WEDNESDAY 11/08/17

Celebrate!

Tuesday night’s election results were a renunciation of the politics of misogyny, racism, homophobia, and Islamophobia. In Virginia and New Jersey, we saw progressive candidates dominate statewide elections! Danica Roem became the first openly transgender woman to win a Virginia House of Delegates seat beating a transphobic incumbent who authored a bill comparable to our state’s HB2. This tells me that the work we are doing is paying off! The Resistance is gathering strength and winning elections! Use this energy to redouble our efforts to take back our democracy in 2018. Keep calling, keep canvassing, keep faxing, keep attending town halls, keep protesting. When we see hate taking root, let’s make sure we respond with intelligence, passion, love, and creativity. A dark cloud fell on our democracy one year ago tonight, but this year, we are not letting them celebrate. We have gained some serious grounds, and there is no turning back now!

Tax Bill:

The GOP is on the defensive about their cruel and malicious tax plan. Many Republicans are jumping ship on this bill, so we can defeat it. More than anything, this is an immoral bill that takes funding from Medicare and Medicaid to fund tax cuts for billionaires. Let’s make sure our representatives know that we’re not standing for it.

Script:

Hello, I am a constituent calling to tell Sen./Rep. _________________ not to support the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The bill will provide enormous tax cuts for the wealthy while also cutting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. I’m opposed to the fact that the bill eliminates the deductions for medical expenses, cuts the deduction for state and local taxes paid, caps the mortgage interest deduction, and eliminates the student loan interest deduction. All of these provisions will hurt middle-class families. I’m also concerned about the elimination of the Johnson Amendment. This opens up a Pandora's Box for churches to become the equivalent of SuperPACs, where wealthy donors can channel money to endorse candidates. This is a dangerous and destructive bill, and I want Sen./Rep. _______________ to vote against it.

Oppose the lifetime appointment of Thomas Farr.

Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted down party lines 11-9, to clear North Carolina attorney Thomas Farr for a confirmation vote with the full Senate. Once confirmed, Mr. Farr will be a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The Congressional Black Caucus submitted a letter to the Senate Judiciary committee alleging Mr. Farr has worked for decades to intimidate and disenfranchise black voters. Mr. Farr is also known to North Carolina’s for having defended North Carolina’s voter photo ID law, which was struck down by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for discriminatory intent. Senator Thom Tillis has specifically defended his record. The seat for which Mr. Farr was nominated has been vacant since 2005. President Obama nominated two women of color to the seat during his administration. it would have been the first time a black judge sat on the Eastern District of North Carolina’s bench in the court’s 143-year history, Unfortunately Senator Richard Burr refused to submit his blue slip (signaling a vote to acquiesce to the appointment) for either of President Obama’s nominees so the appointments stalled out in committee. We must share our opposition of Mr. Farr with our Senators despite their clear support of him. We are on the right side of history and will not sit back and allow this appointment to go unchallenged.

Script:

Hi. I’m a constituent urging Senator _______ to oppose the nomination of Thomas Farr to a lifetime appointment to the United States District Court. When literally hundreds of civil rights groups formally oppose him we ought take pause. Mr. Farr has a history of opposing workers, civil and voting rights. This appointment must be opposed in the interest of protecting the rights of the American people. Thank you.

Tillis:

DC: (202) 224-6342

Charlotte: 704-509-9087

Greenville: (252) 329-0371

Hendersonville: (828) 693-8750

High Point: (336) 885-0685

Raleigh: (919) 856-4630

Burr

DC: (202) 224-3154

Winston-Salem: (800) 685-8916

Rocky Mount: (252) 977-9522

Wilmington: (888) 848-1833, (336) 631-5125

Asheville: (828) 350-2437

House:

https://www.house.gov/representatives/

Federal Elections Commission:

The Federal Elections Commission is accepting comments on a proposed new rule that would require that online political advertisements include disclaimers that identify who paid for them. When you see political ads on TV, advertisers are required to disclose who paid for them. But there is no such requirement for online ads, in part because Facebook and Google have pushed back against such restrictions, claiming that online ads are the equivalent of bumper stickers or other “small” forms of speech. Obviously Facebook ads have had a massive effect on elections, and forcing ad buyers to disclose their identity would be one small step toward solving that. Comments are open until November 9! This is a real opportunity to influence policy in a positive way. Link to the FEC form here: http://sers.fec.gov/forces/addcomments.htm?pid=74739

Sample Script:

Hello, I am writing to encourage the FEC to introduce regulations that would require online political advertisements to carry disclaimers identifying who purchased the ad. These requirements are standard for radio and television, and online media have become a powerful communication tool where millions of people get their information about politics. It now seems clear that advertisements purchased by Russian entities had a significant impact on the election results in several key battleground states, especially Wisconsin. We should not let Facebook, Google, and Twitter dictate our election policy. They are profit-seeking institutions and, therefore, they are not guided by the expectation of serving the public interest. They cannot be trusted to self-regulate.

STATE/UNC:

Former Trump advisor Sebastian Gorka--an anti-Islam extremist who has ties to Nazism--has been invited to speak at the University of North Carolina. This after white supremacist Richard Spencer was prevented from speaking on campus. Gorka’s comments about Islam are reprehensible, and his claims to have qualifications to speak about national security are dubious at best. There are protests being planned, and when we have information on them, we will let you know. But for now, let’s use this as an opportunity to push back against a proposed policy under consideration by the UNC Board of Governors (BOG) that would severely restrict the free speech rights of students, faculty, and staff who are part of the UNC system. This policy would allow UNC to suspend or even expel any student who “disrupts” a speech, but the policy defines disruption so broadly that it could lead to students being expelled for exercising their lawful right to protest. So the ACLU has a pre-written message that you can use to tell the UNC BOG not to enact this policy or at the very least to modify it so that students’ free speech rights are respected.

ACLU Action Link:

https://ssl.capwiz.com/aclu/issues/alert/?alertid=79066626