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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Saturday, April 02, 2011

    New Jersey Focus: Jeff Gardner for State Senate

    I often stay out of primaries in other states. For example I have stayed more or less neutral in the special election in California to replace Harmon. I think I have a favored candidate, but all the candidates are good. However, sometimes it seems appropriate to get involved in a primary and there is a State Senate race in New Jersey where I think we can do much better than what we have. In the spirit of more AND better Democrats, I present this from Daily Kos:

    We talk a lot about more and better Democrats here and we're usually talking about Congressional races when we do.

    But I'm here today to talk about a Better Democrat running locally in New Jersey. His name is Jeff Gardner. He's a labor lawyer and a Democracy for America member who's been working with us from the very beginning to elect progressives across the state -- and now he's running against an anti-marriage equality Democrat and he needs your help.

    Join Jeff Gardner's people-powered campaign and help beat an anti-marriage equality conservadem -- Contribute $5 right now.

    Remember back in 2009 when Jon Corzine lost the Governor's race? New Jersey Democrats tried to pass marriage equality in the lame duck legislature before right-wing Republican Chris Christie became Governor. Republicans didn't have the votes to kill the bill themselves, so Democratic State Senator John Girgenti led a group of conservadems to help Republicans do it.

    Girgenti represents everything progressives are trying to root out of the Democratic Party -- he's a 30-year incumbent interested in nothing more than his own self-preservation. He's not working for his constituents, he's working for himself and his big-dollar donors.

    After Girgenti killed marriage equality in the state, Jeff decided to do something about it. He ran for chair of his local party -- a machine controlled by Girgenti's people. He won -- and it sent shockwaves across the state Democratic Party.

    DFA members in New Jersey led a people-powered campaign and uprooted a 30-year incumbent's political machine to take back their local party. Now it's time to finish the job and beat Girgenti himself.

    Contribute $5 now and help finish the job.

    There are fights for marriage equality happening across the country, and don't think for a second that Democrats on the fence aren't watching this race. Let's send them a message -- when you choose to deny a group of people their rights, you're going down.

    Thanks for everything you do.

    And from the comments in that article comes an endorsement:

    Blue America rarely reaches out to help candidates raise money in local legislative races. We do make exceptions for exceptional candidates and we have one for you today: Jeff Gardner of New Jersey, who's in a primary race against a corrupt incumbent drowning in a sewer scandal, John Girgenti, the Majority Whip, best known as the New Jersey legislator who killed marriage equality. With vicious homophobes like Girgenti leading the Democrats... who needs Republicans!

    Jeff Gardner made a name for himself as an advocate for marriage equality, and he's much more than that. As a fourteen-year veteran attorney for the National Labor Relations Board, he's been fighting to protect workers, making sure union members are guaranteed their rights in the workplace. As an early organizer for Democracy for America, he pushed Democratic candidates up and down the ballot to champion progressive policies and push for common sense solutions. He's a real Democrat who is itching to fight for the issues important to all of us.Whether it's protecting women's access to family planning services or fighting for marriage equality, Jeff will never back down from a fight. He's going to stand up for what he believes in, which means standing behind progressive policies that too many Democrats run away from.

    We need to support the very best Democrats at every level of government, not just in Washington. The battles in Wisconsin and Ohio highlight the need for strong progressive leaders in traditionally Democratic-leaning state governments. We can't afford to put collective bargaining rights at risk. We can't let the radical right take away a woman's right to choose. Most importantly, we need Democrats who are going to fight for us. I hope you can join us in making sure Jeff has all the resources necessary to take down this entrenched incumbent in the Democratic primary in June.

    Info on Jeff from his website:

    Jeff is the Hawthorne Democratic Leader, and a lifelong Democrat. Jeff grew up in New Jersey, and attended Rutgers College and Law School. For the past 15 years he has been a successful labor attorney, recently opening his own practice in Hawthorne. Jeff is running to give the voters of the 35th District a choice – their first choice in over 30 years – of what kind of representation they want in Trenton. He is a fighter who isn’t afraid to work hard to deliver for the District and the state.

    Jeff believes his primary campaign challenging an incumbent Democratic state senator is exactly the kind of race that needs to happen more often – to engage voters, to give them a reason to get involved, and to hold our politicians accountable. With your help, we can win this election, and take our message of change to Trenton.

    And Democracy for America is getting involved. From an email from Jim Dean:

    My brother, Gov. Howard Dean, often says that voting isn't enough. He's always says that you have to get more involved -- you have to volunteer, speak out, contribute and run for office yourself because YOU have the power to make change in your community.

    Jeff Gardner took those words to heart. He's been a Democracy for America local volunteer from the very beginning -- organizing people across New Jersey to support progressive candidates and make change. And now, he's running for office.

    Jeff is living proof that you have to the power if you use it. Last year, he took on a corrupt machine to be elected chair of his local party. It was a huge upset -- and now he's taking his people-powered message to the State Senate in a race against one of the state's most entrenched incumbents: State Sen. John Girgenti.

    Girgenti has had 30 years to build his electoral machine -- but people-power done right can't be beat and Jeff is building one of the best grassroots campaigns New Jersey has ever seen. Please, join me now in supporting Jeff Gardner and let's get Trenton working for the people of New Jersey again.

    PRIMARIES MATTER! Please contribute $5 right now and help a people-powered candidate beat a 30-year incumbent.

    You might know Jeff from years of working to create change locally -- but you might not know John Girgenti.

    Back in 2009, when Democrats were working to move New Jersey into the 21st century and make marriage equal for everyone in the state, Girgenti is the guy who led the opposition. Republicans didn't have the votes to block the bill themselves, so Girgenti led a group of conservative Democrats to kill it.

    Girgenti has been working in Trenton for 30 years -- in the Assembly and now in the Senate. He's made powerful friends, and he's not going to go down without a fight. But Jeff has got people-power on his side. He's taken on the establishment and won once already -- join us today and make it happen again.

    People-power done right can't be beat -- Join Jeff Gardner's campaign for change now.

    Working together, we're going to put Jeff over the top and get Trenton working for the people of New Jersey again.



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