By Jonathan E. Kaplan - 06/13/06 12:00 AM EDT
The YearlyKos Convention, a weekend gathering of liberal political bloggers, activists and columnists, attracted several Democratic challengers.
Joe Sestak (Pa.), Eric Massa (N.Y.), Charlie Brown (Calif.), Jay Fawcett (Colo.) and John Laesch (Ill.) all attended the convention in Las Vegas. Massa and Sestak were the only two candidates to give speeches.
“I spoke about why I was running,” said Sestak, who arrived and departed Saturday after speaking to and taking questions from the audience of 800 to 1,000 people. “Besides holding [Republicans] accountable, voters must be presented a better alternative and we must ensure that our ideas are attractive.”
Laesch, who is running a quixotic campaign to unseat Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), said Gen. Wesley Clark, a 2004 presidential contender, offered to raise money for him and endorse his candidacy.
Besides networking with moneymen and -women from San Francisco and the East Coast, he also attended classes and forums on how to organize and run a campaign.