Gretchen's List: "May her memory be a revolution"

Dear Friends,

We have lost our inimitable, inspirational Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I am feeling the sadness of this loss acutely, with anger hovering around the edges at the looming battles to come. For the moment, though, I will let that anger wait.

Take a moment to grieve, to catch your breath, to feel anxious, to refocus. The loss of Justice Ginsburg is a loss for our country, and for her dream of what it could be. I was hesitant to send a fundraising email on the heels of her death, but everything I’ve seen in the last 14 hours suggests that people are ready to donate, and I want to help you be smart about where you’re giving. So when you are ready, consider the work that must be done to protect her profound legacy.

I believe the most important way of honoring her is to make sure that her seat goes to a worthy successor, and that the most important way of protecting her hope of a just world is to ensure that, should a Court in the near future decide to overturn important precedent, the state legislatures have the majorities they need to enact just laws. I’ve given some ideas below of where to give in service of these aims.

May our work be a testament to her legacy, and her memory be blessing that fuels us for the next 44 days and beyond.

With sadness and resolve,

Our bedtime stories last night: “I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes her Mark.”

The Senate

To achieve the first goal, we must win the Senate. That’s fine; we already knew we had to do that; now it’s just more urgent. Here’s what’s changed since August: Steve Bullock’s not doing as well as he should be in Montana; Sara Gideon’s race is Maine is looking even stronger; Theresa Greenfield’s Iowa challenge is now the tightest race; MJ Hegar is doing better than I anticipated.

Here’s a newly ordered list, because everyone likes ordered lists. We’re aiming for at least five wins, and we want to fund candidates that 1) need money (e.g., not McGrath), 2) are not so far ahead in the polls that they don’t need money to win (e.g., not Hickenlooper and Kelly).

  1. John Hickenlooper (CO)

  2. Mark Kelly (AZ)

  3. Sara Gideon (ME)

  4. Cal Cunningham (NC)

  5. Theresa Greenfield (IA)

  6. Jon Ossoff (GA)

  7. Barbara Bollier (KS)

  8. Steve Bullock (MT)

  9. MJ Hegar (TX)

  10. Al Gross (AK)

  11. Raphael Warnock (GA)

  12. Jamie Harrison (SC)

  13. Amy McGrath (KY)

  14. Adrian Perkins (LA)

The ones in bold are the ones where I would recommend sending money now. You can give to Greenfield (Iowa), Bollier (Kansas), and Hegar (Texas) here — and if you can add Gideon, go for it. (Electing Sara Gideon in Maine has been one of my person spending priorities this cycle, though right now I believe the others need your money more urgently. I will be keeping an eye on Maine in the coming days, because things always get interesting when we’re talking Susan Collins and the Supreme Court.) As much as we hate Mitch McConnell, Amy McGrath has infinite money and remains a long shot; your money is best spent elsewhere. (Remember, I prioritize funding women candidates, and you should feel good about sending money to Bullock, Ossoff, Gross, or Warnock, if you’d like).

This list does not include incumbents. Most of our incumbents are solidly safe. (Jeanne Shaheen is looking fine in New Hampshire even with a huge self-funder getting the Republican nomination. Gary Peters in Michigan also looks good from where I’m sitting, and I believe the Presidential money flowing into Michigan will help him — though if you want to support him, you could make that case.) The most vulnerable incumbent, of course, is Doug Jones. I have supported Senator Jones and admire him, but I believe that if our goal is to ensure a Democratic majority, we are more likely to flip some of the seats above than to hold on to his. The goal of winning five of the above seats assumes Jones will lose.

The Presidency

The other part of ensuring her successor, of course, is electing Joe Biden. Biden has had tremendous fundraising success in the last month, and if you have to choose between giving to a Senate candidate and giving to Biden, I’d probably choose one of the Senate candidates I’ve recommended above. If you can do both, you should. You can give to the Biden Victory Fund here, or give to one of these upcoming events that might be of interest.

09/22 Virtual Reception with Vice President Biden. (Starting at $2,800)

09/22 Virtual Voter Protection & Election Strategy Conversation. (Starting at $1,000)

09/23 Virtual Discussion on the Green Economy. (Starting at $250)

09/23 Women for Biden & Women's Leadership Forum United for Victory Series presents Women & the Law: A Virtual Conversation with the Honorable Sally Yates. (Starting at $250)

09/23 Virtual Conversation on Reclaiming Global Climate Leadership with Secretary John Kerry and Ambassador Samantha Power. (Starting at $250)

09/25 Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration with Jill Biden, along with Eva Longoria Bastón and other special guests. (Starting at $500)

09/25 Advancing Press Freedom Around the World in a Biden/Harris Administration: A Virtual Dialogue with Congressman Adam Schiff. (Starting at $250)

State Legislatures

To achieve the second goal, we must win state legislatures, several of which are within reach of a Democratic majority. Having control of a state legislature means protecting fair redistricting, voting rights, reproductive justice, and so much else. When Roe v. Wade is overturned, having state legislative control will be essential.

To flip state legislatures, I look to Forward Majority for the most data-driven case of where to invest. I created these slates of all the women running in competitive state legislature races in chambers were the majority is winnable; you can donate to a slate, or pick the individual candidates you wish to support.

Remember: giving even small amounts goes a long way in state legislature races. If you know people in these states, please feel free to forward the individuals slates to them.

Texas State House. This one is the motherlode, so to speak, with the biggest possible impact on our democracy nationwide. The Texas House is only nine seats away from flipping, and there are nine state house seats currently held by Republican in districts where Beto O’Rourke won in 2018. The Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee is also a great place to give in service of this goal.

Arizona State House and Senate. The Arizona House is two seats away from flipping; the Senate is three seats away from flipping.

Florida State House. Flipping the Florida House will require flipping fourteen districts. However, there are 30 districts that could potentially flip.

North Carolina State House and Senate. In North Carolina, it will take six seats to flip the state House and five to flip the Senate.

Pennsylvania State House and Senate. It will take four seats to flip the Pennsylvania Senate, and nine to flip the House. Donating to Represent PA is also always a good idea.