Tag Archives: netroots

Netroots Nation Continues in San Jose

Another day in sunny San Jose to meet up with fellow netroots activists

by Brian Leubitz

Netroots Nation continues in San Jose with more panels, trainings, and keynotes.  The keynote on guns is currently going on, you can live stream that or anything else at the Livestream Friday Guide.

If you don’t have tickets, remember that you can still buy a day pass for today or tomorrow at the convention center. Come on down!

Netroots California Meetup?

This Saturday is a Netroots post-mortem (I hope that’s not and overly accurate description!) of this election in San Francisco.  If you’re going, and want to meet up at the lunch break or afterwards, I wouldn’t mind putting some faces to the names I see here. There may even be one or two of you who want to  

I’ll probably be wearing my agitprop tee shirt of Ann Coulter, “Ms. Germany 1939.”  My last photograph is on-line at http://www.nytimes.com/imagepa…

RSVP in comments if you’re interested, and I’ll keep an eye out.

40 Days Until Sestak-Specter and Halter-Lincoln

{First, a cheap plug for my blog Senate Guru.}

40 days from today – on May 18 – we will see two HUGE primaries for U.S. Senate.  Even though these races aren’t in California, they impact Democrats across the country and, well, the entire country as a whole.

In Pennsylvania, Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak will try to upset Republican-for-decades Arlen Specter.

In Arkansas, Democratic Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter will try to upset corporate lackey Blanche Lincoln.

These two races are tremendously important to defining who and what the Democratic Party is and what we will be fighting for.

If you can volunteer for these candidates (or encourage friends and family in Pennsylvania and Arkansas to do so), that would be amazing.

Of course, if you can help with a contribution to either or both via the Expand the Map! ActBlue page as soon as possible, it will make a big impact.

Expand the Map! ActBlue page
Joe Sestak

Facebook, Twitter

Volunteer Page
Bill Halter

Facebook, Twitter

Volunteer Page
Expand the Map! ActBlue page

Polling shows that both Specter and Lincoln are at risk of – if not likely to – hand these Senate seats over to far-right-wing Republicans. (And, even if these two retain the seats, that’s not much better on many key issues.)

Congressman Sestak and Lieutenant Governor Halter winning these primaries are critical to keeping these seats in truly Democratic hands. Your support can help make that happen!  Please hop over to the Expand the Map! ActBlue page right away to make a contribution – an investment in the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party to pull out an old expression – and show your support.

Thanks SO much for any support you can provide. 40 Days.

PA-Sen: Netroots Overwhelmingly Support a Draft Sestak Effort

{First, a cheap plug for my blog Senate Guru.}

Netroots for Sestak As many of you know, over the last five days, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, in partnership with a number of progressive organizations and blogs including Senate Guru, asked those in the netroots, “Should a Draft Sestak movement be created to take on Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary?”

The results are in and they are overwhelming.  85% of Pennsylvanian respondents and 86% of respondents nationally want Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak to challenge Arlen Specter in the 2010 Democratic Senate primary.  The poll has even gotten the attention of Congressman Sestak, as the PCCC points out:

“I am honored that so many of you took the time to vote in the recent grassroots Straw Poll. Let me tell you, I and many others were paying attention. If I decide to run it will be in large measure because of the grassroots energy of so many people like you. Until I and my family make that decision, please accept my thanks and my best wishes as you continue be active participants in our people-powered democracy. Thank you so very much!”

Due to such an overwhelming response, a Draft Sestak Fund has been created on ActBlue.  To contribute and further encourage Congressman Sestak to enter the race, click on the image below:

Draft Sestak Fund

If you need any additional motivation to contribute to this effort to draft a real Democrat to oppose Specter in the primary, consider Specter’s actions since announcing his Party switch:

1) Specter opposed the Obama budget.

2) Specter opposed the “cramdown” mortgage/bankruptcy reform, siding with banks over families.

3) Specter reiterated his opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act.

4) Specter reiterated his opposition to President Obama’s nomination of Dawn Johnsen to the Office of Legal Counsel.

5) Specter announced his support for Republican Norm Coleman over Democratic Senator-elect Al Franken in Minnesota’s Senate race.

6) Specter promoted a website that appeared to raise money for cancer research but, in actuality, simply raised money for his campaign.

7) Specter denied reports that he told President Obama that he would be a “loyal Democrat” despite multiple reporters sticking to their story.

The netroots have displayed overwhelming support for Congressman Sestak to take on recently-Republican Arlen Specter.  Help the effort by contributing to the Draft Sestak Fund.

Perez-Transformational Candidate for California

More and Better Democrats.  We in the netroots are the most vigorous champions of candidates who truly represent their districts, candidates who challenge the status quo and demand tangible changes in our government.  If we had the power to create the quintessential strong Democrat, we’d be hard put to make up someone more authentic, intelligent, and schooled in the needs of his community than Manuel Perez.  

Manuel PerezPerez with students

Crossposted at dKos.  Flip it.

The California 80th Assembly District is currently represented by termed out Republican Bonnie Garcia.  Manuel Perez won a tough primary by a significant margin, and now faces a former police chief, Republican Gary Jeandron.  This is one of the targeted races for both parties, as Republicans need to keep it, and Democrats know we can take it.  Perez represents one of our best hopes for a 2/3 majority. He also represents the people powered movement in Democratic politics.  Perez has been working for his community all his life, as a diligent student, a teacher, a promontore, a healthcare researcher, a healthcare provider, a school reform champion, an environmental advocate, a Schools Not Jails advocate, and a labor advocate.  The education, healthcare, and labor communities overwhelmingly support him, not because he filled out the questionnaires correctly, but because he can write them himself.

The best biography on Perez was written by David Dayen at Calitics shortly after he met him at the beginning of this campaign:

Manuel Pérez’ parents were immigrants who met in the fields while chasing the crops they picked for work.  His mother worked 26 years in the fields, despite raising a family.  His father became a veteraño (a veteran of the migrant fields) and worked for the city of Indio on water issues.  Growing up in Coachella and Calexico, Manuel worked in the fields himself over the summers when he wasn’t in school.  His parents understood the importance of education, teaching the values of “service and sacrifice and social justice,” and pushing him to advance as far as he could go.  At an early age, he saw a community of gangs and drugs where his best friend was killed in a drive-by shooting.

He became the only person in his family to go on to higher education, getting his bachelor’s degree at UC-Riverside (and becoming an organizer on campus).  He had the opportunity to get a master’s degree in Social Policy at Harvard, and took it.  Instead of leaving his community behind, he returned to it, organizing field campaigns throughout the state for candidates and issues like Schools Not Jails.  This is someone who hasn’t waited around for higher office to make a difference in his community; he’s rolled up his sleeves and dived in.  As a director for the Borego Community Health Foundation, he’s created one of the first diabetes resource center in the desert region and has delivered health services to underserved regions.  As a researcher for the California Institute for Rural Studies, he put together a groundbreaking study on women’s reproductive health issues in Imperial County, where women have little opportunities and resources to manage their own health.  With Promotores, he’s part of a group of community-based leaders devoted to teaching  about health issues and making sure people in the community get the facts about programs at their disposal.  As a schoolteacher he started his school’s first ever Chicano Studies program designed to allow students to learn history from their perspective.  With the Eastern Coachella Valley Social Change Collaborative, he identified farm workers living in the area and trained them to be community leaders themselves.  Believe it or not, he’s only 34.

OK, at this point he’s 35.  But still.   Since then, Perez was given the Harvard Graduate School of Education Alumni of Color Achievement Award.

This is an exciting campaign, not because we expect to win, but because Perez will be a legislator we can believe in.  He takes nothing for granted, and expects us to hold him accountable, to hold all elected officials accountable, every day, on all issues.   Like Obama, he wants to build a movement that works past November 4th, and brings the average citizen back into the picture in government.  Here’s Perez on the day of the primary:  

(CA80AD) More and Better, and Ready to Win

Disclosure:  I’ve been with this campaign since the 2007 CDP Convention.

Manuel Perez has a significant, double-digit lead over his Republican opponent and

is well-positioned to win back the seat for Democrats in California’s 80th Assembly

 That’s the latest polling we have (Source: Heidi von Szeliski and Associates), and it looks good all over.

This has been a district made for Democrats to win since the last redistricting, and yet we’ve lost over and over.  But now California Democrats are heading into the general of a key battleground for our 2/3 majority fight with four major factors in our favor:  numbers, nominee, polling and ground game.  

Manuel Perez

Maps, polling, links galore over the flip.  Crossposted at dKos.

Here’s the latest campaign release (hyperlinks are mine):

Advantage #1: The Numbers – Manuel has a huge advantage in registration as Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 10%.  In addition, Manuel has strong crossover appeal, as nearly 40% of DTS/Independents and nearly 20% of Republicans are Latino.  

Advantage #2: The NomineeManuel grew up in both parts of the district and has strong roots in both Imperial and Riverside Counties.  Manuel provides healthcare to children, seniors and families within all parts of the district as Health Director for community health clinics.  He’s an education leader and former teacher in the district helping build new schools and modernize classrooms.  Manuel also knows first hand the struggles of families and has worked towards job creation and economic development in the area – he will win on the issues that matter most in the district.

Advantage #3: The PollingGeneral election polling shows Manuel has a big advantage: “Even at this early stage in the race, Perez has opened up a substantial lead against Jeandron, garnering 47% of the vote, just three points shy from a majority.  Gary Jeandron trails far behind at 36%, with 18% of voters still undecided. While some voters initially hold back from committing to a candidate, once they hear more about both candidates with only positive and biographical statements pulled from their own websites and campaign materials, Perez jumps ahead even further, capturing a majority of the vote (52%), while Jeandron falls further behind, only reaching 39%,” said pollster Heidi von Szeliski.

Advantage #4: The Ground Operation – Manuel Perez is a grassroots organizer and won a four candidate primary in which three candidates were Latino because of his strong ground and GOTV operations. The campaign knocked on more doors, ID’ed more supporters and GOTV’ed more voters.  Grassroots made the difference in June and will make the difference in November.  (Hat tip to the brave and brilliant labor organizers, who pulled their weight and then some along with the campaign volunteers.)  

For more information on Manuel Perez and to download the complete polling memo, please visitwww.manuelperezforassembly.com/news.htm

I’m going to Netroots Nation tomorrow, as last year, with happy tidings of a candidate who meets the netroots demand for more and better Democrats.    Show the love here at his ActBlue page.

Today, I’m Running For Congress

(Welcome Marta Jorgenson to Calitics. – promoted by David Dayen)

Hi, my name is Marta Jorgensen and I’m running…

Today, I am championing my candidacy for Congress to all of you here at Calitics, because it is time the citizens of California’s 24th Congressional District had someone to fight for them, not for lobbyists and special interests.  My opponent, Elton Gallegly – R, has a long history of ignoring the views and concerns of the people in our district, and I’ve decided that enough is enough.  


The theme of our campaign is, “It is the money, stupid.” Lobbyists for powerful corporations come to Congress to block progress of better legislation for the critical issues of our time.  It’s their money.

If elected, one thing I’d like to do is reinstitution the Golden Fleece Award that the former senator from Wisconsin, William Proxmire initiated. Remember that?

We must stop paying Global Warming lip service. I am making it the number #1 Issue.

Our campaign is planning town hall meetings to discuss issues that never get covered in the MSM. We are also hoping to have the Climate Project give a presentation.

As a nurse I’ll work for a Universal Single Payer Health System. We need health insurance for everyone, a program with quality and cost controls and an emphasis on prevention. Full Medicare for everyone will save thousands of lives a year while maintaining patient choice of doctors and hospitals within a competitive private health care delivery system.

I’ll advocate for Agricultural Reforms, regarding food safety, genetic engineering, and excessive food transportation, as in long distance hauls versus local production; work to promote Healthy School Lunches,  “No nation is healthier than its children”… Harry Truman.  Good nutrition plays a critical role in healthy child development. Many kids are deprived of good nutrition at home due to poor economic conditions. As a nurse working with inner city handicapped and chronically ill kids in Los Angeles, I have seen this first hand. Unitary Executive and Signing Statements – This is a dangerous trend that could be carried on by the next President. We need to elect someone we can trust who will put this Pandora back in the box. Electoral Reform – same day registration; a voter verified paper record for electronic voting; run-off voting to insure winners receive a majority vote; binding “none-of-the-above” on the ballot. Voter Participation – It is the duty of every elected official and those running for office to rekindle the love of the democratic process and engage all people to participate in it. And that’s not easy these days.  Internet Neutrality -We must work to protect our freedom of the Netroots Nation. I don’t care who invented it just happy it’s here.

Here’s what I think…the Republicans for many years have slapped Democrats in the face with the phrase, “Tax and spend.”

We can now return the favor. It is our turn to chastise, to reprobate, the Republicans. The history of this country that the Republicans have handed us, the laws they have created in the name of fighting terrorism, and the war that we have had to endure brought to us under false pretenses, has earned them a new phrase. Listen up. Your history has earned you a new mantra. Here it is. “War and waste.” This also gets back to the Money Stupid theme.

To the demand for more money for war, we answer, “War and waste.”

To the demand for more laws that monitor our lives with government intrusion and the cost of money for more bureaucracies, and at the cost of individual freedom, we answer, “War and waste.”

To the president who demands an imperial presence that negates Congress and violates human dignity, we answer, “War and waste.”

To the demand for more lives of our sons and daughter to fight a war that people, even veterans, want to end, we answer, “War and waste.”

“War and waste” has been the behavior of the Republican Party. We now throw this phrase in their face. To those who think we are too strong in our declaration, I say, “Offend the offensive.”

Let us not think that we can meet aggression in our lives or against our land with a prayer and a cupcake. But how strong can we be if the treasury is empty?

How can we negotiate from strength if the funding for this war comes from banks and countries across the sea?  How can we guarantee unbiased negotiations for the best interests of our workers and our economy if we sit across the table from the representatives of a country to whom we owe a great financial debt?

Our campaign at present is grassroots. Until the big Endorsement manifests, we need help financially in small donations, like at our ActBlue Account. Want to help in other ways, just go to our website and sign up. The Big Blue Thermometer must hit the $15,000 mark real soon!

Imagine… one more of your own in the House of Representatives, crashing the gate.

Jorgensen For Congress,

Bringing Representation To The People, Not The Powerful…



No Dirty Tricks: The Movie

I was up half the night putting together this little video for the Courage Campaign’s effort to fight the Republican dirty trick to split California’s electoral votes and steal the Presidential election.  We got a handful of semi-famous bloggers together (Jane Hamsher from Firedoglake, John Amato from Crooks and Liars, Howie Klein from Down With Tyranny, some Kos diarists, and more) and sent a message that we can fight this thing, energize California Democrats, and make the Republicans wish they never brought it up in the first place.

The Courage Campaign is setting up a conference call featuring Bradley Whitford of The West Wing to discuss the next steps.  You can RSVP for it at the link.

CA-04: Kos on Dumping Doolittle

In response to a new CQ Politics story on the Jack Abramoff scandal sinking John Doolittle, Kos says:

The California netroots has been gung-ho on Brown as of last year, though McNerney’s ultimately victorious effort against the odious Richard Pombo in CA-11 grabbed the lion’s share of attention.

I’d say this underestimates the support in the CA blogosphere as of this year.

Markos (who is a member of the CA netroots) is giving Brown front page love and the Blue Majority actblue page already has hundreds of donors. Lots of love too at the Blue America page (run by two Californians: Howie Klein and John Amato, along with retired Californian Jane Hamsher).

The California netroots have already put together real world fundraisers this year for Brown in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. In fact, Brown has over 1,000 donors across actblue.

Brown was a huge hit with the netroots at the CA Democratic Party convention in April, with Kossacks at the June YearlyKos fundraiser, and an equally huge hit with the Californians at Yearly Kos. At all events, it was remarkable to see how many activists are on a first-name basis with the candidate. This breadth and depth of support helped Brown win DFA’s first Grassroots Allstar endorsement.

In short, I’d say we’ve been pretty gung-ho this year (and are only looking to escalate).

Just How Much Do Local Blogs Matter?

After seeing Gila’s latest story on The Liberal OC, I’ve been thinking. I know, I know. That’s a REALLY scary thought. But trust me, it’s not scary.

All too often when we think of the netroots, we think of those big, glitzy, glamorous national blogs with all those hundreds of thousands of User IDs. We think of that huge convention in Chicago that just ended. We think big, and we think national. But when you really look at the big picture, the national scene is only a small part of it.

The SF Chronicle just caught onto this, and I’m glad to see them noticing. There’s a giant segment of the netroots that hasn’t been noticed much, but is nonetheless making a huge difference throughout California, and throughout the nation. Follow me after the flip for more…

Some people who blog think the blogosphere has a tremendous impact on elections. I am not one of them. In general, I believe the impact of blogs today on who gets elected is miniscule. Their influence will likely increase as time goes on, but at the moment I think their effect on elections amounts to little more than an asterisk.

That’s part of what Gila has to say today at The Liberal OC. And you know what? She’s right. Whether we like it or not, the national blogosphere only has so much of an impact on elections and campaigns right now. Perhaps that will change some time in the future, but I don’t see it happening now.

Yes, the netroots is a big asset in terms of raising money and exciting the base. However, it can NOT be substituted for institutional donors on fundraising matters. And no, the netroots isn’t a proven vehicle to win votes. So on this matter, Gila is correct.

However, I make a conditional exception for local blogs.

And once again, Gila is spot on in her observation. While everyone is focusing on the big national blogs, they are all missing the one area of the blogosphere that’s having the most impact on politics, which is THE LOCAL BLOGOSPHERE.

The SF Chronicle takes a look at what happened with Say No to Pombo in CA-11 last year, and at what happened in a recent special election for State Senate in New York. In both cases, the local blogs brought to attention stories that the mainstream media ignored, and they ignited local readers to become local activists. I guess The Albany Project makes a huge difference in New York State, and all of us know in California just how instrumental the local netroots was in taking down Richard Pombo.

But of course, these aren’t the only examples of the local netroots making the real difference. After all, everyone here in Orange County knows that without the stellar coverage of local blogs like The Liberal OC, the Tan Nguyen psychodrama would have never become such a huge story. And of course, stories like Claudio’s “Ignorance to Enlightenment” series at Orange Juice have jump started countywide discussions on the intersection of faith and politics. Oh, and if you need another good example of what happens to a politician who ignites the fury of the blogosphere, see what’s been happening to Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen.

So what does this all say? It says that local blogs can be quite instrumental in influencing the political dialogue online AND offline. It says that local blogs can be key in making or breaking a local politician’s career. It says that just as all politics is local, all local politics can be strongly affected by what’s happening on the local blogosphere.

So what does this mean for us? This means that we should not be afraid to tackle local issues, and discuss local politics. Local affairs may not be “sexy” enough for the big national sites, but it’s the local politics where the local netroots can have the biggest impact.

Don’t believe me? Ask the New York State Democratic Party, or ask Richard Pombo, or ask Janet Nguyen (or Tan Nguyen for that matter!). They can tell you all about it. : )