PETITION: End Citizens United!
2014 Outside Spending Hits the $100 Million MarkOpenSecrets.org, 5/30/2014
Citizens United opened the floodgates for special interest groups to spend virtually unlimited, undisclosed amounts of money in American elections. And those groups have responded by pouring tens of millions of dollars into campaigns to influence voters around the country.
The U.S. Senate is poised to take action to curb the effects of Citizens United and restore some sanity to our campaign finance system. Now is the time to make our voices heard.
Members of Congress:
Ever since the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, our political system has been dominated by attack ads paid for by groups that don’t tell voters what they want or why.
We cannot let these groups, backed by the likes of the Koch brothers and Karl Rove, continue to poison our democratic process. Elections belong to voters, not special interest groups.
Reform our campaign finance system and put an end to the disastrous effects of Citizens United.
[Your Name Here]
Rep. Ron Barber
Sen. Mark Begich
Sen. Michael Bennet
Rep. Bruce Braley
Sen. Richard Blumenthal
Rep. Julia Brownley
Rep. Cheri Bustos
Rep. Pete Gallego
Sen. Kay Hagan
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick
Rep. Ann Kuster
Sen. Ed Markey
Sen. Jon Tester
Rep. Scott Peters
Rep. Gary Peters
Sen. Harry Reid
Sen. Mark Udall
Sen. Tom Udall
Rep. Brad Schneider
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen
Rep. Debbie Wassermen Schultz
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
931,561 people and counting have signed the petition for a Constitutional amendment to end Citizens United.
Help us reach 1,OOO,OOO supporting a Constitutional Amendment ending Citizens United for good:
The Democratic effort to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision is within striking distance of a HISTORIC BREAKTHROUGH:
1,OOO,OOO SIGNERS NEEDED
This is our BIG chance to show Republicans and their wealthy backers that we’re ready to change unfair campaign finance laws once and for all.
Successfully amending the Constitution would be a major embarrassment to the Koch brothers. They’ll no longer be able to spend unprecedented amounts of money to buy elections.
We’re just 68,439 signatures short of hitting our goal of one million signatures
Support Elizabeth Warren's plan to create a public option for banking.
Predatory check-cashing and payday-lending companies have been exploiting working-class Americans for decades by charging outrageous fees and triple-digit interest rates.
But now we have a chance to give the millions of Americans without access to affordable basic financial services a fair, publicly owned alternative to payday lenders and big banks. Senator Elizabeth Warren has an exciting new proposal that would allow post offices around the country to offer basic financial services like check cashing and bill paying.
As a student organizer in Chicago, I've seen the devastating effects of economic injustice firsthand -- and I want to be part of the solution. That's why I started my own campaign on CREDOMobilize.com, which allows activists to start their own petitions. My petition, which is to Congress, says the following:
Millions of Americans lack access to affordable financial services like check cashing, bill paying and small loans. Please support Senator Warren’s postal banking proposal, which would allow the United States Postal Service to offer financial services at local post offices around the country.
Sign the petition: Allow post offices to offer basic banking services.
According to study released in January by the United States Postal Service’s inspector general, 68 million Americans – nearly 1 in 4 households -- are underserved by banks and forced to rely on exploitative and wildly expensive payday lenders. Many of these people spend as much as $2,400 each year on inflated interest rates and unnecessary fees.
Across the globe, countries like Japan, Germany and Kenya have had great success with postal banking. And for more than 50 years, post offices in the United States were also allowed to offer banking services. Despite the program’s widespread success, both at providing banking services and generating billions of dollars in revenue for the United States Postal Service, Congress ended the program in 1967.
Given the lack of access to affordable banking services currently experienced by tens of millions of Americans, Congress needs take immediate action to move forward Senator Warren’s proposal to bring a public option for financial services back to the United States.
While there’s been a lot of buzz lately about Senator Warren’s postal banking proposal, it needs support in Congress to become law. By signing my petition you can help build that support and add real momentum to the fight for postal banking.
Will you join me and add your name to my petition urging Congress to support Elizabeth Warren's proposal to allow post offices to offer basic banking services?
Thank you for your support.
What I’m about to tell you might be some of the biggest news of our movement so far. Tomorrow, June 3rd at 10:30 AM ET, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the need to amend the Constitution to end the corruption of our government by wealthy interests.
The Amendment being considered is that of Senator Tom Udall, which has already been co-sponsored by 40 other Senators. Senator Udall’s proposed S.J. Res 19 would effectively overturn the 2010 Citizens United decision, the recent decision in McCutcheon, and the 1976 decision in Buckley v. Valeo (the case that set the precedent that “money = speech”). This amendment is critical for restoring a government of, by and for the people.
This is what we’ve been working toward. Show your support.
Once the amendment makes it through the committee in June, the full Senate will vote in July or after the August congressional recess in September. This is a HUGE moment for our movement. That’s why we are asking each and every one of you to help amplify the news and take action.
There are several critical ways you can get involved right now:
1. Sign this petition showing your support for S.J. Res 19, proposed by Senator Tom
Udall, to reclaim our democracy.
2. If you live in the D.C. area, attend the hearing or invite your local D.C. friends. Filling the room
will really make an impact on hearing day. Click to RSVP.
3. Watch and share the news about the June 3rd hearing. We will be live-tweeting from our
@FSFP twitter account using the #GetMoneyOut hashtag. Our Legal Director will also be live tweeting with his handle @RonFein and can answer any questions you may have. You can follow along live here: http://www.cspan.org/live
People from across the spectrum have come out showing their support for an amendment. In fact, this video below featuring activist, acclaimed actress, and academy award nominee Debra Winger shows why she supports this Constitutional Amendment. And over the next two months we are preparing a special campaign to lift up voices from all sectors and from supporters
like you to show how huge this movement has truly become. Stay tuned.
Click To Watch The Video Of Actress And FSFP Supporter Debra Winger
Taking action now could mean the end of huge SuperPACs, huge campaign donations subverting democracy, and most important, a start down the road of restoring our republic to the people.
It is because of action takers and concerned citizens like you that we have been able to get this far. Let’s keep it going.
Thank you for your work,
Free Speech For People
What happened at the Phoenix VA is a tragedy, it deserves an investigation, and an appropriate response.
Unfortunately, it has become a political football, with the loudest voices often the same people who voted against better funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs just three short months ago.
This is grave situation that requires an investigation, and action ... not a partisan witch-hunt.
In the days and weeks ahead, the Department and Congress will look into what happened in Phoenix and VA facilities around the country. Both have a role to play, but for the sake of our veterans at home, and those who will soon return, the goal should be to determine what happened, who is responsible, and how to fix it - not the easiest way to score political points in an election year. Sign our petition calling on Congress to conduct an investigation - not a witch-hunt - into what's happening in VA facilities across the country and we'll share your signature with leaders in each chamber.
Earlier this week, VoteVets polled our veterans and military family members about the issue.
Out of over 3,000 responses, 83% said Secretary Shinseki should not resign before an investigation determines how these mistakes happened and who is to blame -- it was an even higher percentage for our members who receive VA care.
The President said directly that anyone found who manipulated or falsified records will be held accountable, and that any additional misconduct will be punished. Tell Congress a real investigation - not a witch-hunt - is the only way to make those determinations and improve care for future veterans. http://action.votevets.org/va-investigation
Many Republicans have yet to forgive General Shinseki for speaking up about the force size needed to secure the kind of victory in Iraq neoconservatives were saying would be easy in 2003.
But it's time for them to put that aside and focus on getting the answers our veterans -- many of whom are seeking care after returning from Iraq -- have earned and deserve.
Thanks for signing,
Iraq War Veteran and Chairman
Members of Congress:
I strongly urge you to support and do whatever is within your power to PASS Senate Joint Resolution 19, a constitutional amendment to save our democracy.
DAVID, our movement to get big money out of elections got a major boost this week in the U.S. Senate.
Senators have begun to coalesce around a particular constitutional amendment proposal to undo the harm of Court decisions like Citizens United and McCutcheon -- Senate Joint Resolution 19 by Sen. Tom Udall.
And the Rules Committee Chair, Sen. Chuck Schumer, announced that SJ Res 19 will receive a vote in the Senate THIS YEAR!
Please sign our petition to Congress here, right now, urging passage of SJ Res 19>>
This is a moment we’ve been working towards since the very day the Citizens United decision was handed down in 2010.
It took the time and hard work of millions of activists like you across the country to build support for the amendment strategy in Congress. We started from scratch, and every year, with your incredible help and support, were able to get more and more buy in from members of Congress for constitutional remedies to solve the problem of big money’s dominance in elections.
This week, in addition to Sen. Schumer’s announcement, the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, Harry Reid also endorsed the amendment strategy by becoming a cosponsor of SJ Res 19. And more senators joined as cosponsors as well, bringing the total number of U.S. senators supporting an amendment to 39.
We are making tremendous progress. Let’s keep it up. Let’s PASS SJ Res 19 and take this massive leap towards restoring Government By the People.
Please add your name in support of SJ Res 19 now. It only takes a moment. Add you name here>>
SJ Res 19 would directly answer decisions like Citizens United and McCutcheon by restoring the ability of Congress and the states to regulate the raising and spending of money on elections.
16 states and more than 550 towns and cities around the country are already on record in support of a constitutional amendment to restore Government By the People. On ballot initiative after ballot initiative, when put to a vote by the people, three quarters of voters support adoption of an amendment.
We now have a bill that will be voted on in the Senate THIS YEAR -- and we all have to step up right now to make sure it passes.
Please stand with us again to show your support and tell Congress to pass SJ Res 19>>
Thank you for all you continue to do to move America back towards the democratic principles that make our country great.
Tell BLM: Remove Wild Horse Habitat from Gas & Oil Development
The BLM Battle Mountain District in Nevada is known as "wild horse country" because it contains 12 wild horse and burro Herd Management Areas (HMAs), more than any other BLM office. The Battle Mountain District is asking for comments on the proposed auction of public land for gas and oil development leases. Of 139 land parcels to be auctioned, 13 overlap wild horse habitat areas. The agency has already eliminated 27 parcels from the auction in order to protect the endangered sage grouse. Now it's time for the BLM to take measures to protect wild horses as well.
Please click below to submit an email to the BLM telling the agency to withdraw the 13 land parcels located in HMAs from the gas and oil lease sale in order to protect our wild horses.
Tell BLM: Improve Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Management Plan
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Grand Junction Field Office in Colorado is revising the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range Herd Management Plan and is asking for public comments. This BLM office is already heading on the right path by working with local mustang advocates to implement humane, on-the-range management. Now the BLM must take the last step toward making the Little Book Cliffs' management program a model for other BLM offices by preventing future removals through the proper and adequate use of the PZP fertility control vaccine. Sadly, just last year the BLM removed 13 horses from Little Book Cliffs' small herd. Let's take this opportunity to make sure removals never happen again! Horses who are born in the Little Book Cliffs should have the opportunity to live out their lives there.
Please take a minute to submit your comments calling on the BLM to revise the Management Plan to establish the goal of no future removals from the Little Book Cliffs herd.
Above photo of Little Book Cliffs horses by Marty Felix.
President's Budget Proposes Horse Slaughter Ban
The White House released the President's proposed budget for 2015 and we are happy to report that, once again, the Administration is proposing a ban on horse slaughter in the U.S. The budget keeps in place the ban on funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspections of horse slaughter plants. The ban was reinstated this year with Congress' passage in January of the 2014 Omnibus Spending Bill. Without USDA inspections, slaughter plants cannot kill horses for human consumption.
"Wasting tax dollars on the cruelty of horse slaughter makes no sense, and we urge Congress to once again adopt this provision," said Nancy Perry, a senior vice president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, an AWHPC coalition supporter. To read more about the President's 2015 budget, please click here.
Mustang Awareness Featured at Wellington, FL Equestrian Events
This past weekend, attendees of the Wellington, FL Winter Equestrian Festival's Nation's Cup and Global Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle were treated to a wonderful mustang exhibition. Amidst some of the world's top riders, eventer and trainer Elisa Wallace turned heads as she rode her beautiful mustangs Fledge and Rune bit-less and bridle-less for a demonstration in the center ring. Wallace and her mustangs appeared in conjunction with the Wellington screening of the documentary film American Mustang, produced by key AWHPC supporter and wild horse advocate extraordinaire Ellie Phipps Price. The film's trailer played after the demonstrations, exposing two audiences of equestrian enthusiasts to the plight of America's wild horses. Wallace, a Georgia native, is pictured at left with Fledge in a photo by Tara Underwood. Special thanks to American Mustang for including AWHPC in the events and the film, and to Victoria McCullough for helping to promote the film in Wellington, and for everything she does for America's horses.
American Mustang is now screening in Houston and San Luis Obispo. For dates and locations, please click here
MoveOn is being threatened with legal action by the state of Louisiana after we bought a billboard criticizing Governor Bobby Jindal for preventing 242,000 Louisianans from accessing Medicaid.
In politics, a frivolous lawsuit or the threat of it—combined with a smart reaction—can be a golden opportunity. On the other hand, the wrong reaction can be disastrous. That's why what we do now—which is dependent on you—is so important.
Here's what happened: This week, MoveOn put up billboards in red states criticizing Tea Party governors for refusing federal funds to expand Medicaid. The billboards are working really well, and are getting a ton of press coverage.
Now, the Republican lieutenant governor of Louisiana wants us to take down a billboard criticizing Governor Jindal—who has presidential ambitions—because it's a takeoff on the state's tourism slogan, "Pick Your Passion." This is a blatant attack on free speech. A state government isn't entitled to use trademark law to censor citizens who want to criticize the state for its heartless and stupid policies.
The good news is, legal action like this can be a dream when it comes to focusing press coverage on the need for Medicaid expansion. If we take this on from a position of strength, unapologetically doubling down on our Medicaid campaigning right now—while preparing to vigorously defend ourselves against a potential lawsuit—we can score a big win.
On the other hand, if we let Louisiana Republicans bully us into silence, then we could face similar legal battles in every other state where we put up billboards. We're committed to standing up to bullies. But to do that, it's crucial that we have the resources to take this on and win.
Can you chip in $3?
With your help, we'll expose these legal threats for the sham that they are, and leverage them to put even more pressure on Jindal and other right-wing governors who are refusing to accept federal funding for Medicaid—which is pure politics at its worst.
Under Obamacare, 100% of the costs of Medicaid expansion are covered by the federal government for three full years—and then 90% forever after that. There's no reason for any governor to say no—except for naked partisanship.
Now that we know this campaign is getting under Republicans' skin, the way to win this is to go all-in—by vigorously defending MoveOn against any potential lawsuit, doubling down on our campaigning, putting up more billboards, running more ads, getting more press, and doing what it takes to make our voices heard. In fact, this threat of legal action could be a golden opportunity: It could earn a ton of press for Medicaid expansion and shine a spotlight nationally on the real human costs of Republican extremism.
That strategy's going to cost money. But the cost of legal fees and ads could pale in comparison to the free publicity for Medicaid expansion from a baseless lawsuit.
Are you in?
If Republicans think they can shut up MoveOn members with baseless lawsuits—they're dead wrong. MoveOn won't quit campaigning until we expose the full truth about the despicable human cost of refusing to expand Medicaid and all 50 states expand Medicaid. But we do need your help to defend ourselves—and keep our campaigning going.
Thanks for all you do.
–Victoria, Bobby, Matt P., Rosy, and the rest of the team
Want to support our work? MoveOn Civic Action is entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.
Hello Friends of the Colorado River!
Great News! On March 23rd, the gates of the Morelos Dam will open as the U.S. and Mexico restore a small streamflow to the Colorado River Delta. Jennifer Pitt, representing the Environmental Defense Fund, has been a key stakeholder in this historic agreement. We turn our weekly blog over to Jennifer for her editorial. Enjoy!
Since 1960, the Colorado river has not flowed regularly to the sea. While pockets of green remain, the Colorado delta is a parched and begging for relief. The dry, sandy channel glares in the bright sun, abandoned by the river that has been overtapped and overworked for too long.
It's hard not to think of the lost potential of an ecosystem that once thrived. After an adventure there in 1922, American author, Scientist and environmentalist Aldo Leopold wrote:
"On the map, the delta was bisected by the river, but in fact the river was nowhere and everywhere, for he could not decide which of a hundred green lagoons offered the most pleasant and least speedy path to the Gulf [of California]."
The Colorado's delta was once a landscape of plenty, the basis of rural economic activity and local employment. Tourism, recreational hunting, sport and commercial fishing — all have been lost to overuse and over-exhaustion of a limited resource. For decades, it seemed nothing could be done. I spent much of the past 15 years shining a spotlight on the sorry state of the Colorado River delta for audiences across the country. And while it's true that those conversations would quickly turn to the byzantine complexities of water law and the difficulties of caring for shared cross-border resources, it is also true that most people are truly unsettled by the reality that the Colorado stops short of its natural destination.
Today, U.S. and Mexican policymakers, water agencies and conservation organizations are taking a major step to right the wrong that has been done to the Colorado river delta. For the first time in history, the United States and Mexico will send a modest volume of water into the Colorado River delta in the form of a temporary "pulse flow," which will mimic the natural spring floods that once nourished the delta. Never before have we deliberately sent water below Morelos Dam — the last dam on the river just south of the U.S.-Mexico border — to benefit the environment.
Beginning this month, water from the Colorado river will literally pulse through the border as a sign to the rest of the world of what people can accomplish through cooperation between nations. It feels like a triumph of human optimism over acquiescence.
Some may grumble that this is not the time to send water to the environment, but that objection ignores the broader context of the recent binational agreement and the many benefits it brings to both countries. In addition to breathing life back into the delta, this new framework more broadly allows the United States and Mexico to share surpluses in times of plenty and reductions in times of drought, provides incentives for leaving water in storage, and conserves water through joint investments in projects from water users in both countries. These benefits extend to water users throughout the Colorado river basin — in all seven U.S. states feeding into the basin, and the two in Mexico.
By abandoning the old framework of "who gets what" and establishing cooperative management of our shared resource, the United States and Mexico are achieving benefits for communities and nature alike. With this kind of cooperation, I have renewed hope that in the not-so-distant future we will see delta ecosystems and economies thrive once again.
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Very soon your senator will consider new legislation that would pave the way for marijuana legalization in New Mexico.
If this legislation is passed by both the house and the senate, New Mexicans like you will be able to vote to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana on the ballot this November!
People in our state should have a say when it comes to reforming our marijuana laws. And right now, you have a unique opportunity to make your voice heard because your senator is one of ten members on the Senate Rules Committee who will be deciding the fate of this critical legislation that would be the first step to legalizing marijuana in New Mexico.
Taxing and regulating marijuana in New Mexico is our ultimate goal and is supported by more than half of all the people in our state.