CT-04: Help turn New England blue before 2Q deadline

(Cross-posted diary from Swing State Project.)

As DavidNYC suggested yesterday over at SSP, with each passing quarter, the presidential candidates will take away more and more air from other races. Now is the time to throw some support the way of deserving candidates before the 2Q ends this weekend.

In that spirit, here's an update on Jim Himes' campaign in CT-04 - Chris Shays' district, the last spot of red in the House in all of New England:

There are just under 500 days remaining until Election Day 2008. And I intend to spend every one of those days running a different type of campaign, one that focuses on person-to-person contact and real grassroots participation.

Now is the time to build the foundation of this campaign. And I'm looking to you to help build it. Become a Founding Member of our campaign today, and help us reach our goal of signing up 500 new Founding Members before June 30th.

What will you get for being a "Founding Member" of the campaign? You won't get any special access or treatment. You'll get something much more meaningful: the opportunity and responsibility of being one of the first people to join our effort to change the direction of our country and address the real priorities of our district.

Himes' non-political background is diverse (grew up in Latin America, public schools, Rhodes Scholar, Goldman Sachs VP, now works at an affordable housing nonprofit), he's already impressive as a candidate at this early stage, and he's looking to run a different type of campaign in a district that is usually dominated by big media buys.

Shays' time is finally up in 2008, if the netroots and grassroots starts building the foundation for this campaign now. Contribute or sign up to volunteer and help Jim reach the goal of 500 "founding members" of the campaign before this month is over.

Or sign up for email updates here.

Disclosure: I am currently doing some early volunteer work online for Jim Himes.

Bush, House GOP Side with CEOs Over Shareholders

This afternoon the House of Representatives held an important vote on legislation that would, for the first time, allow shareholders of corporations to at least have a say in the salaries given to executives. While the legislation did not give shareholders veto power, the power to make a statement of approval or disapprobation could go a long way towards reining in excessive CEO pay -- particularly in cases in which corporations are hemorrhaging money but executives still receive fat paychecks and ridiculous bonuses.

Yet on this sensible piece of legislation, how did most House Republicans vote? Nay, naturally. Of the 184 memberds of the House Republican caucus who voted on this bill this afternoon, fully 70 percent (129) voted in the opposition. This group not only included members of the leadership, like Minority Leader John Boehner and Minority Whip Roy Blunt, but also potentially endangered members, including (and I got a lot of them, but certainly not all of them): Vern Buchanan (FL-13), Mike Castle (DE-AL), Tom Davis (VA-11), John Doolittle (CA-04), Phil English (PA-03), Vito Fossella (NY-13), Scott Garrett (NJ-05), Peter King (NY-03), Randy Kuhl (NY-29), Tom Latham (IA-04), Thad McCotter (MI-11), Dave Reichert (WA-08), Rick Renzi (AZ-01), Tom Reynolds (NY-26), Mike Rogers (MI-08), Jean Schmidt (OH-02), Chris Shays (CT-04), Tim Walberg (MI-07) and Heather Wilson (NM-01).

But it's not only the House Republicans, including some of their most vulnerbable members, who are staking out a position against the average shareholder and in favor of corporate CEOs making tens or hundreds of millions of dollars each year (even as some of their companies lose money). Today we learned that the White House also opposes such a move by Congress to empower everyday Americans to take real ownership over their investments, just as the extremely wealthy are able to do. While the President has apparently stopped short of issuing a veto threat, it has nonetheless indicated quite clearly to the American people just whose side it's on.

Judging by the vote in the House today, Democrats could be within fewer than 10 votes of a veto-proof margin in the House (if you count the dozen or so Democrats not voting as "ayes"). Now action will move to the Senate where the corporatists up for reelection in 2008 -- the John Sununus, Gordon Smiths, Norm Colemans and others -- will have to decide whether they care more about appeasing their big-money supporters or the people who will actually have more of a say as to whether or not they will have another term in Congress. My guess is that most of these endangered Republicans, just like their brethren in the House, are dense enough to believe that they can get away with voting for corporate CEOs and against the average shareholder, but we shall have to wait and see.

There's more...

Petition to the new DCCC Chair: Support our Candidates!

I recall reading that Newt Gingrich advised Republican candidates who lost House races by less than 10% to run again in the next election; some of the infamous Class of '94 freshmen who rode the Republican wave into the House had run close races in '92, and some of '94's losers won seats in '96.  I think this is one Gingrich idea we need to adopt -- and further, we need to push the DCCC to adopt it as well.

What I would ideally like to see is a petition with a huge number of signatures delivered to the new DCCC chair on his or her first day on the job.  I think Moveon.org would be the ideal forum for collecting signatures -- on-line petition drives are a large part of what they do, and their mailing list can generate literally millions of signatures in a matter of days.

If anyone on MyDD has contacts in the management of Moveon.org, I would greatly appreciate your help in bringing this to their attention; I intend to submit it via their feedback form after incorporating any comments or suggestions from the MyDD community which seem useful.  I'd especially appreciate any information on who the new DCCC chair is likely to be, what the selection process is, and when we'll know for certain.

(petition text below the fold)

There's more...

NYT endorses Diane Farrell (CT-04)

New York Times endorses Dianne Farrell (D) for CT-04, over Chris Shays:
Mr. Shays has been a good congressman, but not good enough to overcome the fact that his re-election would help empower a party that is long overdue for a shakeup. This decision is painful, but not difficult, given the high caliber of his opponent. With due respect for Mr. Shays's service, we strongly endorse Diane Farrell for Congress.

CT-04: Diane Farrell Clearly Got The Memo

CT-04's Democratic challenger, Diane Farrell, took the national stage yesterday when she gave the Democratic response to Bush's National Radio Address.

What was most striking for me about her speech was her effective use of accountability language when making the case not only for her election to the House, but more generally for a Democratic majority. Only then, she argues effectively, will there be oversight and accountability in Congress.

She's been remarkably consistent with this message whether be her August 25 Hardball appearance, her debates with Chris Shays or this radio address. What's especially interesting about her message is the extent to which she seems to follow the recommendations of The Courage Campaign and MyDD's candidate memo for Democratic challengers. The purpose of the memo was to take what we learned from our polling in the CA-50th and apply it nationally.

Some of the recommendations:

Iraq must be central in your campaign and you must blame Republicans for it.

Oversight beats withdrawal

Pick a fight, any fight

And if there were one phrase that summed up the conclusions of the candidates memo, it would be as follows:

It's the accountability, stupid

Diane Farrell must have gotten the memo.

More over the flip.

There's more...


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