Blumenauer answers the call from the netroots

Over at, 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.

  • MM (unverified)

    Did you see Earl speak when Howard Dean was here in Portland last week for Gov. Ted? Earl goes all over the place to speak for and support other candidates, including other states...

  • Righty (unverified)

    Yeah, but how much of the money in his bank account did he give to other campaigns? I think he avoids the issue.

  • (Show?)

    Saving up for a run against Gordon Smith? Or against Erik Sten for mayor of Portland?

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    Earl has given over $750k and has only some $340k left. He has more than stepped up to the plate giving some 70% of his warchest to candiates and the D-trip. I mentioned this over a week ago on DailyKos when the issue was first coming to light (before Bowers launched his Use it or Lose It page as well). I whole heartily agree with what Bowers is doing, but Earl has more than stepped up to the pate and should not be viewed as not doing his part... he has MORE than done his share of the lifting.

    What cracks me up are '08 "hopefuls" like Kerry, Clinton and Bayh who are sitting on multi-millions and have done jack in percentage of hard dollar COH terms, all three are non-starters in my eyes.

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    Posted by: Jack Bog | Oct 25, 2006 3:34:08 PM Saving up for a run against Gordon Smith?

    I have wondered how viable he would be in such a race. He can bank a good chunk of votes from his district, which is nothing to sneeze at, but how much support can he generate outside of near-in Portland metro?

  • verasoie (unverified)

    As a NE PDX constituent, I have to say that I hope he doesn't run against Smith, because we're better served by having him as a committee chair in the House (when the Dems retake it), sending dough our way. In fact, all of Oregon benefits more from him this way.

    Same with the Faz. My fav for '08? One word: Kitz.

    Kitz has said that he didn't run in '02 because he didn't want to languish in minority status and not be able to advance his (pro-healthcare) agenda. That won't be the case anymore with the Senate in play now and ready for the taking in '08.

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    Saving up for a run against Gordon Smith?

    We should be so lucky.

    Or against Erik Sten for mayor of Portland?

    When? In 2012?

  • (Show?)
    <h2>And, incidentally, "saving up" doesn't make sense in terms of a Senate race -- that would be a $5 million race. A couple hundred grand will be a drop in a big bucket. "Saving up" for a race for mayor doesn't make sense either -- we've got that clean money thing in Portland now, so if you go over the cap, you trigger a match for everyone else.</h2>

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