Click here to add your name:Thank you for adding your name to our petition opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. With your help, we were able to show that the American people want what’s best for our workers, not what’s best for corporations and special interests.
But now we’re facing an even greater challenge with the upcoming vote on the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act (TPA), also known as Fast Track. This act could have a devastating impact on American workers if passed. This is why I spoke out in opposition of TPA this week on the Senate floor.
Will you join me in standing firm against TPA today?
The TPA procedure would force Congress to consider legislation such as TPP with an up or down vote, with no possibility for adding amendments. This is not in the best interest of the American people.
By taking away lawmakers’ power to oversee critical trade agreements and putting them on a “fast track” to approval, we could jeopardize hundreds of thousands of American jobs and weaken our manufacturing industry. TPA is in the corporate interests and that should not be the driving force for public policy decisions on public health, consumer safety, and the environment.
Sign my petition today and let’s stand together against Fast Track.
Thanks for your continued support.
Here's the argument Kirk has been making:Senate hawks like Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) do not like diplomacy with Iran. Graham has repeatedly threatened war with Iran, whereas Kirk prefers to starve the Iranian people. Yet, given that most Americans do not want another military adventure in the Middle East, and largely support a negotiated nuclear deal with Iran, the hawks are pivoting. Instead of doubling down on untenable positions, hardliners like Graham and Kirk are now offering their own versions of an unobtainable perfect deal to provide cover to kill the good deal in front of us. The problem is, based on their recent comments on the scope of a final agreement, their versions of a “better deal” are, in many regards, much less stringent than what President Obama and the P5+1 have actually lined up.
Senator Kirk, who has been warning of nothing short of nuclear Armageddon if a nuclear deal goes through, made fairly dubious recommendations during remarks at the Chicago Council on Global Affairslast week. According to Sen. Kirk, a good deal would look like “the agreement that Nelson Mandela signed with the international community to get rid of his four nuclear weapons that he had.” If it’s good enough for Mandela, it should be good enough for Iran, according to Kirk. That’s a catchy phrase, but one that is completely and utterly inaccurate. - National Iranian American Council, 5/19/15
And he's also been saying this:
“What would a good agreement look like? A good agreement in my view would be the agreement that Nelson Mandela signed with the international community to get rid of his four nuclear weapons that he had. … I have told many members of Congress, when they ask what does a good agreement look like, I have said, ‘If it’s good enough for Nelson Mandela, it should be good enough for Ayatollah Rouhani.” - Sen. Mark Kirk (R. IL), The Chicago Council On Global Affairs, 5/15/15
Now here's where Kirk gets his facts completely wrong:“There is one simple plan, if they do exactly what Nelson Mandela did on disarming nuclear weapons. As you know, South Africa built four nuclear weapons, and when Nelson Mandela wanted to get rid of them, he agreed to anytime, anywhere inspections. So international inspectors could go, even go through his underwear in his home at any time, at any place, looking for evidence of nukes.” - Sen. Mark Kirk (R. IL), Hugh Hewitt Show, 3/24/15
Pretty shameful that Kirk has to resort to to distorting Nelson's legacy in order to start a war with Iran. Democrats are eyeing to take him out next year. I for one am backing Rep. Tammy Duckworth's (D. IL) U.S. Senate campaign who has bashed Kirk on Iran in the past:The history has been fairly well-documented. The apartheid regime of South Africa had embarked on a secret nuclear weapons program in the 1970s and ultimately built six nuclear weapons (not four, as Kirk stated), each with 55 kilograms of highly-enriched uranium. In September 1989, newly elected President F.W. de Klerk — the last white president of the country — told officials he had decided to dismantle the program.
At the time, Nelson Mandela was still in prison, where he had been for a quarter century. A key motivation to end the program was that de Klerk was intent on ending apartheid and was worried about leaving a nuclear stockpile in the hands of a future South African government.
On Feb. 11, 1990, de Klerk released Mandela from prison. That same month, he issued written instructions to terminate the program and dismantle the weapons. On July 10, 1991, South Africa acceded to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Given that Mandela did not become president until May of 1994, three years after the weapons were slated to be scrapped, what is Kirk talking about?
There’s a clue in the slide that appeared as Kirk spoke at the Chicago Council. With the tagline of “Good Enough for Mandela, Good Enough for Iran,” the slide purports to show how South Africa’s inspections compare to arrangements with North Korea and Iran in terms of transparency. South Africa is represented by a picture of Mandela.
But this is historically inaccurate as well. Initially, the South Africa government chose not to tell the International Atomic Energy Agency that it had a secret bomb program. As Waldo Stumpf, the head of South Africa’s Atomic Energy Corp., explained in 1995, officials believed the country’s “internal political transformation process” was not ready for such an announcement. Moreover, the stand-off at the time between Iraq and the IAEA over Baghdad’s nuclear program made South African officials fearful that they would become a “second Iraqi case.”
But when De Klerk decided to reveal the weapons program in 1993, after pressure from Mandela’s African National Congress and increasing suspicions from the IAEA, he also told the IAEA that they could conduct visits “anywhere, any time, any place—within reason.”
David Albright, a former weapons inspector and an expert of the South Africa case, said “it was de Klerk who made this offer after he admitted to a nuclear weapons program. It was definitely de Klerk who set this up with the IAEA.” - Washington Post, 5/21/15
If you would like to donate and get involved with Duckworth's campaign, you can do so here:Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth on Tuesday criticized Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk as "irresponsible" for recently signing an open letter to the government of Iran regarding ongoing nuclear talks.
Duckworth was referencing a letter signed this month by 47 Republican senators who warned Iranian officials that any nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration could expire as soon as the president leaves office. Democrats argue the letter interferes with talks to curtail Iran's nuclear activities.
"To come together in a very partisan way and send a letter to a foreign nation that does not have America's best interest at its heart, that undermines our nation's unity, I think is very irresponsible and it's certainly not befitting of a United States senator," said Duckworth, a two-term lawmaker from Hoffman Estates. - Chicago Tribune, 3/31/15
Received this e-mail today from Attorney General Kamala Harris' (D. CA) U.S. Senate campaign:
Click here to share the video and to donate and get involved with harris' campaign:"How can you possibly expect to get anything done with the culture of dysfunction in Washington, D.C.?"
That's a tough question for any candidate to answer. But this weekend at the California Democratic Party ("CDP") convention, Kamala Harris knocked it out of the park when she told her story to a thunderous crowd of thousands of Democratic activists, delegates, and students.
Another memorable moment was when Senator Elizabeth Warren gave Kamala a shout-out during her headliner speech, saying she knew Kamala was a "fearless" leader from their early days working together to protect homeowners from big banks during the mortgage crisis.
Watch this video from last weekend's California Democratic Party convention, and see why Kamala will be a tremendous U.S. Senator:
As Kamala's new campaign manager, this was my first experience at the CDP annual convention. For Kamala, however, after so many conventions, the enthusiasm at this convention has shown that year by year, she's grown a real grassroots movement.
We met hundreds of #TeamKamala supporters over the weekend. We shared conversation, passed out rally signs, and received commitments from people wanting to volunteer for the campaign. All in all, it was a huge success.
Take a peek at our new video of Kamala's big convention speech, and then share it with your friends.
Thanks for all your support!
Click here to add your name:Fast Track and TPP just got a whole lot worse. Republicans have added $700 million in cuts to Medicare to pay for the trade adjustment assistance.
We need your voice now to get them to back down.
Add your name and tell the Senate to say no to Fast Track and the cuts to Medicare.
The more the public learns about the wheeling and dealing done to get Fast Track and the TPP passed the worse it looks. And that doesn’t even include the the awful corporate and special interest giveaways inside the actual trade deal!
The Senate can vote no and stand up for our workers and most vulnerable citizens. We don't have to pit Americans on Medicare against our workers. Will you stand with me to tell the Senate to do what is right?
We only have a short time before the Senate votes again on this deal -- add your name and tell the Senate to remove Medicare cuts and vote no on Fast Track.
Thanks for standing with me in this fight,
Very encouraging news but it's still very early. Click here to donate and get involved with Inslee and Murray's campaigns:Jay Inslee and Patty Murray both start out in good shape for reelection. Inslee leads the prospective Republican opponents we tested against him by 5-13 points, while Murray leads the ones we tested against her by 5-14 points.
The strongest possible candidate for Republicans in either race would be former Attorney General Rob McKenna. He has a 36/30 favorability rating and would trail both Inslee (43/38) and Murray (46/41) by 5 points. Even though McKenna comes the closest, he still has a larger deficit against both Democrats than his 3 point margin of defeat in 2012.
Murray has a solid 47/39 approval rating and posts double digit advantages against all the Republicans in Washington's Congressional delegation that we tested her against. She has a 10 point advantage over Jaime Herrera Beutler (47/37), an 11 point one over Dave Reichert (48/37), and a 13 point one over Cathy McMorris Rodgers (48/35). Reichert has the biggest statewide profile with 53% name recognition, followed by McMorris Rodgers at 40%, and Herrera Beutler at 31%.
Inslee similarly posts double digit leads over all non-McKenna prospective foes. He's up 45/34 on Reichert, 12 points on Bill Bryant at 46/34, and 14 points over Andy Hill at 45/31. Hill (18%) and Bryant (17%) both have almost no statewide name recognition.
It's early but Inslee and Murray look like clear favorites for reelection at this point. - PPP, 5/20/15
Click here to donate to Feingold's campaign:I’ve got some great news -- my friend and middle-class champion Russ Feingold announced he wants to come back to the Senate.
The Koch brothers, Karl Rove, and their many allies probably won’t think this is great news. Russ has always been a crusader against outside money in politics. And they’ll probably show their displeasure by spending money -- likely many millions of dollars -- to beat Russ.Russ needs to build a strong grassroots network -- and he needs it right now. Let’s help him get his campaign off the ground. Contribute $5 or more.
The opportunity to add a strong progressive like Russ to the Senate is huge. He cast the lone Senate vote against the PATRIOT Act. He was an architect of landmark campaign finance legislation in 2002 and has experience to be an invaluable ally in the effort to end Citizens United.
And when outside groups spent $40 million against me in 2012 -- Russ was there to help us fight back.
Right now Russ has the momentum. We need to help him capitalize on his exciting entry into the Wisconsin Senate race. Let’s give Russ’s campaign a huge grassroots boost.
Outside groups and super PACs are going to do everything they can to keep Russ out of the Senate. Let’s make sure we’re doing everything we can to get him there.
Make a kickoff contribution to Russ Feingold. Give what you can today.
Click here to add your name:I joined the U.S. Army as a Calvary Scout in August of 2001, one month before the attacks on September 11th.
I served a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and later deployed to Iraq as a Brigade sniper on counter IED and counter mortar missions. I performed over 160 combat missions without the use of an armored vehicle, engaged in countless firefights, and survived dozens of ambushes.
My transition back to civilian life was challenging. I struggled with intrusive thoughts, anxiety, depression, and more. But I found peace in the outdoors -- camping, hiking, and exploring natural wonders became a way of life.
That's why I support legislation granting free lifetime access to our national parks for veterans, and I'm asking you to join me.
Add your name to mine and tell Congress: Support legislation that would provide veterans free access to public parks.
Currently, to enjoy a lifetime pass on these lands, a veteran requires a disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
There are millions of veterans with a service connected disability, but too often some choose not to file claims or even visit the VA after returning home.
Free access to our nation's parks and federal recreational lands would definitely give many of them incentive to get outdoors for what would be a very therapeutic experience. A 2013 University of Michigan study backs that claim up. They found a link between outdoor activity and long-term psychological well-being among veterans.
That's why this legislation is so important. Join Jason Kander and VoteVets and tell Congress to pass legislation providing veterans free access to public parks.
Jason Kander will fight for this legislation in the U.S. Senate. But hopefully, if we act now, Congress will make it happen before he gets there.
All the best,
Iraq War Veteran
Click here to add your name:As a dad, it’s always been important to me to know what my kids were eating. Carrots for dinner? Sure. Ice cream? Maybe wait for dessert.
It’s even more important to me to know if my family is eating genetically modified foods.
That’s why I’m appalled that Congress is on the brink of passing the DARK Act – a law that would ban states from requiring GMO labeling.
I’m calling on Congress to defeat the DARK Act and support mandatory labeling of GMOs, but I need your help. Will you add your name now and stand with me to demand GMO labeling?
Click here to urge Congress to support mandatory GMO labeling.http://signforgood.com/...
The special interests behind this bill call it the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act,” but consumer advocates renamed it for what it really is: the Denying Americans the Right to Know Act.
When it comes to what’s in your food, the more you know, the better. Americans need to be able to make informed decisions about what they feed their families. It’s a common sense consumer protection that’s long overdue.
But if labeling is left up to the food industry, consumers will be left in the dark.
I’m asking you to stand with me and make your voice heard in Congress now. Take a moment to sign the petition and demand GMO labeling.
Add your name: Click here to tell Congress to support mandatory GMO labeling.
More words of insanity from one of the most vulnerable Tea Part U.S. Senators:
But wait, there's more:Sen. Ron Johnson, the Homeland Security Committee chairman, says when it comes to a nuclear deal with Iran, he’s “not so sure” he trusts President Obama over the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“Now, a President who was awarded the 2013 Politifact Lie of the Year, if you like your healthcare plan you can keep it, period. If you like your doctor you can keep it, period. They lied boldfaced to the American public repeatedly with Obamacare,” the Wisconsin senator said at a recent town hall in Cerdarburg, Wisconsin.
“I don’t know, I hate to admit it, but in terms of this framework, do I trust President Obama, or do I trust the Ayatollah? In terms of what the framework actually says? I’m not so sure I’m trusting President Obama on this.” - BuzzFeed, 5/19/15
Can't wait for Russ Feingold (D. WI) to take back his Senate seat? Click here to donate and get involved with his campaign:While discussing the nuclear deal the U.S. is negotiating with Iran, Johnson told his constituents about disagreements between the U.S. and Iran on certain details..
"Discrepancies—Secretary Kerry, President Obama saying, 'Oh we can inspect anywhere. This is totally verifiable. Totally be able to hold them accountable.’ And the Ayatollah goes, ‘Well, yeah, you can inspect, just not on military bases,'" Johnson said. "Now if you’re going to have a nuclear weapon program I don’t know, I think I put it on a military base, and we can’t even get in there and inspect."
"10,000 kilograms of uranium. President Obama says, ‘well that’s going to get shipped out.’ The Ayatollah goes, 'no it’s not,’'" Johnson continued. "Sanctions. 'We’re not going to lift those until they adhere to the terms of the agreement.’ The Ayatollah goes, ‘no those get lifted immediately.'" - TPM, 5/19/15
Click here if you would like to donate and get involved with Sestak's campaign:For close to a year, we have pointed out how Sen. Toomey says one thing in Pennsylvania in his newsletter, and then does another with his votes in Washington, D.C. by our response to it, side-by-side.
This week, we still put Toomey’s newsletter on the left, but on the right, we offer a comprehensive explanation of the harm his policies are having on all of us — most recently illustrated by the tragedy of the Amtrak derailment.
Toomey struck back by writing an op-ed piece for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette claiming he's not holding up his own nominee:Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) insisted Wednesday that he's not blocking one of his own judicial nominees for political reasons -- even as he is still refusing to give the Senate Judiciary Committee the green light to give that nominee a hearing.
Toomey has been getting pummeled back home for the Senate's delay in confirming Luis Felipe Restrepo to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. President Barack Obama nominated Restrepo in November with Toomey's strong support, but the nomination hasn't moved since. In the meantime, the vacancy he would fill has been deemed a "judicial emergency," which means the court is drowning in cases.
The Republican senator is being blamed because he hasn't turned in his "blue slip," an indicator to the Judiciary Committee chairman that Toomey is ready to move forward with the nominee. The committee won't move forward on any nominee until it has the blessing of both home-state senators. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) turned in his blue slip for Restrepo in November.
That leaves Toomey as the holdout. - Huffington Post, 5/13/15
But Paul Gordon, Senior Legislative Counsel, People For the American Way and People For the American Way Foundation, called out Toomey's B.S. on the Huffington Post:As a senator, I have become accustomed to being criticized for things I have done. But it is a little harder to hear criticism for things that I have not done — specifically, your editorial board’s false assertion that I am somehow delaying the nomination of Judge L. Felipe Restrepo to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (“Unjust Delay: Toomey Is to Blame for a Stalled Nomination,” May 10 editorial). Even worse, your board then ascribed a false motive for the actions that I never took.
I fully support the president’s proposal to elevate Judge Restrepo to the 3rd Circuit, just as I supported his confirmation to the federal district court. In 2012, I joined Sen. Bob Casey in asking the White House to nominate Judge Restrepo to the district court, I urged my colleagues to vote for Judge Restrepo and I happily voted for his confirmation.
The first step to Judge Restrepo’s confirmation to the 3rd Circuit is a thorough background investigation. No hearing or vote goes forward until that investigation is completed. The Senate Judiciary Committee has not yet completed that investigation.
That is the reason the committee has not yet held a hearing on Judge Restrepo’s nomination — a fact that could have been easily learned with a call to the committee. I have made it clear to the committee that I plan to turn in my “blue slip” — the formal manifestation of my support for Judge Restrepo — the day that investigation is completed, provided no issues of concern are discovered. - Pittsburgh Post-gazette, 5/13/15
Yeah, nice try pal. Toomey just doesn't want to be hit by his fringe right-wing base for getting a Obama approved judge confirmed. This is all about appealing to his right-wing base who he's angered in the past for supporting ENDA and background checks while also trying to dupe voters that's a center-right Republican and not a crazy Tea Partier (which he is). While Democrats in my home state figure out who their nominee is, I for one back Joe Sestak's (D. PA) comeback bid. Click here to donate and get involves with Sestak's campaign:But that convenient explanation raises more questions than it answers and, in fact, doesn't pass the laugh test.
Since Judge Restrepo already had a thorough background investigation for his confirmation to the district court in 2013, why does it take half a year to complete one that covers only the short interval since then? It took less time to do background checks and proceed to hearings for people nominated at the same time, but who had not already been thoroughly vetted by the Judiciary Committee.
And why didn't Toomey make this simple and quick explanation when asked by the Huffington Post's Jennifer Bendery earlier this month? Instead, he took the time to say that he didn't have time to explain, then he ducked into a senators-only elevator.
And why didn't Sen. Grassley mention this when asked by Bendery on the same day, before the crush of bad press that Toomey is now responding to? When asked when the hearing would be, Grassley cited only the blue slip and said nothing about an ongoing background investigation. (After the media scrutiny of Toomey began to mount, Grassley cited the background investigation rather than the lack of a blue slip as the cause of the delay.)
And even if we accept the background investigation story, why hasn't Toomey been pushing the committee to hurry it up, considering this is to fill a judicial emergency on a court where a second vacancy will be opening in just a few weeks? - Huffington Post, 5/13/15
Received this e-mail today from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in support of former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold's (D. WI) comeback bid against Tea Party U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R. WI):
Click here to donate to Feingold's campaign:Exciting news: Russ Feingold is BACK.
Russ just announced that he will shake up the 2016 U.S. Senate map and run in Wisconsin to reclaim his former seat.
He'll need our help to defeat right-wing Senator Ron Johnson. If Russ wins, Democratic chances of taking back the Senate go way up -- and Elizabeth Warren will have another bold ally by her side.
Make history. Donate $3 directly to Russ Feingold's 2016 comeback campaign -- and put this progressive champ back in the Senate!
Russ tells us:
"I've always fought for what’s right, regardless of whether the DC insiders agreed at the time. This campaign will be another chance for all of us to stand up for our progressive values. Members of the PCCC know that when we take a stand based on our principles and stick to it, we win."
That's right! Russ led the fight for campaign finance reform before it was cool. Despite opposition from Republicans and powerful interests, he beat the odds and passed the strongest reforms since Watergate: The McCain-Feingold law.
In her book, Elizabeth Warren praised Russ for standing with her in an epic battle against the big banks (before she was in the Senate):
"Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Paul Wellstone of Minnesota were barely into their second terms. I imagine each one of them could have used some hefty campaign contributions from the banking industry, but that didn't matter. They joined the fight with energy and enthusiasm -- and I will be forever grateful."
America needs Russ Feingold back in the Senate. Donate $3 to his 2016 comeback campaign.
By electing Russ, we'll also defeat one of the most right-wing senators (ever).
As progressives call for debt-free college, millionaire Senator Ron Johnson wants to cut student aid -- saying this "free money" is "too easy to get" and, as a result, students "don't feel any urgency to get to work" by getting a job. (Tell that to kids of non-millionaires.)
He calls Obamacare "the greatest assault on freedom in our lifetime" and says "I absolutely do not believe in the science of man-caused climate change."
Let's do this. Replace extremist Ron Johnson with progressive hero Russ Feingold. Donate $3 today.
Thanks for being a bold progressive.
-- Adam Green and Stephanie Taylor, PCCC co-founders
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