Sunday, May 18, 2008
So while I'm away here, I recommend visiting the blog I co-write, The Punditburo.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Yesterday, they blocked a vote on the Fair Pay Restoration Act, an important bill that would protect millions of Americans from pay discrimination based on race, national origin, gender, religion, age, or disability.
This legislation corrects last May's Supreme Court ruling in the Lilly Ledbetter case, which requires victims of pay discrimination to file suit within 180 days of the initial pay-setting decision, or else they cannot be awarded compensation. This requirement is unfair, since workers often do not know how their pay compares to that of their colleagues.
Workers shouldn't have to be mind-readers to protect themselves from discrimination. Those who suffer from pay discrimination shouldn't run out of time to file a claim for back pay simply because the employer initially managed to hide its illegal behavior.
We fell just three votes short yesterday of overcoming the Republicans' filibuster and reforming this unfair system. Help us get past Republicans' obstructionism and hold employers accountable for pay discrimination -- sign the petition supporting the Fair Pay Restoration Act:
This legislation is named for Lilly Ledbetter, a former supervisor at a Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company plant in Gadsden, Alabama. For nearly two decades Ms. Ledbetter worked hard, while putting up with taunting and teasing from her male co-workers.
But during that time Goodyear was using discriminatory evaluations to pay her less than her male colleagues doing the same work. When Ms. Ledbetter finally discovered the discrimination and filed suit, she was awarded full back pay by a jury.
The Supreme Court, however -- in a 5-4 ruling -- reversed the decision and imposed the unfair deadline. This ruling overturned decades of precedent, and it upset our nation's shared sense of what is fair and right.
For years, Lilly Ledbetter had no idea her pay was less than that of her male colleagues because Goodyear kept its salary information confidential. The discrimination continued with every paycheck she received.
Now Republicans are holding up legislation that would protect workers like Lilly Ledbetter by allowing them to file suit up to 180 days after their most recent discriminatory paycheck -- a change that will hold employers accountable for their discriminatory practices and restore fairness to the workplace for millions of Americans.
Please show your support for the Fair Pay Restoration Act:
The Fair Pay Restoration Act uses the language from the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1991, which corrected a similar problem of discrimination in seniority.
It upholds a long tradition of laws dedicated to ending unfair discrimination by employers.
But these laws will be meaningless unless workers can enforce their rights in courts. The Fair Pay Restoration Act will ensure that workers have remedy they deserve when their right to equal pay for equal work is violated by their employer.
Senate Republicans have shown where they stand on this issue -- but they're in the small minority. Women's organizations, civil rights groups, labor unions, disability advocates, religious groups, and businesses all support the Fair Pay Restoration Act.
Join all of us and show your support too:
Senator Edward M. Kennedy
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Welcome to the NRCC e-Newsletter, a service provided to you by the
National Republican Congressional Committee. This newsletter will keep you informed of our efforts to take back the majority and return conservative leadership to the U.S. Congress.
By: Gary Andres
It wasn't supposed to play out this way. Obama's new politics and electrifying campaign style would energize Democrats and help the party's down ticket candidates?
Turns out Democrats may be too busy clinging to their guns and religion to get too excited about Obama's White House bid.
His comments and views about rural America's "bitterness" expose a major fault line with Democrats' congressional candidates --a wedge with the potential nominee in key swing legislative districts. It could cause many down ticket candidates to distance themselves from a presidential candidate they believe out of step with the values and ideology of their congressional districts.
"It puts them on the defensive by forcing them to begin answering for the actions of their potential presidential nominee that we know will not be able to carry most of the districts we are targeting," Ken Spain, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee said yesterday.
This Politico story, focusing on vulnerable Democrat Congressman Patrick Murphy, supports Spain's thesis. "Murphy has also been playing a pivotal role in rallying support for Obama, and he has been attending rallies and making appearances on cable news networks to tout Obama's candidacy. But while his endorsement gives him short-term exposure, some caution that a too-close association with Obama could backfire in a general election..."
Just when will superdelegates like Patrick Murphy denounce Obama's elitist comments about small town America?
Gongwer News Service, April 15, 2008: "Republican Steve Stivers filed a first-quarter federal campaign finance report Monday showing he raised $279,417 for his congressional election contest in roughly equal amounts from individuals and political action committees. Contributions from Feb. 14 through Jan. 31 brought his net fund-raising for the election cycle-to-date to $787,370. After expenses, Mr. Stivers showed cash on hand at the end of the reporting period of $599,689. Mr. Stivers, a state senator, faces Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy, a Franklin County Commissioner, in the Nov. 4 election to the U.S. House from the 15th Congressional District in central Ohio...Sen. Stivers issued a statement describing as 'remarkable' the financial and other support he had received. "I've received support from every corner of the district - from young families and students to our seniors and veterans - it's overwhelming and I'm honored for their trust and support,' he said." [more]
MN-02, MN-03 (Bachmann, Kline)
Associated Press, April 15, 2008: "Republican incumbent Michele Bachmann has a big lead in dollars over her Democratic challengers in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District. A federal campaign report says Bachmann had more than $1 million in the bank at the end of March. That's almost 10 times more than the amounts reported by the Democrats seeking to challenge her...In the 2nd District, Representative John Kline also had a cash advantage over his nearest Democratic rival. Kline had $510,000 in the bank, compared with $39,000 for Iraq war veteran Steve Sarvi." [more]
Associated Press, April 15, 2008: "Republican Congressman Peter Roskam has Democrat Jill Morgenthaler beat right now on the money front by about an 8-1 margin as they head into the general election ...Morgenthaler had only $127,000 as of the end of March, while Roskam had almost $1 million, the lion's share of the $1.3 million the freshman congressman has raised this election cycle. That's based on campaign finance reports that were due today with the Federal Election Commission and that cover the period through March." [more]
Travis Childers: He's No Magician
Travis Childers, the Democratic candidate in Mississippi's First Congressional District Special Election on April 22nd claims he isn't a magician when it comes to solving the problems that plague the congressional district that he wants to represent. Well that's good since the voters aren't looking to elect a magician to Congress, they're looking for someone who can fight for their interests in Washington. [watch the NRCC video]
Last night, Senator Obama and I had the chance to express some substantive differences on issues that affect people's lives in Kentucky every day: the war in Iraq, the mortgage crisis, Social Security, and rising gas prices.
I know when I stand up at a debate like last night, I'm speaking not just for myself, but for everyone who has supported me in this race. I know I wouldn't be here without you, and I can't tell you how proud I am to stand with you.
This race should be decided on the merits of our ideas -- not the size our campaign coffers. I've spent some time in Kentucky recently, and I know the people there agree.
The Kentucky primary is close to a month away, and this race is so close that a contribution you make today could be the difference between winning and losing.
If you missed the debate last night, click here to watch my closing statement and contribute today to help me win.
Thank for all you do and I hope to see you on the trail soon!
Hillary Rodham Clinton
To: Interested Parties
From: Rick Davis
Date: April 23, 2008
Re: Pennsylvania Democratic Primary Results
The race for the Democratic Nomination will continue.
Hillary Clinton's victory in Pennsylvania last night has extended the primary to the next round of contests (Indiana and North Carolina on May 6) and has maintained the competitive nature of the race.
With her 10-point victory, we should expect her poll numbers and resources to increase in the coming days. Primary wins, especially in the 2008 election cycle, have had a direct impact on the national polling numbers for the candidates and when national polling numbers increase, so do campaign donations.
Since last night, the Clinton campaign reportedly raised $10 million dollars online - enough to make a significant dent in upcoming media buys in North Carolina and Indiana. Barack Obama continues to surpass fundraising expectations and will most likely continue to do so. We need help during this period of democratic turmoil so we can build our resources and be ready to fight when the race begins.
Pennsylvania exit polls tell an interesting story that has implications for November.
- Even though Hillary Clinton won this primary, Barack Obama is seen as the front runner among Pennsylvania Democrats and is perceived to be the candidate most likely to win the Democratic Party's nomination.
Fifty-five percent of Pennsylvania voters say they believe Barack Obama will be the nominee in November. And, one-fifth of Clinton's Pennsylvania supporters believe he will be the nominee in November. So, the victory for Clinton is seen as a bump in the road for Obama, even by some of her true believers.
- Exit polls reveal why this poses significant problems for Obama if he becomes the nominee. The most important problem: Clinton voters don't automatically become Obama voters after he becomes the nominee. In fact, Obama leaves large portions of Clinton's coalition on the table in November.
Obama only wins 72% of the Democratic vote in a general election match up among those surveyed last night. Clinton shows her broad coalitional strength and wins 81% in a general election match up against John McCain. A full quarter of the Democrats in Pennsylvania are not willing to cast their ballot for Obama against McCain (15% say they vote McCain and 10% say they stay home), however, Clinton loses only 17% of Democrats (10% for McCain and 7% would not vote). This gap of 8-points would be significant in a general election match up. President Bush lost Pennsylvania by 2-points in 2004, when 41% of the electorate were Democrats. That 8-point gap among Democrats is enough to swing the state the other way (8% of 41% is 2.8-points, turning Pennsylvania red). This dynamic is clearly visible in publicly released surveys; an average of April polls show McCain trailing Obama by an average of 3-points (3 surveys in April) and trailing Clinton by 8-points.
- Hillary Clinton cleaned up with Union households - like she did in Ohio.
In Pennsylvania, Clinton won 59% of Union members (Obama 41%). Obama won these voters by significant margins in Wisconsin (+9), but has lost his hold on their vote in both Ohio (Clinton 55% - 43%) and now Pennsylvania.
- Clinton did better than Obama with lower income voters.
Our targeting and analysis of the 2008 political landscape puts voters who are on the lower economic brackets at the heart of either party's winning coalition. Hillary won at every income level below $150,000, and Obama only won with the wealthiest Pennsylvania voters. Obama's media foibles contributed to his inability to connect to voters who are suffering the real impact of this challenging economic environment.
This is also apparent in the number of voters who feel Clinton is more in touch with their views. Fifty-six percent of Pennsylvania Democrats say Clinton cares about people like them - again a significant switch from earlier contests. Wisconsin exit polls shows Obama had a 12-point advantage on that measure. By the time Ohio held their primary, Clinton had switched the dynamic and led by 12-points.
- Clinton won Catholic voters.
In Wisconsin, Clinton split the Catholic vote 50%-50% with Obama. Again, she changed the dynamic in Ohio and won Catholics by 27-points (63% - 36%). In Pennsylvania, she increased her margins and won by 38-points (69% - 31%). The strength of this coalition bolsters her argument that Obama would have had problems competing in Michigan and will not be able to carry key Midwestern states in November.
- Clinton won Jewish voters.
In Pennsylvania, the first state where both candidates competed for a significant block of Jewish voters, Clinton won by 15-points (57% - 43%). Again, the data suggests Jewish voters, a key Democratic coalition, pose a potential problem for Obama.
- Clinton increased her margins in suburban and rural areas - without losing ground in urban areas. Clinton won Pennsylvania suburbs by a 12-point margin and won rural areas by 22-points. And Clinton lost in urban areas by 14-points. This is similar to her Ohio performance. But, it shows an increase in her performance in urban areas from earlier contests (in Wisconsin she lost urban areas by 21-points). Clinton has figured out how to increase her margins among suburban and rural voters and cut into Obama's base of urban voters.
What does that mean for John McCain?
Ultimately most pundits contend that Hillary Clinton still has more than an uphill battle to become the nominee. So, what does this victory mean for John McCain?
While the Democratic nomination continues to unfold, our campaign is actively engaged in listening to voters' concerns and sharing John McCain's message with them. Senator McCain has an active schedule in the coming weeks. Last week, he gave a major economic address where he addressed short term concerns like enacting a summer gas tax holiday, he proposed a new "HOME Plan" to help those who are hurt by the housing crisis and he is proposing a student loan continuity plan to make sure America's college students aren't hurt from the credit crunch. In addition, Senator McCain has spent this week travelling to places many in our nation have forgotten and where our citizens have felt left behind but where hope, innovation and local solutions are helping to lift these communities up. And, next week, Senator McCain will visit various health care facilities and unveil his plans and solutions to help Americans improve access and affordability to good health care. In addition, the campaign is building our organization and resources for the campaign in the fall.
This week I embarked on a trip to areas of the United States seldom-visited and all too often forgotten by our nation's leaders. I am doing this because I want to learn from the people who live in these areas. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit Alabama. During my trip I spent time in the towns of Selma, Gee's Bend, Camden and Thomasville.
It was an honor to visit Selma, a place that held great significance in the Civil Rights movement. I was also fortunate to visit the Gee's Bend quilters, who gave me such a warm welcome - I thank them for their hospitality. I hope you will take the time today to follow this link to watch a video straight from the campaign trail.
My friends, I am traveling to these places because if I am to be President of the United States of America, I'm going to be the president of all the people. I will work for all people and I will listen to all people. By understanding the challenges - and they are enormous - that these Americans face today, I will be a far better president.
There must be no forgotten places in America. I have always believed in this country, in a good America, a great America. And I have always believed we can build a better America for all people. This week, I'm traveling to places where great Americans are still fighting for change to make us a better country. I am going to meet and learn from these patriots.
I am running for president as a different type of candidate and I ask that you join my campaign today.
P.S. My friends, I will continue to travel to places across our country that are too often forgotten to meet and learn from the Americans who live in these areas. I am doing this because if I am elected President of the United States, I want to be president of all people. Our campaign has put together a special video featuring highlights from yesterday's stops in Alabama. I invite you to follow this link to watch this special video and, if you are able to, make a generous donation to our campaign so that we may continue our good work. Thank you.
Two quick notes from the campaign trail this week.
Colorado: Republican Hypocrisy
Last week we told you about how Colorado Republican Bob Schaffer accepted more than $13,000 in travel and accommodations from a front group for convicted felon and Tom DeLay confidant, Jack Abramoff.
Schaffer then turned around and defended the business practices of sweatshops run by Abramoff's lobbying clients, despite a mountain of evidence against the manufacturers.
To drive home the true scope of this hypocrisy, the DSCC has produced a great new video. We created this video to make sure that each and every Colorado voter knows the truth about Schaffer's shady ties to Jack Abramoff.
Click here to see the latest video about the Colorado Senate race.
Republican Bob Schaffer is tainted by the Jack Abramoff scandal, and he's not fit to serve the great people of Colorado.
The latest polling shows a neck and neck race between Schaffer and Democrat Mark Udall. Udall has earned rave reviews so far in this race for his record of courageous leadership on the war in Iraq and renewable energy issues. We'll be sure to keep you updated as this campaign heats up.
Alaska: Strong Democrat Enters the Race
Second, great news just yesterday from Alaska where Democrat Mark Begich is officially entering the race to make a strong challenger against embattled Republican incumbent Ted Stevens.
As mayor of Anchorage, Begich helped create nearly 10,000 new jobs and eliminated a $33 million city budget deficit. If elected senator, Begich has pledged to restore trust and transparency in our government and to expand the G.I. Bill to give veterans everything they need to earn a college degree.
Scandals have rocked the Republican Party in Alaska. Even Ted Stevens himself is under investigation by the FBI and is going to be extremely vulnerable this cycle. The latest polling already shows a dead heat, even before voters start paying attention and learning all about Stevens' sordid past.