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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ned Lamont on Blogosphere Day

Over the past few years, the progressive blogosphere has become one of the leaders in the reform effort to take back the Democratic Party. Implied in the fact there is a battle to take back the our Party is the realization that some have led us astray. If the problems troubling Democrats had a human face, it would be Joe Lieberman.

Ned Lamont is celebrating Blogosphere Day III by matching every contribution made online, so go help out and then come back here for some background on the day and some reflections on the progressive the blogs have made between 2004, 2005, and 2006 cycle netroots support.

On this day two years ago, Stephen Yellin used Act Blue to catapult -- and save -- Ginny Schrader's campaign in PA-08. The Beltway crowd and their targeting lists cared little for Ginny until the seat abruptly opened up. Ginny Schrader wasn't running because it a district she thought she could win, but because the district in the Philly suburbs was a critical district for Democrats to win the state and we needed to have a candidate. This 50 state perspective suddenly became relevant to the Beltway crowd when the seat opened up, but during the day that became known as Blogosphere Day the DCCC refused to say they would support Ginny. In fact, a good deal of the money raised was donated as a message to the DCCC to respect the fact that the voters in the district had voted for her to be the nominee and the will of the people should be respected instead of trying to bring in another fair weather friend candidate. It worked, the DCCC backed down and the netroots attention to the race forced the NRCC to spend twice as much money in the expensive media market as the DCCC -- money that otherwise would have been spent elsewhere.

In 2005, Paul Hackett was running in another race that those in DC who only want to spend money on TV had written off. The District was overwhelmingly Republican, yet the NRCC had written a $5,000 check to Mean Jean Schmidt a month earlier, yet the only attention DC attention on our side seemed to be on the DCCC blog. But again, from within a few hours of the race opening up, blogs were following the campaign. There was a consensus that the race would be next to impossible to win, but would be a great way to test new ideas, especially the ground game. So July 19th -- exactly two weeks before the election -- was celebrated as Blogosphere Day 2005 and used to catapult the Hackett campaign (raising $100,504.47 from 1842 people by midnight). Hackett instantly became a contender, the DCCC wrote a $5,000 check the next day, and the following two weeks became the most intense netroots campaign effort that the world had ever seen. Blogosphere Day received a great deal of attention and became a netroots tradition.

This year, celebrate Blogosphere Day by heading over to Act Blue and making a donation. The netroots sure have come a long way in a year and today is a great day to remember our progress and demonstrate one more time what we can do when we all come together. For instance, take multimedia. In 2004, the closest we came to using video in Ginny Schrader's online campaign was using animated GIF images. In 2005, we created two online videos for Paul Hackett ("What a Difference a Day Makes" and "Keep Your Eye on the Ball") and linked to a few items from the local news, but were again expressing ourselves mostly through our words. Yet in 2006, Ned Heads on YouTube already has 1,142 members who have posted 241 videos.

The intrinsic value of the blogosphere is communication -- that's what we do. But we can also raise money and today is the day we celebrate what we can accomplish when we donate together, as a team, to take back our Party. So go make a contribution to Ned Lamont -- he'll double your investment -- and celebrate the new energy that is reforming and revitalizing our Democratic Party!

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