The high stakes in CA-36

Full Disclosure: I'm the media consultant and senior strategist for the Janice Hahn for Congress campaign.

Special elections usually attract a lot of attention. They're correctly seen as referendums on the direction of Congress; a chance between election cycles for people in one part of the country to send a clear message to those in power.

May's special election in New York-26 is a perfect example. Voters in the district overwhelmingly rejected the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. In a historically Republican district, voters backed Democrat Kathy Hochul and in so doing told John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan to take their hands off Medicare, which was a major issue throughout the campaign.

That message to Republicans was unmistakeable. So you would think that for maybe just a second after NY-26 Republicans recognized that Americans weren't going to re-elect people who sacrificed their healthcare to service a far right agenda. Unbelievably, that doesn't seem to be the case. As the Washington Post's Greg Sargent points out, Republicans are in "total denial" that their Medicare plan is deeply unpopular.

It's a good thing we have another chance on July 12 to make it clear how wrong Republicans are on Medicare.

In California-36, Democrat Janice Hahn is facing off against Republican Craig Huey. The stakes couldn't be higher. And yet, this race is not receiving nearly the attention it deserves. It's time to tune in to this campaign and stand up for Medicare. Millions of people across this country are counting on Democrats to defend it. This is your chance.

Craig Huey is running on an extreme agenda. As I wrote recently, Huey has a long record of shady business dealings including working with clients to market a ponzi scheme and targeting seniors with products that claimed to "cure" Alzheimer's disease. Huey got rich off these scams while taking hard-working Americans to the cleaners. So it should be no surprise that Huey supports a similar scheme to turn Medicare into a voucher program leaving seniors vulnerable to the skyrocketing costs of healthcare.

We simply cannot trust someone like Huey in Congress. Giving Huey and his extreme ideas a seat at the table in Washington will enable Republicans to continue down the path towards slashing Medicare.

The contrast between candidates in this race couldn't be more stark. Democrats have an experienced, practical and ethical alternative.

Janice Hahn has promised to protect Medicare while making smart cuts in Washington and investing in tomorrow's jobs. That's the type of leader we need right now. Someone with common sense solutions who is not beholden to an extreme political dogma. Someone who fights for hard-working people.

In four days, we have the chance to stand up to John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan. By sending Janice Hahn to Congress we can force the Republicans to face reality. They will have no choice but to see just how many people across this country are against their Medicare scheme. We can send Paul Ryan's plan into a tailspin on July 12.

Janice needs your help in the final days of this campaign. Donate. Spread the word. Volunteer if you're in Southern California.

The stakes couldn't be higher.

Cook Report adds Kucinich to list of vulnerable Dems

I just got this email from Dennis Kucinich. Please chip in what you can to help a great independent-minded progressive:

Dear Friend,

The Cook Report has written that the seat I have held in congress for the last 14 years is no longer a safe Democratic seat.

I cannot take this election for granted.

We need immediate help to raise the funds to spend for last-minute media buys to make sure there is no question about the outcome.

Please send a contribution.

Thank you, as ever.


Seven More Competitive House Races 

Dennis Kucinich among newly vulnerable Dems. 

3:48 PM, OCT 26, 2010 • BY MICHAEL WARREN •

The Cook Political Report has updated seven House races, moving all seven “Solid Democrat” races to “Likely Democrat.” The list includes Frank Pallone of New Jersey, David Price of North Carolina, Peter DeFazio of Oregon, Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Lloyd Doggett of Texas, John Tierney of Massachusetts, and Dennis Kucinich of Ohio … Kucinich’s challenger, Cleveland businessman Peter Corrigan, was considered a long shot until a recent internal poll showed Corrigan within single digits of the two-time presidential candidate.

Full Disclosure: I am currently an advisor to Dennis Kucinich

Romanoff Stands up for Net Neutrality, Slams Comcast v. FCC Decision

Wanted to make sure everyone saw Andrew Romanoff taking a strong stand on net neutrality and for consumers in the wake of the recent court decision in Comcast v. FCC. This is one of the many reasons we need Andrew Romanoff in the U.S. Senate. Click here to contribute to his campaign:

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Call in Tonight for Veterans

This Wednesday is Veterans Day, and I hope you'll join me, Gold Star Mother Ruth Stonesifer, and Powerline blogger John Hinderaker for a conference call tonight at 8 pm Eastern/ 5 pm Pacific as we launch The Eleven Eleven Campaign.

The objective of the campaign is simple: to get 11 million Americans to donate $11 to support America's Veterans. We've made giving back to our Vets easy through a national Text to Give Campaign (simply text "VETS" to 85944 to contribute).

Please RSVP to the conference call here: ignUp.jsp?key=2817

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Rove's Misread of Tuesday's Elections

Bumped from the diaries -- Jonathan

In yesterday's Wall Street Journal Karl Rove presented a thoughtful opinion piece on how to read the results of elections to be held Tuesday in Virginia, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.  Regardless of Rove's projected outcomes in these elections, he makes the mistake of seeing the results, as most of Washington will see them, through the lens of partisanship, and he measures the outcome, only as Washington has come to measure all outcomes, in terms of partisan advantage .  

According to Rove, "Voters have lived under Democratic rule for nine months, and many of them, especially independents, don't like what they are seeing.  Tuesday's election will provide the most tangible evidence of how strong a backlash is building - and just how frightened centrist Democrats should be of 2010.  For Republicans, it looks as if hope and change are on the way."

I have a different view of what Tuesday's results may tell us and not because I am a Democrat.

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Boston's Big Choice

In an off-year without many campaign horse-races, Boston is hitting an electoral cross-roads. Boston Mayor Tom Menino, an establishment, machine politician of 16 years is facing the first real challenge of his career.

And it couldn't be more refreshing. Boston is starving for some energy and innovation. The budget process is hashed out in secret; the transportation system is dated and unimaginative; and Boston (the "Athens of America") is somehow behind the curve in green technology. And while the Democratic Party has been renewed nationwide, Boston (a bastion for the Democratic party) is still stuck in the same tired, machine-driven politics of the past. Menino relies on his relationships, not his record.

16 years is long enough for anyone . What we need are people with fresh ideas, who bring energy and openess to city government. City Councilor at-large Sam Yoon has more than a real shot to defeat Menino – he's young, energetic and innovative.  Sam is the right leader, with the vision to transform Boston – its economy, politics and infrastructure and involve the citizens of Boston and their ideas in the effort.

Bostonians are taking notice and so is The New Republic:

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Poll shows Rep. Carolyn Maloney leading potential senate matchup in NY

UPDATE: Full disclosure, as many of you know, I have been publicly supportive of Carolyn Maloney beyond this one post and I have discussed her potential candidacy with her personally. If she runs - which I hope she does since she'd be a great Senator - I'd be honored to work on her campaign. --

Interesting news out of NY:  A Quinnipiac poll released today looking forward to a possible matchup for the 2010 Democratic Primary for US Senator from NY, shows US Rep. Carolyn Maloney ahead of incumbent Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and challenger Jonathan Tasini.

It is pretty extraordinary to show an incumbent Senator losing a primary to an opponent who hasn't begun to campaign. Just as significant as the head-to-head poll, despite a well-publicized six-month effort by Gillibrand to sway New York voters, her favorable numbers have not moved.

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Brian Moran takes the lead over Terry McAuliffe in Virginia

Big news: A new Public Policy Polling poll today shows Brian Moran leading the Democratic primary race for Governor in Virginia. That's despite McAuliffe spending a half million dollars, hiring 100 staffers and calling me an `ass.'

What this poll shows is that despite how much McAuliffe thinks this race is all about the money, in Virginia money isn't everything.

This race is really simple - do Virginia voters want to continue to follow the leadership of Tim Kaine, Mark Warner and Barack Obama - a leadership based on grassroots support from the bottom-up - or will Virginia be dominated by big-money politics and the people who raise it.

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Bob Bauer on the Change Congress Donor Strike

From the diaries - Todd

For those of you not familiar with Bob Bauer, he is one of the nation's leading election lawyers, representing, among others, Barack Obama on personal matters, the Obama for America campaign, the Democrat's House and Senate campaign committees, and the Democratic National Committee.  Last year, Bauer took on Republicans throughout the campaign, fighting against attempts to "callously attempting to dismantle needed reforms to make up for their fundraising deficiencies." Bob Bauer also led Barack Obama's massive nationwide voter protection network over the course of the campaign.

This week, Bob Bauer put his thoughts on the Change Congress Donors' Strike on paper, giving a thorough analysis of Change Congress' fight to remove big money from American politics.  Bauer posted his take on his blog, and the full post can be viewed below.

For more on the Change Congress Donor Strike, visit

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The Horror and Hope of Zimbabwe. Roy Bennett Jailed, Released, and Forgives

I've talked about Roy Bennett and his imprisonment for weeks, talked about his courage, about Roy really being the heart and soul of the MDC opposition to Mugabe in Zimbabwe, and rejoiced when I learned he was released from the horrors of the Mutare prison -- a prison that is known throughout Zimbabwe as Robert Mugabe's torture prison. A place where if you are lucky enough to escape torture, you still have to fight off starvation because you are lucky to be fed once a week.

I met Roy Bennett in 2008.  I was in Africa trying to help rid Zimbabwe of Robert Mugabe.  I saw first hand the risk that Roy and others were taking to promote, through democratic means, new leadership and real change in Zimbabwe - waging a campaign against Robert Mugabe and the ruling Zanu-PF party.  I saw the risk Morgan Tsvangirai was taking in having the guts to stand election and challenge Robert Mugabe with Roy's help and the help of other brave Zimbabweans who were willing to make a stand for their country.

At least 110 of them are dead.

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