July 31, 2014

One of Blue America's most dedicated supporters is offering an end-of-the-month match for Shenna Bellow's, the progressive Democrat running for the U.S. Senate seat in Maine. As you can see, Blue America contributors have donated as much to Shenna's campaign as to all the other Senate candidates we are backing combined. But its going to take more than that to get her message out; she's up against Susan Collin's money machine. Collins is already swimming in $5,380,803, only 2% of it ($123,536) from small grassroots contributions. The rest is from wealthy donors and PACs. Our anonymous contributor has offered to match the first $600 of contributions to Shenna's campaign on this page today.

In his own words:
How do U spell “U-P-S-I-D-E”? Answer: With Bellows’ shoe-leather & our matche$

I’m not waiting for the next quarter-end to throw another match on the Maine U.S. Senate campaign fire (this time, I’ll match the next $600 contributed to Shenna Bellows through this page between now and midnight of July 31).

How could I wait, when I read that, just before Bellows started her current walk of 350 miles through 63 Maine communities, the Portland Press Herald found that:

"64 percent of Mainers don’t know Bellows well enough to have a positive or negative opinion of her-- and that includes more than half the members of [the Democratic] party."

Today I saw that, for the next six weeks leading up to the Republican primary in neighboring New Hampshire, voters are going to see much criticism of favored candidate Scott Brown’s resistance to campaign spending reform, paid for by the non-partisan reform-seeking MayDay PAC. This will remind Mainers, who share several media markets with New Hampshire, that Maine incumbent Susan Collins deserves similar criticism. This will be "free media" for the Bellows campaign, as is local media coverage each day that she walks into another town and has another road-side chat. But walking shoes cost money, for Shenna and for her canvassers as they knock on doors and prepare to get out the vote.

As I also read in the same Portland Press Herald article:

"…if Mainers are telling the truth about how they feel about big money in politics and dysfunction in Washington, Collins’ perceived strength could work against her."

You probably never heard of Mattawamkeag. Less than 700 people live there, up in Penobscot County, where the Mattawamkeag River meets the Penobscot River. It's an old railroad town that connected the U.S. to Canada and a week ago it was on Shenna's walking tour. This is what she wrote about it:

"Mattawamkeag isn't famous, but it's the kind of town that exemplifies Maine: full of hard-working people and long-time residents who might disagree once in a while, but who all want to keep Maine the beautiful, livable place that it is. They don't care about party labels nearly as much as what their representatives can do to help make their lives better. And what I heard over and over at our busy town hall meeting on Thursday was that we need to create more jobs to bring young people back to rural areas. We need to keep Congress' hands off Social Security. We need to pay people a living wage again and stop shipping our jobs overseas with bad trade deals. I heard what I've been hearing throughout this walk: Washington isn't paying attention to rural America, and that neglect means a lot of families' way of life is disappearing. We don't have to let that happen."

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