Gov. Dean at St. Stephen's Baptist Church on MLK Day

(Cross-posted from Kickin' Ass -- The DNC Blog)

Words would fail if I attempted to describe the atmosphere in St. Stephen's Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri on the evening of the Martin Luther King holiday.  I entered having little idea what to expect, and left having witnessed a diverse crowd come together in prayer, song, and celebration without regard for the color of eachother's skin, but because of the content of their character and a message of unity.

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Benefit Cuts for Vets Sends Wrong Message -- Not Gov. Dean

Is anyone watching this unfold today?

It started a press release sent out by Ken Mehlman last night.

Republican blogs blast Governor Dean to the point he is the #4 search term on Technorati this afternoon.

Rush Limbaugh chimes in.

Drudge then links to Rush.

FOX News can't stop talking about it.

Republican Congressman Jeff Miller calls on Governor Dean to resign.

George Bush goes after the Governor.

Ken Mehlman goes on the Situation Room and flies off the handle.

And the anatomy of a smear unfolds before our eyes once again.  What was the "outrageous comment" made by Howard Dean that sends such a horrible message to the troops?  

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Pulling Back the Curtain: Your DNC

From the diaries--Chris

It's the gray hairs, the young, the institutional, and the outsiders.  It's the Hispanic Caucus, the Women's Caucus, College Democrats and even Democrats Abroad.  It's the old school communicator, the 17 year old DNC Member from Wisconsin, and the blogger who went from precinct captain to Western Caucus Secretary in three years.  

For the most part, I feel like many of us view the Democratic National Commitee as some ubiquitous organization with tentacles extending all over the United States, but have no idea who exactly makes up this organization outside of Governor Dean.  So when they opened up their doors allowing me to come inside and blog for them, one of my goals was to pull the curtain back on the windows and give everyone a look inside.

It's been two weeks now, and I still have a ton of learning to do, but one of my goals is for us to kind of share that experience together while providng some transparency in regards to what the DNC is about, who makes up the organization, and the decision making process on "the inside." My first real lesson came yesterday came yesterday during the DNC Fall Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Dueling Op-Eds: Dean vs. Mehlman in The Hill

Dean in Short:

The future of the Democratic Party is organizing on the local level, funded by everyday Americans, standing together, and working towards things that matter like: providing jobs and health care for all Americans, a strong education system, and holding those accountable who are responsible for the culture of corruption in Washington, D.C.  Because of this, we will win House and Senate seats in 2006.

Ken Mehlman in Short:

War is peace, stay the course, laws protecting individuals filing for bankruptcy and seeking protection from creditors are "outdated," terror terror terror, WMD, cut and run, fight the terrorists in Iraq and not here, Samuel Alito and legislate from the bench.

Governor Dean's full text in the extended entry.

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Reform Ohio Now Update: 2 Commercials, 1 GOTV Plan, 5 Days

From the diaries--Chris

Today, Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell estimated the vote count in next Tuesday's election will be around 41 percent.  Certainly high numbers for a special election, but indicative of a race in which each and every single vote will count.  There is no recent polling on the race, although the Columbus Dispatch should be running something any day now, as they had a poll in the field last week (also included are questions about OH-Sen).

If I had to guess, State Issues 2 and 3 will pass quite easily.  Those are the ones that deal with reducing campaign contribution limits and "no fault" absentee balloting.  State Issue Four is going to be painfully close.  And to be honest, I am not that concerned about State Issue Five, but that one should be quite close as well.

The extended entry has information about the GOTV plan for Ohioans, a non-duplicating virtual phone bank opportunity for individuals nationwide, and two new commercials running on television statewide.

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Reforming Ohio Now = Gay Marriage & Abortion

From the diaries--Chris

Did you hear the news?  

"Ohio's family values are on the line," and as such, you must "Vote NO on Issues 2, 3, 4, and 5." "Special Interests are attacking our family values!" After all, ""These are the same people who took prayer out of our public schools, fought the defense of marriage act last year, and have attempted to legalize drugs." They are supporting these amendments because, "What radical anti-family activists could not accomplish at the polls, they are trying to accomplish through devious efforts." Ultimately, these devious efforts will, "dilute the power of pro-life supporters to elect pro-life candidates who share our values." We must "Protect our values -- Protect our vote."

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Getting Fired Up About Ohio?

From the diaries--Chris

Then Reform It...Now.

While everyone sharpens their fonts with a laser-like focus on the U.S. Senate race, the biggest election of the year is taking place in Ohio, in one month.  If you want to do something about Ohio in the coming weeks, I would suggest volunteering for and contributing to the group known as Reform Ohio Now.  We have an opportunity to gain as many as six congressional districts, open access to vote by relaxing absentee ballot laws, decrease the influence of big money in elections, and take away the power from thugs like J. Kenneth Blackwell.  But I fear with all the hand-wringing, we are going to miss that opportunity.  What a shame that would be.

Look, I write for Sherrod Brown over at Grow Ohio.  I was down in OH-2 helping to lead the charge online for Paul Hackett.  For different reasons, I love both of them.  I would just caution everyone on the vitriol, because what most of you don't know is that Sherrod Brown is one of the few real champions we have in the House of Representatives.  He has been a leader on all things progressive since he stepped foot into the well of the Congress (for a crash course, click here).  

So please, if you want to get fired up about something in Ohio, take the next month to and get involved with Reform Ohio Now; I promise you, if there is a primary, it will still be there.

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The Most Important Election of 2005

From the diaries--Chris

Yes, Paul Hackett was big.  Yes, Tim Kaine's bid for Governor of Virgina is important.  And yes, Jon Corzine as the next Governor of New Jersey is something we can all look forward to.  But if there is one race is 2005, more than any listed above, that we should all begin to rally around, today, it is the amendments put forward by the group known as Reform Ohio Now.

With less than a month to go before August 2nd, the blogosphere began to rally around Paul Hackett's campaign for U.S. Congress in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District.  Whatever the reason you cared (a fighting Democrat or you as a Democrat just wanting a fight), the world took notice of our efforts while the collective blogosphere set the terms of the debate for 2006.  Reform Ohio Now is the equivalent of six Paul Hacketts...And then some.  

(See action items at the end of the entry")

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Hurricane Katrina: What People Are Googling

Because of some hard work (most by Bob Brigham), Swing State Project has amazing search engine optimization.  Meaning, when you google something, chances are if Swing State Project has written about it, it will be one of the top returns listed by Google.

This is a tremendous resource, especially when you consider how often people Google around for information about politics.

Today is no different.  Just Google words "Katrina and Bush" -- Swing State Project is the first return listed overall with a headline of: "Katrina Proves Bush Failed New Orleans"

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OH-2: Election Night Video, Photos

I know that Bob and I will have much more in the coming days over at Swing State Project about our time spent in Southwest Ohio through last night's election.  We have a ton of stories to share.  When the results started coming in last night, Bob, Matt DeBergalis (ActBlue), a blogger who shall remain nameless, and I were holed up in a Cincinnati hotel covering the race and getting ready to mobilize in the event that this thing was too close to call.  

When it looked like this thing might go well into the evening (if not for days more), Bob and I were moved to the "boiler room" with senior staff communicating with bloggers and progressive activists across the country organizing the potential aftermath.  I think it's a testament to the netroots and the Hackett campaign that we were asked to join them immediately when things started getting dicey.

Until then, I thought people would like to see some video/photos I took last night from the election rally; they can be found at:  

http://www.growohio.org

Diaries

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