Everyone who has been here for a while knows how hard we, as netroots activists fought to get our fellow bloggers and activists to add Larry Kissell to the Netroots Endorsed Candidates list. We wrote, recommended, commented, jumped, danced, cheered, jeered and pretty much made fools of ourselves and it was all for a calm, quiet, honest, humble man who still can't believe how passionately a group of strangers feels about his candidacy.
When nominations were opened the first time, I wrote a piece lauding Larry as the perfect Netroots candidate. I posted it on the threads made available and asked folks to go comment on those threads. That time we didn't get the nod. It was OK. There was time. Larry's campaign was just starting to bubble and simmer. It was getting exciting, but hadn't reached a full rolling boil.
Find out what happened next below the fold...
The second time nominations were announced we all pounced. The thread for nominations was dominated by Larry Kissell fans and some of them were from other states. They had been reading our blogs and watching the polls. NC-08 was winnable and folks from all over the country wanted to help support Larry. When the four new names were added to the list, the people's choice, Larry Kissell, was not one of the four. Markos, Chris, Matt and David had made top-down decisions and had ignored the popular choice.
All Holy Hell broke loose. I won't repeat some of the names I called the four men in the privacy of my own home, but trust me, my tirade would have made a sailor blush. Then it happened. People power. We weren't alone. We weren't the only people angry over the decision and Larry wasn't the only candidate ignored by the royal court of the netroots. People power. The four men listened to us and went back to the list and took another look. What they seemed to realize was that top down decisions would no longer work in any organization that promoted people-powered politics.
Not long after the uproar, four new candidates were added from those listed in the nominations thread. Larry Kissell was endorsed by the Netroots on June 29. Once again, we found ourselves writing, commenting, dancing, singing, jumping up and down, waving our arms wildly in the air to bring attention to our candidate so that the endorsement turned to dollars. To date, that endorsement has brought in over $15,000 in campaign contributions. Way to go team. Way to go Netroots. Way to go Larry!
And, the individual members of the blogs, the writers, readers and commenters have taken notice. This month Larry's contribution numbers started to climb. Just this week there was a huge jump. I looked around DKos and MyDD and didn't see any recent stories that would account for it. The story about Artur Davis and the DCCC had scrolled off the front page days before. Maybe all of the stories by me, Working for Change, Kismet, RANT, Anglico, Lance McCord, Christopher Walker, Momoaizo, Southernphilosopher, Targator, Robert P., DownwithTyranny, Congressman Brad Miller and Larry Kissell himself have had a cumulative effect. Maybe everyone is tired of seeing me frothing at the mouth trying to get them to donate to Larry, or vote for him for one contest or another and figured giving some money would get me to STFU.
Maybe, though, just maybe they took a good hard look at Larry Kissell and they could finally see a man who personifies people power. This is a man who walks from door to door and talks to the voters. This is a man who will get elected because the people choose him, not because the big oil and drug companies choose to buy him. His campaign is people power in action and Larry is happy to receive every single donation sent his way.
Today, we can celebrate the new attention from the media, with more stories on the way. We can celebrate the tremendous growth of Larry's Netroots campaign contributions and we can celebrate the rising poll numbers that show Larry within striking distance in August. These poll numbers are better than any candidate has ever enjoyed against Robin Hayes and Hayes has no coattails to ride back to Washington. Hayes has never run a campaign at the top of the ticket.
One thing we can't celebrate yet is DCCC support. Yes, Congressman Artur Davis, DCCC Vice-Chair said he would push to have the Kissell campaign made a top priority. Yes, we believe Artur Davis will follow through with his promise. We don't have that same faith in Rahm Emanuel. Rahm likes power and not the people kind. He likes top-down because that means he's in control.
So, today, it's time to jump, shout, kick, scream, dance and sing our way into Rahm Emanuels heart and the hearts of the rest of the DCCC team. Let's make sure they know what a wonderful candidate Larry Kissell really is. Let's tell them about Larry in droves. Let's work together to show them what people-powered politics is all about.
Email the DCCC today and let them know Larry Kissell is working hard and deserves their attention.