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Follow Mike Stuchbery on Twitter

This OTYCD entry originally posted in September 2017.

Follow Mike Stuchbery, an Australian-born historian in Britain, on Twitter and other venues.

Stuchbery made waves in late July by brutally schooling the editor of Infowars on the ethnic makeup of Roman Britain (Infowars guy assumed it wasn’t; Stuchbery showed him just how diverse it was).

Stuchbery has since gone on to destroy alt-right nitwits on the regular. He does not suffer fools gladly. Indeed, he’s got a talent for making fools suffer. His comments on history are worth reading regardless. Check him out.

 

Follow Mike Stuchbery on Twitter:

@MikeStuchbery_

 

Read and subscribe to his blogs:

https://mikestuchberydotnet.wordpress.com

http://mike-stuchbery.org

 

Contribute to his Patreon (Stuchbery promises, “I will not just take the first month’s payment and buy a pet lizard. I will tell right-wing dickheads to get fucked at every opportunity.” As of mid-September, he’s $103 shy of his $500/month goal):

https://www.patreon.com/mikestuchbery_

 

Read about how he schooled that twerp from Infowars:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/27/alt-right-commentator-gets-schooled-historian-diversity-roman/

http://www.teenvogue.com/story/british-historian-gives-alt-right-commentator-a-history-lesson

 

If you need more proof that he’s a good guy, read about how he was pushing back against school bullying in 2014:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-norfolk-30222229

Elections · Call Your House Rep

Ask Your House Rep to Support Mike Quigley’s Amendment to Fund the Election Assistance Commission

Ask your House Rep to get behind Illinois Democrat Mike Quigley’s amendment to the appropriations bill that would restore funds to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC).

 

The Republicans have tried to kill the EAC for several years now, but finally succeeded in February, voting to zero out its funding by the end of 2018–even as it was becoming increasingly clear that Russia meddled with the 2016 presidential election. The EAC is an independent body that serves state and local election officials and sets security standards for voting machines.

 

Yes, you read that right. The House, specifically the House Administration Committee, voted 6-3 to kill the EAC. (You get one guess about how many Republicans and Democrats the committee has.)

 

Quigley’s amendment would allocate $9.2 million to the commission.

 

Is your House Rep Mike Quigley? Then call and thank him and tell him you’ve got his back in 2018.

 

Otherwise try this sample script: “Dear House Rep (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname from town, zip code), and I am asking you to back the amendment that your colleague, Illinois Democrat Mike Quigley, added to the appropriations bill on June 29 that would restore funding to the Election Assistance Commission. The EAC is the only independent body of its kind, providing help to state and local election officials and setting security standards for voting machines. We need the EAC now more than ever, given what we now know about Russian interference in the 2016 election. Please support Quigley’s effort to allocate $9.2 million for the EAC.

 

 

Read about Quigley’s amendment here:

http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/340143-house-dem-seeks-to-restore-funding-to-the-election-assistance-commission

 

 

Read about the House vote to kill the EAC:

https://www.brennancenter.org/press-release/house-committee-votes-terminate-agency-protects-voting-machines-hacking

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/election-assistance-commission-republicans-congress/516462/

 

 

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!

 

 

Read about why we need the EAC:

https://bipartisanpolicy.org/blog/why-we-need-the-election-assistance-commission/

 

 

Visit the EAC’s website:

https://www.eac.gov

 

 

Follow the EAC on Twitter:

@EACgov

 

 

 

 

 

Call Your House Rep · Call Your Members of Congress · Call Your Senators · Community Activism · House Bills, Federal · Senate Bills, Federal

Call Your MoCs and Support S. 1342, the Eliminating Federal Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act

This OTYCD entry originally posted in September 2017.

 

Support S. 1342, the Eliminating Federal Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act, which would do just that–close a loophole that unwittingly encourages the use of tax dollars to fund sports stadium construction.

 

An article on GovTrack Insider alerted us to this and oh yes, we were all over it. The bill was introduced on June 12. It has a house counterpart in the form of H.R. 811, the No Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act.

 

We’re going to quote the ‘Context’ section of the story because it’s a case study in unintended consequences:

 

“It all stems from a provision in a 1986 tax reform bill, which accidentally created a loophole which allowed tax avoidance for many bonds used to finance sports stadiums.

 

The provision stated that such bonds could be tax-exempt if they were used for more than 90 percent of a stadium’s construction, under the logic that this would almost never happen. After all, most sports teams were owned by billionaires or multi-millionaires who would help front much of the costs.

 

However, the opposite happened, as taxpayers started paying for way more of stadium costs than they had before. In the 21st century, that taxpayer money has included $431 million towards Yankee Stadium, $205 million for the Chicago Bears, $185 million for the New York Mets, and $164 million for the Cincinnati Bengals.”

 

Talk about perverse incentives, right? Though passing this bill might feel like closing the barn door after team after team of horses have escaped, and GovTrack admits the odds are long even though the bill should get serious public support, it’s worth the fight.

 

A note before giving the sample script: First off, if New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker is your senator, and if Oklahoma Republican Steve Russell is your House rep, call and thank them for sponsoring these bills.

 

Now, the sample script: “Dear (Senator/House Rep Lastname,) I am (Firstname Lastname, of town, zip code). I am calling to ask you to support (S. 1342/ H.R. 811), which would close a loophole that perversely encourages using tax dollars to fund sports stadium construction. Sports team owners are wealthy–some are billionaires. They can, and should, pay to build or improve their own stadiums. The law, as currently written, encourages team owners to chase precious tax dollars that should go to municipal and state needs instead of wants. The bills moving through Congress now will take away that perverse incentive.”

 

 

Read the GovTrack story on the bills that close the stadium funding loophole:

https://govtrackinsider.com/eliminating-taxpayer-subsidies-for-stadiums-act-would-end-taxpayer-tax-support-for-sports-stadiums-94a7ec189c8c

 

 

Read a Brookings Institution story on why the government should stop funding sports stadiums:

https://www.brookings.edu/research/why-the-federal-government-should-stop-spending-billions-on-private-sports-stadiums/#federal-subsidy

 

 

See the GovTrack page on S. 1342, the Eliminating Federal Tax Subsidies for Stadium Act of 2017:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s1342

 

 

See the GovTrack page on H.R. 811, the No Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr811

 

 

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

 

 

Like GovTrack on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/govtrack

 

 

Follow GovTrack on Twitter:

@govtrack

 

 

Donate to GovTrack:

https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?c=350193

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Choose Your Core Four · Uncategorized

Here’s All the Sitting House Reps With ‘A’ Ratings from the NRA, So You Can Vote Them Out in November

See this list of all the sitting members of the House of Representatives, as of early-to-mid 2018, who have ‘A’ ratings from the National Rifle Association (NRA), so you can vote them out. 

 

The NRA is a foul, malign influence on America and on American politics. Because of it and its rabid supporters, too many members of Congress are afraid to back common-sense gun laws.

 

We at OTYCD are sick of it all.

 

On February 15, 2018, Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) tweeted a list of all sitting members of the House of Representatives who have earned ‘A’ ratings from the NRA.

 

An ‘A’ rating means the Congressperson supports and votes for legislation that the NRA likes, and fights legislation it doesn’t like. (It is possible to earn an A- or an A+ from the NRA, but we haven’t broken the grades out that specifically for the 23 Congresspeople cited below.)

 

We at OTYCD have augmented Spiro’s list by adding links to the Ballotpedia page for each district, so you can see which Democrats, Independents, Republicans, and other third party candidates are running against these House reps.

 

We have explicitly named any Democratic challengers to whom we have devoted or will devote check-out-this-candidate blog posts.

 

Click the Ballotpedia links and scroll down to find the challengers so you can click on their names and learn more about them.

 

Also! If you live in any of these Congressional districts, take note of the primary dates, which vary for each state (the general election, in all cases, is November 6, 2018).

 

Then match the primary dates against any away-travel plans for 2018.

 

Will you be out of town on the Tuesday when the primary happens? Please wrangle an absentee ballot for yourself.

 

 

Republican Mimi Walters, representing California’s 45th district. Seven Democrats will run in the June 5, 2018 primary. It is a “Top-two” primary, in which only the top two vote-getters move on to the general. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/California%27s_45th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Rodney Davis, representing Illinois’s 13th District. Five Democrats will run in the March 20, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Likely Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/Illinois%27_13th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Leonard Lance, representing New Jersey’s 7th District. Seven Democrats and one other Republican will participate in the June 5, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean R.

https://ballotpedia.org/New_Jersey%27s_7th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Scott Taylor, representing Virginia’s 2nd District. Six Democrats and another Republican will run in the June 12, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/Virginia%27s_2nd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Peter Roskham, representing Illinois’s 6th District. Seven Democrats will compete in the March 20, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/Illinois%27_6th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Bruce Poliquin, representing Maine’s 2nd District. This is a crowded field, with six Democrats, four Independents, and a Green Party member all appearing in the June 12, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/Maine%27s_2nd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Jason Lewis, representing Minnesota’s 2nd District. Two Democrats have committed to the August 14, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/Minnesota%27s_2nd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Tom MacArthur, representing New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. Two Democrats and a member of the Constitution Party will appear in the June 5, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Likely Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/New_Jersey%27s_3rd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican John Faso, representing New York’s 19th District. Seven Democrats plus an Independent are in the June 26, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/New_York%27s_19th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Ryan Costello, representing Pennsylvania’s 6th District. Two Democrats, including Chrissy Houlahan, will appear in the May 15, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/Pennsylvania%27s_6th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican David Young, representing Iowa’s 3rd District. Seven Democrats are running in the June 5, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/Iowa%27s_3rd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Frank LoBiondo, representing New Jersey’s 2nd District. He has announced in November 2017 that he was retiring. Four Democrats and three Republicans will be on the primary ballot on June 5, 2018. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean Democratic.

https://ballotpedia.org/New_Jersey%27s_2nd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Will Hurd, representing Texas’s 23rd District. Five Democrats and an additional Republican have committed to the March 6, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/Texas%27_23rd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Jeff Denham, representing California’s 10th District. Seven Democrats and two Independents will compete against Denham on June 5, 2018 in the top-two primary, which sends the top two vote-getters to the general election. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/California%27s_10th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Stephen Knight, representing California’s 25th District. Knight will face seven Democrats in the top-two primary on June 5, 2018. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/California%27s_25th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Ed Royce, representing California’s 39th District. In January 2018, Royce announced that he would not run again. Eight Democrats, including Mai Khanh Tran, will appear on the June 5, 2018 top-two primary ballot, as well as five Republicans and two Independents. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean Democratic.

https://ballotpedia.org/California%27s_39th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Carlos Curbelo, representing Florida’s 26th District. Four Democrats will run in the August 28, 2018 primary. (District residents take note–late August means late summer. If you think you’ll be away on vacation on August 28, please see about getting an absentee ballot.) The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/Florida%27s_26th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican David Valadao, representing California’s 21st District. As of mid-February 2018, there’s only one Democrat running in the June 5, 2018 primary. If no other candidates show up, she and Valadao will advance to the general election. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Likely Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/California%27s_21st_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican John Katko, representing New York’s 24th District. Five Democrats have committed to the June 26, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Likely Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/New_York%27s_24th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Mike Coffman, representing Colorado’s 6th District. Four Democrats and another Republican will run in the June 26, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/Colorado%27s_6th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Rod Blum, representing Iowa’s 1st District. Four Democrats will appear in the June 5, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/Iowa%27s_1st_Congressional_District_election_(June_5,_2018_Democratic_primary)

 

 

Republican Erik Paulsen, representing Minnesota’s 3rd District. Three Democrats are running in the August 14, 2018 primary. (District residents take note–mid-August means late summer. If you think you’ll be away on vacation on August 14, please see about getting an absentee ballot.) The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/Minnesota%27s_3rd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Barbara Comstock, representing Virginia’s 10th District. A total of eleven–yes, eleven–Democrats are in the June 12, 2018 primary, as well as an additional Republican. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/Virginia%27s_10th_Congressional_District_election,_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!

 

 

Include one or more House of Representative challenger candidates in your Core Four:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/24/choose-your-core-four-for-2018/

 

Also 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

 

A note: We at OTYCD intend to nurture and encourage the movement sparked by the Margory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting by devoting one post at least every other week to gun safety-related issues.

 

The reason that the NRA has a death grip on Congress, and in particular, GOP Congressfolk, is that NRA members get off their asses and call if there’s a whisper of a muttering of a hint that a law might pass that could impose even the slightest imposition on ownership of guns in America.

 

That’s what the politicians are afraid of. It’s not just that some of them get metric buttloads of money for their campaigns from the NRA. Those who embrace the NRA’s outlook pounce on their phones and berate their representatives the instant they think their beloved guns are under threat.

 

So, yes, it’s on us to shout back.

 

We have to adopt the tactics of those who support the NRA.

 

We have to call our representatives often to make it damn clear that the status quo is unacceptable, and we want common-sense gun safety laws.

 

OTYCD will start out with one weekday post every two weeks, at minimum, that has to do with improving gun safety and pushing back against the NRA.

 

We do this in honor of the Parkland victims, and all victims of mass shootings in America, and everyone who has been fighting to change our laws on firearms all along.

 

If Trump finally bows to the will of Congress and imposes the sanctions against Russia for messing with the 2016 election, we will switch to devoting one post per week to these issues.

 

Honor the victims of the Parkland shooting, and all other shootings, by stepping up and calling your reps about common-sense gun safety laws, and by supporting politicians who have low grades from the NRA, and voting out those who do the NRA’s bidding.

 

#NeverAgain. For the love of all that is right and good, Never Again.

 

 

 

Action Alerts · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Vote with your Dollars

Support the Committee to Protect Journalists

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.

Support the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an independent nonprofit that defends the rights of journalists to report the news without reprisal.

We at OTYCD knew we would devote a post to the CPJ at some point. Trump’s July 2 tweet threatening CNN forced our hand.

Since its founding in 1981, the CPJ has vigorously defended journalists around the world from all sorts of threats. At its core it is devoted to promoting and defending the value of accurate information in a free society. It tracks how many journalists are killed for simply doing their jobs, how many have been jailed, and how many are missing. It monitors the levels of censorship in various countries. It shines a light on attacks on the press. It issues safety guides and dispatches emergency response teams to journalists and media crews working in dangerous areas.

The CPJ does good, necessary work. Please support it.

 

Visit the CPJ website:

https://cpj.org

 

Like the CPJ on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/committeetoprotectjournalists/?ref=ts

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@pressfreedom

 

Donate to the CPJ:
https://cpj20023.thankyou4caring.org

 

Call Your State Legislators · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Fight Back If Your State Wants to Pass A Law That Lets Drivers Escape Liability for Hitting Protestors

This OTYCD entry originally posted in August 2017.

Is your state working on a law that would lighten or lift punishments for drivers who hit protestors with their cars? Call your state legislators and tell them to vote no or stop progress on that bill. 

 

Months ago, in the depths of winter 2017, we at OTYCD were grossed out enough to ask readers who live in North Dakota to oppose HB 1203, a bill that would lessen legal penalties for drivers who hit protestors with their cars:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/04/21/oppose-a-north-dakota-state-bill-that-would-cheapen-the-lives-of-protesters/

 

It failed to pass the North Dakota house by a too-close-for-comfort margin of 50 to 41. But apparently some sick individuals who got elected to state office elsewhere in the country thought that HB 1203 was a good idea and introduced their own versions in their home legislatures. (You get one guess as to what their party affiliations are.)

 

According to a CNN story linked below, these five states have joined North Dakota in pursuing bills that would make it easier for drivers to hurt or kill protestors with their vehicles and escape punishment or receive what amounts to a slap on the wrist. The bill numbers are included:

 

 

Rhode Island, HB 5690. Introduced in March but has since been held, per the state’s House Judiciary Committee, for more study.

 

 

North Carolina, HB 330. Introduced in March. It passed the house in April on a 67-48 vote and is now with the state’s Senate Committee on Rules and Operations. It could proceed from there to broader consideration in the state senate.

 

 

Tennessee, SB 944 and HB 668. The house version is dead, but the Senate version is still alive, sitting with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

 

And so you’re aware:

 

Florida‘s senate and house introduced bills along these lines in February and March, respectively. Both have since died.

 

The Texas house introduced HB 250 last month during its legislative special session. It was referred to the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee and was still there when the session ended on Aug 15.

 

So, what should you do?

 

If you live in any of the four states where the bills are not-quite-dead, call your state legislators and make it damn clear that you expect them to let these bills die in committee or vote against them if they come up. If your reps happen to be sponsors of one of these bills, ask them to remove their support. If you live in one of the two states where bills were introduced, but died, call and make it clear that you expect the bills to stay dead. And if you live anywhere else? Call your state reps, mention these bills, and make it clear that you want them to stop any such bill before it starts.

 

Here’s how to find your state legislators. You have a state senator and a state house rep. Plug your street address into this search engine to find them:

whoaremyrepresentatives.org

 

 

Sample script for state legislators who are from the four states that have not-quite-dead-yet bills: “I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). I am asking state senator/house representative (Lastname) to oppose (Bill ID goes here), which would shield drivers from the consequences of accidentally hitting protesters who block a roadway. It was a sick idea before that guy attacked those protestors in Charlottesville, and it’s an even worse idea now. Please do everything you can to stop its progress. If you are a sponsor, please remove your support, thank you.”

 

 

Sample script for state legislators from the two states where bills were introduced, but died: “I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). I realize that (Bill ID goes here) has essentially died and can’t become law in the current session, but I am asking state senator/house representative (Lastname) to make sure it stays dead and is not revived in a future session. The bill would have shielded drivers from the consequences of accidentally hitting protesters who block a roadway. It was a sick idea before that guy attacked those protestors in Charlottesville, and it’s an even worse idea now. Please do everything you can to stop its progress. If (State Senator/House Rep Lastname) co-sponsored the bill, I am asking (him/her) to please withdraw support. Thank you.”

 

 

Sample script for those of us in the 44 other states: “I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). In the wake of the horrifying car attack on protestors in Charlottesville, I learned that six states had been pursuing bills that would lessen or remove penalties on drivers who hit or killed protestors with their cars. I realize there is no such bill moving through our state legislature now but I am asking State Senator/House Rep (Lastname) to oppose such a bill if anyone tries to introduce one. Thank you.”

 

 

See the CNN story from August 19, 2017 on states’ efforts to lessen penalties on drivers who injure protestors:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/18/us/legislation-protects-drivers-injure-protesters/index.html

 

 

See a similar story from a British paper (warning: It includes a graphic image from the Charlottesville attack):

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/charlottesville-states-introduced-bills-laws-protect-drivers-run-protesters-texas-florida-tennessee-a7902546.html

 

 

Read about backlash to these bills after the terrorist incident in Charlottesville that killed Heather Heyer and injured 19:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/backlash-gop-bills-shield-drivers-hit-protesters-49234719

 

 

Read state-level coverage of various laws (warning–some of these stories include links to eyewitness videos taken of the attack in Charlottesville):

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/10/bill-would-make-drivers-immune-civil-liability-protests/97743390/

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article167065952.html

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-bills-protest-criminal-20170201-story.html

 

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