April 17, 2006

  1. Portland Press Herald reader poll: WE'VE GOT MOMENTUM
  2. Welcome Home 152nd Maintenance Company
  3. Four candidate "debates" already under our belts
  4. Labor Position Paper
  5. Web Page Redesign
  6. Campaign Finances
  7. Calendar of Upcoming Events

1. We've Got Momentum!

On Friday, Portland Press Herald ran a news story about Senator Olympia Snowe's Campaign Kick-Off. Adjacent to that article was their Reader Poll Question of the Day, which asked "Who is your choice for U.S. Senate?"

Yes, we know "this survey is not scientific." And we need to tell you that when we saw the topic, we put out a quick Action Alert to those on our campaign list, asking them to go to the site and vote. But so did the GOP, which undoubtedly has a bigger list than we do. And yet, and yet...

When looking at these results, keep these things in mind:
  1. The current SurveyUSA poll lists Olympia Snowe as one of the most popular Senators in the country, with an approval rating of 71%.

  2. From Friday afternoon on, Olympia Snowe's totals in the PPH reader poll never topped 58 percent, an occasionally dipped into the 55% range. And the totals for the Democrats, from Friday noon on, did not fluctuate more than 2 percentage points from the figures in this box.

  3. The number of people who voted in this on-line poll seems to be substantially higher, and in some cases double or triple, that of other recent PPH polls, giving it a bit more credibility than those with just a few hundred participants.

  4. The Democratic primary is still two months away, so Snowe's official Democratic opponent has yet to be determined.

  5. It is more than seven months until the November elections.

  6. Snowe has already raised more than $2 million for her campaign. Our campaign totals have been roughly 1% of that figure.
If a liberal, pro-choice, pro-labor, woman organic farmer two months before the Democratic primary can draw 30% of the "vote" in the Question of the Day in the state's largest daily newspaper, and push the popular incumbent Republican Senator from Maine to within half a dozen points of the magical 50% win-or-lose mark, just think of what could happen if that Democratic candidate had enough money to actually get the word out about her campaign.

So, you can see why I am feeling very good about this silly little newspaper question. And I'm quite proud of the response we got from our quick GOTV effort. (Thank you all.)

The momentum is with us.
2. Welcome Home to the 152nd Maintenance Company of the Maine National Guard!

I was at the Augusta Armory Thursday morning, in the crowd welcoming home the Guard unit, returning after a year in Iraq. It was a wonderful, happy and emotional event for the hundreds of family and friends who turned out to greet them.

I was glad to see them and proud of their service. They did their duty, what they had been asked to do in service to their country. And now they were home.

And I suddenly found myself back in time nearly 40 years ago, when, as the young bride of a Navy Seabee, I was twice in such a crowd, waiting for the unit fresh back from Vietnam to be dismissed from their formation, waiting for my then-husband to break ranks and wade into my open arms.

I'm glad the 152nd is home. I want to bring them all home. It's time.
3. Four "Debates" for Democratic U.S. Senate candidates

The first week in April was busy, with four candidate "debates," held in:
  • Bethel (hosted by the Oxford County Democratic Committee),
  • Portland (hosted by Citizen Salon),
  • Belfast (hosted by the Waldo County Democratic Committee) and
  • New Gloucester (hosted by the Cumberland County Democrats and the New Gloucester Democratic Committee).
Things to read:
Prepared responses for the Belfast Debate
Opening & closing statements for New Gloucester
Debate story
in The Monument Newspaper
4. Position Paper: Labor and the American Dream

"...The concept of labor in America is nothing short of a national recognition that, collectively, the workers of America are the driving force in this country. Individually, what we do for work often defines who we are. At its best, that work involves using our talents and skills to do productive work that is respected and appropriately compensated..."
5. Our Web Page is being Redesigned

Our web page is undergoing a major renovation, thanks to the talented efforts of one of our York County volunteers, Alisha Langerman. We've already posted the new banner, and she's come up with a dynamite design layout that will follow shortly. Now we're working out the navigation details (how to get from one part of the page to another) to give you the smoothest path to the information you want about this campaign. We hope you like the results.
5. Campaign Treasurer's Report

The FEC Quarterly Report for the first quarter of 2006 is complete. Thanks go to all of you who responded to our Last Call of the Quarter in last week's update. That certainly helped the bottom line.

The recent Portland Press Herald survey showed that this is a winnable race. This is not the time to sit back and watch. This is the time to help build on that momentum. And as much as we don't like it, the fact is, even the best candidate (which Jean is) needs money to keep that momentum going.

Media ads: As you know, radio and television ads are costly, but essential. Olympia Snowe announced last week that she will base her campaign on trying to convince voters and contributors that she's the moderate voice of reason, when we know she's not. She is, and continues to be, a Bush enabler, but her slick commercials will mask the facts. We need to be ready to respond with the truth. Snowe has almost $2 million dollars sitting in the bank, much of it put there by defense and financial PACs, representing those corporations and wealthy individuals who are profiting from the Bush war on the working class and poor.

The Jean Hay Bright campaign needs your campaign contributions NOW to fight back. Help put our radio ads back on the air, and help us to start building for the fall campaign.

Our first contract with Air America in Portland concluded last month. The ads worked great getting Jean's name and message out there, particularly during the caucus period. We're hoping to sign another contract as soon as the budget will allow. If you liked what you heard, and want to hear more ads from Jean on other issues (and on other stations), help us out with a contribution.

Buttons, bumper stickers, brochures, lawn signs, etc. We've got lots of campaign materials costs coming up shortly. We're hoping to do a few mailings. And then we've got convention and get-out-the-vote expenses facing us in just a few short weeks.

Thanks for all your support up to this point. But we still need your help. This is still very much a grassroots campaign, and like they say on Public Radio, our funding depends on people like you. Your contribution will help us run a quality campaign.

You can help us reach out to voters, help us empower our citizens, so that in June, and again in November, we can all be proud to Vote for the America We Want to Live In. Together we can do this.

The best way to help out is to send a personal check. When you do that we get 100 percent of the money because there are no handling fees. Send your check, made out to:

JeanHayBright.US Senate

and mail it, along with our Mail-in Contribution Form to:

JeanHayBright.US Senate
4262 Kennebec Rd.
Dixmont ME 04932

But if you prefer to make an online or credit card contribution, go to our Online Contribution Page. Online contributions to Jean's campaign can also be made through ActBlue.Com, Here.

Credit card contributions can also be made off-line, with credit card information processed in the campaign office and deposited directly into the campaign's bank account. Fill out and mail in the Mail-in Contribution Form, and we'll take it from there. Or call us at one of our campaign numbers, and we'll take the information from you over the phone.

David Bright, treasurer
5. Calendar of Upcoming Events
(The calendar is constantly changing. Keep an eye on it Here)

April 17, 2006 (Monday) -- Combined Open House -- Meet U.S. Senate Candidate Jean Hay Bright of Dixmont, and Lynn Ellis of Wilton, state coordinator for the Maine Campaign for a U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence - home of Craigen and Bob Healy, 71 Pratt Mountain Road, New Vinyard, 3:30 to 7 p.m. For directions, call 652-2377

April 20, 2006 (Thursday) -- York County Democratic Committee - Alfred Church, Alfred, 6:30 p.m. social, 7 p.m. meeting. Jean will be speaking.

April 21, 2006 (Friday) -- Iraq War Town Hall Forum - Hannaford Lecture Hall, University of Southern Maine, Portland 6:30 pm.

April 22, 2006 (Saturday) -- HOPE Festival (helping to staff the Bangor DFA booth) - University of Maine Field House, Orono, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

April 24, 2006 (Monday) -- Candidates Forum, hosted by Saco and Biddeford Democratic Committees - at Richard J. Martin Community Center, 189 Alfred Street, Biddeford, 7 p.m.