FIDALGO DEMOCRATS “NEWS BULLETIN” for JUNE 13, 2017

FEDERAL ACTION/EVENTS

Missiles to South Korea:  The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a think tank, tells dozens of reporters it’s important for the U.S. to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system to So. Korea, in view of the North Korean threat.  They neglect to report that 56% of South Koreans oppose deployment of THAAD.  Women there are leading the resistance to U.S.-backed militarization.  “The Nation” reported activists saying it would threaten the economic and social lifeblood, increase tensions between the South and North, make unification more difficult, and place Korea “at the center of the U.S. drive for dominant power over NE Asia.” Lockheed Martin, main THAAD contractor, is a top CSIS donor. (FAIR, 5-8)

Resistance Summer:  Robert Reich described this MoveOn program to train 1,000 community leaders to focus on reclaiming 24 seats to take back the House in 2018, like 2006. (MoveOn 5-9)

Conversion therapy:  Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) is co-sponsoring a bill to make programs that attempt converting gays to straight illegal—the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act. (5-9-17)

Methane rule: Environmentalists scored a victory in the Senate in preserving BLM’s Methane Waste Rule, a clean air and climate protection.  Repeal was voted down. (Earthjustice, 5-11-17)

Drug prices:  Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Jan Schakowsky introduced The Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act to negotiate the price of prescription drugs under Medicare Part D, to speed closing of the Part D coverage gap, and allow import of safe, affordable drugs.  It would rein in abuse by pharmaceutical companies, which charge more than in any other country, due to overwhelming monopoly power.  Nearly 1 in 5 cannot afford to fill his/her prescriptions. Call Rep. Rick Larsen at 202-224-3121 to pass it. (People Demanding Action, 5-11)

Investigating “voter fraud”:  Pres. Trump issued an executive order to investigate his baseless claim of millions of illegal votes stolen from him in the 2016 election.  It’s an attempt to justify more discriminatory voter ID laws that make minority voting harder, and it lays the groundwork to steal the 2018 and 2020 elections.  Defeat this!  (Progressive Turnout Project, 5-11-17)

Tougher enforcement:  Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to toughen enforcement of drug laws, which is a shift from President Obama’s policy, away from an emerging bipartisan consensus that strict sentences do not work.  (FiveThirtyEight Newsletter, 5-12-17)

16th lawsuit:  The Center for Biological Diversity filed suit against the Trump administration to  stop federal wildlife killing in Idaho, its 16th lawsuit against it.  The Dept. of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services killed thousands last year in Idaho with aerial gunning, exploding poisons, and painful traps.  Gift the Trump Resistance Fund at TheCenter@biologicaldiversity.org. (Center, 5-12-17)

Impeachment demand:  Over 65,000 Democracy for America members have signed petitions demanding Pres. Trump’s impeachment.  Organizing toward this end will escalate through the summer to build the movement for investigation and impeachment.  The latest is suspicion of obstruction of justice in the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Pressure on Congress to hold Pres. Trump accountable must increase. (Eden James, Pol. Dir., Democracy for America 5-12-17)

Acreage saved:  A Center for Biological Diversity case against the Trump administration was settled, preserving a 4-year moratorium on leasing federal land in CA to oil companies. A million acres were saved in the Central Valley, southern Sierra Nevada, and Central Coast. (Center 5-11

Third place:  Fox News fell to 3rd place in cable news networks, with CNN 2nd and MSNBC as no. 1 in total viewers and viewers aged 25-54 for a full week. (FiveThirtyEight Newsletter, 5-23-17)

Trump budget: His budget would cut Medicaid $627 billion, Medicare $56 billion, and $3.6 trillion overall over 10 years.  This is not the final budget. (FiveThirtyEight Newsletter, 5-23-17)

ACA sabotage:  Pres. Trump is sabotaging Obamacare by threatening to withhold payments from insurers, causing them to spike premiums and withdraw from the marketplace. Democrats are running ads targeting vulnerable Republicans who support repeal. (DSCC, 5-23-17)   Senate Republicans are working on Trumpcare in secret while they gather the votes to repeal the ACA and try to pass Trumpcare before the July 4th weekend.  (Elizabeth Warren, 6-13-17)

CBO scoring: The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office scored Trumpcare after       amendments were added: 23 million losing their insurance, premiums rising 20% next year, Planned Parenthood defunded, and protections for pre-existing conditions cut. (WA Dems 5-24)

Stop arming terrorists:  Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s (D-HI) HR 608, the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used directly or indirectly to support terrorist groups like ISIS or al-Qaeda and stops the funneling of money through countries like Saudi Arabia that support them.  Add your name as a citizen co-sponsor. (aloha@votetulsi.com, 5-24-17)

Ban rejected:  A federal appeals court upheld suspension of Trump’s Muslim ban today, saying it “drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.”(A. Romero, Ex. Dir., ACLU 5-25)

Disaster:  John Boehner said that Trump’s presidency, so far, has been a “complete disaster.” Boehner, speaking at a Houston energy conference, gave a grim assessment, except for Trump’s having increased the fight against ISIS.  He said impeachment talk would only increase Trump’s support.  He also said talk about tax reform is just “happy talk.” (HuffPost Politics, 5-26-17)

Minimum wage:  Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) re-introduced the Raise the Wage Act to raise the minimum to $15 over the next few years.  (Ellison, 5-26-17)

Unconstitutional:  The U.S. Supreme Court just ruled gerrymandering in North Carolina unconstitutional.  Republicans push Democrats out of their districts and pack low-income and minority voters into weirdly-shaped ones. This is how Republicans win.  This court ruling has implications for other illegally gerrymandered states. (Progressive Turnout Project, 5-26-17)

Springing leaks:  The Dakota Access Pipeline has already leaked over 100 gallons of oil, before it’s even completed. Tell Trump to stop Big Oil from finishing it. (NationofChange, 5-28-17)

Single-payer:  SB 562, the Healthy California Act, to provide a single-payer health care system for the state, has passed the California Senate.  California represents 13.3% of the U.S. economy, the equivalent of France.  Passage of this bill could lead the rest of the nation.  Gavin Newsom, the leading candidate for governor, supports single-payer. (The PEN, 5-28-17)

Pressuring Trump:  Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) introduced The Stop Waste and Misuse by the President (SWAMP) Act of 2017 to force Trump to pay for his own golfing and other trips to his private properties.  His budget would cut Meals on Wheels, Social Security, Medicaid, public education, Pell Grants, food stamps, student loans, medical research, etc. (CREDOAction, 5-30-17) Trump would veto the bill if it came to his desk, but it applies pressure to do the right thing.

Foreign money out:  Rep. Jamie Raskin (DMD) introduced The Get Foreign Money Out of U.S. Elections Act to close loopholes that allow it in.  It will take massive effort.  Call Rick Larsen at 202-225-3441 toll-free to co-sponsor the bill.  (End Citizens United Action Network, 5-30-17)

Withdrawing from Paris:  Pres. Trump announced the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, despite urging from the Sec. of State, the Sec. of Energy, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, the Pope, his daughter, and the American people (70%) to stay in.  It cannot take effect until 2019 and will require the full cooperation of Congress. (NRDC Action Fund, 6-1-17)  125 U.S. mayors, 9 governors, over 80 college presidents, and many businesses are committing to meet the Paris targets, some committing to 100% renewable energy. (350.org, 6-7-17)

20% renewables:  The Energy Information Administration reported the U.S. has reached 20% of its electricity being generated by renewables, including wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric production.  Actually, 19.35%.  This was not expected until 2057.  800,000 renewable energy jobs exist in the U.S., while coal gained 70, but lost 60,000. (Daily Kos, 6-2-17)

AGs sue:  The Attorneys General of the District of Columbia and Maryland filed suit against Pres. Trump for violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution by his continued ownership in a global business empire involving foreign governments. (HuffPost Politics, 6-12-17)

“The biggest question is whether someone who ran as a populist, who promised not to cut Social Security or Medicaid, who assured voters that everyone would have health insurance, can keep his working-class support while pursuing an agenda so anti-populist it takes your breath away.”—Paul Krugman, May 30, 2017

LOCAL NEWS/EVENTS

WSLC endorsements:  Washington State Labor Council Executive Board endorsed these candidates in special legislative elections this fall:  Manka Dhingra (45th LD Senate), Rebecca Saldana (37th LD Senate), Patty Kuderer (48th LD Senate), and Vandana Slatter (48th Rep.).  Manka Dhingra’s race is especially important because her win would create a worker-friendly majority in the Senate and could end the partisan legislative logjam.  The Washington State Labor Council represents 450,000 union members in the state.  (“The Stand,” 5-15-17)

Ranker’s challenge:  In the wake of Trump’s lack of leadership in withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas) called on Washington state to lead the way in the fight against climate change.  “It is time for our state to put a price on polluters and meet our goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020 and further reduce emissions by 25% by 2035.” (Dave Pringle, Senate Democratic Communications, 6-1-17

Climate alliance:  After Trump’s withdrawal from Paris, Govs. Inslee, Jerry Brown (CA) and Andrew Cuomo (NY) quickly formed the United States Climate Alliance to follow the Paris Accord and urge other states to join.  The 3 will serve as co-chairs, and are committed to achieving the Paris targets and the goals of the federal Clean Power Plan. (Daily Kos, 6-2-17)

Agreement:  Familias Unidas por la Justicia, the Burlington indigenous farm workers’ union, announced a tentative collective bargaining agreement with Sakumas Bros. (The Stand 6-12-17)

Tues., June 20th, 6:30-8:00 pm:  Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy forum at 1207 Ellsworth, Bellingham, on the need for an equitable climate policy in WA State.  Speakers are Steve Garey, Eddy Ury, Edgar Franks, and Sameer Ranade.  Questions?  Eddy Ury, 360-733-8307, ext. 215.

Anaccortes July 4th parade, 11:00 am:  Look for the Fidalgo Democrats banner and line up on O Avenue near 2nd St. by 10:30 am.  Progressive groups will march together with a banner, “This is What Democracy Looks Like!” first Fidalgo Democrats (because of our longevity), followed by Skagit County Democrats, MoveOn Skagit, Our Revolution-Skagit, Indivisible-Skagit, Young Dems of Skagit, Anacortes Women’s March, etc., first come, first served, each group carrying its own banner.  March on Commercial to Causland Park.  Progressive candidates invited to join in.

Sister Districts:  Tues., July 11th, 7:00 pm at the library Alix Foster of Sister Districts will mobilize Fidalgo Democrats  to help phone bank for Manka Dhingra’s and other special elections .

By Corinne Salcedo, Chair