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Today, we're looking for 1,000 charter contributors to the Halter campaign, so if you're angry at our corrupt, corporate-owned government, strike a blow by helping rid the Senate of one of its worst corporatists. Join this movement, even if it's with just $5. Let's channel our anger and frustration into something productive.

Saving our government from insidious corporatist forces is a long-term project. We started the process early last decade, but we're nowhere near being done. We've got to keep up the fight, because the second we stop fighting, is the second bad government wins.

Goal Thermometer

Contribute to Bill Halter
Bill Halter for Senate

Update: Transcript below the fold.

"Today I'm announcing that I will run in the Democratic primary for the United States Senate. Washington is broken. It’s working for the special interests, not Arkansas families. Bailing out Wall Street with no strings attached while leaving middle class Arkansas taxpayers with the bill. Protecting insurance company profits instead of protecting patients and lowering health costs. Bickering and engaging in partisan games while unemployment is at a 25 year high. Enough is enough. It's past time to put more Arkansas values in Washington.

This is not a decision I make lightly. Serving Arkansas as your Lt. Governor for the past three years has been an incredible honor. Shanti and I have carefully considered the implications for our family and we appreciate the encouragement we have received from every corner of the state.  

In the end I cannot stand by while jobs are shipped overseas, seniors are pushed to the brink and big banks and insurance companies get bailed out while Arkansans are left to pay for a mess we didn’t create.

We know it is possible to stand up for Arkansas values and Arkansas families and get things done, because we have done it right here in our state.  

Our toughest fight was to establish the scholarship lottery. Most believed it couldn't be done. But I took a principled stand that Arkansas voters should decide this issue for themselves and Arkansans approved the scholarship program by almost two to one.  This year alone we'll help over 20,000 Arkansas families pay for college - without raising taxes. Working in President Clinton’s budget office, I helped balance the federal budget for the first time in 40 years. As a leader of Social Security I helped fight off the Republican and Wall Street schemes to privatize it. When the legislature moved to increase their pay in these tough economic times, I gave my increase to charity.

Creating good paying jobs. Providing education and opportunity for all who work hard and play by the rules.  Protecting seniors and families.  Fiscal responsibility.  Standing up to the special interests. These are my principles I’ve stood up for here in Arkansas — and these are the principles I’ll take to Washington."

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:15 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hooray for southern progressive populism! :D (14+ / 0-)

    We're all behind you Halter.

    Cold hearted orb/That rules the night/Removes the colours From our sight/Red is gray and/Yellow white/But we decide/Which is right/And/Which is an Illusion

    by KingofSpades on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:17:43 AM PST

  •  Keep this up (13+ / 0-)

    I hope the front page stays this focused on this race, right until voting day.

    Blanche needs to go.

    Silence is the enemy - Green Day 4360+ dead - Bring them home

    by Miss Blue on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:17:45 AM PST

  •  I love this idea, BUT before I contribute... (8+ / 0-)

    ...I would like to know what Halter's positions are.

    Too many times this community has contributed to supposed "progressives" only to see that their votes and policies were not progressive.

    Kos can you give a summary of Halter's positions in a FP diary?  This would complement your great posts on why Lincoln should be defeated, and give us something to be fighting for, not just against.

    Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

    by maxschell on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:20:03 AM PST

    •  $AGREEMSG (0+ / 0-)

      I agree.  Sure, I would like to see someone more progressive bump off Lincoln, but this guy's pickup-trucks-and-god messaging doesn't exactly knock me over.

      •  It's Arkansas, (3+ / 0-)

        take it for what it's worth. You're not going to get a Kucinich or Feingold elected in Arkansas, even if folks down there could spell Kucinich. (And for those who think that's a slap at the South, I had to Google it to make sure I was spelling it right.)

        Civility is the way of telling someone to go fuck themselves in such a way that the someone agrees it probably is a good idea.

        by Cali Scribe on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:32:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  positions change (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'll donate, but I won't be optimistic.  I can already hear the excuse--well, he must mirror his consistency --and AR is not all that liberal.  We need a new party--or a more defined Dem party.  Either you agree to follow the platform or you aren't worthy of my money.  This has become necessary since the Republicans have gone this route.

    •  Ditto (0+ / 0-)

      I went to his campaign website through the link, and besides his getting an Arkansas State Lottery approved by earmarking the funds for State scholarships, and working in Bill Clinton's administration, there's not much there. Everybody sounds populist these days. Is he a better Democrat, or just a different Democrat?

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:30:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More and Better Democrats, remember? (0+ / 0-)

      Those other Kos darlings, Jon Tester and Jim Webb, haven't been perfect progressives. But they've been much, much better than another term of Burns & Allen (not so funny a team in the Senate, were they?) would have been.  And they've been LOYAL. On the important issues, you haven't seen either of THEM threaten to filibuster their own side, not once.  In fact, has ANY Senator backed in a high profile way on Kos, who won, done that, ever?  Begich? Merkley? Franken? Salazar? Either Udall?

      "Don't worry! Our Health Care Bill is going to a big farm, where it will have plenty of room to run around!" --attributed to Barack Obama

      by AdmiralNaismith on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 10:30:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I once had lunch with Lincoln. (8+ / 0-)

    Someone asked her (maybe it was me) about her views on the estate tax. She said that the tax should be abolished because it kills small business formation. Struck by how nonsensical this is, I for a moment thought I was with a Republican spewing ancient GOP talking points. My takeaway was that she was either completely bereft of a spine or not very smart.

    I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

    by doc2 on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:23:16 AM PST

    •  Both would be my guess.eom (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doc2, orson

      Real conservatives are conservative. They like rules governing everything. American conservatives only like rules governing other people's pleasure. Digby

      by MadRuth on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:26:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  She's 9th generation (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doc2, ezdidit, Seneca Doane, lgcap

      plantation owner - she's both smart and has spine, she's just not interested in anything that doesn't benefit her personally.  She is one of the .1% Arkansans who have estates big enough to be taxed, so she wants it to go down.  She's smart enough to pretend like that tax is a problem for small business and farmers, even though she knows quite well it isn't.  She's also smart enough to "broken record" - that a lie repeated often enough becomes accepted as "common wisdom", especially by people who don't trust the federal government anyway.  (Arkansas is still the South.  The South still doesn't trust "Yankees".)

      •  That's interesting, Fitz (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Please tell us more.

        •  Not sure if that was snark, but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Miz Blanche is anti-estate tax (uses the R meme of "death tax"), anti-labor (Wal-Mart minion), anti-environment (Utility company minion), and anti-healthcare reform (married to the for-profit medical industry).  Her family is pre-civil rights Dem and, AR being AR, didn't switch parties so they didn't lose their "contacts" in the party machine.  Like Mark Pryor, she has benefited politically from her family's "contacts".  She sends out pretty x-mas cards of her family, especially her cute twin boys, doing stuff together - like especially hunting so they can show off their "gun cred" - and talks about her "family farm" every time she wants to do something to screw over farmers.  When they put her in charge of the Senate Ag committee they might as well have given it to Monsanto.

    •  Yes. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
  •  Plus by contributing (7+ / 0-)

    you can help defeat Rove protege' Tim (caging)Griffin!

    Ben Masel for Senate-2012

    by kjoftherock on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:24:05 AM PST

  •  Re: Blanche Lincoln (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fayea, bfitzinAR

    Halt her, Bill Halter, Halt her!

    The only place where Republicans are anywhere close to responsible is in the dictionary.

    by DemDachshund on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:26:54 AM PST

  •  I got the word from (5+ / 0-)

    PDA and have already donated.  So glad he decided to do this!  He was on Clinton's team to balance the budget and to protect Social Security.  He next best thing to sponsored a free clinic in Little Rock last year.  And if we can "act blue" him enough, there won't be a problem of him becoming beholden to corporate interests - he was brought up "middle class" (unlike Miz Blanche, 9th generation plantation owner, who only "protects" the "middle class" as long as we we're happy with crumbs and don't get uppity by demanding our fair share).

  •  in general not making polit contrib. right now (11+ / 0-)

    because money is very tight.

    But this is important enough that I just hit Act Blue for $20.10

    do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

    by teacherken on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:30:30 AM PST

  •  I gave $10 (5+ / 0-)

    who'll match me?

    The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

    by Upper West on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:30:38 AM PST

  •  I contributed today (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terjeanderson, wtxdem

    via the PCCC Actblue page, before the Dkos actblue page was up.

    "If you give voters a choice between a Republican and a Republican, they'll pick the Republican every time." Harry S. Truman

    by machiado on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:31:49 AM PST

  •  Act Blue needs (4+ / 0-)


    Shamefully we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management, U.S. management. Edward Kennedy

    by Klick2con10ue on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:34:05 AM PST

  •  Well, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Scribe, hornrimsylvia, Clarknt67

    someone sure is excited to see Blanche primaried from the left. Already the 3rd post this morning. LOL

    I of course take all the credit for everything because I joined the Draft Bill Halter Facebook page.

    I hope he doesn't figure out that it was only a metaphorical draft that he could refuse without going to jail...

    The best way to save the planet is to keep laughing!

    by LaughingPlanet on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:34:37 AM PST

  •  Halter for Senate (0+ / 0-)

    I hope that President Clinton would support Bill Halter.
    I hope that he is for healthcare reform. I haven't heard him say so.
    As far as Blanche Lincoln goes in really being a Republican I say : But you are Blanche, you are!

  •  Channel your frustrations (3+ / 0-)

    Great point, Kos. And may I add: we progressives really need to learn how to take the long view of things. The GOP and conservatives have been working since the 70s to turn back the civil rights tide, and since WWII to renage on The New Deal.

    They've been very patient, building their coalitions and majorities person by person, official by official, etc...

    We need to do the same.


    All Kossacks are my allies.

    by Boston to Salem on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:36:50 AM PST

  •  DFA is also strongly supporting Bill Halter (4+ / 0-)

    and has just sent out a strong letter asking for donations and support.

  •  Is he on record he'll vote to repeal DADT? (0+ / 0-)

    Is he on record he'll vote FOR ENDA (which Lincoln opposes as "special rights")?

    I know he's been LGBT-friendly in the past, speaking against the AR Marriage Equality ban. I'd just like specific statements of his intent toward key votes that he'll likely be asked to make before I go whole hog rallying the LGBT troops.

    @AlmightyGod Blasphemy is a victimless crime.

    by Scott Wooledge on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:43:05 AM PST

  •  Democrats will get their clocks cleaned (0+ / 0-)

    I mentioned yesterday that the core democratic issues/agenda that president obama promised and ran on is being destroyed by his own party. He can't get any laws passed because the senate/congress refuses to pass anything because of losing their seats

    Immigration reform on life support
    Card Check died in 2009
    Healthcare reform is on the ventilator
    Bank regulatory reform is being butchered
    DADT has been kicked down the road
    Cap N Trade is ready for burial

    What will motivate the base to vote for these spineless assholes who won't pass anything. I gurantee you if President Obama had the authority to pass laws on his own without congress all these and more would have passed by now. He is in limbo and looking like a failure as president when he can't even get the things democrats/progressives want passed passed. The democratic party has no one else to blame but themselves. They were given a gift with control of all branches of government and they failed and payback will be sweet this fall. I am totally done with this senate. I haven't given up on president obama cause I know he wants all these things passed but he doesn't have any help from them. Its like he is fighting this battle on his own with no help from them.

  •  In for $100 who will match me? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hornrimsylvia, Seneca Doane

    All or part.

    - The Public Option is a slippery slope to Medicare for all.

    by NCJim on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:43:49 AM PST

  •  Who is Obama going to back? (0+ / 0-)

    I will bet you all the money in my pockets he will back Lincoln! If true, this will be an outrage.

    They only call it class war when we fight back! ht: buhdydharma

    by ezdidit on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:45:46 AM PST

    •  Man (0+ / 0-)

      I will bet you all the money in my pockets he will back Lincoln

      That would be the fucking last straw for me.
      But I suspect that's exactly what we'll see.

      Prove me wrong, Mr. Obama.

      Riding on a pony Riding against the wind And in came brando And he told it like this

      by Wamsutta on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:53:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My guess is that he'll stay out of the primary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and -- if Halter continues doing better in the polls -- will make sure that people know sotto voce that he has no problem with installing this upgrade.

      "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

      by Seneca Doane on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 10:09:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  nah-he'll chime in early and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane

        then he'll actually go to Arkansas to campaign for her. I bet the Secret Service is already scouting venues. Look what he did to Sestak!

        We already witnessed this outright voter manipulation in MA.

        After campaigning for a public option and raising the devil about McCain's endorsement of mandates a year earlier throughout New England, with flyers, direct mail and aggressive constituent calls in states struggling to effect universal coverage, the President - MY PRESIDENT! - actually endorsed mandates and timed his collapse on the public option to coincide with his only campaign appearance with the feckless and almost obnoxious Coakley, a stiff who acted more like a demure beauty pageant contestant than a real go-get-'em hand-shaking candidate.

        Oh, God, please prove me wrong! This transparent campaign of abject failure to engage in principled argument and passionate discourse for the public interest and in support of the social contract - when he so clearly holds the moral high ground - is part of what is figuratively tearing the country's politics apart. (The threat level now must be eye-popping with the announcement of Beck actually going to the Lincoln Memorial to speak on the anniversary of Dr.King's "I have a dream" speech.)

        I am so deeply offended that the President who I worked so hard to get elected besmirches the political environment with such awful tactics that he can deny the 'bagger claim that he is a socialist? ...or an Arab? ...or a Muslim? They get crazier the less he fights. Perhaps that is the only way that he thinks Democrats can win. But it makes no sense to me. Far worse: it's dishonest.

        They only call it class war when we fight back! ht: buhdydharma

        by ezdidit on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 10:51:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah, crap. Well, you're at least half-right (0+ / 0-)

          The White House backs Lincoln.  We'll see how hard they fight for her, given how little she's likely to help his agenda.  I suppose he's not doing this so much for her as for all of the other Democratic incumbents who fear being pushed around (and are capable of pushing back.)

          Oh well, this just means that one of the added joys of beating her will be pinning back Rahm's ears.

          "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

          by Seneca Doane on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 01:02:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  A friend (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    who is a politically active in Arkansas Democratic circles got a call from Lincoln's campaign office yesterday with an invitation to an event to support Lincoln. My friend declined, but speculated that there must have been a push to get supporters on board at the last minute, before this announcement.

  •  I'm having a 2006 flashback. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    This is fun!

    Bush Bites is a subsidiary of Bush Bites Inc., a registered corporate personhood.

    by Bush Bites on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:49:54 AM PST

  •  He drives a truck, too. (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder how many candidates are going to show up in trucks this year.

    Anywho, seems like the real deal.  Lincoln is toast.  She's got nothing to lose, so might as well go on a mega progressive spree... unless, of course, this is for her resume to land some lobbying job at a mega health insurance corp.

    'Slower Traffic - Keep Right!'

    by luvbrothel on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:53:39 AM PST

  •  If she's still a senator in 2017 and still (0+ / 0-)

    voting like AETNA's stooge, will her treachery still be all Barack Obama's fault?

    I'm giving $20 to put the blame where is really belongs.  Conservadem corporate stooges, that's who actually gets a vote in the legislature, that's who we understood even before January 20th, 2009 was the problem and the purpose of "more and better", and that's who remains the real problem today.  A frustrating number of others have gotten distracted from this reality in their zeal to place the blame on the one person who cannot cast a vote and the result has been way too much of a free pass for those who are truly responsible and answerable.  

    To me, Bill Halter represents a change to all that suicidal lack of focus.  I will not respond by functioning as the RNC's and Rush Limbaugh's PR firm in their attempts to paint President Obama as a failure when the failure is in the US Senate, not the executive and it is caused by lockstep GOP obstructionism enabled by a small handful of democratic legislative traitors.  "More and better" is the solution.  I will stay focused instead of engaging in counterproductive ODS.  

    If I can manage it after my upcoming family vacation, I will contribute again to the primary challenging of more traitors.  Let a few of them lose their jobs and see whether the others don't get the message.

    Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

    by lockewasright on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:54:15 AM PST

  •  He's got a truck. He can't lose. (0+ / 0-)

    I donated $25.

    I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

    by fayea on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:57:06 AM PST

  •  Great news -- I'm in (0+ / 0-)

    And another pitch: this is a moment when it would be a fine gesture to tip ActBlue, which makes the sort of quick response that we hope to see today so much easier.

    "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

    by Seneca Doane on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:59:23 AM PST

  •  Blanche is toast one way or another (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    No way she's surviving the general election anyway. Might as well run a progressive who will stand for what he believes in then! No getting away with the "more electable" argument this time!

    The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them. - Albert Einstein.

    by Cvstos on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 10:03:12 AM PST

  •  I don't know Halter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    But I do know kos and his message of electing better democrats is spot-on.

    Donated what I could and will do more when I can!

  •  Is he really a proressive? (0+ / 0-)

    I honestly don't know a thing about him. Are we sure this isn't an enemy of my enemy is my friend type of deal.

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 10:07:17 AM PST

  •  A truck! What will the tea baggers (0+ / 0-)


    Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

    by lighttheway on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 10:13:05 AM PST

  •  AR-Sen: A prime Dem pickup opportunity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...and one that will be decided early.

    What's that? You say this is already a Dem seat?  Yes, I suppose, in the sense that Vichy France was an "ally".  But we can do better than that.  Lincoln has gone way beyond merely surrendering to the Republican minority. She actively collaborates with them.

    When voters in "red" states do vote Democrat, it's not because they love the Democrat on abortion and guns. It's all about pocketbook issues. When an incumbent makes that issue moot by voting like a Republican on those issues, then the social issues will win...IF that Vichy Democrat faces an actual Republican in the general.  We must not let that happen.

    Here is our chance to prove that Democrats are NOT losing popularity because of excessive partisanship, but because of excessive appeasement. That they're losing NOT by being too liberal, but by being too far to the right.  A Halter win in the primary, and surely in the general, would do a lot morally and politically to offset losses, even big losses, among other Democratic seats.

    But you can count on Lincoln to fight as she has never ever fought a Republican. Nothing brings out the warrior urge in a Vichy Democrat than the chance to clobber her own side.  

    "Don't worry! Our Health Care Bill is going to a big farm, where it will have plenty of room to run around!" --attributed to Barack Obama

    by AdmiralNaismith on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 10:25:35 AM PST

  •  Love the Ending (0+ / 0-)

    The pickup truck at the end was a nice touch.  Granted he probably borrowed from Scott Brown, but from someone who lives in a rural area, this will strike a positive cord with rural Arkansas voters.

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 10:27:55 AM PST

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