Let's Escrow Our Money to Keep Obama Progressive

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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Obama Progressive
Escrow Fund
Goal: $1,000,000
727: $108,077
Last week, we asked 1,000 of you to contribute $10 to raise $10,000 to help progressive Democrats like State Senator Regina Thomas defeat "Bush Democrats" like Rep. John Barrow (GA12) in upcoming primaries. Your response was amazing: over 1,300 of you contributed over $60,000!

Now we are asking you to use your money to ensure that Barack Obama lives up to his promise to deliver "change we can believe in. "

How? By creating a progressive "escrow" fund that you control.

Many progressives were shocked last week when Obama flip-flopped on wiretapping immunity for the phone companies with this simple explanation:

"My view on FISA has always been that the issue of the phone companies per se is not one that overrides the security interests of the American people."

So if a President unilaterally decides it is in the "security interests of the American people" to defy the Constitution, the Law, and Congress, (s)he can do whatever (s)he wants?

Other Actions
Tell Your Senators:
No Immunity for Wiretapping

Join the FISA Protest Group
at My.BarackObama.com

Call Obama's Campaign HQ
at (866) 675-2008
press 6 to leave your message.

Lots more actions here!

George Bush believes that, as do Dick Cheney and John McCain - and every dictator in the world. How is that progressive? And how is that change we can believe in?

Don't get me wrong: we fully support Obama and will do everything we can to elect him President. But will also do everything we can to protect the Constitution and hold Obama to his promise of real progressive change.

And that's why we are launching our Obama Progressive Escrow Fund. We're asking you to put some of the money you plan to give Obama "in escrow" until he demonstrates progressive leadership on the issues we care about, like warrantless wiretapping.

We are absolutely not trying to hurt Obama - we'll give him our money at some point. We're just asking for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T like Aretha Franklin sang about.

raise-your-voice-blue-america.pngWe can get Obama's respect because needs our money - he turned down $ 85 million in taxpayer dollars because he believes small donors like us will contribute $ 300 million. And now is the best time to use our modest leverage, before the campaign goes all-out after the convention.

We are setting an ambitious goal of $1 million, which is hopefully large enough to get some respect.

We are not asking you to give us your money. We only want you to make a moral "pledge" to our informal "escrow" fund. The money remains entirely yours, and we want you to contribute directly to Obama after he takes actions that you believe demonstrate progressive leadership.

(When you eventually decide to contribute to Obama, please use our special Obama Progressive Leadership Fund page on Actblue so we can all see how strong we are, as measured in simple dollars.)

I just pledged $2,300 to the Obama Progressive Escrow Fund, which is the maximum allowed by law. I hope 100,000 of you will pledge as little as $10 so together we get some respect.

Thanks for all you do!

Bob Fertik

Note: to make a pledge, you must create a Democrats.com website account (username and password), which is different from subscribing to our email alerts. When you create your login, you will see "Obama Escrow" at the bottom, where you can enter your informal pledge amount. If you already have a Democrats.com login, click "My Account" then "Edit" then "Personal Information" and then add your pledge in the "Obama Escrow Fund" at the bottom.

While you are visiting your Personal Information page, I hope you'll notice several new features that we recently added, thanks to your continued financial support.

1. Social Network Profile . Do you have a profile at Facebook, MySpace, or another social networking site? If you add the direct link to your profile, other members of Democrats.com will be able to find it. After you login, visit our sample Barack Obama profile. As you can see, we protect your privacy so only your first name, state, party, Congressional District, and Social Network Profile are visible to other Democrats.com members.

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Update 1: Kos independently decided to "escrow" $2300 until Obama shows some progressive leadership.

Update 2: Glenn Greenwald tracked down Obama's advisor on wiretapping, Greg Craig, and discovered he is either stupid or lying. If Craig doesn't understand the issue, he should resign - or be fired!


I pledge $2300

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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because this issue goes to the heart of whether Barack Obama will really change the dictatorial policies of the past 8 years, or continue to let the military-industrial-intelligence complex break the law and violate our rights with impunity.

Why are Democrats self-defeating?

  • cdmattison's picture
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Our best hope for this nation and for the international community is Barack Obama. Please don't commit self-sabotage and hinder the ability of Senator Obama to become the next President.

We can hold his feet to the fire on January 1, 2009. Let's get him sworn in first.

Ask yourself this: Would Republicans withhold financing to their candidate? Would they question, in public, the candidate's plan for winning the General Election -- the plan for winning a majority of the vote?

Obama must win over progressives, independents and a fair share of Republican voters. Please give him the latitude to run this race in a way that is appealing to a cross-section of voters.

I believe that he will do the right thing once in office. Hope. That's what we must have. We must also put our trust in Senator Obama to run his campaign. No second guessing.

If we put up barriers, our own barriers to his ability to win in November, then it will be our own fault if John McCain is sworn in on January 1, 2009.

Make your choice. President Obama or President McCain.

Okay, you win (mostly)

  • M.C.'s picture
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Although it is painful to say this, you are correct. Many of the the senator's recent statements are disturbing, but we must support his candidacy and get him in the WH. I'm still pledging to the escrow fund, however. . . .

We can't wait

  • owanderhoffe's picture
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If the escrow fund turns his decision on FISA, then the message will be, "Obama listens to the people of the United States." If you think that those who fund political campaigns have never held money over a candidate's head to get him or her to act a certain way then you're mistaken. This time it's regular American citizens who are funding the campaign, and Obama made that choice so that WE would have the power, not interest groups or corporations. If the media wants to portray Obama a certain way, they will find ways to do it regardless of this escrow fund. We the people should not give up newfound political power out of fear. Change is finally doing something we think is right, not being complacent. Personally, I am excited by the concept of this escrow fund, and I hope we continue to see unprecedented efforts by the American people in this election. It is during the election that we should show candidates how we expect them to behave, not after they have won a seat in the oval office. We have already seen that by then it is too late.

beautifully stated

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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i agree completely :)

I got your e-mail Bob

  • KimJones's picture
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I know you are late comers to the campaign and I have been avoiding the bashing of Obama since Oct 07. I check in every once and a while to see if the site is still sane. You guys can really get pissy when you can't get your way down to the letter. If you think Obama will be your patsy after finding out how many rats are in the party, you have another think coming. Out of all the Democrats, this Progressive Democrat works on what we have in common, and together tackle the issues. There's not a fearful bone in his body. I know you are all late in the game and of the Clinton campaign, but unless you want another Bush baby in, put aside your selfish needs and work to get our candidate in. You can't do jack, if your just a Senator and since they have broken the laws and Constitution, don't you think they will try to put a hit on our candidate. Stop showing our hand.

Your like kids that can't keep a secret. No wonder Al Queida is all in our blogs. Some reporters wanted more detail also. Is that smart to print your military plans before even being elected. Can the enemy not read a blog also.

Barack is not a ratfink, nor does he lie. So stop giving the RethugliKlan's flipflop fodder. Barack has stood by his word from day one. He said if he finds violations against the constitution then he will deal with it swiftly.

All I can say is, if you can get someone in there better, than do so. With all the Hillary supporters blackmailing for VP slot and all the hate mongers during the primary, We at Obama, don't know what to think of it all. We were such a positive campaign, and now look at what your doing. Spoiled and won't except no for an answer. If they hide the dirt, We the People will NEVER FIND IT!

Now do you get what I'm saying?


Kim, -Yes and No-

  • kwahlf's picture
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I know you are all late in the game and of the Clinton campaign

speaking for myself here--

I was an Edwards supporter first, now I support Obama.

You were one of the first to speak out for Obama and I'm glad to see you
are still here. June 3rd history was made, and those of us over 50 understand
just how different things were 45+ years ago. No one can take that away from


Today's vote on the FISA amendment concerns me and many of us here.

Some of the reaction you see is the fallout of eight years of being lied to
by BushCo- yeah, we are jumpy alright.

I want to believe that Obama will do the right thing, but this has me concerned.

Are Democrats allowed a voice before an election?

  • Jim's picture
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It sounds like Obama is peachy and we no longer have any worries.

He'll get in and THEN do great things WITHOUT input from peons.

We can only hope.

On the other hand, Democratic Voters can also demand that they be represented even DURING a campaign.

Also, why are you being rude? You correctly railed against those who were rude and then proceed in kind. I don't get it.



Sometimes you just gotta go for empowerment, because if you're waiting for someone in Washington to empower you, you're in for a long wait. Diluting the power of special interest lobbyists by becoming private interest lobbyists doesn't sound like such a bad deal to me.

The more voices, the better right? I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Maybe I can get universal healthcare this way. Change isn't always easy. Sometimes you have to work at it.

Usama bin Forgotten

How do we hold him accountable...

  • spat's picture
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and still support him? Although I appreciate what you're saying, the fact is that Obama has now, as soon as his nomination was secure, flipped himself into the center on more than one issue. I realize that he's trying to get elected, but how do these actions distinguish him from any other of the MANY Senators/Representatives that have and are still ignoring the political positions of their constituents and thrashing the Constitution in the process???

How do his votes represent CHANGE? This bowing and scraping to conformity is business as usual in Washington and could easily presage his decisions as President. Where's the CHANGE?

I fully support the escrow and see this action as a perfect middle step between blindly standing by our guy and rejecting him wholesale. As a woman who's gone about talking up Obama despite having to reject the historical campaign of a female candidate, I consider this action socially responsible, politically important, and personally ethical.


  • d55may's picture
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Thats a good idea, because he wants to hold tose in the White House accountable right? So wouldn't be right to hold him accountable? He is better than them right? Lives above all that, but now he's dropped the ball. He talked about ethics and social responsibly. What do we only have to be held to those standards? Come on that is crazy!! I have not put any money in yet, but have donated with my husband and he is almost maxed out. I want to know that he is going to hold himself to the same standards he holds everyone else too! When you say you are going to do something, you should follow thro or else it's a lie.

From Dawnt's Diary

  • Terry Danielson's picture
    Terry Danielson
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Let's get real here, people. Obama is supporting a compromise. You know you've got a compromise when people on both sides are unhappy... and, well, that's what we've got. People on both sides are definitely unhappy. I'm unhappy, a lot of people on this site are unhappy, conservatives are unhappy. Meanwhile, McCain is laughing and loving this.

Obama's central platform has always been compromise versus gridlock. He has told us over and over that he will compromise rather than allow gridlock to rule the day. Did these people not listen? Or did they just choose to ignore that. Obama has told us over and over that the pursuit of perfection is the enemy of improvement. Entrenchment is the enemy of progress.

This bill is a first step, not the end game. It's up to us to ensure that we keep moving forward on this issue. Now, I'm not saying that I like this compromise, but I am saying that moving forward an inch by electing Obama is much better than moving backwards by a mile by electing McCain.

I think the reason we're seeing so much opposition is because Democrats are feeling too comfortable about November. People are taking it for granted that Obama is doing so well now that he is a shoo-in (as a matter of fact, many of the FISA activists are saying so explicitly). But he is not a shoo-in. This race will be much closer than it appears now. Remember the Republican primary when everyone thought McCain's candidacy was dead? Heck, remember when everyone thought that Hillary was inevitable? Remember 2004 when everyone thought that the hatred for Bush was so wide and so deep that he had to lose???

Many presidential candidates have been considered inevitable and then lost. Many times a candidate has been way ahead and then America had buyers remorse close to the election. Many things could also change between now and then to make Americans more fearful, more willing to accept a war-monger like McCain. We need to be building a lead, a cushion of support, if you will -- not taking it for granted that we can do whatever we want right now and still win in November.

If Obama gets into office, I believe we will see movement in the direction we want on this issue. But I also believe with all of my heart that if McCain gets into office, we're going to see movement in the opposite direction. Do we really need to be reminded of all of the things that are different about Obama and McCain, including FISA?

Obama is in a no win situation right now, and it is unreasonable supporters who have put him there. If he did not compromise on FISA, he would have lost support from Independents and moderates who he needs to win in November. At the same time, he is being treated by some purity trolls as a traitor (or worse) for compromising.

The best way to get support for the position we want on FISA is to change public opinion. Obama made the compromise he made because public opinion is what it is. You can have an opinion, but so can the rest of America. And guess what... numbers matter most!

So, the bottom line... do what Obama has asked of you all along: Get out there and work to make change, don't expect him to do all of the heavy lifting without support and involvement from the grassroots. How many times has Obama said he can't do it without us? Did you really understand what that meant? Give it some thought. Much of the work and support he was talking about was about changing public opinion and putting pressure on other elected officials to support these very positions.

Obama told us what he needs us to do so that he can accomplish the goals we set forth. Instead of doing that, some people have chosen to attack him instead, even asking for donations to be refunded from months and months back.

Sorry this bill is no "compromise"

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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It is a complete sellout to Bush, Cheney, and the telecoms.

They get immunity for their crimes.

We, The People, get screwed - as we have been for 7.5 years.

I'm afraid Senator Obama failed the wiretap test.

So it isn't about honesty or

  • d55may's picture
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So it isn't about honesty or integrity? It's only about numbers? Is that what you are saying because maybe I misunderstood. I thought that the character of a person be elected President was important because he would be representing American's. You know WE the PEOPLE. I thought it was about us not him. By the way, all of us are here collecting money for him and he keeps spending it lke there is no tommorrow. Yet he wants more and more. Well I don't think it is so much for us to ask for him to do something that he said he would do, been saying it for months. Is he lying to the center or us. Whats up. And do not try to put that guilt crap on me.

Barack's response on BarackObama.com

  • Terry Danielson's picture
    Terry Danielson
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Barack is on the road today, but he wrote a response that he asked be posted on the blog. You'll find it below.

Here's the note from Barack:

I want to take this opportunity to speak directly to those of you who oppose my decision to support the FISA compromise.

This was not an easy call for me. I know that the FISA bill that passed the House is far from perfect. I wouldn't have drafted the legislation like this, and it does not resolve all of the concerns that we have about President Bush's abuse of executive power. It grants retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that may have violated the law by cooperating with the Bush Administration's program of warrantless wiretapping. This potentially weakens the deterrent effect of the law and removes an important tool for the American people to demand accountability for past abuses. That's why I support striking Title II from the bill, and will work with Chris Dodd, Jeff Bingaman and others in an effort to remove this provision in the Senate.

But I also believe that the compromise bill is far better than the Protect America Act that I voted against last year. The exclusivity provision makes it clear to any President or telecommunications company that no law supersedes the authority of the FISA court. In a dangerous world, government must have the authority to collect the intelligence we need to protect the American people. But in a free society, that authority cannot be unlimited. As I've said many times, an independent monitor must watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil liberties of the American people. This compromise law assures that the FISA court has that responsibility

The Inspectors General report also provides a real mechanism for accountability and should not be discounted. It will allow a close look at past misconduct without hurdles that would exist in federal court because of classification issues. The recent investigation uncovering the illegal politicization of Justice Department hiring sets a strong example of the accountability that can come from a tough and thorough IG report.

The ability to monitor and track individuals who want to attack the United States is a vital counter-terrorism tool, and I'm persuaded that it is necessary to keep the American people safe -- particularly since certain electronic surveillance orders will begin to expire later this summer. Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, I've chosen to support the current compromise. I do so with the firm intention -- once I’m sworn in as President -- to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.

Now, I understand why some of you feel differently about the current bill, and I'm happy to take my lumps on this side and elsewhere. For the truth is that your organizing, your activism and your passion is an important reason why this bill is better than previous versions. No tool has been more important in focusing peoples' attention on the abuses of executive power in this Administration than the active and sustained engagement of American citizens. That holds true -- not just on wiretapping, but on a range of issues where Washington has let the American people down.

I learned long ago, when working as an organizer on the South Side of Chicago, that when citizens join their voices together, they can hold their leaders accountable. I'm not exempt from that. I'm certainly not perfect, and expect to be held accountable too. I cannot promise to agree with you on every issue. But I do promise to listen to your concerns, take them seriously, and seek to earn your ongoing support to change the country. That is why we have built the largest grassroots campaign in the history of presidential politics, and that is the kind of White House that I intend to run as President of the United States -- a White House that takes the Constitution seriously, conducts the peoples' business out in the open, welcomes and listens to dissenting views, and asks you to play your part in shaping our country’s destiny.

Democracy cannot exist without strong differences. And going forward, some of you may decide that my FISA position is a deal breaker. That's ok. But I think it is worth pointing out that our agreement on the vast majority of issues that matter outweighs the differences we may have. After all, the choice in this election could not be clearer. Whether it is the economy, foreign policy, or the Supreme Court, my opponent has embraced the failed course of the last eight years, while I want to take this country in a new direction. Make no mistake: if John McCain is elected, the fundamental direction of this country that we love will not change. But if we come together, we have an historic opportunity to chart a new course, a better course.

So I appreciate the feedback through my.barackobama.com, and I look forward to continuing the conversation in the months and years to come. Together, we have a lot of work to do.

Obama Fails Wiretap Test

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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Sadly, Obama "listened" to us but chose to ignore us.

But I also believe that the compromise bill is far better than the Protect America Act that I voted against last year. The exclusivity provision makes it clear to any President or telecommunications company that no law supersedes the authority of the FISA court.

We don't need a new exclusivity provision - the current one is already sufficient, as a Bush I judge affirmed just today.

In a dangerous world, government must have the authority to collect the intelligence we need to protect the American people. But in a free society, that authority cannot be unlimited. As I've said many times, an independent monitor must watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil liberties of the American people. This compromise law assures that the FISA court has that responsibility.

The FISA court already has that responsibility. The new law adds nothing.

The Inspectors General report also provides a real mechanism for accountability and should not be discounted.

Bush appointed Inspectors General who mostly cover up his crimes. How is that a "real mechanism for accountability?"

It will allow a close look at past misconduct without hurdles that would exist in federal court because of classification issues.

Federal courts are perfectly capable of evaluating classification issues - in fact they are better than the Executive Branch because they are independent of the President. Bush wouldn't even give top lawyers at the Justice Department the security clearance they needed to review the NSA wiretapping program.

Kos believes it's just the failed politics of fear:

Bottom line is that Obama wants to cave on FISA not because of "moving to the center" concerns, but because they are afraid of television ads claiming Obama is inviting terrorists over for BBQ. It's the same crappy-style ads that failed miserably in the IL-14 special election (and Foster went on to vote against the FISA capitulation) and have gotten little traction this year. But the Obama campaign thinks that by capitulating, it'll "take the issue off the table", as if Republicans need any excuse to accuse Democrats of being weak on terror.

"Taking the issue off the table" led Democrats to vote for Bush's disastrous tax cuts, and most still lost that year (like Jean Carnahan and Max Cleland). It led them to vote for Bush's disastrous war, yet that didn't stop Republicans from morphing Cleland into Osama Bin Laden. And of course, no matter how they vote on FISA, Republicans will still accuse Democrats of being weak on terror. It's pretty much the only thing they've got left in their toolbox, no matter how ineffective it has become.

But in any case, Obama's FISA capitulation has nothing to do with "moving to the center", and everything with being afraid of the ads Republicans will run.

I think politics played a role, but I think Obama is getting lousy advice from "experts" who don't know what they're talking about - people like Greg Craig.

And those "experts" need to be fired before they do any more damage to Obama's campaign.

It's a Deal Breaker for This Intelligence Officer

  • Ray McGovern's picture
    Ray McGovern
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Dear Senator Obama,

I speak from 30 years of experience in intelligence work. I don't know who actually briefed you on the eavesdropping legislation, but the bill is unnecessary for intelligence collection and POISON for our civil liberties—not even to mention the unconscionable retroactive immunity provision.

You have made a big mistake, Senator, in indicating you intend to vote for it. There is still time to change your mind. That's what big people do.

Your penultimate paragraph seals it for me. What you are saying relies not on principle—and still less on respect for the law, or respect for our Constitutional rights.

What I hear you saying is an all too familiar refrain: "Tough s___, progressive voter. You know you've got nowhere else to go. You want McCain in there?"

A painful reminder that the Republicans have no corner on arrogance. You think you have us over a barrel. Well let me tell you something those suits from K Street haven't told you; you need our active support, and you are about to blow it.

Your "explanation" was unworthy of one who has sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States (including the Fourth Amendment).

And your attitude is not that of a person I THOUGHT was different—and would be genuinely for change I could believe in.

We live just a couple of miles from where George Mason is buried. (As you may remember, professor of the Constitution that you have been, Mason actually refused to approve the Constitution—although he and fellow Virginian James Madison had pretty much drafted it—BECAUSE IT LACKED THE BILL OF RIGHTS).

Well, the air is still this evening. Our windows are open and George Mason can be heard tossing and turning in his grave, loudly moaning. Yes, moaning.

I went over to his grave; between the moans he explained that he had just heard of your plan to play fast and loose with his beloved Bill of Rights. "Hard to enjoy the Fourth tomorrow with the Constitution being shredded Right and Left," he whispered.

Remember, Senator, what Emerson said about those those unable to change their "little" minds. Beware the K Street hobgoblins!

Again: Dissing us by the "So-you-want-McCain?" riposte is unworthy. Not only is it clear that you are "mis-underestimating" us but, frankly, I find it insulting.

Please get back on track.


Ray McGovern
US Army Infantry/Intelligence Officer: 1962-64
CIA Analyst, 1964-1990
Co-Founder, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

thanks Ray!

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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i believe I can hear George Mason moaning all the way in New York...

It's a Deal Breaker for Me -- Ray McGovern

  • JeannieG's picture
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I am deeply grateful for your well-thought-out comments. I will keep my support in "escrow" for now, but I will remember what you have said.

Stop giving fodder to the Rethuglican Neocons

  • KimJones's picture
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You just have to trust whenhe has the power, he will do something about it. Why you people at the activist club, always want to chop off your legs to spite your face, is beyond me. Calm down and let's give the man a chance. You know the party has been infiltrated by NeoDemicons. Obama turned the DLC invitation down in 2006, because of this same madness. Just because you have the money, doesn't mean you can blackmail. He said he will bring the troops home as carefully out as careless getting in. Until we know the full jist of this administration's madness, stop telling the democratic hand, or should I say forcing the hand before the power..

He is just a Senator, and we have a long way to go, so get off his nutz. Jeesh, just like the Clinton supporters, estortion isn't pretty in any party, by any supporters.

And quit giving the Rethuglicans the ammo to shoot down our candidate, your like the crazy family members nobody wants to claim. First get him in, then our agenda. He's the first black president and knows he will be watched like a hawk from the time he sets foot in the House or opens his mouth. It certainly isn't the dream job I would have chosen for him, to have to deal with cutthroats and backbiters who are still hoping to get Hillary on the ticket.

Sore losers, you betcha. Like I told the Hillary supporters on her site. The issues in the middle east are bigger than one group of Americans gettting their way and calling the shots. Barack is smart and knows that we still have a long way to go. If your not for a democratic Progressive as President, then vote for the No right to choose candidate, the stay in Iraq for a hundred years candidate and the Bomb bomb Iran candidate John McSame as Bush.

Democrats chill out. Jeesh, your like chickens with your heads cut off, just flapping around in the breeze making a mess.

Grow up and think smarter. Tell your hand and everybody will play it.


I don't know about the particulars here...

  • Jim's picture
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...but having the grassroots attempting NEW ways to navigate past the power brokers is a GOOD thing.

All of us will have an opinion on the degree to which we should press in order to shape our Candidate, but one thing we can not afford is fracturing. That fracturing by Greens and Independents previously came from a sense of hopelessness. About votes being taken for granite.

It seems to me that this effort at least offers those who jumped ship before, an alternative. Minimally then, those who engage in it should be afforded some breathing room.


how can we be "sore losers"

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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when we didn't endorse any candidate in the primaries?

we're not an idolizing fan club for Democratic candidates - we believe in the core principles of the Democratic Party, which include the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

and we believe the way for Democrats to win elections is to proudly and passionately advocate those principles, not abandon them.

Illegal Wiretapping Violates the Fourth Amendment

  • BlueDem's picture
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The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and on Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
- The Fourth Amendment, United States Constitution

What in the world are these people thinking? I can't believe so many agreed to this!

That fact that Obama

  • Msfitts's picture
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That fact that Obama 'flip-flopped' on this is a big deal.
The tone has changed. From being a new voice making powerful statements people could relate to, his position on FISA/telecomm immunity sounds like "politics as usual".
If someone is advising him, they are giving him bad advice.
This is not the direction Democrats should go in. It is not the direction the people want them to go in.

"Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong" -Daniel O 'Connell.

There is no going back if this FISA bill ends up passing.

Advising Obama

  • Merryg's picture
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I think it is Rahm Emanuel who took Telecom Money. There are a whole lot of dirty Dems who knew this was going on and don't want it to come out in Telecom Lawsuit discovery. That is the real reason that the Dems caved in.

Quid Pro Quo?

  • TheBrownHornet's picture
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You're telling a candidate if they vote a certain way, you'll give them up to $100,000. Isn't that what's wrong with Washington today already?

In Washington today

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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the rich bribe Congress to get richer.

we're not trying to get rich - we're trying to defend our Constitution.

it would be nice if we could take all money out of politics, but Republicans in Congress and on the Supreme Court won't let us.

so for now we have to use our money as a tool to get what we need.

So you have to pay him to

  • d55may's picture
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So you have to pay him to get him to listen to you. Your paying for your rights now? thats really sad, and this is our candidate. I'm really disappointed, oh well back to the same old politics.


  • gdcb1128's picture
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I think this is a brilliant idea. I, like many, have been feeling very frustrated by some of Obama's choices lately. I have been trying to figure out how to vent my frustrations and this is a great way. He'll get my money when I feel that he is representing the values that brought me to support him in the first place. Thanks, Bob!

faith based

  • GEORGE W. THIGPEN's picture
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i was hopeing he would shut the faith based
thing down. iam for separtion of church AND STATE

Separation of church and state

  • DreamPretty's picture
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I agree, I am a Buddhist and I would appreciate it if people would recognize that not all Americans are Christians!

Obama can help our country but he needs to try harder to address issues of sustainable energy and agriculture, separation of church and state, warrantless wiretapping, and the overcrowding of our prisons with non-violent drug offenders.

Comments by DreamPretty

  • JeannieG's picture
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Thank you for your having brought up the issue of the overcrowding of our prisons with non-violent drug offenders. We must devise another way of (punishing?) rehabilitating these individuals and turning them into productive and happy citizens.

Thank you, too, for your other fine statements.

No "compromise", (see: sellout)

  • harrriette's picture
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I'll pledge $100 to Obama and maybe more if he stops going to the right. I am truly horrified to watch this lateral movement. How about his speech to AIPEC? Supporting Israel like that is another shift in which I am very disappointed, a real mistake.
Obama must stay strong with the ideals that brought him to the winning spot. If we wanted Hillary's "centrist" ideas, we would have voted for her. If he follows Gore and Kerry in trying to win over Republican voters with weak whimpy policies, he will once again loose an election that should be a sure thing. Who is advising him? More of the same old thing. Look at his foreign policy advisers. Help!! Perhaps we have been conned again- or perhaps he is being conned. One way or the other, this is not the way to go.

Confusing instructions and site page

  • rousu's picture
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I do not see any place that looks like a place to make the pledge. The only thing at the bottom of the page is this comment form. Either fix the instructions or fix the page?

I would pledge $100 if I could figure out how.

(Bad Jose to frustrate potential users of the site!)

Sorry rousu!

  • Bob Fertik's picture
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I just added a pledge button at the top right - hopefully it's clear now!

letter i sent to friends regarding obama support for wiretapping

  • johnnydoe44's picture
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I wrote the following and sent it along with a copy of the escrow fund email I received from dems.com.

"So read the thing below, its about the wiretapping issue and obama's stance on it. If you are as up on technology and what the powers that be have as their intended use for it as i am - then I know you will understand the paramount importance of protecting at all cost our right to privacy(even at the cost of risking a "TERRORIST" attack - give me a freakn break!)

information is power brother and everyday new technologies are being invented that can use that information in more and more clever ways to harm individuals and society as a whole. I do not trust the powers that be - they have proven time and time again over the centuries that they can not be trusted - HELL, man in general seems incapable of not being corrupted by power. This is why so many have fought for an equal distribution of power (the revolution, the founding father, etc...) Information technology threatens our hard fought balance of power once again and one of the only ways we can fight to keep the fraction of power we have as working class men and women is to fight for our right to privacy. I do not know what obama's deal is with the statement below - but he and it scare me."

Well, Obama also said

  • peace_vigil_auntie's picture
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Well, Obama also said "Nothing can stand in the way of the power millions of voices calling for change"...Yes, I feel like a sap now for crying along to that video, but if he's going to be a typical politician after all, we millions need to let him know, often and specifically, just the kinds of changes we want. I love the opportunity to pledge my small donation to an Obama who listens to his progressive base; the last time I checked which way the wind was blowing, the majority of the country must be 'progressive' on this issue:

"The Melman Group, a national polling organization commissioned by the ACLU, recently published a poll finding that 57 percent of likely voters opposed immunity for the telecommunications carriers who participated in the government's warrantless surveillance program, while only a third supported letting the telecoms off the hook."

If Obama is going to fight for minority opinions, let's make sure he knows those battles should be FOR our civil rights and the contstitution, not against them.

beautifully stated

  • Bob Fertik's picture
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hear hear!

Escrow Fund for Obama

  • Martha Warner's picture
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GREAT IDEA! I have been feeling depressed, as Obama moves to the right. How can he support programs that violate our Constitution: Privacy, the Rule of Law (hold companies and officials accountable), the Separation of Church and State? Why isn't he taking a stand in favor of FDR Progressive Democrats? He could honor Eleanor, too, as she was instrumental in creating the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He needs to denounce Freedman's economics, and talk about our SOCIAL CONTRACT, quote the Preamble to the Constitution. He doesn't need to side with Scalia and Thomas on the 2nd Amendment; nor pretend that the death penalty is anything BUT barbaric. Tell him how many modern nations use capital punishment. Is it two?

BEST of Luck to Democracy.com

Martha W.


  • Arlene in Maine's picture
    Arlene in Maine
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This is one of the most counterproductive schemes I have seen. Why don't you focus on getting Obama elected before you start trying to bribe him with money, just like the lobbyists do? Or maybe just vote for Nader again and take your part of the responsibility for beginning another war, this time in Iran???

Stupid is as stupid does!

We're not trying to bribe him

  • Bob Fertik's picture
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just hold him to his own promise of "change we can believe in."

Not only will we vote for him, but we plan to contribute all of the money we've pledged - as soon as he lives up to his promises.

Yeah, you're right...

  • Arlene in Maine's picture
    Arlene in Maine
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Maybe it sounds a little more like EXTORTION. So, when do you plan to give him your money? After he's elected? Or...after he loses, because of progressives like you, who shoot themselves in the foot instead of realizing the potential of a landslide election? There is no candidate alive who will please every liberal/progressive all of the time. Patience, and stop being stupid. Peace.

we'll give him our money

  • Bob Fertik's picture
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when he exercises the leadership he promised us on the issues we care about.

i'm confident he'll come to his senses on warrantless wiretapping because he said in the past that he opposed immunity.

Escrow Fund for Obama

  • wrumsey's picture
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I'm puzzled. I agree that Obama has moved to the right on civil liberties as most people who posted comments here have said. I also think that he has raised issues about his honesty in his heaping praise on the Clintons (remember his remark that "some people will say anything to get elected") and his backing off on NAFTHA.

But, suppose that the strategy of trying to pressure him with money works. What will THAT say about his honesty, integrity and trustworthiness?

I see these as necessary qualities for a president. I also think that in his move to the right he's showing dangers of becoming corrupted. But we can't cure the problem by giving him money.

I think the only pressure that might help him out of what I hope is a temporary slip would be backing a petition with intellectually respectable arguments.

i agree

  • Bob Fertik's picture
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and this "escrow" fund is a last resort because Obama has ignored thousands and thousands of calls and emails presenting the "intellectually respectable argument" that immunity for wanton lawbreakers is wrong.

in the past few days, over 15,000 Obama supporters joined a an anti-immunity group on BarackObama.com:


it is now the largest group there by far.

Thanks for the link

  • wrumsey's picture
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I had not noticed it before you pointed it out.

Re your point about Obama's ignoring the calls and emails. I agree that (at least so far) there has not been success.

However, for the reasons I stated in my original comment (the need for honesty, integrity and trustworthiness) I think that the use of money to get his attention can't work unless he is not fit to be president.

So I think we should not give up yet.

Many of them were trolls

  • LCM's picture
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I've been working for two days outing them. The many Obama groups to which I belong are overwhelmingly outraged at your holding the candidate and any money that would be donated. You may not see them comment here, but the emails are teeming with people who no longer want to be associated with Democrats.com and who have asked others not to forward your emails. I've asked permission to forward some quotes, and I'll be posting those soon.

Escrow fund for Obama

  • dball's picture
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Great idea. I'd like to pledge $50 right now... but it's not so easy to find the spot to make this pledge.

- David in Northampton Mass.

there is a button at the top

  • Bob Fertik's picture
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that says "pledge here"

that will display your personal info, and the last field says "Obama Escrow" so enter the amount there and save the page :)

While I think this is generally a good idea,

  • RenaRF's picture
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your execution of it in the email you sent out it reprehensible. I'll be unsubscribing from your email list. I also wrote a diary about it at Daily Kos.