More Idahoans consider themselves independent than either R or D. And historically, they come out for presidential years more often than for midterms.
For example, Larry LaRocco won every county in the 1st District in his 1992 House run and outpolled Bill Clinton by tens of thousands of votes. (Perot was a factor, of course.) So Grant may well benefit from that sort of action in 2008, too.
The DNC added three staffers here in 2005 as part of the 50-state strategy, and I am pretty sure they funded extra field people last year as well. We had by far the best organized GOTV we've had in Idaho in the almost 20 years I've been here. Most notably, we identified 125,000 more Democrats in 2006.
Hopefully, the D-trip will come in far sooner with help. We got a smidge last year, but it was way too little, way too late.
I worked with Grant last year. I'm helping Larry LaRocco kick his U.S. Senate campaign this summer. Both were at YKC. Their ActBlue pages are here:
Larry LaRocco is our Democratic candidate in Idaho. (Full disclosure: I am the netroots outreach coordinator on the campaign, having done the same job for congressional candidate Larry Grant in 2006.) He's the only announced candidate at this point, since Larry Craig hasn't yet said whether or not he'll run. An earlier GOP candidate, anti-immigrant zealot Robert Vasquez, has already dropped out.
LaRocco did his first live blogging session last night at IdaBlue, giving thoughtful and substantive answers to 10 questions in an hour, all on Iraq and military affairs issues. Here's the transcript:
Idaho is obviously tough territory for a Democrat, but LaRocco has some strong advantages: He won two terms to Congress in the 90s before losing in the 1994 GOP rout. He won his second term by 50,000 votes, taking every county in his vast district, in a presidential election year when Bush I won big in Idaho. He's also an Army veteran.
With his early start and indecision/friction in the Idaho GOP, LaRocco may well turn out to be one of next year's breakout candidates. He's doing two more live blogs in the next few days:
and Tuesday, June 5, at noon Mountain in the diaries at Daily Kos.
It's worth remembering that Larry Grant came within 5% of taking the ID-01 last fall, in a district that voted close to 70% for Bush in 2000 and 2004. Idaho is changing, and Larry LaRocco is positioning himself to take advantage of the trends. Please join us on one of the live blogs, and if you like what you see, please consider helping us out with some early money at Act Blue.
rikyrah, that is a GREAT list of links. I love Skeptical Brotha, too. I will check these all out.
Does anyone know whether there's a wiki or other online links list of blogs written by people of color? That'd be a great resource. It might even be something that the mainstream media could use to get more diverse sources to comment on news.
I am realllllly late to this thread. I found it via a new blog from Jim Hansen, the former ID-02 congressional candidate from last year, who is writing a new blog through his organization United Action for Idaho.
I have an interesting perspective on this. I spend about half my time blogging and doing netroots outreach on a professional basis. I worked last year for the Larry Grant for Congress campaign and am currently on part time with Larry LaRocco for Senate.
The rest of my working hours, I spend researching and writing for the Study Circles Resource Center, an organization that helps all kinds of people - including communities of color - work for positive change around issues including racism, the achievement gap, growth and sprawl, etc. Typically, I write stories for their website.
There's currently no blog, but we're talking internally about using existing blogs - including public policy blogs like Kos and My DD - to help spread these stories.
Given the low readership of most blogs, I think the key toward a more diverse blogosphere is to get more diverse voices on the well-read blogs. (I just surfed over to HuffPo and see that 11 of the 12 current featured posts are by white folks, mostly guys.)
The other part of the picture is lifting up blogs written by people of color and trying to drive more eyeballs to their sites. Here are two I like:
The whole deal behind study circles (and the larger democratic governance movement) is that the more diverse voices we can bring together to work on an issue, the better conclusions we'll get. For that reason, diversity in the blogosphere isn't a luxury - it's essential.
Thanks, Congressman, for this insider's view of last night.
I thought the Iraq section was pathetic. The president was practically reduced to pleading for continued support for the war. I almost, but not quite, felt sorry for him. (That's a new emotion for me when it comes to Bush.)
I don't know if you know this, but some of us here on the blue island of Boise - marooned as we are in the Red Sea of Idaho - are grateful for your presence just one state over. One of my blogging colleagues even calls you our surrogate congressman:
I'm thrilled to see the Nebraska PSC is investigating the robocalls. Here in Idaho, the Larry Grant campaign was hit with similar automated calls starting in early October. Direct Strategies (the RNCC vendor behind at least some of the Kleeb calls) was paid $6,253 by the RNCC to oppose Grant with phone banking as late as November 2, so Grant (and irate Idahoans) basically dealt with this for close to a month.
I'd love to see the 110th Congress crack down on this sort of crap.
The oddest thing about this story was how it implied that Larry Grant and Jerry Brady paid me to flack them on my own blog, Red State Rebels. In fact, I was paid $1300 a month to write the Grassroots for Grant blog from Nov 2005 through Nov. 2006. It was easily one of the busiest campaign blogs in the country; I did close to 500 posts in addition to outreach to the national netroots community. Of course, I kept a full disclosure post on Page 1 at Red State Rebels the entire year.
Alas, Larry asked me to mothball Grassroots for Grant the week after the election, which is probably why it didn't show up on the radar for this report. The blog is still available; it's just password protected. Anyone with a legitimate interest in seeing it can contact me for the log-in info.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone at MyDD.
The NRCC and Club for Growth have dumped three-quarters of a MILLION into Bill Sali's trunk this month alone, and Larry Grant has yet to see anything from the D-trip (though we were just upgraded onto From Red to Blue .... great news).
But the netroots have been behind us from the summer, and we so appreciate everything you have all done, from contributions to spreading the word about Larry and his great credentials.
Thanks ever so much from all of us here at Grant for Congress!!
This is obviously huge news for us ,.. the first truly independent poll, and the first one showing that the undecideds are making up their minds.
It also comes on a day when the RNCC started robocalls on Bill Sali's behalf and the day after Sali started an attack ad against Larry. Clearly, the GOP is scared shitless in a district where Bush took 69%. If this race isn't a bellwether, I dunno what is.
More than a third of the state's 1.4 million population now lives in the Boise metro area. Boise has passed Spokane to be the third-largest city in the Northwest. Boise also is one of the fastest-growing metros in the nation. Some folks here represent white flight from SoCal, true; but I think the more recent arrivals are here because this is a kick-ass place wth great weather, fantastic recreation, a decent job market in some professional and tech fields, and abundant culture. We also have a growing university that breaks enrollment records every semester. (Boise State)
If the whole Boise metro area was in the 1st CD, Larry Grant would win this race in a walk. But as it is, the most Dem parts of Boise (BSU, the North and East ends, the Bench) are in the 2nd CD. However, the neighborhoods in the 1st CD have grown far faster in the past two years, including folks who've moved to West Boise and the suburbs for cheaper housing.
Boise proper has definitely been trending blue for a few years. We have many Dem state legislators; a Dem mayor; and voters last year soundly turned down religious zealot Brandi Swindell's bid for a Council seat. So the question for the 1st CD is whether the Boise burbs will follow this trend and vote for at least a few Dems (including Larry Grant) this year, or not? My guess is they will, but it's gonna be close, and it's gonna come down to Ada and Canyon, and possibly Kootenai (Coeur d'Alene) counties.
We at Grant for Congress thank the netroots for the coverage and the contributions!
With forty days and change left until E-day, it's impossible to know what'll happen in the ID-01, except to say it's going to be far, far closer than any of the prognosticators believe.
(Well, we did hear a rumor that Charlie Cook, asked at a DC panel to name a possible big surprise for Nov 7, named our race. But he and the others still publicly list ID-01 as likely R.)
If Larry Grant wins, yes, it'll largely be because we have a weak GOP candidate. But credit will also go to a 50 state strategy-funded Idaho Democratic Party coordinated campaign that is absolutely unprecedented in our state in terms of doors knocked, volunteer hours logged, and sheer energy level. ("Democrats. Democrats everywhere!" one centrist blogger remarked last week after two hours in a room with nearly 300 people in Coeur d'Alene for the first Grant-Sali debate.)
Still, can this new grassroots power stand up to the Club for Growth, which poured hundreds of thousands into Sali's primary and sits poised to pounce next month? Hard to say ... but hopefully when the CFG's ads hit, Idahoans will already have had a chance to define Larry Grant for themselves, largely through personal conversations with Dem volunteers at tens (hundreds?) of thousands of Idaho doors.
Since the defenestration threat, Mike Simpson, quoted above, has kissed and made up with Sali in the name of party unity. And please don't forget that Sali is mainly funded by the Club for Growth, which put close to a half mil into his primary via member donations and ads against his opponents, mainly to distort their records on tax votes.
But guess what? Sali two weeks ago voted to raise Idahoans' sales tax 20% to pay for property tax cuts for corporations and absentee homeowners (Arnold Schwarzeneger gets a $15K break, much needed, I am sure), even though Democrats had an alternative bill that left the sales tax alone and targeted the tax relief strictly to in-state homeowners, who really do need it. Sali has yet to explain his vote, other than to say he believes in supply side economics.
I wonder what the Club for Growth would have to say about that?
Probably nothing, since it doesn't care if the little guys get scrtewed, as long as big business and the wealthiest Americans get one tax cut after another. Hypocrites.
It doesn't matter if Bill Sali gets his foreign policy knowledge from Fox, nor if he suffers from brain fade. He was re-elected to the Idaho Legislature six freakin' times. Fortunately, his exurban Boise district will not decide this election. But Larry Grant still needs all the help he can get, and we are thankful for anything any of you can do.
We at the Grant campaign are honored that so many folks want to help us take back Congress! The best part is, Dick Cheney could barely get 150 people here in Boise two weeks ago when he came to raise money for our sad-sack opponent.
And you know what? We also announced yesterday that Max Cleland will be here to campaign for Larry and our entire Dem ticket.
The Cheney event was in one of the smallest rooms at the Boise convention center.
The Cleland event is going to be at the freakin' Idaho Center arena, the same place the Rolling Stones will play a few weeks later.
Can we say DEM TIDAL WAVE, reaching all the way inland to Idaho and Wyoming? You bet we can. But as Chris says, we've got to work for it.