Category Archives: Democrats

WA State House of Representatives Rules Committee 2019 – Democrats

 

Washington State Legislature – Democrats on House Rules Committee 2019

Name Phone Email Leadership Position LD
Frank Chopp (360) 786-7920 Frank.Chopp@leg.wa.gov House Speaker 43
Pat Sullivan (360) 786-7858 Pat.Sullivan@leg.wa.gov Majority Leader 47
Eric Pettigrew (360) 786-7838 Eric.Pettigrew@leg.wa.gov Majority Caucus Chair 37
John Lovick (360) 786-7804 John.Lovick@leg.wa.gov House Speaker Pro Tempore 44
Tina Orwall (360) 786-7834 Tina.Orwall@leg.wa.gov House Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore 33
Marcus Riccelli (360) 786-7888 Marcus.Riccelli@leg.wa.gov Majority Whip 3
Monica Stonier (360) 786-7872 Monica.Stonier@leg.wa.gov House Majority Floor Leader 49
Larry Springer (360) 786-7822 Larry.Springer@leg.wa.gov House Deputy Majority Leader 45
Lillian Ortiz-Self (360) 786-7972 Lillian.Ortiz-Self@leg.wa.gov House Majority Caucus Vice Chair 21
Christine Kilduff (360) 786-7958 Christine.Kilduff@leg.wa.gov House Deputy Majority Floor Leader 28
Mike Chapman (360) 786-7916 Mike.Chapman@leg.wa.gov House Deputy Majority Whip 24
Kristine Reeves (360) 786-7830 Kristine.Reeves@leg.wa.gov House Deputy Majority Whip 30
Bill Ramos (360) 786-7852 Bill.Ramos@leg.wa.gov House Assistant Majority Whip 5
Jared Mead (360) 786-7892 Jared.Mead@leg.wa.gov House Assistant Majority Whip 44
Steve Bergquist (360) 786-7862 Steve.Bergquist@leg.wa.gov 11
Lauren Davis (360) 786-7910 Lauren.Davis@leg.wa.gov 32
Noel Frame (360) 786-7814 Noel.Frame@leg.wa.gov 36
Sharon Wylie (360) 786-7924 Sharon.Wylie@leg.wa.gov 49

see also as google document:  House Rules Committee  Democrats

Washington State Democratic Party 2019 Legislative Priorities

Washington State Democratic Party 2019 Legislative Priorities

Washington State Democrats, as citizens of the planet, place the well-being of the people as our highest priority. We believe in the values of community, empathy, equality, tolerance, opportunity, and the common good of the
interdependent world we share.

These are our 2019 Washington State legislative priorities.

Climate Action & Environmental Protection
• Protect our salmon, orcas, and tribal fishing rights by speeding up removal of barriers to fish passage
• Mandate a transition to a one hundred percent clean electric grid by 2045
• Restrict the use of neonicotinoids to save our pollinators from annihilation
• Require single-use plastic bags, straws, and containers to be phased out of stores and restaurants
Fiscal Responsibility & Revenue Reform
• Levy a capital gains tax on the wealthy to fund K-12 schools and higher education
• Develop a fair and equitable property tax code to replace Eyman’s I-747 and the 2017 levy swipe scheme
• Create the Washington State Investment Trust so we have our own publicly-owned state bank
• Abolish indefensible corporate tax loopholes and impose accountability measures for those that remain
Healthcare
• Create the Washington Health Security Trust to bring single-payer healthcare to all Washingtonians
• Adopt legislation to address prescription drug cost transparency
• Provide help to those struggling with opioid addiction by expanding substance abuse treatment programs
• Make substantive mental and behavioral health investments to end the practice of psychiatric boarding
• Ensure everyone has affordable and equitable access to reproductive and sexual health care, including  contraception and abortion, regardless of gender, gender identity, citizenship status, or income
Technology
• Reduce the “digital divide” in Washington State authorizing public utility districts and rural and urban port districts to provide retail ISP and telecommunications services
• Adopt the Washington Internet Privacy Protection Act
• Strengthen our state’s digital defenses to protect critical data like our voter rolls
• Secure public cyber resources and means of gathering public input against abuse by bots
Economic Security, Labor, and Corporate Accountability
• Increase monetary penalties for crimes committed by corporations
• Empower local governments to fight homelessness and protect renters by investing in affordable housing
• Strengthen fines for wage theft and bolster employment and training standards
• Protect good jobs and voter-approved Sound Transit 3 projects by fully replacing (on a 1:1 basis) any revenue lost due to vehicle fee formula changes
Public Safety
• Advance human rights and community safety by abolishing the death penalty
• Implement recommendations of the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing task force, including the establishment of crisis intervention response team pilot projects • Increase funding for geologic hazards mapping plus earthquake, tsunami, and landslide readiness
• Create a civilian review board to implement sentencing reforms
Education
• Fully fund special education and ramp up our investments in early learning and preschool
• Enact the Washington Promise free community college tuition initiative
• Amend the State Constitution to lower the threshold for passage of school bonds to a simple majority
• Empower schools to offer more vocational training opportunities and better civics courses
• Establish disciplinary protocols that eliminate the practice of educational exclusion for children of color
• Track the impact of RCW 28A.600.015 and its effect on the school to prison pipeline (rates of suspension and expulsion) in the state of our schools
• Enact Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K) legislation to ensure Washington’s deaf and hard of hearing children have a fluent first language by the time they start kindergarten
Electoral Reform
• Improve Washington’s presidential primary so it protects our First Amendment right to free assembly
• Repeal Tim Eyman’s push polls (erroneously called advisory votes)
• Make postage-free ballot return envelopes permanently available to all Washington voters
• Increase funding for the PDC and expose dark money with tough new transparency laws

Approved by the Washington State Democratic Central Committee on September 16th, 2018

Require Presidential Candidates to Release Their Tax Returns

Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns during the 2016 Presidential Election has spurned a lot of attention and effort to require future candidates running for President to release their tax returns. Below is some relevant background material on the status of efforts to change this in 2020 and beyond.

“In polls, the populace wants disclosure of the president’s tax returns 67%-24% with some polls showing that 64% of Republican’s desire disclosure.”

Forbes, President Trump and Tax Return Privacy, April 5, 2018

Candidates who won’t disclose taxes shouldn’t be on ballot, Lawrence H Tribe, Richard W Painter, and Norman L Eisen, CNN, April 14, 2017

Sign Here – Change.org petition – We want to see Trump’s tax returns.

Can States Ban Trump From the Ballot If He Doesn’t Release His Tax Returns?  New Republic,  March 7, 2018

Maryland Senate Bill 256, March 1, 2018 passed State Senate

Md Senate Passes Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates to Release Tax Returns, NPR, March 6, 2018

Rhode Island -2018 – S 2612 Substitute A June 19, 2018 passed State Senate

Rhode island latest state to try and fail to force Trump to release his tax returns, CNN Politics, June 22, 2018

New Jersey – 2017 – S 3048, passed 2017 by Legislature, vetoed by Governor Christie

Christie vetoes Trump-inspired bill to require tax returns, Matt Friedman, Politico, May 1, 2017

Oregon – Proposed Law would make Trump reveal his tax returns to be on Oregon’s 2020 ballot, Oregonlive.com, Jan 24, 2018

California – California’s Brown Vetoes Requirement that Presidential Candidates Release tax Returns , Common Cause, Oct. 16, 2017

Indivisible – Moving Beyond the 2018 Election

The following is an excerpt from a November 9, 2018 article in the New Yorker entitled Indivisible, an Early Anti-Trump Group, Plans for a Democratic Future by Obysita Nwanevu.   You can read the full article by clicking on the link.

Indivisible’s ideas for what Democrats should do with their new House majority begin with what Levin and Greenberg call a democracy agenda: a new voting-rights act in response to Republican voter suppression, along with larger reforms to the federal government, including statehood for Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

“A healthy democratic body would’ve rejected Trump the same way a healthy body rejects a virus,” Levin said. “That didn’t happen. And it didn’t happen because of a conscious effort by conservatives that is decades old to undermine democracy—disenfranchising young people and communities of color in order to entrench their power. And the way that we get all the nice things we want, whether it’s environment or taxes or immigration or reproductive rights, is by fixing the system so it actually responds to the will of the people.”

Of course, none of this will happen under Trump. But Levin and Greenberg say that Democrats should start building support for these ideas and crafting a long-term policy agenda now. “This is the time when you have those conversations within the Party,” Greenberg said. “So that, when you’re actually in power, you’re ready to go and you have a consensus solidified around the approach.”

She added, “You’re going to have to move beyond ‘We’re the party that cares about preëxisting conditions.’ ‘We’re the party that doesn’t want things to get worse’ is not an acceptable message for 2020.”

First Day Results for August 1, 2017 WA Primary – Legislative Races

Preliminary Results August 1, 2017 Primary – Washington State  Special Legislative races

Legislative District 7 – State Senator

Karen Hardy (D)     7,585    32.74%

Shelly Short (R)     15,579     67.26%

Legislative District 7 –  State Representative Position 1

Susan Swanson (D)     7,849     34.04%

Jacqueline Mayamber (R)      15,211     65.96%

Legislative District 31 – Senator

Michele Rylands (D)     6,331     41.45%

Phil Fortunato (R)     8,942     58.55%

Legislative District 31 –  State Representative Position 2 

Nate Lowry (D)     6,548     43.12%

Morgan Irwin (R)     8,636     56.88%

Legislative District 37 – State Senator

Rebecca Saldana (D)     12,356

Legislative District 45 – State Senator

Parker Harris (I)     1.620     6.86%

Jinyoung Lee England (R)     10,052     42.59%

Manka Dhingra (D)     11,9928     50.54%

Legislative District 48 – State Senator

Richard Knierim     (I)     2,284     15.98%

Patty Kuderer (D)     8,628     60.36%

Michelle Darnell (L)     3.392     23.66%

Legislative District 48 – State Representative Position 1

Vandana Slatter (D)     10,649     76.6%

Ciaran Dougherty (L)     3,253     23.4%

Updated results will be available from WA Secretary of State’s website          August 2, 2017 4:30 PM

Republican Senators in Washington State Legislature Block Passage of Capital Budget

Joint statement from Seattle State Senators last night

David Frockt       Reuven Carlyle  Jamie Pedersen Rebecca Saldana

Marilyn Chase Bob Hasegawa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — July 20, 2017
Failure to pass capital budget will hit Seattle communities hard
OLYMPIA — Seattle area state senators warned today that the Senate’s failure to pass a capital budget will have dramatic effects on proposed investments for the Seattle area in K-12 education, community colleges, housing and health care, including mental health, among other critical needs.
Though capital budget projects around the state were agreed to by Democratic and Republican negotiators on Tuesday, Senate Republicans continued to insist that a separate water rights bill be resolved first before they would agree to vote on the budget and its corresponding bonds. As a result, the Legislature adjourned from its third special session with no action on this vital budget that historically makes critical investments in Washington’s future.
The negotiated $4 billion dollar budget would have created thousands of jobs in all parts of Washington, including throughout the Seattle area.
The budget provided state matching funds for over $1 billion in school construction projects already approved at the local level, including at least $35 million for schools in Seattle, $15 million for Lake Washington School District and $8 million for Edmonds School District among others. Additionally, the budget provided for hundreds of millions of dollars in buildings for the higher education system from community colleges in this region to the University of Washington. At UW, the budget provided matching funds for the Burke Museum as well as the new Population Health Science building, leveraging the UW’s partnership with the Gates Foundation to make Seattle the world leader in global health. There was an additional $40 million to UW for advanced materials and clean energy test beds, the Evans School’s Parrington Hall, and renovation of the Medical School’s Health Sciences T-Wing.
The agreed-upon budget would have provided over $100 million for the Housing Trust Fund, including investments in local housing projects through innovative modular housing and tiny home projects to a new workforce housing development in Mt. Baker. It contained a first-of-its-kind investment in Community Health Centers to address Washington’s ongoing dental health crisis for the poor, who often lack access to dentists and wind up in local emergency rooms.
The budget would have built on the state mental health system by providing new facilities in a number of regions where the lack of treatment options is acute and where the state is under court order to find remedies. It would have invested in critical water infrastructure and flood control projects east of the mountains while also providing record investments in stormwater controls and conservation and restoration in the Puget Sound area.
“Having negotiated for the Senate Democratic Caucus and having reached across the aisle to reach an agreement on all of the proposed expenditures, I am very disappointed that this budget agreement was essentially held hostage to a resolution of a separate water rights bill,” said Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle. “I recognized that that was an important issue, but the fact is we just ended the longest session in Washington State history without a new biennial capital budget for the first time in decades. These two issues – the budget and the water rights bill — need to be delinked for the good of the entire state. That is what we are supposed to be doing. Regrettably, they weren’t delinked, even though there were solutions on the table that would have provided immediate relief for rural property owners to dig wells.”
“The governor has indicated an openness to a continued effort to resolve this impasse so that these critical investments in Washington can be made. I will continue to work with him and with both parties to get this budget passed and funded.” Said Frockt.
“The Senate Republicans have taken it upon themselves to deprive our community of important projects and economic development investments that our most vulnerable depend on,” said Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle. “From critical affordable housing for seniors and the homeless, to community and arts centers and parks, my constituents will feel the impact of the GOP’s inability to govern.”
“The failure of Senate Republican leadership to pass a capital budget is both disappointing and frustrating,” said Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle. “This reckless decision will prevent investments in schools, community healthcare, and the arts and cost thousands of jobs.”
“The Republicans’ refusal to allow the passage of this budget, approved by all but one Republican in the other chamber, is nothing less than a dereliction of their duties as public servants,” said Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline. “They have committed to a course of action that will harm Washingtonians in every corner of our state.”
“Our infrastructure and quality of life will deteriorate, and all Washingtonians will share the pain to varying degrees,” said Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Beacon Hill. “It doesn’t make sense to hold a $4 billion jobs and infrastructure bill hostage for the right of developers to trump other people’s senior water rights.”
“I remain deeply committed to resolving this crisis, and finding a path forward in the weeks and months ahead,” said Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle “I was proud to have secured funding to reduce class sizes through school construction and am devastated the deal has fallen apart. I’m not giving up and will fight to secure these vital dollars. Our Seattle delegation is 100-percent on board to support a responsible capital investment budget.”
Had it passed, the budget would have funded these projects in in Saldaña’s 37th District:
 $3 million for Othello Homesight;
 $3 million for Aging in PACE;
 $2 million for Valley City Recovery Place;
 $1.5 million for the Amara Building;
 $1.3 million for the Multicultural Community Center in Seattle;
 $1.1 million to clean up Mt. Baker Properties for new housing;
 $750,000 for the Georgetown Steam Plant Historic Steam Plant;
 $737,000 for El Centro e la Raza;
 $600,000 for the Filipino Community Innovation Center;
 $520,000 to expand Pratt’s Campus
 $400,000 for Washington Care Services;
 $400,000 for Ethiopian Community Affordable Senior Housing;
 $360,000 for the Cherry Street Fellowship;
 $315,000 for Children’s Playgarden;
 $250,000 to increase dental clinic capacity via the Seattle Indian Health Board;
 $200,000 for the Seattle Indian Health Board; and
 $141,000 for the Mount Baker Community Club.

In Pedersen’s 43rd District, the budget would have funded:
 $1.855 million for the Country Doctor Community Health Centers;
 $1.5 million in renovations to the Asian Art Museum;
 $1.5 million for the Campaign for Town Hall;
 $1.5 million in improvements to Hugo House;
 $1.3 million for Neighborcare;
 $1.1 million to the University YMCA;
 $750,000 for upgrades to the 5th Avenue Theater;
 $643,000 for preservation of the historic University Heights Center;
 $600,000 for University YMCA;
 $500,000 to purchase the Lambert House;
 $491,000 for upgrades to the Paramount Theatre;
 $475,000 for redevelopment of the Arboretum Waterfront Trail;
 $354,000 for the Cornish Playhouse;
 $257,000 for Lighthouse No. 83;
 $257,000 for Phase Three rehabilitation of the Stimson-Green Mansion Building;
 $75,000 for NW Choirs;
 $29,000 to replace the deck of the MV Lotus; and
 $21,000 for Nikkei Herigate.

In Chase’s 32nd District, the budget would have funded:
 $50 million for the Dept. of Ecology for leaking tank model remedies at the Strickland Chevron in Lynnwood;
 $37.7 million for the Edmonds Community College’s Science, Engineering, Technology Building;
 $3.5 million for Allied Health, Science & Manufacturing in Shoreline;
 $2.8 million for an addition to the Public Health Lab South Laboratory;
 $2.5 million for an addition to a Newborn Screening Wing;
 $2.2 million for the South Snohomish County Community Resource Center in Lynnwood; and
 $650,000 to increase dental clinic capacity at International Community Health Services in Shoreline.

In Hasagawa’s 11th District, the budget would have funded:
 $7.5 million via the Department of Ecology for Floodplains by Design;
 $3.5 million in construction loans for the Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station;
 $3.05 million for Sunset Neighborhood Park in Renton;
 $698,000 for roof repairs to the Museum of Flight;
 $500,000 to develop the Lake to Sound Trail;
 $500,000 for Geriatric Diversion;
 $412,000 for the Sunset Career Center in Renton;
 $11 million for conservation projects; and
 $2.6 million for Community and Technical College projects.

In Carlyle’s 36th District, the budget would have funded:
 $1.5 million for improvements to the Seattle Opera at the Center;
 $900,000 for improvements to Interbay PDAC;
 $400,000 in improvements to the Seattle Aquarium;
 $258,000 for renovations to the PONCHO Forum;
 $167,000 in improvements to the Millionair Club;
 $65,000 in improvements to the Seattle Opera; and
 $30,000 for renewal of the lower Yamasaki Courtyard.

In Frockt’s 46th District, the budget would have funded:
 $2 million for renovations at the Magnuson Community Center;
 $1.2 million for Lyon Creek Fish Barrier Removal at Lake Forest Park;
 $250,000 for improvements to Moorlands Park in Kenmore;
 $250,000 for improvement to the Kenmore Public Boathouse in Kenmore; and
 $75,000 for improvements to the St. Edward State Park Environmental Learning Center.

###
A list of all statewide and local capital budget projects is available upon request.
For information: Rick Manugian, Senate Democratic Communications, 360-786-7569

Eight Legislative Races on Ballot in Washington State in 2017

 

There have been a number of special  appointments to fill vacated Legislative seats this year in Washington. As a result there are 5 Senate seats and 3 Representative seats up for election in 2017  because appointments to fill vacancies must stand election at the next General Election.

This provides a unique opportunity for Washington State Democrats to pick  up the Senate seat in the 45th LD in NE King County. Democrats currently are in the minority in the Washington State Senate having only 24 seats to the Republican caucus having 25 seats. Republicans have 25 seats in their caucus because Senator Tim Sheldon, claiming to be a Democrat when he runs, actually caucuses with the Republicans, giving them 25 votes.

The special Legislative elections this year presents a great opportunity for the Democrats to take back the majority in the Washington State Senate.  Democrat Manka Dhingra recently declared she is running for the Senate seat in the 45th LD. Republicans appointed Dino Rossi, a former Legislator and Gubernatorial candidate, to this seat. He has said he was not running in Nov. although this could change considering the importance of this election.

Filing to run in these elections is May 15 -19th. The Primary is August 1st and the general election is Nov. 7th.This is a big opportunity for the surging grassroots opposition to Trump and the GOP  to make a big difference. It is also a chance to get ready for efforts for 2018  to train and challenge ways that grassroots activism can bring e a big change in 2018.

Democrats currently are only 1 seat away from a majority in the Washington State Senate. But they are also only 1 seat away from Republicans controlling the House. Democrats need to increase their numbers in both Houses to be effective and push their legislation.  This year Democrats can start the necessary work now to join California and Oregon in having strong majorities in our Legislature and being able to move forward on the state level to oppose efforts nationally by Trump and the GOP to move our progress backwards. 

List of Legislative races and appointments to the seats:

7th LD Senate – Shelly Short (R)
7th LD House – Jacqueline Maycumber (R)
31st LD Senate – Phil Fortunato (R)
31st LD House – Morgan Irwin (R)
37th LD Senate – Rebecca Saldaña (D)
45th LD Senate – Dino Rossi (R)
48th LD Senate – Patty Kuderer(D)
48th LD House – Vandana Slatter (D)

No Democrats have yet filed to run in the 7th or the 31st races. Republicans will field a candidate in the 45th for sure as well as the 2 seats in the 48th. It is expected that these will be very intensive campaigns with lots of money flowing to both Republicans and Democrats.  Expect that out of state funds from right wing entities like the Koch Brothers will show up.

We need to have Democrats running in every seat – Republicans should have no free ride. And in all these races Democrats can start now registering voters and starting voter contacts to id voters likely to vote Democratic. Marching can get people energized – grassroots organizing is where we make a big difference by changing who’s in charge.

See also  Daily Kos  – Huge – Democrats finally have a chance to take back the Washington State Senate – and turn the State blue.

What happened? What do we do now? Living in Trumpland

For many here is America, the world has changed. They have woken up in a strange land called Trumpland. Democrats, progressives, liberals, independents and even some Republicans are asking what the hell happened.   How did we get here and what do we do now? Below is some recommended reading that attempts to give some insight as to this new reality that has set in. Suggestions are offered by some as to what to do. This is an ongoing search for answers. I will add new articles as they emerge.

Indivisible Guide –  A Practical Guide for resisting the Trump Agenda   has been written by former Congressional staffers, Jan 2017. They give suggestions based on the success of the Tea Party as to how Progressives can fight back, to limit the negative impacts of the GOP and Trump. They also provide links to Indivisible groups that have formed across the country.

‘Data-driven’ campaigns are killing the Democratic Party. Politico Feb 12, 2017  – This article argues that data driven campaign over the last 4 cycles have resulted in catastrophic losses for Democrats.  It urges connecting with voters through storytelling, having a clear message that reaches voters on an emotional level.

A Low Tech Guide to Becoming Politically Active, New York Times, Feb 8, 2017 – Lots of good advice here – the title in the print edition is “How to Turn Your Facebook Rants Into Real-Life Activism”

How to Build an Autocracy, Atlantic March 2017  – Good discussion of the ways Trump and Bannon are working to convert our democracy to an autocracy that benefits the wealthy.
David Frum – “What is spreading today is repressive kleptocracy, lead by rulers based on greed…Such rulers rely less on terror and more on rule twisting, the manipulation of information, and the co-option of elites.

What Effective Protest Could Look Like, Atlantic, Feb 6, 2017 –  “Perspective From the Right, for Effective Challenge From the Left

Post-Fascist Europe Tells Us Exactly How to Defend Our Democracy -Yes Magazine Jan 13, 2017 – “Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are 20 lessons from the 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today.”

10 Investigative Reporting Outlets to Follow, Bill Moyers, Jan 13,2017  – “Here are some new organizations to follow as well as a few established ones  that are working to uncover the truth.

A Guide for Rebuilding the Democratic Party from the Ground Up, VOX, Jan 5,2017 -“Organizationally, the US right is light years ahead of the left. A leading political scientist explains what Democrats should do to change that”

To Stop Trump, Democrats Can Learn from the Tea Party, New York Times, Jan 2, 2107 –  Op-Ed – “The Tea Party’s ideas were wrong, and their often racist rhetoric and physical threats were unacceptable. But they understood how to wield political power and made two critical strategic decisions. First, they organized locally, focusing on their own members of Congress. Second, they played defense, sticking together to aggressively resist anything with President Obama’s support. With this playbook, they rattled our elected officials, targeting Democrats and Republicans alike.”

The Democratic Ggame Plan for Making Trump Miserable – and Regaining Power,  New York Magazine, Dec. 23, 2016

What Those Who Studied Nazis Can Teach Us About the Strange Reaction to Donald Trump, Huffington Post Dec 19, 2016 – “While its Important to watch the President Elect Closely, We also Must be Mindful of Our Own Response to Him.”

Why the Electoral College is the absolute worst, explained, VOX, Dec 19, 2016  –  The Electoral College is a rigged archaic voting system that violates the one person, one vote 1962 Supreme Court Decision that changed state elections..

99 Ways to Fight Trump, Do One, Do them all, But do Something

Steve Bannon and Breitbart News, in their own words, New York Times,  Nov 14, 2016 – Bannon and Breitbart News in their own words – necessary reading to help understand the man behind Donald Trump.

Trump’s Choice of Stephen Bannon Is Nod to Anti-Washington Base, New York Times , Nov 14, 2016 – ” In naming Stephen K. Bannon to a senior White House post, President-elect Donald J. Trump has elevated the hard-right nationalist movement that Mr. Bannon has nurtured for years from the fringes of American politics to its very heart, a remarkable shift that has further intensified concern about the new administration’s direction.”

Steve Bannon, Trump’s Top Guy, Told Me He Was a ‘Leninist” Who Wanted to ‘Destroy the State’, TheDailyBeast.com,  August 21, 2016, – When the President’s top advisor’s goal is to tear America apart not build it up we as a nation are under siege. That is what is happening now.
Daily Beast – “I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed. Shocked, I asked him what he meant. Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Bannon was employing Lenin’s strategy for Tea Party populist goals. He included in that group the Republican and Democratic Parties, as well as the traditional conservative press.”

Uneasy About the Future, Readers Turn to Dystopian Classics, New York Times, Jan 27, 2017 – Big surge in dystopian classics happening as people buy copies of Margaret Atwood’s Tales of a Handmaid, George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, and Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here. Not surprising considering what is happening.

Shape Tomorrow, Register and Vote –  the Democrats’ Sleeping Giant – Down with Tyranny, Jan 18,2017  – Case Study on successful impact of registering people to vote.

Autocracy , Rules for Survival, New York Review of Books, Nov. 10, 2016, – “But Trump is anything but a regular politician and this has been anything but a regular election. Trump will be only the fourth candidate in history and the second in more than a century to win the presidency after losing the popular vote. He is also probably the first candidate in history to win the presidency despite having been shown repeatedly by the national media to be a chronic liar, sexual predator, serial tax-avoider, and race-baiter who has attracted the likes of the Ku Klux Klan. Most important, Trump is the first candidate in memory who ran not for president but for autocrat—and won.”

On Ignoring Trump’s Tweets – Time to Attack GOP’s Bad Policy Proposals

It’s time for Democrats and others who do not support Trump’s proposed agenda and that of the GOP that now controls Congress, to start talking about the issues facing our country. Many of the programs and laws that progressives have put in place to help people and make America a better place to live are now  under threat of being reversed and lost.

It’s time to stop responding to Trump’s inane and diversionary tweets (and other comments) as Jack Shafer on Politico writes in a post entitled “Stop Being Trump’s Twitter Fool” As Shafer says:

“By this time you’d expect that people would have figured out when Donald Trump is yanking their chain and pay him the same mind they do phone calls tagged “Out of Area” by Caller ID. But, no. Like Pavlov’s dog, too many of us leap to object or correct the president-elect whenever he composes a deliberately provocative tweet …”

It’s time to refocus on America and protecting the advances made by Democrats over the years. Trump has dominated the media for the last year and a half with his reality TV show hype and rant. The media was taken in by it as well as the Democratic Party. He has snookered many Americans into voting for him based on short soundbites that says little about what he would do.

We do know however the broad outline based on years of right wing proposals in Congress and Trump seems to be in the their camp on most of these proposals. Have no doubt –  the agenda of the far right, the tea party and GOP conservatives will be advancing through Congress now with Trump winning the Presidency and Republicans controlling both the US House and US Senate. There is no sense that the Republicans will be restrained or reasonable in their moving forward. And there is no longer someone in the White House to veto their proposals.

It’s time to now aggressively go on the offense and work to change the discussion to where they are vulnerable. It’s time, for example,  to emphasize how they are threatening human health and our planet by proposing to ignore or reject the Paris Climate Agreement. We need to aggressively reduce carbon pollution, not work to produce more while enriching coal and oil companies and  generating more pollution. We need to shift to a post carbon economy.

Push them on the national minimum wage not being raised because of Republican opposition since 2009, stuck at $7.25 and no automatic adjustment for inflation. The current minimum wage is a starvation wage, not a living wage. It is an affront to human dignity and decency and Republicans should be ashamed. Push for a $15/hour minimum wage.

Talk about how cutting taxes for the wealthy like the inheritance tax and income taxes is just going to further increase income inequality. The country more and more is a plutocracy where a wealthy few are running it. Electing a so called billionaire who has used the anger of working families to get elected by offering them change he never really defined is a recipe for being hoodwinked.

Talk about how their continuing to propose to privatize medicare and social security will hurt millions of low income people. That is not caring for working families – it is merely following the agenda of those that want to extract more profit for the few at the top of medical corporations and pharmaceutical companies. Health care is a human right and should not turn wage earners into pawns to extract money from to further enrich the wealthy.

Talk about how Democratic economic policies will help working families while Trump’s are focused on helping the already wealthy 1% and corporate America.

Talk about how to educate our children, not make schools into profit machines to enrich the few by using public money for private schools and charter schools.

The change we need is to talk about the impact of his proposed policies, not his personality since we’ve seen that is not effective even if what is said is true. Talk about how Democratic polices  make life better for working families while Republican policies have been a driving force for wealth creation by the 1% at the expense of the 99%.

It’s time to move forward  by emphasizing where the GOP and Trump are  not helping working families. Do this by proposing an aggressive agenda to raise the minimum wage, push for Green jobs and protect public health and safety and welfare from corporate greed.

If Congress won’t do this then work at the state and local level to push these issues and involve the public in building  support for voting the GOP out of Congress in 2 years and replacing them with Democrats who really are working to help the people of America.

It’s time to get to work!

Time to Change Electoral College Vote to National Popular Vote

For the second time in 20 years the winner of the national popular vote for US President  will not become the President.  Instead the winner of the Electoral College Vote will. Hillary Clinton has  1.42 million more votes nationally than Donald Trump. Donald Trump will however under the US Constitution  be elected President by Electors  assigned by 306 Electoral Votes for Trump and  232 for Hillary Clinton with Michigan still finalizing their results  as of this writing. A vote of 270 electoral votes is needed to win.
An alternative to the Electoral College is states passing the National Popular Vote law.

 The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes nationwide (i.e., all 50 states and the District of Columbia). Written Explanation  

States that have passed the National Popular Vote include California, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. The status of all the states can be seen by clicking on this link.  State Status
One national organization working to pass the National Popular Vote is Common Cause.

“If you’re upset that the Electoral College swung this election, then the National Popular Vote compact is the most effective and practical way to change our system for the better. Please add your name today to tell lawmakers in your state to sign onto the National Popular Vote compact.

Representative Barbara Boxer has introduced a bill in Congress to amend the US Constitution to abolish the Electoral College. This is a much more difficult process that requires 2/3 of the members of both Houses of Congress to vote for it and then 3/4 of the states to pass it. Considering that Republicans control both the US House and Senate and a majority of state legislatures around the country this approach is likely not going anywhere at the moment.

Interestingly President Elect Donald Trump  reaffirmed his support for abolishing the Electoral College on 60 minutes this week but the next day praised the Electoral College. As usual it seems he is all over the place and one has no idea what he thinks.

The most practical approach at this time is for people to work to pass the National Popular Vote bill to create an interstate compact that uses the national popular vote to decide the outcome of the election. Check out what is happening in your state and urge your state legislators to act.