Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Choose Your Core Four for 2018

This OTYCD post originally appeared in January 2018, but with the mid-terms approaching and the stakes rising, we are reposting past posts that discuss key things you can do to push back against Trump.

 

Choose your Core Four–two Democratic senators and two Democratic house reps, an incumbent and a challenger for each chamber–to support to in 2018.

 

From late 2016 until now, we’ve been going to bat for Democratic candidates in individual special elections. Usually, we’ve supported one Democrat at a time.

 

2018 will test our collective resolve as never before.

 

Literally hundreds of races–34 senators, and all 435 House reps–are taking place, and all of them will end on November 6, 2018.

 

If the Democrats are to win control of the House of Representatives (tough, because of gerrymandering, but doable) and the Senate (tougher, but thinkable now that Alabama Democrat Doug Jones won his special election Senate race in December 2017), we’ll all need to concentrate on, and help, more than one Congressional race at the same time.

 

We at OTYCD suggest that you prepare for what’s coming by choosing your “Core Four”–four Democratic candidates who will receive the bulk of your efforts.

 

Two Democrats for the House of Representatives.

Two Democrats for the Senate.

One incumbent and one challenger for each chamber of Congress.

 

 

How to Pick Your Core Four

 

There’s no right way or wrong way to choose your Core Four, but we suggest starting in your own backyard, with the members of Congress who represent your state.

 

If you don’t know who your members of Congress are, go to this website and plug your street address into the search engine:

whoaremyrepresentatives.org

 

…then research the three names–one House rep and two Senators–that come up.

 

Do you have a good Democratic House Rep? Then embrace him or her.

 

Do you have a lousy House Rep, or is your district’s seat being vacated? Look up the Democratic challengers for the seat and choose one. Look to Ballotpedia.org for help with finding challengers in your federal district.

 

One-third of all senators will be up for re-election in 2018. It’s possible that at least one of your senators (and possibly both) is due to run (but scroll down for a list of states where neither senator has to run).

 

Is one or both of your senators up for re-election? Are they good Dems? If so, embrace them and get behind them.

 

Is your senator who’s running for re-election a lousy senator? Learn about the Democratic challengers for the seat, and be ready to help a challenger however you can. As always, Ballotpedia.org is your friend here.

 

Your help can take the form of time, money, word of mouth, or some combination of the three. But you need to choose your four Democrats, and you need to think seriously about how you will juggle the needs of all four.

 

You’ll need to sit down and plot this out as you might plot a semester’s course schedule in college. The demands of the four candidates will overlap and they’ll all come due at the same time–in the weeks and days leading up to November 6, 2018. You’ll also have to factor in appointments and life events of your own, too, of course.

 

 

Choosing your Core Four: A Test Case

 

Let’s say you live in New Hampshire.

 

Your House Rep is up for re-election because they all are. Is yours a good Democrat? Then you have your House incumbent settled.

 

If your House Rep is not a good Democrat, or is a lousy Republican, or is retiring, check Ballotpedia and see who’s challenging for the seat.

 

Let’s assume for the sake of this example that your House Rep is a good Dem. There’s one of your four settled.

 

Now look for a challenger who’s aiming to take a terrible House Republican out.

 

**How about Andrew Janz? He hopes to push House Rep Devin Nunes out of his perch in California’s 22nd District. A worthy choice. Allocate time and money to him. You’ve chosen your two House Dems, one incumbent and one challenger.

 

 

Now turn to the senators. It so happens that neither of the incumbent senators from New Hampshire are up for re-election in 2018. You are free to devote your resources elsewhere.

 

Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is running for her second term in 2018. How about helping to defend her? There’s your third choice made.

 

Now look for a candidate who hopes to push out a terrible sitting Republican Senator. Hey, how about Beto O’Rourke? He hopes to send Ted Cruz of Texas packing. Hard to find a nobler cause than that.

 

 

And there’s your Core Four: Your good incumbent Democratic House Rep, Randy Bryce in Wisconsin, Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, Beto O’Rourke in Texas.

 

Of course, you can choose more than four Congressional candidates to back. But the idea here is to help you focus.

 

If you can take on more than four, do it. But four is just enough, in our opinion–more than one, but still a number small enough to count on one hand.

 

You can certainly look to orgs such as Swing Left, the Road to 2018, Emily’s List, and the like to help you make your choices. The main thing is nowrightnow is the time to think seriously about those choices.

 

 

Also, if you live in one of the states listed below, neither of your Senators is up for re-election, and you can devote your resources to incumbents and candidates in other states:

Alabama

Alaska

Arkansas

Colorado

Georgia

Idaho

Illinois

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

New Hampshire

North Carolina

Oklahoma

Oregon

South Carolina

South Dakota

 

 

* Our ‘Core Four’ only covers federal Congress races. You might have other important races happening at the state and local level–for governor, attorney general, mayor, what have you. Please don’t neglect those races.

 

**The original suggestion we had here was Randy Bryce, aka Ironstache, a Democrat who is running in Wisconsin’s 1st District. In mid-April 2018, his lousy Republican opponent, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, announced he would not run again. We cheered for Ironstache, and then we realized we should swap in a different example of an incumbent House Rep who needs to GO. It’s a good problem to have. Here’s hoping we face it a few more times before November 6.

 

 

See the website for Ballotpedia.org:

https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page

 

Visit the website of Swing Left, which focuses on taking back the House of Representatives:

https://swingleft.org

 

Visit the website of The Road to 2018, which focuses on defending vulnerable Democratic Senators:

http://www.roadto2018.com

 

Visit the website of Emily’s List, which helps elect pro-choice Democratic women to office:

https://www.emilyslist.org

 

See OTYCD‘s past posts on picking House Reps and Senators to support in 2018, and on starting a 2018 fund:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/09/start-scouting-for-senators-who-you-can-donate-time-and-money-to-in-2018/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/09/think-about-which-house-reps-to-support-or-oppose-in-2018/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/09/start-a-2018-fund/

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections

Re-elect Democrat Seth Moulton, House Rep for Massachusetts’s 6th District

Help re-elect Seth Moulton, a Democrat who represents Massachusetts’s 6th District.

 

Moulton was first elected in 2014. He is a graduate of Phillips Andover Academy and Harvard University, where he earned a bachelor’s in physics and an MBA as well as an MPA. Between his undergraduate years and graduate school, he served four tours in Iraq with the U.S Marine Corps.

 

While serving, he earned a Bronze Star as well as Navy and Marine Corps Commendations for his valor. He told no one about these awards, not even his parents. News of his decade-old heroism broke in October 2014, not long before he was first elected.

 

Moulton is a progressive who believes in legalizing marijuana. He supports same-sex marriage, reproductive rights, and better gun laws.

 

 

He also administered a nooice Twitter burn to President Trump over his mid-May 2017 complaints of being the subject of what he called “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

Moulton won the Internet for the day when he countered:

As the Representative of Salem, MA, I can confirm that this is false.

 

 

Moulton won’t face any party competition in the September 4, 2018 primary, but there will be a Republican and a Libertarian running against him. The Cook Political Report rates the Massachusetts 6th District race as Solid Democrat.

 

 

See House Rep Seth Moulton’s homepage:

https://moulton.house.gov

 

 

Choose Seth Moulton for your Core Four:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/24/choose-your-core-four-for-2018/

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Donate to Moulton’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/moultonleadership-web

 

 

Like Moulton on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/RepMoulton/

 

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@sethmoulton

 

 

Moulton is endorsed by 314 Action, an organization devoted to electing more people with STEM backgrounds to office. See his page there:

http://www.314action.org/seth-moulton

 

 

See his Ballotpedia page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Seth_Moulton

 

 

Read about how Moulton downplayed his combat medals rather than making political hay from them:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/10/17/moulton-underplays-military-service/lY9FfmOrviwL2LAFHr61dO/story.html

https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2014/10/18/mass-congressional-hopeful-seth-moulton-kept-his-military-awards-a-secret

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/watch/reporter-exposes-candidates-secret-valor-345543235726

 

 

Elections · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Uncategorized

Set Aside Two Hours Per Week To Work For Your Chosen 2018 Candidates

This OTYCD post originally appeared in February 2018, but with the mid-terms approaching and the stakes rising, we are reposting past posts that discuss key things you can do to push back against Trump.

 

2018 will test us like never before. We have to support more than one campaign at a time, and we have to pay attention to races on the federal, state, and local levels.

 

We’ve already asked you to choose your Core Four for 2018–four Democrats, two incumbents and two challengers, for each chamber of Congress:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/24/choose-your-core-four-for-2018/

 

To serve those four candidates well, you’ll need to school yourself on their voting records and their backgrounds. If they’ve written books, you need to read them. You need to become expert in them so you can persuade people to vote for them and defend them to those who are skeptical or hostile.

 

Once you feel like you have those four under control, you should see whether you can add other races to your load. A total of 36 gubernatorial races happen in 2018, and several state races for Attorney General take place, too. And you might have state senators and state house representative contests to watch. Plus, your local electeds might be running, too.

 

In order to stay on top of it all, find a way to commit a minimum of two hours a week to state, local, and federal 2018 races. Money always matters, of course, but time can be even more valuable to a candidate. If you’re an excellent political volunteer, your time might be worth several times more than your dollar donations.

 

You don’t have to give your time in a two-hour block. You can chop it up as needed–four half-hours, an hour here and an hour there, twelve 20-minute blocks, twenty-four ten minute blocks, whatever works best for you.

 

Research, reading, attending speeches, going to Indivisible meetings, and talking to other people all count, as does phone-banking, canvassing, and writing GOTV postcards.

 

If you can give more than two hours a week, great! But the key thing is to aim to give at least two hours a week, and stick to it.

 

As we head toward Labor Day 2018, you might want to think about rearranging your schedule to give even more time to 2018 races. Almost all of them will end on November 6, 2018, and campaign needs will grow more intense as early November approaches.

 

It makes sense to sit down now and plan how September through November will go, particularly if you’ll have other standing obligations to work around, such as school, or your kids’ schools, or holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections · Health Care

Support Democrat Barbara L’Italien’s Run for a Massachusetts House of Representatives Seat #MA3

Support Democrat Barbara L’Italien’s run for the open House of Representatives seat in Massachusetts’s 3rd District.

 

L’Italien is a Massachusetts state Senator and has been since 2014. She also served in the state’s House of Representatives from 2003 to 2011.

 

As a state legislator, she defended marriage equality and fought to improve public schools and expand access to health care. She also opposed a $3.3 billion natural gas pipeline project that would have ended in Dracut, a town that she represents in the state senate.

 

In particular, L’Italien championed a state law that require private health insurers to cover services for those diagnosed with autism, and a second law that extended the autism coverage requirement to MassHealth, the state’s public health insurance option. One of her four children has autism.

 

If she wins the September 4, 2017 primary and gets elected in November, she will be the only sitting member of the 535-member federal Congress who has parented an autistic person.

 

Massachusetts’s 3rd District seat is open because five-term representative Democrat Niki Tsongas has chosen not to run again. (L’Italien ran against Tsongas in 2008 for the federal seat and lost to her.)

 

L’Italien is one of 11 Democrats who have committed to the primary. Two Republicans are running as well.

 

The 2018 Massachusetts primary promises to be extra-challenging because of the calendar. It falls on Tuesday, September 4, 2017–the day after the Labor Day holiday, and at the end of the summer season. Both facts will likely combine to depress turnout.

 

The Cook Political Report rates Massachusetts’s 3rd District as Solid Democrat.

 

Note: Sarah Jane, lead writer of the OTYCD blog, chose L’Italien for her Core Four.

 

 

See L’Italien’s campaign website:

http://www.teambarbara.com

 

 

See her Meet Barbara page:

http://teambarbara.com/bio.html

 

 

Donate to her campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/barbara-l-italien-7?refcode=website_header

 

 

Volunteer for L’Italien:

http://teambarbara.com/getinvolved.html

 

 

Choose L’Italien for your Core Four for 2018:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/24/choose-your-core-four-for-2018/

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Like L’Italien on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/teambarbara

 

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@teambarbara

 

 

See her Ballotpedia page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Barbara_L%27Italien

 

 

See the Ballotpedia page on Massachusetts’ 3rd District:

https://ballotpedia.org/Massachusetts%27_3rd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

See L’Italien’s State Senate scorecard from Progressive Massachusetts:

http://www.progressivemass.com/189thscorecard-senate

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Vote with your Dollars

Start a 2018 Fund

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2017, but with the mid-terms approaching and the stakes rising, we are reposting past posts that discuss key things you can do to push back against Trump. And yes, even if you only start saving now, and only save $2 per week, it still matters and can still have an effect.

 

Start saving two dollars a week to fund political actions that will shape the 2018 midterms.

 

It doesn’t have to be two dollars. You can save more if you want. If you’re struggling, find a sum you can comfortably set aside, even if it’s just a quarter.

 

If you start saving two dollars per week now, you should have about one hundred set aside when the 2018 primaries crest the horizon.

 

The point is to develop the habit of squirreling away something every week to support your political efforts. You can define ‘political efforts’ as broadly as you wish. You can draw on your stash to donate to Congressional candidates. You can give to Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, the Sierra Club, the Southern Poverty Law Center, or dozens of other worthy organizations that matter to you. Or you can use it as seed money for your own run for local office.

 

Budget for politics just as you’d budget for Christmas, or tithes, or a down payment on a house. Think long-term. Put away something every week, no matter how small.

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Smoke Out Your Friends Who Didn’t Vote Last Year, and Cultivate Them

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017, but with the mid-terms approaching and the stakes rising, we are reposting past posts that discuss key things you can do to push back against Trump.

 

Start a slow, quiet campaign to identify your friends who didn’t vote for president last November, and cultivate them with an eye toward getting them to the polls in 2018 and 2020.

 

One of the more shocking facts from the 2016 election was how few people voted. According to numbers from the United States Election Project, 59.3 percent of eligible voters turned out and cast a ballot for the president. (60 percent showed up and voted for something; the 0.7 percent gap represents people who voted but did not vote for president.)

 

That’s stupid-crazy low for an advanced democracy like America’s. Pitiable, in fact. Yet it’s actually a better turnout than 2012, which tallied 58.6 percent of eligible voters, and it might be the best electoral turnout recorded between 1972 and 2000.

 

Voter turnout needs to improve. Two out of five eligible voters stayed home. If more of those abstainers had come out, we might not be in the mess we’re in today. If you’re mad at Clinton’s narrow loss to Trump, don’t vent your rage on people who voted for Jill Stein and Gary Johnson–at least they went to the polls. Point your ire at the 40 percent of voters who never made it.

 

Ok, we’re joking about that–don’t actually get mad at them. At least some wanted to cast a ballot, but could not. That said, we’re on watch for articles that explain why people who can vote don’t vote, and why they say they chose to stay home in 2016. When we find them, we’ll post about them.

 

Here’s what we know right now. According to 538, voters who stayed home in 2016 probably cost Clinton the election:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/registered-voters-who-stayed-home-probably-cost-clinton-the-election/

 

In particular, turnout was low among young people (aged 18-29) and non-whites.

 

The silver lining to this? We know that Democratic-leaning and left-leaning people were less likely to go to the polls. You, personally, can help fix that.

 

Think about your friends. Do you know who among them did not vote? The math says that you probably have at least some non-voters in your midst. Maybe more than 60 percent of your friends voted, but not all of them.

 

If you know which of your friends did not vote, look for opportunities to discuss it with them. Don’t do this in a punitive way! Simply ask if they voted, and if they say no, ask why. Keep your tone of voice neutral.

 

If it’s something as simple as not being registered, or not having a ride to the polls, do what you can to remove those obstacles. The web site below will tell your friend if they’re registered to vote in their state:

http://www.canivote.org

 

If they are not registered, do what you can to help them register. If they would have voted if they had had transportation to the polls, make plans for 2018–see if you can give them a ride personally, or arrange for a cab.

 

If they had other reasons for not voting–they don’t think their vote matters, they didn’t like the candidates, they don’t trust the system, etc.–just keep talking to them. Don’t always talk politics–see to it that about 80 percent of the time, you talk about something else. And when you do talk politics, only occasionally talk about voting.

 

Build and strengthen your relationship with your non-voting friends with an eye on the coming 2018 race, and with the hopes of enticing those people to come with you to vote in the midterms.

 

 

See the full 2016 election numbers, compiled by the United States Election Project. It includes grand totals and state-by-state breakdowns:

http://www.electproject.org/2016g

 

 

Bookmark this page from the ElectProject site, which lists links to the boards of elections for all 50 states and the District of Columbia (scroll down a bit):

http://www.electproject.org/useful-election-links

 

 

See a 2012 piece on 538 that gives numbers on the 2012 turnout:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/no-voter-turnout-wasnt-way-down-from-2012/

 

 

Follow professor Michael P McDonald, the polysci guy behind the United States Election Project, on Twitter:

@ElectProject

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Action Alerts · Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections · Vote with your Dollars

Support Dr. Hans Keirstead, Who’s Aiming for Dana Rohrabacher’s California House Seat (Update, June 24, 2018)

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.

 

Update, June 24, 2018: More than two weeks after the June 5, 2018 primary, California’s 48th District finished its count. It was clear pretty soon after the election that Keirstead or Harley Rouda would get the second slot in the top-two primary, it was just a matter of who. In the end, Rouda bested Keirstead by just 126 votes.

We thank Keirstead for running and we hope he’ll run for public office again in the future.

 

Support Dr. Hans Keirstead, a stem cell researcher, entrepreneur, and former professor who is aiming to unseat House Republican Dana Rohrabacher.

 

Canadian-born Keirstead, 50, founded California Stem Cell Inc. and sold it for $100 million in 2014. He is now CEO of Aivita Biomedical. He taught at the University of California, Irvine for 14 years, and has raised well over $100 million in grants and donations in his various scientific jobs. He becomes the fifth Democrat hoping to push out Rohrabacher, who has served as a California house rep for for almost 30 years.

 

Keirstead supports the ACA, and he specifically supports it over a single-payer system. He says he does not intend to use his own money to campaign for the house seat.

 

Under his Why I’m Running essay on his campaign site, he says:

“I’ve dedicated my life to using medical science to save and improve lives — but in Congress, medicine and science have been pushed to the side in favor of partisan political games. Politicians like Dana Rohrabacher have used the broken system for their own gain for far too long. We’re not his priority and we need someone new.

 

I believe our elected leaders should rely on facts to guide policy. I’m not daunted by large obstacles. I’ve launched and managed companies, developed treatments for previously un-treatable diseases and been held accountable for my actions. We need more of that to change Washington and I intend to use Congress as a platform to improve even more lives.”

 

House Rep Dana Rohrbacher is viewed as vulnerable for his pro-Russia stance, and because his district is showing signs of turning Democrat blue. In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton won the district by less than two points, becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Orange County in 80 years. Rohrbacher also supports the AHCA and questions whether human activity is causing climate change. This is galling on its face, but it’s made worse by the fact that he sits on the House Committee on Science and Technology.

 

 

Visit Keirstead’s campaign website:

http://hansforca.com/home/

 

 

Read his website biography:

http://hansforca.com/about-dr-keirstead/

 

 

Consider Keirstead for your Core Four for 2018:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/24/choose-your-core-four-for-2018/

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Read his full Why I’m Running statement:

http://hansforca.com/why-im-running/

 

 

Read more about Keirstead and his campaign for the House of Representatives:

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/337945-stem-cell-scientist-joins-crowded-field-to-unseat-vulnerable-california

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-house-challenger-20170615-story.html

http://www.ocregister.com/2017/06/15/stem-cell-pioneer-to-challenge-rep-dana-rohrabacher/

http://www.orangecoast.com/features/stem-cell-rock-star/

 

 

Follow Dr. Keirstead on Twitter:

@drhanskeirstead

 

 

Donate to his campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/keirstead_video

 

 

Don’t believe Dana Rohrbacher is on the House Committee on Science and Technology? Here’s the proof:

https://rohrabacher.house.gov/legislation/committees-and-caucuses

 

 

Here’s a Politico story about Rohrbacher’s interest in Russia, titled Putin’s Favorite Congressman:

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/putin-congress-rohrabacher-trump-231775

 

 

And here’s a New York Times story about how the FBI warned Rohrbacher in 2012 that Russian spies were trying to recruit him:

 

Special thanks to 314 Action, where we first learned about Keirstead’s campaign. 314 Action is a nonprofit devoted to electing more people with STEM backgrounds to high office.

Follow it on Twitter: @314Action