

Posted by Bob Brigham

John Aravosis of AmericaBlog has now cemented his reputation as the nation's most effective gay-rights activist. For two weeks, AmericaBlog has been waging online politics against Microsoft:

Microsoft Abandons Gays (or Gates-gate)

- Microsoft abandons gays (4/20)
- The Stranger article that broke the story (4/20)
- Microsoft messed with the wrong faggots (4/21)
- Gay rights bill loses by one vote - Where was Microsoft? (4/21)
- Microsoft caught lying to NYT (4/22)
- HRC blasts Microsoft (4/22)
- LA Gay Center asks for its award back (4/22)
- Microsoft lies to MSNBC (4/22)
- CEO email confirms Microsoft is abandoning gays because of religious right (4/23)
- Micro-too-soft (commentary) 4/25)
- Microsoft's own employees fight back (4/25)
- Microsoft paying Ralph Reed $20k/month retainer (4/26)

And now, from the AP:

In a turnaround Friday, Microsoft Corp. chief executive Steve Ballmer said the company will support gay rights legislation.

Ballmer made the announcement in an e-mail to employees two weeks after gay rights activists accused the company of withdrawing its support for an anti-discrimination bill in its home state after an evangelical pastor threatened to launch a national boycott.

It only took John two weeks? Goliath just found out what happens when David upgrades his slingshot to a blog. Huge props to John!

UPDATE From Chris Bowers:

John's one-man crusade against Microsoft seems to have worked [...]

Although the article goes on to interview someone from Human Rights Campaign, I'm not really sure what they did besides send Microsoft a letter. As far as I'm concerned, it's Aravosis that deserves the bulk of credit.


UPDATE: Scobleizer has a has a copy of the email and says;

We're also reaching out to the various blogs and news sites that were disappointed with how we handled this.

From my position, I'm elated.

I hope that this lets us all move forward and heal some pretty deep rifts that were exposed.

First of all, people weren't "disappointed" -- they were pissed. It wasn't about how Microsoft "handled this" -- it was about Microsoft fucking up. I think it will take years to undo the damage, but none of the healing should begin until a bill is signed into law. Microsoft sank the last bill, now they need to pass a bill before anyone should consider thinking of them in a new light. Moving forward begins with Microsoft righting their wrong and it shouldn't begin until a bill is signed.

UPDATE: More praise for John, from Talk Left:

A major share of the credit is due John Aravosis of AmericaBlog who waged massive two week action campaign against Microsoft.

UPDATE: And more, from Atrios:

John 1: Microsoft Bigots: 0


No one knows how to stir up shit and get stuff to happen better than John Aravosis. Organizations interested in actually accomplishing anything instead of just comfortably maintaining the status quo should keep this in mind.

UPDATE: And, Steve Gilliard:

And a round of applause to John Aravois, who stirred up a hornet's nest with this.

God, could Microsoft be so fucking dumb. Now, I've always respected Ballmer, because he's a genuinely smart guy without the geekiness of Gates. You look at Gates and figure he's smart, but Ballmer, he gets less credit than he deserves.

Needless to say this was an executive level decision. Gates and Ballmer looked at each other and realized how stupid they looked bowing down to ONE wingnut preacher, one.

Microsoft cannot afford to alienate gays any more than any other minority group. For some reason, after years of being aggressively tolerant in the work place, they thought they could just slide this by. I would bet that after a suitable interval, Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, will be persuing opportunities in other areas.

And Joe in DC:

This episode shows once again the power of the blogs...the progressive blogs...YOU....

And, it shows once again the political skill of John Aravosis. (and I am not just saying that because he is my good friend and gives me the great privilege of writing on Americablog.) John got this immediately. He understood what it meant and, with your help, he kept it alive....and, helped push it in to the mainstream media.

Think about it. Microsoft, the corporate behemoth that doesn't take any crap from anyone, just had to publicly admit they screwed up. That doesn't happen every day.

UPDATE Tracked down in Morocco, John Aravosis remarks on the victory:

And I can say is, holy shit. A few responses.

1. You guys did it. I told you that if we stood up, raising enough hell, worked with all the other great groups and blogs and everyone else speaking out, we could win, and we did.

2. Thank you so much to The Stranger that broke all the great Microsoft stories that were the basis of our calls to action, thanks to the Gay and Lesbian Center for all their work, Equal Rights Washington, and to all of you who responded to our calls to action, and finally, to Microsoft´s own employees, gay and straight, who stood up and fought against this outrage both privately and publicly.

3. And finally, thank you to Microsoft itself. I know we have you a hard time, but sometimes you have to hurt the one you love. I know I may get some flack for saying this, but I admire Bill Gates. Very few of us could take a hundred thousand bucks and turn into the richest man in the world. That´s part of the reason it was so important for him and his company to do the right thing in this case, and they did. They didn´t have to, but they did. And for that, they deserve and get our thanks and our support.

So, I´m going back to my bottle of Morrocan Chardonnay, and hope you´ll all take a second to sit back and relish a hard-earned victory. We´ve had so few of late, it´s nice to know that they still exist, so long as we all work together and act.



Posted at 04:26 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

David Sirota and Working for Change

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Consider this a public service announcement.

One of my daily reads over the past few months has been David Sirota's, "Sirotablog." Today, David began a blogging partnership with a formidable ally, Working for Change. This should increase his readership by the thousands, and that is great news. Check out the new digs.

Posted at 11:22 AM in Netroots | Technorati

Monday, May 02, 2005

Philly-DA: Bloggers for Williams Go Mainstream

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I have written, two times (Here & Here), about Philadelphia bloggers banding together in support of Seth Williams, a candidate for Distirct Attorney in Philly. Who cares about the race for Philadelphia DA? We all should.

It's all about the blogosphere trending towards regionalization, and they are way ahead of the curve. They are forming the bonds of a solid network that will not only help Seth Williams over the top, but infrastructure that will help elect Democrats in 2005, 2006, 2008 and beyond. As important, these bonds will also help to keep elected officials accountable once in office.
They have raised awareness, volunteers, contributions, and today, their efforts made it into the Philadelphia Daily News. And it was a great little piece as well.
"I can't compete with her [Lynne Abraham's] money," Williams said. "So if I'm going to run a sort of 'Continental Army against the Redcoats' campaign, it's great to get these spirited followers who'll use technology to get donations and share the message."
To learn more about Seth, click here.

Posted at 11:30 AM in Netroots | Technorati

Monday, April 25, 2005

TX-22: Morrison Drops Out. . . In a Kos Diary

Posted by Tim Tagaris

A statement from Richard Morrison, in a DailyKos diary:

It is with great sadness that I must withdraw my name from the race for District 22. [...]

I am not giving up my fight. I will continue to stay active and work hard for democrats. I ask that you do the same. Tom DeLay is bad for democracy and bad for America. If I can be so bold, I demand that each one of you will commit to work as hard for Congressman Lampson or Councilman Quan as you did for me. Democracy will suffer if you slack off even one bit.

The announcement comes just four days after he asked the Netroots for their support, on another Kos diary. The request was made after attempts by the DCCC move Morisson aside for a different candidate to take on Tom DeLay in 2006. What is interesting to me is that, as of right now, there is no mention of him dropping out on his campaign website.

Color me a skeptic, but what do you think brought on Morisson's sudden change of heart?

Posted at 04:16 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Netroots, Texas | Comments (5) | Technorati

Friday, April 22, 2005

VT-Sen: Will MoveOn Back Bernie Sanders?

Posted by Bob Brigham

As a Yellow Dog Democrat, I did some soul searching about whether I should support Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders for Vermont's open Senate seat. After about 3 seconds, I decided that I would be supporting Bernie Sanders for Senate with my time and money.

MoveOn is in a similiar situation and I hope will come to the same conclusion. Today, MoveOn sent an email to their Vermont list asking for help deciding whether to back Sanders. The email directed people here:

Should MoveOn back Bernie?
On Thursday, Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid told the press the he though having Independent representative Bernie Sanders run for Senate would be “good for Vermont and good for the country.” Rep. Sanders has been a hero on many of MoveOn’s issues, and if he becomes the consensus candidate quickly and is able to raise enough money, he could keep Gov. Douglas out of the race.

So, should MoveOn raise money to send Rep. Sanders to the Senate? We don’t pretend to know Vermont politics as well as you do, so we’re turning to you to help make this important decision.

I appreciate the fact that MoveOn is getting feedback from their large list of Vermont supporters. If you are a MoveOn member in Vermont, you should give them your thoughts.

UPDATE: Vermont's Jerome Armstrong jumped on the bandwagon. David Sirota is already raising money.

Posted at 05:35 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Democrats, Netroots, Open Seats, Vermont | Technorati

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Philly-DA: Seth Williams Day is Big News

Posted by Tim Tagaris

There is something brewing in the blogosphere today, and Young Philly Politics is leading the charge. There are two Democratic candidates running in a contested primary for District Attorney in Philadelphia: Challenger Seth Williams vs. Incumbent Lynn Abraham (couldn't find website).

What's interesting to me is that Daniel, author at Young Philly Politics, is organizing a cadre of almost exclusively Philly bloggers to rally behind Seth Williams in the primary. This is huge for two reasons:

1.) A group of bloggers realizing that the best way to change the face of the party and start electing "Reform Democrats" is to get involved in the primaries. In this respect, they are way ahead of the curve--especially since outside of presidential races, the choice is often to sit on the sidelines and support the winner.

2.) Regionalization. The people who are supporting Seth Williams overtly on their blogs with a series of action items are almost exclusively from Philadelphia. They have organized, and under Daniel's leadership have amassed quite a coalition. I have written about this (regionalization) quite a few times in the past. BlogPAC has begun an effort to regionalize. And frankly, it is going to be the centerpiece of a certain Senate race in PA that I am working on.

I am curious to see how this plays out in terms of actual results. It is something I will follow closely. For a list of Philly bloggers participating, click here.

Update: Chris Bowers of MyDD (also from Philly) has just jumped on board. Technorati Profile of "Seth Williams."

Posted at 05:06 PM in Netroots | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

TX-22: Online Research Open Letter to Justice Kennedy

Posted by Bob Brigham

Dear Justice Kennedy

Via Atrios, I read how Tom DeLay said it was "incredibly outrageous" that you have done "research on the internet" (as a fellow traveller on the information super-highway, I'm sure you read Atrios often and saw his post).

If by any chance you are out consulting the Technorati, I humbly suggest that you spend a little time researching Tom DeLay. If it pleases you, try House of Scandal and Drop the Hammer. I know you will do your own research -- as Tom DeLay alleged -- if you find important links, feel free to put them in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by Swing State Project.

P.S. Bookmark the Daily DeLay. And make sure you stop by when the GOP uses the "nuclear option" on the Constitution.

Posted at 11:20 PM in Netroots, Texas | Technorati

Sunday, April 17, 2005

TX-22: DFA Billboards Final Call

Posted by Bob Brigham

Last week, I wrote about the wonderful campaign by Democracy for America to open-source the message creation for billboards in Tom DeLay's 22nd Congression District in Texas. DavidNYC then posted on the idea Richard Morrison suggested. Even DNC Chair and for DFA leader Howard Dean seems to catching the spirit.

Blog for America just mentioned Swing State Project and a great Kos Diary by Fran for Dean.

Greg Greene writes:

Let's keep the brilliance coming — make your bid for billboard immortality today. The finalist slogans will be annouced tomorrow.

So send in your entries.

Posted at 04:28 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Activism, Netroots, Texas | Comments (7) | Technorati

Friday, April 15, 2005

MT-Sen: Daschle v Thune in Big Sky Country?

Posted by Bob Brigham

One of the most talked-about examples of the power of blogging is the story of how Senator John Thune paid bloggers to attack the media and how this allowed him to beat for Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. This story became even more interesting after information came out on how GOP prostitute and fake report Jeff Gannon, "worked in tandem with the local bloggers, picking up on their complaints about the Argus Leader."

Are we already seeing this play out in other states?

In Montana, there is a new blog hyping embattled Senator Conrad Burns. As Montana blogger Matt Singer uncovered, one of the bloggers, Dave Holman, lives in Virginia where he works for the American Spectator. The other blogger lives in California and Washington, DC.

The Montana GOP lists the out-of-stater's blog on the front page of their website, calling it "the best you’ll see about Montana politics."

And it appears the blog was started with the goal of mimicking the Daschle v Thune blog, from the first post:

And expect there to be a lot of dirt-throwing, from the Democrats and the (shall we say bias) media outlets in the state of Montana. This blog will be the light between dirt.

Dave Holman, noted the following on his east coast blog:

Click on over to the new blog started by an anonymous buddy, Dirt Between Light Bulbs. It'll be your first stop for daily updates on the Montana 2006 Senate race, Sen. Conrad Burns's defense of his seat, which is one of the most vulnerable GOP seats next year.

Who is this "anonymous buddy"? The Dean of the Montana blogosphere, Granny Insanity, offers her theory:

I think the guys are pros. Consider the timing of their appearance then read their stuff. I’m a crazy old woman and I can see the standard nonsensical arguments.

I think somebody is paying them to guard a couple of seats here.

The timing is interesting, considering it followed Senator Thune's briefing to GOP Senators on how to use blogs.

My hope is that Montana journalists will be smart enough to resist rolling over for these guys.

Posted at 03:38 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Montana, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Netroots: Call Tim Redmond

Posted by Bob Brigham

The San Francisco Bay Guardian, a weekly rag, has some explaining to do. Bay Guardian Executive Editor Tim Redmond:

It's annoying that so many bloggers want to be treated as journalists when they can't even bother to pick up the phone and call a source to get accurate information or find out if there's another side to the story. It's annoying that so many are so happy to send misinformation and inaccurate rumors whipping around the blogosphere at light speed without ever making any effort to get to the truth. It's annoying that they can be so self-righteous.

Previous paragraph:

Markos, to his credit, never claimed to be a journalist. He calls himself an activist, and that's perfectly fair. I wish he would disclose all of his clients; it would give his site a bit more credibility, but that's his choice.

Of course, Tim Redmond never bothered to pick up the phone and call Markos to get the truth (I know this because I just got off the phone with Markos). Had Redmond bothered, Markos probably would have told him that he doesn't have any clients, isn't taking any clients, and hasn't had any clients for some time (facts Markos has disclosed publicly, repeatedly).

Tim Redmond seems happy to print "misinformation and inaccurate rumors" without even bothering to pick up the phone and I find that to be quite annoying. So why don't you show him that bloggers do have phones by bothering to pick up yours and calling Tim Redmond at (415) 255-3100 -- ask him when he's going to stop spreading misinformation and inaccurate rumors.

While it is always fun to get into a debate about whether bloggers are activists or journalists, it is ironic to see the Bay Guardian enter this debate. For those unfamiliar, the Guardian is nothing more than fringe activists posing as journalists.

I think the Bay Guardian angst against bloggers is born from jealousy. More people read Daily Kos before Markos wakes up each day than ever read the Tim Redmond. I live in San Francisco, but the last time a grabbed a Bay Guardian was for potty-training my dog. While the bloggers quickly beat back the internet regulation bill, you would need to find a historian to locate the last time the Guardian won at City Hall. While the Redmond can offer little support to his local Green Party candidates, an endorsement from Markos is highly prized by national Democrats.

For the record, bloggers aren't journalists, they are bloggers. Some bloggers may also be journalists and many are far more respected as journalists than Tim Redmond.

Posted at 05:34 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Political Blog Consultants

Posted by Bob Brigham

My recent post on Matt Stoller got me thinking about the unfortunate situation of a lack of experienced political blog consultants. While there are many people who can help a campaign set up a blog, there really aren't that many who can help a candidate get other blogs involved. Tim calls this "thinking outside the website" and this holds more potential than any other tactic.

But who are campaigns going to hire to make this happen? Corzine snatched up Matt Stoller, Sherrod Brown grabbed Tim Tagaris, Reid landed Ari Rabin-Havt, Markos isn't consulting any longer and I'm not taking any additional clients. Of course, Jerome Armstrong is available, but not everyone is going to be able to hire the Blogfather himself.

If you are interested in online communications and you are looking to hop on a campaign, send me a resume: bob.brigham -at- With 33 Senate races, 435 House campaigns, hundreds of important state races there will be lots of opportunities.

Posted at 02:33 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

NJ-Gov: Corzine's Online Campaign

Posted by Bob Brigham

Hiring Matt Stoller was one of the smartest things that Senator Jon Corzine has done in his campaign for governor of New Jersey. Stoller is editing Corzine Connection and Corzine for Governor along with the offsite campaigning.

In addition to being a great blogger, Stoller is also one of the leading strategists in the Democratic Party. This race will be captivating, if for no other reason than Matt Stoller is involved.

And there will be disco dancing.

Posted at 02:05 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, New Jersey | Technorati

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

2006 House: Is Delay Ethically Fit? Ask Your Representative

Posted by Bob Brigham

Campaign for America’s Future has a great new action to hold Republican's accountable for supporting DeLay's corruption. From an email:

Our plan is to have constituents call their member of Congress and get them on the record answering the question, “Does my Representative believe that Tom DeLay is ethically fit to serve as House majority leader?” We request that callers enter their information on our website so that we can keep track of who stands with DeLay, who stands with democracy and who ducks the question. Once we gather, analyze and double check the data, we’re going to release it to the public and to the press.

Take a moment and help CFA Open Source the research.

Posted at 06:27 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Activism, Netroots | Technorati

TX-22: Project for SSP Community

Posted by Bob Brigham

One of the most interesting aspects of post-modern politics is the potential of using Open Source message creation. While this scares the hell out of many political consultants, I'm confident enough to realize that all of you are smarter than me. It appears I'm not alone in this realization, check out this email:

From Democracy for America:

If you could say something -- in a big way -- to the people of Congressman Tom DeLay's district in Texas, what would it be?

We're looking for a slogan -- something short, something memorable, and something that lets the people of his district know that it's time for him to go.

We're buying billboards in the 22nd Congressional District, and if your slogan is selected, it will be part of Democracy for America's big splash in Tom DeLay's backyard.

Suggest your Tom DeLay slogan here:

You have a lot of material to work with, thanks to Tom DeLay himself. Everything is fair game -- his abuse of power, his money-for-influence machine, his corporate shilling, his ethics rebukes, his foreign trips with lobbyists, his huge campaign payouts to family members, his bullying of fellow Congressmen.

You can even use his more recent threatening of judges and his wild lashing out at critics. And remember, his nickname is "The Hammer" and he's a former exterminator -- those facts might come in handy as well.

What message do you want to send?

With the folks at Democracy for Texas we're going to take your slogan and make a stand on DeLay's home turf -- where his political base erodes more and more every day.

You were the first to put an ad on the air in his district last year, when everyone thought Tom DeLay was untouchable. Our efforts helped give him the scare of his political life and his lowest margin of victory ever.

Now it's time to finish the job -- and have a little fun doing it.

Thank you,

Tom Hughes
Executive Director
Democracy for America

P.S. -- Don't forget to suggest your slogan:

My hunch is that Swing State Project has a pretty smart readership. Here is your chance to prove it. Feel free to brainstorm in the comments, maybe collectively we could both identify a line of attack and refine the message prior to submission.

Posted at 02:14 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Activism, Netroots, Texas | Comments (10) | Technorati

Saturday, April 09, 2005

TX-22: Tom DeLay Corruption: Drop the Hammer

Posted by Bob Brigham

I have taken a previous look at Drop the Hammer, but I wanted to come back to the subject to focus on a couple of key points in the effort to expose Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay as corrupt.

First of all, I think deserves some serious credit. The Drop the Hammer effort deserves an 11 on a ten point scale when it comes to online activism. The American Progress Action Fund has given clear notice that companies willing to facilitate corruption will face accountability.

But what I really like about the Drop the Hammer effort is the flow-chart of the corruption. If you care at all about America's democracy, you should check out the DeLay corruption page on Drop the Hammer.

Posted at 09:01 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Activism, Netroots, Republicans, Texas | Technorati

Evolving Blogosphere

Posted by Bob Brigham

Lots of changes in the blogosphere. Assrocket and Company over at Punchline have stopped hiding and started using their names. Over at DailyKos, there is growing ridicule for bloggers too sissy to accept comments. I'm still waiting for the backlash against bloggers referring to themselves in the third person, as I'm rooting for the DLC to hit the trifecta.

Posted at 03:58 PM in Netroots | Comments (2) | Technorati

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

My Night is Shot -- Yours Might Be Too

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Just released three hours ago is an eighty page study by The Pew Research Center for People and the Press.

The Title: "The Dean Activists: Their Profile and Prospects"

You can find the full report in .pdf form HERE.

The overview, in HTML can be found HERE.


Who are the internet activists, the people widely known as "Deaniacs" who joined the Dean campaign as it slowly grew from asterisk status in early 2003 polls to the frontrunner position at the beginning of 2004? A new Pew survey provides the first detailed look at the cyber-soldiers of this pioneering campaign. An internet survey with a random sample of 11,568 activists drawn from the online database of those who had contributed money or otherwise worked on behalf of Gov. Dean provides insight into who they are, why they joined, how they reacted to Dean's loss and President Bush's reelection, and what they think about the future of the Democratic Party.

Good chance I will be posting on the full report tomorrow or the day after for anyone who wants to discuss, or just doesn't have enough time to read the whole piece. I just wish I was confident my printer could handle 80 pages right now.

Posted at 07:15 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

CA Gov. 2006: "The Tipping Point" (LIVEblog Part 1)

Posted by Tim Tagaris

This is one thing I love about California, and San Francisco in particular, they don't play around. Bob Brigham is on-the-ground right now, phoning in updates from a large scale protest against California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The event: Arnold's $1,000 to $100,000 a plate fundraiser. Bob referenced it in a post earlier today, here are the updates. It looks like Govenator's re-election will not be as smooth as many anticipate:

Bob says that there are easily 3000 people there right now, and they are all over the place. He counted at least 10 telvision news trucks, 30 photographers, and 2 helicopters constantly circling overhead. He said he couldn't tell what the plane flying above had on it's banner, because it was directly overhead (that made me laugh). He told me that this is nothing short of a rock concert atmosphere.

Bob just called me back to let me know that there is a group forming to the side that is going to attempt to block the Governor from even entering the event. Firefighters are all over the place with signs that read, "Not my neighborhood firehouse," and are holding professional looking signs with burning buildings demanding that local firehouses be kept open. Other signs read: "Money for schools not corporate interests"

Bob's quote to me was: "It looks like the tipping point. There is blood in the water. The race is going to be extremely competitive."

The two Democrats vying to compete for the Governor's mansion in California are State Treasuruer Phil Angelides -- (campaign website) and Attorney General Bill Lockyer.

He also mentioned that Assemblyman Mark Leno was rushing down from Calfifornia to speak at the event.

More on everything (updates) in the extended entry--cause Bob keeps calling.

UPDATE: Bob just called back and put his phone in the air to let me hear the chant, "RECALL ARNOLD."

He says that every single off-duty emergency personnel is there to protest George Bush and Arnold. The police are now breaking out more barricades. Bob claims that there are more off-duty police officers on the people's side of the barricades than Arnolds.

"They are taking over the street now. The street is shut down. There are about 50 people on the middle of the street, they just took it over." "There are smoke-bombs going off." He is laughing/coughing. "I am right in the middle of all of this, this is amazing."

There are green smoke bombs going off--green and gray smoke going off all throughout the crowd.

"We have the street" -- "We have taken the street." "The cops have no interest in restoring control. The police are laughing." Bob has no idea how Arnold will even get inside his fundraiser.

The limos that were approaching the hotel, the motorcade, has been surrounded by protestors. Traffic is shut-down. The situation is completely out of control. The dirt-bike cops are leaving. It is all shut down he says.

More later...


The police just tried just arrest somebody, and the crowd started chanting "shame on you," -- the cops let him go. And now that same guy is leading the march to re-take the street, and Bob is right next to him wearing his BlogPAC hat.

They had the guy cuffed, uncuffed him, and now he is leading the charge the re-take the street.

Bob just put him on the phone for me to interview him. His quotes:

"If I felt any better I would be the cupcake, like the sprinkles. Its about taking back the power."

He just told me that when the cops cuffed him, he told them he was out fighting for their rights as well. Then they patted him on the back, uncuffed him, and said, "let's get this thing going," and sent him on his way.

He said he is not worried about getting arrrested -- not for this cause this cause. He would pay a fine go home, feeling good, and he would hang that citation on the wall.

Five reporters were waiting to interview him while he was on the phone with me.

COPS ARE GETTING OUT OF CONTROL. IT IS GETTING VIOLENT, Bob says. They are shoving people all over the place.

More soon...

Backup called for: The California Highway Patrol is there.

The banner on that airplane I referenced above was paid for by Calif. Nurses Association and it said, "Arnold, Calfornia is not for sale."

Arnold is going to enter the building on the opposite side of the building that the protesters shut down the street. The police are now marching down the street in lock-step.

The violence has worn down. Bob said that the cops ruthlessly arrested one guy and hauled him into the hotel. The crowd is swelling, Bob puts the number at 10,000 for crowd size. More and more people keep on coming.

Again, the police do not have on full riot gear, just helmets so far with the huge nightsticks. But the violence has calmed. But, Bob can only comment on one of the sides of the building, but there are people on all sides.


The motorcade is now forming to come down Nob Hill. Sixty motorcycles (police) are escorting Arnold's motorcade down the street.


"Arnold's San Francisco priveleges have been revoked; he can never come back again." - Bob Brigham

He also wanted me to let you know that there is a protest going on at the GAP right now that one of his friends is organizing (Cory Black is leading the boycott). People are protesting the chain because of the owner's contribution (Don Fisher) to Arnold's re-election campaign.

Four streets are now blocked. And the crowd continues to grow. No word on the motorcade, as it is coming down the street on the opposite side of the building.

Bob Brigham just talked to rising star Mark Leno and he asked Californians to sign a petition to stop Arnold at:

Petition at California for Democracy.

"Using the Internet there is going to be a grassroot uprising in California." -- Assemblyman Mark Leno


"It is amazing how many nurses are here in their scrubs. They just gave me a bottle of water to quench my thirst after the smoke from the smoke bombs." -- Bob Brigham

Street Closings:

California Street
Pine Street
Grant Street (Chinatown)
Stockton Street


"The sun has set. The streetlights are on. The crowd has laid siege to the building, controlling all entrances, and all streets. The streets belong to the people." -- Bob Brigham

The crowd is chanting that Arnold is chicken. The crowd is now chatning "na na nana hey hey hey good bye" (I can hear that). The professionalism of the organizing is "pure west coast."

The nurses have a staging area at St. Mary's park -- a half block away. The firefighters provided the flatbead truck that serves as a stage with sound equipment to amplify music and speeches.

More signs:

Stop the budget cuts -- save social security
Public Health - Not Corporate Wealth
Don't Target Our Children (held by an 8 year old over her head)
Hands off workers pension
Workers are not a special interest


People were pounding on the Governor's car, while it was speeding out of the garage. Bob said the car peeled out, and you can literally smell the burnt rubber from where he is standing. He fled with his tail between his legs.

The motorcade is following the Governor's car down the street. It's over.

The people won.



Code Pink, a group founded by women to protest the war in Iraq, also showed up -- and not the same way as the other protesters.

Instead, they rented a $325-a-night room in the hotel, donned pink wigs and hung an anti-Schwarzenegger banner out a window before hotel security intervened. [...]

The protest organizers weren't content to limit their efforts to the hotel on Tuesday. The California Nurses Association drove a mobile anti-Schwarzenegger billboard to opening day at SBC Park and had an airplane flying over the city with a banner saying: "Arnold: California is not for sale."

"We're going to have a blast,'' said Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the nurses group. "We've been protesting at 38 of the governor's fund-raisers since November, and we expect this to be the most significant."

Earlier on Tuesday, protesters also took their complaints to the governor's biggest financial backers. Demonstrators showed up outside the Gap store on Post Street in midafternoon to protest the $225,000 that company founder Don Fisher and his family have given to Schwarzenegger and his committees.

Posted at 08:32 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Activism, California, California, Netroots | Comments (5) | Technorati

Monday, April 04, 2005

Online Campaigning

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project covers more than what is going on in the states, we also try to following the evolving role of the internet in political campaigns. The 2006 cycle will take online campaigning to a level few can imagine now. These drastic changes in the fundamentals of campaigning will create winners and losers.

When Tagaris and I aren't posting here, we are both busy consulting candidates and causes in the best practices to catapult movements online. Here are some things we've been writing about lately.

My ATM Pin Number or On-Line Fundraising

There are many good reasons why this has become a cult classic. Read this one first.

Here are some more classic posts by Tim:

The Small Blog as the Small Donor of 2006/2008

No Filter: The Net as a Tool for Upstart Campaigns

I've been laying off the campaign guides for a few months, but you might enjoy a three-piece series I did for the New Democrat Network:

The 2024 Presidential Campaign

Modern Fireside Chats

Mehlman's Modernization

Also, you might be interested in:

Post-modern Politics

Simon Rosenberg's DNC Blog Plan

We'll be doing more of these posts, use the comments to suggest any subject areas.

Posted at 05:21 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Activism, Netroots, Site News | Technorati

Friday, April 01, 2005

Montana Senate 2006: Third Degree Burns

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via Left in the West, I've learned that some Montanans want to give Montana Senator Conrad Burns the dreaded Third Degree. In fact, they have a Federal Political Action Committee and a website:

This PAC was founded to make a "big impact" by running "negative attacks" as part of a strategy that plans, "to run early and repeated negative ads" in an attempt to "raise those negatives so high that they can not be overcome" as part of a "truly grassroots effort, fueld by constituent anger."

Conrad Burns has consistently voted against the interests of the people of Montana and the United States since he's been in office. In 2000 he won re-election by a mere 3% - fewer than 15,000 votes.

The 2004 election proved the power of negative campaigning. The persistent raising of doubt, early in the cycle, creates an enormous obstacle for a candidate. True or false -- and we have the advantage of truth-- negative attacks make a big impact.

To that end we've founded the Third Degree Political Action Committee. The Third Degree PAC is dedicated to shining the light of truth on the actions of Montana Federal candidates and politicians. With an eye towards the future, Conrad Burns is only the first target. The plan is to raise money with which to run early and repeated negative ads - probably on radio at first - against Burns. Raise those negatives so high that they can not be overcome.

This is a truly grassroots effort, fueled by constituent anger. We need more volunteers, for research, web and ad design, strategy, and more.

You heard them, they need:

  • Volunteers
  • Reseach
  • Web Design
  • Ad Design
  • Strategy
  • "more"

Visit the forums.

Posted at 12:14 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Montana, Netroots | Technorati

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

2006 Pennsylvania Senate Primary: Internet-fueled challenge

Posted by Bob Brigham

This morning's Philadelphia Inquirer:

If Chuck Pennacchio's candidacy was judged by conventional campaign standards, he would stand little chance in the 2006 U.S. Senate race.

The Democratic establishment bypassed the Philadelphia professor earlier this month to line up behind state Treasurer Robert P. Casey Jr. Pennacchio has never run for statewide office. And he has pledged to reject money from special interests in favor of small individual donations.

All of that could have buried Pennacchio from the start just a few years ago, but not necessarily these days when Web logs, or blogs, can lift an obscure candidate into the realm of contender.

Pennacchio and his small, Web-savvy staff have been leaving footprints across dozens of blogs during the last month, hoping their Internet presence - combined with traditional campaigning - builds a loyal grassroots following to rival Casey's stranglehold on the establishment.

"Wherever you look - we'll be there. Like a bad pop-up ad for the University of Phoenix," Pennacchio's 28-year-old blogging guru, Tim Tagaris, wrote on one Web site, referencing that school's Internet saturation.

Blogging guru, eh?

Pennacchio's Internet approach is a smart way to jump-start an outsider's campaign, such as Howard Dean did in the 2004 presidential race, said Daniel M. Shea, director of Allegheny College's Center for Political Participation.

The ol' Howard Dean comparision, I hope Tim is prepared to deal with front-runner's syndrome...

Pennacchio, who hopes to raise $3 million for the primary, has asked his supporters to start their own blogs. He spent $5,000 on his first ad buy. But that kind of money wouldn't buy a few seconds on TV or radio, so he blanketed 18 national and local blogs. Pennacchio held his first conference call in late February. But instead of gathering print and broadcast media, he discussed his campaign with 10 Pennsylvania and New Jersey bloggers, including a 16-year-old.

"They are opinion leaders and they need to be respected," Pennacchio said.

How else would SheaBrianna Christilaw, 24, a Pittsburgh student and author of the blog Urban Democracy, have gotten involved in his campaign this early? She's organizing a Friday reception during his first swing through Western Pennsylvania.

Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg, a writer for Young Philly Politics, said Pennacchio appeared to be benefiting not so much from anti-Casey sentiment - "I think a lot of people were very happy with him running" - but anger stemming from efforts by Democratic leaders to clear the primary field.

"It is this presumption from the state party that they know best," Urevick-Ackelsberg, 23, said. "People want to feel more like they can have a say."

Pennacchio has "a lot of potential," Urevick-Ackelsberg said, but a far way to go.

"It would be the upset of all upsets."

More from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean, scheduled to appear tonight at a Center City fund-raiser, said the party would do "anything we can" to defeat Republican Sen. Rick Santorum next year.

The expected clash between Santorum and the consensus Democratic candidate, State Treasurer Robert P. Casey Jr., already is intensifying. Dean's GOP counterpart, Ken Mehlman, last week said reelecting Santorum was his party's top priority. [...]

Casey faces an Internet-fueled challenge for the nomination from Chuck Pennacchio, a University of the Arts professor.

"realm of contender"
"loyal grassroots following"
"Internet saturation"
"smart way to jump-start an outsider's campaign"
"blanketed 18 national and local blogs"
"the upset of all upsets"
"Internet-fueled challenge"

It looks like Tim has been busy when he isn't blogging for Swing State Project.

Posted at 07:25 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Netroots, Pennsylvania | Technorati

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Skip the filter, talk directly to the People

Posted by Bob Brigham

Christian Science Monitor:

Yet politicians are beginning to see blogs are more than forums for snoops. [...]

In many ways, the blog provides politicians an opportunity to recast themselves away from the mainstream media. [...]

"Blogs are where online fundraising was before Howard Dean," says Michael Cornfield, a political scientist at George Washington University. "Radio was around for a while before [President Franklin Roosevelt's] first fireside chat.... For the Internet, nobody's had that breakthrough moment yet."

Posted at 01:15 PM in Activism, Netroots | Technorati

Monday, March 28, 2005

An Open Letter To The National Press Club

Posted by Bob Brigham

I added my name to the Open Letter To The National Press Club:

Members of The National Press Club,

We, the undersigned bloggers, are very concerned about how liberal political bloggers are being systematically under-represented and belittled in the mainstream media, academic settings and media forums. By being intentionally excluded away from these venues, we are effectively pushed out of the discourse of opinion-leaders. The result is that the conventional wisdom about blogging, politics and journalism, as it concerns liberal blogs, becomes a feedback loop framed by the Conservatives and their media allies.

Indeed, just a few weeks ago, The Brookings Institution hosted a panel that originally included no liberal political bloggers and yet while including numerous conservative political operatives in the event. We registered our protest and the Brookings Institution's response was simply to invite a few liberal political bloggers to attend, yet not sit on the panel, as we had originally insisted upon.

Today, however, we are faced with an entirely new situation that is more insult than misrepresentation. The discredited conservative media operative Jeff Gannon, nee Guckert has been invited to sit on a panel at the prestigious National Press Club to talk about the scandal surrounding his access to the White House and more generally, the similarities and differences between bloggers and journalists. Guckert's token liberal counterpart will be a gossip blogger and sex comedy blogger. While we have nothing but the greatest respect for Mr. Graff and Ms. Cox we believe that neither represents bloggers who write about hard-nosed politics. And as for Mr. Guckert, he isn't a blogger, he's barely a journalist, and not a single political blogger involved with the Gannon/Guckert scandal, or otherwise, has been invited to sit on the panel to counter Mr. Guckert's arguments.

Therefore, we the undersigned bloggers, respectfully but firmly insist that a serious political blogger such as John Aravosis, of be included on the panel to fairly and accurately represent our industry and us. Mr. Aravosis has agreed to our request that he serve on the panel as our representative and is available should such an invite be forthcoming.

This situation is simply unacceptable. We will push back against the growing bias and sloppiness we see in the mainstream media as it concerns serious political blogging. If we do not we will never achieve any semblance of balance in the media. If we do not, we abdicate our ability to tell our own side of the story. If we do not we leave it to others to define us and defame us.

Please call Julie Shue at the The National Press Club and politely insist that they include John Aravosis of at their event. Here are there numbers: 202-662-7500 or 202-662-7501 or email at and

Posted at 11:11 PM in Activism, Netroots | Technorati

2006 Connecticut Primary: Lieberman unacceptability

Posted by Bob Brigham

From The Washington Times:

"His message is basically 'Republican good, Democrat bad,'" says Keith Crane, a member of the , Branford, Conn., town Democratic Committee. So lately Crane has taken on another role: He is one of the founders of Dump Joe, a group dedicated to finding and supporting a candidate willing to challenge Lieberman in next year's primary election. "Opposition to Lieberman is driven by the sense that at a time when Democrats are seeking to achieve unity, and liberals are seeking to construct a new infrastructure comparable to the one the conservative movement has built over the past 30 years, Lieberman is uninterested in acting as a team player. Postings on the Dump Joe e-mail list cite his willingness to disparage fellow Democrats on Fox News, often alongside his 'good friend' Sean Hannity, as evidence of his unacceptability."

Kissing Bush on the floor of Congress, good friends with Sean Hannity? Brings to mind the old saying: The friend of my enemy is my enemy.

Posted at 01:42 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Connecticut, Netroots | Technorati

Saturday, March 26, 2005

2006 Pennsylvania Senate "virtual" campaign

Posted by Bob Brigham

Bob Novak seems to think Tim doesn't exist:

Dole's Democratic counterpart, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, has guaranteed a virtually uncontested primary in Pennsylvania for the strongest Democratic candidate, State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr., against Senate Republican Conference Chairman Rick Santorum.

Virtually, it appears the 2006 Pennsylvania Democratic Primary is very contested.

Posted at 09:47 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Netroots, Pennsylvania | Comments (7) | Technorati

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

No Filter: The Net as a Tool for Upstart Campaigns

Posted by Tim Tagaris

When an underdog campaign gets started, it generally has a difficult time taking the fight to opponent(s), a negligible ability to impact the daily mainstream media cycle, and often lacks the staff and organizational tools to effectively talk with the grassroots (ie. ground game).

Fortunately, it's a brave new world.

Some of you might have read what I consider the first piece in what I hope becomes a series based on my campaign experiences: "My ATM Pin Number: Or Online Fundraising." If not, you can check it out HERE, but not until after you finish reading this full entry. Deal?

It is a collection of observations I had while working Communications/Online Outreach for Jeff Seemann's Congressional campaign. The writing is mostly about the ill-informed belief in "political circles," that the Internet is good for one thing, fundraising. It also touches upon what I believe are good practices and how treating the Netroots as an ATM Machine simply will not work.

This piece will focus on some of my early observations while working on Chuck Pennacchio's U.S. Senate campaign in Pennsylvania. It will focus on some of the tactics we have used to propel a previously unknown candidate into a national spotlight, get the statewide media to pay attention to us, recruit staff, and disseminate our message throughout the blogosphere.

There are a lot of great progressive candidates out there that continue to get shunned by the party establishment across the country (Jeff Smith 2004 comes to mind). While I wish I could work for every single one of them, I can't. I do, however, hope that there is something in this post, or the ATM one, that people on sites like Swing State Project, Kos, MyDD, or wherever you are reading this can take to the candidates you support, regardless of who might pretend they don't exist.

There Is No Filter

One of the biggest problems that insurgent campaigns have is making that initial splash, and getting something about their campaign, or their opponents, into the news.

On February 22, 2005, Rick Santorum was in the midst of criss-crossing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania when he stopped at Drexel University. As he was walking into the event, his youthful idealistic supporters (College Republicans) serenaded the Senator with chants of "hey hey, ho ho Social Security has got to go."

The event ended innocuously enough. Most of the attendees walked away remembering two LaRouchies getting carted out by security for disrupting the proceedings. That changed the next day when the video of the serenade went live on the website of a previously unknown U.S. Senate candidate. So unknown, in fact, that most of the bloggers who originally linked to the piece were hesitant to even include the candidates name. However, because of the event, many of us know about him now.

Maybe I buried the lede a bit here, but the most important point here is that with the Internet, there is no filter. I'll say it again, there is no filter. You don't have to wait for some traditional press-type hack to pick up your message; your ability to inform the public has a direct relationship with the time, effort, originality, and investment you are willing to make in the non-traditional medium.

In our case, we went to the event, shot it, stumbled upon the clip, and used every means necessary to get it into the public spotlight. As it happened, MyDD picked it up, then Atrios, then Kos and Talking Points Memo, 60 plus blogs linked it, MoveOn put it in an email, and Paul Krugman talked about it in the New York Times.

What's really interesting about that story is that CNN sat on the footage they had of the chant for over 24 hours. By then, they were scooped--scooped by a little known campaign and an armada of bloggers who recognized that the media filter of old is just that, part of the old-guard.

The same can be said (to a lesser extent) with the poll that Rick Santorum yanked from his website when people weighed in at a clip of approx. 90% against Social Security Privatization. He yanked it, one of our supporters "screen-shotted it," we had it on our site, and the next thing you know, Raw Story and Roll Call were writing about it.

We have all of the tools we need online to dictate to the mainstream media the issues we see as important. If there is information "good enough," we are more than capable of catapulting it into the national spotlight.

The Power of the Internet Distilled Locally (Press Part II)

"Yeah, yeah, that's great, but how has that event produced tangible results outside of web hits for the campaign?"

Fair question. In short, it helped to legitimize our effort. It showed that we are not afraid to take the fight to Rick Santorum. Alright, tangible results? It proved to national and local press that the campaign is one that deserves to be taken seriously and in conjunction with our "standard" Netroots outreach, and subsequent support, has opened up the door to numerous main stream press opportunities.

Let me take a step back, because this part of the piece veers off in two directions.

1.) Getting the Mainstream Media to take you seriously

On the day Bobby Casey Jr. announced his run for the United States Senate seat in Pennsylvania, I made numerous phone calls to newspapers and radio stations across the state to let them know this is NOT an uncontested primary. Some covered us, some did not. One call in particular stuck out in my head.

It was a phone call to the Associated Press. In the call I was basically challenged to legitimize the campaign. Forget the fact that we have filed with the FEC, are raising money, have a staff, HQ, and hundreds of volunteers. My explanation wasn't good enough. Not only did the article not include Chuck's name, but the author included quotes from sources that indicated their would be no primary challenge.

Wrong answer.

That weekend, the grassroots/netroots supporters of our campaign took action. We put out a call to our local supporters, it was up on the front page of MyDD, Atrios, AmericaBlog, and in the diaries of DailyKos (as well as the campaign blog). If I had to guess, the AP probably received over 200 emails and over 50 phone calls from Pennsylvanians and others across the country. Whatever the number was, the wire service let us know that, we probably "over-reacted," but at the same time, they "got the message."

One week later the AP was at our first Philadelphia organizational meeting the next weekend, and since then has been very receptive to our campaign and even informed us of the best way to get our information to them.

Just another power of the grassroots/netroots that has nothing to do with money: Collective action online can spur results offline.

2.) When the Mainstream Media Notices Your Efforts

You can't badger every reporter across the state with your grassroots/netroots supporters. That in itself would be an organization feat. But what campaigns have to realize is that breaking ground/stories online will lead to coverage offline in the mainstream media. This will take us back to the Santorum "hey hey, ho ho" video.

Example: The Philadelphia Inquirer has the largest circulation in Pennsylvania. You can imagine my initial outreach to them after the Casey announcement was an important moment in campaign HQ.

I was eventually given the contact information of a reporter who would be covering the 2006 U.S. Senate race. After a brief introduction and discussion about the campaign and it's progress, I brought up the Santorum video. The reporter responded, "That was you guys?" I can tell you, because I was on the phone, that was the moment the conversation turned. The Inquirer will be running a full feature piece on Chuck this weekend. They have also assured us they are very interested in our campaign. They have done so through their words, and they are about to do so in deed this weekend.

Not only that, but the reporter also wants to investigate the way we are using the Internet to reach out directly to voters. Even more earned media! And earned media about the "novel idea" of a candidate talking directly with voters. Imagine that. The Net will also generate earned media, which is a HUGE problem for most upstart candidates and campaigns. With the Dean campaign, and since then, a lot of the press attention has focused on how much money someone can raise online. Once again, the world is changing. You don't even have to raise $40 million dollars for someone to talk about the exciting new ways a campaign will use to reach out to voters.

Viral Blogging

The first I saw of it on such a large scale was (TINC). Matt, Josh, and Bob put up that graphic that people were given the code to syndicate on their own blogs and websites. Next thing you knew, over 600 bloggers had it up on their own site, directing traffic to TINC. So, by the order of the mighty scoop, we copied the idea with Chuck's campaign.

You will notice on our website, we include instructions on how to place our graphic on your blog or website, I can tell you, as the guy that looks at the web statistics a few times a day--this has been quite a success. Dozens of bloggers (from large to small) have taken us up on the offer and the results, in terms of hits, show.

Now of course, any old candidate can put up a syndication link on their own website, but that doesn't mean bloggers are going to take them up on the offer. The first place I would point candidates and campaigns to is the piece I linked above on the ATM Machine. While placing the graphic on a blog might not seem like a big deal to "seasoned operative," to me, I take it as something pretty serious. I know how people feel about their blogs, and it means a lot to me, and the campaign, every time I see a Pennacchio for Pennsylvania banner out there.

The Greatest Medium for Rapid Response

I am already getting pretty long-winded, and I still have something to ask of you at the end of this email. I will toss out some links if you are inclined to keep reading after the next few paragraphs. I would be remiss if I didn't address the rapid response capabilities of the Internet. But what I want to talk about specifically is the use of Internet Advertising as a rapid response tool.

Sure, anyone can get online and create a regurgitated press release that poses as a thoughtful diary, and some do. It's a great idea, and I am sure that we will see more and more campaigns doing so in the upcoming election cycle. I would argue that it's not the best strategy for outreach, but what the hell. They will do it anyway.

That said, one of the greatest tools online in terms of versatility, speed, and targeting is advertising. Specifically, Blog Ads.

The founder of BlogAds, Henry Copeland recently cited our use of Blog Ads to promote a conference call we had with local bloggers, and some of their subsequent reactions. Here is what Henry said,

Another cutting edge ad. It doesn't ask for an action or a "buy." It provides content, information, newsy stuff people actually might enjoy using. Rather than trying to megaphone its message over the community, this advertiser is engaging the blogosphere and using blogads to facilitate that communication.

But back to the speed part of the message.

Remember when the Democrats introduced the "Sense of the Senate?" That one line that said we shouldn't make massive cuts into Social Security benefits or incur serious debt in its "reform?" Well, Rick Santorum voted that down. Within hours, people were calling for ads against Republicans who voted against the "sense."

So, we took our BlogAds, and turned it into an ad against Santorum's vote. How did this help? Well, I can tell you that a couple thousand more people know for sure that Rick Santorum is pro-massive debt and benefit cuts. I can also tell you that it helped prove to even more that we are willing to take the fight to Rick Santorum on important issues. People noticed.

That's about it for now. This has already dragged on entirely too long, but I will write more later. Also, this message was truncated from its original format, because the original piece was a campaign communication. If I have left anything in here that asks you to do anything for the Pennacchio complain, ignore it.



Posted at 07:27 PM in Activism, Netroots | Technorati

New Democrat Coalition fears email

Posted by Bob Brigham

Some dude, in his free time, writes an email about some members of congress. The members freak out and haul his boss up to the hill to get yelled at. Unfortunately, this happened on our side of the aisle.

David Sirota deserves serios props for today's article in The Hill:

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who did not support the bill in committee, told The Hill that he found the e-mail “personal and inappropriate.”[...]

Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the 41-member NDC, said, “I strongly disagree with Dave Sirota’s attack against Democratic members, but last week’s meeting with John Podesta and the Center for American Progress was a success.”[...]

Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.), one of the 16 lawmakers listed by Sirota, said, “The meeting was a constructive one and a good one. The e-mail was unfortunate.”

So they consensus seemed to be that yelling at Sirota's boss was constructive but that the email never should have been sent. Really, the NDC sought to force Podesta to censor any private emails from his staff that criticized Democrats for voting with Republicans:

Some participants said they were looking for more contrition than they received from Podesta and wanted assurances that his organization would abstain from attacking centrist Democrats for their pro-business stances.

This is now all over the blogosphere, including Americablog: "wimpy" and "spinless" and "nuts". Along with Eschaton: "whiners" and "wimps".

Sirota was spot on and the NDC now looks pathetic. It appears that in addition to not understanding ecomonic issues, the NDC also fails to understand post-modern politics.

Posted at 11:36 AM in Netroots | Technorati

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

More controversial than a phone book

Posted by Bob Brigham

For some time, the DLC has been lying about Barak Obama. Kos called them on it and the DLC freaked out:

Man, talk about beams and motes. The vitriol that's been poured on the DLC by Kos and several other netwarriors in the last couple of years is endless, personal, often obscene, and frankly, a little nuts. If we're as irrelevant as he keeps insisting we are, why bother? Just ignore us, and we'll go away, right? If our only value, as Kos suggests today, is to provide right-wing media with anti-Democratic quotes, then you have to wonder why so many elected officials bother to identify with us and come to our events (e.g., one today attended by Sen. Joe Biden)?

Indeed, that question seems to bother Kos as well, since his very next post begins a process of "calling out" DLC-friendly Democratic pols and asking them to disassociate themselves from us. He even took the trouble to dig down in our web page--bypassing a few hundred thousand pages of policy work, which is what we do to pass the time while waiting for the next call from Fox News--and discover that Sen. Barack Obama is still listed in our data base! Scandal! (He's in there because he recently joined the Senate New Democrat Coalition, all of whose members are in our database, which is about as controversial as a phone book).

a few hours later...

UPDATE: Turns out I was misinformed about Obama's being a member of the Senate New Democrat Coalition. The misunderstanding was based on the two different meanings of "New Democratic Senators," but we were wrong about that, and have removed his name from our Directory.

If there are any other mistakes with the list, people should call them out. Feel free to use press releases. If you work for somebody on the list, point out this is a quick and easy way for a politician to score some points with the netroots.

Posted at 08:55 PM in Activism, Illinois, Netroots | Comments (2) | Technorati

Lieberman's potential 2006 primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

In my last post on a potential Lieberman primary, I used a series of maps to illustrate the problem Lieberman would have due to the unique situation of his state being situated in the middle of a high density bastion of Democratic support. The argument that I laid out was for the potential of an invasion of out-of-town Democrats focused on enforcing Party discipline.

In response, it was noted how Howard Dean’s invasion during the Iowa Caucuses backfired.

I agree with the analysis that the Iowa voters were turned off by out-of-state activists telling them who to vote for. This was heightened by the vast cultural divide between the Dean supporters and Iowa Democrats.

However, this will not apply to a potential primary campaign for three main reasons.

The blogosphere learns very quickly and having identified this, the blogosphere will adapt. Any such primary campaign will focus on organizing Connecticut residents who support a united Party to convince their neighbors to join them in support.

The second major reason why this won’t be relevant is because the cultural divide between Connecticut and the surrounding area is minimal. Many Connecticut voters work in New York and New Yorkers campaigning will not intrinsically offend their cultural sensibilities.

Finally, the lesson of the Dean campaign is that people don’t want outsiders telling them who to vote for. The inverse of this statement has yet to be tested. At this point, any primary campaign would not be a positive movement for a candidate, but a negative statement. Extensive evidence proves that voters respond as intended to negative attacks and a campaign that focuses negatively will not face the same hurdles.

When these factors are considered, it is easy to conclude that out-of-state volunteers could effectively contribute to a potential primary campaign against Lieberman. By focusing out-of-state volunteers on communicating and organizing supporters, their efforts could help build the type of infrastructure necessary for a true grassroots campaign. When interacting with undecided and Lieberman voters, having their efforts focused on a purely negative message would allow their argument to gain traction regardless of their home address.

These are only some initial points and strong on-the-ground leadership and direction will surely refine such tactics.

But it is true that if there is a challenge, people will come. By realizing how such efforts have been counter-productive in the past, organizers could construct a campaign that will minimize liabilities while maximizing effectiveness.

Such a campaign could be an exciting test case for post-modern primary involvement.

Posted at 11:02 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Connecticut, Netroots | Technorati

Friday, March 11, 2005

Santorum Funeral

Posted by Bob Brigham

Last time Senator Rick Santorum was seriosly slapped around, it was due to two bloggers. Chris Bowers and Tim Tagaris went to a Townhall meeting the Senator was throwing.

Tim captured the legendary video footage of the College Republicans chanting, "Hey-hey, Ho-ho, Social Security has got to go.

Once inside, Bowers got Santorum to admit that he couldn't name a single Democrat willing to privatize.

Now, the two are at the Funeral March for Social Security.

Bowers told me that there are well over 200 people marching and that the sound is echoing off the buildings...creating a roar.

Tim has a camera again and told me, "People do real stupid things when you turn the camera on." He claims to have, "great video" of the protest.

UPDATE: There is a great deal of least eight cameras. Bowers says they are loud enough to be heard inside.

more to come...

Posted at 05:32 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Netroots, Pennsylvania | Technorati

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Potential Lieberman Primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

Some people need to realize that it isn't the blogosphere that would organize a potential primary campaign, the blogosphere would just nationalize the effort.

It is Connecticut Democrats, on the ground in Connecticut, having the discussion:

Connecticut Democrats dissatisfied with U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman want to mount a primary election challenge to the three-term incumbent in 2006 and say they are debating the merits of as many as six alternative candidates. Tom Swan, executive director of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group and a party insider involved in the insurgency, declined this week to name any of the potential challengers. "There's a great deal of displeasure with Joe and some of his recent actions," Swan said, referring to the senator's stance on proposed changes to the Social Security system and his support for the confirmations of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. "But it would be premature at this point to discuss specifics."

For those unfamiliar with Citizens Action, they spend most of their time walking door-to-door, but take breaks for in-your-face media events.

Nevertheless, Swan and Nathan Karnes, a member of a Democratic ward committee in New Haven and a leader of a "DumpJoe" message group at, said those under consideration include current and past state officials and at least two "high-profile" figures from the entertainment industry who live in the state and are politically active.

They said the latter do not include actor and philanthropist Paul Newman, a Westport resident who had been rumored to be considering a race against Lieberman that party leaders have since discounted.

How do you nationalize a primary?

The insurgents' comments came as a Web site created by a former Connecticut resident now living in southern California began collecting cash pledges from those who would help fund a primary bid against Lieberman.

Under the rubric "timetogojoe," the site brands the senator as "a Democrat in name only" and seeks to raise as much as $1 million for "any real Democrat" who might oppose him.

The tone of web campaigns?

"Had enough of Joe Lieberman playing both sides of the aisle?" the site's home page asks. "Let's give the Left-Hating, War-Hawking, Bush-Kissing, Neo-Con, Torture Apologist the primary he deserves."

In one of the most recent postings, a participant calling himself "joesnotmyhometownboy" attacks Lieberman for his position on the board of directors of The Nixon Center, a division of the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation. The Washington-based think tank is headed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

It isn't about being a leftwing Democrat, it is about being a proud Democrat:

"We're saying, "Hey, what do you guys think about this guy?'" Karnes said. "We don't have to accept him at the Democratic nominee in '06 without a challenge, and I think the reception has been very good."

The listserve's participants have bristled at characterizations of Lieberman's Democratic opponents as "liberal," and Karnes said it is not necessarily true that he and his colleagues all hail from their party's left wing.

He noted that his parents and their friends, who he said were by no means liberals, shared the sentiment prevailing on the listserve.

"It's really Joe Lieberman that's moved away from the Democratic Party," he said. "And it's not just the social issues where he had moved away."

In news probably unrelated to Lieberman looking at a tough primary, CREW exposes he has taken $16,000 from smut peddlers. Atrios posted the story and gave a good laugh to 50,000 netroots activists...

Posted at 05:47 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Connecticut, Netroots | Technorati

Senator Feingold

Posted by Bob Brigham

As featured on CNN's Inside Politics, Senator Russ Feingold posted on MyDD today.

Senator Feingold cross-posted on DailyKos, I especially like what he wrote in his Tip Jar comment (yes, he had a Tip Jar comment):


to everyone who has taken time out today to read my first blog and post a message. It is a great experience to enter into this new avenue of democracy. I think there are some excellent points being made on both mydd and dailykos.

Today, I have been splitting my time between the floor debate and votes on the (horrible) Bankruptcy Bill and an all day Budget Committee mark-up on the (irresponsible) 2006 Budget Resolution, so I will not be able to respond to each comment. But I have been trying to keep up with the messages posted today in response to my diary. I am grateful for all the thoughtful responses ranging from the proper use of toasters to some serious constitutional questions.

In particular, I think the discussion about the definition of "blogger" is particularly interesting. It is really helpful to me to read the comments of people who know a lot more than I do about blogging. I value the input.

As a senator from Wisconsin, I visit each one of Wisconsin's 72 counties every year and hold a town hall meeting or "Listening Session." I've done over 800 of them up to now, and this has been a great help in my work. I hope this discussion today will be the beginning of another way for me to listen to people's views and do my best to be an effective U.S. Senator.

I can assure everyone that while this may have been my first endeavor into the blogging community, it will not be my last. Again, thanks for your views.

I tipped him. But he already had Trusted User Status...

The post-modern era is flourishing.

Posted at 05:28 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Netroots, Wisconsin | Technorati

Rep. Meek's Online Town Hall: Social Security, young voters

Posted by Bob Brigham

Representative Kendrick Meek (D-FL) has been one of the strongest defenders of Social Security. Together with Congressman Tim Ryan, the two are using Leader Pelosi's "30 Something" Working Group to distribute the youth and Social Security talking points.

One tactic Meek and Ryan have been using is to take over the floor to talk about young Americans and Social Security.

Their "routine" has been receiving high praise with insiders following the Social Security debate. They are now escalating their message distribution.

Via The Stakeholder, tomorrow at noon eastern, Rep. Meeks is hosting an Online Townhall on Social Security and the younger generation:

Online Town Hall on Young People and Social Security

Why do young people have the most to lose under the privatization of Social Security?

Why should young workers and people in school care about Social Security?

Find out the answers to these questions and ask your own at the "30 Something" Working Group Online Town Hall on Friday, March 11th at 12 o'clock (EST). "30 Something" co-chair, Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) will be answering your questions about Social Security and its affect on the younger generation.

They are doing some great stuff and we deserve props. For example, check out their:

George Bush's Social Security Time Line

In 2000, in his campaign for the Presidency, Gov. George W. Bush was adamant that he wanted to privatize Social Security
"For Bush, a Long Embrace of Social Security Plan", New York Times, 2/27/05

In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed a Commission to develop a privatization plan for him
Message to Congress (Budget outline), Feb 27, 2001

In December of 2001 that Commission gave the President 3 options for privatizing Social Security
Report of the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security, December 2001

From December 2001 - 2004, SILENCE

In 2004, while running for reelection, President George W. Bush was again adamant that private accounts are the solution to Social Security's long-range financial imbalance
2004 Republican Convention Acceptance Speech, Sep 2, 2004

Days after the 2004 election, President George W. Bush said that he had "political capital" and wanted to use it to push privatization of Social Security through Congress right away.
White House news conference, Nov. 5, 2004

In January of this year, press accounts claimed that the White House would have a privatization plan to Congress by late February or early March
"Social Security Formula Weighed", Washington Post Article, 1/4/05

In the budget submitted at the beginning of February, no privatization plan was included
"$2.5 Trillion Budget Plan Cuts Many Programs", Washington Post Article, 2/7/05

Now press accounts say that it is not clear that the President is going to offer a plan this year
"Social Security Vote May Be Delayed", Washington Post Article, 3/2/05

Posted at 12:40 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Takeover: Part II

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Jay-Z would be proud:

Months after their historic wins in November, Colorado Democrats have ousted party chairman Chris Gates in an upset organized by activists angered by his handling of Mike Miles' failed bid for the U.S. Senate.

Pat Waak - a nonprofit director from Erie who is little-known in statewide political circles - narrowly edged out Gates in a final vote of 187 to 184 during Saturday's meeting of the Democratic State Central Committee.

Chris Bowers has the rest at MyDD.

Posted at 01:46 PM in Activism, Netroots | Technorati

Lieberman, DLC, Bloggers and the 2006 Primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

As of late, there has been a great deal of discussion concerning a potential primary challenge to Senator Joe Lieberman. As is to be expected, the DLC is flacking for Lieberman, here's what our friend at Bull Moose says:

While the Moose is clearly partial to the blogosphere, as of yet, he has not seen evidence it carries much political clout outside of raising money.

First of all, I'm glad we can all agree that any primary would be very well financed. Furthermore, it bears notice that bloggers don't pay consultants on percentage, and absent such conflicts of interest the bulk would not be wasted on TV (Lieberman would not have such an advantage and considering the expense of the media markets involved, this is very relevant).

Democratic Primary voters love an underdog (cue: Eye of the Tiger), so any such investment in media would gain immediate traction. The numbers I spend all day looking at on Social Security suggest that any such campaign would have even more support among seniors than among young anti-war activists.

So, bloggers would have the money to run plenty of mail, robo-calls, radio, etc. And the money to build the organization.

The organization is where things get interesting. Because the unique geographical location of the district in relationship to a fuckton of people.

In fact, if you look nationwide at population density outside, but nearby a state, Connecticut would be the poster child for volunteer mobilization in a nationalized primary. Here's a density map based on population density that I pulled together from National Atlas
Keep reading for all the maps.

Clearly Connecticut brings this potential dynamic into play more than any other state in the union. Not only would comparisions to non-internet driven campaigns be irrelevant, but so would comparisions with past primary campaigns in other regions.

In fact, when we zoom in, it becomes even clearer that there are a helluva lot of people nearby.

The problem is that this map uses the same color (dark blue) to show density of 250-66,395. Which is a fairly wide range, so let's look at the extreme population density with another map where each point of light represents 7,500 people. When you look at the area around his district it is lit up like it could be seen from space.

The biggest problem for Lieberman in any potential primary campaign is that a great deal of these people are Democrats. Playing around with Professor Robert Vanderbei's maps shows that not only are there a great deal of people, but that the people who live near Connecticut compromise a bastion of Democratic voters. The following map is a sliding partisan scale (blue to red) with the vertical axis representing population density.

The blue skyscrapers just outside of Connecticut represent the northeastern base of the Democratic Party. Many of these voters are activists and if organized (hmmm, such as online) could be mobilized to form an organization unlike any army ever raised for a primary campaign.

The important thing to note is that these volunteers would have more than idealogy on their side, they would actually have science. Yes, scientists study how Lieberman hurts the Democratic Party in the minds of swing voters. Cognative Scientist Professor George Lakoff concludes:

There is a myth that voters are lined up in a left-to-right line, and that to gain the support of swing voters, you must move to the center. When progressives move to the right, they lose in two ways, setting up a self-defeating double-whammy:

1) Moving to the right alienates your progressive base.

2) It actually helps conservatives because it activates their model in swing voters.

Notice that conservatives do not gain more voters by moving to the Left. What they do is stick to their strict ideology to activate their model in swing voters by being clear and consistent in policies and messages framed in terms of conservative values.

A potential primary be instantly nationalized, would have a pile of money that would fundamentally be spent more effectively, access to a greater pool of out-of-district activists than any race in the country, and the volunteers would know that they are scientifically doing the best thing for the Democratic Party.

Oh yeah, it it would start online so it would be extra nasty...

Posted at 12:35 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Connecticut, Netroots | Technorati

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Two more State Party Blogs

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Take a moment and head over to the two newest state party websites that have included blogs as a means to communicate directly with the grass/netroots.


New Hampshire

I am particularly fond of the Maine blog. It looks like the party has really spent some time and effort in getting it up, running, and did an effective job getting people to participate.

On a sour note: The Pennsylvania Democratic Party basically said, "f you" to members of a DFA in Bucks County who requested a blog. CLICK HERE for more information -- and expect even more in the near future. As Chris Bowers of MyDD puts it:

Ahhh, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, where reform goes to die. Forcing candidates out of the Senatorial primary. Endorsing Fowler for DNC chair after Dean secured the votes to win. Not giving Ginny their full support (more on that later). And now, this. No wonder in a state where Democrats lead in voter ID and voter registration, they are substantially behind in the legislature, the congressional delegation, and don't have a Seantor. Color me disgusted

Posted at 05:56 PM in Activism, Maine, Netroots, New Hampshire | Comments (2) | Technorati

Thursday, March 03, 2005

You wanna charge me for a hyperlink?

Posted by Tim Tagaris

During the 2004 election cycle, the Internet brought millions of Americans into the political process. For me, it was the first time I ever became actively engaged; until the Net, I simply received "a 'D' for voting."

Knowing that your voice is heard and your small dollar contribution is appreciated has a not-so-surprising way of increasing political efficacy. Walter Lippmann discussed reasons for low levels of efficacy among citizens in “The Phantom Public,” almost eighty years ago. “The private citizen,” Lippmann writes, “has come to feel rather like a deaf spectator in the back row…listening to speeches, uttering opinions, and voting do not, he finds enable him to govern it [his environment]."

Because of the Net, we have a voice. Unfortunately, some on the FEC and in Congress are helping to stifle political expression online. I am not kidding you when I say they want to start charging for links online. Links. If I were to say, "Barbara Boxer is cool," that would be a campaign contribution. That is just the start of it. And you wonder why so many Americans are dissafected with politics. It gets worse, according to FEC Commissioner Bradley Smith:

It's going to be a battle, and if nobody in Congress is willing to stand up and say, "Keep your hands off of this, and we'll change the statute to make it clear," then I think grassroots Internet activity is in danger.

The impact would affect e-mail lists, especially if there's any sense that they're done in coordination with the campaign. If I forward something from the campaign to my personal list of several hundred people, which is a great grassroots activity, that's what we're talking about having to look at.

Were I cynical, I would be the first to charge the politicians are doing everything they can to increase a "sprial of dissafection" that Pinkerton and Weintraub first described in 1998.

They believed that media tactics turned voters off, which contributed to increased cynicism, alienating them from politics and the political process. The result of that alienation is voters making less of an effort to obtain new information from the media which leads to further cynicism, and the cycle continues (Johnson, Hays, & Hays, 1998).

The Internet has changed this. To take that away would be bad. Very very bad. Contact information for the FEC:

Main Telephone Numbers:
Toll-free: 800-424-9530
Local: 202-694-1100
TDD: 202-219-3336

Mailing Address:
Federal Election Commission
999 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20463

Full slate of contact information HERE. Out of curiosity, what campaign would the FEC bill for linking to sites you disagree with?

Posted at 01:43 PM in Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

State Party Blog Project

Posted by Tim Tagaris

You can lend a hand with Pennsylvania, and have immediate impact. Tonight, I am meeting with the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, Don Morabito.

The local DFA asked me to speak to him about the importance of getting a blog up on the PA State Party website. So, that's where you come into play.

Are you from Pennsylvania?

If you are, please send me an email letting me know what it is you would like to see from a brand new Pennsylvania Democratic Party website. Let me know how you want the state party to use a blog in their grassroots outreach. In fact, pass along whatever you want passed to Morabito.

I will collect the emails and bring them into the meeting:

If you aren't from PA, feel free to write something on how your state party uses its blog, or even how you have seen blogs as an effective fundraising, organizational, and communication tool.

I will pass those along as well. I hope we can get about 10-15 of them by the time the meeting starts.



Posted at 10:59 AM in Activism, Netroots, Pennsylvania | Technorati

Saturday, February 26, 2005

New Jersey!

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Congrats to the people at the New Jersey Democratic Party -- Their new blog looks great. If you are from the Garden State, bookmark it.

Quite frankly, it is f'n great. Allow me to give some public props to Michael Giglio over at the NJ State Party; he is an asset to our side. I have had the priviledge of talking to him a few times in the past week or two--he is one of the reasons I feel great about the relationship between the netroots and the future of our party.

It's a new day.

Posted at 12:17 AM in Activism, Netroots, New Jersey | Technorati

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Hooking and blogging

Posted by Bob Brigham

In a major blow to the collective credibility of the blogosphere, the White House Hooker has begun blogging.

America blog fact checks his ass.

Posted at 05:07 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Rick Santorum Video From Yesterday

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Here is the video I shot from the town hall meeting yesterday featuring Rick Santorum. Disclaimer, I work for the candidate whose site it is posted on.

That out of the way, there are two clips:

1.) Drexel College Republicans chanting "Hey hey, ho ho, social secrurity has got to go," as Santorum enetered the building.

2.) Chris Bowers calling out Santorum on an earlier statement by the Senator that Democratic colleagues of his supported privatization. Nice try Rick.


Posted at 12:18 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, General, Netroots, Pennsylvania | Technorati

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Report From Santorum Soc. Sec. Event in Philly

Posted by Tim Tagaris

(video coming tomorrow of said events)

The first stop on Rick Santorum's re-election campaign this morning was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania--Drexel University. First of all, let me tell that I got lost on the way (not being from PA), and drove around for around 45 minutes more than I had to.

It was worth it...

I got there at around 9 A.M. in time to witness the pre-protest taking place outside of the ballroom the event was to take place in. At first it was a bunch of Drexel College Democrats standing outside, getting organized and passing out pamphlets. Then the College Republicans started strolling down the pavement.

You can see them coming from a mile away, or smell them coming, or sense them coming, whatever... It's funny, cause they feel like they have to put on a show; it's not even about supporting Santorum, it almost seemed like it was more about getting people to look at them. Example: One kid who deemed it necessary to put his Bush/Cheney t-shirt on in long exaggerated movements as he began approaching the crowd. It's a little thing, but it was obvious.

Anyway, the cameras were rolling and the literature was flying. One man stood out in the middle of the road with a giant sign that said, "TAX THE RICH" Back and forth, chanting, hooting and hollering like it was a college basketball game.

But the real show happened inside...

So, I am walking up the steps a few minutes before 10 A.M. to head inside and get a good seat. I was supposed to meet Chris Bowers from MyDD, but at this point I gave up hope. As I am walking up, the level of noise grew and people swarmed around me.

Well, not me, Santorum was walking up the steps right beside me. Yes, I was about 2 feet away. Soon the press swarmed and I just put my cigarette out, and moved aside from the spectacle. I walked inside the lobby and here he came again, as if he was following me. He motioned to one of the security folks that he had to use the rest room; it was only because I was restrained by a smarter man than I that I didn't follow him in with the video camera.

So, I headed inside and the show started. About 3 minutes into the event, Chris Bowers called and had no idea where to find the place. I got up and met him outside and we came back in. It gave me another chance to get a few puffs in.

Oh, I forgot to note that some shmuck from the SSA used some analogy about an aircraft carrier, let's call it, "The FDR," he said. And the ship's Admiral got an order to turn starboard. The admiral got pissed and the punchline was something about the orders coming from a lighthouse. Stupid, I know. But the "FDR" crack kind of pissed a few people off.

Where was I? Yes, Bowers and I get back inside.

Right away, Santorum asks, "and do you know what happens in four years?" Immediately, someone responded, "Bush is out of office." The smirk on the face Richy Rick (R-VA) was priceless. I only wish I got that part on tape. Sorry. The place clapped, it was great.

About two minutes later, a young man stood up and started calling Rick Santorum out and talking about Pinochet, Chile, George Schultz and the Govenator. Once again, Rick had quite a smirk on his face. The man was escorted out of the room while screaming something about "death squads."

Yes, he was a LaRouchie.

No more than 2 minutes later, the guy RIGHT INFRONT OF ME stood up. Same thing, Pinochet, Chile, and death squads. This guy kept on going--then he got roughed up. I have the entire exchange on tape, and as I said above, I will post a link to it tomorrow.

The entertainment value was high, but as someone next to me noted, "Every Democrat is hanging their head right now." He was right, it did not reflect well on us.

So, the rest of the event was pretty, ummm, uneventful. With the exception of the last minute. That was when Chris Bowers got to ask a question. Earlier in the forum, Slick Rick (R-VA) said something to the effect of conversations with Democratic Senators that supported atleast partial privatization. Chris called him on it and asked him to name names.

Rick could not.

In fact, he said that there were not any Democratic Senators who supported the Bush-Santorum corporatization scheme, but there was "one member in the House, I think."

Umm, yea. Nice try Rick--Great question Chris.

After that, I had my first Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich, in Philly, and went home.


Posted at 09:02 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, General, Netroots, Pennsylvania | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, February 14, 2005

Support Howard Dean & the DNC

Posted by DavidNYC

Howard Dean became chairman of the Democratic National Committee this weekend. Today, at the start of the week, it's time to show our full support for him. Why is this important?

• To those outside the Democratic Party, we must demonstrate that all Democrats stand united behind Howard Dean.

• To the old-guard establishment within the Democratic Party, we must show that the netroots must be taken seriously.

• And to all concerned, we must make it clear that we're willing to put our money where our mouths are, to back up our words with dollars.

There will be a time once again in the very near future where we will need to organize and mobilize. But right now, the way we can send our message is with our hard-earned cash. So I strongly urge you to contribute what you can via ActBlue:

Contribution amount: $

You can keep track of donations here.

Posted at 02:27 PM in Activism, Netroots | Technorati

AmericaBlog blows open PropaGannon

Posted by Bob Brigham

John Aravosis of has quite a Valentine's Day present for Scott McClellan. has linked James D. Guckert, who "reported" on the White House under the pseudonym Jeff Gannon, to as many as six different internet escort profiles -- with X-rated pics -- and ratecards quoting $200/hour or $1,200/weekend.

Link Warning: The AmericaBlog scoop in not safe for work.

Posted at 01:48 PM in Activism, Netroots | Technorati

State Party Blog Project: Update

Posted by Tim Tagaris

We can show them with more than just money.

In the hours since Howard Dean was selected to lead our party into the years ahead, the blogosphere has responded by contributing $97,000 plus in the past 48 hours to the DNC. We do so as a show of support for the Governor. "We've got his back." For the little its worth, I urge you to continue contributing nationally, but I also implore you to act locally.

One of the major tasks ahead of us is building a solid party infrastructure that has been woefully neglected until now--until the grassroots uprising inspired in large part by the Dean campaign. The State Party Blog Project attempts to take those first steps, online, in our own states. Please link our effort to your blogs and websites, and most importantly, keep working towards our goal.

We have been at the project for a few weeks, and already have had some successes. I want to take this opportunity to outline some of those victories, implore you to apply pressure in states that are close to coming around, and attempt to convince states that don't seem to be listening.

Success Stories

Alabama: Yes, I am partial. Not because I am from the state (cause I am not) but because working with the technology director of the Alabama State Democratic Party was a lot of fun. Great guy, the state party is lucky to have Brannon on the team. From our first emails:

i have been wanting to do this. not sure exactly how to go about it. any insight would be greatly appreciated. Brannon AL Dem Party

Well, a few weeks later--we have this: Great work, Brannon!

Florida: No real point in looking to the past, and it probably wouldn't have been used much--but imagine what a blog would have done in this state during the 2000 recount. With a Gov. and Sen. race in 2006, the party has jumped into the 21st century. From the first email returned by the Florida Democratic Party back in December:

I've gone so far as to walk through the blog creation process at and to download movable type for potentially hosting a blog on our webserver. We also wrote a very simplistic web diary for use by our delegation during the convention. [...]

I love blogs. I read several regularly. We already run a yahoo group that allows some members to carry on discussions. What more will a blog do for us?

I don't know if the emails back and forth had anything to do with it, and quite frankly, it's not important. But this is:

Tennessee: I wish I still had the emails to share, but the good people at the Tennessee Democratic Party were one of the first to respond when the initial call by the project's participants went out.

Now, they have a blog up.

Massachusetts: In response to a flood of emails from the netroots:

Hey folks, The MDP is going to start a blog. In addition to our forum.

Right now we are trying to decide who the blog moderator will be.

Iowa: This is another state that didn't have a blog when the project first started. Well, they had one, they just never used it. Which is another important facet of the project--getting states that have blogs, and don't use them, to start.

We have been assured in the case of Iowa, that will change. From the Iowa Democratic Party:

The Iowa Democratic Party does have a blog! See Here it is just getting started, and we have new staff coming on board next week, so things should start picking up. You can contact me if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or would like to volunteer to help.

-Andrew Brown

But here is the point, once again. I could go down the list and count off state party websites that did not have blogs when we started, but do now. All of these blogs appeared after some form of outreach from our effort. Some of the states said they planned on starting a blog at first ask by the SPBP. Others did not. Either way, if they have a blog now, that is a victory.

But more important than celebrating our successes, is working towards states that are coming around--they just need a little more prodding. For example:

States We Can Get--Keep the Pressure On!

North Dakota is an easy get--if we follow up. From the Executive Director. Kind of makes me bad for going off on this state on the site.

We are interested. Thanks, Vern Thompson

Short and sweet, but that's fine. Someone, grab that ball. Here is the email address to use:

New Jersey: Sorry to solicit more emails to the NJDP Mike, don't take it the wrong way--I really do like you.

Thank you so much for your input. There has been an increase in the number of requests for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee to provide a blog to our supporters. I assure you that the idea is being considered, so please check our website often for updates! We post new information, and ways for our supporters to get involved very often, so thank you for visiting our site, and we hope to hear from you soon!

Michael Giglio
IT Director
New Jersey Democratic State Committee

Pennsylvania: Could there be a more important race in 2006 than our opportunity to take out Rick Santorum? Seriously. This is why Democrats have lost 13 straight full-term U.S. Senate elections in PA. They say they are short-handed, well let them know that we will pick up the ball for them!

I just called and spoke to the PA Dem webmaster. He thought a blog is a good idea and told me that there is an intention to create a blog. But he is part of a three person team with a number of tasks, so it doesn't sound like we'll get a weblog soon.

He asked me if there is an email going around because I was "the fourth person" who called him today to inquire about a weblog.

So that is a quick down-and-dirty update. I have made all of the requisite updates on The State Party Blog Projet Blog. Atleast I hope I have. That is the hub for information and all of the tools you need to push the project down the field. Oh, not to glance over them. But we are going to include D.C. and Puerto Rico. More information on that shortly.

Please, take advantage of them. It is a new day for the Democratic Party. What better gift can we give our new Chairman than working to rebuild the infrastructure of our party and convince them (like we should have to convince) to implement the tools that allow us to participate and communicate directly from the roots.

Let's open those lines of communication.

Posted at 11:52 AM in Activism, Netroots | Technorati

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Blogosphere United

Posted by Bob Brigham

BlogPAC is leading an effort to unite the blogosphere behind Howard Dean.

Contribution amount: $

Here at the Swing State Project, we've been very focused on the future of our Democratic Party. We've covered the campaign for DNC Chair extensively. DavidNYC travelled to the Eastern Regional Caucus, I travelled to the Western Regional Caucus, and Tim has written dozens of posts on the campaign. We did this because we care about the future of our Party. Now that we have a reform Democrat leading the DNC, it is time for the blogosphere and the netroots to come together and support our leader.

If you have a blog, syndicate this and join a united blogosphere. You can also help by emailing your friends and sending them to:

UPDATE (DavidNYC): I just kicked in 25.01 - and I'm a poor student in debt up to my ears! So please, please contribute. Nothing could be more important than showing we are united in our support for Dean, and at this precise moment in time, dollars are the way to send that message.

UPDATE: $10467.69 from 215 donors in the first hour.
UPDATE 2: Be patient, ActBlue is running a little slow due to the response.
UPDATE 3: $22871.55 from 458 donors in the first two hours.
UPDATE 4: Interesting Times says Actblue, "appears to be swamped"
UPDATE 5: $34263.77 from 675 donors in the first three hours.
UPDATE 6: $43082.20 from 883 donors in the first four hours.
UPDATE 7: Kos says, "the ActBlue servers were so hammered that many went over and donated directly at the DNC site."
UPDATE 8: Blogsnow is tracking this as one of the most talked about items in the blogosphere.
UPDATE 9: Timeline: Atrios posted at 12:03 PM eastern, Markos posted the syndication code four minutes later at 9:07 AM pacific.
UPDATE 10: In five hours, 1000 people donated.

Atrios says:

We've set up a blogosphere-wide donation page, so show your support.

Remember: money talks. So, one way to get Candy Crowley to shut the fuck up is to play to Dean's strengths, which include gettting lots of turkee from the netroots.

Kos says:

Now that "Chairman Dean" is official, let's get Dean's back.

That fundraising link is being shared by a great deal of blogs.[...]

Remember, the GOP will unload on Dean. Everytime you hear the "Dean Scream" without context, consider donating. When you hear some empty head talk about the party "moving left" with Dean, consider donating. When you hear about unnamed big dollar Democratic donors whining about pulling their money out of the party, consider donating.

TalkLeft says:

Congratulations, Dr. Dean. Let's give him the ammunition he needs to successfully reform our party. Here's a blogosphere-wide contribution page.

Chris Anderson says:

The button may not work. ActBlue, the site handling the contributions, appears to be swamped right now. This is a good thing. If the button doesn't work you can go to the contribution page directly.

Articulate.babble says

Those of us who have followed Dean through the highs and lows know that he’s got our back. It’s time to get his. Donate to the DNC and show Howard that we support his efforts to reform this party!

I am a Reform Democrat.

For a trip down nostalgia lane, here’s a video link to Dean’s famous “What I Want to Know” speech two years ago at the DNC winter meeting. Now he’s DNC chairman.

What a country!

Damn Liberals says:

The GOP didn't want this. The status quo Democrats, like Lieberman, didn't want this. Dean represents a driving force that will give the party back to the people. This is a threat to those in power. As long as we are ignorant, they can rule. Dean refuses to allow us to remain ignorant any longer. As such, those in the GOP will open up with both barrels on him, probably starting tomorrow on the Sunday talking bobble head shows. We must watch Dean's back, and close ranks in support of him.

One way we in the Blogosphere can do this is through showing our support with our wallet. Please consider donating NOW to the DNC in support of electing Howard Dean to the chairmanship.

Posted at 12:11 PM in Activism, DNC Chair, Netroots | Technorati

Friday, February 11, 2005

Jeff Gannon

Posted by Tim Tagaris

If you are a regular visitor to SSP, there is no doubt that you have come across the Jeff Gannon story by now. If not (or even if you have), here are two of the best recent summaries:

1.) Press release put out by the DailyKos diarists who broke, and have remained on top of, the story.

2.) Jon Aravosis, of AmericaBlog, on CNN last night with Aaron Brown. He did a great job and represented us (the lefty blogosphere) well.

And to think I remember joking around with David on messenger over a week ago about whether or not this story had legs.

Posted at 10:31 AM in Activism, Netroots | Technorati

Monday, February 07, 2005

Russ Feingold Interview

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Tomorrow night, I, along with several other bloggers, have the opportunity to ask a question of Senator Russ Feingold. So I have decided to turn to SSP's readers; what question do you think I should ask? Whether it be an actual question, or a topic you would like to see asked about, drop a comment below.

Personally, I am inclined to support a Feingold candidacy if and when he decides to run. Whether it was the informal poll on Kos this weekend, or previous polls on MyDD, it appears I would have a lot of company.

In the interim, take a moment to read the senator's op-ed in today's Christian Science Monitor. Here is a brief snip I appreciated on engaging the Middle East through dialogue, diplomacy and aid, as opposed to the current short-sighted policies of the Bush Administration.

But if we want a less threatening future, we Americans need to get in the game, increase our diplomatic presence, listen to the people on the ground, and combine widespread, quick-impact development projects with long-term investments in fighting corruption and promoting the rule of law. This has to be done in Mali and across the developing world. Most of all, we need to stop thinking solely in terms of how the world will look next year, and start thinking about how it will look in 50 years [...]

It is time to plan again for a generational effort, to commit to a policy of engagement, and to plant a new crop of wisdom. The US must engage with Muslim communities, and offer tangible support to struggling nations.

Without that sustained, consistent effort, our talk of partnership in the fight against terrorism will be seen for what it is: an empty gesture, and an empty-handed one at that.

Posted at 11:15 AM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Netroots | Comments (4) | Technorati

Thursday, February 03, 2005

State Party Blogs: Quick Update

Posted by Tim Tagaris

The response to the State Party Blog Project has been tremendous. Thank you. There has even been some direct feedback from the actual state parties on the site. I want briefly highlight one in particular: Arizona.

In short, the state's non-traditional campaign director made a direct appeal for bloggers. They need writers! It sounds like a great opportunity to get involved doing something most of us already enjoy. So, if you would like to do some blogging for the Arizona Democratic Party, please use the contact information below.

Tony Cani
ADP Non-Trad Campaigns Director

Posted at 12:17 PM in Activism, Arizona, Netroots | Comments (3) | Technorati

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The place to be for State of the Union

Posted by Tim Tagaris

There is NO Crisis has a list of bloggers who will be commenting on the event in real-time HERE. There will also be a rapid response they have set up that you can visit and, more importantly, participate in HERE.

No further text necessary tonight. There is NO Crisis is the place to be.

Posted at 05:03 PM in Activism, Netroots | Technorati

State Party Blog Project: Now YOU have the tools

Posted by Tim Tagaris

So it's looking good that Howard Dean will become our next DNC Chairman, and that means we have a mandate. A mandate to reform the party.

Don't get it twisted; the fact that Howard Dean will most likely be heading up the Democratic Party is our victory. It is the voice of the grassroots lifted up into the halls of power once owned by the "aristocracy of consultants." No more.

It is incumbent upon us to continue this fight and provide our state parties the tools available to communicate with the grassroots. When that is done, we begin at the county level - and so on.

For those familiar with the State Party Blog Project, I have created a website to give you all the tools to make the job happen. It will also serve as a hub for information and updates on our progress.

For those not familiar...

This project is a grassroots effort encouraging all 50 Democratic state parties to not only put a blog on their official website, but to use it effectively. The Internet is the only medium of communication available for mass two-way communication. It is not only an effective fundraising tool (the language most "professionals" speak), but has tremendous organizational and communicative benefits most fail to recognize.

The time has long passed to build an effective communication infrastructure online. If the good folks in Washington, D.C. don't want to do it, then the netroots will pick up the slack once again.

Posted at 01:03 PM in Activism, Netroots | Technorati

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Props to "The Stick"

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Senate Democratic Communications Center, known as the War Room, and nicknamed The Stick has been the best thing to happen to our Party since the Clinton War Room concluded that "speed kills".

When the privateers at "Progress for America" used FDR to promoting destoying Social Security, The Stick struck back.

When Democratic Senators unveiled a positive agenda for America, The Stick pushed it online.

And when the Adminstration tried to manufacture a fake "crisis" to gut Social Security, The Stick organized a hearing to debunk the propoganda.

Full disclosure, I work on Social Security for BlogPAC. But because The Stick organized a hearing, I was able to create a Podcast of the hearing to distribute the message. This is how post-modern politics is waged. The Stick gets it!

Posted at 11:08 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Just Blog It

Posted by Bob Brigham

Times are changing when the New York Times headlines: Talk of Taxes, Social Security and Blogs at G.O.P. Retreat. Times are changing when Senator Boxer is posting on Daily Kos and political blogging is expanding to policy battles. We need to move quickly to create the type of permanent online campaign that Tim envisions. Speed kills.

Posted at 12:26 AM in Netroots | Technorati

Friday, January 28, 2005

Online Triumphalism

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Sorry I missed this on Wednesday.

"Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Winston will hold a session Saturday afternoon to discuss the growing influence of web logs. Representatives are scheduled to break camp on Saturday, while the program for Senators continues through Sunday."

Where will our Daschle v. Thune blogs be in 2006? There is already a Dayton v. Kennedy blog that courts a modest daily audience. As with everything else organizational -- start early.

As a party, we should be creating a world wide network of bloggers spreading our message to each corner of the blogosphere. In the long run, I think we will find that the communicative and organizational properties of the blogosphere far outsrtip the fundraising use. As communication shifts from off-line to on, we would be well served to have that organizational web firmly rooted in the emerging technology.

Let's be honest. Today, most candidates and organizations look at the netroots and think, cha-ching! I can understand that. We fundraise because we need money, primarily, to get on television and radio. But once again, the world's a changing; a new dominant medium for communication is forging its way to the front of the line. We can save a ton of money in the long-term by tapping into the potential that lies within the world wide web, but extends beyond fundraising. It would probably be the best long-term investment we could make.

It is impossible to imagine what the political landscape would be today if the Democratic Party had a strong hand in shaping the the way political discourse is conducted on radio, network television, and cable. I would imagine, however, that we would like what we were seeing. With the emergence of the Net, we have that opportunity. Just because the Internet is decentralized doesn't mean we shouldn't be working to get our troops moving in the same direction, in concert.

But if, as a party, we aren't helping to create that network -- then as individuals, we must.

To comment, create a TypeKey account. Might as well do it now before someone scoops up your favorite user name.

Posted at 01:25 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Netroots | Comments (3) | Technorati

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Winning Politics Online: TINC vs. CFG

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Question: When is a multi million dollar organization forced to react to a rag-tag group of bloggers "waging politics online?"

Answer: When those bloggers are running unimpeded in the blogosphere, using the new medium to help correctly reframe the social security debate.

By all accounts has been a tremendous sucess. Don't take my word for, don't take the word of the 400+ bloggers who have signed up, just look at the response of the most spectacular bastion of wingnuttery, The Club for Growth.

Always the reactionaries, The Club for Growth has launched its own blog to counter the overwhelming success of There is No Crisis. The site itself encapsulates the differences between the righty and lefty blogosphere.

Content Contributors:

TINC: Regular Bloggers, 400+ from across the WWW
CFG: Political Hacks

Financial Contributors:

TINC: Small donors contributing to BlogPAC
CFG: Raised $22 million for 14 wingnut candidates in 2004

Sourcing of Content:

TINC: New York Times, WaPo, Christian Science Monitor, Guardian
CFG: CATO studies, American Spectator, GOP USA

Individual Leaders:

TINC: Bob Brigham (SSP), Matt Stoller (BOP News) Josh Koenig (MFA)
CFG: Pat Toomey, Don Luskin, Herman "bootstraps" Cain

Community Participation:

TINC: Allows comments and direct participation
CFG: Trackbacks only, no comments allowed

More Fun:

CFG: Bogus Social Security calculator completely debunked by Yglesias.

From yesterday's Club for Growth press release:

"The purpose of is to be the definitive Blog and the leading online clearinghouse for the best ideas and information relating to the pro-growth vision of Social Security reform. By advocating personal accounts, we will engage the public, debunk myths, and promote the unprecedented opportunity that Social Security reform offers," said Club for Growth President, Pat Toomey.

Mr. Toomey's quote looks alot like the stated mission of There is No Crisis. Nice try.

Well done Bob, Matt, and Josh. Well done.

Posted at 01:27 PM in Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Say What?

Posted by Tim Tagaris

This has got to be the most unique use of a blog by a candidate running for public office.

From the weblog of St. Louis mayoral candidate Bill Haas on Monday:

...and unless something breaks professionally in the next couple of months, I'm going to be out of money and then I'm going to put the animals to sleep and take my life.

Thirty years ago, December 1974, almost exactly half my life ago, I sat with a gun in my lap in a similar situation, and was going to take my life that night at 5:00pm.

His next entry was yesterday:

I just got home from Walmart, and read your comments: you made me cry. Some days that's not too hard, but it's always special. More later. In the meantime, I'm not going anywhere, hope to be around another 30 [...]

Thank you again. And you'll come to my mayoral fundraiser at Bar Italia, Maryland and Euclid, central west end, Saturday February 5th, 1-4pm, open bar, some free oerdoevres (sp?), suggested $25 contribution but no one not welcome.

The AP confirmed the blog actually belonged to the candidate.

Posted at 09:40 AM in Missouri, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Google Me This...

Posted by Tim Tagaris

When you need to find information about an individual or organization, what do you do?

The same campaigns that take pride in a perfectly placed yard sign would be wise to take note of what people see when they get "Googled."

Just ask Tim Roemer and Martin Frost...

Google results for Martin Frost

Excerpts from the first page (10 entries) -- ie. what people see without clicking on a single link offered.

#3) From Kos: "Piling on Martin Frost" ... "As such, Martin Frost is grossly unqualified for the position."

#4) From Kos: "Frost's strong support for President Bush"

#5) The Hamster: "The DNC chairmanship is a partisan position. As such, Martin Frost is grossly unqualified for the position."

#7) Annatopia: "martin frost must be stopped."

#9 & #10) Both have nothing to do with former Congressman Martin Frost or his race for DNC Chair.

This doesn't even include the fact that you see advertisements for Donnie Fowler and Simon Rosenberg on the right-hand-side of the Google results page.

It only gets worse for Tim Roemer: Google results for Tim Roemer

#2) MyDD: "Tim Roemer Should Not Become DNC Chair. by Chris Bowers"

#3) MyDD: "Tim Roemer, Republican Noise Machine Member. by Chris Bowers Dave Johnson uncovers something extremely disturbing about Tim Roemer:"

#5) CNN: "Anti-abortion Roemer joins race for Dems top job"

#7) DailyKos: "Roemer on board of right wing think tank" ... "Tim Roemer, who is Reid and Pelosi's latest choice for DNC chair, looks worse and worse by the day."

#8) DailyKos (diary): "DNC Chair Tim Roemer? The netroots reaction" ... "DNC Chair Tim Roemer? ... Can the Democratic Party afford to elect Tim Roemer as DNC Chair? Really, can we afford it?"

#9) Change for America: "Tim Roemer for DNC Chair - netroots response" ... "Can the Democratic Party afford to elect Tim Roemer as DNC Chair?"

#10) Seeing the Forest: "More on Roemer/Mercatus TAPPED has more info about the Mercatus Center, a right-wing-financed "think tank" where DNC candidate Tim Roemer currently works."

And yes -- there is a blog ad for Donnie, Simon AND someone who placed a Google ad with the question, "Are You Happy Bush Won? Respond Now And You Can Get A Free Laptop!"

Gotta love targeted advertising.

Posted at 08:50 PM in DNC Chair, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Reid's War Room and bloggers

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Boston Globe has an article on the Senate Democrats new agenda and War Room where it is noted, "The center has an aide dedicated to getting information to Democratic-leaning bloggers and yesterday launched a website,, to better communicate the positions of Senate Democrats."

Positive reinforcement time: Thank you Senator Reid for your leadership in waging online politics, I appreciate your dedication to winning the information war. Please note the five posts yesterday. I look forward to furthering this partnership.

Posted at 12:26 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Netroots | Comments (6) | Technorati

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Sacto Meeting

Posted by Bob Brigham
"What you're seeing is the transformation of the old party into the new party, which is the Internet party, which is going to fund the party." -Bob Mulholland

I've written about Mulholland before. Let's give the guy some props, he credentialed me and let me plug a mic plug into the mult box so I have press pool audio of the event. Mulholland was the first person to credential bloggers when he asked Kos and Jerome Armstrong to blog the 2003 Democratic Convention. Cheers to Bob...go check out Bob's Blog -- it is a model other state parties would be wise to copy. Mulholland isn't some 20-something geek, but an old school political hack who has realized that the internet allows him to take advantage of his political instincts and great writing to slap around his adversaries. Mulholland is the example of why old school political operatives shouldn't be scared of the net, the tools that made them successful in 20th century politics will allow them to triumpth in 21st century politics (if they are willing to allow their message to spread in real-time).

I say this because of the dynamics for DNC Chair. Many in the press are too simple-minded to see the race as more than a left-right battle. But the dynamics have always been more aptly described as reform vs. status quo; advancing vs. treading water.

The reform vs. status quo dynamic is now manifesting itself in a value-the-netroots vs. hate-the-netroots division. Frost and his staff are said to "hate" the netroots and I had a Roemer staffer tell me he has "no affinity" for DailyKos (most popular Democratic blog) and MyDD (blogfather's blog). I had scheduled an interview with Roemer to get his view on the Mercatus Scandal but I ended up blowing him off. You see, Nancy Keenan, the head of NARAL, snubbed Roemer last week. Nancy Keenan has been hero of mine and is a western Democrat legend -- I figure if it is good enough for her, it is good enough for me.

The small donor is the backbone of the 21st century political party. Frost and Roemer are politicians looking for a job so they don't care about the netroots -- and they won't get netroots money!

I have hours of audio and a lot more to say. But I can tell you two things out of today's Western Caucus:

  • Roemer and Frost are unacceptable
  • Leland and Fowler are not contenders
  • much more to come

    Posted at 01:09 AM in Activism, DNC Chair, Netroots | Comments (3) | Technorati

    Friday, January 21, 2005

    The Small Blog as the Small Donor of 2006/2008

    Posted by Tim Tagaris

    You couldn't escape it. During the 2004 election cycle, Internet fundraising was all the rage. From Howard Dean's $40 million, DailyKos and ActBlue, to Terry McAuliffe receiving credit, some of it undeserved, for leveraging the small donor to pull even with GOP fundraising efforts.

    That's great - for whatever the real reasons - the Democratic Party did a terrific job of using the Internet to raise money in small amounts as a counter to a traditional GOP advantage. But guess what? The Republican (Noise) Machine will learn, and we had best get ahead of the curve.

    If the small donor was the phenomenon of the 2004 election cycle, the small blogger might very well be the next great hope for the Democrats.

    The online financial contributions had implications for finance (and comm.) staffs working campaigns across the country. Leveraging the small blogger is predominantly a technological offshoot for traditional field programs (and comm). And as many of us know, the field organization is where is gets done in a grassroots effort. They are the group that will put in hours of tedious study to pull every last vote out of each precinct in a candidate's universe.

    Much like everything else in the field plan, organizing the small blogger is laborious and requires a commitment often unmatched by other parts of traditional campaigns. The good news is, so much of netroots outreach crosses formerly compartmentalized groups within a campaign structure; so you can share the burden. What fun!

    Let's begin.

    If you listen to the pundits, why was the GOP finally able to effectively counter the Democrat's field operation? I have heard it a million times, you probably have as well, it was "the neighbor to neighbor strategy." Ken Mehlman and Karl Rove crafted a plan that had people convincing others in their communities to vote for President Bush. By most accounts, it worked terrifically.

    We can accomplish the same thing using our netroots. The beautiful thing about this plan is that we have all the resources necessary to accomplish it without some sort of direction from the powers-that-be. But let's take it back into the campaign setting, because that is the reason I started writing this. Rest assured however, the blogosphere has every resource it needs to make this happen without direction.

    Think about the characteristics of the small blog. Many of us run our own. You know the blog your friends, co-workers, and maybe your parents read? The same one you link to in your Kos diaries to boost your visibility? Yes, that one.

    It's the blog that generally gets the same 15 people, most within same community you are targeting, reading it a few times a week/month. Maybe you see where I am heading now?

    I propose that we take that personal neighbor to neighbor strategy and lead it in a technological direction.

    Let's assume you are working on a campaign that has a very clear message. You are part of a functional effort that sends out consistent press releases, talking points, and uses the Internet to foster participation within your congressional district, legislative district, or even statewide.

    Step 1: Start collecting each and every single blog that exists within the universe your campaign is operating in. Find them out, email them directly, then introduce yourself and your campaign.

    Step 2: Give your supporters the tools to create their own blogs. And do it your website. Heck, it takes 3 minutes to start a blog - walk them through it on your homepage or get involved page. Get a volunteer in the office whose task it is to take people through it step by step over the phone if necessary.

    Step 3: If a blog, even a small blog, asks for an interview, grant it! If it gets to be too much, then schedule a weekly/bi-weekly half hour conference call with all the bloggers who want to participate.

    Step 4: Back to the press releases and talking points. Send them to bloggers. Send them in the same mass email that you are sending out to the traditional media outlets. Give them the same opportunity to ask questions of the campaign.

    Step 5: Invite bloggers to attend your events, just like the press. Make your press conferences and events wi-fi when possible.

    Step 6: Nurture the relationship. Rinse and repeat. Bloggers love the inside scoop before the newspapers can get it in print the next day or the news broadcasts it a few hours later

    And this plan holds for medium sized blogs as well. The ones that candidates and their staffs would have never dared to enter before because there weren't enough ATM cards found on a consistent basis.

    There are some great medium sized blogs out there on both sides of the aisle. There are quite a few of those smaller blogs that have HUGE POTENTIAL in the state I am working now; they include: Young Philly Politics and Philly Future. Pittsburgh Webloggers is also a great source.

    The way that traditional communication directors compile lists of newspapers, reporters, journalists, and their contact information - that is the way they need to start with bloggers, especially the small bloggers within their universe.

    Finally, cross your fingers and hope they remember you when they go big! Until then, just be content as you work with them to spread your information to their families, co-workers and friends in the district which you are running.

    Posted at 02:18 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, 2008 President - Republicans, Activism, General, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

    Wednesday, January 19, 2005

    Post Modern Political Warfare: Part II

    Posted by Tim Tagaris

    It looks like one reader has taken, and ran with, the idea I discussed in this post about waging politics on-line. The idea was to purchase potential URLs for 2006 GOP candidates, before they do.

    SSP reader Max Palmer sent me this email earlier today:

    Inspired by your post "Post-Modern Political Warfare", I registered several domain names tonight of Republic senators up for relections:,,,,,,, - I also registered, b/c I am worried about both races and did not want anyone opposing them to get it. [...]

    I consider the $90 I spent registering these sites to be a part of my donations to the democratic party and its candidates.

    It's a new ballgame folks. Those who used to marvel at the perfect placement for a yard sign, should now consider perfect Internet positioning in post-modern political campaigns.

    Imagine if Katherine Harris had to give out the URL, "" on every piece of literature, in every speech, and in commercials. The fundraising, organization, and information loss would be staggering.

    If nothing else, the people at Free Republic were pissed at my original post.

    You can check out what domain names are taken and available here.

    Disclaimer(s): You should not purcahse these URLs and attempt to sell them for profit later. If you buy a GOP URL, link it to the Dem candidate's site, or put your own blog on it and comment on the race.

    If you buy a Democrat's URL, offer it up to the campaign as an in-kind contribution.

    Posted at 04:07 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Activism, Netroots | Comments (2) | Technorati

    Tuesday, January 18, 2005

    There Is No Crisis

    Posted by Tim Tagaris

    A revolutionary website that gives the netroots the tools necessary to protect the integrity of social security. Click on the picture below and link it on your own sites.

    The blogosphere has officially jumped into the mix.

    [P.S. The "There Is No Crisis" blog is operated by none other than the SSP's own Bob Brigham. - David]

    Posted at 10:30 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

    Sunday, January 16, 2005

    Our Netroots

    Posted by Tim Tagaris

    Great piece by Matt Stoller over at Personal Democracy Forum. As a party, we have managed to compile a world wide web of communicators that fail miserably at communicating with eachother.

    1.) Traditional Democratic institutions fail to communicate with the netroots.

    It seems that the powers-that-be have yet to find a useful purpose for millions of on-line activists short of asking them for money or an occassional letter to the editor. Until they open channels of communication from the bottom - up, they will never understand our potential for contribution far greater than a $20 donation. The "right" is already way ahead of us on this account.

    2.) Many opinion leaders within the netroots fail to communicate effectively with eachother.

    This was evidenced by the Kos v. Exley debate that unfolded over the holidays. Matt thoroughly documents this in his piece at PDF.

    The funny thing is , I have seen firsthand what a wealth of communicative, technical, and organizational talent we have within the netroots. I don't know as much about the right-wing Internet infrastructure, but I would have a hard time believing that it is anywhere near as talented as ours. If we were able to get our shit together and act in concert with the traditional power structure within the Democratic party, what we could accomplish would be limitless.

    But that involves a give and take.

    As we saw last election cycle with the DCCC v. Kos, and Exley's lack of a seat at the table on the Kerry campaign, I am not sure we are quite there yet. So, the netroots operates in large part independent of the party, and the party fails to harness the limitless potential of the netroots. Everyone loses.

    3.) Meanwhile, Republicans are finding a place within their vast noise machine for bloggers to amplify their message.

    Look no further than "Rathergate" and the Daschle v. Thune blog.

    Let me give the latest best example that just popped into my head. When Harry Reid announced the formation of his "war room," I immediately asked myself what role bloggers would play? I even called his Senate office earlier this week to ask the question and share some ideas.

    I am still looking for the answer if anyone can help.

    Posted at 03:37 PM in Activism, General, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

    Friday, January 14, 2005

    "Donkey Splat" can "Go to Hell"

    Posted by Bob Brigham

    Blogfather Jerome Armstrong and Kos examine Zephyr Teachout's political funeral. When you see Zell Miller on TV, think of Zephyr and giggle.

    Posted at 02:54 AM in Netroots | Technorati

    Thursday, January 13, 2005

    Post-Modern Political Warfare

    Posted by Tim Tagaris

    Internet gamesmanship in the run-up to the race for Governor of Massachusettes in 2006:

    Massachusetts Republicans have launched a pre-emptive strike against Democratic Attorney General Tom Reilly by snapping up online Internet addresses that would have been obvious picks for him if he decides to run for governor in 2006.

    Reilly has not yet said whether he will challenge Republican Gov. Mitt Romney in 2006. But if Reilly does run, it will be hard for him to use the Web sites,, and

    A smart move is a smart move, regardless of what party is behind the tactic. Get ready to see increased political warfare on-line during the 2006 election cycle. Since most web campaigns begin with a simple URL, I can't think of a better place to start.

    So, if you have a credit card handy and $7 you are willing to invest... is available. is available. is available. is available. is available. is available.

    Doesn't have to be Santorum; choose your race and knock yourself out. can tell you if there are domains available.

    If you buy any, for any Republican candidate, please email me to let me know.

    Posted at 10:10 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Activism, Netroots | Comments (6) | Technorati

    Friday, January 07, 2005

    Simon Rosenberg's DNC Blog Plan

    Posted by Bob Brigham

    Yesterday, Simon Rosenberg announced an aggressive draft blog plan for the DNC. BlogPAC has posted the details:

    As DNC Chair, I'd like to take the DNC and make it a full part of the blogosphere. The principle behind what I offer here is to foment a continual and robust online discussion that the DNC actually is part of and that reinforces an overall Democratic political strategy.

    This visionary document was said to only be a draft that would be revised after further input from the blogosphere. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the netroots to help choose future tactics before the future leader is elected. The day he announced he unveiled a plan for blogs that he wants us to refine. To take advantage, I am going to evaluate each of Rosenberg's nine points. Netizens, it is time for a discussion.

    1. Regular conference calls, conferences, and a blog committee of ‘netroots’ representatives to advise various DNC departments on strategy, research, messaging and outreach.

    Well I'll be damn. That is what I'm talking about. Full integration of the blogosphere into all aspects of campaigning. This is visionary stuff. The conference calls and conferences could go a long way towards building a team approach that unites the DNC with the netroots. The coordination in terms of strategy would allow us to harness the collective wisdom of the blogosphere while ensuring that Team Democrat is using the same playbook. Research is also an amazing opportunity for the netroots to help create open-source oppo that would allow anyone to put forth effective reasons why their republican representation should be sent packing. Message is also a vital area of importance -- working together we will find better wording while helping to build consistency. Outreach provides the most potential. Democrats are far from peaking when it comes to activating our supporters. A team approach could increase our results along the same astronomical curve we have seen during the last few years.

    2. A consistent non-election year blogad budget dedicated to framing and testing messaging, as well as potential seed money for specialty blogs.

    Now we are talking. The DNC investing in message creation instead of message distribution. This is post-modern politics at it's best. This is a far more effective alert system than relying solely upon emails and allows the DNC to "blog through ads" across the internet. Tim Tagaris calls this "thinking outside the website" and this approach provides an unlimited expansion ability. I would love to see the DNC message of the day on every liberal blog I visit.

    3. An internal champion in the DNC to break news on blogs and connect elected Democrats and high level staffers with blogs, bloggers, and effective use of the internet with the goal of having the blogosphere surpass cable news networks in reach and influence.

    A DNC that is ready to commit acts of news online? This reads like my wildest dream. And that is before the line of having the blogosphere surpass cable news networks in reach and influence. Rosenberg has true vision and when he's elected I look forward to working with the DNC's Blogosphere Champion. And what a great benefit for DNC staff, help leveragig the internet to increase their productivity.

    4. To use the DNC’s 3.7 million person email list to create community and promote interesting spinoff projects like and grassroots created quality video and audio content.

    My guess is that 3.7 million person email list will double in size during Rosenberg's first year once this plan is enacted. But the key here is that he wants to use email for interaction, not just fundraising. Rosenberg has Tim's ATM pin. The multimedia aspect is equally important. Online, ads aren't constricted by time limits which allows unhindered, real-time campaigning potential. The spinoff project idea shows how Rosenberg is re-writing the job description for DNC Chair. This is really good stuff.

    5. Regular guest-posting from DNC representatives on willing blogs to talk through organizational, operational, and policy issues.

    This appears to be the deal. Rosenberg will help us with everything we've asked for and more, but we need to let the DNC have a voice on our blogs in return. Where do I sign?

    6. To work with blogs to figure out how to use Meetup effectively as a political tool for state and local parties.

    Meetup vs. Get Local is a discussion that we need to continue. We know that there is vast potential but we all know it could be used more effectively. Bloggers need to work with the DNC to make this work better.

    7. To promote a dialogue in which the blogs continue their discussion of the Democratic Party so that we can create the social networks critical to a vibrant progressive movement.

    The social networking future is something that we could catapult under the framework Rosenberg is suggesting in his Blog Plan. Rosenberg is years ahead of the pack on this one. The fact that he realizes it isn't about campaigns, but rather a movement is a critical observation. Bloggers need to constantly push the Democratic Party to do more, to do it better, and then to expand. Rosenberg's thirst to foster this dialogue is revolutionary.

    8. To integrate blogs fully into the progressive messaging machine that targets and unseats Republicans and Republican initiatives.

    One thing I've noticed about Rosenberg is that instead of running for Chair of the DNC he is running to create a Democratic Party Empire. Better yet, he is focused on winning. The right is far ahead of us at this point but Rosenberg's embrace of the netroots could provide the catapult for us to rapidly catch up -- and then surpass -- the vast right wing conspiracy.

    9. A New Politics Think Tank inside the DNC that fosters the sharing of best practices among those involved in netroots politics so as to allow for a supported network of savvy operatives to permeate progressive organizing. This organ would also investigate new technologies like RSS, wikis, podcasting, and their applicability to organizing at every level.

    As far as I know, Rosenberg is the first candidate to ever mention podcasting. RSS as a message distribution tool proves that Rosenberg is an online visionary. When I encountered Wiki my first thought was oppo. My next thought was elected official achievement. My final thought was that my first two thoughts were only the tip of the iceberg. Rosenberg is embracing open-source politics and cutting edge technology. Wow.


    Wow. What else can I say? Rosenberg "gets it" and is asking us to help him get it even more. This isn't a candidate willing to accept technological tools, rather Rosenberg is a leader focused on ruthlessly exploiting technology to provide Democrats -- as in each of us -- the tools to realize his vision of a Democratic Party Empire.: tools to match our passion:

    We have to recognize how the Internet and the passion of Americans are fundamentally changing American politics. And when we think of the DNC in the years ahead and the Democratic Party, I hope that we don’t think of 447 people but we think of millions of Americans going to work every day to make their country a better place. That’s a better vision of what a Democratic community can be.

    But it is important that he wants to discuss this draft plan and figure out how to do it better. This is what we've been asking for. Let's have a discussion.

    Posted at 09:11 AM in Activism, DNC Chair, General, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

    Thursday, January 06, 2005

    Everything changed today

    Posted by Bob Brigham

    In an amazing development, Human Rights First is blogging the Gonzalez nomination in real-time.

    Today is a HUGE day on the Hill. The DNC blog is doing less than kicking ass with one post on Gonzalez and nothing on the Boxer Rebellion. The DSCC blog has nothing, same with the DCCC. With 75% of the Democratic state parties lacking blogs there is no help from the states. It is unfortunate that the Democratic Party isn't providing message support during this crucial day.

    Considering that, this might be a good time to check out Simon Rosenberg for Chair.

    Posted at 03:17 PM in Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

    Friday, December 31, 2004

    Understanding Post-Modern Politics

    Posted by Bob Brigham

    The Washington Post weights in on which party understands post-modern politics and which party lost.

    Posted at 02:31 AM in Netroots | Technorati

    Tuesday, December 28, 2004

    My I-Pod can beat up your Lakoff

    Posted by Bob Brigham

    In some circles, George Lakoff is being framed as somebody who is all talk. That frame has implied that by being all talk he does not create action. But now this frame is also being explored as all talk, no singing.

    Such as suggestion is easy to laugh off until you realize it is coming from Jim Ross, an all-action guy who also has a reputation as word-wise political strategist.

    Ross brought up this angle in email to Chris Nolan:

    Thank youĶ.For taking on Lakoff. The guy is the spokesperson for the Doormat Democrats. The liberals that have so much white liberal guilt that they can not stand up for themselves. He is in such vogue right now because he is part of the nexus. There is a whole world of deep liberal activists who don't know how to win and I think are a little scared of what they will do if they win.

    In case you didn't notice, Ross doesn't pull punches, but all of that has been widely discussed. However, what Ross says next brings up an interesting angle:

    The reason why Democrats keep losing national elections is people like this are trying to tell us how to communicate with people like this. The Democrat's audiences are not a bunch of liberals in Marin, San Francisco or Berkeley. But people living in trailers in rural Ohio, Oregon, New Mexico, Michigan and a thousand of other places around the country. Until we can talk to these people in a way that matters to them we will continue to lose.

    Gretchen Wilson, political visionary?

    We should not go to George Lakoff seeking guidance but to the record store, or iTunes and listen to the stories of the people in swing states. The are telling us what the want and what they want to hear, we just need to shut up and listen.

    The stories are out there and Gretchen Wilson isn't the only one telling them.

    Message isn't a collection of tested ideas, it is a story. And that story needs context and a connection before it can be told. If you dropped George Lakoff and Jim Ross off in the middle of some "fly-over state" Lakoff would be trying to communicate with the locals while Ross would be making new friends. While people might snicker about Lakoff being from Berkeley, few would guess that Ross lives in San Francisco.

    To "shut up and listen" there needs to be a common ground between those crafting the message and the audience that message is targeting. Consultants and politicians need to want to expand that common ground and music might be as good a place as any to begin.

    Posted at 01:16 PM in Netroots | Comments (7) | Technorati

    Thursday, December 23, 2004

    My ATM Pin Number or On-Line Fundraising

    Posted by Tim Tagaris

    Much has been made in recent days about the Kerry campaign's attempts to withdraw, over and over again, from the ATM machine known as the netroots.  Whether it is discussions about the endless fundraising emails to folks in non "swing states," or Kos's contention that, "we aren't going to put out for campaigns without getting something in return;" the topic has been in the blogs as of late.

    Kos also said something that I overlooked the first time I read his post, but might be the most important quote in the entire piece.

    Did the Dean campaign win? No. But there's a reason people are still loyal to Dean even after Kerry has been abandoned by legions of Democrats. Unlike Kerry's effort, what Dean and Trippi built was the stuff of political movements, and it was built on a foundation of communication.

    Maybe John Kerry didn't need a political movement; he needed us for seven months.  But only one race every four years is for the presidency, for the rest of 468 seats up for grabs on the Federal level, if you are going to fundraise effectively on-line, you are best served, "building the stuff of political movements."

    I chose to write about this because I keep talking to congressional candidates for '06 races that say some form of, "We will just tell them that we are running a progressive campaign and we need grassroots support to raise 'x' amount of dollars in so many days."

    Wrong answer...

    If you want to withdraw cash using my ATM card (and millions like me), if you want to build that "political movement" on-line, you better know the pin number.  John Kerry didn't know the pin number, and 99% of candidates running for office that have now decided to reach out to the netroots don't know it either.

    So what are the digits?

    Most ATM pins have four digits.  For the sake of simplicity, we'll keep it at that number as well; although there is much more a candidate can do if they want to reach out effectively to the netroots.

    First Number: Be willing to communicate with us

    Campaigns set aside time every week for fundraising calls, block-walking, attending state and county-wide events, but if you want that first digit you need to be willing to communicate with us, directly.

    Campaigns should set aside time every week, if not day, to communicate with us directly.  That time should be just as important as call-time and block-walking time.  Just like a good fundraising director will freak out if the candidate doesn't make 30 calls an hour, the Internet Outreach Coordinator should do the same.  Yes, all campaigns should have one of them.  And they should have a seat at the table right next to the campaign manager, communications director, finance director, and field director.

    The Internet is the only medium available that allows for mass two-way communication.  Constituents want to hear from you, and if they can get an answer back immediately, that's all the better.  They want to know what is going on in the campaign they are supporting.  And you know what?  They deserve it.

    That means you have a blog affiliated with your campaign, and the candidate posts on it, the campaign manager posts on it, etc...  If it is just some unpaid intern that comes in 3 days a week and posts from home, you got a problem there.

    Your blog also needs some variety, and should be in a "human voice."  I am sure Bob has much more to say about the use of blogs by a campaign.  It is a subject that I can go on about for hours.

    And that doesn't mean you are just blogging on your own website.  "Think outside the webpage."  There are already communities that have hundreds, thousands, and hundreds of thousands of members.  If you are an unknown candidate and believe that people are going to come to your webpage just because you put one up, your thinking is fatally flawed.

    And dammit, every communication should not include a link to your contribution page.

    Second Number: We want to be involved in the effort

    And more involved than just, "hey we need 4,000 literature pieces for the county fair coming up."  Sure, it is nice to know what our money is going towards, but in the grand scheme of things, we want some form of "ownership" of the effort.

    That means soliciting our ideas and implementing the best of them.  The ideas of 50,000 will almost always be better than the ideas of five people who live their entire lives inside of a campaign HQ.

    This means giving your supporters in the netroots the tools available to make a difference for your effort.  Give them the tools to throw a house party, create a .pdf file for the campaign, listen to them about your message and refine it when necessary.

    Take one of the biggest successes of the Jeff Seemann for Congress campaign, "campaign manager for a day."  It was a media bonanza for us, fundraising success, it built our email list, drove people to our website in unheard of numbers for a congressional race, and most importantly, got people very excited about our effort in the 16th district of Ohio.

    You know how that idea was born? 

    A bunch of us were sitting around at like 1 AM, having a nightcap (or 5), and talking about how we can simultaneously thank to the netroots for all of their support and give them ownership of the campaign.

    The results of the effort speak for itself.

    I answered 90% of the press calls for the events, and believe me there were alot.  One of the things that got me the most frustrated was when media would ask, "Are you worried they will pick things bad for the campaign?  What if they select for Jeff to sleep in until 10 AM?"  We even had members of our staff (who shall remain nameless -- while being instrumental in the idea) who said, "we will guide them toward the selections we want them to make."

    Wrong answer.

    These people in the netroots support you and want what is best for the campaign.  They have now become invested in the effort; either financially or with their own time and ideas.  I cannot stress enough that to a certain extent, if you want the rewards, you have to let go.  It has been my experience that this legion of die-hard activists will not steer you wrong.  They NEVER did for us.

    Third Number: Opinion Leaders

    On-line is no different than off-line in this respect.  There are certain opinion leaders that carry alot of sway within a community, the net is no different.  For the Seemann campaign, we caught a break.  When the whole mercenary flap happened on Kos, Jeff stepped in and placed an ad.  Had this not happened, we might have never even gotten our foot in the door -- although I can assure you we would have tried.

    And the thing about these opinion leaders is, they are often a fickle bunch.  The best of them (in my mind): Jerome, Kos, Matt Stoller, Atrios, Jesse & Ezra from Pandagon understand quite well when someone is just trying to cash in on the netroots and who really "gets it."

    They understand it because, for a few of them, they helped invent it.  If you think you are going to pull a fast one on them and use them for the supporters, think again. 

    They all have their own reasons for supporting the candidates they do -- it might be issues, it might be the opponent they are running against, it might be that they are just a great all-around candidate, and it might be something else.

    Reach out to them.  With the netroots ATM card, their word is just as good as when MoveOn sends out a fundraising email, or DFA does the same. 

    The opinion leader concept and two-step flow of communication theory holds true just as well on-line as it does off.

    Fourth Number: Your positions on the issues/your opponent

    I'll combine these two into one because I believe they are both important, and I talked earlier about the Pin Number only having four digits.

    If you are a progressive candidate, you are at an advantage on-line.  These are communities filled with activists who often believe in positions that candidates might find tough to back.

    Let me give two examples:  First, you have someone like Jeff Seemann whose liberal (I'm not ashamed of the word) stances on the issues made it alot easier for us to gather a following within the netroots.  When people would ask Jeff questions on places like Kos or via email, we had no problem giving them the answer they wanted to hear, while being honest with them at the same time.  This helped.

    The other example is Brad Carson.  Brad had a decidedly centrist stance on most of the issues; even going as far as to align himself with President Bush multiple times on a much watched and discussed debate with his opponent on Meet The Press.  People were pissed.  Some flat out stopped giving to Carson when they watched the debate, saying he was more Conservative than his Republican opponent.

    But Brad Carson was running against a nutcase; Tom Coburn, the doctor who likes to sterilize patients without their consent and then bill Medicaid.  Which provides a great segue into my final point -- the opponent...

    Yes, it helps if you have a dirt-bag for an opponent.'

    I am not sure how many people donated to the Kerry campaign on-line because of the campaign that was run vs. his opponent.  Anybody but Bush, right?  If it was Final Jeopardy, I would be willing to wager all of my cash that Kerry's fundraising success was in large part due to disgust for the president, and the fact that he was running for the highest office in the land.

    But this carries over down the ladder as well.

    Take Tom DeLay's opponent, Richard Morisson.  Or Katherine Harris's opponent, Jan Schneider.  Both of them did relatively well raising money on-line, in large part because of the dislike of their opponents by the progressive community at-large.

    So, good news for whoever gets out of the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania.  If you are running against Rick Santorum, there are plenty of people out there that want to help -- and they are ready to help yesterday.

    Take it for what its worth.  Just wanted to spit some of my thoughts out on "paper" after spending some time thinking about the Kos vs. Exley debate. 

    Maybe this information will help candidates in 2005/2006 recognize that support from the netroots is like riding a bike downhill -- if you learn how to do it, can keep your balance, it is the gift that keeps on giving.

    Bottom line:  It isn't fundraising requests that breed successful netroots fundraising.  I would even venture to say that the fundraising application isn't the most important of the potential uses of the Internet. 

    Unfortunately, right now it's the language that most everybody outside of the netroots speaks in.

    Posted at 12:48 AM in Netroots | Comments (8) | Technorati

    Wednesday, December 22, 2004

    Post-modern Politics

    Posted by Bob Brigham

    There has been a very heated debate between Kos and Zack Exley (spilling over to BOP) concerning the Kerry campaign's use of the netroots. As KE04's Director of Online Communications, Exley is understandably defensive when confronted about the campaign's online opportunity losses. But I think blaming Exley for Kerry's online campaign is like blaming Lyndee England for Abu Ghraib.

    The Kerry campaign's lack of netroots understanding was a symptom of KE04's larger disease of failing to run a post-modern political campaign. As I see it, the Kerry campaign made two fundamental mistakes, both of which require that the buck stop with John Kerry.

    The first mistake was that Kerry signed up for a 21st century election and hired 20th century management. Bob Shrum and Mary Beth Cahill were both critically unqualified to succeed in a post-modern political world they didn't understand.

    The second mistake was that Kerry listened to their outdated advice and refused to provide the leadership America was waiting for him to offer.

    For some unknown reason, some of the people who built the Bridge to the 21st Century never crossed the span. Exley brings up one good point that comes close to grasping what really went wrong:

    It is a valid criticism of the Kerry campaign that it missed an opportunity to really connect with a whole new world of political activists and build an incredible movement. I agree with that criticism -- and I made it every day internally when I was at the campaign, as many irritated Kerry communications and finance people would confirm.

    Though Mary Beth Cahill did work very closely with us to produce those emails, it was not the same as when Joe Trippi used the campaign emails (early in the Dean campaign) to really speak from the heart to supporters. We were one tier down from the actual heartbeat of the campaign at Kerry. It was a real problem.[emphasis mine]

    Online campaigning isn't an option like air conditioning or leather seats that can just be added to an otherwise solid vehicle. While a strong online campaign may be indicative of a post-modern campaign, you don't have a 21st century campaign because you have a website. You can't just add features to an outdated campaign, to be successful you need to build your entire campaign by understanding the realities of the world in which we live. This is something that KE04 failed to understand. The people who understood how to interact online shouldn't have been second-tier staffers, but rather the people who didn't understand how to interact online shouldn't have be in charge. It was like hiring a once-was Army General to fight a naval battle. If you don't know how to sail then what the fuck good are your scars?

    Let's look at some of the examples of how the Kerry campaign malpractrice began at the top.

    KE04 never provided that one critical phrase necessary to break through the clutter of our ad-overloaded lives. Their final attempt, "A stronger, safer America" was almost a parody of how political consulting at the end of the 20th century will be remembered for combining multiple "tested" words into a phrase that had never been uttered by a human. A dozen years earlier, Clinton's "It's the economy, stupid" was gold when it came to breaking through, because it was unique, it didn't sound contrived, and it was very memorable. In fact, a Democrat pioneered the concept of breaking through when FDR chose to speak in the informal for his fireside chats. With all that is going on in people's lives, if you can't break through then how do you expect to connect?

    Not only did Kerry fail to break through, but he failed to understand that others could break through. The dinosaurs at HQ saw the Swift Boat ads with their $40,000 bank account and assumed that they were irrelevant. Of course, they learned the hard way that their outdated understanding of political power failed to predict the catapult potential of a bold action. Just like Condi Rice looked to a nation's tank brigades to judge their threat while failing to plan for 20 guys with box cutters, the KE04 campaign miscalculated that the Swift Boaters lack of money would prevent traction with the voters.

    Speaking of money, let's talk about Kerry campaign's lust for money. Yes, we've all lost a race because there wasn't enough money for the last mail piece. But it was because of failure to meet prima facia burdens of name recognition in down-ticket races. The Kerry campaign's lust can't be rationalized on these grounds. Campaign's need money to persuade, but the Kerry campaign failed to appreciate political basics enough to focus on winning votes. For them, getting money buys ads that might get votes. This giant chip on their shoulders from the 20th century campaigns they lost was revealed through their entire "try not to lose" strategy -- which proved woefully ineffective in a world waiting on a hero. What they failed to grasp was that their base had more potential as supporters than as repeat donors.

    Not only did they waste potential and money on TV, but failing to understand post-modern politics hurt them on the news. The Kerry campaign suffered a disaster when they went down for a week after Reagan died. KE04 hid while every GOP hack in the world related their Gipper stories back to Bush being the heir to the legend. Anyone who ever suggests a campaign should be suspended should be immediately fired for not understanding that post-modern politics occurs all day, every dayĶwith NO exceptions. Not learning from the Gipper-porn week, the Kerry campaign media surrogates were outnumbered at least 2:1 during the our own convention. Doing their best not to notice a trend, the Kerry campaign suffered the same fate during the RNC. With a genius only Shrum could create, this continued during the debates as the GOP fact-checked at a 5:1 ratio while the Kerry media team held back the debate bounce the candidate earned. KE04 assumed that the press would report "the facts" without giving them anything bold enough to earn a spot on the news.

    The yester-year consultants even prevented Kerry from making up for their piss-poor understanding of modern campaigns. This occurred every time they held him back. Kerry followed his consultants instead of leading the people. The "try not to lose" strategy focused on not turning people away. Unfortunately for Kerry, in a post-modern world everyone knows the score and those left wondering follow the boldest leader. Worse yet, by convincing Kerry to vote for the a doomed war, they not only undermined his credibility, but additionally neutralized what would have been the winning issue.

    For all of this, the buck should stop at Kerry.

    But back to the netroots. If the Kerry campaign would have had leadership that understood post-modern campaigns they could have used technology far more effectively. They could have done all of the things Ken Mehlman did as he outperformed Democrats online and in regards to GOTV. But they could have gone even further, they could have built a movement.

    I think it is important to have the discussion on how we could have done better online, but let's remember that the internet is only one part of running 21st century campaigns. Hiring 20th century consultants is like hiring the fastest pony express rider as a train engineer. Considering Kerry hired Bob Shrum, some might take the analogy one step further by saying Kerry hired the slowest pony express rider.

    The Democratic Party is in serious need of reform and arguing over how we use the netroots won't get us there if we continue to rely on strategists who deploy antiquated campaigns. Yes, Exley could have done a lot more by empowering Kerry supporters. The fact that Exley was too new of a Kos user to even be able to post a dairy proves he did a shitty job. But forget him, I think Kos has the most important view on netroots:

    Thing is, we aren't going to put out for campaigns without getting something in return.

    This year, the netroots put out because of a very deep hatred of Bush. I think it is accurate to say that Democrats did well online in spite of McAliffe and Shrum and Exley. Likewise, Democrats won many votes in spite of Kerry. When you consider that the only age demographic we won -- the under 30 crowd -- was almost entirely due to the conduct of our opponents you'll see that Democrats are in dire straights.

    We can't afford to continue putting individuals unqualified for post-modern campaigning in charge of the future of the Democratic Party.

    Posted at 02:05 AM in Netroots | Comments (10) | Technorati

    Friday, December 17, 2004

    Torres on State Party Blogging

    Posted by Bob Brigham

    Earlier this week, I used the California Democratic Party website to contact Chair Art Torres. For those who don't recall, I suggested Torres ask Bob Mulholland to share his experiences blogging with his colleagues at other State Parties.

    Today I received an email from Chair Torres.

    Before reading the email, I want to relate a little background on Bob Mulholland, who blogs -- among many other things -- for the California Democratic Party. Jerome Armstrong of MyDD posted the following in the comments:

    Mulholland is a great guy, back in Feb of 2003, he let Markos and I in to blog the CA Dem convention, introducing him to blogging.

    DavidNYC followed up with this important comment:

    Oh man, that was a seminal moment in blog (and Dean) history. I remember being incredibly excited that you guys had been given press credentials, and that you were actually there reporting on the event. I thought to myself, "Finally - a version of events I know I'll be able to trust!"

    While there was considerable press about blogging at this year's conventions, the legitimization of blogging started almost a year and a half earlier. What an amazing convention for bloggers join the Party.

    CNN reminds us that this was the convention where John Edwards was cut off after saying, "Saddam Hussein is a serious threat. And I believe he must be disarmed, including the use of military force, if necessary. We cannot...(BOOING)" This was the convention where Howard Dean dared to ask, "What I want to know is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting the president's unilateral intervention in Iraq. (CHEERING)"

    Bob Mulholland will always be remember for his vision in seeing the potential blogging offered. So I'm guessing it was not out of the ordinary for Art Torres to receive my email praising Bob's Blog and asking for his help in sharing his knowledge. Here is the email I (quite promptly) received from Chair Torres:

    Dear Mr. Brigham:

           Thank you for your email and the kind words about Bob Mulholland and his blog.  As Chair of the California Democratic Party, I do share my experiences with other state Chairs about what works and what does not for our communications with California Democrats.  Last weekend, I was in Orlando, Florida with Democratic state chairs from both red and blue states and shared the grassroots technique that we used so successfully in this last election.  One of the ingredients for our success was Bob's Blog.

           Hopefully, other states will follow suit with blogs of their own and I am happy to continue to share our experiences with other state Democratic Parties.  We continue to strive to make our Web site,, even better as well.  Thank you for your suggestion.

    Senator Art Torres (Ret.)
    Chairman, California Democratic Party

    Chair Torres brings up a great point, that Bob's Blog was part of the success of the California Democratic Party. With three-fourths of State Parties not using blogs, I don't think I can overstate the importance of one of the most successful State Parties in America appreciating the power of blogging.

    We don't need to wait for the next ADSC meeting to talk about best practices. We can do better.

    Posted at 11:22 PM in Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

    State Party Blog Project: In It Together

    Posted by Tim Tagaris

    Thanks to those of you who have made their way over from DailyKos for the first time.  For the regulars, let me explain...

    One way or another, the vast majority of you are aware that we are trying to bring all 50 states on-line with a blog on their webpage.  In the extended entry portion of this thread, you will find a list of states lacking a blog, a link to their webpage, and a copy of the email I initially sent to each of the state parties.

    If you are interested in "adopting a state," please note which state you would like to take the lead with in the comments along with your email address.  I will update this blog daily on the topic; if you have made any progress, please indicate that and I will update the main page of the blog accordingly.

    Information in the extended entry.  For future reference or questions, my email address is

    The States:

    AL (ttagaris - - Will have a blog next week
    AZ Just put a blog two days ago.
    DE (ttagaris - - Currently talking with them
    FL (ttagaris - - Have had a few conversations with them
    IA (Hans -                                 ) - Need an email address
    KY (ttagaris - - Turning blog option "on" shortly.
    LA (ara - Just moved to Louisiana
    ME (Alna Dem -
    MA  (Ken Michaud - - will email this weekend
    MI (Rabid Nation -
    MT (Bob Brigham - "Montana..I'll land"
    NH (Chuck  - -- Is in for New Hampshire
    NC (ttagaris - Revamping webpage to include a blog
    ND (ttagaris - - Talking with State Chairman Monday
    PA (Chris Bowers from MyDD) is going to handle it "in a way so large its hard to imagine"
    TN (ttagaris- - Talked to them today.  Putting one up
    TX (sharon - - Has decided to mess with Texas
    VT (Lunch Lady -
    WV (Carnaki --
    WI (Mike - - Has already taken step 1

    Additionally, ID (Bernine - Value of using a blog

    NM, UT, and WY have blogs that they have decided not to use and

     MD's blog has only 2 posts.  ( &

    Tech Help: (

    The Email I Sent:


    My name is Tim Tagaris.  During the past election
    cycle I was the communications director for Jeff
    Seemann's (Dem.) congressional campaign in the 16th
    district of Ohio.  During the race we received
    national acclaim for our use of the Internet as a tool
    to communicate with the grassroots and fundraise.

    We found that feedback, inclusion, respect and
    communication were the most effective way to register
    useful feedback and communicate in real time with the
    people in the best position to support the goals of
    the Democratic Party, the people.  The most useful and
    efficient mechanism to accomplish those goals during
    the campaign was a blog. 

    I noticed that your state party webpage does not have
    a blog.  I would love to take a few minutes (that's
    all it takes!) and help you get one up on your site to
    better communicate with people in your great state,
    and others across the country.

    Unfortunately, three-fourths of state party websites
    don't have a blog either.  I am sending this message
    to each one of those states.  Hopefully by the end of
    January we can ensure that EVERY state party website
    has the tools necessary to communicate and reach out
    to their constituents.

    Please let me know if you already have plans to set up
    a blog on your webpage, if there is anything I can do
    to help, or if you are not interested..

    Posted at 10:24 PM in Activism, Netroots, Netroots | Comments (12) | Technorati

    State Party Blog Project: In It Together

    Posted by Tim Tagaris

    Thanks to those of you who have made their way over from DailyKos for the first time.  For the regulars, let me explain...

    One way or another, the vast majority of you are aware that we are trying to bring all 50 states on-line with a blog on their webpage.  In the extended entry portion of this thread, you will find a list of states lacking a blog, a link to their webpage, and a copy of the email I initially sent to each of the state parties.

    If you are interested in "adopting a state," please note which state you would like to take the lead with in the comments along with your email address.  I will update this blog daily on the topic; if you have made any progress, please indicate that and I will update the main page of the blog accordingly.

    Information in the extended entry.  For future reference or questions, my email address is

    The States:

    AL (ttagaris - - Will have a blog next week
    AZ Just put a blog two days ago.
    DE (ttagaris - - Currently talking with them
    FL (ttagaris - - Have had a few conversations with them
    IA (Hans -                                 ) - Need an email address
    KY (ttagaris - - Turning blog option "on" shortly.
    LA (ara - Just moved to Louisiana
    ME (Alna Dem -
    MA  (Ken Michaud - - will email this weekend
    MI (Rabid Nation -
    MT (Bob Brigham - "Montana..I'll land"
    NH (Chuck  - -- Is in for New Hampshire
    NC (ttagaris - Revamping webpage to include a blog
    ND (ttagaris - - Talking with State Chairman Monday
    PA (Chris Bowers from MyDD) is going to handle it "in a way so large its hard to imagine"
    TN (ttagaris- - Talked to them today.  Putting one up
    TX (sharon - - Has decided to mess with Texas
    VT (Lunch Lady -
    WV (Carnaki --
    WI (Mike - - Has already taken step 1

    Additionally, ID (Bernine - Value of using a blog

    NM, UT, and WY have blogs that they have decided not to use and

     MD's blog has only 2 posts.  ( &

    Tech Help: (

    The Email I Sent:


    My name is Tim Tagaris.  During the past election
    cycle I was the communications director for Jeff
    Seemann's (Dem.) congressional campaign in the 16th
    district of Ohio.  During the race we received
    national acclaim for our use of the Internet as a tool
    to communicate with the grassroots and fundraise.

    We found that feedback, inclusion, respect and
    communication were the most effective way to register
    useful feedback and communicate in real time with the
    people in the best position to support the goals of
    the Democratic Party, the people.  The most useful and
    efficient mechanism to accomplish those goals during
    the campaign was a blog. 

    I noticed that your state party webpage does not have
    a blog.  I would love to take a few minutes (that's
    all it takes!) and help you get one up on your site to
    better communicate with people in your great state,
    and others across the country.

    Unfortunately, three-fourths of state party websites
    don't have a blog either.  I am sending this message
    to each one of those states.  Hopefully by the end of
    January we can ensure that EVERY state party website
    has the tools necessary to communicate and reach out
    to their constituents.

    Please let me know if you already have plans to set up
    a blog on your webpage, if there is anything I can do
    to help, or if you are not interested..

    Posted at 10:24 PM in Activism, Netroots, Netroots | Comments (12) | Technorati

    Thursday, December 16, 2004

    State Party Blog Project: Day 1

    Posted by Tim Tagaris

    Twenty-four hours ago I sent out an email to the 34 states absent a blog from their party web page.  The note discussed the  implications netroots outreach have in organizing, informing, involving, and fundraising (the language they speak).  I even offered to help those without blogs get off the ground; setting them up and tips for outreach based on the successes from the last election cycle.

    By the time I woke up, Wednesday morning, I already had several replies.

    Was your state one of them, and what were the specific replies?  Find out in the extended entry....


    We are interested.

    Short and sweet, but that's alright.  They will get a phone call and will hopefully be on-line within the next few days.

    North Carolina

    Thank you for your message.  You're right about the blog and we are currently in the process of revamping our website to include one.


    Thank you for contacting us about having a blog on our Web site.  We switched to a new Web site recently and it does have built-in blog capabilities.  We do plan to turn that feature "on" soon.

    Again, thank you for bringing the importance of using blogs to our attention--more precisely, thanks for reminding us that we need to further explore how we will use ours.

    That was my favorite response, until...


    i have been wanting to do this.  not sure exactly how to go about it. any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Finally, Florida (an excerpt -- was a long email)

    I've gone so far as to walk through the blog creation process at and to download movable type for potentially hosting a blog on our webserver. We also wrote a very simplistic web diary for use by our delegation during the convention. One reason I'm not hosting a blog is maintenance.  [...]

    I love blogs. I read several regularly. We already run a yahoo group that allows some members to carry on discussions. What more will a blog do for us?

    I emailed him back, talking about how much a blog could have done in 2000 for Florida. I also noted the potential for 2006, since they have a Gubernatorial and Senate race up for grabs.

    Even tonight, I got an email from someone in Rhode Island who heard about the project and wants to help locally, to get his state party set up despite a lack of manpower.

    Oh, I forgot one.

    New York

    Thank you for contacting us.  Because of the volume of email we receive daily...

    Yeah, it was a form letter directing me to other links on their page.  But that's OK!  We got responses from "red states," "blue states," and "swing states."  As Jerome and Matt discussed in their coverage of the Orlando meetings, many of the "less competitive" states were very upset about getting scraps from the national party.  If our goal is to turn elections into 50 state contests, that is a legitimate beef. 

    Putting a blog on your web page is only one small step.  However, if taken seriously, the ability to communicate, inform, recruit, and solicit are powerful byproducts of the technology.  By moving themselves one step closer to two-way mass communication with the grassroots, they will be making progress toward putting the power back into their own hands, regardless of who is elected DNC Chair.

    Posted at 03:08 AM in Activism, Netroots, Netroots | Comments (7) | Technorati

    State Party Blog Project: Day 1

    Posted by Tim Tagaris

    Twenty-four hours ago I sent out an email to the 34 states absent a blog from their party web page.  The note discussed the  implications netroots outreach have in organizing, informing, involving, and fundraising (the language they speak).  I even offered to help those without blogs get off the ground; setting them up and tips for outreach based on the successes from the last election cycle.

    By the time I woke up, Wednesday morning, I already had several replies.

    Was your state one of them, and what were the specific replies?  Find out in the extended entry....


    We are interested.

    Short and sweet, but that's alright.  They will get a phone call and will hopefully be on-line within the next few days.

    North Carolina

    Thank you for your message.  You're right about the blog and we are currently in the process of revamping our website to include one.


    Thank you for contacting us about having a blog on our Web site.  We switched to a new Web site recently and it does have built-in blog capabilities.  We do plan to turn that feature "on" soon.

    Again, thank you for bringing the importance of using blogs to our attention--more precisely, thanks for reminding us that we need to further explore how we will use ours.

    That was my favorite response, until...


    i have been wanting to do this.  not sure exactly how to go about it. any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Finally, Florida (an excerpt -- was a long email)

    I've gone so far as to walk through the blog creation process at and to download movable type for potentially hosting a blog on our webserver. We also wrote a very simplistic web diary for use by our delegation during the convention. One reason I'm not hosting a blog is maintenance.  [...]

    I love blogs. I read several regularly. We already run a yahoo group that allows some members to carry on discussions. What more will a blog do for us?

    I emailed him back, talking about how much a blog could have done in 2000 for Florida. I also noted the potential for 2006, since they have a Gubernatorial and Senate race up for grabs.

    Even tonight, I got an email from someone in Rhode Island who heard about the project and wants to help locally, to get his state party set up despite a lack of manpower.

    Oh, I forgot one.

    New York

    Thank you for contacting us.  Because of the volume of email we receive daily...

    Yeah, it was a form letter directing me to other links on their page.  But that's OK!  We got responses from "red states," "blue states," and "swing states."  As Jerome and Matt discussed in their coverage of the Orlando meetings, many of the "less competitive" states were very upset about getting scraps from the national party.  If our goal is to turn elections into 50 state contests, that is a legitimate beef. 

    Putting a blog on your web page is only one small step.  However, if taken seriously, the ability to communicate, inform, recruit, and solicit are powerful byproducts of the technology.  By moving themselves one step closer to two-way mass communication with the grassroots, they will be making progress toward putting the power back into their own hands, regardless of who is elected DNC Chair.

    Posted at 03:08 AM in Activism, Netroots, Netroots | Comments (7) | Technorati

    Tuesday, December 14, 2004

    In fairness...

    Posted by Tim Tagaris

    The email I sent yesterday to the Michigan Democratic Party was just kicked back to me as a failed delivery.  I also just received a voice mail from the Communications Director.

    I resent the email with an offer to help the state party improve their abilities to communicate with grass/netroots.  In conjunction with our analysis of 2005/2006 swing races (in swing states especially), maybe it would be a good "project" for us to help swing states upgrade our ability to communicate in real time?

    Email receipt and offer below the fold...

    Date: 14 Dec 2004 18:10:27 -0000
    Subject: failure notice

    Hi. This is the qmail-send program at
    I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following
    This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

    Sorry, I wasn't able to establish an SMTP connection. (#4.4.1)
    I'm not going to try again; this message has been in the queue too

    And the start of my re-sent email to Mr. Moon:

    I just got this email kicked back to me 5 minutes ago.
    This is a resend.

    One more thing.  This is not meant to be adversarial.
    There are MANY of us out there that would love to help
    the state parties upgrade their communication
    mechanisms with the grass/netroots. 

    Anything we can do to help, we will.

    Posted at 01:46 PM in Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

    Netroots Archive: