Democratic Governors and the Progressive Netroots: Winning Together in 2006

Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico will be posting here every week until the election. On behalf of MyDD, I welcome him here. I hope the community will do the same. As many of you have seen, he is also sponsoring the Governors forecast, which will help keep MyDD running in the weeks leading up to the election. I am proud and honored to have such a distinguished and successful member of the Democratic leadership here, and there are few more distinguished and successful than Governor Richardson. I expect his posts to be very useful to our community, as they will highlight many races that need our help--Chris

On Sunday, September 10th, I returned to New Mexico from Sudan after a successful mission to secure the release of imprisoned Chicago Tribune journalist and New Mexican Paul Salopek and his two Chadian colleagues. Our goal was accomplished through diplomacy, respectful face-to-face communication between me and President Al Bashir that allowed us to come to a reasonable agreement -- something that would have been impossible had I invoked the threats and bluster that characterize our nation's foreign policy under George Bush.

Even though we were far from Darfur on this trip, the consequences of generations of violence pervade every barren acre of Sudan. Meanwhile, as the Bush administration's misguided occupation of Iraq continues to deteriorate and waves of bloody violence push the country toward civil war with no end in site, the genocide in Darfur has continued and hundreds of thousands of people have suffered unspeakable atrocities.

George Bush has concentrated so many of our nation's resources on Iraq that he's taken his eye off the ball everywhere else, doing little to stop the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan or nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Iran. Unlike Bush, who is unable or unwilling to talk to anyone with whom he disagrees, the rapport Al-Bashir and I developed during our talks made it possible for me to encourage the President to accept the UN peacekeepers that Sudan so desperately needs.

It is time for a new American foreign policy -- a policy based on diplomacy, strong alliances, and the use of our great military only as alast resort. But while we will have to wait until 2008 to change our foreign policy, we have an opportunity right now to help the millions of Americans who have been abandoned by Washington. In the absence of federal leadership on health care, education, border security, disaster preparedness, the environment, renewable energy, fiscal responsibility and economic development, it is up to states -- and governors -- to get the job done.

Look around. In Wisconsin, in Arizona, in Michigan, in New Hampshire, and in my state of New Mexico, Democratic Governors are making a difference. Our states have balanced budgets. Our states are expanding access to health care. Our states are creating jobs, investing in renewable energy, and making schools work. In the 2006 midterm elections, there are 36 Governors races -- 36 opportunities to make things better.

We don't have to wait for 2008 -- working together, Democrats and the Netroots can win in 2006 and build a track record of success for years to come.

That's why I'm committed to supporting and building the progressive online infrastructure we need to win now. It's why the Democratic Governors Association is stepping up our internet efforts to serve as a clearinghouse for information on races around the country and how people can get involved. It's why I've set up a page at ActBlue.comto highlight our candidates, and why it's so important to activate ActBlue fundraising for every state. And it's why I'm proud to partner with MyDD to sponsor the Governor Forecast 2006.

Between now and election day, I'll be posting here at MyDD on races around the country about once a week. I hope you'll follow the links to get more information and get involved in any way you can -- online, on the ground, in campaign offices and at polling places on Election Day. I look forward to continuing this discussion on how we can best work together, so please leave your comments and questions on this post and I'll answer as many of them as I can.

Here are the latest updates on gubernatorial races around the country:

KS - Sebelius Leads by 20. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has a 20-point lead over her opponent, Republican Jim Barnett, according to a new poll. The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA for KWCH Channel 12 Eyewitness News andThe Wichita Eagle, showed 58 percent of Kansas voters interviewed would vote for Sebelius while 38 percent would vote for Barnett.

Sebelius campaign website
Ca mpaign commercials

NH - Lynch Maintains Healthy Lead.A new poll by the Concord Monitor shows Gov. John Lynch holding a huge lead over Rep. Jim Coburn of Windham, the Republican nominee for governor. Lynch was favored 61 percent to Coburn's 24 percent in the poll. Lynch's support has surged in two years and transcends party lines: Nearly three-quarters of independents and 21 percent of Republicans endorsed Lynch in the poll.

Lynch campaign website
Campaign commercial

OH - Clinton Campaigns for Strickland.Former President Bill Clinton campaigned for gubernatorial nominee Ted Strickland at a luncheon that harkened the faithful back to better days. Pointing to government scandals in Washington and Columbus, Clinton said Republicans have abused their power and voters are ready to end one-party control of government in Ohio.

Strickland campaign website
Biographical ad
Wheeling -Pitt ad

CO - Mountain States Turn Blue. Democrats have made gains in recent years in the eight states in the Rocky Mountain West. In Colorado, Democrats have a chance to win the open governor's race. Democrat Bill Ritter, a former Denver prosecutor, has a 17-percentage-point lead over U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, a Republican, according to a recent Rocky Mountain News poll. If Ritter wins, Democrats could be governor in five of the eight Mountain West states. Before the 2002 election, all these states -- Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming -- had Republican governors.

Ritter Expands Lead. Democrat Bill Ritter has a remarkable 17-point lead over Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez in the race for Colorado governor, accord ing to a Rocky Mountain News/CBS 4 poll of likely voters. Fifty percent of voters surveyed said they were likely to vote for Ritter, versus 33 percent for Beauprez.

Ritter campaign website

MI - Granholm Widens Lead. A new survey is out with Governor Jennifer Granholm widening her lead over Republican challenger Dick DeVos. Fifty-percent of the people surveyed in the Epic-MRA poll said they will vote for the incumbent, while only 42 percent say will vote for DeVos.

Granholm campaign website
Cam paign commercial

FL - Sierra Club Backs Davis. The Sierra Club on Monday endorsed U.S. Rep. Jim Davis in the governor's race. Davis used the endorsement to repeat his campaign theme that he is the candidate of change versus Republican Charlie Crist, whom Davis says represents the status quo. "Congestion and sprawl are a threat to our quality of life and to community," Davis said. "We will start thinking and planning more regionally when it comes to transportation, when it comes to water, when it comes to planning and parks."

Davis Announces Running Mate. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis has tapped former Miami state Sen. Daryl Jones to join the ticket and possibly become modern Florida's first African-American lieutenant governor. "Daryl Jones has a record of leadership and commitment to public service that the people of Florida can trust," Davis said. "We share a vision for a Florida in which the voices of working men and women are heard in Tallahassee and the issues most important to Florida's families are at the top of the agenda."

Davis campaign website
Campaign commercials

Tags: 2006 elections, Democratic Governors, DGA, netroots, New Mexico (all tags)

Comments

29 Comments

Welcome

Welcome Governor Richardson, thanks for starting up a conversation. Also, I wanted to to say thank you for helping secure the release of Paul Salopek. For a time I worried that he would not make it back, but what you did shows the power of diplomacy.

by who threw da cat 2006-09-26 04:40PM | 0 recs
Thank you

This is such a breathe of fresh air.  A quick question--I am from Hawaii and have been disgusted with how the state party pretty much failed to recruit a decent candidate to defeat Lingle but with the recent defeat of DINO Ed Case and the high voter turnout in the primary could this gov. seat be in play?  Iwase hasn't raised much money and isn't the greatest candidate but with an energized base in Hawaii--you can beat any Repub, even Lingle.  

Thanks again for posting.

by burroughs 2006-09-26 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Bill Richardson

Gov. Richardson,

If you haven't dumped and disavowed the corrupt and discredited DLC yet, you need to.

Being a NeoDem is a major stain on any Democrat's resume.

by Sitkah 2006-09-26 05:17PM | 0 recs
That...

is such a stupid cheap shot...

I welcome Governor Richardson's ability to attract any and all people of the Democratic persuasion. Yes, the DLC has been discredited. If you haven't noticed, we have moved on as a community in the 2-3 years since the DLC has been discredited. Stop pouring salt in the wounds of people who don't hold the exact same Democratic values as you. I welcome Richardon here, and I welcome the fact that he can talk to the DLCers as well. it would do absolutely no good, whatsoever, for Bill Richardson to "disavow" the DLC (or whatever the hell you suggested), especially when the party needs to be united. Move on, and shut up.

NCDem

by NCDem 2006-09-26 05:35PM | 0 recs
Re: That...

Nothing cheap at all about informing the good governor that being associated with the DLC is bad for his political future. Hell, I WANT to like the guy and I'm confident many others feel the same way, but can't get past the disreputable company he has kept.

by Sitkah 2006-09-26 05:57PM | 0 recs
concern...

I'm concerned about your concern troll concerns concerning the "good governor". They concern me.

by NCDem 2006-09-26 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: concern...

Your concern has "concern troll" written all over it ;-)

Now please just let me express my opinion to Gov. Richardson without muddying up the thread with a silly personal fight about me.

Thanks in advance.

by Sitkah 2006-09-26 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: concern..-Forgive us Governor

Welcome Governor Richardson.

Also, please excuse this "Sitkah". Unfortunately, just like the Republican Party, we have our share of people like Sitkah. People like "Sitkah" somehow believe that anyone who does not share his " Extremists Left Wing view" is not a real Democrat.

Sitkah reminds all of us that we also have our share of "wackos" within the Democratic party.

I honestly don't give a damn if a Sitkah" says what he says all day. What bothers me is when the "Sitkah's" of the world, buys a computer at ebay, then, decides that he now has the priviledge and the credibility to attack a Senator Evan Bayh, a Governor Bill Richardson, a A Senator Bill Nelson, etc etc etc.

For some reason, he forgot that MILLIONS OF FELLOW DEMOCRATS voted for the likes of Richardson,Bayh, Nelson to represent them in  their respective states by overwhelmingly margins every 4 years.

Since Sitkah is basically attacking about 68% of all currently elected Democratic Senators who happen to be linked to the DLC, and roughly 70% of all current Democratic Governors in office who are also affiliated with the DLC, he might as well change his membership to the New Alliance Party & join Leonora Fulani - That's a perfect home for him.

Once again, Wishing you continued success Governor Richardson!

by labanman 2006-09-26 09:33PM | 0 recs
Re: concern..-Forgive us Governor

Since this was posted in response to me, I must answer it, "labanman". For, like the Clintons, I'm not one who receives cheap shots without answering them -- but not in kind.

Actually I'm not "" Extremists Left Wing" any more than you are Extremist Right Wing. Just about every time I look at a poll on a particular subject, it says my views are mainstream. But then, maybe most Americans are extreme left wing without realizing it.

I had hoped I could express an opinion to Gov. Richadson --  which I think many may share -- without being attacked personally and being made the subject of this thread. But I should have known that intolerance for diversity of opinion is not just a Republican virtue.

My apology to you, Gov. Richardson, for accidentally inciting such intolerant and offensive reactions by simply adressing a message to you which a few didn't like. Welcome to the internet, I guess.

by Sitkah 2006-09-26 09:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Sitkah, Next Time THINK First

Next time, think first before opening your big mouth.

We have the community here giving a warm welcome to a sitting Democratic Governor- and here you come from way left field with some thoughtless remark.

Did your parents teach you manners at all? Have you even been in a social function where you sometimes have to hold back for the sake of not offending your guest? I GUESS NOT!

You call me a Republican? Who just attacked a large group of Elected, I repeat, Elected Democratic officials? I repeat Democratic politicians. Me or you?

Next time THINK. Use your brain.

BTW, this is not a one time incident. Reading your daily post shows repeated attacks on Democrats who don't agree with your exremists views.

If you are not happy, GET OUT! No One is stopping you. For every Sitkah who joins Fulani, we have 10 independent voters who will take your place.

NEXT TIME. THINK! Maron!

by labanman 2006-09-27 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Sitkah, Next Time THINK First

I did think and was deliberate in pointing out to Gov. Richardson that he should quit the DLC if he hasn't already. The only way otherwise good politicians will leave that corrupt outfit is if they are made to understand the price of belonging to it outweighs the benefits.

When I was a kid a popular bumper sticker among rightwingers was "America...Love it or Leave It." That's now what you're telling those who disagree with you in the Democratic Party to do. I would never tell right wing Democrats like you to leave the party.

BTW, you misspelled "moron". What that says I won't say.

by Sitkah 2006-09-27 12:45PM | 0 recs
Governor Richardson

You are one of the most popular, effective, and outspoken Governors in the United States.

Keep doing EXACTLY what you are doing.

by OfficeOfLife 2006-09-26 08:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor Richardson

Thank you for the kind words, but I'm not a governor -- just a citizen who thinks party leaders like Gov. Richardson need to be told, or reminded, that it's better to represent the populists rather than the corporatists.

Giving politicians an earful is an American tradition which I'm proud to carry on.

by Sitkah 2006-09-26 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor Richardson

You are welcome to express your opinion. Very few people share it - least of all the governor's constituents - but you are free to express it.

Fixing things that aren't broken are what many here are all about. Luckily Governor Richardson is in touch with his residents and intelligent and principled enough to chart his own course.

by OfficeOfLife 2006-09-26 09:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor Richardson

Fixing things that aren't broken are what many here are all about

Ignoring things which are broken is what too many are all about.

One simply cannot be with the people and with those who are against the people. When Gov. Richardson becomes openly an agent of reform within the Demoratic party, many more will admire him. And in politics, you can't have too many admirers.

.

by Sitkah 2006-09-26 09:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor Richardson

Unfortunately, you ignore Richardson's very strong record of reform in New Mexico and judge him entirely on one litmus issue - his affiliation with the DLC.

You have no credibility claiming he is not currently an agent of reform, as you clearly know little-to-nothing about the man beyond your own "DLC" talking-point.

The only people who don't admire him are a few whiners on the internet. He is extremely popular with his constituents and is cruising to re-election.

Apparently sky-high approval ratings are a bad thing and necessitate "change" (translation: moving far to the left of your voters). Brilliant idea. Perhaps you can share your expertise with Freudenthal or Brad Henry, while you're at it.

by OfficeOfLife 2006-09-26 10:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor Richardson

Unfortunately, you ignore Richardson's very strong record of reform in New Mexico and judge him entirely on one litmus issue - his affiliation with the DLC.

Political figures are judged all the time by who or what organizations they are affiliated with.

You have no credibility claiming he is not currently an agent of reform, as you clearly know little-to-nothing about the man beyond your own "DLC" talking-point.

You would have a measure of credibilty if you pointed out what he's done to promote reform in the Democratic Party rather than simply trying to change the subject onto your opinion of me.

The only people who don't admire him are a few whiners on the internet. He is extremely popular with his constituents and is cruising to re-election.

"Whiner" is a term that people like Rush Limbaugh (and Evan Bayh) like to use. Fortunately, I've never heard Gov. Richardson use GOP talking points to belittle those who disagree with him.

I'm glad he's popular in NM. But popularity doesn't necessarily relate to what's right or wrong -- as Bush's one time sky high approval rating demonstrated.

Apparently sky-high approval ratings are a bad thing and necessitate "change" (translation: moving far to the left of your voters). Brilliant idea. Perhaps you can share your expertise with Freudenthal or Brad Henry, while you're at it.

All I know is that under the guidance of self styled "centrist" DLCers, the Democratic party lost its populist bearings and was driven into the ditch.

Unlike many who post here, I've lived in a time when the Democratric party was in complete power -- and was liberal leaning populist rather than conservative leaning corporatist (i.e. centrist).

The Democratic Party needs to finds its way back to its own platform and principles if it wants to not just stumble into power, but win with a mandate to govern for the people. I want Gov. Richardson to be one who leads us there -- but first he must severe his connections to the corrupt and incompetent DLC (if he hasn't already. It's very difficult to find out current info about DLC membership. Its members apparently don't want ordinary Democrats to know they're in it. I'd love to get a reply from the governor or his staff that he's no longer a DLCer and put the matter to rest.)

by Sitkah 2006-09-26 10:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Democratic Governors and the Progressive Netro

Thank you for the welcome, I'm very happy to be sponsoring this page and I look forward to reading your comments, sharing ideas, and working together to make sure that we elect Democratic Governors this November.

I won't always be able to answer every question or post a reply to every comment but my campaign's online operations staff will monitor the comment threads and we will follow up as soon as possible.  

You can also email my online operations team at netroots@billrichardson2006.com or visit my blog at http://blog.billrichardson2006.com.

Thanks again for the welcome and please do what you can to help re-elect Democratic Governors and elect Democratic candidates for Governor this November.

by Governor Bill Richardson 2006-09-26 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Democratic Governors and the Progressive Netro

How are we doing with the Hispanic vote this go-around?  Has there been a backlash against the GOP because of the prima facie anti-immigrant stance they are taking now with the border issues?

I am hopeful that this year's stance by the Republicans will be a "national prop 187" and turn NM, CO, NV, and perhaps even AZ solidly blue.

by jgarcia 2006-09-26 06:02PM | 0 recs
Thank you Gov Richardson.

In Maryland,  Ehrlich always has Ads on TV.  I heard a O'Malley Ad in radio but it is rare.  I hope O'Malley is safe.

by jasmine 2006-09-26 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Democratic Governors and the Progressive Netro

Governor,

Thank you for discussing Sudan.  It's a disgrace that our leaders are doing so little to stop the genocide there. I am thankful for anything done to raise awareness about Darfur and Sudan, and I am very thankful you were able to secure the release of  Paul Salopek and the other journalists.

by bogun 2006-09-26 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Internet Think Tanks

Gov. Richardson:  thank you so much for stopping by and making the commitment to this site and to those of us striving to help our Country right herself. Your negotiating skills will certainly fortify and hopefully focus all the tremendous internet think tank resources that are just now beginning to be recognized. The ability of my fellow fighting keyboardists to analyze, coordinate and proactively react is yet to be measured. So, to borrow a phrase, when if not now?

by mainsailset 2006-09-26 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Democratic Governors and the Progressive Netro

Thanks, Bill!

Let's win these races this fall, and then maybe you can be the first President from New Mexico.  

And let me just say that this is the way to get it done.  HRC hired some consultant to help her triangulate bloggers, but you took not just the most efficient move but also the smartest by just talking to and involving yourself with the community.  I like it.

by Reece 2006-09-26 05:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Democratic Governors and the Progressive Netro

Gov. Richardson,

Thank you for your posting and your interest in working with the netroots.  I think everyone seems to be overlooking Jack Billion out in South Dakota.  This is our race to win - South Dakotans are fed up with the Rounds administration and want a change.  They released a poll a couple of weeks ago showing that Rounds was only at 47% in a head to head match up with Billion.  With a little investment this race could really turn in our favor.  

The Republican Party understands the importance of symbolic victories, that is why they poured $28 million into their effort to topple Tom Daschle.  We have a chance for a symbolic victory here in South Dakota.  The radical elements of the Republican Party has made this their testing ground for their radical agenda (ie the abortion ban).  If we can unseat the governor who signed this bill we will show the Republican Party that the American people reject their agenda.

Also, if we don't stop Rounds now he almost certainly going to run for the Senate in 08 against Johnson.  We really can not afford to have another radical Republican in the Senate.

Just some thoughts.  Thanks again for posting.

by SoDak Dem 2006-09-26 05:53PM | 0 recs
Nevada gov

Gov. Richardson,

Thank you for the post and for sponsoring the governors forecast.

I understand the cheerleading theme in highlighting the races we are certain to win, and I don't want to understate the signficance, but I think MyDD readers are more concerned with the races in the balance, namely the endangered midwestern incumbents and Kulongoski. You do mention Granholm and Davis at the end of your updates.

As a Nevadan, my frustration and concern is the apparent lack of prioritization and funding for Dina Titus. She is markedly superior to opponent Jim Gibbons, as demonstrated in the first debate last night. Yet she has been overwhelmed in the media since the August 15 primary, allowing Gibbons to frame the race and extend his lead. IMO, that was horrific handicapping and neglect by the national party in not funding this race, especially since Nevada is a relatively cheap media state as Sara Carter has accurately detailed in her diaries.

I count 10 or less truly competitive gov races and I have no idea why Nevada wasn't prioritized. Anyone who can evaluate Nevada politics realizes Gibbons' lead is no higher than the 4-6 point range, with equal emphasis from both sides. I hope we aren't embracing polls above basic common sense.

Perhaps it's not too late. Helping Titus could have turnout benefit in the senate race along with the Tessa Hafen and Jill Derby congressional races, both potentially vital in retaking the House. Not to mention downballot races like secretary of state with Republican Danny Tarkanian emphasizing Voter IDs should he defeat Ross Miller.

I'd hate to have another competitive loss, like Ohio in the 2000 presidential vote, and realize it might have been winnable with sufficient attention and cash.

by jagakid 2006-09-26 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Democratic Governors and the Progressive Netro

Gov. Richardson,

Thank you for posting.  One race that I find amazing is OK-Gov, where Gov. Henry had around a 30 point lead over his Republican opponent.  

by bosdcla14 2006-09-26 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Democratic Governors and the Progressive Netro
Gov.  Richardson-
Thank you for engaging us here.  When I started voting 8 years, it felt good, but progressively I felt disenfranchised by Republican gimmicks and redistricting that only protected incumbents.  The netroots and blogs changed my perspective.  Seeing you here makes me feel that much closer to my government.
by bhirsh26 2006-09-26 06:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Democratic Governors

Regarding MI-Gov, the EPIC-MRA poll isn't reliable and shouldn't be cited due to its flawed methodology.  The more recent Survey USA poll released on 9.18.2006, which puts Granholm and DeVos both at 47, is probably much more accurate.

by whogotthegravy 2006-09-26 08:00PM | 0 recs
Democratic Governors Association Responds

to my e-mail suggesting Jim Davis (D-FL) bid for governor was a credible race and appeared unfunded or underfunded by the DGA.

Thank you for writing. We haven't yet decided how much financial support we can give. While we decide, the DGA is working to support Jim Davis, and we will remain engaged until he's elected governor.

Kind regards,
Brian Namey
Deputy Communications Director
Democratic Governors Association
Main: 202 772 5600
Direct: 202 772 5620
Cell: 202 374 0002

I may not be privy to their decision process, but I do know time's a wastin'.  Exert pressure on the DGA to fund Florida!

You may remember Darryl Jones.  Davis' pick for Lt. Gov. was once Bill Clinton's choice for Sec'y. of the Air Force, but was shot down in a partisan vote.  He's a former AF fighter pilot, has his law degree (cum laude) from U of Miami, and runs his own real estate investment and consulting firm.  He served in both houses of Florida State government from 1990-2002, when he resigned to conduct an unsuccessful bid to be the Democratic candidate for governor.

by Limelite 2006-09-26 08:45PM | 0 recs

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