40 Days Until Sestak-Specter and Halter-Lincoln

{First, a cheap plug for my blog Senate Guru.}

40 days from today – on May 18 – we will see two HUGE primaries for U.S. Senate.  Even though these races aren’t in Iowa, they impact Democrats across the country and, well, the entire country as a whole.

In Pennsylvania, Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak will try to upset Republican-for-decades Arlen Specter.

In Arkansas, Democratic Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter will try to upset corporate lackey Blanche Lincoln.

These two races are tremendously important to defining who and what the Democratic Party is and what we will be fighting for.

If you can volunteer for these candidates (or encourage friends and family in Pennsylvania and Arkansas to do so), that would be amazing.

Of course, if you can help with a contribution to either or both via the Expand the Map! ActBlue page as soon as possible, it will make a big impact.

Expand the Map! ActBlue page
Joe Sestak

Facebook, Twitter

Volunteer Page
Bill Halter

Facebook, Twitter

Volunteer Page
Expand the Map! ActBlue page

Polling shows that both Specter and Lincoln are at risk of – if not likely to – hand these Senate seats over to far-right-wing Republicans. (And, even if these two retain the seats, that’s not much better on many key issues.)

Congressman Sestak and Lieutenant Governor Halter winning these primaries are critical to keeping these seats in truly Democratic hands. Your support can help make that happen!  Please hop over to the Expand the Map! ActBlue page right away to make a contribution – an investment in the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party to pull out an old expression – and show your support.

Thanks SO much for any support you can provide. 40 Days.

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The Bottom Line on Health Care

(I've recently spoken with several early Obama supporters who echo iowademocrat's sentiments. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

(crossposted from IowaDemocrat)
 
From the very beginning of the Obama caucus campaign continuing through the general election, I gave more money, more time, and stuck my neck out further than I ever had before for a Presidential candidate, and I've worked hard for quite a few.
 
I will not invest my energy in a cause that has no bottom line, no goals which the president will not compromise, nor any clear cut progress toward true reform.
 
I respect Barack Obama for the great things he HAS done, but I refuse to work for his version of health care reform when he has no clear goal other than to pass something – anything – that may get through Congress, regardless of content.
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PA-Sen: Netroots Overwhelmingly Support a Draft Sestak Effort

{First, a cheap plug for my blog Senate Guru.}

As many of you know, over the last five days, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, in partnership with a number of progressive organizations and blogs including Senate Guru, asked those in the netroots, “Should a Draft Sestak movement be created to take on Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary?”

Netroots for Sestak The results are in and they are overwhelming.  85% of Pennsylvanian respondents and 86% of respondents nationally want Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak to challenge Arlen Specter in the 2010 Democratic Senate primary.  The poll has even gotten the attention of Congressman Sestak, as the PCCC points out:

“I am honored that so many of you took the time to vote in the recent grassroots Straw Poll. Let me tell you, I and many others were paying attention. If I decide to run it will be in large measure because of the grassroots energy of so many people like you. Until I and my family make that decision, please accept my thanks and my best wishes as you continue be active participants in our people-powered democracy. Thank you so very much!”

Due to such an overwhelming response, a Draft Sestak Fund has been created on ActBlue.  To contribute and further encourage Congressman Sestak to enter the race, click on the image below:

Draft Sestak Fund

If you need any additional motivation to contribute to this effort to draft a real Democrat to oppose Specter in the primary, consider Specter’s actions since announcing his Party switch:

1) Specter opposed the Obama budget.

2) Specter opposed the “cramdown” mortgage/bankruptcy reform, siding with banks over families.

3) Specter reiterated his opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act.

4) Specter reiterated his opposition to President Obama’s nomination of Dawn Johnsen to the Office of Legal Counsel.

5) Specter announced his support for Republican Norm Coleman over Democratic Senator-elect Al Franken in Minnesota’s Senate race.

6) Specter promoted a website that appeared to raise money for cancer research but, in actuality, simply raised money for his campaign.

7) Specter denied reports that he told President Obama that he would be a “loyal Democrat” despite multiple reporters sticking to their story.

The netroots have displayed overwhelming support for Congressman Sestak to take on recently-Republican Arlen Specter.  Help the effort by contributing to the Draft Sestak Fund.

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ActBlue Looking for Your Ideas

( - promoted by desmoinesdem)

“I believe candidates with strong, sound stances deserve our support, and this is a race where your dollars can make the difference. Please make a contribution to this critical cause.”

Sound familiar? If you have any experience with our fundraising pages you will have seen this (and perhaps fallen asleep to it) a few too many times. It is the default text for ActBlue’s fundraising pages. ActBlue’s customizable fundraising pages allow progressive activists to raise money for the best Democratic candidates out there easily and effectively, and the fifty state blog network has taken advantage of this feature to support state and national candidates with customized, targeted pages. But while the original blurb did help Democrats use our pages, we’re in year 5 of ActBlue, and this is definitely year 3-4 material. We’ll be working with thousands of new fundraisers this cycle, and we want to make sure they have the best language. And, well, this isn’t it.

So, we need ideas.

We know you’re best equipped to know what language will appeal to your friends and neighbors, so we wanted to give all of you an opportunity to create the next fundraising page blurb. If we pick yours, it will show up automatically on almost every fundraising page created on ActBlue. To show our appreciation, we’ll send the winner and two runners-up an ActBlue Ice Cream Scoop! (No, we’re not kidding. And trust us, it’s a high quality scoop – The Original Zeroll.)

Okay, here are the guidelines:

  1. The blurb must be fewer than 50 words.
  2. It has to be fairly generic (no specific issues or names), but still get across the basic reason for the fundraising page. This is something our current text does fairly well, if you are looking for an example.
  3. If you can make it apply to pages for candidates and/or committees, all the better. If not, at least make it appeal to people looking to donate to candidates.
  4. We are Democrats, and our pages are for Democrats. If your message would appeal to Democrats, that would probably earn points.
  5. Humor is a big plus, but only that universal humor that works for everyone.
  6. Effective fundraising is personal. Think about what kind of language would help you be a better fundraiser, and think about why your friends and family might feel compelled to give.
  7. All entries must be received by 3/25.

Fill out your entry form right here! Thank you for your participation!

ActBlue is active in all 50 states, helping Democrats raise money for their chosen candidate from the comfort of their living rooms and offices. We believe that your voice should be heard everywhere from your state capitol to the Senate floor, and we’re working to make sure it is. Please support our work with a $15 recurring contribution today!

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A Dream Of Peace (IA Congressman Works To Ease Gaza Humanitarian Crisis)

(Thanks to rbguy for the post--I hadn't read about this anywhere else. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

In response to the recent Gaza War, a fundraising page was set up on ActBlue.com in order to contribute to elected officials who have been supportive of the peoples of Israel and Palestine.  The page is called “A Dream of Peace: Justice and Equality for The People of Israel and Palestine”, and can be found here.

The mission of the page states “All of the people of the Holy Land need to live in peace and security. We need to support and elect candidates that are willing to stand up for the rights of the citizens of Israel and Palestine. These candidates support measures to stop violence, increase economic and humanitarian aid, actively engage in negotiation, and promote co-existence among these two Peoples.”

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Help save the system that runs this blog

Most people who read Bleeding Heartland have probably never heard of Soapblox. It’s an “inexpensive, community-building content management platform developed by Paul Preston and currently used by over 100 progressive blogs,” including several of my favorites: Open Left, Swing State Project, Progressive Blue, and La Vida Locavore.

Bleeding Heartland is among the two dozen state community blogs for Democrats that use Soapblox.

This week hackers got into Soapblox and wreaked havoc with some of the servers, forcing several blogs off-line. Although Bleeding Heartland was not directly affected by that attack, this blog could cease to function and lose all its archives if Soapblox security is not improved.

Preston has always charged low monthly fees to make the platform accessible for progressive bloggers, allowing many new community blogs to get going in the past few years.

BlogPAC has also helped by providing grants to state community blogs, including Bleeding Heartland, to cover Soapblox expenses.

From time to time I get an e-mail or a comment posted here offering to donate to Bleeding Heartland. I appreciate the offers, but we are doing fine. (We wouldn’t say no to more advertising, which can be purchased through the Liberal Blogad network.)

If you appreciate this and other community blogs, the number one thing you can do to keep them going is to help BlogPAC save Soapblox.

Chris Bowers gives some background in this diary and explains what Soapblox needs “to become safe and secure once again.”

He has set up a special ActBlue page to raise money for Soapblox. They need $17,400 to complete the security measures.

Goal Thermometer

On a related note, BlogPAC has done wonderful work supporting progressive change. For that reason, I have donated my share of the Bleeding Heartland advertising revenues to BlogPAC since I started writing here nearly two years ago.

In addition to raising money for Soapblox, BlogPAC is helping Tom Geoghegan for Congress in Illinois’s fifth district (the seat vacated by Barack Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel). You can read more about Geoghegan here. If you can spare a few extra bucks in this tough economy, please consider throwing them his way.  

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