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Hi there, folks.  In our ongoing search for more and BETTER Democrats, tonight the editorial team of EENR blog are endorsing two fightin' progressives from California and Florida: Charlie Brown out of CA-04 and Faye Armitage from FL-07!

While the nominating process for the Democratic standard-bearer continues, out in the states, other races are already moving along at a good clip and deserve our attention.

EENR For Progress has previously brought you endorsement diaries for Jerry Northington (DE-AL), Harry Taylor (NC-09) and Heather Ryan (KY-01), Gilda Reed (LA-01), Barry Welsh (IN-06), and Larry Kissel (NC-08), and Darcy Burner (WA-08) and Ed Fallon (IA-03).  If you haven't already, I urge you to check out these strong progressive candidates.  They are what the phrase "more and BETTER" is all about!

Two years ago, we all worked our tails off to WAKE UP our respective members of Congress -- some needed to be reminded why they were there in the first place, others needed to be given the pink slips, and a brave few needed to know we appreciated their efforts on our behalf. The overarching message of the 2006 elections was clear: have the Democrats take back the majority in Congress and start standing up to the bullies and browbeaters on the other side of the aisle and over at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Two years later, the war is still being waged exactly how BushCo wants it to be, the economy is sinking fast, the housing markets are in crises, children are still uninsured, ...  The list goes on.  Yes, we have a slim to no majority in the Senate what with you-know-who (CT-?) wandering the halls still, but is that the only reason the Iraq war supplementals keep rolling along unfettered?

So, this time around, I say we make SURE the guys and gals on the Hill are absolutely clear on what is expected of them.  I say we make SURE we send to Washington the absolute best representatives we can.  And here are two more to add to that list of more and BETTER Democrats!

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Charlie Brown - A Lifetime of Service!

Integrity, Duty, Honor and Responsibility aren't just words to Charlie Brown.  They are the guiding principles of an officer and a true patriot who has devoted his life to serving his country.

Not every retired military officer lives by these words, but when you find one that does, you can remember what it feels like to be proud of a fellow American.

That's how I felt one evening two years ago when I had the opportunity to join a group called the Band of Brothers gathering at a suburban hotel meeting room just outside of Washington, DC. And that's when I first met Lt. Col. (ret.) Charlie Brown. Charlie didn't make it up the Hill in 2006; we stand ready today to make sure he is successful this time.

Charlie on the Issues

I'm just going to give you a sampling of Charlie's positions here, not because I trying to cherry-pick the ones I think you'll approve but because, well, frankly, Charlie has an opinion on pretty much everything important and he says it much better than I can paraphrase it!  You should also check out the live-blogging session we had with him March 24: Hello, this is Charlie.

(His website needs a little updating now that Doolittle (what an appropriate name) is retiring. But the substance is all there.)

Iraq and National Security - Like other retired military running for office, Charlie has an understanding of what has happened in Afghanistan and Iraq that the chicken hawks and neo-cons apparently can't even imagine.

Having coordinated surveillance flights over Iraq in the 1990's, Charlie did not support the U.S. invasion because he knew there were no WMD's present, that an invasion could unleash centuries old sectarian conflicts inside Iraq, and leave fewer American military resources available to defeat the enemy who attacked America on 9/11--Al Qaeda.

Charlie wants to re-deploying our Troops out of Iraq and "refocus on the real front lines against terrorism--fighting the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan."

Healthcare - Coming from EENR For Progress, you know that this is a top priority for us when we look at endorsements. Charlie believes increasing access to quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans is a moral and fiscal imperative.

Environment / Energy - Charlie understands the connection between the environment, energy needs, and national security. Unlike his opponents though, he recognizes that clean energy independence will not only make America stronger, it will make our economy prosper. He is a strong advocate of focusing on the production of clean, renewable technologies while while creating thousands of new jobs for American innovators. Cue the Blue/Green alliance!

On the environment, Charlie believes that new technology must be matched with strong enforcement of environmental protections, and a renewed spirit of American leadership around the world. That's why he supports the Kyoto Accords on Global Warming, fair trade agreements, strong enforcement of clean air and water regulations, and better fuel efficiency standards.

Promises Kept

"In the military...you learn pretty quickly that it doesn't matter what you say - it's what you do that matters. Nowhere has the contradiction between what politicians say and do been greater than in the area of caring for America's 75 million plus veterans, families, and surviving dependents..."

Running for office, local or Congressional, is expensive.  There are filing fees, cost of yard signs and other give-aways, getting to every gathering of constituents you can find up and down a very large (or rather long) district, paying staff, feeding volunteers, setting up offices, ... The list is long and the numbers can be staggering. Most candidates scrape together every penny they can, and even then often lend the campaign money out of their own pockets. The job interview process for public servants is long, arduous, and expensive.

And then there's Charlie:

Throughout the 2008 campaign, Brown for Congress will allocate 5% of every dollar raised to our Veterans Charity Challenge. We will identify both local and national organizations meeting critical veterans aftercare needs, and will describe their work on our website. We will then ask the public to learn more about them, and vote for their favorite. Funds will be distributed on an ongoing basis, and recipients will be listed on this page.

There's more to know about Charlie but I don't want to spoil your fun by laying it all out here. Let me just say that sending Charlie Brown to Washington for the people of California's 4th Congressional District is not just a worthwhile cause, it's an imperative if we want courage and change.

For more on Charlie, particularly his indomitable devotion to veterans, please go to his website at www.charlieforcongress.com.

To support Charlie Brown with your dollars and change, go to the EENR For Progress Act Blue page.

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Let me introduce you to a wonderful and powerfully strong woman candidate from Florida's 7th Congressional District, Faye Armitage.

Faye (our very own fayeforcure) is facing a primary in August in her bid this year to unseat Republican John Mica.  For those of us with EENR For Progress as well as Greater Daytona PDA, Faye is the best one for the job -- both  getting rid of Mica and representing the people of the district that stretches along Florida's east coast from just above Jacksonville to below Daytona Beach.

With strong credentials as a stem cell research advocate, Faye is particularly well-suited to tackle the health care crisis in this country.  She was an economic professor and has a depth and breadth of knowledge about the issues confronting this country that we can only wish our current Idiot-in-Chief could imagine, much less possess.

In addition to solid experience in economics and public health care, she was raised in Europe, South America, the Far East, and the Middle East. As an internationalist at heart, I love to hear that candidates have experience with other cultures because it gives me hope they will also have a better sense of the interconnectedness of all people, and our dependence on each other to solve the growing problems we are only beginning to face.

Faye on the Issues

Faye has four principle issues in her campaign:

Now, normally in an endorsement diary, I would go into more detail on each of the issues Faye is running on, just like I did above for Charlie Brown.  And I hope you will click on the links above and get to know her positions better. I think you will find, in each of them, evidence of the BETTER Democratic candidate I believe her to be.  But let me get right down to brass tacks here -- Faye needs our help and she needs it right now!

This is a copy of the email Faye had to send out this week (with the EENR For Progress ActBlue link added). This is what she is up against right now -- the Florida Republicans (you remember them from 2000) are doing everything they can to stop challengers from getting on the ballot, and our fayeforcure has been caught up in their dragnet!

  As many of you already know, I am currently running for US Congress in Florida District 7, which runs south from Jacksonville along I-95 to Daytona Beach, and then along I-4 into Orlando. I also was proud to be onboard with Responsible Plan, on the day it officially launched.

  The tough part is that Republicans are doing everything in their power to keep me off the ballot. I collected 6,000 signatures to avoid the $10,000 filing fee. First 214 were refused in Seminole County because I was supposedly 2 minutes late filing. Then 450 others were not certified because they were "misfiled", even though they were able to internally transfer them to the right counties.

  Now I have to come up with $10,000 by next week, to buy my name onto the ballot after all.

  Please help me accomplish that by making a donation of $50 or more here:

http://www.actblue.com/...

(or the EENR For Progress Act Blue page here)

  Because I was collecting Candidate petitions to avoid the $10,000 filing fee, I have not been able to do any significant fundraising. That's why your donation would be such a great help now.

  Anything that you can donate (or EENR For Progress ActBlue page) would be very much appreciated and greatly help to get my name on the ballot, while I continue to fight the Supervisor of Election for refusing to certify the petitions that were transferred to her from
the "wrong" counties.

  I have $5,000 raised already, but need another $5,000 in the next few days.......It's crazy what Republicans will do to try to keep a good Democrat off the ballot!

  Please take the time to tell Republicans, their dirty tricks don't work: www.ActBlue.com/fayeforcongress

  Thank you so much!

  All my best to you,

  Faye Armitage
  (904)687-9521
  www.FayeforCongress.com

So, there you have it -- have a dollar or two to spare? Every bit will help. We have the chance to make a real difference for a very good candidate.

For more on Faye Armitage, please go to her website at http://www.fayeforcongress.com/.

To support Faye Armitage with your dollars and change, go to the EENR For Progress Act Blue page.

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All of the EENR For Progress endorsed candidates are featured on, you guessed it, our Act Blue page.  There you will get a bit of info on the candidate, a link to their website, a link to our endorsement diary, and the opportunity to be able to say: "This year, I AM the difference.  This year, I'm sending more and BETTER Democrats to Washington.  We are Progressives -- hear us ROAR!"

("To hell with the whole meek shall inherit the earth thing," she mutters scrambling to find the damn coding error. "If we don't fix Washington, there won't be an earth left for anyone to inherit.")

Originally posted to edgery on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 07:56 PM PDT.

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