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This time last year, all eyes at DailyKos were on CT, and we Nutmeggers were grateful that our progressive allies all over the country supported our little state when we backed Ned Lamont in his courageous stand against Joe Lieberman.  And we picked up two CT House seats (Murphy, Courtney) in the process!

In 2008, we're going to work even harder to win the very last Congressional seat held by Republicans in New England, CT-04, and I'm happy to introduce the DailyKos community to Jim Himes, an affordable housing nonprofit executive and Rhodes Scholar who is going to beat Chris Shays.  Jim started the quarter by live-blogging at My Left Nutmeg, and he's liveblogging here with us today to end the quarter.  Jim's goal is 500 founding members of the campaign by midnight.  Please read Jim's statement below the jump and join us in comments for the next hour!

Here's Jim's message to us:

I'd like to thank the DailyKos community for giving me this opportunity.  Today is June 30, and I am delighted to be closing the quarter not with another urgent appeal for funds, but with an exchange of ideas with some of the most thoughtful and engaged political observers
around.

I'm running for Congress for a simple reason: Congressman Chris Shays has, for the last five years, devoted his time and energy to stubbornly promoting and supporting the disastrous war in Iraq. As a result, we have made no progress on those issues that are critical to our future: smart healthcare, smart energy policy, an improvement to our educational system, REAL national security (and if you live in my district, the transportation catastrophe).

I've always found it easier to discuss the second part of that formulation. The bull-headed mendacity and stunning ineptitude of the administration and its supporters--like Chris Shays--has assured that we will not leave Iraq covered in glory, and we will spend years mending the associated damage. Contemplating that, it's a relief to struggle with the complexities of a better healthcare system.

But, I was reminded yesterday by Chris Shays' interview on NPR's "Where We Live" how critical it is to remove this man from office. He spoke for nearly half an hour on the war without mentioning the brutal cost in lives and dollars we have paid.  He argued that the Bush administration's only deviation from the ISG report was in its refusal to speak to Iran. He spoke of progress here and there. Worse he said, and I quote, "the American people simply do not have the will to do what we need to do, what I think we need to do...to be there for an extended period of time."

I opened the paper this morning to read of the deaths of five more American soldiers in a bomb and grenade attack, capping the deadliest three months in the war's history. It seems to me that the American people are paying dearly for a war Shays no longer sees nor understands.  And it seems to me that he is utterly without standing to judge their will or lack thereof.  That he would criticize the American people for their lack of will, and contrast that with his own, is nothing short of obscene.

If the American people are that out of kilter with Mr. Shays, it clearly
makes no sense for him to be their representative. And that is an important part of why I am running.

Jim will be joining us in comments for the next hour.  Please join us for a great discussion!  Your recommendations are appreciated.

Disclosure:  I've been a volunteer supporter of Jim Himes since before he declared his candidacy, and I've recently started working as a part-time consultant to the campaign.

UPDATE:  After you've met Jim, please join as as a Founding Member of the campaign, and/or consider throwing some turkee to Jim at ActBlue!

Originally posted to Maura in VA on Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 09:02 AM PDT.

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