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A quick post to congratulate Daily Kos on your Orange2Blue program and, especially, to recommend one of the latest choices: Jon Powers.

It will be three years ago this fall that I met Jon Powers and there isn’t a more impressive young man getting involved in public life today.

I first met Jon at a screening I attended of the documentary Gunner’s Palace. When I heard his story, and I talked to him, I was blown away. I then asked him to give the introduction to the speech I gave on dissent and patriotism at Faneuil Hall in Boston.

Jon later told me that he remembers that day because it helped inspire him to run for Congress, a fact that I’m very proud of.

I know Markos wants to get up to 200 contributions for Jon by the end of today, and I urge you to help him reach that goal.

Jon’s campaign will rise or fall on grassroots organizing and citizen empowerment. His Powers Platoon has been knocking on doors, calling neighbors and friends, and building up the Democratic Party in a district long held by Tom Reynolds. And I know he can win.

His primary opponent is a self-funded millionaire who is responsible for the gutting of the Millionaire’s Amendment – and who has launched a slew of misleading attacks – so please do what you can to help.

We’ve already sent a couple of emails for Jon to the community, asking for support, and we’ve held events for him in Boston. I believe strongly in his candidacy, and I hope all of you can help.


Why is this personal to me? Because I believe in the courage and character of a young man who was a platoon leader in the First Armored Division in Baghdad during the early years of the Iraq war.  His commanding officer described Jon as, “one of the most talented officers I have known in twenty-two years of service in the Army.”

But Jon didn’t stop there – when he came home, Jon started War Kids Relief, a program to help the Iraqi children and give them resources and education to resist recruitment by radical organizations.  It’s only through efforts like that, reaching people in their local communities and being sensitive to local conditions, that we can move beyond the cycle of terrorism and radicalism. It’s an old cliché, but in this case it’s true: America always does well by doing good.

And Jon did that. Now he’s running for Congress. He started this campaign unafraid to battle an entrenched incumbent, building the grassroots campaign to beat Tom Reynolds. Reynolds, though, perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, decided to duck the fight with Jon and retired.

Now Jon needs your help to win this seat. The retirement has opened the door wide, but Jon still has to beat back the attacks of his self-funded primary opponent and then win the general election in this critical swing district.

But if we can help him pull it out, I’m sure we’ll have helped elect a man who will be a big asset to our party – and our principles – and our country - for a long time.

Originally posted to John Kerry on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 10:19 AM PDT.

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