Democratic Governors and the Progressive Netroots: Winning Together in 2006
by Governor Bill Richardson, Tue Sep 26, 2006 at 04:47:56 PM EDT
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.
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.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.
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.in the Epic-MRA poll said they will vote for the incumbent, while only 42 percent say will vote for DeVos.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."