Half a million dollars. We still can’t believe it. You gave more than half a million dollars to strategically chosen state legislative candidates who could be the difference between Democratic and Republican control over the lives of millions of people.
Your money isn’t lining the pockets of consultants, or contributing to a television air war of attrition. Most of it goes to voter contact, or is the difference between a candidate running a radio/cable ad or not at all.
And while Sheldon Adelson is out here cutting $25 million checks to Mitch McConnell, we still haven’t seen any indication that Republicans know how to fight back against these sudden small infusions of grassroots donor money.
So we’re going put together a few more slates of amazing Democrats who could help flip state legislatures. Today, we’re going to focus on a group of eight progressive women who could decide control of Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Iowa.
As with before, these races were carefully vetted to ensure your money goes as far as possible.
So here at Data For Progress we’re making a simple request - spend $80 across these eight progressive women. We’ve set up an ActBlue page for you to make those donations, and you can find more about each of the candidates below. We’re calling it our Give Smart initiative. No portion of the contributions to Give Smart goes to Data for Progress. All the money supports candidates.
You can support Data for Progress here. These contributions will not support the Give Smart candidates, but rather general operating support for the think tank.
Our goal is to hit $1,000,000 raised across all of the Give Smart campaigns. We’re more than halfway there. With your help we can do it.
If you’re looking for a symbol of women leading the Resistance, you’d be hard pressed to find a better example than Katie Muth. After hearing Donald Trump brag about sexual assault in the Access Hollywood tape she told her husband for the first time about how she was a rape survivor. After Trump won she started her local Indivisible chapter. And after seeing nobody else step up to take on anti-women’s health zealot state Senator John Rafferty she decided to do so herself. And she’s not afraid to take on any sexual harassers who stand in her way, even fellow Democrats. Pennsylvania’s state senate isn’t likely to flip this cycle, but with only half the seats in the chamber up every other cycle, Democrats need to win the 44th in 2018 if they want control of the chamber in 2020. So giving to Muth could ensure women’s health is protected in Pennsylvania once Roe is overturned.
Folks, what if we told you that there was a Texas Senate candidate who didn’t need $40 million to win? Sure, it’s the Texas state Senate, but let’s not argue semantics. Texas’s arcane state Senate rules mean that if Democrats can pick up just two seats they can bottle up all the radical legislation that Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick wants. That means laws attacking transgender people, gutting public schools, suppressing minority votes, busting unions, and ending access to abortion. And Patrick’s ally Joan Huffman (best known for scuttling a state investigation of a bar her husband owned) sits in a rapidly diversifying seat that Clinton won by 1%. But Huffman still has a big cash advantage on Democrat Rita Lucido, who needs all the help she can get.
Here at DFP we love the Girl Scouts of America and hate corporate welfare. The Girl Scouts of America have a mission to build women of courage, confidence and character. In other words, the women powering the Resistance. Lee Snodgrass spent the last seven years as a director at the Girl Scouts of America, and now she’s taking on Roger Roth, the Republican state Senate President who helped mastermind raiding the public trust in giveaways to human rights abuse proprietors Foxconn. Roth won’t pay teachers or fix roads but he’s willing to give billions to those guys. Of course, his history of backing the powerful over the people means his campaign coffers are stacked, so Snodgrass needs our help in flipping a state Senate seat that voted for Trump but went for Obama twice.
We love teachers. Not just for developing our pretty great analytical minds; their fearless advocacy for children and education (especially over the summer) is an inspiration to everyone on the left. We need more teachers in legislatures, especially in the DeVos-ravaged state of Michigan. Polehanki’s up against wealthy Republican insider Laura Cox and while the district narrowly voted for Clinton her fundraising has lagged - always a weakness for teachers running against the well-connected. But Give Smart can help even the scales here and make sure the people have an even playing field with the powerful.
Regina Barr is a pro-gun, anti-choice, anti-gay right winger who represents a district that Clinton won by 8% and herself only won in 2016 by 121 votes. So why does she still have a chance to win in 2018? She has 3 times the cash on hand as Ruth Richardson. Richardson has an inspiring up-from-her-bootstraps story that shows what we can accomplish when America has a strong safety net. But she needs the resources to get her message out in the weeks before the election. If we can raise half as much for her as we did for her (hopefully) future colleague Kristin Bahner she’ll close the gap.
The DeVos family has made Michigan its personal fiefdom for the past decade and you can see the results in increasing inequality, crumbling roads, poisoned water and forgotten public schools. Republican Doug Tietz, who started his career trying to prevent black people from being accepted to the University of Michigan is a longtime ally and recipient of their largesse. Thankfully Padma Kuppa, an Indian immigrant and engineer, is running against him in this historically Republican seat that narrowly voted for Hillary Clinton. It only takes $6,000 to counter what the DeVoses have given Tietz.
Thanks to the Electoral College and the Senate, white and rural states have an outsized influence on our politics. So it’s a relief that people like Kayla Koether are out there - she’s a millennial who went to college to learn how to revitalize rural economies then moved back home to make local agriculture more energy efficient. She’s up against Republican Michael Bergan, who’s supported Iowa’s disastrous Medicaid privatization, in a seat that flipped from supporting Obama to supporting Trump. So investing in her race means investing in a Democratic comeback in rural America.
At the Give Smart project we don’t just want to elect more Democrats, we want to elect better Democrats. And it’s been hard to find a bolder progressive running in a swing seat than Kristin Seale. The former Sanders delegate supports single payer health care, a $15 minimum wage and individual rights to clean air and water. Naturally, supporting these popular and common sense policy proposals has local Republicans fearmongering in a district that flipped from supporting Romney to supporting Clinton. Seale’s people-powered campaign needs all the resources it can get in fighting on entrenched interests.