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It is a rare privilege to be present at the creation of something extraordinary--but it is an even rarer priviliege to be the first to announce that creation to the public.  Today, I am greatly honored to introduce to the DailyKos community and the world the creation of a new kind of campaign--a campaign of Kossacks, run by Kossacks, managed by Kossacks, and with a homegrown Kossack as its candidate.

And it's not just any campaign: it's a campaign for Congress.  It's a campaign against one of the most corrupt and reactionary Republicans on Capitol Hill (which is really saying something).  It's a campaign that, until a few short months ago, had no credible Democratic candidate to offer--until that is, someone stepped forward to take on the challenge.  And that someone turned out to be one of us.

It is often said that great things come from small beginnings.  The tiny seeds of this campaign were first planted several months ago at an unassuming, convivial gathering at Canter's Deli in Los Angeles' famed Miracle Mile district.  Many of Southern California's most prominent Kossacks had gathered to celebrate the arrival of our good friend clammyc, who was in town on a business trip.  Out of that gathering came a decision to do more than just blogging and traditional activism; we decided that we needed to work together--as a team--to support a candidate for Congress.  A candidate who would reflect the interests and ethos of the progressive netroots.

Little did we know, on that festive evening, that that candidate would be one of us there in that room.

Fast forward to today, and what had been a twinkle in our eyes is now a reality--complete with a Kossack candidate, a Kossack campaign manager, and an entire Kossack brain trust full of some of the DailyKos community's best and brightest from Southern California and beyond.  The ActBlue page is ready, the local grassroots and insiders behind us, and every structure in place.  There is no credible primary challenger looming, and the Republican incumbent is, shall we say, more than a little vulnerable.  Following in the footsteps of our own inimitable NYBri, we have the opportunity to take a giant leap for the Netroots and for progressives all across America.

Unfortunately, I can't give you the name of the candidate just yet.  I’ve been asked by the campaign--whose identity is being kept secret until the official announcement is made here on July 18 (so if you know the secret, keep quiet until then!)--to begin the online rollout for the campaign right here on Daily Kos where it all began.

Tomorrow, Kossack and Calitics frontpager atdnext ("atdleft" at Calitics) is going to introduce you to our ethically-challenged (not to mention legally challenged!) opponent in this race, Gary Miller.  atdnext will also introduce the blog he already has up and running, cataloging Gary Miller's abuses of ethics, law and common decency.  

On Tuesday the 17th, our own Kossack Campaign Manager will reveal himself.

And then on Wednesday the 18th, you’ll hear from our Candidate.

From then until the beginning of YearlyKos, many of us who are supporting the campaign in a variety of roles--including a lot of names you’ll recognize instantly--will be writing about different aspects of the campaign: who we are, what we are doing, why we believe in the candidate, the makeup of the district, and why we can--and will--win this race.  We'll be keeping you informed about every facet of our campaign--because when it comes down to it, this is your campaign, made possible only because of this amazing community.

Today, though, I want to celebrate a little bit.  What we have undertaken here is nothing less than "Crashing the Gate" in direct action.  It is just one part of a great leap forward being made all across the progressive netroots to expand our efforts into an honest-to-goodness movement rivaling that of the post-Goldwater conservatives.

This campaign is, simply put, an unprecedented step for the netroots.  We’ve had announced candidates who have come to Daily Kos for support--from Presidential candidates like John Kerry and John Edwards to Congressional candidates like Eric Massa, John Laesch and Larry Kissell to many candidates for state, local, and party office.  We have one longtime Kossack, ben masel, who has run a protest campaign for U.S. Senate, and another, our beloved Brian Keeler, who has run a credible campaign for the New York State House and is fighting the good fight again in '08.

But this is without parallel: we have never had a "homegrown" Kossack candidate.  We have never had a Kossack--someone well-known who has literally been here for years--run for federal office.  We have never had a Kossack running not just up against the gates as a protest candidate, but straight through them with the backing of the local Democratic Party.  And we have certainly never had a homegrown Kossack running against a Congressman who, despite his conservative district, is being targeted by the DCCC and is regularly named as among the most vulnerable due to scandal.

Perhaps just as importantly, we have never before had a campaign tapping the special abilities and creative talents of Kossacks from top to bottom, from campaign management to strategy to research to outreach to fundraising.  This is truly people-powered politics at its finest: a gathering of some of the best progressive talent available, made possible only by the organizing power of the blogs and the extraordinary energy of this vibrant community.  It's going to be a hard, long struggle of a campaign--but if experience shows anything over the last many years, it is that there is literally nothing that this community cannot accomplish politically when we put our heads together to make this great country accountable to the people once again.

So watch for the diaries over the next few days: atdnext tomorrow the 16th; the campaign manager on the 17th; the Candidate on the 18th; and more beyond that.  And let us turn this small beginning into a momentous journey for democracy, people-powered politics, progressives and netroots enthusiasts nationwide.

Also at Open Left

Originally posted to thereisnospoon (David Atkins) on Sun Jul 15, 2007 at 11:05 AM PDT.

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