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Check Out The Cook Political Report

This OTYCD entry originally posted in November 2017.

 

Check out the Cook Political Report, a 33-year-old Washington, D.C. nonpartisan newsletter that provides analysis of American electoral races.

 

Named for its founder, Charlie Cook, the Cook Political Report tracks campaigns for the House of Representatives, the Senate, and gubernatorial races, and rates each on a seven-point scale: Solid Democrat, Likely Democrat, Lean Democrat, Tossup, Lean Republican, Likely Republican, and Solid Republican. It updates the listings and ratings weekly and offers stories about each race.

 

The Cook Political Report is of special interest if you follow or volunteer for Flippable, Sister District, and Swing Left.

 

See the website for the Cook Political Report:

http://cookpolitical.com

 

Visit its Latest Ratings Changes page:

http://cookpolitical.com/ratings

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/CookPolitical?fref=nf

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@CookPolitical

 

Subscribe to the Cook Political Report:

http://cookpolitical.com/subscribe

 

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Help #EndCrosscheck, That Data-sharing Program Used to Disenfranchise Voters

This post originally appeared on OTYCD in July 2018.

 

Help #EndCrosscheck, a data-sharing program that’s been used to disenfranchise voters.

 

You’ve probably heard of Crosscheck, an interstate data-sharing program that has effectively disenfranchised voters across the country. It got its start in 2005 but devolved into a problem in 2011 after Kris Koback gained control of it.

 

As of April 2018, Koback is Kansas’s secretary of state and was the vice chairman of the Presidential Commission for Election Integrity, created after Trump claimed that around three million votes in the 2016 presidential election–not coincidentally the difference between the 62 million he received and the 65 million Hillary Clinton received–might have been cast illegally. Koback claims that voter fraud is widespread, despite evidence that shows it isn’t.

 

Crosscheck might be his favorite tool for spotting potential double votes, or the same person casting a ballot in two states. He favors it despite Crosscheck’s tendency to generate a startling number of false positives and despite flaws that leave sensitive voter data vulnerable. It also seems to flag voters of color more often than white voters.

 

As of 2017, a total of 28 states participated in Crosscheck (Massachusetts has since left the program). #EndCrosscheck formed after the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity asked the states for their voter data (fortunately, most refused, and the commission was ultimately disbanded).

 

Many of #EndCrosscheck’s members are affiliated with Indivisible Chicago. It is devoted to doing just that–ending Crosscheck–by helping people learn what Crosscheck does and urge their states to leave the program or refuse to adopt it.

 

 

See the #EndCrosscheck webpage:

https://www.endcrosscheck.com/

 

 

Learn if your state is a member of Crosscheck (and if you scroll down, you can see if your state was once part of Crosscheck but isn’t now):

https://www.endcrosscheck.com/is-my-state-in-crosscheck/

 

 

See its Crosscheck FAQ:

https://www.endcrosscheck.com/crosscheck-faq/

 

 

Join the fight to end Crosscheck in your home state and other states:

https://www.endcrosscheck.com/join-the-fight

 

 

Follow #EndCrosscheck on Twitter:

@endcrosscheck

 

 

Follow Indivisible Chicago on Twitter:

@IndivisibleChi

 

 

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Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

GOOD UPDATE! Katie Porter BEAT Republican Mimi Waters for the House Seat in California’s 45th District

Update, March 24, 2019: YES YES YES! Democrat Katie Porter defeated Republican incumbent Mimi Waters with 52.1 percent of the vote to Waters’s 47.9 percent.

 

Porter, a protege of Elizabeth Warren, quickly proved herself a worthy new member of Congress when she expertly exposed the ridiculous position of Equifax with a devastating quiz of its CEO, which you can see here:

https://www.fastcompany.com/90312551/watch-a-congresswoman-destroy-equifax-ceo-mark-begor-in-an-epic-privacy-burn

 

If you have money to give, please consider adding Porter to your 2020 Core Four. As a House of Representatives member, she runs for re-election every two years.

 

Original text of the 2018 post follows.

 

Support Democrat Katie Porter’s run to unseat California House Republican Mimi Walters.

 

To flip the House of Representatives to Democratic control, the party needs to pick up at least 24 seats. Those who know say that the Democrats need to gain at least a third of those 24 in California.

 

Katie Porter has a harder road to walk than, say, Harley Rouda or Gil Cisneros. Unlike those two, whose California Congressional districts the Cook Political Report rates as Toss-ups, the 45th district carries a Lean Republican tag.

 

Republican Mimi Walters, first elected in 2014, has fallen in behind Trump and has consistently voted for bills he likes. That should rankle those in her district, who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

 

Porter is a professor at University of California, Irvine and a protege of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. She specializes in fighting home mortgage lenders who mistreat their clients. When Kamala Harris was still the state’s attorney general, she chose Porter to monitor a $25 billion mortgage settlement on behalf of California.

 

Porter has an opening, but she’ll need support to make this happen. Have a look at the links below and see if she’s the right candidate for you.

 

 

See Porter’s campaign website:

https://katieporter.com

 

 

See her Issues page:

https://katieporter.com/issues

 

 

See her Endorsements page:

https://katieporter.com/endorsements

 

 

Choose Porter 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 Porter’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/kp18?refcode=header_donate

 

 

Like Porter on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/katieporteroc

 

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@katieporteroc

 

 

Read additional articles about Porter that predate the June 5, 2018 primary:

https://www.ocregister.com/2017/04/03/all-the-facts-on-katie-porter-challenger-to-rep-mimi-walterss-re-election-bid/

http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article142177884.html

Uncategorized

Read Avi Woolf’s How to Leave the Echo Chamber

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017.

 

Read How to Leave the Echo Chamber, by Avi Woolf, a writer and managing editor at the Buckley Club, a conservative publication that opposes Trump’s presidency.

 

Woolf lays out solid guidelines for edging out of your political bubble:

 

Don’t just dive into the deep end, take some time to prepare yourself. That includes figuring out what issues matter to you.

 

Look at the mainstream, aka establishment media of the other side, and avoid the rabble-rousers and shock jocks.

 

Don’t debate, discuss. Don’t see political conversations as games to be won, but as opportunities to learn and connect.

 

Read Woolf’s piece:

https://thebuckleyclub.com/how-to-leave-the-echo-chamber-2de78b1508ad

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@AviWoolf

 

Learn about the Buckley Club (which, again, is a conservative publication):

https://thebuckleyclub.com/introducing-the-buckley-club-51e656ab6618

 

Like its page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/TheBuckleyClub/

 

Follow the Buckley Club on Twitter:

@TheBuckleyClub

 

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Join the Sister District Project

This OTYCD post originally appeared in March 2018.

 

Join the Sister District Project, an effort to help elect or defend Democrats in races across the country.

 

The Sister District Project is one of the many organizations that arose in the wake of the 2016 election. Its aim is to “build a grassroots network of volunteers to channel blue resources to nearby red areas where small, focused boosts can make an impact.”

 

It connects willing volunteers with teams that focus on down-ballot races that are strategically important and winnable. Needs change depending on the race but they can include donating, phone-banking, canvassing, boosting the signal through social media, etc. They’re also concerned with reversing pro-Republican gerrymandering and making sure that districts are fairly drawn after the 2020 census info comes in.

 

See the Sister District web site:

Home

 

See its Who We Are and What We Do pages:

https://www.sisterdistrict.com/who-we-are/

What We Do

 

Find your Sister District team:

https://www.sisterdistrict.com/yourdistrict/

 

Like Sister District on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/sisterdistrict/

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@Sister_District

 

Donate to Sister District:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/sdp_inc

 

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Uncategorized

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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Uncategorized

Help Build and Strengthen Your Resistance Community So It Survives Life After Trump

This OTYCD entry originally posted in October 2017.

 

Help build and strengthen your resistance community so it survives life after Trump.

 

Trump will go, but you must not. The resistance infrastructure–the local and national groups that sprung up after Trump’s election–will take a hit when he’s gone. Without such a powerful villain in the White House, at least some people will drift away, and some of those who drift away will never be as politically involved again. That’s inevitable.

 

You need to do what you can, now, to build and strengthen the fabric of your favorite local resistance group to help it survive in the post-Trump era.

 

How do you do that? You need to help your group build a life outside politics. Barbeques, bowling leagues, coffee klatches, pub crawls, gaming nights, concerts, parties, you name it–you need to help your gem of a group develop as many facets as possible.

 

Robert Putnam, in his classic 2001 book Bowling Alone, recognized and examined the decline of social groups that used to hold communities together–clubs such as the Elks, the Lions, and the Rotary Club, as well as churches, parent-teacher associations, and the like. It’s worth a read even though it appeared before social media really took hold. He makes it clear that these groups increased civic engagement and that civic engagement has declined with their disappearance.

 

But here’s the larger point: You need to do whatever you can to help make your Indivisible group, or whatever you joined that was born after November 9, 2016, become the new Rotary Club, the new PTA, the new church. And that means expanding its scope beyond the merely functional and giving it a social aspect.

 

Let’s be dead clear–the social aspect of the group should never be allowed to eclipse the functional aspect of the group. But you absolutely, definitely need to develop that social aspect. It’s vital. Why? Right now the function of the group is to stop Trump. What happens to your group when Trump is stopped? What then?

 

Yeah. You’ll need the social stuff to hold the group together while you revise and revamp your post-Trump mission. And that social stuff has to be in place and well-established by the time Trump goes, or else your group could go with him. And that would suck, because we need as many of these local groups as we can sustain.

 

Consider this example. Merrick Garland should be on the Supreme Court right now. It’s complete and utter bullshit that he is not. Obama did what he could, but he’s just the president, and he could only do so much.

 

Now imagine what would have happened to Garland if the resistance infrastructure that we have now was in place when Mitch McConnell refused to hear out a SCOTUS nominee in the last year of a president’s term.

 

We could have bombarded our senators with emails, phone calls, and letters demanding that they give Garland the hearing he deserved. We could have kept it up, stop-Trumpcare style, until enough senators relented. And because it’s only reasonable that the senators at least hear him out, it probably would have happened. And if the senators had heard Garland, they would have realized he’s a good guy who deserves a SCOTUS seat, and he may well have gotten it. Because that’s really why McConnell pulled that garbage move–he knew if the senators heard Garland, as tradition prescribes, they’d probably end up approving him.

 

We need to have that resistance infrastructure up and running in case we have another Garland situation. [Note inserted in October 2018: Ahem.] We need to have teams upon teams of folks practiced in the art of calling their members of Congress and ready to do it on a second’s notice. We can’t risk letting it all rot and fall apart after Trump goes.

 

So, while the notion of Trump leaving office is still abstract and without a fixed date, you need to identify and shore up the columns that (metaphorically) hold up your group. If all of those columns have Trump’s name on them, start (metaphorically) mixing and pouring concrete to make some columns that don’t.

 

Now, you don’t know this, but we at OTYCD can sometimes read your mind. We can hear you thinking, ‘But I’m an introvert.’ We get it. So are we. We’re not asking you to host monthly catered dinner parties with china and sterling silver and linen napkins for 36. We’re asking you to think about what social stuff you’re willing to do on a regular basis, and commit.

 

That doesn’t mean you, personally, have to open your home or pay to hire a hall. It could well mean helping someone else in the group host a social event. That works. And if you do open your home, you can set limits and enforce them: “You must RSVP by X date and the maximum I can accommodate is 12.” Really, you can do that.

 

Think about what you can do. Then do it, with an eye toward serving the future of your group.

 

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