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Michelle Obama reminded us why we are fighting so hard to stop the domination of America by the 1% and why winning big in November is really critical. Republicans have declared war on American Workers. I want to fight back.

First time I posted this call to arms I raised $400 for Democrats in key districts in Illinois, Wisconsin and Massachusetts. Why these states in particular? Well (Delaware aside where I don't find close races...let me know if there is something downticket to focus on there...) these are the states where the two Presidential tickets hail from. I want to do another push in honor of Michelle Obama.

I long ago realized Obama will very likely win. It may or may not be close. A good friend in Brooklyn, Rock Hackshaw, a local blogger and politician who will be at the Dem Convention again this year, predicted "it won't even be close" some months ago. And he was one of the first people I know to have predicted an Obama win in 2008.

The Rom/Ry ticket pushes for a return to the horribly failed Bush policies that gutted the American economy and created our largest deficits ever. America still is angry at the Greedy Oil Party for the stupid failures of the Bush years and they realize that Rom/Ry want to go back to those failed Bush policies. That is why Obama will almost certainly win. But we need to do more. MUCH more.

It is Congress I am worried about. We need to hold the Senate and make gains in both the Senate and the House. Ideally we would win big in both, but that will take a lot of work. But it is work worth doing. Quite literally, history can turn on the results of this election and I for one do not want to sit idly by while history is made. I don't want my kids to look back and wonder why America dropped the ball in 2012.

In this context, I also think we have a real shot of embarrassing the Republicans on their home ground. I want to see us win BIG in Obama's home state as well as in the Rom/Ry home states. Looking at the race for the presidency we have:

Mittens "Uber-1%" Rom, former governor of Massachusetts

Paul "smarmy teabagger elitist" Ry, congressman from Wisconsin

Barack "smoothly making history" Obama, former Senator from Illinois

and Joe "I don't plagiarize anymore" Biden, former Senator from Delaware.

Now I don't know of any close races in Delaware, but I do know that Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Illinois are states with some pretty darned critical races. And in addition to simply seeing Obama/Biden defeat Rom/Ry, I would love to see the Greedy Oil Party SLAMMED into defeat in the same states that these Pres and VP candidates come from. And this has to be a priority for us if we want history to look favorably on 2012.

I want to see us come as close to sweeping every close race as possible in Wisconsin (a key battleground state almost every year and a key battleground for workers' rights against right wing extremism), Massachusetts (should be a bastion of bright blue), and Illinois (working class and farmers in solidarity against the 1%). In the process we can help some really damned good Democrats win over really sleazy GOPers.

The first time I posted this call to arms I raised $400 for some critical races. Can we beat that today in honor of Michelle Obama? Can we help her husband do what this country needs by electing some good Democrats to these seats. Follow me below the fold to make a difference.

To donate to the following candidates, please visit my Embarrass Romney/Ryan 2012 Act Blue website. If we win most of these races, we will be REALLY kicking ass this year.

NOTE: I base my choices partly on candidates I like, partly on Democracy for America endorsements, partly on Progressive Majority endorsements, and partly on a conservative-website-I-tend-to-follow's view of what they consider close races.

Let's begin with "1%" Rom's own state of Massachusetts. He was Gov there, and not as bad as most Repubs back in the day, but not great. But now "1%" Rom wants to convince the most extreme teabagger extremist that he is as extreme as them, so we need to show him America doesn't like anti-working class extremism. Now Romney won't win Mass even though he is a former Gov...but it will be so much more satisfying if he not only loses himself, but his party loses two close and key races for Congress: MA Senate and MA-6. Both are close races that are key to moving America forward rather than backwards.

MA-SEN:

This is one of our most important fights this year. It is a toss up race that is really neck and neck. Winning a major Senate seat race in Romney's own state would be really, really sweet.

Elizabeth Warren is a great candidate. Check out her profile on Democracy for America's website.

MA-6:

This is a close House race in Massachusetts. Holding onto this seat helps us in Congress.

Now let's turn to possibly THE MOST IMPORTANT swing state in the country. We have been fighting anti-union extremism in Wisconsin for 2 years now, and we have been winning several recall elections on the state level. We actually flipped the Wisconsin State Senate in the name of worker's rights...let's go even further.

Paul Ryan comes from Wisconsin. Wisconsin has a strong progressive, pro-labor, pro-farmer background that could turn so solidly against the Republicans their heads would spin. Democrats haven't fought hard enough for this state's heart and soul. The Rom picked Ryan because they want to make us fight for Wisconsin. Well let's turn the tables. Let's fight even harder than they expect and win even stronger than they expect. Let's kick their anti-worker asses in pro-worker Wisconsin.

We WILL win Wisconsin for Obama. I have no doubt about that. But let's make our win go deeper. Let's ALSO win this year's Senate seat, AND every close Congressional seat, AND defend in the state senate.

My family first moved to Wisconsin (Milwaukee) after coming from Europe. So I feel some personal, family connection to winning in Wisconsin. My visits to Wisconsin (pretty much Madison for conferences) have been very enjoyable experiences and I met some extremely smart, pro-union taxi drivers while in Wisconsin. I would love to see Wisconsin follow its strong progressive history right about now and solidly reject the Rom/Ry advocacy of returning to failed Bush policies. Here are the key races:

WI-SEN:

The tea party is really aiming for this seat. We need to defend it if we want to hold onto the Senate. And right now we are NOT likely to hold this seat. But we can if we push hard. We need to show Ryan that his greedy and cruel vision for Wisconsin and America is a failure and that his own state prefers the more progressive vision of Tammy Baldwin.

You can read more about Tammy Baldwin at Democracy for America.

WI-01:

Rob Zerban is running for Paul Ryan's own seat. I say lets fight the right on their own territory. If we can give Ryan a run for his (ample) money right in his own district it will send a clear message how sick America is of his extremist views.

WI-07:

This is a key House race. This is a real chance to pick up a seat from the Republicans. Right now it barely leans Repub...let's push to flip it.

Patrick Kreitlow has been endorsed by the Intl. Association of Firefighters, Steelworkers Union, National Farmers Union, NARAL Pro-Choice America Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters, AFL-CIO, League of Conservation Voters, Planned Parenthood Action Fund Sierra Club, United Auto Workers, WI Federation of Nurses, and WI Alliance for Retired American, among others.

WI-08:

This is another pick up opportunity for Democrats in the House. It is another race that right now barely leans Repub...and again, let's push to flip it.

Jamie Wall has been endorsed by Green Bay Firefighters, the Alliance of Retired Americans, the Teamsters, Human Rights Campaign, American Federation of Teachers- Wisconsin, American Nurses Association, United Auto Workers, and many others.

WI-SD-18:

Jessica King is one of my favorite Democrats. And she has been for several years.

Jessica King is one of the best things to happen to the Wisconsin State Senate, winning one of the hard fought recall elections against the right wing extremist Republicans. Jessica King is intelligent and very capable and will make an excellent State Senator.

She has been endorsed by Progressive Majority and is one of America's best progressives. Let's make sure she wins re-election.

WI-SD-32:

Jennifer Shilling is another Progressive Majority endorsed candidate who won one of the recall elections. And this is another seat worth defending.

WI-SD-22:

Bob Wirch was one of the Democrats targeted by Republicans for recall...but we beat them, defending Bob's Senate seat. Let's show him we still have his back. Bib Wirch is also endorsed by Progressive Majority.

WI-SD-30:

Dave Hansen was also one of the Democrats targeted by Republicans for recall...but again, we beat them. Let's show him we still have his back. Dave Hansen is also endorsed by Progressive Majority.

NOW I want to turn to the state that elected Obama to the Senate: Illinois. It would be great to sweep the close races in Rom's Massachusetts and Ry's Wisconsin. But it would ALSO be sweet to sweep the many close races in President Obama's Illinois. Here they are...let's win ALL of these races for Michelle and Barack!:

IL-17:

This is a seat we can pick up from the Greedy Oil Party. But it's going to be close. Right now it leans Repub but we can shift that.

IL-11:

This is a close race and one that we absolutely have to win to make gains in Congress...particularly if we want Congress to start accepting global warming as an issue we need to deal with.

Bill Foster is one of my favorite candidates. He was a renowned scientist turned businessman who has already served in Congress. It is time to send him back to Congress. We need more people with Bill's intelligence, practicality and scientific outlook.

Bill Foster has been endorsed by the Associated Firefighters of Illinois, AFL-CIO State Federation of Illinois, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Amalgamated Transit Union Local #308, and many others.

IL-13:

This is another very close race and an important pick up opportunity for Democrats. It still leans Repub but we can change that.

Dr. David Gill has been endorsed by the United Auto Workers, AFL-CIO, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Sierra Club, United Mine Workers of America, Democracy for America, Progressive Democrats of America, National Nurses United, and many others. He is a true progressive and would be VERY valuable to have in Congress.

IL-08:

We are probably going to win this one and it will be a sweet pick up from the Repubs.

Captain Tammy Duckworth was a Black Hawk helicopter pilot fighting in Iraq. She lost both legs and part of the use of her right arm when her helicopter was shot down, and was awarded the Purple Heart for her combat injuries.

President Obama appointed Captain Duckworth to be Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs where she sought to improve the standard of care for Vets. She oversaw VA's effort to end Veteran homelessness and lead initiatives for female Vets and increased accessibility and accountability with the new Office of Online Communications.

We have a REALLY good shot at picking up this seat.

IL-12:

This is a seat we could lose. If we want to make gains in the House, we need to defend it. The Greedy Oil Party is really trying hard to take this seat from us.

Bill Enyart is the former head of the Illinois National Guard. He is pro-labor and would be a committed Congressman.

IL-10:

This is a close race but one we have a good shot of winning.

Brad Schneider has been endorsed by the Associated Firefighters of Illinois, United Auto Workers, League of Conservation Voters, NARAL, Human RIghts campaign, United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners, and many others.

Help America win these critical races and in the process embarrass the Greedy Oil Party. Help America MOVE FORWARD rather than return with the Republicans to the failed Bush years.

Again, you can donate through my visit my Embarrass Romney/Ryan 2012 Act Blue website. In honor of Michelle Obama, help me beat my previous $400 record for fundraising for these races.

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