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picture_1 Washington state’s
first top-two primary election was held yesterday, August 19, and
ActBlue superstar Darcy Burner has offered further proof of her
campaign’s building momentum in the weeks leading to the November
general elections.

Burner came within three points of Republican incumbent Dave
Reichert in yesterday’s primary, and left Reichert with fewer votes
than were cast for the three Democratic candidates. Burner and Reichert
will advance to the November round. (Washington State is one of few
jurisdictions to offer what’s called a ‘top-two primary,’ wherein the
two candidates who receive the most votes will advance to the general,
regardless of party affiliation.)

Burner has been one of ActBlue’s most successful candidates,
raising more than $420,000 this cycle from a whopping 11,300 donors. For more about Burner and the
race, see our video blog post from last week. 

gary_trauner

In Wyoming, Gary Trauner is officially the Democratic
nominee for
Congress. Trauner, a former elected official, has served as chair of
his school board and on the Jackson Hole Land Trust. An accomplished
entrepreneur, Trauner co-founded Cell Response Formulation and
OneWest.net and served as Vice President of Teton Trust Company. Trauner, who has been using ActBlue since 2006, has raised more than $215,000 on ActBlue this cycle. He
will stand against former State Treasurer Cynthia Lummis in November.

Congratulations to Darcy Burner, Gary Trauner, and their campaigns. And congratulations to all of you. Keep up the good work!

*ActBlue does not take sides in contested primaries, and does not endorse particular candidates for office.

ActBlue just released the following statement in response to the Obama campaign’s decision to opt out of the public financing system.

Barack Obama announced this week that his presidential campaign would be opting out of the public financing system.

The decision has been met with considerable, and we think misguided, consternation in the press.

As delightful as it can be to note, and be noted for noting, apparent
contradictions in the actions of public figures, we fear that the media
are missing the broader point here: that in an era of extraordinarily
complex politics, this most recent decision of the Obama campaign
undergirds, rather than undercuts, the campaign’s unwavering commitment
to participatory democracy.

Public financing could work, in a closed system, and it may well be
that such a system would carry certain advantages. But the system, as
it exists, is not closed; funds from special interests often drown out
public monies.

Recognizing this, the Obama campaign chose to opt out of public
financing. The grand irony, of course, is that it would have been
Obama’s other, and far more virtuous, choices-the decision not to
accept money from special interests and lobbyists, for instance-that
would have placed him at a disadvantage relative to the Republican
apparatus, which has not made similar commitments. Had Obama not opted
out, Democrats would have suffered from the apparently virtuous
constraints of the public financing system, gaining perhaps in public
perception but losing ground to a Republican machine that carried in
one hand the banner of campaign finance reform and in the other great
wads of checks from lobbyists.

To accept public financing, in Obama’s case, would have been to choose
a strategy because it looked virtuous. But there is nothing virtuous
about martyring a campaign for the passing glory of a good news cycle.
There is glory in victory, and there is virtue in playing fair. We hope
that the public sees this decision for what it is: a commitment to the
idea that the financing of elections should be the province of the
many, not of the few.

Jonathan Zucker
Executive Director

       
       
       
       
       
       

We hit a new record yesterday, and we’re pretty excited. That’s right: $50 million raised for Democrats since 2004. And we’re just getting started.

Here’s the release we just sent out, and a picture to mark the occasion.

picture_1

DEMOCRATIC FUNDRAISING ON ACTBLUE TOPS $50 MILLION

CAMBRIDGE, MA, JUNE 10, 2008– Democratic fundraising topped $50
million on ActBlue yesterday evening, signaling a surge in fundraising
well beyond the presidential contest. The $50 million total represents
contributions from more than 395,000 donors to more than 3000
candidates and committees, with a median contribution of $50.

Propelled by high numbers from, among others, Rick Noriega’s Texas
Senate campaign and Leslie Byrne’s bid for a Virginia Congressional
seat, ActBlue’s totals also reflect records from some unlikely
directions. In California’s Third Senate District, all four Democratic
primary challengers used ActBlue, raising more than $500,000 ahead of
last week’s primary. The victor in that contest, Mark Leno, raised more
than $227,000 from 600 donors, an ActBlue record for a state race.

“Small dollar donations are the key to Democratic strength, because as
we’ve seen with the Obama campaign, sustainability comes from being
able to return to your base and ask for help when you need it,” says
ActBlue’s executive director, Jonathan Zucker. “We’re building that
capacity for Democrats at every level. You don’t have to be a national
campaign to harness the power of small donors.”

ActBlue’s nearest Republican counterpart, Slatecard.com, has raised
$350,000 since 2007. (For comparison, ActBlue raised more than $890,000
in its first six months of operation.)

The nation’s largest source of funds for Democrats, ActBlue produces a
set of tools that allow individuals and groups to raise money for the
candidates and causes of their choice, tools that now power the
fundraising operations of hundreds of campaigns, from the state house
to the White House. Top fundraisers on ActBlue include groups from
every part of the Democratic spectrum, from establishment Democrats and
elected officials to insurgent Democratic candidates to networks of
prominent bloggers.

Another great day.

Thanks from all of us. Keep up the good work!

We’ve been extremely busy at ActBlue this week, as Democrats come together to support the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama.

After Senator Obama reached the delegate numbers needed to clinch the nomination on Tuesday night, we sent an email encouraging ActBlue Democrats to show their support by creating a personal fundraising page for Obama.

Here is an excerpt of the email:

Now it’s time for Democrats to come together and start working for victory in November. ActBlue wants to help you do your part.

Build a personal fundraising page and ask each of your friends and family members to contribute to the Obama campaign.
Build it right here. Ask right now.

Join the legions of Democrats who are ready to fight.
Become a fundraiser and create a fundraising page.

Less than 36 hours later, dozens of people have taken up the fight for the White House and started fundraising for Obama on ActBlue. This morning, the Los Angeles Times cited these new ActBlue pages as "a measure of [Obama's] power on the Internet." As ActBlue is a barometer for the strength of Obama’s online support, we need you to get involved and prove that a united Democratic Party cannot and will not be defeated.

Keep the buzz going and build a page for our nominee, Barack Obama.

From all of us here at ActBlue, thanks.

Image Speier

Longtime Democratic activist and former state Senator Jackie Speier flies to Washington this morning after winning a special election yesterday to replace the late Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA). Speier took 78 percent of the vote in a field of five, and will represent California’s Twelfth Congressional District.

Image Carson

Speier will join two other ActBlue phenoms, Indiana’s Andre Carson and Bill Foster of Illinois, both elected in special elections in March, in the House after being sworn in on Thursday.

For anyone who doubts that special elections matter, or questions the need to fight for every seat, consider this: On the day that Bill Foster was sworn into office, replacing former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an ethics bill came up for a vote. Democrats eventually passed ethics reform legislation, but not without a struggle.

Image Foster

Before passage, House members had a chance to kill the bill without voting against it.

But the bill was kept alive by a single vote.

Foster’s.

This is why we fight, folks. Congratulations today to Jackie Speier, and to all of those who are working hard in every corner of the country for Democrats. We’re behind you all here at ActBlue.

Raw Numbers System-Wide

Total Contributions
2007 Q4 $5,581,770.40
2008 Q1 $7,091,127.39
Lifetime $42,351,009.00

The first quarter of 2008 represents 16.7% of lifetime
contributions made to ActBlue since 2004. This percentage is a 1.5%
increase from last quarter and sets ActBlue on a path to raise $100
million for Democrats by election day. 

Total Donors
2007 Q4 41,628
2008 Q1 54,918
Lifetime 357,341

The first quarter of 2008 represents 15.4% of all ActBlue donors since
2004, and an increase of 3.7% in donors from last quarter. As the
number of donors skyrockets, we want the number of fundraising pages to
soar as well.  You can help us reach our goal of adding 10,000 new
fundraising pages by election day by starting your own fundraising page
and reaching out to your personal network to raise money for Democrats.

Average Contribution
size made to ActBlue
2007 Q4 $134.08
2008 Q1 $129.12
Lifetime $118.42

The average contribution size for the first quarter of 2008 reflects a 4.1%
decrease in the average contribution from last quarter.  This decline
shows that individuals and organizations can create powerful
fundraising networks using small donations, which is what ActBlue is
all about.

The first quarter of the 2008 fundraising period brought exciting news for ActBlue, as we broke two records and watched surging numbers of pages, donors, and dollars. Even though this quarter falls right before tax day and the media has recently been claiming that Democrats are divided, these new records  prove that Democrats are enthusiastically behind Democratic candidates and organizations

FIRST RECORD: Most money raised in a single day
Just when we thought the quarter couldn’t get any better, ActBlue raised $799,827.60 on the last day of the quarter.  This is as much in a single day as ActBlue’s entire first year in operation.

SECOND RECORD: Most money raised in an election cycle
Raising $24 million from 54,918 donors, ActBlue also reached a new record for the amount of money raised in one election cycle. As the total number of ActBlue contributions hit $42,351,009 yesterday, this $24 million represents 57 percent of all contributions made to ActBlue.

Each day this week, we will break down one facet of the quarterly stats report.  By comparing the 2008 first quarter statistics with the previous quarter (Q4 2007) and ActBlue’s lifetime totals, you will see how far we’ve come, and what we need to hit our goals of raising $100 million for Democrats and adding 10,000 new fundraisers by election day. Here is the schedule:

Tuesday
Raw Numbers System-Wide

Wednesday
Top 10 Candidates by donors and dollars

Thursday
Top 10 Fundraising pages by donors and dollars

Friday
Top 10 Pages with Highest Percentage of Tippers

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