Ten Dollar Tuesday will highlight one progressive candidate per week in a variety of offices that are worth investing in. As much as people complain about money in politics, the reality is that good candidates still need those dollars until changes are made in the way politics are run in America and Democrats have to learn how to loosen the purse-strings. Money can be overcome with organization, but so many good progressive candidates are still behind in fund-raising. We are just going to ask for ten bucks and see how many people we can get on board. Here at the Squeeze we will not only highlight the candidates, but also the districts and the overlying need to rethink Democratic campaign strategies throughout the state. This will also start a conversation on ways Democrats can win. While this is not an official endorsement yet, it is an exercise in strategy and process
Got suggestions for next week? Leave a comment in the bottom (although this is not a popularity vote situation, just to warn you!).
Our first $10 recommendation feature is Judithanne McLauchlan. Kartik and I talked last week about how important this race in on the state-wide level and how the fight in district 32 will leave her at a disadvantage money-wise. As Peter Schorsh points out, this is in the heart of where Charlie Crist will need to capture enough votes in order to win the state, not to mention it spans a handful of other competitive house seats with Democratic candidates that actually have a shot. It makes sense to run her campaign as part of a coordinated effort to take the momentum from last fall’s Kriseman and other progressive victories and turn St. Pete a deeper blue. She needs to help drive out the Democratic vote in the district and since there is going to be a lot of boots on the ground for GOTV, it seems like this could be a possible Democratic victory partly because Charlie Crist will run so strong in this his home area. Crist represented this same district in the State Senate from 1992 to 1998.
Not to mention that knocking off Senator Brandes would be nice for those concerned about progressive policies. He is much too conservative for this largely urban and suburban district and his votes for school vouchers, anti-abortion legislation, and similar bills do nothing to endear him to the blue progressives of Pinellas county. There is also the little fact of him endorsing Rick Perry in the 2012 presidential race, which tells you a little bit more about his political ideology. His staunch attack of red light cameras and his bill to raise the speed limit on the interstate (which passed but was vetoed by the Governor) are largely frivolous considering when considering the grave issues that this state faces, perhaps District 22 can do better. He does however, have an incredible war chest saved up and an incredible campaign team. He sits on several important committees, which will no doubt increase his ability to raise money. He will be hard to knock off, but there is a lot going for McLauchlan.
Above all, she’s running a good race. She’s a veteran campaigner and has a long history of being the go-to person for the press for Tampa and St. Pete politics, making her comfortable with talking with the press and in front of the camera. What I especially like is that I go to her FB page and clearly see that she has events for the next couple days straight, which shows she is out in the district pressing palm. She is a political science professor, has served as President of the Florida Political Science Association, and has been on the State Board of the League of Woman Voters. This woman knows what she is doing, which is pretty rare in Florida politics. I like that her campaign website has a long list of endorsements for a wide variety of political faces around the ‘Berg, which shows a wide range of support. She has grassroots support, people behind her, and the know-how to run a smart race. She is going to have to raise enough money to play in the media market however, if she really wants to be competitive.
So you should pitch in $10 bucks (or more if you have) to her campaign. This is a candidate and a race worth investing in and a district that Democrats need to carry if a Democrat is going to sit in the Governor’s mansion. Plus considering that she has been incredibly smart with the money she has spent, she will give you a huge bang for your buck.
You can donate to her campaign here.