Please Help Me Help These Vets
by John Kerry
We need to grow our majority in the Congress to bring real change to our country.
There's nothing our johnkerry.com community has done these last four years that I'm more proud of than our work to elect veterans - "Fighting Democrats" - to Congress.
In races the cynics said we couldn't win, you gave early and often to elect some special candidates who shook up Washington and reminded Karl Rove and his Republican allies that patriotism doesn't have a political label, and the flag of the United States doesn't belong to a Party, it belongs to the American people.
And these vets have reminded the political class what patriotism really is: just a couple weeks ago, for instance, the House of Representatives stood up to George Bush on his illegal wiretapping scheme and refused to budge in the face of fear-mongering attacks from the right.
And some of the veterans you helped elect (people like Patrick Murphy and Tim Walz) were right in the middle of it, reminding America that there's a way to safeguard our security without shedding our values.
But we're not done yet. We need more Democrats in Congress to finally achieve a true working majority, and we need more Democratic veterans to help chart a new national security course and help us end the disastrous Bush/McCain Iraq policy.
We have some great new candidates running to take over Republican seats:
In New York, Tom Reynolds just retired, spooked by my friend and young Iraq war veteran Jon Powers. Capt. Powers saw the devastation of the Iraq War up close and personal when he served in Baghdad and decided to do something about it. As soon as he got back home, he started a charitable organization to help Iraqi children. Jon and I have been friends for three years now; I believe that if we seize this moment and send him to Congress he will be a real leader for our Party and country for decades to come.
And in California, we have the Deputy Commander of all Joint Special Forces Operations in Iraq running to replace arch-conservative Duncan Hunter. Mike Lumpkin has served 8 operational tours as a Navy SEAL, so he knows the realities of 21st century conflicts intimately. He knows we need to change course in the Middle East and knows a strong nation depends on good jobs and an economy that works for working people.
We also have two incumbents you all helped elect in 2006 we need to help. They've been targeted by Republicans for their courage in standing up for us, and we need to have their backs:
Patrick Murphy was the first Iraq war veteran elected to Congress, and he's been a great ally in the drive to keep our promises to those who wear the uniform of our country. He's worked tirelessly to end the Bush policy in Iraq. Patrick has been one of the best fresh young Democrats in Congress; and that's exactly why he earned a place on the list of top GOP targets this fall.
Minnesota's Tim Walz, who started his service when he was 17 on the first day he was eligible to join the National Guard, stood with Patrick and other Democrats a couple of weeks ago and refused to let the White House scare the Congress about illegal wiretapping and domestic spying. Tim stood up for the Constitution and stared down the fear-mongering ads the rightwing threw at him. But by doing so, he made himself a target for the right, and we need to stand up for gutsy public servants like Tim when they stand up for us.
I firmly believe we'll have a new Democratic President next year, and that President will need a strong Democratic Congress to deliver the kind of change our country needs. In the last election, we fought off the worst of the Republican policies, and now it's time to get our country moving forward.
These are just the first four veterans I'll be working to help get elected to the House and Senate this year. There'll be more, along with other good Democrats who aren't veterans but still deserve our collective support. So please do what you can to help these great Democrats hold and expand our Democratic majority in the fall:
Thanks so much for supporting our Fighting Democrats,