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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Happy Blogosphere Day

Happy what? Okay, here's the history lesson starting with 2004.
On Monday afternoon, July 19, Stephen Yellin, a 16-year-old politics junkie and frequent contributor to the lefty blog Daily Kos, noticed an intriguing development in Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District, an area to the north of Philadelphia. The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call was reporting that Jim Greenwood, the district's popular, moderate Republican congressman, had unexpectedly decided not to seek reelection, meaning that his House seat was now up for grabs. This is the sort of news that sets partisans like Yellin jumping for joy, and so, of course, he blogged about it.

Did he ever blog about it. Within hours the combined action of dozens of blogs raised over $30,000 for the otherwise anonymous Democratic candidate running in PA-8, Ginny Schrader. Her campaign went from 0 to 60 in the span of a few hours, fueled exclusively by the blogs. The next few days were a roller coaster of speculation. Would the DCCC find a more "suitable" candidate to run against Republican Mike Fitzpatrick? The blogs fought back, they provided Ginny the seed money to launch a credible campaign, a campaign no one had dared to run in a district many thought was a lost cause. At the end of the day, not only did the DCCC relent in finding another candidate, but to their credit, supported Ginny with resource down the stretch.
Now you know about Blogosphere Day 2004, lets take a look at what happened in 2005.
On the last play from scrimmage in the 3rd quarter, Cincinnati Bengals running back Rudi Johnson took the handoff from Carson Palmer and scampered 36 yards to the end zone giving the team a comfortable 20-10 lead. The Bengals would not look back, presumably to the delight of Jean Schmidt and the 65,806 fans at Paul Brown Stadium watching Cincinnati's first Monday Night Football game at home in a decade a half. In Iraq, Marine Corps Major Paul Hackett and the men in his unit were en route by military transport helicopter from Ramadi to Fallujah where they served as gatekeepers for supplies coming in and out of the city notorious for some of the worst violence seen in the war."

On the night described above, Jean Schmidt was wined and dined by lobbyists in Cincinnati while her opponent in an Ohio Special Election, Paul Hackett, was flying from Ramadi to Fallujah as a U.S. Marine. The post received widespread recognition and was turned into a campaign commercial, debuting on July 19, Blogosphere Day. On that same day, Democratic blogs Swing State Project, Eschaton, MyDD and others allied with progressive organizations such as Democracy for America to raise a combined $100,504.47, propelling Paul within a hair's breadth of pulling off one of the most stunning upsets in modern political history.
Now, it's 2006 and Ned Lamont is the focus of attention during this year's Blogosphere Day.

contributeWhat can you do you ask? First, the best thing you can do is give what you can to Lamont's campaign. Ned will match all contributions dollar for dollar so lets make him write a big check.

Second, if you're from CT, please stop by one of Ned's offices and volunteer your time as any help is welcomed.

Last (AND MOST IMPORTANT), please take a few minutes and sign up for the Family, Friends and Neighbors program. I can't stress how important it is for everyone to sign up and use this innovative new tool as it's the best way to get Ned's message out to the masses.

Well, there you have it, it's Blogosphere day so help celebrate it by getting involved!