Missing: Hultgren IL-14

by , posted on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 at 6:24 pm

Not that long ago I wrote about my Congressman’s attempts to kill me.  Since then I’ve joined in an ongoing game of “Where’s Randy?” with many — oh, so many — of my fellow residents of IL-14.  We’ve been calling his office, we’ve been visiting his office, we’ve been relentlessly commenting on his Facebook page with several concerns, but one unified message:  When’s your town hall Randy?

There has been a deafening silence in response to all of our Facebook pleas for a town hall.  Our calls to his office have yielded an array of answers from “no news on a town hall yet,” to “we’re looking for a venue, just let me take your name and number and we’ll get back to you when it’s scheduled,” to (and I am NOT making this up) “he’s leaving the country.”

Just now Randy the Elusive took the cowardly step of posting a recorded video to his Facebook page saying “I’m answering your most pressing healthcare questions from your recent phone calls, emails and meetings with me. Take a look.”

Yes indeed, please do take a look at the soon to be former Congressman Randy Hultgren reading cherry-picked letters and spouting vague talking points.

When you’re done with that, and if you are at all near the Chicagoland area, please do clear your calendar for this event on the afternoon of March 3.    

Guess Randy will be back from Africa by then.  We are working on a way to, er, greet Randy appropriately without disrupting this event for the Veterans attending, so if you think you can make it, please say so in a comment, or message me and I’ll respond with information about that.

Meanwhile, beyond spreading word of Randy’s cowardice I’m at a loss for how to get him to face his constituents, so any suggestions would be welcome.

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When your Congressman Tries to Kill You

by , posted on Saturday, January 14th, 2017 at 11:08 am

then sends you a perky email asking hultgren-200how you feel about that, I think it only courteous to respond.

Click below to see the text of my emailed response to Randy Hultgren:
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For Tom Hayden

by , posted on Friday, November 11th, 2016 at 10:36 am

Coming of age in the wake of Watergate, in the waning days of the Vietnam War, the student movement of the Sixties made a great impression on me, even if only a bit after the fact. Contrary to conventional wisdom, that

generation of activists was still very much on the scene as I began to become politically active myself in the mid-Seventies. And as I learned about that recent history, it was the founding generation of SDS, Students for a Democratic Society, that I identified with most. Tom Hayden, especially

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Superdelegates and the DNC Unity Reform Commission: An Outsider’s Inside Perspective

by , posted on Saturday, August 13th, 2016 at 2:21 pm

20160723_202251On the first day of the Democratic National Convention, the rules committee co-chairs, Barney Frank and Leticia Van de Putte, announced the creation of the Unity Reform Commission to the delegates of the convention.  Van de Putte indicated that this commission “received overwhelming support from all members of the rules committee.”  This was followed by glowing endorsements of the commission by Clinton delegate and DNC-appointed rules committee member Wellington Webb and Sanders delegate Diane Russell.  The message portrayed to the delegates in the convention and people watching at home was that the democrats were unified under Clinton and that the superdelegates would definitely be reduced by a full 2/3 in accordance with the will of the voters.  However, this glorified commercial left out important details of the commission and the process which produced it.

I was one of the three rules committee members from Illinois selected to represent Bernie Sanders.  At the rules committee meeting, 25 members were DNC-appointed (equivalent to the “superdelegates” of the rules committee).  The rest were apportioned by state according to the presidential share of the vote.  There should have been 187 total members, but some of them appeared to be missing as the total number of votes never approached this number.

All proposals were submitted by Sanders-appointed rules committee members.  The majority of us are lifelong democrats who wanted to improve our primary process for the future of the Democratic Party and believed strongly in the concept of one person/one vote.  Many devoted a large amount of time to preparing for the rules meeting and writing proposals for various rule changes.  There were about 50 proposals in all.  I myself submitted 8 proposals with the help of two separate groups of dedicated delegates and activists who contributed to background research on historical rule changes and also to the writing of some of the proposals.  So when I arrived the day of the rules committee meeting, I felt a real responsibility to accomplish significant change.  Clinton rules committee members and DNC members did not propose any rule changes.

Eliminating the superdelegates was the top issue for most of the Sanders rules committee members.  We knew this proposal might not pass in the rules committee.  However, if we submitted a minority report, we could have a debate and floor vote on this issue on the convention floor.  We already had the signatures we needed for the minority report.  It was important to do this to give this undemocratic issue a spotlight at the convention.  Also, if the proposal to eliminate superdelegates passed at the convention, it would then require only a majority vote of the DNC committee (rather than the normal 2/3 vote) to amend the Charter of the Democratic Party, fully eliminating them.  We wanted to fight for our delegates and our voters to have a voice. Read the rest of this post »

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“NO TPP” Signs Became Banner of Resistance on the Floor of the Democratic Convention

by , posted on Sunday, July 31st, 2016 at 11:57 am

Sanders Delegates Started To Change the Conversation on TPP at DNC:

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NO TPP signs become banner of resistance during Democratic convention

I will never forget the rush that swept through me on my first night at the Wells Fargo Center while looking into a sea of “NO TPP” signs that quickly became the banner of resistance to the oligarchy that surrounded us on the convention floor.  I panned the 180 degrees and looked at the thousands of Democratic insiders, wealthy donors, and lobbyists that watched us chant “No T-P-P!” from their seats and VIP boxes above us.  We were not supposed to be here – this was not our party, yet, we were here.  Thank you Bernie Sanders!  The Democratic Party is still loyal to their corporate donors, but we silenced the pro-TPP voices at the Democratic convention.

Despite the fact that the convention hall was filled with “NO TPP” signs, neither President Obama (who supports the TPP), or Democratic nominee Clinton (who, as of today, opposes the TPP) mentioned the words, “TPP” in their prime-time speeches before the assembly of delegates and party leaders at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last week.

Speaking in favor of the TPP would have caused a loud, “boo” from delegates.

Speaking against the TPP would have caused the wealthy corporate donors hiding in VIP boxes to tightly grip their wallets.

The speakers, just like the Democratic platform, remained silent on the TPP issue.  The real victory is how we used an interruption strategy to help shape the narrative on the convention floor despite the fact that it was a highly orchestrated, four-day charade with endless anti-Trump speeches, very few votes, and zero meaningful discussions or debates.

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Hillary Clinton Refuses to Unify the Democrats on the TPP – July 9th DNC Platform Meeting Update

by , posted on Sunday, July 10th, 2016 at 2:24 pm

During the DNC platform committee meetings, Hillary Clinton surrogates stood with their presumptive nominee in opposing any efforts to take a clear stance against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and better unify the party.

You can watch the C-SPAN debate on Amendment 93 here at roughly 18:30 in the C-SPAN video – Day 2, Part 1.

The first round of TPP discussions came when Lee Saunders (AFSCME), a Clinton surrogate, initiated Amendment 93, that opposed free trade agreements that do not have protections for workers’ rights and environmental standards. The Saunders amendment did not specifically state opposition to the TPP.

Ben Jealous (former NAACP President), a Sanders surrogate, jumped on the opportunity and sought to amend the Saunders amendment by adding the words, “and that’s why we oppose the TPP.” The parliamentary procedure by Jealous created a vote on the full Saunders Amendment plus the words, “and that’s why we oppose the TPP.” The Jealous Amendment failed.

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We need to undercut President Obama’s TPP at the Democratic Convention

by , posted on Thursday, June 30th, 2016 at 7:07 pm

At the last Democratic Party Platform Committee meeting in St. Louis, Secretary Clinton’s surrogates on the platform committee voted to keep the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) off of the platform agenda.  We also saw the language and strategy that they are employing to allow the Clinton campaign to quietly shift positions on the TPP; giving the Obama Administration one last chance to pass this disastrous trade bill.

According to the Washington Post, during the platform meeting, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Clinton) said, “I don’t want to do anything as he ends his term to undercut the president of the United States.”

Dr. Cornel West (Sanders) effectively countered Cummings when he said, “the responsibilities of citizenship should transcend loyalty to the president.”

I would like to go a step further – We need to undercut President Obama’s TPP.  It is not good for America or working people anywhere in the world.  It is not good for the environment.  The TPP extinguishes democracy; replacing it with corporate government. We don’t need the TPP.  The president is wrong and he needs to reverse his position on the TPP.  The time to send this message is at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia.  If you need to read more about the TPP, this in-depth analysis from Public Citizen titled, “Secret TPP Text Unveiled: It is worse than we thought,” is worth the read.

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Empty Rhetoric or Will President Obama Propose Legislation to Strengthen Social Security?

by , posted on Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 at 11:54 am

Mr. President where is your legislative proposal to increase and strengthen Social Security?

As the National Democratic Party Attempts to steer their corporate candidate into the white house, they are now openly wooing progressive voters with empty rhetoric.  The first salvo of false promises comes from the sitting president.  Sandwiched between 2008 and 2016 rhetoric promising to increase Social Security, the president actually proposed cutting Social Security as part of a “grand bargain.”

Please sign my petition that calls on President Obama to introduce legislation that would back up his campaign rhetoric.  Watch this video of Bernie Sanders defending Social Security after proposing legislation that accomplish President Obama’s rhetorical goals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxPesrGOEcc 

 

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