Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Act Blue...

As some of you may know, I spend a bit of time over at DailyKos. It's the most-viewed blog on the internets. It's actually grown into a collection of blogs (they're called Diaries over there), but that's not the point. Conservatives hate it. I love it.

Anyway, it's all about the using the power of the internet to help shape the government. It's hard to be heard in traditional ways without a truckload of money. Blogging and the internet balances that out a bit.

There's a newish site - actually it's two years old - called ActBlue out now that was started up by a group of liberal bloggers. It provides a clearinghouse for net-based campaign donations to Democrats across the country. It's brilliant and it's working.

A quick look there shows that there has been nearly $11 million dollars raised for candidates since 2004. All of those donations come from individuals too, not big corporations and special interest PACs.

The site is not for profit. That is, they simply collect money for candidates and send them a check every month, or more frequently if there's a lot of donations to that candidate or the candidate needs money quickly. ActBlue doesn't take a cut, but they do offer donors the opportunity to leave them a 'tip' to help pay for maintaining and hosting the site.

This all leads to the real point.

My Representative to Congress is perhaps one of the most abrasive, out of touch, right-wing radicals out there. And I do mean 'out there.' Lucky me, I've got James Sensenbrenner 'representing' interests and filthy rich people.

Running against him is an intelligent, down-to-earth, decent guy - Bryan Kennedy.

Kennedy is actually within striking distance of unseating Sensenbrenner. That's something that most people considered impossible a year ago. And Kennedy's done it the old fashioned way, by knocking on doors and asking for votes. With little support from the national party and little money, Kennedy has rocked the comfortable, insular world of Wisconsin's most embarrassing politician.

I've been out doing some politicking for Kennedy. It's fun to involved somehow - even if it's only in a small way. It makes me feel far less helpless. I've been to a couple of fundraisers, done some literature drops around my town, and put up a sign yesterday.

It's all good stuff for sure, but the thing I'm most excited about is that I created an ActBlue page for Bryan Kennedy. It's a little thing, but it makes me feel like I can make a difference.

So far, it's raised $40. Not much, but I only started it two days ago. I would like to see it bring in $100 - $500 would be better, but I would be happy with $100 - before the election . That's not much time, but I'm hopeful.

I'm also hopeful that the November elections will mark a turning point for our country - the point where real debate begins again and honesty prevails over lies and secrecy. Maybe then real plans to bring about a positive conclusion to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan can be made, actual protection of our ports, food supply, and basic infrastructures from terrorist attacks can begin, meaningful strides forward on education and healthcare reform can be made, and the mistakes and blunders of the last five years can be corrected.


Anonymous said...

I wish MN's Kennedy was more like WI's Kennedy.

Josh said...

You're up to $50! I mean, the extra $10 wasn't from me, but I am the one who noticed it.

Shawn said...

Miss Kate - There are so many things that are cooler in Wisconsin than in Minnesota...n'est pas?

Except you...of course...'cause you're way cool.

Josh - That's what I love about're a noticer. You notice things. It's amazing a superpower.

Slade said...

That is awesome Shawn!!! I really want to volunteer for the democratic party here in Bama, but I'm afraid it's a lost cause...glad that you have a chance to usurp!

thephoenixnyc said...

to put it simply, you rock

dbackdad said...

You da man. I just ponied up a little bit. Keep up the good work.

Shawn said...

Slade - You know even if it's a lost cause, it's still worth the time. If for nothing else, it let's other Democrats know they're not alone. It can be a spot o' fun too.

PNYC - Bono rocks...I just try and do what I can and hope that it makes a small difference. A lot of small differences can make a better world.

Dbdad - That is so awesome! I got back from a crappy middle o' the night job and saw that and it made me so freakin' happy.

tshsmom said...

I have the same wishes for this election year. All we're really asking for is a little common sense. Is that really too much to ask for?

Shawn said...

Tmom - Indeed...let's just get back to fixing problems instead of creating them.

Shawn said...


Current tally is $221.54.

I'm pretty impressed with the generosity of people who willingly back up their beliefs with time or money. Amazing stuff.

Miranda said...

Hmm. I LIKE this Kennedy guy. He's even pretty pro-life. I haven't liked a Democrat in some time.

Good luck to him and
congrats to you. :)

kris said...

Very cool of you. I love that you go beyond the talk, to the DO. So few of us actually - for lack of a better word - DO that.

I think about making change, as I'm sure many people do, but how many of us can say that we have affected it in some way?

Shawn said...

M - He seems like decent folk. He's very into the family thing and is running his campaign with little support from the big guns. We'll see.

Kris - Just vote. That's about all I really ask. Just vote.