Monthly Archives: June 2016

ANOTHER Corporation Suing Our Government Thanks To Trade Agreements

by Dave Johnson, Campaign for America’s Future, June 28, 2016

A Canadian corporation is suing the us because we wouldn’t let them build a pipeline across our country (seizing people’s property along the way) so they could sell oil to China.

They can do this because we signed a trade agreement that places corporate rights above our democracy. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would increase by an order of magnitude the companies that can sue us for hurting their profits by protecting the environment, consumers, public health and small businesses.

Because They Can

TransCanada Corporation is suing the U.S. government (us) for $15 billion in damages under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rules. The company wanted to build the Keystone pipeline all the way from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico so they could ship oil to China. They also wanted to use “eminent domain” to seize land from ranchers, farmers and other property owners along the way to enable this….

continue reading at Campaign for America’s Future

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The Secret Power Behind Local Elections

By CHISUN LEE and LAWRENCE NORDEN, New York Times, June 25, 2016

WHEN the history of elections in 2016 is written, one of the central points is likely to be how little voters knew about the donors who influenced the contests. At the federal level, “dark money” groups — chiefly social welfare nonprofits and trade associations that aren’t required to disclose their donors and, thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, can spend unlimited amounts on political advertising — have spent three times more in this election than they did at a comparable point in 2012.

Yet the rise of dark money may matter less in the race for president or Congress than for, say, the utilities commission in Arizona. Voters probably know much less about the candidates in contests like that, which get little news coverage but whose winner will have enormous power to affect energy company profits and what homeowners pay for electricity. For a relative pittance — less than $100,000 — corporations and others can use dark money to shape the outcome of a low-level race in which they have a direct stake….

continue reading at New York Times

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Filed under 2016 election, Campaign finance

Interview with Lindy Li

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester,

Recently I interviewed Lindy Li, a Princeton graduate who has been active in Chester County political life.

On May 18 you gave a speech entitled “American audacity” at the United Nations World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship [see text here and video here]. You feared that “The same intractable issues will anchor us down.” What sort of issues did you have in mind?

lindy-li-2Lack of campaign finance reform prevents progress on almost every front. I’d love to do something about climate change, but we can’t because of moneyed interests. I’d love to do something about gun violence and to prevent the senseless slaughter of innocent Americans, but we can’t because of deep-pocketed organizations that very effectively impose their political will upon our lawmakers. The American people must hold our elected officials’ feet to the fire and demand action now. We need to be better organized and vocal than those who seek to maintain the status quo.

You said “my story is one of transcending limitations.” For example?

Being a young Chinese-American woman means that according to some I immediately have three strikes against me. The key is to transform my potential weaknesses into my greatest strengths.

You were at a dinner with President Obama recently?

Yes, we spoke briefly. I am also invited to go to the White House on June 14th for the United State of Women Summit, where the President, Vice President, and First Lady will be speaking. This event will gather together women leaders from across America….

continue reading at Politics: A View from West Chester

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Filed under Chester County, Nathaniel Smith

DNC Blocks Single Payer Voice for Party’s Platform

from Healthcare-NOW! 6/2/16

This year, a national single payer leader was one of 15 chosen to help write the Democratic Party’s Platform! RoseAnn DeMoro, director of National Nurses United, was selected by Bernie Sanders to advocate for Medicare for All.

Unfortunately the Democratic National Committee has vetoed her.

The national platform hasn’t included explicit support for single payer since the 1970s, and the establishment wants to keep it that way.

TAKE ACTION: Right now, the DNC is taking official written testimony and video testimony for consideration – tell the committee your healthcare story and why you want single payer on the party platform!

This year is different – despite the rejection of DeMoro, the platform committee is unusually progressive, with a number of strong single-payer supporters like activist Cornel West, Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Keith Ellison, and others. Backed by the 81% of Democrats currently supporting single payer, the committee could force explicit support to be written into the platform. This would be a crucial first step in passing single payer legislation at the national level.

Yours in solidarity,
Ben and Stephanie
Healthcare-NOW! National Staff

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