All posts by 21st Century Democrats

21st Century Democrats endorses Mike Lumpkin for Congress!

Today 21st Century Democrats is proud to announce our endorsement of Mike Lumpkin for Congress. Lumpkin is a progressive leader and is needed to help future President Obama pursue a progressive program.  We stand behind him in this campaign and will do whatever we can to ensure that on November 4th, voters make the progressive choice and send Mike Lumpkin to Washington for the 111th Congress.

21st Century Democrats endorsed 24 candidates today. You can find the entire list here.

Olympic Spirit

Cross posted from

We often use sporting analogies when talking about politics, and if you are like me, your heart quickens a little bit and swells with patriotic pride when that Olympic theme music plays.  Here’s my surprising connection to this year’s Olympics.

Mike Lumpkin’s field director, Jessica Hayes, opened her home to Olympic rowers who where training in San Diego.  As you’ll see from the picture, these world class athletes are big fans and supporters of Mike‘s campaign.

Olympians Wyatt Allen and Dan Walsh are members of the US Men’s 8 crew, Patrick Todd rows on the Lightweight Men’s 4 crew, and Rachel Jeffers is an alternate to the Olympic team and three-time senior national women’s team member.  This is Patrick’s second visit to the Olympics, and he is a six time national team member.  Wyatt Allen is the 2007 USRowing’s Male Athlete of the Year and a 7-time senior national team member.  His team set a world record in 2007 at the Olympics on their way to winning the gold medal.  You might catch Dan on a commercial as this first-time Olympian and 8-time senior national team member is a part of Home Depot’s Olympic Job Opportunity Program.  Watch on Sunday as Wyatt and Dan row in the finals!

Although Mike and Jessica will be cheering loudly for the rowing team, there is a local team that will be the key to the election in November.  The San Diego County Democratic Party has been working for 18 months to put together their Grassroots Organizing Team for this cycle.  Called the “GO Team” these dedicated Party members are working on the precinct level to engage voters and deliver the message that we need their votes for Democrats all the way down the ticket.  These local heroes will be the heart and soul of the get-out-the-vote effort.

Mike’s race is the local race that leads the ticket, and turning out voters for Mike will be the key to success in the competitive state legislative and local races in the county.  Countywide there are currently 700 GO Team members, and the Lumpkin campaign is reaching out to these leaders to recruit more precinct captains for targeted precincts in the 52nd Congressional District.

Should have gone right to sleep after my day of travel back from San Diego (two times through the special security screening and missed flight made for quite an exciting day), but I just couldn’t resist watching the Women’s All Around gymnastics competition last night.  You may be too young to remember Olga Korbett who was my idol in 1972, but I bet you smile a little when you think of Mary Lou Retton winning in 1984.  Well, last night’s gold and silver victories for the USA by Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson will be the tear-in-the-corner-of-the-eye memory for a new generation of young women.

About to head back to the airport to travel to Kansas City for our next training; hopefully my flights on Sunday will allow me a few minutes to watch some rowing.  Keep an eye out as these athletes go for the gold.  Mike Lumpkin shares their determination, work ethic and patriotism.  Let’s keep working to achieve victory for Mike and more importantly for the people of the 52nd CD.  

Lumpkin wins over my brother – a Republican

Cross-posted at our blog

No Time for Jet Lag:

The good news is that my body clock may be naturally set on pacific time – always the night owl.  California is as sunny as advertised, and my lack of exposure to any significant amount of sunshine in my usual daily routine left me vulnerable to sunburn on my 30 minute stroll around the San Diego pier on Monday.

This whirlwind trip to the coast provides me with a delightful fringe benefit.  My youngest brother, Dave, and his family live in San Diego and are welcoming hosts to my visit.  Dave was kind enough to take a few days off work to be my driver and tour guide around the area.  Unlike me, Dave is usually on the far right hand of the political spectrum.  We’ve had many direct conversations over the years about what he wants me to tell “those Democrats in Washington” about what they are doing wrong.

Lately his tune has changed.  Don’t get me wrong – Dave will never think of considering himself a Democrat.  But like thousands of voters across the country, he has switched his voter registration from GOP to Independent.  He continues to be skeptical about whether any politicians can be trusted to “do what’s right.”

Here’s the best part of the story.  Dave did some research on Mike Lumpkin (our endorsed candidate in California CD-52) before I got here.   As an Army veteran, Dave was interested in Mike due to his military career.  To my surprise, he wanted to wait at the campaign HQ so that he could meet Mike even though he lives outside the district (by less than 1 mile).  

Impressed with Mike’s leadership as a naval commander and knowing that being a Navy SEAL means that one has courage and determination, Dave’s shield of skepticism started to weaken.  He chatted with Mike’s campaign field director, Jessica, and volunteer coordinator, Pat, while waiting to meet Mike.  Dave was talking about how he wished politicians would stop partisan positioning and fight for what’s best for all Americans; after all, on the field of battle soldiers don’t look at their platoon mates as Republicans or Democrats.  At that moment, Jessica walked over the shelf and handed my brother one of Mike’s lit pieces.  The photos were of soldiers in position for battle, and the caption was “in a foxhole, we’re not Democrats or Republicans, we’re Americans.”  

To my delight, he left sporting an “I like Mike” sticker on his red Mustang.   I thought he had gone back to his side of town, but he stopped in to visit an old friend in Santee.  He called a couple of hours later to see if Mike was available and came back by to meet him.  His conversation with Mike verified his instincts that his man wasn’t a “typical politician.”  This time, Dave left with an envelope so he could send Mike a check when he gets his next paycheck.

I have to admit that I am usually skeptical that even the best candidates can truly move strong GOP voters.  My brother may think he’s a swing voter, but I know that he will always lean to the right.  He was moved by Mike’s gravitas, experience and common sense approach to Washington.  I’m even more passionate about helping Mike’s team craft a top notch field plan because when voters of all stripes here his story and message they are inspired to action!  Let’s work to get his message out.

Stay tuned for news about the San Diego “GO Team” and some unique constituencies that Mike plans to engage.