Contribute Now to Better Democrats

by Open Left

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In 2008, with large majorities emerging in both branches of Congress, progressive Democrats do not have to, and should not, work to just elect any and all Democrats in every district across the country. Instead, we need to focus our efforts on those candidates who will be strong progressive voices in Congress, whose victories will help define the 2008 elections as a progressive victory, and whose victories will help ensure a long-term Democratic majority for years, maybe decades, to come.

Starting with our first seven candidates, Better Democrats will endorse those candidates whose victory, in our best estimation, will have the largest progressive impact on Congress as a whole. While there is no single criteria for our first six candidates, there are several important factors we took into consideration. Endorsing The Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq helps. Being from a blue district that will be easier to defend helps. Also, being a woman and / or a minority helps, given that the vast majority of conservative in the Democratic Congress are white men. Even though it is a generalization and not a hard rule, electing more women and minority Democrats to Congress means electing more progressives. Further, Willingness to speak out against Democratic capitulation on issues like Iraq and FISA helps. Yet further, running a primary campaign against a conservative Democratic in Congress really helps. The candidates who most closely match these criteria will end up on the Better Democrats page.

So, support better Democrats today, and build not only a larger Democratic majority, but a more progressive one, too.



Image of Jim Martin

Jim Martin

GA-Sen

Martin is a progressive from Georgia running in an extremely tight race against Saxby Chambliss. Matt Stoller conducted this interview with Martin on FISA, the bailout, wiretapping, net neutrality, and what it means to be a progressive in Georgia.

Image of Al Franken

Al Franken

MN-Sen

Franken is in a tight race with Republican Norm Coleman, and he's part of our 60 in the Senate. He was against the bailout, condemned the right when they condemned Moveon, and has stood against Rush Limbaugh in the 1990s. He's going to be a very good Senator.

Image of Mark Begich

Mark Begich

AK-Sen

Begich comes from Alaska, and he is seriously aggressive about climate change because there are literally villages falling into the ocean. He's aggressive and smart, and he comes from a libertarian state. He's also going after an incredibly corrupt Republican, Ted Stevens, who is being helped by Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye and the whole lobbying community of Washington, DC.

Image of Alan Grayson

Alan Grayson

FL-08

Grayson is running against cheeseburger stalwart Ric Keller. His statement on the financial bailout? "String 'em up." He has the best campaign messaging I've ever seen, and is utterly fearless. Grayson is the named attorney in every war profiteering suit against the military.

Image of Eric Massa

Eric Massa

NY-29

Eric's a 20 year Navy vet who has signed on to a Responsible Plan to End the war in Iraq. What I love about Massa is how mad he is at things in Washington. Most of the vets we put into office in 2006 went south on key votes - funding, FISA, etc - but Massa has signed onto a plan to keep no residual troops in Iraq and single payer health care. That's a seriously progressive stance, in a conservative upstate district in New York.

Image of Jeff Merkley

Jeff Merkley

OR-Sen

Merkley is the next Russ Feingold. He criticized Obama for the FISA decision, the only Democratic candidate to do so in the whole country. He's criticized Democratic Senate leadership for not forcing Republicans to flibuster, and is the only Senate candidate to sign on to a Responsible Plan to End the war in Iraq. This guy will go to the mat for progressive principles, because he has already taken enormous risks in doing so as a Senate candidate.

Image of Gary Peters

Gary Peters

MI-14

Peters is locked in one of the tightest races in the country, with a 3 point lead in an evenly split district. His opponent is a hard core conservative that doesn't fit well with his consistuents, and Peters fits the district quite well.

Image of Donna Edwards

Donna Edwards

MD-04

What is there to say about Donna? She's an incumbent, but she's wielding power because of the money she's able to raise from us. She's sworn off corporate contributions, and is really beginning to turn the progressive caucus around.

Image of Tom Perriello

Tom Perriello

VA-05

Tom started Avaaz.org, an international version of Moveon. He's part of a new generation of leadership, and he's aggressively taking on one of the craziest members of Congress, Virgil Goode. It's a red district, but he's unabashedly progressive from a religious perspective. He's signed on to a Reponsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, and he's done so because of his experience in Africa using non-military tools to bring down Charles Taylor in Liberia.

Image of Joshua Segall

Joshua Segall

AL-03

A young progressive from Alabama, Segall worked to build more farmer's markets for local farmers. He's going to focus on infrastructure and an ecologically sound farming approach, and be a star in the House for years.

Image of Darcy Burner

Darcy Burner

WA-08

Darcy is a leader and an organizer. She got 60 candidates on board a Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, which she authored. She's going to be one of our key leaders in Congress.

Image of Debbie Cook

Debbie Cook

CA-46

Debbie Cook is a green energy expert and peak oil adherent. She says she spends the first hour of every day reading the blogs, and has endorsed a Responsible Plan to End the war in Iraq.

Image of Annette Taddeo

Annette Taddeo

FL-18

She's taking on a nasty corrupt Republican in Dade County, where South Beach is located. Her opponent is part of the bipartisan political machine keeping the Cuba embargo in place.

Image of Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett

PA-15

Sam's wonderful, with a history as an organizer in Pennsylvania. She was just endorsed by EMILY's List, and has put together a competent and effective campaign in a blue district held by a Republican. Not only will your money go far here, but she has signed on to a Responsible Plan to End the war in Iraq and is a staunch aggressive progressive that will work to reinvigorate our wing of the party in Congress.

Image of Alice Kryzan

Alice Kryzan

NY-26

Kryzan is an endorser of a Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq. She surprisingly slipped through the primary in NY-26, one of the last districts in New York represented by a Republican. She's going to be a great progressive for years to come, this one is tight.

Equality for All

Conservative Mormons have poured $20M into California to get that state to ban marriage equality. It's a surprising and disturbingly tight race, and there's about 10-20% of the California electorate that is going to go for Obama and for banning gay marriage. This is a group of voters we can talk to and persuade, it's going to take resources.

Image of Josh Zeitz

Josh Zeitz

NJ-04

Zeitz is a longshot in New Jersey's fourth. A progressive Democrat running against an outright segregationist, Chris Smith, Zeitz has been ignored and marginalized by most of the New Jersey labor community. He's run a scrappy campaign and Smith has not been challenged since the 1980s. With some DCCC and more resources, he could surprise.

Image of Dennis Shulman

Dennis Shulman

NJ-05

Shulman is a blind rabbi who has signed on to a Responsible Plan to End the war in Iraq, gotten J Street's endorsement to fight AIPAC and a right-wing policy in Israeli-American relations, and is generally a progressive stalwart. It's a northern New Jersey district that could go to Democrats, and Shulman has gotten incredible press because he's such a unique candidate.

BlogPAC

This political action committee works to support state blogs, ass-kicking activists, and engage in campaigns to build progressive infrastructure. We beat back Fox News in its attempt to host a debate with the Nevada state Democratic Party, and has funded award winning ad campaigns done by state bloggers. When Lane Hudon was fired from his job after he leaked the Mark Foley IMs that brought us Congress, Blogpac stepped up to give him a grant. We support ass-kicking progressive activists like Lane.

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