Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Uncategorized

Refresh, Review, and Prepare for the 2018 Elections (GOP Tax Bill-Related Briefing, Postmortem Edition)

This OTYCD entry originally appeared in December 2017.


Refresh, review, and prep for the 2018 elections following the vote on the GOP tax bill.


The GOP tax bill passed both chambers between December 19 and December 20, after some glitches that forced a revote in the House of Representatives.


John McCain did not vote–he had to go home to Arizona to recuperate from complications from his brain cancer treatments. But the yes votes on the final bill included Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins.


Let’s review what we should do now.


First–Much has been asked of you lately. You have worked hard. If you need a break nowrightnow, take it. If you need to purge politics from your life for a few hours, a few days, a few weeks, do it. Tend to yourself. Do whatever you need to do so you can come back, refreshed and ready to fight. If you can hang on until Congress adjourns on December 22, do. If you feel yourself fraying, step away now, before you have a chance to unravel. Remember, you matter, and your voice matters. We need you to stay here and carry on the fight.


Next, call your MoCs again and either thank them for holding firm against the bill, or berate them for passing it.


Check this New York Times article to see how your House Rep voted (if you have a Republican senator, and that senator isn’t John McCain, your senator voted yes):


Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter–you’re following her, right?) tweeted the reason why you should make a final call on this topic on December 20:


Go call your reps right now, and be ANGRY. You know what happens when people don’t call after contentious votes? We shrug and think, “Ok, what’s next?” But if you call, it forces us to pause and wonder how to address it.

Call your MoCs on this issue last time if you haven’t already. Yes, we know you’re sick of calling about this, and you might be despondent over the passage of the bill. We get it! We’ve been beating the drum about the GOP tax bill since early November. But if the pressure disappears the instant the bill passes, your MoCs might downplay the protests. Force them to pause and wonder how to address it.

Also, it’s perfectly OK to be mad or sad over this, but don’t let your emotions derail you. Put them to use. Again, Celeste Pewter tweets wisdom:

Channel your frustrations into the tax bill into rage right now. Angry tweeting is cathartic, but will not solve anything in the long run. What are actionable steps you’ll take OFF line? Think about it, and do it.

Here also is a string of tweets from Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt):
My view on last night’s tax vote: don’t dwell too long. They think they are just be getting started. 1/
I believe last night’s vote was baked months ago, seen internally to GOPers as necessary for party survival. Collins, Rubio, Flake & Corker vote had more to do with fraternity than ideology. 2/
Negotiating for something for themselves or to show their power was all they ever intended. The fact is they were all crap negotiators but once AL flipped & McCain was hospitalized, demands dropped & everybody fell in line. 3/
The fact that the bill was unpopular was an irritant, that every economist & deficit hawk saw it as a clear disaster just had to be lived with. The prospect of passing no legislation in what felt like a closing window was unacceptable for a simple reason. 4/
It costs $20 million or more to run a Senate race or a competitive House race and those dollars generally don’t come locally and they don’t come without promises. The single fact that 6000 lobbyists worked on the bill is the one I will remember. 5/
The immediate agenda once the tax is signed is all that matters now . . . 6/
CHIP and DACA and the size of zmedicare cuts are immediately on the agenda with the CR coming on Friday. As are the reinsurance and CSR amendments Collins asked for. 7/ [Editor’s note: CHIP is the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which serves more than nine million American children, and has gone unfunded since expiring on September 30; DACA stands for Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, a program that helped people who are Americans in every sense except the paperwork; CR stands for ‘continuing resolution,’ a maneuver that will furnish the funds that let the government pay its bills for a set period of time. The current CR expires Friday, December 22; many are urging Democrats to make the next CR contingent on reauthorizing CHIP, protecting the DACA folks, or both.]
GOP has focused so much on the tax bill and so much of that agenda they don’t like that much of it will get kicked to January. The dynamic is horrifying.8/
In the new party roles, anytime something is done for people, Republicans want something in return. Example: CHIP, DACA, Medicare all have price tags on them. Republicans insist on cutting the ACA, a border wall, and Defense spending.9/
And we are weeks for 2018…Republicans are ready to reach for much more. Graham & Cassidy have already begun the process of trying to recruit Collins or Murkowski to do ACA repeal next year. The White House and Paul Ryan promise to cut Medicaid and other poverty programs. 10/
Going into 2017: Most Americans didn’t know what CHIP was until the GOP decided not to pass it; weren’t focused on Medicaid until the GOP tried to slash it; and thought pre-existing condition protections were safe until the GOP tried to end them. It’s different now.

Other things to know:

Most people realize how bad this bill is, and most see how it’s Robin Hood in reverse–not just “liberals”.

See this December 20 tweet from Michael Linden (@michaelslinden), a tax expert:

Honored to be part of a tele-town hall with small business owners hosted by this evening. If this call is any indication, small business owners are super upset about the tax bill. It’s so complicated, and it benefits corporations over them, and they know it.

Also see these articles, which are just a few of many on how bad the bill is:

The team behind the Trump Tax March and Not One Penny are ready with a call to Repeal the Trump Tax:

We’ll devote posts to that as they develop, but for now–know that Paul Ryan and his minions plan to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security next.

If they try to do that, they should be met with a loud and forceful response: Repeal the tax cuts you just passed, and apply the money to those programs.

Now, having said all that: It was clear before the bill staggered to the finish line, and it’s clearer now that it has passed:


All Republican senators have to go.


All. Of. Them. Without exception.


Maybe there are some decent ones in the House of Representatives, maybe, but the Senate? They all have to go. All of them.


You now have to start thinking seriously about what you will do to help get all those Republicans out of office.


We’ve wrangled a bunch of links to past posts to cover things you should consider doing, and things you can start doing.



First off–if you haven’t seen the page on The Most Important Thing You Can Do, go there and read those four posts. (Yes, there are four Most Important Things You Can Do. #SorryNotSorry.)



Only one-third of the Senate is up for re-election in 2018. Defending Democratic Senators helps the cause just as much as defeating Republican incumbents.

Start scouting for senators who you can donate time and money to in 2018:



Also, think about which House of Representatives members to support or oppose in 2018. All of them are up for re-election, and some incumbents are retiring. Watch the Democratic primaries, see who you can get behind, and do it. Again, you need to commit time, money, word-of-mouth support, or some combination of all three.



Trump and his minions are going to try everything they can to suppress the vote. Once you are sure you’re registered, and once you’ve started talking to friends who were eligible to vote in 2016 but chose not to do so, look into other ways you can support and defend the right to vote.



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!



Support Spread the Vote, which helps citizens obtain IDs and other paperwork they need in order to vote in their home states:



Support the efforts of Let America Vote:



Support H.R. 2840, the Automatic Voter Registration Act:



Help Florida’s ex-felons regain the right to vote:

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections

Support Democrat Tom Prigg’s Run for the House of Representatives Seat in Pennsylvania’s 12th District

Support Democrat Tom Prigg’s run for the House of Representatives seat in Pennsylvania’s 12th District.


Prigg is a veteran who served with the 82nd Airborne. He’s also a scientist–a research associate at Carnegie Mellon University where he pursues neuroscience. During a gap in his scientific career, he earned a bachelor’s degree in creative non-fiction writing and wrote for several newsstand magazines.


His platform is unusually well-thought out and should serve as a model to others who want to run for Congressional office. It covers eleven major topics that matter, explains why they matter, and explains what Prigg would do about them. He’s particularly strong on defending unions, workers’ rights, and helping veterans.


Among the many things he promises to do if elected is draft parental leave legislation that covers both parents; he would support unions by fighting destructive right-to-work laws and restoring collective bargaining rights; he would support laws to overturn Citizens United; he wants a universal healthcare system, and would fight laws that limit access to care centers, would allow insurers to deny care or charge more to people with pre-existing conditions; and would work to end lifetime caps on coverage.


Prigg is one of six Democrats running for the House of Representatives seat in Pennsylvania. The incumbent, Republican Keith Rothfus, will run for a fourth term. In 2016, Rothfus defeated his Democratic rival by almost two to one. Ballotpedia rated Pennsylvania’s 12th District as safely Republican ahead of the 2016 vote.



See Prigg’s campaign website:


See his Bio page:


See his platform:


Donate to his campaign:


Volunteer for him:


Choose Prigg for your Core Four for 2018:



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!



Like him on Facebook:


Follow him on Twitter:


Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Help Swing Left Swing the Country Left

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2018.

Join forces with Swing Left, an organization that aims to flip control of the House of Representatives to the Democratic Party in 2018.


Swing Left was one of the many progressive civic groups that rose from the ashes of the 2016 election. Its leaders estimate that if we successfully defend the 17 vulnerable Democrat-held house seats and gain 24 more, Democrats can win control of that chamber.


Swing Left has identified 64 “swing districts”–those where Clinton beat Trump by 15 percent of the vote or less, or districts that have a large number of Swing Left volunteers. If Democrats win 65 percent of the swing districts, the house is theirs.


If you plug your geographical information into the Swing Left search engine, it will tell you where your nearest swing district is. It might be relatively far from you. It could be the next district over. Or, you could be living in it.


Once you know where your swing district is, you can consider how best to help turn it blue–joining forces with volunteers, phone-banking, canvassing, attending events, fundraising or donating to candidates, and more.



See the Swing Left website:



Read its ‘About’ and ‘FAQ’ pages:



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 a January 2017 New Yorker story on Swing Left’s origins:



See its Volunteer Dashboard:



Donate to Swing Left:



Follow Swing Left on Twitter:





Support Tom Taylor, Who Will Challenge Utah House Rep Mia Love in 2018

This OTYCD entry originally posted in Septemeber 2017.

Support Democrat Tom Taylor, who will run against Republican Utah House Rep Mia Love for the 4th District seat in 2018. 


Taylor is a longtime Salt Lake City resident and a married father of one. He earned a Ph.D in robotics from the University of Utah. He pledges to create laws that are based on evidence, and hooray for that.


He supports Medicare for all. He specifically lists fighting economic inequality and ending gerrymandering, and enacting campaign finance reform as planks in his campaign platform. He wants to strengthen public schools, and he calls out Betsy DeVos by name on the Issues page of his web site, under ‘Strengthen Our Educational System’. He’ll counter climate change and will protect public lands from corporate exploitation.


Love is in her second term. Ballotpedia called the 2016 house election in this district a “Race to Watch,” and Love ultimately beat her Democratic challenger by five points. The 4th Congressional district covers central Utah and is relatively new, having been created after the 2010 census.



See Taylor’s campaign website:



See his ‘About’ and ‘Issues’ pages:



Consider Taylor for 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!



Volunteer for Taylor (you have to scroll down a bit)



Donate to Taylor:



Like his Facebook page:



Follow him on Twitter:




See the Ballotpedia page on Utah’s 4th Congressional District:

Elections · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Vote with your Dollars

Support Democrat Miranda Joseph for Alabama State Auditor in 2018

This OTYCD entry originally appeared in January 2018.

Support Democrat Miranda Joseph for Alabama State Auditor in 2018.


Joseph, a Certified Internal Auditor who holds an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, ran for the position in 2014 but was beaten by Republican Jim Zeigler.


Does that name seem familiar? It might. Zeigler was the man who, when asked about the accusations that Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore had pursued sexual relationships with teenage girls when he was in his 30s, shrugged them off in jaw-droppingly spectacular fashion:


“Take the Bible — Zachariah and Elizabeth, for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist,” Ziegler says, choosing his words carefully before invoking Christ. “Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”

“There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here,” Ziegler concluded. “Maybe just a little bit unusual.”


Zeigler is up for re-election in 2018. Joseph is running against him.


Please help her in whatever way you can.



See her campaign website:



See her ‘About Miranda’ page:



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 her campaign:



Like her on Facebook:



Follow her on Twitter:




See her entry on Ballotpedia, and the Ballotpedia entry on the office of Alabama State Auditor:



Read a piece on the 2014 race from



Read about Zeigler’s reaction to the accusations against Roy Moore:

Action Alerts · Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections · Vote with your Dollars

Support Dr. Hans Keirstead, Who’s Aiming for Dana Rohrabacher’s California House Seat

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.


Support Dr. Hans Keirstead, a stem cell researcher, entrepreneur, and former professor who is aiming to unseat House Republican Dana Rohrabacher.


Canadian-born Keirstead, 50, founded California Stem Cell Inc. and sold it for $100 million in 2014. He is now CEO of Aivita Biomedical. He taught at the University of California, Irvine for 14 years, and has raised well over $100 million in grants and donations in his various scientific jobs. He becomes the fifth Democrat hoping to push out Rohrabacher, who has served as a California house rep for for almost 30 years.


Keirstead supports the ACA, and he specifically supports it over a single-payer system. He says he does not intend to use his own money to campaign for the house seat.


Under his Why I’m Running essay on his campaign site, he says:

“I’ve dedicated my life to using medical science to save and improve lives — but in Congress, medicine and science have been pushed to the side in favor of partisan political games. Politicians like Dana Rohrabacher have used the broken system for their own gain for far too long. We’re not his priority and we need someone new.


I believe our elected leaders should rely on facts to guide policy. I’m not daunted by large obstacles. I’ve launched and managed companies, developed treatments for previously un-treatable diseases and been held accountable for my actions. We need more of that to change Washington and I intend to use Congress as a platform to improve even more lives.”


House Rep Dana Rohrbacher is viewed as vulnerable for his pro-Russia stance, and because his district is showing signs of turning Democrat blue. In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton won the district by less than two points, becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Orange County in 80 years. Rohrbacher also supports the AHCA and questions whether human activity is causing climate change. This is galling on its face, but it’s made worse by the fact that he sits on the House Committee on Science and Technology.



Visit Keirstead’s campaign website:



Read his website biography:



Consider Keirstead for 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!



Read his full Why I’m Running statement:



Read more about Keirstead and his campaign for the House of Representatives:



Follow Dr. Keirstead on Twitter:




Donate to his campaign:



Don’t believe Dana Rohrbacher is on the House Committee on Science and Technology? Here’s the proof:



Here’s a Politico story about Rohrbacher’s interest in Russia, titled Putin’s Favorite Congressman:



And here’s a New York Times story about how the FBI warned Rohrbacher in 2012 that Russian spies were trying to recruit him:


Special thanks to 314 Action, where we first learned about Keirstead’s campaign. 314 Action is a nonprofit devoted to electing more people with STEM backgrounds to high office.

Follow it on Twitter: @314Action

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections

Support Jana Lynne Sanchez, Who Is Running for a Texas House Seat in 2018

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.

Support Jana Lynne Sanchez, a Democrat who is running for the House of Representatives in Texas’s 6th District in 2018.

A lifelong Texan, Sanchez is pro-choice, pro-LGBT rights, and pro-public schools. She supports the freedoms laid out in the Bill of Rights, the first and second amendments in particular. She supports the decriminalization of marijuana. She favors universal healthcare. As the granddaughter of an undocumented migrant worker who became a U.S. citizen the year before he died, she embraces humane immigration reform.


See Sanchez’s campaign website:


See her “Issues” page:



Consider Sanchez for your Core Four for 2018:


See her Merch page:

We have merch!


Follow her on Twitter:



Read a Bustle piece on Sanchez and other Democratic women running in Texas:


Donate to her campaign: