We did quite a lot of good in November -- almost 400 Kossacks made 5,545 individual contributions to the twenty most vulnerable Democrats who voted both for health care reform and against the anti-choice Stupak-Pitts amendment, raising over $30,000 to help these candidates secure reelection in 2010.
Our second effort started in March. Since then, nearly 500 Kossacks made 6,653 individual contributions to the most vulnerable pro-choice, pro-health care Democrats, raising an additional $55,000+ to help them seek reelection.
What we demonstrated then to Democrats in vulnerable districts that when they stand with our party and for progressive causes, the netroots will have their backs. And they noticed. Several of them called or emailed me personally to thank all of you for your efforts, including Members who have never had anything to do with the netroots before then.
Today, more than ever, they need you again. I took a look at the Cook Political Report's Competititve House Race chart this morning, and not one person on this list is safe. Indeed, many are already listed as Leans Republican or, at best, a Toss-Up. (You'll see the rankings on the ActBlue page.)
They risked their jobs to pass health care reform. And we need to do everything we can to defend them.
These are the twenty Democrats (plus one) who cast the toughest votes for health care reform -- for HCR last night, and against the Stupak Amendment in November. A few of them voted "no" the first time around, but we have welcomed them into the fold and will defend them for supporting health care reform on final passage.
It's up to us to demonstrate to these often-moderate candidates that when they stand up for progressive causes, progressives will stand behind them.
I believe it's especially important for those of us who've decided to turn the spigot off when it comes to Democratic party institutions based on their multitude of failures to take this opportunity to demonstrate what we're capable of doing for specific candidates who are taking risks to make progress happen.
Here's who you should be supporting -- these Democrats (listed by District, Name, PVI), elected in Republican and swing districts (and mostly in the past three years), whose votes for reproductive freedom and health care reform indeed became the opposition campaign ads being broadcast against them:
AZ-01 Kirkpatrick, Ann R+6
FL-02 Boyd, Allen R+6
CO-04 Markey, Betsy R+6
AZ-05 Mitchell, Harry R+5
AZ-08 Giffords, Gabrielle R+4
FL-24 Kosmas, Suzanne R+4
NY-19 Hall, John R+3
FL-08 Grayson, Alan R+2
MI-07 Schauer, Mark R+2
NY-20 Murphy, Scott R+2
WI-08 Kagen, Steve R+2
CA-11 McNerney, Jerry R+1
IL-08 Bean, Melissa R+1
IL-11 Halvorson, Debbie R+1
IL-14 Foster, Bill R+1
MN-01 Walz, Tim R+1
NY-23 Owens, Bill R+1
NH-01 Shea-Porter, Carol R+0
NY-01 Bishop, Timothy R+0
OH-15 Kilroy, Mary Jo D+1
VA-05 Perriello, Tom R+5**
** Technically, Tom Perriello shouldn't be here: he voted for the Stupak Amendment the first time. But he has also voted for ACES and the stimulus bill despite being a freshman member elected by less than 1000 votes in an R+5 district -- McCain and Bush both carried it -- so if you're willing to make one exception, Perriello is the exception you should make.
The overwhelming majority of these twenty Members were elected in 2006, 2008 or, in the case of Scott Murphy and Bill Owens, 2009. As the most recent additions to Congress, almost every one of them has been on the NRCC's primary target list for 2010.
We need to protect them for having done the right thing. We need to show that when Democrats act courageously in the interests of our country, progressives will have their backs and support them.
So please, visit the WE'VE GOT YOUR BACK v2.0 ActBlue page and spread some sugar around today -- $3 each? $5? $10, $20 or more? That's up to you. And then promote it on your Facebook page, your Twitter feed and your own diaries.
If politicians in tough districts see that national support exists when they do the right thing on a big vote -- and there may be no bigger one than the one they cast for health care reform -- they will feel more comfortable doing it again the next time. They won't have to worry about losing some donors over these pro-choice and pro-health care votes if they've gained our loyal support instead. And they need to fight back right now, to finance ads like this one by Scott Murphy: