Sunday, August 14, 2005

Grand Reopening!

Okay, well it's not really that grand, and I guess I never actually shut down the blog or anything, but I do realize it's been about two months since I last posted and around four since I posted with anything approaching regularity. My apologies and thanks to everyone still reading. Hopefully I'll be able to do more regular updates now and I have a couple of thoughts about that kind of blog business, but I'll save that for the end. First, what's really important: the St. Louis Cardinals! Er, no, I mean, Senator Russ Feingold!

Russ Roadtrip Roundup: Senator Feingold is continuing to travel across the country listening to people, helping local Democrats, and (unofficially, of course) raising his profile as a possible presidential candidate. In July the Senator visited Pennsylvania and Tennessee. You can read accounts of those trips on the Progressive Patriots Fund website here. In addition, Jerry Troiano provides an eyewitness account, and some nice pictures, of one of Senator Feingold's Pennsylvania events at here at his New Jersey for Feingold blog, and the July 10th post on the Tennesseans for Feingold blog reports on his speech at the Democracy for Tennessee convention.

Later this month, in just over a week, Senator Feingold will be taking a trip to California, as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes:

Feingold will give speeches at the University of California-Los Angeles School of Law on Aug. 22 and to the Town Hall Los Angeles civic group on Aug. 23. The Senate Democrat also will hold a fund-raiser for his political committee and tape a guest appearance on the "Tavis Smiley" show on PBS... His speech to Town Hall Los Angeles, which sponsors a speakers series, will be about the"administration's failure to develop a comprehensive national security strategy in the fight against terrorism," according to an announcement of the trip by his political committee, the Progressive Patriots Fund.

I look forward to hearing what the Senator has to say about national security, it is definitely one of the key areas where the Democrats need to come up with a clear alternative vision for the country. While I appreciate and agree with the Senator's argument for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq and his insistence on protecting civil liberties while fighting the war on terror, I'd really like to see him (or any Democrat) put forward a more comprehensive national security program.

Speech subject matter aside, his California trip should prove helpful for both raising money and raising his profile, as it is home to many Democratic activists and donors. I'll be very interested to see the reports on this.

But even more exciting to those of us who hope to see Senator Feingold run for President is his upcoming trip to New Hampshire, his first trip there since 2000. As PoliticsNH reports:

In late September, Feingold will be the featured speaker at the first annualEleanor Roosevelt Dinner held by the Rockingham County Democrats. He will spend at least another day in the Granite State during the visit. He said he was first approached by Manchester Mayor Bob Baines about making a trip. He also plans to hold an event for Baines, who faces re-election this year.

All in all, Feingold said his goals for the trip were to listen to what people were saying and to help local Democrats. "Now I know that when a person comes to New Hampshire people start talking about the presidential race, but really what I plan to do in New Hampshire is really nothing different from what we have been doing in other states," Feingold said.

This year Feingold has visited Alabama and Tennessee.

Feingold's staff said they are beginning to reach out to Democrats in the state to plan events, among them possible a roundtable or a panel."I have found in other states that this dialogue, particularly among progressives, has been very helpful to them and my job was simply to listen and understand," Feingold said.

Well, since Senator Feingold knows that the New Hampshire trip will lead to talk about the presidential race, I'll just repeat the unoriginal but true observation that Senator Feingold could do great in the New Hampshire primary: as a maverick who believes in fiscal responsibility and cleaning up government he will appeal to the independent voters there and his stands on guns and the PATRIOT Act should appeal to the libertarian nature of the "live free or die" state. Yes, I think New Hampshire will like Russ once it gets to know him. Can't wait to hear how this trip goes.

One final thought on the subject of Russ's travels: He should come to Missouri! It's a swing state in the middle of the country where Democrats have been struggling recently. Why, he could even talk at Washington University law school! Just an idea.

Online Petition: An online petition has been started to encourage Senator Feingold to run for President. You can sign it here. I've signed it, even though I'm naturally a bit skeptical about online petitions (I mean, if they worked Karl Rove would be fired and the WB wouldn't have cancelled "Angel"!) But I think it's great as yet another way to show support for the Feingold for President idea.

My Letter From Russ: Now comes the exciting part where I resolve the cliffhanger from the previous post...Did I get a response to my letter from Senator Feingold? Yes. Was it all that exciting? Not really. Just your basic politician thank you note: "Dear Daniel, Thanks for sending me money. I look forward to asking you for more money in the future. Russ" (paraphrased for humorous effect) Guess that's what I get for sending it with a donation to the PAC! I heard that some people got more detailed responses to letters about a possible presidential bid, but I'm guessing maybe they wrote to the Senate office. Feel free to share your own letter to/from Russ experiences in the comments.

Blog Business: Well, if your read this far you must actually kinda like or enjoy this blog, so I'll run by some thoughts I've been having about the future of this blog. I am done with my horrible summer job that made it hard for me to blog, but I'm starting orientation for law school this week, so I can't so how much better my time constraints will be. However, I know that I really like writing the blog and I really believe in the Feingold for President cause, so I was trying to decide if it would be better to update this blog more regularly with smaller updates (maybe just links to articles or other sites with no additional commentary) or do it more irregularly but with longer posts and more of my original commentary, which is kind of what I prefer doing. Of course, maybe it won't really come to a choice between those but still, I'd kinda like to know what the crazy folks who come here would like (and I'm using "crazy folks" as a term of affection there).

Should I update it everyday, every other day, every week, only when there's big news, only when I feel like it? Should I focus on links to other sites and articles or on posting my own thoughts? Should I write shorter posts or longer posts? Should I forget about this Feingold thing entirely and turn it into an Olsen Twins fan site? You can post comments or email me to let me know what you think (or if you have any Feingold news items or links!)

Thanks for the support, I really do appreciate it.



At 10:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Hey Dan,

Mix it up! Blog when you can with commentary, post articles, etc. Heck, get contributors if you want who support Feingold!

Let me know if I can help!

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Schwompa said...

Don't feel too bad about not getting any sort of detailed response from Feingold. Having interned for a Senate office, I will tell you that all the letters are answered with position specific form letters posted across Capitol Correspond, the Senate's system for dealing with constituents. The letters are the same for each constituent with maybe the occasional tinkering. I imagine they have a similar operation for PPF. Anyway, thanks for posting a link to the petition.


At 10:51 AM, Blogger Fitzy said...


I've always really liked your detailed commentary, so I'd say you should try to do as much of that as possible. Anyone can find links to Feingold-related things, but your commentary has always been good to read.

And I got a pretty impersonal response too. That's pretty standard. I got a real, written response from Michigan Senator Carl Levin once, but it took about six months of waiting, so...

Keep blogging,


At 10:52 AM, Blogger Schwompa said...

One more thing... Thought I would also make a suggestion. Maybe entitle your blog Missouri for Feingold since there are already a few sites entitled Russ Feingold for President. This way maybe you can focus on MO politics every once in a while and make it more state specific. Also, I have a selfish reason for this suggestion. When I link your site I won't have two Russ Feingold for President sites; instead, there will be a nice MO for Feingold state blog under my links heading. Just a thought.

At 8:33 AM, Blogger activist kaza said...


All fellow bloggers can relate to the trouble of keeping 'em current (esp. when there is no compensation involves, as with 97% of the blogosphere). But please do keep it up - your site is good, it's one of the originals and as opposed to Schwompa, I wouldn't limit yourself to Missouri (in your title or your postings) unless you really want to slowly phase out of your current relevance.

I have linked to your site a couple of times now (not that it's generating any great amt. of traffic) and will continue to do so, as long as you maintain it!

How about today's news, eh? Russ just keeps expanding the gap between himself and the rest of the prospective '08 field...

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Dan K. said...

Thanks for all the support, guys!

Ben: I've thought about getting other contributors to the blog but right now I'm happy with it just being my thing. You're helping me plenty just by posting a comment!

Fitzy: I'm really glad to hear you like my commentary, it's always been my favorite part of having a blog, but I wasn't sure what others thought about-I guess I worried that it was too rambling or self-indulgent. Glad to know it's enjoyed!

Matt: Thanks for the explanation about how Senators mail is answered. I really hope your petition has a lot of success and I'll keep linking to it!

The Missouri for Feingold idea is one I'll have to ponder for a while. I like the idea of discussing state issues occasionally, but I'm also kind of proud of the fact that my site was one of the first Feingold for President sites and I like keeping it the way it was. Definitely something to think about though!

kaza: I'm relevant?!? Whoa, get out!

Seriously, thanks for the compliments and the links!

At 7:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to admit that I have a special place in my heart for this site as well. I got the idea to join a Russ For President blog only after reading about what you started and seeing your site. I say keep up what you're doing and there's an open invitation to blog on the front page of anytime you like.

Thanks and good luck in law school.

Ilya S

At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is Feingold supporting a hack like Bob Baines? Baines has a piss poor record on worker rights, the environment, affordable housing, and his campaign is run by a bunch of thuggish old politicos.

There are plenty of Democrats worthy of Feingolds support. Baines, barely a Democrat, isn't one of them.

At 8:36 PM, Blogger Chandor said...

Interested in yahoo game domain? Then here's yahoo game domain info you simply MUST read so you save the maximum time, effort and money!

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Dave said...

some anonymous jerk just left me a comment about baines that I deleted. this person claimed to be from manchester (NH) but the ip address was in New Jersey. I've never deleted a (non-spam) comment before, but I deleted this one.


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