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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

MT-Sen: Reform Democrats for Jon Tester

Matt Singer explains the importance of next week's Montana senate primary. My experience in Montana leads me to the conclusion that John Morrison will not be able to beat Senator Conrad Burns. But the flip side of the race is that Jon Tester represents the reform of the Democratic Party that need, that is going on in Connecticut, that is the basis for the DLC hatred of the netroots and grassroots. Singer explains why you should support Jon Tester:

For the past year, an uphill battle has been fought in Montana. Insurgent candidate Jon Tester started well behind presumptive nominee John Morrison in the race for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. Morrison has already won statewide twice and is known for his intense fundraising ability. Tester was President of the Senate, but still worked his farm full time and had never had to raise more than $15,000 for a race in his life.

But if there was ever a time when you've got believe, the time is now. Because Jon Tester, a prairie populist in the mold of Tom Harkin, Byron Dorgan, and Brian Schweitzer, is now poised to win the Democratic primary just one week from today. But he still needs your help.

The difference between these two candidates could not be starker. As Chuck Johnson, Dean of the Montana political press corps, wrote this weekend, Tester "is the tall, barrel-chested grain farmer with the flat-top haircut that's become the symbol of the campaign." Morrison has "wavy brown hair and a friendly smile. Politics is in his genes."

Jon Tester is a third-generation farmer. John Morrison is a third-generation politician. I could tell you which we prefer in Montana -- farmers or politicians -- but I think you can guess.

Authenticity matters and Tester is campaigning like he has lived his life. Meanwhile, John Morrison is campaigning like he is auditioning for to be a Wrangler jeans model. For a city lawyer to act so outside of his nature convey's a phoniness voters can smell two counties away. But issues also matter.

But it isn't just genes or appearances where they differ, it's the issues. Jon Tester has called for a sane foreign policy that includes turning away from Iraq and back to the real threats to American security. John Morrison's Iraq policy is to basically hope the insurgency goes away while trying to create a national oil company. Where is he on troop levels? Good question. He won't tell us.

Jon Tester has made it clear: as long as single-payer is affordable and maintains patient choices, it'll gain his support. John Morrison has categorically rejected it.

Jon Tester stands strongly against the economic policies that bankrupt the middle class in order to help the richest -- CAFTA, the bankruptcy bill, and the energy bill. John Morrison takes few specific positions, is a proud member of the DLC, and likes to quote Tom Friedman.

It doesn't get bigger than this. Conrad Burns is as vulnerable as he's ever been. The news stories explaining the depth of his corruption and the malfeasance of his staff continue to break regularly. This race isn't just about replacing Conrad Burns, it's about shaping the Senate and the Democratic Party for the 10-20 years.

We need a U.S. Senator who is willing to fight the big insurance and prescription drug companies to achieve affordable, fair health care for all.

We need a U.S. Senator who is willing to fight the big oil companies to achieve energy independence that will create more American jobs and a cleaner planet.

We need a U.S. Senator who is willing to fight the financial industry and corporate interests to achieve a fair trade policy that will protect the interests of working families here at home and abroad.

And we've got just the man for the job -- Jon Tester. Honestly, do we want another Tom Harkin or another Evan Bayh in the U.S. Senate?

We don't need another DLC coward in the Senate. Tester needs your help!

His campaign needs to wrap up their media buys today. That means we don't have time for ActBlue (as much as I love those guys). The campaign needs your money directly. Every dollar you give today increases Tester's ad buy.

The latest poll showed Jon Tester down by a single point -- 42-41. Our side is way more motivated. My friend Denver has been heading up volunteer phone banks for weeks in Western Montana. We've got teams of volunteers dropping literature across the state. We've got closing campaign rallies this weekend featuring former U.S. Senator John Melcher (Morrison's former boss).

We've got the momentum. We've got the volunteers. Just help us stay competitive on the air. And together, we'll help change the face of the Democratic Party, the Senate, and the United States.

Damn it, this feels good.


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