people for the american way

PFAW Announces 2014 Endorsements for Federal Office

PFAW is proud to announce 13 new endorsements. These candidates and officials, representing a diverse and broad swath of constituencies, are some of the best and brightest progressive champions in the country.

  • Pete Aguilar (CA-31)
  • Staci Appel (IA-3)
  • Alan Grayson (FL-9)
  • Mike Honda (CA-17)
  • Ted Lieu (CA-33)
  • Gwen Moore (WI-4)
  • Pat Murphy (IA-01)
  • Mark Pocan (WI-2)
  • Chellie Pingree (ME-1)
  • Martha Robertson (NY-23)
  • Jeanne Shaheen (NH-SEN)
  • Mark Takano (CA-41)
  • Rob Zerban (WI-1)

These candidates have fought against big money in politics, promoted economic fairness and equality for all, and called for increasing educational opportunities for workers and students. They promote civil rights and voting rights, support marriage equality and employment protections for LGBTQ Americans, and believe women should maintain choice over their own health decisions. Many are endorsed by multiple leading progressive, labor, civil rights, women’s rights, and equality organizations.

PFAW encourages all members to consider supporting these terrific candidates’ campaigns.

Visit our 2014 Federal Candidate Endorsements page for more information.

UPDATE: PFAW Endorses Five New Candidates for Federal Office

PFAW

PFAW's 2014 Federal Candidate Endorsements

Arizona | California | Colorado | Florida | Hawaii | Iowa | Maine | Michigan | Minnesota | New Hampshire | New York | Oregon | South Dakota | Virginia | Wisconsin

ARIZONA

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Ruben Gallego, running for Congress in Arizona’s 7th District – Former State Rep. Ruben Gallego is running for retiring 11-term Congressman Ed Pastor’s seat. Gallego convincingly won his primary on a strong progressive platform. He is a young and rising Latino progressive and we are excited he is heading to Congress.

www.GallegoForArizona.com

CALIFORNIA

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Pete Aguilar, running for Congress in California’s 31st District – Aguilar is running for the open seat being vacated by Rep. Garry Miller. Aguilar is a young and experienced progressive, who has served as Mayor of Redland, California since 2010. Before being elected as Mayor, Aguilar served in Redland’s City Council. As the son of a union worker in a working-class family in San Bernardino, Aguilar is a strong supporter of worker’s rights, fair wages, and is committed to taking his progressive values to Congress.

www.PeteAguilar.com

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Congressman Mike Honda, running for re-election in California’s 17th District – Rep. Honda is a veteran progressive leader in Congress on many issues, including education, immigration and civil rights. He holds leadership positions in both the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the LGBT Equality caucus.  He also founded and chairs the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus, working on legislation like the Student Non-Discrimination Act.

www.MikeHonda.com

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Amanda Renteria, running for Congress in California’s 21st District – Renteria is challenging freshman Republican David Valadao for this seat. She is a strong supporter of LGBT and women’s rights and will fight for worker protections and fair wages. In 2008, she became the first Latina Chief-of-Staff in Senate history, serving Senator Debbie Stabenow. Her opponent, David Valadao, has voted 75% of the time with the Tea Party, including voting to privatize Medicare.

www.AmandaRenteria.com

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State Senator Ted Lieu, running for Congress in California’s 33rd District – Senator Lieu is running for the open seat vacated by retiring Congressman Henry Waxman. Throughout his political career, Lieu has shown strong leadership on many progressive issues, including working on legislation to protect victims of domestic violence, ban gay conversion "therapy", and get money out of politics. Senator Lieu is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force reserves.

www.TedLieu.com/

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Congressman Mark Takano, running for re-election in California’s 41st District – Rep. Takano made history in 2012, becoming the first LGBT person of color to be elected to Congress. He is a leader for progressive values in Congress, including advancing legislation to help our veterans and improve public education.

www.MarkTakano.com/

COLORADO

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Senator Mark Udall, running for re-election, Colorado –When Mark Udall was elected in 2008, the newly minted senator took office as the country was dealing with the after effects of the Bush administration. Udall took his responsibility seriously, working to bring what he calls “Colorado common sense” to Washington. As a senator, he has been a key leader in the fight to end the Pentagon’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, the DREAM Act, and has called for immigration reform.

www.MarkUdall.com

FLORIDA

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Congressman Alan Grayson, running for re-election in Florida’s 9th District – Rep. Grayson is a progressive champion in the U.S. House of Representatives and has been referenced as being one the “most effective Congressman” by Slate.com. He is a member and the former Vice-Chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

www.GraysonForCongress.com

HAWAII

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Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, running for re-election in Hawaii’s 2nd District – Since joining Congress in 2012, Rep. Gabbard has fought hard for working families. She is a strong critic of money in politics, co-sponsoring a resolution that would amend the U.S. constitution to regulate campaign spending. She is a member of the Young Elected Officials Network, a program of our affiliate, People for the American Way Foundation.

www.VoteTulsi.com

IOWA

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Staci Appel, running for Congress in Iowa's 3rd District – Appel is running for the open seat being vacated by Republican Incumbent Tom Latham. As a state Senator and Assistant Senate Majority Leader from 2006-2010, Appel showed strong progressive values as a state senator. If elected, Appel would become Iowa’s first female member of Congress. As a Congresswoman Appel, will work to protect women’s health care, the environment, and the middle class.

www.AppelForIowa.com

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Congressman Bruce Braley, running for U.S. Senate, Iowa – Congressman Bruce Braley currently represents Iowa’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, and is running for the open U.S. Senate seat currently held by his mentor, retiring U.S. Senator Tom Harkin. He established himself as a populist progressive, fighting for working Iowans, veterans, students, and seniors. Braley’s work on women’s issues includes voting for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, support of the Paycheck Fairness Act, and working to pass the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.

www.BruceBraley.com

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State Representative Pat Murphy, Running for Congress in Iowa’s 1st District – Pat Murphy is running to succeed Congressman Bruce Braley, who is running for U.S. Senate. Murphy has established a progressive voting record while serving as a state legislator and is known as a tough progressive fighter for issues including fair wages, and LGBT and women’s rights. His opponent, Rod Blum, is not shy about his extreme conservative values, including legislation that allows hospitals to legally deny abortion services to a woman in a life-threatening situation.

www.PatMurphyForIowa.com

MAINE

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Shenna Bellows, running for U.S. Senate, Maine – Shenna Bellows is challenging GOP Senator Susan Collins to represent Maine in the U.S. Senate. The former executive director of ACLU of Maine and graduate of Emerge Maine’s candidate program, has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ equality and against ‘dark money’ in politics. While serving ACLU of Maine, she built bipartisan coalitions to advance privacy and civil rights legislation, establishing Maine as a national leader in these policies.

www.BellowsForSenate.com

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State Senator Emily Cain, running for Congress in Maine’s 2nd District – As Maine’s youngest state House Democratic Leader, Emily Cain, a member of affiliate PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network, has established herself as a strong advocate for women and leader for expanding educational opportunities for all Mainers. She stands strong on these issues in her bid to replace Mike Michaud in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.

www.CainForCongress.com

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Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, running for re-election in Maine’s 1st District – Rep. Pingree is a stalwart progressive. The former National President and CEO of Common Cause is a strong supporter of campaign finance reform to get money out of politics and a leader on many other progressive issues, including leading the debate on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

www.ChelliePingree.org

MICHIGAN

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Congressman Gary Peters, running for U.S. Senate, Michigan – Congressman Gary Peters currently represents Michigan’s 14th Congressional District and is running for the seat of retiring Senator Carl Levin. He is well known around the state for his outspoken criticism of GOP Tea Party Governor Rick Snyder’s austerity measures. In Washington and at home, Rep. Peters has continued to promote the rebuilding of Detroit and has fought to return advanced manufacturing jobs to Michigan.

www.PetersForMichigan.com

MINNESOTA

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Senator Al Franken, running for re-election, Minnesota – Senator Franken is an outspoken critic of big money in politics, criticizing the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizen United and McCutcheon decisions. A stalwart defender of women’s equality, he has criticized the Hobby Lobby decision, even co-sponsoring legislation with fellow Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar to override the judgment’s effects.

www.AlFranken.com

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Congressman Rick Nolan, running for re-election in Minnesota’s 8th District – After serving in Congress for 6 years between 1975 and 1981, the freshman Congressman has made a comeback and is again standing up against the right-wing agenda. Rep. Nolan is a vocal critic of money in politics and strongly supports public education and worker’s rights.

www.NolanForCongress.org

NEW HAMPSHIRE

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Senator Jeanne Shaheen, running for re-election, New Hampshire – Senator Shaheen has been an active leader in Congress since assuming office in 2009. Shaheen has championed legislation to advance women’s and LGBTQ rights, including the Shaheen Amendment and the Charlie Morgan Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act. Her challenger, former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, has a long record of putting Wall Street ahead the American middle class.

www.JeanneShaheen.com

NEW YORK

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Martha Robertson, running for Congress in New York’s 23rd District – Martha Robertson is challenging two-term incumbent Rep. Tom Reed in NY’s 23rd Congressional district. Robertson has been a member of the Tompkins County Legislature since 2002, serving as chair from 2010 to 2013. She is a strong supporter of core progressive issues, including women’s rights, marriage equality and, amending the constitution to get money out of politics.

www.MarthaForNY.com/

OREGON

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Senator Jeff Merkley, running for re-election, Oregon – Since being elected in 2008, Senator Merkley has worked to give Oregonians a fair shot at sustainable energy jobs, protection from Wall Street bankers, and access to quality health care. Senator Merkley worked to strengthen the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act limiting risky trading by Wall Street banks. He championed a program to drastically reduce the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels, and played a key role in passing the Affordable Care Act.

www.JeffMerkley.com

SOUTH DAKOTA

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Rick Weiland, running for U.S. Senate, South Dakota – Rick Weiland is running to win the open seat being vacated by retiring Senator Tim Johnson. He is an outspoken critic of money in politics and would fight for a more robust Affordable Care Act. He believes strongly in raising the minimum wage. Weiland is a fifth generation South Dakotan.

www.RickWeiland.com

VIRGINIA

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John Foust, running for Congress in Virginia’s 10th District – Foust is running for retiring Congressman Frank Wolf’s seat in northern Virginia. Since joining the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, he has earned the trust and respect of his constituents by leading on issues that improve the lives of northern Virginia residents. He is a strong supporter of workers’ rights, immigration reform, and marriage equality. His opponent, Barbara Comstock, is a long-time Republican operative who recently suggested immigrants should be tracked like FedEx packages.

www.FoustForVirginia.com

WISCONSIN

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Congresswoman Gwen Moore, running for re-election in Wisconsin’s 4th District – Rep. Moore became the first African-American woman (and second woman) to represent Wisconsin in Congress when she was elected in 2004. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Congressional Women’s Caucus and is a member of the Congressional Progressive and LGBT Equality Caucuses. While in Congress, Rep. Moore has championed progressive causes including working on legislation to advance women’s rights and opportunities, children, and low-income communities.

www.GwenMooreForCongress.com

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Congressman Mark Pocan, running for re-election in Wisconsin’s 2nd District – The freshman Representative from Wisconsin started his career with a bang, introducing a Constitutional amendment to protect the right to vote only five months into his term. Rep. Pocan has also been a leader on corporate accountability legislation and student loan reforms. He is Co-Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus and a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

www.PocanForCongress.com

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Kelly Westlund, running for Congress in Wisconsin’s 7th District – A member of affiliate PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network, Kelly Westlund has taken on a tough fight against right-wing Tea Party GOP Rep. Sean Duffy. Westlund has been vocal on big money’s influence in state politics, mining deregulation, and has drawn significant fire from right-wing interest groups for her progressive positions on economic equality and fair pay.

www.KellyWestlund.com

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Rob Zerban, running for Congress in Wisconsin’s 1st District – Zerban is challenging right-wing House Budget Committee Chairman and 2012 Vice-Presidential hopeful Rep. Paul Ryan for the second time. He is a long-time activist for the environment and believes in an environmentally sustainable economy that strengthens the middle class. Zerban is also a strong advocate for full equality for all Americans, including members of the LGBT community.

www.RobZerban.com

 

Kentucky Activists Protest Mitt and Mitch Fundraiser

On Thursday, PFAW members joined MoveOn.org, Kentucky AFL-CIO, and other activists to protest Sen. Mitch McConnell’s pro-corporate agenda outside of a high-dollar fundraiser for the senator featuring Mitt Romney. The exclusive event was priced at $1,000-$5,000 a ticket.

Activists, standing up against big money in politics, called for Sen. McConnell to listen to Kentuckians and not just to the billionaires and corporations that fund his politics. They held signs that read “Ditch Mitch” and “Corporations are not People.”

 

Kentucky AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan joined the protest, along with PFAW organizers and grassroots activists.

 

PFAW

Activists Protest Outside McConnell/Romney High-Dollar Lexington Fundraiser

LEXINGTON, KY — Thursday afternoon, People For the American Way members and activists joined members of MoveOn.org, Kentucky AFL-CIO, and other allies to protest Sen. Mitch McConnell’s pro-corporate agenda outside of a high-dollar fundraiser for the senator featuring Mitt Romney. Tickets for the Mitt and Mitch event were priced at $1,000-$5,000 a ticket.

Activists called for Sen. McConnell to listen to the voices of everyday Kentuckians rather than pushing an agenda that benefits billionaires and corporations.

Kentucky AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan was on-site at the protest along with PFAW organizers and grassroots activists.

“This fundraiser is just one more example of how Sen. McConnell focuses on the interests of the millionaires and billionaires who fund his campaign,” said PFAW Political Director Randy Borntrager. “But as we saw at the protest, Kentuckians are standing up against his billionaire-funded politics that only allow the most privileged to be heard.”

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The Supreme Court's 2014-2015 Term: PFAW Member Telebriefing

Yesterday, People For the American Way members participated in a telebriefing to discuss the Supreme Court’s upcoming term and to preview some of the important cases the Court will be hearing this year. The call was kicked off by PFAW President Michael Keegan and moderated by PFAW Director of Communications Drew Courtney. PFAW’s Senior Legislative Counsel Paul Gordon reviewed highlights of his recent report previewing the Supreme Court’s upcoming term and answered questions from members. Also on the call and answering questions were Senior Fellow Elliot Mincberg and Executive Vice President Marge Baker.

Among the cases Gordon previewed were Young v. UPS, Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, Mach Mining v. EEOC, Holt v. Hobbs, and Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama / Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama. The issues addressed in these cases range from employment discrimination and workers’ rights, to religious liberty and voting rights.

He also discussed potential cases that the Court could still add for this term, which included cases on marriage equality, the Affordable Care Act, and contraception coverage by religious nonprofits—the “sequels to Hobby Lobby.”

Members’ questions focused on how the country can move forward to change some of the more damaging decisions like Citizens United, and what each person could do to effect change and impact the courts. Emphasizing what is at stake this election, both PFAW President Michael Keegan and Gordon called on people to vote in November because “when you vote … for the Senate, you are voting for the next Supreme Court justice.”

Listen to the full audio of the telebriefing for more information.

 

PFAW

Debo Adegbile, Justice Department Nominee Blocked By Senate, Joins Private Practice

Debo Adegbile, President Obama’s nominee to lead the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, announced today that he would return to private practice. Adegbile’s confirmation was blocked earlier this year despite his extensive qualifications and his record of commitment to civil rights. People For the American Way Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:

“Debo Adegbile’s decision to return to private practice is a great loss for the Department of Justice and for the country. Adegbile is extraordinarily well qualified to lead the Civil Rights Division and exactly the kind of person that the President and the Senate should want in a key DOJ post. Instead, he was attacked by his opponents for taking on important issues in our justice system. In particular, Adegbile should be commended for his commitment to the principle that every criminal defendant deserves robust, competent representation. The willingness of his opponents to abandon that principle will be a shameful mark on the Senate’s history.

“While Adegbile’s decision to move on with his career is understandable, it’s still a deeply disappointing conclusion. His absence at the DOJ will be felt for years to come.”

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Louisville Activists Protest McConnell's Vote Against Amendment to #GetMoneyOut

On Friday, PFAW members and local activists came out to Sen. Mitch McConnell’s West Louisville campaign office to hold him accountable for his support of big money in politics and for voting against the Democracy For All Amendment during this week’s Senate vote.

The rally included PFAW Regional Political Coordinator Scott Foval, along with MoveOn Council’s Ann Hardman, University of Louisville’s College Democrats President Connor Allen, and local activist Bonifacio “Flaco” Aleman. Activists had a giant “King Mitch” holding fake money and signs saying “Money Is Not Speech” and “Mitch: Go Filibuster Yourself!” and more.

McConnell led the fight to block the Democracy for All Amendment during Senate debates this week. As a leading voice against efforts to get big money out of elections, McConnell has fought hard for years to protect billionaires’ and millionaires’ influence in our elections instead of protecting the average Kentuckian’s interests.

This rally along with over 15,000 signatures on a petition delivered to McConnell last week should make it clear to “King Mitch” that Kentuckians support an amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United and #GetMoneyOut. Polling also shows that three in four voters support the measure nationally.

There were not sufficient votes to pass the proposed amendment this week, but a majority of the Senate did vote on Thursday in support of the Democracy for All Amendment despite “King Mitch’s” best efforts.
 

PFAW

Activists Rally Outside Sen. McConnell’s Campaign Office in Louisville in Support of Constitutional Amendment

LOUISVILLE, KY — This afternoon, People For the American Way members and other activists rallied outside of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s West Louisville campaign office to protest “King Mitch’s” role in supporting big money in politics. The rally was held in response to McConnell’s vote against the Democracy for All Amendment during yesterday’s Senate session. This proposed constitutional amendment would overturn decisions like Citizens United and allow Congress and the states to set reasonable limits on money in elections.
 
During the Senate debates this week, Sen. McConnell led the charge against the Democracy for All Amendment despite receiving petitions from PFAW activists last week signed by over 15,000 Kentuckians urging him to support an amendment.

PFAW Regional Political Coordinator Scott Foval was featured during the rally, along with MoveOn Council’s Ann Hardman, University of Louisville’s College Democrats President Connor Allen, and local activist Bonifacio “Flaco” Aleman.

“‘King Mitch’ only pays attention to the millionaires and billionaires that fund his campaigns and ignores the average Kentucky constituent,” said PFAW Regional Political Coordinator Scott Foval. “He supports big money in politics and fights against policies that don’t benefit his ‘court’ of lobbyists, donors, and friends like the Koch brothers. But Kentuckians are standing up against his brand of crony politics that gives a voice only to the most privileged.”

For more information on People For the American Way’s work to get big money out of politics, please see our Government By the People webpage.

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PFAW Members Rally Outside Sen. McConnell’s Louisville Office

LOUISVILLE, KY — People For the American Way (PFAW) members and other activists rallied outside of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s state office on Tuesday afternoon to protest “King Mitch’s” role in supporting big money in politics. Activists held a giant “King Mitch” and signs that highlighted how Sen. McConnell supports millionaires over ordinary Kentuckians.
 
Last week PFAW delivered petitions from more than 15,000 Kentuckians urging Sen. McConnell to support an amendment overturning decisions like Citizens United. This week, McConnell led the effort to block the Democracy For All Amendment, which would have limited the influence of billionaires and corporations in our elections.

“‘King Mitch’ only pays attention to the millionaires and billionaires that fund his campaigns, and ignores the average Kentucky constituent,” said PFAW Regional Political Coordinator Scott Foval. “He not only supports big money in politics, ‘King Mitch’ fights against policies that don’t benefit his ‘court’ of lobbyists, donors, and friends like the Koch brothers. He wants a government where only the most privileged have a voice.”

For more information on People For the American Way’s work to get big money out of politics, please see our Government By the People webpage.

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PFAW and Allies Rally, Deliver 3 Million Petitions in Support of Amendment to #GetMoneyOut

On Monday afternoon People For the American Way joined partner organizations, Senators, and Representatives in a rally outside the U.S. Capitol in support of the Democracy For All Amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United and get big money out of politics. As the Senate begins debating the measure, PFAW and ally organizations teamed up to deliver more than three million petitions in support of an amendment.

The rally was kicked off by People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker (pictured speaking above) and Public Citizen President Robert Weissman. Speakers included Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Sen. Al Franken (Minn.), Rep. Ted Deutch (Fla.), and Rep. Jim McGovern (Mass.) Rally footage was featured on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and in the Huffington Post.


Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.)


Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.)


Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)


Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)


Sen. Al Franken (Minn.)


Rep. Ted Deutch (Fla.)


Rep. Jim McGovern (Mass.)

At the rally, PFAW Executive Vice President Marge Baker said, “Today, more money than ever is flooding our democracy. But something else is also happening: everyday Americans are fighting back. Americans are no longer willing to settle for elections auctioned to the highest bidders.” You can watch her speech here.

The massive number of petitions delivered is just one of many indicators of the broad support for an amendment to get big money out of politics. Sixteen states, more than 550 cities and towns, and public figures including former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and President Barack Obama have already voiced support for an amendment. Recent polling found that nearly three in four voters (73 percent) favor it.

Organizations contributing petitions included People For the American Way, MoveOn.org, CREDO, Daily Kos, Public Citizen, Public Change Campaign Committee, USAction, Common Cause, Democrats.com, Free Speech For People, Coffee Party, Center for Media and Democracy, Brave New Films, Progressive Democrats of America, Sierra Club, US PIRG, Communications Workers of America, Wolf PAC, Move to Amend, Food and Water Watch, Corporate Accountability International, Greenpeace, Public Campaign, the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the League of Conservation Voters, and the Story of Stuff Project.

Get more information on PFAW’s Government By the People work here.

PFAW

2014 Midterm Elections: PFAW Holds Member Telebriefing with Political Strategist Celinda Lake

People For The American Way hosted a telebriefing Thursday evening to update PFAW members on the electoral landscape for 2014.  The call, which was kicked off by PFAW President Michael Keegan and moderated by Director of Communications Drew Courtney, featured prominent pollster and political strategist and current President of Lake Research Partners Celinda Lake, as well as PFAW’s Political Director Randy Borntrager and Executive Vice President Marge Baker.

Lake discussed the political climate in Congress and the general frustration voters feel toward both political parties. She emphasized multiple times throughout the call that in this election “the key is voter turnout.” In Kentucky, for instance since most undecided voters are leaning towards Alison Lundergan Grimes, turnout will be critical to help unseat Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Political Director Randy Borntrager discussed the work PFAW is doing to make the biggest impact possible in the most pivotal races to help progressives win this election. Lake and Borntrager emphasized that increasing awareness to voters of what is truly at stake – from reproductive rights to potential Supreme Court vacancies – will help make a difference come November.

Questions from callers also focused on other critical races including gubernatorial races in Florida and Wisconsin, the Senate race in North Carolina, and contests in Alaska and Iowa, among others.

In closing, Drew Courtney noted that the telebriefing shows that “we have some challenges ahead, but we are going to fight hard and push forward, and we’re not going to go back to the way things were before.”

Listen to the full audio of the telebriefing for more information.
 

PFAW

Walker's Failed Record Counters Current Ad’s Job Promise

Gov. Scott Walker released an ad Thursday morning promising that he “won’t stop until everyone who wants a job, can find a job.”

This sounds strangely familiar to the empty promise of his 2010 campaign. Back then, Walker repeatedly promised that he would create 250,000 private-sector jobs during his four-year term beginning in January 2011. He even emphasized that this number was “a minimum, not a maximum.”

It’s 2014, and that goal has not been met.

In fact, during his re-election tours, Walker avoided talking about his failure to create the 250,000 jobs altogether.

Protests outside a Scott Walker fundraiser on Friday prove that Wisconsinites are not falling for his empty promises. It’s time for Walker to be held accountable for his shady practices and to be voted out of office this November.

PFAW

Louisville PFAW Activists Deliver Petitions Supporting Democracy For All Constitutional Amendment to Mitch McConnell


On Wednesday, PFAW activists in Kentucky joined other activists representing ally organizations in delivering petition signatures to Sen. Mitch McConnell’s state office calling for amending the Constitution to overturn cases like Citizens United and get big money out of politics. Nationally, more than three million Americans have signed such a petition.

The delivery comes days before the Senate is set to vote on the Democracy for All Amendment (S.J. Res 19), a joint resolution that would amend the Constitution to overturn Citizens United and related cases. An overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the Supreme Court’s rulings opening the floodgates to unlimited money in our elections, with sixteen states and over 550 cities formally demanding that Congress vote to pass a constitutional amendment to allow common sense campaign finance rules to be enacted.

The event in Louisville is part of a nationwide push to make the Democracy for All Amendment our Constitution’s 28th Amendment. Rallies and petition deliveries also occurred in the state offices of nine other senators throughout the country.

PFAW

Wisconsin PFAW Members Protest Walker Fundraiser

On Friday morning, PFAW members gathered outside the Nakoma Golf Club in Madison, WI to protest a fundraiser held by Scott Walker. Activists held signs calling on voters to “Ship Walker Overseas, Not Jobs,” and letting Walker know that “Time is Up” and Wisconsinites have had enough.

Recent media reports have exposed how Walker’s alleged efforts to garner support for his extreme political agenda violate Wisconsinites’ basic principles of fairness and honesty in the political system. The protest highlighted how Wisconsinites are sick of Walker’s shady practices while campaigning and while in office.

One sign read “Dear Governor Walker: You took my job. You took my rights. You took my money. You took my smile. Now I’m taking them back!!!”

The Progressive’s Rebecca Kemble who was at the protest wrote that with “wit and creativity” PFAW members and other activists wanted to “let Walker and his supporters know what they think of the outsized influence of money in politics and of the inhumane and unjust policies that this influence buys.”

Friday’s protest shows Wisconsinites are paying attention and don’t want Walker’s corrupt practices to continue polluting their government.

PFAW

Kentucky PFAW Members Protest McConnell in Zombie Fashion

This Friday, PFAW members joined allies at two events in Louisville to hold Sen. Mitch McConnell accountable for his support of big money in politics.
 
On Friday evening, hundreds of PFAW members and other local activists joined the world’s largest annual Zombie Walk dressed as #ZombieMitch to highlight his zombie-like support of big money in politics. Activists marched with McConnell masks and signs including “Mitch McConnell is a zombie for big money in our elections” and “Need… more… brains money!” Some of the zombies attending the main event told PFAW members that the McConnell zombies were the “scariest thing I’ve seen all night.”

Earlier that day, members and allies met in front of the local GOP headquarters for a rally organized by MoveOn.org. Activists gathered in response to the tapes leaked last week that caught McConnell speaking at a secret meeting hosted by the Koch brothers. Check out the recordings here.

Sen. McConnell is a leading voice against efforts to get big money out of politics, fighting against a proposed constitutional amendment that would overturn decisions like Citizens United, despite the fact that three in four voters support the measure. For years he has been fighting hard to protect billionaires’ and millionaires’ influence in our elections. The turnout of supporters at both of these events shows that the people of Kentucky are tired of Sen. McConnell’s love of big money in politics.

PFAW

PFAW Members Join Zombie Walk to Highlight How Sen. McConnell is a “Zombie” for Big Money in Elections

LOUISVILLE, KY — On Friday night, hundreds of People For the American Way (PFAW) members and other local activists joined the world’s largest annual Zombie Walk dressed as “Zombie McConnells” to highlight Sen. Mitch McConnell’s zombie-like support of big money in politics. Activists marched with Mitch McConnell masks and signs including “Mitch McConnell is a zombie for big money in our elections” and “Need… more… brains money!”

Sen. McConnell is a leading voice against efforts to get big money out of politics. He has fought against a proposed constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United that will be voted on in the Senate on September 8 and that nearly three in four voters support. Last week, The Nation published a leaked recording of Sen. McConnell pandering to major conservative donors at a secret Koch brothers’ meeting.

“Brain-eating zombies are scary, but McConnell’s hunger for big money from billionaire donors is the true threat to our wellbeing,” said PFAW Political Director Randy Borntrager. “Like a zombie apocalypse, the flood of money into our electoral system is an existential threat to our country. Americans should band together for our survival. In this case, that means voting Mitch McConnell out of office.”

For more information on People For the American Way’s work to get big money out of politics, please see our Government By the People webpage.

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Ferguson and the America We Need to Build

This post was originally published at the Huffington Post.

An unarmed teenager gunned down in the street. Peaceful protesters attacked in a military-style assault. Journalists tear-gassed and arrested to prevent them from covering the actions of government officials. This is not the America to which we aspire.

Many Americans are both angry and appalled at the actions taken by law enforcement officials in Ferguson, Missouri, this week. These actions do not reflect a commitment to the Constitution or to the principles of equal justice under the law and freedom of the press. We applaud the Department of Justice for undertaking an investigation into the violence, and we are grateful that state officials have stepped in to institute a more sensible law enforcement presence. We encourage state and federal officials to continue monitoring the situation and to intervene as necessary to prevent further civil rights violations.

At the center of this controversy is a dead teenager and a grieving family. We recognize that the pain and outrage felt by so many people is grounded in the fact that this kind of killing of young men of color happens far too often. Part of the tragedy is that a killing like this is not surprising. If our commitment to equality and human dignity is to have real meaning, we cannot continue to tolerate conditions that require so many parents to teach their children how to live through a chance encounter with law enforcement.

In the long run, our elected officials must grapple with many complex policy questions, including racial disparities in the administration of justice. Today we support community leaders who are demanding accountability.

PFAW Foundation

Young Progressive Leaders Win Primary Races in Michigan, Show Payoff of Investing in Youth

A successful movement begins with a plan for change. People For the American Way’s plan is simple: identify people with an interest and a passion for service who represent the diversity of their communities, equip them with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for success, and offer long-term support and access to a network of like-minded leaders.

This summer’s primary elections prove this plan is not just theoretical. It stands up to the test. Its success can be seen last week in the state of Michigan — a prime battleground for state and national issues ranging from marriage equality to workers’ rights to women’s rights — where a group of young, progressive leaders won their primary elections.

One candidate for a Michigan House of Representatives seat is Jon Hoadley. He’s an openly-gay man, 30 years old, who is running for office for the first time. He’s also an alumnus of affiliate PFAW Foundation’s Youth Leadership Programs – Young People For and the Front Line Leaders Academy. Last week Hoadley won his primary race for the District 60 seat in the Michigan State House of Representatives and, if he wins the general election in November, will become a member of the Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network.

And Hoadley is in good company. Last month PFAW Action Fund endorsed a slate of young progressive candidates through the Young Elected Progressives endorsement program. Together they represent a progressive direction for the state. PFAW is proud to support these leaders as they move towards the general election in November or toward future efforts to advance progressive values in Michigan.
                               
If the 2014 primary elections and the slate of candidates, including Hoadley, running for office this year are an indication of the payoff of PFAW’s investment in young leaders, then we are off to a great start. It shows that what we have works. We’ve made real change. But it also proves the necessity of continued investment in progressive infrastructure to make a difference on these critical issues, now and in the long term.

We’re at a time when the influence of money in politics goes unchecked, access to the ballot box is challenged, and the far Right is becoming increasingly extreme, intolerant, and out of touch. The individuals endorsed in PFAW’s Young Elected Progressives campaign are standing up to defend and lead with the values of freedom, fairness, and equality for all.

PFAW

PFAW Takes Fight Against Broken Political System To Kentucky’s Fancy Farm Picnic

Don’t let the name fool you—the event is neither fancy nor a picnic in the park for politicos. “Fancy Farm” is actually the worlds largest BBQ and Kentucky’s biggest political event of the summer. For nearly 100 years, politicians from across the state have been making the pilgrimage to kickoff their campaigns, giving their best stump speeches and trading insults with opposing candidates.

In case you missed it, catch all the fun here.

This year, Kentucky’s got one of the most important Senate races in the country. Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes is trying to unseat Sen. Mitch McConnell, the current minority leader, who has been the self-proclaimed “proud guardian of gridlock” for nearly 30 years. Some have estimated that it will cost over $100 million before all is said and done, making it the most expensive Senate race in American history.

That’s not how democracy is supposed to work—our elections shouldn’t go to the highest bidder. That’s why in-state PFAW members drove five hours to help ditch Mitch. Volunteers passed out progressive gear, collected petition signatures, and brought their energy and enthusiasm to the political speeches (check out the pictures below).

PFAW’s petition to get big money out of politics received wide support at the picnic. Even proud supporters of McConnell signed the petition, agreeing that we need to get big money out of politics.

Polls continue to show Grimes and McConnell neck and neck. As November draws closer, conservatives like the Koch brothers will dump millions of outside dollars into this election to save McConnell’s seat and attempt to take over the Senate. But with grassroots support and on-the-ground activism, we’re not going to let them.

Fancy Farm proved that the energy to change our political system is real and will continue to grow. PFAW’s growing in-state membership base will continue to lead the charge.

PFAW

PFAW Challenges Perdue’s Record in New Spanish-Language Radio Ad

Following David Perdue’s win last week in the Georgia GOP Senate runoff, People For the American Way released a Spanish-language radio ad today challenging Perdue’s history on jobs, workers’ rights, and immigration. The ad exposes Perdue’s record of exploiting workers in the private sector and his careless attitude about immigration reform, addressing issues important to voters.

This is the latest effort of PFAW’s award-winning Latino vote program working to mobilize Latino voters in key states, a constituency that can have a significant impact on elections, by highlighting the extreme views of GOP candidates.

Latinos currently make up more than 9 percent of Georgia’s population—enough to play a critical role in choosing the state’s next senator and governor.

The ad is running in Atlanta starting today until August 6. You can hear the Spanish version of the ad here.

PFAW
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