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Picture of Wellstone bus, taken by William Wesen on 09/25/2005 at Memorial Site
Hell to Pay bug
This week, we decided to not necessarily focus on evil Republicans for Hell to Pay, but on exemplary Democrats. We had some great nominees that the community put forward, and from them you chose .....
Ami Bera (CA-07) and Sherrod Brown (OH-Sen)!
You chose well, not just because these are two committed, passionate progressives, but because they have pretty horrific opponents, too.

Ami Bera

Take Ami Bera's opponent, Rep. Dan Lungren. One of the key reasons Daily Kos endorsed Dr. Bera was something that Lungren is so proud of, he still features it on his official Web site.

(Washington, DC)— Congressman Dan Lungren (R-Gold River), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, today introduced the Defense of Marriage Amendment.  The bill is designed to thwart efforts to undermine the sovereign right of the people of a state to defend the traditional definition of marriage.
Ami Bera with President Bill Clinton
President Bill Clinton endorses Ami Bera
Yep. The father of DOMA. He didn't just write the law, though, he's been overseeing the defense of the law in federal courts. You might remember that President Obama's Justice Department determined that the law was unconstitutional, and dropped government efforts to defend the law. Speaker John Boehner and Lungren picked it up, and Lungren's committee authorized the contract to private lawyers to carry on, to the tune of $1.5 million. That's $1.5 million in taxpayer money spend to deny the most basic of civil rights to LGBT Americans.

Redistricting means that Dr. Bera, in his rematch against Lungren, is extremely competitive in this seat. In 2010, despite the red wave across the country, Lungren won over Bera with just 50.1 percent of the vote. Winning this seat would be huge, and it would put it safely in the blue column for years and years to come. And, oh yeah, Bera is the one we want there. Here's what he wrote to secure the endorsement of the  National Stonewall Democrats:

I believe that same sex partners should be granted the same rights and privileges as any other couple, including: the right to marry, the ability to adopt, property rights, employment related benefits, tax treatment, the right to assist loved ones in cases of emergency, and survivor benefits.
U.S. Senate Banking Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) listens to a testimony during a hearing on banks and the financial crisis on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 15, 2011. REUTERS/Jim Young
Sen. Sherrod Brown
Sherrod Brown

When it comes to Sherrod Brown, you know him. You know his progressive, populist record. You know that he'll stand up for working families, for women, for the LGBT community. You know that he'll fight to protect Social Security and Medicare.

You also know that Chamber of Commerce, the Koch Brother, Big Oil, Wall Street and every other regressive behemoth in the country is gunning for him, and have spent at least $26 million in attack ads.

They're trying to put their lackey, the arrogant, ignorant, little weasel of a Republican Josh Mandel in the U.S. Senate. They want to steal this seat in the worst way, and put the worst of their puppets in it.

Distressingly, their millions have made what should have been a total joke an actual race. The polling is, unbelievably, in the single digits because of the relentless hammering of Brown in Ohio media.

Goal ThermometerThis is about keeping one of the strongest progressive voices we have in the Senate. But, here's the other thing about this race. It's Ohio, the state the entire election could be hinging on. The more we help Sherrod Brown get out his voters in Ohio, the better the chances of Obama taking this critical state are. The importance of this Senate race is hard to overstate.

So there you go. It's two, two great opportunities in one! Electing two great men, and beating two deplorable ones. What more do you need for Saturday night entertainment?

Let's raise some hell (and some money)! Contribute your $3 here, to these two candidates.

4:14 PM PT: Nice start on the night!

4:18 PM PT: From frenchconnection who is in Ohio and watching the senate race:

[...]Mandel is angry and makes blunders at every move. Nobody likes him, but the dark money has flooded Ohio with so much negative imagery of Brown as a socialist and a radical. I fear that if they are able to make this happen that they will have a model upon which to draw for future campaigns. They are writing the post Citizens' United blueprint right here in Ohio and that's why I think that this campaign is the most important one this cycle other than that for POTUS.  

4:29 PM PT: We seem to have a stuck thermometer. I just checked under the ActBlue hood, and we've got 19 donations in for a total of $1,691.00. That's fantastic. Keep it up!

4:34 PM PT: And now we're at 25 donations! We haven't had that many donation this fast yet. Thanks, everyone.

4:41 PM PT: Well, this is frustrating. I'm sorry your donations are not tallying on the thermometer, but we're at 32 donations for $2,040.50 (thanks for the $0.50, whoever you are).

4:47 PM PT: In case you're curious:

Outside groups, mainly the GOP and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have spent $2.7 million against Bera.

4:57 PM PT: I'd really like to update that thermometer goal again....

5:15 PM PT: Yay! I love busting through the top of the thermometer. Let's keep going.

5:30 PM PT: Here's Sherrod Brown explaining why raising the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare is such a bad idea.

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