PEG 12th Congressional DistrictNewsletter #249. Thursday, January 27, 2022
Protect the Earth with your vote
Nixon created the EPA. John McCain and Joe Lieberman sponsored bipartisan climate legislation, supported by McCain’s sidekick Lindsay Graham. Then, many believed in climate change. Now, there is one way to protect the planet, and who you vote for matters. Currently, we have one party that supports climate change legislation, with a president working his darndest to get climate change legislation over the finish line. Sadly, the climate has become a partisan issue at the federal and state levels. At the state level in Michigan, “The Michigan Council on Climate Solutions (Climate Council), alongside other experts and stakeholders, have been working under the leadership of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) to come up with recommendations to Governor Whitmer that will ensure Michigan’s place in a greener, healthier future. Drawing on Michigan’s unique assets, the draft MI Healthy Climate Plan helps position Michigan to be a leader in the clean energy and advanced automotive transition and builds on progress the state, private industry, and numerous local communities are making toward Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s goal of achieving economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050.”
The plan is to benefit from federal infrastructure dollars to make Michigan a leader. In addition, support from the private sector will also help position Michigan as a leader in environmentally beneficial projects. The Ecology Center of Ann Arbor participated in several Working Groups that helped develop the core recommendations in the draft plan. Public comment on the plan is open through Friday, February 14. EGLE has a virtual listening session, where oral comments will be recorded. Click the button below to register. Along with voting for the planet, participating in its good health is equally important. So please vote appropriately, make public comments about this plan and protect our home, earth. – Ecology Center
Riddle: What’s the difference between voter fraud and election fraud?
Heather Cox Richardson addressed this difference last week in her widely read blog: Regarding the first, voter fraud, which refers to individual misdoing regarding voting, is a rare and insignificant occurrence. The second, election fraud, are orchestrated violation(s) of the electoral process and is an accelerating threat to our democracy.
Writes Richardson, “Election fraud means that people in power have rigged the system so that the will of the voters is overturned. When it happens, it threatens to destroy our nation.”
Richardson details the plan put forth by Mark Meadows in his texts to derail Biden’s legitimate victory by appointing alternate electors in certain states. When that plan fell through, the plan was refocused on Vice President Pence, whom they pressured to replace the states’ certified ballots with forged ones. To read in greater detail about the threat to the 2020 presidential election, threats which have been expanded for future elections, click here.
Reforming the Electoral Count Act has bipartisan support
According to the Washington Post, “There has been a lot of depressing rhetoric lately about purportedly partisan assaults on our democracy. That’s why recent bipartisan talks to rewrite the Electoral Count Act (EVC) of 1887 are a refreshing and much-needed antidote to the doom-mongers’ wails.” The ECA was the result of the contested presidential election of 1876 between Samuel Tilden (D) and Rutherford B. Hayes (R) which caused a crisis because several states sent multiple slates of presidential electors to Congress. Business Insider notes that the ECA’s ambiguity leaves the door open for partisan manipulation at both the state and federal levels. Possible changes could include “establishing the vice president’s role as solely ministerial, raising the threshold for bringing an objection, clarifying the grounds for objections, emphasizing that Congress should generally defer to state-level outcomes, and fixing provisions of the act that currently enable subversion of election results at the state level.”
A bipartisan group of eight senators was convened by Senator Susan Collins; it has now doubled in size. The group plans to meet in person next week (Axios). While there is no guarantee of a breakthrough, MSNBC notes the “the door is clearly open and these talks are well worth watching.”For a more comprehensive understanding of the Electoral College, check out the two-part series on the PEG website – Part 1 and Part 2.
Friday, January 28. Reducing sexual assault and domestic violence
Streaming on Facebook or register for Lunch & Learn on Zoom at bit.ly/3JKiX4HLeague of Women Voters talk on Reducing Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.Speaker: Nicole Beverly, domestic abuse survivor, founder of The Enough Initiative, and author of the memoir Finding Nicole. What policies and legislation can help reduce domestic violence? Noon–1:30
Saturday, February 5. Black History Month Zoom — Our Stories
Black storytellers have educated, motivated, and liberated the hearts and minds of nations. Joined by artists, authors, and Stewards of “Our Stories.” The focus of this event is to help foster an understanding of how stories from African Americans impact lives beyond entertainment. 9:30 am ET. Click HERE to join the webinar. Passcode: 120234
Thursday, February 10. Democracy endgame? Not if we join together!
Concerned about the constant media messages forecasting doom? Not seeing anything about what Dems ARE doing to improve lives? Join renowned expert Ian Haney López as he speaks to Democrats and liberals about how to message based on our true identity and values, and how to build a “choir” to change the narrative. Check out Race-Class Academy (https://race-class-academy.com/) and the Eclectablog GOTMFV podcast that discusses the strategic racism of dog whistles like Critical Race Theory, and how Democrats can fight back. Register here. 6 pm
Visit the PEG website to view the comprehensive listing of Upcoming Events!
What should I do to get involved? Where should I donate money?
Of course, there is no single “best” answer to those questions, but here is a suggestion for you to consider. The States Project is dedicated to flipping control at the state level in legislatures and governorships. The model of The States Project is for volunteers to form a circle of friends who join together to support specific races in “target” states. Strategic investments of small amounts of money can yield tremendous swings in political power at the state level. For example, if Democrats can flip just two seats each in the Arizona Senate and House in 2022, they will gain control of state government in a critical swing state going into 2024. The amount of money necessary to swing a state election is a fraction of the amount of money necessary to flip a U.S. Senate seat or competitive House seat.
You don’t have to be a fundraising professional to join with a group of friends, educate yourselves about a race, and set a collective goal for giving to a race. Indeed, if you join with a few friends to create a giving circle, it will be fun, rewarding, and educational. If you are looking for a way to get involved and make a big difference with individual donations, The States Project is for you. Listen to this two-minute description of the critical role of state legislatures. The essential role of State Legislatures/Melissa Walker (callin.com).
Listen to an inspiring two-minute message here: “I will spend the rest of my life tending to democracy / Melissa Walker.”
We will all be “tending to democracy for the rest of our lives.” That is hard work, but it is also a blessing and a privilege. Let’s not begrudge our task but celebrate and embrace it!
Read more here. – Robert Hubbell’s Today’s Edition
A great way to help register millions of first-time voters: The Civics CenterThe Civics Center is a non-partisan organization dedicated to registering the 3.7 million high school students who become eligible to vote each year. When those new voters are registered, they show up at the polls at an astounding 86%.
If you are interested in having an immediate, significant impact in registering voters, The Civics Center is the organization for you. Parents of high-school students and educators are urged to listen to the podcast. In some schools, a student-led registration campaign will generate 600–700 new voters.
The Civics Center website has wonderful resources—such as “button” to be added to a school’s website to allow students to register, a “Democracy in a Box” kit for students, a sample school policy regarding voter registration drives for students, and much more. The Civics Center needs adults to serve as advisors, who “adopt a school.”
Also, the Center is embarking on an ambitious project to bring youth voter registration rates to parity with other voters by 2028. This is an ambitious project that is looking for an anchor donor. If you are interested in helping in any capacity, an informational meeting for interested volunteers will take place on Thursday, January 27 at 3 pm EST. Register for the informational session here. h/t Robert B. Hubbell’s Today’s Edition
Accusation of sexual misconduct against Michigan’s Former Speaker of the HouseLee Chatfield, the former Speaker of Michigan’s House of Representatives, is accused of sexual abuse. According to the victim, their sexual relationship began when she was 15 and ended only recently, 11 years later. Ironically, Chatfield first distinguished himself for his fundamentalist Christian moral values. Other accusations against Chatfield include misuse of public funds while he was a legislator. The Michigan State Police are currently investigating these allegations.
After Texas Republicans imposed a draconian abortion ban, these corporations sent checks. And a few still oppose the ban. On May 19, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed legislation banning virtually all abortions in Texas and creating a system of vigilante justice to enforce the ban.
- CVS Health donated $72,500 to the sponsors of Texas’ abortion bill since 2018.
- AT&T donated $80,000 to key proponents of Texas’ abortion ban. While on August 26 celebrating “Women’s Equality Day,” saying it was “a day to reflect on the many challenges women in our society still face to achieve equity.” The company said that it believed “empowered women are key to the success of their communities.”
- AT&T donated $50,000 directly from its corporate treasury to the Texas Senate Republican Caucus. They are the single largest donor. On December 14, 2021, AT&T’s PAC donated $30,000 to House Speaker Dade Phelan (R), who marshaled Texas’ abortion ban through the House.
- PepsiCo donated $15,000 to the Texas GOP. The company publicly touts its commitment to “empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and community.”
- Walmart donated $10,000 to Texas Republicans responsible for abortion ban. While on Twitter, the company declared that “[e]mpowering women creates shared value: it’s good for society, and it’s good for business.”
- The latest filings with the Texas Ethics Commission also revealed several other major corporate donations to Texas Republicans after the abortion ban was enacted in May 2021.
- Ford donated $5,000 to Phelan on December 5, 2021.
- Zillow donated $5,000 to the Texas Senate Republican Caucus on December 28, 2021.
- Allstate donated $3,000 to Phelan on October 20, 2021.
- Exelon donated $10,000 to Phelan on October 27, 2021, and $10,000 to the Texas House Republican Caucus on November 30, 2021
- Koch Industries donated $10,000 to Phelan on December 5, 2021, and $5,000 to Patrick on December 9, 2021.
- USAA donated $20,000 to Patrick on October 10, 2021, and $2,500 to the Texas House Republican Caucus on December 31, 2021.
- United HealthCare donated $5,000 to the Texas House Republican Caucus on November 30, 2021.
- UPS donated $7,500 to the Texas House Republican Caucus on December 31, 2021.
Several dozen other companies — including Netflix, Yelp, and Lyft — have signed a statement opposing Texas’ abortion ban. “Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence, and economic stability of our workers and customers,” the companies said. Read more here. –Popular Information
UN defines Holocaust denial and urges using Social Media to fight It
Last week, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution – drafted by Israel and Germany – that defines “Holocaust denial” and urges social media companies to take active measures to combat anti-Semitism. Denial and distortion of the Holocaust includes:
- Intentional efforts to excuse or minimize the impact of the Holocaust or its principal elements, including collaborators and allies of Nazi Germany.
- Gross minimization of the number of the victims of the Holocaust in contradiction to reliable sources.
- Attempts to blame the Jews for causing their own genocide.
- Statements that cast the Holocaust as a positive historical event.
- Attempts to blur the responsibility for the establishment of concentration and death camps devised and operated by Nazi Germany by putting blame on other nations or ethnic groups.
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