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I've known Tracy Potter, the Democratic candidate for Byron Dorgan's seat in the US Senate, for more than 40 years. It has been many years since we worked together against the Viet Nam war, the nomination of Shirley Chisholm for the Presidency, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the protection of North Dakota's environment in the face of massive strip mining during the 70's energy crisis. More than 30 years ago Tracy brought Saskatchewan officials to tour North Dakota in an effort to enact single payor health insurance.

Tracy is an historian, Director of Fort Lincoln, an historic site in Mandan, ND. (Custer was alive when he left there.) He is a citizen legistor, serving in the North Dakota State Senate to which he was elected by voters who have historically sent republicans to represent them. He stepped up to take on popular republican governor John Hoeven for the US Senate seat left open by Senator Dorgan's retirement this year and, despite a seriously under-resourced campaign, Tracy has worked tirelessly to reach the people of the State. I thought DKos readers might be especially interested in Tracy's most recent "Grillside Chat" a weekly feature he posts Sunday nights on YouTube.

Here's Tracy:

Tracy has an ActBlue page. You can be confident that any money you can spare will be carefully and well spent. And it will go a lot further in North Dakota than most anywhere else you could choose to put it in support of better Democrats in the US Senate.

Here's Tracy's campaign website:

My personal 50 State Strategy for this year focuses on Tracy Potter. I plan to spend a month this fall in North Dakota working on his behalf. Both he and I would appreciate your support for his candidacy.

UPDATE:  It's very late at night and I've just jumped out of bed realizing that I didn't post any content of this video for those who can't watch it.  So, here are some highlights of what Tracy has to say, somewhat paraphrased though as true to the text as I could be at this late hour and as tired as I am:

Net neutrality is the pre-eminent free speech issue of today. Four large mega corporations and their bought and paid for senators and congressman and their mouthpieces on Fox News are all talking about something they call 'Internet Freedom.' It's Orwellian. It's akin to saying 'War is Peace' 'Slavery is Freedom.' What they are looking out for is the Big 4 telecom companies profits.  This small 'd' democratic, completely anarchistic freedom loving mechanism of free speech that has blossomed in the last 15 or 20 years has been available to everyone -- a post office without a stamp, a creative, driving force for democracy, freedom and the end of censorship as we know it.

Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner make billions and they want more. The Internet is the greatest expression of human freedom and potential for freeing all people on this planet from government and corporate control. We cannot give the power of the Net over to those corporations. There's a drumbeat going on right now pushing against freedom and calling it freedom. They have the power. We have each other. We must fight together.

Originally posted to Alice Olson on Mon Jul 26, 2010 at 01:06 AM PDT.

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