Monday, October 30, 2006

This is how it feels to be in the last 8 days of a campaign - for both the candidate and supporters. One wild roller coaster ride.

After months of hard work, the final sprint is always the biggest adrenaline ride.

Momentum is definitely in our camp, with strong G-force movement after this week's televised debates and a series of "standing room only" meet 'n greets to convince as many people as possible to come on over to our campaign for change.

The DFL appears to be deeply divided over Keith Ellison and Republicans are coming over in droves -- acknowledging that there are simply not enough Republican votes in this district to win this race.

In this district, which leans hard to the left with about 75% of the vote typically going DFL, voting for the Republican is a wasted vote -- because in the last three elections, the Republican candidate has topped out at 26%. So even if the DFL candidate and I split the vote, a republican still statistically cannot win.

This has now become a tight, two-person race between him and me.

I feel very good that we are going to win this race - but it may end up being a photo finish. Hopefully not as stressing a photo as pictured above.

So help us cross the finish line and come along for the final ride! We need volunteers for the last minute push. Call HQ at 612-747-3047 to sign up and be part of this winning campaign for change.

As my friend, Bill B. says, "the switch is on!" Disgusted Democrats and Rational Republicans are both rallying to my camp. That's because I have committed to caucusing with the Democrats in Congress, but will maintain my independence as a fiscal moderate.

Come on over - and be part of the change you want to see in Washington DC.

- Tammy Lee

Friday, October 20, 2006

Keep spreading the news ...

Our billboards are up and the new add is on the air! Go to my website's Show 'n Tell page to see it!

Things are definitely going our way in this race and we are feeling very good about a win on November 7th.

Here's what we've got going in our favor ...

Two prominent suburban DFL Mayors are publicly endorsing and supporting me: ReNae Bowman, Mayor of Crystal, and Mike Holtz, Mayor of Robbinsdale. Key Republican leaders are also supporting me including Republican Hennepin County Commissioner, Linda Koblick.

Here's why: a lot of DFLer's are not comfortable with their nominee, including lifelong DFLer and Congressman Martin Sabo's state director, Kathleen Anderson. Republicans also know that, in this district, voting for the Republican nominee is a "wasted vote" because the numbers don't work for a Republican to win. In the last three Congressional elections in the 5th District, the Republican candidate only got 23%, 26%, and 24% of the vote. A Republican cannot win.

But a Progressive Independent can and that's why common-sense Democrats and rational Republicans are coming over to join the already Inspired Independents on my campaign.

So please do your part and help us spread the word. We're about to make history in the 5th Congressional district by sending the nation's first Independent U.S. Congresswoman to Washington D.C. (me).

Thanks for helping me win!


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Where in the world are signs of Tammy Lee's support? Local businesses up and down Minneapolis' "Eat Street" (Nicollet Avenue from 13th to 15th) are displaying Tammy Lee for Congress signs in their windows.

It's great publicity, and a nice sign of the grassroots and local business support for my campaign for Congress.

Other business people are jumping on board, too! We have two downtown business lunches in Minneapolis over the next week - one on Thursday, Oct. 5 at McCormick & Schmick's co-hosted by George Soule and Peter Dorsey; the second on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at The Monte Carlo hosted by John Stanoch and Tim Penny.

In addition to the strong showing from the business community, we are also honored to have support from other leading DFL'ers. This week, Ember Reichgott Junge's campaign manager, Lori Jacobwith, came over to help me with this race along with one of Ember's key communication consultants, Heather Faulkner.

Today one of Paul Ostrow's supporters came by and picked up 10 lawnsigns and offered to do a meet 'n greet for us in his house.

We are also honored to have support from some of Mike Erlandson's key contributors signing on with a Realtor's event hosted by Barry Berg and Fran Davis on Oct. 11.

Our message to people who across the 5th district who are common-sense Democrats, rational Republicans and inspired Independents: Come On Over to Tammy Lee for Congress. I will represent the entire 5th district not just the far left or far right.

So come on over! The change starts here ...


Monday, September 25, 2006

The Founding Father of the Independent movement, John B. Anderson, came to Minneapolis last week to raise money and awareness for my campaign.

It was an honor to have the 10-term Congressman from Illinois and Independent candidate for President here to talk about how people are finally embracing our centrist message.

Anderson was the guest of honor for two events, one at George Soule and Lisa McDonald's house, and another at the Minneapolis Club, hosted by former Congressman Tim Penny.

The event at George and Lisa's was kind of an "Anderson for President" reunion, since George Soule (who is the treasurer for my campaign) served as his Minnesota state coordinator in 1980. Nearly 80 people came to that event, to pay tribute to the legendary John B. Anderson (and also write checks to my campaign).

Anderson, in his 80's, is still as sharp as ever! He remains a champion for ballot access and fair voting as well as instant run-off balloting -- a concept also strongly supported by the Independence Party of Minnesota. Vote YES for IRV (Instant Run-off Voting) on November 7th!

He highlighted this, and his support for my campaign, at both events. Anderson is truly a visionary guy. Six million people also thought so in 1980 when they cast their presidential ballots for him. He energized the electorate then, and he remains energized about electoral process still today.

In fact, he's so "jazzed" about this race that he told Tim Penny (who co-chairs my campaign) that he is planning to stay up late on November 7th to see how our Independent candidates do in Minnesota.

Let's give him something worth staying up for :)


Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Road to Victory is filled with obstacles ... and an occassional flat tire.

The first day of our general election campaign, Sept. 13, took us on a slight detour from our plan when we blew a tire on I-94.

The plan was to drive this giant 37-foot RV called "The Independence Express" all over the 5th District to rally support for my campaign the day after the primary. The morning started out well, with lots of attention and cheering from people downtown Minneapolis (including a firetruck full of Minneapolis' finest) and then hit a major bump after our visit to the State Capitol press corps when we blew out a tire at one of the busiest stretches of I-94.

Thanks to the quick thinking and excellent driving of Red Nelson, IP candidate for MN House of Representatives, we managed to get safely to the roadside to figure out what to do next.

Typical of this campaign, for every bump in the road (or blow-out that happens) three good things seem to happen as well. This time - 5 good things happened - which is fitting for this race in the 5th Congressional district.

David DeGrio, a supporter who was with us to blog about our day (can't wait to see what he writes after this fiasco), called AAA -- just as my college roommate, Tifani Reinschmidt (seriously. what are the odds of that?), serendipitously appeared on the scene. (Good thing #1)

She saw the gigantic "Tammy Lee head" on the stalled RV and pulled over within minutes of our blow-out and took me and the camera crew that was with us over to Minneapolis in time for my next media interview.

As that was happening, my sister Tricia called and said, "I've got two hours to kill, need any help? I'm at St. Thomas." (Good thing #2) So she came and rescued the rest of the campaign staff and volunteers, while Red Nelson and David DeGrio stayed behind to deal with the tire. They have their own story about all of their bonding time on the roadside!

While they were waiting for AAA, a MnDOT truck (Good thing #3) pulled up and some good public employee samaritans changed the tire. Whether it was out of the goodness of their hearts, or an urgency to remove my 37-foot immobile campaign billboard from the side of the road (which by the way, got quite a few gawkers and rubber neckers) they really came through for us.

Red Nelson, the driver and MN house candidate, was so appreciative he committed to state funding for MnDOT from him and federal funding for roads from me. I guess Red didn't hear my "no earmarks" press conference. That's okay - matching funds for 5th CD roads is still Good thing #4.

So, despite our plan to do visibility in the morning all over the district in what the campaign was billing "The Independence Express: Stampede for Change" we had to settle for four hours of a prime location roadside "billboard" display that was seen by thousands of cars crossing the Minneapolis line on Wednesday. That turned out to be the unexpected Good thing #5.

Our "Stampede for Change" turned out to be more of a "Speedbump for Change" ... but it still ended up being a great day.

I guess the team of bison (the Independence Party mascot) I was trying to get for the general election kick-off may have turned out to be more reliable than the RV after-all. (But probably not nearly as fun or memorable).


Monday, September 11, 2006

The Alfred Hitchcock Approach to Political Events ... times two.

Q: Both of these events happened last week - one at the Independent Bar in Uptown and one at the Ramada Thunderbird in Bloomington and I am pictured in both of them. What else do they have in common?

A: My giant picture is in the background of both! (see the TV ad on the screen to the left and huge banner in the picture with Dave Banmiller and me on the right)

One of the oddest things about being a candidate for office is getting used to seeing your larger than life photo plastered up everywhere. Yes, I know it's all about branding and name ID. But when you start to see two of yourself show up in photos, that feels a little ridiculous!

While not appropriate for mass consumption (I would never use these shots in a lit piece or in other marketing materials) it is kind of funny to blog about the overexposure of me, according to me.

Alfred Hitchcock's cameos have nothing on this candidate!

Plus, it's about the only thing I can blog about today since we are in the countdown to tomorrow's primary. After Tuesday, we will know who we are running against on the DFL side, so then things kick into high gear.

After Thursday, seeing double of me will no longer be the norm ... expect to see me in triplicate as we count down the last 55 days until our win in the 5th CD on November 7. Come join the fun! Our best campaign days are yet to come ... (maybe I can even work my way into a Hitchcock remake).


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Biker (candidates) for change ... okay, so maybe that's false advertising.

I have never driven a motorcycle (since I can am probably enough of a threat in a car) but I did pose on a few this past week with some new friends I met at the Statewide ABATE motorcycle rally in Litchfield.

From seniors to bikers (and everything in between at the Minnesota State Fair), this past week was quite a ride (no pun intended with the biker shot). I was the only candidate for the 5th Congressional District campaigning to win the biker vote.

I was also the only candidate in the 5th CD that had an ad in the Outdoor News paper -- 20,000 copies were given to hunting and fishing enthusiasts -- at the Minnesota State Fair, so you can see I'm putting together a unique constituency.

In one of the photos above I'm standing between Mack Backlund, State President of ABATE (in the sun glasses) and Ron Lischeid, IP candidate for State House District 59B. Bikers are very politically active and informed, so I learned a lot from my trek to Litchfield for the state rally.

This is the last week leading up to the Sept. 12 primary and while I don't have a primary opponent, we want to be able to hit the ground running for the general election campaign that begins on Sept. 13.

Wait till you see the photos then ...