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Greetings Daily Kos! This past weekend I had a chance to meet with many of you in Austin, Texas at Netroots Nation. It was my first time at the convention and I’m sure glad I went. I believe that the netroots is a crucial component in electing progressive Democrats and changing Washington.

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I've taken on powerful special interests many times and won as Speaker in Oregon, when I led the most aggressive progressive session in the United States of America last year. But I know that there is no way to defeat Gordon Smith, who is an established friend of the special interests, without your help. I would love to have have your help. In partnership with all your voices and your passion and your energy, we can defeat Smith together.

At Netroots Nation I met so many politically engaged people, like the passionate folks from Act Blue and bloggers like Todd Beeton and Jonathan Singer. One thing I do know is that many of you bloggers have very inventive names you use on your blogs! I met bloggers like Orangeclouds115 and thefatladysings who were gracious enough to talk to me about nutrition issues and our health care crisis. I also had a chance to meet many exciting Democratic challengers like Darcy Burner and Texas Senate candidate Rick Noriega.

I had a great time speaking on the Energizing America panel. I enjoyed discussing ways to conserve our natural resources and fight global warming. Forging solutions to our climate crisis is an issue I will lead on once I’m elected to the Senate. I was also grateful to meet the Austin Director of Transportation and take a look at the hybrid school bus they supplied for the panel.

It was encouraging to talk to the bloggers and activists on hand at Netroots Nation. I had many interesting conversations with people who care about this nation as much as I do. You are a big part of this movement for change. We need your energy and passion if we’re going to take back the White House and increase our majorities in the House and Senate. The netroots is playing a huge role in helping change the direction of our country and get our nation back on track. And for that, I thank you.

I’m happy I was a part of Netroots Nation and hopefully by this time next year, I’ll be addressing you in Pittsburgh as the Senator from Oregon.

Updated:  Here's a video featuring just a few of many great people I met there.  Enjoy!

Join the campaign or donate and help defeat Gordon Smith.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Jeff Merkley on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 12:40 PM PDT.

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