Bernie Sanders For President!

Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders announced his intention to run for the Democratic nomination for the 2016 presidential election. So far, he is the only real progressive challenger to Hillary Clinton. Elizabeth Warren isn’t running. We hope that Sanders will push the debate to engage with the needs of millions of Americans who are being left behind in an America dominated by corporations.

At Progressive Kick, we use the website ProgressivePunch.org, our cousin organization, to measure how progressive members of Congress are. Progressive Punch uses the collective voting record of a group of consistently progressive legislators – the “progressive cohort” contrasted with Republicans – as a standard to measure how progressive other members of Congress are in their votes. Since Progressive Punch first devised its algorithm to calculate progressive scores, Senator Sanders has always been a part of the progressive cohort due to his consistency and dedication to progressive values, particularly economic justice and the defense of working- and middle-class Americans.

He has tirelessly advocated on behalf of the 99%, and he does not take a back seat to anyone in his critique of what he calls “hypercapitalism.” While Hillary Clinton has clearly benefited personally from her close ties with the corporate world, Sanders has stated he will not take corporate contributions during his run and is deeply committed to narrowing the wealth and income gaps in our country. He has supported legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 and other policies to develop infrastructure to provide support and job opportunities to working-class people.

His progressive record includes co-sponsoring a bill to cap carbon emissions, voting against the Defense of Marriage Act, and repeatedly advocating for a universal single-payer healthcare system beyond the Affordable Care Act.

We’re under no illusions or delusions about the obstacles Sanders would have to overcome to win. But we at Progressive Kick enthusiastically endorse Bernie Sanders for President and eagerly look forward to his campaign. We’ll pitch in as we can.


Click here to see our initial list of 2014 U.S. House candidates whom we’re endorsing.

Click here to see our list of 2014 U.S. Senate candidates whom we’re endorsing.

Progressive Kick IE is a national progressive Super PAC, focused on elections and accountability. We target the United States Congress and state legislatures.

Progressive US House Candidate Recruitment in 2014

We Can Do It! – Big Picture Overview

No crystal balls in the House. But over the last two weeks evidence has surfaced that 2014 conceivably could be a wave election that turns the House back to the Democrats, unexpectedly. Republicans are plunging in the polls. Whether or not this happens depends increasingly on one factor: the existence of worthwhile progressive candidates willing to take the plunge and fight the Rs in the districts we need to win in order to end the reign of Boehner.

At Progressive Kick we’ve pored over the data and come up with a number: 44. That’s how many House CDs are possible to snatch away from the Rs. And it is a numbers game: the more quality candidates, the more victories. Each additional candidate adds to the wave. In plain English: this isn’t about focusing on the sure shots, it’s about taking it to the thin slice of Swing districts that still exist after Republican gerrymandering – and are held by Republicans.

The first step is candidate identification, vetting, and recruitment. Together with our allies, we’re embarking on a lightning fast, national effort to put the right names in a bucket so we can all look at them. Some candidates need our support, right now. Others need to be persuaded to run. And some districts we’ll have to cross of our list – for now. Please – help us build this list right now.

Over the next few weeks we’ll speak with hundreds of go-to people in state legislatures, national advocacy groups, constituency organizations and others to get our list right. If you’re reading this, we probably think you are one of those people worth talking to. (If not – you might know someone!)

The Plan

Step One: Identify committed candidates and persuadables in 44 CDs held by Repubs that our data show are winnable districts. Some of them have Dem candidates already – we’ll ascertain if they’re worth supporting.

Step Two: Assist groups in vetting candidates. We aren’t trying to choose candidate for our allies, but to present possibilities we think merit their consideration. Let’s eliminate “there are no good candidates” as a reason for not winning!

Step Three: help nationalize the campaigns from all of the 44 districts where we get progressives running so they all have a fighting chance. We won’t win every one; but with candidates, the odds are actually in our favor.

Raise Your Hand And Say ‘Yeah!’

Here’s how you can be part of this right now.

I. Take a look at our map so you can see our list of 44.

II. Enter that candidate YOU know about over here.

III. Email us with your suggestion for who to talk to about this project. We maintain a listserv with updates and plan to publicize the names we come across with our allies.

IV. We’ll be mounting a social media/blog campaign to get the word out about the amazing prospects for a progressive 2014 election season. If that’s a topic you care about, follow us here and here.

Thank you so much for paying attention. Together, we can do it.

PS: Want to understand our methodology for determining which CDs are worth fighting for? Want to learn more about the whole plan, from candidate identification to recruitment to victory? Click here.

Update: To see a list of US House candidates we’re endorsing in 2014 (including the worthwhile challenger and open seat candidates we’ve found so far) click here.

Say NO to the NRA

In one of America’s congressional districts most wracked by gun violence, two National Rifle Association endorsed Democrats are running for the seat recently vacated by Jessie Jackson Jr. Debbie Halvorson and Toi Hutchinson have both received “A” ratings from the NRA while a viable and very progressive candidate, Robin Kelly, has worn her “F” rating from the NRA as a badge of honor. With the February 26 primary election fast approaching help Progressive Kick IE stop the NRA takeover of a deep blue Dem district with funds to air the below ad on cable, radio, the internet & via email. To make a donation click here.

Here’s what we did in 2012:

Six rock star progressives

Progressive Kick has identified 6 rock star progressives running viable races for state legislature in swing districts. These stupendous six are our future Congressional candidates!

We’re financing door-to-door canvasses and online video advertising – and making a critical difference.

Our spending in each race will depend on our ability to raise money from donors within each of the six states we are targeting. We will then supplement those budgets with funds raised in the other 44 states.

Meet our rock star progressives

Here’s a little about each of these great candidates. We hope you’ll contribute to our independent expenditure on behalf of each candidate with a secure donation through ActBlue.

Shemia Fagan (Oregon House 51)

Shemia is a small business attorney and a member of her local school board. Shemia’s work ethic is exemplified by her rigorous door-to-door canvassing in the district almost until the day she gave birth to her son just days ago. Donate now.

Zach Dorholt (Minnesota House 14B)

Zach Dorholt is a mental health counselor who helps people get back into the workforce and co-owns a natural foods restaurant with his mom. Zach’s platform includes restoring education funding, supporting workers’ rights and livable wages, investing in sustainable energy sources, ensuring equal rights for everyone, and reforming campaign finance. Donate now.

Marci Blaze (New Mexico House 23)

Marci Blaze’s strong progressive ethos includes support for government transparency, clean energy, reproductive choice, raising the minimum wage, early childhood education, & safeguarding seniors. Donate now.

Bud Sizemore (Washington House 47-1)

Bud Sizemore’s an 18 year veteran firefighter and city councilman whose priorities include ensuring children’s services, parks & open space, making taxes fairer and of course public safety. Donate now.

Sheila Leslie (Nevada Senate 15)

Sheila Leslie is the leading progressive in the entire Nevada legislature, the go-to woman whenever a progressive group needs anything accomplished by the Nevada government. For 14 years she’s been a passionate advocate for child welfare and has fought to protect the state’s environment and achieve better health care for all. Donate now.

Daniel Kagan (Colorado House 3)

Daniel Kagan is a successful small businessman & environmental champion who’s been a state rep for three years. He’s fought for public education funding, giving Colorado companies the first crack at state contracts, and increasing jobs training for under- and unemployed people. Donate now.

Note: Progressive Kick has ultimate authority to control its budget, and will seek to win all six races efficiently and effectively. Thank you for your support!

We are an organization of pragmatic progressives, dedicated to construction of a society that values the needs/rights/responsibilities of all of its members-from the most powerful to the least. Since the most powerful are already being taken care of, our capacity building focuses on the rest of us.

Our activities include:

Spotlighting the betrayal of citizens’ interests by elected office holders on both the Congressional and State levels with the idea of informing & capacitating citizens to make more intelligent decisions about their relationship with their Federal and respective State governments.

Exploring 21st Century Technologies for use as innovative new tools, we reach people who are often not reached by conventional messaging technologies &/or reach people in more cost effective ways.

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