A few days ago I wrote a Top Comments diary about our local Mayoral candidate, Sheila Simon. This is near to my heart at the moment, so I'm gonna just copy a bit from that diary and put it here...and hope that you'll take my advice, and the advice of Dick Durbin (from whom I got an email about this,) and donate a bit to her campaign so she can get some ads on tv this last week before the election!
Here in Carbondale, Illinois we're getting ready for some local elections on April 17th. Our candidate for Mayor, Sheila Simon, has a last name many of you will recognize because she is the daughter of Senator Paul Simon. Sheila is the real thing folks, a real people powered and people oriented candidate, and I hope you'll do just a bit tonight to help get her elected as Mayor of Carbondale so we can convince her to run in a few years for a higher office...because seriously, Carbondale needs Sheila Simon, but Democracy needs her, or more candidates like her everywhere.
That's the local bit, or my local bit anyway. And now onto the more global issues :-)
-- Will Bush veto the Supplemental spending bill for Iraq? Senators Feingold and Reid have the perfect response, and we need to take action to support it. Senator Feingold will formally introduce his bill on April 10th. Let's show our Senators how much we support an even earlier withdrawal than the whiny President "demands".
-- From Free Press:
Online music is in danger. In March, the Copyright Royalty Board announced a decision that could drastically impact the variety and diversity of music available on the Internet. All "webcasters," nonprofit and for-profit, small and large, face a massive hike in the royalties they pay every time they play a song. The exorbitant fees could put small, independent webcasters out of business and force the large webcasters to adopt the cookie-cutter model of traditional radio. The fees would be unsustainable for public radio webcasters who would be forced to significantly reduce the alternative and cultural programming they offer.-- From Wakeup Walmart:
We need to stop the new charges before they go into effect. The Copyright Royalty Board isn't used hearing from the public, so your action can really make a difference. Sign the petition today.
As revealed by recent articles in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal , Wal-Mart has hired a number of former CIA, FBI and Justice Department officials to create a sophisticated counter surveillance team to spy on its employees.Corruption Items:
Several weeks ago, Wal-Mart revealed that one of the technicians on its Threat, Research and Response team (the group responsible for surveillance) was eavesdropping on conversations between Wal-Mart employees and a reporter from the New York Times. In addition, Wal-Mart revealed that other non-Wal-Mart employees were either recorded or had their text messages intercepted, but would not reveal the identities of those people or what search terms were used to do its surveillance.
Since we know the goal of Wal-Mart’s spy program was to identify the source of documents that were given to the WakeUpWalMart.com campaign, it is only logical to conclude that members of our campaign may have had their privacy invaded. At a minimum, the Wal-Mart spy scandal raises serious questions about the extent to which corporations should be allowed to spy on their employees.
-- From Public Campaign Action Fund:
Is the Bush Administration playing politics with U.S. Attorneys overseeing public corruption investigations?-- Here's another about the Justice Department... click here to sign.
In mid-January, news broke that eight U.S. Attorneys, including Carol Lam who put former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham behind bars, had been asked to resign their posts. It appears that this firing spree was politically motivated, and served to delay or otherwise disrupt critical corruption investigations at a time when Americans are demanding accountability of their lawmakers.
Tell Congress to stop playing politics with corruption investigations; write your Senators and Representative to demand that Congress get to the bottom of this story and insulate US Attorneys from political interference.
-- Win a year's worth of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream by guessing the correct date and time of Gonzales's resignation. Fill in your details here! And if one of you wins...I'd like a pint of Cherry Garcia please :-) They do still make that...don't they? Jeez...It's been way too long since I've eaten ice cream!
-- From Amnesty International:
Employees and individual contractors of US government contracted companies are alleged to have abused, tortured and killed people in areas including Iraq and Afghanistan, but not a single one has been brought to justice. Help end impunity for human rights violations by private contractors: Urge your representative to support legislation that would bring transparency and accountability to U.S. military and security contracting.Economic Issues:
-- From Public Citizen:
Fast Track – the outdated, outrageous law that Richard Nixon cooked up to take away Congress’ constitutional authority over trade policy – is expiring on June 30, 2007.-- From Communications Workers of America:
Surprise, surprise. President Bush wants Congress to hand him a blank check of more Fast Track so he can do more of the same NAFTA-style deals for his big corporate buddies.
With Fast Track expiring, we have a once-in-a-decade opportunity to fix the current devastating rules of the global economy -- and your voice is the only way to make a real difference! Click here to send your letters!
This week, the Employee Free Choice Act, the single most important legislation in 70 years to ensure we have the freedom to bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions, is being introduced in the U.S. Senate. The bill is similar to the one that was passed overwhelmingly by the U.S. House a few weeks ago.Human Rights Issues:
Already, right-wing front groups are trying to mislead the American public about the legislation with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of television ads. But with your help, the Senate can continue the work the House began.
-- From Just Foreign Policy:
Senators Dianne Feinstein and Patrick Leahy have written legislation, S. 594, that would put important restrictions on the use and sale of cluster bombs, weapons which disproportionately kill and injure civilians.-- From Earthworks:
Please ask the Senate and Democratic Presidential candidates to support this life-saving bill. We are hosting this petition together with Jewish Voice for Peace.
Farmers in Teberebie village in Ghana need your help. Near Teberebie, the South African mining company AngloGold Ashanti owns the Iduapriem gold mine. Iduapriem has not been a good neighbor.Energy, Environment, and Wildlife:
Mine waste has blocked access to farms, and AngloGold Ashanti has not adequately compensated farmers for their lost land. In 2006, the Iduapriem mine produced over 100 million dollars worth of gold for Anglo.
Farmers now must walk long distances in search of new farmlands. And the mine's impact on nearby streams has left the people of Teberebie without easy access to clean water for drinking and washing. Please take action. Tell AngloGold Ashanti to provide the Teberebie farmers with replacement land and clean water.
-- From The Wilderness Society:
Call your Senators (I'll add the table with all the phone numbers at the bottom of the diary) and ask them to co-sponsor the Red Rock Wilderness Act. If one of these Senators is yours, then you can just call to thank them instead:
If your Senator is on the list below, there is no need to place a phone call to that office, unless you'd like to THANK your Senator for introducing or cosponsoring this important bill!
Richard Durbin - IL (Introduced the bill) --that's my Senator right there! He rocks!
John Kerry - MA
Benjamin Cardin - MD
Robert Menendez - NJ
Jack Reed - RI
Maria Cantwell - WA
Russ Feingold - WI
TALKING POINTS-- From WWF (The deadline for this one is April 9th!!):
1) Please cosponsor America's Red Rock Wilderness Act - preferably as an original cosponsor before it is introduced in early April.
2) Utah's public wild lands are a national treasure that are important to me, which I want Congress to protect for current and future generations to enjoy.
3) Utah's wildlands are precious and irreplaceable. They are valued by the public for many reasons, such as:
Outstanding geologic formations and scenic beauty;
Important wildlife habitat, including home to at least two dozen endangered or sensitive species;
Some of the richest concentrations of prehistoric ruins in the world; and
World-renowned recreation opportunities including hiking, canyoneering and boating and rafting along the Colorado, Green, San Juan, Dolores rivers.
4) Threats to proposed Red Rock Wilderness are serious and growing from increasing oil and gas development and irresponsible off-road vehicle recreation.
In the last few years, BLM has leased over 125,000 acres of lands in America's Red Rock Wilderness Act.
5) The time is now to support and pass America's Red Rock Wilderness Act.
161 Members of the House and 16 Senators cosponsored ARRWA in the 109th Congress, most of whom have returned this Congress, and many of the new members of Congress ran on environmental platforms. This Congress represents the best chance in years to protect Utah wilderness.
Help protect polar bears from the impacts of global warming by endorsing a proposal to list them as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. Click here to send your message.-- Here's another one on Polar Bears from NRDC. There are some other action items to do as well once you're done with helping Polar Bears.
-- From Earthjustice: (Pretty video of wolves as a reward once you take action!!)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list in the Northern Rockies. If these critical protections are eliminated, the recently recovered gray wolf population in this area will be at the mercy of state governments that are determined to resume widespread wolf killing.-- From the Sierra Club:
Tell the Fish and Wildlife Service that you're outraged by their proposal to remove wolves in the Northern Rockies from federal protections under the Endangered Species Act.
We need Smart Energy Solutions - a bold shift from reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear power to a safe, clean energy future built on efficiency, renewable fuels and innovative technology.-- From League of Conservation Voters:
America faces an urgent energy challenge - but there are changes we can make and actions we can take now!
Support Smart Energy Solutions and urge Congress to adopt the Udall-Platts Renewable Energy Standard (H.R. 969)!
There is an amazing opportunity for real action on global warming but your Representative in Congress is not yet on board.Health Issues:
Send your Representative a message to become a co-sponsor the Safe Climate Act - a real solution to Global Warming.
-- From Planned Parenthood:
President Bush’s pick to lead the nation’s family-planning program, birth-control opponent Eric Keroack, resigned on March 29, 2007. This is a major victory!-- From AARP:
Birth control is not a controversial issue. Americans of all political persuasions support women’s access to contraception and family-planning services. The president should take this opportunity to appoint a medical professional who actually believes in birth control to lead the nation’s family-planning program.
Right now, Medicare is prohibited by law from bargaining directly with pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices. This law doesn't make sense. Why shouldn't Medicare be able to use its bargaining power to negotiate prices with drugmakers?-- From Defcon:
The House of Representatives passed a bill that would give Medicare the power to bargain for lower drug prices. Now it's the Senate's turn to act. Tell your Senator to support this bill and help make life-saving medications affordable for everyone!
In January, the House of Representatives passed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007, once again calling for the repeal of President Bush's ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Now, the Senate is poised to take up the bill.
Send your Senators a message demanding they put American lives above the agenda of the religious right, and pledge their support for embryonic stem cell research.