We planned to spend this $15,000 on an independent project to help one of the Blue America candidates. But then we thought that the candidates could probably spend it more effectively than we could at this point in the game. They all need the money for their Get-Out-The-Vote field operations. So we're going to give $5,000 each to 3 candidates. Which 3? That's up to you. Just vote for the 3 you think will spend the money best or need it most or deserve it most or... whatever criterion you want to use.
How to vote-- easy. Click the thermometer-- this is the page for progressives who won their primary and were then abandoned by the DCCC-- and put in any amount you want for three candidates, but end your vote with .18 cents so we know it counts as a vote.
In other words, if you want to vote for Mike Siegel, Dayna Steele and Kara Eastman but just want to make a contribution to Ammar, you can give $1.18 cents or $100.18 to Mike, Dayna and Kara and just $1.00 or $100.00 to Ammar. Easy, right?
Only the "votes" with the 18 cents count towards the $15,000 give away. The 3 candidates who get the most "votes," get the $5,000. Oh-- and one more thing-- whichever candidate gets the most money from these contributions wins $1,000. So maybe one of the candidates will win $6,000 or maybe there'll be 3 candidates who get $5,000 each and one who gets a grand. We'll see on Friday.
And, to make this even more interesting for you... We're going to give 5 randomly selected contributors a choice of beautiful autographed prints by the artist Nancy Ohanian.
You can chose between a picture of Ted Lieu (the one up top), Randy Bryce, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or Alan Grayson. We'll e-mail the 5 contest winners and ask which print each one wants. And we'll pick the 5 winners on Friday at noon (PT)-- and announce which 3 candidates win the $5,000 and overnight the checks to the campaigns immediately. You game?
I asked some of the campaigns how they plan to spend the money so close to election day. I got Randy Bryce's campaign manager, David Keith, on the phone as he was setting up for the big Bernie Sanders rally in Kenosha on Monday afternoon. He told me that
"Unlike so many 'professional' Democratic campaigns, we don’t believe in relying solely on TV ads and pointless mail pieces. We believe you win by doing one simple thing: getting more votes than the other side. That’s why our investments in the next few weeks are all going into the field and voter protection. We are making sure that our 16 months of voter contact isn’t blocked by the GOP’s last minute tricks. We are making sure that absentee votes are counted, in full. We are making sure that every voter who requests a ride, gets a ride. Elections are about votes and that is our singular focus."
This guy means business.
Kara Eastman is in a neck-and-neck race with an unapologetic Trump enabler in Omaha. She can use a financial boost, especially after the DCCC decided not to respond to the million dollars in negative smears Paul Ryan's SuperPAC has been running against her. "In the last two weeks of this election," she told us, "every cent matters. We have to reach voters and remind them of just how important this election is. Democracy is at stake here. We've been spending every last minute knocking on doors and making calls to get as many voters to the polls as we can on election day, and need resources to keep up our get out the vote effort."
Mike Siegel, fresh off two Rachel Maddow appearances, told me that his campaign commissioned a closing ad to highlight his service as a public school teacher. With an additional $5,000, he will send the ad to tens of thousands of teachers, retired teachers, and other persuadable voters. This isn't like wasting money on broadcast TV; this is targeted advertising to exactly the audience he needs to hit. Mike is running in a district that went for Trump over Clinton by just nine points, and is eminently winnable this cycle. He told me this boost will make a big difference in his outreach.
Our newest endorsee, Audrey Denney, has a structural problem-- a gigantic district, covering all or part of 11 counties in the northeast corner of the state. She told me that this $5,000 and the contributions that come in as part of the contest "will help fund our 5 campaign offices around the massive district and staff them with 5 full time field organizers. Our field organizers are mobilizing our more than 4,000 volunteers to knock doors and make phone calls to get the vote out!" She's smart enough to know this race is going to be all about turnout and that's what her campaign is laser-focused on right now.
So, pick your 3 favorites, and then vote for them by putting .18 cents on the back end of each "vote" and on Friday, we'll see who wins!
Also, I hope I don't have to remind you about this, but remember-- if any one (or all!) of the Blue America endorsees win their races, we will ALL win!
Thanks for always doing what you can to make this a better world,
Howie, for the entire Blue America team