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Published: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 22:15:48 +0000

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MT-Sen: Jon Tester (D) Rips Troy Downing (R) A New One For Having Michael Flynn Campaign For Him

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 21:38:39 +0000

In case you didn’t know: Michael Flynn — President Trump's former national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the Russia investigation — will campaign soon in Montana with Republican Senate candidate Troy Downing. "It is time to stand up for our #American Heroes. I am excited to announce that American Patriot @GenFlynn will be joining me in #Montana very soon. Details to come!" the candidate tweeted. Downing — a conservative businessman, real estate investor and Air Force veteran — is one of four GOP candidates vying to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. John Tester in November. The Republican primary is scheduled for June 5. The Montana Democratic Party blasted Downing on Friday for campaigning with Flynn, a former Army general who pleaded guilty late last year to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the weeks before Trump took office. And U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s (D. MT) re-election campaign is not wasting any time slamming Downing over this. Received this e-mail today from Tester’s re-election campaign: Michael Flynn was fired last year as President Trump’s national security adviser after it became public he had misled administration officials. Months later, he would plead guilty to lying to federal investigators. Now he’s coming to Montana to campaign for one of Jon Tester’s opponents. We don’t know what kind of craziness he’ll bring to this race, but we want to be ready for anything: Add a donation of $10 to stand with Senator Jon Tester today to ensure we’re prepared for whatever our opponents have planned for us next. Your support makes a big difference in this election. Flynn’s visit comes just days after one of our other opponents got caught red-handed lying about Jon’s record -- and a week after a group of super PACs went on the attack. It’s clear this race is ramping up, and anything can happen. This has already been an unpredictable election year, and we want to make sure we’re ready for anything. Donate $10 to ensure our campaign is financially prepared for whatever our opponents have planned next » Thanks for everything you do, -- Chris Chris Meagher Communications Director Montanans for Tester Click here to donate to Tester’s re-election campaign. [...]



PA-Sen: Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D) Will Vote Against Mike Pompeo's Nomination For SoS

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 21:24:32 +0000

Just wanted to pass this along to Pennsylvania Kossacks: xAfter careful consideration, I have decided to vote against Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) April 24, 2018 xDirector Pompeo supports policies that I believe will make our Nation less safe and his record on issues like torture and the Iran nuclear agreement, as well as his prior statements regarding American Muslims are troubling.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) April 24, 2018 xWe need a Secretary of State who will represent all Americans to the international community.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) April 24, 2018 xMost military and intelligence experts agree that torture is ineffective and makes us less safe.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) April 24, 2018 xWhile I appreciate Director Pompeo’s willingness to serve and plan to work with him to protect U.S. interests if he is confirmed, I simply believe that the threats facing our Nation today need a Secretary of State with greater diplomatic experience...— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) April 24, 2018 x...not someone with a record of divisiveness and a tendency to support policies that make us less safe. For those reasons, I will oppose his nomination.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) April 24, 2018 Contact your Senator and urge them to vote against Pompeo’s nomination. And while you’re at, let Senator Casey know you have his back for re-election. Click here to donate and get involved with Casey’s re-election campaign. [...]



Identity Politics, A Misunderstanding

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 20:26:45 +0000

There has been a great deal of discussion about identity politics and setting it aside in the news lately.  Those discussions have led to a great deal of misunderstanding that should be cleared up. No progressive thinks identity politics are unimportant, but how you approach the issues matters. If we, the public, think that politicians take on identity politics because they actually intend to do something about it, we aren’t paying attention to the actual record.  Politicians, especially Democrats, talk a lot about identity politics; they do a whole lot less.  There are a lot of reasons for that, including first and foremost, where the money comes from. Let’s take a step back.  FDR didn’t do the New Deal because he believed in the New Deal.  He may have, but his motivation came from several million socialists, unionists, and WWI veterans who got in his face and told him he was going to do something.  They gave him the backbone to do the right thing. LBJ didn’t do civil rights because he wanted to do civil rights, again, he may have believed.  LBJ did civil rights because a whole lot of African Americans, often enough led by MLK, got out in the streets and in his face and told him he was going to do civil rights. Women’s rights are the same.  They didn’t happen because some politician decided he was going to do the right thing, they happened because women got up in a bunch of politician’s faces and told them they were going to do the right thing. LGBTQ?  Obama gave it a pass.  Until the community said, “we don’t care, we’re getting married anyway.”  And suddenly, Obama found a passion for the issue. It has always been this way, politicians don’t act - they are forced to act.  That is why we are where we currently are.  Democrats, all of us, got lazy.  After the 60s we got this notion in our heads that the Democratic Party would “do the right thing.”  We were wrong.  The Democratic Party believes in progressive issues.  That isn’t enough.  They need a fire, lit by us, to do the right thing. So when the Democratic Party plays identity politics it needs to be understood, they aren’t playing it because they are really going do something, they are doing it to get votes.  Period.  No politician gave Blacks their rights; Blacks forced politicians to do the right thing.  Women did the same, and so did the LGBTQ community.  How did that happen?  Were the African Americans who led the civil rights movement bus drivers, garbage men?  Or were they even lower on the totem pole guys polishing shoes and working for pennies?  No, they were people of some means; they had some security in life.  Enough security to be able to act instead of worrying about working their second job to make ends meet.  Before you can force politicians to listen to you, you have to have the security or the means to make an impression.  This is what the “set aside identity politics” message is, and it’s open for debate.  Do we talk about politicians standing up for us, or do we fight to give a level of security to the poor so they can fight for themselves?  Do we count on the middle class, who’s number one cause of bankruptcy is getting sick, to fight or do we get insurance for all so they can set that aside and fight for themselves? Progressives who discuss economic security aren’t saying, identity politics isn’t important.  Heck, who’s the one white political leader who’s been arrested fighting for the rights of African Americans? Bernie Sanders.  What progressives of this stripe are saying is that if you pay African Americans a decent wage, they can fight for themselves, like they have always done.  If you give women a decent salary and health care, you don’t need politicians, who aren’t going to fight much anyway, to fight for them, they will fight for themselves. No politician or political party ever did anything for anyone but their direct donors, the rich guys. They act when the voters are breathing do[...]



AZ-Sen: Military Attorney James Mackler Helps Kyrsten Sinema (D) Defeat Joe Arpaio (R)

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 20:05:15 +0000

Received this e-mail today from the former U.S. Senate candidate and Military Attorney, James Mackler (D. TN), on behalf of his PAC, Believe In Service, in support of Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D. AZ) U.S. Senate campaign:

(image)

“Ex-Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio Talks Tough In Nashville” – Patch (4/2/18)

Earlier this month, Arizona’s Joe Arpaio brought his “tough talk” to Nashville to fund his U.S. Senate race.

Arpaio’s illegal brand of law enforcement has divided families, ruined lives, and to date, has cost Maricopa County taxpayers more than $140 million in legal fees, settlements, and court awards.

We have to keep Joe Arpaio out of the U.S. Senate. Rush $10 today to help elect his opponent, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.

I’m a former prosecutor, member of the Federal Public defender panel, and JAG attorney. I take the rule of law seriously and allowing Joe Arpaio, a man convicted of criminal contempt for defying court orders, to win a U.S. Senate seat will make us all less safe.

We have to keep Joe Arpaio out of the U.S. Senate. Rush $10 to help elect Kyrsten Sinema today.

Thanks,
James

Click here to donate to Sinema’s campaign.




MS-Gov: Mason-Dixon Poll Has A.G. Jim Hood (D) Leading Lt.Gov Tate Reeves (R)

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 17:20:04 +0000

This race isn’t until 2019 but I wanted to still bring this up. Mason-Dixon polling released it’s latest Mississippi poll today and there’s some encouraging news for us next year:

The Mason-Dixon poll, which was released Tuesday, shows Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood with a slight lead over Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.

Statewide, 44 percent of voters polled support Hood, while 39 percent back Reeves and 17 percent are undecided, according to the data.

The results are similar to a poll released in December. The new poll was conducted April 12-14 via phone interviews of 625 registered Mississippi voters.

Click here for the full results.

Along with Louisiana and Kentucky, Mississippi will be a big Governor race to watch next year. Especially if Hood makes it official. Stay tuned.




GA-Gov: Daily Beast, "If Anyone Can Be America’s First Black Woman Governor, It’s Stacey Abrams (D)"

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 15:49:55 +0000

Christina Greer has a new piece up on The Daily Beast that explains why former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D. GA) is destined to make history as the first black, female Governor this year: I argue that a path is possible. Her primary opponent is a white female largely self-funded former state legislator who also shares the same first name. Stacey Evans has the money, but does not have the grassroots foundation. Even with a large number of Georgia primary voters still undecided, most polls show Abrams with a sizeable lead over Evans in the May 22 primary. However, many voters are mindful of the power of the Bradley effect, that is, what happened when Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley ran for governor and discovered the discrepancy between opinion polls and the election outcome—that is, white voters saying they will vote for the black candidate but not doing so at the polls. The most significant case Evans has been able to make to some voters is that she is the more electable nominee against the presumed Republican candidate, the current Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. Abrams has had to convince voters that her vision, leadership style, and past legislative successes will reach the hearts and minds of voters across Georgia, despite being a black woman. If Abrams is victorious on May 22, she will likely face an opponent with a near perfect grade from the NRA as compared to her proud F-rating. In an era of increased gun violence, social issues that once seemed clearly partisan and uncomplicated are being brought to the fore and thrusting voters to specify and even rank their policy preferences and concerns. Most voters look at Georgia and see a bright red state. However, when we look a bit closer, Georgia emerges as a purple-ish state, and one that in this particular national political climate may be poised to turn blue. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by just five points in the state. The supply of affordable housing, along with corporate job creation and eastward migration after Hurricane Katrina, has bolstered the black middle class in Atlanta and the surrounding suburbs. In addition to this growth, the retirements and subsequent reverse migration of many black middle class Baby Boomers back to various counties in Georgia has created a new and robust voting bloc. I care about this race because it’s an opportunity to be a part of history with an abundantly qualified candidate. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Shirley Chisholm being elected to Congress. She began as a member of the New York legislature and served two terms before running for Congress. Similar to Chisholm, Barbara Jordan was the second African American woman elected to Congress in 1972, but the first from the South. If you need more proof, Mother Jones highlights how Abrams’ candidacy highlights how black women can really have a huge impact on this race: Abrams is tapping into a moment when Democrats are finally realizing how much they owe to the black women who have long been intensely loyal to the party. In 2012, black women voted at higher rates nationally than any other demographic group. In 2016, 94 percent of them voted for Hillary Clinton. (Less than half of white women did.) And in a fiercely contested special election in Alabama in December 2017, black women supported the Democratic winner, Doug Jones, by a 98-2 margin. After Jones’ slim victory, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez tweeted, “Black women are the backbone of the Democratic Party, and we can’t take that for granted. Period.” But black women’s clout at the ballot box has not translated into representation. Nationwide, only 12 black women have ever been elected to statewide executive positions such as attorney general or lieutenant governor. Research shows that women candidates have to work harder than men to raise money, and black women who run for office face the additional burden of r[...]



No more power to the party: Why political party reforms are good for democracy

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 16:07:02 +0000

Jon Ward, Senior Political Respondent at Yahoo, published a piece last week titled “Power to the party: Why political reforms can be bad for democracy” that reiterated an argument I’ve heard over and over again since 2016. The gist of his argument is this: "anti-party reforms [for example, getting rid of superdelegates] have gone too far and are now having a multitude of negative impacts on our politics." In other words, small-d democracy is not to be trusted, and the only way to save ourselves is to put power back in the hands of a small, wise elite who can save the people from themselves. His top example how democracy has failed us is that in 2016, the Republican Party delegates were bound to vote for the candidate the their voters have chosen --- Donald Trump. If party officials were stronger, particularly if they could ignore the fact that primary voters picked Trump and pick someone else, he would never be President. [1] I completely agree that Trump’s election has been a “negative impact” on the country/world (it’s probably the understatement of the millennium). However, I strongly disagree with his solution — to take power from the people and hand it over to party leaders. According to him, and several scholars cited in the piece, this leads to better outcomes for everyone. WHY HAVE DEMOCRACY AT ALL? The entire piece begs the question: If Ward is right, and giving more power to regular voters has "negative impacts on our politics," and increasing party democracy leads to "decreasing transparency, accountability, and other things we claim to hold important in our governing systems," then why have democracy at all? The question is absurd, but it gets to a key flaw in Ward’s argument: he does not recognize the value of small-d democracy, nor acknowledge why parties became more democratic in the first place. He notes that "changes to party primaries after the 1968 election took power away from party bosses and put it in the hands of regular voters," but fails to mention why. In 1968 Democratic primary voters voted 4 to 1 in favor of anti-war candidates, but the (white, older, male) delegates chose to ignore the ignore how the (younger, more diverse) primary electorate had voted and picked a pro-war candidate instead. This led to literal riots on the streets after the Democratic Convention. This is not a good system, which is why they got r. Allowing party bosses to pick the candidate reinforces existing power structures, suppresses new ideas, and (most importantly) decreases the overall legitimacy of the system.  Yes, the current system has flaws, but so did the previous system. Trying to fix the flaws system of today by embracing the flawed system of yesterday is a terrible idea.  MORE PARTY DEMOCRACY FOR LESS PARTY CHOICE None of this is to claim the current system does not have flaws. I think Ward is correct at pointing out that, in the last 50 years, parties have moved toward greater and greater democratic party control and this has weakened political parties’ ability to remain unified, disciplined, and cohesive. However, he fails to recognize that while parties have grown internally weaker, America’s two main political parties have grown much stronger at boxing out competitors over the last 100 years. America’s first-past-the-post political system has always been naturally biased against third parties, who can act as spoilers in close competitions. However, after the flourishing of third parties around the turn of the 20th century, the nation’s two main political parties began putting in place election laws that limited competition by restricting third parties’ ability to ever even make it onto the ballot, and thus limited them from making their case to the voters.[2]  100 years ago, an organization like The Grange was able to thrive and (through external competition) move the Democratic Party to the l[...]



FL-Gov: Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D. IL) Endorses Gwen Graham (D) In The Democratic Primary

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 15:28:09 +0000

Some big news today out of Florida:

We don’t usually highlight endorsements, but this one caught our attention because, after all, the male-dominated U.S. Senate changed its rules to allow U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth to bring her new baby, Maile, onto the Senate floor. (She got her a jacket so the newborn could conform with Senate protocol.)

Plus Duckworth, a wounded war veteran and Purple Heart recipient, is a rock star among progressive Democrats, so her endorsement of former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, for what it’s worth, could be considered a coup in a heated Democratic gubernatorial primary. Especially if the Illinois senator campaigns for Graham in Florida.

Graham’s announcement of the endorsement carries on with an all-about-Trump theme (remember her first digital ad?), with both women bashing the president.

“No one is better equipped to defend Florida against Donald Trump and his harmful policies than Gwen Graham,” Duckworth said in the press release. “She will take on Trump to defend the Affordable Care Act and expand healthcare for Florida families. Gwen will protect Florida’s waters from Trump’s dangerous oil drilling plans. And she will put people — not special interests — first by passing an increased minimum wage.”

Graham, who last year nailed the endorsement of  New York U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and who served with Duckworth during Graham’s brief stint in Congress, called the Illinois senator “one of the toughest women I know” who “sets an incredible example for all Americans.”

Click below to read the full press release:

x

Click here to donate and get involved with Graham’s campaign.




Don’t Feed the Trolls: A Lesson from the Parkland Students

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 16:00:37 +0000

It is the unfortunate side effect of Trump the Tweeter-in-Chief that the GOP is the Party of Trolls, the PoT, if you will, filling our timelines, our air waves, our news sources, even the White House press room with distractions and lies and nonsense. It is the albatross Republicans put around their own necks, but we no longer have to wear it with them. The pendulum has swung rapidly away from support for draconian rightwing policy, Orwellian rightwing distractions, and discriminatory rightwing nonsense, in large part because the younger generation of the Parkland student activist variety called bullshit to it, and showed the rest of us it was okay, actually imperative to no longer engage the GOP trolls with reasoned rebuttals. It was as if a light blinked on above the whole of American consciousness, and we collectively went like this: We can tell America their talking points are bullshit? Yes. Call them liars? Of course. And I don’t have to waste my time addressing their nonsense point by point? Nope. Just block them and stick to the facts? Like actually focus on facts? Yeah, we eat that shit up. And, eat it up we did. Americans realized their own power to stand up and call bullshit to the status quo talking points hurting us, that essentially mean nothing, accomplish nothing, and continue to hurt us. Because the Parkland students knew not to feed the trolls, they controlled the narrative from the beginning, and they have no intention of releasing the reins. As a result, we are especially seeing success with the seemingly overnight decline of NRA support and influence in the narrative over guns. The NRA just cannot get a foothold on even their most basic messaging these days, and, according to this article on Daily Kos, a recent poll by ABC News found “Americans now view acting to protect people from gun violence as a higher priority than safeguarding gun ownership rights by 57-34 percent. Those numbers were nearly even (46-47 percent) in October 2015.” We are seeing it in the teachers of Oklahoma, who used social media and a show-no-mercy walkout to publicly shame their leaders into more funding for education and teacher pay raises, followed by West Virginia, Arizona, Kentucky and an expected strike in Colorado. The Oklahoma teachers were so successful in getting what they wanted, two Republican Colorado state Senators introduced this bill on Friday to deduct pay from Colorado teachers for each day they strike, in addition to imposing fines on Colorado teachers in the amount of $500 for each day they strike, and throwing those teachers in jail for up to six months if they strike. We’re seeing it at the ballot box in special election contests and in the rise of Democratic support in the reddest of districts leading into the 2018 midterms. According to BallotPedia, 40 Republican incumbents, most notably House Speaker Paul Ryan, will not seek re-election in November amid the rise of special election Democratic wins in previous Republican strongholds and the expected blue wave sweep in November. Stick to the facts. Don’t get distracted. Don’t engage the trolls. Who knew these basic rules of the Internet could work in the real world? The Parkland students did. As every social media user knows, a troll only has power for as long as you allow it to poison your space and control your narrative. Its essence is in its ability to waste your time engaging its nonsense, its distractions, its desire to scare you and  take you off topic. If you feed the troll, it wins, and it is a perpetual hungry little beast. The only way to neutralize a troll is to ignore it and stay on topic, and then block it when it tries to overwhelm. The one lesson the Parkland students taught us, albeit unintentionally, and a trend I see continuing in greater frequency across the spectrum of Am[...]



Do We Really Need More Veterans in Congress?

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 20:58:31 +0000

There aren’t as many veterans in Congress as there used to be. In the 1970s, over three quarters of the House and Senate had served in the military. In 2017, only 19% of those on Capitol Hill were veterans. This decline has undoubtedly run parallel to a decline in bipartisanship and confidence in government.

Although correlation does not necessarily represent causation, many news outlets have tied the two together as an absolute fact: we need more veterans in Congress to stop partisan gridlock and work together.

This need has been spread across many media outlets in the past few months, with little scrutiny of its claims.




Cartoon: 'Identity politics'

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 11:50:03 +0000

This paragraph from Linda Burnham in the Guardian last year spells it out nicely:

It’s never a good idea to enter willingly into a frame your opponent has constructed to entrap you. The term “identity politics” is part of a whole vocabulary including “thought police,” “politically correct,” and “liberal elites”, whose main intention is to undermine the legitimacy of liberal and left politics. Uncritically adopting the “identity politics” language of the right is the equivalent of dropping our guard and waltzing on to their terrain. Master’s tools, master’s house, anyone? We need to recognise a toxic frame when we see one and refuse to be a party to its proliferation.

Once upon a time, “identity politics” was a phrase heard occasionally in the halls of academia (at least, for those of us who were social science majors), typically in discussion of nationalist movements or other phenomena outside of day-to-day US political debate. Now, thanks largely to right-wing media, it has become a noxious catchphrase that lumps together all social justice movements — the fight for civil rights, equality for women, same-sex marriage, immigrant rights, to name just a few — into a belittling abstraction that makes these great historical movements sound frivolous. The phrase has become so normalized, many progressives use it uncritically. We need to wake up and recognize it for what it has become: a sanitized shorthand for “those people” — a dog whistle. You want to talk about these issues? Be specific. Spell out what you mean. Are you referring to Black Lives Matter? Don’t hide behind a sterile, human being-erasing euphemism.

Follow Jen on Twitter at @JenSorensen




ID-Gov: Planned Parenthood Endorses Paulette Jordan (D) For Governor

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 06:41:30 +0000

Received this e-mail today from former Idaho House Representative Paulette Jordan’s (D. ID) gubernatorial campaign: I am proud to stand with women and families across Idaho in this campaign for Governor. That’s why Planned Parenthood’s endorsement means so much to me -- because throughout my career as a legislator, I’ve fought hard to protect women’s access to healthcare and defend reproductive rights. Sadly, these rights are under attack. Powerful groups are determined to roll back all the progress we’ve made on reproductive freedom, and that scares me. Women’s personal health decisions should be made between their families and their doctors -- not by politicians. We’re working to bring this message to voters across Idaho, but right now we’re falling short of our April fundraising goal. Will you step up and chip in $10 before the deadline? Idahoans want leaders who will stand up and defend their rights. Now is not the time to turn our backs on equity and progress. My opponents and the GOP will be watching to see if we gain a groundswell of support in the wake of this endorsement. I hope I can count on you to help us show our strength after this great news! Please contribute now with this link » In gratitude, Paulette Click here to donate to Jordan’s campaign. [...]



OH-Gov: Richard Cordray (D) Pushes His Plan To Make Community College Free In Ohio

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 06:06:24 +0000

Received this e-mail today from former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director, Richard Cordray’s (D. OH) gubernatorial campaign:

We have a problem: By 2020, 64% of jobs in Ohio will require at least an associate's degree. At the same time, the cost of going to college is skyrocketing to the point that many students can’t afford to pursue higher education.

That’s not good for anyone. If we’re going to demand that people have more education and training, then why shouldn’t we make that education and training available at no additional cost?

That’s exactly what Betty and I are proposing here in Ohio: Community college should be completely free.

Free college isn’t just one of those things that sounds good on a bumper sticker. We’re serious about making education more accessible and helping Ohioans qualify for and get good jobs.

There’s no reason not to make getting an education, getting a great job, and participating in our economy easier. It’s good for everyone. It’s good for students, it’s good for businesses, and it’s good for the economy.

If you agree, step up! Add your name to stand behind our plan to make community college free across Ohio.

Thanks—I hope you’re with us on this,

Rich

Click here to add your name.




OR-Gov: Gov. Kate Brown (D) Hits Back At Trump's Plan To Rig The 2020 Census

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 05:45:56 +0000

Received this e-mail today from Governor Kate Brown’s (D. OR) re-election campaign:

Friend,

When the Trump administration added citizenship to the census questions, Oregon jumped into action.

Adding this question will likely discourage immigrant communities from participating in the census.

The census determines Oregon’s representation in government, and it’s the bedrock of our democracy. That’s why the State of Oregon has joined with more than twenty states and cities in suing the Trump administration for this action.

It seems like we are constantly playing defense against the chaos and incompetence from D.C. Republicans, from National Park fees to federal rollbacks of net neutrality. But in the midst of it all, we can’t forget to stand up for accurate representation and the integrity of the census.

We can’t let the public pressure fall. Friend, add your name to tell the GOP: Don't rig the 2020 census!

With a President who has tried to build a border wall and pass a Muslim travel ban, it makes sense that immigrant communities are frightened and hesitant to trust government.

But Trump’s America doesn’t line up with Oregon values. We need to send the message that Oregonians are opposed to adding the citizenship question. Add your name -- tell Republicans in Washington, D.C. to unrig the census!

We’ll keep up the pressure on our end. Glad we’re in this together.

-- Team Kate

Click here to add your name.




VT-Sen: Bernie Sanders To Introduce Plan That Guarantees Every American A Job

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 05:18:26 +0000

Stay tuned for this: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will announce a plan for the federal government to guarantee a job paying $15 an hour and health-care benefits to every American worker “who wants or needs one,” embracing the kind of large-scale government works project that Democrats have shied away from in recent decades. Sanders's jobs guarantee would fund hundreds of projects throughout the United States aimed at addressing priorities such as infrastructure, care giving, the environment, education and other goals. Under the job guarantee, every American would be entitled to a job under one of these projects or receive job training to be able to do so, according to an early draft of the proposal. A representative from Sanders's office said they had not yet done a cost estimate for the plan or decided how it would be funded, saying they were still crafting the proposal. Sanders joins two other rumored 2020 Democratic presidential contenders who have expressed support for the idea of a jobs guarantee. The push reflects a leftward move in the party's economic policy, away from President Barack Obama's use of public-private partnerships or government incentives to reshape private markets and toward an unambiguous embrace of direct government intervention. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D. NY) & Cory Booker (D. NJ) are the other rumored Democrats who either support or are rolling out their own jobs program.  xIf Republicans could give $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest among us, why can’t we invest a similar amount in a guaranteed jobs plan for regular Americans who are unemployed and willing to work to better their local community?— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) April 17, 2018 More on Booker’s plan: The Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act, announced by Booker on Friday, would establish a three-year pilot program in which the Department of Labor would select up to 15 local areas (defined in the bill as any political subdivision of a state, like a city or a county, or a group of cities and counties) and offer that area funding so that every adult living there is guaranteed a job paying at least $15 an hour (or the prevailing wage for the job in question, whichever’s higher) and offering paid family/sick leave and health benefits. The idea of a government job guarantee ensuring all adults who want employment get it has a long history in American politics, but it has gained popularity as the Democratic Party has sought to embrace bigger and more ambitious economic policies in the wake of the 2016 election. Booker’s plan is essentially a pilot version of a proposal from Duke’s Mark Paul and William Darity, Jr. and the New School’s Darrick Hamilton, economists who have, together and individually, advocated a job guarantee for years, well before the current surge in enthusiasm. Most recently, Paul, Darity, and Hamilton wrote up their proposal for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a highly influential left-of-center think tank, in a clear sign the idea was gaining traction. Booker’s bill is an even bigger step forward. “The federal jobs guarantee is an idea that demands to be taken seriously,” Booker said in a statement. “Creating an employment guarantee would give all Americans a shot at a day’s work and, by introducing competition into the labor market, raise wages and improve benefits for all workers.” Of course, Trump and the Republican Congress won’t allow such a plan. But introducing bold plans and building momentum helps define the Democratic Party’s agenda and offers real solutions to the problems we face. Stay tuned. In the mea[...]



WI-Sen: GOP Ad Accuses Tammy Baldwin (D) Of Wanting To Abort The Next Martin Luther King Jr.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 03:53:21 +0000

The New York Times reminds us how nasty and expensive the U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin is already becoming: The attack ads began in early 2017, planting doubts well ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Against ominous background music and storm clouds, the Republican-financed spots hit Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin’s Democratic senator, over the Affordable Care Act, Iran and veterans’ health care. By July, a Milwaukee radio station was carrying audacious ads about Ms. Baldwin’s support for abortion rights. “Did you know one out of three babies aborted in America are black? One out of three. And Tammy Baldwin is a big reason why,” the ad said. “That could be the next Frederick Douglass or Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King they’re aborting.” Then came the positive ads describing one of her opponents, Kevin Nicholson, as a former Marine; an “outsider”; a businessman; and, like Ronald Reagan, a convert to conservatism. For many national Republicans, Ms. Baldwin has emerged as the top target in the 2018 midterms: Donors from outside the state are spending twice as much money on the race so far as on any other Senate contest this year, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics. Much of the money has gone toward television and radio ads. The big spending doesn’t just signal that each party sees the Senate seat as winnable. It’s also a measure of intensity on both sides to prevail in Wisconsin after Donald J. Trump shocked Democrats in 2016 by being the first Republican presidential nominee to carry the state since 1984. National Democrats are bent on winning it back in 2020 — and getting Ms. Baldwin re-elected is a crucial step toward that goal. The fight may become the most expensive Wisconsin Senate race ever: An analysis by the state Democratic Party found that nearly $10 million in advertising had already aired or been purchased by outside groups against Ms. Baldwin or in favor of Mr. Nicholson. (Mr. Nicholson’s camp put the number at nearly $9 million.) At least another $3.7 million in advertising is underway sponsored by outside groups in favor of Ms. Baldwin. Where’s Nicholson getting his money to run these ridiculous ads? This guy: In case you missed it, a new report from ABC News reveals that Illinois billionaire Dick Uihlein “is involved in almost every single one of the top spending super PACs supporting [Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kevin] Nicholson.” With Wisconsin’s Republican U.S. Senate primary still four months away, the Illinois-based megadonor has already poured $17.4 million into 10 groups backing Kevin Nicholson’s candidacy. “Out-of-state billionaire Dick Uihlein isn’t even eligible to vote in Wisconsin’s Senate election, but that hasn’t stopped him from pouring in millions into our state to try to buy Kevin Nicholson a U.S. Senate seat,” said Brad Bainum, DPW spokesperson for the 2018 Senate race. “Nicholson is bought and paid for, and committed to helping Uihlein get even richer.” Of course, Nicholson isn’t the only GOPer with a billionaire sugar daddy: x YouTube Video Wisconsin Next PAC is out with a new ad supporting state Sen. Leah Vukmir ― the first pro-Vukmir ad run by a super PAC. The spot plays up her association with Gov. Scott Walker (R). Wisconsin Next PAC has received $500,000 from billionaire businesswoman Diane Hendricks, who is also backing Vukmir. It’s also received $25,000 from an employee of ABC Supply, the roofing distributor that Hendricks chairs. The super PAC is spending $575,000 to run the ad statewide on television and ano[...]



MO-Sen: New Poll Has Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) Leading Josh Hawley (R) 48-44

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 18:35:06 +0000

Here’s the latest news out of Missouri: Turning to the U.S. Senate race, the Missouri Scout survey showed Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill holding a slight edge over her likely challenger in the November elections, GOP state Attorney General Josh Hawley. Forty-eight percent said they favored McCaskill, 44 percent favored Hawley, and 8 percent were undecided. Missouri Scout reported a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent. Fifty percent of Missourians said they approved of President Donald Trump's job performance, and 44 percent said they disapproved. Their poll also showed disgraced, scandal-plagued Governor Eric Greitens (R. MO) with a 51% disapproval rating. The poll of 1,542 likely voters was taken Wednesday and Thursday. It’s becoming clear this scandal is taking its toll on the GOP’s chances in this race: Additionally, she more than doubled him in fundraising last quarter, which may be why Hawley is shaking up his campaign team. Greitens has completely dominated the political news in Missouri since he was indicted on felony invasion of privacy and computer tampering charges, in connection with an alleged sexual assault incident and misuse of a veterans’ charity. Some Republicans in the state are calling on Greitens to resign, including Hawley himself. But Greitens flatly refuses, and has sneered that Hawley — who has run much of the investigation into the scandals — is “better at press conferences than the law.” And as if all that were not enough, Hawley is hardly innocent in all this. For all Hawley’s recent denunciations of Greitens, his office could have investigated some of the allegations much earlier. Missouri Democratic Party chairman Stephen Webber noted that the allegations Greitens was first accused of stealing nonprofit data for political purposes in 2016, and that Hawley “decided to protect a political ally until the very last minute.” The upshot is that Missouri’s Governor is accused of serious crimes, is dragging down his party’s brand, and is throwing his party’s Senate candidate under the bus exactly as that candidate faces questions over how he has handled Gov. Greitens. It’s the GOP’s worst nightmare: it’s a Todd Akin-style catastrophe all over again: "[Greitens] is jeopardizing the whole Republican Party of Missouri," said Rob Jesmer, a top Republican consultant who was executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee when Akin made his infamous comments about rape and abortion during McCaskill’s last campaign. Democrats can hardly believe their good fortune at the same time they pounce. They say Hawley’s outrage at Greitens rings empty, accusing him of going easy on a fellow Republican by stopping or stalling other investigations into the governor’s actions for a year, until Greitens became politically toxic. McCaskill’s party is also hammering Hawley for accepting a $50,000 in-kind campaign contribution from Greitens in 2016. The conflagration doesn’t guarantee McCaskill will win this November — she’s one of the most vulnerable senators up for reelection this year, and one of five Democrats running in states President Donald Trump carried by double digits. But Greitens still maintains fervent pockets of support among state Republicans and is now feuding openly with Hawley: Earlier this month, the governor said Hawley is “better at press conferences than the law,” while deriding the accusations against him as a “witch hunt.” "I'm going to start having Claire McCaskill buy my lottery tickets. She's a lucky duck," quipped former Missouri Republican [...]



MT-Sen: Jon Tester (D) Mounts Pressure On The Senate To Restore Net Neutrality Rules

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 21:56:24 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s (D. MT) re-election campaign:

Today the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to repeal net neutrality rules that keep the internet free and open officially takes effect. This could soon change the way the internet operates as we know it.

Without net neutrality, internet service providers have the power to charge you more to view certain content, block your favorite websites, or slow down your internet connection altogether.

Without these protections, rural businesses and entrepreneurs could be forced to pay substantial corporate rates or be cut off from their customers.

I believe that no matter who you are or how you connect, you should have equal and fair access to the internet. That’s why I am working with my colleagues to defend internet freedom across America -- all we need is one more Senator to join with us to reverse the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality.

Sign my petition calling on all of my colleagues in the U.S. Senate to support a resolution restoring net neutrality rules that guarantee everyone has equal access to the internet.

Without net neutrality, we are at the whim of large corporations who can favor websites that make them a profit while blocking or slowing down any site that can’t pay their fees.

Ending net neutrality ends the internet as we know it and we have to do everything in our power to bring it back. I hope I can count on you to add your name to my petition today.

Thanks,

—Jon

Click here to add your name.




OH-Sen: Sherrod Brown (D) Continues To Expose The GOP Tax Scam As One Big Giveaway To The Banks

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 05:44:06 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D. OH) re-election campaign:

President Trump and Republicans insisted their tax plan would help the middle class get ahead.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said otherwise. When they first reviewed the tax plan, the CBO concluded it would balloon the deficit, dramatically reduce the number of Americans with access to healthcare, and primarily benefit large corporations.

Not surprisingly, the CBO’s analysis was spot on. As a result of the law, the biggest banks netted $3.6 billion in a single quarter.

And middle-class families? They could see their taxes go up by 2023.

Republicans are trying to spin their tax scam -- but they aren’t fooling working families. This plan is for corporations and the wealthiest 1%. Add your name to let Republicans know you’ll hold them accountable in November.

I was an outspoken critic of Republicans’ tax plan from the beginning. If the GOP were serious about creating an economy where working families can thrive, they wouldn’t have showered 80% of the tax bills benefits on the top 1% of earners.

Polls show Americans see right through the GOP’s tax scam. Only 27% of Americans think the tax plan is a good idea.

As we get closer to November, Republicans are going to run more ads about their tax plan. They are going to throw out all sorts of misleading figures -- but the only number that matters is one.

The GOP tax plan is for the 1%. And we need leaders who are willing to help all Americans. Make sure you play a part in electing strong leaders this fall. Pledge to hold Republicans accountable at the polls.

With gratitude,

Sherrod

Click here to add your name. 




Death Brings out the Honor in Most of Us

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 11:11:46 +0000

My late great-grandmother used an old adage many, many times, which I am sure was a variation of something taught to her, ‘enough is enough and too much stinks,” she’d say. I sat in my living room recliner Saturday and shed a tear for the Bush family.  No, no I was no fan of either Bush’s presidency or the failed candidacy of Jeb Bush, but I am a fan of honor. The photo at the top of this story is quickly becoming an iconic look at the potential of America.  A Black President and First Lady, a President whose wife made it acceptable to hold and nurture an AIDS baby, a President whose most significant accomplishment was to help with the eradication of malaria in Africa.  A President who is truly a self-made man who overcame an impoverished childhood and I cannot forget the current First Lady who is an immigrant. While the country grieved Nero tweeted… The country wrestled with the memories, failures, and accomplishments of the Bush dynasty but for a few hours, even the most ardent partisan took a moment to lay down their political armaments. President Trump did take a moment out of his weekend golf matches and 29 tweet rage storms and paid homage to the fallen matriarch of the Bush family.  Of course, his moments of decorum quickly give way to his nature.  Unfortunately for me, I keep expecting graciousness and keep getting the same disappointing boorish lout.  You would think for the sake of the republic that Trump could lay down his phone, for a day, and allow the tweet blisters on his thumbs a chance to heal.  At least long enough to give the Bush family and the country a weekend of reflection.  I wonder if the President is so petty that a picture showing four of the five living ex-President’s and his obvious exclusion was just too much for him to bear?   Stealing back the spotlight President’s wives are infinitely more popular than their husbands.  Republicans respected Michelle Obama (although they invented reasons not to like her) and Democrats liked Laura Bush.  For a while, Hillary Clinton enjoyed the approval of the Elephant (until she announced for President) and even the majority of Democrats either like or pity Melania Trump. Of all these women, Barbara Bush seemed to have crossed that divide of like and respect.  She wore her shock of white hair unapologetically, allowed her husband to jump out of perfectly good airplanes and told the world that all the unfounded fears of AIDS patients, propagated by her husband’s boss, Ronald Reagan, were as superfluous as his rosy cheeks.  Hillary Clinton is probably the most famous woman to advocate you ‘stand by your man’ besides Tammy Wynette. Mrs. Bush stood by three men, two Presidents of the United States and the Governor of Florida. I am torn between whether Donald Trump disrespected her by not coming or paid her the ultimate respect by staying away.  I am more apt to fall on the side of the latter not the former.  She deserved better and having four of the five living ex-Presidents feeling graced by her spirit is pretty high praise. Rest well, Mrs. Barbara Bush; June 8, 1925-April 17, 2018         [...]



TX-Sen: MoveOn.org Goes All In To Help Beto O'Rourke (D) Pull Off A Huge Upset Victory

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 19:54:03 +0000

Received this e-mail today from MoveOn.org in support of Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D. TX) U.S. Senate campaign: Dear MoveOn member, We won a special Senate election in Alabama. We won in the special House election in PA-18—a district that Donald Trump won by 20 points; that's a 21-point swing in just 15 months. And now, stunning news out of Texas: Beto O'Rourke, "a peppy, rangy, toothy progressive" Senate candidate is STATISTICALLY TIED with Texas' far-right wingnut Senator Ted Cruz in a new poll.1,2 Not only are O'Rourke and Cruz statistically tied, but O'Rourke's been able to match Cruz in fundraising—all while refusing money from Super PACs. Over the past three months, O'Rourke has come from behind to raise more than twice as much as Cruz. O'Rourke has the momentum. But there's a big problem: The majority of Texans don't yet know enough about O'Rourke to have an opinion of him.3 If Beto O'Rourke is able to define himself and reach voters now, he will win. On the other hand, if Cruz is able to define O'Rourke before he can get his message out to voters, then he will lose. Which is where you come in. Will you rush an urgent $3 donation to Beto O'Rourke right now, so that he can get his message out across Texas and fight against Ted Cruz's lies? Yes, I'll chip in now. MoveOn members in Texas voted overwhelmingly to support Beto O'Rourke. He's the real deal because: He's refused to take any money from Super PACs, instead relying on hundreds of thousands of small-dollar grassroots donations from folks like you to fuel his work.4 He has already raised over $13 million from grassroots donations, including receiving 141,000 individual contributions in the past three months alone—far outpacing Cruz.5 He wants to know what Texans care about. He's held more than 200 town hall events across the state.6 He's fighting for universal health care coverage, unlike Cruz, who's led the fight to repeal the Affordable Care Act.7 We have a golden opportunity to send a true progressive from Texas to the Senate this fall, and maybe even tip the balance of power in the Senate. But Cruz has a huge network of donors—many of whom are millionaires and billionaires, dedicated to keeping Republican control in Congress, which means that O'Rourke has an uphill battle to combat Cruz's nearly limitless cash. While O'Rourke is committed to small-dollar grassroots donations from folks like us, pro-Cruz Super PACs are standing by ready to dump millions of dollars into misleading ads to bad-mouth O'Rourke before the campaign even heats up. If O'Rourke doesn't have enough funds to even respond to these lies, then he will lose. It's not fair, but that's the way it is. To take Cruz on, Beto O'Rourke needs us, right now, not later in September or October. Which is why I'm asking you today: Will you chip in $3 to help Beto O'Rourke get his message out, before Ted Cruz and his mega-rich Super PACs paint Beto with smears and lies? If we win in Texas, we truly can win anywhere. We could even take back the House AND Senate this fall. What's needed now is our early action, dedication, and commitment. Together, we can help Beto O'Rourke make history. But we have to make an early investment to get it done. Thanks for all you do. –Matt, Maria, Schuyler, Sara, and the rest of the team Sources: 1. "Watch Out, Ted Cruz. Beto is Coming," The New York Times, April 7, 2018 https://act.moveon.org/go/38693?t=4&akid=204694%2E9509482%2EdFo2ZH 2. "A new poll puts Beto [...]



GOP's supermajority in Texas could finally be broken, and one intense campaign is the focus

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 19:20:55 +0000

Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke is drawing national headlines for his incredible campaign for Senate against Ted Cruz, as its combination of grassroots energy, social media know-how, and fundraising prowess has turned the race into a dead-heat. Less prominent, but no less important, are a handful of local and statewide elections that could pry Texas away from the iron grip of the GOP’s furthest right fringe. Republicans have been able to enact their radical, inhumane agenda in states across the country by winning state government trifectas. Currently, they hold governorships and both statehouses in 26 states — and in some places, democracy is even more of a distant memory. In Texas, for example, the GOP holds a supermajority in the state senate that allows them to simply ignore all Democratic proposals and pass bills without any debate. That’s been catastrophic for working people, women and minorities in the state, where Medicaid has not been expanded and the right to choose eroded. The situation seems dire, but as O’Rourke’s campaign is showing, Democrats in Texas are energized and ready to turn this red state blue (or at least purple). Just as Ted Cruz’s hold on his Senate seat is in danger, the GOP is at risk of losing its State Senate supermajority, which stands at just two seats. The Texas Tribune this weekend highlighted several winnable races, including what is already turning into a nasty, smashmouth matchup in district 10, the North Texas district once represented by Wendy Davis. Click HERE to donate to Beverly Powell via Progressives Everywhere's main ActBlue page — make sure to select her individually, or give to our entire slate! Beverly Powell, a real estate agent who has served on school and college boards for decades, won a tight Democratic primary race. She’ll face off against Sen. Konni Burton, who is a loud, rude prototypical member of the far right Tea Party. When Powell won the primary, Burton greeted her with a nasty letter that, ironically, highlighted all of her own deficiencies. Burton lambasted Powell for expanding Medicaid expansion, a woman’s right to control her own body, and making sure public schools don’t become racially and economically segregated. The horror! Powell is indeed in support of expanding access to healthcare, financing public education instead of private school vouchers, and making college more affordable. None of these positions are radical, unless you live in a state that has been so dominated by a political party that’s run by corporations and far-right religious organizations. This is a winnable race — again, Wendy Davis represented the district until 2015 — and Powell can use all the help she can get. You should also keep an eye on Nathan Johnson, a composer and small businessman who is running against Sen. Don Huffines in the Dallas area, and whoever winds up winning a runoff primary to take on Houston-area Sen. Joan Huffman. Click HERE to donate to Beverly Powell and Nathan Johnson via Progressives Everywhere's main ActBlue page — make sure to select her individually, or give to our entire slate! [...]



WI-Sen, 01 & 06: Council For A Livable World Pushes To Make Some Big Wins In Wisconsin In 2018

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 02:12:23 +0000

Received this e-mail today from the Council for a Livable World: After Speaker Paul Ryan’s shocking decision to retire at the end of this term, Wisconsin now has three barn burner congressional races. Victories for Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin and challengers Randy Bryce in Wisconsin’s 1st district and Dan Kohl in Wisconsin’s 6th district will have a significant impact on the next Congress. Will you help them win their races? Hawkish groups have spent more money to attackTammy Baldwin than they have invested against all other Senate Democrats up for re-election. A Tammy win will be a significant victory for national security progressives. After Speaker Ryan’s announcement, his progressive opponent, Randy Bryce, tweeted his claim to a significant role in that decision: BREAKING: WE JUST REPEALED PAUL RYAN. Randy now has an even greater shot at winning the Speaker’s seat. Dan Kohl is running to take the seat of a national security hawk, whom he has out-fundraised. Dan is an attorney with varied experiences, and co-founded J Street, a progressive organization devoted to finding a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Will you help propel these three candidates to victory? As Members of Congress, all three will promote negotiations over war with Iran and North Korea, and will check President Trump's dangerous national security policies and appointees like Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. Thank you for your support in these crucial races. Sincerely, John Tierney Executive Director Council for a Livable World Member of Congress (former) 01/03/1997–01/03/2015 Click here to donate to Baldwin, Bryce and Kohl’s campaigns. [...]



TX-Sen: PCCC Helps Keep Up Momentum To Help Beto O'Rourke (D) Win His Tight Race Against Cruz (R)

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 02:04:00 +0000

Received this e-mail today from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in support of Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D. TX) U.S. Senate campaign: We were proud to help Beto O'Rourke launch his campaign to a take Ted Cruz's Senate seat. Now, he's on the cusp of victory... Washington Post: There are three big things going Rep. Beto O'Rourke's way in the Texas Democrat's uphill battle to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R) right now. First, there was the buzz. O'Rourke gave up a comfy El Paso-area congressional seat to challenge a guy who came close to winning the Republican nomination for president. Liberal activists were intrigued by O'Rourke's savvy social media campaign. Then, there was the fundraising. O'Rourke quickly became a darling on the left and has out-fundraised Cruz nearly continuously the past few quarters, despite rejecting money from outside political groups. Earlier this month, O'Rourke announced that he had collected $6.7 million in donations through the first three months of 2018. That number is huge for any Senate candidate but especially for a Democrat in Texas. Cruz said he raised less than half of that — $3.2 million — in the same period. And now, there are the polls. On Wednesday, Quinnipiac University published the first independent, high-quality poll in the race. They found that right now, the race is too close to call. Cruz is ahead by three points, but it's within the margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. Let's finish the job. Donate $6 to help Beto keep building his campaign -- and DEFEAT Ted Cruz! Thanks for being a bold progressive. -- The PCCC Team Click here to donate to Beto’s campaign. [...]



AZ-08: Progressive Change Campaign Committee Helps This Medicare For All Champ Flip A GOP Seat

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 01:47:57 +0000

Received this e-mail today from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in support of Dr. Hiral Tiperneni’s (D. AZ-08) campaign in the special election on Tuesday to fill disgraced Rep. Trent Franks’ (R. AZ-08) vacant seat:

Tuesday is a special election for Congress in the heart of Trump country.

A new poll shows a 2 point race in Arizona’s 8th District, which Trump won by 21 points.

Dr. Hiral Tiperneni is the Democrat, and she’s running on opening up Medicare to all Americans! It would be huge if she won or even came close – sending a signal to all Democrats that Medicare For All is a winning message everywhere.

Can you rush a $6 donation to Hiral’s campaign to help her get out the vote? You can also support other Medicare For All champions in tight races here.

Her opponent, Republican Debbie Lasko, calls Hiral a “Bernie Sanders, Medicare-for-all” liberal. She also is anti-abortion, anti-immigrant, and for Trump’s tax cuts for big corporations and millionaires. Let’s defeat her and flip this red seat blue!

Thanks for helping to make Medicare For All a top 2018 election issue!

-- The PCCC Team

Click here to donate to Dr. Hiral Tiperneni’s campaign.




Sigh. We're at it again, folks

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 01:13:46 +0000

Fearing Chaos, National Democrats Plunge Into Primary Fights

We’re doing it again. We’re doing it AGAIN.  

...national Democrats have lunged into an impatient new phase of the 2018 primary season — one in which they are clashing more openly with candidates and local political chieftains in their drive to assemble a slate of recruits for the midterms.

In districts from Southern California to Little Rock, Ark., and upstate New York, the party has begun interceding to help the Democrats it sees as best equipped to battle Republicans in the fall.

The approach is laced with peril for a party divided over matters of ideology and political strategy, and increasingly dominated by activists who tend to resent what they see as meddling from Washington.

No shit! I’m going to sum up the teal deer (tl/dr) as follows. TRUST THE VOTERS.  They know. That is what democracy is all about.




ND-Sen: NYT, "Across Midwest, Farmers Warn of GOP Losses Over Trump’s Trade Policy"

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 17:30:06 +0000

The New York Times has a piece out today about the highlights how Trump’s trade war could spell bad news for down-ballot Republicans running in Midwest rural states like North Dakota: Here in the largest soybean-producing county in the country, a snowy winter has left North Dakota farmers like Robert Runck with time on their hands before spring planting — time they have spent stewing over how much they stand to lose if President Trump starts a trade war with China. “If he doesn’t understand what he’s doing to the nation by doing what he’s doing, he’s going to be a one-term president, plain and simple,” said Mr. Runck, a fourth-generation farmer who voted for Mr. Trump. Pausing outside the post office in this town of 2,300, Mr. Runck said the repercussions could be more immediate for Representative Kevin Cramer, a Republican whose bid against Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, has been complicated by the proposed tariffs. “If it doesn’t get resolved by election time, I would imagine it would cost Kevin Cramer some votes,” he said. Stern warnings are coming from all over the Midwest about the political peril for Republicans in Mr. Trump’s recent course of action, in which the tariffs he slapped on foreign competitors invited retaliatory tariffs on American agriculture. Soybeans are America’s second largest export to China, and that country’s proposed 25 percent duties on the crop would hit hardest in states like Iowa, Kansas and Minnesota — where there are highly competitive House races — as well as Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota, whose Senate contests may determine control of the chamber. From the still-thawing soybean fields of North Dakota and Kansas to the corn and pork farms of Iowa, voters across the political spectrum say the president’s attacks on American economic rivals could do grave damage to an already unstable commodities market. “They’re not in touch with the reality of the Midwest and the impact that the tariffs would have,” said Bart Bergquist, a biology professor and part-time farmer who lives on 10 acres just south of Waterloo, Iowa. Mr. Bergquist, who voted for Mr. Trump in the 2016 election, added that commodities prices had already taken a toll on the area. “I know my neighbors are not rolling in money — they’re trying to supplement whatever else they can do to keep going,” he said. While North Dakota farmers are not the ones to benefit from this move, Trump may have helped one vulnerable U.S. Senator benefit from this dumb move: North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, one of the most endangered Democrats in the U.S. Senate, knows a political gift when she sees one. President Donald Trump carried her largely rural state by a landslide 36 percentage points in 2016, making her one of the Republicans’ best targets in November’s midterm elections. But Trump’s escalating trade dispute with China would hit farmers hard, giving Heitkamp and other Democrats a rare political opportunity in a region where they have struggled for decades. “We cannot survive a trade war,” Heitkamp said in a recent interview before an event with women business owners in Jamestown, a city of about 16,000 people in east-central North Dakota. “This kind of disruption to a fragile farm economy is very disturbing.” Heitkamp, locked in a tight re-election fight with[...]



FL-Sen: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D. RI) Helps A Fellow Climate Hawk Beat An NRA Climate Denier

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 16:49:00 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D. RI) in support of his colleague, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson’s (D. FL) re-election campaign:

(image)
Sen. Bill Nelson (D. FL)
 

My friend Senator Bill Nelson faces a tough reelection fight in Florida, where he's running against far-right extremist Governor Rick Scott. Donald Trump recruited Scott for this race because Scott is an ideologue with a long record of attacking voting rights, defending the gun lobby and ignoring climate change.

Bill Nelson is a fierce defender of the environment, while Rick Scott has reportedly banned state employees from using the term "climate change." What's more, Scott is ready to spend millions of dollars from his own fortune to defeat Bill. We must do everything we can to help Bill: Will you give $5 or more now to reelect Senator Bill Nelson, defeat the Trump agenda and protect Florida's Democratic Senate seat?

This race could be one of the most expensive Senate races of all time, and a loss for Democrats in Florida would be a huge victory for Donald Trump and GOP extremists. On every issue, from climate change to campaign spending, Rick Scott will side with special interests, whether it's the fossil fuel lobby or the NRA. The NRA has even bragged about Scott, saying, "Rick has signed more pro-gun bills into law in one term than any other governor in Florida history."

You've stepped up for me, and now I'm asking you to step up to help Bill Nelson because it's clear we have to do everything we can to defeat Rick Scott.Will you give $5 or more now to defeat Rick Scott, reelect Bill Nelson in Florida and strengthen the Democratic firewall against the Trump agenda?

Click here to donate to Nelson’s re-election campaign.




OH-Gov: Richard Cordray (D) & Betty Sutton (D) Slam OH GOP's Attacks On Planned Parenthood

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 16:36:27 +0000

Received this e-mail today from Lt. Governor nominee, former Rep. Betty Sutton (D. OH), on behalf of the Richard Cordray (D. OH)/Betty Sutton (D. OH) gubernatorial ticket:

(image)
Betty Sutton (D. OH)
 

I could not have been more horrified when the Republicans in the state legislature, under the direction of John Kasich, tried to defund PlannedParenthood here in Ohio.

State funding for Planned Parenthood covers cancer screenings, basic exams, STD testing—the health care that keeps our families and communities healthy. More than that, Planned Parenthood and women’s health care centers make sure that women are the ones making decisions about our own bodies and about motherhood.

I think we can all agree that’s worth protecting.

(image)
Richard Cordray (D. OH)
 

I know Rich does—it’s one of the reasons that I joined this ticket. We’ll fight to protect Planned Parenthood and access to the full range of reproductive care as part of our administration, but today, I’m asking you to help us send a message to the GOP.

Add your name to say we will stand with Planned Parenthood.

Now is the time to make our voices heard, for ourselves and for the women in our lives, and support organizations like Planned Parenthood that keep us safe and healthy.

Rich and I are committed to protecting Planned Parenthood and the health care that thousands of women and families in our state rely on—say you’re with us.

Thank you,

Betty

Click here to add your name.




AZ-08: Rep. Conor Lamb (D. PA) Helps Dr. Hiral Tipirneni (D) Pull Off A Special Election Victory

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 16:19:04 +0000

Received this e-mail today from Rep. Conor Lamb (D. PA-18) (feels great to type this) in support of Dr. Hiral Tipirneni’s (D. AZ-08) campaign in support of the special election on Tuesday to fill disgraced Rep. Trent Franks’ (R. AZ-08) vacant seat: Dr. Hiral Tipirneni (D. AZ)   When we first started our campaign, plenty of people underestimated us. They said a Democrat could never win in this district. They said we could never withstand the multi-million dollar attacks from Paul Ryan and his special interest allies. But you proved them wrong. You proved that a grassroots movement focused on working families can beat whatever Paul Ryan’s super PAC puts on TV. Now, we have a chance to help another great Democratic candidate do it again. Dr. Hiral Tipirneni is the Democrat running in Tuesday's special election in Arizona -- a district that the President won by 21 points. The pundits wrote her off, and she’s heading into Tuesday's election with GOP groups outspending her campaign by large amounts. Despite all of that, the latest polls show her in a dead heat. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Let's help Dr. Hiral Tipirneni win Tuesday's election in Arizona the way we won in Pennsylvania -- with regular people pitching in to give her the resources she needs to get out the vote. Chip in $5 or more to her campaign right now. Dr. Tipirneni has spent her career doing hard, important, and often thankless work in service to her community -- as an emergency room physician, an advocate for medical research, and a public health official. She’s a proven leader who’s focused on the issues that matter most to working families in her district -- like protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and making health care more affordable. Dr. Tipirneni’s opponent, like mine, is running on Paul Ryan’s agenda -- repealing the Affordable Care Act, cutting taxes for the wealthy and big corporations, and paying for it with cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. You helped us achieve something incredible for working people here in southwestern Pennsylvania, just like you did in Virginia, Alabama and Wisconsin. With your support, Arizona can be next. Let’s do everything we can to help send Dr. Tipirneni to Congress to help solve problems for working families. Chip in $3 or more today. Thanks, Conor Lamb Click here to donate to Dr. Hiral Tipirneni’s campaign. [...]



How many hands do you need to count Dem members of congress talking about repealing the tax cuts

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 10:59:02 +0000

……………...of course this is a trick question because the answer is ZERO!

This is why we need way more progressive Dems and those who refuse $$$ from the corporate paymasters. The ugly reality is that the Dems currently in office are ok with the piece of garbage transfer of wealth to the 1% because those are the Neo-Liberal paymasters as well. They may opine about how bad it is because they do not have their fingerprints on the bill but they are doing nothing to reverse it?

Dems will never maintain sustained wins at the ballot box until they actually serve the 99%.

100% of corporate Dems should be primaries and the leadership of the DNC needs to be thrown out and replaced by actual folks who care about the 99% and are willing to say FU to corporations when appropriate.

Here is the battle cry I would like to see:

“We are for amending the tax cut passed by the Republicans and their corporate masters to keep in place all individual tax cuts for those making up to $100,000 ($200,000 married couple) and increasing the taxes progressively on those making above that along with repealing the corporate tax cuts”




NY-Sen: Kirsten Gillibrand (D) Goes After Trump's ICE After Raiding Upstate Farm Without A Warrant

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:35:54 +0000

Trump’s ICE at work: John Collins was standing outside the milk house at his dairy farm this morning when he heard yelling coming from inside. He ran in, he says, and saw his worker, Marcial de Leon Aguilar, pinned up against the window by armed men. The men did not identify themselves and were screaming at Aguilar, Collins said. "I run and say, 'What the hell is going on in here?'" Collins said. Then the men told Collins they were officers with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He asked them for a warrant or some paperwork to explain what they were doing. They had none, he said, so he ordered them to get off his property and leave Aguilar alone. As this happened, Collins said, Aguilar's children watched. They were waiting nearby for the school bus to come. Collins said the officers put Aguilar in handcuffs and took him across the rural road to their vehicles. At least seven officers had come onto the small farm, Collins said. Adrian Smith, a spokesman for ICE, said he was looking into the situation and would comment when he knew more. Collins said he followed the officers cross the street and asked them why they were taking Aguilar, but he didn't get a straight answer. He also continued to ask for paperwork, but was not offered any by the ICE officers. Mother Jones has more: x YouTube Video In the video, Collins claims the ICE officials roughed up the worker, de Leon Aguilar, and then interrogated him in front of his school-age children. They also declined to show Collins a warrant for entering his farm. Collins says when he ordered the ICE agents to leave and began attempting to video-record the interaction with his phone, an agent threw his phone into the road and handcuffed him before eventually releasing him. In an email, ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls stated that “ICE deportation officers arrested Marcial DeLeon-Aguilar, a citizen of Guatemala illegally residing in the U.S., on immigration violations. ICE previously removed DeLeon-Aguilar from the U.S. on three occasions, most recently in January 2014. He has criminal convictions for reckless aggravated assault and illegal re-entry and is currently in ICE custody.” He added: “With respect to judicial warrants, federal immigration law clearly provides for the arrest of removable aliens based on administrative arrest warrants issued by authorized immigration officers.” But here’s what Collins said: When he tried recording the detention with his phone, an officer allegedly tossed his phone into the road and put him in handcuffs, threatening to arrest him for interfering with an investigation. The agents removed the handcuffs before taking Aguilar away. Collins told local outlets that Aguilar had the proper documentation to work for him and paid his taxes. Aguilar’s wife, Virginia Morales, is an undocumented immigrant who fled to the U.S. to escape violence in Guatemala, Collins said. Morales, who is pregnant with the couple's fifth child, has been meeting with ICE agents since she arrived, Collins said. “Who's going to help support me and my children if my husband's not here?” Morales told WKTV 2. “We came here for a better future for our children. There's nothing really back at Guatemala for [...]



VT-Sen: Bernie Sanders, "Trump's Agenda Is Dead If Democrats Win The Midterms"

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 03:24:06 +0000

That’s the battle cry we need: Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, vowing to play an influential role in the 2018 midterm elections, was blunt on Friday about the stakes for the Democratic Party. “If Democrats control either the House or the Senate, Trump’s agenda is dead,” Mr. Sanders said during a conversation with New York Times reporters and editors. At this critical moment ahead of hundreds of House and Senate primaries, Mr. Sanders also argued that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and other national party organizations are not doing enough to support liberal grass-roots candidates who are running against Mr. Trump and backing a progressive agenda. “The establishment Democrats are still, I think, looking toward candidates who can self-fund,” said Mr. Sanders, a progressive independent who had enormous success raising about $230 million in mostly small-dollar and online donations during his 2016 presidential bid. National Democrats “still have a tendency to believe that more conservative candidates are better positioned to win,” he added. Mr. Sanders argued that ideas like “Medicare for All” and a higher minimum wage, which he championed in 2016, are increasingly popular and helpful to Democratic candidates. Mr. Sanders said he plans to make endorsements in the midterms, but that he is still deciding where he can be most effective. Bernie has been making some headlines I’ve been liking. For example, I downloaded Cardi B’s new album because of this: xCardi B is right. If we are really going to make America great we need to strengthen Social Security so that seniors are able to retire with the dignity they deserve. https://t.co/B8cOkoOdLc— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 18, 2018   Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) showed his finesse lifting up rapper Cardi B’s political beliefs on Twitter. The former presidential candidate on Wednesday tweeted about Cardi B, Social Security and making America great again, prompting some to scratch their heads and others to say, “2018 is great!” (OK, fine, the “others” are really us.) Social Security Works first tweeted a graphic with a paraphrase of Cardi B’s comment about President Franklin Delano Roosevelt: “He’s the real ‘Make America Great Again,’ because if it wasn’t for him, old people wouldn’t even get Social Security.” That quote came from the rapper’s interview with GQ last week in which she said she loves FDR and political science. “I’m obsessed with presidents. I’m obsessed to know how the system works,” she told the publication. On Roosevelt, she said: “He helped us get over the Depression, all while he was in a wheelchair. Like, this man was suffering from polio at the time of his presidency, and yet all he was worried about was trying to make America great — make America great again for real. He’s the real ‘Make America Great Again,’ because if it wasn’t for him, old people wouldn’t even get Social Security.” Sanders retweeted the graphic with the snippet from the interview, adding: “Cardi B is right.” I also like this: Several potential rival presidential candidates are teaming[...]



AZ-08: Parkland Student Alfonso Calderon Helps Get Out The Vote For Hiral Tipirneni (D)

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 01:19:42 +0000

Hell yeah! A student who survived the deadly Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida, is expected to help campaign for Democrat Hiral Tipirneni in the final days before Arizona's 8th Congressional District special election. The visit by Alfonso Calderon, at least partially paid for by Tipirneni's campaign, would bring one of the voices that have helped reshape the nation's gun debate in the two months since a teen gunman allegedly killed 17 of his former schoolmates at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. His presence is part of a Democratic effort to end decades of Republican dominance in West Valley congressional politics. It coincides with local students' planned "die-in" protest on Friday, in which they will lie on the ground to simulate deaths from school shootings. Calderon is joined by Charlie Mirsky, who was once a student of one of the teachers killed at Stoneman Douglas and has been one of the organizers for students after the shooting. Another student is no longer planning to come. Organizers for the visit originally identified the participants as three of the student survivors of the massacre. While this Special Election is still in heavily GOP territory, Tipirneni has the GOP running scared: Still, national GOP groups are spending significantly on the race. The Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee have together put in over $900,000 for things like TV ads and door-to-door canvassers. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., headlined a fundraiser for Lesko on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Alex Conant, a Republican strategist with Firehouse Strategies, argued the money is an insurance policy. "I think the costs for Republicans, if they were to somehow neglect the race and somehow lose, it would be a big problem," he said. "So I think that's part of why you're seeing the party make this modest investment." In contrast, Democratic groups have spent very little, even as Tipirneni's campaign has raised more than Lesko's. To win, they'll need to convince voters like John Eckardt. He usually votes Republican but is nervous that the GOP might make changes to Medicare and Social Security. "This fooling with Medicare and Social Security is a bad thing," he said. "Because people have worked for it and paid into it for all the years that they worked. They should get it." Lesko said she'd never vote to cut those programs for current retirees, but has supported the idea of changes for future beneficiaries. There's one wild card that makes GOP activist Lezlee Alexander nervous: "You never know what's coming out of D.C. and how it's gonna affect everybody." Asked if she was referring to something President Trump might do or say, she said, "Yeah, exactly." Tuesday's result could end Republicans' jitters — for now. Whichever candidate wins, of course, will have to run again this Fall. Let’s pull off another Conor Lamb/Doug Jones-style victory here. Click here to donate and get involved with Dr. Tripirneni’s campaign. [...]



CT-Sen: DFA Gets Behind Chris Murphy (D) & Jeff Merkley's (D. OR) Medicare For All Bill

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 23:54:01 +0000

Received this e-mail today from Democracy for America: Republicans -- and even some Democrats -- don't want to admit it but Medicare is the most cost-effective health care system in America today. Patients who are on Medicare love it. They consistently report a high level of satisfaction with their health care, especially compared to their experiences with private health insurance. So it would make sense that the very least our country can do is open access to Medicare for everyone, right? It's simple: Let any American choose to buy into Medicare. Let any employer buy Medicare for their workers. And, even if you don't buy into Medicare, you will benefit from all Americans having access to it. Because increasing the pool of Medicare recipients increases its buying power, which will increase competition in the market and bring the cost of health care down for everyone. Sign the petition and tell Congress: It's time to provide a Medicare option for all. There is strong momentum behind this new front in the Medicare for All movement. This week, Senators Jeff Merkley and Chris Murphy introduced new legislation called the "Choose Medicare Act" that will finally provide access to Medicare for all Americans. If passed, the "Choose Medicare Act" would enable individuals and businesses to buy into Medicare -- which already covers roughly 14% of the population. Increasing the number of Americans in Medicare increases its negotiating power, helps to lower costs, and would provide fierce competition to private health insurance companies and their never-ending profit-driven increases to premiums and deductibles. Alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders, Democracy for America has been a long-time supporter of Medicare for All. The “Choose Medicare Act” is an important stepping stone on the path to passage of Medicare for All that helps us: Welcome new potential leaders into our fight to end our broken, for-profit healthcare system, and;   Continue to build momentum toward our ultimate goal of a single, universal system with comprehensive coverage that is free at the point of service. With the midterm elections around the corner -- and Democrats in a position to potentially flip control of Congress -- now is the time to push for a wide-range of big, bold ideas that clearly articulate the inclusive populist vision the Democratic Party needs to build a lasting Congressional majority with a mandate for fundamental change. Sign the petition and tell Congress now: All Americans should have access to Medicare. Thank you for adding your name today. - Eden Eden James, Political Director Democracy for America Click here to add your name. [...]



Oblivious GOP Guest Tells FOX News that 'Democrats Must Stop Calling Opponents Criminals'

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 20:23:06 +0000

Hypocrisy is a common symptom of political pundits and politicians on both sides of the aisle. But there are times when the hypocrisy of starkly partisan shills goes completely off the rails. This is often seen on Fox News, the natural habitat of partisan hypocrites. On Friday's episode of Outnumbered, the featured "One Lucky Guy" (as they call their rotating guests) was former George W. Bush press secretary, Ari Fleischer. They were discussing the just filed lawsuit by the Democratic National Committee charging that the Russians, Wikileaks, and Donald Trump conspired to disrupt the 2016 presidential election. Near the end of the segment Fleischer decides to get all principled with a general denunciation of criminalizing politics: Ari Fleischer: "Let me elevate all of this. This country has got to stop accusing its opponents of being criminals. I defended Barack Obama when Donald Trump said that he was illegitimate and born in Kenya. I don't like saying the people you oppose on ideology are illegitimate. And now the Democrats are doing it to Donald Trump. The country has got to stop this. Marie Harf: That's just exactly what Donald Trump did. He's still calling for his opponents to be jailed. So it's not just Democrats who are doing it. It starts at the top. Fox News headlined this exchange on their website as "Democrats Must Stop Calling Opponents Criminals." They linked to the video of the segment (posted below) to support their blatantly biased assertion that it is Democrats who are responsible for these rhetorical offenses. However, as Harf managed to squeeze in at the end of the segment, there is someone else who may bear some of the responsibility: xComey drafted the Crooked Hillary exoneration long before he talked to her (lied in Congress to Senator G), then based his decisions on her poll numbers. Disgruntled, he, McCabe, and the others, committed many crimes!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2018 xDOJ just issued the McCabe report - which is a total disaster. He LIED! LIED! LIED! McCabe was totally controlled by Comey - McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018 xJames Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired. He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted. He lied to Congress under OATH. He is a weak and.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018 xAs it has turned out, James Comey lied and leaked and totally protected Hillary Clinton. He was the best thing that ever happened to her!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017 xCrooked Hillary Clinton lied to the FBI and to the people of our country. She is sooooo guilty. But watch, her time will come!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2016 x...are now fighting back like never before. There is so much GUILT by Democrats/Clinton, and now the facts are pouring out. DO SOMETHING!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2[...]



"Ratf**cking", the book - A Cautionary Tale

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 22:00:03 +0000

David Daley’s book “Ratf**cked, Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count” provides a cautionary tale for Democrats who may be underestimating the difficulty of retaking the House.   The story begins with Republican strategist Chris Janowski who came up with the plan REDMAP, Redistricting Majority Project, to target state legislatures in time for the 2010 elections.  For the bargain price of $30 million, Republicans would control enough of the states to proceed with gerrymandering redistricting, thereby locking in Republican rule of Congress for the next decade and saving a lot of money on future elections.  The plan worked amazingly well, as can be seen by the table below: In addition, Republicans won 700 seats nationwide in 2010; but the real payback came in 2012.  Although Obama beat Romney 332-206 in electoral college votes with 3.5 milliion more popular votes, the Republcans emerged with a 33 seat advantage in the House, despite losing the overall popular vote by 1.4 million.   Republicans depended upon a software program called Mapitude to create partisan districts in Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and elsewhere.  Data is available down to the block level and is based on past voting records, census data, household income, ethnicity, and online information gathered from online surfing, purchases, etc. — and not just from Facebook. In Ohio, district maps were drawn behind closed doors in what became known as the “Bunker”, a hotel room where GOP operatives redrew two districts at the last minute to add areas where deep-pocketed business interests were located.  These changes were made without any review by the Ohio legislators who had introduced the bill outlining the new map.  Emails uncovered by the Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting detail the efforts to keep these proceedings secret. The redistricting plan worked well in 2012 when Democrats won more votes than Republicans in state house races, yet Republicans captured a supermajority of 60-39.  In US House races, Republicans won 52% of the vote, but captured 75% of the seats (12 of 16). Although things are looking better for a Blue Wave, a huge turnout is needed — enough to overcome Republican redistricting gerrymandering and voter suppression.  A look at just one poll, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball projection (as of 4-11-18) shows Republicans with 164 safe seats plus 48 more likely or leaning Republican.  25 seats are rated as “toss-up”, which means that if the Republicans can hold the safe and likely/leaning seats, they would need only 6 of the toss-ups to maintain control of the House.   The above maps reflect the aftermath of the 2010 election only and don’t show any updates from court cases since that time.  However, the cautionary tale still exists.  I remember how we thought that the first female President was going to be elected in 2016.  I don’t want to relive that horrid November outcome or to go through another two years enduring the current nightmare with complete Republican domination. Turnout, turnout[...]



TN-Sen: Mitch McConnell Is Furious About Bob Corker (R) Saying Nice Things About Phil Bredesen (D)

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 17:32:16 +0000

Put this in a campaign ad: Republican Sen. Bob Corker heaped lots of praise Wednesday on one of the candidates looking to succeed him when he leaves office at the end of the year. Unfortunately for Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the likely GOP nominee for the Tennessee seat, it was Democrat Phil Bredesen who was the beneficiary of Corker’s remarks. Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, predicted that Bredesen could appeal to some Republican voters in Tennessee but said he doesn’t know if that will be enough for him to win the race. “I think he’s got real appeal — I don’t think it, I know it,” Corker told reporters Wednesday at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast meeting in Washington. “The question is, in a state like ours that is still a red state, is it enough? I don’t know the answer to that.” Corker, a two-term senator who decided not to seek re-election, said he plans to vote for Blackburn in November. But he said he won’t campaign against Bredesen, a former Tennessee governor and former Nashville mayor whom Corker has worked with and considers a friend. “He was a very good mayor, a very good governor, a very good business person,” Corker said. While Corker has endorsed Blackburn, don’t expect him on the campaign trail: "I'm not going to campaign against someone who I've been a friend with and worked with, you know? So that's the way it's going to be," Corker said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast. Corker has declined to run for a third Senate term in November. Despite the challenges Bredesen faces in a state President Donald Trump won with more than 60 percent of the vote, Corker told reporters he thinks the former governor has about a 6 percentage point advantage in the race right now. The winner of the seat will help to determine whether Republicans hold or expand their narrow 51-seat majority in the Senate. Corker also told the audience that "any Republican senator who hasn't been conflicted over this presidency is either comatose or is pretty useless in their blindness." Democrats face a daunting task in trying to take the Senate. The party's senators and independents who caucus with them will defend 26 seats in November, including 10 in states Trump carried in 2016. Republicans only face re-election in nine states. A competitive Tennessee race could change the calculus for the parties. Democrat Doug Jones' special election win in deep-red Alabama last year not only narrowed the GOP majority in the upper chamber but also gave Democrats hopes about competing in more challenging states this year. Corker has shown some support for Blackburn, who has served in Congress since 2003 and pledged to back Trump's agenda. On Wednesday, he said he sent her campaign a contribution check for an undisclosed amount of money, adding that he is "supportive." However, he said he never had the close working relationship with Blackburn that he did with Bredesen. And U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R. KY) is having a hissy fit over this: [...]



IA-Gov: AFL-CIO Endorses State Senator Nate Boulton (D) In The Democratic Primary For Governor

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 15:27:35 +0000

Received this e-mail today from State Senator & Labor Lawyer, Nate Boulton’s (D. IA) gubernatorial campaign: We can’t tell you how proud we are to have the support of the Iowa AFL-CIO. Since we started this race nearly a year ago, standing up for working families all across Iowa has been one of the core principles of this campaign. Having grown up in a union family and served on the Labor committee in the Iowa Senate, Nate understands the struggles the labor community has faced under the Reynolds Administration. From last year’s devastating chapter 20 bargaining decision to stagnant wage growth to a rigged system that makes it harder for people to organize their workplace, the labor and union community in this state knows that Nate is the best candidate to usher in a new era of leadership and prosperity for Iowa.   With only 46 days to go before the June 5th Democratic Primary, this is sure to go a long way towards helping Nate and Team Boulton cross the finish line in 1st place! But this race is about something bigger; the 2018 elections will determine the long-term future of our state. Iowans will have the opportunity to choose if we want to be a place that looks out for our neighbors instead of just chasing the next corporate tax giveaway. We can’t do it alone though. We’re going to need your help to turn the hope of the future into the reality of tomorrow. With fewer than 50 days to go, can we count on you to chip in to our campaign for Iowa’s future?!?! Thank you for all you do to help our campaign, Team Boulton Click here to donate to Boulton’s campaign. [...]



WV-Sen: Vanity Fair, "Are Republicans Losing Control Of Their Own Party?"

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 07:59:12 +0000

The answer is yes: When Roy Moore became a top contender for the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, it was without the help of the Republican party. “Our goal is to nominate people in the primaries next year who can actually win,” Mitch McConnell famously said in a thinly veiled dig at Steve Bannon, who heavily backed Moore in the primary at the expense of McConnell’s chosen candidate. The Senate majority leader’s instincts proved correct: Moore was eventually beaten out by Democrat Doug Jones. But even without a vindictive nationalist backer, outsider candidates emboldened by the Trump era continue to be a thorn in the G.O.P.’s side, further slanting the party’s uphill battle to stay afloat in 2018. The foremost example lies in the Republican party’s ongoing battle with Don Blankenship, a Republican primary candidate in West Virginia. Blankenship also happens to be the former C.E.O. of a controversial coal-mining company, and recently served a year-long stint in federal prison for his role in the deaths of 29 miners in a 2010 explosion at one of his mines. Just as McConnell’s allies at the Senate Leadership Fund spent millions on ads in an attempt to stamp out Moore, last week the newly formed Mountain Families PAC, which has connections to several G.O.P.-linked firms, began a West Virginia ad run that squarely targets Blankenship. According to Politico, the nearly $700,000 buy focuses on how Blankenship’s company dumped “toxic coal slurry” into drinking water, asking viewers, “Isn’t there enough toxic sludge in Washington?” The national Republican Party has not taken credit for the ads and, in fact, fiercely debated attacking Blankenship at all, fearing the onslaught would allow him to position himself as a populist anti-Establishmentarian. As expected, Blankenship hit back on Monday, blaming McConnell for attempting to manipulate the race from afar. “McConnell should not be in the U.S. Senate, let alone be the Republican Majority Leader. He is a Swamp captain,” Blankenship said in a statement. “The Russians and McConnell should both stop interfering with elections outside their jurisdictions.” He added that “the media, McConnell, and others also like to spread the rumor that my candidacy is akin to that of Roy Moore. This is nonsense. Roy Moore’s accusers were women and teenage girls . . . my accusers are Barack Obamaand Hillary Clinton. I was imprisoned for a misdemeanor based on false charges and a political prosecution.” It’s not just McConnell who’s worried about Blankenship’s candidacy: As the race gets closer, alarms are going off in Senate leadership suites. At a Monday evening Senate Republican leadership meeting, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) focused on Blankenship’s weakness, explaining to other Republicans that the former coal magnate would be difficult for the party to defend in the state, according to attendees. He specifically r[...]



MT-Sen: The Kochs Return To Montana To Punish Jon Tester (D) For Protecting Your Health Care

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 07:33:39 +0000

Here we go again: x YouTube Video The conservative group Americans for Prosperity Montana is running $560,000 worth of television and digital ads critical of incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, who is seeking his third term this fall. The ads attack Tester over his votes on the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and call for him to vote for a bill carried by Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, a Republican. The bill is called the Improving Choices in Health Care Coverage Act. It would allow the duration of short-term health insurance plans to be extended to just shy of a year and be able to be renewed. The Affordable Care Act, a hallmark piece of legislation championed by former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, capped those plans at three months in an effort to move people to more long-term plans purchased on federal marketplaces. Earlier this year Republican President Donald Trump signed an executive order extending the length of the plans to a year. Montana insurers said they were unsure what the change would mean here, but some worried it could lead to a destabilization of the health insurance marketplace if more people went to short-term coverage. Americans For Prosperity-Montana, a conservative group funded by the Koch brothers, has long opposed the Affordable Care Act, blaming it for increasing health insurance costs. “Again and again Tester promised us relief from rising health care costs,” said AFP-Montana state director David Herbst, “Instead, we’ve had years of empty rhetoric and health care costs that continue to rise." The Kochs still think this is 2012 all over again. Hence why they are resorting back to the attacks on Tester’s support for the Affordable Care Act which has now become more popular thanks to Trump and the GOP’s failed efforts to repeal it. Yes, Trump won Montana by over twenty points but the Kochs and the GOP wish Obama was still around to tie Tester to. It’s really a lazy, re-hashed attack strategy: Republicans don’t think they need to do anything fancy to beat Tester. The party’s candidates in Montana say they just need to remind the state’s conservative electorate of Tester’s vote against the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch, his vote against tax reform and his vote for Clinton in 2016. “He comes back and tries to act like he’s this jolly old farmer, and that may well be so,” said Matt Rosendale, the state auditor and the front-runner in the June GOP primary. “But he’s not representing us well. He’s been one of the most reliable votes for [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer.” Senate Democrats’ narrow hopes of winning the majority in 2018 — or at least not falling deeper into the minority — rest on how well Tester and several colleagues can fight that charge. He is one of 10 Trump-state Democrats up for reelection this year, and one of five from states the president carried by double digits. Of those five, Tester is the least likel[...]



MO-Sen: Esquire, "Republicans Are Cannibalizing Each Other in Missouri"

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 07:13:15 +0000

So in case you don’t know, things are getting ugly with Missouri Republicans: In January, Gov. Eric Greitens of Missouri admitted to an extramarital affair with his former hairdresser. In February, he was indicted on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge. On Tuesday, the state attorney general plunged the governor even more deeply into political and legal jeopardy, saying Mr. Greitens may have committed a felony in using a charity’s donor list for political fund-raising. Josh Hawley, the Republican attorney general of Missouri, said his office had evidence that Mr. Greitens had illegally obtained a donor list from The Mission Continues, a veterans charity the governor founded. “He did all of this without the permission of The Mission Continues,” Mr. Hawley said at a news conference in Jefferson City, Mo. “If proven, these acts could amount to the unauthorized taking and use of property.” But Mr. Hawley stopped short of filing charges against the governor, who is also a Republican, saying that his office does not have jurisdiction to do so. Instead, he referred the matter to Kimberly Gardner, the St. Louis circuit attorney, who could decide to file charges against Mr. Greitens. Mr. Greitens, who has remained defiant in the face of widespread calls to resign, responded that the allegations were false and suggested that Ms. Gardner, a Democrat, was politically biased against him. “Fortunately for Josh, he’s better at press conferences than the law,” the governor said in a statement. “Anyone who has set foot in a Missouri courtroom knows these allegations are ridiculous.” And this fight is getting uglier: A week after a report from state lawmakers alleging that Greitens, a Republican, had coerced his hairdresser into nonconsensual sexual acts, took photos of her without her consent, and attempted to blackmail her, Missouri’s Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley has announced the findings of a separate investigation into the governor’s veterans charity. Hawley said his office has discovered evidence that Greitens may have committed a felony offense by using a donor list of his veterans charity, the Mission Continues, to ask for donations leading up to his 2016 campaign for governor. Hawley’s office has not yet filed formal charges. Now, Greitens has fired back. On Wednesday, the governor filed a temporary restraining order against Hawley, an attempt to stop the AG from investigating him, according to local television station KRCG reporter Ashley Zavala. The argument from Greitens and his lawyers is that because Hawley has already called for the governor’s resignation, he can’t investigate him impartially, and therefore must step down from the case. Using a charity list for political fundraising is a felony under Missouri law. The statute of limitations is approaching, so Hawley decided to disclose the information to both the St. Louis circuit attorney and the Missouri House co[...]



VA-Sen: Tim Kaine (D) & Adam Schiff (D. CA) Question Trump How It Was Legal To Bomb Syria

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 05:08:36 +0000

Good question: Two Democratic lawmakers asked President Donald Trump on Thursday to explain how it was legal for him to bomb Syria last week without first getting congressional authorization. “We share your outrage and disgust at the horrific use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime,” reads a letter from Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.). “However, the legality of military action is not a secondary consideration ― it is a central question of vital importance under our Constitution and our system of checks and balances.” The two also pushed for Trump to release a memo that is apparently floating around within the administration that lays out a detailed legal justification for taking military action in Syria. The problem with not releasing that memo, they argued, is that it could be used as precedent for the Trump administration to take additional military action against other countries without Congress’ approval. Kaine and Schiff wrote a similar letter to Trump a year ago, asking how it was legal for him to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian government airfield in April 2017 ― the first-ever direct military strike by the U.S. against President Bashar Assad’s regime. They never got a reply. It’s not just Democrats insisting that the president has to come to Congress before taking military action against Assad’s regime. Hours before Trump bombed Syria on Friday, dozens of lawmakers in both parties said he needed to get signoff from them. Congress is constitutionally required to authorize any sustained military action. A president can only use his or her authority as commander in chief to order U.S. forces into military action if the safety or strategic interests of the United States are threatened. Neither was the case last week, nor last year. Republican Hill leaders, who really don’t want to deal with a war authorization debate, insist Trump is legally justified in taking military action against Assad. Yet they can’t explain why. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Trump can lean on a sweeping 2001 authorization for use of military force against al Qaeda, which has nothing to do with Assad’s regime. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the administration believes it is on “firm footing,” so it’s probably fine. It’s important to have guys like Kaine and Schiff grill Trump on his foreign policy. Meanwhile, Kaine’s GOP opponents are all trying to prove who can bear hug Trump the most: The trio of Republicans vying for the chance to challenge U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine spent nearly an hour in harmony with President Trump and each other until two of the contenders veered off into sharp personal attacks.  Asked at a debate about a variety of Trump’s domestic and international policies Thursday, Corey Stewart, Nick Freitas and E.W. Jackson had the president’s back. Border wall? Check. Threatening to scrap [...]



Said the Spider to the F.B.I.

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:37:59 +0000

The last time this country took the low road of destructive innuendo, personal grievance and character assassination against homegrown patriots was during the 1954 Army-McCarthy Hearings.  The aforementioned inquiries were actually the second set of hearings following the feared Communists Red-Scare.  In 1950 Senator Joseph McCarthy pounded on private and public careers and reputations, using the Senate Committee on Government Operations, as a hammer. Joe McCarthy may be a lesson we have too soon forgotten.  McCarthy did not have Twitter in 1950 so he went to Wheeling, West Virginia and warned the country that he had the names of at least 250 communists within the ranks of the federal government, including the executive branch. Sort of the ‘deep state.’  Then, as now, it was really the paranoid ramblings of a man consumed by his own narcissism and regurgitating the whole vomitus episode to feed his own ego; sound familiar?   Besides calling for the jailing [lock her up, lock her up] of his presidential campaign opponent, Hillary Clinton — just because… Trump, like a third world dictator, wants to jail a 21-year veteran of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, he ‘slimeball(ed)’ the reputation of former FBI Director, James Comey, and is leading AG, Jeff “Mr. Magoo” Sessions blindly into the trash-bin of a self-created, abnormal Executive Branch history.  All these men are Republicans and the Trump administration is now accusing Comey of lying and leaking.  In Trump’s warped illogic, that only an unsophisticated and intellectually ill-equipped ruler, like him, could imagine, Trump is upset that Comey derailed the opponent he savaged on the campaign trail that helped make him President; while simultaneously constructing a conspiracy ring against him, as well.  If you are confused, imagine the bag of marbles banging around inside the skull of the President. When a boxer is knocked out and hits the canvas a common phenomenon called a contrecoup concussion happens.  That type of injury occurs when the left or right side of the head is struck and the brain banging against the opposite side of the skull causes the most damage. The American public is suffering this bank-shot of the brain almost daily.  Up and down back and forth with a dizzying emotional trauma that has divided America.  This hooking and jabbing of right versus left instead of values versus immorality, if no referee is believed worthy to mediate, can leave a deep enough cut that America can spend another 400 years stitching the gaping wound. Did America wait too long on the chief counsel of the United States Army, Joseph Welch, to finally say what the country had known for years, “have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”  Maybe, but thankfully America got the message. The public tongue-lashing of McCarthy was broadcast on national televisi[...]



CT-Sen: PCCC Goes All In For Murphy (D) & Merkley's (D. OR) Medicare Option For All Bill

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 03:08:22 +0000

Received this e-mail today from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee: Yesterday, the goal of Medicare For All took a big step forward as Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced a bill that opens up Medicare to everyone. Sen. Merkley said, “Every American deserves a popular, affordable, high-quality health care option. Fortunately, we already have exactly such an option -- and it’s called Medicare. This bill creates a Medicare Option For All, putting consumers and businesses in the driver’s seat on the pathway to universal health care.” There are multiple ways to achieve Medicare For All. Bernie Sanders introduced one version, which he calls “Medicare For All Single Payer." The PCCC was one of its biggest supporters in the media when it was announced. A Medicare Option For All is another version of Medicare For All -- and it provides a clear glide path to single payer. Our goal is to have all Democrats embrace some version of Medicare For All in 2018 so voters get a clear sense of who is on their side against the big insurance companies. Sign the petition in support of a Medicare Option For All. (Then, chip in $3 to Sens. Jeff Merkley and Chris Murphy’s reelection campaigns to show your appreciation for them working with us to make Medicare For All a big 2018 election issue.) The PCCC worked with Sanders, Merkley, and Murphy behind the scenes to get multiple bills in the mix that would advance the goal of Medicare For All. And we'll do events in Congress and around the nation highlighting the petition signatures we gather with allies. Yesterday, Sen. Jeff Merkley said, “We are so pleased to have had so many folks work with us on this project. Starting certainly back in the very beginning, PCCC was very involved and is endorsing this bill.” In 2017, Politico previewed that a Medicare Option For All bill was coming. While endorsing Bernie Sanders' bill, PCCC co-founder Adam Green told Politico: “It's hard to imagine a better way to make the case for Medicare For All than to give every American the ability to voluntarily buy insurance through Medicare, have millions of people opt in and love it, and tell their friends about it — resulting in millions more people opting in. This is how we defeat right-wing scare tactics, win hearts and minds over time, and put Republicans on defense as they oppose expanding to every American one of the most popular programs in existence.” Sign the petition calling for a Medicare Option For All. Then, chip in $3 to Sens. Jeff Merkley and Chris Murphy’s reelection campaigns. Thanks for being a bold progressive. -- The PCCC Team P.S. A Medicare Option For All is popular. VERY popular. Even Republican voters like it. If you're on Twitter, please click to re-tweet this poll done by the Progressive Change Institute: Click here to add yo[...]



This Year’s Legislative Special Elections Could Have Big Implications for November

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 02:53:41 +0000

While the media follows the dysfunction in the Trump White House, the biggest story of the year in the electoral world is the Democrats’ performance in state legislative contests across the country. Since January six Republican state legislative seats have flipped, each with its own story but a consistent theme—Democrats are over-performing. In all six contests the winning Democrat exceeded the NCEC’s Democratic Performance Index, and outpaced Hillary Clinton’s major-party percentage. More important than the statistics is that at first blush, these districts would be considered outside the “goldilocks zone.” Each has geographical or educational characteristics that warrant skepticism. The question remains—does this translate into a coming wave in 2018? Realistically, only two of the contests—in Wisconsin and Florida—produced a high enough turnout to yield confidence in the trend. But taking these districts as a group, some interesting factors are worth exploring. Much has been made of the importance of education level in determining Democratic targets, but none of these six districts had a higher education level above 34 percent—near the national mean—according to the most recent figures. In fact, in four of these districts the educational attainment was far below the national mean. Here is a summary of what we distill from each winning effort and implications for the November 2018 election: So What Do These Contests Mean? CONNECTICUT HOUSE 120 District Type: Suburban (Fairfield County) Impact: Contrary to the other districts, this result may portend a difficult election for Democrats in Connecticut, in part due to the unpopularity of the Malloy administration. The Connecticut General Assembly is a battleground for Democrats this year, with defense as important as offense in the November general election. This district is not as affluent or highly educated as other suburban districts, but still indicates a slightly disturbing trend in Connecticut. FLORIDA HOUSE 72 District Type: Suburban (Sarasota County) Impact: Although a marginal Democratic district, it typically tilts Republican. This result is encouraging in a state that has a high profile U.S. Senate race and several potentially competitive U. S. House races this fall. The high special election turnout makes this result more indicative of a trend. KENTUCKY HOUSE 49 District Type: Rural Impact: This victory was the result of a political scandal, and a late decision to hold a special election. The result this fall will be interesting to watch. MISSOURI HOUSE 97 District Type: Rural Impact: This result, when coupled with the three additional near misses in Missouri demonstrates that the Republican supermajority in the legislature is in jeopardy. It’s also another signal that midwestern rural and small tow[...]



"Well, you *could* go to France for treatment ...." Your US healthcare options

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 20:01:52 +0000

So. Yeah. I’m in the hospital with a brain thing. That’s #1; #2 is that I’m one of those effing poor people we all keep reading about. First, apologies for the old photo above and lack of HTMLs and illustrations in this diary, as I’m pecking away on my iPhone from the Bubble Boy Hazmat Plague Ward of my local hospital today. And also for not being able to tend this diary very well. And I’ll warn you that there are a ton of typos and suchnot headed your way; some of them are the fault of effing iPhone autocorrect, some are just plain typos, but most are my own damn fault.  STUFF ABOUT ME YOU DON’T REALLY HAVE TO READ I have an inoperable pituitary tumor in conjunction with empty sella syndrome. I’m too tired to type it all out and it’s too boring for you to read that whole sitch right now, but basically my superb and internationally renowned neurosurgeon (who is awesome) thinks maaaaaybe, poooooossibly he has a solution that involves taking tissue from one of my abdominal organs, cracking open the base of my skull, wrapping the sella tursica in that abdominal tissue to keep cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) from filling the sella tursica (CSF is what’s putting pressure on the tumor and putting me in the hospy right now). After that heals, he can remove the tumor without concerns that CSF leakage would impede healing.  Geez, how could I possibly make this more complicated? Oh! I know!! I could also have chronic leukemia and a beaten-down immune system that’s had me on in-home quarantine a lot. This causes my neuro to estimate I have about an 80% chance of developing a postsurgical infection with the abdominal surgery and about an 85% chance of bacterian meningitis by the time he’s done with the second brain op. Anyhoo, all this is made more challenging by the fact that I am, as so many of us are, poor. Really, really poor. Like last week I went to the grocery store to spend my entire $5.36 bank account on some fresh produce and asked the produce guy if he’d let me have a pack of 3 peppers for free because one of them was clearly spoiled, and—oh! by the way!—could I get some nice discount on this bag of onions with one or maybe two moldy ones in it? So I got the veggies I needed and paid in dimes and pennies, with enough to spare for “manager’s special” packet of dried milk. Whoo hoo! MsSpentyouth, eatin’ high off the moldy hog! Also so poor that I can’t afford most of my medications.  So when my pituitary adenoma decided last November that it wanted to crank us up to full-on diabetes in no uncertain terms, it was super-hard to figure out how to pay for that. But, you know, healthcare costs have made me a grifter—the type of grifter who can come home from the grocery store with $5.36 in produce and dried milk to make a huge pot of a really d[...]



Breaking Down 2018 Q1 House Fundraising

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 21:14:30 +0000

For the third straight quarter, I’m bringing you a comprehensive analysis of House fundraising data released recently by the FEC. Thanks to the good people at Daily Kos Elections, I was able to use this chart to make writing this article a lot easier, so kudos there. Last time I wrote one of these articles, I handed out awards to candidates based on their fundraising performance, but this time, I’m just going to outline my general observations from the data, delving into specifics in the process. So here we go: Democrats are still cooking the Republicans in fundraising  Some individual Republicans have improved their conditions from last quarter, but looking at the national landscape, Democrats are annihilating Republicans in the fundraising department. There are 58 Republican-held seats where the leading Democrat outraised the leading Republican in Q1 (not taking into account self funding), a truly astonishing number and just short of 2.5x the seats Democrats need to flip to reclaim the majority in the House of Representatives. If you take into account self fundraising, the number is 63. Furthermore, there are 29 GOP-held seats where the leading Democrat already has more cash-on-hand (COH) than the leading Republican, with 15 of those being ones with an incumbent running for re-election. There’s just no way to look at this fundraising report without concluding that it was another horrific showing from the Republicans. Political environments are dictated by a lot more than just fundraising, but the GOP is not doing themselves any favors here.  The blue wave could be crashing in Michigan and New Jersey  If you’ve been following the battle for the House, you probably know that California and Pennsylvania are two key states where Democrats have a chance to clean up in due to varying factors (suburban revolt, populous states, new PA map). But not talked about as much have been other states like New Jersey and Michigan, which could be just as important to the Democratic path, if this fundraising report is indication. Let’s start with my home state of Michigan. Republicans control 9 of the 14 House seats here and in over half of those seats (5), the leading Democrat outraised the leading Republican, a mind boggling number. Those were MI-01, where Matt Morgan outraised Jack Bergman; MI-06, George Franklin over Fred Upton; MI-07, Gretchen Driskell over Tim Walberg; MI-08, Elissa Slotkin over Mike Bishop; and MI-11, where Suneel Gupta outraised Lena Epstein for Dave Trott’s open seat. Of those 5, the 8th and the 11th are still the top two priorities but the other three races are on my list of competitive seats and are creeping closer into more serious competition with every passing day that Democratic candidates continue to run circles around Re[...]



WI, MA & OH-Sen: Russ Feingold Refuses To Let GOP Dark Money Defeat These Progressive Democrats

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:39:50 +0000

Received this e-mail today from former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D. WI) in support of U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D. WI), Elizabeth Warren (D.MA) and Sherrod Brown’s (D.OH) re-election campaigns: Friend, Paul Ryan’s impending exit is making shady, big-money donors aligned with the GOP despondent about holding the House. But they think even if they lose the House, they can still hold the Senate if they can take out a couple top progressive senators. That’s why outside attackers have already spent $10 million in shadowy ads targeting Senator Tammy Baldwin right in Wisconsin -- more than twice as much outside spending as any other race so far. That promise of outside spending against progressives is how four Republican contenders have worked up the courage to try to take down Senator Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. And the money flooding in to try to defeat Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is why his main opponent is already launching statewide ads. These three progressive champions in the Senate can fend off their well-funded enemies and hold onto their seats come November -- but not without participation from supporters like you. Contribute $4 to Senators Tammy Baldwin, Elizabeth Warren, and Sherrod Brown now. Let’s show shady, big-money Republican donors they can’t pick off Senate progressives to make up for their fading hopes in the House. Tammy Baldwin is weathering the biggest ad blitz of 2018 because she’s the most prominent progressive in a state where Republicans have otherwise seized control in recent years. Baldwin supports a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, and she’s fearless about confronting the corporate special interests that are now spending millions trying to unseat her. Elizabeth Warren makes headlines playing hardball with the big banks, but she’s also key in the fight for legitimacy. She’s supported a bevy of campaign finance reforms, and recently faced off with the corrupt new leader of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And despite her high profile, Warren’s campaign funding depends on the everyday folks she fights for. Sherrod Brown is not only a strong progressive, but a leader in the fight for campaign finance reform and government transparency. He co-sponsored the DISCLOSE Act to tighten protections against illegal campaign contributions, and he’s been a leading voice against recent abuses of power committed by Trump administration cabinet members Ben Carson and Scott Pruitt. Republicans nervous about the rising blue wave this year would love nothing more than to hold onto the Senate by defeating a progressive standard bearer or two. We have to show these three strong candidates will have the resources to compete now. Ste[...]



Progressive activists: You must make the case directly to America in order for us to win

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 22:00:36 +0000

Every morning while spinning, I watch about 90 minutes’ worth of Morning Joe. These political programs are a great platform that any politician can use to answer questions while simultaneously changing the narrative in real time. So how can we make Democrats appearing on programs like Morning Joe learn how to use the platform not to speak to a few talking heads, but to instead reach the American poor and middle class? New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez appeared on MSNBC with host Kevin Melvin a few days ago, and spent the entire five or six minutes talking about Russia and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. As I listened, I wondered why he did not segue into a progressive message and speak directly to Americans. The senator is not alone. Democrats are very good at answering questions asked of them, but they aren’t very good at forcing a narrative regardless of what the host asks them. It's no accident that for Democrats, the generic congressional polling has fallen dramatically over the last few weeks. Americans know that Republicans are not ideal. But many do not have a clue about what it would mean to have Democrats in control. After all, the Republicans have done an excellent job in making the word “liberal” a dangerous and scary word, and making Democrats the very representation of the maligned word. It’s easy to watch all the wins in the red states where Democrats should not be winning, or see the parade of Republicans Congress members quitting, and believe the Democrats have 2018 in the bag. But we should be a lot more humble. One of the reasons why I don’t feel victorious when I win an argument with a right-wing neighbor, even after they profess to change their views almost immediately, is that I am always cognizant of the reality that most people revert to form. The only way to mitigate this is to plant seeds very deep so that the roots themselves run deep. Moreover, it is vital that we create a narrative that relates directly to their personal economies. Progressive activists are doing an excellent job in preaching the progressive message in an ad hoc manner. But from my experience on the ground, we are often spending a significant amount of the time preaching to the choir. After all, except for the excellent block walking that Swing Left and similar groups are doing, we may not be reaching many of the communities whose interest we purport to serve. The concern is that the Democratic Party establishment is content in their belief that hanging on is preferable to either making a mistake that Republicans would be fast in capitalizing upon, or sanctioning the left-leaning movement of the party. That is a recipe for defeat. How many teams win when playing prevent defense? [...]