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Four years ago next week, we debuted Hell to Pay, a campaign that grew out of a raucus, spur-of-the-moment community response to a statement made by Sen. James Inhofe questioning Barack Obama's loyalty to his country. What else were Kossacks to do but punish Inhofe by sending campaign donations to his opponent? Lots of donations—$12,000 in one single night. With that, Hell to Pay was born, and introduced by Susan Gardner:
The premise will be that every week, the winger opponents of our Orange to Blue candidates will have proven themselves unable to have gone a whole seven days without saying or doing something so egregious that civilized people will retch at the result--and we'll actually have fun smacking these people down by opening our wallets to our own candidates.
Hell to Pay bug
The Republicans of 2008 couldn't even dream of holding a candle to some of the opponents we've got in 2012. Allen West? Michele Bachman? Linda McMahon? We might has well be making some hay with the crazy, AND make them pay. And you'll get to decide who reaps the rewards. Here's how it will work: On Thursday evenings, we're going to be asking you folks on the ground to nominate one of our Orange to Blue candidates for fundraising, based on how awful the opponent has proven to be the previous week. Smears, slams, distortions, votes, ads ... let us know what they are. Then on Friday, will put the nominations up for a vote. On Saturday, we'll all get together, libations in hand, and see how much we raise against that week's worst person in the world.

But to get us all back in the swing of things, since we don't have community nominations for this week, tonight we're going to start with these four doozies, featuring some of your favorites.

  • Last week, the political director for former Wisconsin governor and current Republican Senate candidate Tommy Thompson sent out an email and a tweet gay-baiting Democrat Tammy Baldwin, an out lesbian, blasting her for not having “heartland values," and including this totally safe for work and delightful video showing Baldwin dancing at Madison's Gay Pride parade.
    Wisconsin Democrats have demanded Thompson fire the consultant for attacking Baldwin because of her sexual orientation. Thompson told reporters he demoted the aide, Brian Nemoir. He didn't. He also told reporters that Nemoir had apologized. He hasn't, and in fact "he actually told the media that he stands by his attacks on Baldwin." Thompson doesn't have a problem with gay-baiting, but it's 2012, and the rest of us should.
  • You knew we weren't going to leave out Florida 18's Allen West, didn't you? Here's what the Florida congressman said about President Obama in the wake of the killing of four Americans, including the ambassador, in Libya.
    The initial response to these attacks last night from the embassy officials of the Obama Administration was to apologize for a Facebook video that supposedly hurt Muslim feelings. President Obama's policy of appeasement towards the Islamic world has manifested itself into a specter of unconscionable hatred. [...]

    How anyone can believe this President is strong on national security and foreign policy is beyond my comprehension....[Obama] is the weakest and most ineffective person to ever occupy the White House.

    Of course it's all Obama's fault. Let's dump West. Patrick Murphy is the man to do it.
  • Staying in Crazytown, it's Minnesota 6th district's Michele Bachman! Good Lord, where to start? How about Intelligence Committee member Bachmann saying this:
    [W]what we’re watching develop before our eyes today are the direct consequences of this administration’s policy of apology and appeasement across the globe and the supposed success of the president’s foreign policy genius [...] now exposed for what it really is.
    Her opponent Jim Graves is right: “Michele Bachmann’s remarks this morning proved once again that she is too reckless to govern.  On a day where violence is growing in the Middle East, her craven attempt to use the situation to score political points is offensive and outrageous, particularly coming from someone who sits on the House Intelligence Committee."
  • Remember in the last Connecticut Senate race, in 2010, when World Wrestling Entertainment mogul Linda McMahon was under fire for allowing the marketing of "violence, sex and abusive treatment of women—aimed especially at children" during her watch? She's not going to let that happen again.
    World Wrestling Entertainment announced late Thursday night it is removing "some dated and edgier footage" from the web, an apparent effort to keep the clips from becoming fodder in the Senate campaign of its co-founder, Linda McMahon. [...]

    One of the clips that was used by McMahon's opponents in GOP primaries and in 2010 and 2012 featured her husband, Vince, ordered a female wrestler to strip, get down on all fours and bark like a dog. It is now unavailable on YouTube as a result of the WWE asserting its copyright.

    McMahon has spent millions trying to clean up her image, "waging a public relations campaign that paints her more as everyone’s favorite grandma rather than the professional wrestling CEO who once kicked her husband in the groin for television entertainment purposes and whose company, the WWE, came under investigation for allegedly promoting steroids abuse among its wrestlers." She can't erase all that history, and she can't keep Chris Murphy from reminding Connecticut voters who she really is.

With villains like this, how will we ever choose?

Poll

Which Orange to Blue candidate should be the beneficiary of tomorrow night's Hell to Pay fundraising?

46%1589 votes
17%613 votes
19%656 votes
16%563 votes

| 3425 votes | Vote | Results

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