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Believe It, You Matter, Part X: We May Not Get Everything We Want. Keep Fighting Anyway.

This OTYCD post originally ran in August 2018.

 

Believe It, You Matter, Part X: We May Not Get Everything We Want. Keep Fighting Anyway. 

 

You might have noticed that people are pissed about the way things are going. You might be one of those pissed-off people. Team Trump and its shitshow of corruption, cruelty, and pro-bully tactics have spurred millions to do more to push back.

 

A fair number of registered Republicans–including some high-profile ones–have left the party and gone independent. Many folks who were never politically active stepped up after the November 2016 election. They went to protests for the first time in their lives. Same again for phone-banking, knocking on doors, donating to causes and candidates, and calling their members of Congress. A small but heroic number found the courage to run for office.

 

It is unprecedented. It is organic. It might be unique in the history of America. And it should continue as long as Team Trump keeps crazy-assing and the GOP keeps shirking its duties to check Team Trump’s fucked-up, hateful, hurtful actions.

 

But! While we are righteous, motivated, and strong, we could still lose.

 

Take the SCOTUS nomination battle. Team Trump and the GOP are determined to ram their choice through before the midterms. We don’t want that. But because Democratic Senators are in the minority, there’s only so much they can do to stop it.

 

They will do what they can. They will fight. And, as we at OTYCD have asked, you should call your Senators and urge them to fight (if they’re Democrats) or vote no if they’re Republicans. Yes, your Republican Senators probably won’t change their votes, but they need to know their constituents oppose them on this, and will work to vote them out if they move a Trump nominee along.

 

But we could lose this one, and losing this one would be bad. People you love will be hurt by a SCOTUS dominated by hard-right judges. People you love could die as a result of a hard-right SCOTUS decision. You could lose your health insurance. Gerrymandering might get a yellow or green light. Voting rights might be curtailed. Parts of the Constitution that annoy evangelical Christians, greedy corporations, racists, and committed bullies could be muzzled and stomped upon. Democracy could be smothered. [Edited to add: This post was written and queued before the Senate approved Kavanaugh by a 51-49 vote.]

 

The answer is to keep fighting.

 

The only way to stop the SCOTUS from being perverted by hard-right extremists is to elect Democrats to the Senate and keep electing Democrats to the Senate until there are enough of them to control the chamber. And once they control the chamber, you need to defend them so they can keep control of the chamber and stop hard-right extremists from getting on the court.

 

If Democrats controlled the Senate now, they could refuse any nominee who’s stupidly hard-right and continue to refuse until Team Trump puts forward an actual moderate. But they don’t, so they can’t.

 

But if you curl into a ball and quit when the news of InJustice EvilJerk’s swearing-in breaks, we all lose.

 

Same again with the 2018 midterms. Things generally look good right now. But we won’t get absolutely everything we want. Simply from a mathematic standpoint, it’s unlikely that every Democrat wins and every Republican loses. There are too many races, at too many levels. There will be losses, and some of those losses might be tough.

 

Plus, there’s an elephant in the room (or, rather, the polling place). Having successfully messed with the 2016 elections, Russia’s hackers will be keen to try again in November 2018, and Team Trump has yet to order the National Security Agency (NSA) to take the steps needed to defend our country from those attacks.

 

Again, if you curl into a ball and quit when news breaks of, say, Iowa House Rep Steve King’s reelection, we all lose.

 

Yes, rest. Yes, unplug. Yes, take time away. You are allowed to have fun. You are allowed to do things that make you happy. Heck, it’s vital. Drafting and sticking with a self-care routine is one of the most important things you can do.

 

Rest. Recharge. Frolic. Forget for a few hours or days, maybe even weeks. But come back. Always, always come back. We need you.

 

And hey, getting mad is OK, too. Crying is OK. Despairing is OK. Feeling the force of your emotions is OK! But come back. Always, always come back. We need you.

 

Trump will go, but you must not.

 

You’ve got to stay here and carry on the fight.

Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Uncategorized

Believe It, You Matter: The “May Contain Peanuts” Presidency

Believe It, You Matter: The “May Contain Peanuts” presidency.

 

Sarah Jane here. I write all the Believe It, You Matter entries. Offering this in case it helps you talk to friends who might have voted for Trump in 2016, who lean Republican, and who are struggling with who to vote for in 2020.

 

Ok, so you go to the store and you buy a bag of peanuts. *As you’re having your snack, you idly flip it over and notice that on the back, in a far smaller font, there’s a warning:

 

May contain peanuts.

 

This despite the fact that it says PEANUTS in two-inch-high red letters on the front of the goddamn package.

 

Why the hell is that warning there?

 

It’s there because a) the company that sells the peanuts got sued by someone, and they got nailed for not having an explicit, legible warning printed on the package, or b) the lawyer for the company got spooked by a similar lawsuit and insisted they put that language on the package, just in case.

 

It seems ridiculous to warn people that a package of peanuts contains peanuts. It should be self-evident. And guess what? It IS self-evident to virtually everyone. The vast majority of people who are allergic to peanuts read the front of the package and stay far away.

 

Except one guy.

 

THAT guy.

 

There’s ALWAYS that guy.

 

And somehow That Guy finds a That Guy Lawyer and brings a ludicrous lawsuit claiming that a bag of peanuts that says peanuts on the front is not enough of a warning. So the company does a collective eye-roll and tells the graphics department to put the warning on the back of the goddamn package, just in case.

 

Trump is That Guy.

 

There’s a bunch of things that everyone who runs the country, or wants to, does because it’s The Right Thing To Do.

 

An example of that is candidates for president releasing their tax return at some point in their campaigns.

 

They do that because Richard Nixon submitted some hinky-looking tax returns in the early 1970s. The hinkiness fed into the Watergate scandal. It was the tax thing, NOT Watergate, that prompted Nixon to famously say, “I am not a crook.”

 

Anyway. Since Nixon, all presidential candidates have released a series of tax returns from their recent past, to show they’re clean and hink-free.

 

It wasn’t, and isn’t, a law. It never needed to be.

 

Everyone understood that releasing their tax returns was The Right Thing To Do, and it let the public get a clearer picture of the people who wanted the job of Leader of the Free World.

 

Except Trump.

 

Oh, he PROMISED, as a candidate, to release them, but he never got around to it, and the GOP never got around to demanding that he do it before picking him as their 2016 nominee.

 

As President, Trump famously said, “Hmmm, nah, not gonna,” and KellyAnne Conway was wheeled out to back him up.

 

As I type this in late March 2019, the Dems who run the House of Representatives are in the process of summoning Trump’s tax returns. [I have no idea why it’s taking so goddamn long.] Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is bracing for a fight, even though Congress definitely has the right to ask for them.

 

But the Dems shouldn’t have to ask for them, because Trump should have released them like every single other candidate has since Nixon. And the GOP should have told him “Release your goddamn tax returns, or you can’t be the 2016 Republican nominee. Simple as that, dude,” and they should have followed through.

 

But he didn’t, and they didn’t, so here we are.

 

Because of Trump, we now have to codify in law what everyone did voluntarily for decades, because while their individual political worldviews might be shitty, they, themselves, were not shitbags.

 

Because of the GOP, we now have to codify in law what they should have stepped up and enforced, voluntarily, because they’re craven cowards who claim to hate regulations and big government, but they won’t do what’s necessary help create a world in which people Do The Right Thing without being compelled to by law.

 

Trump is That Guy.

 

Fuck That Guy!

 

Fuck him for forcing us to pass laws covering acts that everyone before him was sensible enough to do without having to be compelled. Fuck him for his shitbaggery that’s forcing us to say, “Hey, you presidential candidates can’t be a shitbag in this particularly obvious way, or else.”

 

Fuck the GOP for not stepping up when it mattered.

 

Fuck him for making the process of running for high office that little bit more grim and tedious.

 

Trump is That Guy.

 

Don’t re-elect That Guy.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

*I have not encountered such a bag of peanuts in the wild, but I have encountered other products with equally absurd warnings on their packaging. I have not meticulously cataloged them with photographic evidence.

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Learn How to Intervene as a Bystander to Hateful Speech and Acts

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.

Learn or refresh yourself on strategies for how to diffuse hateful situations as a bystander.

 

The racist terrorist attack on public transit in Portland, Oregon in May that left two men dead and a third wounded raised awareness about bystander training. The passengers who became victims confronted the ranting man directly when he accosted two young women who appeared to be Muslim, and continued to do so after he made death threats against those who tried to de-escalate the situation.

 

Those who offer bystander training have said that the Portland men didn’t do anything wrong. It would be a shame if the incident scared people off from confronting people who spew hate in public spaces.

 

Here are a bundle of resources that will help you learn how to intervene when you witness hateful situations.

 

 

Start with Maeril’s now-classic cartoon on what to do if you witness Islamophobic harassment.

 

 

Hollaback, a movement devoted to stopping street harassment, offers digital bystander intervention training for a modest fee:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hollaback-bystander-intervention-digital-training-tickets-33624094572

 

 

Read the text of a speech on Bystander Intervention Training given by folks at the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition of Maryland:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8L8vf0joWhQZE9WZHNtSnMxWk0/view

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

See if Collective Action for Safe Spaces is doing a bystander intervention workshop near you, or request one:

http://www.collectiveactiondc.org/our-work/trainings-workshops/

 

 

For background, read a local news account of the Portland attack:

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/05/max_heros_last_words_tell_ever.html

 

 

And read a Slate article about bystander training in the wake of the attack:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2017/06/02/after_portland_bystander_intervention_training_is_more_important_than_ever.html

 

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GOOD UPDATE! Harley Rouda Beat 15-Term (!) Republican Incumbent Dana Rohrbacher for a House Seat in California’s 48th District

Update, March 24, 2018: YES YES YES! Democrat Harley Rouda beat 15-term Republican incumbent and creepy Vladimir Putin fan Dana Rohrabacher for the House of Representatives seat in California’s 48th District.

 

As a member of the House, Rouda will be up for re-election in 2020. Please consider including him in your 2020 Core Four.

 

Original text of the 2018 post on Rouda’s campaign follows.

 

Support Democrat Harley Rouda’s campaign to win the House of Representatives seat in California’s 48th Congressional District and unseat Republican Dana Rohrabacher.

 

It was inevitable that the 2018 race in California’s 48th would command attention. Republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher has held the seat since 1988 (that’s not a typo, you read that right, he’s been there almost 30 years) and he is widely seen as being in the pocket of Vladimir Putin and Russia.

 

This goes beyond an affinity for blinis and borscht.

 

In 2012, the FBI warned Rohrabacher that the Kremlin regards him as being so Russia-friendly that they gave him a code name:

 

 

In October 2017, news broke that House Republican leaders restricted his ability to use Congressional funds on travel because of his closeness to Russia:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/gop-leaders-refusing-to-pay-for-dana-rohrabachers-travel-over-russia-fears

 

 

A June 2016 recording, which was subsequently heard and confirmed by Washington Post reporters, captured House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy stating, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” House Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly stopped the conversation and swore everyone listening to secrecy.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-mccarthy-ryan-trump-putin-20170517-story.html

 

 

Politico wrote a November 23, 2016 story on Rohrabacher that bluntly calls him “Putin’s Favorite Congressman”:

https://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/putin-congress-rohrabacher-trump-231775

 

 

There’s enough there there that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was reportedly scrutinizing Rohrabacher as of November 2017:

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/11/robert-mueller-dana-rohrabacher-russia-investigation

 

 

The good news is Rohrabacher’s entanglements with Russia have put his House seat in danger. Here are two stories on that theme, both from April 2018:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/everyone-is-painting-gop-congressman-dana-rohrabacher-as-putins-puppet

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-rohrabacher-gop-20180405-story.html

 

 

The Cook Political Report shows the trouble the Republican incumbent is in. It rates his seat as a Toss-up.

 

Democrats need to gain at least 24 seats in the House of Representatives to take control of the chamber. Those who know say that eight of those 24 could flip in California. The 48th is one of those eight.

 

After a ferociously fought June 5, 2018 top-two primary that included eight Democrats among 15 challengers for Rohrabacher’s seat, Harley Rouda took second place by 126 votes. (Thanks again for your efforts, Hans Keirstead.)

 

This seat is eminently gettable, and Rouda is raring to get it. Please look at the links below and see if you can support him. Rouda promises to be tougher on Russia than Rohrabacher is, but to be fair, it’s mathematically impossible not to be tougher on Russia than Rohrabacher is.

 

 

See Rouda’s campaign website:

https://harleyforcongress.com

 

 

See his About page:

https://harleyforcongress.com/about-harley/

 

 

See his Issues page:

https://harleyforcongress.com/issues/

 

 

 

Choose Rouda for your Core Four:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/04/08/choose-your-core-four-for-2018/

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Donate to Rouda’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/rouda?refcode=www

 

 

Volunteer for Rouda:

https://harleyforcongress.com/volunteer/

 

 

Like him on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/HarleyforCongress/posts/

 

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@HarleyRouda

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Help RAICES Texas Fight to Get Migrants and Their Families Out of Detention

Help RAICES Texas fight to get migrants and their families out of detention along the southern border of the United States.

 

Babies are still in cages.

 

We wish we didn’t have to write that sentence, but we must, because it’s true.

 

RAICES Texas came to prominence in mid-2018 when the horrors of what the Trump administration was doing to migrant families–separating parents from kids pretty much because they could, in hopes that would scare them from coming north–became public.

 

The spotlight has moved to other ongoing Trump administration horrors and betrayals, but its treatment of migrants continues to be a scandal and a shame.

 

RAICES Texas is carrying on the fight. It’s a 33-year-old 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has evolved into the largest provider of legal services to immigrants in Texas. They have a team of more than 130 lawyers who defend migrants in court, educate them about their rights, and even help them obtain abortion care.

 

 

See the RAICES Texas website:

https://www.raicestexas.org/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

Donate to RAICES Texas:

https://www.raicestexas.org/donate/donate-in-honor-or-memory-of-someone-you-love/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

See its Resources page:

https://www.raicestexas.org/resources/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

See its Services page:

https://www.raicestexas.org/services/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Sign up for its email newsletter:

https://www.raicestexas.org/email-newsletter/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

If you live close enough and have the skills needed, volunteer for RAICES:

https://www.raicestexas.org/volunteer/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

Follow RAICES on Twitter:

@RAICESTEXAS

Elections

See How Many Members of the House Freedom Caucus We All Managed To Vote Out in November 2018

See how many members of the House Freedom Caucus we all managed to vote out of office in November 2018.

 

One of the most consistently popular posts on OTYCD is the one titled See This List of Members of the House Freedom Caucus So You Can Vote Them Out in November.

 

Its appeal is self-evident. It occurred to us that now the 2018 mid-terms are done, we should do an update post and tell you how things went.

 

As noted in the original article, which is linked above, the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) does not publish a roster of its members or otherwise identify them.

 

As you look at this update and note the Democrats who pushed some HFC members out of office, think about adopting one or more of those victors for your 2020 Core Four. Also keep in mind that the HFC folks come from ruby-red areas of the country, the sorts of places that the Cook Political Report tends to dub “Solid Republican.”

 

 

Justin Amash, representing Michigan’s 3rd District. He won a fifth term.

 

 

Joe Barton, representing Texas’s 6th District. In November 2017, he announced that he would retire from Congress after a three-decade career in the House of Representatives. This statement came soon after news broke of his involvement in extramarital affairs. It should be said that no one has accused Barton of sexual misconduct or harassment, and the affairs were consensual. Regardless, he felt it best not to run again.

 

Republican Ronald Wright defeated Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez for the seat Barton vacated, garnering 53.1 percent of the vote to Sanchez’s 45.4 percent.

 

According to Ballotpedia, Wright signaled his interest in joining the House Freedom Caucus. See this link: https://ballotpedia.org/Texas_congressional_Republican_Party_primary_runoffs,_2018

 

So, while Barton declined to run again, he was replaced with a new HFC member.

 

Read OTYCD‘s post on Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/05/26/keep-an-eye-on-jana-lynne-sanchez-who-is-running-for-a-texas-house-seat-in-2018/

 

 

Andy Biggs, representing Arizona’s 5th District. He won his second term.

 

 

Rod Blum, representing Iowa’s 1st District. He was DEFEATED in his bid for a third term by Democrat Abby Finkenauer. Please consider giving her a head start by donating to her 2020 campaign.

 

 

Dave Brat, representing Virginia’s 7th District. He was DEFEATED in his bid for a third term by Democrat Abigail Spanberger.

The election was close, however, with her getting 50.3 percent to his 48.4 percent. If you’re able to start donating to Spanberger’s 2020 re-election campaign now, please do.

 

Mo Brooks, representing Alabama’s 5th District. He won his fifth term in 2018.

 

Ken Buck, representing Colorado’s 4th District. He won his third term in 2018.

 

Ted Budd, representing North Carolina’s 13th District. He won his second term in 2018.

 

Warren Davidson, representing Ohio’s 8th District. He won his first full term in 2018.

 

Ron DeSantis, representing Florida’s 6th District. He retired from his house seat to run for the governor of Florida in 2018, and ultimately defeated Andrew Gillum in a close contest.

Republican Michael Waltz defeated Democrat Nancy Soderberg for DeSantis’s old seat by 56.3 percent to 43.7 percent.

Nothing in Waltz’s Ballotpedia entry indicates that he’s joined the House Freedom Caucus. So, while the seat is in Republican hands, it might not be in HFC hands.

 

Scott DesJarlais, representing Tennessee’s 4th District. He won his fifth term in 2018.

 

Jeff Duncan, representing South Carolina’s 3rd District. He won his fifth term in 2018.

 

Matt Gaetz, representing Florida’s 1st District. He won a second term in 2018.

 

Tom Garrett Jr., representing Virginia’s 5th District. He sent mixed signals in late May, saying he wouldn’t run for a second term, and then saying he would. He ultimately withdrew.

Republican Denver Riggleman represented the party instead. He defeated Democrat Leslie Cockburn by 53.2 percent to 46.6 percent.

Riggleman’s Ballotpedia entry doesn’t say anything about the House Freedom Caucus, so odds are he is not a member.

 

 

Louie Gohmert, representing Texas’s 1st District. He was re-elected in 2018.

 

Paul A. Gosar, representing Arizona’s 4th District. He won his fifth term in 2018.

 

Morgan Griffith, representing Virginia’s 9th District. He won his fifth term in 2018.

 

Andy Harris, representing Maryland’s 1st District. He won his fifth term in 2018.

 

Jody Hice, representing Georgia’s 10th District. He won his third term in 2018.

 

Jim Jordan, representing Ohio’s 4th District (he’s also co-chair of the HFC). He was first elected to the House in 2006. He won re-election in 2018.

 

Raúl Labrador, representing Idaho’s 1st District. He left the seat to run for governor of Idaho in 2018, and lost in the Republican primary.

Republican Russ Fulcher won the seat in 2018. His Ballotpedia entry makes no mention of the House Freedom Caucus.

 

Mark Meadows, representing North Carolina’s 11th District (he’s also co-chair of the HFC). He won a fourth term in 2018.

 

Alex Mooney, representing West Virginia’s 2nd District. He won a third term in 2018.

 

Gary Palmer, representing Alabama’s 6th District. He won a third term in 2018.

 

Steve Pearce, representing New Mexico’s 2nd District. Pearce left his House seat to run for governor of New Mexico in 2018, and did not succeed.

Democrat Xochitl Torres Small won the seat, beating Republican Yvette Herrell by 50.9 percent of the vote to 49.1 percent. Again, please consider donating to Small’s 2020 re-election campaign.

 

Scott Perry, representing Pennsylvania’s 4th District. In February 2018, the state’s Supreme Court threw out the old Congressional district map, deeming it illegally gerrymandered. What was the 4th now covers much of what was the 13th district.

It looked like Perry wouldn’t run again in 2018, but he did, in Pennsylvania’s 10th district, and he won.

Democrat Madeleine Dean defeated Republican Dan David to represent Pennsylvania’s 4th District. Please help her hold the seat by donating to her 2020 re-election campaign.

 

Bill Posey, representing Florida’s 8th District. He won a sixth term in 2018.

 

Mark Sanford, representing South Carolina’s 1st District. If the name sounds familiar, yeah, this was the guy who melted down as governor of South Carolina over extramarital affairs. Remember “hiking the Appalachian Trail”? Yeah, he’s that guy. Anyway, he won the House seat in a special election in 2013 and ran for re-election, but didn’t get past the Republican primary.

Democrat Joe Cunningham won the seat in 2018. Please help him hold it by giving to his 2020 re-election campaign.

 

David Schweikert, representing Arizona’s 6th District. He won a fifth term in 2018.

 

Randy Weber, representing Texas’s 14th District. He defeated Democrat Adrienne Bell to win a fourth term in 2018.

 

See OTYCD‘s post on Adrienne Bell:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/05/26/support-adrienne-bells-run-for-the-house-seat-in-texass-14th-district/

 

Ted Yoho, representing Florida’s 3rd District. He won a fourth term in 2018.

 

 

 

We relied in part on Ballotpedia to research and fact-check this post.

 

 

See the Ballotpedia home page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page

 

 

Donate to Ballotpedia ($18 corresponds to the cost of a single article):

https://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Donate

 

 

Like Ballotpedia on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Ballotpedia?ref=br_tf

 

 

Follow Ballotpedia on Twitter:

@ballotpedia

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

As for cites on the House Freedom Caucus…

 

Read about the HFC’s drafting of articles of impeachment against Rod Rosenstein:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-allied-house-conservatives-draft-articles-of-impeachment-against-rosenstein-as-last-resort/2018/04/30/d78af412-4c97-11e8-b725-92c89fe3ca4c_story.html?utm_term=.5a0ab3b10263

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/384217-impeaching-rosenstein-some-republicans-are-talking-about-it

 

Read the actual articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, obtained by the Washington Post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/05/01/republicans-highly-political-articles-of-impeachment-against-rod-rosenstein-annotated/?utm_term=.402747613668

 

 

Read a USA Today Op-Ed on how the impeachment effort against Rosenstein represents a violation of ethical rules and an attempt to hobble Mueller’s probe:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/05/02/impeachment-articles-rosenstein-sabotage-russia-probe-column/572548002/

 

 

Read a CNN story on a Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee decrying the HFC’s shens:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/01/politics/david-cicilline-rod-rosenstein-impeachment-cnntv/index.html

 

 

Read stories about Rod Rosenstein standing firm in the face of the HFC’s threat:

https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2018/05/02/mark-meadows-rod-rosenstein-extortion-justice-department-mueller/573291002/

 

 

And read some background on the HFC:

http://time.com/4718360/freedom-caucus-donald-trump-what-to-know/

Call Your State Legislators · Community Activism · Elections · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Learn If Your State Is Passing Laws That Restrict Voting, and Fight Back

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

Is your state trying to pass laws that make it harder to vote? Consult the Brennan Center’s info and maps, and if the answer is yes, fight back.

 

Voting restrictions are a scourge on democracy, but as long as they benefit Republicans, Republicans will try to pass them. We feel that if you are eligible to vote, and you want to vote, you should be able to vote, and you should be given many options for doing so to let you choose what works best for your schedule.

 

The Brennan Center for Justice, located at the New York University School of Law, tracks state bills that intend or have the effect of making it harder to vote.

 

First, read the Brennan Center’s Voting Laws Roundup for 2017, and see if your state is mentioned:

https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/voting-laws-roundup-2017?utm_content=bufferba0df&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

Also see the Brennan Center’s interactive map of New Voting Restrictions in America:

https://www.brennancenter.org/new-voting-restrictions-america

 

Once you know what’s going on in your state, call your state-level reps to speak out against laws that restrict voting.

 

Don’t know who your state house rep and state senator are? Plug your address and zip code into this search tool (note–the address is key. If you only give your zip code, you won’t get the two names you most need):

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org

 

Then click on the names of your state house rep and state senator. Their contact info will come up.

 

Here’s a sample script that you can modify accordingly:

“Dear (State Senator/House Rep Lastname), I ask you to oppose (House/Senate bill ####), which will have the effect of making it harder to cast a vote. Everyone who is eligible to vote, and wants to, should have the opportunity to do so. Bills and laws that make it harder to vote are inherently anti-democratic. Please do not sponsor, co-sponsor, or support bills that stop people from voting. Thank you.”

 

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