Former Virginia governor Mark Warner formed the Forward Together PAC as a likely first step to mounting a Presidential campaign in 2008. While that race remains well over the horizon, Warner has already earned praise for aggressively helping Democrats across the country with this year’s campaigns.
According to The Hill, Forward Together has “raked in $8.2 million and contributed $860,500 to 108 candidates and political committees“. On March 28, Forward Together PAC wrote $5,000 checks for Chet Edwards (CD-17) and Nick Lampson (CD-22).
Over the past month, Forward Together also hosted a three-stage interactive poll on the Internet. Advertisements for the “Map Changers” contest have appeared on this blog and we have featured multiple articles. Fifty candidates were presented in round one. Five from Texas made it into the field of twenty who progressed to round two, more than any other state. That list included Mary Beth Harrell (CD-31), Barbara Ann Radnofsky (US Senate), Ted Ankrum (CD-10), Chris Bell (Governor) and John Courage (CD-21).
Courage and Bell made it into the list of 10 finalists and earned $5,000 each from Forward Together. In round three, visitors to the MapChangers site selected the winner. At stake was a fundraising visit with Mark Warner that would attract publicity and campaign contributions. The field included two Texans, the only state with more than one finalist. Fearing that a split of the Texas vote would cost the state the grand prize, Bell and Courage coordinated their campaigns. The word went out. Bell encouraged the Texroots to support John Courage in the MapChanger finals.
The strategy was effective. As the final days of voting passed, two finalists rose to the top of the standings. Bill Winter (Colorado CD-06) and Courage exchanged leads, leaving the rest of the field behind.
On the final weekend of the contest, Winter and Courage appealed directly to Warner. They requested that Warner visit both states, regardless of the MapChangers outcome. Voting continued with no official response from Warner. The netroots in Colorado and in Texas kicked into overdrive. Nationwide, more than 9,000 visited the site to register and vote.
Today, Forward Together released the results. Bill Winter was victorious. Congratulations to Winter and the entire Colorado netroots organization! It was a spirited campaign that promoted online activism and people-powered politics.
Buried in the seventeenth paragraph of the previously cited Hill article is the first authoritative response to last weekend’s appeal from Winter and Courage:
Warner will host fundraisers for the top two finalists, Bill Winter (Colo.) and John Courage (Texas).
A collective “YEEEEEE-HAW!” emerged from across the Texroots. Congratulations to everyone who voted. You did it. Thank you.
The Texas Progressive Alliance (of which Brains and Eggs is a member) led this blogswarm, and kudos to every one of us who made it a success.