Tag Archives: washington

Will you fight for the unemployed?

I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving. I am glad to be back on the campaign trail, fighting to fix our broken economy and restore the American Dream for millions of hardworking middle class families.

But while we were celebrating the holiday, Washington Republicans were busy fighting tooth and nail against an extension of unemployment benefits for over two million Americans. Click here to add your name to our petition demanding Congress extend these unemployment benefits now!

It’s just plain wrong that people cannot count on Washington to help them during tough economic times.

Sadly though, it’s what we’ve come to expect from Republicans like Congressman Jeff Denham. Congressman Denham has helped lead the charge against providing the unemployed with the benefits that will help them buy food, pay rent, and spur real economic growth by putting money back into the economy.

The important thing to remember is that these folks lost their jobs due to no fault of their own, are required to be actively searching for work, and have previously paid into the system to receive these benefits. To put it simply, they earned these benefits and there is no excuse if Congress fails to provide them.

Sign our petition telling Rep. Denham and Washington Republicans to extend these benefits now!

If we can reach 2,500 signatures, I will personally deliver the petition to Congressman Denham outside his local office. I will tell him that it’s about time he do the right thing and help the unemployed for once.

Thank you,


Tell Washington: We need jobs now!

I’m on a mission to restore the American Dream – and I know that to do that, we’re going to have shake things up in Washington. It’s time we fundamentally change our priorities; and that starts by putting pressure on our leaders to act on creating good jobs and stop protecting unnecessary tax breaks for the wealthiest one percent.

I have a deep faith in this country that we can solve any problem that comes our way, but we have to be willing to put partisan politics aside and make the tough decisions. Washington needs to do that; and that’s why today I’m launching an online petition aimed at Congress demanding they start focusing on creating jobs now.

This broken mentality in Washington that has lead with inaction on the economy and believes the best plan is one that keeps the status quo in place has to end if we’re ever going to guarantee an America where everyone can achieve their highest hopes and dreams. That, my friends, is why I am running for United States Congress.

I’ve seen first hand that people are hurting with a national uneployment rate stuck at 9.1% and our district’s unemployment rate is at a staggering 16%! Congress cannot wait until the next election to take action; not with those numbers. Too many families are desperately waiting for them and the longer they wait the worse it gets – and the further we move away from being able to reach the American Dream.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to solve the problems that we face, but it does take leaders that fundamentally understand what is at stake and are willing to make the tough choices. Rather than cater to the will of the rich few, it’s about time Washington realign it’s priorities and help restore the American Dream for millions of people.

I need your help to put pressure on Congress. Sign my petition demanding Congressional leaders and all Washington politicians change their priorities right now and start focusing on creating good jobs!

If we can collect 2,500 grassroots petition signatures by Tuesday, October 25th, I will personally deliver the petition to Congressional leaders. I will tell them it’s time to restore the American Dream.

Thank you for joining me on this important journey,

– Jose Hernandez

The Fight to Repeal Prop 8 in California Runs Through Maine and Washington

We lost Prop 8.  No matter how you want to slice and dice it now, who you blame, or what organizations were at fault, we lost Prop 8.  The fight to repeal Prop 8 will be long and arduous, whether that is next year or in 2012.

But the fight to repeal Prop 8 is always continuing.  Two ballot measures from opposite sides of the country deserve our attention at this very moment. It cannot wait.

Paul Hogarth has done a great job bringing the Maine story back to California (and Calitics) by going there to do canvassing and other campaign work. In Maine, the legislature passed a marriage equality bill, and it was signed into law by the Democratic Governor there, John Baldacci. Unfortunately, the opponents of marriage equality were able to gather enough signatures to put the law up for a vote as “Question 1.”  You might recall many of these same organizations from the Prop 8 fight.  The biggest donor to the anti-equality Yes on 1 Campaign is the “National Organization for Marriage.” NOM, as it is known, was very active in Prop 8 helping to raise money and spread lies and distortion about what exactly marriage equality was all about. And the Yes on 1 Campaign is even using the same consultant as the Prop 8 campaign, Frank Schubert. And yes, even the same ads, just replace the Pepperdine professor with a professor from Boston College.

But the No on 1 Campaign is fighting back.  They’ve launched several ads (also available over the flip) that directly respond to the lies and distortions.   However, while they’ve booked the TV time, they can still use resources to get the message out. Please consider giving to the No on 1 Campaign on our  ActBlue Page:

And in Washington state, some right-wingers are trying to repeal domestic partnership rights.  If Referendum 71 fails, we will be back at square one in our West Coast neighbor. It is imperative that this measure succeed in protecting rights for same-sex couples. Here on Calitics, Laurel has been giving us updates from Washington.

You can give to both campaigns on the Calitics ActBlue page. Alternatively, you can fly up to Seattle for $40 from SFO or $60 from LAX on Virgin America. I imagine it’s similar on other carriers. Seems like a small cost to help protect human rights from the right-wing attacks.

Check the Maine ads over the flip.

Tigers, Togas and a heapin helpin o’ Lies

Ready for a video break?  Here is the premier ad that the Washington anti-domestic partnership org Protect Marriage Washington has unveiled.  And yes, this is for real.  Donate now to help us drown out this rubbish with some sanity.

In the beginning, GOD created the heaven and the earth,and formed man.  And he made a woman and brought her unto the man.  Thus God established, and defined marriage between a man and a woman.  What god has joined together, let not man put asunder.

Senate bill 5688 violates God’s mandate.  On November 3rd, vote to preserve marriage and protect our children on Referendum 71.  Reject senate bill 5688. Paidforbyportectmarriagewashington

Have you donated yet?

Protect Marriage Washington’s togas ‘n tigers ad isn’t all they’ve lined up for Washington t.v. viewers.  They also have two Prop 8-style lie-fests spooled up which feature rhetoric you all are already too well versed in.  One video is 45 seconds and the other 60 seconds.  Both videos are a re-working of an ad that PMW’s campaign manager Larry Stickney aired early March, 2009 in an effort to sway/bully solidly pro-equality legislators.  Did he really think these bullying ads would change the votes of senators who have sponsored and/or voted for every DP bill to date?  You can enjoy that set of videos here.

Let us dissect the lies in the 60 second ad.  Shall we begin?  But first, will you pledge to donate so many dollars per lie we find to the Approve 71 campaign so that we can effectively motivate our voter base?

VO:  Last Spring in Olympia, a law was passed that redefines marriage to include homosexual relationships.  This new law has far-reaching consequences.  Like allowing public schools to teach that gay marriage is normal and healthy.  Whether parents approve or not.

The sponsor of this law says, those who disagree with homosexual marriage should face being fined, fired or even jailed until they relent.

Text:  In Massachusetts a similar law passed…

Text:  As a result…school libraries across the state have added explicit pornographic books to normalize homosexual behavior.

Text:  A parent was jailed overnight for demanding the ability to opt his kindergarten child out of homosexual instruction.

Text:  Catholic Charities had to abandon adoption services rather than submit to regulations requiring them to allow homosexuals to adopt children in their care…

VO:  On November 3rd, vote to preserve marriage and protect our children.  on Referendum 71, reject senate bill 5688.  Paid for by Protect Marriage Washington.

Well, at least the first eight words are true!

Lie One:

VO:  Last Spring in Olympia, a law was passed that redefines marriage to include homosexual relationships.

As the Referendum 71 ballot language written by our republican Attorney General states, “a domestic partnership is not a marriage”.  If SB 5688 created civil marriages, the senior citizens entering into them would be considered married by the federal government.  They aren’t.  If the domestic partnership law created civil marriages, same-sex couples could marry, the legal contract would be called a marriage, it could be solumnized by a justice of the peace or consenting clergy, it would be transportable across state lines and it would ask the federal government to provide the couples so joined with the over 1,049 federal rights, responsibilities and obligations of civil marriage.  The domestic partnership law does none of these things.  Domestic partnerships are a parallel institution according state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners the same state-level legal rights, responsibilities, and obligations as those enjoyed by married spouses.  But by domestic partnerships are a separate and inferior institution to civil marriage.  Domestic partnerships are not marriage.

Lie Two:

This new law has far-reaching consequences.  Like allowing public schools to teach that gay marriage is normal and healthy.  Whether parents approve or not.

Washington state school curriculum does not mention marriage at all.  There is no mention of curriculum in the domestic partnership law.  There is nothing about the existence of domestic partnerships that mandates any changes to school curriculum.

Lie Three:

The sponsor of this law says, those who disagree with homosexual marriage should face being fined, fired or even jailed until they relent.

As Jeremy at Good As You has revealed, the text quoted by the ad was from an opinion piece written by a homophobic gay man named David Benkof.  Benkof egregiously misrepresented WA state senator Ed Murray, who strongly refuted Benkhof’s lie, saying “That’s not at all what I said, and Benkof’s deliberate misrepresentation of my views does damage to them and to me.”

Lies Four and Five:

Text:  In Massachusetts a similar law passed…

Text:  As a result…school libraries across the state have added explicit pornographic books to normalize homosexual behavior.

Massachusetts has never passed a domestic partnership law.  Curious that the ad doesn’t attempt to name the titles of the alleged pornographic books.  Why have we never heard of this horror, it it is true?

Lie Six:

Text:  A parent was jailed overnight for demanding the ability to opt his kindergarten child out of homosexual instruction.

David Parker was arrested when he refused to leave school grounds.  He demanded that the school inform him before anything related to gay people was even mentioned in school, even casual conversation by other students.  Federal judges all the way up to and including the Supreme Court of the United States dismissed his subsequent lawsuit against the school.

Lie Seven:

Text:  Catholic Charities had to abandon adoption services rather than submit to regulations requiring them to allow homosexuals to adopt children in their care…

Catholic Charities choose to abandon adoption services, for which they received state money, rather than abide by the state anti-discrimination law to which that state money bound them.  The funny thing is that Catholic Charities had a history of adopting out kids to gay parents, but the church hierarchy apparently decided to shut down the entire operation for dramatic effect rather than continue with business as usual: placing needy children with adoptive parents regardless of sexual orientation.

Lie Eight:

VO:  On November 3rd, vote to preserve marriage and protect our children.  on Referendum 71, reject senate bill 5688.  Paid for by Protect Marriage Washington.

I won’t count the “preserve marriage” lie because it is a repeat of Lie One.  Rejecting the domestic partnership law does not protect children.  In fact, it hurts children.  Children of gay parents deserve to have the same legal protections that the children of people in heterosexual marriages have.  To make them suffer because of animus towards their parents is cruel.

I count eight lies.  Did PMW’s profligacy bankrupt anyone who pledged to donate so many dollars per lie?

Domestic Partnerships face a rollback in Washington state

We’re in trouble out here in Washington, and I’m asking for your help.  This May, the WA legislature passed and Gov. Gregoire signed a bill that expanded WA Registered Domestic Partnerships to be fully parallel to state civil marriages.  But on Sep. 2nd, a coalition of radical-right evangelicals managed to get a referendum qualified for the ballot, Referendum 71, which asks voters to approve or reject the new law.  WA is now a vote-by-mail state.

There is solid  support for DPs in the general WA population, but our support among likely voters in this off-year election is razor thin at 51%.  So, we need to motivate our supporters to actually vote.  That takes money.

With ballots hitting mailboxes October 16th, our campaign season is only 6 weeks long and hasn’t given us the lead time necessary to raise adequate funds before a major donor ban goes into effect on Oct 12.  After that date, no donor can contribute more than $5,000 cumulative.  

Our opposition hasn’t been doing any serious fundraising in the past several weeks, confounding our ability to show our need to our supporters.  We suspect that the opposition can do this and are doing this deliberately because they have a big benefactor who will dump big money and/or services into the state for them around the time the major donor ban goes into effect.  This of course would undercut our ability to match their effort later in the campaign.  The opposition campaign includes local affiliates of Focus on the Family, Family Research Council and Alliance Defense Fund.

We do have something good going for us this week: a set of donors from Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Employees at Microsoft (GLEAM), acting as individuals, have pledged to match each dollar of your donations over the next week, up to $10,000. Please help make sure all Washington families are equal: Donate to the Approve Referendum 71 campaign.

Thank you from one of the 12,202 straight senior citizen and LGBT domestic partners in Washington!  We can win this!

p.s. If the radical-right manages to roll back DPs in WA, this may embolden them to engage on a new front: DPs and CUs in semi-equality-tolerant states.  Yuck.

Cross-posted at Blue Mass Group.

An August Recess for our troops in Iraq?

( – promoted by SFBrianCL)

A short time from now the House will adjourn for several weeks, as we put unfinished legislative business aside and head home for the rest of the summer. 

Tragically, but not surprisingly, we’re leaving Washington today without taking any meaningful steps toward reversing the Bush Administration’s disastrous Iraq policy.

There is no August recess for the young men and women who are deployed in Iraq, risking their lives for an ideological pipe dream hatched by people who haven’t sacrificed a single thing. 

Our soldiers will continue to do their jobs valiantly — even though they have been failed by their civilian superiors…even though they have been asked to occupy a nation that doesn’t want them there…even though they haven’t been properly trained or outfitted for their mission…even though they are caught in the crossfire of a brutal civil war that they are virtually powerless to stop. 

To date, 2,571 Americans have died in Iraq.  Thousands more have been wounded, physically or psychologically, such that their lives will never be the same.  And then there is the collateral damage — thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, who have given their lives for their own so-called liberation.

This November, American troops will have been in Iraq for as long as their grandfathers fought the Axis powers in World War II.  And there’s no end in sight.  The President has made it perfectly clear that he intends to occupy Iraq until the day he leaves the White House.  And now comes the announcement that we’re sending thousands more troops into Baghdad, many of whom were scheduled to go home.  But there’s little evidence that an increased military presence will quell the violence in the capital.  If anything, it will make it worse, like pouring gasoline on a fire.

I have been an outspoken opponent of the President’s Iraq policy from day one.  I voted against the war resolution.  A year and a half ago, I was one of the first to say it was time for the troops to come home, and I forced the first House vote to that effect.  When the oversight committees wouldn’t shine a spotlight on Iraq…I did, convening forums that explored exit strategies and highlighted the living conditions on the ground in Iraq.  When I first spoke up, mine was not a popular position.  But gradually, the American people and their elected representatives in this body have come to realize the folly of this war – the immorality of the doctrine that supports it…the lies that were told to sell it…and the incompetence that has characterized it. 

Polls consistently show that Americans want a timetable for withdrawal; don’t think the war was worth the cost; don’t think it’s stabilized the Middle East; and don’t think it’s made us safer from terrorism. 

But the President continues to hunker down, staying his own course of ignoring the writing on the wall and hiding behind platitudes and talking points.

I hesitate to even call Iraq a war.  The “war” — the effort to depose Saddam Hussein — ended in the spring of 2003 with the President’s showy announcement of “Mission Accomplished.” 

Everything since then has been an occupation, an occupation that we can’t win, an occupation that the American people never would have approved of and the Congress never voted on.

Given the false pretenses under which this body authorized force in Iraq, I believe it’s time to turn back the clock.  I think we deserve, with the benefit of hindsight, another crack at that vote. 

So, along with 20 of my colleagues, I have introduced legislation, H.R. 5875, called “The Iraq War Powers Repeal Act of 2006.”

It would reverse the fateful decision of nearly four years ago and allow Congress to reassert its constitutional authority on matters of war and peace.  It would strip from the President the powers he has so shamelessly abused.

Passage of my bill would be the initial step toward ending the occupation. 

I don’t believe we should abandon Iraq, but the military option has failed spectacularly. 

We can and we should use diplomacy, humanitarian aid and peacekeeping tools to help Iraq on the road to long-term security and stability.  It’s time for us to be a reconstruction partner and not an occupying power. 

For the benefit of Iraqis and Americans…in the name of moral decency and national security…it’s time to bring our troops home.

It’s time to repeal the President’s Iraq War Powers

(Not strictly California politics, but Lynn Woolsey’s definitely a Progressive Californian. Plus, she’s got a good point. – promoted by SFBrianCL)

It’s time to repeal the President’s Iraq War Powers

On October 11, 2002, the Congress, over the objections of many Members of the House and Senate, passed legislation giving the President the authority to use force in Iraq.  At the time I was a vocal critic of the war, but unfortunately my voice, as well as thousands of others, was drowned out by misinformation from the administration. 

In making its case, the administration threatened us that if we didn’t act fast, the proof of Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction would “come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”  We were also told that the case against the war, and the evidence of a weapons’ program was, “a slam dunk.”  Now, three and a half years later, the American public knows what many of us believed all along, that this administration, and our president, misled us about the case to go to war.

Six months after we invaded Iraq, President Bush stood aboard an aircraft carrier before a banner that read “Mission Accomplished,” declaring that “major combat operations in Iraq are over.”  From that moment on, we were no longer fighting a war, but rather participating in an occupation.

An occupation cannot be won.  The President has put our troops in a position they should not have gotten into in the first place.

Our troops were not prepared to occupy Iraq.  They weren’t given the proper equipment, nor were they properly trained.  And most importantly, the US Congress never authorized this President to undertake an occupation.

This occupation of Iraq must end, now, and President Bush must bring our troops home.

That is why I am introducing the Iraq War Powers Repeal Act of 2006.  It is past time for Congress to demand that the Bush Administration come clean on Iraq, and put the safety of our troops, and the security of our nation first.

By repealing the Iraq War Powers, Congress would resume its Constitutional role overseeing the use of military force, and would reassert its authority by bringing our troops home.

Of course, the passage of this bill will be an up-hill struggle, but it is a fight that we can no longer avoid.  Rescinding the President’s war powers in Iraq is the least that we can do for our troops, and for their families who anxiously await their return.  With over 2,550 brave men and women having given their lives, and thousands seriously wounded, how many more must die before we put an end to this madness?

This is one more step in putting and end to occupation.  It is time to pass the “Iraq War Powers Repeal Act of 2006.”

-Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma)