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Learn Which 36 Governorships Are On the Ballot in 2018

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2018.

 

Learn which 36 governorships are on the ballot in 2018.

 

In addition to hundreds of Congressional races, 2018 is a big year for governorships. No less than 36 of the 50 posts will be contested. As of January 1, 2018, 17 sitting governors intend to run and 17 others won’t run again or are term-limited out.

 

A total of 26 of those 36 governorships are held by Republicans, which creates a huge opportunity for Democratic pickups.

 

The situation also creates opportunities to break Republican trifectas and maybe create a few new Democratic trifectas.

 

A trifecta happens when one party controls the governorship and both chambers of a state’s legislature. If a majority of states muster trifectas, those states could call a Constitutional Convention and rewrite the basics of how our country is governed.

 

Maneuvering America toward a Constitutional Convention has been a long-term goal of some right-wing groups. Frustrating Republican trifectas should factor into your concerns as a voter and a citizen.

 

What follows is a list of the 36 governors’ races, and notes on whether the incumbent is running.

 

Alabama: Republican incumbent Kay Ivey is running. She was sworn in in April 2017 after the previous governor, Republican Robert Bentley, resigned following a scandal that could have ended in impeachment. Alabama has a Republican trifecta.

At least six Democratic candidates will run in the June 5 primary.

 

Alaska: Independent incumbent Bill Walker is running for his second term. He won in 2014 with 48.1 percent of the vote.

As of January 1, 2018, no Democrats had declared they would run in the August 21 primary.

 

Arizona: Republican incumbent Doug Doucey is running for a second term. He won in 2014 with 53.4 percent of the vote. Arizona has a Republican trifecta.

At least two Democrats will run in the August 28 primary.

 

Arkansas: Republican incumbent Asa Hutchinson is running for a second term. He won in 2014 with 55.4 percent of the vote. Arkansas has a Republican trifecta.

As of January 1, 2018, no Democrats had pledged to run in the May 22 primary.

 

California: Democratic incumbent Jerry Brown is term-limited out. California has a Democratic trifecta.

At least ten Democrats will run in the June 5 primary, including lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

 

Colorado: Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper is term-limited out.

At least nine Democrats will run in the June 26 primary, including House Rep Jared Polis.

 

Connecticut: Democratic incumbent Dan Malloy has chosen not to run for a third term. Connecticut has a Democratic trifecta.

At least five Democrats will run in the August 14 primary.

 

Florida: Republican incumbent Rick Scott is term-limited out. Florida has a Republican trifecta.

At least seven Democrats will run in the August 28 primary.

 

Georgia: Republican incumbent Nathan Deal is term-limited out. Georgia has a Republican trifecta.

At least two Democrats, including Stacey Abrams, will appear in the May 22 primary.

 

Hawaii: Democratic incumbent David Ige will run for a second term. In 2014 he won with 49.5 percent of the vote; his nearest competitor got 37.1 percent. Hawaii has a Democratic trifecta.

At least two other Democrats will meet Ige in the August 11 primary.

 

Idaho: Republican incumbent Butch Otter chose not to run for a fourth term. Idaho has a Republican trifecta.

At least three Democrats will run in the May 15 primary.

 

Illinois: Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner will run for a second term. He won in 2014 with 50.3 percent of the vote, four points ahead of his Democratic rival.

At least seven Democrats will run in the March 20 primary, including Chris Kennedy and J. B. Pritzker.

 

Iowa: Republican incumbent Kim Reynolds will run for her first full term. She was sworn in in May 2017 when the sitting governor, Terry Branstad, became the U.S. ambassador to China. In 2014, running as lieutenant governor alongside Branstad, the two drew 59 percent of the vote to the Democrats’ 37.3 percent. Iowa has a Republican trifecta.

At least eight Democrats will run in the June 5 primary, including physician and former Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman Andrea “Andy” McGuire.

 

Kansas: Republican incumbent Sam Brownback is term-limited out. Kansas has a Republican trifecta.

At least seven Democrats will run in the August 7 primary.

 

Maine: Republican incumbent Paul LePage is term-limited out.

At least 13–yes, you read that right, 13–Democrats will run in the June 12 primary.

 

Maryland: Republican incumbent Larry Hogan is running for his second term. He won in 2014 with 51 percent of the vote; the Democrats got 47.2 percent.

At least nine Democrats, including former NAACP president and CEO Ben Jealous, will run in the June 26 primary.

 

Massachusetts: Republican incumbent Charlie Baker is running for his second term. In 2014, he won with 48.4 percent of the vote to the Democrats’ 46.5 percent. He might do better this time around; he has the highest popularity ratings of any sitting governor in America.

At least three Democrats, including Newton Mayor Setti Warren (no relation to Elizabeth Warren), will run in the September 18 primary.

 

Michigan: Republican incumbent Rick Snyder is term-limited out. Michigan has a Republican trifecta.

At least eight Democrats will run in the August 7 primary.

 

Minnesota: Democratic incumbent Mark Dayton declined to run for a third term. Minnesota has a Democratic trifecta.

At least six Democrats will run in the August 14 primary.

 

Nebraska: Republican incumbent Pete Ricketts is running for a second term. In 2014, he won with 57.2 percent of the vote to the Democrats’ 39.3 percent. Nebraska has a Republican trifecta.

As of January 1, 2018, no Democrats had signed up for the May 15 primary.

 

Nevada: Republican incumbent Brian Sandoval is term-limited out.

At least three Democrats will appear in the June 12 primary.

 

New Hampshire: Republican incumbent Chris Sununu will run for a second term. In 2016, he won with 48.8 percent of the vote; his Democratic competitor got 46.9 percent. The state has a Republican trifecta.

At least one Democrat, former Portsmouth mayor Steve Marchand, will run in the September 11 primary.

 

New Mexico: Republican incumbent Susana Martinez is term-limited out.

At least four Democrats will run in the June 5 primary.

 

New York: Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo will run for a third term. He won the 2014 election handily, getting 54.3 percent of the vote to the Republicans’ 40.3 percent.

As of January 1, 2018, no other Democrats had announced they would run in the September 11 primary.

 

Ohio: Republican incumbent John Kasich is term-limited out. Ohio has a Republican trifecta.

At least six Democrats will run in the May 8 primary, including Richard Cordray, former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

 

Oklahoma: Republican incumbent Mary Fallin is term-limited out. Oklahoma has a Republican trifecta.

At least three Democrats will appear in the June 26 primary.

 

Oregon: Democratic incumbent Kate Brown will run for her first full term after being appointed in February 2015 and winning a special election in 2016. The previous governor, Democrat John Kitzhaber, resigned over an ethics scandal. In her 2016 race, she garnered 50.7 percent of the vote. Her nearest rival, the Republican, got 43.5 percent.

As of January 1, 2018, no other Democrats had agreed to appear in the May 15 primary.

 

Pennsylvania: Democratic incumbent Tom Wolf will run for his second term. He won his first decisively in 2014, getting 54.9 percent of the vote to the Republicans’ 45.1 percent.

As of January 1, 2018, no other Democrats had agreed to appear in the May 15 primary.

 

Rhode Island: As of January 1, 2018, Democratic incumbent Gina Raimondo had not yet decided if she’ll run for a second term. Rhode Island has a Democratic trifecta. In 2014, she pulled in 40.7 percent of the vote. Her nearest competitor, a Republican, got 36.2 percent.

If she runs, Raimondo will meet at least two other Democrats in the September 12 primary.

 

South Carolina: Republican incumbent Henry McMaster will run for his first full term after being appointed in 2017 when Nikki Haley left to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. South Carolina has a Republican trifecta.

At least three Democrats have committed to the June 12 primary.

 

South Dakota: Republican incumbent Dennis Daugaard is term-limited out. South Dakota has a Republican trifecta.

At least one Democrat, state Senator Billie Sutton, has signed up for the June 5 primary.

 

Tennessee: Republican incumbent Bill Haslam is term-limited out. Tennessee has a Republican trifecta.

At least two Democrats will run in the August 2 primary.

 

Texas: Republican incumbent Greg Abbott will run for a second term. He won decisively in 2014, getting 59.3 percent of the vote to Democrat Wendy Davis’s 38.9 percent. Texas has a Republican trifecta.

A total of ten Democrats have committed to the March 6 primary.

 

Vermont: As of January 1, 2018, Republican incumbent Phillip Scott had not decided if he would run for a second term. In 2016, he received 52.9 percent of the vote to the Democrats’ 44.2 percent.

At least two Democrats will run in the August 14 primary.

 

Wisconsin: Republican incumbent Scott Walker will run for a third term. In 2014, he won 52.3 percent of the vote to the Democrats’ 46.6 percent. Wisconsin has a Republican trifecta.

Wow! At least 14 Democrats will face off in the August 14 primary.

 

Wyoming: Republican incumbent Matt Mead is term-limited out. Wyoming has a Republican trifecta.

At least one Democrat, former state Rep. Mary Throne, will appear in the August 21 primary.

 

Check out Ballotpedia’s page on the 2018 gubernatorial races:

https://ballotpedia.org/Gubernatorial_elections,_2018

 

Donate to Ballotpedia ($18 corresponds to the cost of writing 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

 

Read a November 2016 Politico story on how Democrats hope to make pickups in gubernatorial races:

https://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/2018-governors-races-democrats-231815

 

Read a July 2017 New York magazine story on the same topic:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/democrats-could-make-major-gains-in-governorships-in-2018.html

 

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Uncategorized

Read This Announcement From OTYCD’s Sarah Jane

Sarah Jane here. I’m the lead writer and editor on One Thing You Can Do, and I have an announcement.

 

Perhaps I should have seen this coming, but the needs of so many qualified, worthy candidates are only growing as we all get closer to the midterm elections.

 

The demands on my time are increasing and will keep increasing as November 6, 2018 approaches.

 

I have to choose between telling you all what to do and doing the work of helping several campaigns.

 

I’ve made the tough call to stop writing and queueing new posts for OTYCD.

 

This doesn’t mean you won’t see any new posts–you just won’t see any terrifically timely ones. I’ll be burning off the stock of evergreen posts I’d queued and had bumped forward and bumped forward and bumped forward again in favor of posts informed by breaking news.

 

I’m not sure if I will resume posting after the elections take place. And I’m not sure if I can strictly abide by my choice–future news could tempt me to jump in and write a fresh post or two, depending. I’ll probably sign in to the associated Twitter account (@OneThingYCD) every now and again as well.

 

I intend to keep the blog up and available.  If you’re looking for fresh instructions on things to do, please go to Want to Do More? It will point you to other folks who are on top of the latest Dumpster fire and have actions you can take to fight it.

 

If you seek broader, more general guidance, go to The Most Important Thing You Can Do.

 

Regardless of whether this ends up being the last fresh post I write for OTYCD, please accept my deep and sincere thanks for following and supporting the blog and its Twitter account. I hope you’ve found it useful, and I hope it’s nurtured your activism.

 

Even if I’m not actively posting at OTYCD, I’m going to stay here and carry on the fight. I hope you will, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Uncategorized

Call Your MoCs and Demand They Enforce Sanctions Against Russia, Dammit, August 9, 2018 Edition

Call your MoCs to demand enforcement of sanctions against Russia.

 

Update, July 18, 2018: In the wake of the July 16, 2018 Helsinki meeting, activists such as Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_pewter) are encouraging citizens to ask their representatives for stronger, bipartisan sanctions against Russia.

 

Recently we published a post about calling your MoCs (members of Congress) to demand action in the wake of Trump’s astonishingly bad performance at the July 16, 2018 Helsinki meeting with Vladimir Putin.

 

See that post, which included a script from Pewter:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/07/17/call-your-mocs-and-leave-no-doubt-in-their-minds-about-how-you-feel-about-trumps-press-conference-in-helsinki/

 

Since we wrote that post, Pewter updated her original Helsinki sample script to include additional talking points. Top of the list of things to request is ‘Sanctions–stronger than the sanctions enacted before. Should be bipartisan.’

 

Those talking points are below. If you haven’t yet called your MoCs about Helsinki, please do, and include a request for new, tougher Russia sanctions in your discussion. If you have, and didn’t have these talking points at hand, call again and ask for these things.

 

Standing accumulated text on the original sanctions, what Trump did and failed to do, and why his failure is scary and important follow after the Pewter talking points.

 

 

Sarah Jane here. While I was sick with the flu back in January 2018, I wrote a few posts asking folks to call their MoCs and demand that they pressure President Trump to impose the sanctions on Russia for meddling with the 2016 election, which Congress passed with a veto-proof margin.

 

Trump’s shrugging off of the deadline and refusal to impose the sanctions has gotten some attention, but not enough, because ridiculous scandals continue to happen.

 

It should not get lost, and I am determined that it won’t.

 

Trump should not be allowed to ignore the will of 530 members of Congress. In my opinion it’s one of the worst, scariest signs of sliding into authoritarianism. We need to push back, and keep pushing back. And given that almost everyone in Congress feels the same way, we have leverage here.

 

Worse, Trump’s blatant shrugging off of the will of 530 members of Congress is evidently being taken as a sign by GOP leadership to remain supine in the face of his disregard for democracy. More than once I recall hearing GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell refuse to advance a bill to a floor vote using the excuse that if the Senate voted for it, Trump wouldn’t sign it.

 

THAT IS NOT A REASON TO AVOID FLOOR VOTES, FFS.

 

Anyway. We did see a small amount of progress on March 15, 2018, when the Trump administration accused Russia of hacking vital American infrastructure and imposed sanctions on 19 individuals, including the 13 that Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted in February 2018. While the move is welcome, it’s not what we’re asking for. The administration still needs to obey Congress and impose the damn sanctions on Russia already.

 

We also saw progress on March 23, when Trump signed an omnibus spending bill that included measures that push back against Russia in various ways. It was also good news when the administration announced it would expel 60 Russian officials from America and close the Seattle consulate over the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain.

 

And as of April 4, we’ve seen reports that the administration might sanction Russian oligarchs. See the stories:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-to-impose-fresh-sanctions-against-russia/2018/04/04/bc09e0b8-3851-11e8-b57c-9445cc4dfa5e_story.html?utm_term=.943e72ddd109

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-sanctions/u-s-plans-to-sanction-russian-oligarchs-this-week-sources-idUSKCN1HB34U

 

But! The sanctions that Congress called for have still not been imposed.

 

And! We saw a serious setback on April 16, 2018, when the Trump administration walked back a new round of sanctions against Russia, throwing the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, under the bus in the process. Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Counsel, evidently claimed she “might have gotten confused”. Read a New York Times story on the walk-back:

 

Haley, for her part, is Not Having It as of April 17, 2018, when she told CNN, “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.” Kudlow later apologized for his remarks. Read a Vox story on Haley’s pushback:

https://www.vox.com/2018/4/17/17249652/nikki-haley-russia-sanctions-larry-kudlow-response

 

It’s also worth noting a chilling comment Trump made on June 15, during a White House lawn broadcast of Fox & Friends (noting that for future historians, who will boggle at it). When asked about North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un, he said:

 

“He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”

 

Trump himself later tried to downplay the utterance it by calling it sarcasm. [Attempting to blunt the impact of horrible comments by retroactively claiming they’re jokes is a classic strategy of bullies and abusers.] Conservative commentators have tried to soft-pedal it by claiming that Trump was talking about his own staff, not American citizens at large.

 

Given all the other things Trump has said and done, both as a candidate and as president, we at OTYCD are not taking it as sarcasm, or as a reference to how he wants White House staff to behave. He admires dictators. He doesn’t seem to care what dictators do to their people to force obedience.

 

We at OTYCD will continue to devote at least one post per week to the Russian sanctions issue until the Trump administration does what Congress told it to do.

 

This is the entry for August 9, 2018.

 

Below is more material from other past posts, plus a Celeste Pewter calling script. Please stay on this, and please spread the word. Thanks!

 

 

On Monday, January 29, 2018, the Trump administration was due to enforce sanctions imposed on Russia for meddling in our elections, as required by a 2017 law.

 

The administration brushed off the requirement by claiming the threat of the sanctions was deterrent enough.

 

After I wrote a combo Nunes memo-Russia sanctions enforcement post yesterday, Senator Claire McCaskill got to the heart of the problem in a tweet she sent late on January 29, 2018:

 

Congress voted 517-5 to impose sanctions on Russia. The President decides to ignore that law. Folks that is a constitutional crisis. There should be outrage in every corner of this country.

 

To my horror, the implications of Trump’s act are getting ignored, or crowded out by other horrible things.

 

Please, call your members of Congress and demand that they call Trump out for this. He cannot just brush off a law passed with a veto-proof majority. McCaskill is right–it’s a constitutional crisis. Please call.

 

Here’s your @Celeste_Pewter calling script for that topic:

 

 

Since Celeste prepared that calling script, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictments of 13 Russians for interfering in the 2016 Russian election.

 

Read the Washington Post‘s story about the indictments, which came down on February 16, 2018:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/russian-troll-farm-13-suspects-indicted-for-interference-in-us-election/2018/02/16/2504de5e-1342-11e8-9570-29c9830535e5_story.html?utm_term=.be1dd2d76f9d

 

The indictments also make Trump’s refusal to impose the sanctions that Congress voted overwhelmingly to impose that much more flagrant and disgusting. It also makes it that much more important that we at OTYCD stay on this topic and spotlight it until Trump finally does what he should have done back in late January 2018.

 

Here I will reproduce more useful info from past OTYCD post that quote Celeste Pewter and Alexandra Erin.

 

Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) helped me keep sane with a series of tweets on January 31, which I’ll reproduce:

 

Ok. I keep seeing certain threads about Russian sanctions/authoritarianism being RTed into my TL, so I think it’s important to have some facts on what Congress can and cannot do to address the WH’s decision. Start with this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/01/30/even-if-trump-is-blatantly-ignoring-the-russia-sanctions-law-theres-not-a-lot-congress-can-do-about-it/?utm_term=.3b1222b2389a

 

Then follow it up with this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/01/30/the-trump-administrations-weird-explanation-for-withholding-russia-sanctions/?utm_term=.1821cef97d99

 

I think it’s easy (and understandable) to say: “Rule of law is deaaaaad!” but the question now becomes: What are YOU going to do about it? Senator tweeted this: [She quotes the tweet I reproduce above]

 

Yes, be outraged. But more importantly, channel your outrage. The WaPo article I listed lists four options for Congress to respond to this; these are the three most likely. Your elected work for you. Demand they make any three (or even all three) happen. [She includes a screenshot of the three things, from the first Washington Post piece above.]

 

Don’t just sit around waiting for government to collapse; if you’re truly as upset as all of your RTs seem to indicate – I’m getting a bit [thinking face with arched eyebrow emoji] with the fatalism – then make sure you call and make your electeds hear your voice. Yes, this includes GOP electeds.

 

If you’ve followed me long enough, you’ll know I used to be a constituent affairs director for an elected. Trust me when I say: staff will let their boss(es) hear it, if their phone lines are ringing off the hook. We want it to stop so we can do other work.

 

We want our bosses to give us solutions to make it stop. So make it happen w/ these Russian sanction calls. Make the constituent team know you don’t accept this, and you will keep calling, until they are so tired of you, they will demand the office do something.

 

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: we are many, and they are few. Do you really want these sanctions dictated by a few wankers in the administration? No. This time, you even have a bipartisan majority of the House and the Senate on your side. You have the power.

 

Here also are Alexandra Erin (@alexandraerin)’s January 31, 2018 tweets on the topic:

 

There are a pair of recent moves, from the State Department and the Treasury Department, which suggest that in year two of Trump’s reign, the regime is being a lot less circumspect about being in Putin’s pocket, with less ego-clashing feud and less smoke-and-mirrors resistance.

 

Now, you might recall that back in 2017, Congress passed laws calling for tough new sanctions to punish Russia for its election interference. There was a lot of speculation about whether Trump would sign this act, but he finally did, grudgingly and complaining the whole time.

 

In the United States system of government, the theory is that Congress passes the law, and the executive branch *executes* them, hence the term. Trump as chief executive is the chief one responsible for carrying out laws passed by Congress.

So guess where this is going.

 

Monday, January 29th, was the deadline for the executive branch to impose the sanctions, as prescribed in the bill that Donald Trump personally signed into canon as the law of the land.

It came and it went.

 

The law called for the Treasury Department to help guide the sanctions by producing an investigative report of oligarchs and businesses linked to Putin.

 

Serious, lifetime-career experts at the Treasury Department prepared that report, which was then thrown out and replaced with a copy of the Russian Forbes 100 list plus a few public Putin associates and a disclaimer that it’s not a list of people who should face sanctions.

 

And Rex Tillerson, secretary of state and obvious Yosemite Sam pseudonym, told Congress that they haven’t imposed actual sanctions because the threat of sanctions is proving an effective deterrent. Slap on the wrist, everybody learned a valuable lesson. No actual penalty.

 

The actual implementation strategy here is to let everyone else know that doing “significant transactions” with certain Russia-linked entities may result in penalties for the other party. But it’s entirely discretionary. No actual rules per se.

Team America: World Secret Police.

 

This gives the Trump regime a valuable tool for looking tough (Trump’s favorite way to look), a free hand for Putin, and a way to arbitrarily impose sanctions on countries or other entities that Trump or Putin want to weaken.

 

With nothing actually in writing about what transactions get penalized, we could easily see a situation where a group that does significant business with the Ukraine and also had an incidental transaction in Russia gets hit with sanctions for violating the unwritten rules.

 

Or anybody backing dissidents and opposition politicians in Russia. The sub-basement floor is the limit with these guys.

 

I don’t think we are quite at “Treasury and State Department overtly help Putin crush his enemies” territory yet. Nope. But one year and change in to Trump’s rule, and we are at “Treasury and State Department overtly shield Putin and his cronies from consequences” territory.

 

And while it’s not a surprising shift, it is a marked shift from where they were last year, and the main thing that has changed is what year it is. Time makes Trump normal. The passage of the year changed his dislike of the sanctions from an outrage to the way things are.

 

And with Trump’s feet-dragging opposition to the sanctions accepted as the new normal, his executive branch failing to execute them becomes a natural progression of time rather than a startling departure from all norms of governance and the rule of law.

 

So you’ve really got to ask yourself, what would the start of a year 3 of Trump look like? How far would he be able to go after his next calendar reset? How far can he push things between now and then?

 

…this prompted Cathy R to tweet,

So now what? No further actions!? What can be done?

 

Alexandra Erin answered:

 

Talk about it. Spread awareness of it. Make sure everybody you know knows that it’s happening. Post it on your Facebook. Put it in an email forward to your uncle. The right does these things, and it shapes the way people think about politics, and vote.

 

Talk is not the only action required, but talk is an action that is required. There is a national discourse. We have to be shaping it.

 

Believe it or not, talking about the regime’s corruption is doing something. Talking about the resurgence of overt Nazism and white nationalism is doing something. Being willing to talk about these things, to label them as they are rather than accepting them as normal, helps.

 

We could be calling Congress to light a fire under them to demand the executive branch actually execute these things, to write newer, more specific, and tougher sanction laws, but to be honest: the public engagement and awareness aren’t there yet to get the critical mass needed.

 

So step one is: talk about it. Talk to people about it. Get people talking about it. The executive branch is flouting the rule of law, Trump is ignoring a law he himself signed into existence.

 

The right has a hundred talking points about why Russian interference doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter or helped Clinton or whatever. But none of that addresses the fact that Trump signed this law. He made it the law of the land. And he’s ignoring it.

Elections · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Uncategorized

Set Aside Two Hours Per Week To Work For Your Chosen 2018 Candidates

This OTYCD post originally appeared in February 2018, but with the mid-terms approaching and the stakes rising, we are reposting past posts that discuss key things you can do to push back against Trump.

 

2018 will test us like never before. We have to support more than one campaign at a time, and we have to pay attention to races on the federal, state, and local levels.

 

We’ve already asked you to choose your Core Four for 2018–four Democrats, two incumbents and two challengers, for each chamber of Congress:

 

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

 

To serve those four candidates well, you’ll need to school yourself on their voting records and their backgrounds. If they’ve written books, you need to read them. You need to become expert in them so you can persuade people to vote for them and defend them to those who are skeptical or hostile.

 

Once you feel like you have those four under control, you should see whether you can add other races to your load. A total of 36 gubernatorial races happen in 2018, and several state races for Attorney General take place, too. And you might have state senators and state house representative contests to watch. Plus, your local electeds might be running, too.

 

In order to stay on top of it all, find a way to commit a minimum of two hours a week to state, local, and federal 2018 races. Money always matters, of course, but time can be even more valuable to a candidate. If you’re an excellent political volunteer, your time might be worth several times more than your dollar donations.

 

You don’t have to give your time in a two-hour block. You can chop it up as needed–four half-hours, an hour here and an hour there, twelve 20-minute blocks, twenty-four ten minute blocks, whatever works best for you.

 

Research, reading, attending speeches, going to Indivisible meetings, and talking to other people all count, as does phone-banking, canvassing, and writing GOTV postcards.

 

If you can give more than two hours a week, great! But the key thing is to aim to give at least two hours a week, and stick to it.

 

As we head toward Labor Day 2018, you might want to think about rearranging your schedule to give even more time to 2018 races. Almost all of them will end on November 6, 2018, and campaign needs will grow more intense as early November approaches.

 

It makes sense to sit down now and plan how September through November will go, particularly if you’ll have other standing obligations to work around, such as school, or your kids’ schools, or holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

 

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!

Uncategorized

Believe It, You Matter, Part IX: Yes, It’s Exhausting. Get Rest and Come Back.

Believe It, You Matter, Part IX: Yes, it’s exhausting. All of it. Everything. Get rest and come back.

 

Sarah Jane here. I write all the Believe It, You Matter entries on OTYCD.

 

Let me tell you–there are times when I just can’t even with this fucking administration. Really.

 

I could only listen once to the ProPublica secret recording of the small children who had been separated from their mothers. I needed hours to put myself together after hearing the little girl who repeated that phone number, and I needed those hours because I would have been that kid in that situation, repeating those numbers like a magical spell of protection, over and over, until the spell worked.

 

I’ve had to detach myself from the news for days on end for the sake of my own mental health. I’ve had to do that more frequently of late.

 

It’s not just you.

 

Too much is going on.

 

The Trump administration is a container ship full of Dumpsters, all of which are on fire. But that container ship full of flaming Dumpsters is itself on a container ship that’s designed to deliver container ships, and every last one of those container ships are full of flaming Dumpsters. It’s Dumpster fires all the way down.

 

Superman would be hard-pressed to fix all this shit. Superman would be hard-pressed to simply keep track of all this shit as it happens.

 

Superman doesn’t exist. You do, though, and so do countless millions who have been resisting this administration since the morning after the election.

 

In a post OTYCD first published in March 2017, we included a link to a TEDx talk about the tipping point for an effective resistance movement. If 3.5 percent of the population are on board, the movement can succeed.

 

To update the figures given before: America’s population is just shy of 327 million. 3.5 percent of not-quite-327 million is 11.4 million.

 

Oh, we got that. We can muster at least 11.4 million resisters. As that March 2017 OTYCD post notes, between 3.3 million and 4.6 million Americans came to the 2017 Women’s March, held a day after Trump’s inauguration. Since then, he’s only continued to turn people off and lose them completely.

 

But to get that, we have to have each others’ backs, and we have to take periodic rest breaks. Self-care is crucial. Authoritarian regimes aim to tire out their populations with onslaught after onslaught until they give up and give in.

 

We can’t afford to do that. We can sustain a long fight. But we need to be smart and careful with our resources and ourselves.

 

Have you seen any BBC nature documentaries? Not long ago they did a great one that included penguins, and in particular, had a segment on how Emperor penguins help each other survive the Antarctic winter [scroll down to see the time-lapse video.]

 

The Emperor penguins huddle as a huge group, and the group constantly rotates so no penguin is on the blessedly warm inside forever, and no penguin is on the desperately cold outside forever.

 

We need to do this for each other.

 

No competition. No judgment. No whining. Just helping each other and taking turns facing the cold and enjoying the warmth we need to prepare to face the cold again.

 

Hang in there. Be gentle with yourself. Get rest. But come back, always come back. You’ve got to stay here and carry on the fight.

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Join or Plan a Families Belong Together Event on July 28, 2018

Join a Families Belong Together event near you on July 28, 2018, or plan one. 

 

As we type this, the Trump administration has missed deadlines for reunifying migrant children five and younger with the family members from whom they were separated.

 

Children older than five are supposed to be reunited with their families by July 26, 2018. Given that Team Trump failed to do right by the little kids on time, odds are they’ll fail the big kids, too.

 

Things are still a mess, and they’re far from being made right.

 

The folks behind Families Belong Together, which held nationwide protests on June 30, 2018, to fight the administration’s sickening family separation policy, has called for a second protest to take place on July 28, 2018.

 

This second action will focus on a handful of points that press the need for justice for migrant families. They are:

 

Congress needs to create a task force on family reunification.

 

Migrant families must be provided counseling and related services to cope with the trauma inflicted on them by the government’s own acts.

 

Those in the Trump administration who created and helped enforce the family separation policy should be held accountable.

 

As we prep this post, the announcement of the second action is new, and Families Belong Together is well short of its goal of planning 2,850 events. We expect the calendar to fill quickly.

 

Find an event near you through the link below:

https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/families-belong-together-we-demand-justice?link_id=0&can_id=a5e967ab99dd2f57b3988b457a7d5829&source=email-july-28-we-demand-justice&email_referrer=email_382300&email_subject=july-28-we-demand-justice

 

To host a Families Belong Together event on July 28, click this link:

https://actionnetwork.org/events/4ab9143291758127bc7dbebed615d845afe888f1/edit

 

 

See a CNN piece from July 10, 2018 on how the Trump administration missed the first reunification deadline:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/10/politics/immigration-deadline-family-reunification/index.html

 

 

See a July 13, 2018 piece from Elle that updates the situation and gives the July 26 deadline for reuniting older kids with their families:

https://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/a22139616/migrant-family-separation-crisis-is-not-over-and-could-be-getting-worse/

 

 

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!

 

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Uncategorized

Call Your MoCs and Demand They Enforce Sanctions Against Russia, Dammit, July 13, 2018 Edition

Call your MoCs to demand enforcement of sanctions against Russia.

 

Sarah Jane here. While I was sick with the flu back in January 2018, I wrote a few posts asking folks to call their MoCs and demand that they pressure President Trump to impose the sanctions on Russia for meddling with the 2016 election, which Congress passed with a veto-proof margin.

 

Trump’s shrugging off of the deadline and refusal to impose the sanctions has gotten some attention, but not enough, because ridiculous scandals continue to happen.

 

It should not get lost, and I am determined that it won’t.

 

Trump should not be allowed to ignore the will of 530 members of Congress. In my opinion it’s one of the worst, scariest signs of sliding into authoritarianism. We need to push back, and keep pushing back. And given that almost everyone in Congress feels the same way, we have leverage here.

 

We did see a small amount of progress on March 15, 2018, when the Trump administration accused Russia of hacking vital American infrastructure and imposed sanctions on 19 individuals, including the 13 that Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted in February 2018. While the move is welcome, it’s not what we’re asking for. The administration still needs to obey Congress and impose the damn sanctions on Russia already.

 

We also saw progress on March 23, when Trump signed an omnibus spending bill that included measures that push back against Russia in various ways. It was also good news when the administration announced it would expel 60 Russian officials from America and close the Seattle consulate over the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain.

 

And as of April 4, we’ve seen reports that the administration might sanction Russian oligarchs. See the stories:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-to-impose-fresh-sanctions-against-russia/2018/04/04/bc09e0b8-3851-11e8-b57c-9445cc4dfa5e_story.html?utm_term=.943e72ddd109

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-sanctions/u-s-plans-to-sanction-russian-oligarchs-this-week-sources-idUSKCN1HB34U

 

But! The sanctions that Congress called for have still not been imposed.

 

And! We saw a serious setback on April 16, 2018, when the Trump administration walked back a new round of sanctions against Russia, throwing the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, under the bus in the process. Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Counsel, evidently claimed she “might have gotten confused”. Read a New York Times story on the walk-back:

 

Haley, for her part, is Not Having It as of April 17, 2018, when she told CNN, “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.” Kudlow later apologized for his remarks. Read a Vox story on Haley’s pushback:

https://www.vox.com/2018/4/17/17249652/nikki-haley-russia-sanctions-larry-kudlow-response

 

It’s also worth noting a chilling comment Trump made on June 15, during a White House lawn broadcast of Fox & Friends (noting that for future historians, who will boggle at it). When asked about North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un, he said:

 

“He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”

 

Trump himself later tried to downplay the utterance it by calling it sarcasm. [Attempting to blunt the impact of horrible comments by retroactively claiming they’re jokes is a classic strategy of bullies and abusers.] Conservative commentators have tried to soft-pedal it by claiming that Trump was talking about his own staff, not American citizens at large.

 

Given all the other things Trump has said and done, both as a candidate and as president, we at OTYCD are not taking it as sarcasm, or as a reference to how he wants White House staff to behave. He admires dictators. He doesn’t seem to care what dictators do to their people to force obedience.

 

We at OTYCD will continue to devote at least one post per week to the Russian sanctions issue until the Trump administration does what Congress told it to do.

 

This is the entry for July 13, 2018.

 

Below is more material from other past posts, plus a Celeste Pewter calling script. Please stay on this, and please spread the word. Thanks!

 

 

On Monday, January 29, 2018, the Trump administration was due to enforce sanctions imposed on Russia for meddling in our elections, as required by a 2017 law.

 

The administration brushed off the requirement by claiming the threat of the sanctions was deterrent enough.

 

After I wrote a combo Nunes memo-Russia sanctions enforcement post yesterday, Senator Claire McCaskill got to the heart of the problem in a tweet she sent late on January 29, 2018:

 

Congress voted 517-5 to impose sanctions on Russia. The President decides to ignore that law. Folks that is a constitutional crisis. There should be outrage in every corner of this country.

 

To my horror, the implications of Trump’s act are getting ignored, or crowded out by other horrible things.

 

Please, call your members of Congress and demand that they call Trump out for this. He cannot just brush off a law passed with a veto-proof majority. McCaskill is right–it’s a constitutional crisis. Please call.

 

Here’s your @Celeste_Pewter calling script for that topic:

 

 

Since Celeste prepared that calling script, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictments of 13 Russians for interfering in the 2016 Russian election.

 

Read the Washington Post‘s story about the indictments, which came down on February 16, 2018:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/russian-troll-farm-13-suspects-indicted-for-interference-in-us-election/2018/02/16/2504de5e-1342-11e8-9570-29c9830535e5_story.html?utm_term=.be1dd2d76f9d

 

The indictments also make Trump’s refusal to impose the sanctions that Congress voted overwhelmingly to impose that much more flagrant and disgusting. It also makes it that much more important that we at OTYCD stay on this topic and spotlight it until Trump finally does what he should have done back in late January 2018.

 

Here I will reproduce more useful info from past OTYCD post that quote Celeste Pewter and Alexandra Erin.

 

Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) helped me keep sane with a series of tweets on January 31, which I’ll reproduce:

 

Ok. I keep seeing certain threads about Russian sanctions/authoritarianism being RTed into my TL, so I think it’s important to have some facts on what Congress can and cannot do to address the WH’s decision. Start with this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/01/30/even-if-trump-is-blatantly-ignoring-the-russia-sanctions-law-theres-not-a-lot-congress-can-do-about-it/?utm_term=.3b1222b2389a

 

Then follow it up with this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/01/30/the-trump-administrations-weird-explanation-for-withholding-russia-sanctions/?utm_term=.1821cef97d99

 

I think it’s easy (and understandable) to say: “Rule of law is deaaaaad!” but the question now becomes: What are YOU going to do about it? Senator tweeted this: [She quotes the tweet I reproduce above]

 

Yes, be outraged. But more importantly, channel your outrage. The WaPo article I listed lists four options for Congress to respond to this; these are the three most likely. Your elected work for you. Demand they make any three (or even all three) happen. [She includes a screenshot of the three things, from the first Washington Post piece above.]

 

Don’t just sit around waiting for government to collapse; if you’re truly as upset as all of your RTs seem to indicate – I’m getting a bit [thinking face with arched eyebrow emoji] with the fatalism – then make sure you call and make your electeds hear your voice. Yes, this includes GOP electeds.

 

If you’ve followed me long enough, you’ll know I used to be a constituent affairs director for an elected. Trust me when I say: staff will let their boss(es) hear it, if their phone lines are ringing off the hook. We want it to stop so we can do other work.

 

We want our bosses to give us solutions to make it stop. So make it happen w/ these Russian sanction calls. Make the constituent team know you don’t accept this, and you will keep calling, until they are so tired of you, they will demand the office do something.

 

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: we are many, and they are few. Do you really want these sanctions dictated by a few wankers in the administration? No. This time, you even have a bipartisan majority of the House and the Senate on your side. You have the power.

 

Here also are Alexandra Erin (@alexandraerin)’s January 31, 2018 tweets on the topic:

 

There are a pair of recent moves, from the State Department and the Treasury Department, which suggest that in year two of Trump’s reign, the regime is being a lot less circumspect about being in Putin’s pocket, with less ego-clashing feud and less smoke-and-mirrors resistance.

 

Now, you might recall that back in 2017, Congress passed laws calling for tough new sanctions to punish Russia for its election interference. There was a lot of speculation about whether Trump would sign this act, but he finally did, grudgingly and complaining the whole time.

 

In the United States system of government, the theory is that Congress passes the law, and the executive branch *executes* them, hence the term. Trump as chief executive is the chief one responsible for carrying out laws passed by Congress.

So guess where this is going.

 

Monday, January 29th, was the deadline for the executive branch to impose the sanctions, as prescribed in the bill that Donald Trump personally signed into canon as the law of the land.

It came and it went.

 

The law called for the Treasury Department to help guide the sanctions by producing an investigative report of oligarchs and businesses linked to Putin.

 

Serious, lifetime-career experts at the Treasury Department prepared that report, which was then thrown out and replaced with a copy of the Russian Forbes 100 list plus a few public Putin associates and a disclaimer that it’s not a list of people who should face sanctions.

 

And Rex Tillerson, secretary of state and obvious Yosemite Sam pseudonym, told Congress that they haven’t imposed actual sanctions because the threat of sanctions is proving an effective deterrent. Slap on the wrist, everybody learned a valuable lesson. No actual penalty.

 

The actual implementation strategy here is to let everyone else know that doing “significant transactions” with certain Russia-linked entities may result in penalties for the other party. But it’s entirely discretionary. No actual rules per se.

Team America: World Secret Police.

 

This gives the Trump regime a valuable tool for looking tough (Trump’s favorite way to look), a free hand for Putin, and a way to arbitrarily impose sanctions on countries or other entities that Trump or Putin want to weaken.

 

With nothing actually in writing about what transactions get penalized, we could easily see a situation where a group that does significant business with the Ukraine and also had an incidental transaction in Russia gets hit with sanctions for violating the unwritten rules.

 

Or anybody backing dissidents and opposition politicians in Russia. The sub-basement floor is the limit with these guys.

 

I don’t think we are quite at “Treasury and State Department overtly help Putin crush his enemies” territory yet. Nope. But one year and change in to Trump’s rule, and we are at “Treasury and State Department overtly shield Putin and his cronies from consequences” territory.

 

And while it’s not a surprising shift, it is a marked shift from where they were last year, and the main thing that has changed is what year it is. Time makes Trump normal. The passage of the year changed his dislike of the sanctions from an outrage to the way things are.

 

And with Trump’s feet-dragging opposition to the sanctions accepted as the new normal, his executive branch failing to execute them becomes a natural progression of time rather than a startling departure from all norms of governance and the rule of law.

 

So you’ve really got to ask yourself, what would the start of a year 3 of Trump look like? How far would he be able to go after his next calendar reset? How far can he push things between now and then?

 

…this prompted Cathy R to tweet,

So now what? No further actions!? What can be done?

 

Alexandra Erin answered:

 

Talk about it. Spread awareness of it. Make sure everybody you know knows that it’s happening. Post it on your Facebook. Put it in an email forward to your uncle. The right does these things, and it shapes the way people think about politics, and vote.

 

Talk is not the only action required, but talk is an action that is required. There is a national discourse. We have to be shaping it.

 

Believe it or not, talking about the regime’s corruption is doing something. Talking about the resurgence of overt Nazism and white nationalism is doing something. Being willing to talk about these things, to label them as they are rather than accepting them as normal, helps.

 

We could be calling Congress to light a fire under them to demand the executive branch actually execute these things, to write newer, more specific, and tougher sanction laws, but to be honest: the public engagement and awareness aren’t there yet to get the critical mass needed.

 

So step one is: talk about it. Talk to people about it. Get people talking about it. The executive branch is flouting the rule of law, Trump is ignoring a law he himself signed into existence.

 

The right has a hundred talking points about why Russian interference doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter or helped Clinton or whatever. But none of that addresses the fact that Trump signed this law. He made it the law of the land. And he’s ignoring it.