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(Cross-posted to ePluribus Media)
Many of you read my diary yesterday about two-term incumbent John Kline's repeated smears directed at me, an unpaid staffer on Coleen Rowley's campaign in MN-02.  The overwhelming majority of comments were supportive, and I really appreciate that.

I'm writing today to tell you the rest of the story.  Coleen has now come out with a strong statement condemning John Kline's tactics and supporting me.  Of course, I think Coleen is exactly the kind of candidate the netroots should get behind, and I hope that after reading her press release, you'll agree.

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My name is David Bailey, and I'm an unpaid staffer on Coleen Rowley's campaign for Congress in MN-02.  But I'm not writing this as a representative of her campaign, I'm writing it as an individual who has been smeared by my congressman.  John Kline has sent out mass mailings to the district --- twice --- making accusations about me he knows are false.  Once he accused me of trying to entrap a federal employee into breaking the law, and once he accused me of promoting meth.

John Kline is a two-term incumbent and 25-year Marine Corps veteran.  His spokespeople have the gall to claim "John Kline doesn't need to be lectured about ethics; he's lived it".  Perhaps he did at some point in the past, but it's hard to imagine anything more vicious and dishonest than what John Kline has said about me.

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Coleen Rowley, candidate for Congress in MN-02, posted to the Huffington Post yesterday about the situation in Iran and what she believes is the best reponse:

Bush's defenders will argue that now is not the time for pointing fingers, and that Democrats should offer solutions instead. Here's my solution: Democratic control of Congress.

Those who cry out I'm exploiting a threat to our nation's security for political gain have it exactly backwards. I'm running for Congress because Republican control of government is a threat to our national security!

I'm one of Coleen's strongest supporters, and I hope the HuffPo piece will cause the netroots to take notice of her.  She's exactly the kind of Dem we want in Congress, one who's not afraid to speak truth to power, and take on the Republicans on the issue which conventional wisdom holds up as their strong suit, national security.

Read the whole piece.

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Bush's surveillance of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil gives Dems the perfect opportunity to direct the public's focus to the issue which gives them their best opportunity for retaking Congress: corruption in the Republican leadership. All Dems seeking national office in 2006 should repeat the following two points ad nauseum between now and November:
  1. Bush broke the law, and has made it clear he continues to do so.
  2. Congress has a constitutional obligation to respond. Congress must either pass legislation explicitly sanctioning Bush's surveillance of U.S. citizens, or impeach.
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When the administration released its latest projections on the health of America's major entitlement programs, two independent trustees of the Social Security Administration were brave enough to point out that Medicare is in much worse shape than Social Security.

Moreover, Richard Foster, the chief actuary for Medicare (who was famously threatened with the loss of his job if he told Congress the truth about the cost of the prescription drug benefit), has warned of multiple years of double-digit percent increases in Medicare premiums starting immediately.

None of this is news to Kossacks. But it is underreported by the mainstream media, which obligingly focuses on Bush's Social Security bamboozlepalooza. Medicare's problems are real and will become obvious to most everyone very soon, no matter how hard the administration tries to sweep them under the rug.

So my question is: Can't Dems use Bush's negligence to their vast political gain?

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Four years ago, 42 Democrats voted against Ashcroft for AG. 34 of them are still in the Senate. When you call them to tell them to oppose Gonzales nomination, if they do not tell you that they plan to vote against confirmation, you might ask them why they think Gonzales is better qualified for the job than Ashcroft was. For handy reference, here's a list of those Democrats who voted 'NO' on Ashcroft:

Akaka (HI)Baucus (MT)Bayh (IN)Biden (DE)
Bingaman (NM)Boxer (CA)Cantwell (WA)Carper (DE)
Clinton (NY)Corzine (NJ)Dayton (MN)Durbin (IL)
Feinstein (CA)Harkin (IA)Inouye (HI)Johnson (SD)
Kennedy (MA)Kerry (MA)Kohl (WI)Landrieu (LA)
Leahy (VT)Levin (MI)Lieberman (CT)Lincoln (AR)
Mikulski (MD)Murray (WA)Nelson (FL)Reed (RI)
Reid (NV)Rockefeller (WV)Sarbanes (MD)Schumer (NY)
Stabenow (MI)Wyden (OR)

Update: A (sort-of) real time list of Dem senators and their declared voting intentions is available here.  Readers who are extra-motivated can contact Ken Salazaar (202 224-5852), the only Dem who has declared a definite intention to vote yes.

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Currently the top story on the Bush blog is an edited version of an opinion piece in the Chicago Times (registration required), from a guy named Neal Thompson.

A google search shows up no links to the Bush campaign, but aside from that, Thompson is a Ted Sampley clone, questioning Kerry's service record in Vietnam and claiming Kerry lied about the Winter Soldier proceedings.

The topper is that the Bush folks edited out all of the bits which reveal Thompson to be a bitter Kerry-hater.  They also left out a few paragraphs which might be damaging to Bush.

I've blogged on it in more detail at edwardpig.

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In today's post, there is an article titled 'Keen Focus on Kerry's Four Months Under Fire'.  In it, Lois Romano cites Ted Sampley's hate group, Vitenam Veterans Against Kerry, as though they're just a group of folks 'raising questions' about Kerry's record.  The web version even provides a hyperlink.

Please, please get the word out that Ted Sampley is a despicable Bush partisan, and encourage your readers to chastize the Post for promoting Sampley's organization.  And write Mr. Getler yourself, at ombudsman@washpost.com.

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