ActBlue Helping County Parties

US Counties

Since 2004, ActBlue has helped Democrats raise over $22 million in online contributions.  We are a Political Action Committee, not a business, so our motivation is getting Democrats elected instead of padding profit margins.  We know how much of a hassle accepting credit card donations on the Internet can be, and we want to help.

One of the areas that ActBlue can help in is with your local County Democratic Party.

If your local county party or committee is in one of the 22 states where ActBlue is already active (minus some clean-elections states like Arizona), you can have all the ActBlue fundraising tools utilized by top tier House and Senate campaigns at the disposal of your county party.  Several county parties are already using those tools to achieve success!

In Oregon, the Yamhill County Democratic Party uses ActBlue to accept monthly recurring contributions:

Instead of soliciting your membership for a one-time donation, recurring contributions allow you to ask them for $10 a month (or more) for the next year.  This helps you budget and helps your members by spreading out their contribution over an entire year.

The San Diego County Democratic Party used ActBlue to accept RSVPs and payments for their annual fundraising dinner:

Using ActBlue for event management allows you to see your rsvps in real time (no waiting for a check in the mail!).  Online invitations help circulate event details while collecting contributions. Contributor data in spreadsheet form provides you with an instant guest list and useful template for nametags and thank you notes.

The Democratic Party of San Fernando Valley used ActBlue earlier this year to collect registration costs for their General Assembly meeting.

So how cost effective is this for local parties?  There is no setup fee, no maintenance fee, no check fee, no check re-issue fee and no customer service fees.  We deduct a processing fee of around 3.95% which covers what we are charged by our credit card processor.  This fee comes out of your contributions so there are never any bills to pay.

Every Monday we mail checks to all campaigns and committees that received contributions through ActBlue during the past week.  All of the information about the individual contributors is available online and can be imported to your existing campaign finance software.

You can see that there are a number of ways that County Parties can use ActBlue. In the most basic sense, parties can use ActBlue to process their general donations and ease their reporting burden. At any time they can take advantage of these more creative and advanced options to enhance their fundraising, none of which even requires a county party to have a website!

This is just another way we are hoping to make ActBlue useful to you in building a more Democratic America. Please contact us at to discuss how we can help your county party. We’ll be happy to get you started!

NE-Sen: Notes on Bruning, Kerrey, and Other Rumors…

  • I’m guessing this is one of the reasons why every time Bob Kerrey’s name comes up in this race, David isn’t too happy. Apparently, the polling that Kerrey did looked pretty good, but I don’t think I’m in a minority here when I say that I wasn’t very pleased with Kerrey’s statements over the past week.
  • If you’re on Facebook, and want to see Mike Fahey run for Senate, join this group.
  • Bruning’s ready to announce – officially – in June that he will run for Senate. Of course, he might just “pull a Hagel” and announce that he’s going to announce something later, but the former option is far more likely at this point. Any further stalling by Bruning would suggest that his fundraising numbers aren’t where he wants them to be.
  • Meanwhile, a Nebraska group has started, which is dedicated to defeating Hagel for the Republican nomination in 2008.
  • Other miscellaneous tidbits: I think we’ll see some movement in the congressional races before the fall. I’ve heard some rumors floated already, some that are not very desirable candidates, and I’ll let you know more if those become more than just rumors. But if we can get Jim Esch and Scott Kleeb to both give it another shot this time around, it’s going to be a good year…

    The timeline most of us are looking at for Hagel is sometime before Labor Day (the same timeline Daub gave for his decision). If he decides against running, I think you’ll see the dominoes start to fall quickly. The sheer force of numbers of Republicans who just can’t stand Hagel may yet take him out of a run for reelection. And let’s not kid ourselves: Mike Fahey can raise a ton of money in a hurry.

  • OR-SEN, NE-SEN, NC-03, MD-01: GOP Attempts “Purge” of All Four Dissenters on Iraq

    (Cross-posted at MyDD.)

    Back in April, in the face of massive public support for a clear timeline to end the war in Iraq, only two Republicans in the House and two in the Senate dared to buck the White House’s pressure tactics and vote for the Iraq Accountability Act. The four were Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR), Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), and Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD).

    Coincidentally, all four are now facing potential primary challenges from the right.

    In Nebraska, Sen. Hagel, the most noted opponent of Bush’s Iraq policy in his party, is facing a very real challenge from Attorney General Jon Bruning (who even led Hagel in a recent primary poll):

    “It’s pretty clear Nebraska voters understand Sen. Hagel is voting with the Democratic Party on the issue that they feel is most important at this time, which is the Iraq war, and that’s troubling to them”

    Meanwhile, in Oregon, Sen. Smith is facing the current wrath and potential candidacy of anti-tax activist Bill Sizemore for his perceived lack of partisan loyalty:

    “At the national level, Democrats are licking their chops at the prospect of defeating Gordon Smith. After all he has done for liberals in Oregon, they still want to take him out, simply because he is a Republican. To them, a Republican in name only is still a Republican. Smith’s political vulnerability is no secret.”

    Rep. Walter “Freedom Fries” Jones’ marked turn away from supporting Bush’s Iraq policy has been the “single issue” encouraging Joseph McLaughlin, an obscure country commissioner, to challenge the seven-term Congressman from a “safe seat” in North Carolina:

    “A number of us have become very concerned about his drift to the left, espousing ideas that we don’t think reflect the views of the conservative base back in the district,” McLaughlin said. “Virtually every major vote on the war on terror, he has lined up with the liberals.”

    And in Maryland, Rep. Gilchrest is facing a well-organized primary challenge from right-wing State Senator Andy Harris:

    “People across the country desire to return to the Reagan values that brought the Republican Party to power – fiscal responsibility, a strong national defense, traditional values and an optimistic view of this country and its role as a world leader,” Harris said.

    Primary challenges are wonderful things. In our two-party, big-money system with engineered super-safe districts for incumbents, it’s where the real small-d democracy gets done these days. The more choices for voters, the better. These four potential primaries, as well as the presidential primaries in the early states, will have the added benefit of providing an early look for the entire nation at the direction GOP activists want the Republican party to take on Iraq.

    However, this pro-democracy opinion of primaries (especially those where Iraq is a major issue) was certainly not one shared by right-wing and “centrist” politicians, “civil” pro-war pundits, and other members of the “reasonable” traditional media establishment, all of whom happily took part in last summer’s Rove-inspired media orgy demonizing the year’s most significant primary challenge and grassroots movement as nothing but an attempted party “purge.” (Nevermind that the incumbent in question actually promised to quit the party himself before the primary, and then swiftly followed up on it after losing).

    So, a question: How many of the following figures who were so quick to see Stalinism in Stamford last August will be denouncing pro-war Republicans for their attempted quadruple “purge” this cycle? Don’t hold your breath:

    It’s no wonder that so much time is being given to the Democratic primary in Connecticut, and that so many voices are being heard. The ideological triumphalists proclaim it a great renewal in the Democratic Party, beginning with the glorious purge of Sen. Joseph Lieberman.

    William F. Buckley, August 12, 2006

    It should be noted that both Cheney and Mehlman pointedly referred to the Lamont win as a “purge,” echoing the seminal anti-Lamont editorial by the Democratic Leadership Council from two months ago which used the term eight times. They were joined in that effort last week by virtually the entire conservative punditry establishment, with everyone from Cal Thomas (“Purge by Taliban Democrats” was his clever innovation) to American Conservative Union chief Patrick Keene (“The purge that began with the McGovernite seizure of the party . . . “) to Foundation for Defense of Democracies president Clifford May (“The August Purge of Lieberman,” a funny historical malapropism; May was trying to echo Soviet Russia, which had an August putsch, not a purge) to Fox’s John McIntyre to a whole host of others decrying Lamont’s supporters as rich, elitist, neo-commie liberals bent on softening us all up for a terrorist attack, apparently just for the pure, America-hating thrill of it.

    Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, August 15, 2006

    Meanwhile, the New York Times’s David Brooks lashed out at the “liberal inquisition” unfolding in Connecticut, the type of phenomenon that could be understood “only [by] experts in moral manias and mob psychology.” ABC’s Cokie Roberts sang from the choir sheet this Sunday morning, announcing a Lamont win would mean “a disaster for the Democratic Party.”

    Roberts’s ABC colleague Jake Tapper labeled Lieberman’s challenge as a “a party purge of a moderate Democrat”; a cliché repeated constantly among the talking heads. Los Angeles Times columnist Jonathan Chait ridiculed grassroots Lamont activists by suggesting “their technique of victory-via-purge is on display in Connecticut.” Martin Peretz, editor in chief of The New Republic, who in a recent radio interview refused to say whether he actually wanted Democrats to gain control of Congress in November, denounced the “thought-enforcers of the left” supporting Lamont, whom Peretz mocked as “Karl Rove’s dream come true.”

    Earlier in the campaign, Washington Post columnist David Broder dismissed Connecticut’s progressives as “elitist insurgents.” Over at the Rothenberg Political Report, Beltway mainstay Stuart Rothenberg was in a tizzy that Lamont’s win would “only embolden the crazies in the [Democratic] party,” the “bomb-throwers.” (Like Broder, Rothenberg opted for terror terminology to describe the democratic process unfolding in Connecticut.)

    Eric Boehlert, The Nation, August 11, 2006

    “And as I look at what happened yesterday, it strikes me that it’s a perhaps unfortunate and significant development from the standpoint of the Democratic Party, that what it says about the direction the party appears to be heading in when they, in effect, purge a man like Joe Lieberman, who was just six years ago their nominee for Vice President, is of concern, especially over the issue of Joe’s support with respect to national efforts in the global war on terror.”

    Vice President Cheney, August 9, 2006

    TX-Sen, TX-22: Lampson Declines Senate Bid

    From the Austin American-Statesman:

    U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson of Stafford, near Houston, is letting it be known he’s not running next year for the U.S. Senate seat held by John Cornyn, Lampson’s political strategist says.

    Mustafa Tameez of Houston, a political consultant to Lampson, said this morning that Lampson, the Democrat who last year captured the U.S. House seat vacated by Tom DeLay of Sugar Land, intends to seek re-election instead fully knowing that his district historically leans Republican.

    A Senate bid is “not going to happen,” Tameez said. “It sounds goofy, but he feels like he made a commitment to the people of Congressional District 22.” Tameez said Lampson feels a Senate try would be “disingenuous.”

    Tameez aired Lampson’s decision to stamp out speculation regarding a Senate bid. “We just want it to stop,” he said (unwittingly the desire of some observers of this legislative session).

    And I’m glad to hear it.  I’ve always had my doubts as to whether or not Lampson could be inspiring enough to win stateswide.  With this move, Lampson is securing the goodwill of the local activists who worked their hides off to elect him in the first place last November while clearing the field for another candidate to take a run at Sen. John Cornyn (R).

    (H/T: Anesthetic)

    Challenging Every Seat

    I know I’ll get eviscerated for this, but oh well.

    First of all met just start off by saying that 95% of the time we should challenge a seat even when it looks hopeless because sometimes you get a Bunning-type situation, or even symbolically to show that we have a presence in those states.

    But I think their are those rare occassions where not having a candidate in the race is beneficial, because of lower ballot races. I’ll use the Wyoming and Indiana 2006 senate races as an example.

    In Wymoing, Dale Groutage seemed like a nice guy but there was never any indication that Craig Thomas was even slightly vulnerable. At the end of the day Thomas won by 40 points. The same happened in the Governor’s race where Freudenthal beat his sacrificial lamb GOP opponent by 40 points. As we all know, Wyoming had an extremely competitive House race. We ended up losing this race by the slimmest of margins. Because both Freudenthal and Thomas had sacrificial lamb opponents they basically cancelled each other out. If Groutage had not been in the race maybe Freudenthal would’ve been a little more powerful and Thomas may have decided not to campaign very hard, which could’ve perhaps been enough.

    Indiana was the only Senate race we didn’t contest. I think this was to our benefit. Lugar has never been known as an overly political person. Because he didn’t have a race he really didn’t do any real campaigning. We ended up winning 3 House races in Indiana. I’m sure if he wanted to Schumer could’ve convinced some State Rep. to do the race, but it would’ve been pointless. If Lugar had a real opponent he would’ve actually campaigned and maybe one of those House races would’ve swung the other way.

    Also, in 2002 the Mass. GOP’s decision not to challenge Kerry likely ended up being beneficial as Kerry spent his time campaigning in Iowa and NH and if Kerry had an opponent maybe Mitt doesn’t get elected.

    Blood Money

    The new blank check that Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate gave to the Bush administration this week to continue the occupation of Iraq contains money and write-offs for storm-affected areas of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. Members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation would have us believe that this is some great victory for the state.

    It is not.

    It is blood money.

    It is the craven attempt of two of Louisiana’s three congressional Democrats to provide some semblance respectability for their assumption of joint-ownership of the national disaster that is the occupation of Iraq. Democrats who voted for the supplemental appropriation for the war are now co-owners of the policy choices that are wrecking the Army.

    Republicans like Senator David Vitter and Congressman/compulsive candidate Bobby Jindal took ownership of this war long-ago. Democrats in Louisiana ought to have expected more out of Senator Mary Landrieu and Congressman Charlie Melancon on this war; after all, Louisiana has paid a very steep price for this war in terms of lives lost in this war that was based on lies. That does not even bring into account the cost storm-ravaged Louisiana paid in 2005 when so much of our National Guard’s equipment was in Iraq instead of being put to use in rescue and recovery efforts here. It also was revealed this week that the Bush administration had been warned by the CIA about the hazards of invading Iraq.

    For the first three years of this war and occupation, the Republican-controlled Congress did nothing to hold the Bush administration accountable for its policies in Iraq. With this vote, many Democrats have demonstrated that they are no more committed to accountability than the Republicans were.

    It has become clear that the Bush administration has used the pretext of this war of choice as the basis to subvert constitutional law in this country, to violate civil liberties with impunity, and to abandon the rule of law. Democrats who voted to allow this occupation to continue without restraint have signed on to this process. Like the President, they have now violated the Constitution that their oaths of office committed them to defend and protect.

    With this vote to continue funding the occupation of Iraq without any restraints on the administration’s policies, Democrats have spent whatever moral and political capital they had won by posing as strong opponents of the administration’s policies in Iraq. If Democrats cannot stand up to this administration now when nearly 80 percent of the country thinks we’re on the wrong track, when almost 2/3 of the people believe going to war was a mistake, when will they have the courage and conviction to do so?

    Democratic voters need to wise up. This vote demonstrates that the presence of a “D” behind a candidate’s name cannot be sufficient justification for support. Senator Landrieu and Congressman Melancon will run in party primaries in 2008. I hope members of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party will have the courage to challenge Landrieu and Melancon in those 2008 primaries in order to force them to account for the votes they just cast in support of this war.

    Louisiana Democrats need to ask Landrieu and Melancon how they can justify asking our men and women in the armed forces to continue dying for a mistake.

    Weekly Open Thread: What Races Are You Interested In?

    First off, I want to apologize for the lax pace around here lately.  I hope that things will get a bit steadier soon.  But on to other business…

    Today was amazing.  My girlfriend and I went to the Barnes & Noble at Union Square (NYC) and waited two hours to listen to Al Gore speak about his new book, The Assault on Reason.  The atmosphere was positively electric as Gore strolled in to a “rock star” reception and delivered a powerful speech on the corruption of reason, media and democracy in the United States over the last six and a half years.  Interestingly, former Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. was also present for the entire speech and received a friendly shout-out from the former Vice President.  And getting to actually meet Al Gore and crack wise about his awe-inspiring triple panel monitor was the cherry on top.  I must confess, I ended up as weak-kneed as the giddiest fanboy.

    Now, if only we had someone like him running for President…

    PS: When I asked, he replied that “yes”, he does indeed read blogs on a regular basis.

    KY-Gov: Beshear (D) 62%, Fletcher (R) 34%

    Wow.  Just wow.  SurveyUSA has the first general election match-up poll between Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher and his Democratic opponent in this November’s elections, former Lt. Gov. Steve Beshear.  Fletcher, whose administration has endured a first term marred by ethics controversies and indictments, just recently turned away a fierce primary challenge by ex-Rep. Anne Northup, who has been regarded as one of the best campaigners in the state.  Fletcher’s survival might be partially attributed to his deflection of the ethics controversy as “politically motivated” (after all, the Attorney General who handed down the indictments, Democrat Greg Stumbo, subsequently ran for Lt. Gov. on Bruce Lunsford’s ticket), and one might suspect that the poll numbers would show a tighter race now that the local pundits have been writing about Fletcher’s astounding “comeback”.  Not so, according to SUSA (likely voters, no trendlines, 5/25/07 results):

    Steve Beshear (D): 62%
    Ernie Fletcher (R-Inc.): 34%
    (MoE: ±3.9%)

    What an absolutely staggering lead for Beshear, who is now claiming the support of 36% of Republican voters.  As long as Beshear keeps a steady focus and runs a smooth campaign, this one could be a slam dunk.  All for the better, as holding the Kentucky Governor’s mansion should protect Reps. Chandler and Yarmuth from any funky redistricting threats in 2012.

    (Hat-tip: Bluegrass Report)

    Race Tracker: KY-Gov

    GA-SEN Saxby Chambliss Only Ahead 2 Points In New Georgia Senate Poll

    A new Georgia poll shows that incumbent GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss could be vulnerable if former Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes should enter the race for the Senate seat. Chambliss only polled 2 points ahead of Barnes in the new InsiderAdvantage poll.


    Saxby Chambliss  42%
    Roy Barnes  40%

    DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones who does not have as much name recognition statewide as Barnes was able to keep Chambliss under 50% in polling as well.

    Saxby Chambliss  48%
    Vernon Jones  31%


    Dan Grant, Candidate For TX 10: ‘Why I’m A Democrat’

    I’m running for U.S. Congress in the Texas 10th. Why?

    Because my district was gerrymandered by Tom DeLay and Karl Rove, and our current representative does not reflect the mainstream values of Houston, Austin, and all the places in between.

    Iraq.  Katrina.  Abu Ghraib.  Walter Reed and Guantánamo, Osama Bin Laden at large.  Big Pharma writing Medicare plans while Texas seniors lose prescription drug coverage.  Big Insurance writing campaign checks while Texans pay twice the national average to insure their homes.  Soaring deficits, a demoralized foreign policy – and a capital city so tied up in partisan knots that they have no idea how to get us back on the right track.

    We need a change in Washington.  Now.

    If the litany of failure during the past six years has taught us anything at all, two of its most important lessons are:

    * Modern Republicans can’t govern because they don’t believe in government.

    * When government breaks, voters turn to Democrats to fix it.

    The Republican administration is discredited, and even some of its most loyal apologists are now trying to scramble back to the middle ground.  But voters aren’t fooled.  It’s the extremist ideology and partisan zealotry symbolized by fallen leaders like Tom DeLay that put them out of sync with mainstream voters in the first place.  So those who enabled DeLay’s enterprise to get themselves elected have no credibility portraying themselves as moderates now.

    None of which means that Democrats will automatically inherit the mantle of leadership.  Yes, voters are disgusted with Republican corruption, cronyism, and incompetence.  But Democrats are going to need to provide a common-sense vision that gives modern expression to the traditional values that made us great. 

    Those values are worth remembering.  They earned us respect around the world and led to creative policies at home that helped build a vibrant middle class.  The eight-hour work days, the 40-hour work week, maternity leave, workers’ compensation, and time off to go vote.  Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare to help keep working families from slipping into poverty.  Civil rights, women’s rights, environmental rights.

    Each of those progressive changes happened because earlier generations looked around and said, ‘We need a party of our own that stands for the values we hold dear.’  And they would be astonished today to learn that some in our party are afraid of change.  We can’t be afraid of change.  We are the party of change! 

    I believe in the power of effective government to make a positive difference in our lives.  Not more government, necessarily, nor even less government.  Just better government.  So that we can improve national security while taking smart steps to end our involvement in Iraq and guarantee that we don’t have to send our brave men and women back there in a few years because we didn’t do it right this time.  So that we can move toward energy independence, reduce the national debt, and help provide a level playing field for middle-class families who work hard and play by the rules.  So that we can make quality health care affordable, protect our natural heritage, and stop cutting investments in education even as our global competitors in China and India increase theirs.

    Voters are yearning for change, not more of the same, and they are looking to us to propose decisive steps.  Let’s embrace that change – to put our principles to work again to get our nation back on the right track.  Not to forget our traditions, but to fulfill them and to make it clear what we stand for in terms our friends can’t misunderstand and our opponents can’t misrepresent.

    We need change – now.  And that’s why I am a Democrat.