Archive for gotv

Dems outraise GOP in March. Too bad about those SCOTUS rulings.

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Democrats outraise Republicans! Big headline! Lots of thumbs up on Twitter in response to the headline! Boyoboy! We're rolling in dough, we're raking in the big bucks! We'll show those Republicans, yes we will! Go Dems! Outraise again! Keep it up! We did it! We beat our rivals!

To which I ask, so what?

After the appalling Supreme Court decision that favors billionaires, the decision that extends the influence of big money on elections... brought to us by SCOTUS's previous Citizens United ruling, this is only mildly good news. The truckloads of money shelled out by super PACS, the Koch brothers, and the Sheldon Adelsons on the right make these numbers look like lunch money.

Roll Call:

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised its Republican counterpart in March, ending the month with more than $22 million in cash on hand for the competitive midterms.

Both the DSCC and the National Republican Senatorial Committee said they posted their best fundraising months of the cycle in March.

Democrats raised $8.1 million in March, which is $21 million more than the NRSC. Plus, the DSCC paid off its 2012 debt. Republicans hauled in $6.4 million and have $15.9 million available to them. They also paid off their debt from 2012.

But Republicans have a huge advantage now that the Supreme Court has French kissed Adelson and the Kochs.

You know the solution, though, right? Say it with me now:

vote  turnout  gotv

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Beating the Kochs: Dems get it-- Turnout, turnout, turnout. Show UP! #GOTV

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The media is feeding feelings of growing panic among Democrats about losing the Senate in November, to which Dems are finally responding with one word: Turnout. This is a good thing. This is a very good and healthy thing, not just this November, but for every election ever. Without a huge voter turnout, Democrats lose, but when turnout efforts are successful, we generally win.

Here at TPC and on Twitter, I've been on a mini-campaign on this very thing. As Harry Reid so wisely framed it recently, Ridiculously Big Huge Enormous Gigantic Money (read: the Koch brothers) is a major obstacle that we must overcome. And that point underscores all kinds of issues that Democrats are passionate about, such as income inequality, the wealth gap, increasing the minimum wage, equal pay for women, and more. Targeting the Kochs gives voters something on which to laser focus and channel those passions.

And when voters are passionate, they make beelines (and long lines, and slow lines, thanks to GOP voter suppression laws) to the polls, and at this point, that is our best remedy. The Kochs may have tons of money, but we have tons of people. They have monetary power, we have people power... as long as we show up.

The Los Angeles Times' Michael Memoli and David Lauter wrote about that very thing:

Faced with a strong prospect of losing control of the Senate in November, Democrats have begun a high-stakes effort to try to overcome one of their party's big weaknesses: voters who don't show up for midterm elections.

The party's Senate campaign committee plans to spend $60 million to boost turnout. That's nine times what it spent in the last midterm election, in 2010. [...]

"Disgruntled voters turn out at a somewhat higher rate than what I like to call the gruntled voters," said Alan Abramowitz, an Emory University political scientist.

However, there are a couple of catches:

But Democrats disagree on how populist an image to present. Some advocate a turn toward the left that they say will spur younger and minority voters to take interest in the election. Others argue for a more centrist tack, which might attract more moderate voters.

Mitch Stewart, who was the battleground-states director for Obama's 2012 campaign, said, "The conventional wisdom is that you don't start contacting voters until after Labor Day, [but that's] an outdated model." He couldn't be more correct about that. The time is now to knock on doors, make calls, email, you name it, in order to educate and inspire voters.

Why now? Because "motivating core parts of the Democratic voter base, particularly younger and less educated voters, is not easy." I can vouch for that. Trying to get young voters to pay attention to politics, especially during midterm elections, is, well, challenging. I've tried, and while their first impulse is to respond enthusiastically, they often lapse into:

UP squirrel dog animated gif

Terry McAuliffe, like him or not, had the right idea when he won the Virginia gubernatorial race. He emphasized issues that Dems cared about, like Medicaid, marriage equality, and women's reproductive rights. He also targeted those who only voted occasionally.

But of course, that costs money, which brings us full circle to the Kochtopus. Again, though, they may have the money, but we have the numbers.

We can do this, but we must, MUST, register to vote, do everything we can to help others register and then get to the ballot box, and never, ever acquiesce to Big Corporate Money or the Corporate Media, both of which thrive on manipulating the message and pushing meaningless speculation.

Below are four words that are both meaningful and our most urgent message:

gotv 3

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Billionaires and Supreme Court undermine our "1st Amendment right not to be drowned out"

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Today Michael Hiltzik gets a twofer at TPC, this time regarding the appalling Supreme Court decision that favors billionaires, the decision that extends the influence of big money on elections... brought to us by SCOTUS's previous Citizens United ruling.

Via a New York Times email alert:

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a major campaign finance decision, striking down limits on federal campaign contributions for the first time. The ruling, issued near the start of a campaign season, will change and probably increase the role money plays in American politics.

The decision, by a 5-to-4 votes along ideological lines, was a sort of sequel to Citizens United, the 2010 decision that struck down limits on independent campaign spending by corporations and unions. But that ruling did nothing to disturb the other main form of campaign finance regulation: caps on direct contributions to candidates and political parties.

I'm beyond furious, way past frustrated, and drowning in worry over turning on enormous spigots of money that will drown out the majority of ordinary (aka 99% of us) political donors. Our voices will no longer be heard (are they now?) over the deafening ka-chings and the triumphant stomping all over our rights and campaign finance reform efforts.

We are being silenced by five Supreme Court Justices and the powerful entities with gigantic bank accounts to which they genuflect. Money talks, we're just audience members. But we are not applauding.

booo

Think it was bad before? You ain't seen nothin' yet. You thought Sheldon Adelson and the ass-kissing at Jewish Mingle were obscene? Billionaires like him are just getting started. Super PACs are morphing into Super Duper PACs, Mingles will become orgies, and the kajillions of TV ads will turn into mini-series sponsored by Deep Pockets, Inc.

Anyone still wondering why the GOP is trying to kill labor unions? If so, here's why: They tend to support Democrats, and those very few union sources for campaign cash are dwindling:

chart maddow unions v corps campaign spending smaller

Hiltzik:

The notion that an unrelenting torrent of money can suborn the entire political process doesn't seem to occur to Chief Roberts.

Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the minority, didn't accept this charade. [...]

It's not only the 1st Amendment right to be heard, but also the 1st Amendment right not to be drowned out that are at issue, he wrote:

"The First Amendment advances not only the individual’s right to engage in political speech, but also the public’s interest in preserving a democratic order in which collective speech matters.... Where enough money calls the tune, the general public will not be heard."

For proof, he needed to go no further than the majority opinion.

So what do we do? Vote in droves. It's time to stop the endless obstruction by the GOP: Obstruction to voting rights, civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, and constitutional rights. Get. Out. The. Vote. We can do this.

Please read the entire piece by Hiltzik here.

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Young voters now much more solidly Democratic than prior generations

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young voters Democrats

The more important question is, how do we get young voters to the polls to actually, you know, vote?

gallup young voters Democrats

Gallup:

Young adults -- those between the ages of 18 and 29 -- have typically aligned themselves with the Democratic Party, but they have become substantially more likely to do so since 2006. [...]

Recent decades have brought significant shifts in Americans' political allegiances, in the short term and the long term. While young adults have generally been more likely to align themselves with the Democratic Party than the Republican Party, they are now much more solidly Democratic than prior generations of young adults.

To a large extent, this reflects the increasing racial and ethnic diversity of the U.S. population, particularly among the youngest generations of Americans. And that growing diversity creates challenges for the Republican Party, given nonwhites' consistent and strong support for the Democratic Party.

Here's an idea, Republicans: If you want to attract the youth vote, try kicking bigots, racists, misogynists, birthers, and other loons out of your party. Then support immigration, public education, Obamacare, women's rights, voting rights, and civil rights. And instead of redistricting in order to win votes, earn them.

In other words, begin to open what's left of your minds and turn that fake outreach effort into reality.

What am I nuts? Look who I'm talking to here.

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Cartoon of the Day: Squishy Democrats v the GOP advantage, 2014

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vote  squishy Democrats gotv

If so-called squishy Democrats don't get their act together, then this country will be in a world of trouble. In a previous post, Our country is sick with the cancer of Conservatism. This may be your last warning, liberals, @Marnus3 approprtiately sounds a very timely alarm:

So this may be your last warning, liberals. Our country is sick with the cancer of Conservatism. Much has been lost in the time since 2008, when we felt so good about our health. But like cancer of the body, there is always hope when there is life. It is getting late, but it is not too late. Pay attention, educate yourself on the issues, do the same for your friends and neighbors. Tweet a tweet, warn your Facebook friends, volunteer for a liberal candidate, and most of all, vote this November. Vote like your life depends on it, because at this late stage of the disease, it does.

That's been my mantra, too, for some time now. If we fail to Get Out The Vote (GOTV) in November, the consequences will be dire, and even worse, lasting.

This tweet just showed up in my stream:

My answer: Gerrymandering and passion (not to mention voter suppression). Republicans, especially conservatives, have one talent that squishy Democrats and Progressives might want to adopt: Generating votes by triggering strong emotions (in the case of the GOP, fear) among their often-un/misinformed supporters. But in order to inspire voters, we need a strong, clear message that hits home.

However, and this is a huge "however," younger voters (along with everyone else) need to listen, and hear, that strong, clear message. After having taught teens and twentysomethings for well over a decade, I can assure you that this is a major challenge.

The pattern I noticed most was how driven and enthusiastic students could be when motivated... but that drive and enthusiasm was ephemeral. The second something else got their attention, off they'd go, leaving their good intentions in the dust:

UP squirrel dog animated gif

In this post, I concentrated primarily on the youth vote.

Take a look at David Horsey's excellent L.A. Times cartoon below. Then please go here to read his accompanying article, "Latinos, single women, young voters: a squishy base for Democrats," in which he expands on the topic in more depth:

david horsey cartoon 2014 elections squishy Democrats

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Our country is sick with the cancer of Conservatism. This may be your last warning, liberals.

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conservative, conservatism

Need a compelling tirade on conservatism? Meet our new guest ranter @Marnus3, who is graciously sharing posts from his site "The Poorly Written Political Blog." Marnus3, aka Joe Santorsa, aka one of my regular (and favorite) BLUNT video contributors knows how to sound off with the best of them. He does not write poorly, by the way. He's a hilarious, creative tweeter and BLUNT commentator, he's astute, and he's a really, really nice guy.

Welcome in, Joe! And his rant about conservatism and what we liberals need to do about it begins in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

Conservatism is like cancer, and like cancer it comes in many forms and levels of aggression.  Some are more subtle and mask the symptoms until it is too late. Some are more aggressive and have to be treated immediately. They range from the Republican party, to the Tea Party, to hate groups and Rush Limbaugh. But make no mistake, whatever form or no matter how aggressive, these diseases of society must be dealt with or they will kill.

There is a tendency in our society, as in the care of our own health, to ignore things and tell ourselves that everything is all right and bad things only happen to someone else. This is the advantage a cancer like Conservatism has. It hides in the shadows, hoping we don’t notice, and by the time we do, the damage is done. This happened to liberals not too long ago, and we are now struggling to survive and hang on to the life that used to be our great country.

Ironically, it started with the election of Barack Obama. Euphoria spread through our ranks and we felt we had finally slayed the twin dragons of hate and war and were headed toward a better world. We felt good. We felt invincible, so we celebrated, perhaps too long. Then came the first sign of the disease, the Tea Party. At first we ignored it, we laughed at it, we said to ourselves it’s nothing and just ignored it. That was our first mistake. It grew, feeding off the hate, greed and bigotry that was built into its DNA.

The cancer first manifested itself as resistance to helping the victims of the greed of Wall Street, then later spread as opposition to the Affordable Health Care Act. By some miracle, though, we recovered for a while. Some relief was given to the casualties of the Great Bush Recession and a form of health care was passed. So we told ourselves those symptoms were nothing. Everything was all right. Except it wasn’t. The temporary relief of symptoms only meant the disease was regrouping and would come back with a vengeance. That was our second mistake, ignoring the mid-term elections of 2010.

Liberals stayed home in November, 2010 basking in the glow of our new president and his recent legislative achievements. Life was good, the symptoms had abated and we felt safe. So we went on vacation. Conservatives did not. They went to the polls in great numbers and by the time we recognized the disease was back, it was in control. They won the House of Representatives, state houses and legislatures, school boards, and city councils. The disease of Conservatism had metastasized to every level of our government.

Now we were really sick and the manifestations of the disease were many. Women’s rights to health care, the right to marry whom you pleased, even the right to vote was under attack. Aid to the hungry, help for the unemployed all that made us human was waning. Every cell in our body politic was being ravaged by this malignancy. So we went to the doctor, but medical science could only do so much at this stage. We managed to save the presidency, but the disease already had taken its toll.

So this may be your last warning, liberals. Our country is sick with the cancer of Conservatism. Much has been lost in the time since 2008, when we felt so good about our health. But like cancer of the body, there is always hope when there is life. It is getting late, but it is not too late. Pay attention, educate yourself on the issues, do the same for your friends and neighbors. Tweet a tweet, warn your Facebook friends, volunteer for a liberal candidate, and most of all, vote this November. Vote like your life depends on it, because at this late stage of the disease, it does.

whistleblower warning

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Opportunity knocks: Democrats name 14 "Red to Blue" House candidates

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Democrats think they have a chance to win some House elections in tough districts, and are adding even more targets as we speak. The DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) looks at candidates' fundraising, organization and infrastructure goals and then offers support to those who fit the bill.

However, winning back the House of Representatives wont be easy.

Via The Hill:

The committee named 16 candidates to the program, and three more districts with multiple Democratic contenders that the party has high hopes of winning. Two of those districts are open seat contests but are currently held by a Democrat.

The priority races are short of the 17 Democrats need to win in order to regain control of the House, an uphill battle especially in a midterm year where turnout is typically more favorable to Republicans.

Uphill battle, sure, but here's the part of The Hill's reporting that is key, because it drives home the obvious distinctions between Democrats and Republicans. It's the diversity, stupid:

Of the 16 candidates in the first round of Red-to-Blue districts, 10 are women, an historically high portion of the list that the committee argues is evidence of the Democratic Party’s diversity in contrast to the GOP.

No wonder the GOP continues to do everything they can to suppress the vote. Generally speaking, the more diverse the pool of voters, the more ballots cast for Democrats.

Full lists of Red-to-Blue candidates, districts, and races can be found at the link.

While we're at it, here's an idea: Elect more Progressives. While nearly any Democrat is preferable to a Republican, Dems who don't act, speak, and cast votes as Dems can pretty much blunt any victories, even if we were to achieve our dream of a Democratically-controlled House.

When those on the right bellow about how the left controlled both Houses during President Obama's first term, they leave out the part where Dems voted with Republicans or failed to support progressive issues (women's reproductive rights, for example).

All that said, one enormous priority remains: Get Out the Vote in 2014. As they say, when turnout is high, Democrats tend to win.

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