Postcard Campaigns · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Thank You Actions

Thank These Lawyers for Suing Trump

Numerous ethics experts and lawyers warned that Donald Trump’s business entanglements would place him in violation of the Constitution the instant that he took office as president.

On Monday, January 23, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) brought suit against the newly sworn-in president. Please send thank-you postcards to the team that is pursuing the case.

The New York Times story on the suit is below, and the addresses are below the link. Note this intriguing paragraph, which appears deep in the article:

“Mr. Eisen said the legal team intended to use the lawsuit to try to get a copy of Mr. Trump’s federal tax returns, which are needed to properly assess what income or other payments or loans Mr. Trump has received from foreign governments.”

So, this lawsuit might achieve another worthy goal, too–forcing Trump to release his tax returns, which his senior advisor Kellyanne Conway recently said he would not do, despite the fact that almost 600,000 people have signed a whitehouse.gov petition asking him to do so. (If you want to sign the petition, which closes on Feb 19, go here: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/immediately-release-donald-trumps-full-tax-returns-all-information-needed-verify-emoluments-clause-compliance)

 

Please send thank-you postcards to:

 

Erwin Chemerinsky

Norman Eisen

Deepak Gupta

Richard W. Painter

Zephyr Teachout

Laurence H. Tribe

c/o Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

455 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Sixth Floor

Washington, DC 20001

 

 

 

Community Activism · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Vote with your Dollars

Help the Folks Who Toppled the Confederate Statue in Durham, N.C., Pay Their Legal Bills

Donate to the legal fund of the folks who toppled the Confederate statue that was on public land in Durham, North Carolina.

On August 14, a group of protestors pulled down a Confederate statue that was on public land in Durham. It had been there since 1924. This happened two days after the events of Charlottesville, Virginia, which had their origins in the community’s attempt to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

For what it’s worth, the Durham statue was not dedicated to an individual. It was dedicated ‘in memory of the boys who wore gray,’ a reference to the color of the uniform of the Confederate soldiers, and sported the seal of ‘The Confederate States of America.’

Read about the toppling, and see it in the PBS link:

http://time.com/4900779/durham-north-carolina-confederate-statue-pulled-down-protesters/

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/watch-protesters-pull-confederate-statue-north-carolina/

A few days after the statute was taken down, officials in Durham county began arresting those responsible on felony riot charges (despite there having been no actual riot) as well as some misdemeanors. As of August 20, when this post was written, the eight who were arrested had been bailed out, but they still have legal expenses. All are due in court on September 12, 2017.

 

You can help the eight pay their legal expenses through the Freedom Fighter Fund, set up by the Durham Solidarity Center:

http://durhamsolidaritycenter.org/bondfund/

 

You can read about the arrests and the charges against the eight here:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/durham-arrests/537015/

http://www.heraldsun.com/news/local/counties/durham-county/article167929017.html

 

Also read about the Durham residents who offered themselves in a heartening and novel protest of the arrests of the eight activists. Many locals–we can’t seem to find a count or even an estimate, but the photos show long line–turned themselves in at the city’s jail in an ‘I am Spartacus’-style solidarity move to show support for the eight who removed the statue:

http://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/08/17/residents-of-durham-showed-us-what-patriotism-looks-like/

 

Also? Check this map from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Is there at least one Confederate monument in your community? Is it on public land? It’s time to take it down and destroy it, or move it to a more appropriate location, such as a museum or a Confederate cemetery.

https://www.splcenter.org/news/2017/08/15/send-letter-its-time-take-down-confederate-monuments

The SPLC is recommending that you send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and ask for the monument’s removal, but we at OTYCD recommend you see if you can do more. Is there a local group that’s trying to get the monument removed? Join them and help them. Is there a local election coming up? Tell the candidates and incumbents that removing Confederate monuments on public land is important to you, and you won’t vote for anyone who won’t agree to take them away.

 

Call Your House Rep · Call Your Members of Congress · Call Your Senators · Community Activism · Elections · Save These Tools · Stand Up for Norms · Thank You Actions · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Self-advocacy 101: Find Your Congressional Representatives

FWIW: This is the first-ever post to OTYCD, uploaded on January 7, 2017.

Before you can start pushing back against Trump, you need to know who represents you in Congress.

Find out who your Congressional representatives are by plugging your zip code and your state into this web site:

http://whoismyrepresentative.com/

This web site is better for learning who stands for you in the House of Representatives (plug in your zip code and it will narrow the choices to two. The name that seems more familiar to you is probably your House rep):

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Once you have pinned down your two Senators and your House Rep, pull up their web pages. Scroll to the bottom. If their offices aren’t listed there, go to the Contact page and find them.

Pick the state office that is closest to you (*NOT the Washington D.C. one).

Find the phone number for that office.

Put it in your phone.

Repeat for your other two representatives.

Done!

* You can put the Washington, D.C. numbers in your phone, but call them last. You are far more likely to reach a real person if you call the district offices.

Call Your House Rep · Call Your Members of Congress · Call Your Senators · Community Activism · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Save These Tools · Thank You Actions · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Follow Your Congressional Reps on Social Media

Are you active on social media, even a little bit? Are you thinking about signing on?

Please follow the pages and accounts of your Congressional representatives.

Pull up the web pages of your three Congressional reps–your two senators and your house rep. Social media platform logos tend to show up at the top of the home page or the bottom. If they’re not there, try the Contact page.

Most members of Congress are on Facebook and Twitter. If they’re on other platforms and you want to follow them there, go right ahead. But don’t feel like you must follow them on every platform. Do what makes sense for you.

If any of your reps are not on social media, or aren’t on the platform you like best, call their offices and ask them to join. You can bet there’s an intern or entry-level staffer who’s been chewing the rep’s ear off, trying to make their case. If enough constituents call to ask them to get on social media, or on a specific platform, that might change their minds.

Following your reps on social media is worth it. It keeps you up to date on what they’re saying and doing, and lets you know when they might appear at an event happening near you. It lets you show your support for them. And it helps move toward a world in which members of Congress take messages that arrive through social media as seriously as requests that come over the phone or through postal mail.

But don’t forget that for now (early 2017), social media is the least effective way to speak to your reps. If you need to ask your members of Congress to do something, use the phone. Do not use social media. Your message will not get through to them.

If you’re not on social media at all, consider signing up to follow your reps. You can have a private account on Twitter, and you can keep strict privacy settings on your Facebook page.

If you’re not on social media at all and have no wish to be, sign up for their e-newsletters and postal mailings instead, if you haven’t already. You should be able to do this through their web sites.

 

Elections

Update: Connecticut Special Election Results: Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

Connecticut held a trio of special elections on February 28, 2017. Democrats won two out of three races, and control of the state’s senate remains split between the Democrats and the Republicans.

Democrat Douglas McCrory trounced Republican Michael McDonald to claim the District 2 senate seat, and Democrat Dorinda Borer beat Republican Edward Granfield for a house seat in the 115th district.

Democrat Greg Cava lost to Republican Eric Berthel to win the senate seat in District 32, but there is a silver lining. Cava did a lot better than expected. District 32 has been described as “the most Republican senate district in the state” and he lost by only 10 points.

Turnout for the state senate races was reportedly low, hovering around 18 percent.

Read several stories from local, state, and national papers on the results of the races:

http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-senate-special-election-20170228-story.html

http://ctmirror.org/2017/02/28/borer-keeps-115th-house-seat-in-democratic-hands/

http://www.nhregister.com/government-and-politics/20170228/dorinda-keenan-borer-wins-special-election-for-115th-district-house-seat

http://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/connecticut-state-senate-district-32

 

 

Original OTYCD post is below.

 

On February 28, the state of Connecticut holds three special elections–two for state senate seats, and one for the state house of representatives.

The Connecticut state senate races are extra-interesting because as of now, party representation is tied, 18 t0 18. The Democrats have a chance to gain control of the state senate through these special elections.

Do you live in Connecticut? Do you have friends and family who do? Support Douglas McCrory and Greg Cava for the state senate and Dorinda Keenan Borer for the state house of representatives in three special elections on February 28.

Democrat Douglas McCrory, now a seven-term member of Connecticut’s house of representatives, will run against Republican Michael McDonald in the special election for the 2nd State Senate District. (Eric Coleman, also a Democrat, vacated the seat to pursue a judgeship.) While the 2nd leans blue, McCrory is bracing for a fight. His Republican opponent has reportedly qualified for public financing.

Democrat Greg Cava hopes to claim the senate seat for district 32, which has been vacated by Robert Kane, who defeated Cava in the last state senate election. (Kane is leaving to join the state’s office of the Auditors of Public Accounts.) Cava will have two competitors: Republican Eric C. Berthel and Dan Lynch, who has no party affiliation.

Democrat Dorinda Keenan Borer hopes to keep the district 115 house of representatives seat blue. It, too, is open because its occupant, Democrat Stephen Dargan, left for a job with the state board of pardons and paroles. She will battle Republican Edward Granfield for the seat. (She does not yet have a campaign web site; we’ll update this post to include it when it appears online.)

 

Learn more about the McCrory-McDonald race:

http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-second-senate-districts-endorsements-0121-20170120-story.html

 

See McCrory’s Connecticut House of Representatives web page:

http://www.housedems.ct.gov/McCrory

 

Donate to McCrory’s campaign fund:

https://causes.anedot.com/mccroryforsenate

 

Visit Greg Cava’s web site (which reflects his 2016 race):

http://www.gregcava2016.com

 

Community Activism · Save These Tools

Subscribe to Rogan’s List and Keep Busy

Subscribe to the Rogan’s List blog, and get to work. 

Susan Rogan will keep you as busy as you want to be. The retired university librarian’s blog gives you more than a dozen useful nuggets of information per day, almost every day, from actions to tools to organizations to join, and more. Are you extra-eager to do more? Start here. The newest Rogan’s post tends to go live around 9 am EST.

See Rogan’s List blog, and subscribe (plug your email address into the slot above Rogan’s picture and below the shot of the to-do list):

http://roganslist.blogspot.com

Escape Your Bubble · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Escape Your Bubble By Joining Stand Up Republic

Escape your bubble by joining Stand Up Republic, an organization founded by former CIA officer Evan McMullin and digital politics wizard Mindy Finn.

McMullin, you might recall, jumped into the 2016 presidential race late, after the Republicans chose Trump as their candidate. Finn was McMullin’s running mate. Despite not getting started until August and their status as a third-party ticket, McMullin and Finn won three-quarters of a million votes.

Since the election ended, McMullin has been an outspoken critic of Trump, so much so that he’s actually gotten under Trump’s skin a few times.

He and Finn have also co-founded Stand Up Republic, an organization devoted to “build[ing] and organiz[ing] a grassroots movement in defense of liberty, equality, and truth in America. Our priorities will be to uphold the Constitution and defend the democratic norms and institutions upon which the protection of our basic rights depend.”

Please check out Stand Up Republic, follow it on social media, and follow its co-founders as well.

Obligatory warning, with apologies for bonking you all on the head about this fact: McMullin and Finn hold at least some different political beliefs than you do. That means they’ll sometimes say things and do things that don’t match your beliefs, and might piss you off well and thoroughly. That’s ok. Really, it’s OK. You’re being asked to look at what they’re doing and support what you like, not endorse every last little everything they do. They understand the danger of Trump–that’s the key thing. One of the reasons this country is so borked right now is we’re fiercely polarized and, in avoiding jerks who disagree with us, we end up avoiding decent people who happen to disagree with us. That’s got to stop if we want to make things better.

 

See the Stand Up Republic site:

https://standuprepublic.com

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/standuprepublic

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@StandUpRepublic

 

Donate to Stand Up Republic:

https://standuprepublic.com/donate

 

Follow Evan McMullin on Twitter:

@Evan_McMullin

 

Follow Mindy Finn on Twitter:

@mindyfinn

 

Read an Op-Ed McMullin wrote for CNN calling for Republicans to stand up to Trump:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/28/opinions/conservatives-stop-caving-to-trump-on-liberty-mcmullin/

 

Read a New Yorker profile on McMullin:

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/persons-of-interest/evan-mcmullins-quest-to-save-democracy

 

Read a good Washington Post opinion piece on McMullin:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/02/17/evan-mcmullin-and-senate-republicans-go-where-chaffetz-wont/?utm_term=.cadeb68c4ef5