An Evening With Tom Allen

A couple of evenings ago I took the plunge and blew most of this year's donation budget to spend an evening a fundraiser for Democratic Congressman and candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in Maine currently held by Susan Collins, Tom Allen.

The event was sponsored by SOSMajority (Secure Our Senate Majority), www.sosmajority.com.  SOSM is working with the DSCC and its mission is "...securing and increasing the Democratic majority in the Senate."  Its fundraising is centered around a series of events in Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.  Currently designated SOSM candidates include Allen, Jeff Merkley (OR), Mary Landrieu (LA), Mark Warner (VA), and Jeanne Shaheen (NH).  By early next May, SOSM expects to be supporting approximately 10 Democratic Senate candidates.  While SOSM is looking for various levels of "participation" for the whole slate of candidates ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, individual events are open in exchange for a $500 donation.

More below the fold.

 

The format of the event was an hour of heavy hors d'oeuvres and drinks to allow for mingling and conversation, including the Congressman, followed by a buffet dinner with seating in the back yard of an elegant home in the Pacific Palisades.  Approximately 30 people were in attendance.  The host, a lead speaker from SOSM, and Congressman Allen spoke in turn, with the Congressman fielding questions afterwards.  Or, as he put it, "I'll be happy to take your questions and listen to your speeches." LOL...he knows the type.

I found Allen compelling as a candidate.  He's low-key, intelligent, nuanced, and articulate in a combination that I think will play well with Maine voters (Mainers or Mainiacs, both designations were acknowledged by one of the Maine ex-pats).

If Allen is going to win, it's definitely going to have to be on the model of Sheldon Whitehouse's victory over Lincoln Chaffee in Rhode Island in November 2006.   While Allen is well liked in the state, so is Collins and Allen's campaign is going to have to break through to the issues and Collins' support of Bush policies when push has come to shove.

I didn't have a notebook with me and frankly this was the kind of event where I don't think it would have been appropriate.  But Allen spoke about a number of issues, including firm deadlines for withdrawal from Iraq.   I asked him about Net Neutrality and he gave a thoughtful, comprehensive answer that demonstrated that he not only knew what NN was (and that the Internet wasn't a set of tubes) but indicated some nuanced thinking about pricing vs. bandwidth consumed, concluding with "Yes, I'm in favor of it." A disproportionate amount of questioning at the end wound up getting tangled in campaign financing reform, which was the hobby horse of one of the attendees.

I'm glad I put some chips down on Allen and I recommend that others take a good look at him.  He's not one of the leading candidates for a Democratic take-over but I think he's got a shot.

The speaker from SOSM made a good point, I think.  Getting to 56-58 Democrats in the Senate does quite a bit of good in that it's easier to pick off 3 Republicans for a vote than it is 10.
(N.B., I'd still like to make the Senate Lieberman-proof.)

Tags: 2008 elections, ME-Sen, Susan Collins, Tom Allen (all tags)

Comments

4 Comments

Re: An Evening With Tom Allen

thanks for sharing your first hand perspective of this event. taking down Collins is a priority of mine for next year and glad to hear Allen is as good a candidate in person as he seems from afar.

my brother, a Maine independent who voted Dem for pres in 04 but supports his 2 senators, said to me recently without any prompting from me: Collins is only independent from Bush when it doesn't matter. I think that said it all.

by Todd Beeton 2007-09-20 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: An Evening With Tom Allen

Your brother is correct.

Collins is miffed @Snowe for failing to 'prompt' her during yesterday's Senate roll call vote, for instance.

A total farce, that one is (it's nearly impossible to dislodge the MSM's "moderate" moniker, when depicting her).

Each time Suze invokes Fmr. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith as her "mentor," I wanna scream.

Stand up to Joe McCarthy?

Collins is too complicit for that....

<arrgh>

Snowe is the same; however, we're stuck w/her until 2012, so she can afford to "appear" moderate (for now).

Both are cut from the same cloth, re: voting lockstep w/the NeoCons (when it really matters).

by mainefem 2007-09-20 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: An Evening With Tom Allen

Tom's a "keeper," for sure, Todd.

We greatly appreciate your help!

Collins is nasty, petulant, thin-skinned, going down already, and we're lovin' every minute of it!

"Moderate?"

Hardly.

Tom's race is one of the most focused in the country (fortunately--Sununu is also @risk).

'Bout time.

Tom didn't need to forfeit his guaranteed House seat in CD#1.

He has an understated wit; and isn't the brashy type (although, does Tom get his points across/articulates well).

Some pics of mine of Tom & Co. from recent events--the room was so packed, that it was difficult to shoot something other than people's heads here.

I have more, which have not been uploaded as yet.

Did you manage to snap any photos of Tom (or did anyone else, that you are aware of, Todd)?

I'm his unofficial "foul-mouthed fem-blogger" in CD#2 (a bonafide Mainiac, for sure).  All 52 yrs. + 12 generations of me.

Go, Tom!

You folks can relentlessly nail this so-called BDN "poll," if you'd like.

Thanks~

by mainefem 2007-09-20 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re: An Evening With Tom Allen

Nice diary.  I like our chances in this race.

by Steve M 2007-09-20 06:19PM | 0 recs

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