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Candidate Videos

In July, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) asked ActBlue to set up a draft fund for Elizabeth Warren. By mid-August the PCCC had shattered all records for the largest and fastest growing draft fund in our history, raising over $102,000 from around 7,000 supporters even before Elizabeth Warren formed an exploratory committee for a Massachusetts Senate run.

Today, their unprecedented success is the reason we're sending her committee a six-figure check.

The PCCC's landmark efforts are not only impressive, they tell us something important about the way politics is changing in response to the digital age. In 2009, the PCCC was a brand new organization. Today, the PCCC has a played a central role in a number of key battles over the last two years — from the fight for the public option and the push to keep Keith Olbermann on the air, to this year's Wisconsin recall elections and the Draft Warren fund. With the help of a large and active donor community, the PCCC has raised millions even though their average donation size is just under $15. In short, they've become a major political player at a speed and donation size that would've been unthinkable five years ago.

Much the same can be said of ActBlue. Seven years after our founding in 2004, we've become the single largest source of political funds in the United States. Our mission was (and is) to give voice to the voiceless, and bring attention to those donors and communities that are often ignored or overlooked. We call it "Democratizing Power," and this is how it works:

ActBlue raises up small donors, who raise up the PCCC, which raises up Elizabeth Warren. 

It's an organic, bottom-up process that's based on shifting the incentives that politicians face in a direction that's a win for everybody involved and the political system at large. By using ActBlue, the PCCC can demonstrate to everyone who cares to look that they can have a major impact on campaigns, and their donors can see exactly how powerful they are when they work together. Politicians learn that grassroots donors can be counted on to produce major results when it matters. And over time we get a political system that's responsive to the needs of folks who contribute $25, not just those who can afford $2500 donations.

Our architecture and their work–which has already raised another $7,000+ for Warren–improves your government. It's a good thing, man.

As you might imagine, a lot of what we do at ActBlue is digital; we email, blog and tweet. We have a Facebook fan page. But we also believe in making the digital personal, and every year we head out to Netroots Nation to meet the donors, fundraisers and candidates who use ActBlue. This year, we'll be putting up a series of videos–ActBlue in 1 Take–of fundraisers and candidates who use ActBlue explaining what our service means to them. It's a diverse group that includes school board candidates and U.S. Senators, Netroots leaders and Members of Congress.

Today, we're pleased to present Rep. Alan Grayson, Democrat from Florida's 8th district. Rep. Grayson has become one of the most outspoken progressive voices in the Democratic Party, and was kind enough to speak to us backstage after his keynote at Netroots Nation 2010:

You heard the man.

We started this series in Texas, and 23 days out from the election, we figured it was about time we returned.

Running in one of this year’s hottest races, ActBlue Democrat Rick Noriega is challenging Republican incumbent John Cornyn for the Texas Senate seat. Noriega, who has served in both the armed forces and in public office, has been a forceful presence on ActBlue, raising more than $1.5 million from more than eighteen thousand supporters.

Rick Noriega has served with the Army in Afghanistan, among others. After his tour, the two-term Texas state representative and Lieutenant Colonel was appointed Incident Commander of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in Houston, Texas. During the summer of 2007, Rick was drafted by activists, both online and offline, to run for U.S. Senate.

ActBlue Democrats, here’s Rick Noriega:

You’ve seen the polls, and you’ve seen the debates, and you know that winning in November is going to take every effort from every one of us. Go to http://www.actblue.com today and do your part for the candidates you believe in.

With 36 days left until the Election, we’re continuing to profile candidates in the closest races across the country. This week, we’re on to Florida, where Annette Taddeo won the Democratic primary on August 26. 

Annette Taddeo will challenge incumbent Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) for the Congressional seat from the Florida 18th. For over 15 years, Taddeo has run LanguageSpeak, a comprehensive language services company that she started to offer translations, conference interpretations and private tutoring in more than 100 different languages. In 2007, DiversityBusiness.com named her company one of the Top 500 Diversity Owned Businesses in the country. The continued success of her company and her leadership in the community has earned Taddeo many accolades and honors, including the "Latina Excellence Award" from Hispanic
Magazine and a spot in their list of the "Top 50 Latina Entrepreneurs in the US." Taddeo currently serves as Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Nation Council’s Leadership Forum and was a former Chairwoman of the Coalition of Dade-County Chambers of Commerce and the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Miami-Dade County.

Endorsed by the DCCC’s Red to Blue program, EMILY’s List, Blue America, and Daily Kos’ Orange to Blue program, Taddeo has been a barnstormer on ActBlue, raising $28,510 from more than 1500 supporters and winning Blue America’s House contest several weeks ago. She has had an active presence in the blogosphere, and liveblogged with Howie Klein on August 2.

ActBlue Democrats, here’s Annette Taddeo:

Thanks for watching. Thirty-seven days left, and not a minute to lose. Go to http://www.actblue.com today and do your part for the candidates you believe in.

Until next time.

On to the West Coast.

For this week’s ActBlue candidate video, we’re profiling Democrat Debbie Cook, a candidate for Congress in California’s Forty-Sixth congressional district.

Born to a military family, Debbie Cook
ran a small family business for fourteen years before the career shift
that would propel her to public life. In 1989, when her city’s
politicians were proposing, over protests from community, to turn the
central park into a golf course, Cook
organized the effort to save Huntington Beach’s natural resources,
gathering 18,000 signatures in six months and gaining passage of the
protection measure by a three-to-one margin.

After the campaign, Cook went to law
school, joined the California bar, and served as an attorney for the
Bolsa Chica Land Trust, securing protection of the largest unprotected
wetlands south of San Francisco.

Twice elected mayor of Huntington Beach, Cook continues to support protection of beaches, parks, safe drinking water, open spaces, and natural habitats in the area.

Cook
is running for Congress against incumbent Republican Dana Rohrabacher,
and is supported by more than thirty community fundraisers on ActBlue.

ActBlue Democrats, here’s Debbie Cook:

To make the difference for the candidates you believe in, go to www.actblue.com today and set up your own fundraising page.

Stay tuned for more next week.

We’re back again with a profile of one of our more successful Congressional candidates. New Mexico’s Martin Heinrich, running for the Congressional seat for New Mexico’s First District, has raised more than $395,000 on ActBlue from more than 2,000 contributors like you, making it possible for Heinrich’s insurgent campaign to top his opponent’s by five points in the most recent Roll Call poll. That’s your work, and something to be proud of.

For those of you who don’t know much about Martin Heinrich, here’s a primer. Once director of a foundation dedicated to science and environmental education, Heinrich has served on several boards focused on environmental, open space, and urban issues, and has used his time on the City Council to work toward making New Mexico a leader in alternative energy and energy efficiency. Heinrich, who was appointed by Governor Bill Richardson to be Natural Resources Trustee for the State, has also led efforts to reduce crime, raise the minimum wage, and create good jobs in the city. Heinrich is running against Republican Darren White.

ActBlue Democrats, here’s Martin Heinrich.

Go to http://www.actblue.com today and start working for the Democrats you believe in.

Stay tuned for more next week.

We’re back from the Democratic Convention in Denver. Something about that Western air made us choose Ben Ray Luján for this week’s candidate profile.

Ben Ray Luján is the Democratic nominee for Congress is New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District. A Public Regulation Commissioner and three time former chairman of the Commission, Luján has built a reputation as a dedicated fighter for renewable energy, firefighting services, and improved health care. Before his election to the Public Relations Commission, Luján served in the New Mexico Cultural Affairs Department.
Luján is running to fill the seat currently held by Tom Udall (D-NM), who is running for the Senate seat soon to be vacated by Pete Domenici (R-NM). Luján has raised more than $86,000 on ActBlue this cycle.

ActBlue Democrats, here’s Ben Ray Luján:

You have the power to change Congress. Go to http://www.actblue.com today and do your part.

We’re back with another video from Netroots Nation, where we assembled care packages for the troops with Jon Powers, who is running for Congress in New York’s 26th District.

Powers is an Army Captain and a decorated Iraqi War veteran, a schoolteacher, and a nonprofit leader. After serving in Baghdad and Najaf, Powers returned to New York planning to become a social studies teacher in the Clarence, NY public schools. But he felt compelled to return to Iraq to address some of the problems facing Iraqi children in the wake of the war. Powers founded War Kids Relief, a nonprofit youth services group in Baghdad that was recognized by NBC Nightly News.

Hailed by his fellow troops as a "very passionate" and an "exceptional leader," Powers has been endorsed by General Wesley Clark and Senator John Kerry, among other national leaders, and by local and national unions. Powers will face New York attorney Alice Kryzan and manufacturer Jack Davis in a September 9th primary. Powers has raised more than $341,000 on ActBlue.

ActBlue Democrats, here’s Jon Powers:

Make a difference for the candidates you believe in. Go to http://www.actblue.com today and do your part.

Goodness,
what a crew! For the fifth week in a row, as promised, we’re bringing
you a portrait of a candidate who’s doing great things on ActBlue.

We’ve been out West for a while, so we thought it was about time to head back to the other coast, this time to Pennsylvania.

Siobhan "Sam" Bennett
is challenging Bush Republican Charlie Dent for a congressional seat in
Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District. The Allentown native has
spend more than 30 years working in her community, and her
congressional bid has been named one of the DCCC’s top 20 emerging
races.

When high schoolers in Bennett‘s neighborhood were graduating without the skills they needed to find jobs, Bennett
founded a construction company to teach them valuable trade skills and
a work ethic. When Allentown’s older homes were crumbling, Bennett
set up a non-profit to reward homeowners who repaired historic
properties. When developmentally disabled adults in the region needed
support, Bennett ran a cookie business and gave them jobs. And when her community’s arts fair was on the brink, Bennett used the skills she had honed as a corporate executive and brought the fair back to life.

ActBlue Democrats, here’s Sam Bennett:

(*ActBlue does not take sides in a contested primary, and does not endorse particular candidates for office.)

Make a difference for the candidates you believe in. Go to www.actblue.com today and do your part.

Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned for next week’s candidate profile!

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