SSP Daily Digest: 2/11

AZ-Sen: As the dust settles from Jon Kyl’s retirement, the biggest name on the Dem side may also be the biggest question mark: Rep. Gabby Giffords, who it turns out had been telling her staff that she’d planned to run for Senate in 2012 if an open seat arose, but whose recovery timetable is entirely unclear at this point. Local Dems are saying she has “the right of first refusal,” but it may be a while till we get a decision out of her, so the Dem field is very much up in the air. One other major Dem is publicly expressing his interest, though: Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon, who’s termed-out of his job this year. (The same article also finds former Arizona Diamondbacks star Luis Gonzalez declining a run; not sure why he was being asked in the first place.) On the GOP side, Gov. Jan Brewer acted quickly to quash any speculation that she might run. However, J.D. Hayworth, last seen getting creamed by John McCain in the 2010 primary, says he’s interested in another run, while another unappetizing leftover, ex-Gov. Fife Symington, says he won’t rule it out (as well as floating the name of former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner). If you want to see all the many potential names in one place, here’s The Hill’s mega-rundown.

FL-Sen: Scratch one more of the state’s myriad GOP House members from the list of possible Senate candidates. FL-16’s sophomore Rep. Tom Rooney says the Senate may be an eventual goal someday, but he’d rather focus on building up his credentials in the House first.

ME-Sen: It seems like his extended period of talking to himself is over, as local tea party leader Andrew Ian Dodge announced (at CPAC, instead of in Maine) that he will in fact challenge Olympia Snowe in the GOP primary. I’m not sure if Snowe is really shaking in her boots, though, if this is the best that the teabaggers can find: Dodge, though able to self-fund, is a bit of an iconoclast (and one might charitably describe his appearance as “scruffy”), and doesn’t really seem to fit in with any of the various subconstituencies within the tea party umbrella. He’s uninterested in social issues (he’s pro-gay and indifferent to abortion) and more of a fiscal hawk, but doesn’t have much common cause with the Paulists either, breaking with them on foreign policy. If he loses social con votes to the other teabagger in the race, little-known Scott D’Amboise, that split basically ensures Snowe another nomination. Further complicating matters, Dodge is allied with Tea Party Patriots, archenemy to the DC-based astroturf-flavored Tea Party Express. For what it’s worth, TPX officially declared that Snowe is one of their top targets for 2012 (um, was there any doubt about that before yesterday?), but there’s no word on who they plan to back in the race, and I can’t imagine it being Doge.

MI-Sen: Former state party chair Saul Anuzis may be getting cold feet about a Senate run all of a sudden, if his new comments are any indication: he said he’d rather see someone else run. One name he dropped as a preferred alternative to himself is (no surprise) ex-Rep. Peter Hoekstra, but another is perhaps the one potential candidate with even less name rec than Anuzis (and also the likeliest person to run, it seems): wealthy businessman Tim Leuliette.

NM-Sen: In case Jeff Bingaman does (contrary to current expectations) resign, don’t look for a Bill Richardson run to succeed him. The ex-Gov. leaves office under a cloud according to PPP, with a 34/55 approval, and 50% saying they’d never vote for him for anything again. Everyone else in New Mexico is pretty popular; Tom Udall is at 56/31 and new Gov. Susana Martinez is at 53/29.

UT-Sen: Looks like Orrin Hatch, who’s in full cozy-up-to-the-tea-party mode this week, can’t count on any help from his new colleague Mike Lee; Lee just confirmed that he’ll remain neutral in any primary that Hatch might face. Hatch, for his part, at CPAC today, just said that he’s sorry for his bailout vote, but that the bailout helped prevent a depression. So… he’s sorry about having helped prevent a depression?!? Let me sit and ponder that one for a bit.

VA-Sen: Here’s some good news: ex-Rep. Glenn Nye says he has “absolutely no interest” and has made “zero calls” about the Senate race on the Dem side. (That contradicts yesterday’s reports that he was calling around; the “absolutely no interest” part may be true though, inasmuch as that’s what he got on the other end of the line.) However, Rep. Gerry Connolly isn’t doing anything to downplay his name; he isn’t ruling it in or out, but is pitching himself as “viable.” (Woooooo! Viable!!! The audacity of viability! We have nothing to fear but inviability itself! Mr. Gorbachev, this wall is not viable!) Connolly blanches at the pricetag though, saying this will likely be a $25 million race.

MT-Gov, MT-Sen: Well, this pretty much makes it clear that Denny Rehberg will have a stroll to the Senate nomination. Military/security-complex businessman Neil Livingstone was one of the two initial non-Rehberg names associated with the GOP side of the Senate race; with Steve Daines now in the House race, Livingstone now has decided to announce for the gubernatorial race instead. He doesn’t face anyone of Rehberg size there, although ex-Rep. Rick Hill is still a pretty imposing obstacle.

WV-Gov: With tomorrow’s filing deadline for the gubernatorial special election fast approaching, it’s worth noting how few people (of the many, many possibles) have actually signed up. All we have so far are Natalie Tennant, Earl Ray Tomblin, Rick Thompson, and a Some Dude candidate (Arne Moltis) on the Dem side, and Clark Barnes on the GOP side. Betty Ireland was planning to file today, though, and there will probably be a rush tomorrow.

NY-26: Kathy Konst isn’t the only Dem who seems to be moving forward with seeking the nomination in the upcoming special election; Erie Co. Clerk Kathleen Hochul is interested, too. (She lives slightly outside the district’s boundaries in Hamburg.) Meanwhile, lots of GOPers took their names out of contention: ex-Rep. Tom Reynolds, Assemblyman Jim Hayes, state Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, and state Sen. Joe Robach. (With George Maziarz also apparently a no, that’s pretty much all the GOP state Senators who’d been floated, lessening the likelihood of more 31-31 fun.)

Mayors: There are mayoral polls in both Chicago and Philadelphia, neither one offering a surprise. In the Windy City, Rahm Emanuel finds himself just shy of clearing the runoff hurdle in a poll from Chicago Tribune/WGN; he’s at 49, with 19 for Gery Chico, 10 for Carol Mosely Braun, and 8 for Miguel del Valle. (Last month’s Tribune poll had Emanuel at 44 and CMB at 21.) In the Hey, Up Yours City, incumbent Michael Nutter wins easily despite some ambivalent approvals, according to Franklin & Marshall. His approval is 50/32 (60/24 among whites but only 42/41 among African-Americans, who, despite the fact that he’s African-American himself, tend to be his weakest constituency); despite that, 53% say he doesn’t deserve to be re-elected. Nutter beats Tom Knox 46-28 in a general election matchup (which is odd because Knox isn’t a Republican, although I guess he could become one to avoid another primary loss to Nutter, which is what happened in 2007). Nutter’s only announced opponent so far is former state legislator Milton Street, the brother of ex-mayor John Street; Street has a bit of a liability, though, in that he’s currently on supervised release after spending 20 months in federal prison for tax evasion.

Dark money: The billionaire Koch brothers have, over the last year, suddenly gone from anonymous rich guys who like to fund right-wing think tanks to, with their efforts to move more into funding activism and advertising, public enemies #1 on the dark money front. They’ve set a new target for the 2012 cycle that shows just what we’re up against money-wise: they plan to contribute and raise $88 million for funding micro-targeting efforts as well as ads. It’s not clear whether that would all happen under the aegis of their Americans for Prosperity, or if that money would get spread around the dark money universe, but Politico’s article makes it sound that the secretive Kochs aren’t closely allied with, if not directly in competition with, other groups like American Crossroads.

SSP Daily Digest: 4/23

NY-20 (pdf): The BoE’s official tally bumps Scott Murphy’s lead up to 365, as 250 more ballots, mostly from Murphy stronghold Warren County, were added. Counting will continue for the forseeable future, unfortunately, and on Monday a judge will set a counting schedule for the ballots contested on the basis of second home residency.

The drip-drip of GOPers publicly throwing in the towel on NY-20 continues: today star strategist Mike Murphy cried uncle, as did former NRCC chair Tom Reynolds yesterday. Campaign Diaries has a thought-provoking piece on why the GOP continues to drag this out in the courts, even though they’re in too deep a hole for “case by case” examination of the ballots to salvage the count for them: it may be to set precedent for future recounts, where picking off individual ballots may be targeted to their advantage.

NY-Sen, NY-14: Rep. Carolyn Maloney has hired a statewide finance director, Lewis Cohen. Cohen denied that Maloney (who has been rumored to be interested in a primary challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand) will be running for Senate, but his title of “statewide” is pretty telling, considering that Maloney currently represents a few square miles in Manhattan and Queens.

PA-Sen: Only eight weeks before jumping into the Senate primary, Pat Toomey told Pennsylvania GOP chair Rob Gleason that he “didn’t want to be a Senator” and “be number 100 and vote no on everything.” Now this wouldn’t exactly be the first time a politician has promised one thing and done another, but the Specter camp has begun beating Toomey over the head with his flip-flop.

MO-Sen: Ex-treasurer Sarah Steelman is “moving in [the] direction” of entering the GOP senate primary, but is in no hurry to make a formal announcement as she gets her campaign’s financial house in order first. (She’s still paying off debts from her unsuccessful gubernatorial run last year.) This comes against a backdrop of increasing public discomfort by the party concerning Roy Blunt’s candidacy, caused not only by his humdrum $542K fundraising quarter and his high burn rate, but also his lobbyist ties and long ‘establishment’ track record.

GA-Gov, GA-03: With top candidates like Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Cobb Co. Commissioner Sam Olens bailing on the race, there’s an opening for a top-tier candidate to leap into the GOP field for the Georgia governor’s race. (SoS Karen Handel and Insurance Comm. John Oxendine are still in.) Could Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, who has occasionally expressed interest in this race, be the man? Westmoreland (perhaps best known for not being able to name the 10 commandments on the Colbert Report) is “seriously considering” it. Don’t look for a pickup of his R+19 seat if it’s open, though.

AL-Gov: Republican treasurer Kay Ivey will be running for governor after all, according to party insiders. The perception was that her role in Alabama’s floundering prepaid tuition plan may have wounded her too much to run for governor, but she’s still going for it.

CA-32: More endorsements as we approach the May 19 special election. Board of Equalization chair Judy Chu got the endorsement of Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. (The district doesn’t include any of LA, but obviously he’s a big figure in the media market.) The United Farm Workers and the locals of the Southern California District Council of Laborers went for state senator Gil Cedillo.

FL-08: Republican Orlando mayor Rich Crotty was looking like a major threat to just-elected Rep. Alan Grayson, but he’s getting tarnished with some legal troubles that may preclude him from running. A grand jury accused him of pressuring vendors to contribute to his re-election campaign. There’s still a deep Republican bench eyeing the race in this R+2 district, including state senate majority whip Andy Gardiner, ex-state senator Daniel Webster, and state rep. Steve Precourt. Grayson raised only $144K in the first quarter, but he may plan to self-finance, as he partially did in 2008.

Demographics: Here’s some interesting data from the Census Bureau: fewer people moved in 2007 (35.2 million) than any year since 1962 (when the nation had 120 million fewer people). This has its roots in the housing bubble pop, as people underwater in their houses are unlikelier to relocate for work. This may show up in a big way in 2012 reapportionment, though, as more people staying in place may save a few seats in the northeast or midwest and limit growth in the south or west.

NY-26: Tom Reynolds to Retire

From the Daily News:

GOP sources confirm that Rep. Tom Reynolds, a Western NY Congressman since 1999 and ex-NRCC chairman, will announce around noon tomorrow in Buffalo that he will not seek re-election this fall. Reynolds spokesman LD Platt did not return an e-mail seeking comment.

Reynolds of course was NRCC chair just last cycle, presiding over both the Mark Foley page scandal and his party committee’s fundraising scandal. His departure shoots this R+3.5 seat up the takeover charts, and the great news is that we already have an excellent candidate here in Iraq war vet Jon Powers. I’m even more excited about this race now.

P.S. Powers campaigned today with fellow Democrats Dan Maffei and Eric Massa in Rochester, raising the issue of how we care for our veterans. He blogged about it here.

P.P.S. (James Hell) I guess those earlier rumors that Reynolds shot down came true, after all.

NY-26: The weekly update on Jon Powers for Congress

NY-26 Democratic candidate Jon Powers is gaining more and more momentum. In fact, his campaign is at an excellent point right now. On Thursday, Powers was endorsed by the Wyoming County Democratic Committee. This was the fourth county Democratic committee to endorse Powers in his run to unseat Tom Reynolds.

The announcement regarding the endorsement came attached with a list of those who have already endorsed Powers.

Here is that list:

Wyoming County Democrats have answered the call for a change in leadership in New York’s 26th Congressional District.  Last night, by an overwhelming majority, the Wyoming Democratic Committee endorsed Jon Powers’ campaign for Congress.  Powers is running against embattled representative Tom Reynolds.  “I am thrilled to have the support of Wyoming County Democrats.  My family has deep roots here, my father was born and raised in Pearl Creek, and it means a lot to me to have their endorsement,” said Jon Powers, former captain in the U.S. Army, Iraq war veteran and Democratic candidate for Congress.

Wyoming is the 4th Democratic Committee to endorse Powers’ candidacy and shows that Jon’s message of leading by example and putting problem-solving ahead of party politics is resonating with the voters.  Powers now holds the endorsement of the majority of the counties in his district.

Powers’ Endorsements:

·         Genesee County Democratic Committee

·         Livingston County Democratic Committee

·         Orleans County Democratic Committee

·         Wyoming County Democratic Committee

·         Town of Clarence Democratic Committee

·         SEIU 1199

·         AFSCME Local 264

·         VoteVets

·         VetPAC

·         General Wesley Clark

·         Senator Bob Kerrey

·         Senator John Kerry

It’s amazing the support Powers is getting. He also makes the occasional contribution to the blogosphere. Also on Thursday, Powers wrote a post on The Albany Project entitled, “Iraq’s Junior Mujhadeen.” Jon also posted the piece on Daily Kos, Huffington Post and Rochester Turning. Much of Jon’s work on the issues of children becoming extremists in Iraq can be linked to a group he founded, War Kids Relief. (Note: I spoke with Jon about War Kids and he said that the website is under some maintenance right now. But for future reference, the website can be found here.)

Jon’s campaign is riding high. I reported last week that Jon had raised over $139,000 during the fourth quarter and had over $261,000 cash on hand. He’s received huge support in the past and will continue to do so from some top-notch people.

One thing is for certain: Jon Powers is for real. The four county Democratic committees that have endorsed Jon thus far (Livingston County, Orleans County, Genesee County and the aforementioned Wyoming County) all are rural counties in the 26th congressional district. They are predominantly Republican and if Jon is going to win this race, he’ll need the rural Democrats behind him. We plan to do just that, just like we have since Jon declared in June 2007.

On the web:

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NY-26: A great week for the Powers campaign

NY-26 Democratic candidate Jon Powers had a great week in his race for Republican Rep. Tom Reynolds’ House seat.

It all started with a fundraiser in Buffalo. Rep. Steve Israel from New York’s 2nd District attended the fundraiser to show his strong support for Powers.

Israel touted Jon’s military record, as well as his message of leadership by example. Following Israel, Powers spoke about the concerns of Western New Yorkers. Powers said that WNYers’ first concern is jobs. The second concern is jobs and probably the third is jobs as well. The jobs issue is an important one for people in the 26th district.  

But the week was far from over for Jon. Wednesday night, just hours after Rep. Israel’s support, Jon received the Livingston County Democratic Committee’s endorsement. At their committee meeting, the Livingston County Dems heard from not only Jon, but Alice Kryzan as well. After listening to both candidates message, the Livingston County Dems overwhelmingly endorsed Jon in his run to unseat Reynolds.

It was the third county Democratic endorsement Jon has received. Previously, the Orleans County Dems endorsed Jon and the Genesee County Democratic Committee was the first to endorse Jon. He’s also received endorsements from Sen. Bob Kerrey and Gen. Wesley Clark.

Speaking of Orleans County, Jon came to Orleans County for a house party on Sunday. (Note: I’m from Orleans County.) That was a great event and just from the feeling I got from everyone (about 35-40 people) in the room, he will have a lot of support in the rural areas of this district, including Orleans County.

Then last night, Jon capped off the last week by receiving the Town of Clarence Democratic Committee endorsement. Again, he went head-to-head with Kryzan and Clarence took Jon. Jon is from Clarence, so he had the home-field advantage and a clear message.

Jon is a great all-around candidate. I will write often about the news from his campaign. It should be a great 9 1/2 months.


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NY-26: Powers picks up Kerrey’s endorsement; Davis to run again?

Another day, another big endorsement for Jon Powers.

Today, the Powers campaign announced that former U.S. Senator and 9/11 Commission member Bob Kerrey has endorsed Jon Powers in his race for Tom Reynolds’ seat in New York’s 26th congressional district:

“With the utter lack of accountability we’ve seen in Washington these past several years, Congress desperately needs more leaders like Jon Powers, “Kerrey said. “I’m endorsing Jon Powers for Congress because he leads by example, calls things as he sees them, and is dedicated to getting things done.”

“Throughout his exemplary service in the US Army, Jon Powers was recognized for his ability to solve difficult problems and achieve real results,” said Kerrey. “These days, it’s disappointingly rare when any of us can say the same of Congress or the federal government.”

“Especially in times like these, Washington needs – and New York will benefit from – Jon Powers’ refreshing style of leadership-by-example.”

More on the flip.

This comes nearly the same day as a story about Jack Davis was in the Buffalo News. Apparently, Davis is seriously considering a third run for the 26th district:

While many observers had expected Davis to bypass a third run at Reynolds, his consideration of another campaign looms as a major development in an increasingly crowded race. Iraq War veteran Jonathan Powers has been organizing a Democratic candidacy since early 2007, while Buffalo attorney Alice J. Kryzan has also been raising money and solidifying support.

Davis said he is aware of his two possible opponents in a Democratic primary but said he has no doubt that his considerable wealth would enable him to defeat both.

“If he wants to run a primary against me, it’s a free country,” he said of Powers. “But I don’t think I will have any trouble beating him.”

A few things here.

(1) Davis is essentially saying that he can beat Powers and Alice Kryzan with his pocketbook. This is true: He does have more money than these two. But his only problem is that he doesn’t campaign. In talking with members of the Davis team in 2006, Davis refused to get out and work. He didn’t go door-to-door and he certainly didn’t visit the rural counties.

(2) Anyone who knows anything about Western New York politics knows that Len Lenihan is self-serving and only cares about one thing: Len Lenihan. He made quite a reputation for himself with the rural counties in WNY when he (and the Erie County Republican chair) made the decision on who would run for State Supreme Court in the 8th Judicial District. The problem? There’s eight counties in this JD. So one county (one large county, I might add) made the decision for the other seven.

(3) Over the next seven days, I will have seen Jon Powers more than I ever saw Jack Davis (or Alice Kryzan for that matter). Jon is accessible. Jack Davis was never that way. I made three trips to Davis’s factory in Akron, NY and never saw him once. To be specific, I’ve never met Jack Davis.

Jon has worked hard – very hard. This is how I view the race:

Powers: He’s accessible and he’s truly campaigning. He’s raising money locally and nationally and he reaches out to the rural counties. He didn’t get the rural endorsements from Genesee and Orleans counties because he just sat in Erie County for the past six months. He got those endorsements because he visits regularly. He will be at a local Powers for Congress house party and I will be attending a fundraiser for Jon next Wednesday.

Kryzan: Two things that really turned me off with Kryzan from the start. She defended Hooker/Occidental Chemical in the “Love Canal” debacle and she contributed $250 to Tom Reynolds in 2000. Game. Set. Match.

Davis: Okay, he has a lot of money… but that’s all he’s got. He’s not a progressive. The story is that he turned Democrat because he was angry after not being able to meet Dick Cheney. I don’t know how true that is, but it would fit. He is, at best, a moderate Democrat. What he really is is a disgruntled Republican just looking to run on the other party’s line.

The 26th will be a madhouse. I thought we were supposed to be putting the best candidate forward to beat Tom Reynolds?  

NY-26: Powers gaining momentum in race for Reynolds’ seat

Here in New York’s 26th congressional district, we have two interesting races developing: A Democratic primary which will decide who gets the right (and/or privilege) to challenge Rep. Tom Reynolds in the 2008 elections.

Those of you who attended YearlyKos know that Iraq War Veteran Jon Powers is one Democratic candidate. I met Jon at the Orleans County Democratic Party picnic in July. I conducted an interview with him at the time for the Journal-Register. It was at that time that I extended my hand and told him that I wanted to work on his campaign.

Powers declared in June and has since traveled throughout the 26th congressional district spreading his message to people. Thanks to his hard work, he already has netted two local endorsements plus a huge national endorsement.  


This week, Powers received two local Democratic Committee endorsements. First, on Tuesday, he received the Genesee County Democratic Committee endorsement.

Genesee County Democratic chair Charlie Mallow said of Powers: “I have no doubt that Jon is the most qualified candidate in this race, and the only candidate that is in touch with issues that are important to voters in rural based counties such as ours.”

Then on Wednesday night, Powers visited Orleans County where he was endorsed by the Orleans County Democratic Committee. (NOTE: I am a Democrat in Orleans County. Oddly enough, at the same meeting I was appointed to the Town of Ridgeway Democratic Committee. The Democrats in Orleans County will continue to support Jon and do everything we can to get him elected.)

(Pictured, from left: Orleans County legislator-elect Gary Kent, 26th congressional district candidate Jon Powers, Orleans County Democratic Party chair Sally Rytlewski and former Legislature candidate and newspaper columnist Thom Jennings.)

Orleans County Democratic chairwoman Sally Rytlewski said of Jon: “I’m convinced that Jon Powers will bring a new kind of leadership to Washington,” said Rytlewski in reference to the endorsement. “The career politicians have failed to do the job. The only way for everyday people to bring about change in Washington is by changing who we’re sending to Washington.”

Last month, the Powers campaign announced that General Wesley Clark had endorsed Powers in the 26th district. This is a huge national endorsement for Jon and should say a lot about Jon and the company he keeps. Gen. Clark is an admirable figure and perhaps the smartest military man of our time.

(Pictured, from left: General Wesley Clark with Iraq War Veteran and Democratic candidate in the 26th district, Jon Powers.)


When Jon declared in June, he was all by himself. Jack Davis, who ran against Reynolds twice (2004 and 2006), wasn’t in the race. No one else was in the race either.

Then, Alice Kryzan entered the race. Kryzan (pronounced CRY-ZEN), is an environmental lawyer who is running on such a platform. She associated herself with the local StepItUp group and is pushing for changes in climate change and using alternative energy sources to improve the local economy in Western New York.

But Kryzan also has some “skeletons in her closet,” so to speak. As acknowledged in a recent Buffalo News article about her candidacy, Kryzan defended Occidental Chemical and Hooker Chemical in the Love Canal disaster. In fact, in a 1998 article about a conference held regarding Love Canal, Kryzan was quoted as saying the Occidental and Hooker waste-disposal policies  “were entirely legal and well-ahead of the industry standards of the times.” She also called the Love Canal situation “hysteria” later on.

The other “skeleton,” is the fact that in 2000, she contributed $250 to the Tom Reynolds campaign. (Note: She will be the forth name down in that link.) The question many of us are asking is why, in 2000, did she think he was deserving of her money but here in 2008, she wants to replace him as our representative?

There is also a possibility that the aforementioned Jack Davis may enter the race as well. He has said that in early 2008, he will make a decision. If he enters the race, Davis would have the money (he’s a millionaire) to run a primary and general election campaign. The downside to Davis is that he doesn’t campaign and people don’t really get to know him. He also is a single issue (trade) candidate who was pretty similar to Reynolds when it came to other issues.

If you’re a progressive, Powers is your candidate.


Reynolds is a flawed (and beaten) candidate. In 2006, Jack Davis could’ve (and perhaps should’ve) won against Reynolds. Reynolds had the Mark Foley scandal, which really hurt him locally. Davis was also hitting him hard on trade issues, since Reynolds is a free trader.

Reynolds has given people a strong case not to vote for him in 2008. Without fail, Reynolds voted against the State Childrens Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) three times. He also voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007, which prevents discrimination in the workplace based on your sexual orientation. Most recently, he voted against the energy bill put forth by the Democrats, even though he tells people on his website how to save energy!

Reynolds has served this district since 2003. In that time, he has had a very Republican voting record and has voted with the Republicans 91.7 percent of the time in this Congress.


If you’re a progressive, Powers is a no brainer. He is an Iraq War veteran, he’s in touch with the netroots (he told me he wants to get a meeting of all the local bloggers so that we’re all in contact with each other, if we aren’t already) and he is a multi-issue candidate. It would be easy for Jon to be a single issue (Iraq) candidate, but he’s not. When Jon came online and conducted a Blue America chat on FireDogLake, he answered questions about alternative energy, health care, jobs and the economy, etc. In his first response in that chat , Jon said the following:

Thank you so much having me. I am excited to be here as I fully believe the netroots are returning our government to what Abe Lincoln explained as “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Then, in his second response, he showed how versatile he is:

howieklein @ 6

Jon, welcome to FDL. It’s an honor to have you here. Can you tell us how you would have been different on specific votes than Tom Reynolds?

There are many votes that I would have voted differently than Tom Reynolds as he has voted with George Bush over 90% of the time. Reynolds for the pharmaceutical companies on reimportation of prescription drugs and he also voted against bulk rates for Medicare. Obviously we also stand on different ends of the spectrum over Iraq.

Powers won’t be the guy who is only an Iraq War candidate. He certainly has a lot to say about that issue, since he has seen it for himself, but he also has a lot to say about local and national issues that are affecting us.

Powers is the best candidate we could’ve dreamed of in New York’s 26th. He has been a superb fundraiser, but still could use your help. Club 26 is a group where if you pledge $26 per month until November 2008, you get the chance to take part in monthly conference calls and you get special campaign updates. You can join Club 26 here. If you don’t have deep pockets and want to pledge $5 or $10, go here to contribute.

Jon Powers will be a truly progressive candidate who will represent the ideals of the netroots very well in Congress. Please support him by contributing money to his campaign or by throwing your support behind his candidacy. He will need it for the primary and general elections next year.