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Al Franken asked me for money today and I said no. I received many calls from his campaign during his first campaign for the Senate and was a big supporter. I read his books and he talked like a progressive. So I donated. And I was happy to do it. Not this time.  

When the nice lady said hello, I said "You're calling me to donate, right?" She said yes. I started to say something and she said "Wait a minute, I'm going to the comments page to write this down." I said "Recently when Edward Snowden revealed what the NSA is doing, Al Franken said that the NSA isn't spying on Americans and that the programs were good and kept us safe. That's not true and until Al Franken corrects that statement, he's not getting a dime from me". Her response? "I appreciate your honesty. Some people just don't care." My response? "He should care". She thanked me and hung up.

This is the first of many conversations I will be having in the months before the 2014 elections with every Democratic candidate who calls me, emails me or sends me a letter asking for money. How do they feel about what the NSA is doing? What is their position on this Administration's war on whistleblowers? Will they vote in favor of legislation to declassify the FISA court opinions?  The answers they give me and their track record on these issues will determine who I donate to. Senators Wyden, Merkeley and Udall are at the top of my support list.  I know where they stand. The rest of them?  It's time to step up.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I will give if he calls me. Maybe you would like (6+ / 0-)

    to see him taken out??? Otherwise, he needs some campaign money. But I guess this issue means 100% for you.

    •  I don't give to every candidate who needs (12+ / 0-)

      campaign money regardless of the positions he/she takes on issues. I will not give to Democrats just because they are Democrats. And yes, this issue means a huge amount to me.  If Democrats won't call out policies that violate the Constitution then they are useless.

    •  MN-Senate is likely D to safe D (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      suejazz, 3goldens, Dumbo, quill, Neuroptimalian

         It doesn't look like Franken is in much danger of losing in 2014.  Daily Kos Elections rate it as Likely Dem, which is being cautious.

          If Franken gets an opponent that is more than just "Some Dude" then it is worth reconsidering, but as of now I wouldn't give Al any money for the same reason as the diarist.

          All campaigns act like they are in mortal danger when they are fundraising; the urgency is important to open up the potential donor's wallet. That is understandable, but it ain't necessarily so...

      Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 54, new CA-30

      by Zack from the SFV on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:14:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Only so much money to go around, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, quill

      I think it would be a shame to waste it on candidates who don't need it and don't give a shit.

      •  to be fair he's given a shit about a lot of issues (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        maybe not this one to your liking. Just trying to encourage NOT using all or nothing thinking and communication about Dems rock/suck.

        •  Well, for me, respect for the Constitution is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quill, WisePiper

          trumps every other issue. There is no way that you or Senator Franken can convince me that there is a middle ground on the issue of the NSA spying on Americans and  lying about it. And I have not written that Al Franken sucks. I have always been a fan, but not to the point where I will blind myself to a serious failure on his part.  This is not just true of him. But he was the one who called asking for money today. If he or any other candidate wants my money then they will have to support the things that are of paramount importance to me.

          •  I did not say middle ground on NSA issue nor (0+ / 0-)

            try to convince you on that.

            I said middle ground on does Franken rock or suck. My belief is that though he may suck on this issue,  the sum total of where he stands is better than ANY Republican.

            However, I do get that, for you, this one issue is so extreme it trumps all others such as climate change or whether or not millions will be kicked off of food stamps or Medicaid and die.

            You are entitled to that. Me, I think his stand on life or death issues for millions of Americans, which is not discussed even here very much, makes it worth it BECAUSE I"m constantly doing a comparison...the alternative is a Republican and any member of that party is pressured to go along with them. And there proposals will kill many, many Americans.
            They want to block grant Medicaid and slash it by a third. People will in fact die. People I know. They want to slash foodstamps and a handful of Senators like Franken stand in the way of the Senate being like the House, dominated by those who are fine with that. If we do what they want many more children will go hungry and those that are hungry already may go into frank malnutrition.

            The situation for the poor is at high and alarming risk because THIS Republican party has gone there. Franken is one who protects them.

  •  Sometimes it's noble to take a moral stand. (10+ / 0-)

    Other times? You're letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    I'm a Pennsylvanian. Bob Casey is our Democratic senator. I'm a good deal more liberal than Casey is on some important issues.

    But when he ran and won in 2006, my family and I popped champagne.


    Because he unseated Rick Santorum.

    I'm sure whomever runs against Sen. Franken will be worse than Franken on almost every issue that matters to you.

    I respect your position, but if you sit on your hands, you're helping a Republican win.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 03:56:19 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for your comment. (11+ / 0-)

      And I respect yours. But "letting the perfect be the enemy of the good" is a line that Dianne Feinstein, my senator, has used many times to not do her job or to hold the people she was supposed to be investigating accountable. It's that philosophy that has elected cautious, compromised, morally challenged Democrats who say they are liberal or progressive when they are candidates but when they get into office, on many critical issues are no different than Republicans.

      •  a phrase then that can be misused as an excuse (0+ / 0-)

        but can also be true, especially when comparing two politicians rather than the actions of one politician.

        I think sometimes we forget when we are looking at Dems who fall short just how far to the right the opposition has lurched. EVen moderate Republicans, if there are any anymore, are dragged to their right in Congress by the party as a hole. They can't really remain moderates most of the time and much of the time they will vote to obstruct in the Senate to vote with their party. Scott Brown's voting record  can be shown to hold this pattern, he rated the most moderate Senator in the last session.

        Any Republican, now, is defacto worse than any Dem just because of the party they are forced to vote with. In the Senate, it adds to a possible catastrophic turn of events if the Senate turns over into Republican hands.

        I think when it comes to electing Dems over Reps we need to do everything we can for the Dem and find another way to get across our displeasure at the things we disagree with or are dissapointed by.

        •  I can't vote or not vote for Senator Franken (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quill, Zack from the SFV, allenjo

          because he is not my Senator. I can get across my displeasure by not giving him money. That's the only leverage I have. Tell me how doing "everything we can for the Dem" has worked out with this Administration?

          •  I'm looking at life or death and you are not (0+ / 0-)

            Republican Senate is literally death to many thousands of AMericans.

            Look, I do see your point. I don't know of a better way to get across your displeasure and I agree you have a sound basis for you.

            I'd ideally like a way to uphold a Dem win and still get across your displeasure. Perhaps you could also write a note/email or better call his office and say exactly why you are not giving money this year

            It is like in a restaurant. If you just tip low for horrible service, the person just thinks you forgot or you are an asshole unless you say why. I don' t do that often but that's what I've seen. They don't have the stick (as in carrot vs stick) of less $$ tied to the reason.

            Perhaps you can tie yours to the reason so they get it more clearly rather than just thinking you and the many who think like you just don't have the money.

    •  in my opinion that's not good enough (8+ / 2-)

      if we are only interested in stopping Republicans then we can donate to ANY party that's to the left of them.

      How much do we small donators send to the Democrats? I read it was $100 million or so for the last campaign.

      I would think that if we sent $100 million to the Greens they could run a pretty good race against the Republicans.

      That is, if all we're interested in is stopping Republicans. Some of those 3rd parties might also, coincidentally, be more aligned with our political thinking.

      Dear NSA: I am only joking.

      by Shahryar on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:10:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  HR for shilling for a third party (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        DailyKos is very specifically for the purpose of electing more and better Democrats.  Shilling for a third party is an HR-able offense and rightly so.

        I would think that if we sent $100 million to the Greens they could run a pretty good race against the Republicans.
        If you can't figure out that that's a prescription for giving the election to the Republican Party, there is no hope for you.
        if we are only interested in stopping Republicans then we can donate to ANY party that's to the left of them.
        Please think that one through again.  And maybe a third time.  Face reality.  

        To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. -Abraham Lincoln

        by Eyesbright on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 05:00:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you misunderstand (6+ / 0-)

          I'm not saying we should become Greens or anything else. I'm saying that the Democrats should stand for something other than having the infrastructure and ballot access to deny elections going to Republicans.

          My point is this: If we are only concerned with stopping Republicans then why have we chosen the Democrats to be the mechanism? I would prefer the Democrats to be not only the strongest alternative in terms of electoral clout but ALSO the strongest in terms of policy.

          I want to support the Democrats because the Democratic Party works hard for what I believe in (see the Party Platform of 2008) rather than because they are the only realistic alternative.

          Dear NSA: I am only joking.

          by Shahryar on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:08:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The 3rd Parties (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quill, WisePiper

          are going to become more and more popular when Dems like DiFi, Bob Casey, and Harry Reid keep selling out on a day to day basis...

    •  who's gonna beat Al? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

         Maybe "Horseteeth" Coleman, but he isn't running this time and he lost to Franken when he was an incumbent and in a stronger position (though it was a close race).

          Kurt Bills?  He's the guy who was demolished by Amy Klobuchar in the race for the other Senate seat.

          Franken's strongest challenger might be Lizard People, who came in fourth place last time, but it is very hard for a write-in candidate without a campaign to win.

          I'm all for being pragmatic when necessary, but I don't have enough money to fund landslides . Unless it is for someone like Bernie Sanders, and even then I won't give a whole lot of money.

      Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 54, new CA-30

      by Zack from the SFV on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:23:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The same Bob Casey (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      who is against women's rights because of his Catholicism and only came out for gay rights because the rest of his caucus?  Please, give up on those false choices that we should just vote D b/c it's the best thing to do.  The same is going to happen with Schwartz.

  •  He's a pest but a worse one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, Zack from the SFV

    in never stopping asking for contributions is Alan Grayson.

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me.

    by plankbob on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 03:57:25 PM PDT

  •  Al will deliver, is my intuition. (0+ / 0-)

    What you ask is small compared to what must be done to right things and protect us from unnecessary governmental intrusion.

  •  At worst you're "forced"... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...into supporting the lesser of the evils.  You must consider who gets the seat if he loses.

    Warren/3-D Print of Warren in 2016!

    by dov12348 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:02:00 PM PDT

  •  My #1 issue is climate change/green energy. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suejazz, Darwinian Detrius

    We all have our priorities.

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:04:18 PM PDT

  •  I admit Franken's statement bothered me but he (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shrike, Sylv, Chi, Eyesbright

    is one of the Senators urging FISA to disclose the court's rulings and he's with Merkley, the Udalls, Begich, Tester and Sanders on co-sponsoring legislation for more transparency.  Al's one of the good guys.  Some times the good guys aren't perfect.

    Funny Stuff at

    by poopdogcomedy on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:08:56 PM PDT

    •  If he is as good as you say then he should issue (5+ / 0-)

      a new statement that reflects the reality of the new disclosures. When a former FISA Court judge who knows the truth about those programs speaks out, then it's time for "one of the good guys" to do it too. And because he is one of the good guys, I expect him, not to be perfect, but to be honest on an issue as important as this. He's on the Judiciary Committee, for heaven's sake.

      •  Well, for me, actions speak louder than words and (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright, bobtmn, buffie

        his actions do speak louder than any statement, hence making him one of the good guys on this issue.

        Funny Stuff at

        by poopdogcomedy on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:23:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, his statement was, in effect, patting us (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          newpioneer, Dumbo, blueoasis, quill, allenjo

          on the head and saying, "Nothing to see here, move on." It was a damaging statement if you believe in the rule of law and it can be used by those supporters of NSA surveillance as an example of why everything is A-Ok and we have nothing to worry about. He needs to amend the statement or retract it if he is to be seen as credible on this issue.

          •  I sometimes wonder if he even understands (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            quill, Zack from the SFV

            what they are doing. Franken is a luddite when it comes to the internet. I think many in the Senate are in over their heads when it comes to technical issues.

            I gave to his campaign last time but have no plans to do so again. He has been a disappointment on many issues and I just can't support him any longer.

            Some people have short memories

            by lenzy1000 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:40:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If this is true it is very worrisome. I am not (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              quill, allenjo

              his constituent so I'm sure you know things that I don't. It is sad to me that he shows such a lack of awareness for whatever reason about such an important issue given his past statements about transparency. But then, I've also been disappointed by others on the same issue, if you get my drift.

              •  When he had his radio show (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                He was unable to even post on his own blog. During the election recount  he had to get his daughter to post a comment on the live blog.

                Some people have short memories

                by lenzy1000 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 07:35:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's much less important to me (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Zack from the SFV

                  than his apparent willingness to believe everything the NSA tells him without questioning any of it. But you make an interesting point.  Maybe his gullibility goes hand in hand with his lack of curiosity about how the internet works. If that's true, he is a disappointment.

  •  Thanks for the diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jplanner, sviscusi, roberb7, buffie

    I'll dig deep and make up for you even though I don't live in Minnesota.

    John Roberts? Melville Fuller?? WTF is the difference???.

    by Walt starr on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:15:45 PM PDT

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