Man your battlestations! Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) has teamed with war pals Max Cleland, former Georgia senator, and fellow ex-Swift boat skipper Wade Sanders in an all-out effort to support the Congressional campaigns of some 70 Iraq war veterans. And through an email last week, Kerry raised $250,000 in just one 24-hour period for three: $100,000 for Tammy Duckworth in Illinois's 6th District, and $65,000 each for Patrick Murphy in Pennsylvania's 8th District and Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania's 7th District. $20,000 went to support other candidates. Kerry has now raised over $1-million online in the last six months, according to aides. John Kerry reporting for duty!
Despite having lost his bid for president, Kerry has remained highly relevant and influential both inside and outside the beltway. Back in '04 he raised $80 million via the Internet and amassed a valuable email supporter list of about 3-million names. He uses that list aggressively to raise funds and build support for many viable candidates. Through his PAC, Keeping America's Promise, Kerry's raised more than $2 million for the upcoming mid-terms. Another new email seeks support and money for Tim Walz, who's running in Minnesota's 1st District seat, and Jay Fawcett, the only Democrat seeking retiring Rep. Joel Hefley's (R) open seat in Colorado's 5th District.
The apparent motivation for the trio's fundraising plan links back to the early 70's when Kerry and Cleland entered politics after returning from Vietnam frustrated and disillusioned with the Nixon administration's polarization of the military and its attempt to divide soldiers along party lines. To prevent that from happening with Iraq war vets, they plan to raise $500,000 for a "Fight Back Fund." Said Kerry: "Karl Rove's gonna come after these kids hard. It's Richard Nixon all over again. We're gonna make sure these vets have the ammunition to shoot back."