That’s right. Yesterday at a debate between Rep. Virgil Goode of Virgina’s 5th district and his Democratic challenger Tom Perriello Goode said this
“And they want me out of Congress, the liberal Democrats want me out. And they want me out because I’m a conservative voice, if we can silence that person that’s exactly what we want, we want more mushers up here in Congress that won’t speak out and stand out. They want a Obamajority in this country, Tom is on the Obamajority list for the US House of Representatives, they want to get him in there because they know he is going to be voting with them. They want to control the White House, 60 votes in the US Senate and a strong majority in the US House of Representatives.”
Now he’s found a new bogeymen. He’s attacking the Obamajority, an ActBlue page started by a 14 year old blogger–me.
That’s right, back in March I started an ActBlue page, “The New Obamajority”. After asking for suggestions I added Tom Perriello to the page. Apparently the 587 dollars we raised from 12 donors over the internet terrified Goode so much that he decided to attack a internet fundraising page in his closing remarks at a key debate in his race.
That internet fundraising page is even more terrifying to Goode because it was started by me, a 14 year old blogger with close to no political experience before two years ago. I’m trembling in my boots!
Personally I don’t think 587 bucks is anything to be scared about. If I were Goode I would be more worried about the fact that he’s getting outraised by Perriello. But I say we give him something to really be scared about.
I’m setting a goal of getting to 50 donors for Perriello on the Obamajority page to send Goode packing.
Goode doesn’t seem to like “mushers” which is odd because it is the name of people who race dogs similar to dogsled racing, I guess Goode has a problem with mushing, maybe if we retire him he’ll have enough free time to try out mushing and maybe he’ll learn to love it.
Also, Goode came close to breaking a secret I’ve been keeping. Tom will not be voting with “them” as Goode said, he will be personally calling me up before each vote and asking me how to vote. In fact, he got me a slick new phone for that purpose.
Let me assure you of this, Tom will march lock step with the powerful Teenage Blogger Caucus!
We’ve got a goal, we’ve got a teenage blogger attacking congressmen, we’ve got a terrific candidate to replace him.
Now time for action! It’s time to make a difference and let’s do it. Let’s use the super-powerful Obamajority internet fundraising page to elect Tom Perriello and say “Goodbye” to Virgil Goode. We can use the series of tubes to make a difference!
It’s not uncommon for congressional leaders to steer fundraising assistance to party candidates who are in difficult races and in need of extra campaign cash. One such effort is the House Republicans’ “ROMP,” an acronym for Regain Our Majority Program, which has released its latest list of Republican candidates who will benefit from additional aid because they are politically vulnerable and/or have been targeted by the Democrats for defeat.
“ROMP 2008,” presently overseen by the political operation of House Minority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio, was recently established in papers filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). These records identify the 10 newest recipients of the program’s assistance.
These candidates make up the first batch of ROMP candidates named this year, and the third since the current election cycle began in the 2007-08 cycle. The new recipients’ election contests are outlined below.
7/10 of the candidates were incumbents we ousted in the last election cycle.
• Michele Bachmann , Minnesota’s 6th District (North and east Twin Cities suburbs; St. Cloud). Bachmann was first elected in 2006 to succeed Republican Mark Kennedy, who lost his campaign for the U.S. Senate to Democrat Amy Klobuchar . The Democratic nominee for November’s election will be either Bob Olson, a lawyer, or Elwyn Tinklenberg, a former state transportation commissioner. The latter candidate initially campaigned for the Democratic nomination in 2006 but later deferred to Patty Wetterling, a child safety advocate who lost to Bachmann after also losing as the Democratic nominee against Kennedy in 2004.
• Vito J. Fossella , New York’s 13th (Staten Island; part of southwest Brooklyn). Fossella is the only House Republican who represents part of New York City. He saw his re-election percentage drop from 70 percent in 2002 to 59 percent in 2004, and then again to 57 percent in 2006 even though Democratic challenger Steve Harrison didn’t raise much money. Harrison, a lawyer, is seeking a rematch, though he faces a well-funded primary opponent in New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia.
• Sam Graves , Missouri’s 6th (Northwest – St. Joseph, part of Kansas City). Graves’ campaign for a fifth term may well be the toughest of his career. His Democratic opponent, former Kansas City mayor Kay Barnes, is well-known and well-funded.
• Ric Keller , Florida’s 8th (Central – most of Orlando). Keller won a fourth term in 2006 by a 7 percentage-point margin over Democrat Charlie Stuart, a marketing executive who is one of several Democrats seeking the 2008 nomination.
• Anne M. Northup, Kentucky’s 3rd (Louisville Metro). Northup, who served in the House from 1997 through 2006, is challenging Democratic freshman Yarmuth, who unseated her by a margin of less than 3 percentage points. Northup hadn’t planned a bid to reclaim her seat this year, but she jumped in after the Republican she had been backing, lawyer Erwin Roberts, dropped out of the race to fulfill his military obligations. Northup sought a quick political comeback last year but lost a primary challenge to then-Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who subsequently lost the general election to Democrat Steve Beshear.
• Erik Paulsen, Minnesota’s 3rd (Hennepin County suburbs – Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Plymouth). Paulsen, a state representative, is the presumed Republican nominee in this suburban Minneapolis district, which retiring Republican Jim Ramstad is giving up after nine terms. The Democratic nominee will either be state Sen. Terri Bonoff or Ashwin Madia, a lawyer and Iraq War veteran.
• Bill Sali , Idaho’s 1st (West – Nampa, Panhandle, part of Boise). The strong Republican leanings of this district are indisputable, as President Bush took 68 percent of the vote there in his 2004 election. But Sali underperformed in his 2006 election for the then-open 1st District seat, in which he defeated Democrat Larry Grant by the underwhelming vote of 50 percent to 45 percent. Grant is seeking the 2008 Democratic nomination along with Walt Minnick, a businessman who lost as the party’s losing Senate nominee against Republican Larry E. Craig in 1996. Sali is opposed in the May 27 Republican primary election by Matt Salisbury, an Iraq War veteran.
• Jean Schmidt , Ohio’s 2nd (Eastern Cincinnati and suburbs; Portsmouth). Schmidt, who is seeking a second full term in a district that usually exhibits strong Republican leanings, faces a rematch of her exceptionally close 2006 race against Democratic physician Victoria Wulsin. Schmidt won that contest by a margin of about 1 percentage point. In the primary elections that took place March 4, Schmidt was renominated with 57 percent of the Republican vote and Wulsin won with 58 percent on the Democratic side.
• Tim Walberg , Michigan’s 7th (South central – Battle Creek, Jackson). Walberg, a freshman, was elected in 2006 over Democrat Sharon Renier, a little-known and underfunded Democrat who lost by just 4 percentage points. The unexpectedly close outcome was influenced by a bitter Republican primary fight in which the very conservative Walberg unseated one-term GOP moderate Joe Schwarz. Renier is running again this year, though Democratic officials are rallying behind state Sen. Mark Schauer, a better-known and better-funded candidate.
• Darren White, New Mexico’s 1st (Central – Albuquerque). White is the sheriff of Bernalillo County, which includes Albuquerque and which is the population base of a politically competitive district that Republican Heather A. Wilson left open to pursue a U.S. Senate bid. White is opposed in the June 3 primary by state Sen. Joseph Carraro. The four Democratic primary candidates are Michelle Grisham, a former state health secretary; Martin Heinrich, a former Albuquerque councilman; Robert L. Pidcock, a lawyer; and Rebecca Vigil-Giron, a former New Mexico Secretary of State.
Last Monday I launched the Obamajority to give Barack Obama a strong progressive Congress that will enact his bold agenda. I started it out with three canidates, Rick Noriega, Darcy Burner and Patrick Murphy. I also asked for suggestions for who to endorse next.
The canidate that received the most support by far was Tom Perriello. I had already heard about his impressive run for Congress and so I am exited to announce that Tom is the latest canidate to be added to the Obamajority. So go and give him some change for change. In this essay I take a look at Tom and his campaign to bring much needed leadership to Virgina’s 5th Congressional District.
First let’s take a look at the current representative for the Virgina’s 5th Congressional District. His name is Virgil Goode, Jr. I’ve known about Goode for a little bit over a year because he is a national prominent bigot. On December 7th Goode sent this letter out to a constituent. Take a look at that bigotry.
You see that “Muslim Representative from Minnesota” is Keith Ellison the great representative elected to my neighboring district. That is a perfect example of the hate and fear that is too powerful today. Many times people have attempted to defeat Goode but again and again they have lost. But this time we have a chance to change that.
Why? Because we have a great canidate running. Tom Perriello. Tom was called to serve at a early age.
After receiving his law degree from Yale University, Tom accepted an assignment working to end atrocities in the West African countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone, which had suffered long civil wars fueled by blood diamonds. Tom’s work with child soldiers, amputees, and local pro-democracy groups in Sierra Leone played a significant role in the peace and reconciliation process that ended twelve years of violence in that country.
Tom then became Special Advisor and spokesperson for the International Prosecutor during the showdown that forced Liberian dictator Charles Taylor from power without firing a shot. After this success, Tom served as a national security analyst for the Century Foundation. He has worked inside Darfur and twice in Afghanistan.
Since 2004 he has been a leader in building a faith-based movement dedicated to working toward the common good instead of spewing hate.
Since 2004, Tom has helped to launch a political and social movement in this country that is credited with shifting the national debate about America’s moral priorities. He helped found FaithfulAmerica.org and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, which bring together faith communities to fight for children’s health care, supporting a higher minimum wage, environmental stewardship, and responsible solutions in Iraq. Inspired by the prophetic vision of Dr. King, Wilberforce, and Micah, Tom believes that America must reverse the erosion of our commitment to the common good and restore our understanding that our nation rises or falls together.
Tom also helped found Avaaz.org a great group that I am a part of. It tackles some of the toughest issues of our day by working with it’s millions of members from every country in the world.
Tom sat down for a great interview with Lowell of the great Virgina blog Raising Kaine. In it he explains why he is running, how he thinks he can win, his strengths and passions. Let’s look at some highlights from that interview.
First of all the big question. Why? Why run for Congress?
Like so many in my generation, I felt called from an early age to devote my life to community service, because it felt so much more real than trying to change things through government. For over a decade, I have felt inspired to work on economic fairness in our communities and on ending atrocities from inside Darfur and Sierra Leone.
But I could only work in a broken system for so long before I began to understand how important it was to fix the system itself. In Darfur and West Africa, I saw how much of a difference a single Congressperson could make if s/he were willing to speak out and hold the Administration and State Department accountable. And the last few elections have made it clear how important it is for Democrats to reclaim the values debate and restore America’s commitment to justice and the common good.
I believe we stand at a unique point in history. Our challenges are large enough that our only pragmatism is the idealism to think big and expand our sense of what’s possible. I am running because I believe that politics should be seen as community service by other means. It can, and should, be a place to make people’s lives better.
And how will he win in this traditionally Republican district?
We are going to win because we have a stronger movement on our side and better ideas for how to secure our country, our jobs, and our environment. Beating Rep. Goode will not be easy, but all the pieces are coming together:
1) Energy and Resources – We tripled Rep. Goode in fourth quarter fundraising, and raised more money inside Virginia in four months than he did all year. When we are outpacing an incumbent from the Appropriations Committee, you know that people are hungry for a new generation of leadership. Also the DCCC has put our race “in play,” and if we hit our fundraising target this quarter, we will move into the top tier of their targeted races.
2) Grassroots – Our campaign has already logged over 1300 volunteer hours, and we are working hard to build the largest and most sophisticated grassroots network this district has ever seen. We are investing heavily in field, already have offices in Franklin County and Charlottesville, and will have an office in Danville by the end of this quarter. In a district the size of New Jersey, this race will be won on the ground.
3) Blue-mentum – Like much of America, our district is a swing district that is now trending blue. The wildly popular Mark Warner is on the ticket, Gov. Kaine is tirelessly devoted to building the party, and Obama just got more primary votes in the Fifth than all the Republicans combined. Meanwhile, Rep. Goode has gone from being a populist maverick to marching lockstep with President Bush and out of step with our independent district.
As for being a “faith-based progressive,” I can tell you that voters respond to authenticity. My faith is a big part of who I am and why I’ve dedicated my life to justice, and most voters just want to know what I am all about. It also provides a common experience and language that resonates with voters in my district, especially in areas where Democrats have struggled in the past.
And finally his answer on one of the most pressing issues of our day. Climate change.
We need to commit to independence from fossil fuels within a generation, and that will require major investments, a substantial shift in incentives, and a culture change as consumers. A revenue-neutral tax shift is one way to do this, but so are cap-and-trade systems that have worked to address problems such as acid rain.
As for the target, I most often hear from experts that we must draw the line at no more than a 2-degree Celsius temperature increase. Our goal must be set not by what seems politically possible but what will actually produce the end result we need.
That brings me to a excellent series that Tom wrote for TPMCafe’s Table for One. You can read it all here (under latest posts) but I want to focus on what I think is the most important one. It is entitled “Conviction Politics… in Practice.” In it Tom breaks from the notion that only DLC-poll driven campaigns can win. Instead he shows that conviction politics both makes it more likely for him to be elected and will also make him more effective if he is elected. I strongly recomend you read it all but here is part of it.
While some strategists focus on positioning candidates on issue after issue, I believe most voters focus more on whether the candidate integrity and character on the whole, demonstrated by the conviction to take a stand. These lines from Toby Keith probably strike pretty close to how many people, including me, feel about this:
“I’m a man of my convictions. Call me wrong. Call me right.
But I bring my better angels, to every fight.
You may not like where I’m going. But you sure know where I stand.
Hate me if you want to, love me if you can.”
For the rest of the week, I will be talking about my struggle to apply these simple principles to the issues of the day (Iraq War, culture war) and my experience putting conviction politics into practice. The successes of conviction candidates in 2006 inspired me to run for Congress. I am still very early in the process, but am hopeful that this campaign will be part of building on those lessons for a better democracy.
The more I learn about Tom the more exited I am about this campaign. I hope you will take the time to read his great interview with Raising Kaine, teacherken’s excellent case for him and Tom’s postings on TPM. Hopefully then you will be as exited by Tom’s campaign as I am.
Electing Barack Obama isn’t enough to bring real change. We will also need to send a strong message to Congress that more of the same won’t cut it. Electing someone like Tom would do just that. Tom wouldn’t just be another vote. He would be someone who lead by example. He will use his power as 1 of 435 to do good in the world not get sweet deals from lobbyists. He will lead by conviction and indeed he already is leading. He helped develop the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq and appeared in this video promoting it:
If you want that kind of leadership. If you want to send a strong message that conviction politics is the right kind of politics then consider making a donation to Tom via the Obamajority page. Tom has set a goal of raising $500,000 in this quarter and he is very close to reaching that. If he does this will become a top-tier race nationally. He is running a grassroots campaign and we have a good shot at replacing one of the worst congressmen with one of the best. Right now is a critical time in the campaign though so donate and together we can bring about some real change. But only it you help make it.
We need to restore the founding American ethic that we are better off when we are in this together. Since the original thirteen colonies joined together as the United States, through Civil War and the Great Depression, we have risen or fallen according to this simple rule: America thrives when we are united in a common purpose for the common good.- Tom Perriello
P.S. We are always open to adding new canidates. Keep the suggestions coming to obamathon (AT) gmail (DOT) com. Thanks!
There is still a lot more work to do if we want to get Barack Obama elected. But if we want to truly change this country we need to do more then that. We need to build strong Democratic majority in the House and Senate committed to passing Obama’s agenda of change. In short we need an Obamajority.
So I e-mailed a few people who had helped out with the Obamathon and came up with the idea for a fundraising drive like the Obamathon but for congressional candidates who will help build a Obamajority. Using the amazing ActBlue we have set up a fundraising page to build The New Obamajority. To start out it features three great candidates. Rick Noriega, Darcy Burner and Patrick Murphy. More will be added as time goes on (suggestions are welcome at obamathon (AT) gmail (DOT) com) but for now let me introduce you to those three great candidates who will help build an Obamajority.
First off, Rick Noriega. Rick is running for Senate in Texas to take back LBJ’s old seat from Bush rubber stamp John Cornyn.
Rick is a Lt. Colonel in the Texas Army National Guard and has served in Afghanistan, he has been a accomplished state representative since 1998 and he managed the evacuee shelter operation in Houston. He was “drafted” into the Senate race by Texas activists and is now running a strong campaign against John Cornyn who is one of the worst Senators in the nation. But why should this race matter to Obama supporters?
Many presidents have been swept into office with a progressive agenda of reform but then faced the Senate. We don’t want Barack to have the same experience. The Republican minority has set a record in filibusters and has been able to over and over block progress on key issues. If we want Obama to be able to succeed in changing the country we will need more Democrats in the Senate. There are some races like Virgina that are likely going to be pickups but were we can help the most is in states like Texas that are at the verge of at least turning purple but are under the national radar. Money and energy at this point will help give Rick the resources needed to run a grassroots, people-powered campaign so he can defeat John Cornyn and help build an Obamajority. Donate today via the New Obamajority page and together we can do it. And if your wondering who Rick prefers in the presidential race read this quote from a newspaper:
“I’m for whoever wins,” he replies diplomatically, before twirling into the second half of his answer: “I’m for who’s going to come back to Texas and help us fight (to) win Texas.”
Noriega falls back to Alamo imagery. “I’m drawing a line in the sand. My focus is which one of you (Obama or Clinton) is committed to help us win Texas back.
“At the end of the day,” Noriega said, “I want to know who’s going to be in the foxhole with us.”
We know Barack Obama will be in that foxhole with him, and will execute the 50-state strategy to turn Texas blue and elect Rick Noriega to the Senate seat once held by Lyndon Baines Johnson. Donate today and make it a reality!
Next up is Darcy Burner. She is running for Congress in Washington’s 8th congressional district against Rep. Dave Reichert. Bush and Reichert are such great pals that Bush decided to fly across the country to do a big fundraiser for him. In response we in the netroots raised almost 100,000 dollars for Darcy Burner in less then a week. She is a great candidate and stands a great shot to win and send a message of change to congress.
Darcy is a software engineer who got fed up of Reichert and his pal Bush and ran a underdog, grassroots campaign in 2006 and nearly won. She has learned from that campaign and is running again and stands a great shot of winning.
She won’t just be another vote in Congress. She will be a leader. As a congressional candidate she worked with other candidates, security experts, military leaders and others to develop the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq. That is the kind of leadership she will bring to congress.
If we want to enact Obama’s agenda we need more leaders. So help send one to congress. Donate to Darcy!
And finally Patrick Murphy. He is the first and only Iraq War veteran to serve in Congress and has helped lead the fight to bring our troops home from Iraq and ensure they receive the care and benefits they receive when they come back. With Barack Obama as President we can finish that job.
In 2006 by running a people-powered campaign similar to the one Obama is now running Patrick upset Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick. But the Republicans have recruited a top-tier candidate and this will be a tough race.
Back in August 2007, Murphy stepped to the plate to endorse Barack Obama, and spent a great deal of time in Iowa and New Hampshire on the stump for Barack Obama. Patrick has stood with us and now let’s return the favor and help return him to congress. Donate to Murphy for an Obamajority.
There you go. Three great candidates who will help build an Obamajority to help Barack Obama achieve real change. Supporting Barack isn’t enough because he won’t be able to do anything if he doesn’t have an Obamajority. So let’s build one. Donate today. Spread the word. Have a idea for another canidate? Post it in the comments or e-mail obamathon (AT) gmail (DOT) com.