June 30th, 2009

Your Weekly Senate Campaign Update: Where We Stand On Raising This Barn

by Philip Baruth

You always have to wonder, when you put out a call to your community, whether your community will in fact take the call. Because let’s face it, sometimes your community has you on voice mail, or worse, they’ve blocked your calls. Not so in this case, fortunately. Back in May we invited those of you who wish the State Senate campaign well to help out by donating early. Very early. Strategically very early.

In fact, we asked you to become a Barnraiser: one of the first 100 people to give, regardless of the amount of the donation involved. And you took the call. Which, honestly, was a relief.

So far we’ve heard from about 65 of you, both online and off, and that’s brilliant. If we’ve heard from you, you’ve heard from us, but thank you all one more time.

But that leaves us in search of 35 more donors before July 15th, the first finance reporting date we face. Act Blue makes it blindingly fast. Just click here.

One way to look at it: if you plan to give at some point, because you like the politics of this site, or because you like the idea of having eyes and ears and an outspoken advocate inside the State House, then giving now has the effect of increasing the overall impact.

Now is when we’re setting up a website; now is when we’re printing cards and designing lawn signs; now is when we build the organization to help make later donations easier to come by. Now is when we need you.

Another way to look at it: there’s a certain satisfaction that comes with being on the bandwagon before there’s a band, or a wagon. The 100 Barnraisers for this campaign may not ever win the lottery or personally cure cancer, but if this campaign comes together as planned, they will always know that they particularly made it possible.

(Or maybe, you know, they will cure cancer. In which case it will make their early help in this campaign seem trivial and insignificant. But you take our point.)

And if this race ultimately impacts the debates about Vermont Yankee, or wind power or statewide digital access or single-payer or the clean-up of Lake Champlain, then those 100 folks will have leveraged their own personal impact in a clear, measurable way.

In case you missed it, Bill McKibben endorsed the campaign just this past week, for reasons more or less the same as those just laid out. Said McKibben:

“Philip Baruth has been out in front since at least the day he helped to bring the Obama campaign to Vermont, way before most folks had figured out what was going on. In Montpelier he’ll hopefully be able to break the legislature out of the same round of battles, and get people focusing on the deep questions — like food and energy self-sufficiency — that will determine Vermont’s future.”

So you’d be in good company. And of course, whether or not you can donate now, you can always join the campaign Facebook page, more good company, and now much easier to link at

So 1) thanks for reading to the end of this long post; 2) thanks for considering moving from reader to activist donor; and 3) thanks for coming back to this site in the first place, for no good reason.

All very much appreciated.