[UPDATE] OK-Sen: Liveblog with Andrew Rice: 4:30pm Central

Andrew Rice, state senator from Oklahoma and Jim Inhofe’s sole opponent for U.S. Senate this year, will be on Daily Kos today at 4:30 pm Central (5:30 Eastern/2:30 Pacific) to liveblog about his US Senate race.  He’ll focus on the problems created by a combination of record gas prices and record oil company profits, but all questions will be welcome!

Check here at 4:30 Central today to speak with Sen. Rice:


Thanks –

Karina Henderson

Rice for US Senate

PS – If you want to find out more about Andrew, go to http://www.andrewforoklahoma.com.  And if you’d like to make a contribution now (so you’re not having to nav away from the liveblog later), how about donating to our “Turn Oklahoma Green” page on ActBlue?  Click here – http://www.actblue.com/page/tu…

UPDATE [4/30 @ 5:00pm Central]: Sen. Rice is liveblogging now – go to http://www.dailykos.com/story/…

OR-Sen: Max Cleland and 5K for Merkley

With Gordon Smith’s seat in the U.S. Senate as vulnerable as it is, it’s important to put our support behind a strong Democratic candidate.  Jeff Merkley has my backing, and more interestingly, he has the backing of Max Cleland, as well as a host of others.  Cleland was campaigning in Oregon with Merkley yesterday, doing his part to ensure that we put the best possible candidate up against Gordon Smith in November.  Now it’s time for us to do our part.  Tomorrow on May 1, we want to raise at least $5,000 online for the Jeff Merkley campaign.  Please be ready to do your part.

Oregon is fortunate to have two strong progressive candidates, and I’ve put my support behind Jeff Merkley, because he has such a great background and a great track record as a legislator.  Before he joined the Oregon House of Representatives in 1998, he worked at the Office of the Secretary of Defense as a Presidential Management Fellow, which provided him with direct experience in national security matters.

In addition to this experience, Merkley has consistently fought for working families, as executive director of Portland Habitat for Humanity and as a legislator.  After Merkley helped orchestrate a Democratic majority in the Oregon House, he served as Speaker in one of the most progressive sessions that the Oregon Legislature has had in years.

Fortunately, you don’t just need to take my word for Merkley’s qualifications.  At a couple of events over the last two days I was able to hear what Max Cleland thought of Jeff Merkley.  What really struck me was Cleland’s genuine enthusiasm for Merkley as a candidate.  He kept referring to him as “the real deal.”  Cleland cited Merkley’s knowldge of national security issues, his work providing homes for those in need, his efforts to put Democrats back in the majority in the Oregon House, and his leadership as Speaker.  Put this great experience together with Merkley’s positions on the issues, and we have a stellar candidate for Oregon’s seat in the United States Senate.

Don’t forget to show your support for Jeff Merkley tomorrow, May 1.

$5k for Merkley

Crossposted at DailyKos.

AK-Sen: Inouye Sells Out His Party

This is just rich:

Putting their friendship above party, Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye (Hawaii) will headline a fundraiser today for one of the Democrats’ top targets this cycle, Republican Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska).

Inouye, who chairs the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, on which Stevens is the ranking member, is the “special guest” at the noon event at 101 Constitution Ave. NW. According to the invitation, the lunch is organized by a several high-profile lobbyists, including Stevens’ former top aide, Lisa Sutherland. The fundraiser seeks $1,000 in contributions from individuals and $5,000 from political action committees to aid Stevens’ bid for an eighth term this fall.

Stevens, of course, is facing the toughest re-election battle of his career against Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, so this kind of betrayal is all the more harmful.  

But this isn’t the first time that such behavior has landed Inouye in hot water.  Remember his endorsement of Joe Lieberman’s independent candidacy in 2006?

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye has backed away from his support of Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman in his controversial run for re-election as an independent.

Inouye drew criticism in the local Democratic Party when he said he would continue backing Lieberman even after he lost the Aug. 15 Democratic primary in Connecticut to Ned Lamont.

Party rules require loyalty to the Democratic nominee, and several Hawai’i Democrats have faced disciplinary action in the past for backing third-party candidates over the party’s choice.

Is it time to make Sen. Inouye re-take his Democratic loyalty oath?

(Update: On reflection, I softened the title of this post a bit.  Like Trapper John, I have a lot of respect for Inouye’s service to his country, but I’m enormously disappointed and frustrated with his decision to interfere with one of the Democratic Party’s hottest Senate pick-up opportunities this cycle.)

(H/T: TPM)

MS-01: Double Your Money! One Day Only!

Here’s the deal: We’re extremely close to our goal of raising $2300 for Travis Childers, as you can see by looking at the thermometer to the right. We know many of you have already dug deep to chip in. But if you haven’t given yet – or you’re thinking about giving again – here’s a big added incentive:

I will personally double the next $250 worth of contributions – but for one day only.

That means if you give $25, it’ll be worth $50 to Travis Childers; $50 and it’s a hundred. At the end of the day, I’ll look at our haul and match it in the appropriate amount. But this offer is good only for today, so give now! Childers needs you.

Previous posts:

Childers the Populist

What a Childers Win Means for Iraq

SSP Endorses Travis Childers

Introducing Travis Childers

LA-06, MS-01: Tuesday Night IE Round-up

The NRCC’s expenditures for the day:

  • LA-06: $115,000 on ad buys against Don Cazayoux and $9000 on a media production.
  • MS-01: $12,000 on a poll and $10,000 on direct mail against Travis Childers.
  • The DCCC:

  • LA-06: $97,000 on ad buys against Woody Jenkins; $31,000 on an ad buy in support of Don Cazayoux; $33,000 on direct mail against Woody Jenkins; $3500 on field organizing for Don Cazayoux.
  • The DCCC has now spent $912,000 on LA-06 to the NRCC’s $436,000.  Bear in mind, though, that the NRCC has had a lot of help from the likes of the Club For Growth and Freedom’s Watch in pounding Cazayoux.  

    The NRCC’s total tab in MS-01 is nearing $600K, while the DCCC has spent just over $400K in Mississippi.

    On another note, you guys continue to amaze me.  Today, we smashed through our daily goal of $200 and 40 total donors for Travis Childers.  In fact, we raised $378 today from 43 total donors.  We’re not far off from our ultimate goal: $2300 for Childers.  Let’s see if we can hit the $2000 mark by the end of tomorrow on the Childers bat.

    Let’s do this thing!

    KY-Sen: Fischer Ticks Upward, But Lunsford Still Leads in New Poll

    SurveyUSA (4/26-28, likely voters, 4/12-14 in parens):

    Bruce Lunsford (D): 43 (47)

    Greg Fischer (D): 18 (9)

    David Williams (D): 7 (8)

    James Rice (D): 4 (5)

    Ken Stepp (D): 4 (1)

    Mike Cassaro (D): 3 (5)

    David Wylie (D): 2 (3)

    Other: 12 (14)

    Undecided: 6 (8)

    (MoE: ±4.2%)

    The new numbers show some movement for Greg Fischer, due in no small part to his recent statewide ad buys introducing himself to voters.  Fischer’s ads are pretty low-key (a few of them can be viewed here, here, and here), and I’m not convinced that they’ll be enough to mount a come-from-behind win here with three weeks left on the clock.

    Primary: 5/20.

    Dem House Incumbents Who Have Lost to Republicans Since 1994

    Since the disaster year of 1994, very few House Democrats have failed to win re-election against Republicans. Below is what I think is a complete list of those who did. If I’m missing anyone, please let us know in comments.

    Year Incumbent District
    1996 Mike Ward KY-03
    1996 Harold Volkmer MO-09
    1996 Bill Orton UT-03
    1998 Jay Johnson WI-08
    2000 Sam Gejdenson CT-02
    2000 David Minge MN-02
    2002 Jim Maloney CT-05
    2002 Karen Thurman FL-05
    2002 David Phelps IL-19
    2002 Bill Luther MN-06/MN-02
    2002 Ronnie Shows MS-04/MS-03
    2004 Baron Hill IN-09
    2004 Max Sandlin TX-01
    2004 Nick Lampson TX-09/TX-02
    2004 Charlie Stenholm TX-17/TX-19
    2004 Martin Frost TX-24/TX-32

    Every Dem who lost in 2002 and 2004 except for Baron Hill was a victim of redistricting. For those with two districts listed, the second one is the seat they were running for after redistricting. (For Sandlin & Thurman, their district numbers didn’t change.) Note that I am not including Dems who lost in primaries to other Dems on this chart.

    I must say, that’s a pretty darn good track record – only seven losses not attributable to redistricting through six election cycles. And I think only one of these incumbents (Mike Ward) was a freshman. (Update: Jay Johnson was also a freshman. — JL) What’s more, we’ve regained a lot of these seats (though some of the districts have changed since 2000): KY-03, WI-08, CT-02, and IN-09. Plus, Nick Lampson is back in a district that (TX-22) that partially overlaps his old one.

    So what do you know about the names on this list? What lessons, if any, can be drawn from these few elections where Democratic House incumbents lost to Republicans?

    Update (James): Looks like we missed one — David Phelps in IL-19.  Thanks to brittain33 in the comments for the catch.

    Later Update (James): I added two more redistricting victims (Jim Maloney and Ronnie Shows), thanks to jeffmd in the comments.

    MS-01: Childers the Populist

    The netroots have been pleading with national Democrats for years: If we want to revive the Democratic brand in areas that haven’t been receptive to us for some time, then we need to harken back to our roots and tap into the deep vein of economic populism that runs through this country’s proud history. Yet over the years, too many Dems – fearful of accusations of “class warfare” – have instead sought solace in DLC “third way” politics, alienating both their base and potential converts with a naked embrace of “free” trade, bankruptcy “reform,” and tax cuts for the very wealthiest.

    A handful of standout elections in 2006, however, lend a lot of credence to the blogosphere’s view of things. In particular, Jon Tester and Jim Webb won impressive victories in red territory, in large part on the strength of their populist appeals. In a must-read op-ed that appeared in the WSJ shortly after election day, Webb offered a scathing assessment of the growing economic schism in this country, and declared that Congress’s first priority had to be working “to bring true fairness back to economic life.”

    Travis Childers also understands that this is job number one. His platform is an unflinching defense of the needs of ordinary Americans. On the economy:

    Our leaders should have been thinking of the economic problems we face today when they passed unfair trade deals that sent our jobs overseas, gave billions in subsidies to big oil companies, ignored the home mortgage crisis, and kept spending as the deficit and national debt hit all time highs.

    The social safety net:

    Travis will fight to protect Social Security , oppose privatization, and expand in-home care programs for seniors.


    Travis Childers will fight to improve the quality of healthcare, while lowering costs for working families.  He supports expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), which will provide affordable healthcare to tens of thousands of middle-income children in Mississippi.

    And these aren’t just statements plastered up on an out-of-the-way website. Childers takes this kind of talk with him on the campaign trail:

    “We need to quit depending on foreign oil,” said Childers, who is also Prentiss County’s chancery clerk. “We need to start depending on ourselves and explore alternative energy sources.”

    “It seems like everyone in Washington is concerned about everything but working-class families,” he said. “I’m concerned about working-class families. I’m concerned about north Mississippians.”

    Everywhere he goes:

    “We need to strip away the subsidies from ExxonMobil and Big Oil,” Childers said to a question about high gasoline prices. “They’re not going to get a lot of sympathy from me.”

    It’s regular folks who have his sympathy – and that’s why Travis Childers needs our help. But as with Iraq, a Childers victory can send a clear message: that running on a populist message works. At the same time, it will help drive a stake through the heart of stale, pernicious DLC-style politics. Childers can continue the line of victories that began with Tester and Webb and show Democrats that the way to bigger majorities this fall requires that we meaningfully address the concerns of average Americans.

    As you saw up above at the beginning of this post, ActBlue has deployed a new fundraising thermometer to help us keep track of our goals. (The old-schoolers among us will remember the grand old days of the Dean bats.) And it shows a welcome sign: Because SSP readers dug deep, we hit our goal of $200 today. So let’s try for two more goals today: Let’s get to (at least) 40 total contributors, and let’s add on another $200.

    This is money Travis Childers can really use – no strings attached, no costs in raising it, and no time wasted on the phone dialing for dollars. So let’s get him some of this good green!

    FIVE Georgia vets run for Congress as Democrats

    Pretty interesting observation from CQ Politics.  Four veterans, three of whom fought in Iraq, are all running as Democrats in four different districts in Georgia.  (And actually, First Coast News shows there are five, not four.)

    The five are:

    GA-01: Bill Gillespie

    GA-06: Bill Jones

    GA-07: Doug Heckman

    GA-10: Bobby Saxon

    GA-11: Bud Gammon

    First Coast News has more on the candidates.

    “When you add all of the guys up together, we’ve probably got close to 75 years of combined military service,” said Bill Jones, a former Air Force officer from Marietta who is planning to launch a campaign this week against Rep. Tom Price of Roswell. “I’m excited about the idea of veterans stepping up and representing the Democratic Party.”


    Along with Jones, 53, an Air Force Academy graduate and former commercial airline pilot who is now an executive at a technology firm, the candidates are:

    — Doug Heckman, 48, of Norcross, a West Point graduate and former Army colonel who served as a senior adviser to the Iraqi military in east Baghdad in 2006 and 2007. Heckman is trying to unseat eight-term Rep. John Linder of Duluth.

    — Bill Gillespie, 44, of Tybee Island, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who was a senior logistician during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Gillespie is challenging eight-term Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah.

    — Bobby Saxon, 46, of Nicholson, an Army veteran and Georgia National Guard major who served with the 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq in 2005. Saxon, who runs a software consulting firm, is challenging freshman Rep. Paul Broun of Athens.

    — Bud Gammon, 57, of Rome, an Air Force Academy graduate and pilot during the tail end of the Vietnam War. Gammon, now a commercial airline pilot. Gammon is running against three-term Rep. Phil Gingrey of Marietta.

    And since we live in the reality-based community, and not the pie-in-the-sky one…

    Despite public dissatisfaction with the war, Democratic veterans have not fared well as congressional candidates. In 2006 only a handful won seats, including just one Iraq veteran, Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania — despite the party’s boasting that more than 50 veterans were running.

    Let’s keep that in mind before going overboard with optimism.

    Still, it is rather interesting that so many Iraq War vets are returning home and running for Congress as Democrats, isn’t it?

    Now, for those that have issues outlined on their webpages, I do like what I’ve seen so far, for the most part.  I’m under no illusions that these are Democrats running in the reddest of red districts, and in Georgia, no less.  We shouldn’t expect “liberals”, and if you really want to apply those kinds of litmus tests, then here’s a gun for you to shoot yourself in the foot.

    But on the major issues, and on what the Republican Party now stands for, these people get it.

    Gillespie said Republicans are trying to capitalize on emotion and patriotism while ignoring the huge costs to the military.

    “They are playing the politics of fear, and Americans are tired of it,” said Gillespie. “We’ve been training Iraqi forces for five years. I do not believe the Iraqis cannot stand up and defend themselves.”

    Aside from Iraq, the candidates say Georgia’s Republicans — among the most conservative in Congress — are too partisan and, as a result, ineffective.

    Heckman, who compares his politics to that of former conservative Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn, says his opponent, Linder, has done little over a 16-year career other than push for a long-shot “Fair Tax” plan to eliminate the IRS and shift to a consumption tax.

    “He’s written a couple of books and it’s been a profitable endeavor for him … but can anybody name anything this guy has ever done?” Heckman said, referencing Linder’s books with conservative radio commentator Neal Boortz.

    Heckman, especially, is really trying to draw contrasts between himself and incumbent John Linder.  I don’t think many Kossacks will be enamored with Heckman’s calling for a Balanced Budget Amendment, but his explanation for it is a pretty good one, focusing on what we’re doing to our children.

    The new budget – the Fiscal 2009 budget – has been submitted by the President and is already in deficit by over $400 BILLION dollars. Unacceptable. Collectively, we can not do this to our children. Or to rephrase, we can, but SHOULD not. The bill will come due someday.  Current politicians know they will probably be gone by then.  I say stop it NOW.

    Heckman, while saying he’s “generally” a free market kind of guy, does talk about the uneven playing field, and highlights China as a prime example.  He also chides Linder for not believing in man-made global warming.

    Bill Gillespie still has a bare bones issues page, but one thing that caught my eye was his calling for the repeal of No Child Left Behind.  Reminds me of Jon Tester calling for the repeal of the Patriot Act.  No fiddling around with it at the borders, just repeal the entire damn thing.  And the environmentalist in me is intrigued by his “South Georgia Alternative Energy Initiative”.

    Saxon talks about providing all Georgia children with healthcare, and making it affordable for everyone else.  Reminds me of what a certain presidential candidate is saying….  He also calls for more Alternative Energy industries working with our top research universities in creating green jobs and making our country more energy independent.

    Gammon and Jones don’t have an actual issues page set up yet, so I can’t comment on those.

    All in all, yes, these are going to be pretty ridiculous longshots for the Democrats, but this is Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy in action.  Challenge EVERY seat, no matter how red, with credible candidates.  And these veterans are most certainly credible.

    Heather Ryan and Greg Fischer Meet Kentucky Voters

    Recently the small Western Kentucky town of Sedalia had their “Sedalia Days”, along with a parade. This was an excellent chance for candidates to get to walk the parade route along with the people they wish to represent, and indeed to meet the voters and hear their concerns. Unlike their opponents, Bruce Lunsford, Mitch McConnell and Exxon Ed Whitfield, Heather Ryan and Greg Fischer proved they can truly represent these citizens, by meeting them and listening to their concerns firsthand.

    Here is Heather Ryan meeting with grassroots voters:


    The great thing about Heather meeting with grassroots voters is when she does, they support her. This couple soon volunteered the services of their Mustang to ride in the parade for Heather:


    Thats Heavan, Heather’s daughter and America’s favorite Mitch McConnell antagonist with the sign.

    Here is Heather meeting some more of Western Kentucky’s voters, and giving them a Ryan for Kentucky sticker!!:


    The parade route was indeed Ryan for Kentucky red and white!!

    Here is Heather, husband Carl, and Heavan with another new grassroots Ryan for Kentucky supporter!!:


    Not to be outdone by any Mustang, here is the Ryan for Kentucky van, proudly riding the parade route:


    See the lastest thoughts of Heather from the campaign trail here:

    I recently started Americans for Ryan to raise $1500 for Heather by May 20. I am now over two-thirds of the way there!! To celebrate I have decided that anyone who contributes to Americans for Ryan by May 20 will be entered into a drawing to win these pinback buttons from the 1960 campaign of JFK:


    Win a piece of history by helping us to make history!! Enter here:


    Now, Heather Ryan is not the only candidate to expand our Congressional majorities here in Kentucky. Greg Fischer, the Progressive candidate in the Democratic primary to Ditch Mitch McConnell, also found time to meet the average voter in Western Kentucky by coming to Sedalia.

    Here is Greg meeting with a senior citizen of Western Kentucky to hear his concerns:


    And again, meeting with potential voters:



    Here are grassroots supporters of Greg Fischer walking the parade route:



    Of course they have a lot to be excited about!! Fischer recently outraised his competition in the Democratic Primary by 2 to 1 among voters.

    Here is Greg Fischer’s new ad called “The Change” detailing what kind of change we need!!:

    Please help keep this ad up and keep our momentum going, not to mention supporting the only Progressive option to Mitch McConnell here;


    We simply must fight for our great Democrats wherever they are!! Please help us keep our momentum in Kentucky going by supporting two awesome Kentucky Democrats!!!

    Best wishes fellow Democrats!!

    Special thanks to kilowat for the awsome pics!!!