10/21/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Help Blue America Pick A Senate Candidate

A few weeks ago Blue America launched a competition among 9 of our progressive House candidates. It was far more successful than we had imagined when our PAC offered $5,000 as seed money to get the show on the road. In the end, 1,899 individual donors contributed over $43,000 to our candidates. On top of that DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen matched our $5,000 to the winner and two other Democrat House leaders, who wish to remain anonymous, gave another $15,000 between them. So, our winner, Miami-Dade progressive Democrat, Annette Taddeo walked off with over $30,000-- and the next day she was added to the DCCC's Red to Blue list.

Today we begin a week long competition between the five candidates for the U.S. Senate endorsed by Blue America, Tom Allen (D-ME), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Rick Noriega (D-TX) and Andrew Rice (D-OK). None of these are the "easy" races that the big money is flowing to. These are the tough ones, although each one is winnable. And these are the races that will make the difference between the Republicans ability to filibuster and thwart Obama's reform program for real change. If at least two of these candidates don't win, we will be stuck in the same hideous gridlock we're in now-- with partisan hacks like Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl and John McCain obstructing everything the Houses passes and then cynically claiming the "Democratically-controlled" Senate can't get anything done.

Each of these candidates has done at least one live-blog session with us at Firedoglake and I encourage you to go back to the archives and re-read their responses to the questions they were given. Each link above goes to an FDL session. I want to say something about the rules of this game before we go further. Blue America will send the candidate with the most "votes" a check for $5,000 and the runner-up will get a Blue America check for $1,000. A vote is a contribution-- for any amount between $1 and $2,300 at the Blue America Senate contest page. If you contribute $1.00 that counts as one vote. If you contribute $2,000 that counts as one vote. (We're Democrats for the most part; not Republicans.) We loved the enthusiasm of supporters donating again and again and again. One guy gave Russ Warner 80 individual donations. It still just counted as one vote though. If you vote for two or more candidates though, each counts as a vote.

You can find more on the competition as well as statements from each of the candidates posted at DownWithTyranny. Visualize a Senate without John Cornyn, Susan Collins, James Inhofe, Gordon Smith and Ted Stevens... and then, please vote.