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31 May 2006

Summer 2006 -- The Summer of Feingold?

One of these mornings
You're going to rise up singing
Then you'll spread your wings
And you'll take to the sky
-- From "Summertime," by George Gershwin

A change of season is upon us, and we're well into our 90-degree days. Sunlight reaches late into the evening, thunderstorms roll through at least once a week, with blue skies and high humidity between them. And, of course, midterm election campaigning really starts.

Above, I quoted George Gershwin's classic song, which always seems to be running through my head on these hot, humid, lazy nights. But that particular verse, I think, is the perfect description of where we stand today. In the coming months, we're going to "take to the sky."

A year and a half ago, Senator Russ Feingold was just another "potential candidate" for the Democratic nomination. People thought he was just another senator with an overinflated ego, looking at the White House as the next step of his career as a politician, just like sixty or seventy others. Besides, it didn't matter-- Hillary Clinton had the nomination locked up, and some dude out in Wisconsin didn't have a chance.

My, how things have changed. Now looked at as a viable alternative by many, he's travelling the country to help other Democrats, making friends to help him should he choose to seek another office. Momentum is clearly on his side, but he still needs our help.

In the latest Strategic Vision poll, Senator Feingold received the support of 9 percent of Democrats, higher than any other Democrat except for previous nominees for President or Vice President, or Hillary Clinton. While already impressive, one has to wonder how many of those asked really knew the candidates-- you've got to follow politics pretty closely to recognize some of the names on the list. If anything could benefit Senator Feingold at this point, it would be a boost in name recognition. This is where we can help.

In the next month, I'd like to challenge all Feingold supporters (especially in Michigan) to seek out five other people and tell them about Russ Feingold. Tell them about his stances on the issues. Tell them about his listening sessions. Tell them about his efforts to hold the president accountable. Tell them why he should be the next resident of the White House.

Then, when (not if) you've convinced them, ask them to tell five more people about Russ Feingold. The most powerful television ad or direct mail campaign will never match the power of friends convincing friends. In Senator Feingold, we have someone worth supporting.

Some resources that can help you:
  • "Forward" -- Put together by RussForPresident.com (with help from certain state bloggers), it includes short articles describing Feingold's positions on key issues. (.pdf, two pages)
  • "Why Russ Feingold?" -- A biography put together for a MeetUp in New Jersey, it gives a history of his career. (.pdf, five pages)
  • "Russ Feingold -- In His Own Words" -- Drawn from the Wikiquote page for Senator Feingold, a collection of quotes on various policy issues. Who better to make the case than Feingold himself? (.doc, four pages)
I've added each of these to the Files page of the Michigan for Feingold Yahoo! Group, which should make them easily accessible. So, what do you say? Do you think you can convince five more people?

If you e-mail me with your success stories, I'll post them on the blog. In the meantime, let's see what we can do.

With this, I make my return to Feingold for Michigan, after a long period where I've been unable to blog, or really even think about anything but the next day or so. As of right now, I've got 301 unread e-mails of a variety of types-- some are "Daily Dilbert" comic strips, some are from family members wondering why I've been so busy, some are probably spam, and some might even be from a few of you, excited about the Feingold cause. If you're wondering why I haven't replied, it's really nothing personal. Circumstances beyond my control have forced me to neglect a lot of areas of my life.

Which means it's a good thing that I can welcome to the blog our latest contributor, blogging under the name "VoteFeingold." He's a smart guy, with a lot of great ideas, and I'm certain that as he writes more and reveals a little about himself, we'll all appreciate his presence.

That said, we now move on to something far more important: electing Senator Russ Feingold to the presidency in 2008.

29 May 2006

Happy Memorial Day!

As we Honor our men and women in service in this time of war. Let us never forget H.J.Res. 114 and the 23 senators who were real patriots. They supported these troops before anyone else. A personal thank you for Michigan's two great democratic senators, Debbie Stabenow, Carl Levin, and our choice for 2008, Russ Feingold.

28 May 2006

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Russ will be in Washington DC June 14th speaking bright and early in the morning at the 2006 "Take Back America Conference" This will be the 4th annual meeting, as the first took place in the summer of 2003. It has grown to be the largest conference for progressives to gather in the nation. Thats right, you heard me, progressive folks, some known, some soon to be, and others who will only be known by a few, but their impact will live on forever. Eitherway, this is Russ's BIG chance to get as many progressives from around the country in one room and give them his side of the story. To let them know that there has only been one, one great senator through out both the Clinton and Bush years that has stood by his people. Whether it was crossing party lines, voting opposite the party, or being the only vote in opposition. Russ always voted as if "Average Joe and Jane" themselves were in the senate chambers casting a vote.

Russ will be the first speaker on the third day of the conference. Other 2008 Presidential possibles speaking at the conference are Senators Clinton of New York, John Kerry of Massachusetts, and Governor Tom Vilsack of Iowa. Russ however, gets the third day all to himself, and is the opening speaker. To show some MI love, fomer congressman, house minority whip, and 2002 gubernatorial candidate David Bonier will also be at the Conference speaking. As well as Michigans esteemed Congressman John Conyers. Last of all, being how it is Memorial Day weekend, an almost designated weekend for movies, BBQ's and of course, honoring our men and women in Uniform. I thought it be appropriate for folks, if they haven't already to all gather around the family computer and watch some of the best campaign ads you'll find in the USA. I am talking about none other then Russ's own ads. I am not poking fun either. I really think that Russ has very creative lightly comical ads that will once again, just be a plethra of things that seperate him from other Democratic Presidential candidates.

27 May 2006

Mr. Tough

Russ, through out his tenure in the United States Senate, has taken tough positions. He didn't take any of them to get votes, but because he felt it was the right thing to do. In my records, I have counted 16 states that have added constitutional bans on same sex marriages. There are six more states that will attempt to do this in 2006. Wisconsin, Russ's home state in one of them. Russ has come out against this proposal and supports same sex marriage. This is another example of how he takes a stance on an issue that few dare to take for fear of loosing votes.

However, not too many democrats I know even look at same sex marriage as an important issue. Infact, I don't think most folks in Michigan do either. Even though the "Rove machine" touted the issue as a "Kerry Killer" in swing states and with rural voters, Kerry did win Michigan. The only state that had the issue on the ballot, passed it, and went blue for Kerry. So, if the question appeared on ballots in states in 2004, 2005, and will be in 2006. It may even be on ballots for 2007 and you guessed it, in 2008. So it will be very important that the democratic nominee for President have a clear stance on the issue and then move on. Russ so far has the best one. He is for same sex marriages and then moves on to talk about domestic spying, the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, national healthcare, FAIR trade, and a whole slew of things folks are looking for a fix to.

So lets jump ahead to 2008, right in the heart of a big important swing state of Florida. Bush #41 carried it in 92', Clinton in 96', Gore pretty much did in 00', and Bush#43 won the state in 04'. Based on this, the dems, with a solid candidate like Russ, and the issues in their favor, should be able to win the state. Karl Rove and company would have us guess again, as this southern swing state will have the same sex marriage question placed before its voters in 2008. Thats right, efforts have already began to get this on the ballot and the Florida GOP are backing it. Floridians are not as conservative as the GOP may think though. In 2004 Bush won the state by more then he supposedly did in 2000. It was though, only with 52%. Plus, that state had two big state wide ballot proposals. The first was to have parental notification, before a minor has an abortion. It passed with 65%. The other was an initiative to raise the minnimum wage and scale it to inflation rates. This passed with a huge 71% of support. A friend of mine that worked the ACORN campaign to raise the wage in FL, told me that in all of the visits Kerry made to the state, he failed to mention strong support for raising the wage. So, it may be just my opinion, but I think Russ has the best chance to win FL in 2008 as well as the general election. Why? Because he is the only candidate that has a solid proud stance for same sex marriage and can talk genuinly to FL voters about other real issues.

26 May 2006

All for Russ

Russ fever has sure caught on in the United States. Based on my personal numbers, Russ has now visited 15 different states counting his home state of Wisconsin. On his site he has only 13 listed due to not counting Wisconisn or the visit he made to New York. The NY visit was most likely not listed on his site due to he wasn't promoting any candidates on the visit. It still counts as a visit in my book though. When he speaks at the Maine State Democratic convention, that will make it state #"Sweet Sixteen".

Overall, when I take into account all states that Russ has visited and states that I have at one point or another seen Russforpresident activity, the number is 24. Thats right, its at least a year away from Russ making a possible presidential announcement and almost half the county is talking him up. Not to mention we even have folks abroad rooting for Feingold. Lets just see other candidate boast that. I have looked at the websites aimed at drafting other Democratic candidates and I must say, the Russ movement is both the largest and most detailed. So Go RussTeam Go! Other potential candidates may boast their large amounts of money raised, but most democrats don't put their votes up for sale. You have to earn them with a voting record like that of Russ Feingold.

Last of all, just checking other states websites and I must say that we have the most updated blog entry. So come on other states, lets get Blogging. I know we could all spend hours talking about Russ. So, lets put it up on the net for everyone to read about. Plus, this just in from other states sites (thanks, I missed it). Russ votes NO on Hayden for CIA director while in the Senate Intelligence Committee. Ok, more tomarrow.

25 May 2006

Blog on for Feingold

I have reached the conclusion that I need to start blogging for Russ. A great way to keep folks visiting this site is to give them at least one post a day. So, here I go. Besides, the more viewers read, the more they will learn, and the more they will love about Feingold. Over at the national site, there are results for the latest poll results for MI. Russ is up from 6-9% in only one month! He is tied with John Kerry and trails John Edwards by one point. These two guys have had the national stage before, Russ hasn't. The two leaders are Hillary who who also had national attention as first Lady and former Presidential Nominee Al Gore. I am not sure as to why Gore is still mentioned in polls. He has said over and over that he is not running for national office. I would like to see where Russ would fall with Gore not an option.

Its almost June, and Russ has been invited to speak at the Maine and NewHapshire State Democratic Conventions. The conventions are June 2 and 3rd. There is also expected to be a vote the week of June 5, 2006 for a Gay Marriage Ban Amendment in the U.S. Senate. Russ voted against this in 2004, so look for him to vote a BIG NO in 2006.(On a quick sidenote, I will predict that due to the make up of the senate the vote will be 53 yeas 47 nays. I would vote no and expect Russ to do the same) Wisconsin this year, much like Michigan in 2004, has a proposed question defining marriage as between a man and a women on its November ballot. Russ has come out against this and plans to campagin against it. This, along with holding his 1,000th listening session and campaigning across the county for progressives(Washington State), what isn't there to love about this guy? In my opinion, Russ is a man in a senate of boys and girls. Seems to me he is just too good for the senate. Time for a promotion in 2008.