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INTERVIEW: Progress Michigan’s Lonnie Scott on their upcoming fundraiser comedy show with The Daily Show’s Al Madrigal

“We wanted to bring everyone in the progressive community together to talk about issues that they are concerned about and working on every day and to have some fun doing it.”

As I wrote about last week, our friends at Progress Michigan are having fundraiser in Ann Arbor on June 3rd that features comedian Al Madrigal from The Daily Show along with others. I sat down with Progress Michigan Executive Director Lonnie Scott to discuss the show, why it is necessary, and what people can expect.

Information on purchasing tickets can be found at the end of the interview.
Tell us a little bit about Progress Michigan.

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Tickets now on sale for Progress Michigan’s annual fundraiser featuring The Daily Show’s Al Madrigal

I consider Eclectablog to be a partner with a number of progressive groups here in Michigan and across the country. But the one group with which I have the closest partnership with is Progress Michigan. No other groups does more work on behalf of a whole host of progressive issues than Progress Michigan. Whether its the environment, privatization of government services to for-profit corporations like the odious Aramark, immigration, or government malfeasance, Progress Michigan is there to fight the good fight and hold lawmakers, policymakers, and others accountable. And that’s merely a partial list.

That is why Eclectablog is a proud member of the host committee for Progress Michigan’s upcoming fundraiser.…

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Please help my Eclectakid do something really cool to help underprivileged budding musicians in Cleveland

As the publisher of Eclectablog, every once in awhile, I get to indulge in some shameless self-promotion. In this case, it’s actually helping to promote something my daughter Arleigh is doing. That’s her on the right. Unfortunately for her, she graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a Master’s degree in bassoon performance while the country was still recovering from the Great Recession. She’s been unable to find a job (yet) as a professional bassoonist but that hasn’t stopped her. Along with some fellow musicians, all graduates of the Cleveland Institute of Music, she formed the North Coast Winds Quintet.…

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A heartfelt thank you, a racially-conscious redneck, and cats freaking out with bananas

I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who came through in such a profound way for this quarter’s fundraiser. Thanks to your generosity we have enough in the coffer to keep paying our writers and even bring on a new one (who I will be announcing soon.) In particular, the response to Anne’s Facebook post was nothing short of amazing.

Since it’s the last day, I thought I’d dispense with the blah and share my favorite two videos from the week with you. Information on how donate on this final day of the fundraiser follows the second video. And, once again, THANK YOU!

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It takes an internet community…

Earlier this week, I was feeling pretty low. It was Day Two of our quarterly fundraiser and we had gotten a single donation of ten dollars. Usually by the second day we have a couple hundred, at least. It seemed like we were headed for a disastrous week and, with my business checking account nearly drained, there would be no way to pay my writers. I feel pretty certain that all of the Eclectablog writers would do it for free but, although some may see it as a mistake, I simply won’t bring on writers unless I can pay them at least something.…

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Living our progressive values every day

While we work toward a better America for everyone, we must act “as if.”

Progress takes time. Consider that the first President to propose universal health insurance was Teddy Roosevelt, but the first major step toward that kind of health reform didn’t happen until Barack Obama’s presidency.

But the Affordable Care Act did become law because Democrats and progressives never lost sight of their ultimate goal. It happened because we never stopped working toward that goal and we held fast to the values we share — the values that define who we are.

Democrats and progressives want America to be a place where no one goes broke because they were diagnosed with a serious illness.…

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Has something you rely on ever disappeared?

Throughout the course of my work as a broadcaster, blogger, activist and advocate I often wonder where I would be without Eclectablog. What if, as I shudder, Eclectablog didn’t exist? What then?

I asked Chris Savage, the founder and editor of this great blog, how does he do what he does? How is he so plugged in? (and I am NOT unfamiliar to being plugged in.) He said it was a result of all the mailing lists that he is on. Well, I am on many, if not most, of the same lists. So, although I appreciated his dismissal of my praise, I wasn’t convinced that it was just mailing lists.…

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What are you going to do about it?

The Koch brothers have announced that their fundraising network will raise close to $1 billion to elect the next president of the United Stateswho could easily appoint four Justices to the Supreme Court. Ted Cruz’s presidential Super PACs say the junior Senator has commitments of $31 million for his run at being America’s Next Top Rick Santorum. Jeb Bush is plotting to spend $50 million to win Florida alone.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court won’t even hear a case that could disenfranchise 300,000 voters in Wisconsin, even though there’s zero evidence the law does anything, except disenfranchise voters.

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Michigan couple seeks to prove that pizza lovers support marriage equality – not bigotry – with GoFundMe campaign

When the owner of Memories Pizza in Indiana recently told reporters that she would refuse to bake pies for wedding receptions if the couple were gay or lesbian, the story went viral. Lawrence Billy Jones III set up a GoFundMe page to “relieve the financial loss endured by the proprietors’ stand for faith” and he encouraged supporters of the homophobic pizza makers to “go ‘like’ and combat the leftist hatred expressed on Dana’s [Facebook] page.”

The response was overwhelming raising, as of today, $842,442. Memories Pizza has closed up shop and the proprietors have been suitably rewarded for their bigotry.

In response to this, Lori Pimlott-Calvin and her wife Jill Calvin of Royal Oak (pictured here with Lori on the right, Jill on the left) created their own GoFundMe page called “Pizza lovers for marriage equality!”

Although their fundraiser is just getting started, they have already raised almost $1,400.…

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Day 2: 2nd quarter fundraiser – In non-election years, your support is even more important

Besides your contributions, we make some money with ads. The plain Jane ads you see that are the same on other sites you go to don’t pay much (it’s pretty ridiculous, actually.) However, the ads that groups take out directly with me instead of through a third-party ad network are much more helpful. In election years, that can really help us to pay our bills.

However, in non-election years like this one, almost nobody advertises on Eclectablog and our revenues drop precipitously because of it. It’s not because we aren’t providing the same quality content. It’s not because we take it easy on non-election years because there is nothing to write about.…

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