You may have read about Blue America's radio buy in Bobby Bright's Alabama district earlier in the week. Congressman Bright didn't like the idea of a progressive group engaging Democrats in this race. His spokesperson told Alex Isenstadt of Politico:
It's not surprising that partisan political organizations on both sides of the aisle would take issue with Congressman Bright being the most independent member of Congress. Standing up to political parties and special interests to do what's right for his district will naturally upset those who want him to toe the party line. Congressman Bright will continue to be an independent voice for those he represents and is looking forward to receiving the support from the only group that matters: voters in the 2nd Congressional District of Alabama.
His own media ad campaign is aimed squarely in a very different set of voters than the true blue Democrats our ads were talking to. Bragging that he's voted 80 percent of the time with Boehner and that he won't help the Democrats win the leadership of the next Congress may work well in the rich, white suburbs of Montgomery with McCain voters -- Bright's political strategy every day of his life -- but we think the Obama voters in Barbour, Lowndes, Butler and Bullock counties needed to be part of the conversation too-- and hear just what Bright is telling his target audience.
So today we released a TV spot to further bolster our message. You can watch it up top. The ad was paid for by one donor and no money donated to the Blue America PAC has gone into making the ads or running them -- except the money raised at The Bobby Bright Page, and if you'd like to kick in there... well, we can run it longer and wider.
But running ads with the express purpose of defeating the most reactionary Blue Dog in the House isn't all Blue America is up to in the final two weeks of the campaign. Thanks to generous contributions we've been able to aggressively up our TV ad schedules on southwest Ohio for Justin Coussoule and in northwest North Carolina for Billy Kennedy. The DCCC has pointblank refused to help either candidate. They're spending all their money on anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-healthcare, anti-reform conservatives like Bobby Bright instead. As of yesterday they'd poured $1,135,508.95 in attack ads alone into Bright's campaign. Nothing for Justin; nothing for Billy. Both of them have made gigantic strides against, respectively, John Boehner and Virginia Foxx. The biggest newspaper in NC-5, the Winston-Salem Journal, broke with its former editorial stance and endorsed Billy, pointing out that Foxx "has angered and embarrassed many with her sometimes wild statements" and recommending that:
It's time for a fresh, progressive voice in the 5th District. We believe that Democrat Billy Kennedy, a Watauga farmer and carpenter who says he'll work to reverse the high rate of unemployment in the district, is that voice. He's the best candidate in the Nov. 2 election for the 5th District.
Billy then went on to win both debates hands down. The problem, of course, is name recognition. Billy isn't a wealthy man; like the editorial says, he's a farmer and a carpenter-- a regular middle class working man. He's not friends with millionaires and he isn't promising to do any favors with special interests or carry water for Wall Street or China. So he hasn't had the money to reach all the voters across the sprawling, unfocused district. That's where a competent and vibrant DCCC would come in. Would. Instead, it's up to grassroots efforts that Billy's feisty volunteers are making and up to whatever we can do for him.
Click the graphic on each of these ads
It's very much the same story for Justin Coussoule. He's made immense progress, but he's up against a name-recognition problem. The only public polling in the district -- which was carried out independently last week by the Hilary Clinton Legacy PAC -- shows the district doesn't like Boehner and doesn't want to reelect him. But they don't know who's running against him. Again, thanks, DCCC. "Boehner is leading his Democratic opponent Justin Coussoule 30.4 percent to 19.6 percent." But the poll found that three quarters of congressional district residents have never heard of Coussoule and that an astounding 60 percent of the respondents rated Boehner's job performance as "unsatisfactory." Justin has been endorsed by Congress' most outstanding progressive leaders, Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Alan Grayson (D-FL), Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH), Betty Sutton (D-OH), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Bob Filner (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA), and Jim McDermott (D-WA) as well as by organizations like VetPAC, People for the American Way, the Alliance for Retired Americans, DFA and all the labor unions active in southwestern Ohio, from the AFL-CIO to the United Steel Workers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Teamsters, Firefighters, Auto Workers, Laborers, Machinists and Electrical Workers. But no DCCC. If you want to donate to our newest TV spot -- or even see it -- you can do that here. The web-ad at the top of this paragraph, though, is something we're getting out to more than 330,000 voting age residents of OH-8. (In 2008, a presidential year, 297,000 people voted in the congressional election in this district and in the last midterm it was 207,000.)
Yesterday Digby penned a Blue America donor letter to our members which read, in part:
"Democrat Alan Grayson Calls for Foreclosure Moratorium"
"Democrat Ohio Secretary of State Attacks Foreclosure Fraud"
"President Obama Pocket Vetos Pro-Bank Bill That Would Increase Foreclosures"
"Democrat Harry Reid Calls for Foreclosure Moratorium"
"Democrat Nancy Pelosi Calls for Investigations of Foreclosure Fraud"
"Democrat Ohio Attorney General Attacks Foreclosure Fraud, Sues GMAC"
"Democrat Illinois Attorney General Asks for Foreclosure Halt in Illinois"
"Democrats Alan Grayson, Barney Frank, and Corrine Brown Call for Fannie to Stop Working with Foreclosure 'Mills' Being Investigated for Fraud"
"Democrat Earl Blumenaur Asks for a Foreclosure Freeze in Oregon"
"Democrat Jeff Merkley Calls for a Special Investigator for Foreclosure Fraud"
"Democrats Luis Gutierrez and Dennis Moore Call for Investigations of Bailout Recipients Engaging in Foreclosure Fraud"
"Democrat Attorney General in California Asks for Foreclosure Halt"
Notice a pattern here? If not, let me give you another hint.
"Republican Richard Shelby Tries to Weaken Rules, Kicks Regulators"
And people wonder why banks and corporations are spending $5 billion on this election, nearly all of that for Republicans.
We think this shows the fundamental difference between the two parties. With the exception of some Blue Dogs and Conservadems, most Democrats have rallied instinctively to the side of the average citizen caught in this foreclosure fraud mess. The national Republicans have rallied to the side of the banks and Wall Street. As usual.
We will be running some web-based local newspaper ads in the closing days of this election asking people to vote for some of our Blue America candidates who have been out front on this issue. And we could use your help to pay for them.
This foreclosure fraud issue is still unfolding before our eyes and we don't know where it will lead. But we know for sure that unless we have these progressives in Congress, average working Americans and their families will be the ones left holding the bag.
Please donate to this campaign by hitting the link above and giving to Blue America PAC. (And if you happen to feel like passing a few dollars to our worthy candidates on the way, we're sure they would appreciate it.)
And these ads aren't just for Justin. We're running them for Mary Jo Kilroy in Columbus, Alan Grayson in Orlando and Raul Grijalva in Tucson, three proven progressives who have stood up and fought time after time against the corporate interests and for ordinary American working families. We think it's the least we could do. We wish we could do more. If you can, please chip in. A little inspiration-- this is the ad Earl Blumenauer is running on TV in his Oregon district. It's the polar opposite of the ads Bobby Bright is running. And I want you to know that Earl has reached out and shared some of his own contributions with some of the struggling progressives -- like Justin Coussoule -- who have been ignored by the DCCC. This is the kind of positive, inspiring ad Democrats should be running everywhere:
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