1/9/13, "Revealed: The Massive New Liberal Plan to Remake American Politics," Mother Jones, Andy Kroll
month after President Barack Obama won reelection, top brass from three
dozen of the most powerful groups in liberal politics met at the
headquarters of the National Education Association (NEA), a few blocks north of the White House.
Brought together by the
Communication Workers of America (CWA), and the
the meeting was invite-only and off-the-record. Despite all the
Democratic wins in November, a sense of outrage filled the room as labor
officials, environmentalists, civil rights activists, immigration
reformers, and a panoply of other progressive leaders discussed the
challenges facing the left and what to do to beat back the deep-pocketed
[Ed. note: Where is this "deep-pocketed conservative movement"? It doesn't exist.]
(continuing): "At the end of the day, many of the attendees closed with a pledge of
money and staff resources to build a national, coordinated campaign
around three goals: getting big money out of politics,
voting rolls while fighting voter ID laws, and
rewriting Senate rules to
curb the use of the filibuster to block legislation.
The groups in
attendance pledged a total of millions of dollars and dozens of
organizers to form a united front on these issues—potentially, a
coalition of a kind rarely seen in liberal politics, where squabbling is
common and a stay-in-your-lane attitude often prevails. "It was so
exciting," says Michael Brune, the Sierra Club's executive director. "We
weren't just wringing our hands about the Koch brothers. We were
saying, 'I'll put in this amount of dollars and this many organizers.'"
liberal activists have dubbed this effort the Democracy Initiative. The
campaign, Brune says, has since been attracting other members—and also
interest from foundations looking to give money—because many groups on
the left believe they can't accomplish their own goals without winning
reforms on the Initiative's three issues. "This isn't an optional
activity for us," Brune tells me. "It is mission critical."...
The Democracy Initiative may be the first time so many groups teamed
up to work on multiple issues not tied to an election. "This is really
the first time that a broad spectrum of groups have come together around
a big agenda that impacts the state and national level," says Kim Anderson, who runs the NEA's center for advocacy and outreach and attended the December meeting.
The Democracy Initiative grew out of conversations in recent years among Radford, Brune, CWA president Larry Cohen, and NAACP president Ben Jealous....Brune says the
four men bemoaned how the dysfunctional political process was making it
impossible for their groups to achieve their goals....
Phil Radford notes that for decades conservatives have aimed to shrink
local, state, and federal governments by reforming the rules so they
could install like-minded politicians, bureaucrats, and judges. Radford
calls it "a 40-plus-year strategy by the Scaifes, Exxons, Coors, and Kochs of the world…to take over the country."
last spring Brune, Cohen, Jealous, and Radford called up their friends
on the left and, in June, convened the Democracy Initiative's first
meeting. A handful of groups attended, and they began to focus on the
triad of money in politics, voting rights, and dysfunction in the
Other attendees at the December meeting included top officials from the
League of Conservation Voters,
Friends of the Earth, Public Campaign,
the Demos think tank, Piper Fund,
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, [CREW], People for the
National People's Action,
National Wildlife Federation,
Center for American Progress, the
United Auto Workers, and
Change. (A non-editorial employee of Mother Jones also attended.)
According to a schedule of the meeting,
the attendees focused on opportunities for 2013. On money in politics,
Nick Nyhart of Public Campaign, a pro-campaign-finance-reform advocacy
group, singled out
New York, and North Carolina as potential targets for campaign finance
In a recent interview, Nyhart said the Kentucky battle would
likely involve trying to oust Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
(R-Ky.), Public Enemy No. 1 for campaign finance reform, who faces
reelection in 2014.
In New York, Nyhart said, activists are pressuring state lawmakers, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to pass a statewide public financing bill in 2013.
And in North Carolina, the fight is more about countering the influence of a single powerful donor,
the conservative millionaire Art Pope, whose largesse helped install a Republican governor and turn the state legislature entirely red.
On voting rights, a presentation by a Brennan Center for Justice staffer identified
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, and Minnesota as states
where efforts to modernize the voter registration system and implement
same-day registration could succeed.
But the most pressing issue right now for Democracy Initiative members
is Senate rules reform. At the December meeting, attendees heard from
Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) on rule changes to curb
the spiraling use of filibusters to block legislation. The use of the
filibuster has exploded in recent years,
and Republicans now block
up-or-down votes on nearly everything in the Senate,
to muster 60 votes to conduct even the most routine business.
groups in the Democracy Initiative want to fix that, and they used the
December meeting to plan a coordinated push to urge Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to rewrite the rules. Democrats have until January 22,
when the window closes on easy rules changes, to get the reforms they want."...
If you're into power, destroying the US two party system and selling out millions of defenseless Americans has to be exhilarating:
1/16/13, “ATTN Gun Owners: McConnell & Reid Cutting Deal on the Filibuster,” Erick Erickson, RedState.com
“The Senate Republican Leader and Senate Democratic Leader are cutting a deal on the filibuster.
You may think it is over and done with, but it is not.
Harry Reid, through Senate procedure, has kept the first day of business in the Senate going on. This allows the rules of the Senate to be changed with just a majority vote if he decides to claim the Senate’s business does not continue and constitutes itself as a new body every two years (it’s a Parliamentary thing). Meanwhile, behind the scenes Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid are cutting a deal to drastically curtail the filibuster.
The left is fully on board and gearing up for this fight because they
think they can get gun control through the Senate and other liberal
Don’t relax and say, “Oh well, we have the House,” because we may have the House, but John Boehner is in charge of it.
This is serious. Republicans should be prepared to fight as hard as they can
and, should the Democrats use the so-called “nuclear” option, grind
congress to a halt. Likewise, Senate Democrats should be reminded of the
number of seats they have up for re-election in 2014.”
Friday, November 22, 2013
Senate filibuster long targeted by greens and other left groups NEA, SEIU, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, NWF, NAACP, CAP, CWA. Then will focus on adding 'same day voting' states-Mother Jones
Posted by susan at 5:43 PM