TED CRUZ MAKES THE ‘MISSING’ LIST. The ongoing national campaign of hanging up “Missing” posters for members of Congress who are not holding town hall meetings hit Texas in March, as the local Indivisible chapter and other groups put up posters with his face around Houston.
— zachary (@DenobregaZach) April 2, 2017
“I think it works because people don’t really hang up posters unless it’s a missing cat or something,” Nisha Randle told the Houston Chronicle, as she and others hung posters around Houston under cover of darkness last week. “They’re like, ‘Wait. That’s not a cat. That’s Ted Cruz.’ And then they start to read the poster, and they’re like, ‘Oh, snap. Yeah, Ted Cruz is missing.'”
Randle was the Houston-area coordinator of the Women’s March in January and is now part of Houston’s chapter of Pantsuit Republic.
Her involvement is just the latest example of how the broad-spectrum post-Inauguration Day activism by women has morphed into something more politically targeted; women are leading the pressure campaign to demand Cruz face his constituents in Texas. A Change.org petition posted by Women & Allies Houston calling on Cruz to announce a town hall has garnered more than 1,300 signatures, out of a goal of 1,500.
Cruz recently gained a long-shot 2018 challenger in Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
— Ted Cruz Is Missing (@whereiscruz) March 21, 2017
The groups demanding a Cruz town hall have announced the venue and date for a forum they’ve invited him to and plan to air their concerns at the town hall forum regardless of whether he shows up.
THE WOMEN’S MARCH GETS ELECTORAL. After asking women to march, to gather in local “huddle” group meetings, to strike on International Women’s Day, and to share what they are reading, the Women’s March organization is asking them to again engage with the electoral political system that burned so many of them last November.
“As we grow our resistance movement, it is important to recognize the power of our vote,” the group emailed members Tuesday. “By focusing on upcoming special, local, and state elections, we can create a groundswell of new elected officials who will fight for our values. Our power lies at the local level, the pipeline for higher offices; this is why we have to vote more than once every four years. For the sixth action in our 10 Actions / 100 Days campaign, we ask you to register to vote and to identify the upcoming elections in your district.”
The group has also signed onto the effort to pressure advertisers to drop Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News in the wake of revelations about the network’s major payouts to women who have accused him of sexual harassment.
Women, let's use the power of our voice and tell advertisers to #DropOReilly. Share your own stories of sexual harassment in the workplace.
— Women's March (@womensmarch) April 4, 2017
TARGET: MODERATE REPUBLICANS. Progressive group tactics to pressure Congress are starting to follow a pattern in the Trump era: Lock down the Democratic opposition, then go after moderate Republicans.
“As Dems reach 41 votes for a filibuster, attention turns to the Republicans as well,” Joe Dinkin, national communications director for the Working Families Party, told Yahoo News. The WFP, little known outside New York political circles, has in 2017 emerged as a key member of the resistance coalition thanks to its role in organizing locally — and nationally — against the Republican president from New York City.
“On Sunday’s #ReadytoResist call, [Democratic Senate Minority Leader] Schumer mentioned a number of more ‘mainstream’ senators that are ‘queasy’ about the idea of changing the rules,” he continued. “Is it possible there are not 51 votes in the Senate for the nuclear option? Do senators like Collins, Murkowski, and Heller want to blow up the Senate in deference to Trump, while the administration is under investigation for colluding with a foreign power to influence the election?”
Dinkin pointed to efforts to pressure Senate Republicans, mentioning Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., one of the few swing-state GOP senators up for reelection in 2018.
“There will be Resist Trump Tuesday … and other actions over the next few days at many of those ‘mainstream’ Republican Senate offices demanding that, if there aren’t 60 votes for the nominee, they need to change the nominee, not the rules. I was just hearing from our members in Carson City and Reno, who have not let up on Heller,” he continued.
Of course Republicans are aware of the conflicting pressures faced by their more moderate members, and pro-Trump political action committees are seeking to provide them with political cover in the form of big ad buys.
PCCC GOES AFTER RED-STATE DEMS. The less-than-a-handful of Democrats willing to buck party activists around the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court have met with blowback from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. The group took out advertisements in local papers against Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.
Senate Republican Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley on Monday criticized the PCCC for pressuring red-state Democrats to filibuster Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
“NARAL has run ads to pressure members to filibuster. We even had some group called Progressive Change Campaign Committee target a senior and extremely well-respected Democrat over his quote-unquote ‘squishy’ comments suggesting he might not filibuster,” Grassley said.
This made the PCCC very happy.
“That’s right! Can you help us triple down?” the PCCC asked in a fundraising appeal. “Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) just announced he will join Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) in supporting Gorsuch, despite Gorsuch’s record of siding with big corporations over workers.”
ISSA CHALLENGER. A recently announced Democratic challenger to vulnerable Republican incumbent Rep. Darrell Issa of California raised $275,000 within the first three weeks of announcing his candidacy, his campaign said Monday. Environmental attorney Mike Levin’s campaign drew more than 2,000 contributions, and from all 50 states, as one might expect in a race that is already drawing national attention.
“I’m deeply honored by the depth and breadth of our support,” Levin said. “Darrell Issa is the wealthiest member of Congress and can self-finance his campaign. Ours is a campaign of grassroots donors from all 50 states who are tired of the Donald Trump and Darrell Issa agenda.”
Issa won his 2016 reelection by just 1,621 votes — 0.6 percentage points — making him the most vulnerable incumbent Republican in the country. Retired Marine Col. Doug Applegate, who nearly defeated Issa in 2016, also announced last November that he intends to run again in 2018.
“As a Marine colonel, I know that the hardest fights often take a couple of battles — and I look forward to continuing our fight in the days, weeks, and months ahead,” Applegate said in November.
IMPEACHMENT WATCH. Localities are embracing a campaign to impeach Trump, though with Republicans in control of Congress, it’s the longest of long-shot efforts.
“The Cambridge City Council voted Monday night to call upon the U.S. House of Representatives to approve an investigation into whether sufficient grounds exist to impeach President Trump,” reports the Boston Globe. “In a vote Monday, seven city councilors voted in favor of a proposal that asks the House to authorize its Committee on the Judiciary to investigate possible violations Trump may have made in the foreign emoluments clause, domestic emoluments clause, or other constitutional clauses.
“The template for the proposal was written by a national movement called Impeach Trump Now and has been used by such other communities as Berkeley, Calif., and Charlotte, Vt.”
Impeach Trump Now is a project of Free Speech for People, an anti-big money in politics group founded in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decisions, and Roots Action, a 1.5-million member left wing digital advocacy organization founded in 2011. Free Speech for People, founded and run by former National Voting Rights Institute creator John Bonifaz, is also running a petition campaign to urge New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to investigate and revoke the charter of the Trump Organization, Inc., in the state.
OPENING DAY. Pro-impeachment sentiment was also visible on the opening day of baseball season in Washington, D.C., where Trump broke with presidential tradition and declined to throw out the first pitch, likely avoiding being booed by the region’s heavily Democratic residents — and baseball fans — in the process. But this being Washington, the president’s absence didn’t do anything to tamp down the politicking, and protesters unfurled a banner at the opening day game that read, “Impeach Trump #Resist.”
Protestors after the Nats game unfurl a banner. "Impeach Trump Resist" pic.twitter.com/e3q4ZKKK14
— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) April 3, 2017
— Alex Rubinstein (@RealAlexRubi) April 3, 2017
THE QUIETEST PROTESTERS. The Insight Meditation Center of Washington, D.C., has announced that it will be holding Wednesday noon sit-ins outside the Longworth House Office Building as a form of protest against the current political chaos. Very literal sit-ins, and very quiet ones, as the participants will be engaged in seated meditation. “Bring comfy sitting gear,” organizers suggest.
Read more from Yahoo News:
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