Today's scheduled Blue America guest, Jerry Meek, chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party, has been sick as a dog all week and I let him off the hook. We'll have him on in a few weeks. So instead of Jerry's eloquence and brilliance — and plans to retire Elizabeth Dole and Robin Hayes — I want to give away some money. And I want you to help me.
Over the last few months I periodically get ominous letters from the FEC. I interpret them as indications that Jacquie, Jane, John and I may soon be hauled off the election-fraud-and-tampering prison. There's sure plenty of empty cells and lots of room. But the Blue America PAC attorney, who we hired to help stop the flow of these threatening letters, assures me that they are all easy to deal with — which he has done, mostly by apologizing and promising we'll never do "it" (whichever particular obscure rule was inadvertently broken [always by me]) again. And we won't. (CHS says: Thank goodness for lawyers.)
But one of the letters requires more than an "I'm sorry."
To keep our status as a multicandidate Federal PAC we need to make five contributions of $200 each. I want to do that today. And I want to get a sense of the community about which incumbents we want to give a great big Blue America thanks to, at this point. If you have a suggestion, I want to hear it — but with a reason that goes beyond that the intended recipient just happens to represent you. I'd like a reason you think he or she is worthy.
I asked a couple of people yesterday and I immediately got back a resounding roar for Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH), hard-working president of the freshman class. 618 of us donated $5,830.00 to his campaign last year though Blue America and he was a big winner against pathetic rubber stamp waste-of-a-seat Charlie Bass. Pach and Marcy spent some with Paul yesterday at the Waxman hearings and they are both raving about him. A friend of mine who works for the House Democratic leadership described him as "hauling ass."
Carol Shea Porter is also from New Hampshire and she'll be on with us here soon. Pach also got to spend some time with her yesterday and he recommends we consider her as well.
"She's been fighting to make the supplemental work with a hard date in it, and has been using her background as a social worker and facilitator to bring others in the Dem caucus (cough, Blue Dogs, cough) along too. Not sure if I can say that in public, but she's acting like a real force, even as a freshman. She's been getting nasty calls from constituents confused by a MoveOn email asking them to press her to hold the administration accountable, but there's really been no more consistent and principled advocate for accountability and for ending the war than she is, really. She's been misunderstood by peace activists and she deserves support and recognition. She's a fighter."
She also asked the DCCC to stay out of her race for re-election. She's pure grassroots. She won without Emanuel last time and she wants to win next year because she's done a good job representing her constituents. Hilda Solis (D-CA) was raving about her to Jane and I last weekend and Hilda knows the difference between a fighting progressive and a foot-dragging reactionary. In fact, Hilda wouldn't be such a terrible choice either. We want to empower Democrats like her within the leadership. Moving the Hilda Solis' up is the only way we'll ever not wind up with rotten and corrupt leaders like Hoyer and Emanuel.
Other suggestions I got yesterday ranged from Elijah Cummings (D-MD) who impressed Marcy for the way he took on that Toejam nutcase and made the hearings more "like theater or an exciting rock concert" than a musty old… hearing, to Blue Dog Ben Chandler (D-KY) who has gone up against other Blue Dogs to support Pelosi and Murtha on Iraq. Oh, and another Kentucky vote came in from Cliff Schecter who nominates John Yarmouth for the incredible work he's done on the whole Walter Reed scandal. Cliff wrote me that Yarmouth is "unapologetically for universal healthcare and pulling out of Iraq ASAP."
Some of the other suggestions were Tom Allen (D-ME), Keith Ellison (D-MN), John Hall (D-NY), Dave Loebsack and Bruce Braley (both progressive freshmen from Iowa), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), and Steve Cohen (D-TN), who we met here at a Blue America session a few weeks ago.
Now it's your turn. Talk to me — and not just from this list. I'm going to write 5 checks when we're done here today. I'm not even asking you for any dollars — although, of course, they're always welcome – just for your two cents.