The Chairman speaks! Latest letter from Howard Dean:
Your mandate to fight everywhere had its first test last night.
Marine Major Paul Hackett ran for Congress in a special election in the most Republican district in Ohio. Republicans vowed to "bury" him, pundits wrote him off, and the conventional wisdom asked why Democrats would even bother to put up a fight.
But then something happened. With the infrastructure of local organizers we're building in Ohio and every other state, the most Republican district in Ohio became the most competitive district in Ohio -- a district where Bush won in 2004 by a margin of two to one. We energized thousands of grassroots volunteers and small donors in Ohio and across the country. We made our stand and we fought.
No, Paul Hackett didn't get elected to Congress yesterday. But he received 48.2 percent of the vote in a district where the Democratic candidate received only half that in the last four elections.
The formula is simple. Paul Hackett didn't apologize for being a Democrat, didn't hold back from criticizing a president who has failed to lead in Iraq and at home, and took a strong Democratic message into the heart of a Republican stronghold.
This district used to be written off. Now we have a network of Democrats, independents, and sensible Republicans who are tired of the out-of-touch Republican leadership and its culture of corruption. It proves that we can compete everywhere -- if we show up and fight, and give people a real choice.
This unprecedented result shows that Americans are hungry for change. In the words of one political analyst, Hackett's performance in supposedly safe Republican district means that something is "very, very wrong" for Republicans in 2006.
That's absolutely true. It also means that something is very, very right with our democracy.
For too long, we have conceded huge pieces of this country to the Republicans. No more. When we roll up our sleeves and fight we can compete everywhere -- and we will.
We're just getting started. We have moved people and resources into 25 states so far, and we are on our way into the next 25. We're building a permanent infrastructure to organize and build the Democratic base in every single precinct in the country -- an operation that will not disappear after a single election.
This effort is unprecedented and will fundamentally change the way our party does business. But the only way to do this building the community of people who have Democracy Bonds. A Democracy Bond is a commitment to give a small amount every month to build and sustain the Democratic Party everywhere.
Thousands of people have made the commitment already and are using tools on Democrats.org to grow the community and track their progress. If you want to fight everywhere, now is the time to join the Democracy Bonds community:
Thank you for everything you do.
Governor Howard Dean, M.D.