THURSDAY 7/20/2017

FEDERAL:

Oppose the Kris Kobach Phony “Fraud” Commission:

This commission’s very existence gives credibility to one of the biggest lies perpetrated by the right, and specifically Donald Trump: that millions of people voted illegally in the last election. In fact, this brand of ideology, as we know all too well in North Carolina, is used as a pretext for suppressing the vote, often from communities of color who tend to vote for Democrats. The reaction from states to requests by the commission for bulk voter information was a thundering “no,” and many advocacy groups have sought relief in court. However, the work of this commission continues, and lately Trump has made a concerted push to legitimize and publicize its efforts. The ACLU has created a petition to communicate citizens’ displeasure directly to the commission, and we include that action here. However, we think this is a perfect opportunity for our elected representatives in Congress to use their bully pulpit to speak out against the existence of this commission, and the lies that underlie its creation. Let’s call today to get them on record about this issue that is fundamental to the workings of our democracy. We know that our elections are under assault from outside powers; let’s make sure that we defend them from the inside as well. The commission held its first public meeting today.

SCRIPT:

I am a constituent calling from _________ to confirm for the record Rep./Sen. __________’s position on the Pence/Kobach Election Integrity Commission. Since there is no record of even minor voter fraud in American elections, this commission appears to be part of a dangerous attempt to suppress votes. President Trump falsely claimed that millions voted illegally in the election, and he has made no secret that this commission is a direct outgrowth as this assertion. Where does the Rep./Sen. Stand on this issue?

Link to ACLU action:

https://action.aclu.org/secure/sham-election-commission?ms=web_170710_votingrights_electionintegrity_BOR

Oppose the House Budget Proposal:

The House budget is a mean-spirited, “skinny” affair that puts Medicare and social security squarely in its crosshairs, continuing the apparent war on the elderly exhibited by both the House and Senate versions of the ACA repeal-and-replace plans. Some $200 billion in mandatory cuts are on the chopping block. In an exact mirror of the health care debate, this number might scare off moderate Republicans, but predictably, the Freedom Caucus and other far-right Congress members want up to $400 billion cut. All of it is terrifying, but offers an opening for activist pressure. And while this bill has a long way to go, unlike health care, the nation must have a budget. We need to exploit the disarray with the GOP and give our reps an incessant earful about the need to preserve benefits for aging Americans. These programs are bedrock institutions that have become part of the social contract: work hard, pay your taxes, and you will be taken care of in your twilight years. These programs are expensive, but consider that this budget is part of a broader plan to cut taxes even more on the wealthy and on corporations, all at a time of nearly record income inequality. We can afford to do better by our citizens. Background:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/house-gop-budget-plan-puts-medicare-and-social-security-on-the-line/533991/

SCRIPT:

I am a constituent calling from ___________ to urge Representative __________ to oppose the budget proposed by Paul Ryan. The $200 billion in proposed cuts to mandatory spending programs are unnecessary and unconscionable. As evidenced by the spectacular unpopularity of the AHCA health care bill, Americans do not want benefits taken away from them. This budget would strip away at protections for the elderly. Thanks for taking my call.

Senator Richard Burr

 Washington, DC: (202) 224-3154

Winston-Salem: (336) 631-5125

Senator Thom Tillis

 Washington, DC: (202) 224-6342 

High Point: (336) 885-0685

 

HOUSE:

Rep. Virginia Foxx

Clemmons, NC (336) 778-0211

Washington, DC (202) 225-2071

Rep. Ted Budd

Advance, NC (336) 998-1313

Washington, DC (202-225-4531

Rep. Mark Walker

Greensboro, NC (336) 333-5005

Washington, DC (202) 225-3065

STATE:

A Redistricting Committee Meets, But the Public Knows Little:

On Tuesday, a cryptic notice appeared on the NCGA calendar announcing a meeting of the House Select Committee on Redistricting on July 26 at 1:300 p.m. There was no accompanying press release or any public comment by any legislator. In fact, Democratic members of the committee, when contacted by activists, knew as much about the meeting as we did. The last time the lines were drawn (unconstitutionally, as courts keep ruling), similar hearings were held, but in the end, a few Republican legislators drew the infamous maps in secret. We suspect that this hearing is a similar dog-and-pony show, and we further suspect that the new maps have been ready for months. We have three actions for you: 1) Attend the meeting. We know that public accountability has mitigated some of the worst bills from passing, such as the concealed carry craziness. 2) Email the representatives on the list. We will include a sample script, but it is much better if you write your own informal note. 3) Tweet at the reps. We want to build a public record of our questions on this matter. This could prove to be critical in the inevitable court challenges, and certainly in the court of public opinion. Please remember when you write to be respectful. Many of these members are Democrats who are likely sympathetic to your message, and they will all take you more seriously if you refrain from insults.

Sample Email Script:

I am a constituent from North Carolina writing to express my concern that the July 26th meeting of the Redistricting Committee is mere window dressing. The last time districts were drawn, similar hearings were held, yet the maps were drawn in secret. Since court after court has struck those lines down as illegal, we the public would like to see a more transparent, balanced, and democratic process that will result in legal maps that truly represent all North Carolinians. I look forward to your response.

David.Lewis@ncleg.netJohn.Bell@ncleg.netDarren.Jackson@ncleg.netSarah.Stevens@ncleg.net,John.Szoka@ncleg.netJohn.Torbett@ncleg.netBill.Brawley@ncleg.netCecil.Brockman@ncleg.net,Justin.Burr@ncleg.netTed.Davis@ncleg.netJimmy.Dixon@ncleg.netJosh.Dobson@ncleg.net,Nelson.Dollar@ncleg.netAndy.Dulin@ncleg.netJean.Farmer-Butterfield@ncleg.net,Elmer.Floyd@ncleg.netTerry.Garrison@ncleg.netRosa.Gill@ncleg.netHolly.Grange@ncleg.net,Destin.Hall@ncleg.netEdward.Hanes@ncleg.netJon.Hardister@ncleg.netPricey.Harrison@ncleg.net,Kelly.Hastings@ncleg.netJulia.Howard@ncleg.netHoward.Hunter@ncleg.netPat.Hurley@ncleg.net,Linda.Johnson2@ncleg.netBert.Jones@ncleg.netJonathan.Jordan@ncleg.net,Chris.Malone@ncleg.netMickey.Michaux@ncleg.netRodney.Moore@ncleg.net,Garland.Pierce@ncleg.netRobert.Reives@ncleg.netDavid.Rogers@ncleg.netJason.Saine@ncleg.net,Michael.Speciale@ncleg.netShelly.Willingham@ncleg.netMichael.Wray@ncleg.net,Larry.Yarborough@ncleg.net

Twitter handles for Committee Members:

@RepDavidRLewis @JohnBellNC, @DarrenJNC, @repsarahstevens, @JohnSzoka@JohnTorbett, @BillBrawley, @CecilBrockman@RepJustinBurr@RepTedDavisJr@JoshDobson85th,@NelsonDollar36@adulin, @RepJFB, @RepFButterfield, @Rep_Rosa_Gill@RepHollyGrange,@DestinHall@EdHanes4NC@JonHardister@priceyharrison@kellyhastings1@juliahowardnc,@rephowardhunter@lindapjohnson, @Jordan4NCHouse, @chrismalone3@romo1963, @NCLegBlkCaucus, @electreives, @JasonSaine97th, @RepWray, @larry_rep