Saturday, April 30, 2005

A Fair Compromise

Team Leader
April 29, 2005  

Dear Automat,

The proposal Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist sent to his Democrat colleagues yesterday could not have been a fairer compromise to end Democrat obstruction of President Bush's highly qualified judicial nominees. 
 
Leader Frist's proposal would guarantee President Bush's nominees a fair up or down vote on the Senate floor while allowing all Senators an opportunity to have their say through a guaranteed 100 hours of debate. 
 
This is a reasonable resolution to the Democrats' unprecedented use of the filibuster against President Bush's nominees, and will ensure that the filibuster remains intact for use against legislation. 
 
Democrats are obstructing President Bush's nominees because they know that these nominees will strictly interpret the law -- not legislate from the bench. Democrats have even gone so far as to say they will "shut down" the Senate if they do not get their way on judicial nominations.
 
One of President Bush's nominees, Janice Rogers Brown, grew up as the daughter of Alabama sharecroppers and became the first African American woman to serve on the California Supreme Court. In 1998, Californians reelected her with 76 percent of the vote and the majority of Senators support her nomination for a federal judgeship, but Democrats are standing in the way of her receiving an up or down vote on the Senate floor.
 
Please visit GOP.com to sign a petition supporting Leader Frist's proposal to ensure President Bush's judicial nominees receive a fair up or down vote.  And please also click here to write letters to the editor of your local newspapers.
 
A fair up or down vote for highly qualified judicial nominees is too important for Republicans to stand by as Democrats sacrifice decades of Senate tradition for partisan gain. I hope I can count on your help to make sure that the President's qualified nominees are given a fair up or down vote.
 
Sincerely,

Ken Mehlman
Chairman, RNC

P.S. Democrats have never before used the filibuster against judicial nominees. Visit GOP.com and tell them to accept Senator Frist's compromise and stop obstructing the Senate from doing the people's business.

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

You're not going to believe this


Executive Director

Dear Automat:

Governor Christine Gregoire was sworn in months ago in Washington State-- the Republican Secretary of State certified her victory, and she's been governing for over 100 days.

Protect the Vote

Her race was close -- that's why, immediately after the election, they conducted an initial machine recount. Then, even though the Washington State Democratic Party had to pay for it (which they did with your help), they conducted a hand recount to make sure that every legal vote was protected and counted.

But guess what -- the Republican who lost the election still won't admit defeat. He's struggling to seize power and stay in the headlines by holding press conferences, running ads and filing junk lawsuits. He has even publicly released lists of people he thinks shouldn't have been allowed to vote and accused others of being convicted felons -- only to find that his lists contained registered, legal voters every time.

The Democratic Party in Washington needs to beat back this assault on their elected governor. Please support them now:

https://secure.wa-democrats.org/contribute_dnc.php

As Governor Dean works with state party chairs across the country to give them the resources they need to build for the future, we can't lose sight of the battles being fought on the ground right now.

I know that Governor Dean asked for your financial support just a couple of weeks ago. Thousands of people like you responded -- putting staff and resources on the ground in our first four states and accelerating the pace of our program to build a long-term presence everywhere. Thanks to you we'll be able to announce the next group of states shortly.

But we can't fall into the trap of diverting resources from our long-term goals -- we have to find a way to meet urgent needs at the same time.

That's why I'm asking you to step up and help the Washington State Party now. No one anticipated the Republicans would lose the election and mount a reckless and absurd campaign for months after. The state party needs resources to keep its team going -- to keep fighting back in public and in the courtroom.

Please consider making a contribution now:

https://secure.wa-democrats.org/contribute_dnc.php

As you watch the situation in Washington State unfold, you can't help but see the similarity to what's going on in Washington, D.C. -- when the Republicans don't win they try to change the rules.

Here, Senate Republicans want to change the rules so they can silence Democrats and exercise absolute power. And House Republicans changed the ethics rules to protect their leader, Tom DeLay, whose corruption and influence peddling schemes seem to unravel more every day.

Republican leaders in Congress and their operatives in the states are out of touch and out of control. And with the least popular second-term president ever, their desperate abuses of power will only get more extreme.

We need to stop them in their tracks now so we can get back to the people's business:

https://secure.wa-democrats.org/contribute_dnc.php

Thank you.

Tom McMahon
Executive Director, Democratic National Committee


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An Ill Wind in the US Senate

 

Dear Friend,

An ill wind is blowing across this country.  That wind blows the seeds of destruction and threatens to undermine the system of checks and balances described in the Constitution and the fundamental rights we hold dear. Our Constitution is the rock of our nation and has withstood every challenge for more than 200 years. But today, the Constitution is under attack and needs your help.

Some in the Senate want to bully the American people and force feed us extremist judges.  If they don't get their way, they're ready to nuke debate in the Senate and stand the Senate rules on their head by severely restricting the right to filibuster these nominees. They want to change the rules in the middle of the game just because they don't like the score.

We cannot let them do it.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has launched a new campaign opposed to this unprecedented power grab. We need you to stand with us and say no to this so-called "nuclear option." Join us and say no to court packing schemes.

http://www.dscc.org/nuclearoption

Once the "nuclear option" is launched, there's no stopping it. At the bottom of the rubble will lie our freedom of speech and our system of checks and balances – dead, dead, dead.

It is up to us to spread the word. You must be the new Paul Revere and tell your friends and neighbors about what is happening in the Senate. Tell them that our free speech is under attack. Tell them that our system of checks and balances is under attack. Tell them that the Senate must not be simply a rubber stamp for extremist judges.

Tell them to fight efforts to end the filibuster as we know it by joining our campaign. Tell them there must never be a gag rule for the United States Senate.

http://www.dscc.org/nuclearoption

Some say we don't need 200 years of American history.  According to opponents of the filibuster, 200 years of history is a bore.  It's simply passé.  Old hat.  They say the Constitution is nothing more than stale bread.  Opponents of free speech see no need to rely on Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, or Hamilton. We know better.

We won't be muzzled by those who want to silence us. Delay, deliberation, and debate may be a waste of time to some, but it's free speech and the American way to all of us who love our country and our Constitution. The best way to help defend the Constitution is join our campaign against the "nuclear option" today.

http://www.dscc.org/nuclearoption

We must preserve free speech and the rights of the minority. Join the DSCC today. 

Sincerely,
Robert Byrd





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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hammer the Hammer, Twice

 

Dear Friend,

Here is what Bradford Plumer of Mother Jones Magazine had to say about the DCCC’s new website, Tom DeLay’s House of Scandal.

"The ultimate Tom DeLay resource has finally arrived. Check it out. And pass it around!"
You might have also seen it featured on CNN’s Inside Politics, Fox News, or The Washington Post. You might have seen GOP Whip Roy Blunt stumbling to defend Tom DeLay against the facts while Tim Russert showed him the website on NBC's Meet the Press. And you might have seen Republican Congressman David Dreier, the Chairman who heads the very committee responsible for overseeing House Ethics rules, flailing on CBS' Face the Nation and dismissing the cold hard facts against DeLay as a "smear."

It’s time to Hammer the Hammer.

The Republicans know that the DCCC has their number, and right now the DCCC is doing everything they can to take these facts from the internet to the op-ed pages, the state parties, the radio, and with enough help from people like you, onto TV. But maintaining the momentum and bringing this message into every district in the country is no small task, and the DCCC is looking for $250,000 for its "Hammer the Hammer Fund" - they can’t do it without your help.

That's why I am asking you (and your neighbors, your friends, and even your family) to make a secure contribution to DCCC’s "Hammer the Hammer Fund" today:

https://secure.dccc.org/houseofscandal/default.aspx?id=hos_hth_email_0425

The "Hammer the Hammer Fund" is so important to the DCCC that they have committed to matching your contribution to the fund, dollar for dollar. That means that every dollar you put towards defeating Tom Delay and his cronies counts TWICE. That's right. The DCCC will make sure that your commitment is doubled.

The Republicans are scared because this is not only the definitive clearinghouse on Tom DeLay's scandals, it is the only place where you will be able to see how DeLay's influence-peddling ties in with the entire Republican money-making machine and the all-out assault on the middle class that they call an "agenda."

Keep in mind all of this was happening the same week that Republicans were pushing through an energy bill that featured $8 billion in giveaways to oil and gas companies -- with no relief for Americans who are paying record prices at the pump. And don't forget about the fact that they're still pushing DeLay's Social Security privatization plan that will shower billions on Wall Street unless we stop them.

Oh yes, the facts on this website will haunt the Republican Congress every day straight through November of 2006. Right now the Republicans in Congress are panicking – they know what kind of politician they’ve chosen to lead them, they know how far they’ve gone to protect him, and now they know that every one of their constituents can find all of that information on one website. With your contribution to the Hammer the Hammer Fund, we can tell the truth about Tom DeLay's House of Scandal from coast to coast and elect Democrats all across America.

Americans are beginning to get a whiff of the kind of operation the Republicans have been running – and now I’m asking you to help the DCCC make sure all of America knows about what the Wall Street Journal called Tom DeLay's "Odor Issues" with a contribution to the Hammer the Hammer Fund today:

https://secure.dccc.org/houseofscandal/default.aspx?id=hos_hth_email_0425

Matthew Yglesias of The American Prospect calls it "just about what the doctor ordered," the Washington Monthly website calls it "astonishingly good," and Air America's Majority Report asks what happens, "When Tom DeLay’s ethics meet very cool web design"? You know the answer: Tom DeLay's House of Scandal. Now Hammer the Hammer.

http://houseofscandal.org

Thanks as always,

James Carville





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Monday, April 25, 2005

Double Standards

Team Leader
April 25, 2005  

Dear Automat,

Hypocrite - noun, one who pretends to be what he is not or to have principles or beliefs that he does not have.

The Democrats' efforts to block President Bush's qualified judicial nominees are not only hypocritical but are examples of partisan politicking at its worst.

Republicans in the Senate are working to ensure that all of President Bush's judicial nominees receive a fair and final up-or-down vote. Despite Senate history and tradition, Democrats are aggressively trying to prevent qualified judges from receiving what's been afforded every judicial nominee for over 200 years.

During the Clinton Administration, Democrats demanded up-or-down majority votes on judicial nominations, but, now that they are in the minority, they have become the party of obstructionism and double standards.

The Constitution guarantees an up or down vote, but the Democrats don't want to perform their duty. You can make a difference! Call Senator Dianne Feinstein at 202-224-3841 and Senator Barbara Boxer at 202-224-3553 and tell them to do their job - give these judges an up or down vote.

On July 25, 2003, President Bush made history by nominating Janice Rogers Brown to the federal bench. Brown is the first African American elected to the California Supreme Court and was reelected by California voters with 76% of the vote.

The daughter of Alabama sharecroppers who grew up in segregated schools in the midst of Jim Crow policies in the South, Brown is a single mother who worked her way through college and law school.

Despite her sterling personal and legal credentials, during the 108th Congress, Senate Democrats used a hypocritical double standard to block her nomination. Judge Brown is not alone. Senate Democrats obstructed an up-or-down vote on 9 other well-qualified judges. Some of these judges have been waiting for a vote for four years.

It seems Democrats have changed their tune on giving all judicial nominees a fair up-or-down vote. They now claim the filibuster is a sacred tool of the Senate. But in 1995, Democrats, including nine who still serve, voted to rid the Senate of this tool.

That's right, nine current Democratic Senators voted to get rid of the filibuster. Now that it suits their needs, they praise it. What's worse than this hypocrisy is these same Senators now lead the obstruction and threaten to shut down the Senate. Their claims of loyalty to, and reverence for, Senate traditions are just another sham designed to hide their hypocrisy.

To learn more about how the Party of Nine has become the obstructionist party of no, click here! See how these members used to demand fair up-or-down votes on judicial nominees, but now want to block nominees and hold the Senate hostage.

Call Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Barbara Boxer today and tell them you're tired of the hypocrisy and double standards. Call and tell them these judges deserve and up-or-down vote.


Sincerely,

Ken Mehlman
Chairman, RNC

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Cracks in the Republican Machine

 

Dear Friend,

As Americans learn more and more about what their Republican members of Congress have been up to, their ethical problems are catching up with them.

Here at the DCCC, we have helped to inform the American public about what is going on behind Republican closed doors in Washington. With the launch of our powerful new website, Tom DeLay's House of Scandal, we provide a clearinghouse of information that is making Republicans nervous all over the beltway.

Folks have seen our website on Meet the Press, in the Washington Post, even on their favorite, FOX News. They know our site has their number, they know it's not going away, they know they have to do something - and fast.

http://houseofscandal.org/signup.html

Recently the Republican Chair of the Ethics Committee offered to do just about anything, including immediately commencing an investigation of DeLay, just so long as Republicans were allowed to dismiss any such investigation with a party line vote. When asked whether DeLay might be behind the offer, newly appointed Chairman Doc Hastings dodged the question1, and Democrats stood firm and rejected the offer. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi put it plainly:

"Let me be very clear: What Mr. Hastings was presenting was a sham... [The Republicans] are destroying the ethics process. It is outrageous. And the fact is, is that whatever Mr. DeLay's problems are, they're almost minor compared to the abuse of power of the Republicans in terms of the ethics process, which is a bigger issue than Mr. DeLay. It's about the integrity of the House and upholding a high ethical standard."

Exactly. The party positions could not be more clear right now: Democrats are for serious ethical accountability in government, the Republicans are against it.

Keep in mind all of this was happening the same week that Republicans were pushing through an energy bill that featured $8 billion in giveaways to oil and gas companies -- with no relief for Americans who are paying record prices at the pump. And don't forget about the fact that they're still pushing DeLay's Social Security privatization plan that will shower billions on Wall Street unless we stop them.

We're sending a message to Tom DeLay and his Republican cronies. We want Ethics Back in the House. Stand with us by signing the petition:

http://houseofscandal.org/signup.html

Why don't they want accountability? Well, to get an idea of what would be happening in the House if there were accountability, Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist, two of the key players in DeLay, Inc. have had their groups' records subpoenaed by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in connection with the Jack Abramoff lobbyist scam2. That's the same Jack Abramoff who allegedly paid Tom DeLay's travel expenses with his credit card3 - in apparent violation of House rules - and who reportedly said, "Everybody is lying... Those S.O.B.s...DeLay knew everything. He knew all the details."4

If you haven't been to Tom DeLay's House of Scandal, check it out; if you have, go back, there's always more to learn, and please help us out by spreading the word. We put thousands of hours of work into it, but it will only be worth it if people know about it!

http://houseofscandal.org

Thanks,

John Lapp
Executive Director, DCCC



1 Washington Post (4/21/05)
2 Roll Call (4/21/05)
3 Washington Post (4/24/05)
4 Newsweek (4/10/05)



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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Sen. Cornyn Off the Record on Judicial Nominations

 

Dear Automat,

This week, we went Off the Record with Sen. John Cornyn, a former Texas Supreme Court Justice and Attorney General, who has been a strong Republican voice in support of President Bush's judicial nominees.

Watch today!  

Under the Constitution, the Senate is obligated to vote on the President's nominees, but Democratic leaders are rejecting their Constitutional duty and threatening to shut down the Senate if we grant these qualified nominees an up-or-down vote.  For over 200 years, a majority vote is all that has been required to confirm judicial nominations.  Now the Democrats are changing the rules and preventing the majority from confirming these nominees.  The Senate majority should not be forced to choose between fulfilling their Constitutional obligation and conducting the people's business. 

But don't just take our word for it.  Watch Off the Record with Sen. Cornyn and hear directly from a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and former judge why "we simply have to break the log jam that has been created by Democrats' obstructionist techniques."

Sincerely,
 
Mindy, Katie, and the rest of the RNC eCampaign

P.S. For those who missed our previous segments of Off the Record, you can still find them at GOP.com in latest RNC video.

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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Ted Kennedy's Leadership Against the Nuclear Option

Dear Friend,

A poisonous right wing infection has gotten hold of the Senate Republicans.  They've got a narrow Senate majority that's not enough to get their extremist judges on the courts.  So they're scheming to change the fundamental Senate rules, silence Democrats, and get their judges approved.  It's an assault on the Constitution and the whole system of checks and balances that makes our democracy work.

This unprecedented scheme will reach a crisis in the coming days. The focal point may be William Myers, a nominee rejected last year who's been nominated again.  He'll be the test vote on this far-out power grab.

I'll say no on William Myers -- and no to the poisonous abuse of power Republicans are trying to foist on the Senate. My colleague, Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts, is helping to lead the battle against William Myers' confirmation.  Senator Kennedy's website is hosting a petition against Myers' confirmation –- a petition I am pleased to support.

Please take a moment to join me in this effort and sign Senator Kennedy's petition:

www.tedkennedy.com/NoMyers

The vast, vast majority of President Bush's nominees -- over 95 percent -- have been confirmed by the Senate for the federal courts. But the Senate refused to confirm a handful of them who are too extreme to swallow - the worst of the worst, the very bottom of the right-wing barrel.

Bush has nominated Myers for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals -- the largest federal court of appeals, and a potential stepping stone to the Supreme Court. It also has jurisdiction over vast expanses of public land and priceless natural resources -- which makes a person like Myers especially unfit to serve.

He's spent his career trying to dismantle the legal protections our courts exist to protect. As a lobbyist for mining interests, he was handpicked by President Bush to regulate that industry. His only experience has been manipulating laws and regulations for corporate gain, against the public interest.

Myers and the other rejected nominees make up a band of corporate facilitators and right-wing crusaders who don't deserve lifetime power to shape laws that govern us. We have to say no:

www.tedkennedy.com/NoMyers

On the merits, there is simply no case for why William Myers should be confirmed.

Fortunately, the Constitution and two hundred years of Senate history give a minority of Senators like Democrats are today the right to say no to irresponsible nominees like Myers.

But Republican leaders won't take the Constitution for an answer.  They want to change the basic long-standing Senate rules, silence the minority, and force Myers to the federal court for life.

We need your help. If we all stand together, if we stand with my good friend Ted Kennedy, we can stop this madness. Please - say no to Myers now:

www.tedkennedy.com/NoMyers

In Friendship,

Barbara Boxer


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Time for a dialogue: A very personal video


JohnKerry.com
Watch the Video

Dear Supporter,

There are moments in our work together when it's important to step back, look each other in the eye, and decide what we need to do next.

This is one of those moments.

The Republican Party's leaders have set America on an extraordinarily dangerous path. We are no longer just debating the merits of one policy over another. It's far more fundamental than that. The far right seems set on a path that challenges the fundamentals of how we make our democracy work best for all of us. I can't literally sit in your living room and talk about what's going on and how we need to rise to the occasion. So, I've chosen the next best thing, recording a video message that I hope each and every member of the johnkerry.com community will take the time to watch.

http://www.johnkerry.com/action/valuesvideo

It's essential for us to come together right now because, every day, Republican leaders are crossing lines that should never be crossed:

  • The line that says a leader in the House of Representatives should never carelessly threaten or intimidate federal judges.
  • The line that says a leader in the Senate should never accuse those who disagree with his political tactics of waging a war against people of faith.
  • The line that says respect for core constitutional principles should never be undermined by a political party's quest for power.
  • And, most important of all, the line that says a political party's leaders should never let their obsession with amassing power overwhelm the needs and interests of America's families.

The enclosed video message addresses the vitally important moment that our nation has reached. Decisions are about to be made that will shape America's future. I urge you to take a few minutes to watch the video -- and to forward it to your friends. But, most of all, I encourage you to join with the entire johnkerry.com community in committing yourself to acting to give voice to our values in the critical days ahead and holding Republicans in Washington accountable.

http://www.johnkerry.com/action/valuesvideo

Sincerely,

John Kerry



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