One Nation, One Moment, One Action

NOTE: The initial inspiration for Jerry McNerney to advocate this action was a Daily Kos diary titled "Will he still love me?" by testvet6778; this is also cross-posted on Calitics... - Eden w/ McNerney for Congress

Today is Memorial Day, a time to recognize and honor the men and women who have given their lives in service to our nation for over two centuries, from the American Revolution to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While this day is always a solemn national event, I know many Americans are feeling a profound sense of pain on this particular Memorial Day. The thoughts and feelings you have expressed to me about how to support our troops in this time of war -- in-person at my "Congress At Your Corner" events, by phone, through email, or in the hundreds of comments on my blog -- is a reflection of that deep sentiment.

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CA-11: McNerney Activist Falls On Hard Times

For the full context of this story, you can read Part 1 at The Progressive Connection.

By mid-2005, Jerry McNerney's second Congressional race against Richard Pombo was shaping up to be a rerun of the first one in 2004. A small core of his earliest supporters was dedicated to McNerney's campaign in CA-11, but they were struggling to paddle against an increasingly strong current. Ellen Tauscher and the DCCC had introduced their candidate, Steve Filson, into this environment, and many in the district assumed that McNerney's star (such as it had been) was on the decline. Into this breach stepped a veritable force of nature named Vicki Cosgrove.

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   Vicki Cosgrove giving Jerry McNerney a hug as the winning votes are found in the Alameda
County Registrar of Voters' office at the end of the recount for McNerney's write-in campaign
in the 2004 primary.

Vicki, who is almost iconic in Bay Area progressive circles, was and is an ardent DFA supporter; she served as the Northern California Field Representative for the Courage Campaign and as a member of the steering committees of California for Democracy and East Bay for Democracy; additionally, she served as president of the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club in Berkeley. She knows everything that's going on, and she knows everybody. In short, Vicki is the East Bay version of Paul Revere. So when Vicki Cosgrove stood up in the fall of 2005 and said, "I'm sticking with Jerry; he's my guy," there was a sudden sea change in McNerney's fortunes.

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Join Jerry McNerney on firedoglake TODAY (live-blogging 1-3 pm PST)

x-posted at Daily Kos and Calitics

Hi MyDD'ers (and Kossacks and Calitics'istas) -

I would like to invite all of you to join Congressman Jerry McNerney -- the netroots hero who defeated Richard Pombo -- this afternoon at firedoglake's Blue America. But first, I have some great news to tell you.

On Monday, your votes helped Jerry win Senator John Kerry's national "March Madness" campaign competition (along with Rep. Nancy Boyda, KS-2). As a result, Senator Kerry sent over 3 million people an email yesterday asking them to support Jerry, as well as Rep. Boyda, and Senators Tom Harkin and Mark Pryor.

Last night, you did it again. We asked our grassroots and netroots supporters to "Hit a Home Run for Jerry" by raising $300,000 before the Federal Election Commission's March 31st midnight deadline. And, late last night, you hit it out of the park-- a full 24 hours before the deadline.   

More below the flip...

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[Updated] 2008: Game On in CA-11

Cross posted at Say No To Pombo

UPDATE: This story has just been picked up by the largest newspaper in CA-11, the Contra Costa Times.

Last Thursday, Jerry McNerney took the oath of office as a member of the 110th Congress. A scant five days later, with what must surely be unprecedented speed, the NRCC has sent out its first anti-McNerney campaign mailers of the 2008 election to voters in CA-11.  

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Report from Mcnerney-ville

I thought I'd share this email I sent out to my family and friends at 2:30am last night when I got back from Tracy, California. A little context: My family has a long tradition of radical politics, communists, sixties revolutionaries, etc...This is my coming out email for going "mainstream"... :) also, much of what follows goes ditto for the netroots in a virtual sorta way...  

"Dear family and friends...

Spent all day today working out in Tracy at the Mcnerney campaign to unseat Richard Pombo (with my cousin Katie and friend Eric!) and I must say this was one of the more wonderful days of my life. It's hard to describe the feeling of tromping around all day in the beautiful weather, surrounded by SUVs, quiet neighborhoods, streets that are all named either Sycamore Way or Weeping Willow Lane, huge lines at the polling station, the ragtag band of rebels gathering at the home of Martha Gamez,  perhaps my greatest hero of all time--a woman in her sixties who hasn't slept more than 2 hours a night for a week organizing this vast army of eager but entirely clueless Bay Areans into an eager, happy bunch of door-knockers and still managing to give out hugs and laughs and wow Americans sure can be decent wonderful people sometimes. Today was the day the last smoldering coals of cynicism died in my Election-2000-encrusted-heart. As the sun went down on the vast flat aquamarine skies of the valley, and we stood at the poll watching a huge line of happy, talkative voters wait patiently for their turn and a little posse of sleazy-looking Republicans started snooping around and looking ominous and I thought "No, today, you are not going to do anything. Because we are here. For the first time, I am not watching you fuck this up on the news afterwards anymore. I am here, and so are thousands upon thousands like me. There's Jeb who sat (mostly stood) all day at the poll, that's  12 hours if you're counting, watching for problems. There's Lee who I became best friends with for a day as we got lost in the spiraling suburbs over and over, there's Carolyn who's been traveling across the country with her husband in their RV and they decided to stop here in Tracy for a month and get this election won. And more..."

From now on, anytime you hear me say anything bitter or angry about the American people, you remind me of this day. You remind of the folks in their seventies and the college kids who patiently knocked at doors and worked like their lives depended on it and shocked those little worms. The operatives who were flown in from DC by Pombo and the RNC were defeated by a mob of smiling seniors and housewives and berkeley students and painters and laborers. And then while I was standing there as the poll wrapped up and talked to my friend Eric who said it sounded like they were projecting  a 30 seat pickup for Dems a chill went through me. I thought, everywhere around the country in small towns in Nebraska and Colorado and New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, there were people just like me doing this very thing and it meant something. The Democrats hardly even matter in this equation, and they will probably do their best to squander this. But it's too late. People know that working hard enough and watching enough and caring enough actually do make the little guy win every once in a while. That's a very dangerous feeling to have. I've never worked a campaign before on the street, and I will never let one go by again without knocking on some doors. I saw this short, balding, rather quiet, decent older alternative-energy consultant start with a write-in campaign and finish by defeating one of the most powerful, corrupt and poisonous people in congress. And all we did was go door to door and talk to folks. I know I'm not the only one who's gone all-in on this process now. I live here, my beautiful niece and nephew live here, my wonderful parents live here, all my amazing cousins and uncles and the spirits of our grandparents and we honor them in this work. I'm tired of being angry at this place. Time to make some things grow that (my nieces and nephews) Orion and Ivy and Sebastian and the generation before them can tend when they get old.

If you ever want to see where this war is going to be won, walk out on those streets with these people some day. You might never be able to curse or generalize again."

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