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Please begin with an informative title:

But first a pop quiz: What do Texas populist commentator and wag, Jim Hightower, and Texas Governor Rick Perry have in common? Answer: Both have been previously elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner.
Mr. Hightower's latest column has a simple message: Forget the political disasters of 2011 and get busy on the important elections and issues coming up in 2012.
In January, for example, a strong and savvy coalition will mobilize a nationwide campaign for repealing "corporate personhood" and the Supreme Court's infamous Citizens United ruling. Also, the rise of the non-corporate economy is booming, with millions of Americans turning to co-ops, credit unions, farmers markets, fair trade shops, and other local enterprises that ordinary people control, not absentee profiteers.

Plus, strong, genuinely populist candidates are running for Congress this year, including Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, Norman Solomon in California, Ilya Sheyman in Illinois and Eric Griego in New Mexico.

We have important work to do, so don't moan about 2011. Organize in 2012.

It happens that Ilya Sheyman is running in the Democratic Primary where I live. I support this candidate in every way I can. Every thinking American has an interest in getting these voices added to the next Congress. I'd like to see Kos add Ilya to the Orange to Blue page.

Tammy Baldwin is an incumbent representing Madison, Wisconsin and a robust critic of Walker/Republican/Koch rule at the Statehouse. Elizabeth Warren. 'nuf said. Norman Solomon is in a primary against healthcare professional Susan Adams in the vacant CA-02, which runs the entire California coastline, up to the Oregon border and down to the Marin side of the Gorden Gate. Eric Griego, in New Mexico, is running without a primary opponent to replace Rep. Martin Heinrich (D), who’s leaving the House to run for Senate. All of these candidates need to be elected or re-elected, but only one of them, Ilya Sheyman, will replace a House Republican if that happens. Elizabeth Warren will likewise flip a seat in the Senate.

Elections matter. Unlike Mitt Romney, I don't like firing people, but I'd like to fire John Boehner. Find the Democrats running in your home Congressional district. Pick the best (or least odious) of them and help the campaign any way you can, particularly by volunteering if at all possible. The best progressive campaigns this cycle are taking it to the streets with armies of volunteers knocking on doors and calling on phones. It's a lot of fun to take part. Primary season is right now. Get involved.  

Correction from Comments:  Mr. Griego now has a tough primary fight, to wit: "two primary opponents: Former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez (worst of the worst democrats ugh) and Michelle Lujan-Grisham, a Bernalillo County Commissioner and fairly new to politics. Eric is by far the best choice and it will be a very tough primary race." Thanks and HT to progressivevoice.


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