More than half of GOP insiders believe the Trump campaign can weather his misogyny and racism, which speaks volumes about the vision that Republicans have for government. For them, the racist vote is a path to power, principles be damned. And it clarifies how the GOP is destroying our democracy. Moderate Republicans such as Kelly Ayotte have started to disavow Trump, but the fact remains: a 2016 vote for any Republican is unconscionable. A vote for a Republican of any stripe feeds the destructive cynicism that created Trump.
In contrast, efforts by Russian spies to leak the most damaging emails from the Clinton offices actually reveal how squeaky-clean the Democrats are. At Goldman Sachs she was critical of banks behavior leading up to 2008; she supports free trade if it benefits labor and environment. And her emails reveal her close consultation with Elizabeth Warren on economic policy. Clinton in private is even better than I had assumed: she is a tireless coalition-builder who talks to both bankers and progressives and keeps her eye on the ball. Let's give her a Congress that isn't poisoned with cynicism.
Please join me in donating to as many Democratic congressional candidates as you can afford. This year I am donating more money than I have ever donated before, and I hope you join me. Senate candidates like the wonderful Governor Maggie Hassan need support, but even more, the highest impact can be had by donating to smaller Congressional races. House races can be surprisingly small-money affairs, and even just a few well-placed donations could help flip a seat.
Can your one donation move the needle? For non-incumbents in congressional races, it can. Consider that in an average congressional district, flipping about 3000 votes swings the election by 1%. Good candidates who start off unknown can earn several votes per dollar of outreach, because yard signs, door-knocking, local events, and advertisements can dramatically improve name recognition. So with one $2700 donation, you can easily move the outcome by a percent.
Can we flip Congress to the party that demands integrity in government? As stewards of the fragile American democratic experiment, it is our solemn duty to try.
Donate to these candidates to flip Congress:
MI-07: Gretchen Driskell - Pro-infrastructure pro-education state representative. Has $1m vs $1m opposing pro-gun pro-war partisan nut Tim Walberg.
NY-23: John Plumb - Navy veteran, representing Corning, Has $556,393 vs $1.1m opposing NRA candidate Tom Reed.
VA-05: Jane Dittmar - Moderate businesswoman and county supervisor. Has $282k vs $54k opposing anti-immigrant Tom Garrett for open seat.
PA-16: Christina Hartman - Civic activist from Lancaster County. Has $205k vs $203k opposing Republican nut Lloyd Smucker.
CO-03: Gail Schwartz - State senator advocating environment and education. Has $549k vs $986k opposing banking deregulator Scott Tipton.
CA-49: Doug Applegate - Military vet in San Diego. Has $135k vs $3.7m. 45.5% vs 50.5% opposing partisan nutjob Darrell Issa. Issa is the wealthiest member of congress, and a real asshole. Surprisingly, in his heavily republican district, Applegate is polling even, so a donation here could swing the district and also help change the tenor in Congress.
CA-21: Emilio Huerta - Representing agricultural workers in one of the poorest districts in the country, with majority latino demographics that should not vote for the party of Trump; yet Huerta is an underdog. He is a labor lawyer who won a contested democratic primary. Has $57k vs $1.3m and opposes oil-industry-supported David Valadao.
FL-07: Stephanie Murphy - Vietnamese-American Banker/Consultant/Defense specialist representing central Florida including Orlando. Has $154k vs $750k opposing anti-immigrant partisan John Mica. Constituents dislike Mica but do not know Murphy: in polling she is statistically tied with Mica despite having only 30% name recognition in the district (vs Mica's 60%), so a donation here could win the race.
CA-25: Bryan Caforio - Young lawyer advocating for the middle class, energetic campaigner. Has $137k vs $650k, opposing anti-tax pro-gun Steven Knight.
IN-09: Shelli Yoder - Former Miss Indiana and business school lecturer competing for an open seat. In a statistical tie, has $504k vs $612k opposing super-rich tennessean out-of-towner Christian Conservative Trey Hollingsworth.
CA-10: Michael Eggman - Small bee farmer representing small business in one of the poorest agricultural districts in the country. Has $461k vs $2.5m. 27.6% vs 47.7% opposing anti-tax Jeff Denham. Itís a rematch: Denham beat him with 56% of the vote in 2014.
AZ-02: Matt Heinz - Gay doctor, state representative for Gabby Giffordís seat. Has $290k vs $2m opposing Raytheon money recipient Martha McSally.
Our presidential debates have turned into a reality-TV shouting match, which should not be surprising given the background of the Republican candidate. Here is an antidote to the vitriol, and a reminder of what self-governance is all about. Please volunteer, organize, contribute, and vote.