Open Seats Archive:

Friday, May 26, 2006

ID-01: Wingnut of the Year

Posted by James L.

It seems like every year, deep in the bowels of the reddest of red America, the Republicans manage to field a new candidate who pushes the limits of batshittery to unseen levels. Last year was Ohio's truly odious Jean Schmidt, and this year's could very well be state Rep. Bill Sali of Idaho, running for the open seat of vacating Rep. "Butch" Otter, who has his eyes set on the Governor's mansion. On Tuesday evening, Sali (with the help of a huge out-of-state fundraising push by the Club for Growth) came out on top in a six-way primary battle with 26% of the Republican vote. With a district that delivered 68% of its vote to George W. Bush in 2004, it'd normally be safe to say that just about any Republican could win this district in a cakewalk. Just about.

DailyKos diarist MrLiberal makes the case that the Republicans may have nominated someone, well, just a bit too nutty, even for deep red Idaho. It seems that the more one gets to know Bill Sali, the more one realizes how much of a repulsive knuckledragger he is. But don't take my word for it--just ask Bruce Newcomb, the Republican Speaker of the Idaho House:

Sali’s critics pointed to an incident earlier this month in which he insisted on discussing studies linking abortion to breast cancer during a debate on a bill to require doctors to inform women about abortion-related risks. The Idaho House Democratic leader, a survivor of breast cancer, walked out in tears, and her Democratic colleagues followed her.

The Idaho GOP leaders postponed the day’s business. 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.” [emphasis added]

The flap disgusted even his Republican colleagues, and Newcomb subsequently stripped Sali of his committee assignments. But it's clear that Sali is the punching bag of Idaho's Republican circles, according to the Idaho Statesman:

Enmity toward Sali has bubbled in recent weeks. At an Otter for Governor fund-raiser last month, Newcomb was roasted as the guest of honor. Former state Rep. Bev Montgomery of Caldwell asked if Sali was in the room. He wasn't, but her question won a laugh.

She told a story of getting so frustrated with Sali she was ready to kill him. "Don't worry," she said Newcomb told her, "it'll be justifiable homicide." Bigger laugh.

It's one thing for an ex-lawmaker to poke fun. But Otter also made Sali a punch line of a joke involving former speaker and now-U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho.

"Bruce has been a great speaker of the House," Otter said. "And as he told me, he learned everything that he knows from Mike Simpson. And that is why every time he has a bad day, he goes and beats the hell out of Bill Sali."

Another big laugh.

And who can blame them when Sali's backstory is filled with nuggets like this one (from the Statesman article):

In 2002, Sali angered colleagues when he said in a deposition that he was still "better than most" legislators despite his claim that he suffered from "brain fade" and impaired memory as a result of a car wreck.

"How shall I say this?" Sali said. "Much of the time in the Legislature, critical-thinking skills are not necessarily needed."

According to the Statesman, Idaho's other Representative, Mike Simpson, despises Sali, too--so much so that he even threatened to throw Sali out of his office window. (To which his colleagues replied: "The third floor wasn't high enough. You should have taken him up to the fourth floor.")

The Democratic nominee to face Sali for the open seat this November is Larry Grant, a presentable party player with a background in business and law. Grant is emphasizing ethics and the federal sale of National Forest lands in his campaign and has wrapped up the endorsements of what little is left of Idaho's Democratic establishment. Local Democrats are actually excited over a race that could produce some fireworks with Sali's involvement, even if it would be a tough hill to climb. For more local perspective from Idaho, check out the excellent Red State Rebels, whom I expect will give the blogosphere a front-seat view to the ID-01 race this season.

Posted at 03:36 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Idaho, Open Seats | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Thursday, September 01, 2005

CA-48: Democrats Unite for Steve Young

Posted by Bob Brigham

Big news, from a press release:

California Democratic Party Overwhelmingly Endorses Steve Young for Congress from California’s 48th District

IRVINE, Ca. – On Wednesday, August 31, 2005, Region 18 of the California Democratic Party voted overwhelmingly to support Steve Young for Congress from the 48th District. The Party voted to enthusiastically endorse Young over a field of three other candidates, including John Graham, who had earned the endorsement in the previous two races for the 48th district Congressional seat.

“Tonight marks the launch of a new Democratic unity and the establishment of a new Democratic family,” said Young.

“Everyone worked together in good spirit for democracy,” said Jim Moreno, Regional Director of Region 18 of the CDP. “The proceedings went very well.”

The 54-member Region 18 caucus consists of delegates to the California Democratic Party who live in the 48th Congressional district, which falls within region 18 of the state Party. The caucus convenes each time there are candidates on the Democratic ticket vying for a local, state or federal office from region 18.

The Democrats are united, the GOP is splintered (see here to here).

Go visit Steve Young's website (warning, sound).

Posted at 09:33 AM in 2005 Elections, California, California, Democrats, Open Seats, Special Elections | Technorati

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

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

Monday, August 29, 2005

CA-48: Special Election Turns Negative

Posted by Bob Brigham

CA-48 has Club For Growth's new negative ad:




These wounds won't heal by the runoff election. A fractured GOP, a third party nut, and Democratic West Coast Offense could all come together to give Democrats a shot in Orange County.

Posted at 12:12 PM in 2005 Elections, California, Open Seats, Republicans, Special Elections | Technorati

Thursday, August 25, 2005

CA-48: Ballot Order

Posted by Bob Brigham

Here is the ballot order for the CA-48 Special Election:

1) John Kelly, Republican
2) John Campbell, Republican
3) David Crouch, Republican
4) Bruce Cohen, Libertarian
5) Steve Young, Democrat
6) Don Udall, Republican
7) Bea Foster, Democrat
8) Scott Maccabe, Republican
9) Guy Mailly, Republican
10) Marsha Morris, Republican
11) Marilyn Brewer, Republican
12) Marshall Sanders, Republican
13) Edward Suppe, Republican
14) Tom Pallow, Democrat
15) Bea Tiritilli, Green
16) John Graham, Democrat
17) Jim Gilchrist, American Idependent

It was priceless having OH-02 during the last special election. Now we have CA-48. It is my view that we need at least one of these for every district.

Posted at 05:42 PM in 2005 Elections, California, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (2) | Technorati

CA-48: Silly DCCC

Posted by Bob Brigham

In the OH-02 Special Election, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was rightly criticized for extreme tardiness. You would think that the DCCC would have learned their lesson as we head into the Special Election in Orange County. You would be wrong:

A spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee did not return a call for comment on the race.

Luckily, Allan Hoffenblum, Republican political analyst and publisher of the California Target Book, returns press calls. He nails the race dynamics:

Although the congressional district is considered conservative, a Democrat or moderate Republican could win because of the state's unusual "open" primary rules in special elections.

All candidates are on the same ballot, regardless of party, and a candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the vote to win -- an unlikely event with nearly 20 candidates in the race.

If nobody wins, the top vote-getters of each party would face off in a Dec. 6 general election, and as the lone independent, Mr. Gilchrist is assured a spot.

A split among conservatives voting for Mr. Gilchrist and state Sen. John Campbell, reportedly backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, could swing the vote to a Democratic candidate, Mr. Hoffenblum said. (emphasis mine)


Hat tip to CA-48.

Posted at 02:00 PM in 2005 Elections, California, Democrats, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, August 15, 2005

CA-48: Election Date Set

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Our pal Stuart at the Political Dog Fight has the scoop on the special election dates set earlier today:

Election Dates proclaimed by Governor Muscles this morning. The General Special Election for the CA-48th will be December 6th, 2005. The Secretary of State's office determined the Primary Election shall be October 4, 2005. This has been confirmed by conversation with the Secretary of State's office and the Election Analysts.
Hopefully we can stave off a general election and win this one in the primary. With several Republicans intent on running and wingnut extraordinaire James Gilchrist of Minuteman fame weighing a run, it might be worth looking at one Democratic candidate and turning out the base like never before. But if we have more than one candidate, we might as well get eight in there to take our chances in a general election in December (not a bad time to be visiting The OC).

Posted at 06:15 PM in 2005 Elections, California, Open Seats | Comments (4) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

DCCC: Leave No District Behind

Posted by Tim Tagaris

In light of the recent "bubble-up" between the DCCC vs. the netroots and supporters of the 50 state strategy, I thought this piece leading off today's House Race Hotline was interesting (Nat'l Journal Subs Only):

Too bad there's no strong Dem candidate in the CA 48 special -- then we could really see if those charges of being a "rubberstamp" for Bush that were lobbed at GOPer Jean Schmidt in OH 02, will resonate on a nat'l level. Of course, after their heavy involvement in the OH 02 race, it's a worthy question to ask -- who could recruit a candidate first in CA 48, the DCCC or the liberal blogosphere?
Ready. Set. Go!

Posted at 03:04 PM in 2005 Elections, California, Democrats, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (4) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Campaign Manager Joe Braun

Posted by Bob Brigham

Annatopia says:

oh man, apparently someone is too busy covering their ass to run a campaign today...

If you want to know why she said that, it is because she has sources...

UPDATE: (Bob) Atrios says:

Schmidt Campaign Imploding?

Word is that Spankin' Joe Braun is too obsessed with what's being said about him on the internets to actually actively manage the campaign...

Wow. Must suck to be Joe Braun. Remember Friday's Hotline? The Washington Republicans didn't write the big checks because Joe Braun was doing a good job.

Posted at 01:21 PM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Republicans, Scandals, Special Elections | Comments (1) | 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: 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: Jean Schmidt Cracks in Debate

Posted by Bob Brigham

Jean Schmidt After watching this video, I can think of few words that describe Jean Schmidt better than batshit crazy.

She lost her last her last election by 22 votes and it appears that the Fear has taken ahold of her. She's cracking, maybe she's already cracked. Who knows what type of crazed hallucinations have overcome her, but the Fear has taken it's toll.

It ended up in the local press and now the video is online.

Some people are good under fire, some crack up.

Posted at 02:54 PM in Ohio, Open Seats, Republicans, Scandals, Special Elections | Comments (2) | Technorati

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

OH-02: Schmidt Denies Being Rubber Stamp

Posted by Bob Brigham

Big Paul Hackett win in the debate . My favorite Jean Schmidt line, "We have to keep our eye on the ball or the ball will come back to harm us." That's right, in Jean Schmidt's world we keep our eye on the ball because we are scared of the ball. In Paul Hackett's world we keep our eye on the ball so we can smack it out of the park.

Schmidt's running scared, she's bungled an easy win, and her strategy of buying the race through overwhelming resources was stopped by the massive netroots support for Paul Hackett. Hackett has the momentum and every Democratic activist in Ohio is heading to the 2nd congressional district to put him over the top in this super-low turnout, August special election.

Tagaris is going to have some video, but here's the Cincinnati Enquirer:

In their last head-to-head debate before Tuesday's 2nd Congressional District election, Democrat Paul Hackett accused his opponent, former Republican state Rep. Jean Schmidt, of being a "rubber stamp" for the "failed policies" of the Taft administration, and said she can be expected to do the same for President Bush in Washington.

Schmidt insisted she will be an independent voice.

"I am not a rubber stamp," said Schmidt, who served in the Ohio House from 2001 to 2005.

Next Tuesday Paul Hackett finds out whether he is going to Congress or back to Iraq -- he's quite literally campaigning like his life depends upon it, and his message is getting through:

Nonetheless, Hackett mentioned Taft's name in the same sentence with Schmidt no fewer than 12 times, and used the term "rubber stamp" seven times.

His populist message is breaking through:

"The question is if you are better off today than you were five years ago," Hackett told the audience of a little over 100 at the school, just west of the Adams County seat of West Union. "Under the administration of Bob Taft and Jean Schmidt, Ohio lost 160,000 manufacturing jobs."

And Hackett's Iraq experience provides great contrast:

"I support the president in his mission to make sure the enemies of freedom stay on their shores and not on ours,"' Schmidt said. "We have to keep our eye on the ball or the ball will come back to harm us."

Schmidt said the Bush polices on Iraq are succeeding, saying, "The seeds of democracy have been planted. Democracy is on the march."

Hackett, who served seven months with a Marine civil affairs unit, said the reality on the ground is not what the Bush administration paints it to be.

"It's not pretty over there, it's not Hollywood, and we are not spreading democracy," Hackett said.

Candidate George W. Bush said in the 2000 presidential campaign that he would not engage America in nation-building, Hackett said.

"Guess what, folks?" he said. "We're nation-building."

Remember: "We have to keep our eye on the ball or the ball will come back to harm us."

Posted at 09:42 AM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (5) | 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

Sunday, July 24, 2005

OH-02: Saturday with Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham

hackett.jpg Major Paul Hackett wants be the first veteran from the current Iraq War to also serve in Congress. This change of duty came a step closer yesterday when the Hackett camp had a successful day of organizing, both Tagaris and Crazy Catwoman were there, she says, "I will definitely do it again next Saturday." When she does, she'll be joined by Toledo Councilman Frank Szollosi among many others.

But today, I want to talk about the odds. From Chris Baker's OH-02:

In the closing days of the campaign you are going to hear more and more from the cynics and Beltway loser mentality liberals about how Hackett can’t win this race because it is such a solid Republican district. None of them have watched Republicans talk to Paul Hackett. None of it means anything.

One of the most interesting aspects of the game poker is what they call pot odds.

The typical Beltway Democrat will look at a race and if there isn’t a high chance of winning say forget it and save their money.[...]

What are the pot odds for the Democrats in the Ohio 2nd? The return for the Republicans is minimal. They aren’t going to win much of anything if Jean Schmidt wins. But for the Democrats the pot odds are massive. This is Bush’s home turf. This is the reddest district in the state that handed Bush the presidency. If the Democrats win here they will have punched open a breach in the heart of the Republican defenses. Suddenly all of the momentum will have shifted. Suddenly everyone will be listening to what Paul Hackett has to say and using his tactics to win other races.

Any poker player could tell you that the pot odds in this race are so good that you would be a fool not to bet on it. So in the coming days as you read more and more about what a hopeless race this is, do as Paul Hackett does and quote to them Thomas Paine: "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."

Tim Tagaris is on the ground, he'll be posting here and on Grow Ohio.

Posted at 12:06 PM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Technorati

Friday, July 22, 2005

OH-02: Max Cleland: Send a Marine to Congress

Posted by Bob Brigham

UPDATE: (Bob) Via Chris Bowers, Paul Hackett is doing Al Franken today. Tune in.

Democrats are fired up for Paul Hackett. The midnight scoop by Tim Tagaris (Shock! Hackett with CoH Lead over Schmidt, rec'd on Daily Kos) has compounded the momentum.

The coingate scandal is reminding everyone about Jean Schmidt and her deeping scandals.

While Schmidt sinks, Democrats are coming together to send a marine to Congress. Mayor Paul Hackett received a major show of support from Max Cleland. Over at MyDD, Ann Driscoll covers a Hackett Veterans' Event with Max Cleland.

Also, the DNC sent a few million netroots Democrats an email from Cleland. Full copy in the extended entry.

Marine Major and Democrat Paul Hackett could be a first for our country -- the first veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom to be elected to Congress. He fought in the Fallujah campaign, took part in reconstruction efforts and worked side-by-side with Iraqi military and civil personnel.

Paul Hackett knows what's really happening in Iraq. And, he's ready to take his experience to Washington. He's running in the August 2nd special election in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District stretching from just outside Cincinnati eastward along the Ohio River.

Paul's campaign has a tough fight against some of the most entrenched special interests in Ohio. His opponent, Jean Schmidt, is a favorite of the corrupt and ever-present Republican establishment -- one that never misses an opportunity to smear and cheat.

Take a look at a day in the life of the two candidates. On the night of October 25, 2004, Jean Schmidt had dinner at an expensive restaurant and partied at a Bengals game in Cincinnati. Her trip, sponsored by a global bio-tech lobbyist, yielded yet another ethics scandal for Ohio Republicans.

That same evening, Paul and his men were keeping insurgents' supplies from entering war-torn Falluja. They ate the standard-issue MRE and fought to defend Iraqi civilians and their fellow troops.

At the end of the day, the choice for voters couldn't be clearer. In Jean Schmidt, they have the hand-picked choice of the backslapping insiders who sell the process to the highest-bidding right-wing group or corporate interest.

In Paul Hackett, voters have someone with first-hand experience in uniform and the drive to solve problems and put us on the right track. He proudly served his country in Iraq, and he's ready to serve in Washington.

So, take a moment and read the article about Paul Hackett below. Tell your friends, family and neighbors about what's happening in Ohio's 2nd District because it's a preview of what's to come next year -- real leaders stepping up to serve at a time of abuse of power and corruption in government.

Thank you,

Senator Max Cleland

If you haven't, go donate to Hackett. The current total stands at $137,024.02 from 2,728 online Democrats.

Posted at 11:47 AM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Scandals, Special Elections | 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

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

Thursday, July 14, 2005

OH-02: Blogging the Special Election

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the new National Journal Beltway Blogroll:

Voters in Ohio's 2nd District will choose a replacement for Republican Rob Portman in an Aug. 2 special election, and The Stakeholder, the blog of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is billing it as "a campaign that could cement the blogosphere's reputation as leaders in the Democratic Party."

Portman left the seat to become U.S. trade representative, and with Portman having won 72 percent of the vote in the district last fall and President Bush netting 63 percent, GOP candidate Jean Schmidt seemed to be a sure bet for victory. But that was before the Ohio Republican Party was rocked by a scandal involving state investments in rare coins.

Now the DCCC sees an opportunity to trim the Republican House majority, and it is calling on bloggers to help the cause by supporting Democratic candidate Paul Hackett. "Can we raise $25,000 in two weeks to get Paul Hackett elected?" Stephen Yellin wrote at The Stakeholder. "We did it in 2004 with Ginny Schrader in a week, and this race is no less important. And when I threw the first pebble into Ginny's wave of money, I knew that her race mattered. So does Paul Hackett's."

By way of reminder, Schrader was dubbed "the candidate of the netroots" by Daily Kos, which also created "Blogosphere Day" (July 19, in case you're wondering) to recognize how bloggers rallied around her campaign in Pennsylvania's 8th District.

I forgot about Blogosphere Day -- set your calendars. An appropriate tribute would be to support Paul Hackett.

Posted at 06:31 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (1) | 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

Thursday, June 09, 2005

VT-Sen: Doug Racine - Big Effing Mistake

Posted by Bob Brigham

I'm a mild-mannered person, polite, kind to animals, and generally easy going. I'm a proud Democrat (even proud to be a Proud Democrat), but sometimes a Democrat does something so stupid, so selfish, so counter-productive, so wrong-headed, so...anyway, just read the lede of the article in the Times Argus:

MONTPELIER — Former Lt. Gov. Doug Racine said Wednesday he is considering whether to run for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by Sen. James Jeffords, I-Vt., in 2006.

"For most of us in politics the idea of a Senate seat is intriguing," said Racine, who was a Democratic state senator and candidate for governor. "I can't rule it out."

Well Racine can certainly rule out the notion that he'll be met with anything other than extreme contempt, at least from me. Ask Donnie Fowler, when I play in primaries I play to win. And I don't think I'll be alone on this, I am confident that Racine will face extreme prejudice online and in Vermont if he is selfish enough to turn this into a three-way race. Because everyone knows the score, everyone knows that if Doug Racine runs, he is running to help himself by helping the Republicans:

"In the end I think there is going to be a Democrat in that race," Racine said. "The question is, is it going to be a strong candidate?"

Jeff Weaver, Sanders' chief of staff, said there is no agreement between Sanders and the Democrats. There is an understanding by both sides that three-way races benefit Republican candidates, he said.[...]

[State GOP chairman Jim] Barnett called Racine "a credible candidate" who could draw Democrats "who otherwise might hold their nose and vote for a Republican over Bernie."

I love the wink-wink, nod-nod quote from Barnett as he tries to get Racine in the race. Everyone knows that Racine would be giving the GOP enough of an opening to force a pile of money to be spent to keep the seat from going Republican. In short, Racine's entry would be a tax on progressives, forcing the Democrats to expend critical resources in a far from efficient manner. Political players in Vermont politics get this, including the Democratic leadership:

"A three-way race gives a significant edge to the Republican," said Senate President Pro Tem Peter Welch, D-Windsor. "If the objective is to make sure that seat is not Republican, there is an immense amount of importance in making that a two-way race instead of a three-way race."

I don't know Racine personally, but if I were to meet him today, my attention would immediately turn to his shoes. My guess is the guy wears loafers, because if he were smart enough to tie his shoes he wouldn't even be considering this. As for me, my boots are laced up and ready to go so far up Racine's ass he'll be tasting leather.

UPDATE: Racine was the sitting LG, a Democrat in a blue state, and blew his campaign for Governor. Now he wants to go from loser to spoiler?

Posted at 10:35 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Open Seats, Vermont | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, June 02, 2005

CA-48: Chris Cox Out; Open Seat

Posted by Bob Brigham

California Republican Chris Cox will be leaving behind an Open Seat as he has been tapped for the SEC.

Of course, this seat is Orange County, but it does present Democrats an opportunity for life to imitate art...imitating political life.

This is the seat Sam Seaborn ran for on The West Wing. Viewers will remember that Seaborn took one for the team, serving as a big gun running in an awful district following a strange turn of events.

Seaborn lost, but it is important for us to fight in every district, every cycle -- all of the time. Hollywood is filled with such bigs guns talking about running for Governor or President. Right now, one of these people should can the talk and start working to take back Orange County -- starting with fighting for the California 48th.

Orange County isn't as bad as convention wisdom suggests. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez calls it home and it has also elected Democrats like Richard T. Hanna and Jerry Patterson.

The trend could also be favorable for Democrats. Red Orange County resulted from Oakies and other midwesterners populating the area, but the current migration patterns of immigrants provided Sanchez her victory and could make the district far more competitive in years to come.

Open seats are targets of opportunity that are critical for a minority party. So let's put the Orange County jokes aside, find a good candidate ready to fight relentlessly, and give the immigrant communities a reason to vote for a Democrat.

Posted at 11:31 AM in 2005 Elections, California, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

TX-Sen: Barbara Ann Radnofsky Running for Open Seat

Posted by Bob Brigham

I would have paid attention to the following no matter what, but since Mr. Liberal penned it (and is involved), I'm paying close attention. From MyDD:

As of 4PM EST, news is spreading across the Lone Star State that their senior Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison is running for Governor, and will declare her candidacy on June 6th. She'll be taking on her recent bete-noir and current GOP Governor Rick Perry in what promises to be a bloody GOP primary indeed. Perry has a great deal of support from conservatives in the state, while Hutchison is wildly popular in the state itself and especially with moderate GOPers (what one would use to call "Old Guard" Republicans in the state, back when the GOP was a minority there). Already, Perry has compared Hutchison to Hillary Clinton, and Hutchison has attacked Perry as corrupt and ineffectual. The GOP leaders will have to take sides in this race, and the end result will NOT be pretty for the GOP.

An open senate seat?

In the comments, Byron of Burnt Orange looks at other potential candidates:

Another candidate that I've heard of is Juan Garcia. Garcia is a former officer in the navy who was originally recruited by the local leaders and the state party to run for state representative against Gene Seaman, a Corpus Christi area Republican. Then, several weeks ago, a "Garcia for Senate" website (since taken down) appeared by supporters of Garcia. When contacted by the Corpus Christi Caller Times, Garcia said that he was considering a run.

A lot of Democrats would like to see State Rep. Rick Noriega (D-Houston) run for the seat. Noriega is currently in the army reserves and is serving in Afghanistan. Noriega's wife filled his seat during this past session. Noriega has been in the state house for several sessions now and has a progressive voting record.

As for current and former Dem congressmen, Frost has ruled out a run. Lampson is running against DeLay. I would seriously doubt that Sandlin is interested in a run. Chet Edwards would be a great candidate, but we'd lose his seat in congress. Charlie Stenholm would be a good candidate statewide at some point, but I don't know if he is interested.

But back to Radnofsky. After reading through her website and some of the interviews from Texas bloggers, I'm most impressed with what she has accomplished so far in her life.

I've been passively watching to see whether Kay Bailey Hutchison would run for re-election, but figured I'd find out more about our candidates after her decision. Now it looks like that time has come and I'm excited to closely monitor this race.

Now go to Mr. Liberal's diary and follow the links. Especially Radnofsky's website, it has a lot of information.

Posted at 08:08 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Open Seats, Texas | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Oh-02: Open Seat Special Election

Posted by Bob Brigham

Ohio Second Congressional District special elecion breakdown, from a Cincinnati Enquirer acticle:

Special Primary Election: June 14
Special General Election: August 2

12 Republicans
7 Democrats
(Independents have until June 13 to submit 1,921 valid signatures)

Posted at 10:00 AM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, May 09, 2005

MA-Gov: Open Seat of Governor in 2006

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via Kos, when Novak gets the leak, I pay attention:

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in a recent secret Washington meeting with national political operatives signaled he probably will forgo seeking re-election in 2006 in order to pursue the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

Open seat in 2006?

Romney did not flatly reveal his future intentions, according to sources who were present. But he did say a presidential race would be difficult if he were concentrating on a 2006 campaign for governor and were still in that office in 2007-08.

The early evening meeting was held at the Caucus Room, a Washington restaurant popular with politicians and lobbyists. It was put together by Ron Kaufman, longtime Massachusetts member of the Republican National Committee and an intimate adviser of the senior George Bush.

Kos says:

This would be ideal. An open governor's race that Democrats should finally be able to take, and a primary bid doomed from the outset. As if Republicans will nominate a governor of Massachusetts.

Indeed. Demcratic candidates for Governor include Ex-U.S. Attorney Deval Patrick, Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly, and 2002 candidate/ex-state Senator Warren Tolman.

Posted at 12:41 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Massachusetts, Open Seats | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, May 02, 2005

VT-Sen: Bernie Sanders Takes Control

Posted by Bob Brigham

While Congressman Bernie Sanders has yet to announce he's running for Vermont's open seat in the U.S. Senate, the ad to your left suggests that the campaign isn't wasting any time taking the early lead. Indeed, from The Vermont Guadian:

Sanders issued a statement less than an hour after Gov. Jim Douglas announced April 30 that he would not seek the Republican nomination to replace Jeffords. As the top GOP official in Vermont, Douglas had been courted by the White House, and key Senate Republicans, to run.

In his statement, Sanders said any GOP candidate will have to square with Vermonters why they support Pres. George Bush's domestic and foreign initiatives.

"At this point, of course we have no idea as to who the Republican candidate will be. We do know however, that whoever it will be will have to explain to Vermonters why he/she supports a Republican Leadership which gives huge tax breaks to billionaires, but cuts programs in health care, education, veteran‚s needs, and for our environment,” Sanders said. “That Republican candidate, whoever he/she may be, is going to have to explain why they support a Bush Administration which allows corporate America to send good paying jobs to China and, at the same time slashes benefits for Social Security beneficiaries as they attempt to privatize Social Security. We look forward to that debate."

Having the lead and driving the message is a powerful combination, no wonder Sanders is looking forward to the debate.

Posted at 03:56 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Open Seats, Vermont | Technorati

Saturday, April 30, 2005

VT-Sen: Sanders Frightens Douglas; Takes Huge Lead

Posted by Bob Brigham

From David Sirota:

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas (R) today announced he is not running in the open-seat 2006 Senate race. This is huge news, and a reflection on how Bernie Sanders has become a dominant force in Vermont and national politics. Douglas was heavily courted by the White House, with President Bush personally lobbying him to run. The fact that he declined such high-powered pleas shows just how frightened the Republicans are - and should be - of Sanders. They no doubt polled the situation, and saw just how wide and deep Sanders support is throughout the state. They understand that over the years, he has built an unrivaled following not only among progressives, but, as the Washington Post notes, also among working class conservatives who see him as a lonely voice in Washington with the guts to speak up for their economic concerns. And they understand that for millions of Americans who feel ignored by both parties, Sanders has become a powerful symbol that politicians can be successful AND represent the interests of ordinary people.

Sirota heaps some praise on MoveOn and calls on Howard Dean to hold the Sanders' coalition together by keeping it from becoming a three way race. Bernie Sanders has huge momentum now that everyone in Vermont will learn that the best the GOP could offer realized he couldn't win.

Posted at 02:38 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Open Seats, Vermont | Technorati

Monday, April 25, 2005

VT-Sen: MoveOn and Bernie Sanders

Posted by Bob Brigham

Last Friday I wrote about MoveOn's email to Vermont members asking if the organization should back Congressman Bernie Sanders for Vermont's open Senate seat.

The results where overwhelming...

Here is the email sent by MoveOn:

Dear MoveOn member in Vermont,

On Friday, we asked you if you thought it was a good idea for MoveOn to help Bernie Sanders, the independent Congressman, run for Jim Jeffords' Senate seat in 2006. (Senator Jeffords is retiring.)

Well, the results are in: out of the folks who responded, 96% of you think that we should join together to send Congressman Sanders to the Senate. You're willing to put your time and money where your mouth is, too – thousands of you volunteered to help with the campaign, and together you said you'd contribute over $135,000. (And that's just MoveOn members in Vermont, since Friday!)

Since we're in the middle of our emergency campaign on judicial nominations, it may be a few weeks before we're able to raise money for Sanders from our whole base. But with your strong endorsement, we're moving forward, and we'll be in touch soon. Together, we'll make sure that Vermont sends a real progressive to the Senate in 2006.

–Eli, Noah, Ben, Joan and the MoveOn PAC Team
April 25th, 2005

96% -- that is larger than the percentage of people who like chocolate.

This race is moving very rapidly, here is the recap on the scramble.

Posted at 10:02 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Open Seats, Vermont | Comments (1) | Technorati

Saturday, April 23, 2005

VT-Sen: Scramble for Open Seat

Posted by Bob Brigham

On Wednesday, Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords announced he would not seek re-election. The resulting scramble has launched a domino effect throughout Vermont's political world, potentially opening up seats all the way down to the local level. In 72 hours, a lot has changed in Vermont.

Representative Bernie Sanders has moved the fastest. Within the first 24 hours, he ensured that Democrats coalesced around his candidacy which will prevent a viable threat of a three way race. Within 48 hours, Sanders was on the phone with bloggers, locking down the endorsement of Vermont legend, Blogfather Jerome Armstrong. Today, David Sirota (the go-to guy for all things Sanders), has a must read post: Who is Bernie Sanders? When it comes to quick reaction and real-time politics, Sanders is setting the pace.

With Sanders locking down the support of Independents and Democrats, the only question is who will jump in the GOP primary. Much of the action in the GOP primary will occur after a decision by Vermont Governor Jim Douglas.

Kos says:

There is no one in Vermont as popular as Sanders. And while Bush and Rove pressure Republican Governor Jim Douglas to enter the fray (the only Republican with a hint of a chance), Douglas isn't suicidal. Or stupid.

Political State Report seems to agree:

Jim Douglas will be urged to run but he is very cautious and would have a hard time beating the popular Bernie and so he will not run. I expect Brian Dubie our Republican Lieutenant Governor to run for the senate. He would be the only Republican to have any chance. I think he is too right wing to win. If he does not run, then millionaire Jack McMullen will try again to buy the seat.

David Sirota examines Douglas's liabilities, including his close ties to President Bush (who is hated in Vermont) and his support for Social Security Privatization (which is hated everywhere, but especially so in Vermont).

As I listed before, the subscription only Hotline lists the follow potential GOP candidates:

Aud. Randy Brock
'92 nominee/Gov. Jim Douglas
LG Brian Dubie
Ex-House Speaker Walt Freed
'98 candidate/'04 nominee Jack McMullen
'04 House nominee/ex-USAF pilot Greg Parke
IDX Systems Corp. CEO Richard Tarrant

The Republican Party is justifiably scared shitless of what Congressman Sanders could do to them if he wins. But conventional wisdom already says that the GOP's best case candidate would be facing such intimidating odds that he won't even run.

Senator Bernie Sanders -- it has a nice ring to it.

Posted at 03:13 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Open Seats, Vermont | 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

VT-Sen: Cattle Call

Posted by Bob Brigham

With Senator Jim Jeffords seeking not running for re-election, Vermont's open seat will be closely followed by Swing State Project. From what I've read, Democrats are excited about Bernie Sanders, coalescing around his candidacy.

Indeed, Sanders is best positioned for victory and his campaign is likely to activate a nationwide network of progressives desperate to have a vote against unanimous consent.

The full Cattle Call, from the subscription only Hotline:

A complete list of potential candidates mentioned in today's coverage:

Rep. Bernie Sanders

Aud. Randy Brock
'92 nominee/Gov. Jim Douglas
LG Brian Dubie
Ex-House Speaker Walt Freed
'98 candidate/'04 nominee Jack McMullen
'04 House nominee/ex-USAF pilot Greg Parke
IDX Systems Corp. CEO Richard Tarrant

'94 nominee/'00 candidate/ex-state Sen. Jan Backus
'04 GOV nominee/Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle
'00 nominee/ex-Aud./state Sen. Ed Flanagan
Sec/State Deb Markowitz
VT Nat'l Guard Maj. Gen. Martha Rainville
'02 GOV nominee/ex-LG Doug Racine
'04 LG nominee/ex-state Sen. Cheryl Rivers
'02 LG nominee/ex-state Sen. Pres. Peter Shumlin
AG Bill Sorrell
Treas. Jeb Spaulding
'90 GOV nominee/state Sen. Maj. Leader Peter Welch

Posted at 02:32 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Open Seats, Vermont | Technorati

Thursday, March 31, 2005

IL-6 Christine Cegelis Open Seat Bid in 05/06

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Neighboring my sometimes residence of Palatine, Illinois (just outside of Chicago), there is a race brewing in the 6th Congressional District of Illinois. In 2004, with the support of grassroots organizations in Nortern Illinois, like Democracy for America, Christine Cegelis challenged congressional dinosaur Henry Hyde for his seat in the House of Representatives.

When the smoke cleared, Christine fared so much better than anyone would have even imagined in 2004, earned 44.2% of the vote, and turned the heads of insiders and outsiders across the country. She is back at it and already campaigning for 2006.

She should be the Democratic nominee. The votes that she gained were votes earned. They were earned because of her committment to grassroots, and even netroots (to some extent) outreach. The only question is, who will be the Republican nominee, and when will the election take place?

Henry Hyde is going to retire. Either that or he is going to appointed as the Ambassador to the Holy See. Whenever the race is, what is clear is that Christine will be battling for an open seat, probably against Republican Peter Roskum. As such, her campaign is already in full-swing and she is reaching out to the netroots in a meaningful way. She has already posted a few times on DailyKos, and today has a new entry up on Mydd.

If you get a chance, and want to learn more about the 6th CD in Illinois, take a look at her recent post.

Much more on Christine at SSP over the next year and a half. The race is certain to be one targeted by the DCCC. If you are from Illinois, consider volunteering to help, they already have meaningful opportunities for involvement available.

Posted at 03:08 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Illinois, Open Seats | Technorati

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

IA-1: 2006 Open Seat

Posted by Bob Brigham

With Congressman Nussle running for Iowa Governor, the first congressional district will be an Open Seat that Democrats can win. If they don't screw it up. Blogfather Jerome Armstrong has the details.

Posted at 09:10 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Iowa, Open Seats | Technorati

Open Seats Archive: