John Boccieri for Congress OH-16

John Boccieri in OH-16

Allow me to reccomend State Senator (and Air Force Reserve Major) John Boccieri.

John has been endorsed by, General Wesley Clark and Governor Ted Strickland, who spoke at our campaign kick-off event:

“As a former Congressman, I know that it takes a strong leader like John Boccieri to stand up for Ohio families in Washington. John Boccieri understands the problems facing our communities and he is the right leader to fight for this area in Congress.  He’s been fighting to turn around Ohio as a state Senator and he will fight to turn around Ohio as a Member of Congress.” 

As others have mentioned, this Saturday, June 30, is the end of the quarter for FEC fundraising. We’re hoping that we can keep the momentum building that we’re enjoyed so far. If you can help with financial support through ActBlue, it would be GREATLY appreciated.


Earl Britt
Web assistant

NH-Sen: New Poll Shows Sununu in the Dumps

The big chatter among Al Gore enthusiasts tonight is the new Suffolk University Poll showing him edging Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical New Hampshire primary by a 32-26 margin.  But, as Dean notes, the real nugget may be this (likely voters):

Re-elect Sen. John Sununu (R): 31%
Time for someone else: 47%
(MoE: ±4.38%)

I don’t see how a textbook Bush Republican like Sununu can survive in New England next year.  His time is up.

TX-22: Snelly Gibbr Rides Again

Speaking of comebacks, here’s some heartwarming news from the Houston Chronicle:

Shelley Sekula Gibbs, the Houston dermatologist who briefly succeeded former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay in Congress last year, is moving ahead in her quest to regain the seat in 2008 by announcing some well-known local Republican support.

Sekula Gibbs, a former Houston City Council member, was elected to finish the last 51 days of DeLay’s term last year before yielding to Democrat Nick Lampson, who defeated her for a full term.

Her 51 days as interim congresswoman were rocky, however, with seven DeLay staffers walking out in her first week, complaining publicly that she had been a tyrannical boss. She also prompted chuckles in The Washington Post and other national publications by telling reporters she planned to resolve such thorny issues as tax cuts, immigration reform and the Iraq war – all in less than three weeks of a lame-duck Congress.

Amusingly, Sekula-Gibbs believes she has found what appears to be the winning formula for her 2008 campaign: removing the hyphen from her name!

Sekula Gibbs has changed the spelling of her name since then, dropping the hyphen that she feared would become a problem during her write-in campaign for the congressional seat in 2006.

Of course, as you may remember, her hyphenated name didn’t factor into her unsuccessful write-in campaign, with votes as diverse as “Snelly Gibbr”, “Shelly Gibkula” and “Shelly DraculaCunt Gibs” counting as real votes in her favor.

Most baffling of all, ol’ Snelly has begun to amass some pretty heavy-hitting support for her ’08 rematch bid:

A Republican, Sekula Gibbs has attracted several high-profile GOP supporters to her campaign steering committee. Among those are Bob Perry, a homebuilder and one of the nation’s biggest Republican contributors, and Trini Mendenhall Sosa, a co-founder of the Fiesta Mart grocery chain.

Are these guys trying to give Lampson his best shot at re-election?

(Special thanks to Kuff.)

2Q Blue Majority Fundraising Push

Our efforts to build a strong Democratic majority in Congress didn’t stop with the highly successful Netroots Candidates Actblue page of the last cycle.  Building quality Democratic caucuses in the House and Senate is the continuing mission of the Swing State Project, just as it should be of larger progressive blogosphere.  In that vein, DailyKos, MyDD, and SSP have joined forces once again to promote candidates that Democrats can be proud of in 2008 with our Blue Majority fundraising page.

So far, we’ve endorsed Fightin’ Democrat Charlie Brown in his race against the embattled Republican John Doolittle of CA-04, and progressive rising star Donna Edwards in her rematch bid against the bankruptcy bill-loving and Harold Ford-endorsed Al Wynn of MD-04.  To read more about Brown and Edwards, check out their excellent introductions by Markos and Matt Stoller here and here.

As David said below, now is our chance to make a mark and help give these challengers an early boost before the media cycle is utterly dominated by the Presidential election campaign.  Our goal is to amass 100 new contributions for Edwards and Brown before the end of the second fundraising quarter (Saturday, June 30th).  Can you afford to give $10 today to the Blue Majority candidates?  Let’s make sure that Republicans and weak Democrats like Wynn alike know that we won’t back down.

Please donate today.

NE-03: Scott Kleeb “Exploring”

(Interesting. Kleeb is now actively raising money, and such funds can only be used in a campaign for federal office. What might he have in mind? Another crack at NE-03 (the sixth-most Republican district in the nation, according to its PVI)? Or perhaps he’s angling for a Senate bid should Fahey or Kerrey decline a race? Nebraska: ever the wild card. – promoted by James L.)

The surprise candidate of the 2006 cycle in Nebraska is exploring another run for office in 2008.


As each day passes, I am more and more appreciative of what we accomplished together on our campaign for Congress last year. I can say without a doubt that the campaign was the most rewarding, most energizing and most inspiring endeavor in which I have ever been involved. Since then, I remain excited about our future in Nebraska and am currently exploring several options to continue and expand our campaign.

I need your help in continuing to reject partisan politics and embrace positive change. Please click here to make a donation today.

From Columbus to Scottsbluff, from Valentine to McCook, we sparked a conversation across our district that rejected partisan politics and embraced the common belief among all Nebraskans that together we can create a better life for ourselves and for our children, that we can again believe in that common bond of faith in a democratic process, that we can again believe that our fates are connected and that together we make more of an impact than we can separately.

(h/t: New Nebraska Network)

CT-04: Jim Himes ramps up before 2Q deadline

In response to David’s request that SSP readers mention some candidates worth supporting before the second quarter ends this weekend, here’s an update on Jim Himes’ campaign in CT-04 – Chris Shays’ district, the last spot of red in the House in all of New England:

There are just under 500 days remaining until Election Day 2008. And I intend to spend every one of those days running a different type of campaign, one that focuses on person-to-person contact and real grassroots participation.

Now is the time to build the foundation of this campaign. And I’m looking to you to help build it. Become a Founding Member of our campaign today, and help us reach our goal of signing up 500 new Founding Members before June 30th.

What will you get for being a “Founding Member” of the campaign? You won’t get any special access or treatment. You’ll get something much more meaningful: the opportunity and responsibility of being one of the first people to join our effort to change the direction of our country and address the real priorities of our district.

Himes’ non-political background is diverse (grew up in Latin America, public schools, Rhodes Scholar, Goldman Sachs VP, now works at an affordable housing nonprofit), he’s already impressive as a candidate at this early stage, and he’s looking to run a different type of campaign in a district that is usually dominated by big media buys.

Shays’ time is finally up in 2008, if the netroots and grassroots starts building the foundation for this campaign now. Contribute or sign up to volunteer and help Jim reach the goal of 500 “founding members” of the campaign before this month is over.

Or sign up for email updates here.

Disclosure: I am currently doing some early volunteer work online for Jim Himes.

Dan Grant (TX-10): ‘I’m Ready to Lead’

When Tom DeLay engineered his redistricting scheme four years ago, he was riding high.  In control of the White House and both houses of Congress, he and his partisan allies thought they could get away with anything, from a war of choice in Iraq to choosing a new representative to roam the halls of Congress for us.

So how’d they do?

Well, Mr. DeLay, the man who once boasted “I am the federal government,” was forced to resign in disgrace.  Iraq, where I spent the past year-and-a-half, is mired in sectarian violence that is costing taxpayers $8 billion per month and untold treasure in the lives we’ve lost.

As for the Congressman bequeathed to us by Mr. DeLay, the news isn’t much better there, either.  Only two of Texas’ 32-member congressional delegation are less effective, according to the latest non-partisan power ranking.  Despite rubberstamping every failed Bush policy for the past four years, he has even less influence than Ted Poe and Pete Sessions.

That’s why I’m running for Congress in Texas’ 10th District – because the last thing we need is more of the same.

I’ve worked in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.  I’ve seen what happens around the world when Washington exports partisanship instead of American values.  And now I’ve come home to ask you to send me to the source so we can change the course.

I’m ready to lead the way toward positive change.  Together, we can improve national security, move toward energy independence, reduce the national debt, and provide a level playing field for middle-class families.  We can achieve health care coverage for every child.  We can restore our leadership role in the world.

Most of all, we can find a smart way out of Iraq and bring our brave troops home to the heroes’ welcome they have earned.

Please join me and let’s make a fresh start in a new direction.


FL-08, FL-10, FL-13, FL-15, FL-24: DCCC Aims For the Sunshine

Considering that it’s a state that Gore won (in my book), and that John “The Haunted Tree” Kerry lost by 5 points, Florida’s lopsided congressional delegation of 16 Republicans and 9 Democrats sticks out like a sore thumb on the U.S. electoral map.  (Of course, it was even worse before the victories of Tim Mahoney in FL-16 and Ron Klein in FL-22 last year, at a brutal margin of 18R-7D.)  Chalk it up to tenaciously shrewd gerrymandering by the Florida state legislature.  Five of Florida’s House Democrats are packed in districts that delivered over 65% of their votes to Kerry in 2004, one (FL-11) gave Kerry 58%, one is in marginally Democratic turf (Klein), and two Blue Doggies hold districts that lean GOP on the Presidential level as of late (Allen Boyd and Mahoney, whose districts both delivered 54% their vote to Bush in 2004).  Florida’s Congressional Republicans, on the other hand, have set up shop in a plethora of districts specially created for them–areas that Bush won by margins between 10 and 20 points (of which there are 11).

But as Democrats have proven themselves more adept at holding red turf than Republicans have been at retaining seats in blue districts (Democrats currently hold 62 House districts that Bush won in 2004, while Republicans hold a scant eight that voted for Kerry), so too has their zeal for stepping up the pressure against incumbents in Republican-leading districts.  According to the AP,  DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen has lined up five Republican seats for aggressive challenges in 2008:

For Democrats, the targets are Reps. Vern Buchanan, Ric Keller, Dave Weldon, Tom Feeney and C.W. “Bill” Young.

Here’s the rationale for each:

– Buchanan barely won his District 13 seat in the Sarasota area after spending more than $5 million of his own money on the race. He won by 369 votes. His opponent, Christine Jennings, believes touch-screen voting machines lost thousands of ballots and that she would have won if all votes had been counted.

– Keller promised to leave office after eight years, then decided after the last election to break his vow. He’ll have to use resources in a primary before facing a Democratic opponent. Democrats see signs the District 8 seat that includes the Orlando area could favor one of their candidates, and they’ll make a case that Keller’s voting record doesn’t reflect the interests of his constituents.

– Weldon underperformed at the polls last year when he was re-elected in District 15, which represents the Atlantic coast from Vero Beach north to Cape Canaveral. He was re-elected with 56 percent of the vote, but against a weak Democratic candidate who spent far less money. A stronger, better financed candidate could be a challenge.

– Feeney’s District 24, which stretches from the area north and east of Orlando to Brevard and Volusia counties’ coastline, would normally be considered safely his. But Feeney’s golf trip to Scotland with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff could taint the congressman as Democrats continue to make ethics an issue in 2008.

– Young’s District 10 seat, which represents Pinellas County, is slightly Republican, but trends show the large independent voting bloc favors Democratic candidates. Young also hasn’t been seriously tested in years.

Democrats have already lined up a few ambitious challengers for these districts.  Keller, who won re-election by an underwhelming 53-46 margin against Democrat Charlie Stuart (a DCCC pick whose ability to compete monetarily in the general election was hampered by a competitive primary), will square off either with prosecutor Mike Smith or Sierra Club activist Corbett Kroehler.  But first Keller (who’s breaking his term limit pledge by running again), will have to get through a primary with conservative radio host and attorney Todd Long.  Long caught Keller somewhat off-guard during the first quarter, where he outraised the incumbent by a $40k to $27k margin.

In FL-15, Democrats have recruited Paul Rancatore, a Lt. Col. in the Air Force Reserves and the current “Director for Commercialization of Human Space Flight in the National Security and Space Office” at the Pentagon (that’s a mouthful).  In FL-13, Christine Jennings never ended her campaign against Vern Buchanan, of course, and she’s been raising money at a fast clip to pay for her legal expenses.  Despite her narrow “loss” last year, her race will be as tough to win as the rest of these, given some of Buchanan’s cautious votes in the House.

But it’s perhaps Florida’s 10th district that could be the most exciting of the five.  Unlike the rest of Florida’s Republican delegation, Bill Young holds a true toss-up seat, with a PVI of D+1.1.  Gore won this area by two points, and Kerry lost it by the same margin.  On paper, Young would appear formidable: he’s a 36-year incumbent, and he hasn’t won a re-election with less than 65% of the vote in ages.  But on the other hand: Democrats haven’t really tested his hand.  And given his totally irresponsible handling of the Walter Reed scandal, there’s clearly some rust to be punctured here.  Democrats have yet to line up a strong challenger to either him or the Abramoff-loving Tom Feeney (FL-24), and these will be major tests of Van Hollen’s recruiting prowess.

One final note about the article:

Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, expressed confidence that the party wouldn’t repeat its showing in 2006. He said Mahoney never would have won if it hadn’t been for Foley’s scandal and that Republicans perform better in Florida during presidential elections.

“All these districts will perform more like they normally do in ’08 than they did in ’06. That’s what presidential elections do. The Democrats had their best shot at a lot of these folks in 2006 and either didn’t make it or didn’t pull the trigger. I don’t think they’ll get a second opportunity,” Cole said. “We’re back to normal politics.”

With Iraq spiraling out of control, it’ll never be “normal politics”, Tom.  You should be ashamed of yourself.

A Fundraising Reminder

The end of the fundraising quarter is this Saturday, June 30th. I know I don’t need to remind Swing State Project readers about how important these deadlines are. But I do want to raise an issue that we didn’t face last cycle – the presidential campaign.

Each passing quarter, more and more media oxygen will get devoted to the presidentials. This quarter may be the last before the political press gets totally devoured by the race for the White House. So I strongly encourage donating to the Democrat (or Democrats) of your choice this week.

If you’re looking for some worthy candidates, you can check out Charlie Brown and Donna Edwards on the Blue Majority fundraising page (formerly the “netroots” page). But there are tons of great people out there. Find someone you like and give a little.

And in comments, if you’re making a donation or thinking about doing so, please tell us who your target might be.

The Powerful Positive Of A Thousand Small Green Steps.

The awareness phase of the campaign to stop global warming has reached a crescendo, which may also be a plateau. With the exception of front groups sponsored by oil companies, it is becoming more and more accepted that we, in fact, are the cause of global warming.

The action phase, however, trails the awareness phase significantly and most troubling of all is the growing belief that someone else is going to be the somebody to actually do something about global warming. Even worse, and most naively of all, that our federal government is going to solve the problem.

A federal bureaucracy and the people within have significant strengths, and they must be part of the solution, but frankly, can we afford to wait for them? When was the last time your local, state or federal government led the charge on anything? Far less something that is so important, so critical and whose solutions will cause hardship to some. In fact, the stronger the actions, the greater the distortions from those affected — it simply is not a solution custom-made for government action.

So who has the power to stop global warming? Who has the power to lead the environmental movement? You do. I do. And every person who reads this does. Not as individuals, true, but as a collection of people, a constituency of those who are willing to do small acts of greenness every single day. A vast movement that can literally change the world if we green our days and our nights and our weekends.

These actions we must ask of ourselves can be as simple as the tried and the true, ‘turn out the lights’ or as cost-effective as changing to energy-efficient lightbulbs. It’s not that the actions are hard, or difficult, or extreme, it’s just that we need to remind each other and ourselves, constantly, of the constant collective good we can do.

The cumulative effect of these actions would be simply astronomical. I have just finished reading a new book by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas Kostigen that outlines over 400 of these simple action items. The Green Book is a marvel because it shows a series of simple steps that are easy to execute and the vast majority save you money while you are helping save the environment.

Here’s an example from the book. If we each bought Fair Trade coffee, which is a good idea for many reasons, for a whole year, we would each save 9,200 square feet of rain forest. If every household in Seattle did this every year, every year, then in a wonderful ying and yang of research, we would save a rain forest the size of Seattle. The destruction of rain forests is one of the factors behind global warming. So there, in a simple action, multiplied thousands of times, is a solution to what is ailing our planet.

As a coffee drinker, this is something I can do. If it’s not your cup of tea, flip through The Green Book and find things you can. That’s the beauty of it. No one has to do everything. Everyone can do something.

The questions are “what can I do about global warming?” and “how can I help the environment?” The answer is plenty. If we do it together.