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Yesterday I received the following e-mail from a friend:

Dear friends,

I wanted to make everyone aware of a truly amazing man who is running for Congress in 2006 in NY state and who needs all the support he can get. Les Roberts was the most inspirational professor I've ever had (at the Hopkins school of public health). He has worked in every major humanitarian relief effort in past few decades, from the war in Congo to the Rwandan genocide. Most recently, he published a defying article in the journal The Lancet, where he went to Iraq and used scientific methods to estimate civilian mortality - something this administration has claimed is "impossible" to be done.

In order to have access to serious campaign funds he needs to raise $100,000, so I'd like to call on you to read a little more about him (see links below), spread the word, and help out, if you can.

Links:
Campaign website: www.lesroberts2006.com

Interview on Democracy Now:
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/12/14/154251

Summary of Lancet article (with links to full text):
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673604174412/abstract Many thanks!

Les Roberts is running against 12th-term Republican incumbent Sherwood Boehlert in New York's 24th district, the type of district Democrats can and must win if they are to take back the House in 2006. According to the National Journal, Boehlert's district is a half-rural/half-urban district that leans Republican. If you remember 1994, Republicans were particularly successful in their efforts to unseat moderate Democrats in Democratic-leaning districts

Sherwood Boehlert's interest group ratings indicate that he is a moderate Republican and, like Chris Shays in CT, he often refers to himself as a moderate. But, like Shays, he actually Boehlert's follows Tom DeLay's lead most of the time. Unfortunately, Democrats have never been able to mount a credible campaign against Boehlert. In 2004, Democratic candidate Jeffrey Miller spent $34 thousand to Boehlert's $1.5 million. Boehlert won that election with 57% of the vote. George W. Bush, however, only took 53% of the vote in Boehlert's district. While I don't have poll numbers for NY's 24th district, given the trend in Bush's approval rating in even the reddest of the states, it is safe to assume that Bush's approval is below 50% in that district.

So far, all I know about Les Roberts is from reading his website and from the strong endorsement from my friend, someone whose opinion I value. The website, which is a temporary site while his real site is under construction, doesn't offer details on his positions on every issue. But it's clear from reading about him and his priorities that he is someone progressives should get behind.

There are several things you can do to help Les Roberts unseat Sherwood Boehlert:

1) Donate to his campaign. Electoral politics is odd in the sense that you have to have money in order to raise money. If everybody here gave $5 Les Roberts would be on his way to raising the initial amount he needs.

2) If you live in or near NY's 24th district, sign up as a campaign volunteer.

3) Send the link to Les Roberts' website to everyone you know and encourage them to donate and/or volunteer.

Winning the House next year won't be easy--districts have been redrawn in the past two redistricting cycles in such a way that they are now either solidly Democratic or solidly Republican. We need to take advantage of the few leaning districts out there if we want to make Nancy Pelosi the first woman to ever be elected Speaker of the House.

Thanks for reading--now let's see those credit cards!

Originally posted to Terps Fan on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 07:38 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Better candidate (none)
    We have a much better potential candidate in Oneida County DA David Arcuri. He by far has the best shot of knocking off Boehlert.
    •  Thanks (none)
      Thanks for sharing that. It might be good to let people here know more about him as well and how they can help him. I'm not from NY, but since I already have a solid Democrat (Van Hollen) representing me I figured I'd help good Democrats in other districts. Either way, whether it's Roberts or Arcuri, that's a district we should take seriously because it's the type of district we can and need to win.
    •  Does Acuri have a web site? (none)

      "We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang seperately." - Ben Franklin

      by RandyMI on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 08:37:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also (none)
    Boehlert has a big headache in the form of a serious primary challenge from the right--he's being opposed by former Seneca Falls Mayor Brad Jones.  Even if he doesn't beat Boehlert in the GOP primary, Jones likely gets the Conservative ballot line and can be a potential spoiler.  Of course, as California 48 demonstrated, strong right-wing third party spoilers only get you so far.
  •  Is Boehlert Running Uncontested? (none)
    I vaguely recall hearing some talk a while ago that Boehlert was potentially facing some serious primary competition for the GOP nomination, or perhaps would face a third-party (Conservative?) opponent as well.  Has anyone seen or heard anything recently along those lines?

    And although these figures only represent fundraising through the end of the 3rd Quarter of 2005, Boehlert doesn't seem to have a particularly large bundle yet -- just $282K raised, with $166K cash on hand.  Again, while there's still a year to go, that's not close to his 2004 fundraising and spending.

    •  He usually does (none)
      According to the National Journal, Boehlert often faces challenges from the right--in 2004 his primary opponent got some money from Club for Growth and others. And I think whoever ran against him in the primary ran as the conservative candidate in the general and got about 10% of the vote. The Democrat only got about 35% of the vote. With Bush in trouble and Tom DeLay hopefully on his way to jail, this is a district that won't be easy to win but is definitely winable.
  •  Good to know (none)
    I'm originally from this area and it would be great to get some new blood in this district.  Boehlert has been there for as long as I can remember.  I'd be interested to know how the challengers stack up against Boehlert in the region.  I've always thought a good Dem candidate could get elected here, it doesn't seem to lean that far right.
  •  "must win" No more so than any other. (none)

    Stephanie Herseth is a bigot.

    by NorCalJim on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 08:50:08 AM PST

    •  True (none)
      But I say this is the type of district we must win because if we can't take districts away from moderate Republicans in districts that lean but are not solidly Republicans, we can't win the House. It's not reasonable to expect a Democrat to go into a solid Republican district where a conservative Republican and Bush both won in 2004 with 75% of the vote and actually win. Yes, we should be running candidates in those districts.
      •  Agree in some sense (none)
        I think we should target districts primed to go our way rather than just picking after the primary. By then it's game overin a lot of cases.  Little late by then.  I was reacting to the regionalism.   You know, NY, NY.  We need our money working for us out here.
        J

        Stephanie Herseth is a bigot.

        by NorCalJim on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 08:11:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Misgivings on this (none)
    I am all for returning power to sane Dems, but the loss of Boehlert would have significant repurcussions on science.  As Chair of the House Committee on Science, he has been a strong advocate to securign funding for research and has stood up to  idiot GOP members on issues such as global wamring.

    "GOP Chairmen Face Off on Global Warming"
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    That being said, the declining edge the US has in science is testament to the ability to maintain sensible policies with the GOP in charge.

    Long live the present! ... because we have sold out the future./snark

    The struggle against religious extremism begins at home.

    by cracklins on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:17:50 AM PST

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