a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew


ActBlue Fundraising page “newsrack actblue”
Fundraising pitch

Below are some of the Democratic candidates my friends and I are supporting in the 2010 election season.

These are progressive candidates facing tough elections. They’ve done the right thing, and we need to have their back now. You can learn more about them below, and you can keep up with how they’re doing at the 2010 elections web page we’ve set up to track their progress.

It’s up to you — give them all a little, or give one a lot down on the list below. But give something — and give a little more than you planned to — so they can keep up the good fight. Thanks!

(PS: And don’t forget to include a tip for our friends at ActBlue!)

Contribution blurb
It’s critical we keep the progressive representation we have in Congress — and add to it when we can. You’re a big part of that — thanks!!!

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Thank you very much for contributing to “newsrack actblue”! We’re taking our politics into our own hands when we make up our own minds and give to the *exact* candidates we prefer, rather than simply to a party or a congressional campaign committee.

I’ve added this message after seeing so many people like yourself give to these candidates through this ActBlue site. I’ll keep tabs on how the candidates are doing and post to my web site ( about that from time to time. It means a lot to me that you decided to give this way; once again, thank you very much!


Russ Feingold

  • I think you’ve heard of him. If not, here’s a great profile by John Nichols of “The Nation,” Russ Feingold, The Senate’s Real Maverick: Over time, Feingold’s antiwar and anticorporate record, as well as his defense of civil liberties, have made him a hero to progressive populists. “Russ is not shy about taking on the forces of arrogance and ignorance in my party,” says author and activist Jim Hightower. Since the death of Wellstone, says Hightower, “Feingold’s the one Democrat I don’t have to apologize for.”
  • Feingold was the only Senator to vote against the PATRIOT Act, and is perhaps the highest profile civil liberties advocate in the country. It’s critical we not lose his voice in the Senate. Here’s Russ talking about FISA back in 2008: [[youtube:]]
  • To get to know him better, have a look at these interviews: Interview with Sen. Russ Feingold (Glenn Greenwald); Live Chat with Russ Feingold: Worth Fighting For (Brad Reed, Crooks & Liars).
  • NRCAT anti-torture score: 100 out of 100.

Alan Grayson

  • I think you’ve heard of him, even if you think you haven’t. Remember this? I thought you would. Grayson is one of the fightingest Democrats in Congress, we need more like him.
  • [[youtube:]]
  • NRCAT anti-torture score: 100 out of 100.

Mary Jo Kilroy

  • “Time to Double Down on Mary Jo Kilroy (Howie Klein, DownWithTyranny): “Sunday, The Hill, while not explaining their methodology, weighed in with their picks for the 10 most endangered House Democratic freshmen […] Most of those on the list are there because they’ve alienated the Democratic base by voting against the interests of ordinary working families. Kilroy is the exception and deserves an extraordinary effort to save her seat from a sleazy bank lobbyist and protégé of John Boehner’s.
  • [[youtube:]]
  • NRCAT anti-torture score: 100 out of 100.

Patrick Murphy

  • A friend of mine from Pennsylvania talks about him all the time; here’s her latest summary:”He’s the Congressional leader on repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. He was out front on health care reform – specifically the Public Option – and stayed there. It was a hard position to take in this district. Most recently he’s been out front on ending the high-income tax cuts – another difficult position to take, but he won’t back down. He could use support because he’s in a tough race against a former Congressman – the one who cast the tie-breaking vote to pass CAFTA back in the day. Holding this seat is very important and is probably our best chance in PA.” Click here for various Patrick Murphy links)
  • [[youtube:]]
  • NRCAT anti-torture score: 100 out of 100.

Tarryl Clark

  • …is facing the notorious GOP incumbent and so-called ‘Mama Grizzly’ Michelle Bachman, who once called on reporters to investigate which Congressmembers were “secretly against America.” But Howie Klein (DownWithTyranny, HuffPo) argues it’s not just about supporting anyone versus Bachman — Clark is a genuinely excellent candidate: “Instead of running around the country and ranting and raving at tea parties, she proven herself an effective leader for the people she represents, working to secure the funds to upgrade the facilities at Saint Cloud State University, working to ensure Central Minnesota’s nursing homes are paid fairly, working to establish a special law enforcement unit to fight gang activities in Central Minnesota.” Read on to learn about more of the meat and potatoes, jobs related initiatives Clark has championed in Minnesota. Wish we had more like her in DC.
  • [[youtube:]]
  • Michelle Bachmann’s NRCAT anti-torture score: a mere 10 out of 100.

Joe Sestak

  • Sestak deserves support just for opposing the Incumbent Party’s choice Arlen Specter in the May primary. He voted for health care reform in early 2010, and the veteran ex-Navy officer supports repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”
  • [[youtube:]]
  • NRCAT anti-torture score: 100 out of 100.

Bryan Lentz

  • This prosecutor — and former Army Ranger — is vying for the open seat Joe Sestak took in 2008. He’s an effective campaigner, who took the same stage at a press conference where he was accused of taking part in “Bonusgate” to make the point that he wasn’t in the PA Assembly when any of that happened . Lentz’s appearance turned the tables on his accuser Pat Meehan, who looked confused at having to actually answer questions about his accusations. (video) As for his progressive politics, this supposed attack web site makes the case as well as anything I could hope to compile: pro EFCA, pro cap and trade to fight global warming, even — gasp! – pro community bank/small business loan program.

Manan Trivedi

  • A 2d generation immigrant, doctor, and Iraq war vet, Trivedi is also a solid progressive grassroots candidate who pledges to fight for a public option if elected, and who considers the Iraq war to have been “unnecessary and immoral.” He has been endorsed by Democracy For America.
  • Opponent Jim Gerlach’s NRCAT anti-torture score: a mere 14 out of 100.

Raul Grijalva

  • Grijalva is co-chair of the Progressive Caucus in the House — a group *my* Congressman (Van Hollen) isn’t willing to belong to. While he may seem invulnerable in his district, appearance may deceive, says digby (“On Chicken Counting) — Republicans are willing to spend millions to defeat him, esp. after calling for an AZ boycott in the wake of SB1040.
  • Fun fact: Grijalva was on the short list for Secretary of Interior — but Obama liked Salazar better because he wasn’t the drilling skeptic Grijalva is.
  • NRCAT anti-torture score: 100 out of 100.

Chellie Pingree

  • UPDATE, 10/18: This candidate is estimated to be in good shape: “solid Democratic”, near-100% chance of winning according to the New York Times /
  • I’ve followed Ms. Pingree since she was running for this seat in 2008; I gave to her then and I haven’t regretted it since. A former director of Common Cause, she was also a signatory to the important “Responsible Plan to Get Out of Iraq” initiative developed by our own Donna Edwards and others. She’s strongly pro-labor, and was one of the leaders in the effort to include a ‘public option‘ in the health care reform package. Maine can be a tough environment for progressives. Let’s make sure she stays in office.
  • NRCAT anti-torture score: 100 out of 100.

Lloyd Doggett

  • UPDATE, 10/18: This candidate is estimated to be in good shape: “solid Democratic”, near-100% chance of winning according to the New York Times /
  • A Texas friend writes, “Texas Senator Lloyd Doggett has been tried and true for a long time. He has fought very hard for education at all levels — from Head Start to college/university. If I remember correctly, he was one of the few to really stand up for a real health care bill (not the watered down corporate handout that we got). This year he is in the tightest race of his life against a Dr. Donna Campbell who, from what I can tell, is a political opportunist riding the anti-incumbent wave.” (links added)
  • NRCAT anti-torture score: 100 out of 100.
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