There are hundreds of good candidates, organizations and campaigns that need our help. Of course my number one suggestion is to volunteer some of your time to a local candidate. That means from district leader, school board, etc. all the way up to Congress. But there are certain campaigns that deserve ALL of our attention no matter where we are. This is not just for the "message" they send, but also for the consequences years or even decades down the road.
I want to highlight one primary in Arkansas, two school board candidates in Texas, and the Secretary of State Project in a plea for you to give a little right now to win these races. The messages sent and the consequences of the outcome of these races are so critical, we all need to pay attention to them.
Bill Halter for Senate in Arkansas:
May 18 is the big one when we determine if Blanche Lincoln or Bill Halter will be the Democratic candidate for Arkansas' Senate seat. Blanche Lincoln is a machine candidate who has been siding with Republicans on almost every issue recently while Bill Halter is an outsider who is far more progressive. Here are some videos of Bill Halter in action:
I was born in Arkansas, so I feel a particular desire to see Arkansas represented by good people. Bill Halter is an excellent and deserves our support. You can donate through my Healthcare4America Act Blue Site. This is one primary that we can win if we all pitch in.
Support Education, Support Science: Dr. Judy Jennings and Dr. Rebecca Bell-Metereau for Texas School Board (districts 10 and 5)
The Texas state board of education has been notoriously right-wing, trying to force creationism into science curricula and trying to put a political and religious fundamentalist bias in children's education. And because Texas is so big and the right wing so powerful on their school board, their biases affect the writing of text books used throughout the country. What happens on the Texas school board affects schools all over the country.
Two excellent candidates are running for Texas school board and the right wing fundamentalists are doing their best to stop them. Dr. Judy Jennings is running for Texas State Board of Education, District 10 and Dr. Rebecca Bell-Metereau is running for Texas State Board of Education, District 5. Both are amazing women who will bring considerable expertise to the school board, something that is sorely needed after years of right wing ideology dominating the board. For those who don't know these two women, let me introduce you:
* Ph.D. in English, Professor at Texas State University
* Teacher of English and film and much-published author
* Award winner for teaching excellence and service
* Former Peace Corps Volunteer and Fulbright Scholar
* Former San Marcos Planning Commissioner
* Mother of two daughters who graduated from San Marcos High School
* Resident of San Marcos in Hays County, married to Pierre Metereau.
Rebecca faces Republican Ken Mercer, the only extremist to survive a primary challenge. But in the process, he alienated moderates in his own party. Help Rebecca win by appealing to moderates and independents who are turned off by Ken Mercer's zealotry.
District includes: Bell • northern Bexar • Blanco • Burnet • Caldwell • Comal • Gillespie • Guadalupe • Hays • Kendall • Llano • southern Travis
512-637-7260 • PO Box 92341, Austin 78709 • voteRebecca.com
* Ph.D. in Educational Psychology
* Director of Assessment at Resources for Learning
* Expert in measuring how well our children are learning
* Experience working with the Texas Education Agency
* Works with classroom teachers to develop effective lesson plans
* Daughter graduated from and now teaches in Round Rock ISD
* Judy and husband Hal live in Austin.
Since District 10 was drawn in 2001, several statewide Democrats have come close to carrying it with 48.0 to 49.8 percent of the vote. Sixty percent of Austin is in District 10, so with hard work and focus—and with your help—Judy will carry this district in November.
District 10 includes: Austin • Bastrop • NW Brazoria • Burleson • Colorado • De Witt • Fayette • Fort Bend • Gonzales • Lavaca • Lee • Milam • northern Travis • Waller • Washington • Williamson
512-535-6511 • PO Box 5674, Austin 78763 • voteJudyJennings.com
And for those who live in Austin, tonight, May 6, is your chance to meet both candidates. Here is an invitation letter I received:
Rebecca Bell-Metereau and Judy Jennings are giving their all to give us a voice (or two) on the State Board of Education.The best investment you can make is in your child's education. Well, donating to these two candidates is an investment in the education of ALL children in Texas and even across America. It is time right wing bias is taken out of our textbooks and honest, reality-based education restored. Judy Jennings and Rebecca Bell-Metereau will do right by our kids.
Please support them generously. They can't win without your help. No donation is too small, and it all adds up.
Progress was made in the primaries, but not enough. We can do even better by electing Judy and Rebecca. Please stop by tonight and please donate whether or not you can attend.
Dr. Timy Baranoff, Hon. Ann Kitchen, Mary Ann Neely & Ellen Richards
invite you to join them at the home of
Hon. Karen Dulaney Smith
2120 Barton Hills Drive
Austin, Texas 78704
for a fund-raiser in support of two great candidates
Dr. Judy Jennings
Democrat for State Board of Education, District 10
Dr. Rebecca Bell-Metereau
Democrat for State Board of Education, District 5
Thursday, May 6th, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Suggested Donation: $50
to one or both candidates
$125 • $250 • $500 • $1,000 • $2,500 • $5,000
Please make checks payable to “Judy Jennings Campaign” or
“Rebecca Bell-Metereau Campaign” or “Paint Texas Blue” (to split)
and bring to the event or mail to PO Box 5674, Austin, TX 78763.
Contact Alfred Stanley at 512-474-4738 or firstname.lastname@example.org
for information or visit VoteRebecca.com or VoteJudyJennings.com.
SECRETARY OF STATE PROJECT:
Finally, I want to highlight a position in several states that we often forget: secretary of state. Often this is the position that determines if a recount will be done fairly and accurately...or even at all. Dubious elections in Florida, Georgia and Ohio in 2000, 2002 and 2004 are warnings we can't ignore, and the efficiency of how the recount in Minnesota in 2008 was done shows us how important a GOOD secretary of state can be.
The Secretary of State Project focuses on this important state-level elected position. You can donate to their candidates through their site. Or if you live in their state, please go to their website and volunteer.
From the Secretary of State Project:
Building on our successful model in 2006 and 2008, The SoS Project is strategically focusing on a handful of key state races. Our goal – to ensure fair, clean elections in 2012 and beyond.
Defending the seats of progressive Secretaries of State:
Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State in Minnesota
Mark Ritchie is a true progressive champion. In 2006, the long-time community organizer defeated Republican incumbent Mary Kiffmeyer to take the reins of the election process in Minnesota. Since taking office, Secretary Ritchie has campaigned tirelessly for instituting universal or automatic registration in his state. He has also been instrumental in the fight to expand Election Day Registration in other states, including a successful campaign in Iowa. Secretary Ritchie is perhaps best known for running a scrupulously fair and transparent election recount in the Franken/Coleman 2008 Senate race. Senator Al Franken was certified as the winner of that race by a mere 312 votes.
Debra Bowen, Secretary of State in California
Debra Bowen is one of the most progressive Secretaries of State in the nation. Shortly taking office she ordered a “top to bottom” review of the California’s electronic voting machines which resulted in the decertification of Diebold and two other voting system manufacturers. As a result of her progressive accomplishments as Secretary of State, she was awarded a Profile in Courage Award by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in 2008.
Michael Mauro, Secretary of State in Iowa
Michael Mauro is seeking his second term as Iowa’s Secretary of State. He has worked to strengthen Iowa’s rich history of quality elections, which had the fifth highest voter percentage turnout in the nation in 2008. In the fall of 2009, Iowa’s election laws and procedures implemented by Secretary Mauro gained national attention when the state ranked first in a study focusing on the ease of voting for members of the military and U.S. citizens living overseas. In just his first term, he has worked with the state legislature to allow same-day voter registration and to establish a uniform voting system for all 99 counties. As a result, legislation is now in place to ensure a voter-verified paper trail for all future elections. He has also helped create electronic poll books available for use across the state, enhancing precinct officials’ ability to process voters effectively and consistently and adding another layer of security to Iowa’s voting process.
Candidates running for open seats:
Jocelyn Benson, candidate in Michigan
Election law scholar and community organizer Jocelyn Benson is running for an open seat to replace republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land who is term-limited out of office. In 2004, she ran a voter protection campaign in 21 states, deploying 17,000 trained election law lawyers. In Michigan in 2008, Benson helped lead the fight to stop republican Secretary of State Land from disenfranchising voters who were victims of home foreclosures.
Ben Nesselhuf, candidate in South Dakota
Ben Nesselhuf is running to for an open seat to replace republican Secretary of State Chris Nelson. Nesselhuf has had a distinguished legislative career in the South Dakota House of Representatives and the State Senate, where he sponsored numerous bills around campaign finance reform. Over his five terms he has served on the Health and Human Services, Commerce, Taxation, Education and State Affairs committees.
Criteria for Endorsement
The Secretary of State Project evaluates candidates based on their positions on election issues. Specifically, affirm that you support the following principles:
1) No election official should play a partisan role in an election he or she will play a role in administering. All election officials must conduct their responsibilities openly and objectively to restore public confidence.
2) Our elections must be verifiable and secure. Every vote cast must be counted by a system that is auditable with a verifiable paper trail and all voting materials, including ballots and voting machines must be secured at all times.
3) Universal, automatic, and portable voter registration should be the goal of every state. Our election officials should endorse state and federal legislation legislation in support of this ultimate goal.
4) Election officials should not place onerous requirements on or attempt to intimidate non-partisan voter registration groups.
5) Voter suppression and election fraud defined as the intent to cast a ballot illegally will not be tolerated. Efforts to suppress the vote through onerous requirements, such as unconstitutional photo ID laws, must be opposed.
6) There should be equal access to the ballot box for all citizens. Every citizen must have equal access to locations, adequate machines and well-trained election judges. Efforts to raise voter participation of citizens who often face special barriers, such as students, military personnel, low-income people and minorities — including Election Day Registration — should be endorsed and actively supported.
To request an Endorsement Questionnaire, please email us at email@example.com.