Friday, May 19, 2006

Domestic Spying at the CIA?

Dear automat,

No on Hayden. Add your voice now!

As the director of the National Security Agency, Michael Hayden oversaw the creation of the massive domestic spying program revealed last week. Now George Bush wants him to run the CIA.

After yesterday's hearings, it's obvious that Hayden's involvement in the NSA's domestic spying program disqualifies him from heading the CIA. His answers to questions from Congress and from the press have been evasive at best and downright false at worst. The Bush administration's chronic pattern of misleading the American people about the full extent of its domestic spying activities was on full display yesterday, and the American people deserve better.

We can't be fooled by the rhetoric from the Republicans: domestic spying is not a partisan issue. Democrats will do what it takes to keep America safe, and support tracking down al-Qaeda and preventing future attacks, but we want the President to follow the law. Domestic spying is one more Bush-imposed chink in the constitutional armor that shields Americans' fundamental rights from over-reaching by the government.

When the Senators meet to decide on Hayden's confirmation, they must hear the voices of their constituents. We want to deliver the voices of 100,000 Americans who oppose this nomination. Will you add your name?

http://www.democrats.org/hayden

Some Republicans will try to pretend that this is just another political fight. But Americans of every political viewpoint are rightfully disturbed by the misleading answers they've heard in response to questions about Hayden's activity at the NSA.

Republicans in the Senate and the House have already expressed concern about this nomination. The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee called Hayden "the wrong person at the wrong place at the wrong time" and one Senate Intelligence Committee member, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, called the Hayden nomination "a major problem".

Please add your name and circulate this message to your friends. It's up to every one of us to stand up and demand answers:

http://www.democrats.org/hayden

We need a CIA chief committed to protecting Americans without misleading them. Hayden, through his involvement in the domestic spying program, has shown that he cannot.

We cannot stand for that.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.



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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Now that's what I call momentum!


JohnKerry.com

Dear Friend,

You know what our mission is -- to drive to victory on November 7 by using our online strength to give key Democratic candidates grassroots help they couldn't even imagine getting in the past.

This week, we're focusing on a handful of races across the nation that are absolutely critical to the environment. We're out to take back the Congress and defeat Republican candidates who have sold out the environment whenever it really counts.

Support pro-environment Democratic candidates now.

Yesterday, we helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for three critical House challengers: Ron Klein in Florida, Francine Busby in California, and Darcy Burner in Washington state. Today, we've added a new candidate to the list -- Linda Stender who is running in New Jersey's 7th Congressional district. Linda is not only a strong environmental candidate, she has also fought to protect the right to privacy and she has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration's failed policies in Iraq.

Linda has led fights in her county to pass the Open Space, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Trust Fund, create the area's largest tree replacement program, and develop a new program to improve the appearance of county property. Protecting our environment and making America energy independent are two of her key priorities when she gets elected.

I told you earlier that two of the GOP incumbents we're out to defeat, Clay Shaw and Dave Reichert, had identical 28% voting records on the League of Conservation Voters' scorecard. Linda's opponent, Mike Ferguson, is even worse. In the last session of Congress, he voted pro-environment only 17% of the time.

All 3 of these Republican incumbents have voted to open up the Arctic Refuge to drilling, gut funding of environmental protections for clean water and environmental conservation, and sell off our public lands to the big mining companies. We can't continue to let this happen.

Support pro-environment Democratic candidates now.

We have these anti-environment Republicans on the run. Let's keep it that way. Help build an unstoppable momentum for our environmental slate of candidates. Donate to one or more of our candidates right now.

Let's give them the strong support they need to win.

Sincerely,

John Kerry

P.S. In addition to providing direct support to our candidates, don't forget to also include a donation to Keeping America's Promise in support of our broader efforts to help shape the outcome of these vitally important elections.

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Authorized by Klein for Congress
Authorized by Francine Busby for Congress
Authorized by Linda Stender for Congress

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Friends of John Kerry, Inc., 511 C St. NE, Washington DC, 20002, U.S.A.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Big Oil, Brian, Clay and Dave


JohnKerry.com
Tell Them to Step Aside.

Dear Friend,

How's this for a dubious proposition? Right in your home state of California, Brian Bilbray, a former Republican congressman turned energy company lobbyist, is trying to convince voters that he's the right person to send to Congress to replace Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

Most Republican congressmen just think it's their job to do the bidding of powerful energy companies. Bilbray could have a leg up on them. It really is his job.

I've got a far better idea. Let's send the Democratic candidate Francine Busby to Washington instead; the special election to fill Cunningham's seat is only 3 weeks away. Francine is one of three fast-moving, hard-charging pro-environment Democrats we're focusing our energies on this week.

Support strong pro-environment Democratic candidates right now.

We know that the last thing we need in Congress is more Republican energy company lobbyists. So, let's say no to Brian Bilbray. And let's say goodbye to Clay Shaw and Dave Reichert. They're a couple of Republican congressmen with absurdly bad environmental voting records and connections to big oil that would make Dick Cheney blush, and their Democratic opponents are closing in on them every day. If we give these pro-environment Democrats the immediate help they need, we can win three of the most environmentally critical elections in the country.

Clay Shaw (Florida) and Dave Reichert (Washington) are from opposite ends of the country. But, they're as close as they could be when it comes to cozying up to polluters and giant oil companies. In fact, they share identical 28% scores on the non-partisan League of Conservation Voters environmental scorecard. That means they vote against the environment 7 out of every 10 chances they get.

They've voted to open up the Arctic Refuge to drilling, gut funding of environmental protections for clean water and environmental conservation, and sell off our public lands to the big mining companies. We can't let this continue.

Support strong pro-environment Democratic candidates right now.

The contrast couldn't be more compelling. Ron Klein, running to unseat Clay Shaw, has been a leader in the Florida State Senate opposing the Bush administration's efforts to open up Florida's coastline to oil drilling. And Darcy Burner, opposing Dave Reichert in Washington, is running because she's fed up with the Bush Republicans paying only lip service to alternative energy and conservation while they give away billions of dollars in tax subsidies to giant oil companies that are already raking in record profits.

Here's how you can help. Make sure the voters in Florida and Washington state reject the 28% voting records of anti-environment Republicans by donating $28 each to the fast-moving campaigns of Ron Klein and Darcy Burner.

Support strong pro-environment Democratic candidates right now.

Every day I become more hopeful that, thanks to you, our hard-driving efforts to deliver unprecedented levels of grassroots support to key Democratic candidates can turn the tide in 2006.

I'm tired of being forced to spend so much of our time just trying to stop bad things from happening in Washington.

If we can take back Congress in November, we can stop anti-environment Republicans from threatening the Arctic Refuge, selling off our national forests, weakening environmental standards, and we can finally do right by our national security by putting America on a path to genuine energy independence.

You and I both know that the best way to protect our environment is to throw ourselves heart and soul into winning these elections.

Think we can't do it? Think again. I believe in this cause with all my heart and gut. I know it's not easy, but I remember when you couldn't even mention environmental issues without a snicker. But then in the 1970's people got tired of seeing the Cuyahoga River catch on fire from all the chemicals. So one day millions of Americans marched. Politicians had no choice but to take notice. Twelve Congressmen were dubbed the Dirty Dozen, and soon after seven were kicked out of office. The floodgates were opened. We got the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. We created the EPA. The quality of life improved because concerned citizens made their issues matter in elections.

We need to do this all over again.

If possible, I urge you to send $28 to each of the three pro-environment candidates we're focusing on this week. If you can't afford that, I urge you to pick one or two candidates to support. But, whatever you do, don't let pass this opportunity to build strong momentum in must-win races across the nation that will determine who controls Congress for the next two years.

Thanks so much for all of the hard work you're putting into this campaign.

Sincerely,

John Kerry

P.S. In addition to providing direct candidate assistance, I hope you'll add a special donation to Keeping America's Promise in support of our broader efforts to help shape the outcome of this November's elections.

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Authorized by Darcy Burner for Congress
Authorized by Klein for Congress
Authorized by Francine Busby for Congress

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Have you heard the news?

Dear automat,

Here's what readers of the Washington Post woke up to on a recent Sunday morning:

Confident Democrats Lay Out Agenda

Democratic leaders, increasingly confident they will seize control of the House in November, are laying plans for a legislative blitz during their first week in power that would raise the minimum wage, roll back parts of the Republican prescription drug law, implement homeland security measures and reinstate lapsed budget deficit controls.

The buzz is finally building in the press about what nearly 70% of Americans know, according to recent polls: enough is enough, and it's time for real change.

Democrats are on the rise, but the November elections are six months away and we can't let this opportunity slip. We need to build steadily until then -- more staff on the ground, more outreach to ordinary Americans, and more resources to get out the vote.

With your help we can raise $250,000 this week that will be focused on one goal: winning in 2006. Can you make a donation of $50 or even $25 to make it happen?

http://www.democrats.org/win2006

Every single day our operation across the country makes personal contact with more and more Americans. People are responding to our simple, common-sense agenda:

  1. Honest Leadership & Open Government -- We will end the Republican culture of corruption and restore a government as good as the people it serves.
  2. Real Security -- We will protect Americans at home and lead the world by telling the truth to our troops, our citizens and our allies.
  3. Energy Independence -- We will create a cleaner and stronger America by reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
  4. Economic Prosperity & Educational Excellence -- We will create jobs that will stay in America by restoring opportunity and driving innovation.
  5. A Healthcare System that Works for Everyone -- We will join 36 other industrialized nations by making sure everyone has access to affordable health care.
  6. Retirement Security -- We will ensure that a retirement with dignity is the right and expectation of every single American.

These six simple points will be the keys to our victory in 2006. If you're ready to be a part of the change, make your donation now:

http://www.democrats.org/win2006

Day by day, with the resources you provide, we are rebuilding a sense of community in our country. The year 2006 can be a year of change only if ordinary Americans come together and decide that it's time to start providing real solutions to problems that we face.

It's going to take a lot of work between now and November to get our message out and reach every voter who wants change. But with your donation it can happen. Please contribute whatever you can afford to push Democrats to victory in 2006:

http://www.democrats.org/win2006

Democrats are ready to lead, and because of your help we're going to be leading -- with a new majority in Congress and countless new elected officials in every state at every level of office.

But it's up to you to take the lead now and drive this victory. You have the power to transform our government -- and that's exactly what we're going to do.

Thank you.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.



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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Take Action for Lower Gas Prices

The Democratic Party
Dear automat,

As gas prices rose to above $3 a gallon last week, President Bush, his Administration officials, and their Senate allies came out in full force to do damage control. They know their jobs and their far-right agenda are at stake this November. In a hasty attempt to appease voters, Senator Frist proposed a $100 rebate financed by changing an accounting loophole that allows the oil and gas industry to pay lower taxes. His own party members balked at the overt pandering to voters, with Senator Conrad of Montana saying, "there're some dumb ideas in this." [Houston Chronicle, 4/29/06] But it was heavy pressure from Big Oil that ultimately drove Senator Frist to retreat from the plan.

While Washington Republicans flip flop, waste time, and coddle their Big Oil friends, Senate Democrats are fighting for direct and immediate relief to working families. Last week, Senator Menendez proposed an amendment that would eliminate the federal gas tax for 60 days, providing $6 billion in direct relief to consumers. With the Republicans in control of the Senate agenda, we need all hands on deck to get this amendment passed. That's why I have asked the DSCC to help collect citizen co-sponsors for the Menendez amendment. Washington Republicans listened to their Big Oil friends this week. Now it's time they hear from you. Please show your support for the Menendez amendment by signing the citizen petition today.

Become a citizen co-sponsor of the Menendez gas tax relief amendment today by visiting:

http://www.dscc.org/gasprices

Senator Frist's latest move shows that once again, every time Washington Republicans claim to be taking action on gas prices, they are really taking action to protect oil industry profits. Election Day is just six months away and the Republicans are counting on their old oil industry friends to raise money for their candidates and keep their control over the Washington agenda -- an agenda that has taken power away from the people, made America less secure, and driven up profits for Big Oil at the expense of middle class families.

The majority of the Senate is up for grabs this November and the oil and gas industry is working over-time to keep their Republican friends in power. It's no surprise that the top recipients of oil and gas campaign contributions this cycle include candidates in some of the most hotly-contested Senate races: Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Conrad Burns of Montana, George Allen of Virginia, Jim Talent of Missouri, Jon Kyl of Arizona, and Mike DeWine of Ohio.

The voice of the oil industry is heard loud and clear in Republican-controlled Washington. From secret White House meetings with Texas oilmen George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to closed door sessions writing energy legislation on Capitol Hill. Now, we need your voice to be heard.

Please help me reach my goal of 50,000 signatures by signing the citizen petition supporting the Menendez amendment today.

Become a citizen co-sponsor of the Menendez gas tax relief amendment today by visiting:

http://www.dscc.org/gasprices

The cost of middle class living has skyrocketed to unacceptable levels during the Bush presidency and it's time for a new direction. With your help, we'll put the country back on track this November.

Right now, my Senate Democratic colleagues and I are doing all we can to get tough on the oil industry and provide direct relief to working families. Please help us pass Democratic legislation that will provide direct and immediate gas price relief to working families by signing the citizen petition today.

Become a citizen co-sponsor of the Menendez gas tax relief amendment today by visiting:

http://www.dscc.org/gasprices

Sincerely,
Senator Harry Reid


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Monday, May 01, 2006

Photos from this weekend

The Democratic Party

Dear automat,

I wanted to pass along to you a few testimonials and photos from volunteers like you who were out in force this weekend:

http://www.democrats.org/april29photos

This past Saturday, in over 1,000 communities across the country, Democratic volunteers had over 1 million conversations with their neighbors about the future of our country. Our candidates for every level of office, both incumbents and challengers, joined experienced canvassers and first-time volunteers in an unprecedented day of national action.

Together we're doing something extraordinary -- integrating our party operations from the precinct level up, and using technology to open our party up to ordinary Americans who want to be part of the change we desperately need in this country.

If you took part in the canvass (or want to tell us why you didn't) please take the time to fill out this short survey:

http://www.democrats.org/april29feedback

Thank you, and stay tuned for the next big step in on the road to victory in 2006 and beyond.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

P.S. -- Because of the California State Convention, the California Democratic Party is holding official canvassing events on May 13. If you're interested in attending one of these events, call them at 916-442-5707.

Also, below are few of the testimonials from volunteers that you'll find on the April 29th photos page:

Virginia: "It was great! We had 8 in all, four seasoned canvassers and four college students who had not canvassed before. We paired up and had a great experience. Got some names of interested volunteers and generally felt we had pretty good results for a mostly Republican area."

North Carolina: "We had 6 volunteers cover many of the streets in our precinct. I am the Precinct chair, we got organized in 2005, and this is a great leap forward in building our precinct committee. With the voter stats from the walk list, we will be able to tell if our efforts made a difference street by street. I put together a local flyer with a sample of the ballot we will use on Tuesday's election, and which candidates got endorsements from the local progressive groups. Many of the people we talked with were appreciative, and will be using our guideline at the polls."

Ohio: "Today was a huge success. Targeted precincts were canvassed. Hundreds of Dems were touched personally for the first time in years and dozens of those signed up to volunteer efforts for the coming Election season. Watch us grow in Southwest Ohio!"

You can read more here:

http://www.democrats.org/april29photos


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Patriotism then and now


Senator Bob Kerrey
John Kerry"I believed then, just as I believe now, that the best way to support the troops is to oppose a course that squanders their lives, dishonors their sacrifice, and disserves our people and our principles."
-- John Kerry, April 22nd, 2006 in Boston

Watch John Kerry's Speech

Dear Friend,

When we were in the Senate together, John Kerry and I shared a lot more than a last name. We both came to public service after having served our country in Vietnam. And that experience caused us to make a fifteen year effort to bring peace to Cambodia, resolve the POW-MIA issue, write a road map to normalization with our former enemy, and follow that road map until a former prisoner of war returned as our ambassador in 1998.

That diplomatic voyage was long and very contentious. It began with President George Herbert Walker Bush and ended with President Clinton. It was not possible without the courageous leadership of Senator John McCain and many other Vietnam veterans who served in Congress. It was angrily opposed by many and reignited many of the bitter, personal debates surrounding the war itself.

It's among my proudest accomplishments. We were able -- Republicans and Democrats together -- to achieve a great foreign policy success at the site of our worst foreign policy mistake. We stood shoulder to shoulder for peace and reconciliation. Millions of Cambodians and Vietnamese are better off today because of it. For me this was an effort worthy of our sacrifices and reflects my strongest desire for America's destiny as a peace maker.

For those who have fought in war, decisions about war and peace and how you send men and women to war become personal in a hurry. Wars -- even when we agree they are necessary -- are not the result of our successes; they are the result of our failures.

Something more, though, was seared into both John and me by our Vietnam experiences. Half of the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall are the names of Americans who died after the policy makers knew our nation was on the wrong course, after both political parties called for expeditious withdrawal. And yet the war dragged on for five more years.

"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

Thirty-five years ago, John Kerry asked that question as a recently returned Vietnam veteran testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He acted because he believed it was right to dissent from a war he believed was wrong -- and he was willing to endure the attacks of the Nixon Administration which hated John for saying what he believed.

This testimony provoked more than partisan attacks. Even many of his fellow veterans were angry and some never forgave him. I remember this well because I nearly lost my first race for Governor because people thought I was John.

Say what you want about the content of that testimony, it was an act of profound courage. And say what you want about that testimony, there is little doubt that Vietnam and the United States would have been spared tens of thousands of its youth had John's advice been taken.

Ten days ago, in a powerful speech on Iraq and dissent at Boston's Faneuil Hall, John made it clear that those who disagree with President Bush's course in Iraq have a right and an obligation to challenge a President who they believe is wrong, a policy they believe is wrong, and a war in Iraq they believe weakens our nation.

John stood up and defended the dissenters -- whether retired generals or our fellow Vietnam veteran Congressman Jack Murtha.

In an age where those who speak out are too often vilified or worse, John spoke out about and acted on the real meaning of patriotism: having the courage to speak your mind, heart, and gut even when it's unpopular.

I urge you to watch this vitally important speech and to forward it to as many people as possible.

VIEW HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FANEUIL HALL SPEECH ON DISSENT AND IRAQ

We're at a big moment here - one where each and every one of us must reject attempts to silence criticism of the rudderless course Washington has charted, one in which each of us must absolutely refuse to let soldiers and civilians die to save face for politicians unwilling to admit their mistakes or change course.

I urge you to watch this speech and to join with John Kerry in speaking out and doing everything possible to make 2006 the year that we did what's right for our soldiers in Iraq, our nation's foreign policy values, and our national security.

Sincerely,

Senator Bob Kerrey

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