Tag Archives: Americans United for Change

CA-26: Americans United For Change Hit Dreier On Drilling

Today Americans United for Change, the progressive advocacy group that is visiting districts throughout the country on the “Bush Legacy Tour,” hammered David Dreier for being a tool to Big Oil and special interests.  From their release:

With gas prices above $4, Americans United for Change, the progressive issue-advocacy group that recently launched its national Bush Legacy Bus tour, blasted Rep. David Drier today for standing in the way of lower gas prices for California families by voting against meaningful legislation to release 70 million barrels of light, sweet crude oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve into the open market and replace it with heavy, sour oil that is tougher to refine – a move that has historically brought down gas prices and strengthened our national security.

The SPR has been tapped or suspended before by the current President Bush, President Clinton, and the first President Bush and each time oil has been released the impact on prices has been dramatic and immediate.  For example, in 1991, oil prices immediately dropped by 33 percent. The 2000 exchange drove oil prices down by 19 percent. And the release by President Bush in 2005 resulted in a 9 percent drop.

“With gas prices hovering above $4 a gallon, Rep. Dreier was given a chance today bring real relief now to California families forced to make incredible sacrifices choosing between bills, gas, and food,” said Caren Benjamin, for Americans United for Change. “But without apology or question, Congressman Dreier chose to put his loyalty to Bush and his addiction to big oil cash ahead of relief for struggling Californians.”

I don’t know if the “Free Our Oil” campaign and focusing on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the most effective message, but clearly somebody has to show some leadership on the energy front.  Contrary to popular beliefs, Democrats are NOT being pushed out of this debate.  In a recent poll by The Wilderness Society, the public is split on the question of drilling or protecting arctic lands and offshore areas, and they believe 76%-19% that the best way to secure our energy future is to invest in new technologies and renewable sources rather than continue to drill.  In addition, by a 63%-31% score, those polled believe that the President’s proposal to open up ANWR and the Outer Continental Shelf to drilling “is more likely to enrich oil companies than to lower gas prices for American consumers.”  That’s why it’s so crucial for AUFC to note that David Dreier has taken $129,400 in contributions from oil company executives over the years.

There’s starting to be some real pushback on this “drill now” blather.  The Democrats put forward this SPR bill today and most Republicans took the bait of voting against it.  Jimmy Hoffa Jr. of the Teamsters, in a real game-changer of a move, came out with a very strong statement rejecting “drilling our way out” of this crisis, and demanding long-term energy solutions.  Democratic Congressional candidate John Boccieri from Ohio made this amusing Web video to mock his opponent’s reliance on drilling:

And just to your left, CA-46’s Debbie Cook has put together a comprehensive 10-point plan to realize Al Gore’s vision of receiving 100% of our electricity from renewables by 2018.

There’s work to be done – by candidates, policy wonks, advocacy groups, and regular people – but together we can beat back these shortsighted solutions and expose those who want to wed our energy needs to the failures of the past.

Mary Bono Doesn’t Get It, Part Two

(It is great to see her targeted, maybe we’ll have an excuse to visit Palm Springs (and better yet, Joshua Tree). – promoted by blogswarm)

Hat tip to dday for this treat for CA-45th Democrats from Robert Salladay at Political Muscle:

Retired generals and veterans from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are targeting California Rep. Mary Bono (R-Palm Springs) as part of a $500,000 media campaign to peel off support for President George W. Bush and the Iraq war.

Ah, VoteVets.org.  I hadn’t noticed that Bono is the only California target – sweet.  So will this convince Mary Bono to unplug herself from the loyal Bushie borg and really support the troops?  Somehow I doubt it.  She didn’t learn much from the last ad

Crossposted to Daily Kos

Just last month, Americans United for Change popped Mary upside the head with their ad, and she immediately issued a fundraising letter, asking for help to fight the liberals’ “nasty early attacks,” and calling the ad a “clear sign that the liberals will do anything, say anything and spend anything to increase their majority next year.”  WATB alert – yes, epiphany – no.

Our local GOP-friendly paper, The Desert Sun puts it this way:

She was the target of another ad last month that Americans United for Change sponsored.  The group, which is working with VoteVets.org, questioned Bono’s support for the war before a recent vote on Iraq War funding.

She voted against the Democrat-sponsored legislation, which would have required Bush to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq by October. Bush vetoed the legislation.

Mary Bono and Barbara Boxer had side by side OpEds in The Desert Sun on April 8th (diary here)  Here’s a sample of her principled rationale for opposing that Iraq funding bill:

The purely political approach to this issue does a disservice to our armed forces serving in harm’s way and to the American people who are tired of politics as usual.

But, it is not just the excessive pork that is contained in this bill that concerns me. It is the message we send to our troops and to our enemies abroad.

While there are many serious issues upon which Americans differ, our brave men and women who protect our national security always have received strong support from the vast majority of our citizens.

Congress has a responsibility to demonstrate the same support for our troops by passing an emergency supplemental funding bill that gives our forces the funds they critically need without the pork.

Our future national security is too important to allow this type of political gamesmanship to continue.

  Well, the latest bill stripped other issues, so what will be her excuse this time?  Norquist will provide, and the GOP fans here will buy whatever they’re hocking as usual.

That’s what makes this VoteVets ad so very interesting, though.  Because if the default-Republican voters in the 45th are ever going to give our side a hearing, it will likely start with nonpartisan emissaries like (Ret.) Major General Batiste.  I thank him for his honorable service, and for the courage to tell an unsavory truth to those who don’t want to hear it. 

Let’s hope it sinks in somewhere.  Clearly, reality still eludes Mary Bono, and will until the GOP leadership gives her the OK to change her tune.  Twas ever thus.