As a candidate for Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District, and as someone who has recently completed reading "Crashing the Gates", I wonder does Kos and the Daily Kos blogosphere even care about making blue states blue'er?
It would seem from my novice eye and short experience with reading the Diaries of other's and posting a few of my own, that the answer is NO.
While Democrats continue to get elected with regularity in blue states across America, the system is so driven by big money that almost by default, the most passive and the most corporate oriented candidates are elected.
Meanwhile Kos and other's remain focused on the "key races", all the while the so-called blue states get paler and paler, as the progressive blood evaporates away when corporate money combines with corporate marketing to compromise candidates, soften positions and blur distinctions.
What good is crashing the gates if the new tenants are too scared or too passive to make the systemic changes that are so desperately needed in our country?
I am experiencing first hand, the typical candidate dilemma as the money crunch descends on all candidates during this the final 55 days before the crucial September 23 primary election.
In Hawaii the primary election is everything and it is unlikely any Republican can take the 2nd Congressional seat, formerly held by the legendary Patsy Mink and more recently by Ed Case, now running for the U.S. Senate.
We are half way there and now the money tree needs shaken as never before. My choice is to try it the "Kos way", to avoid pledging allegiance to corporate America and seek my final homestretch funding via the grass roots and whatever netroots may be listening and willing to help a true progressive candidate from Hawaii.
Most active progressives in Hawaii would say, and an even casual look at my record will show that I am clearly the most progressive Democrat in the race. The most recent analysis by ADA Hawaii shows my voting record as the most progressive in the state. Of course other's will argue this point and I will admit that there are other "good democrats" in the race. But I am more than just a "good democrat" and if we had a chance to talk face to face, you would know that I have the drive, the passion and the innate ability to be an effective voice for progressive values in Washington D.C., and I am electable.
Conventional wisdom would say that I can win, if I can raise the funds needed to finish strong these last few weeks of the campaign. Our plan is to find 1,000 people to donate $100 apiece. Though other candidates will spend more, 1,000 people donating $100 a piece, combined with our existing momentum, strategy and the hard working team of volunteers now in place, is what we need to win.
If you would like to help, you may donate online at my website http://www.garyhooser.com which also contains substantial information on me: who I am, why I am running, what I hope to accomplish. But in case you are in a hurry with no time to visit campaign websites below is a quick summery.
In short, I am a Hawaii State Senator representing Kauai and Ni'ihau and I am running for election to the U.S. House of Representatives, 2nd Congressional District. Prior to serving in the state senate, I served on the Kauai County Council and prior to that I was in small business. Am married and have two children, a son who is 25 and a daughter who is 18. I have been in Hawaii for 36 years and live in Wailua Homesteads on Kauai.
I am running for this seat because our country and world is headed in a direction that must be reversed and it must happen soon. I would like to be an agent for change in Washington D.C. working for peace, justice and sustainability. I could say "fighting" for peace, justice and sustainability…but somehow…saying "fighting" for peace just doesn't seem to fit.
I consider myself a pragmatic idealist and my track record in Hawaii is clear and unambiguous. I co-sponsored a state resolution against the war in Iraq prior to the start of the war and remain committed to begin now withdrawing our troops. On issues of privacy and personal, civil and human rights my voting record at the state level is clear and strong in the protection of those rights. On issues of the environment, the Hawaii Sierra Club recently recognized me as having the best environmental voting record of the entire state senate. Additional information on my background and record can be found on the website.
My campaign is working hard around the state and we have the energy and momentum that can carry us forward to win, but to sustain that energy and momentum I need the help of a lot of people. If you are interested or know of others who might want to get involved and support this effort, please let me know. My direct cell phone is 808-652-4279 and of course email firstname.lastname@example.org works as well.
Below is an op-ed piece published a few weeks ago in one of our major Honolulu daily newspapers. If you have a moment to read it, I think it will further demonstrate to you the person who I am.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to consider whether or not I might be someone you would like to help elect to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Hawaii State Senator
Kauai and Ni'ihau
Candidate for Congress, 2nd Congressional District
A CANDIDATES VIEW OF BUSH AND AMERICA'S PREFERENCE FOR FIRMNESS - Gary Hooser
If asked to choose between uncertainty and firmness, it has been said that the American people prefer firmness. The argument has been made repeatedly that President Bush is the embodiment of clear-cut, no-nonsense firmness.
Indeed the President has been firm. He has been steadfast in launching a phony war and remained firm even as the argument for war unraveled He was equally firm in asserting a phony victory even as the body count of Americans and Iraqis killed post "victory" kept mounting.
Yes, millions of Americans are uncertain. Uncertain about why this so-called global war on terror has made them feel less safe and less respected in the world. About why our leaders speak so readily about war and yet so rarely of peace.
About why we are leaving our children a crushing burden of debt through this war while dithering about preserving Social Security and ensuring affordable healthcare for all. About why nearly 50 million Americans are uninsured.
About why this Administration is so relentless in trying to kill the inheritance tax--an effort appropriately dubbed the "Paris Hilton Tax Relief Act"-- while doing next to nothing to provide relief to nearly 40 million Americans who have slid into poverty. About why that number is climbing for the fourth year in a row in the richest nation in the world.
As a Progressive Democrat running for Hawaii's 2nd Congressional House seat, I look forward to joining my colleagues when we re-take control of Congress in November.
As we will: firmly committed to the "New Direction for America" which House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has just formally unveiled.
This is the firmness America needs to reverse the damage that has been done in recent years and it will touch the lives of ordinary Americans in many ways. It promises a just society with a firm commitment to affordable healthcare for all--in rural as much as in urban communities. The Democratic promise to lower the cost of prescription drugs and "put seniors ahead of pharmaceutical companies and HMOs" is a firm step towards reversing the current Administration's bias in the other direction.
Making access to education more affordable through tax-deductions for tuition and reduced interest rates on student loans will help ensure a vibrant economy, equipped to maintain and improve its competitive edge. The under-funded accountability standards and testing that have passed for education reform cannot do what a really firm, locally-adapted and properly funded commitment to better education will.
We need to start a national conversation and take meaningful steps towards policies that promote economic and environmental sustainability. With Democrats in control of Congress, we will be able to make firm our commitment to eliminating our nation's addiction to oil in place of the lip service that the issue gets from the Bush Administration.
And a firmly democratic nation has no business dismantling civil liberties the way this Administration has, using fear to leverage public sentiment.
Yes, I believe Americans prefer firm commitments to endless spin. I believe Americans want the American Dream to be accessible to all, not clasped in the tight fist of a tiny percentage who are already rich. That's why I believe the Democrats will take back Congress and I plan to be there when it happens.
Authors note: I am a second-term State Senator (Kaua'i-Ni'ihau) from Hawaii who is running for the seat vacated by Congressman Ed Case. Case is running against incumbent Senator Daniel Akaka. For additional information about the values, positions and policies that are especially important to myself and the residents of Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District visit http://www.garyhooser.com
I welcome input, comments and help from all who share my concern and commitment to reversing the direction our country is now headed.