Maybe someone out there who knows the inner workings of EMILY's List can explain to me why this group has not put money behind Becky Greenwald, the Democrat challenging loyal Republican foot-soldier Tom Latham in Iowa's fourth Congressional district.
Update [2008-8-26 16:8:14 by Todd Beeton]:It's pretty crazy here. The room seats 2600, they've given away 2500 tickets plus media. A lot of sad reporters were left without credentials. Thanks, EMILY's List for hooking us up.
I spoke with EMILY's List Political Director Jonathan Parker yesterday, which I'll write up at greater length, but their essential mission is to elect Democratic pro-choice women. On the big screens in the room are pictures and brief profiles of some of the candidates they've endorsed this cycle including Linda Stender in NJ-07, Annette Taddeo in FL-18, Mary Jo Kilroy in OH-15, Darcy Burner in WA-08, Sam Bennett in PA-15, Road to 60 Senate candidate Kay Hagan (NC), Christine Jennings in FL-13, Jill Derby in NV-02 and the list literally goes on and on.
Ellen Malcolm;s remarks over the flip.
There are signs everywhere that say "When Women Vote, Democrats win." That is essential to the message today. As Malcolm said, women are key to achieving a progressive majority.
Ellen Malcolm introduced MD Senator Barbara Mikulski who is freakin awesome. She was the first Democratic woman elected in her own right to the senate and EMILY's List was instrumental in that race. As Mikulski said: "Early money is like yeast: it helps raise more dough!"
More huge applause at the mention of Michelle.
Mikulski is now introducing Hillary Clinton. "I was a proud supporter of Hillary Clinton and was a national co-chair of her campaign and I remain an admirer...Now we are ready to turn the page. I stood with Hillary on the floor of the senate in support of equal pay for equal work. I stood there with Barack Obama. John McCain didn't even bother to show up. I stood there with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama shoulder to shoulder and that's how we need to stand now." Hillary's entering and the place is GOING NUTS.
And it won't stop.
Hillary's remarks over the flip.
Nancy Pelosi's remarks over the flip.
WA Gov. Christine Gregoire is introducing Michelle Obama. "Her husband calls her the rock of the campaign. Malia and Sascha simply call her 'Mom.'"
Michelle has taken the stage. This place really loves her.
Michelle Obama's remarks:
"...and finally, thank you to Senator Clinton. No one has been more gracious, more forthcoming and more helpful to me than Senator Clinton. She and her family have been gracious, they've offered me help and advice...it is because of her candidacy, she broke so many stereotypes, she got rid of the notion that a woman can not be president. Those days are over, those days are gone. She has offered my daughters and all of our daughters a different notion of what they can become."
Michelle too paid tribute to Stephanie Tubbs Jones.
Colorado granted women the right to vote a full 27 years before congress ratified it. "It was also the first state to implement it through voter initiative."
"What a shining example of how people can bring out the best in each other...Today, let's celebrate how far we've come and how deep our shared capacity is to break through any barriers that stand in the way of progress in this nation."
"Haven't we proven that something is changing in this nation?"
"What we have seen is that people are hungry for change. And in two days, we're going to make a little more history when we will nominate Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States. As you can imagine, I'm one proud spouse...I know with every fiber of my being that he is going to be an amazing president."
"I am speaking as an American and I will say this time and time again: who loves my country."
Michelle is talking about how Barack wants to close the gap between the world as it is and the world as it should be.
"That anyone who puts in a hard day's work should be able to raise a family.
An economy that works not just on Wall St. but on Main St. as well.
In the world as it should be, women are given equal pay for equal work. Employers are held accountable for pay discrimination.
In the world as it should be, every woman should be able to make her own choice about whether or when to become a parent. That is a sacred choice and the government should have no say." Huge applause.
"The truth is, he can't do it alone...He said this race can not be about him, it has to be about us. We are going to need every single one of you in this room fighting for this and standing with us and praying for us. When we leave Denver, we're going to need you to go back, talk to your friends and knock on doors...There's nothing more powerful than the conversations you have with each other."
"And if you don't think Barack needs you, I am going to need you. I am going to need you to have your back." Cheering.
"If we fight for the world as it should be...not only will we elect Barack Obama the president of the United States but we will change the history of this nation forever."
There has been quite an uproar over NARAL's endorsement of Barack Obama, and with good reason. Hillary Clinton's record of supporting choice is far more extensive than Barack (Present) Obama's. The timing reeks to high heaven. It was obviously done to help push Clinton from the race at a time when her candidacy is tenuous. NARAL's endorsement of the nominee, after the nomination had been decided, would have been expected and welcomed by most Democrats. Instead, they have jumped the gun and been peppered by thousands of complaints from infuriated supporters. Their state chapters are putting distance between themselves and NARAL's national office, calling the endorsement "premature".
Many protestors at the NARAL site and other progressive forums state they are withdrawing their support. I, too, disapprove of the endorsement, but it concerns me that resources would be diverted from the cause of choice. A temporary influx of $10-$20 contributions from Obama supporters will not be a sufficient replacement.
May I suggest former supporters of NARAL consider Emily's List?
Big news today out of Maryland's fourth congressional district from Firedoglake: Donna Edwards will be getting the support of EMILY's List in her bid to unseat centrist Congressman Al Wynn in a Democratic primary, a move that, along with the current blog fundraiser, should give Edwards a big boost.
We've taken in over $70,000 dollars for Donna Edwards over the past 48 hour as a counter-fundraiser to Nancy Pelosi's support for the regressive, entrenched Al Wynn. If anyone needs more convincing, please watch the above video as Donna eloquently decimates Al Wynn over Iraq, the repeal of the estate tax, bankruptcy, Schaivo, protecting oil and gas companies and other regressive votes that have supported George Bush and kept ordinary Americans from getting health care.
It's just been announced that Emily's List is stepping up to the plate, both in supporting Donna and challenging Pelosi and the inside-the-beltway establishment. [link added]
If you're interested in ensuring that the 2008 election brings in both more and better Democrats, head over to Act Blue today and make a contribution to Donna Edwards' campaign. We're getting close to the ultimate goal of $100,000, so get involved today.