The Philadelphia Socialists have turned to crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise money for their operations.

Here is their pitch;

Who We Are

Philly Socialists is a locally-based political organization which was founded in 2011. In that time we have become one of the leading activist organizations in Philadelphia and one of the most dynamic socialist groups in the nation, with a number of accomplishments to our name.

What We Can Do With Your Support

With your help, in 2015 we plan on:

  • Expanding our reach by organizing a new branch in the city (taking us up to three active branches in Philly).
  • Continue offering our free GED classes for working class Philadelphia residents and free English classes for non-native speakers and new residents.
  • Take on and win a number of fights defending tenants against the predations of greedy slumlords.
  • Launch an independent tenants union based on the successes we’ve had with tenant organizing among working class residents.
  • Host a number of political education events to promote socialist, proletarian and working class ideas to Philadelphia residents.
  • Maintain a presence and offer additional support to the mass protest movements which periodically spring up in the city, with a special emphasis on feminist and anti-racist solidarity.
  • Hold a block party celebration at the site of our community garden.
  • And much more!

Why We Need Your Help

To retain a resolutely independent political perspective and an orientation toward class struggle, Philly Socialists has always strived for financial independence. From the beginning, we’ve avoided taking donations from foundations, unions, political parties, nonprofit institutions, as well as businesses (big or small). This has allowed us to navigate our own course free from meddling by bigger political players.

But this also means we rely heavily on the financial support of our members and sympathizers. Our activist members make regular monthly contributions (dues) to provide us with a budget for flyers, clipboards, posters, banners, supplies, and all the other infrastructure necessary to operate a political movement.

But we also sometimes need to ask for one-time donations from our members and supporters. We keep our solicitation to a minimum, but now is one of those times we need your support. Our goal of $10,000 through this one-time fundraiser will allow us to provide small stipends to as many as three (3) part-time organizers.

Other Ways You Can Help

We’re an activist organization composed of and fighting for poor and working class people. Not everyone in our group can make a financial contribution, but everyone can do something. If you live in Philadelphia, consider getting involved in our organizing efforts; we always have something popping. If you can’t help us meet our fundraising goals and you aren’t able to get involved in our activist work, please help us spread the word and share this Indiegogo campaign with sympathetic friends.

At least they’re out in the open.

The best part of the campaign though isn’t the Philly Socialist t-shirt or the radical art that you can get in return for a contribution but for the true believers willing to contribute $5,000, the chance to have a tractor or other heavy equipment factory will be named after you.once the Revolution has occurred.

I guess the Socialists don’t see the irony in using a Capitalist tool like crowdfunding to raise money for their very anti-Capitalist goals.

Looks like the writer of this article has been watching too much television.

From the New York Times.

Correction: January 7, 2015

An earlier version of this article misstated the name of the country whose army chased Tommy Caldwell’s kidnappers. As other references correctly noted, Caldwell was in Kyrgyzstan, not Kyrzbekistan, which does not exist.

Sensing that there is still an insatiable appetite for news aggregation from the right, former Drudge Report editor Joesph Curl unveiled his new Right Read site Monday according to The Huffington Post

The New York Times‘ David Carr lists some of the media companies (and executives) that he believes are on the hot seat this year.  The list includes MSNBC president Phil Griffin and NBC News president Deborah Turness whose respective networks are struggling to  say the least.

The Maryland Republican Party is in a celebratory mood and with good reason after having won back the governor’s mansion after an 8-year run by Democrats and gains in the state house that gave them  the highest number of state delegates in their history.  They’re still in the minority by a large margin but their election showing has buoyed their hopes for the future.

That improved mood was evident at the state party convention this past weekend at the Turf Valley hotel and conference center in Howard County which was attended by approximately 300 delegates and guests as they basked in the November victories and elected party officers for a two-year term.

While there were a few contested races, there was a glitch in the voting during one of the contests when the complex formula used to calculate votes failed.

I say complex because three years ago delegates narrowly voted to approve a formula based on how the counties voted for the gubernatorial candidate.  The net effect was to reward the more Republican areas of the state with more weighted votes at the expense of heavily Democratic counties.  In essence they the out the one-man, one-vote principle and made it impossible for anyone trying to simply count votes to see how their candidate was doing.

There are 303 central committee members that are eligible to vote in a state party election.  Thanks to the convoluted formula, there are 540 point something total possible votes.

When the formula failed state party chairman Diana Waterman was left in a lurch as the person who devised the formula had left the convention and another person who could have helped couldn’t be found.  They eventually fixed the problem and voting continued, but if one-man, one vote (what a concept!) had been in place as it should have been , this problem never would have occurred.

Many of those running for office this past weekend professed their support of the return to this simpler and more logical method, but delegates have heard this before with no action being taken.

The Republican Party is on the upswing in Maryland, but this issue divides many central committees and creates rifts that will prevent the party from moving forward in a big way.  It’s not easy being a Republican in a heavily Democratic state, but the ill will among various central committees  threatens to stall further progress and the state party hierarchy needs to  get their heads out of the sand an fix this if they want to move forward as a unified party.

 

 

hogan2 (1)

Republicans in Maryland are partying today like it’s 2002, after businessman Larry Hogan beat Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown by a 51.5% to 46.8% margin and in the process becoming the first Republican to hold that office since Bob Ehrlich won a dozen years ago.

Hogan ran a smart campaign by focusing on jobs, taxes and the state of the Maryland economy, reminding voters that the O’Malley-Brown administration was responsible for over 40 tax increases during the last eight years and that i was time for a change which fit perfectly with his Change Maryland group which he started several years ago and served as the base for his campaign launch.

This election was much like 2002 when Ehrlich, ran against Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend- who added her maiden name in an effort to try and woo voters who liked the Kennedy clan, but who was a very weak candidate much like Anthony Brown was this year.

Brown was handicapped by the tax and spend record of the Democrats and failed miserably in trying to spark any enthusiasm from the Democratic base.

Even so, the race was Browns to lose with a 2-1 registration advantage that should have all but guaranteed him a victory.

Instead he stumbled much like Townsend did by losing counties that O’Malley had either won or was competitive in his two victories.

Here were the keys to Hogan’s victory;

Baltimore County – won by 52,000 votes which is comparable to Ehrlich’s 64,000 vote margin in 2002.  In 2006 the margin was just 8,000 votes and in 2010 he lost by 1,000 votes.

Howard County- won by 5,000 votes.  Ehrlich’s margin of victory  in 2002 was 10,000, but lost Howard by less than 700 votes in 2006 and 10,000 in 2010.

Montgomery County- lost by 61,000 votes. Ehrlich lost by 67,000 in 2002, but that grew to 78,000 in 2006 and 109,000 in 2010.

By winning Baltimore and Howard and reducing the deficit in Montgomery, Hogan robbed Brown of the votes he needed to offset the traditional Republican strongholds on the Eastern shore and Western Maryland and cleared a path to victory.

Hogan was criticized by some Republicans for spending so much time and money in Montgomery County, where it’s virtually impossible for a Republican to win, but the goal wasn’t to win as much as it was to get 40% of the vote.  Hogan fell short of that with almost 37%, but that was far better than Ehrlich’s 30.5% in 2010 comparable to Ehrlich’s 38% from his winning campaign in 2002.

The Brown campaign may go down as the worst Democratic gubernatorial effort in Maryland history, as he garnered 43,00 fewer votes than Townsend- who was the standard bearer of bad campaigns until yesterday and was a whopping 275,000 votes less than O’Malley received in 2010.  All this while Hogan increased the Republican vote totals by 70,000 and was more than Ehrlich had managed to get in the last two elections.

While winning the governor’s race is a big deal in deep blue Maryland, the reality is that Hogan will be severely limited in what he can accomplish over the next four years as he still faces an overwhelmingly Democratic state legislature, but any progress he makes by blocking and  slowing down ruinous Democratic policies will be a victory for all Marylanders.

Hogan

One of the biggest surprises of this election season has been the governor’s race in Maryland where Republican businessman Larry Hogan is taking on Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown turning what should have been a runaway victory for the Democrats into an increasingly tight race that is attracting national attention.

This wasn’t supposed to happen.  Hogan, who runs a real estate firm in Anne Arundel County, served as former Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s Appointments Secretary and entered the race with probably the best name recognition among the four Republican candidates and easily won the primary as expected.

His next task was to focus on Brown and how to beat the incumbent Lt. Governor in a state where the Democrats hold more than a 2-1 registration advantage, and who also had raised millions of dollars for the race.

Rather than get bogged down in social issues which may matter to conservatives, but are poison in deep blue Maryland, Hogan chose to focus on an economic message of jobs and taxes- especially the latter since the O’Malley-Brown administration has been responsible for over 40 tax increases in their eight years in office, including a one-cent increase in the sales tax and a gas tax increase that pegs the taxes to the increase in inflation.  What a brilliant idea! Peg a tax increase to inflation-which we know will increase by some measure every year and therefore guarantee a stream of revenues to the Democratically controlled legislature forever even though taxpayers aren’t guaranteed raises to pay for the taxes.  And by the way- both the sales tax and gas tax hits the lower end of the economic scale the hardest- a group that the Democrats are supposedly the champions of.

This strategy, which the Brown campaign had dismissed is working for Hogan as Democrats who are tired of the increasing tax burden are increasingly warming up to Hogan’s message.  That forced Brown to pledge in one of the debates to not to increase taxes during his term- which voters are having a hard time believing considering his track record in Annapolis.

With the polls showing an increasingly tight race, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has put the weight of the Republican Governors Association behind Hogan with money and his endorsement.  Christie has come to Maryland to help Hogan, capping it with an appearance Sunday in Baltimore to a packed house of enthusiastic and reenergized Republicans.

While Hogan has been eating into Brown’s base, his best hope is for a scenario like 2002 when Robert Ehrlich beat incumbent Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend to become the first Republican governor in Maryland in 36 years.  There are some similarities to that race with Brown, like Townsend being a weak candidate and with Democrats showing little enthusiasm for Brown.

A measure of that lack of enthusiasm are the appearances of President Obama and Hillary Clinton, which drew small crowds and those that came mainly wanted pictures of the politicians and didn’t come to hear Brown.

Brown still has the edge in this race thanks to the Democrats large registration advantage, but thanks to his weak campaign, an-off year election and early voting numbers that were designed to help the Democrats showing that they are not very interested in this race spells trouble for Brown.

Democratic apathy though will not be enough to propel Hogan to victory. Republicans must turn out to vote and the independent/unaffiliated voters-which is the fastest growing group of voters in the state also need to cast their votes for Hogan in above average numbers.

Republican voters in Maryland often complain that their vote doesn’t really matter.  While that may appear true in most years this year is different and their votes are crucial if they are serious about ending one-party rule in the state.

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