« February 2004 | Main | April 2004 »

URGENT. Big Brother tries to muzzle Nonprofits.

I’m trying to keep the expletives in my head from reaching this page via the fingers on the keyboard! Extremists have already taken away our ability to put advertisements on t.v. (medicare, Bush in 30 seconds, etc.) and on the internet (google). Now, they are trying a new tactic to stop us.

Code of Federal Regulations published on 3/11/04, and we have to influence the FEC’s decision before APRIL 9, 2004—yes, this April!

Tonight (3/20/04), I received an email from Wes Boyd, MoveOn.Org. The email said,
The Republican National Committee is pressing the Federal Election Commission ("FEC") to issue new rules that would cripple groups that dare to communicate with the public in any way critical of President Bush or members of Congress. Incredibly, the FEC has just issued -- for public comment -- proposed rules that would do just that. Any kind of non-profit -- conservative, progressive, labor, religious, secular, social service, charitable, educational, civic participation, issue-oriented, large, and small -- could be affected by these rules…
…Under the proposed rules, nonprofit organizations that advocate for cancer research, gun and abortion restrictions or rights, fiscal discipline, tax reform, poverty issues, immigration reform, the environment, or civil rights or liberties - all these organizations could be transformed into political committees if they criticize or commend members of Congress or the President based on their official actions or policy positions.

See below for ACTIONS to take.

Affiliated with a nonprofit organization (NPO), do the following:
· Submit a public comment [email protected]*
· Get this info out to your Board and members. Ask them to comment.
· Get word to the general public and your elected officials -- at ALL levels.

* FEC email goes to: Ms. Mai T. Dinh, Acting Assistant General Counsel. Commenter must include: full name, email address, and postal service address of commenter.

Not affiliated with a NPO, you can still do this:
· Ask your representatives to write a letter to the FEC opposing the rule change.
· Spread the word! They haven’t taken that power from you.

FEC Details: http://www.fec.gov/press/press2004/20040312rulemaking.html

Talking Points from MoveOn.Org:
- Campaign finance reform was not meant to gag public interest organizations.
- Political operatives are trying to silence opposition to Bush policy.
- The Federal Election Commission has no legal right to treat non-profit interest groups as political committees. Congress and the courts have specifically considered and rejected such regulation.

Examples of the impacts (content from MoveOn.Org) the proposed FEC regs would have:

- An organization devoted to the environment that spends more than $50,000 on communications opposing oil drilling in the Arctic and identifying specific Members of Congress as supporters of the legislation, if those Members are running for re-election.
- A civil rights organization [§501(c)(3) or §501(c)(4)] that spends more than $50,000 to conduct non-partisan voter registration activities in Hispanic and African-American communities after July 5, 2004.
- A "good government" organization [§501(c)(3)] that spends more than $50,000 to research and publish a report criticizing several members of the House of Representatives for taking an all-expense trip to the Bahamas as guests of the hotel industry.
- A fund [§527] created by a tax reform organization to provide information to the public regarding federal candidates' voting records on budget issues.

Another possibility:
- A 501(c)(3) civil rights group that has been designated as a political committee can no longer hold its annual fundraiser at a corporate-donated facility, and it must refuse donations or grants from donors that have already given $5,000 for that year.

Posted by Jessica Falker on March 30, 2004 at 07:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Who are you supporting for candidates?

One of My Vote is My Voice's missions is to support local candidates. The first step in supporting local candidates is to identify those that are progressives. Jessica is currently screening progressive candidates for us and Al will provide them with links to our site. Please note that this does not necessarily mean that MViMV endorses the candidate, merely that we believe that you might be interested in hearing about the candidate.

One thing that we need to do as a group is support candidates that we believe represent our progressive values and have the character and skills to do a good job. Remember, local candidates may not be running for positions that have much power; but by voting them into office, you may launch them into a political career that can end up wielding much power.

Since our membership spans across many different regions of the United States, I'd like to use this posting to have people comment on who they are supporting for local candidates?

Posted by Jessica Falker on March 30, 2004 at 05:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Potential Running Mates

Who do you think the running mate will be?

Governor Bill Richardson, of New Mexico, is being considered. I think he could help, especially because of his geographical appeal. I saw somewhere that he was the nation's most senior Hispanic public official. Do you think this would be an asset or a liability?

He has a great resume: nominated four times (1995, 1997, 2000 and 2001) for the Nobel Peace Prize, nominated to be US Ambassador to the United Nations, and served as US Secretary of Energy.

Gore had him on his short list of running mates in 2000. In 2002, he beat a Democratic rival that was a former state representative and the son of a former governor, making him the nation's most senior Hispanic public official.

His biggest drawback is being a Clintonite--that doesn't appeal to swing voters. However, Bush should be sufficiently wrapped in so many scandals by July that swing voters will forget Clinton's troubles.

I imagine his energy background will appeal to Kerry since the one good thing Kerry has going for him is his love of the environment. Together they could make real headway on reducing our need for fossil fuel.

To read his bio, go to: http://www.iogcc.oklaosf.state.ok.us/BIOS/Richardson.htm.

Posted by Charlene Johnston on March 29, 2004 at 01:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sign to show your support for Howard

To: John Kerry for President
This petition is to express the support of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean as the 2004 Vice Presidential nominee for the Democratic Party.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

http://www.petitiononline.com/h34d56vp/petition.html


Posted by Jessica Falker on March 28, 2004 at 08:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Calling all Democratic Party Members--Sign Petition

Charles Grapski has a petition directed to DNC http://www.petitiononline.com/dnc/petition.html. His petition supports the "Resolution Demanding Full Compliance with the Party Charter and the Full and Fair Representation of the Voice of the Party Membership."

We know what McAuliffe and Richardson did to smear Howard Dean. They violated the Democratic Party Charter and denied those of us who are registered Democrats the rights that every member of the Party is entitled to. They sabotaged every American's right to their choice of candidates.

Word on the street is that McAuliffe will be stepping down this spring. Let's help that along shall we?

Sign the petition to demand that DNC take immediate action.

Posted by Charlene Johnston on March 28, 2004 at 01:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

April 25th March for Women

On April 25th, women from all over the country are joining in a march to protect women's health, choice and privacy--all of which are under attack by the Bush Administration.

The March for Women's Lives is organized by the following national women's rights groups: The American Civil Liberties Union, Black Women's Health Imperative, Feminist Majority, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National Organization for Women and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

For more information, go to: http://www.marchforwomen.org/

Attend local Meetups planned for April 6. http://marchforwomen.meetup.com/

If you are (like me) unable to attend in body but would like to attend in spirit, you can do the following:

* Talk to your Senator and Representative about your concerns.
* Spread the word--help mobilize pro-choice women.
* Donate at the above website.

Since I could not attend--Cochair for a women's fundraiser that day, I added my name to a banner via a website but haven't been able to find the site since. If anybody knows where that is, please post here.

Posted by Charlene Johnston on March 28, 2004 at 12:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Deanfest

We are in the middle of making some very big decisions about where Deanfest will be held and which
organizations we are going to colaborate with. We are also figuring out the best way to get all the grassroots people involved. Please be patient for a few more days.

Deanfest WILL be on July 24th-25th in the New England area

Thank you for your patience,
Jessica Falker
My Vote Is My Voice Cofounder
Deanfest Planning Director
www.myvoteismyvoice.com

Posted by Jessica Falker on March 26, 2004 at 08:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Welcome to The Oklahoma Grassroots Campaign!

roots14.jpg

The Oklahoma Grassroots Campaign is a Sprout of Progressive Activists Who Network Nationally to Work Directly Within Their Communities to Create Change!

This is an endeavor which is a direct result of the Howard Dean Campaign. This site is a sprout from the "Okies for Dean" site which was created in November 2003. The purpose of this site is to offer a grounding place for "Progressive Change" Activists in Oklahoma who have either arrived via the Dean Campaign or another pathway. The Dean Campaign sparked the passion and energy of hundreds of thousands- many of which are right here in Oklahoma. We need to continue carrying the torch!

The Oklahoma Grassroots Campaign will Network Nationally and Work Locally. This site will become a Full-Service Bureau for Grassroots Efforts. By using the tools, talents, and ideas of the supporters from the Dean Campaign we can build our own force in Oklahoma. There are already many such groups in progress. It is our intent to work with as many of these groups as possible. It is imperative that members of Progressive Groups touch base with OGC so we may build a more solid foundation in which to grow from. One person cannot belong to all the groups available and be able to be productive in all the causes that need attention. We need many groups represented by members of OGC and we ask that you send us your personal information along with a list of any group membership. This will allow us to form a database for OGC that we may use to aid in our efforts.

Many things have been learned from the Dean Campaign. One of the most important is that "Real Change Takes Time." With the current status of our Nation we feel a deep sense of urgency to create change. Patience, determination, teamwork, tolerance, and persistence will be the keys to our success. We will be successful working together building a bond that will become a solid barrier for intolerance, discrimination, dishonesty, mistrust, fear, and manipulation.

Everyone is Welcome! All we ask is that you respect our diversity, and treat our fellow members with the same respect you would expect in return. We look forward to our future venture together. Please join our Yahoo Group, comment on our blog, use our upcoming Message Board and check out our links. Please send us any information regarding events, or volunteer availability along with your vitals for our list. We are open to all suggestions and ideas!

Thank you so much for your support!!

Pam Paul

founder: Oklahoma Grassroots Campaign

secretary: Grassroots for America

[email protected]

Posted by Jessica Falker on March 25, 2004 at 07:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Gov. Dean webcast on Kerry's Site

Today, Gov. Dean had a webchat on John Kerry for President's website. I thought some of the Q&As were worth copying onto our site for all to see. Note the first listing is that he says, "you can look at our plan on John's website." That says to me that the Governor truly is still having an impact on the way politics are playing out. It's something to be proud of.

robin_smithers: How will we be able to afford health insurance for all Americans?

howard_dean: Go to Johnkerry.com. John Kerry's plan for healthcare for all Americans and mine are very similar. You can look at our plan on John's website.


Independent_Voter: Governor Dean, other then the notions of "Anybody But Bush" or a "A Vote for Nader is a vote for Bush." Why should someone that is not a Democrat (such as myself) support John Kerry rather then Ralph Nader or another candidate from a third party?

howard_dean: The choice for President is between John Kerry and George Bush. If you like big deficits, 2 million jobs lost and attacking ordinary middle class Americans, then you should vote for George Bush. If you want fundamental change in this country, the first step is to send Bush back to TX .


mdavisz: Type herehow can the average person deal with the distortion going on in the mainstream TV and radio and newspapers about the real issues

howard_dean: Use the net, ignore cable, and never read anything written inside the beltway. And by the way the NW Indiana guy's name is Shaw Friedman


robin_smithers: Are you concerned about the computerized voting machines? What can we do between now and November to make sure that votes are verified and can be counted or recounted if necessary, correctly?

howard_dean: I'm very concerned about these voting machines because they fail too many times, and there's no way to check on the results once they fail. The most recent failure was during the FL primary. We will need a sustained effort to overcome the potential fraud of the kind we saw in FL during the last Presidential election.


stevehernandez: I just sent 20.44 put the .44 at the end dean supporters :)

howard_dean: You're the best! Thank you.
say so.

peterc: Will John Kerry reverse the unilateral, arrogant attitude and policies toward expanding American values into the world by the Bush Administration. I ask this as a true patriotic family - two of my ancestors fought in the American Revolution. If the country continues down this road I am considering moving my family to another more tolerant and less belligerent country.

howard_dean: A true patriot will defend America. The defense of America will be much more successful if we take a cooperative approach with our allies instead of the insulting approach President Bush has taken.


SCRUB_THE_SHRUB: You killed on Bill Maher!

howard_dean: I discovered Maher's audience was terrific! Finally a group of liberals who aren't afraid to

Posted by Charlene Johnston on March 25, 2004 at 05:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

White House Tailspin

Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism expert for the White House, has written a book critiquing the GWB adminisrations' terrorism policy. Mr. Clarke was on 60 minutes Sunday night discussing what he experienced in the White House before and after 9/11. Mr. Clarke criticized the Bush Administration's attitude towards terrorism, acknowleging that the administration seemed to be trying to pick up where they had left off 8 years prior at the end of the Cold War; they didn't seem to understand the new dangers and they wanted to make Sadam the priority.

The White House is now asking top officials to disparage Richard Clarke--a man with 30 years of public service under four Presidents.

It's just another case of this Administration intimidating and threatening truth-tellers. The good news is that Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) said, "This is a serious book written by a serious professional who's made serious charges, and the White House must respond to these charges."

For more on this, go to American Progress' site: http://www.americanprogress.org/site/pp.asp?c=biJRJ8OVF&b=39828

For internal Justice Department/FBI documents substantiating Clarke's allegations, go to: http://www.americanprogress.org/site/pp.asp?c=biJRJ8OVF&b=39039.

Posted by Charlene Johnston on March 23, 2004 at 12:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)