Progressive U.S. House Seat On The Line -- It's Up To You

Hello from the great state of Ohio, where we heaved that Bush monkey off our backs and helped elect President Barack Obama, took over the state house with a progressive slate of candidates and elected two more Democrats to Congress.

Make that three, if you're willing to help.

In Ohio's 15th district, centered around Columbus, Ohio, we have one of the few House races that is still too close to call. Progressive champion Mary Jo Kilroy is currently down only 146 votes in the Ohio SOS tally to Republican Steve Stivers, and with your help she can easily pull this race out.

First, let me tell you what is on the line. In the left corner, we have Mary Jo Kilroy, who is in favor of gay marriage (take that Prop 8!), the Employee Free Choice Act, universal healthcare, eliminating tax breaks for companies that take our jobs to China and President-elect Barack Obama's tax plan--to give tax cuts to hard-working middle class families while raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, who make over 250K per year.

Here is Mary Jo, from her own website, on her position on Iraq:

It's time to bring our troops home. It was a mistake to invade Iraq and it's a mistake to stay there now. Our brave men and women in uniform did their job. Iraq needs to step up and take responsibility for its own country.

Five years is more than long enough. I will vote to start to bring our troops home the day I am sworn in. We need to put America first, honorably bring this war to a close and take better care of our veterans.

In the far-right corner, we have Steve Stivers. He is a former bank lobbyist who was one of only 4 state senators in Ohio from either party to oppose regulating predatory lenders (on whose behalf he lobbied), mentions nothing about Iraq on his website and most ominously is one of Boehner's boys--a reliable crony for House Minority Leader John Boehner, who in a major moment of projection called our new President "chickenshit" and is infamous for having once handed out tobacco checks on the floor of the House to his GOP buddies (he also has the same spooky tanning habits as George Hamilton--but I digress).

Now, remember, this is a R+1 district, which encompasses a bunch of the suburbs and exurbs of Columbus, and we can get a Congresswoman from here who supports unions, gay rights, women's rights and redeploying our troops from Iraq. Or we can get Boehner's buddy--who you can count on to be a loyal vote for his best man on all legislation having anything to do with corporate power, Iraq and our constitutional rights.

Right now there are 27K-30K early absentee and provisional ballots left to count, more than enough to easily have the will of the people respected and send Mary Jo to Congress. These votes should be overwhelmingly Democratic, as they are largely from Democratic Franklin County, but we need to ENSURE they are counted (and as Stivers is Boehner's boy, well, you get the picture).

In fact, when Mary Jo first ran two years ago and took on the fourth-ranking Republican in the House, Rep. Deborah Pryce, she ended up down 3,500 votes after election day. But once provisional votes were counted she made up a whopping 2,500 votes. We have already seen progressive Jeff Merkley win a U.S. Senate seat this year after trailing his Republican opponent, based solely on early votes from Democratic districts. In other words, this is not only doable, it will be done if we want it badly enough.

The issue is that provisional ballots have to be verified, so Mary Jo needs to keep paying some staff to ensure that legitimate ballots are not thrown in the trash. That means, whether you can afford $5 or $500, if you are willing to go to her recount page at ActBlue and give a donation, you can ensure that all the votes are counted and she becomes the kind of progressive voice in Washington that can help ensure President Obama ends the War in Iraq, protects our rights and brings us back to economic sanity.

Or we can get another reliable vote for right-wing GOP Leader Boehner's positions on economic issues and Iraq (more supply side and endless war for everyone!). This is entirely in our hands.

As history has taught us, we need every vote in Congress that we can get (see Bill Clinton and universal healthcare for a refresher course). And a win by a progressive over the Boehner Machine and Republicans who routinely attempt to suppress Democratic votes in Ohio, via the counting of every vote, well, that would just be the icing on the cake.