Over at MyDD.com, they've launched a project called "Use it or Lose it" - that calls on safe-seat Democratic incumbents to give away their campaign funds to competitive districts. Here's Chris Bowers:
Today, I am asking you to call the unopposed, or barely opposed, Democratic Representatives in your home state with more than $200,000 in their campaign bank accounts and ask them to donate 30% of that cash directly to Democratic House challengers and / or to party committees.
Jerome Armstrong joined the pitch, and made this personal appeal:
Being a Portland St grad, I know Earl Blumenauer, OR 3rd, has been mentioned as a potential candidate making a US Senate run in Oregon in 2008 against the Republican rightwinger Gordon Smith, in what's likely to be a competitive '08 Democratic primary. I'll give his staff a call and see if he's recovered from that ankle injury earlier this year... and look at some others to call on the list.
And Congressman Earl Blumenauer responded, right there at MyDD:
I spoke with Jerome Armstrong yesterday, and he pointed out that while I've been out working hard in competitive races, I've not done a very good job of explaining what I've done and how I've done it. His point is well taken, so here it goes...
I've been in the top 15% of members of Congress in support of other campaigns, more than many people much more senior than I and with more powerful committee positions. Indeed, when you're from a small state like Oregon, are perceived as being in a "safe" seat, and not tied to wealthy special-interests, it's difficult to raise money. Nonetheless, I've understood my responsibilities since I was first elected to Congress.
How much has Blumenauer donated to the cause this year?
Between my work through LivPAC, my dues to the DCCC (to whom I've paid more than required) and the contributions I have asked for from my supporters that they make to others rather than me, I raised or gave away almost $750,000 this cycle - over 60% of a total campaign effort of almost $1.2 million. And that doesn't include the hundreds of hours of my staff's time I dedicated to raising money for competitive Democrats.
My remaining campaign resources will be spent on a "Get Out the Vote" effort in Oregon, staff, and regular operational expenses. It will also allow us to stay operational in 2007, so that we can get a jumpstart on the 2008 fight for control of Congress and the White House. Turnout is critical in the next two weeks and we all need to dedicate ourselves to making sure that we get our supporters to vote!
All in all, I have done more on behalf of others than anyone else in the Pacific Northwest (I think in either party) and I've tried to do it in the right way.
In addition to cold hard cash for Democratic candidates across the country, I've traveled to over a dozen congressional districts in 11 states to help raise money and create buzz. I am also focusing on key races here in Oregon, supporting progressive candidates like Rob Brading over Speaker Karen Minnis and re-electing Governor Ted Kulongoski.
Read the rest of Earl's MyDD post. Discuss.