Hold a Bake Sale for Democracy to raise money for our campaign to Take Back the White House |
President Bush presents himself as a man of the people, but a look at his fundraising shows otherwise. Over $95 million of his money has come in the form of bundles of $2000 checks from high-rolling CEOs and lobbyists.
So this week, we're holding a fundraiser that will highlight the contrast between Bush's big-money supporters and the hundreds of thousands of small donors on our side. On April 17th, MoveOn PAC will hold the world's largest bake sale -- an event which will show the voters and the media that while Bush has the millionaire vote locked up, we've got the grassroots on our side.
MoveOn members around the country will hold Bake Sales for Democracy in their neighborhoods to raise some dough, have some fun, and support our campaign to take back the White House and Congress and elect John Kerry. Sign up here to hold a bake sale:
You can organize your own bake sale and recruit your friends to help. You can also sign up to bake something and bring it to a sale near you, or just to come by and help out. While we're out selling cookies we'll also be registering voters and passing out flyers on John Kerry's positions and accomplishments.
And since a bit of competition makes things fun, we'll take a page from the Bush campaign: sell 100 items at your bake sale and be a MoveOn Pioneer. Sell 200 and be a MoveOn Ranger. Chip in and do your part:
To help with other bake sales in your area, go to http://action.moveonpac.org/bakesale/
Whether you prefer brownies or blondies, lemon meringue or apple pie, we can all agree that it's time for a change in our country's leadership.
P.S. Were sad to announce Zack Exleys departure from the MoveOn team. Zacks leaving to become Director of Online Communications and Organizing for the John Kerry campaign. As a master of online organizing, hell equip the most important presidential campaign in decades with an understanding of the powerful new techniques weve helped to pioneer. Its an exciting development, and one we heartily endorse even though its a big loss for our small team.
Federal election laws prohibit coordination between independent groups like MoveOn PAC and the Kerry campaign on media expenditures. And since MoveOn is in the hot seat for this election cycle, weve agreed with Zack that we wont communicate in any way until after the election. But that doesnt mean that we cant send him off in style. If you want to join us in thanking Zack and wishing him luck, you can send a message to him now at:
Bush's amount raised in $2000 checks from Campaign Finance Institute data from 2/29/04, http://www.cfinst.org/pr/pdf/Table1_Feb.pdf
MoveOn PAC retains final control over all funds raised for the PAC that are not earmarked to be passed on to a particular candidate.
Paid for by MoveOn PAC, P.O. Box 9218, Berkeley, CA 94709. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
In 2000, when candidate Bush stated that he would unite us, we had no idea how effective he'd be. Progressives are united as never before. On April 25th, MORE THAN A THOUSAND groups are co-sponsoring the biggest women's march in more than a decade -- the March for Women's Lives.
Will you join us at the march? To participate, or show your support, go to:
See the note below from the organizers for more details.
The March for Women's Lives is less than a month away - please sign up now.
March For Women Statement:
The months ahead will be a pivotal time for our nation as we speak out for democracy and against intolerance and discrimination. On April 25, over 1,000 women's rights, civil rights, and health care organizations are leading an historic "March for Women's Lives" in Washington, DC.
Women -- not the government -- should have the right to make the most deeply personal decisions about their health and their lives. Government's role should be to ensure -- not deny -- women's access to the full range of reproductive health services. Yet all these rights are under unrelenting attack.
Visit http://www.marchforwomen.org to get more information, sign up for the March, register your delegation, send a donation, alert your friends, or connect with your local March coalition to help fill buses, trains and planes with determined activists and united voices.
Help us Make History! Join the hundreds of thousands who will march to protect our right to birth control, emergency contraception, abortion, and all reproductive health services as well as our right to have children and plan our own families according to our own personal, religious and moral beliefs not those of a tyrannical minority. We will never go back to the days before Roe v. Wade when women died from illegal abortions or were forcibly sterilized. The March is not just for girls and women who have the option of choice, but also for those who live with the fears and devastation of poverty, war, intolerance and sexual violence that threatens their very being and for the men who care about us.
Will you join us at the march? To participate, or show your support, go to:
Thank you for speaking out and taking action!
The March is being organized jointly by seven organizations: American Civil Liberties Union, Black Women's Health Imperative, Feminist Majority Foundation, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National Organization for Women and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. More than 1000 organizations have signed on as co-sponsors.
Are you involved in a local or national non-profit or public interest organization? As a leader or board director or member? Please read this message carefully, because your organization could be facing a serious threat.
The Republican National Committee is pressing the Federal Election Commission ("FEC") to issue new rules that would cripple groups that dare to communicate with the public in any way critical of President Bush or members of Congress. Incredibly, the FEC has just issued -- for public comment -- proposed rules that would do just that. Any kind of non-profit -- conservative, progressive, labor, religious, secular, social service, charitable, educational, civic participation, issue-oriented, large, and small -- could be affected by these rules.
By the way, one thing FEC's proposed rules do not affect is the donations you may have made in the past or may make now to MoveOn.org or to the MoveOn.org Voter Fund. They are aimed at activist non-profit groups, not donors.
Operatives in Washington are displaying a terrifying disregard for the values of free speech and openness which underlie our democracy. Essentially, they are willing to pay any price to stop criticism of Bush administration policy.
We've attached materials below to help you make a public comment to the FEC before the comment period ends on APRIL 9th. Your comment could be very important, because normally the FEC doesn't get much public feedback.
Public comments to the FEC are encouraged by email at
Comments should be addressed to Ms. Mai T. Dinh, Acting Assistant General Counsel, and must include the full name, electronic mail address, and postal service address of the commenter.
More details can be found at:
We'd love to see a copy of your public comment. Please email us a copy at FECcomment@moveon.org.
Whether or not you're with a non-profit, we also suggest you ask your representatives to write a letter to the FEC opposing the rule change.
Some key points:
- Campaign finance reform was not meant to gag public interest organizations.
- Political operatives are trying to silence opposition to Bush policy.
- The Federal Election Commission has no legal right to treat non-profit interest groups as political committees. Congress and the courts have specifically considered and rejected such regulation.
You can reach your representatives at:
Senator Mitch McConnell
Senator Jim Bunning
Congressman Ed Whitfield
Please let us know you're calling, at:
In a non-election year, this kind of administrative overreach would never find support. It goes far beyond any existing law or precedent. It is a serious threat to the fundamental checks and balances in our system. But because of an unholy alliance between a few campaign reform groups and GOP partisans, this rule change could actually happen if we don't act now.
I've attached more details below, prepared by our attorneys and by the FEC Working Group -- a group of more than 500 respected non-profit organizations.
If you run a non-profit, don't assume this change doesn't apply to you. First check out the EXAMPLES OF SPECIFIC CONSEQUENCES FOR NONPROFIT GROUPS section below. It's outrageous.
EXAMPLES OF SPECIFIC CONSEQUENCES FOR NONPROFIT GROUPS
Under the proposed rules, nonprofit organizations that advocate for cancer research, gun and abortion restrictions or rights, fiscal discipline, tax reform, poverty issues, immigration reform, the environment, or civil rights or liberties - all these organizations could be transformed into political committees if they criticize or commend members of Congress or the President based on their official actions or policy positions.
Such changes would cripple the ability of groups to raise and spend funds in pursuit of their mission and could be so ruinous that organizations would be forced to back away from meaningful conversations about public policies that affect millions of Americans.
If the proposed rules were adopted, the following organizations would be treated as federal political committees and therefore could not receive grants from any corporation, even an incorporated nonprofit foundation, from any union, or from any individual in excess of $5,000 per year:
- A 501(c)(4) gun rights organization that spends $50,000 on ads at any time during this election year criticizing any legislator, who also happens to be a federal candidate, for his or her position on gun control measures.
- A "good government" organization [§501(c)(3)] that spends more than $50,000 to research and publish a report criticizing several members of the House of Representatives for taking an all-expense trip to the Bahamas as guests of the hotel industry.
- A fund [§527] created by a tax reform organization to provide information to the public regarding federal candidates' voting records on budget issues.
- A civil rights organization [§501(c)(3) or §501(c)(4)] that spends more than $50,000 to conduct non-partisan voter registration activities in Hispanic and African-American communities after July 5, 2004.
- An organization devoted to the environment that spends more than $50,000 on communications opposing oil drilling in the Arctic and identifying specific Members of Congress as supporters of the legislation, if those Members are running for re-election.
- A civic organization [§501(c)(6)] that spends $50,000 during 2004 to send letters to all registered voters in the community urging them to vote on November 2, 2004 because "it is your civic duty."
Other potential ramifications include the following situations:
- A religious organization that publishes an election-year legislative report card covering all members of Congress on a broad range of issues would be unable to accept more than $5,000 from any individual donor if the report indicated whether specific votes were good or bad.
- A 501(c)(3) organization that primarily encourages voter registration and voting among young people will be required to re-create itself as a federal PAC.
- A 501(c)(4) pro-life group that accepts contributions from local businesses would break the law by using its general funds to pay for any communications critical of an incumbent Senator's position on abortion rights after the Senator had officially declared himself for reelection more than a year before the next election.
- A 501(c)(3) civil rights group that has been designated as a political committee can no longer hold its annual fundraiser at a corporate-donated facility, and it must refuse donations or grants from donors that have already given $5,000 for that year.
BRIEFING ON THE PROPOSED RULE CHANGES
Under federal campaign finance laws, federal "political committees" must register and file reports with the FEC and can accept contributions only from individual persons (and other federal committees), and only up to $5,000 per year from any one donor ("hard money"). The FEC is now proposing to redefine "political committee" to include any group that:
1. Spends more than $1,000 this year on nonpartisan voter registration or get out the vote activity or on any ad, mailing or phone bank that "promotes, supports, attacks or opposes" any federal candidate; and
2. Supposedly has a "major purpose" of election of a federal candidate as shown by:
(a) Saying anything in its press releases, materials, website, etc. that might lead regulators to conclude that the group's "major purpose" is to influence the election of any federal candidate; or
(b) Spending more than $50,000 this year or in any of the last 4 years for any nonpartisan voter registration or get out the vote program, or on any public communication that "promotes, supports, attacks or opposes" any federal candidate.
What's more, any group that gets turned into a federal "political committee" under these new rules has to shut down all its communications critical of President Bush (or any other federal candidate) until it sets up "federal" and "non-federal" accounts; and raises enough hard money contributions to "repay" the federal account for the amounts spent on all those communications since the beginning of 2003.
These proposed rules would apply to all types of groups: 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, 501(c)(4) advocacy organizations, labor unions, trade associations and non-federal political committees and organizations (so-called "527" groups, as well as state PACs, local political clubs, etc.).
The new rules, including those that apply to voter engagement, cover all types of communications -- not just broadcast TV or radio ads -- but messages in any form, such as print ads, mailings, phone banks, email alerts like this one, websites, leaflets, speeches, posters, tabling, even knocking on doors.
The FEC will hold a public hearing on April 14 & 15. Written comments are due by April 5 if the group wants to testify at that hearing; otherwise, by April 9. The FEC plans to make its final decision on these proposed rules by mid-May and they could go into effect as early as July, right in the middle of the election year, potentially retroactive to January 2003.
It's clear that these rules would immediately silence thousands of groups, of all types, who have raised questions and criticisms of any kind about the Bush Administration, its record and its policies.
SOME TALKING POINTS
- The FEC should not change the rules for nonprofit advocacy in the middle of an election year, especially in ways that Congress already considered and rejected. Implementing these changes now would go far beyond what Congress decided and the Supreme Court upheld.
- These rules would shut down the legitimate activities of nonprofit organizations of all kinds that the FEC has no authority at all to regulate.
- Nothing in the McCain-Feingold campaign reform law or the Supreme Court's decision upholding it provides any basis for these rules. That law is only about banning federal candidates from using unregulated contributions ("soft money"), and banning political parties from doing so, because of their close relationship to those candidates. It's clear that, with one exception relating to running broadcast ads close to an election, the new law wasn't supposed to change what independent nonprofit interest groups can do, including political organizations (527's) that have never before been subject to regulation by the FEC.
- The FEC can't fix the problems with these proposed rules just by imposing new burdens on section 527 groups. They do important issue education and advocacy as well as voter mobilization. And Congress clearly decided to require those groups to fully and publicly disclose their finances, through the IRS and state agencies, not to restrict their independent activities and speech. The FEC has no authority to go further.
- In the McConnell opinion upholding McCain-Feingold, the U.S. Supreme Court clearly stated that the law's limits on unregulated corporate, union and large individual contributions apply to political parties and not interest groups. Congress specifically considered regulating 527 organization three times in the last several years - twice through the Internal Revenue Code and once during the BCRA debate - and did not subject them to McCain-Feingold.
- The FEC should not, in a few weeks, tear up the fabric of tax-exempt law that has existed for decades and under which thousands of nonprofit groups have structured their activities and their governance. The Internal Revenue Code already prohibits 501(c)(3) charities from intervening in political candidate campaigns, and IRS rules for other 501(c) groups prohibit them from ever having a primary purpose to influence any candidate elections -- federal, state, or local.
- As an example of how seriously the new FEC rules contradict the IRS political and lobbying rules for nonprofits, consider this: Under the 1976 public charity lobbying law, a 501(c)(3) group with a $1.5 million annual budget can spend $56,250 on grassroots lobbying, including criticism of a federal incumbent candidate in the course of lobbying on a specific bill. That same action under the new FEC rules would cause the charity to be regulated as a federal political committee, with devastating impact on its finances and perhaps even loss of its tax-exempt status.
- The chilling effect of the proposed rules on free speech cannot be overstated. Merely expressing an opinion about an officeholder's policies could turn a nonprofit group OVERNIGHT into a federally regulated political committee with crippling fund-raising restrictions.
- Under the most draconian proposal, the FEC would "look back" at a nonprofit group's activities over the past four years - before McCain-Feingold was ever passed and the FEC ever proposed these rules - to determine whether a group's activities qualify it as a federal political committee. If so, the FEC would require a group to raise hard money to repay prior expenses that are now subject to the new rules. Further work would be halted until debts to the "old" organization were repaid. This rule would jeopardize the survival of many groups.
- The 4 year "look back" rule would cause a nonprofit group that criticized or praised the policies of Bush, Cheney, McCain, or Gore in 2000, or any Congressional incumbent candidate in 2000 or 2002, to be classified as a political committee now, even though the group has not done so since then. This severely violates our constitutional guarantees of due process.
- These changes would impoverish political debate and could act as a de facto "gag rule" on public policy advocacy. They would insulate public officials from substantive criticism for their positions on policy issues. They would actually diminish civic participation in government rather than strengthen it. This would be exactly the opposite result intended by most supporters of campaign finance reform.
- The FEC's proposed rule changes would dramatically impair vigorous debate about important national issues. It would hurt nonprofit groups across the political spectrum and restrict First Amendment freedoms in ways that are unhealthy for our democracy.
- Any kind of nonprofit -- conservative, liberal, labor, religious, secular, social service, charitable, educational, civic participation, issue-oriented, large, and small -- could be affected by these rules. A vast number would be essentially silenced on the issues that define them, whether they are organized as 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), or 527 organizations.
- Already, more than five hundred nonprofit organizations - including many that supported McCain-Feingold like ourselves - have voiced their opposition to the FEC's efforts to restrict advocacy in the name of campaign finance reform.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Resources on FEC Proposed Rule Changes Threatening Nonprofit Advocacy
FEC Working Group
From two prominent reform organizations:
Soft Money and the FEC
Public Campaign Statement regarding FEC Draft Advisory Opinion 2003-37
One of the important things we'll do this year is raise money, not just
through our website but through local events around the country. We
have a new idea for a fundraiser rarely seen in politics: bake sales for
democracy. We'd love your feedback on this idea to figure out if it
would work. Please take 1 minute to answer this 5-question survey:
http://www.moveonpac.org/bakesale_survey.html?id=2530-3907592-Q132PnFzUPMuCzm.GyI30QWe really appreciate your input. Thank you.
The House of Representatives is about to vote on its version of
President Bush's budget. This version makes even deeper cuts in critical
domestic spending than President Bush proposed.
You might have heard President Bush say he's proposing more money for
things like education and medical research. But once again, he's saying
one thing and doing another.
This budget actually offers less money for education, veterans, medical
research, and the elderly over the next five years. And it caps
spending in these areas, so the impact will be long-term and difficult to
Your Representative, Ed Whitfield, can stop it -- he's a key swing vote
on this -- but he needs to hear from you right away. The vote
is expected today, Wednesday, March 24th.
Rep. Whitfield really could make the difference. Please call now:
Representative Ed Whitfield
Be sure the staff members know you're a consitituent, then urge your
"Please OPPOSE the budget."
If you have time, give them some reasons why. A few ideas are below.
Please let us know you're calling, at:
Bush told us his economic policy, mainly consisting of tax cuts, would
help average Americans. But the tax cuts have not created new jobs for
Americans who need them. Bush is still on track to becoming the first
President since Herbert Hoover to preside over a net loss of jobs
during his Administration.
Instead of creating jobs, Bush's economic policies have created the
biggest budget deficit in history. And that deficit, a direct result of
the tax cuts, will force cuts in vital programs that millions of us
Here are just a few of the things that would likely happen by 2009
under Bush's budget:
* 1.3 million children who were promised after school programs would
not get them. 
* 450,000 fewer women and children would be able to get nutritional
* Funding for the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and
community health centers would be cut by 11 percent, or $5.6 billion. 
* By 2009, 500,000 veterans would have to pay $2 billion more for
health care in additional co-payments and enrollment fees. 
* The Bush budget would also result in about 5,000 fewer inspections
to detect violations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and other
key environmental laws. 
The version of the budget that the House of Representatives will vote
on tomorrow calls for even deeper cuts in some of these programs.
President Bush wants to continue to reduce taxes paid by the wealthiest
Americans -- dividend and estate taxes -- while raising taxes on the
working poor and eliminating tax breaks for the middle class.
Bush and his friends in Congress are saying we have to cut back on
education, veterans assistance, and the environment in order to reduce the
deficit. But in reality, the costs of the Bush tax cuts outweigh the
savings from cutting these programs -- so cumulative deficits will grow,
not shrink, by $200 billion over the next 5 years. 
The massive tax cuts passed over the past three years of the Bush
administration have diverted billions of dollars from health care,
education, children, the working poor, law enforcement, agriculture, and the
environment -- all to give tax breaks to millionaires.
Please call your Representative now. Bush's economic policy failures
should not be locked in with new budget rules that will be paid for by
generations to come.
http://www.housedemocrats.gov/news/librarydetail.cfm?library_content_id=145&levelid=301&LibraryContentType=6 http://www.cbpp.org/2-27-04bud2.pdf http://www.cbpp.org/2-27-04bud2.pdf
As you may have heard, Richard Clarke, a former counter-terrorism advisor to Bush, and a registered Republican who has worked in every administration since Reagan, has exposed Bush's mishandling of 9/11 and the war on Iraq.1 In his book "Against All Enemies," Clarke does an amazing job of presenting the facts and connecting the dots. Instead of refuting Clarke's claims, the Bush Administration has launched a campaign of character assassination, hoping that the story will just go away.2
We're committed to stopping that from happening by making sure that the American public hears Clarke's extraordinary comments. Please help launch a hard-hitting campaign to get Clarke's message out there. You can see a rough story board of our first ad and donate to get it on the air at:
When the World Trade Center was hit on the morning of 9/11, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice dubbed Richard Clarke, the administration's top counter-terrorism official, "crisis manager."3 As the White House, which was thought to be the next target, was evacuated, Clarke heroically stayed on, coordinating the government's response from the Situation Room in the West Wing.4
Clarke is viewed by colleagues as a hawk, a "true believer" who doesn't play partisan politics.5 So the shocking facts he revealed about the Bush administration's approach to terrorism before 9/11 and its response after must be taken seriously. On Sunday, Clarke told reporters that the President and Defense Secretary downgraded counter-terrorism and ignored repeated warnings about an al Qaeda attack prior to 9/11. And, perhaps even more explosive, Clarke revealed that President Bush and senior administration officials wanted to bomb Iraq after 9/11 even though they knew that it had no connection to al Qaeda, and that al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks.6
Already, the White House spin machine is in overdrive. Since they can't rebut Clarke's facts -- which independent witnesses have confirmed7 -- they're trying to paint him as an angry partisan, even though he's a Republican. But Clarke's words remain a searing indictment of the Bush Administration's campaign against terrorism. Together, if we act today, we can beat back the spin by widely airing a TV ad which gets these uniquely credible comments directly to TV viewers.
You can view a story board of the ad and help us get it on the air now at:
In his own words, here are some of Clarke's revelations:
- Clarke repeatedly warned the Bush Administration about attacks from al Qaeda, starting in the first days of Bush's term. "But on January 24th, 2001, I wrote a memo to Condoleezza Rice asking for, urgently -- underlined urgently -- a Cabinet-level meeting to deal with the impending al Qaeda attack. And that urgent memo-- wasn't acted on."8 According to another Bush administration security official, Clarke "was the guy pushing hardest, saying again and again that something big was going to happen, including possibly here in the U.S." The official added that Clarke was likely sidelined because he had served in the previous (Clinton) administration.9
- In face-to-face meetings, CIA Director George Tenet warned President Bush repeatedly in the months before 9/11 that an attack was coming. According to Clarke, Tenet told the President that "A major al-Qaeda attack is going to happen against the United States somewhere in the world in the weeks and months ahead."10
- On September 12, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld pushed to bomb Iraq even though they knew that al Qaeda was in Afghanistan. "Rumsfeld was saying that we needed to bomb Iraq," Clarke said. "And we all said ... no, no. Al-Qaeda is in Afghanistan. We need to bomb Afghanistan. And Rumsfeld said there aren't any good targets in Afghanistan. And there are lots of good targets in Iraq. I said, 'Well, there are lots of good targets in lots of places, but Iraq had nothing to do with it.'"11
- Also on September 12, 2001, President Bush personally pushed Clarke to find evidence that Iraq was behind the attacks. From the New York Times: "'I want you, as soon as you can, to go back over everything, everything,' Mr. Clarke writes that Mr. Bush told him. 'See if Saddam did this. See if he's linked in any way.' When Mr. Clarke protested that the culprit was Al Qaeda, not Iraq, Mr. Bush testily ordered him, he writes, to 'look into Iraq, Saddam,' and then left the room."12
- The Bush Administration knew from the beginning that there was no connection between Iraq and 9/11, but created the misperception in order to push their policy goals. "[Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush] did know better. They did know better. They did know better. We told them, the CIA told them, the FBI told them. They did know better. And the tragedy here is that Americans went to their death in Iraq thinking that they were avenging September 11th, when Iraq had nothing to do with September 11th. I think for a commander-in-chief and a vice president to allow that to happen is unconscionable."13
- The war on Iraq has increased the danger of terrorism. In his book, he writes that shifting from al Qaeda to Iraq "launched an unnecessary and costly war in Iraq that strengthened the fundamentalist, radical Islamic terrorist movement worldwide."14
It's been well reported that President Bush intends to run on his record as a wartime President. Clarke's revelations show how deeply flawed that record is. But if we don't act fast, the public may not have a chance to evaluate the facts for themselves -- the story could go away quickly. With an ad, we can take Clarke's comments directly to the public. Can you help? Check out the script and donate whatever you can to get this story out there at:
(By the way, if we're unable to use your contribution for the ad you specify, either because of oversubscription or for another unforeseen reason, it is our policy to use your contribution for other advertising, public relations, and advocacy activities.)
Richard Clarke had an intimate view -- perhaps the best view -- of how the Bush Administration responded to terrorism. So we should all listen carefully when he says:
"Frankly, I find it outrageous that the president is running for re-election on the grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism. He ignored it. He ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop 9/11. Maybe. We'll never know. . . I think the way he has responded to al-Qaeda, both before 9/11 by doing nothing, and by what he's done after 9/11 has made us less safe, absolutely. I think he's done a terrible job on the war against terrorism."15
Together, we can make sure every American knows what President Bush's true record on terrorism really is.
P.S. Salon has recently published a new interview with Clarke. You can read it at:
P.P.S. As the Administration strikes back, our friends at the Center for American Progress have put together an excellent rebuttal to their claims. Here's an example:
CLAIM #1: "Richard Clarke had plenty of opportunities to tell us in the administration that he thought the war on terrorism was moving in the wrong direction and he chose not to." -- National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04
FACT: Clarke sent a memo to Rice principals on 1/24/01 marked "urgent" asking for a Cabinet-level meeting to deal with an impending Al Qaeda attack. The White House acknowledges this, but says "principals did not need to have a formal meeting to discuss the threat." No meeting occurred until one week before 9/11. -- White House Press Release, 3/21/04
For the whole document, go to:
1. "Dissent from within on Iraq war," Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/24/04 (Registration required)
2. "Bush Aides Blast Ex-Terror Chief," CBS News, 3/22/04
3. "The book on Richard Clarke," Washington Post, 3/23/04
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16192-2004Mar22.html (Registration required)
4. "Clarke's Take On Terror," CBS, 3/21/04
5. See 3, above.
6. "60 Minutes" interview; see 4, above.
7. "Ex-Bush Aide Sets Off Debate as 9/11 Hearing Opens," New York Times, 3/23/04
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/23/politics/23CLAR.html?hp (Registration required)
8. "60 Minutes" interview; see 4, above.
9. See 7, above.
10. "60 Minutes" interview; see 4, above.
11. "Sept. 11: Before And After," CBS News, 3/20/04
12. "Excerpts from 'Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror' by Richard A. Clarke," posted on NYTimes.com, 3/23/04
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/23/politics/23CWOR.html (Registration required)
13. "60 Minutes" interview; see 4, above.
14. "Memoir Criticizes Bush 9/11 Response," Washington Post, 3/22/04
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A13607-2004Mar21.html (Registration required)
15. "60 Minutes" interview; see 4, above.
MoveOn works for the same reason democracy does: when lots of people work together, they generate great ideas and accomplish great goals. That's why we need your help.
To get direction from our members, we have set up an online forum. There, you can share your ideas and goals for MoveOn and our nation. Comments are read and rated by other members and the best ideas float to the top. These help set MoveOn's course.
Take a few moments today to contribute to the Great Goals forum.
Even if there's nothing on your mind, come read what others are saying and help us find the ideas we should pursue:
Thanks for strengthening democracy by participating in these important conversations!
Several weeks ago, Tom Cole, a Republican Congressman in Oklahoma spoke to supporters about the upcoming election. "If George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election," he told them. Later, he said that a vote against Bush was like a vote for Adolf Hitler.
These hateful and outrageous remarks - which neither the RNC nor the Bush/Cheney campaign will repudiate -- are representative of the negative campaign being rolled out against John Kerry. Bush is now airing the first negative ads of the season, which according to nonpartisan monitors seriously misled viewers about Kerry's record.
In response, Senator Kerry is taking the high road. He's asked President Bush to engage in a series of monthly debates on the country's future -- debates on the real substance of the issues that face us. It's a simple proposal that could elevate the campaign and truly educate the country about the positions and records of each candidate. But President Bush's campaign brushed off the suggestion with a snide remark.
Today, MoveOn members and I are asking President Bush to stand up and face a real debate. You can join our petition asking President Bush to debate Kerry on the future of our country at:
Are you a Sierra Club member?
The future of the Sierra Club is at stake.
Outsiders are trying to take over the Club by placing stealth
candidates on the Club's board ballot this year. This is driven
by anti-immigration activists, and their tactics are underhanded --
they aren't declaring their real issue positions to members.
They hope that low participation and confusion will allow them
to stack the board of directors.
You can stop this, but you must vote now in the Sierra Club board
election. You probably have already received the ballot in the mail.
We've attached below an outreach from Groundswell Sierra -- a
volunteer network of Sierra Club members working to defeat this
threat. This outreach includes a list of endorsed candidates.
We recommending printing this email and having it on hand as you
fill out your ballot.
If you'd like more information on this threat, go to:
-Carrie, Joan, Noah, Peter, and Wes
The MoveOn.org team
Tuesday, March 18th, 2004
P.S. You won't be hearing from the Sierra Club directly about
this underhanded maneuver by anti-immigration activists. Sierra Club
staff cannot speak out about board elections. It's up to us.
You can review an article on this attempted takeover by former
Sierra Club President, Adam Werbach, at:
Anti-immigration coalition seeks control of Sierra Club
By Adam Werbach | 3.9.04
"In 1998 the membership voted overwhelmingly to stay out of the
(immigration) issue, restating that the most effective way to deal
with the impact of population on the planet is to reduce levels
of American waste and to raise the global status of women."
P.P.S. You can vote on line, but only with your paper ballot
in hand. For more information:
ACTION ALERT FROM GROUNDSWELL SIERRA:
The Sierra Club has been targeted for a hostile takeover by
anti-immigration, animal rights and other groups who are running
petition candidates with no Sierra Club experience for the Board
of Directors. Don't take our word for it: The Los Angeles Times,
Santa Fe New Mexican, Denver Post, and Philadelphia Inquirer
have all warned that the threat is serious. That's why Groundswell
Sierra - a diverse group of Sierra Club volunteers who are working
to defend the Sierra Club - is asking you to support five Nominating
Committee-recommended candidates who have over 75 years of
collective experience as Sierra Club grassroots activists and will
put their loyalty to the Sierra Club above their personal agendas:
NICK AUMEN, Everglades restoration scientist and former
Sierra Club Treasurer and Vice President for Conservation.
DAVE KARPF, Recent Director of Sierra Student Coalition,
and Chair of the Sierra Club's Training and national EPEC
JAN O'CONNELL, Sierra Club Treasurer, former Vice
President for Organizational Effectiveness, fundraiser in
the Sierra Club's beat-Bush effort.
SANJAY RANCHOD, delegate to the U.N. Kyoto global
warming negotiations and Chair of the Sierra Club's
Sustainable Planet Strategy Team.
LISA RENSTROM, leader of the Harvard project to
strengthen the Sierra Club's groups and chapters, former
Director, former Foundation Trustee, and former Chair of
the Sierra Club's fundraising efforts.
Nick, Dave, Jan, Sanjay, and Lisa have brought experience and
dedicated leadership to the Sierra Club. They have led our
conservation priority campaigns, the Sierra Club's EPEC program,
help strengthen the Sierra Club's financial health, run the Sierra
Student Coalition, and represented the Sierra Club at UN conferences
on the Kyoto accord on global warming. (For information on these
candidates, go to our website, http://www.groundswellsierra.org )
At a time when the Sierra Club's own democratic process is being
used against us, when our agenda and assets are targeted for takeover
by outsiders, we are giving Nick, Dave, Jan, Sanjay, and Lisa our
unqualified support. These are trusted leaders who have shown that
they value the Club's mission and grassroots culture, and who believe
only a united and strong Sierra Club can stop George Bush's assaults
on our air, water, wild lands and wildlife.
Finally, we would be remiss if did not acknowledge the invaluable
contributions former Board Directors Chad Hanson, Michael Dorsey
and Ed Dobson have made to the Sierra Club's conservation work,
and we wish them well in this election.
Please share this email with as many of your friends and other
Sierra Club members as you can. Urge them to visit our website
( http://www.groundswellsierra.org ),
and when their ballots arrive in early March, please VOTE!
There's a lot at stake. The following quotes explain why.
"We're only three directors away from controlling the board.
And, once we get three more directors elected...[We'll] change the
entire agenda of that organization."
-- Paul Watson, Sierra Club Director and animal rights activist
at the center of the take over effort.
"If they succeed. Our integrity, our credibility and our
reputation will be severely damaged and we will be rendered less
effective on all the issues our members care about."
-- Ross Vincent, long time Sierra Club activist.
"Fighting over immigration policy nearly destroyed the Sierra
Club's effectiveness once; it cannot be allowed to happen again by
electing people to the board whose purpose is to overthrow its
established policies. We should not be battling each other when
our main task must be to end the worst administration in the history
of our nation."
-- Paul Ehrlich, Bing Professor of Population Studies,
"Sierra Club has an essential role and voice in the debate over
the health of our environment. It is crucial that this voice and
leadership are maintained and strengthened during these
--Carol Browner, Chair of National Audubon Society, former
EPA Administrator, 1993-2001.
"Now more than ever we need a strong Sierra Club. With the
Bush administration's assault on the environment, we need directors
who care about its 112- year mission. Please support these five
--Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Environmentalist and NRDC
Learn more: http://www.groundswellsierra.org
** PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO YOUR SIERRA CLUB MEMBER FRIENDS **
By circulating this to your personal contacts, you can help support
the Sierra Club's democratic culture against outsider takeover.
Please don't spam; spam works against us.
Last week, you and tens of thousands of others pledged an hour a week or more to defeat Bush. The Bush campaign just handed us an urgent task and we're asking you to spend a half an hour on it this week.
Yesterday, Bush launched the first attack ads of the general election. Both ads contain blatant and outrageous lies about the Bush and Kerry records. Bush has been on the defensive for several weeks over jobs, Iraq, corruption and questions of personal integrity. And these ads are a desperate attempt to get the upper hand by any means necessary -- even by telling lies in ads personally authorized by the president. Candidates are expected to characterize their opponents' records and proposals in the worst light possible. But outright lying is not acceptable.
Today, we're asking you to write a letter to the editor of your local paper to set the record straight.
Below, I've listed the lies from the ads. In your letters you may want to choose one or two to debunk. But it's just as important to speak against this practice of lying and misleading itself. Before you write your letter, watch the new ads at www.georgewbush.com and read our tips for writing an effective letter the editor below. Please let us know when you've sent your letter by going to:
Attack Ad: "100 DAYS"
Lie #1: John Kerry will raise taxes by $900 billion in his first 100 days.
The Truth: John Kerry has promised to lower taxes on working families, not raise them. He will repeal the Bush tax cut only for families earning $200,000 or more, simply returning those families' taxes to pre-Bush rates. He will close corporate tax loop holes. And he will provide additional tax cuts to working families to help with health care costs which have increased dramatically under Bush. Click here for more.
Lie #2: John Kerry wants to weaken the Patriot Act used to arrest terrorists and protect America.
The Truth: John Kerry wants to strengthen the parts of the Patriot Act that actually fight terrorism, such as intelligence information sharing. However, he believes there may be some parts of the Act that take away our freedom without providing any protection against terrorism, and that those parts should be reviewed. We need a president who knows that standing up for freedom means standing against terrorism. Click here for more.
Attack Ad: "FORWARD"
Lie: "We can continue to go forward to work to create new jobs...and decrease the cost of health care."
The Truth: America has lost 2.4 million jobs since the Bush recession began in March 2001. [Source: Economic Policy Institute] Bush has tried the same remedy for three years: massive tax cuts for the rich, and for three years that remedy has failed. Meanwhile, health care costs have increased by an average of $793 since Bush took office -- a stunning 49 percent increase -- according to a survey of Employer Health Benefits by the Kaiser Family Foundation. [www.kff.org]
Here are a few tips on writing an effective letter:
In addition to debunking the lies about, here are two talking points you can work into your letter:
- Brevity is the soul of wit.
- The key to publication is to respond to something specific you've seen in the newspaper -- such as a story Bush's new attack ads.
- Be sure to include your name and address, and especially your phone number when submitting your letter. Editors need to call you to verify authorship before they can print your letter. They don't print your phone number.
- Your newspaper's letters page should give you an email address or fax number to use, or you can try this website: http://congress.org/congressorg/dbq/media/
- Characterizing an opponent's record and ideas in the worst light possible is par for the course in politics, but blatant lies are not to be tolerated.
- The press has a responsibility to hold politicians accountable when they campaign on baseless lies. If the press fails to do that, then they are just stenographers in the game of he-said-she-said. In that environment, politics is a fast race to the bottom.
Last month, President Bush's Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, called America's largest teachers' union a "terrorist organization." Why? Because the union had the gall to insist that President Bush live up to his own promises to adequately fund education. Please sign our petition demanding that President Bush fire Secretary Paige.
This is typical behavior for the Bush administration. It says one thing - "no child left behind" and does another - under-funding its promises to our schools by $9.4 billion in its latest budget proposal. And when people dare to disagree with its policies, it questions their patriotism or labels them terrorists.
Secretary Paige uses insult to defend the indefensible. Not only did the president break his promise to fund the reforms, his current budget calls for cuts in support for schools over the next five years. And he still wants to take billions from public schools to pay for private school vouchers. So Paige resorts to slurs: even in his supposed apology, he dismissed teachers' growing concerns as "obstructionist scare tactics."
We teach our kids that name calling is not the right way to win an argument - in fact, its usually a sign that you don't have the facts on your side. Making our schools better is a tough job. We need a Secretary of Education who sees teachers and their representatives as partners in this effort rather than as enemies. Join us in calling on President Bush to find a better person for the job.
We thank the Campaign for America's Future for co-sponsoring this campaign with us. Please sign on today.
Join the resistance!
I hear we are going to hit close to $3.00 a gallon by the summer. Want gasoline prices to come down? We need to take some intelligent, unitedaction. Phillip Hollsworth, offered this good idea: This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the "don't buy gas on a certain day" campaign that was going around last April or May! The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn't continue to "hurt" ourselves by refusing to buy gas.
It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them. BUT, whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can really work. Please read it and join with us!
By now you're probably thinking gasoline priced at about $1.50 is super cheap. Me too! It is currently $1.97 for regular unleaded in my town. Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost! of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at $1.50- $1.75, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the marketplace....not sellers. With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we hit someone in the pocketbook by not purchasing their gas!
And we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves. How? Since we all rely on our cars, we can't just stop buying gas. But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together to force a price war.
Here's the idea: For the rest of this year, DON'T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL. If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit. But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of Exxon and Mobil gas buyers. It's really simple to do!! Now, don't whimp out on me at this point...keep
reading and I'll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people!!
I am sending this note to about thirty people. If each of you send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300) ... and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000)...and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers! If those three million get excited and ! pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed it..... THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!!
Again, all You have to do is send this to 10 people. That's all. (If you don't understand how we can reach 300 million and all you have to do is send this to 10 people... Well, let's face it, you just aren't a mathematician. But I am ... so trust me on this one.) How long would all that take? If each of us sends this e-mail out to ten more people within one day of receipt, all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the next 8 days!!! I'll bet you didn't think you and I had that much potential, did you! Acting together we can make a difference.
If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on. PLEASE HOLD OUT UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE $1.30 RANGE AND KEEP THEM DOWN. THIS CAN REALLY WORK.
Kerry Lyle, Director, Research Coordinator Interventional Cardiology Research Laboratories
Division of Cardiovascular Diseases
932 Ziegler Research Bldg
703 South 19th Street
University of Alabama @ B'ham
Birmingham, Al 35294-0007
Phone: (205) 934-6163
Fax: (205) 934-7360
|Today, we're launching our major campaign to defeat George Bush. Are you in? Pledge your support: |
On Thursday, President Bush will go on the air with his first campaign ads -- a $3.6 million blitz.
This is it, folks -- the fight is on. So today, we're launching the MoveOn PAC and our major campaign to beat President Bush in the fall election. We'd like to know if we can count on your help and how much time and energy you're willing to give to the cause.
You can join the campaign now at:
As a member of the campaign to take back the White House, we'll send you special emails that identify ways in which you can help swing the election -- from writing post cards to voters in swing states to distributing flyers to holding house parties for the nominee. We're asking for a committment of a certain number of hours per week on average -- if you don't have time to help out one week, you can make it up another.
We'll need MoveOn members to pledge over 1,000,000 hours between now and November 2nd to beat George Bush and take back our country. It's a big number, but if we each pledge just a few hours a week, we'll far exceed it. We've posted a running tally of the hours pledged on the page above.
President Bush has already raised hundreds of millions for his bid. Our great hope is in our collective power to get out the vote. We'll work via the Internet, the telephone, and face-to-face conversations with voters. And we'll take back our democracy, city by city, block by block, and voter by voter.
It's clear that our nation needs new leadership. We can make that a reality if we work together. Join the growing movement to beat George Bush at:
|Tell the EPA to protect our children from harmful mercury pollution by clicking the button below. |
|Then please ask your friends to join as well.|
Under energy industry pressure, President Bushs EPA plans to defer controls on mercury emissions by power plants for at least a decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 4.9 million women of childbearing age in the U.S. -- that's 8 percent -- have unsafe levels of mercury in their blood. The people hit hardest will be new-born infants -- every year over 630,000 infants are born with levels of mercury in their blood so high they can cause brain damage.
We have just a few weeks to get public comments to the EPA on this plan to defer mercury controls. It's time to tell the EPA and the White House that our kids come first. You can submit your comment by clicking this link:
From a public health standpoint, the EPA's new policy is a disaster. But for Bush's energy industry allies, who are responsible for most mercury pollution, it's yet another bonanza. Increased pollution levels will allow these companies to save millions, while their top managers keep writing big campaign checks to support George W. Bush -- it's a pretty sick cycle.
On January 30th, the EPA announced its intention to weaken its own earlier proposal that would have required a 90 percent reduction in mercury pollution by power plants by 2008. The new proposal doesn't force every power plant to limit mercury pollution, leaving many communities vulnerable. It would also delay implementation of even these weaker requirements until 2018, leaving a whole new generation of kids needlessly at risk.
The first responsibility of the Bush administration and the EPA is to protect our nation's most vulnerable citizens. Time and again, we've seen the Bush administration try to weaken environmental protections, starting with its proposal to roll back stricter limits on arsenic in our drinking water. We must boost the visibility of the mercury issue so that, as with arsenic, the Bush administration is shamed into adopting a more rigorous standard.
Please join our effort to protect our environment and our children from the debilitating effects of mercury poisoning. Your comments will bolster the efforts of MoveOn members and other concerned people who are showing up today at public hearings on this issue in Chicago, Philadelphia and Raleigh.
Tell the Bush administration to protect children's health by reducing power plant mercury emissions by 90 percent by 2008 and ensuring that these reductions occur at each and every power plant, by clicking here:
Thanks for all your efforts.
While the Presidential race dominates headlines, Tom DeLay's underhanded plans for Texas are quietly moving forward. DeLay's goal has been clear from the start -- to eliminate key progressives, and at the same time ensure that the makeup of the U.S. Congress stays solidly Republican.
One of DeLay's prime targets is U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett. Lloyd has been one of the most progressive leaders in the House. He was a leader against the rush to war in Iraq and has consistently stood his ground against the extremist policies of the Republican leadership. Heres what Republican staffer Joby Fortson had to say in an internal memo, upon seeing what they were able to do to Doggetts district: "ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha" .
Congressman Doggett is fighting to stay in office. He is running in the newly-drawn 25th district and has asked for our help in his primary bid. We encourage you to support his re-election campaign by making a donation, here:
Congressman Doggett helped lead the effort to oppose the invasion of Iraq and aggressively lobbied his colleagues in an effort that resulted in a majority of Democratic members of Congress voting "no" on the Iraq war resolution. At a February 2003 anti-war rally in Austin, Doggett told a cheering crowd:
"Mr. President, the policies that you are pursuing in the name of our security are wrongheaded. They will make our families less secure. You jeopardize the security of our families when you insist on a land invasion and umpteen years of occupation of Iraq..."
In addition to his efforts against the Iraq war, Doggett has compiled a lifetime 94 percent voting score on important arms control issues and has been a vocal opponent of Star Wars, nuclear weapons testing, landmines and wasteful military spending. His votes consistently receive top ratings from PIRG, League of Conservation Voters, American Public Health Association, and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
More on the map in Texas:
DeLay's re-districting map was approved in December by a court stacked with Republican appointees. It's designed to knock off Democratic incumbents who stand in the way of the far-right's agenda, giving Republicans an edge at the expense of large numbers of Texas voters who will be disenfranchised. In the words of Republican staffer Joby Fortson, "This [map] has a real national impact that should assure that Republicans keep the House no matter the national mood." This is not democracy. It's gerrymandering at it's worst, and yet another attempt by the Republican national leadership to game the system.
You can help keep a strong, progressive leader in office and at the same time send a clear message to DeLay and the Republican leadership by supporting Doggett's primary bid. You can contribute online at the following web page:
This is MoveOn.org PAC's first email to our members in 2004. Through the MoveOn.org PAC, MoveOn members can change who has influence in politics -- from a few big-money donors to a massive number of small-money donors. Members can directly reward those candidates who take stands on our behalf and support challengers with progressive values, and at the same time demonstrate to everyone that there is grass-roots support available for those who are willing to fight for our interests. From now through November, we'll highlight candidates for the U.S. House and Senate and invite you to support them by volunteering and giving to their campaigns. You can also support the PAC directly at the following web page:
Thanks again for all you do.