Take back Congress: support these candidates!

By | March 29, 2016

congressIt’s crucial for liberals to keep the White House in November 2016, but it’s not enough. We also need to regain control of Congress so that we can start undoing the damage that conservative “policies” (for lack of a better word), obstinacy and obstructionism have done to our country.

Liberal candidates for Congress need your financial support to be successful. Furthermore, the more support we, as individuals, can give to liberal candidates, the less reliant they will be on the financial backing of rich people and corporations. Bernie Sanders is proving that it’s possible to mount a successful candidacy for the presidency without taking money from rich people and corporations. We need to support down-ticket candidates the same way people are supporting Bernie, so they, too, know that they can be successful without making themselves beholden to moneyed interests.

Here are the candidates you should support. These are Democrats running in competitive races that they have a good chance of winning. Click down the line and send them each a donation. Really, I’m serious, do it. If you can only afford $5 per candidate, or even $2, or even $1, do it. Obviously, the more you can contribute, the better, so give what you can, but give.


Cheri Bustos

I recommend against supporting Congresswoman Cheri Bustos for reelection in Illinois’s 17th Congressional District. I recommend against supporting the “Illinois Democratic Protection Fund”, which is just a front for Bustos’s campaign. My recommendation not to support Bustos is based on the following:

  1. She added me to her bulk email list without my prior knowledge or consent
  2. She did not respond to my repeated emailed requests for her to remove me from her list and tell me where she got my email address from, so I could contact them and tell them to stop selling it.
  3. Her fund-raising mailings are obnoxious, alarmist, and designed to freak out clueless people. For example, one of her mailings to me started with this: “## This email has been opened by [address deleted] -- This action has been recorded ##“. What the heck does that mean? Nothing, that’s what. It’s just meant to scare clueless people into donating.

I’ve found that the way candidates treat their supporters is a great indication of whether they will act as a proper “servant of the people” when they gain office, and spamming is a huge red flag that the candidate considers it more important to get elected than to treat constituents with respect. Similarly, if a candidate’s staff proves incompetent at following appropriate bulk email ethics (don’t email people without their consent, don’t ignore their requests for you to stop emailing them), that’s good reason to believe that their staff will continue to be incompetent if they are elected. Finally, deception in fundraising emails (e.g., “Illinois Democratic Protection Fund” which is just a front for her campaign; the alarming message quoted above) is completely beyond the pale.

Emily Cain

I recommend against supporting Emily Cain for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District. To explain why, I will quote the email which I just sent to her campaign:

I donated to your campaign because I support efforts to take control of Congress from the Republicans, and I know that Emily’s is a battleground election.

That doesn’t mean that I wanted to receive spam from you.

I understand that nowadays people think “I’m interacting with your organization” is the same as “I am opting in to you sending me spam.” I disagree with that, and I think it’s wrong, but I understand that it’s at this point a widely enough accepted idea that I’ve lost that battle.

But that’s not what’s going on here. Since you first added me to your spam list without my explicit consent, I’ve explicitly asked you TWICE to stop spamming me. And yet here you are, still doing it.

I have been aggressively urging my friends and acquaintances, via my blog and Facebook postings, to donate to Emily’s campaign, for the same reason I donated myself. But now, I will stop. In fact, now I will tell people NOT to donate to her campaign.

Because continuing to spam me when I’ve asked you twice to stop is an indication that either (a) Emily doesn’t actually think it’s important to respect the needs and desires of her supporters, or (b) Emily is incapable of assembling a competent campaign organization. If she doesn’t respect the desires of her supporters, then she also won’t respect the needs and desires of her constituents. If she is incapable of assembling a competent campaign organization, then as a Congresswoman she will be incapable of assembling a competent staff.

Congratulations. Because of your spam, you’ve lost a supporter and donor.


Jonathan Kamens

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