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Council for a Livable World is pleased to endorse Shenna Bellows, a progressive Democrat from Maine who is challenging longtime Republican incumbent Susan Collins. Bellows brings to the race years of experience building coalitions across party lines and a strong grassroots focus.

Shenna Bellows is a longtime progressive activist who is skilled at building coalitions across party lines.

This national organization has been a major player in Maine for over five decades, most recently in the 2012 Maine Senate race where they were one of the top fundraisers for Sen Angus King (I-Me). It is particularly worthy of note that this non-partisan group could have chosen to back the incumbent Collins in an attempt to burnish their non-partisan credentials, but found in Bellows a compelling candidate.
...Bellows is both passionate and well-versed. She supports further reductions to US and Russian nuclear arsenals, a rapid end to the war in Afghanistan, and a diplomatic solution with Iran rather than the use of force. To some degree, her passion for our issues runs in the family: her father was an anti-nuclear activist, and Bellows speaks passionately about the early age at which she learned of the dangers of nuclear war. She has strong potential to be a champion on national security issues if elected to the Senate.
Bellows joins Alison Lundergan Grimes (KY), Brian Schatz (HI), Cory Booker (NJ), Jeff Merkley (OR) among other Progressives touted by the Council.

We have a tremendous opportunity to change the direction in Washington by electing a true Progressive Democrat to replace a faux moderate, corporate Republican who voted for McConnell, Alito, and Roberts. The PCCC, Blue America, and now the Council for a Livable World see this opportunity and are jumping in with both feet.

From the Bellows campaign:

“Today’s endorsement by the Council for a Livable World is a sign of our growing momentum,” said Shenna Bellows on the endorsement. “It’s time for a different approach to our foreign policy that emphasizes strategic diplomacy and strong international relations.”

Over the last five decades, the Council has been highly involved in supporting successful candidates from Maine, including Senators Angus King, Edmund Muskie, George Mitchell and William Hathaway.  Hathaway defeated Republican incumbent Margaret Chase Smith in her last race for United States Senate by running an aggressive grassroots campaign, similar to the campaign being run by Bellows against 18-year Republican incumbent Susan Collins.  Additionally, the Council has endorsed five elected members of the House of Representatives, including both Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good luck to her! (0+ / 0-)

    But Collins's lead against all possible opponents is quite sizable, isn't it?  Wasn't Collins leading Bellows by almost 40 points in the last poll?

    And one thing...

    She supports  ...   a rapid end to the war in Afghanistan
    Someone should tell her that war is ending one month after the elections, as far as US troops are concerned.
    •  There's only been one poll on the race (5+ / 0-)

      which came out about 3 weeks after Bellows announced.
      On the other hand, an analysis of the fundraising looks very good for Bellows:

      Political conventional wisdom says that for every donor who gives to a campaign, there are 90 voters for the candidate who don’t donate.

      So money is a way we can look at a snapshot of the polls, even if there isn’t a poll going on at the moment.

      For example, let’s look at the Susan Collins/Shenna Bellows campaign numbers from the Federal Election Commission website.  While Collins has a big war chest this cycle, about $3 million, she only raised about $305,000 of that - barely 10 percent - in the last quarter of 2013.  Bellows, who didn’t even get into the race until nearly the end of October, raised $332,000.

      ….
      So if we apply conventional political wisdom to the fourth quarter, Collins has a bit of a problem. Her fundraising has fallen off a cliff.  She is getting no funding from the national party.  And her opponent has garnered 1,636 donors to Collins’ 217.  If conventional wisdom is right, that means that the challenger has 147,240 voters waiting in the wings, while Collins has only 19,530.

      Support a Progressive Dem from Maine for US Senate! Bellows for Senate

      by Illegitimi non carborundum on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 11:35:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  a local Maine paper says "It's a Race" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, RandomNonviolence
        There’s only been one poll taken so far in the race between Shenna Bellows and Susan Collins for U.S. Senate, and that one was only a couple of weeks into Bellows’ entering the race, so we don’t know where the poll numbers are exactly. But there has been both a real and a perceived shift in how Bellows is being seen by the electorate.

        How do we know? There’s another group of numbers that are equally important.
        That’s the fourth quarter fundraising numbers.

        Bellows actually outpaced Collins in that critical test. From October — December 2013, Collins gained $314,921, while Bellows garnered $331,454. According to Jeff Beam, Bellow’s communications director, most of her funds were small dollar donations of $100 or less, and 80 percent of the money came from Mainers.  
        Bellows didn’t officially join the race until late in October, so the figures are even more striking. That would be thousands of Mainers voting for Bellows with their checkbooks at a difficult time of year to get people to spend on anything except the holidays.

        Times Record
    •  we will continue to pour money and 'contractors' (4+ / 0-)

      into Afghanistan for years nonetheless, and the Council thought it important to point this out.

      Bellows was not well known outside of political circles when the polling was done shortly after she announced her candidacy. Since then she has been constantly traveling the state with the retail brand of campaign that she helped direct that won Marriage Equality in Maine. She has nine months to make her case, and this type of support and the financial resources it brings will only help her make that case

    •  Collins' polling's plusses for Bellows: (0+ / 0-)

      Regarding JJ's question:

      Collins's lead against all possible opponents is quite sizable, isn't it?
      Yes, Collins has had high polling for many years. This:

      1. Could be a lagging indicator, if Bellows succeeds in educating more Mainers (of whom majorities voted for Obama twice) about Collins' culpable and clumsy role in the surveillance and drone abuse that Snowden/Greenwald/Poitras have been highlighting, and the mainstream media is playing catch-up on, a trend set to intensify in 2014.

      2. Scared off more-established challengers, thereby creating an opportunity for such a Progressive first-time candidate as Bellows to gain the inside track to the Democratic nomination.

      3. Creates an easily-triggered narrative of a "tightening race" if Bellows receives enough financial backing to get her message out and her organizers into every Maine town she has visited (which she recently did in almost all of them).

      4. Creates a media-attracting (and pollster-attracting) story to supplement the nationally interesting story of the Maine's Democratic likely winner of governor's race (a longtime Representative of Maine's more conservative Congressional district) being the first to do so as an out-of-closet gay man.

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