While our Blue America czar Howie Klein is away, I thought we could surprise him with a thank you post for all he has done over the last few years.

Howie and our other Blue Am folks have organized us to nominate, publicize, and support dozens of progressive candidates. Many of these outstanding candidates are now serving in the U.S. Congress, including some who lost in 2006 but came roaring back in 2008, and others we think can win in 2010.

Look at the landscape a month from now: Rep. Donna Edwards – Rep. Larry Kissell – Labor Secretary Hilda Solis – Senator Jeff Merkley – Rep. Alan Grayson – Rep. John Hall – Rep. Martin Heinrich – Rep. Tom Perriello – a long list of Blue Am candidates who weren’t given much of a chance til a small group of visionary people came along and insisted.

Even the races we lost produced fruit, by showing that we could provide instant national publicity for progressive candidates.  And our support for good folks in unlikely races has helped interest local people get organized to make things better in the future.  

We electrified the Alaska Democratic Party in 2005-2006 by pouring in money and attention when the local folks thought they didn’t have much of a chance, and Senator-elect Begich is the beneficiary this year.

This year’s elections were so dominated by the presidential run that we might not have taken the time to reflect on just how far we’ve come with state and local races.  And this has taken leadership and commitment, so much work behind the scenes.

Join me in thanking Howie and the Blue Am team for all they have done!