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Swing State Project

Women to Watch: Jane DittMar, working to thread the needle in Virginia's 5th District (October 24, 2016, 08:36 PM)

Goal Thermometer

Continuing with our ?Focus on the House? series, we bring you Jane Dittmar, running for Virginia?s 5th District. Dittmar is working to win a district that voted 53-46 for Romney. She has consistently outraised her opponent, more than doubling his haul for the entirety of the race, and she picked up an endorsement from President Obama on Monday.

I became a Virginian when I was six years old, attending Arlington County Public Schools after my family moved from rural Illinois.  I  graduated from the University of Virginia where I received a degree in Economics. Since then, I?ve attended the UVa Darden School?s Executive Program and Virginia Tech?s Center for Public Administration and Policy. 

I am a certified mediator for both General District and Circuit Courts and have served as court coordinator for the General District, Juvenile and Domestic Relations, and Circuit courts of the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Louisa.  I?m also a principal in Positive Solutions Group and a business consultant specializing in strategic planning. My background is business and I have owned and worked with many businesses in the Commonwealth, particularly when I served as President of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce from 1992-2000.

My husband, Frank Squillace, and I reside in Albemarle County, Virginia. We have raised six children (Will, Mary, Virginia, Leia, Jed, and Joe), four of whom are in college. I will bring my experience and action-oriented approach to Congress, to make sure it is accountable, transparent, and responsive to our needs in the 5th District. 

Kerry EleveldWhat about your biography makes you uniquely suited to represent your district?

Jane Dittmar: My background as a certified mediator is a unique qualification?not just for solving the problems in our district but in helping to bring my colleagues on the Hill together to discuss positive solutions for the challenges we face as a nation. I?ve spent the last sixteen years studying the science of conflict resolution and helping people move from conflict to solution. Voters from all across our district tell me that?s the kind of leadership we need more of in Washington.

Can you pitch in $3 to elect Jane Dittmar to this Virginia district and help turn the House blue?

Do you live in a swing state? Get involved this weekend in door-to-door canvassing with MoveOn. Click here to find the event nearest you.

Women to Watch: Christina Hartman, surging in Pennsylvania's 16th District (October 24, 2016, 06:28 PM)

Continuing with our ?Focus on the House? series, we bring you the story of Democrat Christina Hartman, running in Pennsylvania?s 16th District. Her latest internal poll has her within three points of her opponent and President Obama endorsed her Monday.

Goal Thermometer

Raised in Lancaster County, I am proud of my family?s Pennsylvania roots. My mother, Julia Hartman, is a first grade teacher at Sacred Heart School, and my dad, Bob Hartman, worked as a store manager. My grandparents were small business owners who taught me the value of hard work, volunteering, and the benefit that entrepreneurship brings to a community.

I credit the Manheim Township public schools and St. John Neumann Catholic Church for showing me first-hand the importance of helping neighbors, organizing fundraisers for those in need, and giving back to the community.

These lessons about community took hold, and I knew I wanted to make a career of sharing them around the world. Here at home, I have continued to focus on community development initiatives. I worked with the Joyful Heart Foundation, a national organization pursuing justice for sexual assault and domestic violence survivors. Today, I bring my expertise to organizations in Lancaster such as Church World Service, the Non-Profit Resource Network at Millersville University, and the Parish Resource Center, providing leadership in strategic planning, fundraising, and communications to enhance the services that these organizations provide to the county and beyond.

Kerry Eleveld: What about your biography makes you uniquely suited to represent your district? 

Christina Hartman: I have built a career negotiating and advocating for human rights around the globe often in politically toxic environments and across the table from people who often disagreed with me. I believe that experience makes me uniquely qualified to tackle the partisanship in Congress and to work with people from different perspectives to strengthen Social Security for future generations, expand access to affordable higher education and job training, and create tax breaks that help small businesses add local jobs.

Will you pitch in $3 to help Christina Hartman win this swing district and help turn the House blue?

Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams: Elect Trump, and I'll 'help kill him' if he turns out 'Hitler-ish' (October 24, 2016, 05:11 PM)

Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams is a Trump supporter. Like most Trump supporters, he's quite certain Trump has been getting an unfair rap, what with people reacting negatively to all those things he keeps saying out loud.

So Adams would like to put your mind at ease about Trump in the most Trump Supporter way ever. Fine, let's hear him out on this one:

To me, those illusions about Trump are ridiculous on face value. I can?t change anyone?s mind if they see Trump as a monster. So instead I will make you a promise.

My promise: If Trump gets elected, and he does anything that looks even slightly Hitler-ish in office, I will join the resistance movement and help kill him. That?s an easy promise to make, and I hope my fellow citizens would use their Second Amendment rights to rise up and help me kill any Hitler-type person who rose to the top job in this country, no matter who it is.

So we can take a chance and elect Trump, and if Trump's white ultra-conservative supporters agree later on that he's gone out of control and is doing bad things According To Them? Why, they'll just rise up in armed revolution and topple the American government and everything will be fine again, you Trump-hating babies.

Yeah, let?s just leave that there. Not gonna touch that one. We?re out.

It certainly does give Trump's What have you got to lose? motto a bit of extra zing, though.

No matter where you live, sign up with MoveOn to call voters in swing states from the comfort of your home. Get out the vote and take nothing for granted!

Donald Trump says people are taking his threats to bring down America too seriously (October 24, 2016, 04:01 PM)

Donald Trump is concerned that people are taking Donald Trump too seriously when he says little things like how he might not accept the outcome of the election, leading to tiny fears that he intends to try to de-legitimize the next president, turn his rally circuit into a tent revival of unrest, and generally force us to all keep paying attention to Donald Trump?which is the last thing that anyone wants. He wants us to know that he really, truly means it, but we shouldn't take it so hard.

?Yes, I think too much is being made,? Trump told Bo Thompson on WBT-AM?s ?Charlotte?s Morning News.? ?But, you know, everybody had me winning the third debate and the second debate handily, easily. And when I made that statement, I made it knowingly, because what?s happening is absolutely ridiculous.?

He threatened democracy ?knowingly,? but ?too much is being made? about it. I mean, you had your little democracy for a couple of centuries. Really, who?d have thought it would last that long? Oh, and the ?everyone? who had him winning the last two debates would be Eric, Bannon, and an army of twitter bots. He?s learned not to ask anyone else.  But wait, there?s more. There?s ? this. 

?You have ? first of all, you have a media that as you see has obviously been very unfair, which is, I guess, fine, but it?s not really appropriate,? he said Monday. ?But you have a media that?s a very, very ? you know, it?s really a pile-on, the likes of which nobody?s ever seen, because I?m going to protect the people, and the media are the exact opposite and they represent the, you know, opposite.?

The media are the exact opposite and they represent the ? opposite. Forget the threat to democracy, just that sentence is horrifying.

Less than 14 and one-half days remain before the election. Help get out voters in the swing states by making phone calls from your computer. MoveOn has made it really easy for you. Click here.

Harry Reid: A Democratic Senate majority will nuke the filibuster for SCOTUS (October 24, 2016, 03:48 PM)

Hey, John McCain, remember your promise that Republicans will be united in opposing a Supreme Court nominee from Hillary Clinton? Guess what that means for Democrats:

Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he is confident that he has laid the groundwork for Democrats to nuke the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees if they win back the Senate in November. [?]

"I really do believe that I have set the Senate so when I leave, we're going to be able to get judges done with a majority. It takes only a simple majority anymore. And, it's clear to me that if the Republicans try to filibuster another circuit court judge, but especially a Supreme Court justice, I?ve told 'em how and I?ve done it, not just talking about it. I did it in changing the rules of the Senate. It?ll have to be done again," Reid told TPM in a wide-ranging interview about his time in the Senate and his legacy.

"They mess with the Supreme Court, it'll be changed just like that in my opinion," Reid said, snapping his fingers together. "So I've set that up. I feel very comfortable with that."

There's little in Mitch McConnell?s?or almost any other Republican's?behavior to suggest they'll do anything less than block President Hillary Clinton's nominees. At this point, that's just what they do. They may not know any other way of operating with a Democratic president. 

Now, Reid won't be there to make sure it happens, and thus far heir apparent Chuck Schumer hasn't commented. At least not on this story. But he is on the record saying this: "A progressive majority on the Supreme Court is an imperative, and if I become majority leader, I will make it happen. I will make it happen." 

Can you pitch in $1 today to each of our Democratic challengers to give him that majority?

Jason Kander's former Army commander: Kander 'saved lives ... We need that kind of courage' in DC (October 24, 2016, 03:23 PM)

Goal Thermometer

If Democrat Jason Kander doesn?t win the Missouri Senate race, it won?t be because the military veteran didn?t run enough good ads. His latest offering stars retired Army Col. John McCracken Sr., who identifies himself as Kander?s commander in Afghanistan. McCracken tells the audience that, ?In the Army, we don?t care if you?re a Democrat or a Republican. We just want to know that you?re going to be there when the going gets tough.? 

McCracken continues by saying that in Afghanistan, Kander?s military intelligence work ?saved lives, and he always chose the toughest assignments. We need that kind of courage in Washington again.? McCracken then insists that attack ads are trying to make Kander something he?s not, but ?he?s a solider. And he?s the kind of change we need in the Senate.? This ad doesn?t mention Republican Sen. Roy Blunt. However, Team Blue has been trying to frame this contest as a battle between a veteran who risked his life in combat and a political insider who has gotten rich in D.C., and ads like this are a key part of that strategy.

Republicans have a pretty simple strategy too. Polls show that Donald Trump is likely, though not certain, to carry the Show Me State, and Republicans want to do everything they can to make sure Kander doesn?t pick up enough Trump votes to win. The conservative Senate Leadership Fund is out with their latest spot, and it once again ties Kander to Hillary Clinton.

Let's get Jason Kander to the Senate. Please chip in $3 to his campaign today.

The stakes are high this election, and Missouri can elect Democrat Jason Kander to the U.S. Senate. We're counting on supporters in Missouri to knock on doors & make phone calls. Click here.

Wisconsin absentee voters face stealth change in deadline (October 24, 2016, 03:22 PM)

Gov. Scott Walker's administration is going all in on suppressing the 2016 vote?and from all angles. That even includes absentee voting, a favorite of young people attending college, because the state has quietly moved up the deadline for receiving ballots.

Under the law the absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8, in order to count. Previously, mail-in absentee ballots had to be postmarked by Election Day and received by a clerk?s office by 4 p.m. on the next Friday. [?]

The new deadline for absentee ballots could catch the most stalwart voters by surprise because it wasn?t in effect during the August primary. The law was enacted in March, but it wasn?t set to take effect until September. [?]

Reid Magney, spokesman for the state Elections Commission, urged mail-in absentee voters to send in their ballots as soon as possible, and definitely no later than Nov. 1.

?The post office can take up to one week to deliver mail now, and their vote is too valuable to risk to a late mailing because it has to be at the clerk?s office on Election Day,? Magney said.

The USPS is indeed advising voters to allow one full week for delivery. This is a pretty big and apparently unannounced change, and one more way Gov. Scott Walker's Wisconsin is screwing over voters. So far, early voting in the state is going gangbusters, tripling the count at this point in 2012, when early voting restrictions were in place. Those were struck down by a federal court, allowing a longer early vote period. But voters who might be trying to avoid polling hassles by voting absentee?or all those college students who can't make it home to vote?face this new restriction.

So if you or someone you know or love is voting absentee in Wisconsin, make sure they?re aware of this new deadline.

The Election Protection Coalition is mobilizing thousands of volunteers to help Americans navigate the voting process?overcoming difficult roadblocks and dangerous conservative voter suppression tactics. Sign up today to help make sure all Americans have a chance to vote.

Obama going all in for 30 Democratic House candidates, including seven Daily Kos endorsees (October 24, 2016, 03:19 PM)

Goal Thermometer

A very popular President Obama is switching on the afterburners in the final weeks of this election in hopes of helping Democrats retake the House of Representatives. It's an uphill climb, but Obama and Democrats are mounting an all-out offensive in 30 more congressional districts?exactly the number needed for Democrats to flip the House. Edward-Isaac Dovere writes:

The endorsements ?make the case to voters that Democrats will put people first and make real progress for our country, while Republicans will continue to put party over country by supporting Donald Trump as their standard-bearer,? said Kelly Ward, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Sunday evening.

Obama has already recorded endorsements for several Democrats, such as Daily Kos-endorsed Bryan Caforio in California's 25th District. His new slate of candidates also includes seven Daily Kos endorsees:

CA-10, Michael Eggman 

CA-49, Doug Applegate

KS-03, Jay Sidie

MI-08, Suzanna Shkreli

NH-01, Carol Shea-Porter

PA-16, Christina Hartman

VA-05, Jane Dittmar

Will you pitch in $1 to each of our slate of House endorsees to help turn the House blue and put the gavel back in Nancy Pelosi?s hands?

Want to reach millennial voters in swing states to win this election? No matter where you live, you can reach swing state millennials with phone calls and texts through NextGen Climate. Check it!

Election Roundup: Florida Senate, Virginia, school boards, and down ticket data (October 24, 2016, 03:01 PM)

The following stories are examples of this week's Election Roundup of 91 down ticket stories covering Sunday 10/16 through Saturday 10/22

(MD-Sen) MD Elections: Chris Van Hollen By Suggestion For A New National Anthem

(Sample ballots arrived and I wanted to try and break down some of the non presidential candidates on the ballot to help myself, and you, understand.) After the big one, first up is the second choice on the ballot, which is for the Senate. The senate race is  between 7-term Democrat Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD-8), the not-so-obviously-crazy Republican Kathy Szeliga (current Delegate) and Green party long-shot Margaret Flowers all vying for Barbara Mikulski's Senate seat.

(NC-02) NC02 John McNeil (D) and the #OddDuck By mojo11    

I was aware that John McNeil had obviously had to reschedule his Family Fun Day Event in Zebulon when Hurricane Matthew decided to schedule a conflicting event for the same day.  But I missed out on NC02 incumbent George Holding (R) applying the label "An Odd Duck Who Raises Chickens" to John in his latest attack ad.

(All States-SchBd) Why I care about school board candidates (although I have no children in school) and so should you. By Besame

Voters and media enjoy noisy campaigns. We scrutinize large issues and trivialize small local offices. Yet a candidate selection close to home has consequences that reverberate through our communities, across our nation, and into the future ? school boards. Whether you are a parent or not, school age children are part of your world. They will be the teens who attend college or train in vocations. They will be the adults who teach, run businesses, provide your medical care, and take on all the roles in society, including addicts, homeless, and criminals.

Sunday 10/16 through Saturday 10/22

Stories: (91)
Senate: (20) posts, (10) states
House: (36) posts, (20) states, (22) districts
State and more: (25)
General: (5)
Tools: (5)
Total Rescues since 2006 (12,816)

This is awesome: Clinton and Obama turn their focus toward electing a Democratic Congress (October 24, 2016, 02:41 PM)

For two solid weeks now, the Daily Kos Elections presidential forecast model has found that Hillary Clinton has at least a 95 percent chance of beating Donald Trump, and other prognosticators view the race similarly. Now, 95 percent is not 100 percent, and no one can relax or take anything for granted. But it does mean that Clinton and her No. 1 surrogate, the very popular Barack Obama, can concentrate their energies on making sure that the next president has a Democratic Congress to work with:


It?s not talk. Clinton?s backing this up with real resources:

Goal Thermometer

Hillary Clinton is pouring $1 million into Indiana and Missouri in the campaign?s final weeks ? not because the Democratic presidential nominee thinks she can carry those reliably Republican states, but because she believes that, with an extra push, Democrats can win the Senate and governors? races there.

In Michigan, the Clinton campaign is propelling a late surge by Democratic state legislative candidates to regain their House majority. In parts of Maine, Nebraska, Virginia and other states, Clinton volunteers are touting Democratic congressional candidates in their phone calls and fliers to voters. And as Clinton rallied supporters across Pennsylvania on Saturday with running mate Tim Kaine, she touted Senate hopeful Katie McGinty and attacked her GOP opponent, Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, as beholden to presidential nominee Donald Trump.

And it?s not just Clinton?Obama?s putting his back into it, too:

Please donate $1 to each of these Daily Kos-endorsed Democrats so that Hillary Clinton can have the progressive allies she needs on Capitol Hill next year.

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