Rightroots — A Final Push

We have come down to the final ten days of the midterm campaign, and the fundraising for our Rightroots candidates has had amazing success. As of this morning, we have raised over a quarter-million dollars for the key races that could determine which party controls Congress. That money came in small to moderate donations from readers of CQ and other blogs, ordinary citizens like us who want to put their political contributions where they can have the most effect.
For the final ten days, we want to focus on the ten candidates that we feel have the best opportunity to win their races. We are asking for one final round of contributions for these Republican challengers:
Michele Bachmann (MN-06)
Mike Bouchard (MI-Sen)
Max Burns (GA-12)
John Gard (WI-08)
Thomas Kean (NJ-Sen)
Mike McGavick (WA-Sen)
David McSweeney (IL-08)
Ray Meier (NY-24)
Peter Roskam (IL-06)
Michael Steele (MD-Sen)
As some of the stories below show, we have entered the unchallenged hit-piece season in the election cycle. We need to make sure that these candidates have the funds available to continue getting their message out to the voters. The balance of power in Congress is in your hands. Please help us to help keep Republican leadership in charge of Congress.

Final Push For The Rightroots Candidates

The Rightroots campaign started by a handful of conservative bloggers, including yours truly, has raised over $200,000 for the slate of candidates in competitive elections. The money will come in handy for these Republicans in their efforts to keep control of Congress with the GOP. However, time has almost run out for contributions to these campaigns, as fellow founder Wizbang! notes:

You can still make a difference, but time is short. It takes time for ABC Pac and the campaigns to do the paperwork on the money that’s received, so for contributions sent into Rightroots to have a chance to make an impact in this election cycle, they really should be received by October 15th.

We have our deadline — so be sure to make those final contributions before the clock runs out. Thank you for your continued support!

Rightroots Hits The Mark While The GOP Ascends

The Rightroots campaign succeeded in its project to collect 100 contributions for each of its candidates. John Hawkins announced last night that we rode the momentum that had gathered over the weekend into a big burst at the finish line:

Moreover, in the process we raised a nice chunk of change. The official count that ABC PAC gave us for the moment we started the challenged was $50,250.12. As of this moment, we have raised $112,618.46. So, we raised more than $62,000 during the challenge and, because of our success, the RNC has agreed to send out a promotional email on our behalf to their mailing list, which consists of millions of Republican voters. Furthermore, our totals don’t include the $14,000 that Jack Kingston’s PAC has given to our candidates for meeting a previous challenge.
Consider that 10 weeks ago, Rightroots wasn’t even an idea in my head yet. 9 weeks ago, we had our first meeting via email. 7 weeks ago, we went public.
In that short period of time, we’ve raised 6 figures for our candidates, been endorsed by the Senate Majority leader and the RNC, and we’ve shattered the conventional wisdom, which has always been that right-of-center bloggers can’t raise money. That’s not bad for a grassroots effort put together on the fly by a bunch of bloggers — and, it’s worth noting that we’re not done yet …

It’s amazing what a handful of people can do when they refuse to listen to others telling them they can’t. Your contributions have helped get significant resources to campaigns that all sides agree will be critical for control of the Senate and Congress.
Republican fortunes appear on the upswing in a number of different ways. Our fundraising has met with great success, but perhaps that’s not occurring in a vacuum. A recent Gallup poll shows that the generic Congressional ballot is now tied, 48%-48%, which represents a huge comeback for the GOP. Republicans trailed in that poll earlier this year by almost twenty points. Perhaps even more significantly, Gallup reports that a “sizable minority” of Democrats are more motivated by anti-GOP emotion than in support of their own candidate.
Congressional Quarterly now predicts that the GOP will keep control of the House. In their analysis of safe and leaning seats, CQPolitics now predicts that the GOP will hold at least 220 of the 435 districts, while 12 are too close to call. One of those seats belongs to Mark Kennedy, the Rightroots-supported candidate for Senate in Minnesota, and another Rightroots candidate is trying to hold the seat for the GOP — Michele Bachmann.
We’ve got a long way to go before the midterms are here. Keep up your support of these fine candidates, and thank you for your support of the Rightroots initiative!

Rightroots Homestretch

We’re coming into the home stretch for the Rightroots 15-day project to get 100 contributions for each of the candidates on our slate. We still have candidates who have a little way to go to meet the goal, but we have pushed five of them over the century mark. Diana Irey has received 146 contributions in the last two weeks for her contest against John Murtha, for instance, and all but one of our Senatorial candidates have met the goal.
This morning we topped the $100,000 mark for Rightroots, a pretty astounding effort for a project only about six weeks old. With the midterms approaching, these Republican candidates can use all of the assistance you can provide. Help keep Congress in Republican hands by making your contributions to these campaigns. You can hear John Hawkins of Right Wing News explain the program to Mitch and me on our Northern Alliance Radio Network last Saturday at this link.

Rightroots: The John Hawkins Interview

Yesterday, Mitch Berg and I had the pleasure of interviewing John Hawkins regarding the Rightroots initiative on our Northern Alliance Radio Network show. John, the proprietor of Right Wing News, put together this effort on behalf of the conservative blogosphere to raise funds for key races that we feel are critical in holding onto Republican control of both chambers of Congress. This gives people living in districts that do not feature competitive races or states that have no Senate seat at risk to put their contributions where they will have the most impact.
As of now, we have topped the 100-contribution mark in this 15-day spotlight effort days before the deadline. The rest of the candidates have more than half of their contribution goals, and we have raised over $38,000 in ten short days. That gives us a total of almost $90,000 for these fine candidates, none of whom have the advantage of incumbency. They all have good shots at winning their races, but they need your assistance to ensure their victory.
The podcast of our interview with John is here. John’s a great guest and we’re going to have him back soon to discuss more about this year’s election. Listen to John and break out your wallets for some excellent candidates.

Rightroots Push Continues

We’re continuing our push for 100 contributions for each candidate in our Rightroots campaign, which has a slate of excellent candidates in competitive races for both the House and Senate in the upcoming midterm elections. As of this post, we have raised over $66,000 for the list, and we’re just getting started. In order to make the stakes clear regarding the candidates, I’d like to highlight the two Minnesota races Rightroots supports.
Mark Kennedy has served in Congress for three terms and now wants to win the seat from which Mark Dayton will retire. Kennedy has a solid conservative voting record and wants to pursue national security and open government issues when he moves to the Senate. His opponent, Amy Klobuchar, has a small but consistent lead on Kennedy in the polls. Klobuchar has served as the District Attorney for Minneapolis without getting her hands dirty by actually prosecuting cases, and watched violent crime increase significantly during her eight-year tenure. She has Bill Clinton and Nancy Pelosi raising funds for her in Minnesota, and Mark needs to outpace her in the next few weeks.
Michele Bachmann has built a reputation for conservatism in her years at the Capital as a state senator, and now she wants to fill Mark Kennedy’s seat in the Sixth Congressional District. Her opponent, Patty Wetterling, lost to Kennedy in 2004 for the same office, but she has plenty of backing from Emily’s List, Pelosi, and the entire Leftist elite. Wetterling has a lot of name recognition for the courageous work she did for missing children after the heartbreaking (and unsolved) abduction of her own child. However, she has adopted a far-Left position on issues that will fundamentally change the nature of Congress if she replaces Kennedy. She also spent the last two months ducking Bachmann, refusing to debate her.
Bachmann is a reliable conservative, a tax attorney who opposes any tax increases, and a staunch supporter of the need to defend the United States. On a personal level, Bachmann is one of my favorite political figures — a warm and friendly woman who raised 23 foster children with her husband Marcus, who enjoys meeting people and talking about any subject that comes up, and who can light up a room or a political gathering with equal charm and grace. I’ll try to dig up our interview during the fair and podcast it tonight.
Rightroots has plenty of candidates like Mark and Michele to support. This weekend, be sure to drop a few dollars at the website and help keep Republican control on both chambers this fall.

McCain Supports Rightroots Campaign

The big push has continued this week for the Rightroots campaign, and it has added a rather significant name in support — Senator John McCain. Patrick Hynes, who works for McCain as well as blogs at Ankle Biting Pundits, reports that the presidential contender wants to use Rightroots to help maintain Republican control of both chambers of Congress. He also includes an entertaining video clip in which McCain uses humor to separate rally attendees from the GOP money that still resides in their wallets.
The Rightroots effort is in the middle of a push to get 100 new contributions per candidate between now and the 20th. Of course, every donation helps, but we really want to show that the conservative blogosphere can adopt a grassroots enthusiasm and support key candidates in the midterms. I can tell you that the endorsed slate include very winnable races for the GOP, and that running the table with these folks will guarantee another session of Republican control of Congress.
John Hawkins, one of the organizers behind Rightroots and the blogger who helms Right Wing News, will appear on the Northern Alliance Radio Network this Saturday to discuss the progress of the campaign. Help give him some good news to report this weekend!

Russell Simmons Brings Black Votes To Michael Steele

The endorsement of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons appears to have opened the African-American voting bloc to Michael Steele, Maryland’s Lt. Governor running for Paul Sarbanes’ Senate seat. The Washington Times reports that appearances by Simmons on Steele’s behalf has impressed some of the traditionally Democratic voters in Prince George County:

The Maryland Democratic Party’s traditional support among blacks appears to be slipping, now that hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons — who has helped register thousands of Democratic voters — has endorsed Republican Michael S. Steele for the U.S. Senate.
Mr. Simmons is scheduled to hold a fundraiser tonight at Baltimore’s Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park for Mr. Steele, the lieutenant governor and the first black to win a statewide office in Maryland.
“Russell Simmons is one of the leading progressive voices in America,” said Donna Brazile, who managed Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign.
“This is a major endorsement for Lieutenant Governor Steele that will help him attract young people, as well as black voters,” Ms. Brazile said. “Once again, this should serve as a wake-up call to Democrats not to take their most loyal constituents and voters for granted.”

The real effects of the endorsement may not be fully known for weeks, and the Times does not present anything more than anecdotal evidence of a shift in support. However, almost anything more than 10% would be seen as a major inroad on the last safe demographic of the Democratic Party, and some have estimated Steele’s reach at 25% or more. That number came before the Simmons endorsement.
Some may be surprised to see Donna Brazile supporting the notion that Simmons could shift the election, but she has some motivation to do so. Brazile has argued that the Democrats should unite behind Kweisi Mfume and jettison the more popular Benjamin Cardin, who leads in the Democratic primary and outpolls Steele. Brazile understands the strategic long-term threat that serious black conservative candidates represent to her party, and wants to see them countered with Democratic candidates that engage African-American voters.
This gets back to a problem that the Democrats have glossed over for several years. The Democratic Party has locked up this voting bloc so tightly that they see no real need to put African Americans into leadership positions. They continue to offer the same policies of big government while inner-city children remain locked in badly-performing schools. These voters want to hear other ideas and may want to try new policies to change the economic paradigms which trap a disproportionate amount of African-Americans, and that means giving the Republicans a chance. With the rise of significant black conservatives in the party to national prominence, more and more of them may find themselves tempted to pull the lever for Republicans and to spread their political influence into both parties.
That will not happen in this mid-term election; it will only happen over a long period of time, as the GOP promotes more African-Americans to positions of real power and elects more of them to Congress and the Senate. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, though, and Brazile understands that Steele and Simmons gets the GOP off to a running start.
CQ readers can contribute to Michael Steele or any of our other Congressional candidates through our Rightroots initiative. We have raised $44,000 for these critical races in this midterm election. Be sure to support these fine candidates in their efforts to hold the House and Senate for the GOP. John Hawkins has a new interview with Rightroots candidate David McSweeney on his site today as well.

Rightroots: Michele Bachmann Interview

After five full days of the Rightroots initiative, we have raised more money than we thought possible. We’re up to $35K, and most of our candidates have over $1,000 in contributions already.
Today we spoke with Michele Bachmann, one of the Rightroots candidates, along with Rep. Phil English from Pennsylvania, a key member of the Ways and Means Committee. The two are campaigning in Michele’s district today and took a half-hour to talk with us about the election as well as key issues facing Congress now and in the next session. I have podcasted the interview in two segments:
Segment 1
Segment 2
Be sure to listen to the whole interview, and hit the contribution page at Rightroots for Michele and the other fine candidates!

Rightroots: Michele Bachmann Interview Tomorrow

I just took a look at the Rightroots page, and we have had an excellent start to our effort! In just four days we have raised almost $35,000 for the eighteen candidates supported by the Rightroots initiative. The money has been spread around, too. Fourteen of the eighteen have received over $1,000 so far. Diana Irey has been the most popular candidate, pulling in more than $6,500 already. Considering that she had just $160K on hand at the end of June, the money will definitely come in handy. Her opponent, John Murtha, had $1.8 million in his campaign chest, although an amount almost equal to Irey’s fund came with no disclosure. Does Murtha have contributors he wants to hide from his constituents?
Another early Rightroots favorite is Michele Bachmann, running for Rep. Mark Kennedy’s seat in MN-06 (Kennedy, another Rightroots candidate, is running for Minnesota’s open Senate seat). We will be interviewing Michele on our Northern Alliance Radio Network show, which starts at our new time of 9 am CT and can be heard on our Internet stream at Townhall and AM 1280 The Patriot. Be sure to listen tomorrow as we discuss the Rightroots initiative and much more with Michele!