What's that, you say? What the hell is "Blogosphere Day"?
The tradition we now know as Blogosphere Day began in 2004 when, in a surprise statement, incumbent Rep. Jim Greenwood (PA-08) announced his retirement. Democratic challenger Ginny Schrader, with $7000 in the bank, came to the attention of the nationwide blogosphere via the front page of DailyKos, and over $30,000 poured into her campaign that day. Three weeks earlier, a brand new fundraising platform for Democrats -- ActBlue -- was launched, and quickly adopted by those who were raising funds for Ginny Schrader.
We say this time it's Rick Noriega's turn.
A word from the founder about that storied day:
Virginia "Ginny" Schrader was not getting much "help" at all from the DCCC in July 2004. She was running an uphill battle against Republican Congressman Jim Greenwood, who had won his previous race with 62%. Schrader herself had won a primary with only 60% against a frequent Republican candidate who had switched parties. As of the June 30th filing report, she had $7,000 on hand. Her chances, to put it mildly, were slim to none. Despite Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional district having voted for Gore in 2000, Greenwood's moderate social views (he was pro-choice, for example) enabled him to win reelection easily, over and over again. This race would be no different.
Except, suddenly the incumbent announced his retirement, and one enterprising blogger thought it ought to be different. VERY different. So he set out to raise money for a candidate he'd not yet met.
410PM: I used Politics1.com to find Schrader's website, and quickly noted her main positions on the issues, her biography and the district demographics (it voted for Gore, for example). I then set to work typing up an article on the front page of DailyKos. As I did, I checked PoliticsPA.com to confirm the news, and found out that Schrader had just $7,000 in the bank.
440PM: I finished the article, and published it on the front page. This is what it said:Breaking News: GOP Congressman Greenwood (PA-08) Leaving Congress This Year
I just read this at PoliticsPA.com and in a breaking news e-mail from RollCall.com. Congressman Jim Greenwood, a moderate Republican in Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional district, just announced he will not seek reelection this year, instead removing his name from the ballot. The Democrat, Virginia "Ginny" Schrader, is an attorney who has just $7,000 in the bank as of June 30th. Greenwood's district voted for Gore in 2000 by a decent amount, and the GOP is now scrambling for a replacement.
Schraeder's website is [ Note: Link is now inactive]. A good place to contribute to would be at ACTBLUE at [Note: Link is now inactive], as it will track the donations recieved for the campaign.
I would suggest that we get involved ASAP. This seat is a Democratic-leaning one, and is too good to miss. Schrader is a liberal-to-moderate, pro-choice Democrat. In addition, she supports civil unions and is against Bush's positions on Iraq and the Patriot Act. She is an attorney who ran for State Rep. in 2002 and lost by a respectable margin.
This is completely out of left field, folks, and it gives us another opportunity for a pickup. Ginny Schrader is the luckiest candidate in the nation today, but can her luck hold?
In my rush to post the article, I mispelled Schrader's name at one point. I also forgot to include her ActBlue account, which I added later on at one poster's urging. In addition, I as of then had not figured out HTML, so there was no bolding or italics in the post. Reading it today when compared to my "modern" work is like comparing Sumerian clay tablets to a Medieval manuscript in its aesthetic beauty.
And yet my appeal worked. I didn't know Ginny Schrader from Adam; in fact, nearly all of the bloggers who responded that day didn't know her either. But people gave, people wrote kind words and let others know the news: that a Congressional seat could be won that had been not been looked at before.
By the end of July 20th, Ginny Schrader had raised $30,000 from the Internet.
Let's make July 19th, 2007 Rick Noriega Blogosphere Day in Texas !
On July 19th, 2005, the blogosphere catapulted Paul Hackett (D-Blogosphere) into contention in one of the reddest districts of red Ohio, OH-02. An excerpt from the Mother Jones timeline of the now recurring phenomenon:
July 18 - Dembloggers posts video of a Hackett ad that Republicans claim creates a false impression of support from George W. Bush. On the same day, Baker posts an email he has received from the Democratic Party that helpfully informs him: on "August 2 there will be a special election to fill a vacant seat in Congress representing the 2nd Congressional district in Southern Ohio."
July 19 - Blog for America, the blog of Democracy for America, announces DFA's endorsement of Hackett. The timing coincides with National Blogosphere Day, which blogs across the internet celebrate by urging donations to Hackett's campaign. In eight hours, Paul Hackett's ActBlue page pulls in $55,000.
July 20 - Grow Ohio reports that the blogs brought in $80,000 in a single day. Swing State Project reports Hackett currently tops Schmidt in Cash on Hand. Hackett's money comes from a network of individuals from around the country, each averaging around $50 a donation. According to the FEC reports analyzed by the blogs, Schmidt's money has come from PACs in average donations of $1,785. Grow Ohio, Swing State Project and OH-02 offer daily information on get-out-the-vote campaigns around the district.
While we're sure the Noriega campaign wouldn't turn down a one day influx of $80,000, this would be a great day to get more small donors on board the Noriega Express.
On July 19th, 2006, the blogosphere catapulted Ned Lamont (D-Blogosphere) into contention in CT-Sen. Howie at Down With Tyranny filed this after-action report:
Ned Lamont was the biggest single recipient and he matched, dollar for dollar, all the money that came in-- something he will continue to do through the end of the primary. Nevertheless, a story in today's NY TIMES by Mike McIntire and Jennifer Medina illustrates what a tough, tough task Ned has taken on himself. Forget for a moment that Joe Lieberman has become a millionaire many times over since he was elected to public office. (Unlike Ned, he is not a man who built a business, got audited, paid taxes and wages; Lieberman just won elections and, like most corrupt politicians... wound up very, very rich.) The headline of the TIMES story says a lot: "Lieberman's Donors Include Many Who Favor Republicans."
Lamont's prospect of unseating Kissin' Joe Lieberman in a primary seemed as distant a prospect as Box Turtle John Cornyn wants to pretend replacing him with Lt. Colonel Rick Noriega is. But 800 of my new best friends know different.
Are you ready for a ticket to ride on the Noriega Express through the cities, small towns, and wild flower fields of Texas?
Won't it be nice to have one United States Senator from Texas who doesn't embarrass the state every time he opens his mouth? Get on the Noriega Express, and help make it happen.
Donate here. Help Texas have a United States Senator who honors the spirit of our beloved Lady Bird instead of stiffing her friends and family at her memorial service.
Future United States Senator Rick Noriega. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?