CO-04: DCCC Red Alert: Betsy Markey Needs Our Help

Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave is one of the more despicable Republicans in congress, having served as the primary sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment in the House. What is she still doing representing increasingly blue Colorado? Well, her eastern Colorado district has a PVI of R+9 for one thing. But even with this distinct structural advantage, she barely survived re-election last cycle and this year has gotten an even more spirited challenge from Democrat Betsy Markey who is running an excellent race and is actually polling consistently ahead of Musgrave.

Goal Thermometer

But now that we're 3 weeks out, the Republican attacks on Markey are escalating and Markey currently doesn't have the resources to match Musgrave ad for ad between now and election day. Speaker Pelosi is asking for our help:

How would you like to defeat a Republican who has spent the past six years trying to write discrimination into our Constitution, privatize Social Security, and block affordable health care for millions of American children? We can do just that in Colorado's 4th District -- but only if we act in the next 72 hours.

Every two years, Republican Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave becomes more and more vulnerable. This year, we have our best chance to finally win this seat behind Democrat Betsy Markey. Recent polls indicate that Betsy has surged ahead, but the race is about to reach a tipping point.

If we don't act now, in just 72 hours, Betsy will no longer be able to afford television ads, just as national Republicans are moving in to help Congresswoman Musgrave stay on the air.

So let's help Markey out to defeat one of the absolute worst Republicans in Congress. Musgrave first won election to the House in 2002 when fear drove the electorate to increase Republicans' majorities; in many ways I feel like 2008 is our chance to avenge 2002. Let's make sure ousting Musgrave is part of that vengeance.

Help out Betsy Markey over at ActBlue.

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GOP 2008 Strategy: Pretend To Care

After their third special election loss in a row, Republican House leaders set up a 6-member panel to figure out what Republicans were doing wrong and what they need to do better moving forward to improve their chances in November. On Thursday, House leaders met to discuss their findings.

This observation struck me as particularly, well, spot on:

While the review said the national political environment was largely to blame for the losses, it also said Republican candidates themselves were less than optimal and their campaigns were flawed.

Understatement of the year.

And then there was this:

House Republicans lost three recent elections when customary campaign themes failed to sway voters and their candidates could not overcome the "negative perception of the national party," according to an internal review that underscores the potential for widespread losses this fall.

Umm, ya think?

But what's even richer is their prescription for what ails them:

GOP candidates on the ballot in November must show "deep empathy towards the voters" and rely on local rather than national issues, according to the report, ordered by party leaders after the loss of formerly safe seats in Illinois, Louisiana and Mississippi that stunned the rank and file.

In other words, pretend to give a shit. But that is a particularly uphill battle when all evidence is to the contrary. After all, it's the Republicans who vote against expanding healthcare for poor children, against college benefits for returning veterans, against an increase in the minimum wage and against the extension of unemployment insurance benefits for those hardest hit by the economic downturn. They actually don't care and voters know it.

What makes this even sweeter is that Democrats chose yesterday, the day the Republicans were wallowing in their own failure, to shoot a warning shot across the bow:

House Republicans on Thursday reviewed the defeats as Democrats signaled an intention to spend heavily in three competitive seats in New York, Oregon and Colorado. Officials said the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had reserved a combined $4 million worth of television advertising time.

The races in question:

The DCCC has reserved $2.1 million for advertising for a seat in New York City in which Republican Rep. Vito Fossella intends to retire. Fossella, who is married with children, recently acknowledged fathering a child out of wedlock.

Democrats also said they will spend $1.2 million in the Portland, Ore., area, hoping to hold the seat of Democratic Rep. Darlene Hooley, who is retiring.

The third target is the seat held by Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave in Colorado, where Democrats said they had reserved nearly $700,000 in advertising time.

Flaunting our financial advantage and kicking them while they're down. Love it.

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GOOD Congressional challengers on FISA: The List

In the last couple days, there have been several posts across the blogosphere citing what various candidates running for Congress have said on FISA and retroactive immunity for the telecoms.  But so far, it's been all over the map.  I'll try to corral all their statements into this diary, so you can see who the "good guys" are.

First, let's start off with the current House and Senate members who voted against this bill.  They do deserve credit, as it's their jobs on the line.

Follow me below the fold to see the dozens of Democratic challengers who are standing up for the Constitution, and are against this FISA bill and retroactive immunity.

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Serve with Gen. Wes Clark - final 5 districts in contest!

The first round votes have been counted and we are down to the final five!  

Thousands and thousands of people cast first round votes in "Serve with the General" - the contest that will send General Wes Clark to one lucky Congressional District to participate in a community service project.  The race to get into the final round was extremely close!

Now it is time to pick from the final five districts: Washington's 8th (Darcy Burner), California's 4th (Charlie Brown), North Carolina's 10th (Daniel Johnson), Colorado's 4th (Betsy Markey), or Minnesota's 3rd (Ashwin Madia).

Click here to cast your final round vote!

(Every district starts back at zero votes for the final round, so make sure you cast a final round vote.)

You get to decide where Democrats will roll up their sleeves at a community service event with General Clark this summer.  

So cast your vote today! The final round of voting ends this Friday, June 6th, at 12:00 midnight eastern time.  

Thank you for your participation and for putting your Democratic values into action.  Spread the word!

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NV-02: Heller Had 12th Worst GOP Result in 2006

Nationally, many pundits and bloggers didn't take Nevada's 2nd district too seriously in 2006. It was too safe a Republican district to be even slightly competitive, so the argument went.

Well, we all know that Dean Heller in the end won his election against Democrat Jill Derby. Against expectations though, his result wasn't very convincing. The man who was elected Secretary of State of Nevada three times, barely won more than 50% of the vote in a district that doesn't include Democratic Las Vegas. So today, I ventured out in search of Republicans who won their districts in 2006 and did worse than him. Turns out that there weren't that many.

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