Elections

Progressive victory in Chicago: Rahm Emanuel on the ropes, 5 progressive council members win, 2 advance

Last night progressives had an overwhelming victory in Chicago. Successfully forcing Mayor Rahm Emanuel into a runoff election and defending 7 progressive members of the City Council. Check out DFA Chair Jim Dean's update to our members below.

We did it!!!


Last night's opening paragraph in USA TODAY would have seemed nearly impossible just a few months ago:
"CHICAGO -- Rahm Emanuel was dealt a tough political blow on Tuesday, after he was forced into a runoff election to hold onto his seat as mayor of the Windy City."

Progressives not only forced Rahm Emanuel to become the first mayor in Chicago history to face a runoff election, we also beat back his SuperPAC and his wealthy funders' campaign to defeat the progressive champions he attacked on the Chicago City Council.

Five of Democracy for America's seven endorsed progressive members of Chicago's City Council -- who we called the Chicago Seven -- have WON their primaries outright and two are the leading candidates in their impending runoff elections on April 7.

This a HUGE victory for progressives -- and now we need to finish the job. Will you chip in $3 or more to build the campaign to defeat Rahm Emanuel in the runoff on April 7?

DFA dedicated national resources and organizing power to defend seven progressive City Council members because we knew how important they were to defending the working families of Chicago against union-busters and big corporations. Rahm Emanuel and his corporate cronies have awoken a massive grassroots army across the city committed to ending his agenda of privatization, public school closings, and pension cuts.

In the weeks ahead, Democracy for America -- alongside our friends at United Working Families, MoveOn, and the Chicago Teachers Union -- will go all in to defeat Rahm Emanuel in the runoff on April 7 and elect Jesus "Chuy" Garcia as Chicago's new mayor.

We will also fight to re-elect Aldermen John Arena and Toni Foulkes, who are going to a runoff against two of Rahm's cronies. DFA members will harness that grassroots energy to build a lasting, broad-based progressive movement that will bring Elizabeth Warren-style, populist progressive reform to Chicago in the years to come.

As a flashpoint in the fight for progressive values, the April 7 runoff election will be one of the most important elections in years. Are you In? Chip in $3 or more now to defeat Rahm Emanuel and re-elect Aldermen John Arena and Toni Foulkes.

DFA members like you made this victory possible. Since December, Democracy for America and our members have rallied to fight back against Rahm Emanuel's attacks on the Chicago Seven by:

  • Raising and spending more than $65,000 to defend the Chicago Seven.
  • Making more than 30,000 calls and knocking on 2,157 doors in targeted wards.
  • Hiring full-time staff organizers, working out of Northside and Southside offices.
  • Working with MoveOn to turn out the vote for Jesus "Chuy" Garcia in the mayoral race.
  • Supporting the local DFA groups, Northside DFA and Southside DFA, in their strategy to expand the map and elect strong new progressive challengers and turn out the anti-Rahm vote.

Rahm Emanuel and his allies had more than $30 million at their disposal. You helped build the people-powered campaigns that turned people out to the polls and overcame that huge financial advantage.

But this isn't over yet. Rahm Emanuel is bruised, but not beaten. Now that he is in a runoff against Chuy Garcia, Chicago voters can unite behind a strong progressive and put an end to Rahm's rule -- and re-elect progressive champions John Arena and Toni Foulkes. Will you help build the campaign and lead progressives to victory?

Chip in $3 or more to finish the job and defeat Rahm Emanuel on April 7.

Thank you for everything you've done to win this victory in Chicago -- and for going all in with us between now and the April 7 runoff.

- Jim

Jim Dean, Chair
Democracy for America

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Categories: Elections Endorsement Candidate Local


FINAL RESULTS: Draft Elizabeth Warren? 87.6% vote YES!

The votes are in and Democracy for America members are speaking out loud and clear:

RUN WARREN RUN! 

The results are stunning. Doubling down on MoveOn's 81.3% member vote, 87.6% of DFA members voted in favor of launching a campaign to draft Elizabeth Warren for president.

So that's exactly what we're going to do. And it starts today.

Shortly after the poll closed on Tuesday and our member vote was official, DFA Electoral Director Annie Weinberg jumped on a plane to Iowa to join MoveOn and Ready for Warren for a Run Warren Run kickoff meeting tonight in Des Moines.

We also announced that we're investing an additional $250,000 in the first stage of this campaign to expand -- in collaboration with MoveOn -- the effort of building an unprecedented people-powered Run Warren Run campaign.

As a Senator, Elizabeth Warren is forcing the Democratic Party to take on income inequality. As a presidential candidate, she could make the fight against income inequality a critical part of the 2016 platform -- no matter who wins the nomination. And, as President, no one else would be better prepared to rally the nation to fix the income inequality crisis than Elizabeth Warren.

America needs Elizabeth Warren to run for president. But she isn't going to run just because we announce a campaign to draft her. She needs to hear from DFA members like you. It's time to let her know what you think.

Run Warren Run! Sign the petition now: Ask Elizabeth Warren to run for president. 

This isn't the first time there's been a campaign to draft Elizabeth Warren. It took a grassroots movement to convince her to run for U.S. Senate in 2012. We can do it again -- this time for the White House.

In fact, as recently as Monday morning, Sen. Warren refused to rule out a future bid for the presidency. She has only said that she’s not a candidate "right now."

Of course, that's true of everybody else. No Democrat has yet announced their campaign for the presidency. It's still a wide open race. That's why this is exactly the right time to draft Warren.

Regardless of what Warren decides to do, the Run Warren Run movement will help Sen. Warren be more effective in Congress -- according to DC insiders like Chris Cilizza at the Washington Post:

Let's say Warren absolutely does not want to run for president and won't be persuaded no matter what happens in the world over the next three to six months. Okay, fine. It still does her NO good to definitively rule out running right now because the second she does that, the huge national media spotlight will begin roving elsewhere -- limiting Warren's influence.

At the moment, there is no story bigger in politics than what Warren will do. She can use that attention to push her pet issues -- restricting corporate America and addressing income inequality.She did just that last week with her loudly-declared opposition to the omnibus bill because of its loosening of some derivative trading rules on corporations. Warren's power is at its height nationally at the moment.It makes zero sense for her to pop that balloon herself.

Sen. Warren listens to the people -- it's one of the reasons we love her so much. So add your voice now by signing our petition: Run Warren Run! 

I do want to acknowledge the fact that not every DFA member voted this way. Some of you support other candidates for president. In fact, my brother Howard Dean is supporting Hillary Clinton, should she decide to run for president.

And that's OK, of course. Democrats and progressives are smart, passionate people who don't have to agree on who should become the next president. But we do agree that we need a Democratic candidate who will focus on fighting income inequality.

This isn't just about the White House either. A real grassroots movement starts from the bottom up. That's why DFA is going to:

  • Draft and support the next generation of Elizabeth Warren candidates at all levels of office in all 50 states. 
  • Build a broad coalition of candidates for Senate, U.S. House, state and local office who will stand with Warren in the fight against income inequality -- no matter what office she holds. 
  • Train the campaign staff and grassroots activists who can help Warren Wing Democrats achieve victory nationwide.

This could be a turning point in American history. It starts with Elizabeth Warren's leadership at the top of the ticket. But she isn't going to jump in the race unless DFA members like you step up and ask her to run.

Your voice can convince Sen. Warren to run for president. Let her know you want her to join the race and sign the petition: Run Warren Run! 

Thank you for stepping up to support DFA and MoveOn's plans for Run Warren Run. Now let's make history together.

- Jim

Jim Dean, Chair
Democracy for America

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Categories: Elections Endorsement


What I Want to Know...

The famous, "What I want to know" Speech at the California State Democratic Convention in 2003. WATCH:


All of us that work here at DFA were inspired one way or another by the innovative and historic Dean for America Presidential campaign in 2004, and we want to hear from you. What inspired you about his 2004 run? 

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Categories: Elections


Citizens United is about to Get Much Worse and No One is Talking About It

photo via Reuters

How much worse?

On Oct. 8, the Supreme Court is poised to take up a case that we all need to pay attention too. In McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Court will rule on whether aggregate contribution limits are constitutional.

The media buzz surrounding the case is minimal, but don’t be fooled: this attack on key campaign finance regulation could hugely increase the power of big money to decide elections.  McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission is yet another attempt from the GOP to drown out the voices of average Americans and unfairly tilt the scales— it’s Citizens United 2.0.

Again?! Who’s the culprit?

Plaintiff Shaun McCutcheon built his fortune as CEO of Coalmont, an engineering firm specializing in coal mining; eliminating net giving limits would allow McCutcheon to drown out average Americans while supporting the dirty energy agenda. And because the Republican National Committee so wants donors like McCutcheon to enjoy unfettered donation privileges, it has joined McCutcheon as an appellant on the case.

And they think this is fair?

In Citizens United, the Supreme Court eroded our first line of defense against big money by allowing unlimited donations to groups with political agendas as long as they don’t coordinate with candidates. Now McCutcheon, the RNC and their legal team want to eliminate our last line of defense — contributions directly to candidates and committees. A ruling against aggregate contribution limits would lay the groundwork for the elimination of candidate contribution limits, which would effectively eliminate the average American from the conversation.

Why we should pay close attention to this

McCutcheon’s lawyers have won before; lead counsel Jim Bopp was a driving force behind Citizens United. And we’ve already seen what Citizens United has done. One study revealed that the ruling had an immediate effect on funding in the 2012 election; of the $465 million spent on the presidential election by September, $365 million could be attributed to the Supreme Court’s ruling. Money in politics is already hard enough to fight without additional regulatory rollbacks.

A ruling against the FEC would further drown out the little guy — it’s difficult for politicians to focus on middle class voters when the rich can donate $93 million to a campaign. This case is less about McCutcheon’s gains than about the average American’s losses; money speaks volumes in politics, and it is profoundly unfair to allow the most affluent among us to exert virtually unlimited influence on our nation’s policymakers. We believe that everyone deserves an equal voice, even if they can’t donate to a campaign. After all, there’s a reason we’re not called Plutocracy for America.

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Categories: Big Business Campaign Finance Elections


A Right Wing Extremist or a DFA Member seeking solutions for her state?

While he may claim to be an average joe from Herndon the reality is Tom Rust has lost touch with voters in the 86th District of Virginia and isn’t doing his one job, representing the people. Instead of listening to the constituents of the district, Tom Rust has consistently disregarded local needs and voted along with Tea Party Republicans 97% of the time. As if his voting record is not bad enough, Tom has accepted campaign donations from Koch Enterprises, ALEC, and Tea Party Funder. This raises the question, exactly whose interests does Tom Rust represent in Richmond? The 86th District of Virginia has had enough of from Tom Rust. It is time for a progressive change in Richmond.

Luckily we have a simple solution: Jennifer Boysko.

The 86th District deserves a delegate who will stand up for their rights in Richmond and not the will of large impersonal corporations. That delegate is democratic candidate and longtime DFA member Jennifer Boysko.

Help Support Jennifer: Take Back The District From the Extreme Right. 

For the past five years Jennifer has been working diligently with elected officials, business owners, and residents of Herndon to find a viable solution to the transportation nightmare. She understands the positive impact expanding the metroline to Herndon would have on both the local businesses and individuals. Jennifers commitment to the Herndon doesn’t stop at transportation.As a mother of two and an active member of the PTA, Jennifer is committed to improving public education in Virginia. Realizing the negative impact teaching to statewide standardized tests has on students critical thinking ability, she advocates legislation aimed at increasing funding for the classroom and restoring teachers autonomy in the classroom. She’ll stand up for women’s rights and follow the law, not try to pass legislation that hurts low income women.

Help one of us in cleaning up Richmond.

When someone tells you to vote for Tom Rust. Just remember:


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Categories: Elections


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