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Blue America Welcomes Darcy Burner (What Took Us So Long?)

darcyburner.jpgThe most astounding thing about Blue America endorsing Darcy Burner is that we’re just getting around to it now. Darcy is the quintessential Blue America candidate and we missed her last year. Let’s make up for it this year and go the extra mile in helping her get elected in 2008!

She nearly made it last year when she first challenged rubber stamp Republican Dave Reichert in an upscale suburban Seattle district, WA-08, and drew 122,021 votes to his 129,362– an incredible accomplishment. In fact, it has made a few careerist pols start licking their chops thinking they could step in and take over where she left off.  One, a Republican with two first names who says he’s a Democrat now, is going to declare Tuesday.

I suspect Darcy will make mincemeat of him.

There were three big differences between last year and the current election cycle and all three work in Darcy’s favor. First of all, last year was her first run and the voters didn’t know who she was, although nearly 49% of them voted for her by the end of the campaign. Her name recognition now is super high.

Second, in 2006 voters weren’t sure how they felt about Iraq; they are now — and guess who’s got a 100% perfect Cheney voting record. If you said “Dave Reichert,” give yourself a pat on the back. Since being elected to Congress Reichert participated in 17 roll calls about Iraq, the latest being Thursday’s vote to stay the course. He could have just as well given Cheney his proxy and gone to play golf. 17 roll calls in a distinctly anti-war district and 17 votes for endless war.

And the third difference between the last cycle year has to do with the voting patterns of the district. Far more people come out to vote during a presidential year and Bush only took 47% of the vote in 2000 and 48% in 2004. It’s by far the most prosperous district in Washington and it leans in a decidedly progressive and Democratic direction. A presidential year will help Darcy beat Reichert.

Although Darcy and Reichert spent approximately the same amount of money in 2006 — $3 million — Rove funneled another $3 or 4 million into the race. In his infamous powerpoint presentation to the GSA in March, Rove emphasized that bolstering Reichert against Darcy must be a top priority for all loyal Bushies. Last year the Republicans made 585,000 calls into the district, the most of anywhere in the country and the aim was to suppress Democratic turnout and to encourage Republicans.

In the last few days of the campaign Rove operatives were calling every household in the district telling voters that Darcy was about to be indicted as a felon, that Darcy was suppressing minority voters and that Darcy was an investor in Big Oil. It was all smear and lies; typical Rovian tactics.

Darcy sounds sweet, hip and disarming. But her mind is razor sharp and she’s one of those Big Picture Democrats the country is crying out for. She’s had backing from Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, both of Washington’s senators, Emily’s list, labor unions and the DCCC and this year she will get her message out much more effectively than before when the institutional players had no idea who she was at first.

And that message…it’s why we’re here today.

“I’m committed to the long battle for progressive values that we’re going to have over the next 30-40-50 years,” is what she told me on the phone earlier this week. “We’re at a huge inflection point in terms of the direction this country is going to move. We have to have people in position in Congress and in political leadership whose top priority is making sure that government does treat all people equally and that opportunity really does exist for everyone. That’s what I’m committed to spending the rest of my life doing and working hard for.”

And hearing her speaking, you know you want her on your team. Her policy positions couldn’t be more in sync with our own. She’s for what we’re for and against what we’re against. When I asked her about the Bush Cheney Iraq agenda there was no if’s or but’s in her answer.

“I’m the mother of a four and a half year old and I know that when somebody throws a temper tantrum, it’s counterproductive to reward it. I would have voted for the bill with milestones– the one Bush vetoed– and against the one I call “the capitulation bill.'”

Right down the line, Darcy is our kind of candidate.

“The voters in my district tend to be fiscally conservative and socially progressive. Congressman Reichert is fiscally irresponsible and socially conservative.” He also happens to be terrible on environmental issues and WA-08 is one of the most environmentally supportive districts in the United States. Reichert’s environmental voting record is tailor-made for Big Business and willy-nilly development. “He tries to vote on every side of every issue so he can pull a vote out of his pocket to please whoever he’s talking to.”

Darcy is constantly out talking with the voters in the district about Iraq — “they’ve had enough and they want out” — the environment and global warming and health care, the main issues that keep popping up over and over.

But in one of the most high tech savvy areas in America there’s something else that Darcy, the former lead product manager for Microsoft.net, uniquely offers the voters, of Washington and of the U.S. She’s the antidote to a dangerous dinosaur like Senator Ted Stevens.

“We live in a world that is being transformed completely by technology and we have a Congress that doesn’t begin to understand technology. I’ll be the most tech-savvy member of the United State House of Representatives. And when we think about making the complicated decisions that Congress is going to have to make about technology and everything it changes, that experience is going to be incredibly important.”

After Jane’s enthusiastic endorsement of Darcy last month many in our community started donating to her campaign. She’s up against a flim flam man backed by the full might of Karl Rove and she’s going to need all the help she can get. Please join me today in letting Darcy know what we think of candidates who stand for the kinds of things she stands for. A visit to our Blue America page is one very effective way to let her know.

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Howie Klein

Howie Klein

Howie Klein spent much of his life wandering around the world living in places like Afghanistan, Nepal, Holland and Morocco. He moved backed to America when Richard Nixon resigned and promptly helped start the first punk rock radio show in the country and then a DIY punk rock record label. His adventures in the music business ended a couple of years ago when he retired as president of Reprise Records. He began blogging almost immediately, starting Down With Tyranny. Jane taught him html while he held one of her dogs at a party. He is a raw foodist, lives in L.A., swims and hikes every day, thinks Howard Dean could be a president as great as FDR and will never be completely happy until Bush and Cheney are behind bars.

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