Reporting from the ground in Arkansas, it's becoming increasingly obvious that Bill Halter has massive momentum in the U.S. Senate race. But he needs our help to capitalize on it. Halter has shown to be very good at fundraising in this campaign, generating over a million dollars from MoveOn and ActBlue, and that's not even counting what the Halter campaign team is raising on their own accord. Still, Blanche Lincoln still has a money advantage. She can be beaten even if we don't close the gap, but narrowing it will be a tremendous help to an excellent candidate, to progressives here in Arkansas and around the country, and to Arkansans who have suffered from Blanche Lincoln's poor representation.
So, how about we set a goal. Let's see if we can get Halter to $500,000 on ActBlue in one week!
At the time of this writing, Halter is sitting on $257,032 in ActBlue contributions. If we can hit the 500k mark in a week, it will go a long way to pushing a great candidate across the finish line in a race that has national implications.
Blanche Lincoln represents the worst of the Democratic party, fighting for the estate tax elimination while saying the public option wasn't fiscally responsible, attacking cap-and-trade and even trampling on our Constitution to stand up for the Bush detainee policies. She has been one of the worst obstructionists in Washington. What's more, her campaign is making no effort to move to the left to counter Halter's surge in support, instead showing their true colors by attacking Halter's union support, apparently seeing working people as a "special interest". Is that enough to get you to show her the door?
By several accounts, some people are holding back on jumping into this one because they don't think Halter's all that progressive. Let me assure you, he is way to Blanche Lincoln's left (which isn't hard to do) and is a solid Democrat when standing on his own merits. Over at Blue Arkansas, we've been following the stances he's outlined, and as a friend of mine said, "I had a high bar set for him and he not only cleared it, he did a little flip in the air when he did." So, take a gander for yourself:
-supports a government run, medicare like public option that people can buy into
-wants to focus heavily on preventive medicine
-reduce costs through modern technology
-supports the right of workers to unionize
-wants to crack down on workplace intimidation
-supports the Employee Free Choice Act and has hopes for the new, post card check compromise
Environment and energy:
-iffy on cap and trade
-does not support Murkowski/Lincoln effort to weaken CO2 regulation
-supports investment in clean energy
-friendly to middle class tax reduction
-opposes elimination of the estate tax
-opposes privatization of social security
-opposed Act 1
-supports repealing DADT
-supports keeping Roe v. Wade as law of the land
-personally against abortion but unwilling to infringe on the rights of others to choose
-for finding measures to reduce the number of abortions that both sides can agree upon
-championed the lottery scholarships program
-strong supporter of preK programs
Here in Arkansas, the Lincoln team is running a pitiful campaign, and there are a lot of folks I've talked to (and I do get around in a state where word of mouth is still important) who are itching to vote for Bill Halter, BOTH because they have problem with Lincoln and because they like Mr. Halter. What's more, this is absolutely NO talk in this state of Lincoln running as an independent, so we don't have to worry about her pulling a Lieberman. On the other hand, some have suggested that this race can't be won even with a different candidate. I can tell you first hand that that's bullshit and that the perceived Republican front runner is far more vulnerable than folks outside the state think, especially to a good candidate and a great campaigner like Bill Halter. Donating to Halter is NOT throwing your money down a rat hole-it's an investment in a better Democrat and a better Congress.
Need more convincing? Remember what happened in 2006 when Ned Lamont beat Joe Lieberman? The Democrats suddenly figured out that hammering the war and George Bush was suddenly the smart thing to do and ran with it. Imagine the wake up call the party will get when a conservative from Arkansas is defeated by a progressive leaning populist who supports the real health care reform, unions, opposes social security privatization the estate tax elimination and the gutting of the EPA, and has stood up for gay rights!
So come on guys, let's see if we can meet this goal by this time next week. The netroots raised over a million bucks for Halter in his first 48 hours as a candidate. This goal is reasonable. Let's get Halter to $500,000 on ActBlue in one week. I've donated. Have you?