Thursday, July 28, 2005
These Democrats Need Our Support!
There are two Democratic candidates in very important campaigns who desperately need our support. One election is more urgent than the other. Remember Ohio? The state that came about 100,000 votes shy of putting John Kerry in the White House? Oh yeah, that Ohio. Well, there's an extremely close special election taking place August 2nd in Hamilton County for a House seat being vacated by 12-year GOP incumbent Rob Portman, who's taking a trade rep job with President Bush. The Democratic candidate, Paul Hackett, up until four months ago was a unit commander in Iraq. This 43-year-old lawyer w/a wife and three small children put career and family on hold to join the Marines, on and off since graduating college, to defend our country. He's up against 53-year-old Jean Schmidt, a rich banker's daughter, who's putting a ton of her own dough into her campaign. National Republican committees are also stocking her coffers, and Bush himself has recorded campaign messages which she'll be rolling out by phone as election day nears. She's outpaced Hackett 3-1 in fundraising. In short, the Republicans are pulling out the stops to get her elected. This is Bush country; 64% voted for Dubya in '04. As are many southern Ohio counties, Hamilton is a Republican beachhead, and they want to keep it that way. Initially, the Democratic Party wrote this one off. But interestingly, Hackett's been gaining momentum, and it's suddenly a hotly contested race. So the Dem's brought out our own big guns--including James Carville and Max Cleland--and are throwing dollars and workers into the campaign. To be sure, Hackett is certainly no progressive. He's anti-abortion but is against government regulation of it, and he's pro-guns. But he's also vehemently anti-Iraq war and anti-Bush, and calls the president the biggest threat to America. In his own words: "I fought in the Fallujah campaign, took part in reconstruction efforts, and worked side-by-side with Iraqi military and civil personnel. I know what's really happening in Iraq." He's against an immediate pull-out and instead advocates speeding up the training of Iraqi forces so they can take over. His opponent, Schmidt, supports the Bush tax cuts, is also pro-guns, and is a leader of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati. Unlike Hackett, she'd be very happy if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. She's bad news, and she can be beat. Please support Hackett. If you can volunteer, great. If you can shed a few dollars, he'll certainly need it in this final week. I've personally contributed as well. It's money well spent. You can make a donation on his website. If we can overtake Ohio's richly Red 2nd congressional district, that would be a major coup. Next on the list is Bob Casey Jr, Pennsylvania's state treasurer and challenger for Sen. Rick Santorum's seat in the November '06 mid-term elections. Folks, let me say this as firmly and emphatically as possible: Santorum is extremely vulnerable. His poll numbers are down, Casey's are strong, and Casey's been gaining ground. Santorum is an evil, loathsome and dangerous politician. He's as religious-right as they come. We need to do everything in our power to support Casey and rid Washington of this theocratic, right-wing ideologue. Get involved. Volunteer. Send money. Check out his website. You'll feel much better that you did. Andy