Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Top 10 Candidates & Committees on ActBlue, September 15-21, 2008

Editor's Note: Each week, ActBlue will release key statistics from campaigns across the country, along with brief biographical notes on the week's Top 10 Candidates and Committees.* When we have information that may help to explain why a candidate or candidate has had increased activity on ActBlue, we will provide it in italics below the biography. Descriptive content reproduced in the ActBlue Campaign Newswire is collated from publicly available sources. ActBlue does not take sides in any Democratic primary. You can subscribe to the RSS feed of the Campaign Newswire at http://feeds.feedburner.com/ActBlueCampaignNewswire.


Kay Hagan | NC-Sen | $101,943.08

Equality for All | $50,724.33

Al Franken | MN-Sen | $40,969.88

Vote Today Ohio | $37,721.62

Ronnie Musgrove | MS-Sen | $35,964.23

Campaign For Our Country | $33,422.45

Joseph Sestak Jr | PA-07 | $33,356.33

Jeff Merkley | OR-Sen | $32,428.33

Barack Obama | President | $32,118.62

Gavin Newsom | CA-Gov | $30,850.00


Kay Hagan (NC-Sen)

Kay Hagan is a Campaign Newswire regular and is once again in the top 3. Hagan is running against Republican incumbent Elizabeth Dole and was named one of the "top ten most effective state senators" by the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research (NCCPPR). After winning the Democratic primary in May with 60 percent of the vote, the five-term North Carolina state senator continues to pick up high-profile endorsements.

Hagan, who recently became the fourth candidate to cross the million-dollar mark on ActBlue, is one of several candidates to use innovative fundraising techniques to fund media buys this cycle. Hagan spells out the challenge for her supporters: "North Carolina is the most expensive state to compete in this cycle. With 10 different media markets, nearly 9 million people and a little more than two months until Election Day, it is imperative that I have the resources to stay on the air." Reminding her supporters that it was "two powerful television ads" that "brought us ahead," Hagan asks readers to help her put the ad embedded in her fundraising page on television (http://www.actblue.com/page/kayisahead). Hagan has also benefited greatly in the past week from fundraising pushes by Senator Max Cleland and Senator Barbara Boxer, and from other innovative fundraising asks like "Liddy's Slippers" (http://www.actblue.com/page/liddysslippers), a joint production with the North Carolina Democratic Party: "Elizabeth Dole was a Kansan for over 25 years, even running for President as a Jayhawk, right up until she set her sights on a North Carolina Senate seat. Help us help Liddy click her heels three times and go home to Kansas so we can have a true North Carolinian to represent us in the U.S. Senate. A bus ticket from DC to Kansas: $177. Plane ticket from DC to Kansas: $319. Taxi from Capitol to Watergate: $6.25. Fill up Liddy's Gas Tank: $75. A train ticket from DC to Kansas: $147."

Hagan's ActBlue hubpage: http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/18560

Hagan's campaign site: http://kayhagan.com/welcome

Equality for All

Equality for All is a diverse coalition encouraging Californians to vote against a ballot initiative ("Prop 8") that would rewrite the California Constitution to define marriage as a valid union between only a man and a woman. Equality for All is comprised of nearly 50 organizations, including LGBT, pro-choice and civil rights organizations, and organized labor and religious groups. California supporters can take the "Vow to Vote No" on Prop 8 at http://eqfed.org/campaign/vow.

Equality for All's totals this week reflect composite efforts by a number of community fundraisers and from the state blog Calitics. In a prime example of a personalized fundraising ask, "Lesbian Dad" makes the case to potential supporters: "The California Supreme Court's decision didn't merely read the equal protection clause as including lesbians and gay men; it didn't just rule that an individual's right to marry is protected. The court's ruling went on to say that 'an individual's sexual orientation, like a person's race or gender, does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.'" [...]Defeating Proposition 8 (which, as the ballot makes clear, "eliminates the right of same sex couples to marry") won't just defend the fundamental right to marry for all Californians. It will turn the tide in the entire anti-gay marriage movement nationally. Those working to pass the proposition know it: they are marshaling resources on an epic scale, because they know if they can't win here, there's little sense in mounting battles like this elsewhere.[...] But this race will be down to the wire, and will be won or lost by a fraction of a percentage point. Not at all kidding here. [...] Please contribute as much as you can to this fundraising page today! Then pass it on. "

No Prop 8, Equality for All website: http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/19788

No Prop 8, Equality for All campaign hubpage: http://noonprop8.com

Al Franken (MN-Sen)

Al Franken is an award-winning satirist and author, host of Air America's "The Al Franken Show," and a candidate for Senate in Minnesota, running to replace Republican Norm Coleman. In 2003, Franken served as a Fellow at Harvard's Shorenstein Center, part of the Kennedy School, and later became the first nationally syndicated radio talk show host to visit Iraq. He has visited the troops seven times with the USO. Franken has written for the Huffington Post since 2005, and is the author of, among others, The Truth (With Jokes). Franken won the Democratic primary this week.

Franken's totals on ActBlue are driven by enthusiastic support from the Daily Kos community (http://www.actblue.com/page/orangetoblue; see the push at http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/9/19/181121/069/1/604091 and http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/9/20/16429/3308/244/604873), groups like Peace Action West (http://actblue.com/page/peaceactionwestvoterfund), and by friends of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, reaching ActBlue through GiveEmHellHarry.com.

Franken's ActBlue hubpage: http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/16471

Franken's campaign site: http://www.alfranken.com/

Vote Today Ohio

Vote Today Ohio is a grassroots campaign to utilize Ohio's "Golden Week" (September 30-October 6) to help 10,000 new and unlikely progressive Ohio voters make their voices heard and have their votes count in the 2008 presidential election. "Golden Week" refers to the week in Ohio when "for one 'golden week', any Ohio citizen can walk into an early voting center, register, and vote on the spot."

Vote Today Ohio is asking for "tangible, meaningful donations": "Donate to Vote Today Ohio to help us pay for vans, gas and posters. Our overhead is fully funded, so donations go directly to producing votes. We're looking for generous individuals or teams of friends to sponsor one van -- $750 for the week. That's a tangible, meaningful donation. If we run our program right, each van should deliver about 250 voters. Make an online donation here: http://www.actblue.com/page/votetodayohio."The majority of contributions have come through http://actblue.com/page/votetodayohio.

Vote Today Ohio's ActBlue hubpage: http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/21134

Vote Today Ohio's website: http://votetodayohio.blogspot.com/

Ronnie Musgrove (MS-Sen)

Two-term state senator and former Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove is running against Republican Senator Roger Wicker in a special election this November. Musgrove has served on several national boards, including the Southern States Energy Board, on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. He was also Vice Chair of Policy for the Executive Committee for the Democratic Governors' Association.

Musgrove was the beneficiary this week of a major fundraising push by Senator Barbara Boxer (http://www.actblue.com/page/boxer4musgrove). Senator Boxer's push aimed to help Musgrove keep his ad on the air.

Musgrove's ActBlue hubpage: http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/18711

Musgrove's campaign site: http://musgroveforsenate.net/

Campaign for Our Country

Campaign for Our Country is Senator John Kerry's leadership PAC that has raised over $15 million for candidates and committees up and down the ballot in 46 states. The group states that it will "defend Democrats who are smeared by the right-wing smear machine, and ... point out ways the Republicans have failed this country." The PAC launched TruthFightsBack.com, a new, innovative website that empowers activists to track and fight back against the rightwing smear machine.

The ActBlue page corresponding to TruthFightsBack.com, http://actblue.com/page/truthfightsback, has been highly successful over several weeks, and accounts for a considerable portion of Campaign for Our Country's contributions this week.

Campaign for Our Country's ActBlue hubpage: http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/9487

Campaign for Our Country's website: http://www.campaignforourcountry.com/

Joseph Sestak Jr. (PA-07)

Former Navy Vice Admiral Joseph Sestak, Jr., was elected to Congress in 2006, defeating ten-term Republican incumbent Curt Weldon, and is running for re-election this year. Between tours in the Navy, Sestak earned a master's degree in Public Administration and a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard, and later served as Director for Defense Policy on the staff of the National Security Council under President Clinton, and as director of "Deep Blue," the Navy's anti-terrorism unit. Sestak is the senior military veteran in Congress and the highest-ranking former military officer ever elected to Congress. Sestak was among ActBlue's ten most successful candidates in 2006.

Sestak continues to hold a place on the Campaign Newswire. Sestak's total this week reflects long-term commitments by supporters who have pledged to make recurring contributions to his campaign, and other contributions directed through his hubpage. From Georgia to Michigan and Virginia to California, the Pennsylvania congressman has supporters all across the country.

Sestak's ActBlue hubpage: http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/12839

Sestak's campaign site: http://www.sestakforcongress.com/

Jeff Merkley (OR-Sen)

Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley is challenging Republican Gordon Smith for the United States Senate. Merkley also led a band of progressives to take control of the Oregon House eighteen months ago, and has used his tenure as Speaker to fight for health care, family-wage jobs, and environmental legislation, and against payday loan scandals. Merkley is the first Oregon Democrat to serve as Speaker in 16 years. Before entering politics, he ran Habitat for Humanity in Oregon and served as a national security analyst at the Pentagon and in Congress.

Merkley's strong showing on ActBlue this week is fueled by a stream of small donations across a large number of ActBlue pages, from individual donors' pages to major pushes from prominent Democrats. Among others, Blue America's slate page is doing much to promote Merkley, and the community fundraising group "13 Enviros" has brought in a steady stream of contributions. Another effort, 'Who Fuels Jeff Merkley's Campaign?' (http://www.actblue.com/page/fuelmerkley) uses an embedded video to contrast Merkley's grassroots effort with the campaign of his opponent, Gordon Smith, into whose campaign, says the page, "the oil and gas industry has pumped more than $270,000."

Merkley's ActBlue hubpage: http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/18219

Merkley's campaign site: http://www.jeffmerkley.com/

Barack Obama (President)

Illinois Senator Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee for President.

The Obama-Biden campaign has been the beneficiary of fundraising pushes by AmericaBlog, Atrios, Balloon Juice, Daily Kos (Orange to Blue), the Progressive Reading Series, and National Anthem, a group of Boston-based classical musicians staging a benefit for the campaign this month (http://www.actblue.com/page/obamaconcert).

Obama's ActBlue hubpage: http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/16332

Obama's campaign site: http://www.barackobama.com/

Gavin Newsom (CA-Gov)

Gavin Newsom is the first-term Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco and is currently exploring a run for governor of California in 2010. The contributions this week for Newsom, the youngest San Franciscan mayor in 100 years, are for his exploratory committee, which he launched in July 2008. Newsom made international headlines in 2004 when the city-county clerk began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples under his instruction. The Mayor continues to attract national media attention after implementing a universal health care system for all San Franciscans and signing the City onto the Kyoto Protocol, an environmental agreement in which signatories pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2012.

Newsom's list placement this week reflects continuing high support through his ActBlue hubpage.

Newsom's exploratory committee hubpage: http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/20517

Newsom's exploratory committee website: http://www.gavinnewsom.com

* All fundraising totals represent the amount raised from 12:00 a.m. on September 15 until 11:59 p.m. on September 21.