Tuesday 12th of June 2018

Updated 3pm Wednesday. 6/12/18 notes from visiting WA’s senators’ staffers. Rally vid: 38:41. Deep dive questions
6/5 notes & rally vid: 31.11. FAQs & Archive. Online info about our senators.
By Holly Brewer and Loren Bast.

Met with

Kate Baumgartner, Sen. Murray’s Seattle Director ~ Main P: (202) 224-2621 / (866) 481-9186 ~ F: (202) 224-0238
Tommy Bauer, Sen. Cantwell’s Seattle Outreach Director ~ Main P: (202) 224-3441 ~ F: (202) 228-0514
Two new interns! With Sen. Murray: Allegra; and with Sen. Cantwell: Hannah.

Tuesday’s Rally

How to Get Your Candidate Elected
There are many ways to boost the number of votes your preferred candidate can get. Midterms and primaries traditionally have low turnout. Join the blue wave! This weeks’ rally vid: 38:41

Become a PCO

Precinct Committee Officers take a tiny political office that most anybody can run for. PCOs are like local representatives of Democracy, for your neighborhood. They serve for two year terms, and help administer and steer Democracy at a hyper-local level, within your voter precinct. Precincts are small-ish divisions of land, usually encompassing a few hundred voters. Because of differences in population density, precincts are much smaller in the cities compared to more rural areas: FileForPCO.com.


Canvassing opportunities throughout WA: WA-Democrats.org.

Most Likely to Flip CDs
Issaquah and east: (pink, in the center) CD 8 / LD 5’s contact is Sarah: sarahperry10@msn.com
Eastern Washington: (blue, in the east) CD 5’s contact is Jeremy: jeremy@lisabrownforcongress.com

More information – canvassing in CDs and LDs – at the same time! : PDF.

Congressional Districts (Federal) colored; Legislative Districts (WA) outlined in black.

Phone Banking

For Lisa Brown, eastern WA. Use this link: https://www.openvpb.com/vpb_bycode/802952E-499884
Click “get started,” and it will show you a script and survey questions.
The questions we are asking are:
Do you support Lisa Brown for Congress?
What is your top issue this election?
Do you plan to vote for all Democrats?

Sending Postcards

It is easy and fun to hold a postcard party to send postcards to remind people to vote; boost candidate name recognition; and share facts about them. Please see: PostcardsToVoters.org.

Text Young Voters to Register to Vote – or Vote

Data shows 99% of all text messages are opened and read — 90% within the first 10 minutes. It’s 2018, we should be campaigning like it!: TextToVote.com.

Separating Families at the Border

Keep Families Together Act

Sen. Feinstein has introduced the Keep Families Together Act to stop this. It will get to the senate on Friday: Feinstein.Senate.gov PDF.
31 senators have joined her, including Sens. Murray and Cantwell: Feinstein.Senate.gov.

Sen. Murray’s Statement
“As a mother and grandmother, the idea of having your child taken from you and sent away is an absolute nightmare—and the idea that this Administration is using this as a so-called ‘deterrent strategy’ is horrifying and unacceptable,”: Murray.Senate.gov.

Sen. Cantwell’s Statement
“I am concerned about the detainees who were moved to SeaTac. The Trump Administration’s policy of separating children from their parents is inhumane and contrary to American values. Congress must take immediate action to end this cruel and senseless policy,”: Cantwell.Senate.gov.

A Letter from 40 Senators to the Trump Administration

“This policy has traumatized children who are fleeing extreme violence. Our government has a humanitarian duty to the children and families seeking asylum in the United States to end this policy immediately.”: Murray.Senate.gov. The letter: Cantwell.Senate.gov PDF.

Sen. Murray questions Azar about this in the HELP committee: at 6:25.

The Illegality

The Judges’ rulings; use of jail cells; and detention centers’ enacting the policy of separating families is all in violation of state and Federal laws.

The American Civic Liberties Union have challenged families being separated. June 6th, a federal judge allowed the suit to move forward: HuffPo.com. It will take months.

The United Nations
“The Trump administration’s practice of separating children from migrant families entering the United States violates their rights and international law, the United Nations human rights office said on Tuesday, urging an immediate halt to the practice.”: NYTimes.com.

June 9th, Saturday at the Detention Center

Gov. Inslee, AG Ferguson, Dow Constantine, Rep. Jayapal and others were at the detention center.
The press conference: King5.com. The rally, with about 1, 000 people present: Facebook.com.

Rep. Jayapal Went Into the Seatac Detention Center
“Nearly all of those migrants — 174 out of 206 — were women, said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who spent about three hours Saturday morning meeting with the recently moved detainees at the SeaTac facility.

Most of them were from Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, she said, but there were also people from as far away as Eritrea. Many spoke of fleeing threats of rape, gang violence and political persecution, Jayapal said.”: WaPo.com. “She asked how many were mothers who had been forcibly separated from their children: More than half of the women raised their hands.”

Legislation Introduced by Sens. Kaine & Warner

This is the ‘Keeping Families Together Act’: Kaine.Senate.gov.
“Separating children from their parents at the border, many of them coming here desperate to escape the terrible violence in their countries, is a policy that is directly at odds with the fundamental values of this nation.” said Sen. Warner: Kaine.Senate.gov.


Sessions Changed Immigration Criteria

“‘Generally, claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by nongovernmental actors will not qualify for asylum,’ he wrote.

Domestic violence victims gained eligibility after the 2014 case of a Guatemalan woman, Aminta Cifuentes. She suffered a decade of abuse by her husband, including acid burns and punches to her belly while she was eight months pregnant, forcing a premature birth. Her baby was born with bruises.

Since then, women from around the world have used the same argument to win protection in the United States. Gender-based violence was a particular problem in Central America and parts of Mexico, according to a 2015 United Nations report, which compared it to the refugee crisis emerging at the same time in Europe.

‘Saying a few simple words — claiming a fear of return — is now transforming a straightforward arrest for illegal entry and immediate return into a prolonged legal process,’ Mr. Sessions said.”: NYTimes.com.

More Coal Energy

There was a hearing in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday. In the Committee: Sen. Cantwell’s opening statements: LFTS.Senate.gov. Sen. Cantwell’s statements in the hearing: LFTS.Senate.gov.
“‘I know that the President wants to deliver on this but the grid operators say the emergency does not exist,’ said Senator Cantwell.”

The statistics and facts about the affordability of fossil fuels being subsidized for our energy grids – or mandated: SeattleTimes.com.

Within the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Cantwell is the Ranking Member. ‘Ranking’ means that she is the most senior Democrat on the committee: and therefore the second senior (after the senior Republican).

Prescription Drug Prices

Great Quotes From Sen. Murray

(spacing and emphasis mine) “Murray: ‘As a candidate, President Trump talked a big game on lowering drug prices, but after 500 days
the only health care price he has dropped is his former Secretary.’

Murray: ‘…
your Blueprint has 135 questions—that’s not a plan Mr. Secretary, that’s a questionnaire.

Murray unimpressed by late update of Obama Administration’s Medicare pricing dashboard that lacks previous information: ‘… you can’t simply turn in someone else’s work, months late, incomplete, and expect to get extra credit for it.’

During questioning, Secretary Azar failed to provide any timeline for when the blueprint will bring down list prices”

Key exerpts and full transcript: HELP.Senate.gov. Video: YouTube.com: 6.52.

Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) Bill To Restrict Military Force

No- Sens. Corker and Kaine’s Bill

Sens. Corker and Kaine brought in a bill to release unlimited military force: Indivisible.org.

Yes – Merkley’s Bill

This bill maintains Congress’ role in going to war, not leaving it all up to the president: Merkley.Senate.gov.

From the September 11th Attack

S.J.Res. 23: Authorization for Use of Military Force, from 2001
Both of our senators voted for it. It passed 98-0: Senate.gov. It enables ongoing wars in the middle east, and for the president to send troops without declaring war. It was a reaction to the September 11 attacks.

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality Federally Ended Monday

On June 11, the Federal Communications Commission led by Trump Appointee Ajit Pai officially enacted Net Neutrality repeal. Net Neutrality, which passed in 2015, essentially regulated that all internet traffic in the US be treated equally – no internet service provider can prioritize certain content over others, nor block or “slow down” content it doesn’t like. Doug Jones, the newest senator – from Alabama – signed onto the Congressional Review Act to save net neutrality: Patch.com.

Numerous politicians, such as Tom Wheeler (Pai’s predecessor as FCC Chairman), tech visionaries such as Tim Berners-Lee, companies such as Google, Apple, and Facebook, state attorneys-general, non-profit organizations such as the ACLU, as well as Pai’s fellow commissioners protested Pai’s repeal proposal, to no avail.

In fact, it was recently discovered that the FCC may have lied about being denial-of-service attacked, after pro-Net Neutrality comments swamped the FCC’s commenting system a year ago: Cnet.com, ARSTechnica.com.

Net Neutrality in WA

Washington State is the only state in the nation that currently has Net Neutrality policies in place: Motherboard.Vice.com.

Net Neutrality Legislation in Other States

Oregon’s Net Neutrality laws will go into place next year; and California, New York, and Illinois are close to passing protections.

Other States are Suing

Twenty states have filed lawsuits against the FCC, trying to legally reverse their decision: WaPo.com. It’s unclear what other recourse citizens and states have at this point; so it’s a waiting game to see what effect the current actions will have.

Senator Markey Legislated

“Senator Markey’s resolution of disapproval would rescind FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s item and fully restore the Open Internet Order.”: Markey.Senate.gov. It would be formally introduced once the rule had been through both houses and was signed into the Federal Register. As of 1/18/18 50 Senators cosponsored it (all of the Democrats and Sen. Collins), and it had a sister bill to go to the House. The resolution. This was possible through the CRA. The CRA got through the Senate and Rep. Ryan decided not to bring it to the House floor: so it is no longer valid as of Monday 6/11/18.

What the CRA Does
The Congressional Review Act gives Congress authority to review regulatory actions within 60 legislative days. It only needs a simple majority to pass a bill over-riding a regulatory change. It still would need Trump to sign it, and it would need Ryan or McConnell to bring to floor. Both of our senators are cosponsors. We need one more Republican to get behind this.
More: Wikipedia.org.

Swinomish Tribe Lawsuit Over Culverts

the US Supreme Court deadlocked on a case between the Swinomish Indian tribe (partnered with the Federal government) and Washington State. With the deadlock (Justice Anthony Kennedy recused himself due to his involvement presiding over the case when it was in the lower courts), the lower court ruling stands; this means that Washington State must make repairs to roads that damaged the state’s salmon habitats, likely costing the state billions of dollars: NYTimes.com, TheOlympian.com.

A culvert, a tunnel carrying a stream or open drain under a road or railroad.
This culvert is too high above the water level to facilitate safe salmon migration.

Congressional Gold Medal

Our senators have announced bipartisan legislation to award Spokane’s Steve Gleason a Congressional gold medal: a rare honor – and it is speeding through the Senate.
About Gleason: SeattleTimes.com.

Sen. Cantwell’s press release: Cantwell.Senate.gov. It is speeding through the Senate.

Unions: The Supreme Court Ruling on Janus vs. AFSCME

“The deep-pocketed backers of Janus aim to bankrupt unions and strip them of whatever power they still have, but if the court rules that an interaction a union has with the government is political speech, they might not be so happy with the results. Many have noted that such an overreaching and inconsistent decision could have unintended consequences by granting a heretofore denied constitutional right to collective bargaining and transforming thousands of workplace disputes into constitutional controversies.”: WaPo.com.

The FARM Bill

In the Program, 43 million Rely on Food Stamps

“The lion’s share of the farm bill’s funding is devoted to programs such as food stamps, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Total benefits paid out last year by SNAP exceeded $63 billion and went to more than 42 million participants.

The GOP-backed House farm bill that failed last month sought tougher work requirements for SNAP participants.” Those work requirements are not in this version.