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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.”
Washington State Supreme Court Justice Steve Gonzalez is on the November 2018 ballot. He is running for re-election. The media has paid very little attention to this race. As a result many voters do not know who he is. He is running against an opponent who has been rated as unqualified. A statewide poll earlier this year commissioned by the Northwest Progressive Institute noted that the public was not familiar with either of the candidates.
The following e-mail was sent out by the Friends of Steve Gonzalez Committee. We are reprinting it here for your benefit. Please vote for Justice Gonzalez.
I have sent this message out to my contact list in support of Justice Steve Gonzalez and ask that you consider doing the same. I am concerned about the recently released poll showing that most voters are uninformed about the race. Every vote counts, and we know that the most effective means of getting people to vote is a message from someone they trust.
I strongly urge you to vote to retain Justice Steve Gonzalez on Washington’s Supreme Court. His reputation as a trial judge and a Supreme Court justice is outstanding. Justice Gonzalez is smart, thoughtful and hardworking, He devotes himself to serving the public, first doing the work of a justice, and also speaking to community groups, mentoring students and younger attorneys, and teaching civics to young people.
Justice Gonzalez is a man of unquestioned integrity, and a devoted husband and father. He has presented himself to all of the bar associations in the state and has been rated exceptionally well qualified by each of them. Before becoming a judge, he prosecuted terrorism, hate crimes and domestic violence. He also was a business attorney and worked for free for people who could not pay.
In sharp contrast, his opponent has no judicial experience, and has avoided ratings by bar association and legal rating organizations. He is being sued by the Attorney General for campaign finance violations and was found by the King County Bar Association to have violated its Fair Campaign Guidelines.
Please vote to retain Justice Steve Gonzalez on our Supreme Court. Washington needs his experience, dedication to fairness and his good judgment.
Please forward this information to your contact list and share the post on Facebook to ensure we have a strong, trustworthy Justice re-elected to Washington’s Supreme Court.
Judge Deborah Fleck (Ret.)
King County Superior Court
|Paid for by Friends of Justice Gonzalez|
Friends of Justice Gonzalez
603 Stewart St, #819
Seattle WA 98101 United States
603 Stewart St, #819
Seattle WA 98101 United States
additional information links:
Deep State or Deep Sixed – Washington State Supreme Court Race Getting Buried – KUOW, Austin Jenkins, October 25, 2018
Supreme Court Challenger Leads in Poll, Runs From Camera – KIRO7, Essex Porter, October 26, 2018
Campaign limitations, racial biases, and a Washington State Supreme Court race, Washington State Wire, Sara Gentzler, October 29, 2018
Dear Representative Javier Valdez,
Thanks for agreeing to look into this and push to update the current RCW’s to reflect the Washington State Supreme Court’s decision in 2013 that it is unconstitutional to require a 2/3 vote as needed for the Legislature to raise taxes. It is amazing that 5 years after the Washington State Supreme Court ruled, that the RCW’s have not been updated. Anyone looking at them to get guidance on Washington State law would assume that the 2/3 vote is still required to raise taxes. One has to wonder how many other Washington State laws have not been updated to reflect Washington State Supreme Court decisions.
I would urge Representative Pollet and Senator Frockt to join you in an effort to update our RCW’s to reflect current law and remove language that has been declared unconstitutional by our Washington State Supreme Court. I know they support this effort and Senator Frockt was instrumental in helping to get the Washington State Supreme Court decision but 5 years is a long time since the Supreme Court declared the 2/3 vote requirement as unconstitutional.
Here is what comes up when I searched for current RCW:
Tax legislation—Two-thirds approval—Referral to voters—Conditions and restrictions—Ballot title—Declarations of emergency—Taxes on intangible property—Expenditure limit to reflect program cost shifting or fund transfer.
(1)(a) Any action or combination of actions by the legislature that raises taxes may be taken only if approved by a two-thirds vote in both the house of representatives and the senate. Pursuant to the referendum power set forth in Article II, section 1(b) of the state Constitution, tax increases may be referred to the voters for their approval or rejection at an election.
(b) For the purposes of this chapter, “raises taxes” means any action or combination of actions by the state legislature that increases state tax revenue deposited in any fund, budget, or account, regardless of whether the revenues are deposited into the general fund.
(2)(a) If the legislative action under subsection (1) of this section will result in expenditures in excess of the state expenditure limit, then the action of the legislature may not take effect until approved by a vote of the people at a November general election. The state expenditure limit committee must adjust the state expenditure limit by the amount of additional revenue approved by the voters under this section. This adjustment may not exceed the amount of revenue generated by the legislative action during the first full fiscal year in which it is in effect. The state expenditure limit must be adjusted downward upon expiration or repeal of the legislative action.
(b) The ballot title for any vote of the people required under this section must be substantially as follows:
“Shall taxes be imposed on . . . . . . . in order to allow a spending increase above last year’s authorized spending adjusted for personal income growth?”
(3)(a) The state expenditure limit may be exceeded upon declaration of an emergency for a period not to exceed twenty-four months by a law approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature and signed by the governor. The law must set forth the nature of the emergency, which is limited to natural disasters that require immediate government action to alleviate human suffering and provide humanitarian assistance. The state expenditure limit may be exceeded for no more than twenty-four months following the declaration of the emergency and only for the purposes contained in the emergency declaration.
(b) Additional taxes required for an emergency under this section may be imposed only until thirty days following the next general election, unless an extension is approved at that general election. The additional taxes expire upon expiration of the declaration of emergency. The legislature may not impose additional taxes for emergency purposes under this subsection unless funds in the education construction fund have been exhausted.
(c) The state or any political subdivision of the state may not impose any tax on intangible property listed in RCW 84.36.070 as that statute exists on January 1, 1993.
(4) If the cost of any state program or function is shifted from the state general fund to another source of funding, or if moneys are transferred from the state general fund to another fund or account, the state expenditure limit committee, acting pursuant to RCW43.135.025(5), must lower the state expenditure limit to reflect the shift. For the purposes of this section, a transfer of money from the state general fund to another fund or account includes any state legislative action taken that has the effect of reducing revenues from a particular source, where such revenues would otherwise be deposited into the state general fund, while increasing the revenues from that particular source to another state or local government account. This subsection does not apply to: (a) The dedication or use of lottery revenues under RCW 67.70.240(1)(c), in support of education or education expenditures; (b) a transfer of moneys to, or an expenditure from, the budget stabilization account; or (c) a transfer of money to, or an expenditure from, the connecting Washington account established in RCW46.68.395.
(5) If the cost of any state program or function and the ongoing revenue necessary to fund the program or function are shifted to the state general fund on or after January 1, 2007, the state expenditure limit committee, acting pursuant to RCW 43.135.025(5), must increase the state expenditure limit to reflect the shift unless the shifted revenue had previously been shifted from the general fund.
[ 2015 3rd sp.s. c 44 § 421; 2013 c 1 § 2 (Initiative Measure No. 1185, approved November 6, 2012); 2011 c 1 § 2 (Initiative Measure No. 1053, approved November 2, 2010).]
Effective date—2015 3rd sp.s. c 44: See note following RCW 46.68.395.
Intent—2013 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1185): “This initiative should deter the governor and the legislature from sidestepping, suspending, or repealing any of Initiative 1053’s policies which voters approved by a huge margin in 2010. The people insist that tax increases receive either two-thirds legislative approval or voter approval and fee increases receive a simple majority vote. These important policies ensure that taxpayers will be protected and that taking more of the people’s money will always be an absolute last resort.” [2013 c 1 § 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1185, approved November 6, 2012).]
Construction—2013 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1185): “The provisions of this act are to be liberally construed to effectuate the intent, policies, and purposes of this act.” [2013 c 1 § 7 (Initiative Measure No. 1185, approved November 6, 2012).]
Short title—2013 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1185): “This act is known and may be cited as “Save The 2/3’s Vote For Tax Increases (Again) Act.”” [2013 c 1 § 9 (Initiative Measure No. 1185, approved November 6, 2012).]
Contingent effective date—2011 c 1 §§ 2 and 3 (Initiative Measure No. 1053): “Sections 2 and 3 of this act take effect if, during the 2010 legislative session, the legislature amends or repeals RCW 43.135.035.” [2011 c 1 § 9 (Initiative Measure No. 1053, approved November 2, 2010).]
Intent—2011 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1053): “This initiative should deter the governor and the legislature from sidestepping, suspending, or repealing any of Initiative 960’s policies in the 2010 legislative session. But regardless of legislative action taken during the 2010 legislative session concerning Initiative 960’s policies, the people intend, by the passage of this initiative, to require either two-thirds legislative approval or voter approval for tax increases and majority legislative approval for fee increases. These important policies ensure that taking more of the people’s money will always be an absolute last resort.” [2011 c 1 § 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1053, approved November 2, 2010).]
Construction—2011 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1053): “The provisions of this act are to be liberally construed to effectuate the intent, policies, and purposes of this act.” [2011 c 1 § 6 (Initiative Measure No. 1053, approved November 2, 2010).]
Short title—2011 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1053): “This act shall be known and cited as Save The 2/3’s Vote For Tax Increases Act of 2010.” [2011 c 1 § 8 (Initiative Measure No. 1053, approved November 2, 2010).]
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
Action needed – Two bills currently before the Washington State Legislature will make it easier for voters to register to vote. They have both passed the House and have had a Hearing in the Senate State Government Committee but need citizen input now to get out of committee for a vote by the full Senate. Please contact committee members and urge them to vote these bills out of committee. The deadline for bills that came from the other house to be voted out of committee is March 29, 2017.
Contact members of the Senate State Government Committee to vote these bills out of committee for a full Senate vote. Send an e-mail or call:
Mark Milosca – Chair email@example.com 1-360-786-7648
Hans Zeiger firstname.lastname@example.org 1-360-786-7648
Sam Hunt email@example.com 1-360-786-7642
Patty Kuderer firstname.lastname@example.org 1-360-786-7694
Kirk Pearson email@example.com 1-360-786-7676
You can also call the toll free legislative hotline 1-800-562-6000 and leave messages for all of them.
Additionally you can contact your own State Senator and urge her or him to contact Mark Miloscia and Committee members to act on these bills. They need to hear from us. Click on the bill links and click on “Comment on this Bill” and it will send your message to your legislators.
www.majorityrules.org like on fb – majority rules
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.
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.”
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 It has been enacted into law in 11 states with 165 electoral votes, and will take effect when enacted by states with 105 more electoral votes.
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.